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I have the 120v charger that came with my Volt mounted in my garage for convenience. It's a snap for me to plug the car in when I pull up next to the charger.

I'd like to have a second charger that I can carry around in the car so that I'd be able to plug in at friend's homes when I visit. I've been to the dealer and they've quoted me about $400 for a second 120v charger. I was wondering if any of you know of a cheaper portable alternative to the OEM Volt charger that would fit easily in the back of the car.
 

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I don't think there is a cheaper one out there at the moment.

Even though it's more money, you might want to consider a 240v Voltec charger for the garage, and keep the one that came with your Volt as your travel charger. The 240v charger itself is about $100 more, and you will have to pay installation, but it gives you 4 hour charging and possibly opportunity charging that you wouldn't have with the 120v unit, thus even less gas used. Of course, it all depends on your installation costs. Just a thought.
 

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$400 is about as inexpensive as you're going to find. The J1772 connector is the expensive part. So that's going to drive the price of everyone's chargers up significantly.

The level 2 charger installation suggestion isn't a bad one if you're set on having two chargers.
 

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I don't think there is a cheaper portable alternative.

Actually, the only other really portable alternative I know of is the Panasonic unit from the Leaf - which is somewhat better quality I'm told - and twice the price. That's actually the direction I'm going anyway...

The electrician is here today hooking up my 4.7kW microinverter solar system, and I asked him to run a dryer outlet in the garage while he's here. I'm planning to get an evse upgrade Panasonic 240v unit for the garage that'll plug into this. Not as cheap as the Voltec 240V hard wire, but somewhat more flexible.
 

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Why do these chargers need to be expensive, it should be included on-board. And you would only need a cord. A Tesla Roadster just needed a standard 120 or 240 Volt outlet to plug into and would suffice. With all these EV's we should just need a simple cord that costs no more than $5 each that can be purchased from Home Depot. Let us be practical, the amperage for charging seldom exceed a centralized HVAC unit.
 

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Really think about the level 2 Voltec charger. You can shop around for an electrician - I had one of mine isstalled for $500 complete (+cost of Voltec unit). It really makes a difference to be able to get a charge during the day - like on a weekend - when you may be running in and out on errands.
 

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The plug and cord are $225, half the price of the Voltec 240v unit, http://code.google.com/p/open-evse/wiki/J1772CableSources

We are never, ever going to see an EV charged from a Home Depot extension cord alone. It's a dead horse, stop beating it. Safety would likely be one of the top reasons.

Like the others, I'd suggest getting the $490 Voltec 240v unit and use your 120v for traveling. Or, depending on your skills, you can make your own charger: http://code.google.com/p/open-evse/

DIYcharger.jpg
 

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I don't think there is a cheaper portable alternative.

Actually, the only other really portable alternative I know of is the Panasonic unit from the Leaf - which is somewhat better quality I'm told - and twice the price. That's actually the direction I'm going anyway...

The electrician is here today hooking up my 4.7kW microinverter solar system, and I asked him to run a dryer outlet in the garage while he's here. I'm planning to get an evse upgrade Panasonic 240v unit for the garage that'll plug into this. Not as cheap as the Voltec 240V hard wire, but somewhat more flexible.
Your going to love the solar!
 

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Why do these chargers need to be expensive, it should be included on-board. And you would only need a cord. A Tesla Roadster just needed a standard 120 or 240 Volt outlet to plug into and would suffice. With all these EV's we should just need a simple cord that costs no more than $5 each that can be purchased from Home Depot. Let us be practical, the amperage for charging seldom exceed a centralized HVAC unit.
The vehicle chargers are on board. The 120 Volt and 240 Volt EVSE's are only smart connectors with heavy gauge extension cords.

I'm hoping the J1772 connectors are soon viewed as completely over kill by the industry. NEMA connectors used by RVers aren't causing mass problems and those are only dumb plugs with cheap disconnects. I'm thinking someday, when we've gotten past all the hype, a cheap standard chip plus a cheap switch in an extension cord will be developed to do what today's $1000 EVSE's do; all for about fifty bucks. It'll take a while though until everyone gets together to do this and the demand scales up.
 

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I'm thinking someday, when we've gotten past all the hype, a cheap standard chip plus a cheap switch in an extension cord will be developed to do what today's $1000 EVSE's do; all for about fifty bucks.
That I could see, jeffhre. By the look of the open-ev example, the big housing could be reduced to the size of a deep 4x4 electrical box. Some LED lights for feedback and you are good to go. $50 might be a stretch in the medium term, but maybe $200?
 
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