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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just got my new 2021 Chevy Bolt a few days ago and have done some research on installation level 2 charger in my garage.

I need recommendations on the the charger. It seems there are a few good options: JuiceBox, Clipper Creek, etc. Do I need to buy anything else, besides a standard charging set?

Since I don't have a dryer outlet in my garage, I need to get help from an electrician. How to find a reliable electrician who charges a reasonable to install the charger?

Thanks!
 

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Hi,
I just got my new 2021 Chevy Bolt a few days ago and have done some research on installation level 2 charger in my garage.
I need recommendations on the the charger. It seems there are a few good options: JuiceBox, Clipper Creek, etc. Do I need to buy anything else, besides a standard charging set?
Since I don't have a dryer outlet in my garage, I need to get help from an electrician. How to find a reliable electrician who charges a reasonable to install the charger?
Thanks!
Try contacting your local EAA Chapter (here in West Virginia the WVEAA). Sometimes (and increasingly so) they have a list of recommended electricians who will not assume a "you could afford an EV, you can afford to be overcharged" attitude.
 

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Ask for recommendations from friends / local EV groups for electricians, ask the electricians for referrals of past EVSE installation clients, compare quotes.

As far as EVSEs go, I have had a Juice Box 40 Pro for nearly two years now and it has worked flawlessly.
 

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Don't make hasty decisions except in two cases:

1. You get a rebate on the EVSE and installation such that it's virtually free.

2. You are in a challenging/highly variable usage environment that will stress the range of the Bolt on a regular basis.

Realize that with the L1 charger that comes with the car, and 10 hours of recharging available per night, that a Bolt can recharge up to 400 miles of range a week with typical efficiencies.

I'm just advising not to pull the trigger out of hand. Try out the EVSE that comes with the Bolt for a few weeks for regular usage and hopefully a week or two of unusual usage. You may be surprised to find that it satisfies all your charging needs.

Even if that's not the case, it's possible to install a 240V outlet (I recommend a 50 amp circuit with a 14-50 receptacle) and use the OEM EVSE at 240V, gaining twice the speed.

Look at it this way: If an extra charging station was an absolute requirement to use the vehicle, then the manufacturer would have supplied it. While I'm well aware of many folks here who have unusual situations that absolutely requires a higher powered station, it's a stretch to assume that everyone is in the exact same situation. That's why I always suggest starting at 120V and gather some real usage data. If it turns out to be inadequate, then you still have options and are making an informed decision.

We had a user here that came along a while ago with this exact same question. After some querying came across the information that normal usage is 11 miles per day. But that user for some reason wanted to recharge from low State of Charge (SOC) overnight only after depleting the battery after 20 or more days of usage. They invested in a brand new 50A 240V line and a top of the line JuiceBox at 40A when they could have just as easily plugged the OEM EVSE into the wall once every 3 or 4 days and covered virtually all their charging needs.

Every time I post this, I get feedback at 120V isn't enough. That's not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting taking some time to gather actual data then use it to make an informed decision.

ga2500ev
 

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If you decide to get a level 2 charger, you'll have to decide if you want a plug in model or hardwired. Some prefer plug in, especially for an indoor installation, because they can take the charger with them if they go on a trip or move to another house. The Bolt charges at 32 amps, max, but most people future proof and install a 14-50 outlet (50 amp breaker with the correct wire size) which will deliver 40 amps continuous.
 

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Even if that's not the case, it's possible to install a 240V outlet (I recommend a 50 amp circuit with a 14-50 receptacle) and use the OEM EVSE at 240V, gaining twice the speed.

They invested in a brand new 50A 240V line and a top of the line JuiceBox at 40A ...
The Bolt EV has an onboard charging module (OBCM) which has a max current of 32 amps (x 240 V = 7.68 kW). The expense of a 50 amp circuit is only for a future EV and a 40 amp EVSE is 8 amps of unavailable power. I installed a 40 amp circuit (32 amp continuous load) and bought the (plugged) 30 amp (x 240 V = 7.2 kW) Siemens VersiCharge. Yes, I am fully charged by 6 am, but did I really need to get to that SoC at 5:15 am? And would it have been worth the extra $150?
 

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The Bolt EV has an onboard charging module (OBCM) which has a max current of 32 amps (x 240 V = 7.68 kW). The expense of a 50 amp circuit is only for a future EV and a 40 amp EVSE is 8 amps of unavailable power. I installed a 40 amp circuit (32 amp continuous load) and bought the (plugged) 30 amp (x 240 V = 7.2 kW) Siemens VersiCharge. Yes, I am fully charged by 6 am, but did I really need to get to that SoC at 5:15 am? And would it have been worth the extra $150?
There are two issues. To install a new circuit, it's likely that you have to go into the wall to pull it off. It makes little sense to have to go into the wall again to upgrade if a few years down the road another EV comes along with 9.6 or 11.2 kW charging and you have to go back into the wall to pull thicker wires. Also heavier wires will shed less heat, so even if it's just a few extra pennies per charge, that will save up over time.

