GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to get right to the point with the questions below thank you so much for taking the time and answering them.

1. I have no plans on installing a L2 220v for the following reasons A. You will not save that much money on charging from 110v to a 220v it's the same price your just doubling the amount of voltage that is running through. I heard you will only save pennies on the dollar. B. As of right now I'm not on a smart meter I might switch over when I get my first few bills to see if I can decrease it by a few $$$.
With that said I plan on using the OEM/on board 110v for my daily charge will that keep up with 365 days of the year for 36 months? The only time that I will buy a 220v is if I totally fall in love with the Volt and I see that I'm saving money "Year two of my lease" maybe...

2. I have a 3 month old so a car seat is going to be in my car at all times how is the room with that? Will there be enough room to get a stroller in the back also?

3. I heard of people using Mid-Grade gas instead of Premium can this work? If I know I will be going over my "40" miles of electric could I put in Unleaded? If so what are the issues I might have could this damage the car?

If I can think of any more questions I will be back!

Thanks again

Mike :D
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
4,862 Posts
1) You're assuming that you're charging the same amount from 110V to 220V. If you have commuting/driving patterns where you come home, but can charge a bit before going back out, that can add up to much less gasoline burned. From that standpoint, a 220V charger can make a big difference. Otherwise, you're right, 110V is fine.

2) I know a couple people that have two car seats in the back at all times. I suspect you'll be all set with one. You can always put the other seat down for cargo space if need be.

3) You should use Premium, that's what the car recommends. The cost savings of a lower fuel would be washed out by the lower performance of the engine using that lower octane. Use Premium.

You'll likely love your Volt, the large majority certainly do!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
We switched our electricity billing to hourly so we could quickly charge in the middle of the night using lower rates. The savings does add up over time but I don't know if we've recovered the cost of installing the 220v charger yet. :/

Given the small amount of gas used, we just stick to premium, filling up once every 2-3 weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
I'm going to get right to the point with the questions below thank you so much for taking the time and answering them.

1. I have no plans on installing a L2 220v for the following reasons A. You will not save that much money on charging from 110v to a 220v it's the same price your just doubling the amount of voltage that is running through. I heard you will only save pennies on the dollar. B. As of right now I'm not on a smart meter I might switch over when I get my first few bills to see if I can decrease it by a few $$$.
With that said I plan on using the OEM/on board 110v for my daily charge will that keep up with 365 days of the year for 36 months? The only time that I will buy a 220v is if I totally fall in love with the Volt and I see that I'm saving money "Year two of my lease" maybe...

2. I have a 3 month old so a car seat is going to be in my car at all times how is the room with that? Will there be enough room to get a stroller in the back also?

3. I heard of people using Mid-Grade gas instead of Premium can this work? If I know I will be going over my "40" miles of electric could I put in Unleaded? If so what are the issues I might have could this damage the car?

If I can think of any more questions I will be back!

Thanks again

Mike :D
You will fall in love with the Volt, so plan on getting a Clipper Creek :) Seriously, most of us, myself included don't really purchase a 240 volt charger to save money, we purchase it so we can simply charge the car faster, from empty in 4 hours instead of all night or 10 hours. This way you drive more on the EV side of the car. Some don't need that extra juice, but I have found it great and well worth the extra expense for the added convenience.

A car seat shouldn't be a problem; however, I haven't needed one as my kids have been in booster seats since I have had it. Simply stop at a dealership and put a car seat in. Then you can see and judge for yourself.

You will have no problem putting a stroller in the back of the car if you mean the hatchback part. It has plenty of room.

We have discussed in detail the grade of gas. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The Volt was designed to run on premium gas. That is really what you should put in it.

Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,454 Posts
1. I have no plans on installing a L2 220v
2. ...? Will there be enough room to get a stroller in the back also?

3. I heard of people using Mid-Grade gas instead of Premium can this work? ... If so what are the issues I might have could this damage the car?

If I can think of any more questions I will be back!

Thanks again

Mike :D
about the charger-is this a question or are you telling us? There are other advantages to having a 220V charger, I only charge on 120V: at home at night, I get a full charge, and at work during the day, I get a full charge over 9 1/2 hours. I think that the 220V charge is about 5% more native efficient that the 120V charge, Partly because of reduced time with the temperature management system pumps running, partly because of reduced I2R losses (half as much).

