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Why ChargePoint is Terrible

AWDtsla

Active Member
Mar 3, 2013
4,266
3,960
NE
Clipper Creek sells an L2 EVSE for about $600. I have one at my home and like it a lot. No complaints at all, and I think I am typical. ChargePoint sells a similar product at a similar price.

The commercial ChargePoint product is a different animal and quite a bit more expensive. OP is conflating business owner of a Chargepoint product with purchase of a Chargepoint commercial product.

Confusing? Shame on chargepoint for trying the squeeze business owners with the super-expensive commercial station. Not only businesses, but municipalities. Most of these owners are setting their charging to free anyway.
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,396
15,335
New Mexico
This particular business owner first applied for the Tesla destination charge program. When he found out the program had changed, and that he would bear all of the cost of installation and equipment, he made the extremely obvious decision to put in a charger that could be used for all brands of EV’s, not one proprietary to Tesla. He would have gone Tesla if they had at least offered to pay for the equipment, he would have paid for installation.
That would almost be equivalent to Tesla shutting down the program, except that the business owner would benefit from advertising his spot on the Tesla charger map.

Interesting if true, but even if so I think your friend made a poor decision. Look at the fraction of EVs road tripping that are Tesla compared to other makes.
 

AWDtsla

Active Member
Mar 3, 2013
4,266
3,960
NE
Everytime I see a chargepoint thread there's always someone around to disagree with my posts. I really don't understand how their sales/marketing team is so effective. 240V outlet would do 90% of the places chargepoint chargers are installed for free charging, and it would be faster, cheaper, and more reliable. In the rest which are set to pay, the prices (yes I know set by the station owner) damn near extortion.

Frankly after dealing with their stations for years anything about chargepoint basically makes my blood boil. I'm sure it's not just me.
 

Eno Deb

Active Member
Aug 17, 2018
2,609
3,164
SF Bay Area
Are you sure that occupancy is logged in a non-commercial station ? I get the impression (not confirmed) that EVSE connection to the mother ship is part of the commercial arrangement.
It's logged to provide the owner with stats, but Chargepoint doesn't show private (== non-public) stations on their map. From my understanding that's the whole point of this thread. The business owner apparently thinks that being on their map has some advertising value, but isn't willing to pay anything.

If the business owner doesn't like Chargepoint's terms, I would suggest to talk to Tesla about installing a destination charger. AFAIK they are free and at the moment Teslas are probably the only EVs that are used for longer trips anyway and would be likely to stay at a B&B. That will put the location on Tesla's charger map as well as (ironically) on Chargepoint's ...
 

Eno Deb

Active Member
Aug 17, 2018
2,609
3,164
SF Bay Area
Everytime I see a chargepoint thread there's always someone around to disagree with my posts. I really don't understand how their sales/marketing team is so effective. 240V outlet would do 90% of the places chargepoint chargers are installed for free charging, and it would be faster, cheaper, and more reliable.
It's quite simple: they offer turnkey solutions as well as added features through their connected services. That includes pricing policies, access control, billing, analytics (e.g. to plan expansions) and more. They also have a load-sharing feature that automatically balances the available power across multiple installed chargers, so one station can serve more customers (if at slower speed). If a small business just wants to put up one or two free chargers all that is of course overkill. They should just get a couple of Clipper Creeks or similar, enter them in Plugshare and be done with it.
Frankly after dealing with their stations for years anything about chargepoint basically makes my blood boil. I'm sure it's not just me.
Honestly, I don't understand the hate the Chargepoint is sometimes receiving. They have done more for workplace and retail charging than any other company.
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,554
2,446
SF Bay Area, CA
Everytime I see a chargepoint thread there's always someone around to disagree with my posts. I really don't understand how their sales/marketing team is so effective. 240V outlet would do 90% of the places chargepoint chargers are installed for free charging, and it would be faster, cheaper, and more reliable. In the rest which are set to pay, the prices (yes I know set by the station owner) damn near extortion.
Regarding the bolded part, NO! It would be completely useless for me unless I buy a portable level 2 (208 to 240 volt capable) EVSE. Outside of Tesla, few models (and even smaller % of vehicles) come with a level 2 portable EVSE. Leaf has been my primary car for over 5 years. I have NO level 2 EVSE at all, not even one at home.

