[Oeva-list] Tualatin PGE Shorepower charging station and my 2012 Leaf

Chaz Smith chazeesmith2u at gmail.com
Thu Nov 28 21:27:11 PST 2013

First of all hope everyone out there in EV land has had a nice Thanksgiving
holiday. And in the spirit of gratitude, I want to thank everyone who took
the time to provide their insight into my charger comparability issue.

I am happy to report, and have already have done so via Plugshare, that
yesterday I was able to successfully charge at the Tualatin PGE charger
:-)   It looks like some of the charging hardware has been replaced.

I am not all that technically astute, but possibly the EVSE was replaced.
My non technical description is that the plastic thingy at the end of the
power cord that plugs into the car's standard charging receptacle, looks
new.  The cord also looks new.  In addition,  the display that indicated
whether a vehicle was actively charging and showed how long in terms of
hours, minutes and seconds, the connected vehicle was or had been charging
is now covered up and has been replaced by a simple blue light that
illuminates when a connected vehicle is charging.  It looks a little bit
crude, compared to how it looked before, but most importantly it worked and
hopefully it will continue to do so for a long time.

Thanks again to all who contributed to this happy resolution.  And feel
free to enlighten me and take credit for whatever repairs that were made.

Looks like I also may need to make an apology to Alex, the Nissan customer
service rep, although I still think that he could use a refresher course a
customer service empathy/charm school.

As for my Lucy, I am sorry I doubted you for even a minute.

Now back to boldly charging on to a cleaner and brighter future.

