OlyCamasu
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:05 pm
Location: Olympia, Washington

1st time charging: partial failure

Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:12 pm

Just got my Bolt a week ago and I'm thrilled. It's a big step up from my 1985 diesel wagon -- I finally have cup holders!! But they won't be all that useful if I can't charge my car and go places. Last night I plugged in to my house's exterior outlet; nothing special, just the standard 120v. After a few moments, the car told me that it'd be fully recharged by 6:30 this morning. Great. When I get in at 10:30 a.m., it's not even 50% yet, and it's still charging. What happened? What do I need to do differently? I'm so new to this, I'm baffled. Thanks for any help ~
-- 2018 Bolt LT

WetEV
Moderator
Posts: 396
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:26 pm
Location: Near Seattle

Re: 1st time charging: partial failure

Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:14 pm

OlyCamasu wrote:Just got my Bolt a week ago and I'm thrilled. It's a big step up from my 1985 diesel wagon -- I finally have cup holders!! But they won't be all that useful if I can't charge my car and go places. Last night I plugged in to my house's exterior outlet; nothing special, just the standard 120v. After a few moments, the car told me that it'd be fully recharged by 6:30 this morning. Great. When I get in at 10:30 a.m., it's not even 50% yet, and it's still charging. What happened? What do I need to do differently? I'm so new to this, I'm baffled. Thanks for any help ~


EV 101:

Did you have the current set to 12 Amps, or the default 8 Amps?

You add a bit more than 1kWh per hour or 4 to 5 miles of range per hour on the higher power setting. You have a 60kWh battery. On 120 V, 12 A, it takes 50 or more hours to charge from near empty to full. Or 30 hours to go from half full to full.

On the default 8A setting, it takes around 80 hours to go from near empty to full.

Pages 124- 126 of the manual. Before setting the current to 12 Amps, make sure that there are no other loads on this circuit, and that the wiring is all in good condition. I suggest an electrician if you don't work with electrical circuits. Perhaps a new outlet, if the old one isn't in top condition.

Unless your driving needs are fairly short and predictable, you probably want a 240 Volt "L2" charging station in your garage or on your wall. A 32 Amp 240V station will charge the car from near empty to full in 9.5 hours or so.
#49 on the LEAF 100 mile club.
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red
2014 Leaf SL Red
Can't sit in a Bolt seat, hoping for better soon.
Or perhaps a Buick version? Buick Electra 225???

OlyCamasu
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:05 pm
Location: Olympia, Washington

Re: 1st time charging: partial failure

Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:14 am

Thank you, WetEV. I'm one of those owners who believes in EVs whole-heartedly but can only absorb limited amounts of technical info at a time. No, I did not check the Amps, and I would definitely want an electrician to do any work. (Not only do I know close to zip about it, but my house is still almost all knob and tube.) I'm just surprised that the car itself, after maybe 10 seconds of apparently assessing the power flow, estimated a 6:30 am full charge. I guess it meant 6:30 tomorrow, not today.
-- 2018 Bolt LT

WetEV
Moderator
Posts: 396
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:26 pm
Location: Near Seattle

Re: 1st time charging: partial failure

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:02 pm

OlyCamasu wrote:Thank you, WetEV. I'm one of those owners who believes in EVs whole-heartedly but can only absorb limited amounts of technical info at a time. No, I did not check the Amps, and I would definitely want an electrician to do any work. (Not only do I know close to zip about it, but my house is still almost all knob and tube.) I'm just surprised that the car itself, after maybe 10 seconds of apparently assessing the power flow, estimated a 6:30 am full charge. I guess it meant 6:30 tomorrow, not today.


Knob and tube wiring? Don't pass go, get a 240V L2 installed. Do not turn your car up to 12 Amp charging rate, leave it at 8 Amps. And if you need more charging short term, there may be public charging stations around. See:
https://www.plugshare.com/

Maybe fuse box? Maybe 60 Amp service? If so you might be looking at more than just an outlet install. And/or you might want to consider a smaller L2 station than the 32 Amp that would provide full rate charging.

