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NRG eVgo

Discussion in 'Supercharging & Charging Infrastructure' started by fryfrye, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    Grr. EVGO has taken over California routes where Leafs roam, but I have not successfully used my Chademo adapter at one yet. Down the road, two EVGO stations failed to work with internal error, and the next fast charger down the road is another EVGO. I don't know if it will work. Stuck here until can go.
    IMG_5353.PNG

    Rated miles, estimated miles -- both lie. Heater spews cold air at 81° setting; only heats if set to Hi, so I suspect that helped run down battery, especially since it would get too hot and when I set it back to 81° the air conditioner came on again. Not sure why the heater doesn't work on a $83,000 luxury car. Another service issue for my January appointment. Result is when I got to a Chademo station that didn't work, I'm temporarily stuck.

    Does any EVGO Chademo work with Tesla any more?
     
  2. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #62 Ulmo, Dec 19, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
    Finally found an EVGO Chademo that works.

    This is how I did it that worked:
    1. Open car charger door
    2. Plug in Chademo adapter to car
    3. Plug in Chademo plug to Chademo adapter, hard, and listen for click. Keep pressing in until it clicks. This seems important. They even say it on the phone.
    4. Prepare RFID payment card or call if no card (tell them wait until you've done step 5). When they are ready to charge, proceed to step 5.
    5. Press "Start" button on station
    6. Wave RFID card or tell phone person to go.
    I honestly don't know if step 5 (and any of the sequencing making certain it happens) is necessary. It's just a suggestive button that says "Start", so I decided to integrate it into my process. At the previous station that failed, the Start button seemed superfluous when on the phone with them, as they could start it without that.

    Since I just got my account and haven't received my card yet, it does require a call in, giving phone number, name, address, and location ID, and listening to a lawyer spiel, and just generally being treated politely like dirt.

    The identifiable difference I found between this EVGO station and a nearly identical set a dozen miles south on hwy 99 is the latch under the lip where I'm pointing latched successfully this time. I suspected station electronic error at the time, though. I don't have a strong idea of what was wrong.

    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg IMG_5354.JPG


    As an aside, it took me 1.5 hours at a random exterior 15amp 120volt plug to get to another station 7 miles away, and half an hour at that ChargePoint Level 2 J1772 is all it took to reach the Chademo with plenty to spare. I was at around 2% when I got here, and it started at 37kW and dropped to 22kW and is now back at 30kW. I'm at 13% and climbing fast, showing I'll be fully charged in less time than it took to get 6 miles on a household outlet. When it kicked me off half an hour later at only 28%, the Manteca SuperCharger was giving me 96kW from 18% to 33%, and now 68kW, more than EVGO's ~32kW.

    One key thing I learned is that PlugShare doesn't show all the ChargePoint chargers. It really helps to look at ChargePoint maps too.

    Next time I'll just wait longer at an almost full and slow SuperCharger, and stop at intervening SC's too. I always intended to do long distance by stopping at every SC, but tonight I was running late and didn't yet know the detailed difference between projected, estimated, rated, ideal and actual miles.

    I probably blew through records on both ends of those scales tonight.


    Most ChargePoint stations I try just work the first time, no problem: J1772 and Chademo alike.

    Most EVGO stations give all sorts of problems. So far from what I've heard and seen it's basically a rotten company trying to do good work. The stations look really clean and engineered. (The plugs are very dirty, however.) I think NRG is just one of those rotten to the core companies like AT&T, and not much can be done about it, but hey, Trump says he'll clean up the VA, so if that happens in 8 years, anything is possible, even getting NRG ship shape.

    So, for instance, the station shut down the charge at only 28%, after exactly 30 minutes. That's a scummy way to extract more money, and means on my little 60kWh car I'd have to plug in 4 times. While I'm shopping? Grr
     
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  3. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    The story above is why it's always good to practice using new equipment before you really need it. NRG EVgo is one of those necessary evils these days, especially for non-Tesla fast charge users. Sure, we can dream that they would have an app and website that actually show your usage data and billable costs, but it's just not happening. However, their equipment is usually well maintained as opposed to Blink and each unit is only down for a day or two. Most sites have more than one CHAdeMO charger as well, so one broken one usually doesn't strand you.

    By the way, it's well known that the chargers stop after 30 minutes, regardless of your SOC or your plan. You do have to pay the $4.95 session start fee every 30 minutes if you're on the Flex plan with no monthly fee. That's just what it costs.
     
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  4. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    Yes, and I've read that many times, and yet, there is a cognitive disconnect in my brain, because it just doesn't make any damn sense. Why don't they stay connected, continuing to charge, and just lump on a $5 fee every 30 minutes, if that's the money they want? They'd probably make more money. If they stated every 30 minutes there's a $5 "30 minute fee", then you can set your own charge limit to avoid it if you want, and they can have a setting for that on their screen.

