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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

long time EV customer, 1st time Bolt owner - woot - what a great car! Got one for the family (as I have teen drivers coming online (3) in the next 3 years and I love the EV feature set for a teen driver)

I've been driving EV's for about 4 years (Ford Focus EV, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X). Over that time I've developed my opinions about charging and I'm going to share them here for all to see and learn - LOL

1st off kudos to Chevy on this car - I've added it to my EV fleet and I'm very happy with the car - but after coming from Tesla I find the charging information/situation with Chevy to be lacking.

1. I find the 110v charger (L1) included with the car to be pointless. I highly recommend getting a good 240v charger - either mobile or stay-at-home.

The Best mobile charger in my opinion is a Tesla Universal Mobile Charger (UMC) - the only problem is it comes with the wrong connector - no problem however because there is a company that modifies these chargers and will send you one with J-1772 connector plastered on the end of the cable after removing the Tesla connector (the Tesla connector while a proprietary shape is actually J-1772 under the covers, same signaling and pin-out structure - the modification is very easy and reliable).

Carry one of these babies in your Bolt and you can charge _ANYWHERE_ - it's a bit pricy but worth it in that you can use virtually any AC plug you run into.

see link below

or you can buy a Tesla UMC from Tesla's website

see link below

and send it to the quickchargepower people and they will affix a J-1772 adapter onto your UMC

see link below

for those of you not familiar with the Tesla UMC it supports the following charge rates via various adapters you can buy from quckchargepower and Tesla…

1. 110v @ 12 AMPs (15 amp home circuit) - NEMA 5-15 (just like the Chevy L1 charger included with car)
2. 110v @ 16 AMPs (20 amp home circuit) - NEmA 5-20 (slightly faster rate for the rare 20 amp 110v plug)
3. 240v @ 40 AMPs (50 amp home circuit) - NEMA 14-50 (volt only pulls 32 amps, so this will work fine)
4. 240v @ 15 AMPs (20 amp home circuit) - NEMA 6-15 (2 times faster than NEMA 5-15)
5. 240v @ 24 AMPs (30 amp home circuit) - NEMA 14-30 (electric dryer/water heater plug)

NOTE: if you're carrying a modified Tesla UMC (J-1772) with you both the NEMA 14-30 and 14-50 adapters will allow you to charge your Bolt @ 24amps/32amps at virtually _ANY_ RV park - and once you start looking there are more of these than you can imagine (KOA anyone, 99% have NEMA 14-50s you can rent a space for like $10) - so you can go virtually anywhere you can find a camp ground and use an RV-hookup (normally for a very reasonable rate) and charge your Bolt anywhere you can find electricity. I have used many many RV/camp grounds to charge my Tesla's and that allows me to drive EV's pretty much anywhere with no "charging" infrastructure- because all I need is a "plug".

Tesla makes two (2) UMC's - one with adapters that can be swapped to accommodate various AC plugs you might run into - and another one that has a "fixed" NEMA 14-50 plug on it. For maximum flexibility I recommend the one with adapters since it can double as both an L1/L2 charger for your car.

see link below

for home charging this topic has been discussed ad nausea on the Tesla forums it comes down to these basic choices.

1. some people don't feel they need one and opt for public/work based chargers - I applaud these people's sprit and they honestly believe this works for them. I'm too much of a control freak to go this route and want to know I can charge my car at a reasonable rate on my own terms.
2. Install a NEMA 14-50 plug in their garage - and this gives you many options as you can buy many many chargers and install them by simply plugging them in.
3. some people have two (2) Tesla UMC's with them - one in car , and one that lives in the garage plugged into the NEMA 14-50 plug or what ever plug they decide to install.
4. some people have one (1) UMC - and their's lives in their garage and they only take it out of the garage when "traveling"
5. Many people opt for the Tesla Wall connector - see link below- the reason for this is safety (hard wired) and configurability - it can be configured to provide 16-80 amps with appropriate circuitry - making it one of the most flexible EV chargers on the market for a fair price ($550) - of course you'll need to modify it to have a J-1772 adapter on it - but the quickchargepower people can do that or sell you one pre-modified with a J-1772 connector.
6. My personal recommendation for home charging is to go with either: Tesla Wall connector (with J-1772 connector) or Clipper creek charger. The clipper creek chargers are bullet proof and have a wide wide range of charging options (12 amp to 100 amp J-1772 chargers)

Advice on the install:

1. buy the biggest charger you can handle - even though the Bolt can only pull 32 amps - hopefully the Bolt isn't your last EV car, so plan for the future and only buy one of these suckers once. The J-1772 standard covers up 80 amps, and when the charger can provide more power than the car can pull, the car only pulls what it needs.

