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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a 2012 Chevy volt. I’m looking to purchase a level 2 charger that I can plug into the 220 V outlet in my garage. The 32 amp level 2 chargers are more expensive. My question is, can the generation 1 Volt even handle of a 32 amp charge? Am I be better off just getting the 16 amp? Thanks
 

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Technically it's an EVSE.:) The charger is built into the car...
Technically the Gen1 Volt charges at 3.3kW which is 13.75 amp @ 240 Volts.

This is safe on a 20A / 240V circuit breaker, wire and outlet.
Is that what you are planning to plug into?

If you have a 40A / 240V CB, wire, outlet available you could buy the bigger 7.2kW EVSE / 32A EVSE now to Future Proof your house.
If you have to run a new 240V circuit just for this EVSE install definitely go with the bigger CB/wire/outlet now. Only a few bucks more!


The Volt will not be your last EV!!
 

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I just purchased a 2012 Chevy volt. I’m looking to purchase a level 2 charger that I can plug into the 220 V outlet in my garage. The 32 amp level 2 chargers are more expensive. My question is, can the generation 1 Volt even handle of a 32 amp charge? Am I be better off just getting the 16 amp? Thanks
Your 2012 Volt can charge at a maximum 240V and 15 amps (3.3kW.) The minimum for charging your Volt using Level 2 charging is a dedicated 240V circuit rated for 20 amps. Check the breaker on your existing 220V(it is the same as what is now called a 230V or 240V) circuit), it is probably at least 30 amps. If it is a 30 amp circuit then you can install an EVSE (what you called a charger) rated for delivering 240V and up to 24 amps. If it is a 40 amp circuit then you could install an EVSE rated for delivering up to 32 amps. Your 2012 Volt will only ever draw a maximum of 15 amps at 240V. (Edit: A level 2 EVSE rated for use on a minimum 20 amp circuit (capable of delivering up to 16 amps) is all you would need to charge your 2012 Volt at the maximum charging rate.)

If the existing 220V plug receptacle is not what you need it can be changed for a different receptacle of identical amperage rating. I would change it anyway to ensure that there is a tight fit for the EVSE power cord plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the information and for excusing my lack of knowledge. On a related topic, am I good to charge on a level 2 the majority of the time? Does it shorten the life of the battery? Should I only charge on a level 2 when I’m in a time crunch? Thanks again.
 

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Thanks for the information and for excusing my lack of knowledge. On a related topic, am I good to charge on a level 2 the majority of the time? Does it shorten the life of the battery? Should I only charge on a level 2 when I’m in a time crunch? Thanks again.
Theoretically yes, charging at higher amperage shortens battery life but in practical terms charging using Level 2 does not measurably shorten the life of the Volt's battery. Charge using either Level 1 or Level 2 as often as you need, GM recommends leaving the Volt plugged in (the exception is if you plan to not drive the Volt for longer than 30 days.)
 

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32 amps is overkill for a Gen 1 Volt. The Charger built in the car determines the maximum current draw no matter how much more the ESEV is capable of. L2 charging rate for the Volt is very conservative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all. I have one other question. My employer wants me to reimburse them for charging at work. I’m new to all this but do I simply keep track of the kWh used to recharge the battery and multiply it by the cost per kWh? I think the average in our area is .12 per kWh. Thanks
 

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... My employer wants me to reimburse them for charging at work.
...do I simply keep track of the kWh used to recharge the battery and multiply it by the cost per kWh? ...
Yes, only commercial businesses usually are paying less than normal consumers. You could ask, with a smile, what the employer pays per kWh.:rolleyes:

If this 'work charging' will be from a 120V outlet you could use a 'Killawatt' meter device to measure exactly what you use per week, month, etc. if you can leave the Killawatt plugged in all the time so it saves the data.
 

