Battery Charger Failure

March 5 2021

As of today, March 5 2021 my Kalk& has been disabled due to the battery failure for one month. Last I heard from Cake USA was on February 22 2021 telling me that a battery was being sent to me, however none were in the USA. So I’m ‘assuming‘ it will come from Sweden or whoever their actual battery supplier is. Very strange why Cake USA would not have batteries in stock or at least have Zack, the sales person who drove to my home in the Cake van bring me a battery to see if that is the issue. #can’tridecake

February 22 2021

This is the latest update on my battery charging issue.

Update: February 20, 2021

Today I received the charger Cake sent me to determine if my charging issue which occurred on February 5 2021.

Cake was under the impression that my original charger was out of warranty due to me using it at EVSE charging stations using a J1772 plug cable adapter. The Cake Service Manager I emailed about if I could use a J1772 plug adapter was Nate Simpson. I asked him specifically about the cable BEFORE ever even purchasing one to ensure that the Cake 1000 charger that came with my bike would work. Our email conversation about this began on November 22 2020:

On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 3:35 PM Mark Kitaoka <mark@markkitaoka.com> wrote:

Hello I would like to know if this will work in the charger shipped to me with my USA Kalk& version. It is a female level 2 plug connected to a female connector that will fit into my charger. Even though the USA cable is for 110v in reading through the Cake1000 user manual the charger is ‘smart’ and will adjust to input voltage and is rated for up to 240v. I plan to carry my charger with me and use this cable to charge from EV charging stations. Please advise.

Thank you

Mark

www.cakekalk.com

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

On Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at 8:19 AM Nathan Simpson <nathan@ridecake.com> wrote:

Hey Mark we do not know the answer to your question yet. We have forwarded to the product team to verify with our suppliers and will let you know when we hear back. It would be so awesome!

Thanks!

Nate

Nate Simpson

Service Manager

p: 800.217.0974 option 2

Explore With Respect ®

Re: Level 2 charging Nathan Simpson Nathan@ridecake.com

11/24/2020 5:10 AM

To: Mark Kitaoka; Emily Miller

Hey Mark I heard back overnight from the product guys who heard back from our supplier:

The connector shown in the picture below is a US Type 1 AC connector (230V AC, max. 32A). So in general he can use the shown adapter to power the Cake 1000 charger.

They are more used to European systems and were wondering if the adapter you have contains additional pins in the holes pictured below. This is normally the place where the CP and PP pins are located. These should be needed to tell the EV charge station that a car is connected and which power the car is able to handle. For European systems, this would be mandatory. They are not 100% sure whether it is for the US. If you want me to double-check any other info with them let me know.

Thanks!

Nate

Nate Simpson

Service Manager

p: 800.217.0974 option 2

Explore With Respect ®

Since Cake has a new Service Manager named Coleman who took the place of Nate, they must not have been aware of my prior conversation with Nate checking first with him before purchasing the J1772 adapter plug. Plus I have charged my bike several times at home from my 110v outlet subsequent to using the charger at EVSE stations with no issues before the February 5th 2021 failure.

The charger they sent me appears to be the first generation of chargers sent with the Kalk bikes. It’s smaller in size and outputs 10 amps which is 5 amps less than the Cake 1000 charger which outputs 15 amps. I find it curious that when Cake did offer the Cake 1000 charger on their website (which was removed a while ago) I recall it stating that not just anyone could purchase that charger and they requested an owner call first before ordering the unit. No idea why, but now no chargers are offered on their site for the Kalk line. And even though the Cake 1000 charger I own clearly states that the user manual is on the site it is not there.

KP Battery Charger sent to me by Cake
Cake 1000 charger

Anyway the issue occurred on February 5th, the Cake Service Manager was made aware of my situation on February 7th and told me a replacement charger would be shipped out to me. Today is February 20, 2021 so it’s been two weeks without my bike. Not fun. I’ll continue to update my site about this saga and hope it is resolved soon. My videos of the test I’ve conducted with the KP Charger sent by Cake:

KP Charger PDF Manual

More to come…..stay tuned! And cross your fingers for me too please.

