GM Volt Forum banner

3 phase Volt charger?

9412 Views 30 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Red Volt
Hey folks,
So the salesman said he'd heard the Volt may become 3 phase capable. He said he was at training and they said it was "next level" capable :confused: So that could mean 3 phase or it could mean that the trainer was talking about going from 120v to 240v.

I dunno so I'm asking here.

1 - 20 of 31 Posts
More likely DC.
Thanks for the reply.

Hmmm, will that mean faster charging? I KNOW that after I buy the next update will be 30 minute charging :D
Actually, I doubt he was talking about level 3. The next volts will likely have a 6.6 kw charger instead of a 3.3. The leaf is getting this update in its next version. This is a faster level 2 Level 3 charging makes ZERO sense for the Volt.
Level 3 charging is aimed at EVs with 30-90KwH batteries like the Tesla. It really makes a difference at that size.

Now 6.6 kW charging is what I want for my next Volt, even if it is just an option.
I meant DC fast charging because you mentioned it was 3 phase. I believe the J1772 240v chargers are split phase. No reason the Volt couldn't use a DC charger. Faster is better and they could be using the one standard J1772 plug that also supports fast charging. Or as suggested the presenter might have been referring 6.6 kW charging.
Three phase? As in three phase power?

1) The EV standard J1772 plug only has two high current conductors. Need three for three-phase power.

2) Most residents are fed from a 240/120 Volt split-phase transformer, which is 2 phases of 120 volts 180 degrees apart that makes up the 240 volts. Three phase is used by industrial and commercial facilities, which is 480/277 and-or 208/120 volts with three phases 120 degrees apart.

Hi folks,
Thanks for all the replies. I'm familiar with 3 phase and we considered getting it at our last home five years ago but the cost/benefit was too high. We're even more residential here so we're definitely not getting it. I just want the ability to charge as fast as possible at charging stations.

Well shoot. So this generation Volt can't do the 30 min charge. But, some folks seem to think the DC (6.6?) charging is possible on this generation? Can anyone confirm that? How fast would it be?

About 2 hours at 6.6.

Quick charge (level 3) is only available at commercial level 3 sites. the EVSE for level 3 are astrononomicaly expensive (10k+) and there are no residential units available. You don't want level 3. You want level 2 6.6, as it should not have long term detrimental consequences to the battery like level 3 chargers may have.

All my Leaf owners have a level 3 port. I know 10 of them. Know how many times they have used it? None.
That's about how much the 3 phase run was to the house ;)

Thank you for the info. So, is the current 2012 Volt, Vin is 17XXX, going to be able to the 6.6 without costing me money to modify it?

It's such a shame that you can't truly trust a person at the dealer for the complete story.

That's about how much the 3 phase run was to the house ;)

Thank you for the info. So, is the current 2012 Volt, Vin is 17XXX, going to be able to the 6.6 without costing me money to modify it?

It's such a shame that you can't truly trust a person at the dealer for the complete story.

No MY2012 Volts will have 6.6kW charging capabilities. There's speculation that MY2013 might include it but that's just because it might make sense. That's not based on any real information.
6.6kW will still be 240V two-phase AC just like the current 3.3kW chargers. The thing about 6.6kW is that it will require bigger wire and a 40A breaker. You will also start getting into issues where 100A residential panels (typical in Canada, not sure about the US) will trip if you do something like charge your car, run your electric dryer, and perhaps cook something on the stove at the same time. I still think the pros outweigh the cons - I'd love to have 6.6kW charging support in the Volt. It just requires a bit more thinking to operate than the 3.3kW units.
They weren't trying to mislead you, they just don't know much. I don't know for sure if the Volt will get the 6.6 upgrade, but fairly sure it's the next step.

Your EVSE has to support it as well, I believe.
Thanks dwl, Mike and CarZin.

FWIW, the one salesman was definitely trying to say and do whatever he could to make the sale. We didn't buy from him obviously. Another salesman said the same thing about the 6.6 and he seems much more knowledgeable but I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that dwl is wrong ;)

Even if it can't be done at home 2 hour charging "should" mean we'd get 50% done over a lunch break so a restaurant with one nearby would DEFINITELY get our business.

Oh, and for any future newbies EVSE explanation

For now we definitely want to go with a faster 240V charger. Anyone have their Voltec for sale because they upgraded? :)

Sorry I'm not wrong. :) Wish I were. If you have your heart set on 6.6, you could cross your fingers on that feature being added for the 2013 model year. It depends on your driving habits. But I find 3.3 to be sufficient 95% of the time. Occasionally I'll find things to do around the house while I'm waiting for enough charge to run a few errands on all-electric. And I'd certainly rather have 6.6kw charging. But I'm ok without it. Getting a L2 charger is definitely worth it in my opinion, though. It's not a huge money saver. But it'll eventually pay for itself. I mainly like it because I hate running the gas engine.
There has been no word from GM that the Volt would have a larger charger installed, for a small 10kWh total charge its doesn't make economic sense to burden the cost of the car with such a huge battery charger, and there are big issues with a battery bank the size of the Volts to have higher charge rates.

What you can buy is all that is and will be available for the foreseeable future, there is no public plans guaranteeing the volt will have a follow model in 2014/15 let-a-lone the new features if might have.
Thanks dwl and Henry,
I definitely want a quick charger so I'm looking at the 240V ones. I just watched a video on the SPX, that is one big package. I didn't really get a sense of it's size on the website.
The SPX PowerXpress is a small(er) form factor 240V charger

Take a look at the EVSE model guide at pluginamerica. You can find units far more sophisticated than the 240V "Voltec" EVSE. Myself, DCFusor, and some others on the forum have had terrible experiences with the quality control and build quality on the 240V Voltec charger. There are many more comparable EVSEs available:

Sadly, the Voltec 240V is significantly cheaper than other 240V EVSEs which makes it a tempting offer, but what you save on cost, you lose in quality.
Hi Mike,
Thanks for that website, it has a lot of choices. I think we're probably going to go with the larger Voltec because cost matters. It's a shame that the littler one is twice as much because we would probably buy it. I'm guessing the price in general will drop and new models will hit the market as the EV movement catches on (and probably as soon as we pay $500 for ours ;) ).

Yeah. I imagine they will come down in price soon. Probably not right after you buy it. But in a year or two. Certainly not worth going a year or two without 3.3kw charging capabilities, however. :)

I bought the cheap Voltec unit too. It's not capable of 6.6kw charging but I knew that going in. And I'm hoping that many years down the road when it comes time for a new car, charging stations will be a lot cheaper than they are now. So, in the long run, I'll save money. For now, it works just fine. I don't have any complaints yet. I don't even mind the coily cord that a lot of people hate. It works well with my specific setup.
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.