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Hi all. Happy Thanksgiving! On Amazon, there are several level 2 chargers that are cheap, < $250. Does anyone have experience with these or can comment on whether it is a good or bad idea to go cheap? I'm renting a condo and the city offers a rebate that covers a portion of costs of charger, install fees, permit fees. Installing just a basic 240v outlet probably wouldn't fall under the rebate. I see a few cheapo 16amp 240v level 2 chargers that are less than $200 and use the J1772 plug. This should charge maybe 10 miles per hour, which is more than adequate with daily 20mile trip. Owner of condo is not going to front any costs so I want to use rebate to offset both charger and installation costs. I can sell it to him that it would increase resale value of the condo and attract future tenants who want to charge EV, but I doubt he would care. Since these chargers plug into something like a NEMA 6-20/14-30/etc outlet, it's easy to take the charger and/or sell it when I move. I'd pick the cheapest 30A plug for them to install then get the appropriate charger plug. Thanks.
 

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Since you're spending money on the install already, I'd suggest getting a 32 or 40 amp charger. No sense in investing in a 16 amp unit when the Bolt can take 32 amps. Some pricier options will let you select the plug you want attached to the end of the charger.

Depending on how much your rebate is, invest the extra for the better charger. If you're commute is only 20 miles per day, you can get by just fine using the included charger. You should net 35 to 40 miles per night.
 

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There are already several threads on this forum about EVSEs, inexpensive ones, favorite ones, pros-and-cons of amperage vs. cost, advantages of "over-sizing" wiring during install, etc.

Do a little wandering around the site and you will find all the info. Most (?many?) are in this "charging and batteries" area. Or use the search function.

Or just use google. I typed :

40A install site:www.chevybolt.org

and got a bevy of useful threads, all on this site.
 

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Hi all. Happy Thanksgiving! On Amazon, there are several level 2 chargers that are cheap, < $250. Does anyone have experience with these or can comment on whether it is a good or bad idea to go cheap? I'm renting a condo and the city offers a rebate that covers a portion of costs of charger, install fees, permit fees. Thanks.
I checked the units on Amazon for $200 or less (and a little more). Most seemed to be the same unit with private labels. All are from China - note the english quality. I have no experience with any of them. I am not sure if they are fully UL listed. From the info, only the plug may be UL listed. Your condo owner may have an issue with installing a product that is not UL listed (or CSA).

The charger that comes with your Bolt can also work at 240 volts. This would increase you charging rate, but I don't think you would get the credit you are looking for.

The only charger I have experience with that is listed is the PowerCharger for $489. The second review of the product on Amazon is written by me. It is being sold in the US under two brand names. I am still very pleased with it. I was able to get it for $399 when it was first available. If you want any further information, please let me know.
 

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Given that your daily usage is only 20 miles, do you really need a 240-volt EVSE? The EVSE that comes with the Bolt plugged into any ordinary 120V outlet will easily recover that level of usage overnight.

With the dubious necessity of an additional EVSE and the fact that it isn't even your condo, personally I wouldn't bother to install anything.

My only question is do you have access to a 120V outlet where you can plug in the OEM EVSE to charge your Bolt?

ga2500ev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I checked the units on Amazon for $200 or less (and a little more). Most seemed to be the same unit with private labels. All are from China - note the english quality. I have no experience with any of them. I am not sure if they are fully UL listed. From the info, only the plug may be UL listed. Your condo owner may have an issue with installing a product that is not UL listed (or CSA).

The charger that comes with your Bolt can also work at 240 volts. This would increase you charging rate, but I don't think you would get the credit you are looking for.

The only charger I have experience with that is listed is the PowerCharger for $489. The second review of the product on Amazon is written by me. It is being sold in the US under two brand names. I am still very pleased with it. I was able to get it for $399 when it was first available. If you want any further information, please let me know.

That is a good point. I'll have to make sure it is UL listed, somehow. Like this one (amazon[]/Duosida-Portable-Electric-Vehicle-Charger/dp/B018A6QK7C/) it claims it is UL listed but like you said it might not be fully UL listed for the whole device. But yea, to get the rebate I have to have purchased an actual charger, so maybe a cheap charger for rebate but utilize the one that comes with the car just to have electrician install the appropriate outlet.

Given that your daily usage is only 20 miles, do you really need a 240-volt EVSE? The EVSE that comes with the Bolt plugged into any ordinary 120V outlet will easily recover that level of usage overnight.

With the dubious necessity of an additional EVSE and the fact that it isn't even your condo, personally I wouldn't bother to install anything.

My only question is do you have access to a 120V outlet where you can plug in the OEM EVSE to charge your Bolt?

ga2500ev
I had a 120v outlet in the garage. It charged for an hour and then stopped charging and the outlet died. HOA, which I spoke to before about charging said go ahead and plug it in, now said they'll have to send electrician out to reset and look at the outlet, but I shouldn't charge from it again. So at this point, I'll assess whether the cost of installing a new outlet with some charger is worth it since I'm only renting.
 

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I had a 120v outlet in the garage. It charged for an hour and then stopped charging and the outlet died. HOA, which I spoke to before about charging said go ahead and plug it in, now said they'll have to send electrician out to reset and look at the outlet, but I shouldn't charge from it again. So at this point, I'll assess whether the cost of installing a new outlet with some charger is worth it since I'm only renting.
Make an offer to the HOA to pay for the cost of the electrician to come out. Could be something as simple as a breaker. If it were me, I'd also offer to have a separate 240V 20 or 30 amp circuit wired in the garage and to offer the HOA a monthly fee to use that circuit. Most HOA reactions to plugging in is "NO!". So to have one that seems to be reasonable means that you should do everything in your power to ease their minds about the issue of using power in the garage, even if it cost you a couple of hundred bucks to do so.