    Anyway, big mean entities baffle me no end. I don't do well in those situations.

    And, @miimura, yes, you're absolutely right, I need to test equipment before I really need it. I was actually doing exactly that the prior two days to that incident. Using a Chademo station was Plan C; the way I did it turned out to be plan D, which you are insulting, and fair point. Plan A was to get to a SuperCharger, but when I couldn't get there, Plan B was to stop at the next EV charger. That only charged at 6kW, and I thought that was too slow since there was a nearby Chademo that I could reach, so off I went to that Chademo, only to find out that at 2% state of charge, that dual Chademo station was completely not working with my car, and I could not reach any other chargers at that point. Lesson learned: at a 6kW charger, charge to make it to at least 3 fast charge stations (or at least other Level 2 stations) from there in case the first 2 don't work.

    I learned a huge amount about charging ever since I got my car 5 days ago.

    I'm loving Remote S and TeslaFi, by the way. They make understanding everything a lot easier. As well as all the charging and distance tools.
     
  5. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    EVGo is really intended for Leafs. They don't consider that other cars might charge for more than 30 minutes, and if their stations run for more than 30 min they may overheat.
     
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  6. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    This is true. They really expect you to be done and move after 30 minutes. However, the overheating thing is pretty much solved now with the chargers that EVgo uses. The Nissan chargers had a fan upgrade where they changed out the fans and filters for new ones with more capacity. None of the other models they use ever really had a overheating problem. The Tesla CHAdeMO adapter and JdeMO users are probably the biggest load they see these days since those are the only cars that can run full current for the whole 30 minutes. That will change with the Bolt hitting the streets now.
     
  7. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    For what it's worth, NRG spun off EVgo as a separate company with outside investors earlier this year. It hasn't really been long enough yet to see if this will change their behavior.
     
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  8. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    They certainly have a large footprint. So far, I am seeing their stations every dozen miles at about two each spot. That's compared to Tesla's 8 each 50. 50/8=6, & 12/2=6. I see they stick to population dense areas; they fully cover Hwy 99, and none on Hwy 5, nearly exactly the opposite of Tesla. Since I'm closer to Evgo stations than Tesla SuperChargers on most my long distance travel, they look physically appealing to me, but in fact they're not, because of reliability and price gouging practices (at least opaque prices).

    Do they issue statements? I have no receipts; that's illegal in California if they don't issue statements. So, do I have to carry a checkbook with charge sessions so I can reconcile every month?
     
  9. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    I have no idea. I just signed up for their flex account myself within the last month.
     
  10. Dave EV

    Dave EV Active Member

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    They send you statements every month via email.
     
  11. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    They claim to, anyway. They're even less reliable than emails from Tesla. See my post above-- I didn't get any email statements for several months when they had an old credit card on file and they were adding a late fee, then an account reactivation fee when I updated the credit card info. I just saw a big charge on my next credit card statement. Now a few months later I'm getting zero balance emails again (I use it infrequently).
     
  12. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I would definitely maintain a log of your charging and compare it to their e-mails. Their billing system is really bad. If you're routinely charging more than twice a month, pay the $15/month to get rid of the session fee and lower the per minute fee from $0.20 to $0.10. You will come out ahead. However, if you do change to the plan with a monthly fee, open a new account and just use the new cards. There are horror stories about people who changed their plan but it never took effect in the billing system - so they were charged the monthly fees and the higher rates of the Flex plan. Getting that cleared up is a nightmare of repeated calls to their billing department.
     
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  13. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    Thank you.

    Sounds like the old NYNEX. Good practices to avoid their mistakes. Sigh.
     
  14. Skipdd

    Skipdd Supporting Member

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    Not to be a contrarian, but I have eVgo and it works great for me. I have the $14.95/mo subscription. By my calculations, if I charge at least once a month I break even, and I usually do. I use it when I need to make multiple trips from one side of the DC area to another within a 4 hr period. I haven't had any issues with billing. They send me an email statement every month. The chargers are usually by restaurants/grocery stores so that is convenient as well.

    I have not had such success with Chargepoint. I tried to register on their website and it didn't work. So, I usually just avoid their sites or if I can't, call them on the phone and pay at the site, which is a real pain. Eventually I will try their website again..
     
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  15. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    I've never had a problem with ChargePoint. You might try downloading their smartphone app and try creating your account through that next time.
     
