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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any information on charging the VOLT for long battery life?

I have the 120v charger and the 240v charger - I've been using the chargers (based an when I need the car again and how low the charge is) to charge at either at 1000 W, 1500 W, or 3600 W. Is the slowest charge rate the best???

Maybe I'm just a little OCD influenced.
 

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My understanding is that even the 3600W charge falls below the recommended value for preserving battery life when charging a lithium ion battery the size of the Volt's. Don't quote me on it though, I'd love to hear some more input on this topic as well.
 

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Anyone have any information on charging the VOLT for long battery life?

I have the 120v charger and the 240v charger - I've been using the chargers (based an when I need the car again and how low the charge is) to charge at either at 1000 W, 1500 W, or 3600 W. Is the slowest charge rate the best???

Maybe I'm just a little OCD influenced.
I understand your concern. This question has come up a time or two. We have had Volt Advisors say they have talked to GM folks in the know and they indicate it will make no difference.

I think L1 (120v) vs L2 (240v) is not much of a jump especially with a temperature managed battery where it seems they could use some of the 240v to keep the battery temp in a good range while change. Not my expertise but this makes common sense to me based on reading.

I would think the L2 (240v) vs L3 (480v) however is a much different animal. Nissan leaf manual even has a section on battery life and does not recommend L3 charging regularly.
 

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I understand your concern. This question has come up a time or two. We have had Volt Advisors say they have talked to GM folks in the know and they indicate it will make no difference.

I think L1 (120v) vs L2 (240v) is not much of a jump especially with a temperature managed battery where it seems they could use some of the 240v to keep the battery temp in a good range while change. Not my expertise but this makes common sense to me based on reading.

I would think the L2 (240v) vs L3 (480v) however is a much different animal. Nissan leaf manual even has a section on battery life and does not recommend L3 charging regularly.
But isn't it the car that tells the charger what the charge rate should be? If the LEAF is damaged by frequent L3 charging they should program against that by limiting the charge amps to an acceptable level. They could record the last L3 charge and just derate the charger to a lower amp setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But isn't it the car that tells the charger what the charge rate should be? If the LEAF is damaged by frequent L3 charging they should program against that by limiting the charge amps to an acceptable level. They could record the last L3 charge and just derate the charger to a lower amp setting.
I believe the charger tells the car what power it has to supply for charging - In the case of the LEAF L3 charging, a warning would be a good thing but there may be a situation where the owner wants the L3 charge anyway
 

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I believe the charger tells the car what power it has to supply for charging - In the case of the LEAF L3 charging, a warning would be a good thing but there may be a situation where the owner wants the L3 charge anyway
I'm pretty sure that lowering the current on a L3 charge would defeat the purpose of having one. L3 charging stations are super, super expensive to build and install and are used for the sole purpose of providing a really quick charge. Lowering the current and thus prolonging charge time would be counter-intuitive and a waste of money since you might as well install a 30A L2 charger. LEAF owners in particular should pay close attention to the L3 charging warnings in the manual and use L2 if battery longevity is a huge concern. I'm sure there will be vehicles in the future that can charge at L3 somewhat safely (perhaps the highest capacity Tesla S?)
 

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I believe the charger tells the car what power it has to supply for charging - In the case of the LEAF L3 charging, a warning would be a good thing but there may be a situation where the owner wants the L3 charge anyway
Some of the L2 chargers are 6+ Kw chargers but I think the volt will only accept 3.3Kw and tells the charger so.
 

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Generally speaking, it's recommended to limit charging current for Li-ion batteries to 1C or less. this a 16 kW battery pack should not be charged at with more than 16 kW of power. The 3.3 kW limit of the Volt is very conservative and should not pose any problem at all. It still eludes my why GM would not allow 6.6 kW L2 charging...
 

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But isn't it the car that tells the charger what the charge rate should be? If the LEAF is damaged by frequent L3 charging they should program against that by limiting the charge amps to an acceptable level. They could record the last L3 charge and just derate the charger to a lower amp setting.
Very little is known on the Leaf's L3 charging process, but it is fully controlled by the car and it will never let you damage the battery. If its too hot it wont let the car be charged, no matter what you need.

For longevity Nissan recommend you dont use the L3 charger more than once a day, every day.. but its ok for occasional use if you have to travel long distances. Using an L3 charger multiple times a day is Seattle will shorten the batteries life just like living in Phoenix and never using an L3 charger... all due to temperature.
 

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The battery life in the Volt should not be any differet, with the limits that GM has built in, uning the L1 or L2 charger, however I think you will find the L2 charging a little more efficent.
 

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Some of the L2 chargers are 6+ Kw chargers but I think the volt will only accept 3.3Kw and tells the charger so.
As Rusty likes to tell me, the charger is in the car (true). I think the wall unit we call the charger just supplies the juice and the car takes what it needs.
 

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As Rusty likes to tell me, the charger is in the car (true). I think the wall unit we call the charger just supplies the juice and the car takes what it needs.
The wall unit you (not me :- ) call the charger should be called the EVSE (which doesn't work well as a name for the hoi polloi), charge station or (in the case of the 120V EVSE) charge cord.

