EVSE or dryer outlet?

Discussion in 'Bolt EV' started by Bardolph, Oct 29, 2018.

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  1. Bardolph

    Bardolph New Member

    Three years ago, I installed a 240 volt dryer outlet (with 40 amp service) at the head of my driveway, so my brother-in-law could charge his Tesla when he came to visit.

    Now I may buy a Chevy Bolt. It appears, however, that to home charge the new beast, I will also need to buy an EVSE (hate the acronyms and the jargon) for another $500 bucks - plus installation costs. Do I really need a new Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (read charger)?

    Why can't the Bolt charge with a simple cable from wall to car - just like the Tesla?
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  3. rgmichel

    rgmichel Active Member

    Try going to a site like QuickChargePower.com, where you can buy variouis adapters to charge your Bolt EV from your dryer outlet. They also sell the Tesler adapters to do the job. I have the full Tesla set so I can charge my Bolt EV just about anywhere. I would caution that you really need a 50 amp outlet to charge a Bolt EV. You will be operating with only a small safety margin if you charge using a 40 amp circuit, but it should work ok.
  4. rgmichel

    rgmichel Active Member

    A more sophisticated charger will give you more information than a well plug. My ChargePoint charger gives me the KWh charged for every charge, and maintains the history on their website, which you can download.
  5. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

  6. sniwallof

    sniwallof Active Member

    First, there is only the option to go to a 50A breaker if the wire run can support that. For example, if the cable run was #8 wire, it is not okay to use a 50A breaker. Your electrician can check this.

    Second, safety is highest when you use the lowest properly rated breaker. In other words, if you get a chargepoint 32A station (super nice, that's what I use, but there are many choices), a 40A breaker is a correct breaker. At 32A, the max load is 80% of the breaker and that is perfectly okay and completely safe. Less safe is to arbitrarily use 50A breaker for no reason, because the fault currents must go higher (more damage) before the unnecessary higher trip level is reached.

    Now, there is one exception, which is if the cable is proper to supply 50A and the connector is a 50A type, technically, the rating of the circuit breaker will (should) usually match (e.g. 50A). Many EV owners, however, run higher ampacity wire than needed, to "future proof", then use the lowest rated circuit breaker that is appropriate to their EVSE charging station (the charger is in the car, the EVSE provides fault protections, such as ground fault protection). The lowest appropriately rated circuit breaker (assuming the wire gauge is appropriate) is where the max rated EVSE load current is no higher than 80% of the breaker rating. Once the breaker is such that the EVSE does not exceed 80% of the breaker rating, you do not need a higher rated breaker for "margin". However, if the EVSE load current rating is higher than 80% of the circuit breaker rating, that situation is no good, and may result in nuisance false trips (the 80% number is the "margin" number to be concerned with).

    Also, for longer runs, there can be less loss (i.e. more efficient, less heating loss from the wire) if you run a wire gauge larger than is needed based on ampacity ratings alone (e.g. run a #4 cable, where a #6 cable has a sufficient ampacity (current rating)).
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  8. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    You didn't state how fast you wish to charge your Bolt. If you just need something that will charge it in 8-9 hours, buy a 16amp Level 2 EVSE. They are less than $170 on Amazon. Just find one that has the 40amp dryer plug on it.
  9. jim

    jim Active Member

    Right why does Tesla give a nice EVSE with many adapters and Chevy doesn't ?
    Why does Tesla have Nationwide Charging and give destination chargers away yet Chevy doesn't?
  10. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    If Chevy was only doing compliance vehicles, they wouldn't bother with selling them nationwide... they would only sell them in California.
    rgmichel likes this.
  11. jim

    jim Active Member

    If Chevy is for real in EVs why do they make so few? They keep saying they are making more but so have hacve stopped the EV1, Spark EV and Volt. Only the Bolt is around and still in low volume. Until they make more electrics that Malibu's I count them as COMPLIANCE.
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  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I would advise reading sniwallof's post carefully. Charging at a higher power than what the house wiring circuit is rated for at continuous draw, which is less than the full power rating for the circuit, is a significant fire hazard. For safety's sake, get it checked out by a licensed electrician. Not all houses are wired the same, and even if your next-door neighbor has been able to do that for years, that doesn't necessarily mean you can do so safely.

    If you do decide you need to upgrade the wiring and/or install a permanently mounted EVSE, get 2 or 3 bids on it. The amount electricians charge for that sort of thing can vary a surprising amount.

  14. Robert Gleason

    Robert Gleason New Member

    It can and does.. Just really slow... <G> a simple adapter will double the charge rate OR as little as $200 will get you a portable evse that will charge at 32 AMps.. What are these Trolls babbling about compliance cars and all the other BS?? http://carcharging.us/adapt/bolt-240.php
  15. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    GM has sold over 200,000 EVs in the US, so far, as has Tesla. Nissan Leaf claims to be one of the largest sellers of EVs in the world, yet has not reached the 200,000 target in the US. So it would be difficult to call GM EVs/PHEV as just compliance cars as they are second largest seller of EVs in the US. On the other hand, they have not shown the dedication and focus on EVs like say Tesla has. They are not constantly coming out with new models and variants, they are not trying reduce prices or increase the features or promote the EVs aggressively. They are however making noises and suggestions about bringing many EVs models under the Cadillac brand, they have invested in Rivian, the sell electric bikes in Europe etc. The talk has not translated into noticeable action. So it seems more than mere compliance (like Ford for example) but less than a full embrace of EV technology.

