Newbie question on Level 2 Chargers - Chevrolet Volt Forums: Chevy Volt Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie question on Level 2 Chargers

Hello all, I"m new to the forum and to the Volt. I wish to have a Level 2 charger installed in my garage but would like some guidance on brand, installers, that sort of thing.

One of the questions I have is , does anyone have it installed such that it can be removed easily if you sell and move to another home?

Any guidance would be helpful.

Rp
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Hello all, iíve been reading various articles on Level 2 chargers and one from CR caught my attention. They seemed to think that many with electric vehicles buy their chargers too early in the driving experience. In other words their driving and recharge habits havenít been established as yet. I live in a small city and about 95% of my total driving is within 10 minutes of my home. They contend that I wonít deplete my battery with that type of driving and that the normal Level 1 charger is all that I would need. However if I drove 30 miles each way a Level 2 maybe in order.

This makes some sense to me, however I would like to hear from actual Volt users on their thoughts...

Thanx

Rp
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 04:33 AM
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 07:45 PM
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Keep in mind that the maximum rate of charge that a Volt will take via the plug in charger is 12-amps. the default setting is 8-amps, and you can set it to take 12 Amps if desired. So a 30-amp charger is not necessary. it is not possible to "speed-up" the charging process with a larger amp charger. The benefit of a level 2 charger (240-volt) is from a lower cost of the electricity that is being used. you pay for the electricity that you use At a specified ďrateĒ So much per kWh ( Kilo-Watt Hour) that rate can be different during certain times of the day ( off-peak hours). Regardless of the ďrateĒ if you charge your Volt at 8-amps or 12-amps the amount of kWh that you use is half if you are using a level-2 (240-volt) unit. If you plug into a traditional wall outlet 110-volt unit and you charge at 8 amps for 5 hours you will consume double the amount of kWh that you would use with a level 2 240-volt unit. The charge time will not be any faster the battery will not become fully charged any sooner. The only benefit is in cutting the cost of your electricity in half. Think of it as paying half price for a gallon of gas at the station. So the level-2 chargers are well worth the cost, you will ultimately use half as much power and save double the cost.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 03:39 AM
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Hello guys. I have owned a 2017 Volt for 26 months and just bought a 2018 Volt. I have had a 240volt charger from day one.
1. 8 amps charges your volt in 12 hours
2. 12 amps charges your volt in 8.5 hours
3. 30-40 amps (240 volt Charger) in 4.5 hours.
Energy cost depends on peak or off peak hours and costs the same not matter what charger your are using.

You can buy a movable plug in Charger with a NEMA plug which is identical to a clothes dryer plug needs a NEMA receptacle to plug into which is what I have. An electrician can wire it up for you on the side of your house.

My brand is SunCountry in Canada. Bosh also makes them. They cost between $500-$1000. Check Amazon. An electrician may charge $500-1000 to wire it up from your electrical panel.

It is worth it if you want a faster charge and use your car to drive to and from work and around town after work.
A portable NEMA charger can be taken on a trip and plugged in at any campground that has trailer electrical hook ups.

Carst
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 08:47 PM
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Thanks for sharing Carst, great info, I do have one question. does the 2018 Volt allow 30-Amp Charging? because the 2017 and 2016 can only go to 12-amps?. I have a level-2 240-volt charger that is rated for 30-amps, but my 2017 will only take a max of 12-amps. so I don't use the full potential of the 30-amp capability. you stated that: "3. 30-40 amps (240 volt Charger) in 4.5 hours. do you have that ability with the 2018 Volt?

Also a comment, I purchased a level-2 240-V 30-amp rated charger on Ebay for $ 325.00 and installed it myself, it is really easy, just add a 40-amp 2-pole circuit breaker to your electrical panel and run the conduit and wire. very simple, no need to spend much more than that.

another item: you stated that: "Energy cost depends on peak or off peak hours and costs the same not matter what charger your are using." this is true of the 240-Volt charges, but if you are still using the 110-volt 15-amp standard level -1 charger then the amount of kWh that is used will be double. the Utility company charges "per" kWh so the less you use the less it costs, and the 240-V Level-2 chargers use half as much kWh. as the 110-Volt
Level-1 does.

In My Opinion the Level-2 chargers do not charge the car any faster then the level-1 version, simply because the car will only take a maximum of 12-amps no matter what. so the benefit of the level-2 chargers do not include a faster charge. the only benefit is for the lower cost of the power that is used.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 02:32 AM
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I have charged on 30 and 40 amp 240 volt chargers with no problem with my 2017 and 2018 Volts. Every time it took 4.5 hours from empty to a full charge! My 240volt charger at home is a 30amp - 20amp continual SunCountry Highway (Canadian) NEMA plug in. It always charges my 2017 and 2018 in 4.5 hours from empty. It is a faster charger.

