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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
New 2018 Volt Premier owner here!

Seeking advice on recommended charger (or is it EVSE?) for home charging.
- Can I get by with just the Level 1 charger? Which models do you recommend?
- I would need at most a 10-12 foot cord given the configuration of my tiny garage and squeezing 2 cars in it
- If yes, should I still get professional install? For what exactly?
- If I go with Level 2 charger, which models do you recommend?


Additional details:
- I live in a townhouse, built in 2005
- My unit's circuit panel is located on our main floor, immediately above the garage (my own garage, not community)
- A professional electrician assessed that my circuit panel and meter have enough juice to already handle a level 2 charger
- Some drywall work is needed, and that same electrician gave an estimate for $1,850 for everything - which a few folks have told me is incredibly high


Thanks for your inputs! I look forward to learning from and contributing to this forum!
 

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Congratulations! We leased a Premier two days ago. Love it. I've been driving evs for a few years, so my advice on installing Level 2 at home is to try using your Level 1 for awhile. Make sure to change the car setting under Charging to 12 amps. You may find that this will fully charge your battery overnight. You should have received a Level 1 charger with the car. It was missing from my car at the dealer so they gave me one from another Volt. If it's not in your car tell your dealer asap.
 

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Your new Volt should have come with a Level 1 EVSE. To get started that is all you need to charge your Volt. The Level 1 EVSE (the correct term) can be used to charge your Volt at either 8 amps (the Volt's default setting) or 12 amps. If you have a dedicated 120V circuit in your garage with no other appliances on the same circuit you should be able to use the 12 amp setting. If you are not sure just use the 8 amp setting and see if that meets your charging needs.

Level 1: 120V - 8 amp - full charge: 19 hours (ouch!, but you may not need to fully charge the battery each evening)
Level 1: 120V - 12 amp - full charge: 13 hours (better, probably adequate as long as you drive less than about 40 miles per day)
Level 2: 240V - 16 amp - full charge: 4.5 hours (the fastest that a 2016 - 2018 Volt can charge using Level 2)

Level 2: 240V - 32 amp - full charge: 2.3 hours (the 2019 Volt * will offer a 7.2kW onboard charger to charge faster than ever before)

* Standard on the 2019 Volt Premier, optional on the 2019 Volt LT.

If you decide you need to have a Level 2 EVSE at home you need a dedicated 230V circuit rated for a minimum of 20 amps. The price you were quoted is in line with what I paid for an electrician to pull a permit, install a 230V/50 amp circuit in my garage.

Many Volt owners use a ClipperCreek (CC) Level 2 EVSE. There are other brands of EVSE but CC is made in the USA and has a 3 year warranty.
 

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Hey John, I can, easily, fully charge my car overnight using the supplied L1 EVSE.
I have set my home location and set charging to 12 Amps @ my home location. This has to be reset every 6 months I think.
Make sure the receptacle is a good one and is not loose and the circuit can supply 12 amps (not shared with a beer fridge or such).
As the OP said, try it for a while. It will depend on your needs and how much charging your battery might need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
alcalira, jcanoe and Manitoba Keith,
Thanks for all your helpful info! As you all suggested, the L1 EVSE works just fine despite charging slowly.

I'll hold off on buying an L2 at least until I see how much driving /charging I do with my new car, and also when LA DWP comes out with its updated rebate program later this month. I believe they previously offered full rebates on the cost of a charger.

Thanks again!
 

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alcalira, jcanoe and Manitoba Keith,
Thanks for all your helpful info! As you all suggested, the L1 EVSE works just fine despite charging slowly.

I'll hold off on buying an L2 at least until I see how much driving /charging I do with my new car, and also when LA DWP comes out with its updated rebate program later this month. I believe they previously offered full rebates on the cost of a charger.

Thanks again!
Only 3 times in the last year+ would I ever have benefited from L2 charging. So instead of the cost of an L2 EVSE, I used a couple pints of gas.

The cost your electrician quoted is very high unless it includes the EVSE as well. I had a 240v circuit run for less than 1/3 that, but my panel was on the other side of the garage. Unless you care what it looks like below your panel, there need not be any drywall work. The 240v line can be run in conduit on the wall, and then through the floor to the garage. In the garage you should definitely not bother with any drywall issues. The conduit and outlet box can sit on the wall. If you do get an L2 charger, I suggest a plug-in model so you can take it with you if you move.
 

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You can mount the L1 charger on the garage wall and leave it plugged in to the wall. Hang the cord on a hook and it's almost like having a permanently installed charger. You don't really need to carry it around with the car - just have a few gallons of gas in the tank in case you exceed the battery range.

I have the Clipper Creek LCS20 L2 EVSE permanently installed in my garage. Had to have an electrician run a 240V line and install a new 20A breaker in the panel. I think the cost was about $400, plus I paid something like $400 for the EVSE nearly 5 years ago.
The Clipper Creek EVSE has operated flawlessly since installing it. I would recommend them if you decide to get an L2 EVSE someday.
 

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Congrats! Got the same car in April. Really enjoying it! I did get an L2 and has made big difference convenience wise. :)
 

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Don’t forget the OEM EVSE with a cheap pigtail adapter is dual
Voltage and can provide 12 A at 240. There’s a forum poster by the name of chris TX who sells the adapters on his Etsy site for about 60 bucks. There are other places you can get them or make one yourself.


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I really wanted to get a LEV 2 charger... here I am 3 years later and I still haven't installed one.
I get through the day, and in the evenings I still enjoy driving my Jeep to the grocery store (LOL)
 

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If you are really, really lucky, maybe your 120 volt garage outlet is a 'dedicated outlet' - That means it's on a breaker all by itself. If that is the case a qualified electrician could turn that outlet into a 240 volt outlet very easily and quite cheaply too - Probably for just $150 to $200

It involves lifting the neutral wire off the neutral buss in the power panel and putting it on another 20 amp breaker and then changing out your wall outlet for a 240 volt outlet. You can't do this if the circuit also has other outlets on that same breaker, as this would change all those outlets to 240 volts also

But, in reality, charging using 12 amps on 120 volts is good enough for most users. Most days you probably won't be recharging from empty, so it would easily be full the next morning and on those occasions when it isn't quite full, less than a quart of gas would make up the difference

Don
 
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