garylai
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:03 pm
Delivery Date: 08 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1826
Location: Seattle, WA

Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging network

Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:42 pm

I attempted to use the Aerovironment DC fast charger in Burlington, WA today at about noon. I do not have a subscription which is $20 a month since I do not use the network enough. Aerovironment makes you call their customer service to read your credit card over the phone to activate the charger if you do not have a subscription, they do not have pay-as-you-go cards or FOBs like Chargepoint or Blink. Unfortunately, I could not get through to customer service. I tried about 20 times over the course of an hour. Every time when it prompted me to hit "*" if I was by a charger or "1" for customer service or "2" for technical support, it would disconnect the call. It wasn't my phone because I called my wife at home who used our landline to try to contact Aerovironment, and the same thing happened. I thought someone with a subscription key fob might come by and help me out, but after an hour, no one had shown up. There are two Chargepoint Level 2 chargers there too, but they were taken up by Volts. Finally I gave up and had just enough charge to reach a Level 2 public charger in Mt Vernon, where I charged for over 3 hours to get enough range to make it to the Nissan dealership in Everett 40 miles away which is the next closest fast charger to Seattle.

I emailed Aerovironment to find out what the heck happened, why they cannot maintain a working phone system. I will let you know if they respond. I called later in the day too, at about 4 pm, and the automated phone system was still disconnecting calls. Did anyone else have this problem today? If I had been at the Aerovironment charger in Skykomish or Sultan or one of the more remote locations where there are no other public chargers, I would have had to call a tow company. I am sure some poor schmuck up in Skykomish must have gotten stranded.

Why is fast charging still so damn unreliable? Why doesn't Aerovironment link customer credit cards to an RFID card or key fob?

I am not sure I will ever use the Aerovironment EV network again, and Blink is so unreliable too, that I might never use my Leaf for long trips again unless Aerovironment and Blink can get their collective acts together.
2011 Nissan Leaf SL
As of 21 September 2014: 43,488 miles
Lifetime miles/kWh: 4.5
Remaining Battery Capacity: 55.8 AHr (85%)
4.4 kW PV array @ home generating 4,200 kWh/year

padamson1
Posts: 308
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 4:58 pm
Delivery Date: 27 Oct 2011
Leaf Number: 9240
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging netwo

Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:09 am

garylai wrote:...I do not have a subscription which is $20 a month since I do not use the network enough. Aerovironment makes you call their customer service to read your credit card over the phone to activate the charger if you do not have a subscription, they do not have pay-as-you-go cards or FOBs like Chargepoint or Blink.
Not sure where you got your information but they most certainly do have pay-as-you-go or at least their website says so and it works for me. They call it "pay per session" (2/3 of the way down on the left side of their home page http://evsolutions.avinc.com/services/s ... er_network).

I got an Aerovironment key fob about three years ago and have used it twice. I subscribed for free when the system was first announced attaching it to my credit card and I am not paying any monthly fee. Apparently there is now a one time $15 fee to get the key fob and attach it to your card for the pay-as-you-go option. Sounds like it would've been worth it for you to get that key fob.

I have used their QC's twice in Oregon once when they first went online and once earlier this year. I had no issues, I just used the key fob and they just charged my card. I don't use them that often b/c they are farther away than I normally take my LEAF. I would note that they fixed the QC handle problems way before Blink and I've never heard of their EVSEs being out of commission (some frends rely on the ones in Mill City, Detroit, and Sisters), whereas the Blink ones almost always seemed to be out of service until very recently, but seem to be more reliable now. I've the last three times I have used Blink QCs without incident.

finman100
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:42 am
Delivery Date: 06 Jun 2014
Location: Albany, OR

Re: Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging netwo

Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:30 am

My AV experience has been overwhelmingly positive! I signed up for $20/month unlimited. I have used about 10 differrent AV quickchargers the past 4 months of Leaf ownership. All up and down I-5... Ashland, OR to Seattle, WA. All up and down Hwy 101 on the coast (okay, just Newport,OR north to Astoria, OR). Have had some non-working that a phone call and a reboot fixed. Overall, we need MORE of these. More stalls/chargers per location. I have waited once or twice to get an AV quickcharge, but it sure beats the gas station lines. Blink is randomly working but so are the Chargepoint ones that overheat. Why did the installers/power-to-be think no shade would work??
Albany, Oregon
2014 Silver SV with charge/LED package. June 2014, I'm in the EV game!
46,000 miles
17.5 kWh on 100% charge (51-ish Ah), down 1 bar
4.2 miles/kWh average
Best trip: all of 'em. They're all no-gas!

garylai
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:03 pm
Delivery Date: 08 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1826
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging netwo

Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:17 am

padamson1 wrote:Not sure where you got your information but they most certainly do have pay-as-you-go or at least their website says so and it works for me. They call it "pay per session" (2/3 of the way down on the left side of their home page http://evsolutions.avinc.com/services/s ... er_network).
padamson: You are mistaken. If you are not a subscriber, then to pay per session you MUST call Aerovironment every time you want to use a charger to read your credit card information. The FOB does not work. It even says so in the web page you quoted:

"There is also the option of paying per session:
$7.50/Session – DC Fast Charger
$4.00/Session – Level 2 Charging Station
(Per session payment is only available by calling our Customer Service Support Line at 888-833-2148)."

I have spoken to Aerovironment about this about 10 times in the past asking them to link a credit card to a key FOB, and they have said they do not offer this.