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  16. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #76 Ulmo, Dec 29, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
    Two weeks after I picked up my first EV (Tesla 60D), it turns out I'm using EVGO on the monthly plan ($15/month + per minute rates at the charger) heavily. I find its per-kWh charge of $0.15-$0.20 is cheaper than my old PG&E E6 rate plan while I'm waiting for it to switch to EV-A (I'm getting ~$0.50/kWh thru PG&E on E6, which should switch to around $0.15/kWh on EV-A), and my undersized solar system (which at 5.8kWp is half the size of my original planned 10kWp-11kWp system) isn't enough to charge my car. Of course, I use SuperChargers whenever I pass by them, but that's less than half of my journey legs, so as a result, I have become very familiar with EVGO. I drive enough that the EVGO monthly charge becomes a pretty insignificant cost; for those who don't drive far enough or use EVGO enough, the monthly cost is something to behold.

    Once you follow best practices (don't switch account types; get a new card for each account type; treat them with suspect and respect; etc.), it seems that this network is pretty easy to use. The equipment is well maintained, well built, and solidly engineered. It doesn't charge the fastest, going 30kW-40kW depending on state of charge and battery type -- getting 37kW right now at Whole Foods on The Alameda in San Jose, and typical at most EVGO Chademo's is around 30kW-37kW depending on state of charge of the car (I usually get more than 30kW and less than 40kW, and occasionally run into a 30kW only charge), but it is better than half the speed of a slow SuperCharger (I often get 25kW-60kW), and around a third of the speed of a fast SuperCharger (they peak for me around 97kW-99kW).

    And best of all, they all seem located near someplace that if the stores were open when you roll in, you could comfortably shop, at fairly decent stores (many places feeling quite north of the median), and if you come in off hours, the EVGO stations are still open and the parking lots are easier to navigate with less traffic. And, they are located just where they need to be, practically everywhere, at Leaf-sized intervals, meaning for a Tesla (60), they are more than ample.

    Rarely have I been charging at an EVGO station where I felt heavily unsafe. Of course, there's always a little hubub that needs a careful eye (hobos, beggars are not unheard of at a minority of the locations I went to, but they seem to just pass by and not bother the EV's for some reason).

    Most stations have about 2 or 3 Chademo available. Usually, you have to share the area with a Leaf, and might have to wait turns (knock on wood, I've never waited yet for an EVGO). As EV's get more popular, if EVGO stops expanding, congestion could become a problem. For now, it's clear sailing.


    My very first experience with EVGO was horrible: it didn't work, and I needed it to work. Maybe I didn't push the connector in far enough, but I doubt it, since I had charged plenty with Chademo at other locations by then no problem.

    But ever since then, it has been solid. Given my bad start and the underpinnings of the company, I had low hopes, and obviously, they've been far exceeded. Part of this has to do with my newly learned habits: I learned to always keep the state of charge of my vehicle at the highest possible safe charge level given my circumstances. This is also against a backdrop of trying to limit my home charging to within my solar panel system output during sunlight, at around 9amps-12amps, and charge time at 48 amps to my upcoming EV-A low rate period of 11PM-7AM the rest of the time.

    But, basically, I don't just go to Chademo (and SuperCharger, J1772, etc.) when I have to: I also do it when I can. This has made my charge state a lot more comfortable, and I don't worry about it any more. I'm starting to get that feeling that most Tesla owners get, after a little initiation period of learning how to charge according to the needs of their new car and driving habits, of feeling comfortable with their charge level. The first step is getting a grasp of how to fit charging into the life of the new Tesla owner, and I think that's different for every car and every owner and every combination. After that, it becomes comfortable and unstressful. (I understand that some artistic wealthy people buy 90's and live 5 miles from work (which I'm all 100% for and love), but for many of us, it's ever slightly more nuanced than that, and we get a sort of understanding of how to find a comfort level with our vehicle. For instance, a 90 user can go a lot further than a 60 user, but the 90 user can't just charge to 100% whenever they want; they have to time it to avoid battery damage, whereas the new software-limited 75 "60" users can just leave it at 100% and not worry.)

    File_003.jpeg

    Since that pic, caught latest spike at Whole Foods at 41kW, 121A 345V.

    It keeps going up. 42kW, 122A 347V, at 89%.

    It just cut me off for my second half hour, and I got all the way from 29% to 89%. That's a good 1 hour session.
     
  17. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    I just posted as much, except for the billing thing which I haven't yet experienced either way. I just found out I'm a pretty regular, heavy and happy user of EVGO, not something I expected at first blush.

