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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally got the Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) installed in my garage yesterday afternoon. See Photos. I purchased the ClipperCreek HCS 50 (40 amp) months ago and it had been sitting there in the shipping box waiting the there Bolt EV to show up. My electrician did a great job configuring the 50 amp service with the corresponding wall socket.
Because I had the Bolt for over a week before the EVSE install, and because the Bolt has a 200 + mile range, I now realize that I could have gotten along just fine using the local DC Fast Charge twice a week as I shopped at the grocery store.
Having a EVSE in the garage is convenient, no doubt, but considering the additional expense for this thing I think I could roll along in my leased car happy as a clam without it.
 

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I now realize that I could have gotten along just fine using the local DC Fast Charge twice a week as I shopped at the grocery store.
Were you not getting enough range from the 120v outlet to complete your trips prior to this EVSE? I imagine DCFC is expensive to use regularly, not to mention time consuming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Were you not getting enough range from the 120v outlet to complete your trips prior to this EVSE? I imagine DCFC is expensive to use regularly, not to mention time consuming.
Good point. The 120v charger that came with the Bolt EV is still wrapped in the factory saran wrap and sitting back in the Bolt's storage basement. I completely forgot about it. So yes, I could have used the 120v charger. Also, even at eight amps, consistently plugging in with the 120v charger at home should condition the HV battery from temperature extremes.
Question: How many Bolt EV users have ever used the factory supplied 120 volt charger?
 

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Good point. The 120v charger that came with the Bolt EV is still wrapped in the factory saran wrap and sitting back in the Bolt's storage basement. I completely forgot about it. So yes, I could have used the 120v charger. Also, even at eight amps, consistently plugging in with the 120v charger at home should condition the HV battery from temperature extremes.
Question: How many Bolt EV users have ever used the factory supplied 120 volt charger?
I used my 120v charger for a week until I got my 240v VersiCharge installed. Since, if your EVSE is pushing the electrons more slowly (120v vs 240v), you can get more juice into the battery before shutoff, I finished charging with the 240v EVSE and then, in about 5-10 minutes, plugged in the 120v plug. I DID get some more (6-8 miles) into the batteries, but not a significant enough amount to justify this as an "everytime" process.

Yesterday, I drove 90 miles RT and got home with ~40 miles "in the tank", preparing to recharge. An unexpected (15 mi. RT) drive to the hospital ER for a family member kept me there until after 11 pm in the evening. Needing to drive a longer distance today, I was SO glad to have the 25 mile rpch (range per charge hour) device! At 120v, I would have added only 40 more miles by 7 am. Instead, I have 200 more miles. You will never regret buying the 30-32 amp EVSE.

Most EVSE use a designation of the amps deliverable (30-32) while some use the "40" designation to refer to the ampacity of the wire needed. Most ALL of the EVSE recommend a "50 amp capable" outlet. This does not mean that it delivers 50 amps, any more than a 40 amp wire or breaker designation does. I know that both the Clipper Creek and JuiceBox use a "40" in some of their model descriptions, but I don't know whether this means it can "deliver" 40 amps. Since the Bolt can only accept 36 amps, this is a moot point, but everyone installing a home EVSE realizes that they MAY in the future buy a different EV capable of accepting the higher amperage.
 

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The other nice thing to having L2 charging at home is that during pre-conditioning (cabin pre-heating) the Bolt can draw up to 6,600 watts (27amps).
While connected to an 32-40amp L2 EVSE you will not lose any battery range while pre-conditioning because L2 can easily supply 27amps. If you were on 120v 8/12amp EVSE you'd be using a good amount of battery (and losing range) to pre-condition.
 

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I am seriously confused as to why people resit the concept of a good high-amp L2 charger in their home if they own an EV - so many people seem to want to believe they don't need one - when in fact being able to charge the car when you want at a decent speed is one of the main benefits of owning an EV IMHO - no more trips to the "gas" station (or in the case of an EV sitting in the car at a DCFast charger).

buy a 40 amp (32 amp charge) rate L2 EVSE and be happy - or by my recommendation buy the ClipperCreek 60 (48 amp charge rate) for your current bolt (32 amps) and future EV's with a charge rate up to 48 amps.
 

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Heck, I even put in an L2 EVSE in my garage for my plug in Prius, which only has a 3.2 kWh capacity. Then again, the EVSE was "extra" since I bought a used Leaf one from Craigslist and then modified it for L2. It was extra because I tracked down the original vehicle owner (hit home on the NAV screen) and got the original EVSE and keyfobs from them.
 

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I am seriously confused as to why people resit the concept of a good high-amp L2 charger in their home if they own an EV - so many people seem to want to believe they don't need one - when in fact being able to charge the car when you want at a decent speed is one of the main benefits of owning an EV IMHO - no more trips to the "gas" station (or in the case of an EV sitting in the car at a DCFast charger).

buy a 40 amp (32 amp charge) rate L2 EVSE and be happy - or by my recommendation buy the ClipperCreek 60 (48 amp charge rate) for your current bolt (32 amps) and future EV's with a charge rate up to 48 amps.
:DI agree, home charging is best. Charging your Bolt at home and charging at the highest charge rate (32+ amp) is the best combination. Moving up to a Bolt EV, you're in the fast lane. Get serious about charging. My Leviton 40A EVSE is on it's second EV. Money well spent, three years ago.
 

