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Discussion Starter #1
Hey GM Guys,
I'm sure you are aware of article 625 in the National Electric Code (NEC). It is titled Electric Vehicle Charging System. I work for California and the building codes are my area of expertice, as I was reviewing this code I thought I would share a thought. Some contact with the NFPA could avoid some minor complications. If I understand correctly the plug on the Volt will be a standard 110 volt recepticle, or will it be some kind of dedicated electric vehicle coupler that will accept multple voltages? Either way it is an EV and some local building officials may interpate things from article 625 that would cause grief for homeowners (Volt owners) or the electricians installing a dedicated circuit specifically for vehicle charging. Sections to look at in the NEC include 625.4, 625.9, 625.13, 625.25 652.26. If I can provide any assistance or information, let me know. I am a huge fan of the Volt and want no glitches for potential owners. I am sure in the future, homes will be built with a dedicated circuit for vehicle charging. Now is the time, the NEC is nation wide and electric is the future. Go GM!
 

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I reviewed the latest NEC. The only thing that might be an issue would be using an extension-cord-type re-charging cable at 230 volts. The NEC says the cord would have to be permanantly wired to the wall instead of using a twist-lock type dryer plug or something like that. This is identical to the requirement for hot tubs, which allow standard receptacles for 110-volt units, put require hard-wiring for 230-volt units. Everything else looks pretty much like what how I've seen GM planning.

Somehow, I suspect GM's electrical engineers are vaguely familiar with the NEC. I wouldn't be surprised if they are also members of the NFPA, serve on the Electric Vehicle subcommitttee of the NEC committee, and are already addressing evolving EV-charging issues from a code standpoint.

Bringing building officials up-to-speed with current code or just overcoming their stubborness is often more challenging than updating the code.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"Bringing building officials up-to-speed with current code or just overcoming their stubborness is often more challenging than updating the code.[/QUOTE]"

I agree and this is why I brought it up.
Also the part about vehicle coupler is intersting and worth looking at. There it mentions noninterchangeability and unintentional disconnection. The part about the cord says - supply equipment rated at 125 volts, single phase, 10 or 20 amperes or part of a system identified and listed as suitable for the purpose and meeting the requirements of 625.18, 625.19, and 625.29 shall be permitted to be cord-and-plug connected. All other electric vehicle supply equipment shall be permanently connected and fastened in place.

If opting to use anything with more voltage than a 125 volt rated plug will require some compliance with code. That being said it will be more efficient to use a higher voltage and require less time plugged in to get a full charge. I am sure both of these things will be desired by many owners, me for example.

Am I wrong to assume the Volt will accept more than 125 volts?
 

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Does this apply to outdoor changing points?

I disagree with the NEC here, although I can see some rational for hardwired 240v indoor charging. Here is a potential problem, you have a garage with a Volt and an Aptera. Let's assume that the Volt and Aptera use a different shaped port on the car. If the charging wire is hardwired to the wall then you either need an adapter or two charging points.

Also are you able to say whether this applies to outdoor charging points (which would be even worse). I've just run the underground conduit for an outdoor charging point.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Indoor and outdoor locations both have their own specifics, the things previously mentioned apply to both.
Here are the provisions that are outdoor specific;

625.30 Outdoor Sites. Outdoor sites shall include but not
be limited to residential carports and driveways, curbside,
open parking structures, parking lots, and commercial
charging facilities.
(A) Location. The electric vehicle supply equipment shall
be located to permit direct connection to the electric
vehicle.
(B) Height. Unless specifically listed for the purpose and
location, the coupling means of electric vehicle supply
equipment shall be stored or located at a height of not less
than 600 mm (24 in.) and not more than 1.2 m (4 ft) above
the parking surface.

As far as the different connectors, this is one of the things needing cooperation of auto manufacturers. A standard would be benifitial to all. Here are some more interesting things;

625.16 Means of Coupling. The means of coupling to the
electric vehicle shall be either conductive or inductive.
Attachment plugs, electric vehicle connectors, and electric
vehicle inlets shall be listed or labeled for the purpose.

625.18 Interlock. Electric vehicle supply equipment shall
be provided with an interlock that de-energizes the electric
vehicle connector and its cable whenever the electric
connector is uncoupled from the electric vehicle. An
interlock shall not be required for portable cord-and-plugconnected
electric vehicle supply equipment intended for
connection to receptacle outlets rated at 125 volts, single
phase, 15 and 20 amperes.
625.19 Automatic De-Energization of Cable. The
electric vehicle supply equipment or the cable-connector
combination of the equipment shall be provided with an
automatic means to de-energize the cable conductors and
electric vehicle connector upon exposure to strain that
could result in either cable rupture or separation of the
cable from the electric connector and exposure of live
parts. Automatic means to de-energize the cable conductors
and electric vehicle connector shall not be required for
portable cord-and-plug-connected electric vehicle supply
equipment intended for connection to receptacle outlets
rated at 125 volts, single phase, 15 and 20 amperes.

625.25 Loss of Primary Source. Means shall be provided
such that, upon loss of voltage from the utility or other
electric system(s), energy cannot be back fed through the
electric vehicle and the supply equipment to the premises
wiring system unless permitted by 625.26.
625.26 Interactive Systems. Electric vehicle supply
equipment and other parts of a system, either on-board or
off-board the vehicle, that are identified for and intended to
be interconnected to a vehicle and also serve as an optional
standby system or an electric power production source or
provide for bi-directional power feed shall be listed as
suitable for that purpose. When used as an optional standby
system, the requirements of Article 702 shall apply, and
when used as an electric power production source, the
requirements of Article 705 shall apply.

Just some interesting stuff when you get over 125 volts on a vehicle charging system.
 

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It looks like the national electric code will force 15 or 20 amps (removable wire/plug situation). Having a permanent connected charging wire does not seam feasible in a garage (in my garage anyway). I was hoping to use 240 volts at 30 amps, but more realistic is 120 volts at 20 amps:

120 V * 20 Amp = 2400 Watts/hour -> 8000W / 2400 W/H = 3.3 hours (3 hour and 20 minutes)
240 V * 30 Amp = 7200 Watts/hour -> 8000W / 7200 W/H = 1.1 hours (1 hour and 7 minutes)
 

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One solution may be an inductive charging port. The power supply is permanently hard wired, but the EV interface is inductive. There would have to be much thought about safety interlocking. Wouldn't want the kids using it to melt wrenches and stuff or somebody wearing a ring get too close.
 

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One solution may be an inductive charging port. The power supply is permanently hard wired, but the EV interface is inductive. There would have to be much thought about safety interlocking. Wouldn't want the kids using it to melt wrenches and stuff or somebody wearing a ring get too close.
Ever hear of the Darwin Awards? ;)
 
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