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Chevrolet Volt  (Source:

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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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
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

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
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
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
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.

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