GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So you guys can beat me up if this is a stupid question, but I heard something along these lines not related to cars. I take it for granted that the battery is ultimately getting the same amount of energy from each charge, L1/L2. But is 120v charging inherently more expensive per kw than 220v charging? Obviously L2 charging is quicker, but that doesn't address the overall cost of the energy from each full charge.

So put another way, is the cost of 4-5 hours of 220v charging equivalent to 12-13 hours of 120v charging?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,611 Posts
So you guys can beat me up if this is a stupid question, but I heard something along these lines not related to cars. I take it for granted that the battery is ultimately getting the same amount of energy from each charge, L1/L2. But is 120v charging inherently more expensive per kw than 220v charging? Obviously L2 charging is quicker, but that doesn't address the overall cost of the energy from each full charge.

So put another way, is the cost of 4-5 hours of 220v charging equivalent to 12-13 hours of 120v charging?
Level II charging (208 to 240 Volts) is slightly more efficient that Level I charging (110 - 120 Volts), Level II is perhaps 2 to 3 % more efficient than Level I. There is a study here.

There is also this thread: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?7650-Will-a-level-2-charger-be-more-efficient-than-the-level-1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
Discussion Starter #3

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
It is slightly but mostly due to efficiency of higher voltages. It's the same with any device where you would have the option to go with a 220V vs 110V. The difference in cost comes down really only to a few cents to maybe a few dollars/year depending on how heavy your use is. Savings are not significant, but they are measurable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,200 Posts
In general, conversion/charging losses are slightly higher with lower voltages.

However, there are some cases where L1 "may" be better: For instance, if you are leaving at 5AM on a cold morning and the car finished charging at 1AM on L2 as opposed to 4:45AM on L1, the battery may be slightly warmer, thereby netting you move EV range on your drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
776 Posts
A good question to ask would be:

If I purchase and install L2, how long will it take to save enough to recover my investment?

Investment = $500
Savings = $3 / year
Break even = $500 / ($3 / year) = 166 years
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,611 Posts
A good question to ask would be:

If I purchase and install L2, how long will it take to save enough to recover my investment?

Investment = $500
Savings = $3 / year
Break even = $500 / ($3 / year) = 166 years
For the Volt, charging at Level II versus Level I is more about convenience and how much you value your time; time you could be driving, doing, selling or recreating instead of waiting for the Volt to finish charging. We quickly become accustomed to how long things take. Remember dial-up modems? Today we think that download speeds are too slow if we don't have 100mb speed internet.

I have experienced charging my Volt at Level I (120V/8 amps and 120V/12 amps) and Level II (208V/15 amps and 240V/15 amps.) I am certain that if I could somehow charge the Volt in 2 hours instead of 4 hours (and a half) I would quickly become accustomed to the faster charging time but not much else would change as far as how often I drive and charge my Volt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,992 Posts
A good question to ask would be:

If I purchase and install L2, how long will it take to save enough to recover my investment?

Investment = $500
Savings = $3 / year
Break even = $500 / ($3 / year) = 166 years
You won't live long enough to recover your investment. If you are worried about the cost then use the L1/L2 EVSE that came with your Gen 2. That will cost you under $40 for an adapter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Maybe I think of this too often but you have to also include the ambient adjustment.

What that means is to get the same amount of mileage from your battery in the winter as you do in the summer, you have to charge the car almost twice as much. SO, Summer rate is times 1 (one) and Winter rate is times 2 (two).

I know that they will tell you running a 120v air con is more expensive than running a 240v air con, but my electric bill really never proved that out.





Car & Driver – Volvo CX60
http://www.caranddriver.com/volvo/xc60


2017 Chevy Bolt: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnVspgrZUkI


Stolen VOLT pursuit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp2TGpE7gLs

Bankrupt - How Cronyism and Corruption Brought Down Detroit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuOEf-pNXUI
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Usually the 120 vs 240 difference is measurable only by a matter of a few dozen kilowatts over the course of a year. Month to month is unlikely to see significant difference.

I will admit I've actually seen a slight increase since going to 240 but only because I find myself more willing to make small outings throughout the day since I know charging is much quicker and I avoid almost any chance of running on gas. If my driving were limited to what I was doing with 120, it would be similar I'm sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
The big reason to go L2 is how long it takes L1. I get a couple days a week without a full charge on L1 since it takes 10-12 hers and if I get home late 8-10pm it won't be charged by the time I leave in the morning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,495 Posts
I already had an L2 EVSE before I bought the Volt. I had a PiP and it needed all the help it could get to keep the EV miles up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,556 Posts
A good question to ask would be:

If I purchase and install L2, how long will it take to save enough to recover my investment?

Investment = $500
Savings = $3 / year
Break even = $500 / ($3 / year) = 166 years
Don't bother doing the break-even analysis. The real savings is the liberating feeling you get when you can recharge your car in 4-5 hours. When I first got my volt, I felt trapped knowing that I could let the car sit for 8-10 hours and not run on Dino juice or drive it now and burn fuel since that was what the range extender was for. Not having to think is truly freeing...well worth the cost of the L2 EVSE.

