A Solution To The Volt Delayed Charging Problem
|   Friday, June 15, 2012
As with almost anything new that tries to kills the old ways, hybrid cars have been received with a great level of skepticism. Among them the Chevy Volt was particularly bashed, although the reasons for that were loosely related to the car and had more to do with political scheming.

Most of the issues surrounding the Volt were easily put to rest, the latest of which was the problem concerning the battery pack's alleged leaks. The proper authorities have dismissed those claiming the car was an electrical bomb just waiting to go off.
Also, a real life crash recently testified to how sturdy and reliable the Volt is. So, there are few things that actually damage the car's reputation.

Among those negative aspects we can find a matter related to the delayed charging setting, in which the car was plugged in for a whole night, but the batteries didn't fully recharge until morning. Not every Volt owner experienced this, and even among those who did, this was not a common occurrence; it was like a recurring annoyance that put your nerves to the test early in the morning.

Now, the problem seems to lie with the Coulomb 240-Volt wall charging station used to refill the battery pack, and happens when the delayed-charge setting is on. First it would seem to be a problem with the car, but numerous owners have brought in their Volts for a revision and nothing was wrong. Thus, things had to be settled on the other end, the charging station's end.

The assumption was right, and Green Car Reports sent an inquiry with the manufacturer and asked if they know what was happening. The following was the answer they received:
"Working cooperatively with GM, Coulomb's engineering team has identified the root cause based upon extensive testing in our lab with a Volt charging system and successful testing in the field with Volt customers using Coulomb charging stations.

We were able to characterize this problem as resulting from high-frequency ground currents induced by the Volt on-board charger and causing GFCI trips on the EVSE when its contact relay closes at the start of a session or upon closing the relay when instructed by the Volt battery management system.

This problem does not manifest itself on all Volt EVs, and occurs more frequently when the Volt is set in delayed charge mode. In delayed charge mode, the Volt "wakes up" multiple times per hour and instructs the charging station to close the contact relay, thereby increasing the probability of a GFCI fault.

We made an engineering enhancement in our charging station to address this issue when charging with the Volt, and although not covered specifically under warranty, Coulomb is offering for a limited time to replace those Volt customer units affected by this problem."

Now, if you find yourself in a similar position, in which the car failed to recharge, you had best send Coulomb a detailed report of your situation, so that you won't have to suffer any more.
PHOTO GALLERY
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