Friday, October 5, 2018

Ecotricity announces it has solved its CCS problem

Dale Vince announced yesterday that the intermittent faults with their CCS electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers will be fixed within the week.

He made the announcements on the FullyCharged Show yesterday.

Dale is the founder and a director of Ecotricity, a power generating company. Ecotricity also operate the Electric Highway, a web of connected routes of EV fast chargers in the UK.

He says that the fault was intermittent, and affected chargers on networks across Europe.

As at Thursday, 4th October, 200 of the Ecotricity DC Fast Chargers had received the fix, with the final 100 or so to receive the fix by 11th October.

This is good news - half of the random sample of Ecotricity CCS chargers I was checking out on Tuesday were out of service.

It seems to have been a software fault - he says the manufacturer of the affected chargers has developed a technical fix which has now been proven and tested. In identifying and developing the fix, Ecotricity were working with Audi, BMW and Jaguar, as well as the manufacturer of the chargers.

Ecotricity were early movers in providing charging for long journeys - starting off with providing 240V 3-pin sockets at motorway services. Currently, they have a de facto monopoly in providing DC Fast Chargers at motorway services for Chademo and CCS users. Initially, they also aided Tesla in getting access to motorway services, but at some point this ended up in legal action between the two organisations.

Ecotricity's CCS chargers are mainly ChadeMo chargers which have been retro-fitted with CCS software and connectors.

For the first 5 years or so, Ecotricity chargers were free to use. Now there is a fee per kiloWatt, with a substantial discount for Ecotricity power customers. The chargers are still a loss-leader.

Other facts and figures :

50,000 members of the Ecotricity charging scheme;

~ 1.3million miles of charging provided per month;

98% of charge events are successful;

4% load factor.