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Chevy Bolt charging - totally confused

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by brucet999, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    A friend is quite interested in Chevy Bolt, but has only a 30A dryer outlet and a 15A 120V outlet available for charging in his rented garage. Chevrolet website gives no useful info about charging.
    Local Chevy dealership people are all clueless, even the service and parts departments

    Aerovironment 30A EVSE demands NEMA 6-50. costs $540 to $750
    Jukebox 40A demands NEMA 14-50 (not a good idea on a 30A circuit.) cost $550 to $600

    What would he need to charge off his 30A 240V circuit (not sure whether 10-30 or 14-30)? Apparently, the Bolt has no onboard charger, so can't be plugged directly into any 240V outlet.
     
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  2. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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  3. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    Exactly. I use an LCS-30P with my Bolt EV hooked up to an old otherwise unused 10-30 dryer outlet via an adapter and it works fine.
     
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  4. johnr

    johnr Member

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  5. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    That one looks much more portable than the others. Would potentially be easy to take on trips to use at other locations.
     
  6. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    Why would you expect the company that makes the car and the dealership that sells the car to provide any information about how to charge it? If people can't figure it out they will just have to buy an ICE.
     
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  7. timpierc

    timpierc Member

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    Just tell him to use the 120v outlet. 8-12 hours of charging per night is enough to cover most of the energy used driving each day. Any deficit can be made up on the weekend. If he's in LA, then there's always DCFC if in a pinch.
     
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  8. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    That's a cute portable EVSE! Didn't know they made one like that. Interesting way to change the amp draw setting - shake it three times!
     
  9. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    He often drives 120 miles per day for his work; sometimes more. Taking time during the work day to find and use a DCFC is lost productive time.
     
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  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    If only GM had built out a high speed DC charging network...and designed an EV that could charge at more than 40kW so that such a network would be useful.
     
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  11. timpierc

    timpierc Member

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    Isn't the Bolt wired for 80kW charging?
     
  12. montreid

    montreid Member

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    max 75 from my understanding. Most are 50 though DCFC

    Level 2 on the Dryer plug should be fine. That'll get him his needs no problem with ave 4-5 hours charge for the 120miles.
     
  13. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    > If only GM had built out a high speed DC charging network... [ecarfan]

    Oft stated rhetorical question that, at its basis, wonders why a major corporation can't just up and build a nationwide/worldwide charging network like Tesla Motors did. If little Tesla can do this, why can't a giant such as GM? . . . perhaps someone has the perfect answer already prepared in Tweet form. 8^)
    --
     
  14. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #14 McRat, Mar 31, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
    OK, all plug-in electric cars, SUVs, trucks, and most motorcycles have an On-Board Charger. An EVSE is a device that goes from the wall to the car to feed the on-board charger safely.

    Now, the OEM included portable Bolt EVSE can charge at a peak rate of 12a x 240v or just over 2.5 kW after losses. This adds ~10 miles of range per hour. So in 12 hours, he has added 120 miles using the included cable when plugged into that dryer outlet. He will have to buy or make an adapter. It takes a trip to the hardware store and 20 minutes to make one. That's the slow way and cheap way to L2 charge the Bolt at 240v using what he already has. $25.

    But his car has a 32 amp onboard charger. This exceeds the safe capabilities of the dryer plug. He can charge at 24 amps safely in that outlet. This is 20 miles per hour. Or 5 hours to gain 120 miles. Use something like this:
    24A Level 2 EVSE LCS-30 | ClipperCreek and go to the hardware store to get the correct 30 amp dryer plug and install it on the end. This will cost $520 plus tax and an hour of time.

    Or he can install a 50 amp 240 breaker in the panel, and wire it to 14-50R outlet using 6 gauge wire, and get a 40 amp EVSE. I use a Juicebox 40 amp 14-50R wth 25' cable. They are $549. This will charge at over 25 miles per hour or 9.x hours for 238 miles of range. This is something an experienced EV guy or an Electrician should handle. It cost me a total of about $600 since my Juicebox was $499.
     
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  15. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    When I test drove a Bolt a few weeks ago, the salesman knew nothing about charging and the dealer didn't have an on-site charger available to customers (really!). When I showed him the Plug Share app, he was amazed.... he had no idea there was a huge charging network available EV's. Then he asked if he could take a ride in my Model X. The smile on his face during the ride was priceless!
     
