Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Upgrade service for Chevy Bolt charger cord from our friends as EVSE adapters. On sale too.

Double the speed of your Bolt's charging cord! We can upgrade the charging cord that comes with the Chevy Bolt so you'll be able to safely plug in to 240 volt outlets (such as a dryer outlet in your garage), and charge in half the time. To make use of our upgrade service, you will need to send us your original charging cord, we'll add a 240 volt plug of your choice and send it back to you.
Not sure what the point is with all the other portables chargers around. But hey if you want to upgrade your OEM EVSE here is an option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Bolt charger is made with Clipper Creek components.

The 120V Bolt charger uses clipper creek guts and has the ability for higher voltage. I am considering sending mine off. The website claims increased charging with minor modifications. The motherboard of the unit has accommodations for 240V so the plug change makes sense.

My initial thought was that the same unit is used in Europe with a different cord for the ampera.

Apparently there is also a minor software change required but I cannot verify if that is true. The main issue here is the cost of conversion at $199.00. While not outrageous it is not cheap either. Granted shipping both ways is included though.

Assuming the range is at least double it may be of interest to those who don't need full level 2 charging all the time.

I have yet to verify if the conversion gets it to 16amps but I do not believe so. The main premise is to remove the neutral and use 2 hot wires (black & red) and a ground. Some on the internet have had success while I have read that others have fried their units.

I do not believe however that the unit can then revert back to standard 120V after the conversion but I am not entirely sure.

If anyone has sent theirs in for the conversion, p,ease give us details!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Here is the quote from the website...

www.evseupgrade.com


$199.00

We can upgrade your (2016-17 year only) Volt and Bolt charge cords which will more than double the charge speed when used on a 208-240v outlet. Once upgraded, your unit becomes auto-adjusting and can operate on almost any outlet type in the world using simple adapters. It's still fully portable, or you can easily mount it on a wall with the included mounting keyholes.

How to get yours:
Order using the "Add to Cart" button below, and once you have completed payment, you'll receive instructions on how to ship us your existing unit, which we then upgrade, and promptly send back, usually on the same day. If you cannot be without charging during the upgrade you can add the Advanced Replacement option. (below) If this is chosen when you order, We will send you out a like-new upgraded unit in advance and once received, you simply send back your original unit (must also be in like-new condition). We charge a one-time $37 service fee for this option plus an $595 security deposit that will be refunded upon you returning your original unit in like new condition. In order to avoid late fees you must tender your original unit to the shipper within 2 business days!

Specifications:
Outlet Type: NEMA L6-30R (30A 240V Twist-Lock)
(*optional adapter needed for standard 120v outlet)
Input Voltage: 100-250 volts AC 50/60 HZ
Power output: 12 amps

I am not understanding how removing the neutral allows charging between 120 and 240 volts. The neutral needs to remain for 120V but needs to NOT be there for 240V. Essentially the second hot wire takes the place of the neutral.

And none of this is within code by the way...for Canada or the USA.

Its one thing to buy a chinese knock off 16 or 32amp charger with no UL or CSA approved sticker but quite another to use none code compliant plugs to switch between voltages. This is especially dangerous if someone other than you attempts to plug the unit in with the wrong plug to voltage arrangement!

240V is nothing to play with!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,775 Posts
The 120V Bolt charger uses clipper creek guts and has the ability for higher voltage. I am considering sending mine off. The website claims increased charging with minor modifications. The motherboard of the unit has accommodations for 240V so the plug change makes sense.
Don't "convert" the EVSE, simply buy or make an adapter that will let you plug it, unmodified, into a 240V outlet. This has been discussed at great length in the Chevy Volt forum, which ships with the same ESVE that the Bolt does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
no way in **** i'd buy a non-UL listed chinese knockoff EVSE. you're just asking to burn your house down, and have you insurance deny coverage. i won't even use knockoff phone chargers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
no way in **** i'd buy a non-UL listed chinese knockoff EVSE. you're just asking to burn your house down, and have you insurance deny coverage. i won't even use knockoff phone chargers.
It'll burn your house down, set your car on fire and piss off your cat to boot :nerd:

People worry about UL for EVSE's but of all the electronics we have it's about the simplest. The HV path is just a relay, the rest is control electronics on the other lines. The crime is how much they cost, it's because of a stupid patent on the holster. Anyhow these days UL is kind of meaningless, with all the non UL electronics we have. And even if you don't buy some off brand phone charger, everything else you have still is sourced in China, no matter what the brand.

