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Sunday's windstorm knocked out my power until late last night (Thurs) so I was living in the 19th century for most of the week, actually it was worse because when my house was built in 1820 it had a woodstove and hand pumped water, today my oil furnace and well pump require electricity so I was without everything. The one modern convenience that I did have was transportation because the Volt can run on gasoline. If my car had been a BEV it would have been one more thing to worry about because it's simply not practical to own one without home charging. The nearest Tesla supercharger to me is 30 miles away, traveling 60 miles round trip to charge a car would be ridiculous. I've been thinking about getting a BEV in the next few years but now I'm not so sure, if I do get one I'd also have to invest in backup power of some sort, a Generac will cost at least $10K installed, solar much more and it probably wouldn't work very well (my tomatoes don't ripen until late fall which is a pretty good indication that I don't get a lot of sunlight).
 

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A standby generator is a good investment in your home. Interestingly the 2017 Volt Owner's manual states that you should not charge the Volt using a standby generator but they don't say why.
 

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That's what is so unique about the Volt- it does what no other car does. The engineering behind the car has never been really exposed or highlighted for how good it is. Until you can pull into an existing gas station, and go to the electric island, and recharge in 10 minutes, you will have to have some kind of ICE vehicle as a backup. This will happen one day but not any time soon.
 

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A standby generator is a good investment in your home. Interestingly the 2017 Volt Owner's manual states that you should not charge the Volt using a standby generator but they don't say why.
Generators often have terrible voltage output, like square wave or similar, which a lot of sensitive electronics don't like.

What PHEVs like the Volt should offer is power out of the car to the house/grid so that the Volt can run as a generator for your house. Even with the limited 3.x kw charger it would provide a lot of power for the house, and would give reason to upgrade it to a 7 kw unit.
 

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Yes, this is another reason I like having a Volt plus a Bolt.

The Volt's dual power source is a perfect compliment to the Bolt. The Volt removes the worry and constraint from the Bolt. We are driving 100% EV at this point, but should we have an extended power outage, or need to drive very long distances anytime, anywhere, the Volt's ability to take advantage of the existing gasoline infrastructure will come in handy.

For a two car family, a Volt + Bolt works very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Generators often have terrible voltage output, like square wave or similar, which a lot of sensitive electronics don't like.

What PHEVs like the Volt should offer is power out of the car to the house/grid so that the Volt can run as a generator for your house. Even with the limited 3.x kw charger it would provide a lot of power for the house, and would give reason to upgrade it to a 7 kw unit.
The http://www.evextend.com/Gen2-Chevrolet-Volt-Kit.php is only good for 1KW so it would only be practical if you separated your breaker box into two, one that was backed up and powered the furnace and lights only, and the other for everything else (cooktops, ovens, washers, and in my case the server room).
 

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a Generac will cost at least $10K installed,
I got a 17kW Guardian installed for just above $6K a few years back. Maybe have a second look at the actual cost. A 22kW is listing at Home Depot for $4.8K and the price drops substantially for smaller Guardians (16kW - $3.85K). I can't imagine having to pay an additional $5K for installation. I think I paid less than $2K for that.
 

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Perhaps GM could promote a special "BOGO" deal on Volt/Bolt package deal......or Bolt/and a hybrid truck or SUV capable (and designed) to be a backup generator for the house or business? GM could easily be the EV leader if they really wanted to be!
 

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That's definitely a benefit. I didn't have my Volt yet when Irma hit down here. I was stuck with a car that had 1/4 tank of gas because you could not get gas here for days before Irma. I don't just mean long lines. I mean EVERY gas station had yellow tape around the pumps and a sign that said "no gas". If I had the Volt at the time, I could have filled it up weeks before the storm and then when it hit, I'd just keep running on electricity until the electricity went out or until we decided to leave if that was our decision: it'd have a full tank because I could have just run it on electric up until the power went out or we decided to leave. Would have really saved me some stress and making trips out to try to get gas, only to come home with none... minus the amount I wasted trying to get it. I even used the app that was supposed to tell you who had gas before you went, but by the time you got to a station that was said to have it, it was taped off already by the time you got there.

