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Thread: Nearest charging station

  1. #1
    Junior Member jabingb's Avatar
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    Greenbrae, CA
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    Nearest charging station

    Today was quite interesting as I've only had the 2017 500e a week and I came close to draining the battery all the way down, had 2 miles left when I stopped.

    When the turtle appeared I got concerned as I was not quite home and responded to the prompt asking if I wanted the nearest charging station to which I replied yes. The screen then did its little circular dance with NO result. I knew where there was one and I drove to it, which happened to be a BLINK and to my dismay, no J1772 connector. Fortunately a block away was a ChargePoint, problem solved, I at least got some electrons.

    But the question remains, why didn't the system tell me where a station was, old software, subscription run out, what? I would like to understand and correct in case the next time I'm in an unfamiliar area?


  2. #2
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    If you have a 2017 500e, its maps and information were probably last updated in... 2017. Given the poor quality of the built-in navigation and maps, I don't trust or use it anyway.

    You can use Google Maps or Apple Maps on your phone and search for "charging station". It will find them and show the network (ChargePoint, EVgo, etc), type of plug, and Google Maps shows availability. Other resources I have found useful are PlugShare (Android/iOS app, or in web browser) and the ChargePoint app.
    Last edited by rkw; 12-19-2020 at 04:29 AM.

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    ElectricTireShredder (12-21-2020)

  4. #3
    Senior Member ElectricTireShredder's Avatar
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    Good advice, especially the PlugShare app/website (both equally good, take your pick).

    I LOVE Google Maps in general, & their "bicycle" feature is nice to show elevation changes*, but their charger search is still missing at least 7 of my local public chargers, new & old. It does show availability at ONE of the Volta stations I frequent, but not at 2 others I checked.

    All or part of the following may be true for other service brands too, so it may be worth checking them also:

    Volta app (but NOT the website) shows THEIR availability very reliably, with self-updates every minute or so. Unfortunately it shows available when there's a finished-charging car plugged in. That's usually not a problem for me, since I've used adjacent spots & even double-parked literally hundreds of times. However if it's an i3 or eGolf, or I think a couple of others where the plug locks in then you're screwed until the highly-inconsiderate owner returns. That sometimes happens before I'm done leaving a note something like "Please consider how YOU would feel if you needed a charge but were blocked out like this".

    * I wonder when they'll add a "most efficient route" like eGolf has on their built-in app, which seems to account for hills & traffic speed.

  5. #4
    Senior Member ElectricTireShredder's Avatar
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    Prius Prime also has a plug lock.

    I'm currently ICEd out by TWO of them*, both finished charging but still plugged in,
    both with empty space for me to park beside them but their plugs won't come out.

    *Yes, they do have Internal Combustion Engines.
    Last edited by ElectricTireShredder; 12-27-2020 at 05:37 PM.

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