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I just took delivery of my Chevy Bolt EV last night. I plugged it into my 30A charger from my Volt SPX "Bosch Power Xpress" and it didn't work.
I found several forums that at least these chargers require firmware updates in order to be able to support new model cars as they come out.

I called Bosch this morning and they said that since it is out of warranty I would have to purchase a new one of the same model. Is this common with home chargers?
I would rather not have to buy a new charger every 4-5 years when I get a new car. Looked at some of the other chargers out there like the Juicebox 40 Pro, I think I would have to replace my feed line, breaker which would be like an fresh install.
 

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That's not common... my 2012 Juicebox 60 has worked perfectly with my 2012 Plug-In-Prius, my 2014 Volt, and now with my 2017 Bolt without updates.

If you're on a 30amp circuit, look in to a EVSE that you can program to limit the current flow to 30amps... many models do have that option.
The Bolt can pull up to 32amps, so limiting it to 30amps will hardly be noticed.
 

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it does sort of make sense that they'd require a firmware update to support new cars, if they made a very crappy design that only checks in EDID and matches it to a list of supported vehicles or something. it's not good company service for them to not provide a firmware update because it's out of warranty. that would ensure i never bought anything from them again.
 

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The SAE J1772 standard protocol that we still use today was introduced in 2001 and was finalized in 2009 and hasn't changed since.

The oldest J1772 EVSE should charge the newest J1772 equipped vehicle, just like the newest EVSE should charge the oldest vehicle.

If a particular EVSE refuses to charge a new vehicle, it's due to a flawed EVSE design, not something on the vehicle that requires a firmware update to the EVSE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772
 

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Agree with NY-Rob.

The charger should make absolutely no difference which car is plugged in.

J1772 has not changed since inception.

There should be no reason it does not work on one car as oppose to another.

As proof, any car that goes to a public station can be charged...so why is this any different?
 

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The EVSE that I installed for my Honda EVPlus in 1997 worked for my Nissan Leaf when I got it in 2011. I did have to change the plug to work with the Leaf's inlet. No more changes were necessary for it to work with my Bolt.
 

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I found several forums that at least these chargers require firmware updates in order to be able to support new model cars as they come out.

I called Bosch this morning and they said that since it is out of warranty I would have to purchase a new one of the same model.
Thanks for noting this - Bosch is now off my list. Even if it happened to work the the Bolt, the fact that it may not work with the next car I might by and they may not deign to provide the software to make it work tells me that they are not a company I would want to support.
 

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^ happy for you Joz...

Dick move by Bosch, ... "buy a new one":mad:
 

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Maybe "smart" EVSEs require a firmware update, but dumb ones don't even have firmware, and are simple analog devices.

My question is, what is the reason that a smart EVSE would need a firmware upgrade to be able to charge a vehicle? Its default mode if the "smart" features aren't working should be to operate as a dumb device, and simply provide the charge.
 

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I have two OpenEVSE's, one portable and one permanently mounted in my garage. What I really like about them is you can use it right out of the box or modify it heavily with your own custom software.

Being able to adjust the max current setting is a necessity as I don't want to overload the receptacle it's plugged into. My portable OpenEVSE is dual voltage (120/240) and I can adjust it at 1 amp increments from 6A to 22A (Can be more but I put the limit at 22A because of the wire). No matter where my Bolt goes I'll be able customize the charging based upon my needs and what the circuit is capable of.
 

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Maybe "smart" EVSEs require a firmware update, but dumb ones don't even have firmware, and are simple analog devices.
They're really not analog. Check out the WikiPedia page (with more detail here), and you'll see that it uses a digital signal (1 kHz PWM) to indicate max current. It's a really simple protocol (for a 40 amp charger, the duty cycle is 1/3 of the time off, 2/3 of the time on), but I'd still class it as digital electronics not analog. Admittedly, it doesn't need a microcontroller (and thus firmware), although I imagine it'd be the typical way people might implement it just for easiness.

Given how basic the protocol is, I can't see how an EVSE could even tell what kind of car is being plugged in.

(In 2012 they added P1901 powerline communication to the spec, but as far as I can tell, that is only used for CCS DC fast charging. (?))

My question is, what is the reason that a smart EVSE would need a firmware upgrade to be able to charge a vehicle? Its default mode if the "smart" features aren't working should be to operate as a dumb device, and simply provide the charge.
Indeed! That's what the JuiceBox does. Even with no Internet, it'll just operate in dumb mode an charge the car.
 

