I am watching the “sh*t show” that EA is live and in person

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daveo4EV

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fast charging needs to work - VW/Audi/Porsche set this network up - no matter how arms length they have done it - and all of the problems are around "activation" - once the charging session starts it works brilliantly

EA should dispense with "activation" and just offer plug&charge regardless - and give you a 5 min grace period to "pay" for the session after it's starts charging…if you car supports "real" plug&charge it would be taken car of - for all others - put a count down on screen with a "activation" code - enter the the displayed code into the EA app - and boom your account "pays" for the session - people who don't pay - well they get 5 min free - but EA could throttle the "max" charge rate to something like 25 kW until they have a valid/paying session

this would make things sooooooo much better…vs. spending 20 min DOING nothing trying to get the station to activate…
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PDACPA

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I was running an errand on Saturday and near an EA charger so thought I would "test it out" while alone and no time constraint. Pulled in and another Taycan was charging. Plugged in, and the EA screen had "guest" / "member" choice. So I stopped it. Had opened the Charging (green) App on my phone. The app could not even find the location.

The Taycan driver came over and said I did not need to use the Charping app, use the Porsche Connect App. Tried that and after a few plug in's and remove the charging cable, the Connect app did show the list of stations for me to pick, but the station would not let me charge. He had to go so I tried his station. No go. Called EA. The rep was basically reading off his computer screen what I had to do. As I explained what he was telling me to do was different than what my app showed, he defaulted to rebooting the station.

In the end. I switched to a 3rd station, plugged in, opened the connect app and the map appeared and I touched the red pin and it showed the list of stations and picked mine and it eventually started charging. Easily 30 min of wasted time. Glad it was when I was just trying to test.
 

whitex

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Offering a free wall charger does nothing to help the people who want to actually drive past a short radius of their house. Wall chargers are cheap, and where I live, the utility basically pays for them with a $500 rebate. Plus, you need a 100A hard-wired circuit to run an 80A charger, which is going to be more expensive than the charger. And I don't see the point of a faster charger at home, unless you are an uber driver, and even then, an 80A circuit is going to be slower than EA.

I'm actually pretty happy with EA so far, and I would not hesitate to take the taycan on a road trip again.
I think you missed my point. I was proposing an option, between the 3 year subscription and a Wall Charger. All cars should still be enabled to charge at EA or other charging networks. The difference would be if someone went for the charger instead of EA subscription, they'd pay for charging just as you will in 3 years. Without the 3 year subscription people would vote with their money, and the best charging network would get the most business, therefore have most money to grow.
 

RBGtaycan

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I was running an errand on Saturday and near an EA charger so thought I would "test it out" while alone and no time constraint. Pulled in and another Taycan was charging. Plugged in, and the EA screen had "guest" / "member" choice. So I stopped it. Had opened the Charging (green) App on my phone. The app could not even find the location.

The Taycan driver came over and said I did not need to use the Charping app, use the Porsche Connect App. Tried that and after a few plug in's and remove the charging cable, the Connect app did show the list of stations for me to pick, but the station would not let me charge. He had to go so I tried his station. No go. Called EA. The rep was basically reading off his computer screen what I had to do. As I explained what he was telling me to do was different than what my app showed, he defaulted to rebooting the station.

In the end. I switched to a 3rd station, plugged in, opened the connect app and the map appeared and I touched the red pin and it showed the list of stations and picked mine and it eventually started charging. Easily 30 min of wasted time. Glad it was when I was just trying to test.
Maybe I am just lucky ..EA has always been an adventure but, IF the charger works (!), it typically does so automatically without me doing anything but plugging in. Isn't that how it is supposed to work?
 

whitex

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fast charging needs to work - VW/Audi/Porsche set this network up - no matter how arms length they have done it - and all of the problems are around "activation" - once the charging session starts it works brilliantly

