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Hi all. I've been lurking for a month or so since I zeroed in on the Bolt, and I'd like to thank everyone for the abundance of helpful information. My wife and I drove my new to me 2018 home yesterday, and I'm thrilled to be able to cut gasoline out of my day to day. Loving the car so far.

Next step: Level 2 EVSE installation.


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Congrats! I get a monthly report from OnStar showing my saving 40 gallons of gas that the average car would have used. In reality, more like 30 gallons compared to my previous primary vehicle. Would be interesting to know the # gallons of gas you will no longer be buying.
 

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Hi all. I've been lurking for a month or so since I zeroed in on the Bolt, and I'd like to thank everyone for the abundance of helpful information. My wife and I drove my new to me 2018 home yesterday, and I'm thrilled to be able to cut gasoline out of my day to day. Loving the car so far.

Next step: Level 2 EVSE installation.


View attachment 27807
Congrats. However, don't rush into Level 2. Are you sure you need one? This depends on your life/work style. I have 22,000 miles on my 2018 and have had it 18 months. Level 1 works for me.
 

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Great pic and love the color! I got mine in white cause I’m too lazy to clean mine, but blue is sharp. Ditto to the two previous posts — I have level one at home and that works great for me. I live close enough to public charge stations that I could venture there if I need a quick charge, so maybe your situation is a bit different.

Welcome!
 

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I figured I'd give a counterpoint to the “Don't get a Level-2 EVSE” folks.

I've done the math, and in two years of ownership I've shown that I don't actually need Level-2 charging at home. I could have gotten by with Level-1 charging as I average only about 25 miles driven a day. An hour's Level-1 charging at 12A nets you about 5 miles of EPA range (1.25 kWh added to the battery), so in 10 hours between 10pm and 8am you can get 50 miles added. But it will take several overnight charges to catch up if you arrive home with a battery nearly empty. But it can be done, so why not do it?

First, it may be possible to add low-power Level-2 charging cheaply. Although it's an off-label use, people have found that the charge cord that comes with the Bolt is actually rated (internally) for 240V so you can make an adapter for about $50 that lets you plug it into a 240V outlet, doubling it's output power, from 1.44 kW to 2.88 kW. Lots of people have done this (myself include), but it's still “cheating” in various ways. Here's a nice premade one a lot like the one I have bought (from Etse, no longer available) — by skipping the neutral pin, it plugs into NEMA 14-20, 14-30, 14-50, and 14-60 outlets. Notice it has a warning sticker to suggest people don't plug something else in and blow it up.



But second, not everyone is super price conscious, and spending the money to have a proper Level-2 EVSE is something some people just want to do, even though you can get by without it. I got a JuiceBox Pro. Here are some of the reasons I like having it.
  • It's a smart EVSE, I can see what it's doing at any given moment, limit current to a particular value, and see a log of every charging session. If I want to know how much energy my Bolt is using just keeping its battery warm in the wintertime, it's pretty easy to do. (Right now it's about 0.5 kWh every 12 hours if parked unused.)
  • An hour of charging on a 32A Level-2 EVSE (7.68 kW) adds about 12% to the battery, and over 28 miles of EPA range, this means
    • Charge on a whim: If I decide on a whim to take a long trip, in the half hour I spend getting ready to head out the door, I can add 6% more to the battery (as opposed to about 1% with the stock charging cord).
    • Use greener power: Depending on errands, etc., my daily commute takes 35-55 minutes to recharge from. That means that I can have the car charge just before I leave each morning, when the sun is up, when solar and wind are a bigger part of the power mix.
  • Level-2 charging at 32A is more efficient (92% vs 88% by my calculations) — I've saved about 320 kWh in 2 years, that's less than $20 a year though.
  • Preconditioning the car can draw a lot of power (over 10 kW at its peak). Being plugged into the wall means you're taking much less out of the battery, effectively none.
  • I have the stock charge cord as a spare, and keep it in its special home in the trunk, ready for the unexpected.
So my stock charge cord sits in the trunk, with a bunch of adapters. To me, that's where it belongs.



Perhaps I'm decadent having a JuiceBox Pro when I don't absolutely need one, but I feel a bit decadent having an electric car at all.
 

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I agree with Vertiformed. I would actually suggest that anyone getting an EV gets a level 2 charger before they buy their car. Level 2 charging is more efficient, can save money with TOU electric cost, anyone that travels more than 40 miles a day or 25 miles a day in cold climate needs one, and in some states the electric company will give you a rebate for buying one. EV's take a lot of energy and in most instances level 1 charging is just not enough.
 

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I agree with Vertiformed. I would actually suggest that anyone getting an EV gets a level 2 charger before they buy their car. Level 2 charging is more efficient, can save money with TOU electric cost, anyone that travels more than 40 miles a day or 25 miles a day in cold climate needs one, and in some states the electric company will give you a rebate for buying one. EV's take a lot of energy and in most instances level 1 charging is just not enough.
Sure, that all makes sense. My current issue is renting, not owning, my house and the outlet in the garage not being wired for 240v. So I could pay for it to get wired, then use the cord it came with to double the amps, or buy a higher-amp cord where I was told I could get up to 20 amps with the new wiring.

