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Published on May 27th, 2016 | by James Ayre


NRG EVgo Fast Chargers Causing BMW i3 Owners Problems — How About You?

May 27th, 2016 by  

NRG EVgoHave any of those reading this had consistency issues with the NRG EVgo DC fast charging network? Specifically, with regard to “communication errors” interrupting the charging of your electric vehicle in the middle of a charging session? It seems you wouldn’t be the only one.

A discussion thread on “The Circuit” (the official BMW i Series forum) on this subject was recently started by a user by the name of “releve068,” who started things off with this:

Has anyone experienced any consistency issues with nrg EVgo DC Fast Charging? I have a station about 1.5 blocks away from my home which I use quite often but more often than not, there is a greater than 50% chance that I will NOT be able to charge using the DC Fast Charge as the unit gives me all sorts of strange errors. It either claims that my car is on (when it is 100% off) or after charging for about 20 mins it suddenly stops stating “communication error” with the vehicle.

I have had this situation occur at other nrg EVgo stations and I am really starting to wonder if its my particular car or software on my particular vehicle. If anyone has experienced problems or perhaps NO problems, please let me know.

This comment spurred a number of others to share their experiences as well.

“Scott” commented:

I have had this problem, in southern Cali. I had taken my i3 into service three times for it, they replaces the locking mechanism and did two different software updates. Now it seems to work… about 95% of the time.

As did “boatguy” (who I assume likes boats):

Yes, it’s a feature of the EVgo network. As someone suggested it may be associated with the heavy cable pulling on the connection and disrupting the control signals. I’ve never understood why the 50 kW EVgo cable is so much larger than the 120 kW Tesla cable, it’s a real monster to drag across the parking space.

And “Dr. B,” a bit jaded, added:

I have had a similar problem so regularly that I’ve just given up on trying to use nrg EvGO Fast Chargers including those quite near my home. They have proven themselves to me to not be worth the hassle.

And the forum moderator (“Mary”) provided some broader perspective and a solution of sorts:

I have not had these problems but some that have report that if you support/lift the handle while activating the charge, it will work. The cable is very heavy and pulls on the port/locking mechanism quite a bit. You can let go after a minute of operation.

Overall, that gives one the impression that this is a pretty common problem. As I haven’t had personal experience with the network, I’m a bit curious to hear from those who have. Is this truly a common problem? Is it limited to certain models (BMW i3, etc)?

Photo by Jun Seita (some rights reserved

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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