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Chevrolet Volt  (Source: truthaboutdomestics.com)

  (Source: globalmotors.net)
Installation costs an estimated $1,475

The Chevrolet Volt has been a hot topic since its concept debut in January 2007, and it has certainly come a long way since then. General Motors has been providing bits of news about the electric vehicle over time to help EV buyers consider the Volt.

Now, Chevrolet has released information regarding the cost of their Voltec 240V home charging station, which is set at $490Nissan released figures awhile ago regarding their home charging stations, which are set at $2,200 for the 220V including installation. 

The $490 for the Voltec 240V home charging unit was set by SPX Service Solutions, whom Chevrolet has an agreement with. SPX Service Solutions is a national provider of home charging installation equipment and services, and will be selling the Voltec 240V along with several other home charging stations.

Chevrolet notes that this is the most affordable 240V home charging system, and will be beneficial to Volt drivers because it only takes four hours to charge the electric battery from depleted to fully charged with a 240V station as opposed to the standard 120V charge cord, which takes 10 hours to complete the same task.

While Chevrolet's Voltec 240V home charging system is priced at $490, the installation of this system costs approximately $1,475. Though, Chevrolet adds that this price varies upon electrical requirements.  

Electric vehicles have been a popular subject, and with the upcoming release of EV pioneers like the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, the interest and curiosity surrounding these vehicles has heightened. Over time, we've watched and waited as both of these EV heavyweights exposed their core features, such as the Volt's 40 miles of electric-only propulsion (which was recently revised to 25-50 miles) with a gasoline engine providing an additional 300 miles, and the Leaf's ability to travel 100 miles on a single charge.



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Why so much?
By Spivonious on 10/7/2010 12:41:05 PM , Rating: 3
Installing a 240V line is easy. Get some wire, a 240V breaker, and you're done. $1500 for $50 in parts?




RE: Why so much?
By Reclaimer77 on 10/7/2010 12:42:27 PM , Rating: 5
I wouldn't worry about it, I'm sure our Government will subsidize this as well. We can't very well have people actually PAYING for a product's shortfalls now, can we?


RE: Why so much?
By therealnickdanger on 10/7/2010 2:48:03 PM , Rating: 1
Harsh, not sure why you got rated down. Are we not students of history?

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if GM managed to get some extra "incentive" from Uncle Sam to cover the cost of the power station for customers (by union-only electricians). All GM has to do is approach Obama with some bogus focus study stating how no one will buy the car due to the additional set up costs... BAM -- Instant Obamamoney™ direct from Obama's Stash™! After all, that's the proper way to sell products, create jobs, and grow the economy.


RE: Why so much?
By rcc on 10/7/2010 5:07:30 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, reality proves that there are very few "students of history" among us. That's one of the reasons "we" keep making the same mistakes.

Actually, given the recent "tweaks" that academia has given to history, I don't know that being a casual student of history would help. You either need the drive to dig out what really happened, or be old enough to remember it.


RE: Why so much?
By douggrif on 10/7/2010 7:08:46 PM , Rating: 4
Let's see, electric powered cars carry a hefty premium over gas powered cars. Some of the premium will be covered by Federal tax rebates (guess who pays that?) and the rest is extra cost to the buyer. An estimated 90 percent of the rare earth metals necessary to produce the car batteries is mined and controlled by mainland China (communists). China recently refused to sell these rare earth metals to Japan (but that couldn't effect us). Australia has the only other major rare earth supply, but mining must be developed and will take about four years and lots of cash. China has recently bought significant mining shares in Australia (coinidence?).

Our current Federal Government makes policies which greatly limit our domestic oil exploration and production. Also, the Government has stopped all offshore drilling (cost about 20,000 jobs in Louisana alone). Roughly fourteen scarce drilling rigs have been sold to foreign governments including South American ones. Our Government has loaned billions of dollars to Brazil to help develop their off shore drilling in deep waters which we are forbidden to drill ourselves.

To summarize for our limited thinking young folk, we have done about everything possible to limit our own domestic power and fuel production (no new oil refineries since about 1977). We must now seek over 40 percent of our domestic oil needs from other sources (one of which is Canada which is good). But most of the world's oil supply must come from countries openly hostile to democratic governments (you know the ones who elect their leaders). It now appears that much of the very expensive electric alternative will be controlled by Chinese communists.

God Blessed our country with incredible energy resources which we have allowed to be tightly limited by godless politians. Why not develop our own energy resources and let the free market determine what source wins? Oh yeah, we must also be afraid of Global Warming (burr, it is cold outside). What is your opinion?


RE: Why so much?
By Reclaimer77 on 10/7/2010 9:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
Great post.


