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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Morning all.

Some feedback on real world charging problems with the Polestar2.

A few caveats to get out the way…

1/ Yes, different chargers communicate at different speeds however the basic communication is the same.
2/ Different cables types can make a difference in charge efficiency but should make no difference in the communication handshake.

My day job is technical Support Specialist. I work for a major Japanese manufacturer on very large and very expensive printers (2 tons is a small one). I am very familiar with power distribution, device start up and communication, logic and control (including handshake protocols for many different communication systems) in all its shapes and guises as well as all the software that drives it. I have done this role for over 25 years.

3/ I owned a BMW i3 (BEV not REX) for three years before switching to the Polestar2

Background
My Polestar2 would not charge reliably (start or keep charging if it started) on AC from day 1. DC Charging has always worked and worked well.
The problem was eventually investigated by Volvo in Tonbridge who diagnosed the onboard charger. The charger was replaced when the software and inverters we done. Now it connects and charges first time every time on AC and DC is still good.

What has prompted this post is the difference in AC charging process after the onboard charger was replaced. Now it is as it should have been and very similar to the i3. My concern is that in this forum, Youtube and most other social media are full of pieces of advice about waiting for handshakes and lifting heavy cables etc that could encourage owners to accept a potential problem as “normal”. My personal belief (backed up by research and personal knowledge) is that these “tricks” are unnecessary and are hiding potential problems with the onboard charger or its control software.

After speaking with senior techs from several car makers it is clear that charge handshakes should take seconds not minutes, there should be no round robin of indicator lights. The Polestar2 should go from white to yellow when the cable is plugged in then go green when charging is initiated. My car used to run a disco light show before it decided if it wanted to try and charge. This process takes around 10 seconds on my car now and was around 15 seconds on the i3. This has been tested on the 13amp wall point, my home POD Point and various public AC chargers. I am only using AC now to soak test the new onboard charger. DC handshakes are different as the power delivery is different however, it should still only take a few seconds.

You need to hold the cable??
I have never done it. As mentioned, I charged my car with DC exclusively until the charger was replaced. I have used POD Point, Ionity, Ecotricity and Instavolt DC chargers and never held the cable in place. Just take a few seconds to look at the connector on the car and cable. The pin mating surfaces are large and deep. When measured at the car socket and the cable plug there is easily 20mm of connector overlap (even the CP pin will have 10mm). The car socket depth is just over 30mm. The slot depth is vast and should always ensure a good solid connection. Hopefully you would notice if the cable was out of place by more than 20mm. You shouldn’t need to do it and it does not tell you to do it in the manual or at any charge point. I don’t know another electric car where it is advised.

Yes, some of the much faster chargers do have water cooled cables, yes, they are heavy however I cannot find any report anywhere on the internet where the cable fell out or was pulled out by weight. Don’t forget that once a charge is initiated the cable is locked into the car. If your charge fails after this point, then it could be a fault with the onboard charger. This is what my car used to do.

It takes a minute or two to connect (the handshake)??
No, it shouldn’t. The process is a very limited, industry standard communication set that determines power supply and safety. This is all done largely by the on-board charger. The point you are plugging into is a glorified switch. Control is done by your car mostly. DC units do have additional safety protocols due to the power delivery so may take a second or two longer.

If you have any of the problems above or if your car does not start/charge continuously I would recommend you get in touch with your local garage or Polestar Customer Support. These are expensive cars; they should be better, and you don’t need to put up with workarounds or tricks. Polestar want our feedback on all problems. In some way we are the beta testers. If you post a problem here please make sure you post it to Polestar as well. Tesla owners are not backward in coming forward and we shouldn’t be either. In my day job my pet hate is when a problem is escalated to me that I don’t know about but happens “all the time”. Polestar can only fix it if we let them know that our problems are not one offs.

That’s it, I’m done, enjoy the upcoming break and stay safe.
 

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Good Morning all.

Some feedback on real world charging problems with the Polestar2.

A few caveats to get out the way…

1/ Yes, different chargers communicate at different speeds however the basic communication is the same.
2/ Different cables types can make a difference in charge efficiency but should make no difference in the communication handshake.

My day job is technical Support Specialist. I work for a major Japanese manufacturer on very large and very expensive printers (2 tons is a small one). I am very familiar with power distribution, device start up and communication, logic and control (including handshake protocols for many different communication systems) in all its shapes and guises as well as all the software that drives it. I have done this role for over 25 years.

3/ I owned a BMW i3 (BEV not REX) for three years before switching to the Polestar2

Background
My Polestar2 would not charge reliably (start or keep charging if it started) on AC from day 1. DC Charging has always worked and worked well.
The problem was eventually investigated by Volvo in Tonbridge who diagnosed the onboard charger. The charger was replaced when the software and inverters we done. Now it connects and charges first time every time on AC and DC is still good.

What has prompted this post is the difference in AC charging process after the onboard charger was replaced. Now it is as it should have been and very similar to the i3. My concern is that in this forum, Youtube and most other social media are full of pieces of advice about waiting for handshakes and lifting heavy cables etc that could encourage owners to accept a potential problem as “normal”. My personal belief (backed up by research and personal knowledge) is that these “tricks” are unnecessary and are hiding potential problems with the onboard charger or its control software.

