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Discussion Starter #1
Is the 12A limit on Level 1 charging based on the factory EVSE or is it an internal limitation? Amazon sells some Level 1 EVSEs that can deliver 16A, like the Orion Motor Tech. If you used one of those EVSEs, would you get 16A or 12A max?

Note this is just a "what-if" question for my own curiosity. I already have a Clipper Creek level 2 EVSE in my garage.
 

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You will only get 12 amps max regardless of what the EVSE says it is rated for. The Amp current draw is controlled by the onboard vehicle charger not the EVSE. With the Volt you have the option to select between 8 amps (for 120V15A circuit) or 12 amps (for 120V20A circuit).


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Is the 12A limit on Level 1 charging based on the factory EVSE or is it an internal limitation? Amazon sells some Level 1 EVSEs that can deliver 16A, like the Orion Motor Tech. If you used one of those EVSEs, would you get 16A or 12A max?
With most EV's, the EVSE 'tells' the car what's available current wise and then the car uses that info to set the charger to draw up to that maximum number, so the Orion EVSE you mention would allow you to use more than 12 amps . . . . on most cars

The Volt is a little different, as the car defaults to 8 amps no matter what current the EVSE is telling it is available and then you have the option to over ride that and select 12 amps from the car . . . . or you can set your home location to use 12 amps all the time

One reason for the car limiting things to 12 amps is because the 14 gauge wire between the EVSE and the J-1772 charge handle is only rated for 12 amps . . . . but on most other cars, if a higher rated EVSE tells the car 14 amps are available, then it would charge at 14 . . . . but not our Volts

Don
 

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6-8-12
amps
 

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Did you mean 16-8-12 amps?
 

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Did you mean 16-8-12 amps?
Sadly the Volt limits 120v charging to 12 amps - regardless of what the EVSE advertises. Apparently if the EVSE only advertises 6 amps, apparently the Volt will comply.
 

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Sadly the Volt limits 120v charging to 12 amps - regardless of what the EVSE advertises. Apparently if the EVSE only advertises 6 amps, apparently the Volt will comply.
I understand. I think the off-shored manufactured EVSE the op was referring to was able to plug in to a 5-20 120V receptacle and deliver up to 16 amps, although the Volt won't charge at level 1 other than at 8 or 12 amps.
 

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Generally the electrical code recommends the draw on a circuit be max 80% of rating. Most 120V circuits are 15 amp (kitchen counter plugs are now 20 amp vs. the old 15 amp split receptacle). 80% of 15 amps is 12amps. Most 240v outlets are 20 amp (15 amp for electrical heating, not outlets) unless for a appliance like a oven, dryer, etc. 70% of 20 amp is 16 amps the setting for Volts L2. The numbers just fall into place.
 

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Generally the electrical code recommends the draw on a circuit be max 80% of rating. Most 120V circuits are 15 amp (kitchen counter plugs are now 20 amp vs. the old 15 amp split receptacle). 80% of 15 amps is 12amps. Most 240v outlets are 20 amp (15 amp for electrical heating, not outlets) unless for a appliance like a oven, dryer, etc. 70% of 20 amp is 16 amps the setting for Volts L2. The numbers just fall into place.
Right - but 20 amp circuits are common. So one could hard-wire or use 5-20 with an appropriate EVSE to charge at 16 amps. Same at campgrounds that have TT-30 (120v, 30 amp) receptacles available.

I use a JESLA, which is a modified Tesla EVSE, for charging our Volt. A 5-20 adapter is an off-the-shelf accessory from Tesla.
 

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Right - but 20 amp circuits are common. So one could hard-wire or use 5-20 with an appropriate EVSE to charge at 16 amps. Same at campgrounds that have TT-30 (120v, 30 amp) receptacles available.

I use a JESLA, which is a modified Tesla EVSE, for charging our Volt. A 5-20 adapter is an off-the-shelf accessory from Tesla.
However, the Volt will NOT charge at 16 amps on L1 under any circumstances.
 

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Right - but 20 amp circuits are common.
Only if you are charging from your kitchen counter as that's the only place they are required (actually any counter top outlet). So unless your house is overbuilt electrically speaking, not that common. That being said I have a outlet above my workbench that is 15 amp because it was built before the 20 amp counter top rule was in effect. It's not split receptacle because there is only one.
 

