BoltEV
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:58 am

Using EVExtend on the Bolt EV for emergency 120V up to 1,500 watts

Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:35 am

EVExtend.com is finally taking pre-orders on its product for the Bolt EV ( https://www.evextend.com/Chevrolet-Bolt ... er-Kit.php )

This unit allows for fused, easy Anderson Powerpole connection to a 1,000-1,500 watt inverter for days of emergency power.

I had one on their units in my Chevy Volt and its ease of use (especially when needed in an emergency) was worth its cost!

SparkE
Moderator
Posts: 1061
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:53 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Using EVExtend on the Bolt EV for emergency 120V up to 1,500 watts

Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:41 pm

I am assuming the OP has no commercial relationship (except as a satisfied customer) with the company in question (based on previous posting history). That's always a good thing to point out when mentioning a product on a forum.



The idea of (and discussions about) using a Bolt EV for emergency power (120V) has been discussed before on this forum, here are some links :

12 Volt DC power inverter instead of a generator?
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8255

Can the Bolt do this?
viewtopic.php?t=7221

Power available at terminals of 12V battery
https://www.mychevybolt.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6082

Bolt as a Powerwall
https://www.mychevybolt.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6882

SparkE
Moderator
Posts: 1061
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:53 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Using EVExtend on the Bolt EV for emergency 120V up to 1,500 watts

Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:59 pm

Oh, and personally, if I were *expecting* to use this at least once every 2 years (I've only had ONE power outage of about 45 mins in the past 10 years - I don't live in "storm country") then I would probably have a hefty 12V lead-acid (pickup truck) battery in the garage with the capability/hardware to hook it up in parallel to the Bolt's wimpy 12V acc battery, and hang the inverter off of the "garage battery". Yes, the power is supplied by the DC-to-DC converter from the main propulsion battery, however the 12V battery is the "buffer" for short over-draws of power as well as being, well - the buffer. So having another one to double or triple the capacity and safeguard the car's electric battery would be something anal-retentive, overly cautious me might do. If it were something "OK, just in case - I don't think I'll every use this", then I wouldn't. And if power outages happen a lot, then a 3500W portable generator would probably be a better choice (unless you had to stay quiet because the gas generator would attract the zombies to your house and eat your brains).

If you decide to invest such that your Bolt can be used as an emergency power source, PLEASE do several closely-supervised dry runs with regular (?10 minute?) checks to make sure that the car doesn't turn itself off and completely drain (destroy) the 12V battery(ies). Write the instructions (your checklist) for setting up the Bolt to be a long-term energy source for easy, no-forget reference (just like pilots do).

And there is a "trick" to keeping your Bolt turned on long term (so that it won't auto-shut-off after X minutes) - which is required to run the inverter and your appliances all the time without quickly draining the 12V battery. I am not going to search for the exact steps, but I have read them. One method involved exiting the vehicle through the passenger door instead of the driver's door.

Lastly, hooking an inverter up to the 12V battery so that the Bolt can be a 120V power source isn't just useful for home power outage emergencies. If you go car-camping, you can power a lot of portable appliances - like LED lights or a small TV or just portable device (radio, laptop) chargers - from the inverter.

BoltEV
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:58 am

Re: Using EVExtend on the Bolt EV for emergency 120V up to 1,500 watts

Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:38 am

SparkE wrote:I am assuming the OP has no commercial relationship (except as a satisfied customer) with the company in question (based on previous posting history). That's always a good thing to point out when mentioning a product on a forum.

I am assuming that the Moderator has no commercial relationship (except as a satisfied customer) with any company selling lead-acid batteries (based on previous posting history).

I specifically disclosed that my status is that I was a prior customer of the similar product designed for the Chevy Volt.

The importance of this product is the ease of connecting and disconnecting the high amperage inverter (through the use of fused Anderson Powerpoles), which is especially handy during the time of need: power outages, camping, etc.

The company notes on its website that due to the electronics of the Bolt EV’s 12 volt electrical system, that although 1,500 watt inverters can be used for surge requirements, that the steady load should not exceed 1,000 watts.

BoltEV
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:58 am

Re: Using EVExtend on the Bolt EV for emergency 120V up to 1,500 watts

Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:27 pm

SparkE wrote:Lastly, hooking an inverter up to the 12V battery so that the Bolt can be a 120V power source isn't just useful for home power outage emergencies. If you go car-camping, you can power a lot of portable appliances - like LED lights or a small TV or just portable device (radio, laptop) chargers - from the inverter.

During my time owning the EVExtend unit on my Chevy Volt, I have run a 100' heavy duty extension cord from my garage to my kitchen. During power outages, the inverter would run the refrigerator and many low wattage LED lights.

We have been warned in California of a big earthquake. The point is to keep food refrigerated and cooked on canister-fed WOK-like cooking stoves or camping stoves for up to the five days that we have been warned that such an occurence will render many without power.

Having my Bolt EV fully charged most of the time, will provide this power when needed; instead of the cost and inefficiency of a generator system for such a "rainy" day!

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