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Discussion Starter #1
This may have already been discussed but I cannot get "search" to work in the new forum.

I was thinking about design requirements for the power cord to charge the Volt. I don't like the idea of leaving the cord on the ground since it would be a trip hazard and I don't like coiling up cords. Besides, every day usage requires simplicity and ease-of-use.

I would like the power cord to hang from the ceiling of my garage with a simple retract mechanism. Unplug, tug on the cord and up it goes. Pull it down and it locks in place. It should be a light pull and the height of the retract should be easily adjustable. Additionally, the plug should have some type of bumper or be coated in "soft touch" material in case you head butt it or leave it down and drive into it with the Volt.

I use a retractable power cord in my garage today for power tools but the retract mechanism is too strong and finicky for daily use on something like the Volt. Since the car will be parked in the same place everytime it would seem like a very simple mechanism with two stops (up and down) could be designed. Alternatively, save the cost of the retract and have a big foamy end that just hangs in space.

Any other ideas?
 

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gotta be simple for me

I'm sure that there will be many options available for charging, but if I can't plug a plain old 110V extension cord into it, then I may not even bother buying a Volt.
 

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Cord anti-theft

The Volt has to provide some way to keep the charger cord or extension cord or whatever it is from being stolen, if there is going to be the possibility of charging in semi-public spaces (such as in front of apartment complexes, in shopping malls, etc). Maybe the Volt needs a way to shut the door to wherever the cord goes, holding the cord tight, or some such. This point is a little thing, but once someone's charger cord is stolen a couple of times, bye bye Volt. Most people do not live in detached houses with enclosed garages, so this small aspect can turn into a big concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I totally agree. Living with the Volt when you are not situated in a house or have a garage is a bit of an issue. Power cord theft, valdalism and lack of power outlets are something to be dealt with (not to mention a severe rain). You know, as plug-ins get more popular one problem that may arise is kWHr theft. You come home, park your Volt in then your deadbeat neighbor pull in next you later that night and moves the plug to his PHEV.
 

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What to do with the charger cord?

A related question is where to store the charger cord. Will the Volt come with a cord that, in some fashion, unwinds itself from the car? I doubt it. But if not, and if one is not going and coming from one's own garage, where do you put it? This cord is going to be a huge nuisance if some way to carry it goes unanticipated. And, how long can the cord be, or does it matter?

In one's own garage, one needs a system that doesn't mark the car's paint, over time. The car itself could help with this by allowing one to plug in without having the cord hang against some painted surface. At the same time, I'm picturing myself trying to plug in when its cold and raining, so it has to be fast and easy.
 

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Theft a reality

I totally agree. Living with the Volt when you are not situated in a house or have a garage is a bit of an issue. Power cord theft, valdalism and lack of power outlets are something to be dealt with (not to mention a severe rain). You know, as plug-ins get more popular one problem that may arise is kWHr theft. You come home, park your Volt in then your deadbeat neighbor pull in next you later that night and moves the plug to his PHEV.
Very good point. I think kWH theft will become very tempting, if it's easy to shift the charger cord. That's why there are locking gas tank doors even now, when it's a lot more trouble to steal gas.

In a way it's a small point relative to all the good features of the Volt, but it's one that could really hurt the fun of ownership.
 
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