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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't like posting negatives, but I have to post my disappointment in what I think is going to be the 'weakest link' in the Chevrolet VOLT: The charging cord.

I delivered another VOLT yesterday afternoon. The customer drove it; showed it off to family; then took the charger out of the back and plugged it in.... Nothing. The charger did not light up when plugged in, even before attaching it to the car.

Now, that charger was working 48 hours before when the VOLT was sitting in the showroom and I used that very same charger to recharge the car.

The customer left the cord plugged in overnight and it did not charge. So she called me this morning to arrange bringing the car in for inspection. I checked the cord when she arrived. It did not light up when plugged in to the wall.

I spoke to my Service Manager who was already aware of the problem. Apparently a bulletin was sent out on this issue on January 20th. So they are checking everything all over again, but my customer does not have her car while this is being done.

Needless to say, I am embarrassed about it, and concerned about a bad CSI score. GM needs to supply all dealerships with replacement units, and if needed, replace the vendor that is making them.
 

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CG
I agree with you to a certain extent.

But FYI there has been NO Techncial Service Bulletin with respect to any sort of "chronic" issues with the 120V EVSE supplied with the Volt.The PI of which your service manager spoke of (PIC5386B dated January 20) was merely the standard issue "parts restriction" bulletin that goes out with almost any "new" technology and echoed essentially for every single primary component of the Volt! This PI also outlines the TAC requirements (detailed fault documentation) for recieving the replacement unit. So AT THIS TIME, you can't just walk up to a GM parts counter and order one of these (or a HV battery, drive unit, or PIM for that matter) Necessary measures.

So while your frustration for this most recent scenario may be warranted, there have actually been very few total failures of the 120EVSE (such as you describe here) and the vast majority of issues so far have been traced back to various issues with the 120V power source/supply. Thus the majority of issues have been various EVSE warning lights, and charge interuption alarms for reasons not in GMs direct control.

However there certainly has been more issues and failures implementing J1772 than I'm sure they anticipated or preferred. So hopefully they will be able to improve on various aspects of the EVSE hardware to make it more tolerant of the conditions that have been creating these exceptions, in such a manner that it can more conveniently and correctly look after your existing Volt customer base.

I agree that if an "improved" version of the EVSE is ever created, that a spare unit should be made part of parts inventory so a replacement can be more easily expidited to the customer. Curretly due to the parts restriction I previously mentioned, the Techncial Assitance Center will need to become involved in order to receive a replacement. In the long run this is the only way some level of control can be implemented to this process to insure the root causes of EVSE replacement are being properly documented, and prevent the EVSE supply from being negatively affected by uncontrolled parts channels that might be selling to people or organizations that are NOT Volt owners.

Hopefully your service department can get the TAC process handled in an expedient manner so they can over-night you a replacement unit ASAP and alleviate any serious customer dissatisfaction in this case.

HTH
WOT

THE 120VOLTEC ROBOT- GREEN IS GOOD!



I don't like posting negatives, but I have to post my disappointment in what I think is going to be the 'weakest link' in the Chevrolet VOLT: The charging cord.

I delivered another VOLT yesterday afternoon. The customer drove it; showed it off to family; then took the charger out of the back and plugged it in.... Nothing. The charger did not light up when plugged in, even before attaching it to the car.

Now, that charger was working 48 hours before when the VOLT was sitting in the showroom and I used that very same charger to recharge the car.

The customer left the cord plugged in overnight and it did not charge. So she called me this morning to arrange bringing the car in for inspection. I checked the cord when she arrived. It did not light up when plugged in to the wall.

I spoke to my Service Manager who was already aware of the problem. Apparently a bulletin was sent out on this issue on January 20th. So they are checking everything all over again, but my customer does not have her car while this is being done.

Needless to say, I am embarrassed about it, and concerned about a bad CSI score. GM needs to supply all dealerships with replacement units, and if needed, replace the vendor that is making them.
 

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my customer does not have her car while this is being done.
Why does your customer not have her car? The charge cord does appear to be causing GM a couple bits of grief (now hearing of the no-light failure, in addition to my GFCI of death failure). I'm on my fourth charge cord, this one hopefully fixing the GFCI issue. But I've only once been without my car (second cord failure, for a couple days while they made sure it wasn't the car causing the problem).

If it' the cord's problem, let your customer keep and drive the car. Yes, it means they just have a hybrid burning gas that gets 30-40 MPG. That's better than any other car I own.

I'll grant it's a bit odd to have to record the vehicle mileage to put the cord into the repair system, only to pick up a replacement cord with several hundred more miles on the car...
 

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Mine's working OK, but it is REALLY slow. I pulled into work Friday AM with about 15 miles AER supposedly remaining. I plugged it in at about 8:15 AM and it immediately showed that charging would be complete at 6:15 PM. 10 Hours? I left at 5:30, and sure enough, the engine kicked in about 3 miles from home.

I'm already thinking of ordering a second 220v charger for work, which I really didn't want to do.
 

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Mine's working OK, but it is REALLY slow. I pulled into work Friday AM with about 15 miles AER supposedly remaining. I plugged it in at about 8:15 AM and it immediately showed that charging would be complete at 6:15 PM.
That's slow, even for the 120V EVSE. What was the ambient temperature? For the cord I find one battery bar roughly equals one hour of charging. If you had 15 miles EV range that sounds like 3 bars. So it shouldn't have taken more than 7 hours to fully recharge your battery.