RE: Why so much?
By Spuke on 10/7/2010 11:00:37 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Let's see, electric powered cars carry a hefty premium over gas powered cars. Some of the premium will be covered by Federal tax rebates (guess who pays that?) and the rest is extra cost to the buyer. An estimated 90 percent of the rare earth metals necessary to produce the car batteries is mined and controlled by mainland China (communists). China recently refused to sell these rare earth metals to Japan (but that couldn't effect us). Australia has the only other major rare earth supply, but mining must be developed and will take about four years and lots of cash. China has recently bought significant mining shares in Australia (coinidence?). Our current Federal Government makes policies which greatly limit our domestic oil exploration and production. Also, the Government has stopped all offshore drilling (cost about 20,000 jobs in Louisana alone). Roughly fourteen scarce drilling rigs have been sold to foreign governments including South American ones. Our Government has loaned billions of dollars to Brazil to help develop their off shore drilling in deep waters which we are forbidden to drill ourselves. To summarize for our limited thinking young folk, we have done about everything possible to limit our own domestic power and fuel production (no new oil refineries since about 1977). We must now seek over 40 percent of our domestic oil needs from other sources (one of which is Canada which is good). But most of the world's oil supply must come from countries openly hostile to democratic governments (you know the ones who elect their leaders). It now appears that much of the very expensive electric alternative will be controlled by Chinese communists.
Reposting this because I think it's good reading.


RE: Why so much?
By gjk392 on 10/8/2010 10:47:12 AM , Rating: 2
you hit the nail on the head here. great post !


RE: Why so much?
By therealnickdanger on 10/8/2010 10:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
FTW


RE: Why so much?
By rvd2008 on 10/8/2010 11:51:02 AM , Rating: 3
Ignorance is a bliss?

90% of crap we buy today came from China, did you know that?
Check your Wall-mart or Apple store. Boo! Communists took over American retailers years ago.

FYI, refineries do not produce oil. So boosting their numbers will do zilch to oil production bottom line.

Finally, EV battery uses Li, Fe, Mn, etc, which are not rare earth metals. Get your facts straight, little .edu will not hurt.


RE: Why so much?
By douggrif on 10/8/2010 6:58:57 PM , Rating: 4
Regarding your belief that China rare earth metals are not critical to EV battery production. Please sir, just google {"rare earth" china batteries}. You will learn a valuable lesson.

Example: http://michellemalkin.com/2010/10/05/china-the-rar...

Enjoy learning and please vote in November!


RE: Why so much?
By Kurz on 10/8/2010 7:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
Heh... the magnets in the Electric motors are Rare Earths.


RE: Why so much?
By Souka on 10/8/2010 11:54:43 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're likely a Republican or just anti-government

There, that's my opinion! :)


RE: Why so much?
By hsew on 10/9/2010 1:50:53 AM , Rating: 4
so either way, you're saying that he has a brain and his opinions haven't been bought by the government.


RE: Why so much?
By Lerianis on 10/9/2010 2:27:25 PM , Rating: 3
Yet I point it out again: China is NOT a communist country. They are an elitist country masquerading as a communist country.


RE: Why so much?
By JonB on 10/9/2010 11:01:33 AM , Rating: 3
History. There are so many histories from which to choose.

Have you read some of the history books used in schools to educate children? They are forced to use history books approved by a panel of legislators (politicians), not actual historians. Teachers will be reprimanded if they introduce other, conflicting viewpoints.


RE: Why so much?
By Spuke on 10/7/2010 12:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
It's a charging station not just a 240V line. If your home doesn't support the extra capacity, it will cost WAY more than that. Call you local power company and ask.


RE: Why so much?
By theapparition on 10/7/2010 3:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
Think he was referring to actually installing a 220V line to power the charging station.

Just to have an electrician come to your house to install a 220V line can indeed cost close to $1500 (depending on situation).

I don't think you need any more installation other than plugging this charging station into a 220V outlet, something that very few people have in their garage.

Now, if you're over your service amperage, as you said, it's not going to be a pretty bill. But then again, you'd have to make the cost/benefit decision to see if it makes sense. Right now, the entire Volt fails that test for many, much less adding a separate charger.


RE: Why so much?
By theapparition on 10/7/2010 3:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
But another note, it is illegal in most locations to sell a house with any wiring that hasn't been inspected by a licensed electrician.

Your allowed to do your own wiring as long as it meets code, but if you sell, you generally have to disclose that and get it inspected.


RE: Why so much?
By Spuke on 10/7/2010 6:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
He asked why it cost so much then went on to say all you have to do is run a wire. I said it's more than just running a wire.