On weekends, I occasionally have about 5-30 extra miles of Extended range running because I am in and out all day. As you say, why spend $1000 to save 40 miles a month of Extended range a month... It does provide extra range in the dead of winter here in New England because the it recovers part of the pre-heat consumption. If you buy a plug in Clipper creek model, you can likely sell it when you release the car at the end of the lease. I know I would buy one if someone here were looking to sell...

as for rear seat space- this is like Mark Twain's reported death- a greatly exagerated non-problem. I'm 6'4" an occasionally sit in back behind one of my teenagers. though more often the 2 teens will sit in the back. we have no problems with this, though if I'm driving, I pull my seat forward a bit to allow more leg room behind.

you have to test out the stroller in the hatch, there is a fair amount of room there, but I've seen some pretty massive strollers these days,

(what are they thinking- we always wanted the lightest, smallest umbrella stroller we could find- some of these high end strollers are bigger than a "smart for 2"????)

Only you can judge if less than recommended octane is good for you. the engine will adjust itself to reduce knock, so you don't hear or feel it, but it is there, and you have reduced engine efficiency... is that trade off worth it for you? only you can answer that. There are no reports of blown crank bearings or cracked heads or cylinder wall oil leakage that I have seen, but that doesn't mean that they aren't coming, just that most of us put premium in. In 7500 miles, I've only filled the tank 3 times, for $30.00 each (sept 7, December 13, Jan 20...) so the savings to drop to lower octane would be pretty small... too small to convince me to enter the world of being an engineering test driver... Do you ever buy gas in Denver and drive east? then think about altitude octane effects...

Electric rates are different from state to state, so get advice from someone in your home state- In MA I pay $0.18/khw now, on a TOU Plan, I would pay $0.30 peak and $0.12 off peak, and I would not save, but in states where the generation charges are also TOU, there can be significant savings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
You will not save a dime with a 220v charger; it is a great convenience though. Instead of remembering to set the car to charge at 12 Amps when you turn it off, digging out the 110v charger plugging it in and attaching it to the car, just pull up in the garage and plug it in. I use my 110v at work, just kind of a pain comparatively. The Bosch charger at the house was only $423 from Amazon, worth every penny for the convenience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,086 Posts
1. As far as cost savings go, unless you can get a very good off peak rate, you won't be saving anything with an L2 EVSE. I use L1 at home and don't have any problems after over 2 years. The case wear you may save money is if you can get a quick charge after work, before you go out somewhere. You may offset some gas usage that way.
I would recommend that you keep the EVSE plugged in all the time so you don't wear out your outlet. Outlets aren't really designed to have things plugged in and out repeatedly every day, they will wear out eventually.

2. I have heard with the seat all the way back, you can't fit a rear facing seat, but I don't have kids, so not sure. There is plenty of room in the trunk to put a stroller.

3. It is recommended that you use 91 octane fuel. Many people have reported that 87 Octane (regular) decreases the efficiency, which you would expect. I wouldn't expect it to do any damage though. With the small amount of gas you actually use, you might as well spend the extra couple cents for premium.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Feels like I'm just echoing the words of the other posters...

1. 220V EVSE is not a requirement. I only charge on the 110 that came with the car. There are times I wish I had a L2 charger just so I can go gas free more often. To me, this isn't about saving money, but more about not using a nasty fuel (environmental, political, et al). You have at least 1 kid...so maybe, like me, you don't want him/her growing up in a wasteland.

2. I have 2 kids, so I have a booster and baby carseat in at all times. I can quickly and easily take both out and fit them in the rear hatch whenever I need to fit adults in the back. Totally doable. Some carseats are bigger/bulkier than others, so I'd suggest on your next test drive, bringing your seat along and putting it in to see how it fits. Stroller will fit pretty easily, too. Like I said, I am able to put both carseats in the back if needed.

If you only have 1 carseat to put in, I'd recommend putting it behind the passenger seat so that you can sit more comfortably. I'm 5'8" and would like to push the seat back just a tad more, but the carseat blocks it. Not uncomfortable, but could be more comfy.

3. Premium gas is 15 to 30 cents more than Midgrade... I'm cheap as hell, and even I splurge and just go with Premium since I fill up so irregularly (3 times in 8500 miles). But, if you really, really, really wanna buy Midgrade, go for it. It seems the true (imho) reason Premium is recommended is fear of Reg gas going stale with limited use. If your commute is such that you will be filling up often, I don't think Reg/Midgrade would be harmful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,641 Posts
In regards to the smart meter. Where I live the switchover was free. If you had a smart meter some utilities offer an EV Time of Use plan where you can charge at low rates during off peak hours. This could be a significant savings if you charge at higher tier rates. If you are like most Volt drivers, most of your driving will be on electricity, so lowering your electricity rates will have a significant impact on your operating costs.

