GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am relatively new to the volt I have had it since june 2013..
the only thing like most other on this site is the slow charging time of the 3.3kw onboard charger...
can someone tell me if there is an upgrade or after market charger that can change this . a lot of the level 2 chargers are charging at 6.6kw or so

any ideas anyone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
onboard charger

I am relatively new to the volt I have had it since june 2013..
the only thing like most other on this site is the slow charging time of the 3.3kw onboard charger...
can someone tell me if there is an upgrade or after market charger that can change this . a lot of the level 2 chargers are charging at 6.6kw or so

any ideas anyone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,577 Posts
AFAIK, there is no way to increase the ability of the on-board charger to allow 6.6kWh charging. I don't believe that that is software limited. We will have to wait for Gen2 to see if that will be changed.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
The onboard charger is heavily integrated into the car's systems, and critical to the proper function and longevity of the battery. It also does other things, like providing 12V power to run the coolant pumps during charging.

Given all of the above, it's not surprising that there aren't any aftermarket options, nor are there likely to be in the future. GM could offer a faster charger in the future, but I don't really expect it - and I'm not sure that the wiring inside the car is heavy enough to handle twice as much current to begin with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
Well when you are in mountain mode with a fully discharged battery its is charging at a rate a lot higher than 6.6 KW...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,940 Posts
Well when you are in mountain mode with a fully discharged battery its is charging at a rate a lot higher than 6.6 KW...
Yes, but that is for relatively short spurts, not a prolonged big 4 hour charge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
I got tired of manually switching from 8 to 12 amps for charging - bit the bullet an bought at 220 Volt Charger - total cost was $1200 less the 30% tax credit between the actual charger and the installation. Now I charge in 2 hours instead of 10+.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,366 Posts
Yes, but that is for relatively short spurts, not a prolonged big 4 hour charge.
Doesn't take 4 hours to charge when charging at a rate significantly higher than 6.6kW.

The 3.3kW charger was purely a cost decision. A 6.6kW one would have been more expensive to develop and manufacture, and 3.3kW was deemed "good enough". It has nothing to do with battery longevity, as even 6.6 would be only a 0.4C charge rate, which is still very easy on the battery. I'd prefer 6.6kW (I have a beefy L2 at work that could handle it), but it's not a deal-breaker and I get why they didn't do it... the cost-to-benefit just wasn't there. Maybe in Volt 2.0...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,582 Posts
tell me if there is an upgrade or after market charger that can change this . a lot of the level 2 chargers are charging at 6.6kw or so

any ideas anyone
3.3 is the max., no (practical, cost efficient, or easy) way around that. Maybe Gen 2 Volts (and Spake EVs, andELR's) will handle more, who knows?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,454 Posts
..
The 3.3kW charger was purely a cost decision. ....2.0...
your view. That's ok, but I think it was a systems engineering decision. I think the car was designed around a simple question:

For a person who doesn't want to invest in infrastructure at home, what is the best electric driving performance that we can give them on an overnight charge that will also allow them to drive whenever and wherever they want, all with the good performance and comfort.

The Volt, even after Competitors have had 4 years to answer the bell, is still the best answer to that question, even with the 3.3 KW charger, ...

In 9500 miles, 8300 pure electric, over 7 months, charging only on 120V (1.5 KW) There is a total of about 150 miles that were gas but might have been electric if I had a bought a 220V charger. 5 extra gallons of gas, $20.00 total spend, That's a big deal to Ari_C, but not to me... How much more would I want to spend up front on a higher current rate charger to change that ratio???

At work I also plug into 120V. I'm there for 9 hours a day and get a full charge if needed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
While I am not aware of any modifications to increase the charging speed in the Volt, this has been done on the LEAF and now Rav4EV. It's certainly doable on the Volt but the real question is: will there be a market and are there any electrical tinkerers out there who own a Volt able to devote time to it? Here's the link to the LEAF thread where people have added another 3.3KW charger to the existing LEAF charger to double charging rate: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=12323
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
your view. That's ok, but I think it was a systems engineering decision. I think the car was designed around a simple question:

For a person who doesn't want to invest in infrastructure at home, what is the best electric driving performance that we can give them on an overnight charge that will also allow them to drive whenever and wherever they want, all with the good performance and comfort.

The Volt, even after Competitors have had 4 years to answer the bell, is still the best answer to that question, even with the 3.3 KW charger, ...

