flyingpertyhigh
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:49 pm

Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:36 am

Hi Everyone - we bought a 2014 Spark EV with ~50,000 that was previously used as a commuter car. We get 72-82 miles on a full charge depending on if I, or the wife, drove it last. She's coming from an ICE and I'm coming from a Model S, but we both were pleasantly surprised how much we like the car. We picked it up for $7,800 - the exact amount the previous owner had left on the loan. From what I can tell, this is a great deal.

My problem is as follows: We live in San Diego and have time of use electric rates (TOU5). I pay at the lowest $0.09/kwh from 12am-6am and as much as $0.68kwh at the peak from 4pm-9pm in Summer time. I programmed the car to know when peak and off peak is, made sure the clock is accurate, and set it to only charge during Off Peak. I also made sure its on the "Rate and Departure Time" mode. We use a 16amp 240v after market J1772 charger on the car, not the 120v charger it came with.

My problem is no matter how I change the settings, it starts charging immediately when plugged in. It never waits, no matter what I do. This means at certain times I'm paying over 7x more for power than I could be. We're not paying for OnStar so my understanding is there's no app we can use with the car. My charger is "dumb" so its always on.

I have screenshots of the car computer screen but it appears this forum doesn't have image hosting.

Edit: I have the "Charge to 40%" first feature disabled.
Last edited by flyingpertyhigh on Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca, California

Re: Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:40 am

flyingpertyhigh wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:36 am
Hi Everyone - we bought a 2014 Spark EV with ~50,000 that was previously used as a commuter car. We get 72-82 miles on a full charge depending on if I, or the wife, drove it last. She's coming from an ICE and I'm coming from a Model S, but we both were pleasantly surprised how much we like the car. We picked it up for $7,800 - the exact amount the previous owner had left on the loan. From what I can tell, this is a great deal.

My problem is as follows: We live in San Diego and have time of use electric rates (TOU5). I pay at the lowest $0.09/kwh from 12am-6am and as much as $0.68kwh at the peak from 4pm-9pm in Summer time. I programmed the car to know when peak and off peak is, made sure the clock is accurate, and set it to only charge during Off Peak. I also made sure its on the "Rate and Departure Time" mode. We use a 16amp 240v after market J1772 charger on the car, not the 120v charger it came with.

My problem is no matter how I change the settings, it starts charging immediately when plugged in. It never waits, no matter what I do. This means at certain times I'm paying over 7x more for power than I could be. We're not paying for OnStar so my understanding is there's no app we can use with the car. My charger is "dumb" so its always on.

I have screenshots of the car computer screen but it appears this forum doesn't have image hosting.
Try using only the departure time setting and set it to 6 am. The car will determine when to start charging based on how much the battery is discharged. If your battery is heavily discharged, the charging start time could begin before midnight in order to have charging completed by 6 am. Charging will end at 6 am and the car will be fully charged. You can specify the departure time for each day of the week so you can make departure time changes to accommodate weekend rates too.

The L2 EVSE you are using is about 85% efficient and will put about 2.8 kWh per hour back into your battery until 80% SoC is reached. Then the charging rate will start to taper off.
Edit: My calculation was wrong. You said you are using 240 VAC so you would get about 3.25 kw per hour into the battery.
Last edited by MrDRMorgan on Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

flyingpertyhigh
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:49 pm

Re: Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:47 am

MrDRMorgan wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:40 am
Try using only the departure time setting and set it to 6 am. The car will determine when to start charging based on how much the battery is discharged. If your battery is heavily discharged, the charging start time could begin before midnight in order to have charging completed by 6 am. Charging will end at 6 am and the car will be fully charged. You can specify the departure time for each day of the week so you can make departure time changes to accommodate weekend rates too.

The L2 EVSE you are using is about 85% efficient and will put about 2.8 kWh per hour back into your battery until 80% SoC is reached. Then the charging rate will start to taper off.
Thanks for the tip. It is currently set to Rate and Departure Time, with Departure time already set to 6am.

When I switch it to Departure time only, it still starts charging immediately. It even shows on the screen the Start time of charging as the current time, and the stop time a few hours later, ignoring the 6am.

SparkE
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am

Re: Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:04 pm

Suggestion: plug it in only after the high-rate time ends (9 pm?).

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca, California

Re: Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:05 pm

flyingpertyhigh wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:47 am
MrDRMorgan wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:40 am
Try using only the departure time setting and set it to 6 am. The car will determine when to start charging based on how much the battery is discharged. If your battery is heavily discharged, the charging start time could begin before midnight in order to have charging completed by 6 am. Charging will end at 6 am and the car will be fully charged. You can specify the departure time for each day of the week so you can make departure time changes to accommodate weekend rates too.