EA should dispense with "activation" and just offer plug&charge regardless - and give you a 5 min grace period to "pay" for the session after it's starts charging…if you car supports "real" plug&charge it would be taken car of - for all others - put a count down on screen with a "activation" code - enter the the displayed code into the EA app - and boom your account "pays" for the session - people who don't pay - well they get 5 min free - but EA could throttle the "max" charge rate to something like 25 kW until they have a valid/paying session

this would make things sooooooo much better…vs. spending 20 min DOING nothing trying to get the station to activate…
I think what you're proposing are workarounds. The root problem is how they have designed their charging+payment system without considering failure modes and user experience. For example, there should be an offline operating mode, if charging station cannot activate based on regular methods, they should allow alternative way of identifying customers, such via as a phone app which can go get a valid token online and provide it to the charger via BT, NFC, a QR code (on phone screen with charger having a camera to scan it), or other means (wifi, audio/modem, enter activation code, etc). For plug-and-charge they already have a certificate based system, so if the car successfully identifies itself with a non-revoked certificate and not on a banned list (CRL's and banned lists are periodically updated and cached, don't need to be real time).

Unfortunately, there isn't that much motivation for EA to make things easy to use since they get their money up-front (3 year subscription). If the current proposed infrastructure bill was to add a $1 per each KWh delivered and properly accounted for (so not for free sessions when station is broken), something tells me EA would start caring more about making their chargers fast and easy to use. If instead they will just get a grant to expand, they will continue doing what they are doing.
 

PDACPA

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Maybe I am just lucky ..EA has always been an adventure but, IF the charger works (!), it typically does so automatically without me doing anything but plugging in. Isn't that how it is supposed to work?
I think I had over read how to charge. Yes, I thought "plug and charge" is how it was supposed to work. When I plugged in, the EA wanted me to sign in as a guest or member. It was not until I got the agent on the phone and we used the connect app that it worked.

I will give it another try when I am near the charger again. I do all my charging at home.
 

porsche_coyote

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I think what you're proposing are workarounds. The root problem is how they have designed their charging+payment system without considering failure modes and user experience. For example, there should be an offline operating mode, if charging station cannot activate based on regular methods, they should allow alternative way of identifying customers, such via as a phone app which can go get a valid token online and provide it to the charger via BT, NFC, a QR code (on phone screen with charger having a camera to scan it), or other means (wifi, audio/modem, enter activation code, etc). For plug-and-charge they already have a certificate based system, so if the car successfully identifies itself with a non-revoked certificate and not on a banned list (CRL's and banned lists are periodically updated and cached, don't need to be real time).

Unfortunately, there isn't that much motivation for EA to make things easy to use since they get their money up-front (3 year subscription). If the current proposed infrastructure bill was to add a $1 per each KWh delivered and properly accounted for (so not for free sessions when station is broken), something tells me EA would start caring more about making their chargers fast and easy to use. If instead they will just get a grant to expand, they will continue doing what they are doing.
At the nearest EA station to me, the chargers actually revert to free access when they're unable to go online. One of the stations has been 'down' for weeks, meaning that I've charged my BMW i3 for free there several times...

I'm not sure why they don't seem to work this way everywhere. I will also note that these are ABB chargers, which have consistently worked better for me than any other kind, regardless of which charging network I've been connecting with. The Signet chargers seem to be the worst, same story.
 

dflohr

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Maybe I'm just lucky. Did a trip last week from Atlanta to Kiawah Island South Carolina. Involved 5 EA charges. Every one was flawless. No software, did not turn off the car. Just pulled up to the 350 KW charger and plugged in. Within one minute charging started. Got 226kw max as I have RWD with standard battery.

Really don't get how the individual EA experiences could be so different among us Taycan owners.
 

chrisk

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Reliable Plug and Charge solves a lot of problems. It works well for my Ford Mach-e.
Yesterday I arrived at a working station that was not showing up in the Charging NA app. If I was with the Taycan I would have to call EA support to initiate charging. But luckily I was my lesser Mach-e and I just plugged in and everything worked right away.
 

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Reliable Plug and Charge solves a lot of problems. It works well for my Ford Mach-e.
Yesterday I arrived at a working station that was not showing up in the Charging NA app. If I was with the Taycan I would have to call EA support to initiate charging. But luckily I was my lesser Mach-e and I just plugged in and everything worked right away.
Ford sells a lot more cars and has a lot more revenue than Porsche. They have more resources (i.e. budget) to finish the product. Welcome to a niche brand. There is hope however, VW can spend the cash to write proper software and let Porsche use it. If you want to see an extreme example of niche brand, check out the software (including charging) on a Rimac Nevera which costs more than 20x what a Taycan does, but of course that means they sell quiet a lot less of them, so even less resources for software development.
 