Speaking of which, the car itself is enormously complicated and is carrying around a lithium battery, which have been known to explode in the past. Does the Bolt have a UL listing? Hmmmm better not park it inside your garage until we straighten this out :D

(for fun I did a search and didn't see anything, I'm pretty sure it's not)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,324 Posts
The stock unit, that came with our Bolt, works perfectly on 120 volt, or 240 volts. I made a simple adapter from parts from Lowes. On 120 volts the car will pull 8 amps by default. You have the option on the charging screen to set it to 12 amps. If you run it off 240 volts, it defaults to 12 amps. If you don't know what I am talking about, them you probably shouldn't try it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
yes, most components are sourced from and electronics we buy are made in china, that's true. but quality control is a thing, as is terrible design.

http://www.righto.com/2012/10/a-dozen-usb-chargers-in-lab-apple-is.html

'just a relay' really doesn't mean anything if the relay is a piece of junk.

the bolt as an assembly is likely not UL certified, but the components probably are. LG, who makes the battery, has lots of certifications, and probably most of the subassemblies do as well, but i'm not going to take my car apart to find out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
I think I have stirred the pot here with my original post.

Let me reiterate my concern. The unit itself is fine as long as it is used in the way it was intended. If the unit is made to accept 240V that is great. Clearly GM did not expect you to hook an adapter plug to it and use it as 240 (at least in the USA). That would clearly void your warranty on the charger. But would GM take it further if that charger damaged internal car components. Most likely they would say it is not covered. And that would happen no matter what charger you used.

www.evseupgrade.com states on their site not to plug in a homemade adapter cord into the Bolt unit. They are asking you to send your unit in for a reason! Most people don't seem to understand this step. So is there really a reprogramming of the unit or is this just a fancy way to sell you an expensive adapter? Their site does have a technical bulletin related to people attempting this with Nissan chargers:

https://www.carmd.com/Tsb/Download/92530/56836

Clearly many people got this information off the web and clearly it didn't work for many of them! It would take more than a few to raise the eyebrows of Nissan to issue a technical bulletin.

GM isn't stupid either...and it won't be long until they issue a similar bulletin.

My guess is there is more to it than just a plug change. But the point I am trying to make is that if someone at home with basic electrical knowledge makes a homemade adapter out of something that could plug into a regular socket and leaves it there...for someone else in the household who is unaware of the conversion. Homeboy A sees a post and buys a 1450 Nema plug from Lowes. He then cuts the wire and attaches a regular female 120V socket to the end of it with the intent to plug in his Bolt charger... He has essentially removed the neutral so you only have 2 hots (1 black and 1 red) each carrying 120V of power along with a ground. The neutral is gone. Now Homeboy B comes along with his electric pressure washer and plugs into that cord...Boom!

That is the point I was trying to make which concerned me the most...pushing 240V into a 120 socket. That is how people get hurt or killed.

I have found a better way for my needs which I will post shortly. It doesn't involve adapters or changes to the unit...and it cost me only $75 more than this conversion. I want to see how effective it is with the Bolt before I post it.

Stay safe and remember what voltages you are dealing with!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
this is the response i got from EVSEupgrade when i asked about their upgrades:

Permission is not required to replace software in a purchased device, we do not use or modify their software. Ironically even Nissan engineers form Japan have been seen using our upgraded units. The Bolt unit has a 240V supply but that does not make it safe for 240V operation as there are other parameters that are designed only for 240V use and we do not only replace the cord. We see many compliance issues with charging bugs, GFCI parameters, etc that must be changed for safe and reliable operation. There are many complex operations in an EVSE besides it’s ability to just run on 240V. Parts that can run on 240V also do not necessarily have 240V transient thresholds.

Upgrading the cord does void the cord warranty but we cover the term of the manufacture warranty and usually past that point if needed.

Regards,

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,324 Posts
ProfessorBolta,

"So you made a 14-50 male to 5-15 female?"

No. This was before I put a 14-50 female socket in the wall box from my old welder. The welder was hardwired into the box, with a strain relief elbow. I covered this on some other thread here, some weeks ago. I made a contractor's cludge cord, connecting two 120v outlets that were on opposite legs of the 240v. As frenchfry said, this is not something you want to leave lying around for kids, or nosy neighbors to play with. I am not suggesting anybody do this, or anything else I do. I put over 12K miles a year on electric bicycles. Any doctor will tell you this is deadly. Stay indoors, and wear a helmet. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Thank you borkbork for reaching out to convey the info on the evse upgrade and gjetson for explaining my concerns.

Appreciate the help in clearing this up...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I have a spare OEM EVSE I can send off, but I'm dubious as to what exact EVSEadapters does. Nothing against them but it looks like a one man Internet shop, a guarantee doesn't a lot of weight exactly, as he could be out of business tomorrow, and if it actually damaged your car somehow good luck getting that covered.