The L2 EVSE you are using is about 85% efficient and will put about 2.8 kWh per hour back into your battery until 80% SoC is reached. Then the charging rate will start to taper off.
Thanks for the tip. It is currently set to Rate and Departure Time, with Departure time already set to 6am.

When I switch it to Departure time only, it still starts charging immediately. It even shows on the screen the Start time of charging as the current time, and the stop time a few hours later, ignoring the 6am.
Sounds like you have PRIORITY CHARGING turned ON. If it is on, charging will start immediately and continue until the battery SoC is 40%. Look for the SETTINGS button on the lower right corner of the screen for either DELAYED CHARGING or RATE & DEPARTURE TIME. Press the symbol to get to the screen where you can turn off PRIORITY CHARGING. Check the screens for both DELAYED CHARGING and RATE & DEPARTURE TIME and turn off PRUIORITY CHARGING on both screens.
Last edited by MrDRMorgan on Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

flyingpertyhigh
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:49 pm

Re: Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:13 pm

[quote=MrDRMorgan post_id=26122
Make sure you have PRIORITY CHARGE turned OFF. If it is on, charging will start immediately and continue until the battery SoC is 40%.
[/quote]

Thanks for the reply, but it’s definitely off.

flyingpertyhigh
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:49 pm

Re: Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:14 pm

SparkE wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:04 pm
Suggestion: plug it in only after the high-rate time ends (9 pm?).
Thanks for the reply, but the $0.09 begins at 12:00am aka midnight. 9pm it goes from $0.68 to $0.28.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca, California

Re: Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:30 pm

flyingpertyhigh wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:13 pm
[quote=MrDRMorgan post_id=26122
Make sure you have PRIORITY CHARGE turned OFF. If it is on, charging will start immediately and continue until the battery SoC is 40%.
Thanks for the reply, but it’s definitely off.
[/quote]
WOW! You may want to call a dealer or GM. Is the car up-to-date with all software updates? I have both a 2014 Spark EV and a 2016 Spark EV and both are set to DEPARTURE TIME charging with PRIORITY CHARGING turned off. Neither car starts charging when I connect my L1 or L2 EVSE to start charging.

What type of EVSE "charger" are you using? The car tells the EVSE when to turn on and off. If possible, try a public L2 EVSE and / or someone else's L1 or L2 EVSE to see if it is EVSE related.

This is a good one and I am going to have to think about the fix. Please post the solution if you find one.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca, California

Re: Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:08 am

flyingpertyhigh wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:47 am
MrDRMorgan wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:40 am
Try using only the departure time setting and set it to 6 am. The car will determine when to start charging based on how much the battery is discharged. If your battery is heavily discharged, the charging start time could begin before midnight in order to have charging completed by 6 am. Charging will end at 6 am and the car will be fully charged. You can specify the departure time for each day of the week so you can make departure time changes to accommodate weekend rates too.

The L2 EVSE you are using is about 85% efficient and will put about 2.8 kWh per hour back into your battery until 80% SoC is reached. Then the charging rate will start to taper off.
Thanks for the tip. It is currently set to Rate and Departure Time, with Departure time already set to 6am.

When I switch it to Departure time only, it still starts charging immediately. It even shows on the screen the Start time of charging as the current time, and the stop time a few hours later, ignoring the 6am.
One thing to check first. Did you set the departure time for each day of the week?

Try resetting you program to just DEPARTURE time. If you set the departure time to 6 am for each day of the week and your L2 EVSE is delivering 3.3 kWh to the battery each hour, you should have a full charge each day and charging should not start until after 9 pm in order to be fully charged at 6 am the next day. If immediate charging still occurs, there may be a problem with the charging electronics. I would pay a visit to a Chevy dealer. This should be covered under warranty. You might also have the OBDII port scanned for possible error codes.

I have been using DEPARTURE time for both of my Spark EVs. I have one car on the L2 EVSE and one on the L1 EVSE. Unfortunately, each day I have to be sure to set the car's L1 EVSE charging rate to the 12 amps. I deliberately set the departure time for each car such that I have 80-85% SoC when I actually disconnect at 8 am each day. This has been working great!

Kermit
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:47 am

Re: Charging Question / New Spark EV Owner

Wed May 01, 2019 11:52 am

I ended up getting the departure time setup on my charging so I can just plug in when I get home and have about 75% charge when I leave. I recently had to go on a longer trip than normal and saw in the owners manual if you plug the car in and unplug it and plug it back in it overrides everything and charges immediately. I tried this and it worked on my 2016. It made me wonder if your charger or some odd electrical issue may be doing something weird that makes your car think this is happening.
2016 Spark EV

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