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Hello and question about charging!

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Hi! We just bought our 2013 Volt a few days ago and are very excited about it. We have some charging questions, however, we hope this forum can help us with.

We have a driveway but no garage. The 110 volt charging cord doesn't reach our existing outdoor outlet so we are going to have to install a new outlet next to our electrical circuit box which is right next to the driveway. We are trying to figure out if we should put in a 110 outlet (which would cost us about $250) or go for a 240 volt charging station which would be a lot more expensive. Is it worth it? There seem to be a few different companies that sell the 240 volt charging station, if we go that route. Can anyone make recommendations? Also, we live in California and are having solar panels put on our house by Solar City. They also offer 240 volt installation. Has anyone had experience with Solar City installed 240 volt charging system? Any help, advice is greatly appreciated.
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i switched from the 110 to a 220 evse. my reasons were more due to the time it took to charge on 110. 12 hours to charge from nil is not a good situation with me only having 7 hours at times. this was making the car not live up to what i bought it for.

i got the voltec spx. i would not reccomend this one due to other owners on this sites quality issues (blows boards right after warranty runs out) and my own. i got it because it was the cheapest and the 30% irs kickback was running out. everything but the board is falling appart on mine. make sure if you get one it's rated for outdoor use ( there are a couple that are not).

i have no experience with solar yet. check with your utility provider though. some have super programs for residential ev charging. nipsco in indiana provides free chargers, installs, and electricty for residential ev charging. we energies in wisconsin provides nothing.
 

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i purchased a Level 2 Voltec Charger (220) Voltec from SPX, no problems to report. I live in Southern California and installed solar (3.4 KW) over 2 years ago from a company, but it wasn't solar city. The Level 2 charge gives me a full charge in 3hr 45mins... the 110 is just to slow... If solar city is installing solar, they should be able to pull a permit at the same time for the charger.
 

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I have not heard anything bad about Solar City, it is another of Tony Stark's...Sorry, Elon Musk's enterprises. I would think that
since they are already doing an install, adding a charging station shouldn't add too much to your monthly bill. As far as distance
from existing plug, I know that GM doesn't want you to use an extension cord, but, I use one daily, with no issues. Spring for a
good 10 or 12 gauge, cord, and, you should be ok. Especially if you leave it on the default 8 amp charge.
 

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while you wait it is OK to use a 10/12 Gauge extender cord-just keep the charge cord unit out of direct rain
 

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Good luck with your new Volt! Mine has become my favorite car. I have a GE WattStation that was hard wired; they also sell a model that plugs in. Excellent results with the WattStation, going on 7 months. My charger is located outside, so I can vouch for the unit's weatherproof quality. My car typically charges in 3.5 - 4 hours, so a bit more than 10 miles of range per hour; this is much higher than with 120 charging. I sometimes top off the car when I get home from work to run errands on battery, but wouldn't be able to do that with 120 charging, as my car generally has 0 miles left on the battery when I get home, so I'm really glad I went with 240.
 

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What IRS kickback in 240 Volt chargers..?
Federal tax credit for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment. You get 30% of the cost up to $1000. I think it has been extended thru 2013. Repeat...This is a tax credit, NOT a refund. And it IS subject to AMT.
 

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I have both a 220/240V L2 on the side of my house (fully exposed to the outside elements) and a 110V wall outlet on the same wall. Id advise having access to a 110V outlet for backup reasons, If you can have access to one via a heavy duty extension cord, this should work (as a backup) Instead of having a fresh outlet installed. If you plan on staying in the house long enough, and the electrician would install a dedicated 110 next to the 220v L2, that would be absolutely ideal.

You will enjoy the car so much more if you do more than 40miles per day, the L2 will increase the amount of EV miles per day, (3-4hrs on 220v vs. 8-10hrs on 110, typically overnight)

The SPX Power Xpress will allow you to manually flip a switch to run it on 110 or 220 at varying amps and is also plug-in capable (vs hardwired) all depends on your cities electrical code for outdoor installations.
 

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I was in the exact situation as you. I charged for six months using the 120V EVSE using a 12awg 25ft extension cord with no problems. Our provincial government gave us some incentives to install a 240V EVSE and that made the decision easy for me to go with a 240V.
 

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This is a tax credit, NOT a refund. And it IS subject to AMT
Thx, I was not aware..Already did my taxes for 2012, had to mail 'em a check for $2,2K, could have used a tax credit for sure. Told my accountant I leased a Volt, but did not mention I bought a $500.00 charger.

Soo, I bought the 240 Volt charger in 2012, can I claim it for 2013 then..?
Any reference or link to a tax code or something I can print and include in my tax file for this year..?
 

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I just use the 120V charger that came with the car. Plug it in at night and unplug in the Morning, I usually have a full charge and then plug in for an hour or two if I come home for lunch. If I run out of juice I burn gas... So far 84% electric after 12k miles, but everyone is different, and the 240v charger will pay for itself if you get a chance to recharge during the day a lot.
 