February 5 2021

Cake 1000 (PMCC-1000) charger failure

After returning home from a short ride where I used approximately 50% of my battery I plugged my charger into the bike as I normally do when I return home. Once the bike is plugged in and the power to the charger is enabled; normally the Charging light blinks as the battery is charging. But in this instance the charger’s Charging light kept blinking and finally the red Error light blinked six times. So I referenced my battery’s charging manual and no error code for six blinks was listed:

Page 5 of 8 in the charger manual. What is curious is right on my charger it states: “Find the full manual about the charger (and other useful instructions) on www.ridecake.com/manuals/ yet on that page this manual does not appear. I doubt it is an oversight, but may be that Cake is replacing this charger with another unit. Not sure but odd that it’s not there.

A visitor to this page asked about the specifications of power for the Cake 1000 charger. Since as of this date Ridecake does not have the manual posted online as is written on the charger I thought I would add the electric specifications here. Thanks for asking Chris:

You can view my video of this LED error code happening by clicking here.

I had also tried to charge the battery on the battery charge port before writing to support to see if the lower port had simply failed. But the same issue happened although the Error light did not flash six times. It simply alternated between Charging and Full. The Error LED did not illuminate when connected to the battery port charge terminal. And unlike when the charger is plugged into the lower charge port the headlight/taillight illuminate when the charger is plugged into the battery charge port. That video can be viewed here. Cake support informed me that the two ports are designed for different things.

The Support group suggested that I remove the battery from the bike which disconnects everything from the bike’s wiring harness and test the charging again. After following their instructions the charger simply cycles between Charging and Full and back again. You can view that video here.

Cake is sending me another Charger to ascertain if the charger is at fault and if not, it may be the battery….or something else. UGH. Not sure if the chargers are stocked in the USA or must be shipped from Sweden. When I asked support if they have them in stock I did not get a reply. I’m wise enough to know no news is often bad news.

Cake’s warranty as of February 15 2021 as listed on their website.

Stay tuned.

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13 Comments

  1. Total bummer, American Luna, outlet for Sur Ron would have robbed a charger from their floor stock and sent it you and never gotten reimbursement from the manufacturer. For shame. What do they say? The early birds get the “bugs”. Glad you’re working through the bug’s for the rest of us. All hail Mark! Thanks

    1. Lee I agree that Luna would have stripped a charger off of a new bike and sent it. But every company is different huh? Fingers crossed that Cake comes through with a charger soon and if that doesn’t fix the problem I don’t have to wait months to ride my bike again. Cake let me know that they don’t have chargers here in the USA so it will have to come from Sweden…..drat! Most like to say ‘a slow boat from China’ but I say ‘a slow boat from Europe’ LOL

  2. Following. I have been looking hard at the Cake Kalk and Ink&. This situation is not the best although I am happy Cake is working to correct the problem. Cake needs to stock parts and associated equipment in the US. Wish you the best in resolving. Thanks for developing the website and posting your experiences.

    1. Thank you Chris. Yes based on your travels the bikes would seem to suit you nicely. I will update my site once I hear and experience Cake’s response.

  3. Thanks and welcome Mark. Right, I was hoping to carry one with my van and charge either by generator or solar. I will keep track, thanks. I sent an email to Emily…

    1. I’m sure you’ve read the post on my site about the guy who charged his OR from 80-100% with a Goal Zero 1400. Sucked 71% just to get there. I’ve been using portable solar for two years now and know first hand that at this point in tech I would not try to charge my & using solar. I own a Yamaha 2k generator I use for that. Even on a perfect day using an array of panels connected either in series or parallel cannot recharge my solar generator fast enough using 300W panels to replenish an & quickly enough. If you have a way to do it I’d love to hear! It’s also one of the many reasons I shake my head at Cake’s anti poaching campaign. Poachers are mobile, so a charging station needs to be so too. The number of solar generators, even the new GZ 6000 would need an extensive array of solar panels to recharge. And depending on how many bikes and number of extra batteries needed, transportation of those items would need to be hauled. ICE vehicles to do so? EV Quads? Anyway….

