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The add on generator idea has been brought up and pursued repeatedly in the past on many EV forums and groups. One of the more successful can be seen at: Mto's 1996 Chevrolet S-10 King-Cab In that case, it was a Chevy S-10 electric conversion with a 5-Kilowatt DC generator. The fellow that built it later built a larger version as a trailer with a generator powered by a small car engine. There was a wonderful write up on the project, but his website is gone now. The real trick is to get away from the losses of converting from AC to DC by building a DC output into the generator and making the generator output voltage match the EV pack voltage. I had planned on building something similar though a bit larger for my Honda Civic conversion, and had purchased many of the parts, but never pursued it. Do a search on range extending trailer and you will see quite a few ideas and attempts. The real challenge is interfacing the generator output into the EV.
 

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Chevrolet BOLT 2017 39,800 miles with GM new major battery replacement.
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None of this makes a bit of sense. No car takes 60 amps at 120 V. I don't think any car accepts 120 V at more than 12 amps (some may do 16 amps with a 5-20 plug). The Bolts (2017-2021) accept up to 32 amps at 240 V, or (2022+) up to 48 amps at 240 V.
I check the Harbor Freights inverter generator , it is 3500 watts surge and 3000 watts normal at 120 v. there are 2 15 amp 120 aned on 30 amps at 120 v . My Bolt has fast charge. its midnight I will return Saturday.
 

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I check the Harbor Freights inverter generator , it is 3500 watts surge and 3000 watts normal at 120 v. there are 2 15 amp 120 aned on 30 amps at 120 v . My Bolt has fast charge. its midnight I will return Saturday.
It doesn't matter what the generator can deliver if the car can't receive it.

There are 3 ways to charge the Bolt:

Level 1: 120V AC, maximum 12A, maximum 1.44 kW

Level 2: 240V AC, maximum 32A, maximum 7.7 kW

Fast Charge: 400V DC nominal, maximum 150A, maximum 55 kW

If the generator only has 120V AC, the most you will be able to charge is 12A and 1.44 kW.

You need a generator that can deliver 240V AC. Then you can charge up to 32A and 7.7 kW (if the generator can deliver that much).

If you want a generator to use your Bolt's fast charging system, the generator will have to deliver Direct Current (DC) at 400V nominal. It will also need a control system that can communicate with the Bolt according to the CCS standard.

Regardless of the generator, the Bolt will not allow you to drive while you are charging.
 

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Regardless of the generator, the Bolt will not allow you to drive while you are charging.
Hmm... What if you were to modify hub motors to fit the wheels and use a generator to power them? In an indirect way, you would be using the generator to charge while driving.
Put them on the front and when stopped you could jack the front off the ground and use regen to charge.

Or just direct drive the wheel like this:
 

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How about this: Take big scooter, such as a 400 CC Suzuki Burgman, remove the front wheel and most of the body, build a vertically and horizontally flexible coupler, and attach it to a trailer hitch mounted on the Bolt. Then fabricate remote controls for the throttle and electronics. Add a pair of retractable casters to allow the scooter to be moved when disconnected from the EV. Drive the EV normally, then when at cruising speed on the highway start and throttle up the scooter to push the EV. Add a circuit to drop the engine to idle if the brake is pushed. The scooter wheel would be traction limited, so it probably could only handle holding speed not accelerating from a stop. It might not have enough power to hold speed, but it would certainly be able to offset much of the demand on the EV motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #148 ·
It doesn't matter what the generator can deliver if the car can't receive it.

There are 3 ways to charge the Bolt:

Level 1: 120V AC, maximum 12A, maximum 1.44 kW

Level 2: 240V AC, maximum 32A, maximum 7.7 kW

Fast Charge: 400V DC nominal, maximum 150A, maximum 55 kW

If the generator only has 120V AC, the most you will be able to charge is 12A and 1.44 kW.

You need a generator that can deliver 240V AC. Then you can charge up to 32A and 7.7 kW (if the generator can deliver that much).

If you want a generator to use your Bolt's fast charging system, the generator will have to deliver Direct Current (DC) at 400V nominal. It will also need a control system that can communicate with the Bolt according to the CCS standard.

