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Hello,

we are thinking of putting an offer on a 2019 Bolt however we have concerns about keeping the battery sufficiently charged throughout the work week.

Currently we rent a house and do not wish to pay to install a L2 charger but based on this website (https://www.chevyevlife.com/bolt-ev-charging-guide) we believe we can keep the car sufficiently charged throughout the course of the week using a 120v L1 charge.

The daily commute is about 100 KM/62 mile. Based on 6.4 km/4 mile per hour charging rate at 120v for 12 hours we expect to add about 76 km/47 mile per night leaving a daily deficit of 24 km/15 mile. Assuming we can charge the car fully on the weekend (either by not using it or getting a fast charge) we believe we can get through the week without additional charge time. This would be year-round through hot summers and cold winters.

Is this a reasonable expectation or should we expect to have to need to top up the charge midweek?

Basically is the hourly charging rate quoted on the web page accurate?

Thanks in advance for any comments.

Andrew
 

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120 V charge rate is based on 12 amps. Make sure you can pull that much on the rental house. Also, during extreme heat and cold you might not keep up with the additional power needed for battery conditioning. If you can find a 240 V source (i.e. dryer) you can double your charge rate and have no issues. There's a dryer buddy you can get that will make it work and you can take it with you if you move in the future.
 

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A couple of things to keep in mind - when it's cold you won't get as much range per kWh and the battery likely will not charge as fast. Given that you are quoting your commute in km, it is likely you live in an are that has a real winter.

The rate quoted on the web page is fairly optimistic. When talking to people about L1 charging, I tend to use a 3 mile per hour of charging rule of thumb.

It might be worth the investment to get a 240v outlet installed. You can then use the included charge cord (with an adapter) to double your charge rate. Or you can purchase an EVSE that you can take with you when you move. You might find that is will pay for itself - both monetarily and with peace of mind - vs paying for L2 charging during the week and/or on weekends.
 

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One better solution: rent a home nearer to your destinations and drive less miles.

In the past I had to drive over 40 miles a day (and over an hour in very slow traffic) and spent over $50 a week in gasoline. In 1977 I found a home just six miles away from my job next to a toll highway. Since then (over 40 years ago) I travel in minutes with light traffic and save thousands in gasoline, tires, and other maintenance cost, without considering my personal time savings and arriving more refreshed at work every morning.

Do the same and save time and electricity!
 

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Hello,

we are thinking of putting an offer on a 2019 Bolt however we have concerns about keeping the battery sufficiently charged throughout the work week.

Currently we rent a house and do not wish to pay to install a L2 charger but based on this website (https://www.chevyevlife.com/bolt-ev-charging-guide) we believe we can keep the car sufficiently charged throughout the course of the week using a 120v L1 charge.

The daily commute is about 100 KM/62 mile. Based on 6.4 km/4 mile per hour charging rate at 120v for 12 hours we expect to add about 76 km/47 mile per night leaving a daily deficit of 24 km/15 mile. Assuming we can charge the car fully on the weekend (either by not using it or getting a fast charge) we believe we can get through the week without additional charge time. This would be year-round through hot summers and cold winters.

Is this a reasonable expectation or should we expect to have to need to top up the charge midweek?

Basically is the hourly charging rate quoted on the web page accurate?

Thanks in advance for any comments.

Andrew

Andrew,


Welcome and good luck on your offer for your new Bolt EV. Your plan is generally correct and adding kWh details may only complicate the discussion without changing the outcome.



If you are calculating a 15km deficit (appears you are from Canada...) per night and the Bolt EV has, as a worst case, 360 km available, you would have 24 days before you could not come home. So yes, a few extra hours on the weekends would help and you have time to make it up.


Another way of looking at this is a weekly energy budget based on time. I will keep the discussion in kilometers. The website numbers are correct: you will charge about 6.4km/hr on a 12 Amp, 110V L1 charger.


Think about a week:



  • 5 days at 100 km - commute
  • 2 days at 50km? - day-to-day
Total for the week: 600km -- This projection gives 31,200km/year.