On Nov 20, 2013 9:01 AM, "thanh nguyen" <tnguyen at shorepower.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> I will check on the station in Tualatin today and the latest tomorrow.
 We have had complaints in the past, but most of the time it is because of
incompatibilities of newer cars that we needed to update our software, but
we have had no problems with the Leaf.  The two cars that we have
complaints are the Tesla and the Ford plug-ins.  I have been out at least
ten times last year checking on stations that people said that did not work
and I would plug in the Leaf and had no problems.
> I have had the opportunity to use a fairly expensive Gridtest unit for EV
chargers and cars, but it would fail most chargers two out of three times.
 I think there is just not a strong industry standard yet that the cars
follow and when your vehicle is just on the edge of the spectrum, it will
have problems on communication on the chargers.
> Sorry for your problems and hopefully the dealer can resolve your car
> Thanh Nguyen
> Shorepower Technologies
> On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 8:23 AM, Jeff Kim <jeff.shorepower at gmail.com>
>> Hello Chaz,
>> Sorry to hear about your troubles. Although it does not sound like an
issue with the charging station, we never like to hear about someone having
issues with our stations (or any stations). This particular station is out
of its warranty period, but we still generally try to support any issues
people are having with our stations. We own two Nissan Leafs (2011 and
2012) and have tested or used the Tualatin station in the past. It's
puzzling that all other Nissan Leafs (that we are aware of) charge just
fine on that station, except yours (I'm sure this is puzzling for Nissan as
well). We will test the station again in the near future.
>> Have you tried any of our other stations in Downtown Portland at PGE
(1st and Salmon), Electric Avenue or OMSI?
>> Although the SAE J1772 charging spec is fairly straight forward, we have
heard of compatibility issues between certain vehicles and different
station manufacturers.  For example, at Electric Avenue, some vehicles only
work with certain stations. The spec is simple, but open to interpretation;
it can literally come down to a $0.05 resistor value that is slightly
different on your vehicle.
>> Consequently, we are awaiting approval to do an update on some of PGE's
stations. The update is related to current liming for the Tesla, so it
shouldn't affect other vehicles (since they are not capable of reaching the
current limit of the stations).  Although your particular issue doesn't
appear to be an issue with the station, it's possible that the update could
help with your compatibility issue.
>> The Nissan Leaf is a great vehicle!  Don't lose faith. Hopefully the
update miraculously resolves the issue. Good luck!
>> Jeff Kim
>> President & CEO
>> Shorepower Technologies
>> 2351 NW York St.
>> Portland, OR 97210
>> O (503) 892-7345, M (503) 686-8844, F (503) 802-7347
>> jkim at shorepower.com
>> http://www.shorepowerconnect.com
>> On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM, Chaz Smith <chazeesmith2u at gmail.com>
>>> Hi there folks, I am in need of some help/support regarding an ongoing
issue that I been having with my 2012 Nissan Leaf SL.
>>> A sort of log of the issue (I did not make an entry for every success
or every failure) can be found by those with access to the Plug Share app
or website by looking at the check-ins for the PGE charger in Tualatin.
>>> I want to say at the outset that I really really like my Leaf (my wife
and I call her Lucy) and I also enjoy  being a sort of defacto ambassador
for EVs, Nissan or otherwise .
>>> I do have this a very annoying and inconvenient charger compatibility
issue with the PGE based charger located off of Mohawk Street in Tualatin
(this is a Shore Power level 2, non-CHadeMO charger). I frequently work at
a nearby office building that is within a five minute walk.
>>> When I work in Tualatin, I my commute is  appropriately 50 miles round
trip.  Most of the commute is freeway along I-205.  So far, through spring,
winter and fall I have been able to make it there and back without
charging, provided that I leave my house with a full charge and have no
extra curricular errands to make during the day.
>>> I obtained the car (two year lease) last February and it worked
(charging using the Tualatin PGE charger) without issue for several
months,  possibly as late as July.   After that and ever since then my Leaf
starts charging only to stop after 33 to 35 seconds and leaving some type
of warning/error code light, which is stored but goes away after the
vehicle is turned off and back on again.
>>> My car has not had any issues with any other public or private chargers.
>>> I am aware of several other EVs that have been and are able to
successfully charge at the location in question without any apparent issues
including at least three other Nissan Leafs.  I personally know the owners
of two of the three other Leafs,  one is an OEVA member who has a 2011
Leaf.  The other is a coworker who was inspired by my experience to lease a
2013 Leaf.  I also personally know two 2013 Toyota Prius plug-in owners
that have successfully used that charger within the last week.   I have
also seen a Chevy Volt successfully charge there not too long ago, and via
Plug Share, am aware that a Chevy Spark has successfully charged there
within the last month or so.
>>> I have now taken my Leaf to a Nissan dealer a total of four times
regarding this issue.  The first one (Nissan of Portland) cleared the
warning codes and told me to just not use that "bad charger."
>>> The last three times I took it to the closest dealer to the charger in
question.   That dealer is in Wilsonville and it is a Ron Tonkin
dealership.  The service department and service  advisor that worked with
me there, Chad McKay, treated me well and earned my respect for the efforts
that were made in trying to fix my car.   They have done a substantial
amount of trouble shooting for me and even took another Leaf they had on
the lot to the charger in question to prove that it (the Tualatin charger)
was not defective, and in so doing obtained Nissan 's blessing to replace
part or all of the on board charger.  Unfortunately, that still did not
resolve the issue, the car still stops charging after barely more than 30
seconds and still throws error codes.
>>> They (Nissan, not the Wilsonville dealer) are now telling me that my
car is fine and that the problem is the charger's fault.  They say that it
(the charger) probably needs a software update.   I call BS. Why would it
work for all the other cars and for other Leafs made a year prior to and a
year after mine if the charger 's software was not up to date or was the
>>> Today, I tried to explain this and escalate my situation with a Nissan
Leaf customer service representative (I dealt with a fellow named Alex,
last name unknown) who claimed that there is no one above him to escalate
my case to.   Essentially, he was telling me tough, the car is fine as far
as he was concerned and I should just learn to live with it and/or hope
that the charger owner/manufacturer will fix my compatibility issue with a
future software update on the charger.  Why would they "fix"  something
that's working for everyone else?
>>> The only thing remotely useful that the rep did for me was giving me a
case #1251247.
>>> Needless to say, I am very frustrated and disappointed with what
>>> I have previously worked in the then local Portland Better Business
Bureau Dispute Resolution Department and I have served as mediator and
arbitrator in lemon law and related automobile repair cases.  Given this
background, I was surprised at the lack of empathy, open mindedness, and
dedication to resolving the matter in a way that would be likely to retain
my loyalty and satisfaction as a Nissan customer.
>>> I am no technical wiz, but suspect that my Leaf had some bad software
code or a sensor issue that the others do not.  It seems a careful study of
a Leaf that works on that charger and mine would ultimately yield a
different setting or piece of program code which would result in a
satisfactory fix.
>>> It might be helpful if anyone out there with the same year
and preferably same model Leaf would try the charger and report back either
here or in the Plug Share App.   It is possible that there is something
special, in a bad way, about the 2012 Leaf, though I doubt it.
>>> If anyone out there has any special connections within Nissan customer
service or have any good ideas technical or otherwise on how to get a happy
resolution, please reply to this and share.   Your help will be greatly
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