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Klepper

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Maybe I'm just lucky. Did a trip last week from Atlanta to Kiawah Island South Carolina. Involved 5 EA charges. Every one was flawless. No software, did not turn off the car. Just pulled up to the 350 KW charger and plugged in. Within one minute charging started. Got 226kw max as I have RWD with standard battery.

Really don't get how the individual EA experiences could be so different among us Taycan owners.
This is how it has worked for me too at EA. Granted I have only tried 3 EA stations so far, but it has worked flawlessly every time so far (multiple times a each station). I pull up, plug in, and charging starts.
 
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daveo4EV

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basically if cars have plug&charger we all know that works better

so they should “fake” plug&charge for cars that don’t have it - start charging when you plug in regardless of underlying “plug&charge” status - if car has real plug&charge done -if car does not have plug&charge start charging and then give them a grace period to get billing in order - limit maximum charge rate until billing is sorted…this in my opinion would greatly improve things.
 

whitex

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basically if cars have plug&charger we all know that works better

so they should “fake” plug&charge for cars that don’t have it - start charging when you plug in regardless of underlying “plug&charge” status - if car has real plug&charge done -if car does not have plug&charge start charging and then give them a grace period to get billing in order - limit maximum charge rate until billing is sorted…this in my opinion would greatly improve things.
While more efficient, it opens the door to abuse. If you simply unplug and plug back in after the grace period, with a car without or with but disabled (in settings) plug-and-charge (so no VIN number or other way for the charger to identify the car), you could charge forever simply unplugging and plugging back in every 10 minutes (or whatever the grace period is). Adding special cameras with vision processing to automatically decide if it's the same car as before or same as few minutes ago (someone hops from charger to charger) would probably cost way more than just getting the app to work properly and quickly.

The bad news is that as plug-and-charge becomes available in future cars, the percentage of cars without it might be too small to justify investment in an efficient and proper solution for those cars. :(
 
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Scandinavian

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The bad news is that as plug-and-charge becomes available in future cars, the percentage of cars without it might be too small to justify investment in an efficient and proper solution for those cars. :(
The fact that each one of the chargers need to have a communication line for allowing cars to charge etc, as well as communicating if the charger is free or not. And if this communication is available the cost of adding a small rfid reader in the system is very small. Quite simple to have a tag or rfid card or your phone with rfid for identification. This works very well.
 

whitex

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The fact that each one of the chargers need to have a communication line for allowing cars to charge etc, as well as communicating if the charger is free or not. And if this communication is available the cost of adding a small rfid reader in the system is very small. Quite simple to have a tag or rfid card or your phone with rfid for identification. This works very well.
Easy to say, but the devil is always in the details, and there are many, including but not limited to:
  1. Designing the RFID based payment system, including the software for all possible payment systems EA is using in the field today and in the future, and of course the back-end
  2. Designing the actual RFID for each model of charger in the field today, make sure it can handle weather (extreme heat to extreme cold, wet, abuse, etc).
  3. Retrofitting ~3,000 chargers (the number EA claims to have deployed so far), each will require a tech to go retrofit, those tech will have to be trained how to do this on different chargers they have
  4. Design, implement, run and maintain the RFID car issuing, canceling (lost or stolen cards), etc.
  5. While most modern phones can absolutely read RFID cars today, they usually cannot be used as an arbitrary RDID tag (Google how to use an iPhone 12 as an RFID tag for example). There is Apple Wallet, but only Apple can issue the certificates for that, so essentially you'd need to integrate with Apple Wallet, not just use a generic rfid reader
All that (and more I'm sure) for what, maybe 10,000 VW, Audi, and Porsche EVs which don't have plug-and-charge? My guess the ROI is not there for EA. I'm not arguing this is the right thing, because it does suck for early adopters, but just saying that realistically non-plug-and-charge cars may get stuck with how it works today forever if plug-and-charge solves the usage problem and majority of cars on the road will have it. I think your biggest hope here would be that they fix the activation via the app to become reliable.
 
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