With all that said, I’d love to go 240v. Luckily right now, I work from home so I can get away without one. Hopefully.
 

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If one wanted to get solar, is it possible to do the 50 Amp and Level 2 circuit at the same time to save on overall cost? We are thinking of solar next year and I agree with Vertiformed that it's just nice to have if you can afford to get it. I also think our household may get 2x EV vehicles and having Level 2 will be needed since 1 commute is a bit further away.
 

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It would make sense but depends on the company policy. It's like going to Sears Auto, no discount for doing multiple services unless they happen to have a coupon.
 

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If one wanted to get solar, is it possible to do the 50 Amp and Level 2 circuit at the same time to save on overall cost? We are thinking of solar next year and I agree with Vertiformed that it's just nice to have if you can afford to get it. I also think our household may get 2x EV vehicles and having Level 2 will be needed since 1 commute is a bit further away.
Any solar company will probably throw in a 50 amp plug for free to get your business as long as you don't have to run the wire a long distance. I would also recommend looking at a Solaredge system. They have inverters that have attached EV chargers that you can directly charge from your panels or use energy off the grid. Off the grid is maximum of 7.2 kW, but you can charge at 9.6 kW if the vehicle allows it by combining grid and PV power.
 

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Congrads, even if you want the decadence of L2 :p you don't have to 'install' one. You could just get a Telsa evse with an adapter. Or other brand portable. There are small but fast solutions, no need for the huge box on the wall.
 

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Welcome and X10 on the advice to wait and see if you actually need the L2 charger. For typical urban daily use, L2 is nice to have, but not really an absolute necessity and neither is DCFC.

Some adapt instantly and easily to plugging in upon returning to parking. My wife and I did it from Day One. OTOH, a friend bought a BEV and winter weather up here in the frozen northwest cuts range by half. At first, he could not get his wife to plug it in every time she drove.it. He had to check each night when he took out the garbage. His job required overnight travel, so he couldn't always be the charger of last resort; finally decided reminders weren't getting her to do it. Her first experience of being stranded by running out of juice did more to "woke" her to BEV realities than all his explanations. Now, she plugs it in every time.

I'd like to thank everyone for the abundance of helpful information.
What you've already found is we have some really knowledgeable, experienced and strongly opinionated forum members. There is not one true path to BEV ownership. Find the route most practical, cost-effective and comfortable for you and your wife.

jack vines
 

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Exactly.. I strongly disagree with Packard, Vert, Red and others on a lot of points, but thats what this is all for right. Discussing this stuff.

BTW hit 2 years now on daily chevy evse ONLY. Something to keep in mind Worlds.. ;)
 

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BTW hit 2 years now on daily chevy evse ONLY. Something to keep in mind Worlds.. ;)
Then again some people don't like or want to plug in every day, personally I plug in to charge once a week, sometimes twice a week and get a "fill-up" in 5 or 6 hours....Chargepoint L2 at home.

Oh and welcome Worldseye
 

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Every EV owner with DCFC capability would do themselves a favor by watching the YouTube video:
from the Weber Auto Channel. It will be a most enlightening 19+ minutes. Although it is about "the plug", one will learn the correct meanings of AC Levels 1 & 2 and DC Levels 1 & 2 charging and begin to put "Level 3" out of our vocabularies. John Kelly IS the best teacher of how our EVs work!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Congrats. However, don't rush into Level 2. Are you sure you need one? This depends on your life/work style. I have 22,000 miles on my 2018 and have had it 18 months. Level 1 works for me.

i definitely don’t need one, at least not immediately. my current commute is only ~5 miles one way, but i’m waiting to hear about two positions for which i applied that would make it either 22 or 48 miles. i could probably get by with the former, but the latter would be too much, particularly in winter, mild as it is here on delmarva.

however, i do have another issue. the only outlet i have available is outdoors, on the back corner of my house, which was built in 1915. the wiring was redone at some point before i bought the house, but fairly recently, and this outlet was almost certainly installed at the time since it’s basically attached directly to the breaker box.

the outlet is meant to be used outside, of course, but you may understand my reluctance to leave the 12 gauge extension cord running to the stock evse plugged into it in inclement weather.

so, i need to have a new circuit run to my garage, which is near the back corner of the house that’s opposite the breaker box, regardless of my charging capacity. in addition to the factors mentioned in the pro-level 2 column above, i figure that if i’m going to have it done, then i may as well future proof it as much as possible.

my power company offers a $300 rebate on the chargepoint home (i’ll have to ask them about the flex when i get to that point), so i’m leaning toward going with one of those, but i’m also considering either the tesla or something more basic and less expensive.

solar is definitely on the agenda.

thanks for the input all. still loving it!
 
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