Will Volt Ever Have Level 3 Charging?
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  1. Default Will Volt Ever Have Level 3 Charging?

    For those who don't know about the three levels of electric car charging:

    Level 1: 110 volts. The regular plugs found throughout our homes. Fully charge the Volt battery in 8 to 10 hours, using the charger cord that comes with the Volt in the cargo area.

    Level 2: 240 volts. This is the same type of circuit that is used for electric clothes dryers or electric ranges. Fully charge the Volt battery in 4 hours using a 240 volt "charger" like the SPX Voltec charger or similar.

    Level 3: 480 volts. This is almost never used in residences, but is found in some public charging stations. The Volt doesn't offer this level of charging. The Nissan Leaf can be charged from almost empty to 80% full in about 25 minutes, and it has a 24 kwh battery compared to the Volt's 16 kwh.

    I sure would love to charge the Volt in 15 minutes at a level 3 charging station. Do any of you engineers think the 2011 Volt could eventually be upgraded to allow level 3 charging? Do you think it's likely future model years will allow it?

    I understand Nissan says frequent use of Level 3 charging, such as more than once per day, can degrade the life of the Leaf's main traction battery prematurely, so it is not recommended. Does the same thing apply, to a lesser degree, to level 2 charging? In other words, if I have a level 2 charger, would it degrade my Volt battery less if I usually used level one charging for my overnight charge, and only used level 2 when I only have time for a 4 hour (or less) charge, rather than always overnight charging with level 2?

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    I don't think level 3 charging is ever coming to a 2011 model year volt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honoreitiscom View Post
    For those who don't know about the three levels of electric car charging:
    In the SAE J1772 standard I'm looking at, there are 4 levels of charging. "Level 3" is defined as AC 204-240V charging at up to 400 amps. The Leaf doesn't do that. What I think you're talking about is fast DC charging. While J1772 talks about DC charging, I don't think the Leaf does that either. Does anyone know if the Leaf's DC charge port is J2293 or J2894? A quick web search shows J2894 out for vote just this last May.

    In any case, I don't think there's currently an agreed upon "Level 3" charging standard. It's my understanding that what's getting implemented is ad-hoc based on proposed standards.

    I understand Nissan says frequent use of Level 3 charging, such as more than once per day, can degrade the life of the Leaf's main traction battery prematurely, so it is not recommended. Does the same thing apply, to a lesser degree, to level 2 charging? In other words, if I have a level 2 charger, would it degrade my Volt battery less if I usually used level one charging for my overnight charge, and only used level 2 when I only have time for a 4 hour (or less) charge, rather than always overnight charging with level 2?
    Umm, yeah. Fast charging is not good for a battery's life. And with the ICE available, there's really not very many reasons to do it with the Volt. I've heard in other threads that GM doesn't expect significant degredation between Level 2 charging and Level 1, if any. So either/or/both should be good to go.

    If GM introduces a pure BEV they may well take advantage of any fast DC charging infrastructure available. But I don't see a need for it with the Volt.

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    According to Wikipedia, The Leaf has two charging receptacles: a standard SAE J1772-2009 connector for level 1 and 2 recharging (120/220 V AC)[39] and a JARI Level 3 DC connector designed by TEPCO for high-voltage, "level 3" quick charging (480 V DC 125 amps) using the CHAdeMO protocol.

    Using level 3 quick charging it can be charged to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes. Nissan developed its own 500 V quick charger that went on sale in Japan for ¥1,470,000 (around US$16,800) in May 2010 and plans to install 200 at dealers in Japan. Nissan warns that if fast charging is the primary way of recharging, then the normal and gradual battery capacity loss is about 10 percent more than regular 220 volt charging over a 10 year period. Other companies make compatible charging stations, and companies and local government have various initiatives to create networks of public charging stations.

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    Should have thought to use Wikipedia. Wikipedia seems to know at least a little bit about everything...

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    Also keep in mind that the North American Leafs will NOT have Level 3 charging capability. (Japan only apparently)
    Although it has been suggested that it MIGHT be something added later (for extra $$) or possibly for the 2013 model year it' difficul to say IF or WHEN that could really happen as the Level 3 chargers themselves are HUGE $$$$ (NOT an on-board charger like the Volt/Leaf currently uses for Level 1 & 2) so that will likely be reserved mostly for public infrastructure as opposed to home charging (unless of course you're loaded)
    Also dispite what it says in wikipedia Nissan has confirmed 240V charging rate will be software limited to 3.3kW (same as the Volt) so that's about 6.5hrs @ 240V (based on 90% DOD at 21.6kWh)
    HTH
    WOT
    Last edited by WopOnTour; 12-08-2010 at 06:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WopOnTour View Post
    Also keep in mind that the North American Leafs will NOT have Level 3 charging capability. (Japan only apparently) WOT
    I read an article a few weeks ago that Eaton Corp is installing Level 3 chargers in Tenessee at a chain of gas stations specifically because of the Leaf. Hopefully they have done their due diligence to know whether the Leaf will come with the ability to charge at Level 3!
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    From Wired.com/autopia:

    VACAVILLE, California — The longest journey starts with a single step, the saying goes, and our first step toward a public EV quick-charge infrastructure has been taken in a small city north of San Francisco.

    Vacaville is the first city in the United States to install a public DC quick-charge (aka Level 3) station. The 50-kilowatt charger, about the size of a gas pump, can “fill” an EV’s battery to 80 percent in around half an hour. That’s glacial compared to filling your gas tank, but EV advocates see quick chargers being installed at restaurants, supermarkets and other places you’ll leave the car for awhile.

