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Old 09-09-2015, 11:16 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jray3 View Post
WindyDrew, I don't see any report on which Level 1 EVSE you are using. The Volt has come with a few, as I hear. One defaults to 8 amps unless you select 12 amps every time, one was recalled due to 16 gauge wires that tended to overheat, and all of the Voltec EVSE seem to have had high failure rates compared to the Panasonic units supplied by Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Since you said that 8 hrs at work isn't enough to completely recharge, I'd focus on fixing that and make sure you're using a 12 amp EVSE (on a standard 15 amp outlet). 12 amps would be plenty to refill the Volt's 10.4 useable kWh, but if you have access to a 20 amp 120V outlet, you could go all the way up to a 16 amp L1 EVSE, which should recharge the car within six hours. I've used the dual voltage SPX/Bosch Power Express since 2011 due to its user-adjustable settings, but there are better options out there now for an adjustable L1 EVSE.
(The SPX design put the amperage trim pot within a bumper that collects water and kills the unit if you leave it sitting on its back in the rain...)
The supplied 120V EVSE problems were fixed starting with the 2013 models. The charge rate and amperage is controlled by the car, not the EVSE. Gen I Volts have 3 options: 120V@8A, 120V@12A, and 240V@~14A. The onboard AC/DC "charger" is limited to 3.3 kW max in any case. Some people will buy EVSE units rated for 240V with 20 or higher amps, but it will *not* charge the Volt faster than the base 15A units.

For 2011/12, the 120V charging defaulted to 12A. This did not cause problems for the car or EVSE, but a lot of home garages have crappy wiring, resulting in burnt plugs or worse. Others would use cheap extension cords with similar results. Hence, 2013-15 models default to 8A every time! If one wishes to get 12A charging, it must be selected from the touchscreen.

From empty, my charge times run ~16 hours @ 8A, ~10 hours @ 12A, and ~3.5-4 hours with 240/15A. In terms of electricity use, 120V/12A is the least efficient. 2011/12 models have ~10 kW-hr useful charge, 2013-late 2014 have 10.5, and late 2014-2015 have ~11.7 kW-hr.

BEVs like the Leaf typically can charge at 6 kW or better, otherwise charge times get very long.
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