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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I want a cheap upgrade to my 12A dual voltage (120/240V) stock EVSE.

(I already have a 7 kW L2 hardwired, I want faster charging 'in the wild').

I figure I sell my EVSE to a buddy, and get a new dual voltage 16A portable unit. They start at $240 on amazon, maybe $180 or so on Fleabay.

Has anyone tried using a 240V EVSE that is NOT listed as dual voltage at 120V?

I see that some units are rated as 110-220V or some such, but not listed as dual voltage.

I wouldn't try 240V on an 120V unit, but is it stupid to try the reverse?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK, kinda answered my own question....

these cheapo units on amazon


for $240 have an 'answered question' that they work at 120V as well, but at 16A....which the Bolt would limit automagically to 12 or 8A. AS I would want, despite not being listed as 'dual voltage'.

And appear identical to the units on FleaBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/EVSE-Elect...ash=item4d66f70f66:g:Sv0AAOSwYwJZ~AzO&vxp=mtr

for $190 smackers.
 

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OK, kinda answered my own question....

these cheapo units on amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Portable-Electric-Charging-Equipment/dp/B075GL97M5/ref=cm_wl_huc_item

for $240 have an 'answered question' that they work at 120V as well, but at 16A....which the Bolt would limit automagically to 12 or 8A. AS I would want, despite not being listed as 'dual voltage'.

And appear identical to the units on FleaBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/EVSE-Elect...ash=item4d66f70f66:g:Sv0AAOSwYwJZ~AzO&vxp=mtr

for $190 smackers.
An thank freaking god that GM limits the 120 to 12A! which is pursuant to NEC Code that 80% on 15 amps is 12 amps! But that one on ebay which says it will draw 16 amps and has a 15 amp nema plug on it is just not right. It has the capability (on paper) to draw 16A from a 15A circuit. That should have a nema 20A plug on it and require a 120V 20A circuit. Im thinking fire!
 

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An thank freaking god that GM limits the 120 to 12A! which is pursuant to NEC Code that 80% on 15 amps is 12 amps! But that one on ebay which says it will draw 16 amps and has a 15 amp nema plug on it is just not right. It has the capability (on paper) to draw 16A from a 15A circuit. That should have a nema 20A plug on it and require a 120V 20A circuit. Im thinking fire!
Assuming use on a Bolt - which would limit current draw to 12 amps - I think the Amazon reviews support that this is a reasonable choice. Out of 30 reviews all but one are positive.

The one negative review was a customer who used the optional 14-50 adapter between this device and the wall, and got shocked pulling that adapter out of the wall. She noted that the adapter was too small to get a good grip on. Lesson: Don't choose that option, get a better 14-50 adapter elsewhere.

The Ebay versions $65 cheaper look similar ... quality unknown, and a little scary.
 

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The Bolt will NOT charge at 16 amps from a 120volt source - please blame Chevy - but buying a 120 volt 16 amp EVSE will make no difference on a Chevy Bolt.

It will still only charge at 12 amps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. This would be for use with 240V outlet destination charging at 'grandmas house', etc. A few times a year.

The rest of the time I'd use my trusty, hardwired 30A Bosch.
 

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Sounds like this Amazon/Ebay version is - in effect - equivalent to the portable charger that comes with the car except it has various plug options.

In that case buying a simple adapter to go between your OEM charger and whatever wall outlet is at grandma's house, accomplishes the same thing. Is there something I'm missing here?
 

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In that case buying a simple adapter to go between your OEM charger and whatever wall outlet is at grandma's house, accomplishes the same thing. Is there something I'm missing here?
The OEM charger with a plug adapter will do a maximum of 12A. That depends on if you want that extra 4A or 880W more power that can be delivered to the charger over the 2640W from 12A. If it doesn't matter much, then you can save quite a bit by just making/buying a plug adapter.

If you're willing to go the Alibaba route, you can find 16/32A chargers in the same ballpark price (I paid $220 shipped) with a NEMA 4-50 plug. Personally I wouldn't bother with the 16A one given that I already have an OEM one, but the 32A one is interesting.
 

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Ok I see now. The Bolt doesn't impose a 12A/220V (?) input limit on this charger that it does when facing an OEM charger.

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Added: I see I have a lot to learn.
 

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There is no 12 amp limit on 240 volt charging

The Chevy charger (EVSE) that come with Bolt can charge at

120 volts 12 amps
240 volts 12 amps with a plug adapter if plugged into a 240 volt source

The Bolt charging at 8 amps @ 120 volts is not anything the OEM EVSE knows about - it’s the Bolts onboard charging software than limits its charge rate to 8 amps @ 120 volts - the OEM EVSE is reporting it can do 12 amps but the car only draws 8 amps if you don’t change the software setting.

