GM Volt Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got the Volt about a week ago and loving it. My long roundtrip commute requires charging the VOLT twice because I need 80 miles+.

I'm waiting for my charging unit at home (Bosch vs. clippercreek) because 12 hours of charge only gives me about 31 miles.

My biggest gripe is that my multi-billion dollar company I work for has NO charging stations whatsoever. So I'm running on gasoline almost half the time!

The parking lot has about 5 spots for electric/hybrid cars but no charging stations.

I've been roaming around for standard 110V outlets to charge and get maybe 20 miles during an 8 hour charge


Here is my question or shout out for help? How can I get charging stations at my workplace? Remember it's a giant company so it's hard to ask "somebody" to fix it. Has anyone ever contacted a commercial charging company that builds charging stations and ask them to build some charging stations?

which commercial charging stations are the best? (reliable/cheap per kwh)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Hi,

I live in the bay area too, but it seems from San Francisco, down to San Jose seems to have good charging options.

Check on Plugshare, and read though the notes. I am a newbie too, but I have done a lot of research. I have had my car less than a week, and I have found good charging options, as well as some that are free & convenient to places that I wanted to be.

Also I have heard that companies such as Chargepoint have good information that might make it easier to convince your company.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
I just got the Volt about a week ago and loving it. My long roundtrip commute requires charging the VOLT twice because I need 80 miles+.

I'm waiting for my charging unit at home (Bosch vs. clippercreek) because 12 hours of charge only gives me about 31 miles.

My biggest gripe is that my multi-billion dollar company I work for has NO charging stations whatsoever. So I'm running on gasoline almost half the time!

The parking lot has about 5 spots for electric/hybrid cars but no charging stations.

I've been roaming around for standard 110V outlets to charge and get maybe 20 miles during an 8 hour charge


Here is my question or shout out for help? How can I get charging stations at my workplace? Remember it's a giant company so it's hard to ask "somebody" to fix it. Has anyone ever contacted a commercial charging company that builds charging stations and ask them to build some charging stations?

which commercial charging stations are the best? (reliable/cheap per kwh)
If you are only getting 20 miles after 8 hours of charging at 110 volts then it sounds as though you have the car set to charge only at 8 amps (which is the default). If you set it to charge at 12 amps then you should get over 30 miles with 8 hours of charging – a full charge will take 13 hours. If you go to the Energy screen on the center display and select ‘Charging’ you should see the 8-amp and 12-amp charging options to set. Unfortunately you have to set it for each charging session (unless you set up location-based charging, for which the 12-amp setting will hold for the 'home' location).

(I'm referring to the Gen 2 Volt but the Gen 1 also has the 8-amp and 12-amp settings.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
My biggest gripe is that my multi-billion dollar company I work for has NO charging stations whatsoever. So I'm running on gasoline almost half the time!

Here is my question or shout out for help? How can I get charging stations at my workplace? Remember it's a giant company so it's hard to ask "somebody" to fix it. Has anyone ever contacted a commercial charging company that builds charging stations and ask them to build some charging stations?

which commercial charging stations are the best? (reliable/cheap per kwh)
jkim0036,
I'm going to play amateur detective and assume you work at Samsung (multi-billion dollar company, SF Bay Area, no charging stations, your handle is jkim).

If you can get the attention of facilities manager or controller, have them look at ChargePoints' offerings for workplace charging. If your workplace considers energy storage options to level load electricity usage, ChargePoint can offer sweet deals on charging stations:

http://www.chargepoint.com/industries/workplaces/

Good luck with your effort, and congrats on your new Volt! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
The parking lot has about 5 spots for electric/hybrid cars but no charging stations.
jkim0036, just to be clear, the "charger" is built into an electric car (under the hood of the Volt). That’s the circuitry that recognizes the incoming voltage (120 or 240 volt) and uses the grid power to recharge the battery. The car is connected to the electric plug in the wall by an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment). It almost looks like an extension cord, except the part that plugs into the car contains circuitry that prevents current from flowing unless the car is connected properly (we don’t want to electrocute ourselves by dropping the cable onto the ground in the pouring rain either before or after the charging is done).