I don't believe using regular grade gas will save you any money. GM's chief powertrain engineer has stated that doing so results in a 10-15% reduction in fuel economy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
You will not save that much money on charging from 110v to a 220v it's the same price your just doubling the amount of voltage that is running through.
Actually.. The Utility charges you by the KWh, which is a compound of both Volts and Amps. The Ohms law for that is P=I*E, or Power (in Watts) equals Current (I in amps) times Voltage (E in volts). Point being: You use "more", you pay more. Period. Just resolve it into what they charge you for, Kilo Watts used over an Hour.

So: it has been observed that charging at 240V is 6 hours faster (DON'T underestimate that value to your driving experience BTW) then a 10 hour 120V charge. As far as charging the batteries go it uses basically the same amount of juice (do your maths). However during charging the battery pack will heat up (just like your cell phone) and the BTMS will kick on to cool the pack. This means the air conditioning is running enough to keep the batteries at a good temp. Running it on-and-off for 4 hours uses less energy than running it on-and-off for 10 hours. Search for threads on this, you use measurably less juice overall charging at 240V!

Will the difference make up for the price of an installed Clipper Creek? Over the life of the car, charging fully every day.. maybe not. It's not a big savings. But it is there. To most of us it is about convenience. I hope that helps!

Also, just buy the right gas. Letting GM out of the engine warranty over $50/yr(rounding way up?) sounds kind of expensive. ;)

I love my Volt, and am using less gas every quarter than the last. You get a little "addicted" to driving 100% EV, I'm never going back if I can help it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
Answer:

1. Once you get a 240V 30A or 40A EVSE installed, you'll find it very convenience to run errands back and forth throughout the day since it charges "faster." Plus, you will need it in the future if you want to electric again.

2. You can fit a car seat. Wouldn't recommend using the infant seat adapter since the room in the back is not the same as an SUV backseat. But, you can use it. However, the infant car seat will no move much. Yes, you can fit a stroller, just not the bulky type stroller. If it's a toddler seat, it'll safe comfortable.

3. Use premium gas. It's like only 10 or 20 cents more. And, you won't fill up that often. Plus, I made long trips on my Prius (formerly owned), the cost difference to fill up the Prius versus the Volt on the same miles is only about 2-3 dollars more on the Volt. That's all. And, it will run much more efficient with Premium anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
My wife and I both have Volts and I can confirm that car seats are no problem (we've had a Peg Perego infant car seat with base, Max Cosi Convertible car seats and Britax frontier SICT boosters in the Volt at various times).

Strollers are no problem. Peg Perego Aria double stroller fits the hatch almost perfectly when folded and the Bob revolution single will fit folded as will the Bob revolution double stroller folded (with the two quick release wheels taken off and the front wheel angled up fitting in the space between the two rear seats).

I've always used premium - we use such little gas that didn't make sense for us to go with a lower grade.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
My gas useage dropped signifigantly when I had the Bosch PowerMax L2 charger installed. The 120 just could not charge fast enough. My daily round trip commute is 36 miles and consumes the full range of the battery. If I get home from work car is on the charger for 2 hours and have to drive 3 miles to the store and back Im probably going to be using gas. Also having to select the higher charging rate every time you plug in gets annoying, and if you forget, you might not have a full charge when you leave again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I know there's a ton of Volt fans on this site, so I feel compelled to chime in with my 2 cents. My Volt is not two years old and has been in the shop over 12 times, from the leather seat backs falling off to the electric heater burning out, LCD screens going blank, TPMS sensors failing, strong exhaust fumes in the cabin, and a host of other problems too numerous to mention in a single post. I've been unhappy with my Volt in most regards, and in the short time I've owned it, the car has been in the shop more than any other car I've ever owned. Personally I'm going back to gasoline import or a diesel after this experience. Maybe a Nissan, if they produce something better looking than the Leaf.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
Sorry to hear that you suffered problems while others have not. Every product that is mass manufactured will be expected to have at least one product that will fall apart. In this case, your Volt.

The saying also goes, a "lightning will not strike the same spot twice." Hopefully, if you decide to get back into a Volt, maybe Gen 2, you won't experience these issues.