The Bolt will charge at 8 or 12 amps only with ANY EVSE at 120 volts, and never more than 12 amps at 120 volts regardless of what EVSE reports it can provide (OEM or otherwise)

If you have an EVSE that charges at 120 volts @ 16/20/24/32 amps the Bolt will only charge at 12 amps because of the 120 volt current

With other (non-Chevy) vendor EVSE at 240 volts the Bolt will charge at what ever AMPs the EVSE reports it supports/provides from 1-32 amps

The OEM charger that comes with the Bolt is a 120/240 volt 12 amp charger - that’s it - that’s all she wrote - it’s all the OEM EVSE can do - even when plugged into a bigger plug the OEM EVSE can only report/handle 12 amps

Talk to Chevy about the 120 volt amp limits which is imposed by the Bolt’s charging software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For the record, I ordered one of these chinese 'Duosida' EVSEs for $175 total from FleaBay. All I get is an extra 960W at 240V, for a total of 3.8 kW, relative to the stocks EVSE. At 120V, it works just the same.

I will give the stock EVSE to a buddy who can use it.

I have made up a number of 240V plug adapters to go with it. These all have 5-20R outlets on the EVSE end, and should be able to handle the 16A continuous no problem, and which will work with the 5-15P on the EVSE.

I'll post after testing.....
 

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Ok I see now. The Bolt doesn't impose a 12A/220V (?) input limit on this charger that it does when facing an OEM charger.

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Added: I see I have a lot to learn.
The Bolt charger (built into the car) doesn't impose the 12A 240V limit, the EVSE (in this case the stock unit) will advertise how much current it can provide (not dependent on or related to voltage). The Bolt charger is capable of up to 32A, but will draw no more than the EVSE says is available.

Simplified process of how the supply equipment (EVSE - "charger" is often incorrectly used) and car (PEV or Plug-in Electric Vehicle) communicate when you plug the connector into the car:

  • supply equipment signals presence of AC input power
  • vehicle detects plug via proximity circuit (thus the vehicle can prevent driving away while connected)
  • supply equipment detects plug-in electric vehicle
  • supply equipment indicates to plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) readiness to supply energy
  • supply equipment current capacity provided to PEV
  • PEV commands energy flow
  • charge continues as determined by PEV

Probably more than you want to know:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After a bit of a road-trip I used my new $175 16A Dual voltage 'Duosida' EVSE to recharge the car from 25% to 100%. I pulled 240V from a 14-50 outlet in my garage with a homemade adapter.

Car displayed 4 kW regen during charging (rounded up from 3.8 kW), and took about 13-4 hours to add 75% SOC. The stock EVSE would have taken 4-5 hours longer at 2.9 kW.

I ran it through a nice 100' 12 AWG SJEOW extension cord I bought. Nothing got so much as warm. I estimated 80W total I^2R loss in the cord.

I figure I am visiting family that has an electric dryer, I can get there almost empty and charge almost 100% overnight.
 

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Many years ago, I had a stock Leaf 120V EVSE modified by EVSE Upgrade to use 220V at 16A. It has a 6-20P twist-lock plug on it. I bought a 100' 12AWG extension cord (damned expensive!), and changed the ends to 6-20 twist-lock. I made three plug adapters that have 6-20R twist-lock receptacles on them: 14-50P, 10-30P and 5-15P. These allowed me to use the modified Leaf EVSE at mobile home parks and friend's houses (that have electric dryer outlets) to charge at the full 3.3kW Leaf rate. The 5-15 (120V) is limited to half that. This has served me well as a destination EVSE for the short travels that my 2011 Leaf allowed.

This setup also works pretty well as a Bolt destination EVSE, but at roughly half the charge rate of my Siemens Versacharge. It's a LOT smaller than hauling around a Versacharge, and if spending the night, it doesn't really matter anyway.

I just changed the connector on my supplied Chevy 120V EVSE to a 6-20P, and have it plugged into a dryer outlet using my existing 6-20 100' 12AWG extension cord and 10-30P to 6-20R adapter. When I cut off the existing 5-15P, I found five wires inside: Hot (black), Neutral (white), Ground (green) and the two temperature sense wires (red and orange). Black and white became the two 240V Hot wires, with Ground remaining the green wire. I made sure the red and orange wires weren't touching each other, or anything else. Working like a champ, and the Bolt reports a 3kW charge rate.