Mike
 

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I was without power for a solid 36 hours, but I do have a backup generator. A 5-10kW portable generator is well worth their cost in New England, where we can lose power for a week when the temps are in the single digits.
I also have L2 charging available at work, so even with the power outage, I was still pure electric with my Volt. Though I probably burned 8-10 gallons in the generator.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I got a 17kW Guardian installed for just above $6K a few years back. Maybe have a second look at the actual cost. A 22kW is listing at Home Depot for $4.8K and the price drops substantially for smaller Guardians (16kW - $3.85K). I can't imagine having to pay an additional $5K for installation. I think I paid less than $2K for that.
I was looking at a Generac dealer site where the cheapest generator is almost $9K, you are right that the Home Depot prices are much much better. I'll look into it at Home Depot this week.
 

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I was looking at a Generac dealer site where the cheapest generator is almost $9K, you are right that the Home Depot prices are much much better. I'll look into it at Home Depot this week.
Yeah, I don't get that. Maybe it's $9K installed, but even then that's very steep. Probably as bad of an idea as having GM install your EVSE. IIRC that was stupid expensive too.

Make sure you get independent electrician quotes on the install. I've had excellent results with Generac recommended electricians that I contacted directly.

http://www.generac.com/dealer-locator
Make sure to select "residential sales and service" when using the form.
 

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Do your driving habits include switching to Hold to save battery power for use on slower roads, i.e., if you’re not driving somewhere at higher speeds, do you prefer driving with the ICE not running? If so, then during the time you were unable to recharge from the wall, did you consider self-recharging your Volt, i.e., using the gas in the Volt’s generator instead of gas as engine fuel, in order to drive around on battery power?

It takes a small fraction of a gallon of gas to recharge the battery to the MM-maintained level (~2 bars for Gen 2, ~4 bars for Gen 1). Using MM to recharge a fully depleted battery while the Volt is parked will show you this number. It’s also quick (~15 minutes for the Gen 1, less for the Gen 2).

Now drive around using this MM-recharged battery power until you once again have fully depleted the battery. (If you turn the car off and back on after MM-recharging, the computer recognizes the battery soc is above the fully depleted level and allows you to use this battery power as fuel for the motor. The car will likely register the distances as Electric Miles, even though it likely won’t affect the kWh Used number.)

You then know how far you can drive on battery power using X amount of gas to recharge.

Compare that distance with the distance you can drive in similar driving conditions in Extended Range Mode (in Hold or with fully depleted battery) using the same X amount of gas.

Those two distances should not be too far apart. The drawback to using MM to recharge your battery is that the cost of gas to recharge to the ~4 bar/~2 bar level is usually more expensive than recharging the same amount from the home wall plug. But if your wall plug is not working at the moment and you really prefer to drive with the engine off??? Of course, you can also MM recharge while driving if you’re driving farther than you can go on 2/4 bars of power, but then the tracking of what gas was used for what purpose is far more complex.
 

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I estimate a bolt would give me a solid 10+ days of regular driving on a single charge. (40 if all I do is my standard short commute and go nowhere else)
I'd be fine either way.
If power's out for 7+ days, I have bigger things to worry about.
And if power was out at work, I wouldn't have to go to work. Otherwise, I could get a top off there... (even if just L1)
 

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Here in northwestern Oregon power can and has gone out for days. Thats why we have a Volt and not a Leaf, also just on gas lifetime mpg's on gas is over 46 mpg....
 

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I estimate a bolt would give me a solid 10+ days of regular driving on a single charge. (40 if all I do is my standard short commute and go nowhere else)
I'd be fine either way.
If power's out for 7+ days, I have bigger things to worry about.
And if power was out at work, I wouldn't have to go to work. Otherwise, I could get a top off there... (even if just L1)
Same here. The Bolt is awesome and I don't think I'd have range anxiety with the Bolt, even in a power outage. Besides, if the power outage is that bad, many gas stations may not have power either. I'd probably just rent an ICE for the 1 time a year I go further than the Bolt's range.

Mike
 
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