I have otherwise have had a positive experience with Aerovironment, but I think reasonable people can agree that if you force non-subscribers to call to use a charger and then you don't answer the phones, that is a problem.
2011 Nissan Leaf SL
As of 21 September 2014: 43,488 miles
Lifetime miles/kWh: 4.5
Remaining Battery Capacity: 55.8 AHr (85%)
4.4 kW PV array @ home generating 4,200 kWh/year

DarkStar
Posts: 2066
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:06 am
Delivery Date: 25 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 568
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Contact: Website

Re: Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging netwo

Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:22 am

padamson1 wrote:Not sure where you got your information but they most certainly do have pay-as-you-go or at least their website says so and it works for me. They call it "pay per session" (2/3 of the way down on the left side of their home page http://evsolutions.avinc.com/services/s ... er_network).

Apparently there is now a one time $15 fee to get the key fob and attach it to your card for the pay-as-you-go option. Sounds like it would've been worth it for you to get that key fob.
Pay-per-session requires that you call them to charge your credit card and activate the charging station, every time. Your fob requires that you pay the $20 per month subscription, otherwise it doesn't work. You cannot attached the fob to your credit card for pay-as-you-go.
Mikiko (2011 Nissan LEAF ETEC) Status:
Reserved: 04/20/10 | Ordered: 10/01/10 | EV Project Blink Installed: 03/22/11 | Delivered: 03/25/11 | VIN: 568

Oregon Electric Vehicle Association | Electric Auto Association

pkulak
Posts: 758
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:08 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Sep 2013
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging netwo

Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:27 am

Yeah, needing to call in to get a charge is not acceptable to me, and I refuse to do it, which actually works in AV's favor since I pay for an unlimited subscription that I rarely use.

However, I don't really mind since when I _do_ use it, it's been wonderful. I've taken no-gas road trips all over the Northwest using their network and I've never had even the slightest hiccup. If I don't go anywhere for a couple months, I consider it a donation to a very worthy cause.

garylai
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:03 pm
Delivery Date: 08 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1826
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging netwo

Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:45 am

pkulak wrote:Yeah, needing to call in to get a charge is not acceptable to me, and I refuse to do it, which actually works in AV's favor since I pay for an unlimited subscription that I rarely use.
I use the AV network about 6-8 times per year at most. Subscribing to a $20/month unlimited plan would be like $30-$40 per charging session. I simply cannot justify this. If I am to use the AV network at all instead of driving my ICE car, I must rely on calling them and paying per session. But then I need to rely on them to pick up the phones, which I cannot any longer, not unless they have a good explanation for why they had this failure. I emailed Aerovironment and am waiting to hear back.

I think that probably most Leaf owners in Washington/Oregon are in my situation - want occasional (a few times a year) fast charging on the AV network, and do not want to go through the hassle and now, risk, of needing to call Aerovironment when they need to do it.
2011 Nissan Leaf SL
As of 21 September 2014: 43,488 miles
Lifetime miles/kWh: 4.5
Remaining Battery Capacity: 55.8 AHr (85%)
4.4 kW PV array @ home generating 4,200 kWh/year

pkulak
Posts: 758
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:08 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Sep 2013
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging netwo

Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:37 pm

garylai wrote:If I am to use the AV network at all instead of driving my ICE car...
If I had a second car with a gas engine in it, I wouldn't subscribe to the AV network because I would never use it. :D I pay $20 a month to AV because it means I don't lose thousands a year on depreciation and maintenance on a second car. If I had a second car just sitting there, I would sure as hell use it for any trip over about 50 miles.

garylai
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 11:03 pm
Delivery Date: 08 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1826
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging netwo

Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:01 pm

pkulak wrote:
If I had a second car with a gas engine in it, I wouldn't subscribe to the AV network because I would never use it. :D I pay $20 a month to AV because it means I don't lose thousands a year on depreciation and maintenance on a second car. If I had a second car just sitting there, I would sure as hell use it for any trip over about 50 miles.
Like many families, we have a second car because we need a second car, not because we need a backup to the Leaf. There are two drivers in the family and both need to get to places. Both cars get used nearly every day. One is a Leaf, the other is an ICE car. However, we almost never need to drive both cars more than 50 miles in one day. I would prefer to take the Leaf on the occasional long trip, I just wish I could depend on the fast charging infrastructure to support that without paying for an unlimited subscription that I would only occasionally use.
2011 Nissan Leaf SL
As of 21 September 2014: 43,488 miles
Lifetime miles/kWh: 4.5
Remaining Battery Capacity: 55.8 AHr (85%)
4.4 kW PV array @ home generating 4,200 kWh/year

Moof
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:11 pm
Leaf Number: 004023
Location: Beaverton, OR

Re: Horrible experience with Aerovironment EV charging netwo

Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:02 pm

Only AV brand fast chargers available out on the Oregon coast. Having to call is BS, so for the last weekend we just took my wife's ICE car when I could have readily taken the Leaf if the AV system was convenient. At most we go to the coast 2-3 times a year, so 6-10 charges a year is not worth $20/mo. It is a shame they have no pay-as-you-go option without calling in. Oh well.
2011 Cayenne Red bought used with 30k miles, manufacture data of 5/2011
42k miles 82% SOH 11 bars 218 GIDs at full charge
Running with Michelin Premier A/S with 42 psi for 10k miles

Return to “Pacific USA”