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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all the Volt community. I purchased a CPO 2017 Volt Premier last month and I appreciate all the forum posts I have read through the last couple months as it has led to much less surprises with all the newness of this great vehicle. I did not have to freak out when I was getting 35-40 miles EV range on cold days when driving 70+mph and I am looking forward to warm weather to enjoy the quiet electric drive for more miles every drive.

I live in a rural area which of course has no charging infrastructure available within 15 miles of my house/business (oddly, the closest charger is a Tesla supercharger - clearly Tesla thinks this area is worthwhile to provide electrons). My business is a stone's throw away from a heavily traveled highway and I was thinking of getting an EVSE to provide public charging (listed on plugshare) to encourage the growth and utilization of electric vehicles (the extra visibility might help the business, too!). I have looked mainly at Clipper Creek and thought the HCS-40 may be a good option for most people who are passing through and need some extra juice. Do you think this is a good option or should I look to offer something else? Do you think that it is something that won't be utilized and I would be wasting my money?

Secondarily, I will be moving to a new house in a few months. The previous owners already have a 30amp outlet that was used for their RV (most likely is currently 120V and will need to be upgraded to 240V). With the rapidly changing charging capabilities and offerings, is it best to go lower end, such as LCS-20 which is sufficient for the Volt (and plan to upgrade to a higher level outlet and evse in the future) or would it be better to upgrade the outlet to 50amp and go with a higher level EVSE such as the HCS-40?

There are so many options with charging stations that it is tough to gauge what would be the best long-term decision.

Thank you for the input!
 

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IS your intent to attract customers to your business? Is it the type of business that requires the patrons spend a good deal of time?
L2 charging is so slow that I doubt it would be utilized much unless you attracted a local that wanted free fuel. I think the future for charging along highways has to be Chademo/CCS high speed or people will not use it.

All of the "free public" chargers around here end up useless as they are never available when you need them. I sincerely believe that there should be NO free charging. Users should at minimum pay for the kWh they are using. Subsidize the charging stations, but make the end user pay for the "fuel".

For your Volt I would just use the 30 amp existing as it's more than enough. If you buy a Tesla next year you can upgrade at that time. I built and use an OpenEVSE 50 amp unit in my garage, but I'm a bit of a geek and I like knowing how much energy my car is using from the wall. Highly recommend their products.
 

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At your house you should install the HCS-40, the Volt won't be your last EV and the next one will need the higher rate charger. The EVSE is going to be there for 10 or 20 years before it has to be replaced so do it right, the cost difference is trivial.

At your business you could have a ChargePoint installed for your use or the use of an employee but it makes no sense to install an level 2 EVSE for public use anywhere except a parking garage. It takes hours for a level 2 charger to provide a useful amount of charge, you don't want cars parked there all day. If you want to install a DC Fast charger then it should be priced to give you a profit. If you want an extensive network of DC Fast chargers to be built then they have to be profitable or else no one is going to install them. If so called good Samaritans install free chargers then it discourage others from installing them. The only places that I've encountered free EVSEs is in parking garages and if you think about it all they are doing is giving me an 80 cent discount on the $20-$40 parking fee, that's a pretty cheap way for them to attract business.
 

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It usually costs more to future proof, and it is unclear whether your choice will hold true in the future. I bought a 30A EVSE when I knew I could live with a 20A, but I have yet to use it. If I get a tesla, I would have wanted a 40A or 80A anyway depending if I get the bigger charger on board (you can upgrade the car to a 72A charger). If my next vehicle is DCFC capable, and DCFCs drop in price, then any future proofing would have been flushed down the toilet. To I regret paying double for my 30A. If I had a do-over I would have bought the minimum needed and worry about the next vehicle when it shows up.
 