2. the real cost is the labor, wiring, and main panel modifications - not the actual charger. Cost vary based on how full your panel is, the distance to the charging location, and if you need to upgrade your main panel to have a larger service breaker

3. even with a small breaker - pull the biggest AMP wire you can to the charging location - that way if you can upgrade in the future, you only have to swap the breaker in the panel, and the charger at the other end - and not pull wire again (normally costly) - long runs of high-AMP copper wire are expensive - so be prepared.

Clipper Creek is a great choice and I have a 60 AMP model (best bang for buck - 48 amp charge rate) but the Tesla Home Charger has two advantages that push it over the top IMHO…

a) it's configurable - you can set the feed breaker's AMP setting, and the charger will tell the car the max AMP's it can feed, that means you can buy one wall charger, and over time adjust it to what ever AMP's you are feeding it making it the most cost effective chargers out there for the widest range of possible charging rates…
b) it also has the ability to be "daisy chained" with up to 3 other Tesla Wall Chargers (1 master and up to 3 slaves configured by dip-switches in the charger) - and 2-4 chargers will SHARE a single circuit breaker and adjust the AMP load based on demand from the car's being charged (this I part of the J-1772 standard). So you can install one circuit, one wall charger, and in the future "add" another Wall charger and charge 2, 3, or 4 electric cars off one (1) electrical circuit - for the future multi-EV household I consider this a killer feature and is why I give the nod to a modified J-1772 Tesla Wall Connector for $550.

So for me the ideal charging scenario for a Bolt Owner is:

1. modified J-1772 Tesla UMC in the trunk with many adapters for all plugs
2. modified J-1772 Tesla Wall connector in the garage configured to match the maximum AMP's my home electrical panel can handle.

I also recommend the following items from amazon for the road warrior charging master:

1. high quality 20 amp extension cord - see link below
2. short adapter that let you plug the 20 amp extension cord into a normal 15 amp plug - see link below
3. NEMA 14-50 extension cord - heavy and expensive, but a life saver sometimes when you just can't reach that juicy, ever so fast, 40 amp 240 volt plug that is just out of reach… see link below

congrats everyone on your Bolt! I love mine and I know you'll love yours - these recommendation are investments in my opinion and modified Tesla's chargers (J-1772 plugs) will serve you well for _ANY_ EV you currently own or likely will own in the future.

I'm happy to answer questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
links as promised -grr too new a forum use to post links - you'll need to copy paste - my apologies.

Modified Tesla UMC for use with J-1772 based cars - shop.quickchargepower.com/JESLA-is-THE-40-amp-J1772-portable-charging-solution-JESLA.htm

Tesla UMC directly from Tesla - send it out to be modified - shop.teslamotors.com/collections/model-s-charging-adapters/products/model-s-mobile-connector-bundle

Referal link for modification service - shop.quickchargepower.com/Service-Conversion-of-Tesla-UMC-to-JESLA-w-50-amp-J1772-plug-UMC2JESLA.htm

Tesla 14-50 ONLY UMC - shop.teslamotors.com/collections/model-s-charging-adapters/products/corded-mobile-connector-nema-14-50

Tesla Wall charger with 24' cable - will need modification for J-1772 connector - shop.teslamotors.com/collections/model-s-charging-adapters/products/wall-connector-with-24-cable

NEMA 5-20 extension cord - amazon.com/gp/product/B000HEC2DW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

NEAM 5-15 to 5-20 plug adapter - amazon.com/Conntek-1F515520-1-Foot-15-Amp-Adapter/dp/B00439KIF6/ref=pd_bxgy_60_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00439KIF6&pd_rd_r=1JM81NZTSK0CC7TZAYWJ&pd_rd_w=yCCBC&pd_rd_wg=ohbmw&psc=1&refRID=1JM81NZTSK0CC7TZAYWJ

