Electrify America has electric car charging stations around the country, but on Friday many of the plugs were pulled offline.
A notice went out Friday that the Volkswagen-backed charging network was shutting down most of its high-powered chargers across the U.S. because of a safety issue with liquid-cooling cables from Huber+Suhner. The Swiss company supplies the cables to Electrify America and many others in the charging industry, like Fastned and Ionity in Europe.
In a statement, the EA CEO said the company was shutting down all stations that use the affected high-powered cables. Huber+Suhner recommended shutting down stations using its cables after a short circuit incident in the plug of a charger at a test site in Germany. The charging station was using a first-generation prototype that went out to some locations in summer 2017. Chargers made since then have better sealing, the company said. It also said the cooling system used at the EA sites was not involved in the incident.
The 150 kilowatt to 350 kW stations are fast charging DC plugs (here’s a glossary for all the charging terms) — EA lists on its website that a 150 kW charger can provide 9 miles of range per minute of charging compared to 3 miles per minute from a 50 kW charger.
If you depend on the network to fill up, Electrify America said all other chargers would remain open. So you’re not stranded. The 50 kW CCS, CHAdeMO (another DC fast charging type) and L2 (that’s AC charging) chargers weren’t affected by the cable issue. A list of open stations notes that 89 stations are operating in some capacity, including with high-power cables from ITT Cannon.
Image: electrify America
Electrify America says there are nearly 2,000 DC fast chargers across the U.S., with EA planning to add 500 more by July.