Electric vehicle charging issues with nrg EVgo station

nrgEVgo CHARGER

If you drive an electric car and charge at different stations then you may be familiar with this issue. nrgEVgo stations recently appeared in Walmart stores. Customers can charge for free while spending their money inside. Good for both parties. As usual there are usability problems here too. If you notice, the charging handles are placed a bit too low for the average user. You have to bend to release¬†the handle which is not comfortable. Unlike familiar gas pump handles, where you just unhook the handle at a comfortable waist level, here you have to PULL DOWN the handle to release. That’s a double duty for the user. Bending and pulling down doesn’t belong in one sentence.

What about the display? The display has issues too. A button that is “depressed” is the button that is selected, conventional wisdom says. If you notice in the second picture, the yellow button that is depressed is NOT the button you just selected. It confuses the first time user. Why? Let’s say you want to stop the charging session. To do that you have to wake up the display ( it goes into sleep mode by the time you come out spending your money inside the big box) and select your button to see the corresponding “Stop” button. This is extra work for user. Other charging systems just let you unplug from the charging port of your vehicle. In this case you must first stop the flow of current to release the handle. Safety feature? Could be. So what happens if you accidentally press the other button ? The system thinks you want to start charging with DC2¬†yellow handle. Great. Now you have to cancel that screen and go back to your own screen to stop charging. I did it but I don’t know how I did it.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_highlight color=”#eab420″ rounded=”no” class=”” id=””]Basically this needs a redesign.[/fusion_highlight]

Move the charging handles at least 2 ft up to eliminate bending and to have some leeway to release the handle.

Allow the user to unplug from the vehicle without intervening the display.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By planetpapi

Usability practitioner, works at State of Texas.