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Prospective Volt buyer. I drive frequently for multi-day trips (sometimes as much as a week or two), during which time I park my car and don't drive it. There wouldn't be charging available at the parking garage I leave the car at. The Chevy dealer told me that if I drove to the garage (arriving with my battery empty, driving on gas at that point), and left it for more than a day or two, it wouldn't start when I got back. This didn't sound right, so I checked the forums when I got home, figuring there would be angry owners who went on a road trip and left their depleted Volt at an airport (or outside Grandma's house) and couldn't start it when it was time to go home. Can't find any such discussions! Is this dealer just anti-EV? (he drives a truck) Or is this a legitimate concern?
 

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Your dealer is completely wrong. You can drive across the country with the Volt, with the occasional stop for gasoline. No charging is required.
 

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There have been a few instances of people leaving the Volt for an extended period of time and it not starting. But that is simply because the 12V battery died. A week or 2 will be just fine.
 

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Ditto on the above replies.
 

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On my last vacation to Florida, I drove from Tennessee. My Volt was parked for 8 days and not plugged in. It started just fine. BTW, it was the most comfortable drive that I have ever done, both directions.
 

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I wouldn't buy a truck from this dealer, either. He probably likes them because he gets to ride up high (yee-hah!) - which I guess is as good an excuse as any. But his knowledge base is all hat and no cattle. BTW, I also own pickups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I wouldn't buy a truck from this dealer, either. He probably likes them because he gets to ride up high (yee-hah!) - which I guess is as good an excuse as any. But his knowledge base is all hat and no cattle. BTW, I also own pickups.
Unfortunately, they closed the good Chevy dealer in my area (when GM reduced their franchisees 10 or so years ago). They "re-assigned" me to one 20 minutes away, where I had some really bad customer service experiences. This is the next closest one (30 minutes away).
 

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I don't have a Volt but newer GM vehicles that have OnStar also can be remote started to recharge their 12 VDC battery. You can try this if you are not sure. Otherwise, charge your Volt battery before parking it. I have left my two GM vehiles for two weeks unused in my home, and both restarted the next day after my return. Just be sure every light and accessory is powered off before locking up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As for charging using the gas engine (or is it just a generator?), how long does it have to run to charge the battery (while parked) - are we talking minutes, hours?
 

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Prospective Volt buyer. I drive frequently for multi-day trips (sometimes as much as a week or two), during which time I park my car and don't drive it. There wouldn't be charging available at the parking garage I leave the car at. The Chevy dealer told me that if I drove to the garage (arriving with my battery empty, driving on gas at that point), and left it for more than a day or two, it wouldn't start when I got back. This didn't sound right, so I checked the forums when I got home, figuring there would be angry owners who went on a road trip and left their depleted Volt at an airport (or outside Grandma's house) and couldn't start it when it was time to go home. Can't find any such discussions! Is this dealer just anti-EV? (he drives a truck) Or is this a legitimate concern?
Stupid dealer spreading FUD. Mine has been parked for three weeks straight unplugged and drive with no issues whatsoever. Except for a couple special circumstances, the big battery is locked off from everything while the car is off - it won't discharge while you're parked (unlike some other EVs - but even the ones that do have vampire drain last months, not days.)
 

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I too have been on a couple trips to Asia. I've left my car unplugged for two weeks with zero issues.

As for charging using the gas engine (or is it just a generator?), how long does it have to run to charge the battery (while parked) - are we talking minutes, hours?
Gas engine does not charge the battery. The gas engine only runs enough to power the car in motion. Using the gas engine to charge the battery is very inefficient.

Bascially when the battery is charged the Volt is an EV. When the battery hits a low point it becomes a hybrid.
 

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As for charging using the gas engine (or is it just a generator?), how long does it have to run to charge the battery (while parked) - are we talking minutes, hours?
The engine will never fully recharge the high voltage battery. There is no reason for it to do that. You can partially recharge it using mountain mode, but it would be more efficient to just drive using the engine power.

The engine is also not responsible for recharging the 12V battery. There is a DC-DC converter that utilizes the high voltage battery to charge the 12V battery. As for how long that would take, it depends on how discharged the battery was.
 

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I traded in my 2012 Volt On July 26th 2014, it had a full charge with 21,752 miles on it. I followed the car on the dealers lot until it sold and from FB I made contact with the new owner. She confirmed it had 21,754 miles on it and had about a half charge when she looked at it. That was in early March. The 12V battery needed to be jumped the first time they tried to demo it for her. But once it started it operated just fine.

So the car basically sat for 6+ months outside (in one of the worse winters on record) and she says the car picked up where I left it. She charged it and is getting 40+ miles per charge.

GM really did their home work on the Volt.
 

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When I bought my new 2014 volt a few weeks ago, it was clear that the dealer had never charged it since it took delivery close to a year ago. I'm now getting just over 40 miles/charge, so it doesn't seem like there's any harm in not charging it for a long period of time. As others have said, there's a standard 12v car battery in there to handle things while it's turned off. And even while the car shows that it's empty and switches to the gas engine, it keeps about a 30% charge because it'll make the battery last longer. Lithium Ion batteries lose battery life/capacity when they get completely discharged too often and when they get too hot. That's why the Volt engineers designed our batteries so that they never completely discharge and gave it a separate cooling/heating system.
 

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Get a new dealer...

According to page 10-24 of Owner's Manual for long-term parking

Four weeks to 12 months
  • Discharge the high voltage battery until two or three bars remain on the battery range indicator (Battery symbol) on the instrument cluster.
  • Do not plug in the high voltage battery charge cord.
  • Remove the black negative (−) cable from the 12-volt battery and attach a trickle charger to the battery terminals or keep the 12-volt battery cables connected and trickle charge from the underhood remote positive (+) and negative (−) terminals. See Jump Starting on page 10‑69 for the location of these terminals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow, one Google search that DID yield some results is on dealers feeding consumers misinformation to try and persuade them against buying an electric car.
 

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If you're worried, just drive the whole way in mountain mode. It will reserve a larger portion of the battery for later use. When you are ready to leave, you should have about 1/3 battery to get you going.
Of course, if you leave something on and your 12V battery dies, you're stuck regardless. Make sure everything is turned off ;)
 

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If you're worried, just drive the whole way in mountain mode. It will reserve a larger portion of the battery for later use. When you are ready to leave, you should have about 1/3 battery to get you going.
Of course, if you leave something on and your 12V battery dies, you're stuck regardless. Make sure everything is turned off ;)
If you're worried, get one of those inverter/starter/air pump boxes and leave it in the car - the Volt doesn't need much 12V power to start, and the little battery in that should be more than enough.
 

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This is baloney- We went on a 30 day cruise, leaving the car at an airport parking lot with no charging facility. Started up a-ok and got us home with no problem on the ICE.
 

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I left my car in my house fully charged but unplugged for 11 days (it sits outside the garage and didn't want anyone messing with the EVSE cable) and when I returned it was dead, wouldn't even charge. I have all kinds of 12v chargers and maintainers at home so fixing it was not a problem. Took it to the dealer and they said the 12v battery was fine. I would have been very pissed if this happened to me at the airport parking lot, especially that day with my wife and dog.

Luckily its cheaper and more convenient for me to take an Uber back an forth to the airport than leave my car parked at the airport.

When I travel on business (2 weeks) my wife just parks her Fiat and drives the Volt.
 
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