RE: Why so much?
By Samus on 10/7/2010 11:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
It'd cost about $1500 to run to my garage, especially if they went underground. I only have 120v going out there and no additional wires in the conduit, so it'd be a big project. Garage is detached and about 100' from the meter.


RE: Why so much?
By Spivonious on 10/8/2010 3:00:39 PM , Rating: 3
Electrical inspection runs $40-$100 in my town, depending on the size of the job. My breaker box is in the garage, so it would be trivial to run a 220V line to a new receptacle for the charger. I could do it myself for <$200 including inspection. I ask again, where does this $1500 figure come from? Even someone who has done zero electrical work could get this done in less than an hour.


RE: Why so much?
By theapparition on 10/11/2010 10:26:53 AM , Rating: 2
Because GM wasn't reporting for your specific house using your labor rates.

Get a licensed electrician out to your house to quote you that job. Bet it's somewhere near $700 for them to install, and that's a trivial installation. If the breaker box is nowhere near the garage, prices can skyrocket.

But please keep in mind that GM has to report what an average PROFESSIONAL installation will cost. Not a DIYer. You can install a 220V line for under $200 easily, and I've already installed multiple 220V lines in my garage and workshops (metal shop and separate wood shop behind garage) off of 300A service. But that's not the point. We are talking about people who can't set the time on thier frickin VCR (old reference) and you expect those worthless sacks of flesh to then install electrical lines. LOL


RE: Why so much?
By Nutzo on 10/7/2010 1:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on how far from the electical panel you are, if you have any open breakers, etc. My house would be simple, as the panel is on the side of the garage and I would only need to run the wires through the existing conduit in the wall, maybe 2 feet total depending now where they mount the charger. Couldn't see it taking more than 30 minutes.

My mom's house would be expensive, as the panel is of the opposite side of the house from the garage. Would be a major pain running wires either through the attic or a conduit all the way around the house.

I wonder how long the charging cable is?


RE: Why so much?
By WW102 on 10/7/2010 1:43:29 PM , Rating: 4
Another issue would be Amps. If you have a 100 Amp service and your house is peaked at that. (Wash, Dryer, Electric Stove, AC) you will have problems everytime you put too much load on everything. Would suck to have to leave the AC or heater off while your car charges.


RE: Why so much?
By Spuke on 10/7/2010 2:23:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Would suck to have to leave the AC or heater off while your car charges.
Most likely the power company would have to upgrade the service to your house before they would let the charging station be installed. Not sure if your local building codes would allow that to be installed without the upgrade.


RE: Why so much?
By hr824 on 10/7/2010 2:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
It's really not an issue I have measured my house with everything on and was only drawing 29 amps at 240v. Yes a range can draw 30 or 40 amps but that's with all the burners and oven on. Most of the time an average house is drawing less then 20 amps at 240v and if it's drawing more then that the service is most likely 150 amps or larger.

Not only that but the charging station rated at 30 amps peak and as the car charges the current goes down.


RE: Why so much?
By rcc on 10/7/2010 2:47:52 PM , Rating: 3
Hopefully the designer of the charging station bought a clue. If it has a timer you could set it to charge from 10 PM to xx AM, or whenever your sleepy time is.

It's nice to be able to run everything concurrently, but it's not always necessary, or cost effective. Just make sure the breakers are good.


RE: Why so much?
By Nutzo on 10/7/2010 2:52:48 PM , Rating: 2
The battery is rated at 16KW, but they only use 8.8KB to make it last longer.

If it takes 4 hours at 240 volts to charge the 8.8KW, then they are drawing less than 10 amps. This shouldn't be a problem for most homes built in the last 30-40 years.


RE: Why so much?
By axeman1957 on 10/7/2010 3:47:15 PM , Rating: 1
you assume charging a battery is 100% efficient


RE: Why so much?
By bobsmith1492 on 10/7/2010 5:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
Li-ion have 99.99% Coulombetric efficiency, so the power conversion from AC to DC is the main source of power loss.


RE: Why so much?
By sorry dog on 10/7/2010 8:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
Really?

so why do Li-on batteries get warm when charging?

...but I'm sure that another type of efficiency not named for dead French guys.


RE: Why so much?
By Spuke on 10/7/2010 11:13:30 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
so why do Li-on batteries get warm when charging?
From what I understand, the chargers are typically rapid charge types that blast them with higher voltage to get them to around 70% in a short period of time. That's why the batteries feel warm. If they were on a long charger, they should not feel warm unless there's a problem. Rapid or long charging is typically not advertised.


