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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Picking up my 2019 Bolt this weekend and working on getting all the charging stuff sorted out atm. Sadly, I live in a townhome complex and we only get a 100A service panel on our unit. Electrician guy did the math and we won't be able to get a permit for anything over a 20A load (25A breaker/circuit).

There are plenty of cheap 16A EVSEs, a few cheap-ish 24A EVSEs, but the only 20A I could find is the Clipper Creek LCS-25. It looks like a great option but definitely not on the cheaper side of things.

Is anyone aware of another 20A option? For permitting purposes, I think I'll have to stick to a fixed load EVSE and not an adjustable one, unfortunately. The difference in charging time between 16 and 20A isn't all that significant, but still.. It'd be great to maximize what I can install :)

Cheers!
 

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Don't hardwire the EVSE, and it won't have anything to do with permitting. You could then get something like the Juicebox pro 40 and program in the max charge rate.

In other words, have the electrician quote you for a receptacle install at the max code rating, and tell the city it's none of their business what you do with it.

Really though, do you need the extra 4 amps? As I understand it (Corrected by Greg, the max rating is 12A), the included EVSE can be set to 16A, in which case, you could plug it into any 20A 240v receptacle. 10 hours of overnight charging is still going to give you about 38 kWh, or 115-150 miles of range at that rate.
 

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Per RP5, maybe that 4A isn't a deal-breaker depending on your daily car use requirements.

As an example, for the entire time we were "Volt only" and for the first 3 months of "Volt + Bolt" we were working entirely with the L1 chargers that came w/the vehicles, via a 20A 110V outlet. Eventually the cord-jockeying between the two vehicles motivated me to sort out the problem but for a single car not doing a huge lift every day, it's not axiomatic that you need more than a reliable and safe 12A at 110V. It's true that when we use the Bolt for intermittent heavier discharge (Seattle-Bellingham-Seattle etc.) it's nice to have it come back up quickly but short of immediately needing to do a long trip again, still not actually mandatory to go to LII.

Of course the above is highly circumstantial; people with heavier usage patterns won't find that arrangement workable. Just by way of illustrating how the missing 4A may not be a big deal, as RP5 points out.
 

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Don't hardwire the EVSE, and it won't have anything to do with permitting. You could then get something like the Juicebox pro 40 and program in the max charge rate.

In other words, have the electrician quote you for a receptacle install at the max code rating, and tell the city it's none of their business what you do with it.

Really though, do you need the extra 4 amps? As I understand it, the included EVSE can be set to 16A, in which case, you could plug it into any 20A 240v receptacle. 10 hours of overnight charging is still going to give you about 38 kWh, or 115-150 miles of range at that rate.

The included EVSE does 12A, maximum. It defaults to 8A, when running on 120V and you need to tell the car's setup to pull 12A. The 8A setting is so the EVSE can share a circuit with other loads on a 120V 15A circuit. The 12A max is so the EVSE can be used as a standalone device on a 120V 15A circuit. At 240 the stock EVSE will provide 12A only (no 8A option). Remember, the NEC specifies that a continuous load on a circuit cannot exceed 80% of the circuit's rated maximum. So, if your circuit has #12AWG wire, it can only carry 20A maximum (intermittently), and should have a 20A breaker on it. You can then use an EVSE with a maximum draw of 16A on said 20A circuit. You'll need to buy a different EVSE if you want to get the 16A ability, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're right, it's totally not a huge problem considering how I'll be using the car - daily 60-70km commute, so overnight charging even on L1 would be sufficient.

I believe the stock EVSE that comes with the Bolt is limited to 12A - even on 240V. That's still fine, but since I gotta add a 240v outlet anyway, well.. A portable 16A EVSE is cheap enough to justify the extra 4A over the stock. That'll do me just fine. For the same reasons you mention, I can't justify the cost of a clipper creek 20A EVSE over the price of a cheap 16A portable. The charging rate just isn't that different. BUT if anyone happens to know of a cheap portable 20A EVSE, why not? :)

Fair point on just getting a permit for the receptacle, which opens up the choice on EVSEs since I can limit the charge on some of them - but I'm still not too keen on paying for more than I can use. We'll be living at this place for at least the next 4 years and future-proofing isn't a concern since the load limits on the panel won't go up.
 

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As I understand it, the included EVSE can be set to 16A, in which case, you could plug it into any 20A 240v receptacle. 10 hours of overnight charging is still going to give you about 38 kWh, or 115-150 miles of range at that rate.
Wait... how can the included EVSE be set for 16amps? What did I miss????
 

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Fair point on just getting a permit for the receptacle, which opens up the choice on EVSEs since I can limit the charge on some of them - but I'm still not too keen on paying for more than I can use. We'll be living at this place for at least the next 4 years and future-proofing isn't a concern since the load limits on the panel won't go up.
From the comments I've read, people who hardwired their EVSE wish they had installed a receptacle instead, because it eliminates the need for an electrician to upgrade the EVSE in the future, or replace a failed unit, and allows the EVSE to be easily transported if needed.

I would have a common receptacle type installed so that the plug on your EVSE will have the highest chance of being compatible at other locations such as RV parks without needing adaptor cables. Code does not allow the most common 14-50r receptacle to be used on a 25A circuit though.

You might consider upsizing the EVSE in case you want to take advantage of higher charging rates elsewhere, or in the case you end up moving unexpectedly and have opportunity to charge at higher rates. It will retain higher residual value too should you chose to sell it.


Wait... how can the included EVSE be set for 16amps? What did I miss????
You missed that I was wrong, and that Greg corrected me. 12A max, regardless of voltage.
 

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This thread : ( https://www.chevybolt.org/forum/266...evel-2-32amp-ev-power-plug-charger-250-a.html ) on this forum talks about a fairly inexpensive (~$300), fairly portable, fairly powerful (32A) EVSE.

Up to 32A (*you* can set the max draw : configuration of Max Amps to 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, or 32 Amps).

You can take it with you when you stay away for the night (and can use 24A or 32A if you have access to a 14-30 or 14-50 socket)

https://jadaniell.ecrater.com/p/30368085/ev-32a-rapid-charger-25-cord

Is adjustable to lower amperages but you need to unscrew the cover to do that so it is not meant to be done on a regular basis which is the only advantage the Chinese products have over this.

I've never used one - it could be shite.
 
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