Like most electric vehicle (EV) owners, I plug my car in at night and I wake up to a fully charged car the next morning. Well not this morning. The charge failed for some reason and there was an error message on the home charging unit. To my horror I discovered that this happened at the start of the charge and so the car hasn’t charged at all overnight!
Well, a quick investigation of the manual showed that this was a power supply fault and so at this stage, with it only having happened once, I am not concerned. However, the main issue now is that I have woken up to a car that only has 30 miles range instead of the 80 miles I was expecting (I normally charge to 80% instead of 100% to extend battery life).
If I were commuting to work and I needed the range I would now have a rather serious problem. Sure, I can reset the error and start to charge but it is 6.30 am, I might have to leave for work at say, 7am, but my car won’t now have enough charge to get me there for a good few hours.
Now as you all know… I am a huge supporter of EVs and having owned one now for nearly 5 months I can honestly say that an EV suits my lifestyle very well indeed. But this is a serious flaw in electric vehicle ownership… if your charge fails for any reason overnight then the following morning you are rather stuffed!
I really don’t know what the answer is to this one.
If you have a fast charger nearby, within the remaining range, then I suppose you could use that but my nearest fast charger is 50 miles away so for me, and for most people right now, that is not an option. Perhaps faster charging at home is ultimately the answer. If I had a 32A charger on my Nissan Leaf then at least I could top up within a couple of hours. As it is, my Nissan Leaf has a 16A charger, well I say 16A but it is nearer 14.5A in reality adding just 15 miles of range per hour of charging. So, with the car 30% charged this morning, and with me charging at 14.5A, I will need to charge for about 4 hours before I would have the range I should have had when I woke up.
That would make me 4 hours late for work… I hope the boss understands the problems of owning an electric car!
PS: If anyone has any ideas about how this issue can be overcome then please comment below. At the moment I cannot think of a way. The Nissan Leaf does send an email when the car stops charging and had I seen that email I would have realised something was up but like always, I was asleep at 1am when this fault occurred!