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I was hoping for a good rundown of things to get for my Volt as a sticky thread. As for what I bought, it's a used 2014 volt 42k miles. I accidentally used the sealant in the air compressor so will be replacing that. A dog will be in the trunk so any recommendations on all weather mats or a pet blanket for the trunk are appreciated. Also, something to keep him from pushing his way into the cab maybe see through net? The visibility out the back is terrible so not too excited about obscuring the view anymore that it already is.

For power, I have a 120v 30amp at one house (can this be stepped up to 240volt 15amp?) and just regular outlets 120v ~15amp at the other house. I'm thinking about getting a level 2 charger, but also may want to get something beefy enough to be more future proof ie. Tesla supercharger. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
 

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The easiest way to future proof is a NEMA 14-50 50A rated outlet in the garage/carport. This will then let you plug in whatever EVSE you need now or in the future.

Unless you have very unusual driving habits, any of the ~30A 240V EVSEs will probably be ample for any future cars - that would give any modern EV ~200 miles of EPA range overnight, and future cars will likely be more efficient than current ones. It'd also be perfectly safe and suitable for your Volt, though the Volt can only use about half the power the EVSE could deliver.
 

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I wouldn't suggest trying to "step-up" a 30A line to 240. Basically you need two hots, a neutral and ground for a proper 240V outlet, though some only use 2 hots and a ground. The 120 30A line will only have one each, hot, neutral and ground. If you have an electric dryer or stove outlet that isn't being used, that can be used otherwise I'd suggest getting an electrician out to run a suitable 240 line.

As for any future proof EVSE, I'll agree with saghost that you don't need to go super crazy with a high output 50+ amp unit. 30-40 amps will be more than sufficient for almost any future needs you may have. The Volt only accepts up to about 15A even at 240 so anything above that is "wasted" on a Volt. The 120 EVSE that comes with the car will be sufficient to charge in about 10 hours or so. Most of whats out there now as far as EVs really can't take advantage of much more than 30-40 amps unless you start getting into DCFC which really isn't a home use option for the time being.
 

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Husky Liners for the rear cargo mat. Get them for your floorboards if you don't already have the Chevy brand all-weather mats.

I also have this Ruffwear Dirtbag waterproof seat cover (http://www.ruffwear.com/Dirtbag-Seat-Cover?sc=2&category=159215). It's designed to cover the back seats and the back floorboards, but I've also used it in the rear cargo area by essentially reversing it so that it covers the backs of the back seat and a about 2/3rd of the cargo floor. If you use it in that configuration, it will prevent Fido from sliding through in between the seats. Adding the rear armrest assembly would help too since it would fill up about 1/4th of the slip through space.
 

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I have a weathertech mat for my g1 volt. My great pyranese fits just fine in the back (he has to lie down, but love looking out the lower window). You might consider getting a spring loaded pet barrier that wedges against the roof. You'd need to fabricate a piece of carpeted wood to block the area between the back seats. Maybe hit up forum member scarlet for an idea as he's the maker of the voltshelf and voltscreen. Maybe he can make you a VoltPetScreen
 

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VoltScreen for sure at:
http://voltshelf.weebly.com/

2014 Volts only use 15A @240VAC max, so you might want to consult an electrician for what your house already has. US home wiring has two phases of 120VAC which is used for 240VAC, there is no "step up" necessary. But a different outlet is necessary.
 

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I wouldn't suggest trying to "step-up" a 30A line to 240. Basically you need two hots, a neutral and ground for a proper 240V outlet, though some only use 2 hots and a ground.
The L2 charger for our 2013 Volt only uses 2 hots and a ground. That's the one GM recommended at the time. Since that one only charges at 15 amps, I just used regular Romex 12/2 wire, like you would use for a standard wall outlet or light switch.

So if werdup has a dedicated 120v line, it's quite possible he could upgrade that to 220v just by re-wiring the end points.

It all depends on what the specific L2 EVSE requires. To be sure, get a .pdf of the user's manual for the specific L2 charging station before you buy it. I'm certain the older Volt charging stations did not require a neutral, but the newer ones may.
 