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It usually costs more to future proof, and it is unclear whether your choice will hold true in the future. I bought a 30A EVSE when I knew I could live with a 20A, but I have yet to use it. If I get a tesla, I would have wanted a 40A or 80A anyway depending if I get the bigger charger on board (you can upgrade the car to a 72A charger). If my next vehicle is DCFC capable, and DCFCs drop in price, then any future proofing would have been flushed down the toilet. To I regret paying double for my 30A. If I had a do-over I would have bought the minimum needed and worry about the next vehicle when it shows up.
The cost difference between the 20 and the 40 is about the price of a good dinner, if it were a couple of thousand dollars then I would agree with you but it's only a couple of hundred. For a home EVSE the important number is the amount of charge that you can get overnight, an HCS-40 will do 86.4KWh in 12 hours, if you needed to fully charge a Tesla 100D from 0 to 100KWh then it would take 14 hours. Of course you never run BEVs to 0 because that would mean that you came home on the back of a tow truck so the 86KWh for an overnight charge is good enough to handle your long road trips. The only people who would need a fast charger at home are Uber drivers, for everyone else a 32 or 40A EVSE will be good enough for any conceivable BEV.
 

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You are one of the few Volt owners who wants to make a difference with the EV world. I agree with most of the other posts: no free charging unless the EV owners are visiting your business. Using a ChargePoint EVSE is good for opportunity charging from EV owners who don't visit your business yet are willing to pay for the charge. But I also suggest having a local control, such that you or your employees can activate free charging for your patrons, so the charger station can be use by both your patrons (for free) and by visitors (paying) especially when your business is closed and someone needs a charge. The availability of a charge station is your promotional item to get more business, too.

Never offer free charging unless you or your employees agree to it, because someone can park and take up the space, and when you do have a patron, you cannot offer the charge station. Ask the local city officers if there is a fine for "ICEing" (gas engine parked at a EV place) so you can put a warning sign to prevent non-patron gas car owners from parking there (ask if the city can also tow away the cars if you need it). Having the local laws in your favor prevents trouble in the future.
 

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Level 2 charging is really only good for at-home or destination charging. It wouldn't really be useful for EV's on the highway as they need sub-1 hour charging times (DC Fast charging/Chademo).

If you have employees who are interested in EV's, I'd say it'd be a great benefit for them if they could charge up for free.
 

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We have two volts, so I put 2 40 amp dedicated lines in for future vehicles, but as you may know the Volt only will take 15A max at 240. The 30 amp line is more than enough for now. If you decide to "future proof" for a future car for overnight charging a 50 amp line will net you 40 amps, a 40 amp line will net you 32 amp charging, while the 30 will give you 24 (80% of max continuous). I probably would hold off upgrading but if you decided to I probably would go to 50 since you are already at 30. Don't forget you can use the oem EVSE or the cheap dual voltage Duosida with the adapter, the latter of which gives you 16 amps.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The cost difference between the 20 and the 40 is about the price of a good dinner, if it were a couple of thousand dollars then I would agree with you but it's only a couple of hundred. For a home EVSE the important number is the amount of charge that you can get overnight, an HCS-40 will do 86.4KWh in 12 hours, if you needed to fully charge a Tesla 100D from 0 to 100KWh then it would take 14 hours. Of course you never run BEVs to 0 because that would mean that you came home on the back of a tow truck so the 86KWh for an overnight charge is good enough to handle your long road trips. The only people who would need a fast charger at home are Uber drivers, for everyone else a 32 or 40A EVSE will be good enough for any conceivable BEV.
In my case, the higher capacity EVSE cost double of what I could have gotten, but that was 3.5 years ago, prices change, competition and economies of scale affects everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all the replies. What I am seeing is mixed opinions on the home charger which is mostly in line with my own thinking. Essentially, we have no idea what the future holds and the charger that might seem to be good for the future might actually be very limited in 3-5 years. Given I likely will need to have an electrician come out to upgrade to 240V in the garage, I think my decision on what unit will be based on his estimated cost for the upgrades. If he merely needs to upgrade to a 50A circuit at the breaker box and doesn't need to run new wire then an HCS-40 may be the better option in case my girlfriend (we've been together long enough she may as well be called my wife, lol) decides to replace her Equinox with an EV (given how much she talks about her love of the Volt, I don't see this idea being too big of a stretch).