The issue isn't the EVSE right now. The big issue is getting access to power to charge. You pointed out in your initial post that there's no rebate for putting in a plug. But honestly, nothing is more important than having that plug. Hopefully offering reasonable accomodations such as footing the cost of the plug and the electricity will get you that access.

One last question. Does the rebate from the city require that the EVSE be hardwired? If they will pay for a socked and a plug-in EVSE, then it would be possible to do what you suggested in terms of getting everything installed, getting the rebate, then selling the cheap EVSE.

Good Luck.

ga2500ev
 

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At my rental place I only have a 110v GFI (GCFI ?) outdoor plug that my LL put on a few years ago due to my Diesel Truck.
That is all I use for charging the Bolt at home. I do not have an Electric dryer, just gas .
I do have local L2 & DC chargers that I use for free, just takes some extra time of me sitting at one. I do online stuff or reading while there :)


YMMV, it all depends on what you travel at and local chargers are.


I would have the LL replace the outdoor plug so that it is a GFI rated one. Then you should be fine.


Stop over thinking it.
 

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I bought this charger in August and had an electrician put in NEMA 14-50 40A circuit. It has worked reliably since. I agree with those who say you shouldn't waste money on a 16A charger. If you take a trip in your car, you'll want to be able to charge it at campgrounds and RV parks, which have NEMA 14-50 outlets. The charger is a tighter fit in the charge port than the OEM 120V charger, so it might not be suitable for someone who is battling arthritis in the hands or something of that sort.
https://smile.amazon.com/Jekayla-Po...543071928&sr=8-10&keywords=ev+charger+level+2
 

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A year ago I bought a Duosida portable charger with a 6-20 plug for about $200 and I am totally happy with it. It is well built - including a hefty 12 Gauge cord - and has worked great without any issue. I just leave it plugged in wall and have the J1772 plug hanging on the wall beside the car - convenient, ready to plug in. It puts out 16 amps at 220V which gives me a full charge over night (actual full charge from "empty" would be about 19 hours). Before I got this Duosida I obtained a "pigtail" adapter to use the GM-supplied charger from the 220V outlet. It worked but that charger has only a 16 gauge cord and so got uncomfortably warm while charging. I would say go ahead with the "cheap" $200 portable charger. I don't know about the other brands but at least the Duosida is a good one.
 

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That is a good point. I'll have to make sure it is UL listed, somehow. Like this one (amazon[]/Duosida-Portable-Electric-Vehicle-Charger/dp/B018A6QK7C/) it claims it is UL listed but like you said it might not be fully UL listed for the whole device. But yea, to get the rebate I have to have purchased an actual charger, so maybe a cheap charger for rebate but utilize the one that comes with the car just to have electrician install the appropriate outlet.



I had a 120v outlet in the garage. It charged for an hour and then stopped charging and the outlet died. HOA, which I spoke to before about charging said go ahead and plug it in, now said they'll have to send electrician out to reset and look at the outlet, but I shouldn't charge from it again. So at this point, I'll assess whether the cost of installing a new outlet with some charger is worth it since I'm only renting.
I wonder if the city would accept the fact you purchased a "charger" with your car for the rebate. It was included in the price and is listed on the window sticker. At least my sticker says "Charging Cord, 120 Volt." And its use, etc. is covered in the owner manual.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, the stock charger unit can run on 240V and is either 12A or 16A in 240 mode.
It does work at 240V and at that level it advertises 12A to the car. Unlike in 120V mode, at 240V the car will automatically charge at 12A, you don't have to worry about selecting that (as opposed to 8A). Of course this means that you need to use a household circuit that's rated at 15A or more (because you're only allowed to draw 80% of rated capacity for a continuous load).
 

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Yeah, as already mentioned, just keep an eye on eBay. And, I just remembered, craigslist.org . Eventually, you will be able to pick up a used one at the price you want.

OR, if you can't, there are a boatload on amazon for around $200. And then there's that "home-made" one that does 32A (14-50 plug) for not much more than that, kinda klunky/boxy). It's on one of the threads on this site. (I have never used it, I am not recommending it, and not recommending against it.)

Found it : https://www.chevybolt.org/forum/266...evel-2-32amp-ev-power-plug-charger-250-a.html

https://jadaniell.ecrater.com/p/30368085/ev-car-charger-level-2-25-cord
 

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I have been using the Stock charger(the one that comes with the Bolt that they don't tell you can run on 240v) on 240 volt for over a year now, no problems. I commmute ~60 miles every day, and it takes ~ 7-8 hours to charge. No need to spend money on a level 2 charger IMO. The stock charger works fine, just be sure to have everything setup correctly for 240V (ie wiring, circuit breakers).
 

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I'll ditto the eBay suggestion. I bought a 2015 model JuiceBox 40 with no bells or whistles from eBay from a guy who wrecked his 1st gen Volt for $300. Paid an electrician to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet for $425. I plugged it in and it just worked. Not sure if i overpaid for the EVSE or not but compared to a new JuiceBox i'd say i go t a good deal.
 

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Like many others, I also had a NEMA 14-50 outlet installed. I thought it would be good to have the flexibility to have a portable EVSE if in a pinch on a roadtrip. I might never use, but still feels smart.
I bought one like this:
https://smile.amazon.com/Maxgreen-A...43600204&sr=8-8&keywords=ev+charger+32A+14-50
Mine was under the label ZenCar at the time. It has proven to be very reliable.


For your situation, I think the question is if you want to buy something that you can control (an EVSE that plugs into a 240V outlet) or to buy something to leave a legacy (a wired EVSE) that can be useful for future tenants. Much of that choice may have to do with the condo board and their preference. I agree that a reliable 110V outlet will probably meet your actual needs, so that might be the cheapest and easiest solution.
 
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