Skip to comments.New Improved 2013 Volt Charges 30 Percent Slower
Posted on 12/05/2012 11:57:12 AM PST by ExxonPatrolUs
In late 2011, photos of melted and damaged Volt charging cords appeared on the internet. GM initially blamed wiring problems in the electrical outlets, eventually, the company announced that they would replace all the 120V chargers in all 2011 and some 2012 models with a new unit. About 9,500 charging units were replaced.
When the 2013 model came around, Volt owners were faced with a new and improved feature: Longer charge time. In self-help groups on the Internet, the culprit was quickly found: GM had reduced the default circuit load of the charger from 12 Ampere to 8 Ampere. Then, a low intensity war on the message boards ensued, and is still rages on. Here the latest dispatches from the front:
Volt owners found out that there is a way to make the Volt charge at 12 Ampere and therefore faster. But that is buried a few levels deep in a maze of menus and most annoyingly, it cant be made sticky. Must wade through menus every time. Of course, the most practical solution would be to use the 240V charger on a 240 V circuit (something yours truly could install in a few hours, including a trip to the hardware store), but owners confess that they are too lazy/stingy to do that, and the complaints continue.
Melissa of Chevrolet Customer Svc intervened.
Chevrolet must have the matter outsourced, because Melissa identified herself as an Associate of Morley Companies, Inc. On its website, Morley introduces itself as a group travel, business theater, interactive, research, performance improvement, exhibit, display and experiential marketing firm, which more than establishes its credentials to handle the matter. Especially after its associates receive some remedial English lessons. Melissa informed the frustrated Volt owners that its not a bug, its a feature: As a safety feature the Volt will automatically default to the 8amps. This was designed by the engineers as a safeguard the Volt needs. This is to assist and remind owners that the Volt needs to be on a dedicated, grounded, oriented outlet on an individual circuit to be able to charge. This feature is to prevent the outlet getting warm and overheating. To change from 8A to 12A, says Melissa, is very simple. It also reminds the Volt owner that there is a competing product from Nissan:
The 2013 owners only have to push the Leaf button, select the charging tab, then charge level, and then push the amps they would like to charge at. You can change this level while driving.
Oops. Dont let Ray LaHood read that last. No, you cant make the 12A setting sticky, and dont hold your breath that this will ever change:
This is the way the Volt was designed for the 2013, there will not be an option to retrofit, or change the charge cord charging design. We truly do value your feedback regarding this safety feature.
Howls of protests ensued. This is absolutely idiotic form a usability stand point. You honestly want us to push FOUR times?
Yep, says Melissa. I understand your frustration for the safety feature and we appreciate your feedback for the option. That exchange happened in early September. It did not appease the Volt owners, and the discussion is raging on, wisely sans Melissa. Tired of talking to themselves, enraged 100 Volt owners widened the conflict. Complaints appeared in comment sections of Forbes. Expect more elsewhere. TTAC just received a readers letter, complete with headline! (See above.)
BS comment: Of course, pushing buttons four times wont make charging at 12A any safer, and it wont help the outlet keep its cool. It simply gives GM opportunity to instruct the user each and every time of the potential hazards, and (hopefully) lets GM off the hook. A standard three prong (with ground) U.S. outlet is good for 15 Amp, should be connected to a 15A wring with a 15A breaker, and therefore plenty for a 12A load. If something else is on the line, the breaker should blow. Note the shoulds.
“Leaf Option” [commonly referred amongst GM engineers as the “Hello Kitty” NO-FIRE mode]
This car was pushed by Obama and his cronies as part of the "bail-out deal" that Chevy got. Anybody who bought into this deal, well, they don't call it "Government Motors" for nothing. Think about all the things the Government runs; and, you expected the Volt to be a well thought out idea? Please.
We have a 200 year supply of oil in our own country but continue with this electric car nonsense. It is insane.
LMAO! 80/20 rule stipulates that when a breaker reaches 80% capacity, it will trip. You try to push 12A over a 15A circuit, and you can guarantee that POS electric car won't charge. If you have a dedicated 20A circuit, you might have a fighting chance, but most people will just assume, "Oh, the plug fits in this outlet, it must work."
A 12ga, 50 ft. 15A rated extension cord will get quite warm pushing 12A. They might get away with 8ga or 10ga 5-30, but that would require a dual-pole breaker on a dedicated circuit.
Gasoline is just so much easier.
I have so little sympathy for Volt owners and buyers that I would allow insurance companies to refuse to pay those owners on ALL fire claims, even when the Volt burns down their home or business.
Look for the government to give GM another “bailout” next year.
You get the power from a coal fired plant anyway. Why not run the cars on coal?
This is the new Obama Amerika where ‘improvements’ result in things taking longer and where we have a lower staandard of living, less money and fewer jobs. Get used to it.
Maybe you, but I get my electricity from unicorns.
Hundreds of unicorns fed an all bean diet with painful methane collection units inserted into them. Did I mention that I really hate unicorns.
My brother in law bought one of these things earlier in the year. He’s a complete leftist.
Can’t wait to ask him how his electric car is in a year or two when gasoline is back under $2 a gallon.
You see that happening under Obama? How so?
The faster you charge a battery, the shorter its lifespan (everything else being equal). If you have the time for a slower charge, the lower Amperage setting will prolong your battery life.
If your breakers are tripping at 80% of their rating, something is wrong with them.
And remember comrades:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
In most states, and under UBC, a standard convenience outlet must be on a 20 amp circuit. 15 amp circuits are only for lighting and controls.
I’m guessing that it also discharges 30% faster than its predecessor. These green guys are ingenius.
The list, Ping
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The list, Ping
Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list
On a dedicated circuit, yes. If you’re plugging in something that will consume 80% of the circuit’s rated amperage on a non-dedicated circuit, between swing voltages and any fluctuations, it’ll pop real quick.
I worked in datacenters for 10 years. We kept everything below 80% on our 30A circuits. If we ever lost a redundant circuit, the swing voltage alone on a dual-PSU server or storage device would put a live circuit near capacity before stabilization on a fully-populated rack.
Gotcha. I’m used to dedicated circuits.
I was interested in what you were saying about CB ratings.
So I took a look here. I hope it clears things up.
really? i get skittles from my unicorns when they fart rainbows.
When did that change?
Seems to me that most 120V circuit breakers are rated at 15A.
In UBC states, only lighting and control circuits can be 15 A. 20 A 12 Ga wire is required for all convenience outlets.
Where can I find a list of UBC states?
Probably at I.C.B.O.
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