Watch This Opel Ampera-E Fast Charge To 100% At 175 kW Charger

AUG 9 2018 BY DOMENICK YONEY 92

Thankfully, the video is played back at 15-times normal speed.

Above, behold a sped up video of an Opel Ampera-E — basically, a badge-engineered Chevy Bolt — fast charging. At first glance, the footage might seem only mildly more amusing that a time-lapse of paint drying, but there’s actually quite a bit going on here. Filmed by Bjorn Nyland of driving-every-sort-of-EV-in-Norway-on-YouTube fame, it captures, in three-and-a-half minutes, the process of recharging the car’s depleted battery with a 175 kW DC fast charging station to a Mario Brothers-like soundtrack.

The scene opens on the car’s display showing 53 km (32.93 miles), or about 17 percent of a full charge left in the battery. Shortly thereafter it indicates that charging to 80 percent will take almost 24 minutes. But Nyland isn’t interested in just 80 percent of a charge this time around. No, he’s going all the way to the top! A feat that will take nigh onto two hours!

We should point out that, if the Ampera-E were plugged into a regular 50 kW DC fast charger, the initial portion of the electron transfer would only reach the 45-48 kW level at best, adding even more time to the process. But because the source, in this case, is capable of pumping out 175 kW, the initial flow happens at the full 50 kW rate, or slightly above.

Now, no one has ever accused the Ampera-E / Bolt of being the perfect long-distance road trip vehicle. The cabin may be perfectly fine for zipping about town, but we can think of other seats we’d rather be stuck in for hours on end. But the occasional trip may be far more tolerable than this video might indicate. The trick is to only charge until the rate slows too much. By the time the battery is 75 percent full, for instance, the rate is only 23 kW, and it only gets worse from there.

Our InsideEVs resident Bolt owner says he’s done a 600-mile trip with only one long charging session and two 15-minute hookups. Perhaps that one longer stop might be inconvenient, but overall, it’s not a bad strategy and keeps the overall trip time down to a minimum. Of course, everyone’s journey is different and so your mileage will, as they say, vary.

From the video’s description:

At 50 kW DC fast chargers, charging speed would normally be between 45 and 48 kW. Because this was done at Fortum’s 175 kW fast charger, the speed was marginally higher. It’s not possible to show SoC in percent in the car. Each bar on the left side equals to 5 %. The charging speed starts throttling around 55 % (37 kW) and again at 75 % (23 kW).

Source: YouTube

Categories: Charging, Opel / Vauxhall

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92 Comments on "Watch This Opel Ampera-E Fast Charge To 100% At 175 kW Charger"

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David Murray

Wow… towards the end there it is barely faster than being connected to an L2 station.

William

The uphill climb, from about 95% full, is basically level 2 charging speed territory, until it crawls up to 100% full, over the duration of many additional minutes.

bro1999

Yeah, pretty much all fast charging EVs slow to L2 rates once it hits 90% SOC.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

Not true. SparkEV was almost 30kW at 90%, 9kW at 99%

William

Sparkie was spunky, when charging on the CCS Combo DC FC.

bro1999

Yes, GM really took off the mittens for the Spark EV. They pushed that little car to the limits for the R&D info. I’d actually consider getting a used Spark EV down the road if the price was right. I’d want a ’14 though, since that beast had 400 foot pounds of torque and was like a squirrel on meth. I think tuned, it would make a sweet autocross car. GM scaled back torque on the 15/16s.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

Motor torque was reduced for 2015+, but wheel torque remained the same due to different gearing and same top speed for all years. Unless you plan to use the motor for different application / gearing, any year SparkEV would have the same torque. But 2015+ is lighter by about 100 lb, less weight in rear = more traction for front drive wheels, so it’d be better for things like autocross.

Warren M

I was amazed to see how much faster my BMW i3 was charging the same amount of kWh (22.8k) compared to my friend’s Bolt. Its the opposite of what you would think considering the Bolt battery is twice as big!
comment image

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

As mentioned in other post, you’re comparing Bolt that starts charging after taper kicked in at about 125 miles remaining (bad case for Bolt) vs i3 that starts when it has only few miles (ideal case for i3). Do the test again, but this time start when both cars have same low miles remaining and time to 22 kWh charged. Difference will be very small, and may favor Bolt depending on how high the miles were on both cars on start.