Regardless of the generator, the Bolt will not allow you to drive while you are charging.
4th way works while driving and is as fast as dcfc

Automotive parking light Car Wheel Tire Vehicle
 

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Hmm... What if you were to modify hub motors to fit the wheels and use a generator to power them? In an indirect way, you would be using the generator to charge while driving.
Put them on the front and when stopped you could jack the front off the ground and use regen to charge.

Or just direct drive the wheel like this:
Ah, so adding a second, gas-powered drivetrain, like a hybrid? ;)
 

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I check the Harbor Freights inverter generator , it is 3500 watts surge and 3000 watts normal at 120 v. there are 2 15 amp 120 aned on 30 amps at 120 v . My Bolt has fast charge. its midnight I will return Saturday.
You do not have an adequate grasp on understanding on electronics. I would advise you not to try whatever you are planning with this generator (other than taking it with you for - very slow - roadside charging while parked).
 

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I feel like we have gotten off topic. ....
And SILLY.

Aero Mods would work to increase EV range, if that EV is operating at higher speeds.
But they can look silly.
But who cares?

I love the look of semi trucks with all the latest aero mods! Have you seen them?
If you mainly putz around town,,, relax. You are already driving about as cheaply as possible!
 

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Ah, so adding a second, gas-powered drivetrain, like a hybrid? ;)
I feel like we have gotten off topic. Generators and pushers seem like missing the point and/or cheating.
The topic is increasing range. We are discussing effective ways to meaningfully increase range. So yes, to do anything that would have anything beyond trivial impact on range probably requires hybridizing.
 

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I feel like we have gotten off topic. Generators and pushers seem like missing the point and/or cheating.

Suggest focusing on EV only range.
I've been very critical of generators, battery swapping, and pusher trailers because they are all unnecessary. 97% of vehicles have an ICE, so it's not like there's a shortage of those for longer trips.

Among the schemes to extend EV range using petrol, a pusher trailer is probably the simplest and most efficient. There's less energy conversion loss when burning gasoline, to create heat, to create mechanical power (turning the wheels) than burning gasoline, to create heat, to create mechanical power, to generate electricity, to charge a battery, to generate electricity, to create mechanical power.

All of this is dumb, because if someone is going through all this effort to shoehorn in a hybrid drivetrain, they should have bought a hybrid drivetrain in the first place. I've been saying for ages that a plug in hybrid is probably the best vehicle for most Americans. It maximizes the use of the most expensive component, the battery, and minimizes the investment into the worst part of the vehicle (the battery), while eliminating range anxiety. It also only needs a standard outlet to charge, greatly increasing the locations where charging would be feasible and minimizing cost of installing infrastructure.

We'd all be way better off having, say 40% of all vehicles be plug-in hybrids than having 3% of vehicles be EV. That's not to dismiss the applications where EVs are the perfect tool, but PHEVs are seriously undervalued.
 

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I built a pusher trailer for my Civic EV conversion. It was an interesting exercise in improvisation, but for all intents and purposes quite useless. By attaching it to my EV I had created a vehicle that was both harder to drive and maintain than the EV by itself and less fuel efficient than the ICE I had built the pusher from. All I got for my trouble was something that was never of value, always in my way at home, too unreliable to count on, and was used so infrequently that it always needed work first. I ended up scrapping it. The best way to extend the range of an EV is to stop at a charging station and recharge it.
 

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I built a pusher trailer for my Civic EV conversion. It was an interesting exercise in improvisation, but for all intents and purposes quite useless. By attaching it to my EV I had created a vehicle that was both harder to drive and maintain than the EV by itself and less fuel efficient than the ICE I had built the pusher from. All I got for my trouble was something that was never of value, always in my way at home, too unreliable to count on, and was used so infrequently that it always needed work first. I ended up scrapping it. The best way to extend the range of an EV is to stop at a charging station and recharge it.
You certainly chose an appropriate screen name. I build things and that contraption would be beyond most. However, Zora Arkus Duntov famously said, "It is not necessary to construct a swimming pool to know a bowling ball won't float."

jack vines
 

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I love in Piedmont NC and only get 4.1 :/
That's great! Better than the EPA rating.
That means you drive slow and probably have decent LRR tires!

I'm in the low 3's and the car is mostly at 70MPH on the interstates. And I have El'Cheapo tires....
 
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