Some of the L2 chargers are 6+ Kw chargers but I think the volt will only accept 3.3Kw and tells the charger so.
Some L2 (most, actually) EVSEs support 6.6+ kW charging. The EVSE tells the charger in the car how much is available. The vehicle charger does *not* tell the EVSE how much it wants. It simply takes what it wants up to but not exceeding what the EVSE has offered.

Given how batteries charge, it'd be a pain for the charger to keep the EVSE up to date. The charge current needed by the battery may change (often drastically) during the charge cycle, so that'd be a pain.
 

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Help..our electric miles have dropped from mid to high 30's and now we are lucky to get 26 electric miles on a charge. We realize the weather is cooler now but another local Volt owner told us he was getting 40's on a charge now in mid 30"s ..we never got 40+electric miles on a charge and he is getting in the 30's electric charge miles while we are only getting in the 20's:(any advice and help would be appreciated
 

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Help..our electric miles have dropped from mid to high 30's and now we are lucky to get 26 electric miles on a charge. We realize the weather is cooler now but another local Volt owner told us he was getting 40's on a charge now in mid 30"s ..we never got 40+electric miles on a charge and he is getting in the 30's electric charge miles while we are only getting in the 20's:(any advice and help would be appreciated
Ask him what his climate control mode is, and how fast he's driving. The difference between comfort and eco is quite large - under comfort, the climate control is often drawing ~6.5 kW when it's cold out - enough to drain the entire battery in 90 minutes without driving at all.

Try running in fan only for a day and see what kind of range you get (not what is predicted - that's based on several days of driving.)

What you've said so far sounds normal for driving fairly fast or aggressively in comfort in this colder weather. On the bright side, your Volt can do it, just with some gas. Imagine where you'd be without the gas generator. :)
 

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I see a large difference between "fan only" and "eco" when ambient temps are in the 40s. I also discovered that even in "fan only" the heated seats will turn on when the ambient temps (actually cabin temp) are lower (presumably as long as heated seats are set to auto). I found that I'm comfortable for my 10 mile drive with "fan only" at lower temps than I thought possible because of the heated seats; this has increased my range by at least 5 miles in colder weather.
 

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Actually it is being driven around town (speeds about 35 to 40 mph) so it isn't being driven fast or aggressively..my spouse drives the car literally two blocks from our home to work and then errands to the banks..thanks for the heads up about checking the comfort (climate control mode) though as I am not sure about that setting...we did notice after we took the Volt in for software update,,that's when we started seeing a decline in electric miles.
 

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Hey, only being driven around town at 35 means nothing - that could be all soft cruising or trying to spin the tires on every start, and if you do the latter, you can run down a Volt battery very quickly and never get over 35.

But more likely the heater is the issue here. It is on mine. If I know I need the range, I turn it off - all the way - and I get the same range I got back in October.
 

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remote start the car

Hi, my spouse also drives the volt and it has taken her (really me for her) about 3 weeks to figure out how to maximize the range in colder Dallas temps.
She would hop into the car and turn the heat on full blast, not realizing that there is no combustion engine making tons of "free" heat for the cabin.
My trick is to remote start the car 2 times before she leaves. This leaves her with 95% battery charge using a 120v outlet but she still has more ev miles left when she gets to work because she does not run the cabin heat.
Also get her some gloves!
Currently she is 6 ev miles short of making her 44 mile commute using a preconditioned cabin and gloves.
Hope this helps.
Chad
 

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I purchased my volt 12/13/11 and live in Chicago area. I thought something was wrong with my battery when I was only getting 26 miles on a charge....then I started reading these forums. Now...even when it is around 30 degrees.....I can get between 42 and 48 miles on a charge which is quite a bit better. Ofcourse, I fully pre-heat the cabin on 240v before leaving and I drive w/o heat. If I decide to go with ECO heat...then I land between 34 and 38 miles. Also, I changed my driving style to not stomp on the pedal upon startups and do easy slowdowns. So..bottom-line...there was NOTHING wrong with my battery....just need to drive differently if I want to hit more of the max range during cold winter days.
 
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@AttyVette

The EV Range displayed in the vehicle is a prediction based on the recent driving conditions. It is normal for the displayed value to adjust while the vehicle is driven as this estimate is constantly being re-calculated. Adjustments are based on recent driving history for the vehicle. The displayed EV Range can vary from season to season, week to week, day to day and even drive to drive.

Here are a few tips for driving in the colder temperatures:

Optimal energy efficiency is achieved with the heat and fan turned off.

· Less energy is used at low fan speeds. When using the fan, Fan Only is the most energy efficient climate setting. ECO is for moderate air conditioning and heater operation and is the next most energy efficient setting. Comfort provides the most comfort but is the least energy efficient.

· Use the auto heated seat feature instead of climate settings. Heating the seat uses less energy than heating the vehicle interior.

· Use remote start to heat the interior when the vehicle is plugged in to maximize the electric range by utilizing electricity from the electrical outlet.

· Turn off the front and rear window defog/defrost when they are no longer needed.
 
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