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With the 240V capable stock EVSE, I would argue that (in most cases) all you are buying with higher powered EVSEs is a small amount of convenience. Only those that deplete half the car's range or more on a daily basis would really need a faster charge. National averages are far less than 120 miles/day. It is slightly more work to pull an EVSE out of your trunk for every use (assuming you want to bring it with you - just in case), but other than that - it's really just a luxury.

For what it's worth - I find the idea of over sizing your installation or EVSE compared to what your car can handle to be a complete waste of money - I understand that there are people out there that want to charge quicker in the future, but consider this - If your charging system works for you today why wouldn't it work for you in the future? Sure, if you want to pay extra so that people visiting you can charge up - fine. But the convenience that you will experience will be very limited.

As an example - I purchased a 7.2kW EVSE when I bought my Bolt. I have used the maximum charge rate on it literally one time to make sure that it works. Since then, I've manually crippled it (to 16A draw) to run it on a more convenient 20A circuit I have available (only 25% faster than the stock EVSE is capable of). Charging for less than 9 hours each day I can still easily complete all my daily driving - no range anxiety either. Most people are also able to leave their car plugged in for over 9 hours - though in some areas TOU rates could limit one's desire to charge when rates are higher.

Food for thought.
 

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that's all true - right up until you actually want to charge the car and turn it around quickly…example drive 150 miles during the day - and then come home, shower, shave/change for a night out on the city - you need to be able to pump as many electrons in as fast as possible to turn the car around for it's duties as your chariot for your night out (another 120 miles from SJ to SF for a lovely evening with the wife).

I have never regretted getting a fast charger and often use the capability to make sure my car is ready for my needs when I need it to be ready.

another consideration for fast charging is fitting into a TOU window to maximize your savings - this argues for both a high capacity charger on/in the car and the ability to use that high capacity with the EVSE - the Bolt's 9 1/2 hour maximum charge duration will not fit a full 60 kWh into an 8 hour off-peak charge rate - so shame on Chevy - product design should have a goal of full charge in less than 8 hours and size the system appropriately.

Cost of ESVE is rarely based on actual capacity, with the majority cost being the actual process of install (new circuit, new wire, labor, equipment) - I'd be hard pressed to say the 60 AMP ClipperCreek charger at $859 is a break the bank waste of money - and the Tesla 20-80 amp (configurable) wall charger at $500 is the same cost as "lesser" ESVE's - so I'm not sure what "waste" of money you're referring to, and if you think charging your car faster doesn't matter, then you clearly don't value you time very highly, as it's the one commodity we have less of less of every day.

I'll stand by my recommendation for a high powered EVSE and also stand behind the claim it's an investment and not an expense and as EV adoption grows you'll appreciate not having to upgrade your EVSE as your EV demands grow (charge two cars anyone? well then you'd like to charge each car faster so you can charge them both back to back over night - again a faster charge here makes life easier).

there is more charging in everyone's future, not less - pay a little now and be good for the duration is my motto…but everyone is welcome to disagree.
 

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Agreed, in that situation - yes, a quick charge will indeed help - my rebuttal to this would be that I don't know very many people that go out in the evening to a location over 100 miles away (and expect to make the round trip?). It can happen, but realistically - you would still need to stop at a quick charge for that situation anyways. Once you are stopped - what's an extra couple minutes? Say you got a 1 hour charge at home before you left - the gain between a 16A EVSE and a 32A EVSE is about 12 miles which will definitely not matter in the grand scheme of things because nobody lets their car (bolt) run low enough for 12 miles to truly matter (12 miles can easily be consumed or gained just by modifying driving style). DCFC charge gives an approximated 3miles/min so we are talking about a difference of 4 minutes - maybe (again, chances are you wont even need those 12 miles... Isn't this the exact situation that DCFC is made for?

Again, national averages about daily driving show that this or a similar situation happens to a very small percentage of people.

You are correct that costs are not linear and it is only an incremental cost increase to either bump up the capability of the EVSE and even the wire/installation. Even if you can double the capacity of the circuit (for example) for a 20% increase in cost - I doubt that you can earn that 20% cost back. Definitely, if you move before you make that car upgrade, it is purely lost money.

I do charge 2 cars at home. I choose to charge my volt off a 15A 120V outlet, even though there is a second 240V EVSE in the garage; I just don't need the speed of the charge for daily use. (I do have the benefit of a 12 hour off-peak period).

I do value my time and hence I don't spend the extra time that I plug in, compared to a faster charger, sitting in the car waiting for it to be done. I'm at home, so it's easy being useful in some other capacity. I don't think this claim has any merit in this discussion.

