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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friendly greetings everyone,
I purchased what may have been the last "new" (ex demo) Volt in Perth a few months back, and I've been very happy with it save for one small thing.
The portable Voltec EVSE rarely activates correctly when first turned on. It usually requires turning the power point on and off several times before it will properly start charging the car - every other time the red light comes on and there is a clunk sound from the unit (unlike the soft click of the relay when successfully charging).
This has happened on every power outlet I have tried in several different locations (home, work, parent's house), and I've had an electrician check the power outlet at work so I know it isn't a fault with the supply there.

On rare occasions it also trips the RCD when at home, although that is usually when there is a load on that circuit (clothes dryer or electric heater). I have tried various combinations of plugging in the car first, charger first, power on and off while connecting car, and nothing really seems to work (car first with power off is slightly more reliable).
This makes the delayed start effectively useless as it will usually trip when the charging schedule starts.

Has anyone else experienced this? Could it just be that I have a faulty charger? When it does start charging correctly there are no other issues apparent, and charging times are within expected ranges respective of charging mode (6A/10A), although at 10A, it's certainly not 4 hours as seems to be quoted for US 240V chargers, unless they're drawing 15A+.
With relatively conservative driving and not using the climate controls I'm getting around 80-85kms on battery in warmer weather, although I've not had it through a summer yet.
 

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From other posts, the Voltec chargers are very sensitive to voltage sags. Even though an outlet is within spec and passes an electrician's inspection.

Things to try:
- Measure the outlet voltage while charging (under load).
- Try a different EVSE. Maybe yours is iffy.
- Try your EVSE on a different car. Maybe the car is iffy.
 

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I think there maybe an issue with your EVSE. I use delayed charging all the time with zero issues.

Also 240V EVSE's in North America typically allow for 15 or more amps of current. The Volt will draw nearly 14A maximum.

Also how sensitive is your RCD? Is it a 5mA or 30mA unit? Most EVSE's have a built in RCD that is commonly set at around 20mA. They often don't play well with some 5mA RCD's (GFI's) receptacles.
 

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Never had a problem with the EVSE and delayed charging. However, we're used to 120v power and you're using 240v, so I'm unsure whether our experience will translate directly. Having another appliance with a major draw on the circuit could certainly create a problem. Sorry for not being familiar with the 240v EVSE, but can you select the amperage on that? On the 120v you can choose to charge at 8A or 12A, and some people find they have to use the lower amperage. (I'm guessing this is a yes since you mention 10A).

As others have mentioned the charge cord from GM is more sensitive than others, so it may not technically be defective but still problematic. Is there any way you could get another charge cord for testing? Even going to a dealer and using theirs and then yours might help isolate the problem.

Congrats on your range. That's quite good. Way better than I get!
 

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Hi Shane, I have two EVSE's and they both do it. The one at home is hooked into the hot water unit circuit, and I often run both the car and the clothes dryer at the same time off the same power point, and it will work fine like that for weeks. However, on another occasion, I'll turn the switch on and it trips immediately. That said, its never tripped the RCD.

My second unit is kept in the car. I have a weekender that uses a pump for the water supply, and when its running, 5/10 times it'll cause the EVSE to trip.

As others have mentioned here, it seems to be quite sensitive to voltage changes. It doesn't matter if I have it at 6A or the 10A settings, it will do it. Today my wife was using a food processor at our weekender and it made it trip, and our place is quite new, as opposed to it being an old house with an old wiring system.

I've had situations where I've done a remote start, and come downstairs to find the EVSE had tripped, so I know what you're getting at. Now I tend to manually start the car and crank the A/C up to full to let it pre-charge and to make sure it works. I know its a hassle, but despite trying other power points etc, I really couldn't work out what was causing them to trip, apart from when there was another load on the line. When I had the new switch put in on the hot water circuit, it now does it quite infrequently compared to before when it was on the normal house power point circuit and it was almost a daily issue, but that said, it still plays up from time to time.

Without putting a power conditioner on, I really couldn't think of any other way around it.

Occasionally I've also had the situation where the EVSE is on, but there's a yellow light on the car. The only way to clear it is to actually start the vehicle and reset the EVSE. Once again, I have no idea why it does that, but its very infrequent.

Sorry I can't help, apart from validate that there is sometimes a problem with the EVSE, but I suspect its more to do with it being sensitive than something with the units themselves.

regards,

craby
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your feedback everyone. I'll try your suggestions and let you know how I get on. Interestingly, the past few days it's started charging first time. So strange!
 
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Thanks for your feedback everyone. I'll try your suggestions and let you know how I get on. Interestingly, the past few days it's started charging first time. So strange!
I am a new Volt owner of several weeks. Yes, mine was also sometimes tripping the portable EVSE's fault light for no obvious reason in the manner you describe. It was annoying but then it seemed to come good and behave itself. A mystery.
Now, for convenience, I have a Holden portable EVSE carried permanently in the back of the Volt and another in the back of our Mitsubishi iMiEV. I have carried a Holden EVSE in the iMiEV for several years for the odd instance of charging from an ordinary power point away from home. It is handy that it has a 10A plug on it. Mitsubishi put a 15A plug on theirs, even though it will not draw more than 10A. In our carport, I have the Mitsubishi EVSE installed between the Volt and the iMiEV and use it for charging one then the other car.
The Holden and Mitsubishi portable EVSEs are both happy to charge either car.
 

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Make sure your Earth in the House is good, modern house have poor earths and clamps to say from 20 years ago.

Also make sure the Volts firmware for the on-board charger has been updated by the dealer.
I had an incompatibility on delay that was fixed by a dealer upgrade for an SPX / Bosch charger.
 

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Is your EVSE connected to 240V socket? The US/Canada stock EVSE come with a nema 5-15 male plug which usually plugs into a 110V socket. If we want to use level2 type charging with it, we need to get an adapter for either the dryer/stove connectors, (usually NEMA 14-30, 14-50, see https://goo.gl/images/Y7pRUa for details) or similar.

edit: meant 5-15, typed 5-50, corrected, ty hellsop
 

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The US/Canada stock EVSE come with a nema 5-50 male plug which usually plugs into a 110V socket.
5-15, not 5-50. The pin configuration is the same, but a 5-50 receptacle is about 5 cm across with about 2 cm between the hot/neutral blades, compared with 2 and 1 cm for the 5-15. Most diagrams are *terrible* at making that size difference clear.
 

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The original EVSE is warranted by GM and Holden should replace it for free if it is faulty.
It is considered part of the vehicle.
Brighton Holden replaced my unit when its smoke came out.
 
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