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I have a 2012 Chevy Volt with about 8,000 miles on it. I have an installed Voltec L2 charger which I use as my main method for charging my car. I have read many posts but not found any that talk about the battery life being charged by a L2 charger vs. doing the slower L1 charging? My question is this. Is there a disadvantage to me using the L2 charger all the time in regards to my battery life. Am I reducing my battery healthy by doing this?

Any information would be great!

Dave
 

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For lithium cells, even the volt's L2 is considered slow. Lithium cells can live a long time charged at 1C charge rate and that means from empty to full in 1 hour. Volt charges 65% in four hours so that is about C/6 at L2. I do notice the TMS comes on more often with L2 than when I used 120v a lot last year. Must be to cool the on board charger.

In hobby grade lithium packs, you can get certain brands that allow up to 5C charge rates. A123 cells found in the spark EV are also some that can support a 5C rate. That means full charge in 12 minutes. To charge an EV with 20kWh pack in that short of time is a huge power line, though.

One disadvantage of L1 is it will use slightly more power from the grid as the lower voltage is less efficient. About 13kWh for an L1 charge versus 12.5kWh for L2 to do a full charge. That doesn't reclaim the cost of the L2 unit on its own but if you drive often and want to avoid gas usage, an L2 can help recharge for an evening drive. One charger can recharge two cars in 8hours at work versus one 120v 15a circuit doing L1.
 

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It's not L1 or L2 that you need to be concerned with. What affects the battery life is fully discharging and fully recharging it, as well as keeping it away from high temperatures. And this is where the Volt shines.

It's designed to prevent you from fully charging or discharging the battery, and it's designed to keep the battery cool. This is why the battery is bigger than what you actually can use and it's why it has an active thermal management system.
 

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Personally, I can't find value for myself with a 6.6kWh. I don't need that fast of a turnaround for a full charge. Maybe a taxi service or very active health care professional could need a 2 hour full charge with a 6.6 kw. For a larger battery in a BEV, sure, like the spark EV or those via trucks run around a lot by a utility. And you need an even faster one for a two shift delivery truck scenario like the smith trucks with the A123 packs in them.
 

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I believe an L1 is better for the longer term life.. because you will drive it a bit less.

No significant difference in battery effects even for 6kW charging (at least for 20-75% SOC, at higher SOC it then it depends on the temps)

I don't even own a L2.. don't see the need.
 
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