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Discussion Starter #1
Currently in la belle France and having big problems with rapid charging....worked fine at Maidstone IONIQ. Anyone else had similar issues and have any tips? AC charge works fine?
 

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What car do you have?
 

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The French don't like us, so will make visiting as difficult as possible. Drive back to England IIWY. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Kona 64Kw....

Yes just got back on the Tunnel (thankfully since the ferries would be interesting tonight!) and tried the charger at Folkestone services....Ecotricity CCS and it worked straight off the bat and charged at 41kw no problems!

So the question remains is there any tips or tricks with the French rapid CCS plugs that can make them work...electrical contctor clearner spray for instance?
 

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@stageshoot has taken his Kona abroad quite a bit. He may be able to help.
Didn't charge much in France I am afraid as I charged before leaving the UK so in Holland or Germany normally before needing to think about it.

I did get a DBT at a Supermarket in Calais to work on CCS, but understand they are as flaky as the Ecotricity ones generally. Would say if you can find a none DBT unit you will have a higher chance of success
 

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France used to have quite bad reputation when it comes to charging infrastructure.
I have done several Euro trips (Kona 64) and from my experience:
1. Ionity works without any issues everywhere. It's also quite cheap and has multiple stalls per location. I wouldn't even plan stopping anywhere else due to lack of redundancy (with a few exceptions below)
2. Innogy / FastNed is also very reliable and sometimes they have multiple chargers (FastNed is quite expensive so I don't use it normally). Again - don't plan to stop at locations with just one charger unless you don't mind waiting or have buffer to drive to next location.
3. Lidl free chargers work ok with Kona but... since they are free they are often abused / occupied (especially NL). Also Kaufland chargers work very well and free.
 

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3. Lidl free chargers work ok with Kona but... since they are free they are often abused / occupied (especially NL). Also Kaufland chargers work very well and free.
Yep had an outlander stop my charge on one of those in Holland while I was using it as they felt thier need was greater than mine. Denied doing it despite the fact I was sat in the car watching them
 
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We drove a Kona to the motor show in Frankfurt last year. Mostly rode Ionity all the way. No real problems other than some slow charges but moved to another stall and was fine.

One trick with CCS that I have learnt, on the Kona and Model 3, when plugged in and starting a charge just lift the CCS handle up slightly so that the weight of the cable isn't pulling it down and keep the handle square/flush with the car. Just during the handshake. Once charging has started you can let go. There just seems to be an issue with the comms not being at full strength. Pulling that out of my hat but it does seem to work. I've seen other YT do the same trick with the same outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Sparky. My experience on the one CCS that I tried (yes I'm a real newbie!) in France was that the handshake happened ok and charging started but almost immediately it would trip off. This happened twice. The report on the unit was 'error with vehicle'. As mentioned before just wndering if there are bad connections in the CCS plug that with the buildup of current there is connection issue. The plugs in France did seem to be well beaten up and it wouldn't surprise me if they were damaged in some way. The Ecotricity unit (DBT) we tried on the M20 was faultless!
 

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So with DBT units, and we tried an Ecotricity one on the Kona, if you are say below 50% they will charge for approx 30sec and then shut off. Witnessed it on an Ecotricity charger first hand. Tried it several times and never got it to start. When over 50% will work fine. Loads of threads out there highlighting the problem. Ecotricity blame Hyundai, Hyundai blame Ecotricity. Will probably never get sorted till the units get replaced.

What was your SOC when on the M20? From what I remember the chargers I passed in France all looked like these units so could be suffering from the same issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes indeed that is exactly what I found. Our charge when we got to the M20 unit was probably below 50% but cannot be sure. If this is the case....DBT units not able to charge below 50%.....then that knocks out a lot of my options! I'm going down to Chatel with an overnight in Lons-le Saunier and the Corri-Dor network seems to be all DBT :confused:
 

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Ah... That may be an issue. I think we got them to work from around 45% ish. Hyundai's recommendation was to charge from above 50% but that kinda defeated the point of having a long range EV.
I think DBT do not support the units anymore as they are so old so until they get replaced it won't get fixed. Has something to do with the car asking for full whack of power, DBT tries to give it but physically can't so then trips a fuse and re-boots. Stupid I know but no one official is coming out with an answer or solution.
So the options, to be safe, are to always charge above 50% or use the AC if it has it to get you to 50% and then flip over to CCS. Last, avoid DBT chargers at all costs
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well thanks for the advice...as you say makes a mockery of having a 'long range' EV! Anyone else have thoughts?
 

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Well thanks for the advice...as you say makes a mockery of having a 'long range' EV! Anyone else have thoughts?
After just under 60k miles in the Kona the rule I live by is

NEVER WASTE TIME WITH ECOTRICITY OR DBT CHARGERS.

This has lead to a happy life with no hassles doing long distances, Ionity, Polar, Instavolt. The rule to live by if you want long drives with no stress
 

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Plugshare is your friend - check comments from people. I usually read comments from people using the same connector (CCS) and ideally having either Kona / Ionic / e-niro / i3 as they seem to have the same pattern of success / failures as my car.

Plus if you can use Ionity then use them. Even when one unit doesn't work you always have redundancy. Never had any really problems with Ionity except very small issues with starting the session:
  • once charging couldn't be initiated via RFID card so had to use ionity app instead
  • once it didn't start even though the light was green
  • once it stopped randomly so had to restart
But I never had anxiety: "what if charger doesn't work". And i do get that if I need to go to place with only once charger.
 

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NEVER WASTE TIME WITH ECOTRICITY OR DBT CHARGERS.
Yep - I like that how in A Better Route Planner now you can just tell it to not use whole networks.

Previously I spent quite a while manually telling it to ignore all Ecotricity chargers that I could find.

I suppose now I could/should tell it to use the few Ecotricity locations where new units have been installed. I can’t be bothered though frankly, and think I probably prefer going to a Polar (hotel), Engenie (pub) or Instavolt (health club) to get a charge and a coffee rather than an overcrowded motorway services.

So in a way Ecotricity have lost my custom for ever potentially, even if they do replace all old chargers, because they took so bloody long to get started.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks again to one and all for their advice and contributions. Have planned the trip on Ionity only as suggested which works for the first sector but have found that the Ionity station at Langres Perrogney seems to be completely unserviceable, as is the rapid alongside it.

So the question then is are the rapids (non-DBT) elsewhere on the Soditrel network (and others which are lised as Chaors EV-Tronic) any good?
 

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Also be careful of the new Ionity charging prices. May end up costing you a small fortune €0.79 a kWh
 
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