In 9500 miles, 8300 pure electric, over 7 months, charging only on 120V (1.5 KW) There is a total of about 150 miles that were gas but might have been electric if I had a bought a 220V charger. 5 extra gallons of gas, $20.00 total spend, That's a big deal to Ari_C, but not to me... How much more would I want to spend up front on a higher current rate charger to change that ratio???

At work I also plug into 120V. I'm there for 9 hours a day and get a full charge if needed...
I completely agree, it was an engineering decision.

Four hours to a full charge via a Level II is perfectly OK, heck my phone takes that long to charge. And even 8 to 10 hours is no big deal, it's just an overnight charge. And the battery will live longer when charged slowly.

And what is the downside to not having time for an adequate charge? None. You can still get to where you need to be using the 'range extender' aka, the ICE.

The downside of not having time for an adequate charge in a Leaf, Spark, Rav EV, Tesla, etc.? ...walking.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
Keep in mind, when the Volt was being designed, and even for the first couple years of production, there weren't cars that charged faster, nor faster J1772 chargers to charge from. (Not counting the Tesla roadster with its unique plug and protocol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
Well when you are in mountain mode with a fully discharged battery its is charging at a rate a lot higher than 6.6 KW...
Yes but that's not using the Volts on board AC to DC charger. That uses the main inverter to charge the car.

There are days where I would like to have 6.6KW charging. But not many.
If I stop and think about it has not having 6.6KW charging increased my gasoline usage? Maybe a tiny bit. There are very few days where 6.6KW charging would have made the difference between using gas and not using gas.

Also during Remote start 6.6KW charging would keep up under a remote start in comfort mode in the winter. And I might consider using some of the pay chargers.

None of these are deal breakers to me. If the next Voltec vehicle had 50 miles EV range with 3.3KW charger and a 5 hour recharge time I would still buy it.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,582 Posts
While I am not aware of any modifications to increase the charging speed in the Volt, this has been done on the LEAF and now Rav4EV. It's certainly doable on the Volt but the real question is: will there be a market and are there any electrical tinkerers out there who own a Volt able to devote time to it? Here's the link to the LEAF thread where people have added another 3.3KW charger to the existing LEAF charger to double charging rate: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=12323
The small added benefit of reducing the charge time by 2 hours is simply not worth the cost and voided warranty in my opinion. That's assuming you have the required technical skill. This is not like building an EVSE in my mind (something I have done).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
Another benefit to slow overnight charging is that the battery doesn't get cold overnight from sitting.
I made an excel sheet that tells me how many hrs of charge @ 8amps I need to get to work the next day. So it tells me if I have 8mi of EV left "in the tank" after the ride home- I need to plug in at 10pm to have the 32EV miles I need by my 8am departure time the next morning.
I seem to get approx 2.4miles/hr at the 8amp recharge rate, so if I need an additional 24EV miles... plug in for 10hrs at 8 amps... easy peasy!
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
is there a way to parallel the charger so I could get the 1/2charging time
Can it be done? I'm sure it is possible. But it won't be simple...

The charger is liquid cooled, part of the power electronics cooling loop. It's tied to both the 12V and high voltage wiring, and it talks to the center console and battery computers on the CANBus. In addition to figuring out a place to put it, you'd have to sort out all of those linkages, and keep it from fighting with the original charger when it comes to end of charge or charge timing. Then you'd need either a second charge port, or else a heavy Y cable to the charge port and more magic to keep the two chargers cooperating in their communication over the J1772 link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,940 Posts
is there a way to parallel the charger so I could get the 1/2charging time
It certainly is possible, but probably needs to be designed into the car, not an aftermarket product. The Tesla Model S has a relatively expensive option that offers a second on-board charger and 2nd charging port so you could charge over two 240V outlets using two cords. Sort of a poor man's almost-supercharger.... well, actually a rich man's home mini supercharger.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
It certainly is possible, but probably needs to be designed into the car, not an aftermarket product. The Tesla Model S has a relatively expensive option that offers a second on-board charger and 2nd charging port so you could charge over two 240V outlets using two cords. Sort of a poor man's almost-supercharger.... well, actually a rich man's home mini supercharger.
I think you may have misunderstood Tesla's factory second charger option. It does install a second 10kW charger module under the back seat, but there isn't a second charge port. It's intended to allow use with the 220V/100 amp HPWC they'll install in your house, or High powered J1772 EVSE's (the spec allows 80 amps? and there are a bunch of 70 amp models on the west coast and in canada.)

I've read some discussion about the possibility of giving the second charger a separate charge port to use two 14-50s or two J1772s, but I haven't read of anyone actually doing it.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top