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Thanks all. I have one other question. My employer wants me to reimburse them for charging at work. I’m new to all this but do I simply keep track of the kWh used to recharge the battery and multiply it by the cost per kWh? I think the average in our area is .12 per kWh. Thanks
Your 2012 Volt has a usable battery of 10.4kWh out of 16.0 kWh total battery capacity. Level 1 charging at 120V is slightly less efficient than Level 2 charging at 208-240V. 80 - 83% for Level 1, 87 - 90 % efficiency for Level 2. So for Level 2 charging at work, if you are charging a fully depleted battery then it will take approximately 12kWh of electricity to recharge using Level 2. Remember, the electric utility usually breaks down the cost into power generation costs and power delivery costs. In my area, a simple estimate is to double the per kWh cost to account for the power distribution charges. All in, your cost for charging at work could be more than $0.20 per kWh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. I will look into the kilowatt meter. Also, this is the first I’ve heard of the “distribution charge.” Is this something that is on both connercial and residential bills. This is disappointing to me because I did all of my math calculations for savings based on kWh used x $.12
 

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...this is the first I’ve heard of the “distribution charge.” Is this something that is on both connercial and residential bills. .....I did all of my math calculations for savings based on kWh used x $.12
It's like an old phone bill. So many weird fees and taxes.
On my electric bill I cut to the chase.
Total bill / kWh used.
But then that varies seasonally due to how many kWh you used while some of the 'fees' remain fixed.
 

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I would caution using a KillaWatt device for a long period of time. I have read in this forum of some of these devices heating up as they may not be designed to see 12-15 amps for many hours on end.

Will you be recharging your Volt battery after it has been fully depleted, or just for a partial depletion? You might want to offer to pay a fixed amount every month to them, rather than go through the trouble of measuring the Watts used each time.
 

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Thanks. I will look into the kilowatt meter. Also, this is the first I’ve heard of the “distribution charge.” Is this something that is on both connercial and residential bills. This is disappointing to me because I did all of my math calculations for savings based on kWh used x $.12
I believe that power distribution charges would apply to commercial as well as residential service. Look at your utility bill for a detailed list of the charges. Your per kWh rate charge will be clearly shown, other charges (such as delivery charges), taxes and fees will also appear. If you divide the total monthly electric bill amount by the kWh used it will be higher than $0.12. For example, if your monthly bill was $100 and you used 850 kWh for the billing period, then your final cost per kWh would be 100/850 = $0.117 ~ $0.12 per kWh. If you used only 500 kWh then your final cost per kWh would be $0.20 per kWh.
 

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My electric service is provided by a semi-rural power co-op. The monthly bill consists of 3 tems:

Basic Service Charge
KWH usage
Taxes

The Basic charge is the same no matter the usage, and no matter whether I have an electric car. I pay that to just get the power into the house. It was there before I ever bought the Volt.

The only impact the Volt has on my electric bill is the extra KWH used over and above my house usage and the added tax on that usage. I don't factor the basic charge into the Volt operating cost because it would remain on the bill with, or without, the Volt usage. If the Volt power was via a separate metered account, then it would be included in the Volt costs.

At that point I consider the actual Volt power cost to be just the KWH use and taxes. KWH rates vary slightly through the year – between 11.5 and 12 cents. I also get 10% off during the summer months because I have my AC on a peak demand discount program.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My electric service is provided by a semi-rural power co-op. The monthly bill consists of 3 tems:

Basic Service Charge
KWH usage
Taxes

The Basic charge is the same no matter the usage, and no matter whether I have an electric car. I pay that to just get the power into the house. It was there before I ever bought the Volt.

The only impact the Volt has on my electric bill is the extra KWH used over and above my house usage and the added tax on that usage. I don't factor the basic charge into the Volt operating cost because it would remain on the bill with, or without, the Volt usage. If the Volt power was via a separate metered account, then it would be included in the Volt costs.

At that point I consider the actual Volt power cost to be just the KWH use and taxes. KWH rates vary slightly through the year – between 11.5 and 12 cents. I also get 10% off during the summer months because I have my AC on a peak demand discount program.
Very helpful. Thank you
 
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