Given the above, the vast majority of other EV and PHEV drivers at my work would be in the same boat. Most of the non-Tesla drivers would need to buy a portable L2 EVSE. and we'd all need to remember to bring our several hundred dollar worth L2 EVSE with us. The parking structure at my work is not secured in any way. Even if there were a gate to control cars coming in/out, people can walk right into our parking structure as there's no gate and some portions w/no walls. Our EVSEs could get stolen.

There are too many different 240 volt outlet types (NEMA connector - Wikipedia), spurring more confusion vs. simply just J1772 (and we have some Tesla wall connectors at work, as well). There's already enough confusion at my work about using the Chargepoint stations (e.g. account, cards, how to get added to our group since our stations are set to restricted) amongst the buildings I work at) vs. the couple of Tesla wall connectors. We have over 70 J1772 handles on ChargePoint amongst the buildings I work at.

ChargePoint lets users see which plugs are open via their map and app. We also receive notifications from ChargePoint about completion, plugout (got unplugged), etc. We can also monitor our charging status (e.g. seeing power level graph for our sessions). Also, I can start sessions for other people.

Our Chargepoint stations are set to restricted so that non-employees can't use them. If we just has outlets, random people could come and leech our electricity. I also don't think we'd want a whole bunch of non-employees having an excuse to hang around our buildings and parking lots, esp. outside working hours.

As for more reliable, well, those 208/240 volt outlets will wear out after too many cycles. Someone has to babysit this and find out which ones are heating up too much and replace them. What about outdoors? IIRC, we have about 36 J1772 handles that are not under cover at all. Many portable EVSEs aren't weatherproof. You also think that people will be comfortable w/unplugging and plugging in (not on the J1772 end) their EVSEs in the rain outdoors?

Many large employers in the Bay Area w/free or paid L2 charging (e.g. Apple, Oracle, Google, Microsoft, etc.) have ChargePoint L2 stations. Employees would be asking our facilities people, why can't we have those convenient solutions instead of a terrible solution of providing only 240 volt outlets. We have our 400 EVs/PHEVs in our internal registry.

Perhaps you should take a look at Wayback Machine, if you haven't already.

I use free public L2 J1772 charging about 5 miles from home on Fridays and sometimes on the weekend. I've also used some elsewhere in my city + some others in the Bay Area. It would be damned annoying if they just put some random NEMA 208/240 volt outlet in place instead because of the remembering to bring a multi-hundred $ L2 EVSE and the possible theft issue. I'd also need to carry a bunch of adapters, just in case. (I've seen numerous posts of people having their L1 EVSEs stolen.)

Also, at my work, we have lots of Teslas (over 100 in our registry). NEMA 14-50 outlet would top out at 40 amps max. AFAIK, our Tesla wall connectors are on 100 amp circuits (so 80 amps max). Some of those Tesla drivers complain about Chargepoint being slow (30 amps max). Well... you want the 48, 72 amp and 80 amp OBC guys to max out at 40 amps?

If you had a non-Tesla EV/PHEV, worked at my workplace and charged at my work for over 5 years (I have), you'd understand where I'm coming from.
 
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cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,554
2,446
SF Bay Area, CA
It's quite simple: they offer turnkey solutions as well as added features through their connected services. That includes pricing policies, access control, billing, analytics (e.g. to plan expansions) and more. They also have a load-sharing feature that automatically balances the available power across multiple installed chargers, so one station can serve more customers (if at slower speed). If a small business just wants to put up one or two free chargers all that is of course overkill. They should just get a couple of Clipper Creeks or similar, enter them in Plugshare and be done with it.
Honestly, I don't understand the hate the Chargepoint is sometimes receiving. They have done more for workplace and retail charging than any other company.
Yep on all of the above. On the bolded part, see Power Management FAQ - ChargePoint. I only became aware of this when I was in a meeting w/one of our facilities people + a Chargepoint sales rep.

