French network operator Izivia has shut down 189 of 217 fast-charging terminals due to security concerns. The EDF subsidiary has decided to close these stations in the Corri-Door charging network following two “hardware incidents” within a few months.
+ + Kindly see our update below + +
Izivia, the electric mobility subsidiary from the French energy group EDF, stresses that the closure of the terminals is a precautionary measure. In a brief statement, the company writes that no damage was caused beyond the terminals in the two incidents. However, the incidents, which are not further described, could be an indication of a defect so that they decided to exchange the stations. According to the French newspaper, Les Echos, alarming black spots have become visible on hardware from EVTronic, the manufacturer now owned by EVBox – this would indicate uncontrolled heat generation.
Now only 28 of 217 charging terminals within the Corri-Dorr network are still active. These active stations, built on French transport axes are all stations from another manufacturer. The decision to take the remaining terminals off the network was already made on 7 February and came into force the same day. Now three weeks later, according to Les Echos, Izivia has also decided not to upgrade the EVTronic hardware.
The failure of almost 90 per cent of the fast charging terminals mainly affects drivers of electric cars with CHAdeMO connections. The Corri-Dorr network is the most extensive charging network on French motorways to date, and most of these are or were equipped with CHAdeMO as well as CCS and Type 2 plugs.
Izivia boss Christelle Vives was quoted by Les Echos as saying that some of the defective stations were to be replaced, but not all of them: “We hope to keep a quarter of the network or 40 to 50 terminals,” she explained, adding that the network is quite old while the technology used has evolved. Vives said that many hosting contracts are currently being renewed and discussions are ongoing. Interestingly, she also revealed that the charging rate of the decommissioned terminals had been one every two days with only one use every two days. Not exactly a picture of a profitable business.
> Reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.
izivia.com, lesechos.fr (in French)
Update Tuesday 3 March 2020: EVBox has responded Izivia’s permanent closure of 189 fast chargers from the Corri-Door network in France. EVBox, who acquired EVTronic in 2018, say they first heard of the shut-downs via Izivia’s website, where Izivia has written that the shutdowns were because: “security risks had appeared on two chargers of the same manufacturer.”
EVBox has now issued a statement saying that the closed stations primarily concern EVTronic DC charging stations manufactured mostly in 2014 and 2015 with a specific Izivia-tailored configuration. The two incidents were reported respectively in April 2019 and June 2019 and were “thoroughly investigated by EVBox.” EVBox further iterates, “We can confidently confirm that these are linked to the Izivia-tailored configuration.” Furthermore, they made assurances that despite these problems, there are still no security risks to end-users.
EVBox has apparently communicated this to Izivia along with “proposed preventive actions that could be taken right away to prevent any new occurrence.” The Dutch EV clean-tech company reiterates – as they say they have done since delivering the stations for the Corri-Door network in 2014 and 2015 – that importance of professional maintenance to Izivia, implying that not only are the problems experienced due to the Izvia-tailored configurations but also through possibly inadequate maintenance. EVBox insists: “We have repeatedly offered our assistance to Izivia to re-open the network as quickly as possible, including offering a joint and independent audit of the full network and defining an action plan.”
At any rate, for the sake of EV drivers, we can only hope that the network and faultless charging facilities are put back online as soon as possible.
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