As for the business, I have a chiropractic office so patrons are usually in the office for about 30 minutes. The intent for the charging option is less for clients and more for the people passing by on the highway. We have I-75 that is about 1 mile away and my business is situated next to a 70mph freeway. It seems most are in agreement that DC fast charging would be the way to go if I am providing public charging. I have no qualms with providing a pay per use service and I like the idea that I could also offer it as a free perk for clients. The reason I thought about offering it for free is I have used a few free public charging stations and I appreciated being able to get an additional 12ish miles of range from an hour visit (I do see how 40-50amps and adding 50 miles in an hour may be too limited for a BEV user). I did a quick search on ChargePoint and was impressed at the 200+ range per hour. Sadly I did not see any pricing. Does anyone have any idea how much these units run and what the cost is to install?
 

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The best way to find out what it costs to install a Chargepoint system is to contact them directly. An ordinary level 2 is only useful to you and your employees or employees of other businesses that share your parking lot. I suspect that a DC Fast charger will be much more expensive, you'll need to look at that as a business proposition to determine if you will be able to make your investment back. If Chargepoint or one of their competitors were willing to do it on their nickel in return for the space to install it, which might be possible considering your proximity to a highway, then it would be an easier decision.
 

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L2 charging is so slow that I doubt it would be utilized much unless you attracted a local that wanted free fuel. I think the future for charging along highways has to be Chademo/CCS high speed or people will not use it.

All of the "free public" chargers around here end up useless as they are never available when you need them. I sincerely believe that there should be NO free charging. Users should at minimum pay for the kWh they are using. Subsidize the charging stations, but make the end user pay for the "fuel".

My experience is different. I use free charger every time I pass through a certain town on Wednesdays. It's always available. It's at a Subway, and, they earned my business (never used to stop there) because of the L2 station. I used to eat elsewhere on the way home. I stay about an hour between the Subway and another business in the station, but, they did gain at least me as a customer. Sure, I can't charge my Volt fully, but, I get just enough juice to drive the rest of the way home on electric. I always stopped anyway (but somewhere else) so there is no time lost for me. I think it's great.
 

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I will also say that I think the L2 is worth it. I have an electric motorcycle that does not have any DC charging capability, but which charges quickly from L2. I use L2 charging for long-distance travel, and having closely-spaced L2 stations helps me a lot since my range is only ~40 miles, less at highway speeds. I'd say yes to installing an L2. If nothing else, if gives EV-curious people confidence in seeing charging stations available.

An L2 installation can be $1-2k, but prepare for the installation of a DC fast charger to be more like $50k. Siemens has a cheap unit, the QC24S, which can be installed in a single phase location (most common for light commercial areas), but it is low power (only 24kW). I'd stick with L2.
 

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Thank you for all the replies. What I am seeing is mixed opinions on the home charger which is mostly in line with my own thinking. Essentially, we have no idea what the future holds and the charger that might seem to be good for the future might actually be very limited in 3-5 years. Given I likely will need to have an electrician come out to upgrade to 240V in the garage, I think my decision on what unit will be based on his estimated cost for the upgrades. If he merely needs to upgrade to a 50A circuit at the breaker box and doesn't need to run new wire then an HCS-40 may be the better option in case my girlfriend (we've been together long enough she may as well be called my wife, lol) decides to replace her Equinox with an EV (given how much she talks about her love of the Volt, I don't see this idea being too big of a stretch).

As for the business, I have a chiropractic office so patrons are usually in the office for about 30 minutes. The intent for the charging option is less for clients and more for the people passing by on the highway. We have I-75 that is about 1 mile away and my business is situated next to a 70mph freeway. It seems most are in agreement that DC fast charging would be the way to go if I am providing public charging. I have no qualms with providing a pay per use service and I like the idea that I could also offer it as a free perk for clients. The reason I thought about offering it for free is I have used a few free public charging stations and I appreciated being able to get an additional 12ish miles of range from an hour visit (I do see how 40-50amps and adding 50 miles in an hour may be too limited for a BEV user). I did a quick search on ChargePoint and was impressed at the 200+ range per hour. Sadly I did not see any pricing. Does anyone have any idea how much these units run and what the cost is to install?
Bear in mind that the interior wiring differences shouldn't cost much more. 6 gauge cabling costs about a dollar more per foot. 50 amp breakers and receptacles are about $40 each instead of $20. But the work involved is about the same, whether you're doing 20 amp service or 50. The EVSE may up to double in price from "no more than the mini-sized draw of the Volt" to "15KW monster", but it's still the same work, and the labor is likely to be the majority of cost, no matter WHAT you do.
 