BTW, will admit that Chargepoint commercial EVSEs seem insanely expensive vs. buying say Clipper Creek 30 to 40 amp EVSEs (that would no have access control at those prices, unless you add on something Liberty Access Technologies). Example: See page 18 of https://www.bart.gov/sites/default/...rogram - Fully Combined Application_Final.pdf and page 11 of https://www.menlopark.org/Archive/ViewFile/Item/4630.

AFAIK, you need one gateway station (has a cellular radio in it) for a given area and the rest can be non-gateway units. The non-gateway stations communicate with the gateway via a short range wireless LAN. I believe there's a limit as to how many non-gateways a gateway station can serve (maybe 9 stations?). Each station can have dual J1772 handles.

And, Chargepoint charges services fees on top of that. I believe they also take a cut of revenues if you charge $.
 
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AWDtsla

Active Member
Mar 3, 2013
4,266
3,960
NE
Regarding the bolded part, NO! It would be completely useless for me unless I buy a portable level 2 (208 to 240 volt capable) EVSE. Outside of Tesla, few models (and even smaller % of vehicles) come with a level 2 portable EVSE. Leaf has been my primary car for over 5 years. I have NO level 2 EVSE at all, not even one at home.

Given the above, the vast majority of other EV and PHEV drivers at my work would be in the same boat. Most of the non-Tesla drivers would need to buy a portable L2 EVSE. and we'd all need to remember to bring our several hundred dollar worth L2 EVSE with us. The parking structure at my work is not secured in any way. Even if there were a gate to control cars coming in/out, people can walk right into our parking structure as there's no gate and some portions w/no walls. Our EVSEs could get stolen.

There are too many different 240 volt outlet types (NEMA connector - Wikipedia), spurring more confusion vs. simply just J1772 (and we have some Tesla wall connectors at work, as well). There's already enough confusion at my work about using the Chargepoint stations (e.g. account, cards, how to get added to our group since our stations are set to restricted) amongst the buildings I work at) vs. the couple of Tesla wall connectors. We have our 70 J1772 handles on ChargePoint amongst the buildings I work at.

ChargePoint lets users see which plugs are open via their map and app. We also receive notifications from ChargePoint about completion, plugout (got unplugged), etc. We can also monitor our charging status (e.g. seeing power level graph for our sessions). Also, I can start sessions for other people.

Our Chargepoint stations are set to restricted so that non-employees can't use them. If we just has outlets, random people could come and leech our electricity. I also don't think we'd want a whole bunch of non-employees having an excuse to hang around our buildings and parking lots, esp. outside working hours.

As for more reliable, well, those 208/240 volt outlets will wear out after too many cycles. Someone has to babysit this and find out which ones are heating up too much and replace them. What about outdoors? IIRC, we have about 36 J1772 handles that are not under cover at all. Many portable EVSEs aren't weatherproof. You also think that people will be comfortable w/unplugging and plugging in (not on the J1772 end) their EVSEs in the rain outdoors?

Many large employers in the Bay Area w/free or paid L2 charging (e.g. Apple, Oracle, Google, Microsoft, etc.) have ChargePoint L2 stations. Employees would be asking our facilities people, why can't we have those convenient solutions instead of a terrible solution of providing only 240 volt outlets. We have our 400 EVs/PHEVs in our internal registry.

Perhaps you should take a look at Wayback Machine, if you haven't already.

I use free public L2 J1772 charging about 5 miles from home on Fridays and sometimes on the weekend. I've also used some elsewhere in my city + some others in the Bay Area. It would be damned annoying if they just put some random NEMA 208/240 volt outlet in place instead because of the remembering to bring a multi-hundred $ L2 EVSE and the possible theft issue. I'd also need to carry a bunch of adapters, just in case. (I've seen numerous posts of people having their L1 EVSEs stolen.)

Also, at my work, we have lots of Teslas (over 100 in our registry). NEMA 14-50 outlet would top out at 40 amps max. AFAIK, our Tesla wall connectors are on 100 amp circuits (so 80 amps max). Some of those Tesla drivers complain about Chargepoint being slow (30 amps max). Well... you want the 48, 72 amp and 80 amp OBC guys to max out at 40 amps?

It's not my fault the "other" manufacturers of EV's don't give a damn if you are able to charge at any appreciable rate. That's what you get for buying compliance cars from fossil car companies.

