So there’s been a very important question about the Chevy Bolt that we’ve been following closely since its specs started trickling out earlier this year. How fast can it charge? We’re not talking about Level 2/Home charging which was clarified this week at 7.68 kW.
The Chevy Bolt Owner’s Manual which is now online (PDF) confirms that the Bolt will charge at 32 amps at 240 volts = 7.68 kW – giving the car 25 miles of charge per hour. This week, AeroVironment also announced that they would be providing the optional Chevy-branded home charging stations (vs. the included 110V plug adapter) to Chevy by upping their 30A EVSE-RS Charging stations 2 more amps to reach this level. As we’ve discussed before, this is a solid speed for home and destination charging but trails Tesla’s 48A chargers. The real world difference here in charging 100 miles is 3 hours for Tesla and 4 hours for the Bolt. Not a huge difference really when most of this will be done overnight.
But the real question when we are talking about charging speed is DC fast-charging for long distance travel. There are a bunch of differing statements out there which say Chevy is going to include either 50kW or 80kW depending who and when you ask.
While this might seem trivial on the surface, it is actually quite a big deal. The difference between 50kW and 80kW is a significant 60% increase. To put that into a real world scenario, imagine you want to fill up 2/3rds (40 kWh or 158 miles range) of the Bolt’s 60 kWh, 238-mile battery pack:
- 80kW, that takes 30 minutes
- 50kW, that takes 48 minutes
So we’re getting mixed messages from Chevy. Let’s run down the data points.
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