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Rainystateguy here. Thanks for having me on the forum. I look forward to sharing in the accumulated knowledge of all those who have already been driving and experiencing these fine cars. I am located in the Pacific Northwest in a small rural town along I-5 almost exactly halfway between Seattle, WA and Portland,Oregon.

Yesterday I traded in the fairly high mileage 2017 Volt LT which I had bought about a year and a half ago for a brand new white Bolt Premier. The Volt had been a big improvement over any ICE car I have ever owned, and the new Bolt is another big jump in the right direction.

I have read and watched many reviews and comparisons of the two models before taking the plunge and have to agree with what most reviewers said. The visibility from the Bolt is much improved over the Volt. In the time that I had the Volt I came close to getting into at least two accidents that I am aware of because of the vision impairing A pillar in the Volt I also find that the Bolt is also easier and much more comfortable for me to drag my old bones in and out of. The cabin also has a roomier feel.

I much prefer one foot driving with the Bolt. The Volt came close to getting that right, but it was a swing and a miss. The Bolt's greater amount of control, including coming to a complete stop just by taking pressure off the accelerator knocks it out of the park for me. I drive in "L" except for when I am on the freeway now.

I had been looking forward to the safety and driving assist features which my earlier car lacked. They have not disappointed. What a great safety camera system this car has. The system and video quality are head and shoulders above that of the meager fuzzy rear view camera on the Volt. It is amazing to be able to see so many views of what is around me. It makes parking in my tight little carport much less stressful, as well as helping me look like an expert when I back into a parking space perfectly spaced between the lines. I have yet to see the lane assist in action, but I do really appreciate the indicators on the mirrors that let me know when a car is in my blind spot.

I had a 240V outlet installed in my carport when I got the Volt and I used that car's stock EVSE with an adapter to plug it into that outlet. It was gratifying to find out that I could do the same with the Bolt's stock EVSE. I got in the habit with that earlier car of plugging in whenever I park at home, and will continue to do the same thing with the new Bolt. I find that for me the slightly shorter charging times I would get with a "true" level 2 EVSE are not worth what such a device would cost.

I am still learning this new car. So far I am loving it. It is a great upgrade.
 

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I am still learning this new car. So far I am loving it. It is a great upgrade
Honestly, two+ years in and I am still learning nearly every day.

I find that for me the slightly shorter charging times I would get with a "true" level 2 EVSE are not worth what such a device would cost.
The Bolt has almost 4X the battery capacity of a Volt. After trips, you may need a lot more than your average daily use. If you have Time of Use (TOU) rates on your utilities, the faster chargers can be really nice to have.

My daily commute is 130 miles RT, so I am replacing 20-30kWh nightly. That occurs in 3-4 hours with a 30A EVSE. but would take up to 10 hours with the stock charger + adapter. Still possible for my commute given the car tends to sit for 12 hours or more overnight. If I had TOU to contend with, I would be paying a premium price for charging. My small rural coop utility doesn't currently have an attractive TOU plan, but next year they are likely to adopt an EV TOU plan to encourage EV charging out of peak periods to reduce their acquisition costs. If it is properly structured, I could cut my charging cost considerably by having the ability to schedule off-peak charging. In the meantime, I am happy with the peace of mind a 30A EVSE provides.

There are a number of 32A "Portable" EVSE for under $300 that should be able to plug directly in to your outlet. It is nice to have a higher powered portable EVSE if you tend to travel to places where L3 is sparse, most RV parks and many truck stops have NEMA 14-50 outlets, so you could use those in a pinch.

Blink has considerable coverage on the West Coast, their 30A wall charger is $399 with a $300 network credit applied to your account. So if public charging on Blink is in your future, the deal could be a good choice. You can find them on Amazon.

Not trying to change your mind on your charging choice, just giving a few ideas on why you might consider upgrading to a higher powered EVSE.

Welcome to the Bolt family!
 

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Honestly, two+ years in and I am still learning nearly every day.



The Bolt has almost 4X the battery capacity of a Volt. After trips, you may need a lot more than your average daily use. If you have Time of Use (TOU) rates on your utilities, the faster chargers can be really nice to have.

My daily commute is 130 miles RT, so I am replacing 20-30kWh nightly. That occurs in 3-4 hours with a 30A EVSE. but would take up to 10 hours with the stock charger + adapter. Still possible for my commute given the car tends to sit for 12 hours or more overnight. If I had TOU to contend with, I would be paying a premium price for charging. My small rural coop utility doesn't currently have an attractive TOU plan, but next year they are likely to adopt an EV TOU plan to encourage EV charging out of peak periods to reduce their acquisition costs. If it is properly structured, I could cut my charging cost considerably by having the ability to schedule off-peak charging. In the meantime, I am happy with the peace of mind a 30A EVSE provides.

There are a number of 32A "Portable" EVSE for under $300 that should be able to plug directly in to your outlet. It is nice to have a higher powered portable EVSE if you tend to travel to places where L3 is sparse, most RV parks and many truck stops have NEMA 14-50 outlets, so you could use those in a pinch.

Blink has considerable coverage on the West Coast, their 30A wall charger is $399 with a $300 network credit applied to your account. So if public charging on Blink is in your future, the deal could be a good choice. You can find them on Amazon.