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I'm thinking about getting a level 2 charger, but also may want to get something beefy enough to be more future proof ie. Tesla supercharger. Thoughts?
I would buy an L2 charging station for the Volt. With the 120v charging paddle included in the Volt, it defaults to a very slow charge rate every time you start the car, which means you have to go through the touch-screen menus to over-ride the default charging rate every time you plug in. That's alone was enough to justify the L2 EVSE for me.

Another really handy feature is the light that's built into the plug. That comes with the L2 EVSEs GM specified when the 2014 Volt was new. As you go to plug it in, the light really helps to guide you, especially if there are shadows in front of any other garage or driveway lights.

As I mentioned in my reply to freshcut, you may be able to upgrade your existing 110v line to 220v, provided it's a dedicated line. It all depends on which specific L2 EVSE you buy. Go online and get .pdf versions of the EVSE owners manual and/or installation guides to see what each one requires. If it doesn't require a neutral, you can probably use the wire already built into your wall, and just re-wire the endpoints. As an example, I've included the spec sheet for our charging station, which clearly says:
• Input Voltage 208 / 240V – 15A (20A circuit), single phase, 2 wire, with ground

I wouldn't worry about future-proofing the EVSE. Things are changing fast, and prices for EV charging stations are dropping, so the chances that you'll save money by future-proofing are slim.

If upgrading your existing 110v line to 220v doesn't work out, I would probably run a thicker wire gauge than required to future-proof the wiring. For running new wires, labor is the major cost.

Hope this helps.
 

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With the 120v charging paddle included in the Volt, it defaults to a very slow charge rate every time you start the car, which means you have to go through the touch-screen menus to over-ride the default charging rate every time you plug in. That's alone was enough to justify the L2 EVSE for me.
This is not true. You set your home location and the car "remembers" that every time it arrives at your home location, to use 12 amps over 8.

Also, depending on the OPs ability to upgrade to a higher capacity level 2 EVSE, he should consider that. "Future" proofing is tricky as you don't really know when that future time will be. Their spouse could get a new Bolt after driving the Volt, and that could be in a matter of weeks or months.
 

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This is not true. You set your home location and the car "remembers" that every time it arrives at your home location, to use 12 amps over 8.

Also, depending on the OPs ability to upgrade to a higher capacity level 2 EVSE, he should consider that. "Future" proofing is tricky as you don't really know when that future time will be. Their spouse could get a new Bolt after driving the Volt, and that could be in a matter of weeks or months.
I'm pretty sure that the geotagged memory for charge rates is a gen 2 only feature.
 

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I'm pretty sure that the geotagged memory for charge rates is a gen 2 only feature.
If that's the case, that's a tough way to charge, 8 amps. So I guess you would have to override every time to you go charge in the settings. Or more seriously consider a level 2 charger.

There's a thread about things missing from the Gen 1 Volt, and it's a good list. There are many improvements as well in the Gen 2 and this seems to be one of them. Maybe next time GM will combine the best of both generations, and also add some cool brand new features.
 

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This is not true. You set your home location and the car "remembers" that every time it arrives at your home location, to use 12 amps over 8.
I'm pretty sure that the geotagged memory for charge rates is a gen 2 only feature.
If that's the case, that's a tough way to charge, 8 amps. So I guess you would have to override every time to you go charge in the settings. Or more seriously consider a level 2 charger.
Right. The 2016 Volt solved this issue, so charging at 110v is more viable.

But for the used 2014 werdup just bought, you have to go through the touch-screen menus to over-ride the default charging rate every time you plug in. In this case, I strongly suggest a Level 2 EVSE.


Also, depending on the OPs ability to upgrade to a higher capacity level 2 EVSE, he should consider that. "Future" proofing is tricky as you don't really know when that future time will be. Their spouse could get a new Bolt after driving the Volt, and that could be in a matter of weeks or months.
Right. If you have two plug-ins, you'll most likely want 2 EVSEs.