    A broad network of quick chargers would go a long way toward helping push EVs into the mainstream, which is why EV advocates are excited to see the Eaton charger go up in Vacaville.

    “The reason it’s a big deal is there’s all this talk about range anxiety,” said Paul Scott, a founder and board member of the advocacy group Plug In America. “This should allay any range anxiety questions. Yes, this is the first one. But it shows this is possible and it is coming. We know there will be hundreds, even thousands of them.”

    Although DC quick-charging has long been used to keep heavy machinery like forklifts rolling, the technology is only now appearing in public for EVs. Japan leads the way with 182 quick-chargers installed around the country.

    Of course, the math changes with a quick-charger, which might “pump” two or three bucks of power into a car while you’re shopping. There will have to be some way of charging people for that power. And we’ll need lots of chargers to keep people from waiting in long lines. And then there’s the question of standardization. Although so-called Level 1 (110 volt) and Level 2 (220) charging uses the standard SAE J1772 plug, there’s no agreement on a quick-charging plugs or interfaces.

    Here again the Japanese are leading the way with CHAdeMO, a standardized DC charging interface embraced by Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru. (CHAdeMO is a riff on “charge de move,” which roughly means “charge for moving.” It’s also a pun on the Japanese “O cha demo ikaga desuka,” which means “Let’s have a tea while charging.”) Although Japanese automakers have embraced the standard, so far they’re alone. The Society of Automotive Engineers is looking at the issue, but given how long it took to settle on J1772, it’s anyone’s guess when we might see something sorted out for DC quick charging.

    From MyNissanLeaf.com:

    The Society of Automotive Engineers' Hybrid J1772 Task Force met on June 22nd to review progress on electric and plug-in hybrid charging and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).

    Attendees included at least reps from the SAE, TEPCO, Tesla, BMW, LS Cable, Plug Smart, CCI, GM, Ford, Chrysler, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

    An important point: The J1772 Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice includes alternating current (AC) Level 1 (L1) and 2 (L2) provisions, as well as direct current (DC) Level 3 (L3) charging. The task force has completed the L1 and L2 recommended practice and connectors and equipment are on the streets.

    The focus now includes fast-tracking the L3 portion of the specification. The L3 implementation being defined by the J1772 Task Force is not the CHAdeMO/TEPCO L3 connection currently used in Japan and with which the Leaf is fitted.

    L1/L2:

    - The J1772 recommended practice includes a provision for locking the connector into the vehicle during charging. This is to deter charge cable theft and also parking lot cable hijacking. The decision to implement a locking provision is up to the auto manufacturer. [At least one manufacturer rep was happy to learn about the existence of the provision...]

    - By the 27th of July, the EPRI should have the J1772 EVSE test documents finalized. [The test procedures have procedures for testing both EVSE with continuous current adjustment capability, as well as EVSE devices that have 'discrete' charge levels and/or settings.]

    L3:

    - The timeline for the 'L3 add-on' has slipped at least a few months. The target to finish the DC portion of the J1772 standard is December 2010. The task force team is very aware that vehicles will be 'on the streets' in the US in December...

    [note: Considering that vehicles will be shipping with CHAdeMO connectors around the time the DC portion of J1772 is being ratified, and considering the momentum behind the Japanese L3 standard, it appears that J1772 L3 is not going to be a factor in the first generation EVs. Will this create a VHS/Beta decision for the industry later?]

    - One critical part of L3 charging is communication between the car and battery charger. A number of methods are being evaluated, including signaling over the DC power lines to the car, and signaling 'on top of' the L1/L2 pilot signal. Nissan is working on the required L3 communications messages.

    - The DC L3 standard is defining the duty cycle for the connector as 20 minutes 'on' and 10 minutes off. [note: It wasn't clear if this was the duty cycle repeated for a single vehicle, or if it was based on a 20 minute charge for a single vehicle followed by 10 minutes to disconnect, move, and connect the next vehicle to the charger.]

    This document from Feb '10 gives an overview of L1 and L2, as well as a comparison of the J1772 DC plan and the JARI/TEPCO/CHAdeMO L3 interface. http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/earth...ery_Kissel.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganVolt View Post
    I read an article a few weeks ago that Eaton Corp is installing Level 3 chargers in Tenessee at a chain of gas stations specifically because of the Leaf. Hopefully they have done their due diligence to know whether the Leaf will come with the ability to charge at Level 3!
    Well to the best of my knowledge only a VERY limited number of Leafs (Leaves?) being delivered in North America for the 2011 model year will be equipped with a Level 3 DC charge port. (with proprietary CHAdeMO connector) Apparently these will be "special" SL-e models designated specifically for the Department Of Energy (DOE) ETEC program ONLY.
    (and NO apparently Nissan will be unwilling to retrofit cars without the necessary equipment)
    WopOnTour

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    Interesting article about Level 3 charging and the Leaf.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2010/05/22...-optional-why/

    And here's Coloumb's take on level three charging, which points out the reasons why Nissan likely choose to make the connector optional:
    There are currently no International standards for voltages and currents or connectors for plug-in vehicles; however, standards should come to fruition in the next few years. To achieve very short charging times, Level 3 chargers supply very high voltages (300-500VDC) at very high currents (100's of Amperes) directly to the plug-in vehicle battery. Chargers that range from 30kW to as much as 120kW exist today in prototype form.

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