    It appears to me that they (GM) want to have the cake and eat it to. They want to be in EV space, while they want to at the same time protect their ICE franchise. As the market grows for EVs, they need to make a decision as to where they want (may be they know what their strategy is but to it still appears murky to the ousider). Trying to straddle both sides of fence is not a long term viable option.
  16. DocSavage

    DocSavage New Member

    If you have a 240 Volt, 40 Amp outlet near your Bolt, you are 2/3 of the way to Level 2 charging. Yes, you can purchase a Level 2 EVSE charger (mine is an Aeronviroment - now owned by Webasto) for $500-600. This is your simplest solution. The Aerovironment / Websco requires a 40 Amp circuit, and charges your Bolt at 32 Amps, in 8 - 9 hours. Whoever said charging at 16 Amps will complete the charge in 8 - 9 hours was incorrect. 32 Amps charges at the rate of 24-25 miles per hour, needing 8 - 9 hours to complete the charge (from a full depleted battery). A 16 Amp circuit will charge your Bolt at 12 miles of charge per hour, and take 18 hours to completely charge your Bolt.

    Charging with the 120 Volt Level 1 plug and charger, that comes included with your Bolt, will work if you charge every day and never drive too far. It charges at the rate of 5 miles of charge per hour and will charge your Bolt completely in 48 hours.

    One of the most flexible charging set-ups available is to use the Tesla UMC. Any outlet for 240 Volt / 40 Amp receptacle will work. Buy a Tesla UMC (Universal Mobile Connector) ESVE. Model 3s require 240 Volts/32 Amps exactly like your Bolt. These are $300 direct from Tesla, but I picked mine up (new) on ebay for $220. Specify your plug type, or buy a connector to fits between the EVSE and your wall plug from Tesla for $35. They stock 6 to choose from. I have a NEMA 6-50 plug, but a NEMA 14-50 also works if that is your plug type. Finally you must purchase a Quick Charge Power (www.quickchargepower.com) Jdapter Stub ($240 +20 shipping). The Jdapter Stub connects to your charging port with the Bolt compatible J1772 plug. The other end attaches to the Tesla plug of the Universal Mobile Connector. For the ultimate in Level 2 connectivity, buy the 14-50 for emergency stops, or stays at RV parks.

    There should be no installation costs because you have a 240 Volt / 40 Amp circuit with receptacle. Certainly my Aerovironment has a plug-in option.

    So, why all this trouble and complexity? Using the UMC and Jdapter Stub combination you can charge at your 240 Volt/40 Amp plug at home. Using a J1772 port on your Bolt will allow you to charge at many Level 2 EVSE away from home (ChargePoint, Blink, EVgo) - but not all. Taking your Jdapter Stub on a trip you can charge (with permission, and included at many hotels) any Tesla Destination Charger, Tesla HPWC (High Powered Wall Connector), Tesla UMC, Tesla Mobile Connector, or Tesla Wall Connector.

    Recently I drove from Las Vegas to Phoenix, 300 miles, and back in my Bolt. On the way I stayed at the Best Western Plus A Wayfarers Inn in Kingman, Using the motel's Tesla Destination Charger, I charged up my Bolt with my Tesla to J1772 Jdapter Stub overnight. Then on to Phoenix and charging at Cambria Hotel and Suites, North Scottsdale (Tesla Destination charger again). I visited with my daughter and granddaughter all day, then with a full charge, retraced my steps.

    Hope you are driving electric. I really enjoy our Bolt. Check out the Kona Electric.
  17. Colorado JG

    Colorado JG New Member

  18. Colorado JG

    Colorado JG New Member


    This is really helpful, and I have a basic question that I am hoping you can answer, as you seem to know what you are talking about.

    I just bought a 2017 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, and am learning this world of charging.
    The house that I own came with a hard-wired Tesla Wall Charger. (I assume the previous owner had a Tesla.)
    Can I use this wall charger to charge non-Tesla hybrids and e-vehicles? If the connection fits, can i use it to charge my Porsche Cayenne HB (with a 3.6 kw on-board charger) or will I damage the battery?
    Interestingly, Porsche has no idea.
  19. jim

    jim Active Member

  20. jim

    jim Active Member

    Yes the EVSE charger is the same for all vehicles. You will just need a JDapter to make the Tesla UMC special connection adapt into the Universal J-1772. The Porsche will be happy and charge fine with that connection.

    JOHN PHILLIPS New Member

    Does the car limit the charging current? How do you tell how many amps need to be provided to the charger? I am looking at buying a 2014 or 15 I3, how many amps will it need to charge on a level 2 charger?
  22. jim

    jim Active Member

    The EVSE adjusts the power to what is available. It uses the pilot lead for that. So it should work fine on a dryer shared outlet just a little slower which is fine for over night. If your in a big hurry find a Fast Charger close by and get a charge 10 times faster.

    JOHN PHILLIPS New Member

    How does the EVSE know what size breakers are installed on the line?

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