A commonly installed lower-power DC charger model has been taken offline in recent months due to safety concerns leaving some rural driving routes even more challenging for long-distance travelers.
The units are made by IES Synergy of France but are commonly rebranded in North America as the ChargePoint Express 100.
BMW and Volkswagen funded installations of the charger model along the west coast and a route from Boston to Washington DC in 2015 and 2016. The units along I-5 in Northern California and Oregon were often the only chargers supporting the CCS connector standard on that route until recently.
A photo uploaded to PlugShare from a charging site apparently in Oregon shows a notification letter sent by ChargePoint.
A notice posted at the Sierra Nevada brewery in the town of Chico this November provided an update on repairing the equipment.
According to ChargePoint spokesman Darryll Harrison, the safety issue has not resulted in any injuries. ChargePoint did not identify the specific problem but said it involved a single component and the repairs are being made free of cost to charger owners.
Harrison said several hundred of the IES 24 kW chargers are actively registered on ChargePoint’s network and about 0.5 percent of the chargers had an incident reported.
“While reported failures represented a very small portion of potentially affected chargers, we were eager to quickly and immediately identify the issue and implement a fix with the station manufacturer in the interest of customers satisfaction and safety. Many of the stations are back or coming back on line, and we are working quickly to resolve the issue for all affected station owners as quickly as possible“, he said. “Due to the nature of the issue, we previously recommended that the stations be powered down until the fix is completed.”
Harrison said more than two thirds of the affected units are already back up and running and the rest should be operational again by the end of the month.
A few locations show no obvious evidence of ever having been taken offline based on site usage comments PlugShare. Other locations appear to have been mostly taken out of service in September with some now back up and running again within recent weeks.