Roughly 30 Electrify America locations have been experiencing a problem with chargers shutting themselves down for CCS charging due to a problem in their liquid-cooled cable system within the charging dispenser. The sites use charging equipment supplied by Efacec and are primarily located in the southeastern region of the U.S. Some 200 other sites remain online using equipment from different suppliers.
Other charging providers using the same Efacec equipment may also be having problems including Allego which has units in Europe.
According to Electrify America spokesperson Mike Moran, the company began recently noticing that the Efacec equipment was automatically shutting itself down.
Efacec has released a statement saying it “…has identified a product issue with the cooling system unit for the liquid-cooled cables on its High-Power Chargers. Affected models are the HV160 and HV350 chargers, which are sold worldwide. If this potential situation occurs, the built-in safety mechanisms of the High-Power Chargers shuts down the equipment to ensure a safe state for customers… Efacec is committed and directly engaged on executing the retrofit plan, working closely with all its clients and cooling system supplier to have this situation solved in the least time possible.”
In some cases, all of the chargers at a single location have taken themselves offline leaving drivers unable to charge. Electrify America sites are sometimes the only charging option along rural interstate highways. Once shut down, the chargers do not automatically restart so service technicians have to physically visit the sites to bring the chargers back online. According to Moran, the underlying issue is a leak of the CCS cable cooling liquid that can occur inside the charging dispenser.
The recently released Electrify America apps for Apple and Google Android phones now show charger status at each location. Even if all CCS charging cables have shutdown due to the cooling system issue, the CHAdeMO charging cable may still be available so the entire site may not show as offline on the top-level nationwide system map view.
For example, this snapshot below was taken from the app status page for the site in Lake City, Florida shows CHAdeMO (with a conventional cable) still available as well as one Efacec CCS dispenser that has not experienced the issue and automatically shut itself down yet.
Moran says the company expects to update locations using the Efacec equipment with a temporary software workaround over the next week. The workaround will disable the liquid-cooling system but allow charging at reduced power of around 50 kW. During this period, the company is lowering the per-minute price to the lowest level and is waiving the usual $1 session fee for non-subscription users at these locations.