I would think that a company that has created parking spots designated for electric vehicles would at a minimum have located those spots near 120 v electrical outlets so you could use your personal EVSE to plug into the grid... and most likely those outlets would be equipped to allow you to switch from 8 amp to 12 amp current flow for faster charging at 120 v.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you are only getting 20 miles after 8 hours of charging at 110 volts then it sounds as though you have the car set to charge only at 8 amps (which is the default). If you set it to charge at 12 amps then you should get over 30 miles with 8 hours of charging – a full charge will take 13 hours. If you go to the Energy screen on the center display and select ‘Charging’ you should see the 8-amp and 12-amp charging options to set. Unfortunately you have to set it for each charging session (unless you set up location-based charging, for which the 12-amp setting will hold for the 'home' location).

(I'm referring to the Gen 2 Volt but the Gen 1 also has the 8-amp and 12-amp settings.)


Thanks for the great tip. I just found out the 8 amp vs 12 amp setting. My car came at the 8 amp setting. Now I should get near full charge overnight during the 13 hour charge. I may not even need a level 2 charger!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
http://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-challenge-install-and-manage-pev-charging-work

My workplace has been installing chargepoint stations for employees across the country at some of its larger facilities. It was my understanding there are some significant incentives financially as well as enhancing its portfolio of things to make it look good on paper. I think we are up to 150ish cars registered across the company at last count a month or so ago, a drop in the bucket but its a start and has only been up for the past 9 months...

Large companies tend to have organized people for shared interest (biking, cars, environment, charity...) start looking for a sustainable focus group...Or start reaching out HR, Marketing, Financial groups ... Register with chargepoint and you can see a mostly complete list of companies that have them to show comparison...i say mostly as some opt to remain unlisted.
G'luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
There are several posts that say that for 120V charging, the outlet and circuit should be checked by an electrician and 12 amp should never be used unless the circuit is known to be capable of that current safely. If a 120V circuit is used for other devices then the circuit can be overloaded and start a fire. At home you can check for other devices, but at your workplace you can't but facilities management can. Consider what happens if two volts plug into the same circuit at 12 amps.
Read Steverino's FAQ on battery charging:
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?105521-Li-Ion-Battery-Charging-amp-Battery-Managment-System-FAQ-s
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
Thanks for the great tip. I just found out the 8 amp vs 12 amp setting. My car came at the 8 amp setting. Now I should get near full charge overnight during the 13 hour charge. I may not even need a level 2 charger!
I'm in a much colder climate. On Wed nights I get home kinda late, and I still have a full charge to leave Thursday morning at 6:30AM on 12A.

I'm convinced that many people install L2 because it makes them feel better... not because they need it. And that's certainly OK, it may be worth it to them. Maybe they don't work a normal 8-9 hour job and are home off and on during the day where L2 would help a lot.

Just don't feel pressured into L2. :) There are many of us running around on L1 and still hitting Engine Maintenance Mode every 6 weeks because we're not burning gas. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
What year Volt do you have? I ask because, depending on year, you may have to click that 12A setting each time you come home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I would think that a company that has created parking spots designated for electric vehicles would at a minimum have located those spots near 120 v electrical outlets so you could use your personal EVSE to plug into the grid.
This. Otherwise, what's the point of having dedicated EV parking spots? Just to let EV owners park closer to the building? I'd look around those parking spots for 120 outlets. Then you're golden.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
Thanks for the great tip. I just found out the 8 amp vs 12 amp setting. My car came at the 8 amp setting. Now I should get near full charge overnight during the 13 hour charge. I may not even need a level 2 charger!
Go for the Level 2 EVSE. Since you want to drive on electricity, I bet that your next car will have greater battery range and will need that Level 2 EVSE, so it is a long term investment for your future.