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Thx, I was not aware..Already did my taxes for 2012, had to mail 'em a check for $2,2K, could have used a tax credit for sure. Told my accountant I leased a Volt, but did not mention I bought a $500.00 charger.

Soo, I bought the 240 Volt charger in 2012, can I claim it for 2013 then..?
Any reference or link to a tax code or something I can print and include in my tax file for this year..?
No. Do a 1040X for 2012.
 

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Congrats on the Volt -love mine, has saved us a boatload of $ on our daily commute. While the numbers crunchers could certainly argue whether 110 vs 240 volt is "right" for you, based on cost versus time to charge, and your daily use -I'd urge you to go with a L2 EVSE charger, if your budget allows. Why? You cannot put a price on convenience; it will take at least 10hrs to fully charge your Volt from zero on 110/120 and approx 4 hrs on 240. Things to consider: Your shopping trip to Ikea, Costco, Whole Foods on Saturday mornings will deplete your battery. You could head home, to drop off your perishables, your Volt would be fully recharged, ready for you to head out for dinner and cocktails at Jack London Square. Something else to consider: if your budget is really tight, go with the L2 EVSE that GM recommends, less than $600. If there is more flexibility in your budget, get an L2 EVSE that offers more than 15 amps -for future plug cars you may purchase in the future.
 

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The usefulness of 240V charging depends on how you use it. If you primarily charge overnight, then not again until you get back from work, a 110 outlet is plenty. The times you can use a 240 is if you return home multiple times a day, and when off-work situations (weekends) have you running errands and stopping in the house occasionally (Saturdays for me). I decided not to install a 240 since really the only times I would need it are Saturday afternoons. For the most part I can get enough of a recharge on a Saturday afternoon to get us through Saturday night.

I say go for the 110 outlet to start, and if you find that you are burning a lot of gas because you don't get enough charge time, then look into the 240. I'm having trouble justifying $1000 to save $2-3 in gas some weekends... The times I do use gas, I'm going 100 miles and having a fast charger at home isn't going to help me.

Make sure that a high quality outlet is used for wherever you are going to plug in. You don't want something with a heavy draw having a slightly loose connection. Typical cheap/contractor outlets can be flimsy.

I bought a 12 gauge 25' extension cord I carry in my car just in case I need to reach someplace at an opportunity charge. The EVSE doesn't complain about it.
 

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Hi! We just bought our 2013 Volt a few days ago and are very excited about it. We have some charging questions, however, we hope this forum can help us with.

We have a driveway but no garage. The 110 volt charging cord doesn't reach our existing outdoor outlet so we are going to have to install a new outlet next to our electrical circuit box which is right next to the driveway. We are trying to figure out if we should put in a 110 outlet (which would cost us about $250) or go for a 240 volt charging station which would be a lot more expensive. Is it worth it? There seem to be a few different companies that sell the 240 volt charging station, if we go that route. Can anyone make recommendations? Also, we live in California and are having solar panels put on our house by Solar City. They also offer 240 volt installation. Has anyone had experience with Solar City installed 240 volt charging system? Any help, advice is greatly appreciated.
Hi Karen, first welcome to the forum and congrats on your new Volt!

Regarding your charging question, as others have said it will really depend on your particular driving pattern. If you only drive 20 miles a day for example and never take multiple outings then it probably won't be worth the investment. On the other hand if you drive over 40 miles a day and take multiple trips on the weekends, then having a 240V charge station at home will allow you to maximize your EV miles.

I can tell you that most of us do have 240V stations installed, but those who don't get along just fine. I can also tell you, however, that once you have a 240V station, it's hard to go back :).

Here is my advice. If you are having solar installed anyway and will have contractors out at your house doing electrical work, you may as well just have them install a 240V outlet for now. A NEMA 6-50 is the recommend type for an EV charging station. This should be a nominal cost. Also have them install at least one 20A 120V outlet.

That will give you the flexibility to go either direction, but you don't have to spring for the 240V EVSE right now. One caveat is that to be code legal, you would need the 240V outlet to be located indoors. From your post it sounds like this may not be an option. If so, then perhaps just go with the 120V outlet for now. Then if you want a 240V station later, it can be installed outdoors but it will need to be hard wired by an electrician.

If you can share some more details about your normal driving patterns we may be able to give you a better opinion on whether or not a L2 EVSE will be worth it for you.

BTW, as a side note, I would suggest you contact one of the moderators here and ask them to change your user name to something other than your email address. It's a pretty good crowd here, but you still probably don't want your email out there for the entire world to see, it's likely to end up on spam lists. You could go with KCVolt, but people might then think you're from Kansas City ;)

Enjoy your Volt, welcome to the club!
 
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