If werdup can upgrade his existing 110v line to 220v, I'd says that's the best way to go. Find a 220v EVSE that doesn't require a neutral wire.

If he does have to run new cable from the breaker box, perhaps running a spare wire for a future 2nd EVSE at the same times makes sense.

In any case, buying a pricey high-end EVSE for the Volt - I seriously doubt you'll end up saving money in the long run.

Also, if you look inside these EVSEs, there's really not much there, certainly not enough to justify current prices. The costly electronics are inside the charger, which is located within the car itself. The charging station / EVSE just provides wall power to the car. The EVSE also does some communication stuff that tells the car how much current the EVSE can provide, but this can be implemented in a 25-cent PIC micro-controller. There's also some GFCI and other safety stuff, but nothing that justifies current EVSE prices. In the future, when EVs become mainstream, a Level 2 EVSE will probably cost $100 or less.
 

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Can confirm, 2011-2015 Volts have to go into the energy menu EVERY TIME and override the slower 8 amp charge when using the portable EVSE supplied with the Volt. 2016 and beyond fixed that with GPS enabled location based charging. It automatically switches to the faster 12 amp setting when you arrive at your designated home location.
 

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Can confirm, 2011-2015 Volts have to go into the energy menu EVERY TIME and override the slower 8 amp charge when using the portable EVSE supplied with the Volt. 2016 and beyond fixed that with GPS enabled location based charging. It automatically switches to the faster 12 amp setting when you arrive at your designated home location.
Actually only 2013-2015. The 2011s and 2012s have the 8/12A setting on the EVSE instead, and it's persistent - it stays at 8 until it is switched to 12, and stays at 12 until switched to 8. There were a couple incidents in 2012 related to faulty house wiring and GM changed the setup during the midcycle refresh in 2013.
 

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If that's the case, that's a tough way to charge, 8 amps. So I guess you would have to override every time to you go charge in the settings. Or more seriously consider a level 2 charger.

There's a thread about things missing from the Gen 1 Volt, and it's a good list. There are many improvements as well in the Gen 2 and this seems to be one of them. Maybe next time GM will combine the best of both generations, and also add some cool brand new features.

yea, those touch screen taps can really take a lot out of you. ;)
 

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yea, those touch screen taps can really take a lot out of you. ;)
I still think the level 2 EVSE is well worth the cost. I never have to think about the 12 amp setting any more. Life is much simpler this way. And I justified the purchase with the money I wasn't spending on fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
WOW such a great response! I thought this would become yet another newbie thread and get lost in the shuffle, but these tips have been very helpful.

Here's a link of a few shots of my ideas for using the Volt www DOT icloud DOT com/sharedalbum/#B0C5nhQSTebhJc (prefix https, the forum is preventing from sharing a link)

Btw, 8ft is the maximum for this car. I actually had it on the lip of the center screen to get it in there, got it slightly off the lip by adjusting the angle. I have a kid and one on the way in the 2nd row, so the dog is stuck in the trunk. He's too tall for the Volt Screen, so I'm looking for a blanket of some sort to keep his hair out of the car. I'll check out the ones mentioned before.

Thanks for the tips on the 220volt, I didn't realize it had two lines to manage that amount of power. AFAIK, the car has never remembered my 12amp settings, so I have to set it ...every...single...time. So far I have been leaving my car 1.5miles from home to take advantage of Public L2 chargers, but this is quite the disadvantage compared to my old gas car.

I live in Austin, where we are afforded certain benefits for using EV like discounted up front cost and flat rate for power usage. My other question is the amount of power it takes to get a full charge. I drive 20miles round trip to work which has 2 free chargers that are constantly in use by numerous EV cars so it's not likely I will get a charge every day. I'm only getting 23-31miles on a battery (31 under super ideal scenario) in this car. A full charge (13kwh) runs an estimated $1-$1.25 at our power rates. In Austin, for $30/month we get unlimited charging up to 10kw. That price seems high considering I would need to drain the battery nearly every day to get value out of it. Is it worth going with the program with a Volt's 17kwh battery?
 
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