RE: Why so much?
By Jedi2155 on 10/7/2010 11:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
Its probably closer to 95% efficiency depending on the chemistry but its still a very efficient type of energy storage.


RE: Why so much?
By marvdmartian on 10/7/10, Rating: -1
RE: Why so much?
By MrTeal on 10/7/2010 3:19:26 PM , Rating: 3
Jumper off your lines and install a new 50 amp breaker?

Have fun collecting your insurance when you have a house fire. Generally most utilities don't install 50% more copper than is needed just for S&G, if you want to upgrade from a 100A service to a 50A service they most likely will have to string new wire from the pole and install a new meter. Just doing what you suggest would never pass a home inspection.


RE: Why so much?
By Nutzo on 10/7/2010 3:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
It's NOT that simple. It depends on what gauge (size) the wires comming into your house are. If you actually need more then the 100 amp service you currently have, you will likely have to replace the incomming power lines too, otherwise they will overheat and could burn your house down.

On my mom's 50+ year old house, they had to replace the incomming power lines when we installed a central air conditioner because the lines couldn't handle the increased load.


RE: Why so much?
By WW102 on 10/7/2010 3:45:25 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Seriously, this isn't rocket science.


I agree, the people who wrote the NEC were a bunch of amateurs anyway. What do they know. Thanks for the advice.


RE: Why so much?
By sprockkets on 10/7/2010 4:52:17 PM , Rating: 3
Hey, you are like that guy that decided to fix his own a/c. A tech told him the breaker in it was bad. Instead of having the tech fix it, he decided to do it himself.

His wife later found him dead from electrocution.

True story.

What next, you will start advising people to charge their own a/c systems until the big pipe feels "cold"?


RE: Why so much?
By marvdmartian on 10/8/2010 8:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What next, you will start advising people to charge their own a/c systems until the big pipe feels "cold"?


No, genius, only you. Your reading comprehension sucks, btw. Guess you missed the part where I said, "you're going to have to hire an electrical contractor to do the work", didn't you?

For the rest of the people who responded, I've seen this sort of an addition done in people's houses, by qualified electrical contractors. If the lines from your weatherhead to your breaker box need to be increased in size, it will be an additional cost, but they're not excessively long lines, so it's not like you have to re-wire the house.

For sure, really old homes aren't going to have the wiring set up for a high amperage service.....but then again, they might still be using old glass fuses too, so you're probably due to an upgrade anyways, aren't you?

And if the drop from the pole won't handle the extra load, the power company actually replaces that for you. Can't say if they'd charge or not, but I'm sure they'd be willing to do the work, as your increased electrical bill will make their bean counters happy.


RE: Why so much?
By sprockkets on 10/8/2010 12:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I missed that point because your OP was drowned out by how "simple" it is to just wire up another panel.

Must cost around nothing to do.


RE: Why so much?
By kattanna on 10/7/2010 1:24:21 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Installing a 240V line is easy. Get some wire, a 240V breaker, and you're done. $1500 for $50 in parts?


and for your average homeowner, LOL it will be a shockingly good time

;>)


RE: Why so much?
By Skott on 10/7/2010 2:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
Once this car starts selling and gets out amongst the consumers it will be interesting to see what third party manufacturers and the home handy man can and will do to find a cheaper way of setting up and running these in-home recharge units efficiently. Assuming of course that this car and others like it become a success and enough people buy them.


RE: Why so much?
By MrTeal on 10/7/2010 3:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
I wired my (detached) garage a few years ago, and I spent a couple hundred bucks just on wire from my main panel to the subpanel in the garage. Even if your panel is in your garage, I think you'd be surprised by how quickly 6/3 cable, a 240V breaker, a permit, another subpanel if you need it, etc adds up. Toss in a union electrician to install it all and things stop being cheap.


RE: Why so much?
By VahnTitrio on 10/7/2010 4:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
6/3 wire is pretty expensive, but you may be able to get away with 8/3 or even 10/3. 6/3 is just a pain to work with. If you have the extra room in your box then the only problem is running the wire. For good measure I'd probably throw in a disconnect next to the outlet (or somewhere that makes the wiring easier). I'd estimate it at around $100 if it was completely a DIY project.

But hey, at least they aren't using a 150 amp, 480V 3 phase connector. The plug on one of those might as well be a medieval weapon.


RE: Why so much?
By Spivonious on 10/8/2010 3:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
For our new stove, we needed 25' of 6/3. It was by far the biggest cost of the project, and was a pain to run, but that leaves $1350 for the rest of the project.


RE: Why so much?
By Hiawa23 on 10/7/2010 9:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
Give me a gasoline vehicle, anyday. Wow, seems like alot of extra cost you will assume if you get one of these.


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