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I finally got my new 2017 Premier Volt with just about every option last week, except for the extra-fancy wheels after waiting for over a year. My daily commute is around 10 miles r/t. Is it bad for the battery to top it off every night, or should I get it down to little above my daily commute range before charging the battery?

I appreciate learning from all the senior members of this forum, a great resource for the Volt vehicle. I'm loving my new car.
 

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Nope, ABC always be charging. I have a 17 mile r/t commute, top off every day.
 

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If you do no other miles, no lunch or dinner or errands, it could be marginally beneficial to a 10+yr service life of the battery pack. I personally think the positive lifetime effect is outweighed by having to treat the car differently for all those years. Main reason is most owners want MORE AER and you are setting yourself up for reduced AER thru your midweek.

However for (my) gen1 pack ratios, it probably technically matters less than gen2 which I understand uses more of the total SoC of the pack. A refresher of the default full/empty ratios for gen2 might be interesting.

To Summarize: unlike other EVs the battery pack is already good for the life of the car. You would most likely never see the results of your extra effort. Just relax and drive. ;)
 

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Hi Onevoice, I also just got my Premier Volt last week and loving it too. Others with more experience may weigh in on this.

But I have been reading all I can on this wonder on wheels and seems like somewhere I read it is suggested to plug in and leave it plugged in when fully charged. This way the batteries can be heated or cooled if needed. The battery cooling/heating is why the Volt kicks butt over the other Leafy vehicles which have a higher rate of battery degradation. But I am interested as well to hear from the more senior members.

Also not sure if you have gotten into the preconditioning option but could be another reason to leave it plugged. I am in the NC mountains and mornings are pretty cool, but was raised in the hot summers in the flatlands. You may appreciate the comfort of getting into a nice comfy car to start the day.

Enjoy yours as I will and in your case you may forget what is was like to buy gas.
Jon
 

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Doesn't really matter. It's a personal preference. The battery is known to have a very long life without additional worries.

There have been reports ("Tale of Two Volts" thread) that if the lower SOC is never reached that the car will 'forget' and need to be fully discharged a few times to re-learn it's capacity.

My personal preference is to plug in when at home.
 

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I have owned THREE Volt's since March 2012, my rule of thumb is a plugged in Volt is a Happy Volt. Regardless of how many miles are on that charge as soon as it's back in the garage it goes on the plug.

If I back it out of the garage to wash it and pull it back in it goes back on the plug. All my Volt's have been very happy. and I have MAX range available when ever I need to go some where. Maybe that's why my lifetime EV % on the 12 is 92.7%, 92.8% on the 13 and I bet I beat those percentages easily with my 17.

Plug it in.
 

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You can technically be a little easier on the battery by charging less often in some circumstances. This is because a lithium battery has a longer storage life when stored at lower states of charge. By not charging every day, when the battery is sitting stored in your garage every night, it will age a little slower. However, during hot or cold weather, you want to leave it plugged in for thermal management to take place.

So for your use, I think you could charge it during mild weather only on Sunday night, Wednesday night, and then maybe Friday night or whatever makes sense for your weekend driving needs. This should allow you to keep a good reserve of electric range for running errands, but also probably improve your storage life by some amount.

Another benefit is this saves you the slight effort of a lot of plug-ins. Also, you don't have to worry too much about range for an unexpected longer trip because you always have the range extender available, and you have to run it every 6 weeks anyway.

Some of the information I based my opinion on can be found here:
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries
 

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I just got mine with everything but the fancy wheels also i think if you can easily plug it in plug it in the battery has 10 yrs warranty i think
 

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Chevy recommends plugging in every night, so when it's real hot or real cold, the car can condition the battery as needed. If you plan to remote start, plug in during the winter months, and set your car to not use the engine when plugged in with a remote start (Disable "Engine Assisted Heating While Plugged In). That way, when it's below freezing, you can remote start without concern of the engine running in the garage. (Not really a safety issue but the fumes smell.)

Personally, I prefer to wait until the battery is almost discharged before plugging in (except in extreme temperatures) due to my 12 mile round trip commute. That way, the battery spends more time further away from the highest or lowest charge states.

Granted, Chevy handled this well with the Volt anyway, since a "full charge" is only 80% of the battery, but I like to baby the battery as much as possible (engineer OCD). :) The risk by waiting to plug in is if an unexpected longer trip comes up... you burn a bit of gas since you don't have a full battery.

Not plugging in all the time when having short commutes is also a little less hassle, and a little less wear on the EVSE.

In short, you get to choose what you prefer. The car is engineered well enough to handle your preference. :)
 

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Car manual said, to keep it plugged in whenever it is not in use, then the car will draw what it needs to maintain the battery (cool or heat etc.) from the plug and not from the battery.
 

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You can technically be a little easier on the battery by charging less often in some circumstances. This is because a lithium battery has a longer storage life when stored at lower states of charge. By not charging every day, when the battery is sitting stored in your garage every night, it will age a little slower. However, during hot or cold weather, you want to leave it plugged in for thermal management to take place.

