SeanNelson
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:25 pm

GetOffYourGas wrote:I, too, am interested in educating any newcomers. But telling them that they must install an EVSE in their garage which supports the maximum charge rate of their EV could be potentially causing someone to spend thousands more than they really need to. If you are running a new circuit, sure, run the thickest wire you can.

On the other hand, there are plenty of existing homes/apartments/etc with access to a simple outlet (maybe 15A/120V, in my case I had 20A/240V, so I have a 15A/240V EVSE in my garage) but running a new circuit could cost thousands. For those, I would encourage them to consider their actual needs, and not just run out and install the best they can because someone asserted that it is "the only way to go".

Yeah, how far you drive on a typical day is a very important factor in your charging requirements. If you don't drive very far each day then you may well be able to get away with a much lower charger rate. And if you normally use "hilltop reserve mode" then that also reduces your charging time.

I have 240V/30A panel in my garage and nothing else there aside from the lights and the door opener, so I could install a 20A L2 charger for minimal cost. The run to the garage is buried so it's potentially quite expensive to upgrade (although I haven't asked for an estimate so far). At 20A I should get at least 4.5KW of charging power, which would translate to no more than about 15 hours to charge from empty. That would only become an issue if I need to do full-range drives on two consecutive days, which I think given my driving habits is unlikely enough for me to live with.

My expectation right now is that I'd probably keep the Bolt charged to "hilltop reserve" level, so another question for me is "how long will it take to top up the final 10% if I decide to go on a long trip". At 20A it should be about 90 minutes or less, and that also seems like something I could deal with pretty easily.

powersurge
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:04 pm

I don't think that installing a better 240v line in the garage is that expensive. I bought the EVSE.

I had it done recently, and it only cost me $800 by a licensed electrician. He installed a new garage 50 amp breaker in my house box, underground plastic sheathing for 12 feet under ground (between the house and the garage). I saved money by digging the deep trench to protect the electrical cable, which later got covered back up.....

In the garage, he put a new junction box with 120v ( 20 amp breakers) for the lights and outlets, and a dedicated 40 amp (240 volt) breaker, and ran a line with a 50 amp 240v outlet (future proofs for future better evses). The EVSE that he installed plugs into that. Plus, I got 50% of the total cost of the installation (including the price of the EVSE) back in state taxes..... TOTAL COST - Out of pocket of entire installation $600.

PS - To all those liberals who I am sure will be yelling that not everyone can afford this..... I say that, if you can spend $40k on an econobox electric car, you can afford this investment for the life of this car, and for future electric vehicles you may own...

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oilerlord
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:40 pm

powersurge wrote:
PS - To all those liberals who I am sure will be yelling that not everyone can afford this..... I say that, if you can spend $40k on an econobox electric car, you can afford this investment for the life of this car, and for future electric vehicles you may own...


^^^This.

Pretty much sums it up, though there may be a few republicans "yelling" too. I can understand if you live in an apartment or otherwise don't have access to 240 but I don't get people that are happy to part with $40K for the car, but choose to cripple it because they are too cheap to cough up another $1K (or less) for L2. I picked up my CC 7.6kW EVSE on ebay for $400. $200 worth of copper + a bottle of scotch for my electrician friend, and I was in business. We raised our glasses after the install. Safety first.
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gpsman
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:49 am

powersurge wrote:
Sorry, but the 240v charger IS the only way to go for the 200 mile range BOLT. I recommend that new Bolt users get a L2 240v charger ASAP after they bring home their new baby Bolt.
.


This is SIMPLY NOT TRUE. I am a good example.

I have owned my Bolt EV for 7 weeks.
Consider I use it 5 days a week.
I have just over 3,000 miles on it already.

I HAVE NEVER CHARGED ON LEVEL 2.

To me, LEVEL 2 is pointless.
A waste of time and money.
Either you are in a hurry ( Use LEVEL 3 )
or you aren't ( Use LEVEL 1 ).

I ONLY CHARGE ON 120v @ 12 amps.

Consider how many hours a day you ARE NOT DRIVING. For me, I do not drive 22 hours a day.

I CHARGE 22 hours per day. And for free.
I can charge with a regular outlet at work for free.
I can charge at my apartment complex for free with 120v.

When people ask "how long does it take me to recharge it" I can honestly say "about 2 minutes".
1 minute out of my day to plug it in, 1 minute to unplug it and roll up the cord.