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They're really not analog. Check out the WikiPedia page (with more detail here), and you'll see that it uses a digital signal (1 kHz PWM) to indicate max current. It's a really simple protocol (for a 40 amp charger, the duty cycle is 1/3 of the time off, 2/3 of the time on), but I'd still class it as digital electronics not analog. Admittedly, it doesn't need a microcontroller (and thus firmware), although I imagine it'd be the typical way people might implement it just for easiness.
I figured I might be wrong about analog; thanks for the correction. All I knew is that it senses resistance on the pilot line and that signals the cars readiness to charge. I forgot about the EVSE advertising its capabilities to the car via PWM.

As you say, it's very simple, so I don't know how an EVSE would fail to charge any vehicle type that conforms to the J1772 protocol. Perhaps some vehicles have slight variations in resistance on the pilot line, and the EVSE is too sensitive to interpret it correctly?
 

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I figured I might be wrong about analog; thanks for the correction. All I knew is that it senses resistance on the pilot line and that signals the cars readiness to charge. I forgot about the EVSE advertising its capabilities to the car via PWM.

As you say, it's very simple, so I don't know how an EVSE would fail to charge any vehicle type that conforms to the J1772 protocol. Perhaps some vehicles have slight variations in resistance on the pilot line, and the EVSE is too sensitive to interpret it correctly?
The fail safe with an EVSE is not to charge, and handshaking errors will result in the connector not being energized. The protocol seems fairly straightforward, but issues do come up. The current example is the 2018 will not charge on AeroVironment DCFC equipment. Fingers are pointing in both directions as to which is "out of spec". (This example is actually CHAdeMO, but the same principals apply).
 

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The fail safe with an EVSE is not to charge, and handshaking errors will result in the connector not being energized. The protocol seems fairly straightforward, but issues do come up. The current example is the 2018 will not charge on AeroVironment DCFC equipment. Fingers are pointing in both directions as to which is "out of spec". (This example is actually CHAdeMO, but the same principals apply).
I don't know why there would be finger pointing, as the protocol appears to be very straight forward. Were I an engineer, I'd get my multimeter and O-scope out and look at what's going on. I'm sure the protocol specifies min and max values, so determining where the problem lies should be very straight forward. An afternoon of troubleshooting for a competent engineer, perhaps?

Typing a denial email is easier than troubleshooting, I suppose. Easy to imagine how this finger pointing is going. AeroVironment- "Our EVSEs work with other vehicles, so it must be a problem with your vehicle". Chevy- "Other EVSEs work on our vehicle, so the problem must be your EVSE".
 

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(This example is actually CHAdeMO, but the same principals apply).
That is a bit oversimplified, I guess. For an AC charger, all the car has to do is let the EVSE know it is there and let the EVSE know it wants to charger. Just two resistors, a diode and a few inches of wire will allow you to full an EVSE into thinking a car is there and wants to charge.

With DC chargers much more is going on. For example, they know the SOC of the battery and how long (the car thinks) it will take to recharge the battery. Don't know hw it is over-there, but overhere DC chargers recognise my individual car and will start charging without me having to swiping a card or anything. Currently, doesn't work with the Hyundai Ioniq, BTW.
 

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The EVSE that I installed for my Honda EVPlus in 1997 worked for my Nissan Leaf when I got it in 2011. I did have to change the plug to work with the Leaf's inlet. No more changes were necessary for it to work with my Bolt.

Man, you were an early adopter! How long did you have the Honda before they pulled them? Did you have any EVs between the Honda and the Leaf?
 

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Man, you were an early adopter! How long did you have the Honda before they pulled them? Did you have any EVs between the Honda and the Leaf?
I had the EVPlus for six years before I had to give it back. Honda didn't get the same attention for destroying the EVPlus vehicles as GM got for the EV1.

I didn't have an EV between 2003 and 2011, but I did develop my Dynamic Energy Drive (US Patent 7,847,436) which combines the electronics of battery protection and management, charger, and three phase motor drive. The battery cells are organized as nodes on a dynamically reconfigurable power grid which is reconfigured in real-time to provide a variable frequency three-phase drive, or charge the cells from an input source. Unfortunately, back then all the investment capital for EV oriented business went to Tesla and Better Place and I was unable to convince anybody to fund a business that took advantage of my technology. It may be possible now, but I have other committments.
 
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