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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking through the list of electric highway rapids that are down on the evstatus page https://evstatus.com/ecotricity.xml It seems that once a rapid faults it seems to be offline for ages, Trowell North on the M1 for example has been out of action for nearly 6 weeks judging by the elechighway twitter feed.

Does anyone know why it takes such a long time to get them back online? Also are there inherent reliability problems with these units?

Don't get me wrong, Ecotricity has been really bold with their rollout and really has shown that there are alternatives to the REDICULOUS pricing strategies on some of the other networks and there's no way I could do half the long journeys I've done without their network, but there's always a nagging fear that the next rapid could be out and you're [email protected]!
 

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i3 with Range Extender (EREV) Sept 2014
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You are right but not sure there is any service level agreement as far as uptime but I know now I would be fooked if I did not have my pet REX with me, not many rapids near me but 2nd time tried to use failed and now down over two weeks
 

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There are inherent reliability problems with these chargers. There has been for months. They are way too frequently breaking down and Ecotricity has the logistical nightmare of then getting them repaired, ordering parts etc. Ecotricity have said they have a permanent solution to this instability but they don't start the roll-out of that solution until later this month AFAIK.

Will that fix it? They say it will. I have my doubts because so many of the failures are of such diverse issues. We will see :)
 

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Around 13 of the 30 broken down chargers are Chademo. 15 are CCS and 2 are AC.

It seems that that Chademo reliability is improving but the CCS chargers have had a sudden increase in breakdowns.
 

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Remember, the CCS units are also Chademo so if the CCS is down it is not possible that the Chademo on that unit is also down?
 

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Some of them have been off-line since May? luckily I don't need to use them very often but its really a worry when planning longer trips to the point where I don't many any more, we just use the Leaf mostly within its range, its a shame as they had ample time to swap to ABB or alternate reliable units, I don't see the reliability getting any better in the short term unless they swap them out for another brand.
 

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I had what may be a record in arriving at a charger last week in which both rapids were down. This was at Beaconsfield. The problem was that there was no signal to the machine from whatever network the machine depends on. This means that your card isn't recognised. The solution was for me to drive to Reading, thereby making it 103.9 miles between charges, in which my card wasn't recognised by the new charger! The old one did the trick, but then Membury took a while for my card to be recognised. I had a second passenger by the time I arrived, in the form of a member of the testudo genus, by the time I arrived at Reading. None of this is of any help to our blood pressure.

What is this card recognition problem? If there isn't a sufficient signal then why not default the machine to work without a card? Or, as my son suggested, why not link each machine to an ADSL connection? Neither can be more than a few bob's worth which, in the context of a £50,000 outlay for a rapid charger, isn't a great deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There are inherent reliability problems with these chargers. There has been for months. They are way too frequently breaking down and Ecotricity has the logistical nightmare of then getting them repaired, ordering parts etc. Ecotricity have said they have a permanent solution to this instability but they don't start the roll-out of that solution until later this month AFAIK.

Will that fix it? They say it will. I have my doubts because so many of the failures are of such diverse issues. We will see :)
It's comforting to know that they are working on a fix and the reliability issue is not being ignored, I'm lucky most of my longer trips are up and down the M1 and I always leave enough in the 'tank' to make it to another one should I need to. If Leicester Forest East goes down though I've got no chance!
 

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This reliability (unreliability) of fast charge EVSE's is crazy.
I am sure that they are a bit more complicated than a high power dc power supply but come on, all our cars have high powered inverters and thankfully they don't break down very often.
Electronics are very reliable these days and well proven so why are so many failing?
Poor design just has to be part of it. I read of leaves blocking vents. That should not be an issue until the machine is submerged in leaves.

Can anyone else enlighten me. I have spent my whole life using high powered electronics including inverters which last years without maintenance.

What is going on?
 

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Ecotricity claim the issue is that the design of the charger means that there is moisture being drawn into the casing by the cooling fans affecting the electrics inside. They say this moisture is affecting chargers in various ways but they have a fix to prevent it. The roll-out starts soon.

It is basically bad design but there is a huge capital investment and so replacement with a different make is probably out of the question.
 

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And no-one thought of moisture laden air..............for goodness sake!

Whatever happened to sealing the electronics in a box?
 

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All the panel mounted inverters I have ever used have the electronics in a box with the heat sink fins out the back.
You could stick them in water if you wish.

Why on earth haven't the manufacturers of these externally installed equipment thought of having the heat sinks in the moisture laden air and the electronics happily in a sealed environment.

I give up!
 

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All the panel mounted inverters I have ever used have the electronics in a box with the heat sink fins out the back.
You could stick them in water if you wish.

Why on earth haven't the manufacturers of these externally installed equipment thought of having the heat sinks in the moisture laden air and the electronics happily in a sealed environment.

I give up!
They have. Just not the manufacturers of *these* ones
 

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All the panel mounted inverters I have ever used have the electronics in a box with the heat sink fins out the back.
You could stick them in water if you wish.

Why on earth haven't the manufacturers of these externally installed equipment thought of having the heat sinks in the moisture laden air and the electronics happily in a sealed environment.

I give up!
I did hear a rumour that some chargers were fundamentally designed for indoor use but we're being used outdoors - hopefully with appropriate modifications.
 

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I had what may be a record in arriving at a charger last week in which both rapids were down. This was at Beaconsfield.
Did you call them on the number on the side of the machine?
I've been to Beaconfield a few times, but only every had one problem (in all the rapid charges I've ever done) with the original Rapid there. A two minute phone call, to a very knowledgeable chap at Ecotricity had the machine rebooted and working fine.
 
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