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  16. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    If Bolt has an on-board charger, then it is a lame one. Why does the owner have to pay hundreds of dollars for a Juicebox, Clipper Creek or other device in order to charge at a decent rate instead of just a simple plug adapter?

    Tesla includes a charge cable and adapters for 120V NEMA 5-15, 240V NEMA 14-50 and J1772, and they offer other adapters for $45 to allow charging from 30A dryer outlets NEMA 14-30, as well as NEMA 6-15 and 5-20 outlets. All of these adapters prompt the on-board charger to automatically adjust amperage to a safe charge rate, and the car charger also enables manual adjustment, in the event that the user opts for a home-made plug adapter. Surely, GM has the resources to do the same, if they really cared to support EVs.

    And no, my friend can't install a 14-50 outlet, pull new wires to the panel and install a 50A new breaker (in a panel that probably can't support it), because he is renting. Even if he could, he would have to buy a $500 EVSE to use it.
     
  17. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Help me understand, please.

    Is the included adapter for an ordinary 120V NEMA 5-15 outlet connected to the j1772 car plug the same as the AmperaE, such that I might install a NEMA 6-15 outlet in place of the existing 14-30 and make a 6-15P to 5-15R adapter (essentially turning the OEM cable's neutral into a second Line conductor) to enable him to charge at 240V 12A?

    Presumably, the OEM cord's wire gage will not support 140V 16A or 120V 8A, so what keeps it from delivering too high current if connected to a 30A source?
     
  18. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #18 McRat, Mar 31, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
    The Bolt is like all EVs so it has an on-board charger that negotiates with an EVSE to supply power to the battery. It is the car and the EVSE together who work out how many amps and volts will be used. I can plug a 40 amp EVSE into a car that only accepts 16 amps, and the car will only charge at 16 amps. The Bolt has a 32 ampere x 240 vac single phase J1772 inlet on-board AC charger. To get the fastest charging, plugging into an EVSE that is 32 amps or higher (the skies the limit) is the fastest.

    And I can take a 8 amp peak 120v EVSE plug it into a 50 amp source, and it will only feed 8 amp. CAUTION! If you have 30 amp wall circuit, and a car that will accept 32 amps of power, and an EVSE that will accept 32 amps of power, you can cause an electrical fire. The wall outlet should always be 20% higher amperage than the EVSE and car. 80% is the continuous duty rating of house circuits. So a Bolt needs a wall socket that is 40 amps for the fastest charging.

    Let's stick to AC house power charging. It comes in 2 flavors in California homes. 120vac and 240vac. Your panel that feeds your home is full of circuit breakers, and these circuit breakers are fed by two 120v power lines which and one neutral line. When you hook either (not and) of the 120v power lines to neutral you get 120vac. The two 120 volt power lines are 180° out of phase, so if you hook those two together and do not use a neutral, you will see 240vac. There is a ground line that is tied into your neutral at the panel for safety.

    The EVSE that comes with the 2016+ Volt and 2017 Bolt is a dual voltage device. However, for the USA it has a 120v NEMA 5-15 plug end like any normal home device does like a toaster. 5-15 is a single 120v hot line (the short blade) and a neutral (the long blade) and a round ground pin. Since the OEM EVSE is wired internally to also accept 240vac, if you feed the two blades one of each of the two 120v hot leads, and hook the ground lead to ground, it will run off 240v.

    So if your dryer outlet is a NEMA 6-30R, you purchase a 6-30P plug and a normal 5-15R receptacle. Use a short piece of 12 gauge 3 wire Romex, and hook a wire from a blade to a blade, blade to blade, ground to ground. Plug the 6-30 into the wall, then plug the EVSE into the adapter plug, now plug the EVSE J1772 into the car.

    Clear as mud?
     
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  19. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    I wonder why GM chose to cripple their OEM EVSE by limiting it to a puny 12A? It would have cost little more to provide a more robust one, like Tesla did, so customers could easily charge at the full 32A capacity of the on-board charger.
     
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  20. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #20 McRat, Apr 1, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
    Ah... I get it. Is there even a 'friend'?

    Thanks for wasting my time when I was trying to help.

    For a parting gift, a 24 amp EVSE will charge a Bolt more miles per hour at your friend's house than a Tesla will, especially the X. Home charging favors the cars with the higher real world MPGe. Depending on the Tesla model and your driving route, the difference can be as high as 37% for a Model X used in congested traffic. ie - you need to go somewhere, instead of wait 2 hours for a charge, you must wait 3.
     
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