How To Install A Home EV Charger For Your Chevy Bolt


Some Helpful Tips On Home EV Charger Installation For The Chevrolet Bolt

Over the last 5 years, electric vehicle technology has advanced at a break neck pace. In 2012 there were approximately 75,000 plug-in vehicles on US roadways, by the end of 2017, it is estimated that number will be closer to 780,000 vehicles. 

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE STATS HERE

Here at Muzi Chevrolet, we sell 2 of the top 5 most popular electric vehicles, the Chevy Volt (#1) and the Chevy Bolt (#5). Our electric vehicle customers almost always do their homework, but a question that arises frequently is how do I install a EV charger for the new Chevy Bolt?

So let's take a closer look at some of the logistics involved in this process.

What Types Of EV Chargers Are Available?

First, let's start with the basics. There are a few different types of chargers available for different electric vehicles. The chargers generally break down into 2 different types of AC power: 120V and 240V.

The Level 1, 120V chargers are best for consumers who are just using their new Chevy Bolt EV for driving around town or for short commutes. It plugs directly into a regular outlet and really only provides about 3-4 miles of charge per hour. This type of charger can also work well for Volt drivers and drivers of other EVs and plugin in hybrids such as the Fusion Energi or Nissan LEAF that do not have as much range.

But, for the vast majority of our customers a level 1 charger is really not going to meet your charging needs. This charger is great in a bind, but we really don't think it is sufficient as your primary power provider.


The Level 2 charger will provide approximately 25 miles of charge per hour and connects to a 240V outlet. We recommend the Level 2 charger for home installation. If you plug in overnight your car will be fully charged by the morning and, in certain towns, you can take advantage of off-peak electric pricing. The Level 2 Charger will get your new Bolt EV charged quickly and efficiently and provide a better EV ownership experience.

The Level 3 DC Fast Charging/SAE J1772 Combo is the most powerful.  This will provide your vehicle up to 90 miles of range in just 30 minutes of charging. But this type of charge is currently only available at public stations and other private businesses that are on the chargepoint network.
Click Here For A Full Breakdown of the Charging Options

How Much Does It Cost To Install An Electric Charger?

When setting up your home charging station for your Chevy Bolt, the first thing that you will want to do is confirm that you have a dedicated circuit for the charger. Setting up a Level 1 dedicated circuit could run in the $200 to $300 range. The cost of a dedicated level 2 circuit is approximately $300 to $500.



In addition to the price for a dedicated circuit, the Electric Vehicle Service Equipment also referred to as the EVSE or charger will cost money.
 
Semantic Sidenote: Charger is a commonly used misnomer for the EVSE. The EVSE is essentially the equipment necessary to safely connect your electric vehicle to the power source. The chargers in modern EVs are actually onboard the vehicle and convert the AC power to DC power so that the battery pack will charge. 

Here is a good visual representation of some of the important EV terminology:



Moving on. The Level 1 "chargers" are generally included free by most manufacturers and are a good portable option to have on hand. While a level 2 charger generally runs between $300 and $900, plus installation cost.

Which EVSE / Electric Vehicle Charger Should I Buy?

The Chevy Bolt operates with a Combined Charging System configuration, commonly referred to as CCS.

The Combined Charge System standard got its name because it built on the existing J1772 Level 2 charge standard to allow for all three speeds of charging from a single port.



There are now many brands of EV chargers, in the CCS configuration, that are available on the market and some are better than others. It is important to note that General Motors actually selected the AeroVironment EVSE-RS (32 Amp) as the official home charger for the Chevy Bolt. The AeroVironment Charger is depicted in the image above.

Due to this designation, the AeroVironment actually received a specific GM part number and can be purchased directly through the parts department at Chevrolet dealerships, making for a more convenient solution.



According the Bolt EV product manager, Darin Gesse,"We selected AeroVironment due to their strong brand recognition, reputation for reliability, and decades of leadership in supporting EVs. In addition, their EVSE-RS provides proven performance, making AeroVironment a great partner for Chevrolet."

That being said, there are many quality EVSE options. Here are a few other quality EVSE's to consider:

The ChargePoint Home, GE Durastation, JuiceBox Pro, Aerovironment 21330. Click Here To Learn More About Some Of The Most Popular Chargers

How Much Does It Cost To Charge My Chevy Bolt at Home?

The costs of charging at home vary depending on your location and driving habits. But, based on some data provided by Chargepoint, the average cost of charging is about $1.85 for 44 miles of range. That means that charging your Bolt EV is actually significantly cheaper that the cost of a gallon of gas. That efficiency is compounded when you consider that an EV can travel more than twice as far as the average car can on a single gallon. Pretty impressive.
 
The economics can become even more impressive once you add solar into the mix. According to a recent Center for Sustainable Energy survey, in California, 39% of EV owners currently have solar at their home and an additional 7% are considering going solar within 12 months. So we believe that more and more drivers will be powering their vehicles via solar, which should amplify both the environmental and economic advantages of driving electric.

How To Install Your Electric Vehicle Charger

A handy person will be capable of installing an electric vehicle charger at home. It only takes a few simple tools: stud finder, drill, phillips screwdriver, stud finder, electric tape, wire stripper, and some common sense. However, we always recommend that our customers consult a licensed electrician to handle this project. The cost is not that significant and it is well-worth the safety and peace of mind.

A couple of things to keep in mind are the location of the charging port on your vehicle and the amperage of your current circuit. You will want to be sure to install the EVSE in a location that will be convenient to your vehicle. As far as the circuit breaker, you will want to make sure that you have sufficient amperage to handle an installation. A good rule of thumb is a 20A dedicated circuit for 120V and a 40A dedicated circuit if 240V is available. 

But, for some additional details on the actual installation process itself, check out this great video demonstration below. This is complete walk through of an actual EV home charger.



Conclusion

We hope that our article was able to answer some of your questions about How to Install a Home Charger For Your New Chevy Bolt EV.

One of the most important pieces of advice that we can provide our customers is that everyone who is thinking about installing a home EV charger should have a licensed electrician out to their home to assist you throughout this process. 

We wish you the best of luck in your home EV charger installation and we hope that you are enjoying life with your new Chevrolet Bolt!