Dimitrij

The charging speed gets lower as the battery approaches 100% even if you use an L2 charger, apparently.

will

100% charge should only be use on long overnight drives

Nix

Yea, that’s why I think these charge to 100% videos are pointless and actually negative for EV’s. Nobody in their right mind would sit there at the charger until the bitter end. And anybody who doesn’t know any better might think they have to sit around at chargers much longer than they really have to in real life.

Vexar

I would have rewritten the title to “Watch an Opel Ampera-E fast-charge to 100% on a 50 kW draw” and footnoted the 175 kW capability. I initially thought “wow, that’s faster charging than a Tesla, amazing!”

hpver

We’ve done long trips in our Bolt (entire west coast of the U.S. pretty much) and the charging session above is consistent with our experience. Only difference is a lower charge rate of 45 to 48 Kw up to about 55%. About 160 driving miles between fast charges seems to be the most efficient. But you can always start the day’s driving with a full charge if you find a L2 and plug in overnight. That works well.

LS

Truly pathetic, both the 50kW max charging rate and the very early taper at 55%. So the car with a 60kWh battery charges at the same speed as a 24kWh Leaf

William

Have you seen a 24 kWh Leaf Charge lately?
My 2013 was on CHAdeMO last night, and let’s just say after almost 60k miles, “she ain’t what she used to be”, when in comes to speed at the DC FC.

5.5 years & LeafSpy Pro SOH 81%.
600+ QCs.

LS

I own a 24kWh Leaf. QC charge rates are extremely similar to the Bolt. Look up a charging graph from Leafspy.
~45kW up to about 55%, then gradual ramp down after that.

What are you getting?

Gonzalez

Damn, not a good case for fast charging, even though I agree that charging beyond 95 % might not be necessary most times…
Does anyone have information on the charging losses of fast charging vs L2 and L1 charging? Do you also lose more energy with fast charging or is there a certain optimum?

antrik

I don’t have actual data: but my understanding is that it shouldn’t make much of a difference. I guess the battery gets a little warmer during fast charging, which slightly changes internal resistance (and thus heat losses) — though I don’t remember of the top of my head whether it gets lower or higher… Either way, I don’t think the difference is large enough to be noticeable.

The biggest difference really is that with AC charging, the efficiency depends mostly on the efficiency of your internal charger (which might vary between car models), while for DC charging, it depends on the efficiency of the charger station.

arne-nl

Uuuh, Dominick, it’s a 175 kW charger. I expect EV sites to know the difference between kW and kWh!

bro1999

No one road tripping a Bolt should plan to charge it much past 70% unless you absolutely need the charge to get to the next charging stop. Once you hit 70% SOC, the charge rate tapers to 23/24 kW/65A from the peak ~55 kW/150A rates. The early taper at 50-55% sorta blows, but you can still pull 37-40 kW/105A up to around 70%.
I just went on a round trip, ~700 mile road trip in my Bolt. Only needed 1 mid-drive charging stop each ~350 mile leg of about 45 minutes (just enough time for a lunch/dinner break) before driving to the destination. Then charge full at destination, rinse and repeat for the return trip.

Mark.ca

I agree, it’s a waste of time to go all the way. Gave you a down vote by reflex. 🙂

TM3x2 Chris

Poor bro1999 never gets a break.
This is one of the rare occasions I agree with bro entirely. Charging more than 70-80% is a waste of time, energy, and it is detrimental to battery long-term health.

bro1999

As did I.

Mark.ca

Ah, come on now…you earned yours by working hard.

bro1999

If only I got paid out-debating you guys.

Mark.ca

I know, it’s not fair they left you out.

John

You could always jump over to a Model 3 if you’d like a faster charge rate. Just food for thought.

JyChevyVolt

Model 3 is not much better at higher SOC. Model 3 really shines at 10-50% SOC.