NEMA 14-50 is an INCREDIBLY popular outlet because of the RV community. It should be no problem at all to make this the standard charging outlet in North America. There's already tens of thousands of them in accessible locations.

I totally reject your arguments about reliability. Chargepoint crap is always broken in some way. Even the environment which I mostly use it in which has a limited number of EV's. From the plug handles to spurious errors with the EVSE's, to simply being wires with too thin gauge, it's just plain awful.
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,554
2,446
SF Bay Area, CA
It's not my fault the "other" manufacturers of EV's don't give a damn if you are able to charge at any appreciable rate. That's what you get for buying compliance cars from fossil car companies.

NEMA 14-50 is an INCREDIBLY popular outlet because of the RV community. It should be no problem at all to make this the standard charging outlet in North America. There's already tens of thousands of them in accessible locations.

I totally reject your arguments about reliability. Chargepoint crap is always broken in some way. Even the environment which I mostly use it in which has a limited number of EV's. From the plug handles to spurious errors with the EVSE's, to simply being wires with too thin gauge, it's just plain awful.
Leaf and numerous other EVs and PHEVs aren't "compliance cars". Leaf is still the world's best selling EV in terms of installed base.

I've never once used a NEMA 14-50 outlet. Then again, I've never visited an RV park nor do I have an EVSE that can plug into that. I suspect the majority of EV/PHEV drivers are the same boat as me.

As someone who uses ChargePoint daily and monitors internal Slack channels for EV drivers, I totally disagree about Chargepoint reliability. We have very few problems w/our L2 EVSEs. If you count the ones around my buildings + the others in another set of buildings which we don't occupy at the moment, we have over 80 handles. On busy days at work (like Mondays), I'm sure that somewhere between 100 to 120+ vehicles charge that day. For the rest of our work days, it's got to be at least 60 to 90 on a given day.

As for Chargepoint stations being broken in the wild, yes. I've encountered some.

Again, if you worked at my work for over 5 years, charged a non-Tesla on a daily or almost daily basis at work, talked to other EV/PHEV drivers and monitored EV/PHEV internal communications at my work, you'd understand where I'm coming from.

Do I think they're overpriced? Yes, very much so. Apparently my work and many others are willing to pay for them for the benefits they provide. I'm not in facilities and not a decision maker on this.

Before we moved to new buildings and the over 70 Chargepoint J1772 handles were added, I did point out to facilities many times that there are cheaper solutions but w/o access control (e.g. just buying some J1772 EVSEs like from Clipper Creek) or w/worse access control (e.g. Liberty Access to use w/Clipper Creek, LAT - Solutions - Synchronous Code Control Module, look under Our Solutions and see the 5 last solutions)). The free public L2 charging I sometimes use has 8 Clipper Creek 30 amp L2 EVSEs w/Liberty Access keypads.

Even if my work installed a bunch of NEMA 14-50 outlets, what will you do about the drivers needing L2 EVSEs? How about the theft issue? Not every EV/PHEV out there is a Tesla. Speaking from only a Tesla-centric POV ignores ALL the other players.
 
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sdrevik

Member
Jul 14, 2018
129
104
Knoxville, TN
Chargepoint's EV clients are people who pay them money. "Terrible" is trolling a company on the internet simply because it will not give you something for free.

I’m not the station owner. My issue was that the CP app doesn’t accurately reflect available chargers (in this case, in a rural area that doesn’t show *any* CP chargers at all... it would be nice to know of available options in the event of an emergency. That’s my point.
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,554
2,446
SF Bay Area, CA
I’m not the station owner. My issue was that the CP app doesn’t accurately reflect available chargers (in this case, in a rural area that doesn’t show *any* CP chargers at all... it would be nice to know of available options in the event of an emergency. That’s my point.
Use Plugshare.

I only use the ChargePoint app to look at stations at my work or to look up stations where I know there is Chargepoint to see comments, accurate pricing, usage histrogram, etc.
 

AWDtsla

Active Member
Mar 3, 2013
4,266
3,960
NE
Leaf and numerous other EVs and PHEVs aren't "compliance cars". Leaf is still the world's best selling EV in terms of installed base.