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I think an inexpensive L2 charger open to the public but with a nominal fee that you could waive for clients would be a nice touch. Make it just expensive enough so that you don't have people camping there and blocking the charger for others. Keep it simple and inexpensive. The state of the art in DCFC'ers is changing so fast that it might not be worth trying to go top of the line. Given your business, it won't be a huge driver of business, but it will be a sort of halo for it.
 

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Hello to all the Volt community. I purchased a CPO 2017 Volt Premier last month and I appreciate all the forum posts I have read through the last couple months as it has led to much less surprises with all the newness of this great vehicle. I did not have to freak out when I was getting 35-40 miles EV range on cold days when driving 70+mph and I am looking forward to warm weather to enjoy the quiet electric drive for more miles every drive.

I live in a rural area which of course has no charging infrastructure available within 15 miles of my house/business (oddly, the closest charger is a Tesla supercharger - clearly Tesla thinks this area is worthwhile to provide electrons). My business is a stone's throw away from a heavily traveled highway and I was thinking of getting an EVSE to provide public charging (listed on plugshare) to encourage the growth and utilization of electric vehicles (the extra visibility might help the business, too!). I have looked mainly at Clipper Creek and thought the HCS-40 may be a good option for most people who are passing through and need some extra juice. Do you think this is a good option or should I look to offer something else? Do you think that it is something that won't be utilized and I would be wasting my money?

Secondarily, I will be moving to a new house in a few months. The previous owners already have a 30amp outlet that was used for their RV (most likely is currently 120V and will need to be upgraded to 240V). With the rapidly changing charging capabilities and offerings, is it best to go lower end, such as LCS-20 which is sufficient for the Volt (and plan to upgrade to a higher level outlet and evse in the future) or would it be better to upgrade the outlet to 50amp and go with a higher level EVSE such as the HCS-40?

There are so many options with charging stations that it is tough to gauge what would be the best long-term decision.

Thank you for the input!
If you put an EVSE at your business don't expect any return on that investment unless yours is a business that people spend 4+ hours at.

For your home, instead of purchasing a dedicated L2 charger, just make or purchase a patch cable to run the stock EVSE off of the 240V 30 amp plug you already have. If you get something that charges at a substantially greater than 2.8KW rate, then is the time to upgrade the plug and get a higher capacity L2 charger.

Later,

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bear in mind that the interior wiring differences shouldn't cost much more. 6 gauge cabling costs about a dollar more per foot. 50 amp breakers and receptacles are about $40 each instead of $20. But the work involved is about the same, whether you're doing 20 amp service or 50. The EVSE may up to double in price from "no more than the mini-sized draw of the Volt" to "15KW monster", but it's still the same work, and the labor is likely to be the majority of cost, no matter WHAT you do.
I have had the same thought that the electrician charge will be about the same regardless. I suppose the question then is if I am going to upgrade then how much do I upgrade? 50A seems to be a good compromise currently however I see that some Teslas already can take around 80A. It seems that I need to accept that there is a chance that regardless of my choice another upgrade may be necessary in the future.

I think an inexpensive L2 charger open to the public but with a nominal fee that you could waive for clients would be a nice touch. Make it just expensive enough so that you don't have people camping there and blocking the charger for others. Keep it simple and inexpensive. The state of the art in DCFC'ers is changing so fast that it might not be worth trying to go top of the line. Given your business, it won't be a huge driver of business, but it will be a sort of halo for it.
I feel that L2 may be the best option for now. The technology is changing so quickly and my goal is simply to provide a bridge in my local area. If a company wants to put in a DC charger on their dime then I would be open to that idea.
 

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Assuming the existing receptacle is a TT30, 30 amps @ 120v, it will only take an electrician a few minutes to convert the circuit to a NEMA 6-30. Then the most economical route is to build, or buy from Chris tx, a simple plug adapter for your GM charge cord (EVSE). You can take your time to figure out what you really want.

Is your office parking area shared with other offices or businesses? If so, perhaps they would share in the cost of installing a couple of charging spots. It would be a nice perk for clients/customers.

DC charger installations are very expensive. (>$10k, 3-phase power needed, etc to do it right.) Besides, you can't use them with your Volt!
 
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