After speaking with senior techs from several car makers it is clear that charge handshakes should take seconds not minutes, there should be no round robin of indicator lights. The Polestar2 should go from white to yellow when the cable is plugged in then go green when charging is initiated. My car used to run a disco light show before it decided if it wanted to try and charge. This process takes around 10 seconds on my car now and was around 15 seconds on the i3. This has been tested on the 13amp wall point, my home POD Point and various public AC chargers. I am only using AC now to soak test the new onboard charger. DC handshakes are different as the power delivery is different however, it should still only take a few seconds.

You need to hold the cable??
I have never done it. As mentioned, I charged my car with DC exclusively until the charger was replaced. I have used POD Point, Ionity, Ecotricity and Instavolt DC chargers and never held the cable in place. Just take a few seconds to look at the connector on the car and cable. The pin mating surfaces are large and deep. When measured at the car socket and the cable plug there is easily 20mm of connector overlap (even the CP pin will have 10mm). The car socket depth is just over 30mm. The slot depth is vast and should always ensure a good solid connection. Hopefully you would notice if the cable was out of place by more than 20mm. You shouldn’t need to do it and it does not tell you to do it in the manual or at any charge point. I don’t know another electric car where it is advised.

Yes, some of the much faster chargers do have water cooled cables, yes, they are heavy however I cannot find any report anywhere on the internet where the cable fell out or was pulled out by weight. Don’t forget that once a charge is initiated the cable is locked into the car. If your charge fails after this point, then it could be a fault with the onboard charger. This is what my car used to do.

It takes a minute or two to connect (the handshake)??
No, it shouldn’t. The process is a very limited, industry standard communication set that determines power supply and safety. This is all done largely by the on-board charger. The point you are plugging into is a glorified switch. Control is done by your car mostly. DC units do have additional safety protocols due to the power delivery so may take a second or two longer.

If you have any of the problems above or if your car does not start/charge continuously I would recommend you get in touch with your local garage or Polestar Customer Support. These are expensive cars; they should be better, and you don’t need to put up with workarounds or tricks. Polestar want our feedback on all problems. In some way we are the beta testers. If you post a problem here please make sure you post it to Polestar as well. Tesla owners are not backward in coming forward and we shouldn’t be either. In my day job my pet hate is when a problem is escalated to me that I don’t know about but happens “all the time”. Polestar can only fix it if we let them know that our problems are not one offs.

That’s it, I’m done, enjoy the upcoming break and stay safe.
Great post!
 

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That is the great thing about this forum. Different members have different areas of expertise and so can explain/advise on things which aren't obvious to those without their knowledge. Great to share knowledge!
 

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Like the others have said, really valuable and interesting post. One thing that is increasingly making me nervous is what you need to know with EVs when compared to ICE - my brain feels like it is about to explode and I can see trying to keep up with you guys will be a pointless task. Saying that, much to both my wife and daughter's amusement I still spend in an inordinate amount of time scanning this forum (and I don't even my P2 yet). God save me when it arrives....
 

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Like the others have said, really valuable and interesting post. One thing that is increasingly making me nervous is what you need to know with EVs when compared to ICE - my brain feels like it is about to explode and I can see trying to keep up with you guys will be a pointless task. Saying that, much to both my wife and daughter's amusement I still spend in an inordinate amount of time scanning this forum (and I don't even my P2 yet). God save me when it arrives....
Don’t worry .. it’s plug and play!
 

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Polestar 2, Midnight (blue), charcoal interior, non-PP
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I have heard a number of reports of early i-Pace owners having to support DC charging cables so I don't think it's a myth; Bjorn Nyland has also reported it too with the Polestar.

Totally agree with you about AC cables, there's nothing to handshake (just a simple cable resistance measurement) and such things should take seconds, no longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have heard a number of reports of early i-Pace owners having to support DC charging cables so I don't think it's a myth; Bjorn Nyland has also reported it too with the Polestar.

Totally agree with you about AC cables, there's nothing to handshake (just a simple cable resistance measurement) and such things should take seconds, no longer.
I agree regarding the i-pace. I was concerned by the position and angle of the connector. It was one reason why i went for the Polestar 2 (a very small reason). The connector is not recessed enough and too shallow an angle for me to be comfortable with a bigger cable. The Jury is out on Mr Nyland. he wants to push every cable in, then usually winds up moving to a different charger (Circle-K is his favourite i think :) )
 

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The process is a very limited, industry standard communication set that determines power supply and safety.
I found this article below gave a clear explanation of what goes on with the Type 2 AC connection


For info, I also had OBC issues with AC charging using untethered cables (fine on DC and fine on tethered AC home charger). Volvo isolated the fault to the OBC and ordered a new OBC replacement . In the end they narrowed it to a faulty thermal sensor in the OBC. Its worked fine since.
 

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Polestar 2, Midnight (blue), charcoal interior, non-PP
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Very useful link, thank you!
 
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