Top 5 common EV charging problems and how to avoid them

CarBuyer Team

Planning to purchase an EV? As you know, more public chargers are sprouting up all over the island. So it’s high time you should learn how to troubleshoot them

So, you’re keen to step into the big new world of electric vehicle (EV) ownership. Self-service public EV chargers are sprouting up all over Singapore, but this also means that there is a very small chance of you plugging in your car and getting an error message without anyone around to help you. So if this is preventing you from making that conscious switch to go green, we want you to know that we’ve got you!

Recently, we got into conversation with SP Group – the good people behind the most extensive, and largest high-speed charging network in Singapore, so that we can understand the most common problems faced when charging an EV.

We highlight 5 of the most common issues in this article, and present you with the solutions and fixes, so you know what to do if you ever run into them!

1 The charger will not start charging
This is probably one of the most common and frustrating issues you may face! Imagine that you are in-need of topping-up that battery. You have just parked your car in the charging bay, and you are barely on-time for your appointment… You pick up the charging cable, connect your car, but then… you are unable to start charging successfully. The charging app may show “The charging was unsuccessful. Please try again”. On the charger side, the charging light may not turn green, but flashes red instead; or there will be an error message appearing on the display screen.

What often prevents the charging process from beginning, is the improper connection between the charging connector and the car. For instance, the charging connector cannot be locked by the car, and this results in a timeout after the charger does not receive a signal from the car to start the charge. Another common issue, especially for DC charging, is that if there are abnormalities detected during the pre-charge phase, charging cannot take place. As a safety precaution, pre-charge checks are performed by the charger before charging can take place.

How can you fix it:
A good place to start is to first ensure that your car has been powered down. Like with many electronic connections, unplugging the connector and restarting the process, with the connector again firmly placed in the car’s charging port, is often able to solve the problem. 

If this fails, simply switching to a neighbouring charger may also help to solve the problem.

2 Charging connector does not lock into car’s charging port
Safety protocols dictate that if the connector is not secured, charging will not start. If the charger feels loose in the car’s charging port, or will not ‘click’ in, this might be the symptom of a damaged charging connector. However such incidents are very rare given how sturdy the connectors are. The locking mechanism is activated by the car once a successful connection is detected, so be sure to push the connector firmly to seat it.

How can you fix it:
First, make a visual inspection of the connector to ensure that it’s not broken or has debris lodged in the pins. If that is the case, it is best to make a report to the service provider, and move on to another charger. EV chargers have very high voltages, and if a charging connector is damaged, it can be dangerous.

If all is well, ensure that the connector is firmly seated in the EV charging port before activating the charger via the app. 

If you do hear a repeated ‘clicking’ noise, this means that your vehicle port might be unsuccessfully attempting to secure the connector. Simply remove the connector from the port, and re-insert it carefully.

Do note that the charging cable is heavy, therefore, there is a possibility that it can move the connector out of position.

3 Help! The charging connector is stuck in my car!
So, your day is done, and in just about the same time, your charging cycle has completed, but oh no! Why can’t the connector be taken out? The usual protocol has the charger send a signal to the car upon charge completion, and the car will unlock the charging connector. However, you may encounter instances where the charging connector cannot be released from your car.

An example of a manual release (orange knob) in a Hyundai Kona
Another example of a manual release is at the back near the charging port for a Tesla

How can you fix it:
The report of a successful charge to the car doesn’t mean that the connector will be unlocked. In some instances, the car’s firmware could have triggered to lock the connector in place. Look through the car’s onscreen menu to ensure that the lock has not been enabled, and do not attempt to remove the connector by force. The charging connector can be easily released by pressing the ‘unlock’ button on your key fob, or through the ‘unlock’ button inside your car. There may also be a manual release switch to decouple the connector on the car. Please refer to your car manual for more information.

4 Why is my car charging so slowly?
This usually happens with AC slow charging. Depending on the car, the car’s onboard charger power rating may have a lower-than-expected limit, but we want you to know that this is actually a good thing.

The intent of the slower charge is to help extend the battery life of your vehicle. For example, you may see that the AC charger has a 22 kW rating and expect a decent flow of current, but the car may have an upper limit of 7.4 kW, so that’s as quick as you are going to get.  

How can you fix it:
Check the maximum AC input power of your EV and make a note of it. It’s designed for slow, overnight charging (which means eight hours, by the way). It’ll keep battery degradation to the minimum, but if you need to juice up and get going quickly, DC charging is the faster way to go, even if it is a little more expensive.

Left – CCS Type 2 for DC charging
Right – Type 2 for AC charging

5 The charging connector doesn’t fit my EV
EVs have different charging standards. The most common charging port found on EVs sold in Singapore is the CCS2 vehicle inlet (see left picture). This incorporates the standard Type 2 AC slow charging connector with seven pins (see right picture), together with two extra pins at the bottom for DC fast charging. SP Group’s public EV chargers all come equipped with these charging connectors. However, the Japanese standard CHAdeMO port, can also be found on some Japanese EVs in Singapore. Public chargers using this connector are not as readily available.

How can you fix it:
Well, this is not so-much of a fix, but something you should be aware of. So, take a look at the charging port the car comes equipped with, and double-check the chargers you intend to go to. Do not wait until you are desperately in-need of power to discover that the connectors do not line up!

Now that you have some useful information to take along with you on your electrification journey, perhaps it is time to get acquainted with SP Group’s EV charging services.

Visit the SP Mobility website at to stay up-to-date with the latest information and promotions, and start your EV charging journey with SP Group now.  

Click here or scan the QR code below to download the SP app.

Follow SP Mobility on
Telegram and


BEV charging EV EV charging ev charging singapore sp group

About the Author

CarBuyer Team

CarBuyer Singapore brings the most relevant, accurate and useful car news to Singaporeans in both print and online formats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CarBuyer – Revolutionizing The Online Car Marketplace In Singapore

Buy Used And New Cars Online
Start your car buying journey with CarBuyer as we connect you seamlessly to the industry’s best CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealerships. As a one stop car online portal you can now buy your new ride, be it a pre-owned car or a brand new car from trusted dealers all over Singapore, all in one place. Our ever expanding listing of quality and covet-worthy cars, new and second hand, from both owners and trusted car dealers, will leave you spoilt for choice. Refine your search by vehicle type, registration year, price, mileage, engine type, transmission, annual depreciation value and more to find the car that best suits your needs, taste and lifestyle. You can even search for your car by dealer or directly by owner.

Sell Your Car In An Instant With Confidence
We all know how selling a car in Singapore can be a daunting task especially for a first time car seller; from trying to get a valuation for your car, finding a trusted dealer, to getting the best quote on your vehicle. CarBuyer understands the hassle and even the costs involved and have as such partnered with Huawei to develop a FIRST in Southeast Asia AI car valuation tool that is able to provide a car’s resale value at the snap of a finger. Backed with a consortium of trusted CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealers you can be assured that you are getting the best price for your vehicle and do not have to worry about any hidden costs.

The Ultimate Car Shopping Experience Online
CarBuyer platform is the first of its kind to be backed by Huawei’s Artificial Intelligence and cloud computing, enabling it to be able to offer users transparency and enhanced security, all with the one aim of enhancing customer experience. So come on over to buy and sell used cars online at the best prices at CarBuyer Singapore. Connect easily with dealers in real-time via our online video call feature, or schedule a test drive when you’re ready. Have some questions? Get them answered instantly with our chatbot moderated by our responsive team. Stay in the loop with our car-related tips, reviews and news. Learn the ins-and-outs of your car, as well as global and Singapore’s car updates at your own pace.