It's pretty trivial to pull 6 AWG wire instead of 8 AWG, put a 40 amp circuit breaker on the circuit, wire a 14-50 on the end and call it a day. In that case there's absolutely no chance to need to go back and rewire for an upgrade later which is going to be much more expensive then than to do it now.

ga2500ev
 

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Thanks for the input. Lots of insights! For my situation, I need to commute 60-mile round trip between office and home daily. If I charge 10 hours every night with the level 1 cable, that would give me 30-mile range.

If I don’t install level 2 charging station at home, I need to use level 2 charging at office a few times a week or find a DC charging station. Is this sustainable? Please note this is my first time owning an electric vehicle, so I need to learn a lot.

Don't make hasty decisions except in two cases:

1. You get a rebate on the EVSE and installation such that it's virtually free.

2. You are in a challenging/highly variable usage environment that will stress the range of the Bolt on a regular basis.

Realize that with the L1 charger that comes with the car, and 10 hours of recharging available per night, that a Bolt can recharge up to 400 miles of range a week with typical efficiencies.

I'm just advising not to pull the trigger out of hand. Try out the EVSE that comes with the Bolt for a few weeks for regular usage and hopefully a week or two of unusual usage. You may be surprised to find that it satisfies all your charging needs.

Even if that's not the case, it's possible to install a 240V outlet (I recommend a 50 amp circuit with a 14-50 receptacle) and use the OEM EVSE at 240V, gaining twice the speed.

Look at it this way: If an extra charging station was an absolute requirement to use the vehicle, then the manufacturer would have supplied it. While I'm well aware of many folks here who have unusual situations that absolutely requires a higher powered station, it's a stretch to assume that everyone is in the exact same situation. That's why I always suggest starting at 120V and gather some real usage data. If it turns out to be inadequate, then you still have options and are making an informed decision.

We had a user here that came along a while ago with this exact same question. After some querying came across the information that normal usage is 11 miles per day. But that user for some reason wanted to recharge from low State of Charge (SOC) overnight only after depleting the battery after 20 or more days of usage. They invested in a brand new 50A 240V line and a top of the line JuiceBox at 40A when they could have just as easily plugged the OEM EVSE into the wall once every 3 or 4 days and covered virtually all their charging needs.

Every time I post this, I get feedback at 120V isn't enough. That's not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting taking some time to gather actual data then use it to make an informed decision.

ga2500ev
 

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Thanks for the input. Lots of insights! For my situation, I need to commute 60-mile round trip between office and home daily. If I charge 10 hours every night with the level 1 cable, that would give me 30-mile range.

If I don’t install level 2 charging station at home, I need to use level 2 charging at office a few times a week or find a DC charging station. Is this sustainable? Please note this is my first time owning an electric vehicle, so I need to learn a lot.
[email protected] I think is what you are referencing here. That is .96kW so in 10 hours, 9.6kWh or 28-38 miles (assuming 3-4 mi/kWh recent driving efficiency). If you use the energy screen settings to bump charging up to 12A, 1.44kW would give you 14.4kWh in 10 hours or 43-57 miles. So you are borderline keeping up at 12A.

Many Bolt owners have found using the stock cord on a 240V outlet with adapters to be a good solution for situations like yours. Sure, you have to have an electrician put in a 240V outlet, but adapters would only cost $30-50. At 240V and 12A, the stock EVSE would supply 2.88kW or 28.8 kWh is 10 hours, good for 86-115 miles. Read more about this solution here.
 

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It's pretty trivial to pull 6 AWG wire instead of 8 AWG
I did the work myself, and after wrestling with the 8 gauge wire, I could only imagine what it would be like with the 6 gauge wire. My 240 outlet is only about 1 foot below my panel, wouldn't take much to replace it. Other than wrestling with the wire. I read about everyone future proofing, but being retired, we only drive so much and can't imagine a future vehicle being so inefficient to need anything larger than what the Bolt takes.
 

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[email protected] I think is what you are referencing here. That is .96kW so in 10 hours, 9.6kWh or 28-38 miles (assuming 3-4 mi/kWh recent driving efficiency). If you use the energy screen settings to bump charging up to 12A, 1.44kW would give you 14.4kWh in 10 hours or 43-57 miles. So you are borderline keeping up at 12A.
 

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Don't make hasty decisions except in two cases:

1. You get a rebate on the EVSE and installation such that it's virtually free.

2. You are in a challenging/highly variable usage environment that will stress the range of the Bolt on a regular basis.

Realize that with the L1 charger that comes with the car, and 10 hours of recharging available per night, that a Bolt can recharge up to 400 miles of range a week with typical efficiencies.