Asak

You could also just rent a gas car or drive a Volt and then go 0-100% in 5 minutes flat. Electric cars really are not there yet for long distance drives. It’s cool that they can do it, but it’s far from an optimal experience.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

If Tesla actually made Model 3 that I want (SR + self driving), I might consider jumping over. Until then, Tesla is unobtainable vaporware for me and probably at least 200K other people.

bro1999

“If Tesla actually made Model 3 that I want (SR + self driving)”
HAHAHA. Good one.

Quebec 100% EV

This just demonstrates why Chevy Bolt is not selling in great numbers (even in CARB states where inventory is kept very high): It is not a roadtrip-capable EV, despite its liquid cooled battery it doesnt even compare to a 24kwh Leaf in terms of DC charging speed…. and the new Leaf is just as bad as the Bolt due to lack of active battery cooling on its 40kwh battery. Which leaves the Tesla Model 3 as the only sub-50k roadtrip-capable EV currently available on the market for North-Americans (Porsche Taycan, Audi Etron Quattro, Mercedes EQC and Jaguar iPace will all be way more expensive and still wont have Tesla’s supercharging network!)

bro1999

Charge a Bolt and 24 kWh Leaf side by side at the same low SOC, and I guarantee the Bolt can take in more energy than the Leaf no matter the time spent charging.

Quebec 100% EV

haha perhaps but that still doesn’t change the fact that it’s terrible, for an EV being sold in 2018 with a 37k MSRP….
we’ll see if the 2019 Nissan Leaf e+ can actually charge at 100KW (and until what SOC), with a 60kwh battery it might be interesting. Bjorn Nyland has already shown that the Hyundai Kona is limited to 70KW just like the Ioniq, so I don’t even consider that roadtrip-capable. Not to mention that neither the 2019 Leaf e+ nor the Kona will have access to supercharging network. Electrify America (as well as Porsche’s network) will take many years to build out.

will

tesla fanboy up top. Go back to your cave troll Quebec before Canada make it only mandatory English

Mark.ca

Is it mandatory in your part…it’s not obvious.

LS

> Charge a Bolt and 24 kWh Leaf side by side at the same low SOC

Actually no, the charging profiles are very similar. The Bolt is embarrassingly slow considering the battery is way bigger and has active cooling.

bro1999

I will bet you money the Bolt will register more kWh charged than the Leaf 24.

Nix

There you go begging people to bet you again, but you don’t pay up on the bets you’ve already lost. Please remind us how many Bolts sold in the US in the first 12 months after they started production, vs how many Model 3’s? When are you going to pay up on that bet?

LS

Sure, Bolt will get a few more kWh, but not much. Given the battery is way bigger and cooled, don’t you think this is pretty lame? Just look what the Kona can do. 70kw to 55%, and 50kW to 75%. Why can’t the Bolt do that with the same size battery and same cooling?

See here for 24kWh Leaf charging profile: comment image

bro1999

Lame is the ’18 Leaf, which can barely take a single fast charge during a road trip before it overheats and charge rates get neutered. And whose fast charging ability is completely inferior to its predecessor.

will

you guys know that the 50 kw is software limited, its not the hardware

Pushmi-Pullyu

If the hardware wasn’t limited — that is, if the pack was properly built and the battery cooling system was decent — then there wouldn’t be any need for such a severe software limitation.

The Bolt EV/ Ampera-e is fine for what it is, but what it is… is a city car. Not a car intended for long distance travel. Still, many plug-in EV drivers never drive their car past its range limit and never use public chargers. That segment of the market won’t care how slow the DCFC charging is.

antrik

I don’t think it’s a cooling issue. The architecture seems about as good as what you can achieve with pouch cells. The cells they used are probably just not optimised for power.

antrik

Well, OK, I guess cooling could be improved by putting a heat conducting plate between every cell in the stack instead of every second one, so each cell is cooled on both sides instead of on one side only… That would add quite some extra weight and volume, though.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

Your original comment is probably more correct. Cooling used in Bolt is pretty much the same as cooling in 2014 SparkEV (bottom plate, not plate between cells), yet SparkEV reach about 2.4C charge rate to 80% without taper down. If Bolt can pull 2.4C, it would be capable of 144 kW.

