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Discussion Starter #1
I want to use my Volt to power an 1100 watt power inverter in case of prolonged electricity outage. Is the 12v battery in the trunk strong enough for discharge from a power inverter? The manual recommends using a marine battery. When the battery is discharged, will the big battery charge the little battery? Do I have to keep the ignition on for this to happen? If the big battery gets exhausted, will the gas generator automatically fire up to recharge it? Does anyone have experience using such a setup? Thanks.
 

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Always have the car turned on before and while running the inverter, because the AGM battery in the Volt is not a high current battery like the one that is used to crank an ICE starter, and if you run it low or dead, the Volt will not start, just like an ICE car. The 380 volt DC to 12 volt DC inverter in the Volt can easily put out 150 amps if needed, so it can keep up with even a 1500 watt inverter, because it has a 175 amp fuse.

And, yes, if the big battery runs down, the ICE will start and keep it charged, but there is a timer in the car that shuts down the car after a couple of hours, but there is a work around, if you search for it.
 

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Always have the car turned on before and while running the inverter, because the AGM battery in the Volt is not a high current battery like the one that is used to crank an ICE starter, and if you run it low or dead, the Volt will not start, just like an ICE car. The 380 volt DC to 12 volt DC inverter in the Volt can easily put out 150 amps if needed, so it can keep up with even a 1500 watt inverter, because it has a 175 amp fuse.

And, yes, if the big battery runs down, the ICE will start and keep it charged, but there is a timer in the car that shuts down the car after a couple of hours, but there is a work around, if you search for it.
The workaround is to get a set of quick grips and squeeze the button of the transmission shifter, but keep the car in park. A bunch of rubber bands also work, though you run the risk of accidentally knocking the shifter into R, D, or L.
 

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Why would you risk damaging a $40,000 car when you can buy a small generator for a few hundred $?
I spent $600 for a 12kw generator which attaches to the 3 point hitch of my diesel tractor. Everyone I know who owns a gas powered generator with that small engine ends up with a non-functional generstor when they forget to run the generator down to empty and the fuel gums up the carborator. Since I use the diesel tractor all year long, the fuel is always flowing. Funny thing though, ever since I bought the generator, the long, multiday power outages have stopped. Similarly, ever since I bought snow tires, little to no snow. Ever since I piled up a 5 figure emergency fund, no big emergencies. But ever since I bought the little AWD Subaru for my daughter, every place that car goes, snow follows it. It started with Snowageddons 1 and 2 in IL, then Boston the last 2 years, so now Atlanta should be hit hard.
 

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I vote for the portable generator over the Volt. My 6.5 kw generator has been a good friend to me and my family. Here in rural NH, we have at least one power failure a winter. The generator keeps my well pump going, keeps the propane boiler going, and keeps the freezer/fridge going. There's even spare watts to cook meals in the microwave and watch TV.

I keep the generator in shape the same way EMM keeps the Volt ICE in shape: every other month, I pour a little gas in, and then let it run itself dry.
 

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I'm with Jeff, get a $700 Harbor Freight quiet generator, leave car alone.

Probably nothing bad could happen to a bunch of sensitive electronics powering your house.

But just to be safe...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm in Florida so I don't need to heat the house, just a couple of fans and the fridge. Generators are okay but take up space and require gas. I'd have to run it in the driveway in the wind and rain and secure it somehow. My garage is packed already.
 

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When Sandy hit, I had a 1500w inverter in the garage that I hooked up to my Prius PiP and used it to run a refrigerator, a freezer, one of the sump pumps and the internet. The inverter's still in the garage and if we get another power outage (one small one since Sandy) I intend to hook it up to the Volt.

After Sandy hit, the gas stations had no power and the ones that did had mile long lines.
 
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