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Only if you are charging from your kitchen counter as that's the only place they are required (actually any counter top outlet). So unless your house is overbuilt electrically speaking, not that common. That being said I have a outlet above my workbench that is 15 amp because it was built before the 20 amp counter top rule was in effect. It's not split receptacle because there is only one.
That would explain why the three 42” high wall outlets in my garage share a 20 A GFCI breaker. I don’t have a work bench but I guess it was setup for it.


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Only if you are charging from your kitchen counter as that's the only place they are required (actually any counter top outlet). So unless your house is overbuilt electrically speaking, not that common. That being said I have a outlet above my workbench that is 15 amp because it was built before the 20 amp counter top rule was in effect. It's not split receptacle because there is only one.
The only 5-20 in my house is next to the 14-50 used for EV charging. I use it for vacuum cleaner, 12v battery charging, and so on.

But look around in public places like parking garages and elsewhere. They are actually very common. A number of EVs can charge at 16 amps and even higher at 120v. But not the Volt.
 

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But look around in public places like parking garages and elsewhere. They are actually very common. A number of EVs can charge at 16 amps and even higher at 120v. But not the Volt.
Commercial installations often have different code requirements than residences. That's what I'm saying. The Volt was set for the most common home charging situation, not that it couldn't have been otherwise.
 

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Commercial installations often have different code requirements than residences. That's what I'm saying. The Volt was set for the most common home charging situation, not that it couldn't have been otherwise.
Yeah, it's a shame... I know GM was just covering their butt, but it'd nice to trust your customer a bit more. Having 16A on a 20A circuit would give a nice speed bump when available (my home installation is a dedicated 20A 120V outlet). Tesla lets you do it, not sure about any others.
 

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Only if you are charging from your kitchen counter as that's the only place they are required (actually any counter top outlet). So unless your house is overbuilt electrically speaking, not that common. That being said I have a outlet above my workbench that is 15 amp because it was built before the 20 amp counter top rule was in effect. It's not split receptacle because there is only one.
I think my garage has 20A circuit. My outdoor plugs may have them as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the replies. I figured 12A was the max for the Volt. I was curious because we bought an Outlander PHEV for my wife and for that vehicle, the charging rate is controlled by an 8/12 amp switch on the EVSE.
 

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I think my garage has 20A circuit. My outdoor plugs may have them as well.
My garage has 20A as well (one) but only because I put it in for my 120V welder. I checked with my brother-in-law as he has his own house building company and he reiterated what I said with exception that all 15 amp circuits are on arc fault breakers. Only counter plugs are 20A. There is nothing to stop any one from building over code though. Unless specifically requested on a custom built house you aren't likely to see it.
 

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Yeah, it's a shame... I know GM was just covering their butt, but it'd nice to trust your customer a bit more.
Every EV manufacturer is a bit paranoid about charging from existing outlets in their customers homes . . . . and for good reason

When a Tesla catches fire (a VERY rare event) you would think it's the only vehicle fire in the country that day, when in actuality, dozens and sometimes hundreds of ICE vehicles burn every day, but EV's are new technology, not well understood by the general public, so every overly publicized instance is a black eye on the whole industry and every manufacturer is doing all they can to make sure those don't happen

Some houses still have ancient knob and tube wiring which may not be safe for even a continuous 10 amp draw, so many EV's came with the 8 amp home use 120 volt EVSE's. Our 2012 Mitsubishi's came with a Panasonic EVSE which did 8 amps and ONLY 8 amps - Mitsubishi rightly knew that all that was needed to seriously damage the perception that EV's are safe, dependable vehicles was for one person to burn down their garage or house charging their car, so they cautiously went with a very safe 8 amp EVSE which couldn't do any more than that - One of the most popular mods was to send off your EVSE to a company and have it modified for 12 amps

You will notice that when they advertise recharge times, they always give a figure for 120 volts (plugging into an existing outlet) and then a much better sounding number for 240 volts - They don't supply a 240 volt EVSE and they assume that you will have a professional install one when you buy it, because most folks don't have 240 volts available in their garages

Thankfully, instances of EV's burning down houses or garages is very, very rare and that's largely due to the safeguards the manufacturers built into the charging process

Don
 
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