      Off topic (but relative to) I purchased the Montek X1000 solar generator and it is due to ship to us in April. Although the campaign is closed you can view Tom’s review of the item here. I will be doing a review on my photography site once I use the device. I trust his reviews and am in love with the solar refrigerator/freezer he tested and I purchased and have reviewed. Take care, communities of like minded and respectful people helps everyone.

  4. You are more knowledgeable about solar than I am. My solar comment was if Cake develops a solution. My van has house batteries. I have limited solar for my van, not enough real estate for a lot of panels, and I use a portable folding panel.

    My van has a 2800 Onan and I have a Honda 2000 so I’m covered on generators.

    Right, solar will only work on a mobile anti poaching effort with extensive support. I see the bikes being used on patrol, but a mobile base camp or fixed site support would still be necessary.

    At some point I will buy a portable power solution.

    1. Ah gotcha. I started my solar self education prior to Covid19. But since then(!) I’ve had the time to become better informed and educated. After researching how to charge both my & and Sur Ron at level 2 charge stations I really dug into the feasibility of charging both via solar. My Haibike eMTB can easily be charged via solar. I have my deposit on the 4WD mid level Cybertruck so I’m sure both bikes can be charged from that.

  5. Good to hear you can charge your Haibike via solar. I was really contemplating being able to charge an e-bike via inverter and battery bank while being charged by the alternator driving down the road.

    I had done a little looking a while ago for DC to DC charger for e-bikes but didn’t find anything at the time. Wasting energy by inverting.

    Cake doesn’t list their charger specs, but with the 2-3 hours to charge, I figured it would be too much using the inverter and house battery method above.

    Sure would expect the Cybertruck to be able to.

    1. “Cake doesn’t list their charger specs, but with the 2-3 hours to charge, I figured it would be too much using the inverter and house battery method above”. Chris since you asked the question I thought it a good idea to add those stats to this post. If you go to the top of the page a few paragraphs down I have listed them. Other owners who either lost their manual or didn’t get one can thank you. Because Cake does not offer the charger I have or have the manual on their website my gut tells me that they may be replacing it. Who knows.

  6. Well, crap. Disappointed to see this. So you think it is the battery?

    They sent a Chinese charger?

    It honestly doesn’t surprise me, but chargers do go bad. There should be a better way to test this than to simply wait for a new charger to see if that works. Even more so with the model Cake has chosen.

    Is the regional rep in NorCal?

    I went through a problem with a bad battery on a 2-year old e-bike so have a little experience.

    Wish you the best in resolving.

    Chris

    1. Hi Chris,
      I think it may indeed be the battery simply because the reaction of both my Cake 1000 charger and the KP Charger they sent me act the same way whether they are plugged into the lower port or directly into the battery. I have no knowledge of the BMS in the battery itself, but regardless I feel it may indeed be the battery.

      In terms of the Chinese charger I can say first hand that my Sur Ron charger which is from China has been bulletproof. In the 2.8 years I’ve owned the bike, put over 6k miles on it there has not been one issue with the battery or charger. I’m sure Cake can/may/will say the same about their bikes and perhaps I just am unlucky Pierre. And yes I use EVSE stations to charge my Sur Ron with the same cable I use with the Cake.

      I’m actually disappointed that having purchased Cake’s Halo product at no time has the company offered to have Zack, the sales person come out to help me. Yes he is located in Santa Cruz which is part of the Bay Area. I will wait to hear what the Cake Service Manager has to say about what is next before I make any decisions on moving forward from my end.

  7. My comment about the Chinese charger was twofold. One, extra cost to buy a European product and two, waiting for a Chinese charger from Sweden.

    Interesting with no Sur Ron issues.

    Agree about the Halo product. Disappointed as well with no involvement when there is a “local” rep. I think Zack needs to be involved to validate status of the charger and battery at this point. This could have been done quickly as you well know.

    With Cake’s chosen model, they need a mechanism/process to respond. Tesla has a process as I understand it. I know Cake is a young company, but there needs to be a process for these situations with a premium product at a premium price with no dealers as the chosen operations model.

    Sent you a PM on advrider.

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