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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm new to this and was recommend by MrEnergyCzar (thanks!).
I'm currently looking at buying a new car and the Volt ticks almost every box! But can't find answers to a couple things? Hope someone can help? The following might be a little random for one thread, sorry!

1) When using an iPod via USB (in my case a iPhone 5 iPod) on a 2013 Volt, does cover art work appear on the centre screen? I've read yes and no? But recently tested it on a 2012 Volt and nothing! It only showed track name etc, no cover art. But the 2013 owners manual say it can? Is this a 2013 feature? Can anyone confirm / show a photo? Please.

2) I'm also looking at installing a home charger. Only really interested in the GM Voltec 240v unit cause it's GM design and beautiful! But is there any security to stop someone else using the charger when mounted outdoors (front of home)? Maybe using a key switch? Anyone have a solution or see a problem with this?

Hope someone can help.

Thanks.

Sham
 

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This is an awesome care, and issue #1 should not stop you from getting it.
I would not be very concerned about #2 either. Do a lot of people currently use your 110 outlet in the front of your house while you are away? Most people wouldn't even know what the Voltec (or any other Level 2 EVSE) was hanging in your front yard. Plus, you could probably mount it somewhere somewhat discrete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

The car is great! Can't wait to get my own!

1) This issue shouldn't stop be but it does annoy me! If I'm spending that sort of money I want to upgrade, not just settle. Another issue which I'm now over is no Power Fold Mirrors, I got it confirmed with Chevrolet that this was considered but never added. Annoying things is it's printed in the owners manuel!
To be honest I'm a geek when it comes to tech and love more of it. Not really interested in the eco-ness of the car, to me it's one beautiful American gadget! :)

2) You do make a good point. I might not have mentioned but I'm unfortunately from London England :( So small homes and hard to discretely install unit. I might be the only person in our street to have a charger but don't want to just assume no ones steeling power from me! lol. Future proof myself ;)

Thanks again.

Sham
 

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I'm not sure about #1, but I believe it does.
As far as the L2 charger, almost everyone here would advise against the GM model, as its reliability is poor. Look for something from one of the bigger names (GE, Clipper Creek, Charge Point). You can install a switch in line with the charger if you are worried someone would use it without permission. Any electrician should be able to do that. I would suggest mounting it somewhere that it is not directly visible from the street if possible.

You can control usage by shutting off the circuit breaker from your A/C panel when you are not using it.
I would advise against using the breaker as a switch. They are not designed for that sort of use, and may wear out prematurely.
 

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I can answer No. 1. I have a 2012 Volt and my album artwork appears on my center screen. I also have an iPhone 5. I believe it may take some time for the graphics from your phone to sync with the car so it may not register on a quick test drive. Not a very technical answer, but I can say the artwork does show.

I do have the Voltec charger in my garage and it works great; I can get a fully charge from empty in about 3.5 hours vs. 10 in a standard outlet. Not sure about the security though.

Just to help convince you, my '12 Volt has 21,000 miles on 73.4 gallons of gas - it looks and runs beautifully and I can go on road trips without range anxiety. I save about $120/month on fuel/maintenance costs so factor that in to your finances and take advantage of the lowered prices and tax credit. I also lopped off $3,500 of the price by using my GM Credit card over the years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi,

Thanks. Why is the GM Voltec charger poor? Thought it's just a power distribution unit not a charger? Heard the actual charger is inside the vehicle? The reason I want this unit is it's designed by GM (looks great, to me). Unfortunately I'm from London England and those brands don't exist here ;( I think? We've got some ugly alternatives. lol.
Thought a in-line switch was the way, thanks.
 

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Hello I have the GM voltec 240V. I never had problems with the circuitry but the connector plug broke within 6 months of service. The cable is a coiled cable that has many loops. So that makes it heavy.

When you are plugged on your car the heavy looped cable is hanging over your charge port for several hours every day. All the weight is on the strength relief of the connector and your port. Eventually will cause the strength relief to give up or damaging your charge port.

My plug from the charger broke and I had to call service to have it changed. Luckily I was still on warranty. Oh the warranty is short 1 year vs 3 years on the other units. And is only 13.3 amps so if you upgrade to a new EV that requires higher power it would not work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for confirming that! It all makes perfect sense! Lets hope your right. When I did test it on a 2012 Volt it was only for a minute.

The problem is the car is going to cost me double what I pay a month on my current car! But my current car need about $4500 of parts ;( But thats a one off cost?!
To be honest I'm a geek when it comes to tech and love more of it. Not really interested in the eco-ness of the car, to me it's one beautiful American gadget!
 