But Bolt does not “taper”; it steps down. Maybe battery cannot pull so much power, but the step is definitely software. There is nothing in the battery chemistry that would exhibit abrupt step behavior.

bro1999

It also makes me believe GM can easily increase the Bolt’s fast charging performance without any significant redesigns. I think they almost have to beef up max fast charging performance to at least 100 kW when they do a mid-cycle refresh, otherwise the 50 kW charge rate will look even worse than it does right now.
They doubled the Volt’s L2 charging rate to 7.2 kW, so I would be disappointed if they didn’t do something similar with the Bolt’s DCFC rates for the 2020 version.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

If they get rid of “steps” and gradual taper like SparkEV, that will be a huge improvement. Taper can start at 55% 45kW to hit 25kW at 70% like now, but that will give almost 50% more than now. This step thing is just weird, Bolt or Kona.

antrik

If they can easily get a new cell type, capable of higher C rates, in the same format, then yes, they should be able to beef up charging power easily…

antrik

Yes, the active cooling plate is on the bottom (unlike in the Volt) — but in this configuration, the heat first needs to be transferred from the flat sides of the cells, to the active cooling plate at the bottom, by means of passive heat-conductive plates fitted between the cells. That’s a natural downside of the pouch format.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

I agree with Quebec 100% EV. It’s a mark of shame for Chevy to go from quickest charging the world has ever seen (and still the quickest at almost 3C to 80%) with SparkEV to slowest charging in the world with Bolt. Even more shameful is comparison to turd Leaf in total amount of charge. When it comes to DCFC, Bolt is crap.

bro1999

I’d still rather have the Bolt’s DCFC performance than the ’18 Leaf. The Bolt’s conservative fast charge rates are at least reliable. With the ’18 Leaf, your first charge could be as fast as ~48 kW to as slow as 22…you never know what you’ll get, especially in the summer! Surprises are not something you want on a road trip.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

Of course anything’s better than Leaf. But having Bolt in same breath as turd Leaf is what’s embarrassing.

antrik

They decided to prefer higher capacity over higher charge speed. Clearly that’s not a trade-off you agree with personally; but there is nothing shameful about it.

Tim Miser

Where do you get a model 3 for under $50k in Quebec??

vdiv

Something is fishy. Was the battery cold, the charger not up to sniff? According to the user manual the Bolt EV should be capable of charging at up to 70 kW.

Eric Cote

No, it reaches its maximum charging rates at 70kW chargers, it doesn’t charge at 70kW. They factor in that the charge rate advertised by chargers assumes 500V and no battery today is really 500V.

vdiv

Yeah, you’re right. Page 232 of the 2017 Bolt EV Owner’s Manual:
https://my.chevrolet.com/content/dam/gmownercenter/gmna/dynamic/manuals/2017/Chevrolet/BOLT%20EV/Owner%27s%20Manual.pdf

“When using a DC charging station with at least 80 kW of available power, it will take approximately 30 minutes to recharge from a depleted battery to an estimated 145 km (90 mi) of driving range.”

So at 3.6 miles/kWh we have 90 mi/3.6*2 = 50 kW

Nix

Oh hell, I would have never read it that way. I’ve been posting for the last year and a half that it will charge at 80 kW because I just read the 80 kW and didn’t do the math. Fudge me, I’ve been getting it wrong all this time. Damn it.

bro1999

It’s ok, we don’t expect you to catch those kinds of details.

Nix

Yes, I clearly made a mistake believing stories like this that said “Chevy says the Bolt EV can charge at “up to 80 kilowatts” where this idiot named “Brian” who goes by “bro1999” was a primary source for the story, and heavy participant in the story’s comments, comment about his charts and etc used for the story, and never corrected what is clearly false info. What other false info from “Brian”/”Bro1999” should I be smart to ignore?