Anyhow I've gotten a field test with my gear, which is two OEM EVSE's (the second I got on eBay and had planned on upgrading), and a JuiceBox with many adapters. I'm in an area with not a lot of public EVSE's, but I have managed to arrange to have lunch near one of the free ones which brought me for 30% to my nominal 90%. Since then I've been topping off whenever I could as I don't know where my next charge will come from (oh I also got access to my house for one night when I did a charge.)

FWIW my experience has shown the following things

  • Two is One and One is None, redundancy is king right now. One could be out in the rain and short out (the OEM is not rain proof, the JuiceBox is rain resistant I believe), they can get a lighting strike or otherwise fail. Or, I could just leave it somewhere behind by accident.
  • The OEM cord is actually really useful. I'm managing a lot of gear (all my important household items) and my go to is preferentially the OEM because it's so simple. And there's usually either lots of time or not much, but there's always an overnight charge that will easily top off. (The idea of 220 is nice, but I've found often that the plug is inaccessible).
  • Getting access to your charger is usually a PITA. The OEM is at the bottommost false floor, I have the JuiceBox and accessories above that, and on the top false floor I have lots of household stuff (computers and data mainly) and my second OEM cord. Guess which is the easiest to get to? The OEM cord which is sitting out, and there's always a 120V plug handy. If it was winter and raining, forget trying to move stuff around.
So anyhow I'd recommend something along these lines. Keep the OEM in the bottommost as a total backup, it's always there. Plug it in once a year at least to bias the caps and make sure it still operated.

I have the full gear JuiceBox and adapters above that. PITA to get to, but if I really need a 240V charge and have the time I will absolutely do it.

On the top most just a bag with the charge cord. Quick and easy to plug in and charge. 220V is a nice idea with this charger, but frankly at that point I'd rather go to the bother of using a UL EVSE with more features.

I'm really happy with this set up but obviously you don't need two OEM's, any second 'light and easy to use' 120V unit is fine. I would recommend one of the top drawer units thought, not some fly by night unit you got off eBay, from some unknown source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Another thought, it's possible that to some greater or lesser degree that using the slower 12A 120V is easier on the battery. I believe the manual does say that using DC fast charge does hit the battery longevity to some degree. Admittedly it's probably not to any great degree, but if you have the time why not use the 120V OEM?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,775 Posts
Another thought, it's possible that to some greater or lesser degree that using the slower 12A 120V is easier on the battery. I believe the manual does say that using DC fast charge does hit the battery longevity to some degree. Admittedly it's probably not to any great degree, but if you have the time why not use the 120V OEM?
For a battery the size of the Bolt's even the ~7.7KW rate you can get with 240V/32A is very modest, I doubt there would be anything other than a trivial difference in terms of battery wear, if any.

One advantage of charging at 240V is that it's more efficient. More of every KW you pay for ends up in the battery where it can be used to move your car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
I have a spare OEM EVSE I can send off, but I'm dubious as to what exact EVSEadapters does. Nothing against them but it looks like a one man Internet shop, a guarantee doesn't a lot of weight exactly, as he could be out of business tomorrow, and if it actually damaged your car somehow good luck getting that covered.
I don't get the impression that they keep the temperature sensor in place when they do the conversion, which doesn't make me super comfortable. I'd much rather have a cable adapter and leave that feature in place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I don't get the impression that they keep the temperature sensor in place when they do the conversion, which doesn't make me super comfortable. I'd much rather have a cable adapter and leave that feature in place.
Ah ha! I suspected there was a catch. I didn't know plugs could have temp sensors, and at least it's not a common part. Finding one in a 220V plug is probably nearly impossible (certainly at onsie/twosie supply).

Also, I notice that the charger does get some warmth in use. No wonder! They made it to be small and light, the main cable is only 16 gauge, not sure how they get away with that.

Ironically even Nissan engineers form Japan have been seen using our upgraded units.
Oddball comment, and is he saying that Japanese engineers from Nissan ordered his Bolt upgrades? Doubt that.

The Bolt unit has a 240V supply but that does not make it safe for 240V operation as there are other parameters that are designed only for 240V use and we do not only replace the cord.
So what exactly does he upgrade? Might as well spill, I have a full electronics bench but would happily have him do it because he's set up for it already and has the parts, if I only knew exactly what was involved.

We see many compliance issues with charging bugs, GFCI parameters
Sorry this is a bit of a 'really?' You can do a search and find pictures of the circuit board, lots of surface mount stuff, the relays and major components are already 250V spec. This sounds a bit more like making a good story rather than really changing much in the unit.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top