I know there's a ton of Volt fans on this site, so I feel compelled to chime in with my 2 cents. My Volt is not two years old and has been in the shop over 12 times, from the leather seat backs falling off to the electric heater burning out, LCD screens going blank, TPMS sensors failing, strong exhaust fumes in the cabin, and a host of other problems too numerous to mention in a single post. I've been unhappy with my Volt in most regards, and in the short time I've owned it, the car has been in the shop more than any other car I've ever owned. Personally I'm going back to gasoline import or a diesel after this experience. Maybe a Nissan, if they produce something better looking than the Leaf.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
L2 vs L1 - The value of L2 depends upon how you use the Volt. I only have the L1 that came with the Volt. I have not purchased an L2 and I already have 220 in the garage for power tools. Living in Phoenix we get 50 miles (plus or minus a few) year round on a charge. We rarely drive more than 50 miles in a day, so overnight charging works fine for us. You did not say where you live, but time of use billing can save a lot of money for some people. By charging off peak, which usually gives me a full charge, I pay about half of the non time of use rate. But you really need to look at your life style to determine if time of use will help on your bill.

Car Seats - I use a car seat with my 2 year old grand daughter. Fits okay, but she kicks the seat in front of her if its not pulled a bit forward. With a rear facing seat I suggest taking your car seat to the dealer and seing how it fits.

Stroller - Umbrella stroller fits fine. Again, take your stroller to the dealer and see if it fits.

Regarding quality of the Volt as another posted negatively ... My Volt is just over 1 year old, has zero defects and has not had a single issue. I believe there are many Volt owners with a similar experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
I know there's a ton of Volt fans on this site, so I feel compelled to chime in with my 2 cents. My Volt is not two years old and has been in the shop over 12 times, from the leather seat backs falling off to the electric heater burning out, LCD screens going blank, TPMS sensors failing, strong exhaust fumes in the cabin, and a host of other problems too numerous to mention in a single post. I've been unhappy with my Volt in most regards, and in the short time I've owned it, the car has been in the shop more than any other car I've ever owned. Personally I'm going back to gasoline import or a diesel after this experience. Maybe a Nissan, if they produce something better looking than the Leaf.

And exactly why are there a "ton" of a Volt fans on this site?
Logic would say there are a "ton" of volt owners that aren't having the issues you are. So why shouldn't he buy a volt?

Sorry to hear of your trouble, it almost sounds unbelievable
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
I can only comment on #1 --

The Volt is designed with the 110V use case in mind. Yes, you can have a higher percentage on grid power if you have a faster charger, but I recommend not obsessing about that. Plug it in and let it slow-charge overnight, and let it slow-charge at work if you have access to a plug. Don't worry that the engine comes on sometimes. With that attitude, our Volt -- which is our only long-distance car, given that our other car is a pure EV -- has done 27K/31K miles on grid power. *And it's a perfectly lovely little car once the engine spins up.* Put it in sport mode, enjoy the silence and the zip, and love the money that you save on gas and on not having to splurge for an expensive charger. When the ICE kicks in, just tell yourself: "I'm now getting the same MPG as a Civic, and I can drive across the country if I want to."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,053 Posts
It will depend greatly on your personal usage patterns if a L2 charger is a good thing or not. I thought L1 would be fine until I actually tried living with it. I found that my usage patterns required a little bit of gas usage just about every day. I had plenty of time between trips to top off the battery at L2, but it wouldn't quite make it at L1. I typically drive somewhere between 40 and 70 miles per day and 100 miles isn't uncommon. With L2 charging, I can do all of those miles on electricity. The hard numbers ended up being far more economical to buy a L2 EVSE. (Actually, I built my own using the OpenEVSE kit, but that's not something I recommend unless you have at least a basic understanding of how to do electronics technician work).

Prior to L2 charging, I was running about 65% electric. After L2, I got up to 92%. Right now with the extended cold weather, I'm still holding 88%. Since I drive about 20,000 miles per year with my Volt, the difference adds up to well over $500 worth of fuel that I didn't have to buy thanks to the faster charging of L2. I'm not a math genius, but I can figure out that my $300 L2 EVSE was a great investment. Even a $700 L2 EVSE would be a bargain after 3 years of use. Another angle to consider too: If it didn't save me a nickel, I'd still think it was a great investment purely for the fact that I don't have to remember to change the charging setting every stupid time I drive the car. My frustration with that stupid "feature" was worth every penny.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top