EVSE or dryer outlet?

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

  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?
  2. rgmichel

    rgmichel 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.
  3. rgmichel

    rgmichel 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.
  4. Cypress

    Cypress Active Member

  5. sniwallof

    sniwallof 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
  6. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell 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.
  7. 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?
  8. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

  11. 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
  12. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active 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.

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