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

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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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James Ayre

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.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

6 thoughts on “NRG EVgo Fast Chargers Causing BMW i3 Owners Problems — How About You?

  • This happens to me all the time on my 2015 Nissan Leaf. I get a strange error (picture of a yellow car with an exclamation point), and then the car doesn’t turn on the first time. Have to try again and then it finally does. Nissan tech says the error message indicates that the voltage was set too high from the charging session.

  • Not just EVgo. I’m in Europe (Scotland). Had similar fault with chargers that worked fine for other cars… Fix it BMW!

  • The same units here on the Front Range of Colorado stop my leaf with the same message, then the warning lights come on. They usually go off in 24 hours. You cannot turn the car on while charging. That means no heat/ status/ etc. My theory is the DC/DC converter errors out above 400V?

    • Its funny you mention this – I get these errors mostly at the Jax Outdoor Gear locations (IE fort collins and loveland) We have a brand new nrg-evgo charger in Greeley by a sprouts that on occasion causes this error too

  • I sometimes have a connection issue with the 2015 LEAF on the older ChaDEMO ones (with the giant unruly cables). You must be close enough for the cable to lay on the ground to support the weight of it.

    The CCS/Combo ones are much better. However, I have never had it cut off (once it starts, it works). And I can turn the car on, run the heat, etc. Never had a problem with that.

  • I’ve gotten the same picture code showing up on my 2013 Leaf, but the car starts. I have to stop the car and restart it to clear the code.

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