Because the modified Leaf EVSE charges at a higher rate (3.8kW), I'll probably use it as my primary destination EVSE when nothing else is available, and relegate the modified Chevy EVSE for garage duty on our Volt.

Note: I post this as a public service to other forum members. This is NOT a recommendation to meddle with electrical wiring on your EVSE, vehicle, or anywhere else. You can be killed or severely injured, and/or damage the electrical equipment it is connected to, if you mis-handle 120V and 240V. Do so at your own risk.
 

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Has anyone tried using a 240V EVSE that is NOT listed as dual voltage at 120V?

I see that some units are rated as 110-220V or some such, but not listed as dual voltage.

I wouldn't try 240V on an 120V unit, but is it stupid to try the reverse?
Yes, you can feed 120 VAC on a Level 2 EVSE and take advantage of the EVSE's higher current rating, but the Chevy Bolt EV will limit the current flowing in anyway. I see than if it can take in 7.2 kW at 240 VAC, the onboard charger is rated for 30 A, but that charger will probably not take in 3.6 kW with 30 A at 120 VAC.

You can try it and it will not harm the charger.;)
 

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I just changed the connector on my supplied Chevy 120V EVSE to a 6-20P, and have it plugged into a dryer outlet using my existing 6-20 100' 12AWG extension cord and 10-30P to 6-20R adapter. When I cut off the existing 5-15P, I found five wires inside: Hot (black), Neutral (white), Ground (green) and the two temperature sense wires (red and orange). Black and white became the two 240V Hot wires, with Ground remaining the green wire. I made sure the red and orange wires weren't touching each other, or anything else. Working like a champ, and the Bolt reports a 3kW charge rate.
May I ask why you didn't just make an adapter from 5-15p to whatever receptacle you needed? A prior tear-down of the Chevy 120V EVSE in the Gen 2 Volt forums showed that the 5-15p had a thermistor to avoid melting plugs. The Bolt EVSE is the same (double check part numbers of course) as the Gen 2 Volt one unless they recently changed the EVSE on recent Bolts. My Bolt came with the exact same EVSE as my old Gen 2 Volt. I of course, swapped in the newer Bolt EVSE and traded back my old Gen 2 Volt EVSE. :)
 

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The Bolt will NOT charge at 16 amps from a 120volt source - please blame Chevy - but buying a 120 volt 16 amp EVSE will make no difference on a Chevy Bolt.

It will still only charge at 12 amps.
I know this is from a long time ago, but I believe it may not be correct. The Ampera E has a 6 amps / 10 amps switchable limit. This limit will be respected as long as the EVSE itself is limited to 10 amps, even when this is a 240 volt EVSE. As soon as you increase the limit of the EVSE (mine is adjustable from 6 to 80 amps or so) to something higher than 10 amps, the limit set by the car is ignored. So, for the Ampera it is not the voltage, but the max output of the EVSE that triggers the car to impose a limit, even on 240 volt. May very well be the case for the Bolt too.
 

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Yes, you can feed 120 VAC on a Level 2 EVSE and take advantage of the EVSE's higher current rating, but the Chevy Bolt EV will limit the current flowing in anyway.
Yes, I've tried this plugging my JuiceBox 40 into a 20 amp 120 volt outlet (via an adapter) and telling it to advertise 16 amps. The Bolt just drew 12.

I see than if it can take in 7.2 kW at 240 VAC, the onboard charger is rated for 30 A, but that charger will probably not take in 3.6 kW with 30 A at 120 VAC.
The Bolt will draw up to 32A, actually, assuming your EVSE can supply it. How many watts that is depends on your line voltage. Sometimes my voltage drifts up to 245. Thus far the highest draw I've seen the Bolt do is 7.76 kW, although it seems to like to draw 7.7 kW, reducing its amps to stay there. (Data from the JuiceBox monitoring and logging.)

[FWIW, according to National Steady State Voltage Regulation Standards given in ANSI C84, “240” volt supply can vary by 5% above or below nominal (228–252 volts), and on a temporary basis minus 13% to plus 6% (208.8–254.4 volts). According to NEMA, electrical appliances should be able to perform correctly (but perhaps suboptimally) with 10% over- or under-voltage (216–264 volts). Drawing 32A at 250 volts gives you 8 kW, at only 225 volts you only get 7.2 kW, which is the number most often quoted, perhaps because Chevy doesn't want to promise people anything higher.]
 
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