Look at my case (and my signature). I built and installed a Level 2 EVSE and registered it on PlugShare yet I have no Volt!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,740 Posts
I just got the Volt about a week ago and loving it. My long roundtrip commute requires charging the VOLT twice because I need 80 miles+.

My biggest gripe is that my multi-billion dollar company I work for has NO charging stations whatsoever. So I'm running on gasoline almost half the time!
If you want your company to let you charge in an outlet just scope out where you work, find the LEAST DESIREABLE parking location humanly possibly that happens to have an outlet by them and offer to pay to install an outlet if they aren't wired right.

In my case I had to contact someone from environmental and use people skills (of which I have few) to gain momentum amoung others, showed the real extremely cheap cost and that others were doing the same and voila

I can charge in an outlet at work now, never hurts to keep asking different folks until you get some dice.

Get luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Be careful what you wish for. The great thing about the Volt's gas back-up is that we're not dependent on public charging stations. The minute you get two stations at work, you'll find three EV owners, and then seethe that someone isn't moving their car. Why not just use the EV range you have, and use gas when you need it. It keeps me out of that bad mood hitting the Leaf owners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Thanks for the great tip. I just found out the 8 amp vs 12 amp setting. My car came at the 8 amp setting. Now I should get near full charge overnight during the 13 hour charge. I may not even need a level 2 charger!
If you have a 2012-2015 Volt you will have to change the charging from 8 to 12 amps before shutting the car off for the last time. It defaults to 8.

If you have a 2016 you can set it and leave it as it remembers your location and settings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
If you have a 2012-2015 Volt you will have to change the charging from 8 to 12 amps before shutting the car off for the last time.
Slight correction: I believe you mean 2013-2015. The 2012 Volts have the same configuration as the 2011, where the 8-amp vs. 12-amp rate is determined by a button on the EVSE, not anywhere in the vehicle settings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,440 Posts
We have 2 at my work and I think it is due almost completely to the fact that we built a new building and wanted it to be LEED certified (green building) for bragging rights. The EVSEs contributed to that certification. Maybe there is some sort of certification or bragging right that your employer could benefit from by adding these. Marketing materials for recruiting new employees, and the company website would benefit from stuff like that. Might even get them a mention in the local newspaper or business journal. Stuff like that can help push a project through the red tape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
I'm convinced that many people install L2 because it makes them feel better... not because they need it. And that's certainly OK, it may be worth it to them. Maybe they don't work a normal 8-9 hour job and are home off and on during the day where L2 would help a lot.

Just don't feel pressured into L2. :) There are many of us running around on L1 and still hitting Engine Maintenance Mode every 6 weeks because we're not burning gas. :)
Yeah...we fell into this category. I put in the L2 just in case the Volt needed to top off relatively quickly and maximize EV usage. It has come in handy a few times, but we'd have been just fine with the L1 with the overnight charging. We might have had maybe a couple hundred miles less EV (out of 18000) over the last 2 years had we only the L1. So I can't say it was cost effective, but it is convenient.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
I'm in a much colder climate. On Wed nights I get home kinda late, and I still have a full charge to leave Thursday morning at 6:30AM on 12A.

I'm convinced that many people install L2 because it makes them feel better... not because they need it. And that's certainly OK, it may be worth it to them. Maybe they don't work a normal 8-9 hour job and are home off and on during the day where L2 would help a lot.

Just don't feel pressured into L2. :) There are many of us running around on L1 and still hitting Engine Maintenance Mode every 6 weeks because we're not burning gas. :)
+1. I volunteer for many events with the local electric vehicle association and get a lot of questions about the need for a "charger". I ask how many miles a day they drive and how often they need to charge. For most people, the L1 charging overnight handles most of their needs, especially if they can also charge at work. While I do have L2 at home it is because I can, not because I need to.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top