And since those 22 hours of charging always put in more power than I can use up in 2 hours of driving, I am almost always at the Hilltop Reserve Limit of 90% charge and I am always ready for any emergency or last minute weekend getaway.

So I have a fully functional long range EV and I have spent zero dollars on charging equipment or infrastructure.

Your needs will vary.
LEVEL 2 fills a niche of probably the fewest drivers.
Those who use the majority of thier car's range each and every day.

So blanket statements like yours above are just fear mongering.

The big battery of the Bolt does not require Level 2.
In fact, it provides the range "buffer" to opportunity charge and never need to use Level 2.

To be clear, I have used Level 3 a couple of times and I found that $750 option way more useful than a $750 L2 option.

Zoomit
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:26 am

Yep, it's not widely recognized that as a BEVs range goes up, it's need for a high power residential EVSE goes down. A larger battery allows low and high mileage days to average out the recharge power requirements.

For many people, their EVSE power needs are as low as needed to put the range for a daily commute plus a little margin back into the battery. Assume a 50 mile commute and a daily energy replenishment of 14 kWh. A 120V/12A EVSE might be able to handle that scenario, but any AC Level 2 EVSE beyond about 14A is overkill.

There may be reasons to buy a higher power EVSE. Higher power is more efficient for recharging. But do the math to see how long it will take in recharge energy savings to pay back the EVSE and installation costs. Depending on your situation, it could be many, many years.
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ArthurL
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:28 am

I'm at the two week 890 klick mark so good place to jump in. The car drives like a dream. It's quick, agile and simply fun to drive. I volunteer for errands. All the tech works. Low gear is a natural way of driving urban and highway. Try to keep her charged between 45-80 percent. A free local Fast Charger takes care of that as I run errands twice a week for under an hour.

The car is very air tight. It fogs up easy on cool mornings or mountain drives. Little 10-15 second burst on defroster will take care of that. When it's cold use the seat warmers and steering wheel. Climate control can whack the range. Get your mate to keep a shawl in the rear cubby for cold night drives.

I've only had 3 peeps that notice she is an EV. I like that. All good comments on style and tech.

The dealership experience should be nuked. I've become a believer in the Tesla model. What's the purpose? I hope I never have to go back.

phil0909
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:20 pm

ArthurL wrote:Get your mate to keep a shawl in the rear cubby for cold night drives.


What is the 'rear cubby'?

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oilerlord
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:50 pm

gpsman wrote:
The big battery of the Bolt does not require Level 2.
In fact, it provides the range "buffer" to opportunity charge and never need to use Level 2.

To be clear, I have used Level 3 a couple of times and I found that $750 option way more useful than a $750 L2 option.


I think you're swinging the argument a little to the other extreme. The combination of L1/L3 charging may work perfectly for you, but not necessarily for everyone.

I get the point you're making, though to be fair, your assumption is that L3 charging is readily available where you live. Some of us live in areas where L3 doesn't exist, or is located too far away to be useful - so the $750 for the L3 charging option would be better spent on a home L2 charging setup.

Even with the larger battery, there would be times that I'd need quicker charge turnaround times than 120v can offer. Add the fact that some of us also live in northern climates where the "238 mile" Bolt may become a 150 mile car in winter - 120v charging wouldn't work for me.

I also don't miss having to drive somewhere, and be outside in the cold to either fill up or plug in my car. So much nicer plugging it in at home in the comfort of my heated garage.
2014 Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive
2012 VW Jetta Sportwagen (not-so-clean-diesel) TDI
2008 BMW X3 3.0 "Beatrice"
2004 BMW 330Xi Sedan
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ArthurL
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:55 pm

Rear cubby = rear storage compartment. The lowest level contains your 110 charger. There is a carpeted cover over that. Tuck a blanket or a shawl back there in the cold months if range is an issue. Then there is a drop down security/privacy screen that drops down over that to hide the content below from prying eyes.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Two week review after 700 miles

Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:04 pm

ArthurL wrote:Rear cubby = rear storage compartment. The lowest level contains your 110 charger. There is a carpeted cover over that. Tuck a blanket or a shawl back there in the cold months if range is an issue. Then there is a drop down security/privacy screen that drops down over that to hide the content below from prying eyes.


Yikes. I keep my 12 volt car blanket folded - OK, wadded up - in the back seat in Winter. I should think a folded blanket that didn't look like it was hiding something more valuable wouldn't attract thieves.
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