Talk to a few electricians and find out your options.

If you add your location to your profile, someone might be able to give suggestions as to electricians to call.

L2 charging stations can be hardwired, or plug-in. The first is probably slightly cheaper, the second allows you to take the charging station with you if you move, allows you to upgrade by just unplugging the old station and plugging in a new station. You will need to decide.

L2 charging stations come in a range of currents. Regardless of how large the current that the station can provide, the Bolt will not take more than 30 Amps. The station tells the car what current it can provide. If the station says 24 Amps, the car should only draw 24 Amps. Your wiring (and budget!) may require a lower current station than the full 30 Amp.

As for brands of charging stations, I suggest any UL listed station. A list of brands I've heard mostly good things about is:

Siemens, Clipper Creek, ChargePoint, JuiceBox, AmazingE, AeroVironment and Bosch
#49 on the LEAF 100 mile club.
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red
2014 Leaf SL Red
Can't sit in a Bolt seat, hoping for better soon.
Or perhaps a Buick version? Buick Electra 225???

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 1158
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:25 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: 1st time charging: partial failure

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:06 pm

OlyCamasu wrote:Thank you, WetEV. I'm one of those owners who believes in EVs whole-heartedly but can only absorb limited amounts of technical info at a time. No, I did not check the Amps, and I would definitely want an electrician to do any work. (Not only do I know close to zip about it, but my house is still almost all knob and tube.) I'm just surprised that the car itself, after maybe 10 seconds of apparently assessing the power flow, estimated a 6:30 am full charge. I guess it meant 6:30 tomorrow, not today.


What percentage charge did you have to begin with? Charging a Bolt from empty to full at 120V / 12A takes 2 1/2 days. An issue I have with the Bolt's interface is that it tells you a completion time but not which day. You can get this information from the app, but not from the car (that I know of). I have plugged in on a Friday evening, and charged at 8A (the default). The car told me it would be done at 2:30am. I pulled up the app, and it meant 2:30am on Monday!

The Bolt has a huge battery. If you need to use more than 15-20% of it each day, you will definitely want to upgrade to a 240V (L2) EVSE.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

GernBlanston
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:28 am

Re: 1st time charging: partial failure

Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:15 pm

Yeah, it meant 6:30 the following day.
If it's not foggy
and your foglights are on
you are a doofus.

SeanNelson
Posts: 1462
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:43 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: 1st time charging: partial failure

Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:51 am

GernBlanston wrote:Yeah, it meant 6:30 the following day.

No doubt. At 120V / 8A it takes over 48 hours to fully charge from zero - and the "time to completion" display makes no mention of which day it's referring to. It's pretty easy to misinterpret the time.

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 1158
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:25 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: 1st time charging: partial failure

Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:26 am

SeanNelson wrote:
GernBlanston wrote:Yeah, it meant 6:30 the following day.

No doubt. At 120V / 8A it takes over 48 hours to fully charge from zero - and the "time to completion" display makes no mention of which day it's referring to. It's pretty easy to misinterpret the time.


At 120V / 8A it takes more like 80 hours to fully charge from zero. It could have been multiple days into the future. In fact, I bet it was since the OP said the car was only charged to 50%. That means it still has about 40 hours to go.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

SeanNelson
Posts: 1462
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:43 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: 1st time charging: partial failure

Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:53 pm

GetOffYourGas wrote:At 120V / 8A it takes more like 80 hours to fully charge from zero. It could have been multiple days into the future. In fact, I bet it was since the OP said the car was only charged to 50%. That means it still has about 40 hours to go.

Whoops - I was thinking about 120V / 12A.

EldRick
Posts: 363
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:36 pm

Re: 1st time charging: partial failure

Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:45 pm

According to Wikipedia, with knob and tube wiring, the OP doesn't even have grounded outlets, because it would be two-wire.
At least it's copper, not the horrible aluminum wiring that was used for a while.

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