Light as a Leaf, Dead as a Brick: West Vancouver charging station bricks two Nissan Leafs in one night

Vancouver, British Columbia — Most every driver has experience with bad gas at some point—not the “too much coffee” kind, the kind from a pump. Well, an EV charging station in West Vancouver has drawn attention for being the first station in Canada to offer bad charges, rendering two vehicles inoperable before being removed.

Within the span of one evening in late November, an electric vehicle charger in Vancouver ‘s Horseshoe Bay neighbourhood managed to brick two vehicles attempting to get a charge; coincidentally, both Nissan Leafs.

Jenny Sopcak’s daughter stopped at the station to get a quick charge, and ended up leaving the lot in a tow truck.

“When she pushed the button to turn the car on, all the dashboard lights lit up and the car was basically inoperable,” said Sopcak.

“She couldn’t put it into forward or reverse. It was clear something catastrophic had happened so we called the dealership and they just said, ‘Yeah, it needs to be towed’.”

In a strange turn of events, another Nissan Leaf pulled up while Sopcak’s daughter was waiting for the tow truck, attempted to get a charge and was also bricked.

BC Hydro, the owners of the station, are aware of the situation and have been working with the drivers to come up with a solution.

“What happened is two Nissan Leaf drivers plugged into the charging unit. Once it was finished charging, they were unable to drive their vehicles,” BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott told Global News.

“This is the first time we’ve seen anything like this happen in any of our charging sites right across the province.”

According to Scott, of the 124 charging stations in the province, only this particular one in Horseshoe Bay has caused a problem like this, and that the issue seems to be entirely specific to the Nissan Leaf.

“What happened was the power module in both of the vehicles were damaged and that’s what helps them adjust voltage,” said Scott.

Sopcak says she was quoted about $7,000 for the repair due to the fact that the vehicle was purchased used and without warranty, and plans to pay out of pocket in the hopes of reimbursement from BC Hydro.

“We have escalated both of those claims to make sure this gets dealt with as quickly as possible,” said Scott.


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