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Greetings, all! I've had my 2014 Volt for almost a month now, and I'm asking THE question...

Aside from shorter charge time, what are the pros/cons of 220 charging?

I'm still new at this, and am trying to keep the conversation with the spouse civil and helpful. I'd like a 220, but she doesn't see the value in it. So convince me that I'm fine with 120, or help me convince her that we need 220.

thanks!
 

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If you're fine with the 16 hour charge time @8 amps, then there is no need....but, if you would like to run morning errands, get a full charge in about 4 hours and drive another 40 EV miles in the afternoon......?
 

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Almost all of my home charging is overnight. Even when completely empty, I can charge in about 9 hours (2013 model). So no problem there.

There are some weekend days that I might run multiple errands and charge in between, and end up using some gas. 240 would have saved me a little gas on those days. Those days are rare for me, and the gas I would have saved is trivial. A couple of dollars worth of gas per year does not justify the dollars to install level 2.

But everyone's driving habits are different, and it makes total sense for many people. Just observe your true driving habits over time and see how it really turns out.

With Level 2 you can also pre-condition in cold weather with less battery depletion. But again, the difference is small and may not actually cause you to burn more gas, depending on your driving needs.

Chevy designed the car and the stock EVSE to meet most people's driving needs on most days without using gas. I find I fit into that "most people" category.

It also depends on how ready your wiring is and if you can get a cheap level 2 EVSE or convert your own. The cost and hassle can vary widely for different situations.
 

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You will appreciate 220 in the winter. 120 is useless because preheating depletes the traction battery considerably. By the time you top off the battery the car will have cooled down to the level it was when you started the preconditioning. 220 can't quite keep up either, but if you wait about 10 minutes after the preconditioning cycle is complete (20 minutes total), the traction battery will be full and the car will be nice and warm. Very useful in colder climates.
 

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If you ever work a late night, or maybe go out late and drain the car, on 120 V it won't be charged fully in the morning. Although the Volt can generally get by on 120 V okay, it is still nice to be able to charge quicker.

A hardwired 240 V is safer, no outlet to overheat and catch fire, if you want to play the safety card ;)
 

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The big advantage I found going to 240v charging was that I could get home late and still get a full charge. Since where I work and home are ~30 miles apart, I often won't return home until late, i.e. 11pm. If on 110 it would not be charged by the time to leave again. Using the stock evse on 240 it is a 5 hr process to charge, so it's easy to be charged in time for,the next day.
 

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It all depends upon your usage. If you run a bunch of errands during the day and want a full charge for evening, then 220 is for you. If not, you're OK at 120. Personally speaking, I thought *I* was OK at 120. I made the mistake of saying that to my wife and when I got a really good deal on a L2 unit, that was brought up... LOUDLY. Once she saw it in action and how it all worked out, she clammed up and conceded the point. But, again, it all depends on your usage. I have my 110 in my trunk and my 220 is hardwired. I'm ready for the road AND at home. :)
 

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It all depends upon your usage. If you run a bunch of errands during the day and want a full charge for evening, then 220 is for you. If not, you're OK at 120. Personally speaking, I thought *I* was OK at 120. I made the mistake of saying that to my wife and when I got a really good deal on a L2 unit, that was brought up... LOUDLY. Once she saw it in action and how it all worked out, she clammed up and conceded the point. But, again, it all depends on your usage. I have my 110 in my trunk and my 220 is hardwired. I'm ready for the road AND at home. :)
Thanks, Gary!

I suspect that will be the way here, but until you make the leap, how can you know? There's a "free" chargepoint station near my evening job, so I may have a coworker run me there one night so I can try it out.
 

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for me the 120 volt power didn't do it for me
come home at 4:30 plugin and have supper
by 8:30 in the evening, car was charged and ready to go on 240 v
got me up to 70% ev usage overall on 240 v
 

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Everyone has such different driving habits it's hard to really say what will work best for you. I had a 2012 and now a 2017. The excitement of having an electric certainly had me wanting a 220V charger, but after a few months I realized my driving habits stayed within the "typical" habits of how GM designed it. Sure there were times when the battery ran out and i had to use some gas, but overall the battery gets me where I need to be daily. My recommendation to you would be to drive the car for a few more months and see how often you drain the battery and need a quick charge of the 220V. You might find the 120V works just fine and you've saved not only the cost of the 220V but scored some marital points as well.
 

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Greetings, all! I've had my 2014 Volt for almost a month now, and I'm asking THE question...

Aside from shorter charge time, what are the pros/cons of 220 charging?

I'm still new at this, and am trying to keep the conversation with the spouse civil and helpful. I'd like a 220, but she doesn't see the value in it. So convince me that I'm fine with 120, or help me convince her that we need 220.

thanks!
The wife is ALWAYS right. Enough said.
 

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If you have Time-of-Use (TOU) power metering, charging at 240v helps ensure that your charging will fit in the lowest cost time period. Other benefits include: better pre-conditioning in the winter time (important in Wisconsin!), a few percent more efficient, etc.

Really the only downside is the cost of bringing 240v wiring to your parking area - which varies widely depending on your house. Could be anywhere from 'already there' to major wiring runs. Cheap EVSEs can be had for a couple hundred bucks. Or have your 2014 EVSE converted to allow 240v operation. (It can still operate at 120v with an adapter cable.)
 

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Here are the reasons I got L2 at home when I got my Gen 1 Volt

-> I regularly drive over 50 miles on weekends/holidays, on multiple errands. L2 tops up faster
-> My ToU rates are lowest from 1AM to 5AM. Having L2 lets me fully charge using lowest cost
-> I pre-condition my car on cold and hot days. Having L2 helps by letting heater pull more power from the grid, and less from the battery
-> Top-up post pre-conditionning is faster on L2
-> L2 is slightly more efficient

Coming to cost, if your garage already has 240V, or if it is easy to pull a 240V line, adding an L2 EVSE does not cost a whole lot (you can get a good 3.3kW capable units for about $300). And in some states, you get incentives for installing EVSE. There used to be a federal rebate as well (which never worked for me) but if it is still available, that can help save on install costs.