Total driving time @ 50km/hr average = 12 hrs/week (7% of available time in a 168 hr week)

@ 6.4km/hr = 93.75 hours
Add 10% for safety= 103 hrs
Over 7 days = 14.7 hrs/day of charging (61% of available time, 168 hr week)



Although I charged only with an L1 charger for the first year of my Bolt ownership, my total travel was nearer 24,000km. I would personally consider your travel near the edge of feasibility for an L1 charger only at your home.



I would suggest several strategies to increase the safety margin.



  • Charge where you park. You can bring your own 110V cord and plug in if an outlet is available.
  • Find a public L2, 240V charger (Flo, Circuit Electrique, others) and spend some time there while shopping or working. Each hour on a 30A L2 is worth about 5 hours on a 110V charger.
I would not personally recommend using a DCFC station to 'top up' (That is, from 70-100% charge). For nearly full batteries, these stations are time inefficient due to charging rate slow-down. For nearly empty batteries, they are fast, but repeated, consistent use, creates stress on the battery pack. Please check the other contributors on these forums.




Post a picture when you get your new Bolt!
 
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Personally I wouldn't cut it that close! Even if you only drove the Bolt to work and back, there might be times when you lose power and you wouldn't be able to charge. Also the cold is going to dramatically reduce your range as well as rain, snow and headwinds. Some people have reported a loss of 1/3 to 1/2 of their range in winter.
Let us know what you decide.
 

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*I don't own a Bolt

Charging at 120v x 12a = 1.44 kW
1.44 kW x 12hrs = 17.28 kWh - 10% loss = 15.5 kWh
15.5 kWh * 4 miles per kWh = 62 mile range

My math is showing you will very nearly recover all the miles you consume during the commute, with the weekend to recover should you come up a little short on any particular day. I'd go for it.

Test the outlet you'd like to charge on with a portable heater if you have one just to ensure it can supply the 12a. You won't to run anything else on that circuit.

If it were me, I'd probably just buy a $10 240v breaker and convert the 120v outlet to 240 temporarily. It's like 5 minutes of work. Tape over the unused outlets on the circuit with a warning, and label the outlet you're using to charge as being 240v. You will need to limit the EVSE to 12a since standard outlets aren't rated for any more.

Where are you from Andrew?
 

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I do basically what you are saying. Every week for a year, and ave 55 to 65 miles a day depending on daily errands. I've even screwed up and missed 2 or 3 charge nights in the same week, and it worked out fine.. See the thread "110v club" for details on other folks.

I'm a boring guy I guess because I don't drive around nights, so I can "catch up" by starting my charge as soon as I'm home from work. So you CAN catch up on weekdays if you are the same, not just on weekends. I hate to do it because I am a cheap skate and don't like the few hrs not on the super cheap off peak rate. But I've done it when I needed it. I can get 10 to 12 hours charge a night that way.. @ 12 amps do the math and it should cover 62 miles easy (off peak is 9hrs here). I have done the 9hr thing through very hot months with no issues, cannot speak to cold winters.

Also of note, you probably can find a spot to "catch up" quick at a pay spot. I have fast chargers 5 minutes from my house but I've had to use it zero times. If my charger breaks, this is my backup plan while I wait for a new one or a fix. Some folks in the 110v club thread said they use these as their exclusive means of charging.
 

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Hello,



Basically is the hourly charging rate quoted on the web page accurate?

Thanks in advance for any comments.

Andrew
The charge rate is conservative. You should be able to get 1.4 kw out of a regular 120 outlet. That's about 6 miles (10km) in a moderate climate, and maybe 4 miles (6.5km) in a very cold climate. Based on your description, if you start your week with a full charge, and plug in every night, you should have no problems getting through the week.

One issue though, is that the outlet need to be grounded. If it is not grounded, you won't be able to use it at all.

Check if there are any DC Fast Charge stations in the area. If you need to top off during the week, you can stop by for 30 minutes. Also, many grocery stores offer free 5-7 KW chargers.
 

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I hate to do it because of the hours not on the super cheap off peak rate. But I've done it when I needed it. I can get 10 to 12 hours charge a night that way.. @ 12 amps do the math and it should cover 62 miles easy (off peak is 9hrs here).
As I mentioned above, if you have a circuit you can dedicate to 240v, you could switch it over. This assumes you can limit the EVSE to 12a on 240v. Now that I think about it, does the included EVSE allow the amps to be limited on 240v?
 

