There are other Level-2 chargers available for the Chevy Volt besides the recommended SPX Voltec; EVs have reached the point where charging units are even sold at local home improvement stores. And in addition to chargers that you own, there is an emerging infrastructure of commercial “charging networks” such as Blink and ChargePoint*. These companies have made an investment in providing chargers in public places, adding the convenience of charging while out-and-about at work, at the mall, or going to your local library, school, or recreation center.

Keep in mind that the 15A Voltec charger was specifically endorsed by Chevy for the Volt because it is not over-engineered for what the car requires as dictated by the car’s built-in 3.3kW charge-regulating circuitry. The same can be said of the Nissan Leaf, even though its AeroVironment charger is rated at a slightly higher 16A.

GE, Schneider, and ECOtotality offer 30A Level-2 chargers, which can deliver a maximum of 7.2kWh of energy. Blink is a division of ECOtotality, and as would be expected, they use their own 30A chargers in their network. But the Leaf & Volt cannot take full advantage of the energy that these high-amperage chargers deliver. And therein lies my issue with the Blink Network. (continue reading…)