So for your use, I think you could charge it during mild weather only on Sunday night, Wednesday night, and then maybe Friday night or whatever makes sense for your weekend driving needs. This should allow you to keep a good reserve of electric range for running errands, but also probably improve your storage life by some amount.

Another benefit is this saves you the slight effort of a lot of plug-ins. Also, you don't have to worry too much about range for an unexpected longer trip because you always have the range extender available, and you have to run it every 6 weeks anyway.

Some of the information I based my opinion on can be found here:
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries
OTOH, a Volt that's plugged in can use the thermal management system to keep the HV pack in operating temperatures. Figure 2 in the link below shows the Volt waking up. after charge is complete, long enough to cool the battery pack back down.

http://gm-volt.com/2013/05/03/volt-battery-thermal-management-system-in-the-hot-arizona-sun/

No plug means it doesn't do that, and has to run the TMS all out to get the pack back to operating temperature when you start the car, and the charge used to do that doesn't become miles travelled.
 

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Very hot or cold outside, plug it in. Thunderstorms in the forecast - DON'T. While the EVSE offers some protections against power line voltage fluctuations, nearby lightning strikes can and have fried a bunch of expensive car electronics.

Otherwise, it doesn't matter much in any practical sense. Those who know have stated that the Volt's battery has been tested to 5,000 FULL charge/discharge cycles without significant degradation. At 40 miles/charge, that's 200,000 miles.
 

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While I trust that the EVSE design (wired plug J1772 and the car's receptacle) has been sorted out through SAE standards, I'm a little leery of the charge opening's door mechanical push tab, feels weak and it's a mechanical piece that consist of other sub assemblies, will it survive the duty cycle of opening and closing of the door 2x everyday?
 

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OTOH,

A Li-Ion battery has the longest shelf-life if it's stored around 40-50% SOC. Especially if it is going to experience temp extremes.
That's why most consumer products ship with the battery ~1/2 charged. 100% SOC is sort of stressful in some cases.

The Volt has a Thermal Management System when plugged in and when powered up, but not when just sitting unplugged.
A bad scenario would be top it up, unplug, drive 5 miles to the Tucson airport and leave it sitting in the hot sun for weeks.

Teslas will automatically use battery power in that situation to power TMS, but only down to 80% SOC. Maybe this is just to use up the charge to get it down to a safer long term storage SOC.

I try not to have my battery always topped up in mild weather. It is only at 100% SOC for 3-4 hrs per day.
And I only plug in at home during very cold temps in the winter, just for TMS reasons.

But I have GM's other EV, the 82 mile Spark EV, so it's easier to do this OCD stuff.....:p
 

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OTOH,

A Li-Ion battery has the longest shelf-life if it's stored around 40-50% SOC. Especially if it is going to experience temp extremes.
That's why most consumer products ship with the battery ~1/2 charged. 100% SOC is sort of stressful in some cases.

The Volt has a Thermal Management System when plugged in and when powered up, but not when just sitting unplugged.
A bad scenario would be top it up, unplug, drive 5 miles to the Tucson airport and leave it sitting in the hot sun for weeks.
We're not talking about months or years of shelf storage. We're talking about hours, where the car is expected to be used again in a dozen hours.

I try not to have my battery always topped up in mild weather. It is only at 100% SOC for 3-4 hrs per day.
And I only plug in at home during very cold temps in the winter, just for TMS reasons.

But I have GM's other EV, the 82 mile Spark EV, so it's easier to do this OCD stuff.....:p
Your Volt will only charge to about 80% anyway. It just tells you it's full to keep people from asking why it isn't.
 

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I wish people would stop referring to Volt's battery pack like it's a laptop battery or coin cell.

This is a sophisticated (somewhat over-engineered) battery array with active cooling and heating. It is babied beyond what is really needed for 150k-mile normal car life. Zero Volt batteries have been replaced under warranty for capacity loss. None. And some of these cars are nearly 6 years old with some over 100k miles (and one that we know of over 300k miles!).

Charge. Don't charge. Whatever. There is no way to damage this battery by charging often, charging to full (80%) capacity or discharging to empty (which is still 15% charged).
 

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I wish people would stop referring to Volt's battery pack like it's a laptop battery or coin cell.

This is a sophisticated (somewhat over-engineered) battery array with active cooling and heating. It is babied beyond what is really needed for 150k-mile normal car life. Zero Volt batteries have been replaced under warranty for capacity loss. None. And some of these cars are nearly 6 years old with some over 100k miles (and one that we know of over 300k miles!).

Charge. Don't charge. Whatever. There is no way to damage this battery by charging often, charging to full (80%) capacity or discharging to empty (which is still 15% charged).
This is an interesting area - isn't it 76% on Gen 2 and it was only 64% on Gen 1 by looking at GM's official released specs.. To me it seems like GM is conservative and very serious about maintaining battery life.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the helpful advice on this. Being a newbie on the Volt, I wanted the experienced members to weigh in. I'm glad GM engineered the electrical system lot better than other EVs on the market.
 

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I always keep it plugged it. I never know if a run is going to come up where that 1-2 miles will keep the ICE from starting.
 
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