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The point about the ground is a good one. Even grounded outlets sometimes are not done properly and the charger won't work at all. My house had some like this. May want to budget an electrician for this eventuality.

As I mentioned above, if you have a circuit you can dedicate to 240v, you could switch it over. This assumes you can limit the EVSE to 12a on 240v.
My place has a 240 outlet already but I just have not felt the need to use it yet. If I was in a cold climate might have been a different story.. I will make one of the 5-15 240v 'death cords' eventually.
 

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"鈥f you have a circuit you can dedicate to 240v, you could switch it over."

Assuming that the right number of heavy-gauge wires already run to the outlet, which is unlikely.
They don't have to be heavy gauge wires if the EVSE can limit the amps. You can pull the same amps at 120v as 240v. The exact same wiring is used in both instances.

I did the opposite and converted a 240v outlet to 120v near a window in my house so that I could use a high power window AC unit on a dedicated 20a circuit.

I also installed a dedicated 240v 50a NEMA 15-50 receptacle for my wimpy Prius plug-in. Figured if I'm going to install something, I might as well install something ready for the future. Cost me like $70 in materials.


EDIT:
From davebolt
The 8A/12A setting only applies to using the 120V portable EVSE that the vehicles comes with. For 240V L2 charging, the car pulls what ever the EVSE advertises, up to the maximum of 32A.
So it sounds like you can't set limits when connected to 240v with the OEM EVSE. You'd need to buy an aftermarket EVSE that allows the current to selected (12a) when connected to a 240v outlet.
 

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As I mentioned above, if you have a circuit you can dedicate to 240v, you could switch it over. This assumes you can limit the EVSE to 12a on 240v. Now that I think about it, does the included EVSE allow the amps to be limited on 240v?

I'm pretty sure it only provides 12A at 240V, with no provision to limit it to 8A.
 

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I'm pretty sure it only provides 12A at 240V, with no provision to limit it to 8A.
In other words, no problem to switch a standard 15a 120v circuit into a 240v circuit?

It's 10 minutes of work tops, and easy to convert back.
 

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In other words, no problem to switch a standard 15a 120v circuit into a 240v circuit?

It's 10 minutes of work tops, and easy to convert back.

I suspect that the cabling and components are spec'd to something over 240V too. Wouldn't hurt to check, though.

I'd also check that the up-stream fixtures (if any) are properly terminated with pig-tails and screw-down terminals, and replace the outlet that will be used with a commercial (or even hospital) grade one. I'd probably remove any up-stream outlets and put blank covers on the j-boxes, but that's my electrical fire paranoia talking.

In addition, since the second hot leg will be using the white (neutral) wire, verify that it's not hooked to ground or shared with neutral in another circuit anywhere other than in the main panel (where it will be disconnected from other neutrals and ground). I know that neutral shouldn't be bonded to ground anywhere but in the main panel, but you never know what you might find with old wiring.

And be [email protected] sure that NOTHING ELSE is using that circuit!:eek:
 

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I still think that's a bad idea in a rental, to feed 240 to what looks like a 110 outlet. Landlords do unexpected stuff, contractors engaged by the landlord likewise, you simply can't exert absolute control over who might plug into that outlet. Plus its a gross code violation so the owner could rightfully come after you for damages, real or imagined.

If it were me I would do as noted in other posts - bring a long heavy extension cord from somewhere in the house that is on the opposite leg of the 240, then plug a custom y-cord into this plus the wall outlet.
 

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Easy enough to put in a 240 specific outlet at the same time. Then keep the adapter death-cord with the EVSE or Bolt rather than staying with the wall outlet. I'd personally zip tie some warning labels on the cord too.


But like Bishop and BDX say, the one word answer to the original post is YES. Yes this 110 volt plan can and should work out fine. Good luck in your Bolt shopping!


- your friendly neighborhood 110v charging advocate
 

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Also consider :

1) finding a *public* level-2 charging station to plug into for an hour or two when needed/convenient (2x6 ~=12 kWh ~= 50 mi).

2) looking around / asking at work if you can use 120V plug while there (explaining *only if asked* that it would cost maybe $1/day max, in electricity).
 
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