1. If your 240v charger is not giving you a faster charge try the following.
Go into vehicle settings > energy > and turn off "home location". That will give you "immediate" charging instead of a delayed charge which causes your dash light to blink but doesn't draw until "off peak" hours. Your 240v should charge in 4.5 hours from empty.

2. If your $325 charger is not giving you a quicker charge then have it tested to see if it is drawing the right amperage. If it is not drawing correct amperage, you bought a Chinese knock off that has bogus labels on it.

Hope this helps.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JW4721 View Post
Thanks for sharing Carst, great info, I do have one question. does the 2018 Volt allow 30-Amp Charging? because the 2017 and 2016 can only go to 12-amps?. I have a level-2 240-volt charger that is rated for 30-amps, but my 2017 will only take a max of 12-amps. so I don't use the full potential of the 30-amp capability. you stated that: "3. 30-40 amps (240 volt Charger) in 4.5 hours. do you have that ability with the 2018 Volt?

Also a comment, I purchased a level-2 240-V 30-amp rated charger on Ebay for $ 325.00 and installed it myself, it is really easy, just add a 40-amp 2-pole circuit breaker to your electrical panel and run the conduit and wire. very simple, no need to spend much more than that.

another item: you stated that: "Energy cost depends on peak or off peak hours and costs the same not matter what charger your are using." this is true of the 240-Volt charges, but if you are still using the 110-volt 15-amp standard level -1 charger then the amount of kWh that is used will be double. the Utility company charges "per" kWh so the less you use the less it costs, and the 240-V Level-2 chargers use half as much kWh. as the 110-Volt
Level-1 does.

In My Opinion the Level-2 chargers do not charge the car any faster then the level-1 version, simply because the car will only take a maximum of 12-amps no matter what. so the benefit of the level-2 chargers do not include a faster charge. the only benefit is for the lower cost of the power that is used.
A Level 2 charger is twice as fast as a level one charger at the same current. Note that the charger is really in the car. What you buy is a safety cable that is designed to limit the current. The maximum current the charger in the car will accept is 16 amps at 240 Volts. This will charge the car in 4.5 hours from zero. No matter what cable you buy the maximum is just the same but if you buy a 15 amp charger cable then it will take a bit longer, but not much. I use the cable that came with the car and added an adapter plug so that is will accept 240 Volt. The cable is designed to accept either 120 or 240 but is limited to 12 Amps (actually about 12.5 amps). With this cable I can charge my Volt fully in about 6 hours. (actually a bit less). Here are the statistics. The Volt power output is about 14.1 KWh (give or take 200 Watts). It takes about 16.4 KWH to charge it fully. Thus with my cable I can get 3 KW per hour charge rate.

Dale
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 04:04 AM
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JW4721 By now you probably know you are wrong about 110V using twice as much kWhr as 220V and also it is not 12amp max on 220V.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 03:48 PM
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I thought I would chime in and offer some information on charging. The Volt is capable of two levels of charging:

Level 1

This is 120 volts with a current draw of 8 or 12 amps. This results in a possible charge rate of .96 KW/h at 8 amps or 1.44 KW/h at 12 amps.
Level 2

This is 240 volts with a current draw of 15 amps. This results is a possible charge rate of 3.6 KW/h.
These are the only options available for the Volt. Using these rates you can calculate the (theoretical) length of time it will take to recharge the battery:

18.5KWh battery (Generation 2):

18.5KWh / .96 KW/h = ~ 19 hours
18.5KWh / 1.44 KW/h = ~ 13 hours
18.5KWh / 3.6KW/h = ~ 5 hours
While you can purchase an EVSE which permits a larger current draw (say, 30 amps) the Volt will not charge any faster because the maximum current the car will ever draw is 15 amps.

As for saving money power companies bill based on kilowatt hours consumed. If you consume 18.5KWh in 19 hours or you consume 18.5KWh in 5 hours you're still consuming 18.5KWh. Thus the cost will be the same. The exception being if the power company has different rates for different hours of the day. Typically power companies charge more per KWh during they day than they do at night. Thus a 19 hour charge may, due to the length of time it takes to charge, fall into the higher rate. Note this is because the rate per KWh changed and not because of the time to charge.

HTH
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