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1109714_more-details-on-fast-charging-rate-in-2017-chevy-bolt-ev-electric-car

Nix

Yes, I was dumb to believe the “Super Moderator” over on http://www.chevybolt.org when he says “the Bolt’s max fast charging rate is 80 kW! This dealer requirement basically confirms the Bolt can charge at up to 80 kW. ”

https://www.chevybolt.org/forum/56-2017-chevy-bolt-ev-reviews/5194-ny-daily-news-bolt-ev-review-confirmation-80-kw-fast-charging.html

Yet another jerk posting under the name “bro1999”. Clearly stories and content from this individual should NOT be trusted. It was certainly a mistake I will not make again!!! We’ve got somebody who writes for multiple sites letting bogus information out about the Bolt.

nix

And I DEFINITELY shouldn’t have listened to the guy right here on insideevs who repeatedly over and over claimed that the Bolt would charge at 80 kW, and then when it was reported to have 80 kW charging, didn’t catch those details, and instead posted “bro1999: Called it like 2 weeks ago.:)”

https://insideevs.com/chevrolet-bolt-ev-equipped-with-80-kw-dc-fast-charging-owners-manual-now-online/

It is like a steady stream of disinformation across the web about the Bolt being capable of charging at 80 kW!!! Clearly people need to be warned not to listen to this guy.

bro1999

So you gonna post your address so I can pay you your 100 big ones you so rightfully deserve?

nix

bro1999 said: “So you gonna post your address so I can pay you your 100 big ones you so rightfully deserve?”

*chuckle*

Post my snail mail address on a public forum? That is your plan for paying, to violate forum policies? Now I knew you were never serious about paying up on your bet!!!

bro1999

And like, dude, seriously, get a life. Do you have nothing better to do than bookmark people’s comments on an internet comments section, shake your fist in the air and yell, “I’ll prove you wrong someday, you bad man!” like some senile old guy? Your “victory” with the Model 3 vs Bolt production numbers is akin to someone winning the special Olympics. In the end, guess what you still are??

I was wrong about the initial info about the Bolt being able to charge at 80 kW. Since the owner’s manual quoted an 80 kW charge rate, it was reasonable to assume the car could charge at 80 kW at the time, as we lacked other info. I’ve since amended my position to the ~56 kW charge rate it can actually charge at.

I did actually make money on a bet with Tony Williams, as he was convinced the Bolt could charge no faster than ~47 kW/125A. *pats self on shoulder*

nix

dude, they came up on the first page of the google search I used. You’ve posted the same falsehood about the Bolt charging at 80 kW that it is all over the internet. Maybe you should go back and make some corrections?

Yes, I actually relied specifically on you for information a year and a half ago. You got it wrong, spread it everywhere including here, and I never fact checked you. Like I said, my mistake. I won’t do that ever again.

I’ve never seen somebody come so unhinged about losing a bet!!!! Let me know when you are serious about actually paying up besides doxing me in public. But let’s go back to what that bet was about. You BEGGED people to take your $100 bet on US Bolt vs. Model 3 sales. Even ridiculed people betting on Tesla, saying they wouldn’t pay if they lost.

Can you remind us again how many Bolts GM sold in the first 12 months since they started production in October 2016? How many Tesla Model 3’s in the first 12 months since they started production in July 2017?

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

“advertised by chargers assumes 500V”

Not true. Bolt with ~355V nominal battery will not benefit from higher voltage chargers. Most (all?) 50 kW chargers are capable of 500V. But 50kW chargers are typically 125A (ABB) or bit less.

If there is 75 kW (or larger) charger that is 500V like current ones, but able to deliver 150A or more, Bolt would be able to charge bit faster about 55kW peak power at around 55%.

Sadly for Bolt, 55 kW peak is also what SparkEV can do at 80% even with 1/3 the battery.

bro1999

I really doubt the Spark EV actually charged at 55 kW at any SOC.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

Link to discussion. http://www.mychevysparkev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5072&p=20881#p20881

Here’s a photo showing 53 kW at 75%.

comment image

bro1999

Huh I stand corrected

antrik

The point was not that the Bolt would benefit from a 500 V charger. The point was exactly the opposite: the 500 V max is useless for the Bolt (and any other EV on the market today), and thus, the advertised rate of the charger is not achievable in practice. A hypothetical 60 kW CCS charger for example would have a max of 120 A and 500 V, while the Bolt needs 140 A at 400 V or thereabouts (don’t know the exact figures) to reach its maximal charge rate; so you need a CCS charger advertised as 70 kW (140 A and 500 V).