NEMA 14-50 extension cord for those RV parks that put the plugs too far away from parking - amazon.com/Camco-55194-PowerGrip-Extension-Cord/dp/B002XL2IG8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1486469243&sr=8-2&keywords=nema+14-50+extension+cord
 

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Discussion Starter #3
here is a document I produced a couple of years ago on the range of adapters one could carry with them to be able to charge from virtually any US AC-plug one could possibly encounter - I share this for informational purposes - USE OF SOME OF THESE ADAPTERS REQUIRES THAT YOU CAN MANUALLY ADJUST THE AMP DRAW FROM THE CAR VIA SOFTWARE - TESLA ALLOWS THIS BUT THE BOLT DOES NOT! So when you're charging off 240v via some of these adapters they will only work if you can adjust the car to pull fewer amps than the Tesla UMC believes it can pull via the adapter.

THIS POSTING IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY - ANY USE OF THIS INFORMATION AND IGNORING THE WARNING ABOUT PULLING TOO MANY AMPS FROM SOME OF THESE ADAPTERS IS ON YOU - AUTHOR ACCEPTS _NO_ LIABILITY FOR ANY RESULTS WHEN USING THESE ADAPTERS WITH A CHEVY BOLT.

My document was built from a vastly informative documented produced by another EV enthusiast (shop) - a link to their document and their handle is referenced in my prelude.

see the link following this-dropbox.com/s/32nkluihu6nwfl9/Tesla%20Model%20S%20Adapter%20Inventory%201.2.pdf?dl=0

enjoy the document - I have had these adapters in my car along with a Tesla UMC for many years now - and so far I've been able to charge most anywhere - but I have had to override the charge rate using the car's charging software adjustments to avoid popping breakers on some of the lower amp plugs I've encountered.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
updated version of the document from "shop" that now includes links for purchasing the necessary supplies - still a great document on all the possible forms of AC plugs and how to charge from them.

cosmacelf.net/Home%20Made%20Adapters.pdf
 

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Ayuh. And I thought that EldRick’s smart portable EVSE with adapters which recently sold for $158 USD on ebay, was too pricey for me.

That’s a very extensive 4-post list of options. Good to review in order to reflect on one’s needs. Personally I can forgo the panache on the Tesla items in favor of Chevy-ish pricing.
 

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The Bolt manual refers to a 32 amp setting. Is it necessary to set a current limit when using a 240v charger or does the charger and Bolt decide the current ?
 

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@Cehjun - my apologies - I agree there are cheaper alternatives - I can't speak to the portal EVSE you purchased but the cheaper ones I've used all had problems - I've found ClipperCreek and Tesla products to be very reliable - the Tesla UMC is waterproof and has worked well for me in the past…

I 100% to evaluate your needs and I did this post as an informational exercise and to make people aware there is an option and modified Tesla chargers can work for any J-1772 car.

as with all internet posts please evaluate from your own personal point of view and if it's not a fit - move on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Cehjun do you buy chance have a link to the charger you mentioned - google is turning up nothing (which is the research I did when I bought the Bolt) - the only portal EV chargers I can find are only 20 AMP chargers and have limited "adapter" options - which is what lead me to this post

I'd love to hear from others as to what high quality, high flexibility 40/50 AMP portable chargers they have found that work for EV's!
 

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Personally I can forgo the panache on the Tesla items in favor of Chevy-ish pricing.
From what I can see the cool thing about the Tesla charger is that it senses what kind of adapter plug you use and automatically sets the maximum current based on it. I haven't seen any other portable chargers that have that capability.
 

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From what I can see the cool thing about the Tesla charger is that it senses what kind of adapter plug you use and automatically sets the maximum current based on it. I haven't seen any other portable chargers that have that capability.
correct - this is a "UNIVERSAL" charger that once a J-1772 adapter is retro-fitted onto it - you have a highly portable, high quality, weather proof/resistant, and extreme flexibility to use virtually any AC plug you will encounter in the wild. It's a great solution and I have used mine to charge at places all over the west coast - normally only enough to get to a Supercharger so I can top off at a more rapid rate - but it gives one great piece of mind to know there is a small, easy to use 240v charger in the trunk of one's Bolt that can charge the car from most any plug!!

also please do not discount the fancy green light that animates while the charger is working - that's worth at least 90% of the price - ;)
 

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@Cehjun do you buy chance have a link to the charger you mentioned
This was the item I referred to. Probably won’t be visible on ebay much longer.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/272535987909?

