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How to tell if a vehicle is charging?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Kipernicus, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    I'd like to collect descriptions on how we can tell if various plug-in cars are charging or not - where to look and what to expect.

    Make of Car (Roadster, S, Leaf, Volt, etc)
    Indicator location (charge port, dashboard, center console, etc)
    Indicator when charging (color, blinking pattern)
    Indicator when finished (color, pattern)

    This information will help us recognize when a car is finished and avoid premature unplugging.
    An apologies if this is already somewhere else - I looked but couldn't find a thread.
    Thanks
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I hope no one ever thinks they can decide to unplug me without checking w/me first!

    ... When I lock the Roadster, all charging indicators go off, so as not to draw attention. I do leave a note with my phone # near the charge port. But I'd be ticked if someone walked up and decided they could unplug me, especially considering California law regarding EV parking spots (must be charging or will be ticketed).
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    The Roadster usually makes noise while it is charging - cooling fans etc.
     
  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    And it often makes noise when it is NOT charging!

    :)
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Okay, then, peek in at the dashboard. There will be a little yellow plug symbol flashing.

    (Or if you have really good eyes you can read the VDS display.)
     
  6. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    The Ampera (and I presume Volt) has a small light in the middle of the top of the dash that can be seen from outside. This is solid green when charging and flashing every few seconds when done.
     
  7. I unplugged a volt once (it was charging on a 70 amp-Marsh St in San Luis Obispo- when there was a perfectly good 40 amp available that I was going to plug the volt into) and it went crazy alarms, whistles the whole 9. I plugged it back in booked out of there; ended up charging in Santa Maria.
     
  8. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    That definitely shows the Volt owner wasn't thinking or didn't understand they were tying up a high power connection when one that still maxes out their car was sitting right there as well. Maybe the other one was tied up when they got there.
     
  9. There were two other 40amp EVSE's in addition to the 70 amp clipper creek. The other two EVSE's were empty when I pulled into the structure. It is possible that both of the other ones were in use, I guess.
     
  10. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    Funny coincidence, this just came up at my work today! We have a bunch of Leafs that usually hog.... ummm... occupy the chargers. In many places there is one charger for two parking spots and it's understood that when one car finishes it's OK to move the charger cord. The Leaf has three blue "arrows" on the top of its dashboard, one of which flashes to indicate "still charging". If all three are steadily lit, it's finished. My Roadster shows solid green (sometimes) when it is finished. The Volts show solid green to indicate "still charging"! So a Volt owner has been getting unplugged... Not by me, I rarely arrive at a time when I can get a charging spot, but perhaps by someone else who confuses the cars.
     
  11. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Wouldn't it be nice if all the companies agreed on this (light notification for charge status). I realize that will never happen though.
     
  12. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Green when charging? That seems backwards.

    No plug sharing here in California. If you get somewhere and they're all used, find someone (management at least) to point that out to. But then, it's easy for me to say that, as Rolf is always trying to make sure there are enough chargers at Google.

    (Think you're ticked at a Volt over-plugging? Try a PiP!)
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    ...and it quite often doesn't.
     
  14. really I do not think I have ever heard my roadster not have a a fan come on when charging...at least one fan is running? Yours is just silent sometimes when charging?
     
  15. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    The ActiveE has a flashing blue light on the bottom of the rear-view mirror, visible from all sides outside of the car .

    Slow flashing means charging.

    Fast flashing means something is wrong, like a GFCI trip or the car just doesn't like the taste of the juice it's getting. I get this one a lot these days. Seems the higher temps. or newer firmware cause the ActiveE and Coulomb EVSEs to bicker at each other and not play nice.
     
  16. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    I think it's more for the driver's benefit - i.e. you plug in, it goes orange for the comms with the EVSE stage then green to say 'all good'. It toots the horn on turning green too, which is anoying at 12 o'clock at night when you just drove your silent car in and didn't wake the neighbours. No way to turn it off though.
     
  17. Timothy

    Timothy Driving on Sunshine

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    I did the same thing at Marsh Garage with a Leaf. I took the 70 amp unit and plugged it in to my Tesla and plugged the 30 unit into his Leaf. Fortunately no alarm sounded. I left him a nice note explaining what I did and why. The chargers are right next to the exit so I explained to the attendant what I did. When I returned, the Leaf was gone. The attendant told me the Leaf owner had no idea that there was a difference in chargers and said to say'thank you' for the note.
     
  18. One of those chargers always seem to be in use every time I have been there...I tried a different strategy last time, where I did the 101 trip from SoCal up to the bay area Goleta, Atascadero & Salinas then up to Santana Row

    In Goleta there was a Volt plugged into the Rabobank , I killed 2 hours at the Starbucks across the street, came back but the Volt was still there. Went to the bowling alley for two hours, the volt was still there...I then went and watched a movie at the theater across the street (went out to check 30 mins into the movie)..Luckily the volt was gone.

    On the return trip, there was a Leaf charging at the Atascadero Rabobank. I had to watch two more movies (Ted & Brave), the leaf was still there between the two movies. Knowing my luck the Leaf probably left 10 mins into my second movie (I went out after 30 mins and it was gone) Plugged in and went back into the movie :crying:

    From now on I will do the UMC-RV Park + Harris Ranch...I have never had a charging conflict with this route.
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    The green just does not stay on for very long.
     
  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I suggested long ago a standard indicator for all EVs Even to have them in all the parking lights

    BTW Model S is the nearly same as the Roadster

    white ready
    blue preparing
    yellow (has be eliminated)
    green charging
     

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