If your install cost is very high, and you dont need to charge often, then switching to L2 may not get the returns to make it cost effective
 

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One word: Liberating

This decision has nothing to do with math or money. Trying to justify it with either will lead to the conclusion that 110V is fine. But the ability to come home with a drained battery, eat dinner, then head out to do some shopping is priceless. During my first 3 weeks waiting for Bosch to order, schedule, and install my EVSE was excruciating, especially on weekends where I wanted to drive all EV, but felt stranded waiting for the slow charger to charge. It's truly liberating to fully recharge in 4-5 hours.
 

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Here are the reasons I got L2 at home when I got my Gen 1 Volt

-> I regularly drive over 50 miles on weekends/holidays, on multiple errands. L2 tops up faster
-> My ToU rates are lowest from 1AM to 5AM. Having L2 lets me fully charge using lowest cost
-> I pre-condition my car on cold and hot days. Having L2 helps by letting heater pull more power from the grid, and less from the battery
-> Top-up post pre-conditionning is faster on L2
-> L2 is slightly more efficient

Coming to cost, if your garage already has 240V, or if it is easy to pull a 240V line, adding an L2 EVSE does not cost a whole lot (you can get a good 3.3kW capable units for about $300). And in some states, you get incentives for installing EVSE. There used to be a federal rebate as well (which never worked for me) but if it is still available, that can help save on install costs.

If your install cost is very high, and you dont need to charge often, then switching to L2 may not get the returns to make it cost effective
Most of the points mentioned here apply to my case. In addition, I got a free Blink L2 installed for free in 2011 when I bought the LEAF. Another reason for me is that I now have a Volt in addition to the LEAF. So with 2 EVs, a 120 V circuit would not do. I have TOU rates, so charging at night from about midnight to 10AM during weekdays is the least costly.
 

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Here are the reasons I got L2 at home when I got my Gen 1 Volt

-> I regularly drive over 50 miles on weekends/holidays, on multiple errands. L2 tops up faster
-> My ToU rates are lowest from 1AM to 5AM. Having L2 lets me fully charge using lowest cost
-> I pre-condition my car on cold and hot days. Having L2 helps by letting heater pull more power from the grid, and less from the battery
-> Top-up post pre-conditionning is faster on L2
-> L2 is slightly more efficient

Coming to cost, if your garage already has 240V, or if it is easy to pull a 240V line, adding an L2 EVSE does not cost a whole lot (you can get a good 3.3kW capable units for about $300). And in some states, you get incentives for installing EVSE. There used to be a federal rebate as well (which never worked for me) but if it is still available, that can help save on install costs.

If your install cost is very high, and you dont need to charge often, then switching to L2 may not get the returns to make it cost effective
6. The geek factor. I'll probably get a wireless for the same reason.

If your woman won't let you play, she's gonna end up with a worn-out dull old man soon.

My advice: It's a toy. Buy one and be happy. Or ask for one for your birthday.
 

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I thought a 120 Volt charger that came with our 2014 Volt we purchased , back in Oct. 2013 was fine. The 240 Volt system we installed in Dec. 2013, was the only way to go. Now after a couple of hours of charging we would have up to 20 miles charged. Now with our 2016 Volt which charges even faster 2 hours of charging will give us up to 25 miles or so. Nice to have when you take a trip and come back at 2 PM with a discharged battery, plug it in a little over 4 hours you have a full charge again, currently with summer thats 60+ miles of electric driving...
 

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If you find yourself making a second trip during and burning gas because you haven't had enough time get enough charge, then maybe you would like to have L2 charging. If overnight is nearly always enough, then you don't need the L2 charging.

I find it nice to have as I often make multiple trips that can exceed the single charge range and topping off at about 10mph makes a difference in how often I need to burn gas.
 

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Well, you are looking at around $700 to buy and have level 2 EVSE installed, so there is that. Another possibility is to tap into your dryer circuit and buy a 220v cable for the socket. Somewhat less expensive than option one, but not much.

It really comes down to several issues in no particular order:

1) Will this be your only EV? If so, then you probably can live with level 1 charging. If you intend to add another EV later, you should probably invest in level 2 equipment.

2) How far do you travel and when? If you are using the car a lot, exhausting the battery regularly, then you will need a lot of time to recharge at level 1.

3) How much do you hate burning gasoline? Some owners pride themselves on going as long as possible without burning a drop, others not so much. Level 2 charging make it easier avoid burning gas by helping to keep the battery full at all times.
 

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Well, you are looking at around $700 to buy and have level 2 EVSE installed, so there is that. Another possibility is to tap into your dryer circuit and buy a 220v cable for the socket. Somewhat less expensive than option one, but not much.

It really comes down to several issues in no particular order:

1) Will this be your only EV? If so, then you probably can live with level 1 charging. If you intend to add another EV later, you should probably invest in level 2 equipment.

2) How far do you travel and when? If you are using the car a lot, exhausting the battery regularly, then you will need a lot of time to recharge at level 1.

3) How much do you hate burning gasoline? Some owners pride themselves on going as long as possible without burning a drop, others not so much. Level 2 charging make it easier avoid burning gas by helping to keep the battery full at all times.
$700?!?!? If it were anywhere near that, I would NOT have it. I got mine for $200 and hard-wired it myself with parts costing around $25. Even if I had chosen to go the outlet route, it still would have been WAAAAAAAAY under $700.
 
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