    I have had great luck with ChargePoint. Their pass card works great, and their chargers have been working well for me. They text and email me right away with the charges, and if I find they're not itemized enough, I email customer support. They are a bit more Wild West, though: each station has its own characteristics, and you have to approach it with full eyes open. For instance, they can charge for parking, and their charges for charging are a lot different from station to station. At one parking spot downtown San Jose, the J1772 ChargePoint I use costs less than the parking lot charges to park while I charge there; considering that, it's almost like it's almost free juice while my car racks up a large parking bill. Another thing to look at with ChargePoint is often they are located in subprime areas, with vandals, thieves, and closed facilities and the back ends of warehouses that just feel cold and dark when you're there at night, and parking lots and parking garages and the like. But, there are many ChargePoint that are decent price and decent location, and I use them when I can. I usually only expect a low cost J1772 for a ChargePoint, but they can do Chademo (I use one at their HQ occasionally on a road I take almost every day). I think sometime I'll run into a sensible ChargePoint with a Level 2 charger at a destination, and I will just go for it while I'm there, and it will work out well. That's kind of how I treat ChargePoint now with one of the locations.
     
  18. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    Ok, back here again. So, as many of you undoubtedly guessed, Chademo is only useful where there is Chademo and there is not SuperCharger, and I confirmed that first hand this weekend. Chademo is good where it can plug holes between SuperChargers or where the SuperChargers don't quite reach. That calculation is slightly different when you compare various battery capacities and driving conditions.

    This New Year's Eve and Day, I celebrated with a usual meeting with one of my friends, and that particular route has ample SuperChargers and destination chargers, and I had absolutely no need, nor desire, to use Chademo. It is actually the first long distance trip I took that had ample SuperChargers or destination chargers, and it had both, and as a result, it's the first time I got to realize that properly functioning full speed SuperChargers at 97kW are much faster than Chademo at only 32kW-44kW. Chademo makes me feel like I'm in a Honda trying to get to the east side of town in rush hour, but SuperChargers make me feel like I'm in a regular car on a regular journey. Not exactly riding around in a fully loaded home-charged Model X P180DL with range to spare (gosh, that's what, 500 rated miles?), but definitely good enough.


    I should also write that in the prior week, I found a nice way to store my Chademo adapter in the car, safely and for easy use. In the Model S, there is that hole in the trunk in the rear left of the vehicle in which you can place the charger cable bag that is delivered with the car. While that bag is sitting in there as usual, the Chademo adapter itself can go large side laying down to the left of the bag pointing toward the rear of the car on the outside (left) of that bag, and the adapter cord and the small end of the adapter can lay in the direction of the front of the car resting on the upward sloping curving piece of the hole alongside the left sidewall, with the Tesla head of the adapter resting on the curved part of the hole against the sidewall. The bag holds the cable and large Chademo side of the adapter aligned pretty well to the left against the sidewall of the hole, holding the Tesla head of the adapter to the left also, and tucks the entire adapter nicely into that area. It is out of harms way and very easy to access for use, and very easy to put back in that format. It's best to practice this in daylight, since at night, it's almost impossible to see, but easy to do by feel, both grabbing and putting back. I do use zip-lock bags and rubber bands as appropriate to cover all my Tesla plugs including both ends of this adapter, so that prevents mishaps and dirt getting into the ends of the adapter. (Paradoxically, I find having the zip lock bag open to hold cords and closed to prevent dirt ingress while not holding a cord is the usual way I use them. For the smaller converters that are smaller than a bag, I just close the bag around them.) Due to normal driving, the Chademo adapter does sometimes flop out a little toward the rest of the trunk, but since it has a short cable and is held in tightly by the bag, it doesn't flop out very much. I have had no problems with this storage mechanism.

    Originally, I stored the Chademo adapter in the full bottom well of the trunk along with my dozen or so other adapter cables, but I found that it is a nuisance to dig all the way down there in the trunk when the trunk is full, and probably causes great wear and tear. With my new location for the Chademo adapter, it has none of those problems. I knew I would eventually find spots for my more often used cords, and indeed, that is now true. In addition to the Chademo, I found a good location for the J1772 adapter.

    I found I like having the J1772 adapter stored inside a ziplock bag down in the driver console forward of the forwardmost cupholder position, just resting around there in the front of the console. Whenever I have to charge at J1772, I don't even have to go to my trunk, and pop out with J1772 converter in hand or pocket already, for easy use. Since I'm already sitting down as I'm rummaging for the J1772, I can easily unbag it while sitting down, or unbag it outside and leave the bag in my pocket if I unbag it there; inside always seems better, if I remember.
     
  19. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Well-Known Member

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    Isn't there still a spot specifically in the glove box for the J1772 adapter?
     
  20. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #80 Ulmo, Jan 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
    I'm going to go look right now! I didn't find it:

    IMG_2692.JPG

    Found this thread: Special spot in glove compartment -- for J1772 adapter? | Tesla Motors

    Going to go try again. No, it does not fit as described in the above mentioned forum:

    IMG_0098.JPG

    The glove box is not tall enough for it to be fit standing up as described in the forum link. There is also no void as described in the forum link. I can only conclude that this is a different glove box shape.
     

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