JyChevyVolt

You think this is bad, wait til winter when the battery is cold soaked.

EaglesPDX

Sounds like a need for software upgrade to provide a “Travel Charging” selection so it charges to 100% quickly when you need it. No doubt with warnings that charging to 100% via fast charge will more quickly degrade li-on batteries. Tesla did something similar in reverse but for the same reasons by slowing charging for cars which were using the fast charging SuperChargers too often

antrik

Charging faster than the battery is capable of, doesn’t just make for faster degradation. It causes lithium metal plating, which not only *drastically* reduces capacity, but can also result in dendrite growth, which will sooner or later cause the battery to short circuit and go up in flames.

Don Zenga

Opel Ampera-e is Chevy Bolt. Now its sales are stopped in Europe and Bolt is sold only in USA & Canada.
What a sad state we are in, a wonderful electric vehicle with a 238 mile range is reduced to sales in just 2 countries. It should be selling in few 1000’s / month.

William

No Bolts are sold in S. Korea?
EVen in limited quantities?

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

I think they are sold out in Korea. So technically, they are not selling in Korea at the moment.

bro1999

Allotment of 5k for 2018 sold out in hours.

bro1999

Just as I suspected. I went out and found the bet in question, since you refuse to provide a link. While I did loosely propose a bet, you *never* came out and took the bet to make it official. You just blabbed like a bot like you always do with your useless rhetoric.
But you know what Nix? Despite you never officially taking the bet, I’ll still stay true to my word. Post your mailing address on here, and I’ll mail you the 100 dollars like I said I would if proven wrong. If that will shut up your incessant whining, it’s almost worth it.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

I don’t think Nix cares about measly $100 (sorry if you do). Better might be to donate to charity of Nix choosing and post a receipt. My suggestion would be animal rescue organization not tied to government funding, but Nix may find others helpful.

bro1999

He mentions it in just about every comment string, so I think he cares quite a bit. Maybe he relaly needs it to pay the bills? I dunno.

BoltEV (was SparkEV)

I meant the actual amount of money, not that he doesn’t care about the bet. He can’t be that strapped for cash since I don’t think he’s a Tesla shorter.

nix

I definitely cared much more about the bet than the money. Especially since bro has this pattern of using his “bets” as a line of rhetoric when he can’t actually back up his BS. So he throws out bogus bets he never intends to pay. I was going to be happy just rubbing his nose on how wrong he was making his $100 bet.

But then bro1999 had to go and brag about making money on his bets, and that changes things:

“I did actually make money on a bet with Tony Williams, as he was convinced the Bolt could charge no faster than ~47 kW/125A. *pats self on shoulder*”

https://insideevs.com/opel-ampera-e-fast-charge-video/#comment-1508811

nix

I like this idea!! Clearly bro1999 had zero intention on ever paying up on any of these bets he keeps flapping his lips about, since his idea is to dox people as the only condition of paying the bet.

Nix

bro1999 said: “Post your mailing address on here, and I’ll mail you the 100 dollars”

*chuckle*

Post my snail mail address on a public forum? That is your plan for paying, to violate forum policies? Now I knew you were never serious about paying up on your bet!!!

JyChevyVolt

Why not use PayPal? I think it was created by that Musk guy. Wonder what happened to him?

Brian

“Shortly thereafter it indicates that charging to 80 percent will take almost 24 minutes.”

Incorrect. It indicates that an 80% charge will be complete at 23:40. In other words, at 11:40PM. But we don’t have a clock showing what time it was. The video clearly shows that it takes about an hour to reach 80%. From my experience, the Bolt does an excellent job of predicting charge times. Much better than my old 2012 Leaf.

BoltUp

Being that we get over 5 miles per kW in our Bolt (after recent software update), I would just charge as long as I take for lunch. The range minimum on our Bolt now shows 241, max 348 with mixed driving including hills and highway.

Robert

My neighbor, who loves his Bolt, put it best: away from home, charging an EV is a “game of inconvenience”.