David M: I was just trying to use the above as an example of my biased opinion in a self-deprecating way, on how overly expensive EVSE and adapter equipment is. IMO over time pricing has nowhere to go but down. IMO the action by Chevy and other OEMs to partner with EVSE makers is just an attempt to squeeze out what little profit potential remains as the big wave of excitement and uniqueness peters out and commoditization begins. And IMO Tesla is a sell.

I appreciate your sharing of your experiences and opinions.
 

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The Bolt manual refers to a 32 amp setting. Is it necessary to set a current limit when using a 240v charger or does the charger and Bolt decide the current ?
Car and charger automatically decide - no need to set anything.
As long as you're on a 40A or more then yes the Car and charger will automatically decide up to 32A.

BUT, if you're circuit is less than 40A you will have to set the Current.

For example, I had my EVSE Juicebox with an adapter to plug into the dryer outlet (A 30A circuit) and forgot to set the Current and it popped the breaker. Once I read in the EVSE and electrical forums I found I had to set the charger at 24A to be safe. 80% of the circuit for constant loads.

But as David said, if you're on a 40A or higher circuit, there is nothing you have to set. The plugs on EVSE are made for 50A circuits.
 

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This was the item I referred to. Probably won’t be visible on ebay much longer.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/272535987909?

ahhh - the charger listed there is no where near as functional as the Tesla UMC - it's only a 240/16 AMP charger which really isn't all that fast and doesn't take advantage of the awesome 32 AMP charger Chevy put in the bolt.

David M: I was just trying to use the above as an example of my biased opinion in a self-deprecating way, on how overly expensive EVSE and adapter equipment is. IMO over time pricing has nowhere to go but down. IMO the action by Chevy and other OEMs to partner with EVSE makers is just an attempt to squeeze out what little profit potential remains as the big wave of excitement and uniqueness peters out and commoditization begins. And IMO Tesla is a sell.

I appreciate your sharing of your experiences and opinions.
thanks I'm excited about the Bolt and look forward to having it be as functional as my other electric cars - one of the things that make EV cars go easier in my opinion is understanding and having good options for maximum rate charging - either AC or DCFast type solutions make things go sooo much better.
 

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I have a Bolt and use a Juice Box (40 amp) charger plugged into a 50 amp 240 volt outlet. The Bolt manual mentions a 32 amp setting but I cannot find out where to set this. I have identified my home as a specific location but no option as far a setting current limits. Any ideas ?
 

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I have a Bolt and use a Juice Box (40 amp) charger plugged into a 50 amp 240 volt outlet. The Bolt manual mentions a 32 amp setting but I cannot find out where to set this. I have identified my home as a specific location but no option as far a setting current limits. Any ideas ?
Go into the juice box app. Details then top right to access the settings. You can change amps there. If you have a 50 amp could you set it to 40?
 

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That was mine, purchased for a Spark EV. I upgraded to a 30a 120/240v version for the impending Bolt, although I'm probably going to use it at 24a since I have 10ga wiring to the outlet.
Regardless of the wiring gauge used in the outlet you should be setting the EVSE to 24A because the outlet fed by a 30A breaker. If you swapped out the breaker for a 40A one, you could use it at the 30A setting if the wiring allowed it.
 

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Regardless of the wiring gauge used in the outlet you should be setting the EVSE to 24A because the outlet fed by a 30A breaker. If you swapped out the breaker for a 40A one, you could use it at the 30A setting if the wiring allowed it.
Clarification: if you want to run the EVSE at the 30A setting using a 40A breaker to feed it you will need to upgrade the wiring to 8ga or 6ga depending upon the length of the wiring run (longer runs require thicker wiring).
 

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I was all set to go with a Clipper Creek charger because it's highly regarded, reasonably priced and American made, but then someone pointed out the Juicebox charger that seems to be all of that plus more, like phone connectivity and a nice quick release bracket so you can take it with you and put it back easy. The only thing is, there seems to be less experience with this company vs. CC.

Anybody have much info on the Juicebox?
 
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