If they offered a $5K upgrade to double the battery size and cut the charging time in half, I wouldn't think twice about doing it even if it took several lifetimes to get that ROI. Alas, the current upgrade path requires about $20k, doesn't quite double the battery, and charging time doesn't improve at all - that upgrade being trading a gen1 for a gen2 volt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So...not to change the subject too much, but from what I've read the Gen2 charger is rated for 220v, and all I need to do for L2 charging is a (relatively) cheap adapter to plug into a 220v outlet. Is that correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,611 Posts
So...not to change the subject too much, but from what I've read the Gen2 charger is rated for 220v, and all I need to do for L2 charging is a (relatively) cheap adapter to plug into a 220v outlet. Is that correct?
Yes but you will be limited to charging at 240V and 12 amps instead of 240V and 15 amps. A full charge will take 20% longer (almost 1 additional hour) so figure on 5.5 hours for a full charge instead of 4.5 hours.) Everything you need to know can be read here. http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?218442-2016-Volt-120v-EVSE-is-L1-L2-Conversion-Capable
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
The biggest savings is time. The equivalent is if you bought a single burner (or element if it is electric) stove versus a four burner. The four burner is much more expensive, but if you have to cook more than one item, then add the time of doing one part of the meal in series versus all four parts in parallel. The gas (or electricity) consumption could be the same or less for the single burner, but what is your time worth?

Second, if you plan to buy a true BEV such as the Chevy Bolt EV, the Level 1 120 VAC EVSE at 12 A is just 1.44 kw per hour, versus the Level 2 240 VAC EVSE at 30 A which is about 7 kW per hour or five time the Level 1 rate. Divide the battery capacity by either number, and you get the charging time for a full battery. If you do take a lunch break near your EVSE, you can add another 7 kWh (or up to 28 miles) during that lunch break.

I have a Level 2 EVSE set at 30 A in my home since 2015 yet I have no Volt or Bolt EV , so I spent my money ahead. But now I am ready for any BEV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
Yes but you will be limited to charging at 240V and 12 amps instead of 240V and 15 amps. A full charge will take 20% longer (almost 1 additional hour) so figure on 5.5 hours for a full charge instead of 4.5 hours.) Everything you need to know can be read here. http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?218442-2016-Volt-120v-EVSE-is-L1-L2-Conversion-Capable
I read through a chunk of that thread and did not see how to get to 15a. I have a 6-20 in the garage so I would need to buy a new EVSE but it comes down to "which one" is appropriate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Yes but you will be limited to charging at 240V and 12 amps instead of 240V and 15 amps. A full charge will take 20% longer (almost 1 additional hour) so figure on 5.5 hours for a full charge instead of 4.5 hours.) Everything you need to know can be read here. http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?218442-2016-Volt-120v-EVSE-is-L1-L2-Conversion-Capable
I read through a chunk of that thread and did not see how to get to 15a. I have a 6-20 in the garage so I would need to buy a new EVSE but it comes down to "which one" is appropriate?
Hi, the Gen2 charger in the car is capable of pulling up to 15A continuous. But the provided 120V portable EVSE can only support up to 12A. If you build/buy a properly wired adapter for your 6-20 outlet, you will be at 240V and 12A. As you note, you'd need to get another EVSE capable of 15A or more to charge at the max rate the Gen2 is capable of. In my case I bought a Clipper Creek EVSE and mounted on my garage wall, on a 30A breaker.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,611 Posts
I read through a chunk of that thread and did not see how to get to 15a. I have a 6-20 in the garage so I would need to buy a new EVSE but it comes down to "which one" is appropriate?
The OEM EVSE that ships with the 2016 and 2017 Volt is limited to delivering a maximum of 12 amps to the Gen Volt's on-board charger. This is true whether this EVSE is connected to a 12OV or 240V power source.

When charging at Level I (120V) you can over ride the default 120V/8 amp setting in the Volt's charging menu and select 12 amp charging. For Level II (240V) charging you do not have the option of selecting the charging current. For Level II charging the Volt will charge at up to a maximum of 15 amps for Level II, less if the EVSE cannot deliver the full 15 amps. The current Gen II Volt's on-board charger can charge at up to 3.6kw, the maximum voltage/amperage required by the Gen II Volt is 240V/15 amps for 3.6kw.

Since you already have a 6-20 240V circuit in your garage verify that the installed circuit breaker is 20 amps. You can purchase an EVSE for a 20 amp circuit with a 6-20 connector on the plug end of the EVSE. In this case the EVSE will be specified to deliver a maximum of 16 amps (80% of 20 amps). This will provide the maximum power required by the current Gen II Volt.

Replacing the 6-20 circuit with a circuit rated at 40 or 50 amps such as a 50 amp circuit with a 14-50 receptacle and purchasing an EVSE that is capable of delivering 240V/30amps will not result in faster charging (shorter time to recharge) for the Gen II Volt but would provide additional charging capability for future charging needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,673 Posts
There are other savings with 240v besides simple charging efficiency. If you can take advantage Time of Use (TOU) power rates, L2 charging may allow you to fit your charging into the cheapest off-peak rates, whereas with L1 part of the charging time might be in a more expensive time period. For example, that is the case here with the PG&E EV-A plan. Weekday off-peak is from 11 PM to 7 AM. You can't fully charge a depleted battery in that time period with L1. Another place where savings can occur is with preconditioning. It is much more effective with L2 - allowing more EV miles once you start your drive.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top