LOL. Much like the Prius before it, which took their cheapest and smallest platform and added some batteries to it: "We've built the smallest and worst car possible to be an EV". All of them universally panned by people who enjoy cars, and all sold in miniscule numbers compared to the manufacturer's main fleet. Don't give me a veggie burger and tell me it's just as good as beef. You can choose one for your own personal reasons.
 

Kermee

It's Not Easy Being Green
Jul 31, 2018
507
755
WA, BC & HKG
I'm going to jump into the fray here from a consumer standpoint, as someone who is new to EVs with a Tesla Model 3. I honestly think the debate on the commercial offering of ChargePoint is interesting with valid points being made on both sides. So as a single "statistic" in my limited driving so far of networked chargers in the Greater Seattle Area and Greater Vancouver, B.C. Area:

1. I've gotten use to the idea of not having to keep my UMC2 in my vehicle. It's "semi-permanently" installed in my garage on a NEMA 6-20R.
2. I just keep the SAE J1772 to Tesla adapter in my glovebox.
3. I use the ChargePoint application first to find any free & available J1772 chargers in my area. I like seeing the "Available" vs. "In-Use" and being able to be notified when a charger becomes available if someone hasn't "sniped" it already.
4. I then use PlugShare to find any other compatible chargers in the area that ChargePoint doesn't show (i.e. Tesla Destination chargers, other network chargers, etc.).

This has worked pretty well for me and using the NFC in my Android phone to start the charging is pretty neat. The ChargePoint ecosystem where I travel around the most has been extremely reliable and robust. However, with other EV'ers I've spoken to, PlugShare seems to be the best place to be listed if a business location is looking for exposure and is the most used site/app.

Using ChargePoint has saved me about $66.75 USD in Supercharging costs (@ $0.25/kWh), or $27.74 USD (@ $0.104/kWh) in "home" charging costs over the past two weeks and I'm extremely appreciative of the ChargePoint charger owners which subsidize them.

wWWEvzj.png
 

TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,646
8,481
Austin, TX
Who drives a Leaf to a B&B? Virtually all long distance travel by EVs is done in Teslas. Any B&B or hotel owner who wants to attract EV owners would be able to serve >90% of the market by installing a Tesla wall connector or a NEMA 14-50 outlet. The Wall Connector would be the better choice for marketing purposes as it would be listed on Tesla’s destination charging website and In the car navigation. There’s just no benefit to being in ChargePoint’s app. People don’t use it to plan where to stay overnight.
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,554
2,446
SF Bay Area, CA
LOL. Much like the Prius before it, which took their cheapest and smallest platform and added some batteries to it: "We've built the smallest and worst car possible to be an EV". All of them universally panned by people who enjoy cars, and all sold in miniscule numbers compared to the manufacturer's main fleet. Don't give me a veggie burger and tell me it's just as good as beef. You can choose one for your own personal reasons.
Geez. Talk about Prius and Leaf hate. :mad:

As someone who DOES enjoy cars, I do like both my Prius (bought new in Jan 06, still have it) and my Leaf (leased a '13, bought a used '13 to replace leased Leaf). A Leaf has been my primary car since end of July 2013.

FWIW, I previously had an 02 Nissan Maxima and an 04 350Z. The latter I had for almost 8 years.

On the bolded part, you are correct, esp. about the Leaf. Keep in mind that Toyota sells about 10 million vehicles/year. Nissan does almost 6 million/year. Nissan-Renault Alliance does over 10 million/year. Toyota and Nissan have very diverse product lines and there are numerous models that they sell and produce that don't exist in the US (e.g. Serena, Avensis).

Back when gen 2 Prius (began w/04 model year) was new, there were months long waiting lists. I can attest to that when I test drove an 04. And, there were still month+ long waiting lists in 05 and early 06 (I put in a deposit in late 05). There were supply-side bottlenecks (IIRC, on batteries).

FWIW, the current best still Nissan in the US is the Rogue. It passed the Altima awhile ago for that title.

Given all of the above, it doesn't seem reasonable that either Toyota or Nissan could suddenly have Prius or Leaf become a large % of sales vs. rest of their product line.

To each his own...
 
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