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A little confused about these kW numbers, please help clarify for me.

5372 Views 60 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  GJETSON
I've seen 2 numbers associated with the Bolt.
11 kW, and 55 kW

I saw a public charging station outside of a Denny's restaurant, stopped by to look at the spec. It read "50 kW". This station only charges $0.50 per hour to charge.

So if I hook up my future Bolt EUV to it, will I get 11 kW/hour delivered to the battery, or will I get 50 kW/hour? I know there are losses due to battery SOC and other factors, so the numbers I posted are ideal/theoretical. Let's assume there's no loss to make it easier to understand.

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There are basically three types of EV chargers: Level 1, Level 2, (which are both AC) and Level 3 (also known as DC Fast Charging).

The Bolt has a charger built into the car that is capable of Level 1 charging (generally 120 V AC, usually at home) and Level 2 charging (generally 240V AC, can be at home or public chargers). The maximum capability of the Bolt EUV's built-in Level 1/Level 2 charger is 11kW, which you get by running 48 amps at 240 volts. Multiply 48 x 240 to get 11,520 watts or 11.5kW. Lower amps or 120V will give you less kWs. For example, the dual-voltage cord that comes with the Bolt EUV charges up to 12A at 120V (1.4kW) or 32A at 240V (7.7kW).

Level 3 (DCFC) is only available as public chargers. At this time, if you see something above 19.2kW, it's almost certainly DCFC. Some of the DCFCs that you find will be rated for 25kW, 50kW, 150kW, or 350kW. The maximum capability of the Bolt is to receive 55kW. So, on a 25kW DCFC station, it will max out at 25kW. At a 50kW, it will max out at 50kW. At a 150kW or 350kW station, it will max out at 55kW. (It's a little more complicated than that, but those are the basics.)

To summarize, 11kW is the maximum capacity of the Level 2 charger built into the vehicle. 55kW is the maximum power that the vehicle can accept from a public DC Fast Charging station. For that station, if your numbers are correct, it's a DCFC station and you'll max out at something below 50kW. And Denny's is subsidizing your charging by charging you a very low rate for DCFC.

Now, to get the full 55kW charging speed, conditions need to be perfect. Warm-ish temperature, and your battery has to be in a low-ish State of Charge. As the SoC approaches 50%, the charging speed slows down until it is almost useless to keep charging past 80% SoC. See an example image of charging power below from this article.

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Repeat after me..."DCFC not Level 3"..."DCFC not Level 3"..."DCFC not Level 3"...
Can you please provide additional information for those of us who have learned, apparently incorrectly, that Level 3 is DCFC?
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