Why would there be more charging in the future? I don't think that bigger gas tanks would make people drive further in a given day, why should batteries be any different? Bigger batteries lead to fast(er) DCFC charging requirements - not faster home charging requirements.
 

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Agreed, in that situation - yes, a quick charge will indeed help - my rebuttal to this would be that I don't know very many people that go out in the evening to a location over 100 miles away (and expect to make the round trip?). It can happen, but realistically - you would still need to stop at a quick charge for that situation anyways. Once you are stopped - what's an extra couple minutes? Say you got a 1 hour charge at home before you left - the gain between a 16A EVSE and a 32A EVSE is about 12 miles which will definitely not matter in the grand scheme of things because nobody lets their car (bolt) run low enough for 12 miles to truly matter (12 miles can easily be consumed or gained just by modifying driving style). DCFC charge gives an approximated 3miles/min so we are talking about a difference of 4 minutes - maybe (again, chances are you wont even need those 12 miles... Isn't this the exact situation that DCFC is made for?

Again, national averages about daily driving show that this or a similar situation happens to a very small percentage of people.

You are correct that costs are not linear and it is only an incremental cost increase to either bump up the capability of the EVSE and even the wire/installation. Even if you can double the capacity of the circuit (for example) for a 20% increase in cost - I doubt that you can earn that 20% cost back. Definitely, if you move before you make that car upgrade, it is purely lost money.

I do charge 2 cars at home. I choose to charge my volt off a 15A 120V outlet, even though there is a second 240V EVSE in the garage; I just don't need the speed of the charge for daily use. (I do have the benefit of a 12 hour off-peak period).

I do value my time and hence I don't spend the extra time that I plug in, compared to a faster charger, sitting in the car waiting for it to be done. I'm at home, so it's easy being useful in some other capacity. I don't think this claim has any merit in this discussion.

Why would there be more charging in the future? I don't think that bigger gas tanks would make people drive further in a given day, why should batteries be any different? Bigger batteries lead to fast(er) DCFC charging requirements - not faster home charging requirements.
this argument has been raging on the Tesla forums for the past 4 years - some people value fast charging, other's don't

it's good to see the Bolt community evolving similarly

my goal is to push the EV to be as easy/fast to recharge as as 'gas' car

others don't care since they have all night to charge the car and don't for-see high demand days for how far they drive...

there is no one right answer - Jimmy is happy with his decision and I'm happy with mine - as always make your own decisions.

All I'm trying to point out is that sometimes installing a 60 amp charger is just about as much money as installing a 16 amp charger, and if given the choice install the bigger one :)
 

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the Tesla variation on this argument is:

Tell me why I should pay for the "faster" charging option if all I have in my garage is a 40 amp charger…

Tesla Model S/X have a factory option for 48/72 amp charge rate on the car (Model S used to have a choice of 40/80)

Strangely enough so far the Model 3 seems to only have the 48 amp charger - with no option for an upgrade (some have said 40 - but we don't really know yet - we'll find out if Tesla ships some more cars before the end of the year).

and the exact same argument has been rehashed 1000's of times and some people it's a "Must have" - and others are I only drive 50 miles a day - why do I care?

no right answer. I personally have the higher capacity charger in my Tesla ;-) but you all could've predicted that based on my strong opinions.
 

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another thing to consider is that batteries are getting bigger not smaller - now jimmy's point about if you drive the same it doesn't matter has some logic to it and I'll grant him his point, but for the rare times you do deplete the battery it would be nice to have a faster charge from near zero

and if we start having 120 kWh & 150 kWh batteries (not out of the realm of possibility in the next 5 years)

32 amps would take over 20 hours to fully charge 150 kWh
16 amps would take nearly 2 days

and if you want to fit that into a 8 hour charging window you need an 80 amp charge rate (the current maximum specified by the J-1772 standard and a 100 amp circuit).

but I agree most people drive less than 100 miles a day so you can easily justify smaller chargers if you want to.
 

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Not all off-peak charging times are confined to an 8 hour window. For us on PG&E E6 (Solar TOU) the off-peak window is fairly wide: 8pm to 10am during the summer on weekdays for example, with an even wider window on the weekend (eveything is off-peak except for a partial peak window from 5pm to 8pm. Winter is even better. If you go on TOU-A, a similar wide off-peak window is available. EV-A does suck that it’s got a peak window that is only 8-hours long, but if you schedule things correctly, the last hour or so of charging, where the car isn’t pulling a ton of current, could be done after 7am, limiting how much extra you have to pay. If you use hilltop reserve, you probably can stay within the 8-hour window...
 

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another thing to consider is that batteries are getting bigger not smaller - now jimmy's point about if you drive the same it doesn't matter has some logic to it and I'll grant him his point, but for the rare times you do deplete the battery it would be nice to have a faster charge from near zero
But for home charging a much larger battery really doesn't matter that much in terms of charging scenarios. The real question is: how often do you arrive home without enough time to get charged up for the next trip you need to make? That has everything to do with your driving patterns and not very much to do with your battery size, because a bigger battery doesn't mean it takes more kWh to make the same kinds of trips.
 
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