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SB13,

The manual folding mirrors on my MY 2012 work great. I rarely park in NYC but, when I do, I always use that feature. :)

There are several posts on this forum with solutions that address your theft of service concern. One describes and shows photos of mounting the EVSE in a locked box. The search tool, which works but is not great, should pick it up.

I use a Coulomb Technology (ChargePoint) CT500. You will find lots of alternative EVSE brands and models at this site some of which might be available for use in the UK.
http://www.pluginamerica.org/accessories

KNS
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi muv666,
Could you please post a photo of your screen with your iPod playing? I can't seem to find what it looks like with cover art? Please!
Sb13
 

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Hi, Don't know the answer to the first question, but I don't do any of that "Ipod" stuff. The GM charger that is supplied with the car is a Clipper Creek and is very good. Don't know if you have 110 volt charging across the pond, seems like you may have 50 cycle 240V? If that is the case you probably get the Clipper Creek LCS-25 European model EVSE? If so I would think it will handle anything the Volt requires.
As for the car? Best one I've ever had since the first car I bought in 1964. We love it. Good luck and enjoy the Volt. Ray
 

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Album Art.jpg
Hi muv666,
Could you please post a photo of your screen with your iPod playing? I can't seem to find what it looks like with cover art? Please!
Sb13
Here is a photo of the Album Art. I have a 2012, no Nav, standard radio. The source is a USB stick (16 Gb, Cruz Fit). Sorry, it's not a very good photo.
 

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Hi,

2) I'm also looking at installing a home charger. Only really interested in the GM Voltec 240v unit cause it's GM design and beautiful! But is there any security to stop someone else using the charger when mounted outdoors (front of home)? Maybe using a key switch? Anyone have a solution or see a problem with this?

Hope someone can help.

Thanks.

Sham
If you buy the car in England, then it should come with a 240v charger. If not, you won't be able to charge it. We have a member here from Scotland, and another from Finland who should be able to advise you.

And, unless the thief has a vehicle with a matching socket, nobody will be able to steal your power.
 

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My leviton has a hole in the release lever of the charger handle for a lock to avoid tampering/misuse.

 

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Hi,

I'm new to this and was recommend by MrEnergyCzar (thanks!).

1) When using an iPod via USB (in my case a iPhone 5 iPod) on a 2013 Volt, does cover art work appear on the centre screen? I've read yes and no? But recently tested it on a 2012 Volt and nothing! It only showed track name etc, no cover art. But the 2013 owners manual say it can? Is this a 2013 feature? Can anyone confirm / show a photo? Please.

Hope someone can help.

Thanks.

Sham
I believe the Volt is sold in England with a different entertainment system than the one we get in North America. You probably should look for advice from the dealer or from British, European, or maybe Australian owners.
 

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Hi,

Thanks. Why is the GM Voltec charger poor? Thought it's just a power distribution unit not a charger? Heard the actual charger is inside the vehicle? The reason I want this unit is it's designed by GM (looks great, to me). Unfortunately I'm from London England and those brands don't exist here ;( I think? We've got some ugly alternatives. lol.
Thought a in-line switch was the way, thanks.
It is an EVSE... With a long history of connector problems. Premature failures of the protection circuitry. Cord strain releifs breaking off. There are other options from GE, Leviton and Clipper Creek that are far more reliable.
 

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The selection of EVSE's available to the OP is probably different in the UK.

Do we even know if Clipper Creek, GE, etc. are available there?

[Edit: This from vauxhall.co.uk:

Charging at home - free home-charging point installation

Vauxhall customers can now benefit from free installation of a home-charging kit for their Ampera extended-range electric vehicles.

In February 2013, the Government announced funding for owners of electric vehicles (EVs) under which they will cover 75 per cent of costs for home-charging unit installations, up to a maximum of £1,000 including VAT. Vauxhall will meet the remaining 25 per cent for new private buyers taking up the offer
.]
 

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With respect to the security of your home charger, there should be a fuse or circuit breaker somewhere for its power supply. Assuming that box is secured, you could unscrew/switch the EVSE off when you're not using it.
 

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A Volt / Ampera owner in the UK has a different cost /benefit decision to make. The car comes with 230v unit that is advertised to give a full charge in about 6 hours. The home charging kits only reduce this to four hours, the same as our Level 2 chargers. Unless it costs very little, or has some advantages I can't see, I don't think I'd pay the extra.

BTW, I looked at the UK Chev website. If you live in London, the nearest Volt dealers are in Cambridge and Abingdon. I think GM wants you to buy an Ampera.
 
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