If you were charging at 8 amps (two of the four green LEDs lit) you'd get 2 to 3 miles per hour. That might explain why you didn't have enough charge to get home.

If you are in 8 amp mode, plug your EVSE in and while not plugged into the car press the big orange button below the row of 4 LEDs (it's not an easy switch). It should switch to 4 LEDs lit, and it'll charge your car a lot faster.

If you're already in 12 amp mode, there's something fishy going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Because GM is monitoring EVERYTHING about the Volt deliveries so closely, ANY problem issue has a strict procedure that our Service Guys have to follow, including notifying GM. So the customer was offered a rental for a day if she wants it while they check this out.
 

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That's slow, even for the 120V EVSE. What was the ambient temperature? For the cord I find one battery bar roughly equals one hour of charging. If you had 15 miles EV range that sounds like 3 bars. So it shouldn't have taken more than 7 hours to fully recharge your battery.

If you were charging at 8 amps (two of the four green LEDs lit) you'd get 2 to 3 miles per hour. That might explain why you didn't have enough charge to get home.

If you are in 8 amp mode, plug your EVSE in and while not plugged into the car press the big orange button below the row of 4 LEDs (it's not an easy switch). It should switch to 4 LEDs lit, and it'll charge your car a lot faster.

If you're already in 12 amp mode, there's something fishy going on.
Yup, that's exactly what was going on. 2 LEDs were lit. The car was saying full charge at 8:15 PM - I got a late start today. I unplugged the car and pushed the button, whereupon 4 LEDs were lit. I plugged the car back in and now it says charge complete at 6:30 PM. Duhhhh!!

Many thanks for your excellent advice. When I first used the charger it seemed to charge much faster and then, late last week, it slowed dramatically. So I guess the famous button got pushed by accident and I wasn't smart enough to realize it, LOL.

Thanks again
 

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GM knows there is a problem with the 120 volt charge cord. I have posted many comments, so let be positive for a change.

Both the 240 Voltec Charge Station and the 240 volt Charge Point Charge Station are working great at my home. What a relief to charge with no errors or problems. My best advise is, get the 240 Voltec and stop using the 120 volt Voltec Charge Cord.

PS: If you hate the coiled cord, you might want to wait for a new version with a straight cord. No release date mentioned, but it is being considered.
 

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PS: If you hate the coiled cord, you might want to wait for a new version with a straight cord. No release date mentioned, but it is being considered.
Second the 240v charger. So handy when you get home from work and need to go out later.

I think the coiled one works great when you hang it from the ceiling. Press charger button, get out of car, pull down and plug in. Just a few seconds!!

Retracto_Charge_ceiling_mount.JPG
Volt_plugin_simulation.JPG
 

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Mark Z,

I'm really happy with my Voltec, but a straight cord would work a LOT better for my next one to be installed at work. Do you have any sense of the availability?
 

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scottf200,

I'm about ready to try it.

Where did you get the little retractable reel thingie?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Follow Up on 120-V Charging Cord

One of our Service Advisors gave me an update on my customer's VOLT charging cord. The "VOLT TASK FORCE" is on it...! [I'm picturing four guys in black with automatic weapons and stuff.]

Anyway, the customer will have a new charging cord tomorrow. They are shipping it overnight.

Great work boys! ;)
 

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scottf200,
I'm about ready to try it.
Where did you get the little retractable reel thingie?
I'm installing the 2nd version of it that has a stronger spring. The current one is working OK with my help springs. I'll get on it tonight probably. Thanks for the encouragement. I'll get back to you!
 

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I think that J1772 is going to have to be modified as being real world unusable. Instead of designing an outlet into which the customer plugs their cord, they designed a very expensive unit that includes a very expensive plug attached to a cord. How many times will the owner of a public charging station replace the stolen cord before they give up? Thieves are even guaranteed that there will be no power on the cord if a vehicle is not plugged in!

If electric cars become as popular as we all hope, there will need to be lots of charging stations at popular locations. By making charging stations so expensive the engineers have guaranteed they won't be installed.

I am awaiting the sale of a cord that can be plugged into a 110 or 220V outlet. I am sure it won't be long b efore that happens- code or no code.
 

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Is anyone else still having problems with the 110v EVSE?

I burned myself yesterday while rolling up the cord. One of the male prongs from the wall outlet end bumped into my wrist and caused a second degree burn. The pain caused me to drop the EVSE which promptly cracked the handle apart.

I called the Volt Advisor team through Onstar when I got in and they tried to send me to the dealer which was closed. I called the dealer today and they said the one tech they had trained on the Volt was going on vacation and it would be a couple of weeks until they could look at it. The car is leased so I'm going to need a new EVSE one way or the other, I'm hoping GM will cover it. It seems unusual that it would be so hot as to cause such a significant and instantaneous injury. (I e-mailed pictures of the burn and EVSE handle to the volt advisors, I'll try to post here when I get home later).
 

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One of the male prongs from the wall outlet end bumped into my wrist and caused a second degree burn.
Ouch!

After getting a new EVSE, you may find that the real problem lies with the outlet and not with the plug. If this is in your own home, consider replacing it with a new commercial grade Leviton outlet.
 

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The outlet could be the problem, or it might just be a loose or poor connection the the outlet.
Also If the wires are just shoved into the back of the outlet make the connections under the screws insted.
 
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