Trying to charge up a Hyundai Kona at Electrify America

Today I decided to find out how easy or difficult it is to charge up a Hyundai Kona EV at an Electrify America charging station.  It was not easy. 

I went to an EA charging station at a Walmart in Frisco, Colorado.   The station has four kiosks. The first disappointment is that one of the four kiosks says on the computer screen (see photo above) that it is broken. The second disappointment was that of the three remaining spots, one was occupied by a car that had (a) finished charging all the way and (b) had no human being anywhere nearby. More than twenty minutes passed while EV drivers waited and waited to get a chance to charge, and the driver of that car was inconveniencing everybody by not being there to move the fully charged car.  

When I did get my turn, it was very difficult to position the car so that the charging port (which is at the front of the car, slightly left of center) was in a good position for charging at the one available kiosk.   I eventually found that the only choice was to back into the parking spot and continue to back the car off the pavement into the nearby grass.  Only then was the charging port in range of the charging plug and cable.

The next challenge was to get the kiosk to start charging the car.  With EA, the first step is to actually plug the charging plug into the charging port.  So I did that.  (Only then is the customer supposed to open up the EA app and click around to authorize payment.)  But what kept happening was the EA app saying “something went wrong” and inviting me to try again.  (Another driver at this EA station was also having trouble getting the EA app to work, so it was not just me.)

The other way to get an EA kiosk to start charging is to pay with a credit card.  So I did a tap-to-pay with my credit card, and after some delay the kiosk started charging the Kona.

The bad driver, by which I mean the person who had failed to move his fully-charged car, the person who was slowing it down for the other EV drivers who were waiting to charge, finally did return.  This happened while I was struggling with my kiosk to get it to charge my car, so I was only on the periphery of the conversation that ensued.  But yes, two of the waiting drivers shared with the bad driver their wish that the bad driver could have moved his fully-charged car more promptly.

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