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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I am a two day owner of a 2013 Volt and love it so far.

I have a question/issue re: charging.

I will preface this by saying that the 2013 has a new safety "feature" that defaults the system to charging at 8 amps vs 12 amps. Before you start charging, you have to change the setting to 12 amps to minimize the charging time

I put the setting at 12 amps and plugged in last night at 9 pm starting at about 35% power. Being the anal new owner that I am and intrigued by gadgets, I checked the charging status using the onstar app on my iphone just to see if the charging was trending correctly--and it appeared to be--was in the high 50s/lows 60s when I went to bed at 11 with an estimated complete time at 3:30AM. I also set up the onstar app on my wife's phone and on my ipad and checked from those phones as well just to have those options set up

When I woke up this AM at about 4:30, I expected a full charge...I checked using the onstar app and was quite surprised to see it only at 67% charge. I went to the car - the charging light was green; no signs of an overheated or tripped plug (I use 110 power at the moment). I turned on the car and saw that the charge setting was at 8 amps.

My theory is that I checked the darn thing via onstar so many times that it may have re-set the power setting to the default charge rate? My other theory is that there is some Volt safety feature that could have picked up a power spike/drop and automatically kicked the system back down to 8 amps?

Not sure what else could have happened. Thoughts?
 

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Do yourself a favor and seriously consider installing the Voltec charger. All your charging issues will be solved and you'll fall in love with the 4 hour charge.
 

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I've found the opposite to be my experience. I'll start charging and it will say the charge should be complete at 6:30 AM. When I check later it might be 6:00 AM. Check again before I go to bed and it will be 5:30 AM.

Although last Friday I had a weird charging issue where it took a long time to charge. I even got home early so started charging earlier but it was still charging Saturday afternoon. It should have been finished Saturday morning.

I'm no expert and don't have much experience charging the Volt so I'll let others chime in with what might be going on. I was just guessing it throttled down the charging for some reason.
 

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I put the setting at 12 amps and plugged in last night at 9 pm starting at about 35% power.
... My theory is that I checked the darn thing via onstar so many times that it may have re-set the power setting to the default charge rate? My other theory is that there is some Volt safety feature that could have picked up a power spike/drop and automatically kicked the system back down to 8 amps? Not sure what else could have happened. Thoughts?
I don't know that it's documented but I think there is some situations where they were able to detect a potential problem (power not safety) and drop it down to 8amp. I've seen this with my 2011 L1 120v charging cord (with 8a/12a switch in the cord). You can change 8->12 or 12->8 when the 2013's plugged in so it obviously can do it on the "fly" (with 2011/2012 cord had to be unplugged).

I'd just experiment a few nights.

The L2 220/240v charging units are certainly convenient for weekends or evening charges but many technically do not need them because they can plug the charge in enough hours, do not have TOU (time of use) billing breaks, don't want to spend that extra money when they just bought a new car.
 

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Congrats on the car. Nice to hear like most of us you like your Volt.

Scott may be right. Also, if there was a power interruption the charging can resume but the rate might reset to the lower 8A (I have a 2011 MY Volt so no experience how this would work). My guess is that this isn't likely but it's possible. I agree with Scott that some testing is in order. To test your app theory, skip the app for a night and just go to the car and open the door. It should give you the info you want and you'll take the app out of the equation.

FWIW I charge on a dedicated 120v line and it works just fine. However, if you find that you constantly need a full charge every night then you might reconsider. For the Volt the best thing about the 240v EVSE is that when you have a lot of short hops -- like on the weekends -- it's easier to avoid running the ICE.
 

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I have a 2012 Volt so this is just a thought. One night I forgot to turn my Volt off. The result is that the estimated charge time kepted changing over time and was only 70% charged in the morning.
 

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The L2 220/240v charging units are certainly convenient for weekends or evening charges but many technically do not need them because they can plug the charge in enough hours, do not have TOU (time of use) billing breaks, don't want to spend that extra money when they just bought a new car.
Even with the 120v Charging cord, TOU rates are great! I had the flat rate of 12 cents/KWh and changed over to the EV TOU rate (E-9A from PG&E). My off peak hour rate is 3.7 cents/KWh (midnight-7am Monday - Friday), Partial Peak of 9.8 cents/KWh (7am-2pm and 9pm-midnight M-F). These are the summer time period rates (May 1st-Oct 31st), with peak rate during 2pm-9pm M-F at 30 cents/KWh.

During the weekends, there are no peak hours, so all hours are off peak, except 5pm to 9pm partial peak. As long as I charge during the partial peak and mostly off peak, my charging time rates are much cheaper. I just have to watch how much A/C in my house I run during the peak hours.

During the winter time period(Nov. 1st-April 30th), there are no peak hours here. So all hours of the week off peak, except partial peak 7am-midnight M-F, and 5pm-9pm weekends. Of course they bump up the off-peak rate to a whopping 4.68 cents/KWh! ;).

So the home 120v charger works for me.

First month of having my volt and charging it every night - I used more KWh's than July - but my bill was $22 cheaper - but I had to baby the peak hour A/C time! in the winter - I will not have to baby anytime at all since it doesn't get real cold here. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks so much to everyone for their thoughts on this issue. I have not had a problem since. I think it may have been user error on my part. I think our driving habits are such that we would benefit from a 240 system. We do qualify for a free blink system through the DOE program but I am anxious to see what the installation charge is going to be.
 

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I'm having the same issue with our 2013 volt when changed to "charge immediately" have to manually change it to 12A setting. I don't think it is user error. Why do you think user error? Switched it back to the "off peak" charging with departure at 7am and I assume it is charging at 12A because if I plug in by 9pm its fully charged the next morning whereas before it wasn't. So decided just to leave it set like that for now even though I am on a flat rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm having the same issue with our 2013 volt when changed to "charge immediately" have to manually change it to 12A setting. I don't think it is user error. Why do you think user error? Switched it back to the "off peak" charging with departure at 7am and I assume it is charging at 12A because if I plug in by 9pm its fully charged the next morning whereas before it wasn't. So decided just to leave it set like that for now even though I am on a flat rate.
Hi

I said user error because i think i must have changed the setting ( or perhaps left the car on overnight) and did not even realize it. Since this hasnt happened since, i think i have the hang of it...making sure i turn off the car and changing the power setting to 12, etc.
 

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We shouldn't have to manually set it to 12amp setting though. I would think one would be able to set it and forget it?? Well I shot an email over to customer care. Maybe they cant shed some light on this. I was checking out the charger for the 2012 and noticed that they have a switch right on the charger and they even had an LED. 2013 model charger has none of those features unfortunately.
 
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