EVgo Adds Tesla Plugs to DMV Area Fast Chargers

EVgo has added Tesla connectors at many EVgo charging sites in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Based on CHAdeMO Adapter Principle

Tesla drivers enjoy access to a vast network of Superchargers that enable them to travel long distances. Superchargers in urban areas also serve drivers that do not have access to charging at home or work. According to data from supercharge.info, there are more than 1,000 Supercharger stations currently open in the United States.

About six years ago, Tesla developed a CHAdeMO adapter and offered it for sale. The adapter, which now costs $450, was very useful in the earlier days of long distance EV travel before the Supercharger network filled out in all areas of the country. The maximum charging speed using the adapter is no more than 50 kW.

In the past six years, we’ve used the CHAdeMO adapter in parts of New England, Tidewater Virginia, Nebraska, “the Loneliest Road in America” in Nevada and elsewhere.

A very small percentage of Tesla drivers have the CHAdeMO adapter. Certainly less than 5%. This means that the thousands of DC Fast Chargers are not normally accessible to Tesla drivers. This is unfortunate because an overwhelming majority of all-electric cars sold to date are made by Tesla. This has created a situation where Tesla Superchargers have high utilization while CCS/CHAdeMO fast chargers in the same area — often built with public funding — get relatively little use. [See: Tesla vs Electrify America Usage]

Some EVgo Chargers Can Now Work with Teslas

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Tesla Supercharger Wait Displayed on Navigation Screen

Headed to a busy Supercharger on this busy Memorial Day travel weekend? Now you can see the estimated length of time you can expect to wait at a full Supercharger station on the Tesla Navigation screen.

Tesla has been showing the number of stalls currently available on the Nav screen for a few years. Now, if a Supercharger is full, drivers are shown a grey clock icon on the pin. When you touch the pin it will display short, medium or long wait for that location.

I first observed this today at the original Somerset, PA Supercharger. First it was a “Short wait” then a little while later it was a “Medium wait” and within a half hour, stalls were available again.

Keep an eye out for this helpful new feature. Happy and safe travels.

Tip: How to Start a Session with an RFID Card

Greenlots RFID Card

Method to Attempt if Charging Station is Offline

Sometimes a public EV charging station will have power but it is not communicating with the service provider’s network. This could prevent you from being able to initiate a charge using the mobile app associated with that network. If the station is offline, then the signal to authorize a session may not be able to reach the unit from the charging service provider.

For example, the screen image above is a message on the Greenlots app that displayed when I tapped the “Start Charge” button for a Pepco owned and operated station that was showing as “offline” in the Greenlots app.

When this happens, you can call call customer support and see if they can help. Sometimes they are able to reach the station and either reset it or help you initiate a charge from their end.

When all else fails, it is worth trying to use an RFID card instead of the app. Sometimes the card will be successful in starting the charging session even if the unit appears to be offline.

You may need to order an RFID card from the various charging networks in order to be prepared for this contingency. In some cases, there may be a small fee for the card.

Hope this tip is useful. Enjoy your travels and happy charging!

See Also:
CHAdeMO Connector Instruction Video
Tip: Beware of Buggy Charging Stations
Tip: Be Kind, Rewind – Hang Up the Charging Cable

Tip: Be Kind, Rewind – Hang Up the Charging Cable

damaged EV charging cable
photo: Damaged EV charging cable

Loose Charging Cables Susceptible to Damage

Here’s a quick tip to help keep the public EV charging infrastructure attractive, safe and operating well. Upon completing a charging session, take a few moments to hang up the charging cable so that it is completely off the ground.

It’s tempting to just put the charging connector in the holster and let the cable go. Please consider taking a few extra seconds to hang up the cable too. No need to be too fancy, just a couple big loops so that no part of the cable is touching the ground.

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Hurricane Florence EV Drivers Evacuation Update


Tesla owners in the path of Hurricane Florence received a message on their car’s screen on Wednesday notifying them that Supercharging would be free until mid-October. Owners in the affected area with cars that were built with a 75 kWh battery pack but sold as a 60 kWh with the capacity being limited via software were notified that they would have access to the entire capacity for a time during and after the natural disaster.

Tesla had also unlocked the capacity of those batteries so that owners could more easily escape Hurricane Irma which hit Florida last year.

I’ve created a page to provide a Resource for EV Drivers Affected by Hurricane Florence.

Thanks Green Car Reports for helping to spread the word with the following article: Web site helps electric car drivers evacuate Florence, Tesla extends range

Please be safe if you are in Florence’s path.

Resource for EV Drivers Affected by Hurricane Florence

Remember to take your charging cable and all adapters if you need to evacuate.

This page was created on September 10, 2018 as Hurricane Florence threatened the East Coast and evacuations were being prepared in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Officials were saying to keep a full tank of gas as part of personal preparations for the approaching storm. This is a resource for electric vehicle drivers affected by Hurricane Florence.

Electric Vehicle Travel

You won’t need to worry about gas shortages if you drive an electric car but you should be aware that charging stations may become congested during a natural disaster, evacuation distances may exceed the range of a single charge and EV chargers may become unavailable due to power outages or flooded roads.

Please follow the advice of your local officials on preparation and evacuation.

This page will regularly be updated. Check back often for additional resources and follow @PlugInSites on Twitter. Send any tips or questions to lanny@pluginsites.org

Be safe.

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Level 1 Workplace Charging – Dept. of Energy Report

PlugInSites_Annapolis_120v1

A report on Level 1 (120 volt) EV charging at work has just been published by the US Department of Energy. The 20 page report covers two scenarios for providing Level 1 EV charging at workplaces. Scenario A is making a 120 volt outlet available for employees to plug their own charging equipment into. Scenario B is the workplace providing Level 1 charging equipment with a J-1772 connector for employee use.

Level 1 charging is capable of replenishing between 30 and 40 miles of range while connected for an 8 hour workday. Over 90% of employees in the US commute less than 35 miles.

PlugInSites_DOE_L1_cost_chart

The report suggests policies that employers can put in place to help ensure the success of a workplace charging program. Fee structures to recover the cost of Level 1 charging are also suggested.

The experiences of several Department of Energy Workplace Charging Challenge partners, including Coca-Cola in Atlanta and Melink in Milford, Ohio, are shared.

A PDF of the report can be downloaded at the Dept. of Energy website: L1 Charging At The Workplace.

CHAdeMO Connector Instruction Video

Using the CHAdeMO connectors on some DC Fast Chargers can be a challenge. There are buttons to press and levers to pull and release and they have to be done in the right order. Here is a short video by Yazaki that shows how to operate this kind of CHAdeMO connector.

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Tip: Beware of Buggy Charging Stations

pluginsites_bug_in_ev-connector

Look for Bugs Before Plugging In

Is there a spider weaving a nest inside the EV charging connector that you’re about to plug in to your car? Or maybe a little grasshopper is seeking shelter between the pins of the J-1772 assembly.

Now that summer is here and insects are out, take a quick glance inside the connector of any public charging station before you push it onto the receptacle on your car. You don’t want any big insects to get mashed inside your car’s charging inlet port.

Check the Gasket

In addition to bugs and spider nests, check for other dirt or debris and make sure the gasket inside (the green ring in the photo above) is not coming loose.

Hope this tip is helpful. Charge on!