Electrify America is having issues with 150 kW and 350 kW cables and plugs.

Electrify America is having issues with 150 kW and 350 kW cables and plugs.

I was recently looking at CHAdeMO ( I just bought the CHAdeMO adapter for my Model S) locations in CT, and saw this:

Posted under the Electrify America post from Jan 25, 2019:

"Electrify America was recently informed of a potential safety concern by the supplier of a high powered cable used at some of the chargers at this location. The safety of our customers is our top priority. In an abundance of caution, the 150kW and 350kW CCS chargers at this location that are equipped with this cable have been disabled while the concern is investigated. The potential concern only affects chargers equipped with this cable and does not include any of the 50kW chargers or CHAdeMO units at the station. We will update this post when more information is available. More information can be found on our website at"

Or here:

Wow! Imagine if Tesla had released a super charger plug and cable with issues like this. The press would be all over it.

jordanrichard | January 28, 2019

Hopefully this is just a one time issue that will be resolved with better cables. If it is not and there is indeed an issue with pushing that much power through a cable, this has a bigger impact.

All of the so called Tesla killers by the competition, stake their claims of charging speed on the ability to charge at 150 kw. One is particular is the Audi E-Tron. They boast on their website that you can charge up the E-Tron to 80% in 30 mins. They make the point that is faster than what it takes for a Model X using a Tesla charger at 120kw. However, that is based on a 150kw charger. Also of course they are leaving out the fact that the X has a larger battery.

PrescottRichard | January 28, 2019

Yup. That’s what Tesla gets for being the tip of the spear.

reed_lewis | January 28, 2019

Furthermore there are very few of these faster locations in the country. The numbers are less than 100 stations, and the stations are usually about 6 total ports.

Until they have anything close to the Tesla Super Charger network, they are an also ran. Plus the prices are start at $1 per session, and 30 to 35 cents a minute. On a 150 kW connection that means that power costs 12 cents/ kWh But on a 40 kW connection (which is what most people will use), electricity costs 45 cents/kWh. That is expensive!

stevenmaifert | January 28, 2019

At least Electrify America is being up front about the issue. When Tesla has a Supercharger issue, they fix it quietly and normally don't comment unless asked: “We changed the cables to unify service procedures and parts across all current Supercharger sites.” Translation: They didn't work so we got rid of them. | January 28, 2019

@steven - I loved those Tesla liquid cooled cables. There were much thiner and lighter. Not sure the reason they got rid of them. They did work fine, but perhaps they had maintenance issues, or even a patent issue (i.e. violated someone's patent, so they had to remove them). I think they were in place for about 2 or 3 months and never heard of a problem in actual use.

Yodrak. | January 28, 2019

"I loved those Tesla liquid cooled cables. ... Not sure the reason they got rid of them."

So, Tesla tried liquid-cooled charging cables and abandoned them, and now Electrify America is using liquid-cooled charging cables and is having a problem with them? I wonder if there's a root cause here.

I also wonder what will happen when vandals try to cut the Electrify America charging cables like they did several Tesla supercharger charging cables recently. What is the coolant, and what kind of damage might be done to the charging unit or the environment when the coolant leaves the one and enters the other through a cut in the cable?

Earl and Nagin ... | January 28, 2019

I'm not sure that being upfront about bad issues by Electrify America is necessarily good. Remember that their funding source really doesn't want EVs and has a habit of doing anything they can to not build them, even if it means breaking the law.
Sure, Tesla's liquid cooled cables went away quietly but the service remained going strong, even improving. They didn't just cut them off suddenly, stranding anyone foolish enough to actually leave on a trip counting on them.
I can also assure you, from experience, that Electrify America won't offer to tow you to another station if one of theirs is down like Tesla has. You're out of luck with them but I'm sure VW will happily sell you a GTI.

stevenmaifert | January 28, 2019

@E&N - I would rather see them being transparent about the supplier problem than say nothing at all. How long did it take Tesla to finally admit initial MX production delays were being caused by a supplier problem with the gull wing doors. Not sure how the Electrify America funding source is relevant here other than to poke a finger in VWs eye for past transgressions. Is there any EV on the road now that can actually use a 150kW - 350kW charger? Electrify America provided a list of DCFCs in their press release that are still operational. I don't see anybody getting stranded.

jordanrichard | January 28, 2019

Stevenmaifert, I don’t know that Tesla was being sneaking about the FWD issues. I am sure that they first tried resolving the issue with the supplier and then went on to build their own parts. The moment you are having an issue with a supplier, you don’t go on TV/to press about it. There is an expression, don’t tell me about the labor pains, just give me the baby”. When you have people waiting on cars, they don’t want the what the problem is, they just want to know that something is being done about it.

Earl and Nagin ... | January 28, 2019

Tesla has been extremely open about issues in the past and been punished for doing so by those who can't comprehend what it takes to something totally new and revolutionary. Also, like many technology companies,it isn't in their commercial interest to tell the whole world what works and what doesn't.
VW executives who want EVs to die could wish to publicize failures in order to try to support their preferred 'reality' that 'EV technology isn't ready yet'.

stevenmaifert | January 29, 2019

Well, Tesla doesn't make a 350kW Supercharger, so I guess you could say what Electrify America is doing is new and revolutionary too in the world of DCFC. Anyway, problem solved:

stevenmaifert | January 29, 2019

JR - Those who plunked down their deposit on the MX began to wonder where the baby was as the months went by beyond the originally projected due date. Tesla wasn't being sneaky, they just weren't real forthcoming about the reason for the delays until pressed for an answer.

Mike83 | January 29, 2019

This was addressed awhile ago. The high kW charging is limited by the battery nearing the fill limit. Several issues like battery life and degrading aren't known. Teslas have proven themselves over 10 years. Let's see some statistics when they make 100000 for 2 or so years. Lutz

carlk | January 29, 2019

Tesla has been so open sometimes that made me worry that you revealed too much. You let competitors to learn trade secrets and open yourself to criticism when you couldn't or did not want to follow through. Did Apple ever tell you what it plans to do next year, next quarter or even next day? Apple even stopped reporting iPhone sales figures since last year. Imagine what people's reaction would be if Tesla does that?

blue adept | January 29, 2019

Alas, this wasn't even about Tesla, yet they managed to catch a bit of the blowback anyway...

I can only hope that everyone noticed just WHO it was that was casting the aspersions.

The clear issue here is an inherent problem with the liquid-cooled cable in a public environment (no matter which company made use of them) and not anything to do with battery capacities, charger kw capacities, charging rates or speeds, the disclosure of a miniscule, largely irrelevant issue involving a third-party parts supplier, and definitely NOT the result of some error or oversight on Tesla's behalf.

Talk about a 'storm in a teacup', sheesh!