Best charger for a 90-mile commute

Chevy Bolt EV Forum

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vrpratt said:
What I don't understand is why GM didn't provide a full-blown 240VAC 32A EVSE with a simple 120V adaptor already plugged in and awaiting removal when a 240V outlet becomes available. The plug should be an NEMA 14-30/50, with a neutral blade that it will fit both NEMA 14-30 and 14-50, and perhaps detect the 14-30 L-shaped neutral socket for automatic switching from 32A to 24A. At 120V the Bolt should default to an overridable 8A as at present. How much more does a 32A contactor cost than a 12A one? Nothing else inside that Clipper Creek unit should need to change, the controller's power supply is already a universal 120/240V one. The Bolt's 120V EVSE seems like pointless penny-pinching.

All the high power wiring inside the EVSE would need to be upgraded to support higher currents as would the power cord and possibly the J1772 connector. But you are correct, there is very little cost difference in parts between a higher power EVSE and a lower power one.

Costs add up in a car, we can point at just about anything in the Bolt and say "for just a few dollars more they could have ..." but all those few dollars add up. Weight adds up too, a bit bigger wiring, a bit bigger housing, a bit more weight, a bit more space needed in the trunk ...

What you are asking for is the Tesla Mobile Connector Bundle. They built an AC end that supports different adapters that the EVSE can detect and limit current appropriately. They charge $550 with a Tesla instead of J1772 connector. Chevy saved a few dollars and most Bolt owners won't care.

I never used the EVSE that came with my Spark and wouldn't have even if it was capable of 240V, I wanted a wall mounted unit and at the same time the idea of a backup/spare EVSE in the trunk was comforting.

We've gone from full size spares to donuts to nothing. I wouldn't be surprised if 10 years from now an EV didn't have an EVSE in the trunk at all. If you really wanted one you could buy it as an option at your dealer just like floor mats.
vrpratt - I frequently drive from Moutain View to Pacific Grove then walk over to Hopkins to watch the seals. It is exactly 90 miles door to door. I look forward to taking my Bolt on the next drive.

The better solution is to get eco-minded Stanford to pop for a 220v station placed inside the fence at Hopkins. It would benefit every EV driver at the station. For that matter, Monterey and Pacific Grove would greatly benefit from paying to setup public chargers to bring tourists over the hill from the Bay Area.