Today, my wife and I took a trip about 11 miles away to a familiar shopping center. Her goal was eyebrow plucking. Mine was sitting and reading, and investigating a new charging station situated in front of the new Whole Foods grocery. I’d seen it before while shopping and felt it was a good use of my wait time.
I drove up to the nrg eVgo charger and stepped out to see what it wanted for me to use it.
I’m most familiar with the ChargePoint charging stations, as they’re located at my office, and the Blink Network, which I’ve used occasionally. This new one had two boxes with charging cables hanging on them. The one I approached had two next to each other, one being a quick charge and the other looked like a level 2 charger. Based on that impression, I called the number posted there and tried to set up an account.
I gave the man my name and specifics, and he told me I could use a number he’d provide via email to log in to their website and finish the process. He also said he could give me access right away for today. Great.
I reached for the cable, and when I pulled it out, saw that it was the OTHER kind of quick charge plug–the SAE Combo (CCS) type. The other one was a CHAdeMO version. Because my car didn’t have a quick charger, I was out of luck.
Luckily, I was just doing research and didn’t need the charge to get home, but I never got that confirming email from eVgo, so I guess we’re not going to be doing any business for now.
I understand that a quick charger is great for visits to the grocery store, rather than a slower Level 2 style, but it pays to check carefully before parking and hoping. I did learn from the company’s website that they have other locations nearby with (they say) Level 2 chargers available as well. It’ll be interesting to see if this company grows and become handy quickly. The other two charging cables, by the way, were plugged into the noses of Nissan Leafs, which do have the CHAdeMO charger.
It certainly doesn’t help the consumer to have multiple DC fast charge standards floating around early in the game. It adds to confusion in the field and fear of investing in the wrong technology. What do you choose – beta or VHS?