I'm just advising not to pull the trigger out of hand. Try out the EVSE that comes with the Bolt for a few weeks for regular usage and hopefully a week or two of unusual usage. You may be surprised to find that it satisfies all your charging needs.

Even if that's not the case, it's possible to install a 240V outlet (I recommend a 50 amp circuit with a 14-50 receptacle) and use the OEM EVSE at 240V, gaining twice the speed.

Look at it this way: If an extra charging station was an absolute requirement to use the vehicle, then the manufacturer would have supplied it. While I'm well aware of many folks here who have unusual situations that absolutely requires a higher powered station, it's a stretch to assume that everyone is in the exact same situation. That's why I always suggest starting at 120V and gather some real usage data. If it turns out to be inadequate, then you still have options and are making an informed decision.

We had a user here that came along a while ago with this exact same question. After some querying came across the information that normal usage is 11 miles per day. But that user for some reason wanted to recharge from low State of Charge (SOC) overnight only after depleting the battery after 20 or more days of usage. They invested in a brand new 50A 240V line and a top of the line JuiceBox at 40A when they could have just as easily plugged the OEM EVSE into the wall once every 3 or 4 days and covered virtually all their charging needs.

Every time I post this, I get feedback at 120V isn't enough. That's not what I'm suggesting. I'm suggesting taking some time to gather actual data then use it to make an informed decision.

ga2500ev
You forgot 3. Some people want to possess things for no other reason than they want it.

Example of which would be myself. I purchased a Chevrolet badged Bosch 40A wall mount to charge my (at the time) 2013 Volt with a 37 mile battery range. It took all of 3 hours to complete a full recharge.

Overkill? Absolutely. The Bosch charger is one of the most expensive at $1500. But I found it on eBay and purchased it for $450 brand new. The guy had bought it along with a Bolt which he bought to replace a Leaf. When he found out that the 40A requiring 6AWG was not supported by the 32A wiring he had for his Leaf charger (8AWG), he decided to sell the Bosch and use the Leaf charger. His loss was my gain.

I was still set on going for a 40A charger to address future needs.
 

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Step one: Search the forum to find a dozen or more previous threads on the topic.
 

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You forgot 3. Some people want to possess things for no other reason than they want it.

Example of which would be myself. I purchased a Chevrolet badged Bosch 40A wall mount to charge my (at the time) 2013 Volt with a 37 mile battery range. It took all of 3 hours to complete a full recharge.

Overkill? Absolutely. The Bosch charger is one of the most expensive at $1500. But I found it on eBay and purchased it for $450 brand new. The guy had bought it along with a Bolt which he bought to replace a Leaf. When he found out that the 40A requiring 6AWG was not supported by the 32A wiring he had for his Leaf charger (8AWG), he decided to sell the Bosch and use the Leaf charger. His loss was my gain.

I was still set on going for a 40A charger to address future needs.
I followed a similar path. But as I stated it was an informed decision. In my case I figured out that my daily routine required no more than 120V. So I waited. I was able to score a Bosch 30A gently used for $195. Typically, I only find value using it about once a month.

The problem I have with the "I just want it." approach is that often that decision is ill informed. As @iguana pointed out, they are just learning the process. Just personally. I always feel better about informed decisions. A wait and see approach gives a chance to gather some data and make an informed decision.

ga2500ev
 

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Many Bolt owners have found using the stock cord on a 240V outlet with adapters to be a good solution for situations like yours. Sure, you have to have an electrician put in a 240V outlet, but adapters would only cost $30-50. At 240V and 12A, the stock EVSE would supply 2.88kW or 28.8 kWh is 10 hours, good for 86-115 miles. Read more about this solution here.
I posted a parts list in this post. Also, the safety meter maids tend to wander by and issue lack of safety tickets. So, as a safety PSA: Putting 240V on a 120V socket can be a dangerous situation. In order to keep unknowing or unauthorized users from blowing up equipment, cover the connection with an electrical lockout as shown here. The one on the right should be large enough to cover the adapter and the EVSE plug:

ga2500ev

 

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Hi,

I just got my new 2021 Chevy Bolt a few days ago and have done some research on installation level 2 charger in my garage.

I need recommendations on the the charger. It seems there are a few good options: JuiceBox, Clipper Creek, etc. Do I need to buy anything else, besides a standard charging set?

Since I don't have a dryer outlet in my garage, I need to get help from an electrician. How to find a reliable electrician who charges a reasonable to install the charger?

Thanks!
I have installed a ChargePoint in two garages with great results -- especially the connection to WiFi to schedule charging and keep data/records. The electrician charged $750 for each installation. Go with a trusted local pro.
 
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