Not trying to change your mind on your charging choice, just giving a few ideas on why you might consider upgrading to a higher powered EVSE.

Welcome to the Bolt family!
Rob,

Thank you for such a detailed and well thought out explanation. You have given me food for thought and as I put some miles on the car I may very well discover that my first inclination was based on lack of data. I need to remind myself that with a total of 82 miles so far, I really am in no position to make decisions yet.
 

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Welcome!

And I agree with ARob... while the real NEED really depends on your specific usage (and whether they vary often enough to be a problem), the difference between charging at L1 speeds and L2 are pretty dramatic. I would definitely not describe it as "slightly shorter charging times". And with the Volt, you always could shrug and just run on gas more, if you ran low and could not charge fast enough for another trip out, making your driving more expensive but perfectly usable. No such option with the Volt.
 

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I am sure this sounds silly. I plug-in in the garage from an EVSE {Siemens VersiCharge, 30 amp, plugged} on the wall, 2 feet from the service panel and above my wife's workbench. When I am plugged in, it is very hard for her to use that space. I find that being plugged for only 9 hours twice a week (9 pm to 6 am) far preferable to plugging every night, or starting before 9 pm. Also, if I forget to plug in at night (but remember in the am) I can get enough to get to work and back in ~ one hour. Lastly, with a family member who lives nearby needing to have the availability to be driven to the hospital at a moment's notice, I am feeling much more secure by AC Level 2 capability. For me, it was well worth the $459.
 

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I find that for me the slightly shorter charging times I would get with a "true" level 2 EVSE are not worth what such a device would cost.
Welcome to the forum. As an EV noob I bought an extra OEM EVSE. So no way was I going to spend another dollar. Made an adapter and have been using one of my Bolt's charge cords since 2017 on 240V. Now that I've moved my Bolt over to my air-conditioned shop to weather the 100+F degree weather, I'm going to make another adapter for my other one to adapt to my welder 240V outlet.
 

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Congrats on the shiny new toy.. I am thinking about buying or leasing a 2020. Love the utility and 'blend-in to traffic' looks of a hatchback.

My daily commute is 130 miles RT, so I am replacing 20-30kWh nightly. That occurs in 3-4 hours with a 30A EVSE. but would take up to 10 hours with the stock charger + adapter. Still possible for my commute given the car tends to sit for 12 hours or more overnight.
What I been preaching, that (if you are a normal person who goes home and sleeps at night) your stock evse can do 100+ miles daily no prob.

Even if you are high mph or high climate use and getting 2.5 miles per kwh... 12hr times 2.8kw = still getting 84 miles.

For a new to EVs buyer it can be a big worry not knowing this stuff.. like "screw EV's you got to buy a $1000 charger and pay $2000 to rewire your house."

NO really you don't.
 

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Welcome!

And I agree with ARob... while the real NEED really depends on your specific usage (and whether they vary often enough to be a problem), the difference between charging at L1 speeds and L2 are pretty dramatic. I would definitely not describe it as "slightly shorter charging times". And with the Volt, you always could shrug and just run on gas more, if you ran low and could not charge fast enough for another trip out, making your driving more expensive but perfectly usable. No such option with the Volt.
I'm sorry. I didn't make myself very clear. The choice isn't between L1 and L2 charging. The answer to that question is obvious. Instead of L1 charging I am using the GM supplied stock EVSE on 240 Volts, (by use of an adapter) which causes it to output 24 amps instead of the 12.amps that it outputs when operated at 120 volts That is 75% to 80% of the output of a level 2 EVSE which, depending on model, outputs 32 or 30 amps.

So the question I have to answer for myself is how badly do I need to charge the car 25% faster when I am at home? I very seldom found myself running the Volt battery down to the point where it switched over to gas, so I suspect that it is probably not going to be very important to me at all. But Rob, and now you, have reminded me that it is important to keep an open eye on that. Thanks for that.
 

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The stock EVSE is limited to 12A on 120v or 240v. That means no better than about 2.88 kW (240*12). A 30-32A EVSE is 7.2-7.7kW. Nowhere near 75-80%, more like 40%.

If the adapter kept your Volt charged enough for typical use, you will be fine. Just know there are relatively reasonable priced options if needs arise.
 

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I charge overnight with the OEM EVSE on 240v and get 2.88 KW charge rate. The car starts charging about 3.5 hours before my defined departure time. This is more than adequate for my needs. Even at 120v 12A, it would mean 8-9 hours of charging due to lower efficiency, but definitely doable over night.
 
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I sure got that wrong!

I sure got my facts about the converted EVSE wrong! Thanks to all who have stepped in to set me in the right direction.
This forum has already proved its value in the first couple of days that I have belonged. I see myself upgrading to an actual L2 EVSE in the very near future.
 

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Just a follow up on this thread. I took yu'lls advice. Thanks for the help. FYI, I noticed that Clipper Creek's website has a page for "used", so I checked there and got this refurbished unit for a total savings of about $180. It only comes with a one year warranty rather than the 3 year offered on a new one. I am willing to take the chance. It sure is a big step up from the EVSE that came with the car.
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