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Discussion Starter #1
For those who bought a Volt and decided to just use L1 instead of installing an L2:
Approximately how many days did it take before realizing you need L2?
If you plan on doing any longer drives, I would just get L2 installation scheduled before you even get your Volt, even if you don't think the overnight charging incentives are worth it. It's frustrating to either drain your battery on a long drive then have to wait many hours before you have enough charge for even a local drive, or to take a local drive then realize you won't be fully charged before leaving on your long drive. In other words, the 60 mile range only applies if you have an L2 to keep it topped off.
 

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I bought my 2012 in November 2015. I've been using L1 at home and L2 at work since then. I'm about to pull the trigger on a L2 setup for home later this month. For me, It will help extend my EV range for errands after work and on weekends.
 

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For those who bought a Volt and decided to just use L1 instead of installing an L2:
Approximately how many days did it take before realizing you need L2?
If you plan on doing any longer drives, I would just get L2 installation scheduled before you even get your Volt, even if you don't think the overnight charging incentives are worth it. It's frustrating to either drain your battery on a long drive then have to wait many hours before you have enough charge for even a local drive, or to take a local drive then realize you won't be fully charged before leaving on your long drive. In other words, the 60 mile range only applies if you have an L2 to keep it topped off.
I am using the Gen2 L1 on 240 Volts with an adapter, so no need for an L2 here :)
 

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Actually for my situation I will stick with L1 charger for probably all the time. There is almost no benefit of using L2. It all depends how You are going to use Your car. My day starts at 8AM driving out to work. Then I return from work at around 5PM. Some times I drive home for lunch but 30 minutes of charging will not help much even on L2 charger. Sometimes I do some shopping and stuff, but basically during the day I will never spend significant amount of time on my home charger.
So then the only significant home charging happens over night. Over night it is more than enough to charge volt fully from zero on the L1 charger.
This scenario applies to people like me working at office 5 days a week.
For scenarios like working from home, or other car use like weekend one it is completely different story.
I would suggest counting how many hours You can charge at home and roughly how much driving You will do. Based on that You will know if the L2 or L1 charger is better for You.
 

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I've had my Gen I for 4 years now, and still using L1 charging.
Gas is cheap right now, so there's no benefit to spending the money to install and L2 charger.
 

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I am using a portable charger for my gen 1 purchased from BSA Electronics. Super light and durable. I do carry it with me in the car and then based on available outlet in the wild I use it with an adapter. It accepts 110 and 220 volts so that makes it super convenient. Most common outlets I am using it is Nema 14-50, RV plug and of course a standard 110 plug. This is not an ad but just a personal PLUS, PLUS experience. Love this charger!
 

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I waited about 3 years before I decided I wanted the convenience of being able to recharge quicker, so on busy weekend days I could get more running around done on electricity. With a 25 mile commute, I don't need it on the weekdays.
 

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For the most part of my ownership I have not had access to anything other than 30 amp 110vac electricity (I've driven an EV for over 10 years), with the potential of 177VAC at work if I wanted to pay for materials.

Given I can now charge while I work, there is rarely any gain to be had from L2 charging.

Now that said, if the Volt could support a higher speed charge rate (like DC charging) and there was a public charger in Stevenspoint or nearby I could end up 100% EV almost all the time.

Not gonna happen for years.
 

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I ending up installing an L2 EVSE in part so that I could keep the L1 in the trunk to use to charge occasionally at my brother's house. But I never expect to make back the money spent on the L2 EVSE.

Financially speaking, just using the L1 charger is almost always going to be the best route. (Using the Gen 2 L1 EVSE with an adapter to allow 240V 12A is a slightly different scenario.)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've had my Gen I for 4 years now, and still using L1 charging.
Gas is cheap right now, so there's no benefit to spending the money to install and L2 charger.
$2/gal / 38mpg = 5.26 cents per mile on gas
$0.12/kWh / (60mi / 13.8kWh) = 2.76 cents per mile on electric
 

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Having visited this forum for years before I signed on the dotted line, I decided to get L2 before I got the Volt. It actually worked out to be the same week.

Advantages:
- Charges faster for those weekend and night chores.
- Can condition the cabin while plugged in and have a full charge when done. Important in TX summers. It was 80Fand 70% humidity this morning. Pre-conditioning is good.
- Leave the L1 in the trunk for travel or emergencies.
- Any fully loaded system will fail sooner than say a 7400w EVSE running @ 3300w.
- The cord and handle on my L2 are WAY better designed than the OEM.

edit: if there were a non-invasive way (like '16s and '17s) to make the OEM an L2, I'd probably have saved the $1200.
 

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It was just under 6 months before we got a used L2 charger partially for the fun of it. The L1 was/is actually working fairly well for most of our activities. L2 doesn't really make financial sense for our particular situation, but it's a fun education. Buying a used Volt is similar.
 

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I had planned for a L2 charger before I bought my 2017. That being said, the first two weeks of ownership for me was using L1 and based on how I drive, it worked just fine. I could've stayed with L1 but I am glad I picked up a L2.
 

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$2/gal / 38mpg = 5.26 cents per mile on gas
$0.12/kWh / (60mi / 13.8kWh) = 2.76 cents per mile on electric
It's more like $.15/kWh here. So I would spend $600 to save $.01/mile. I may never put 60k miles on my gas engine...

Don't get me wrong, I would like the convenience, but I have other things to spend that money on.
 

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$2/gal / 38mpg = 5.26 cents per mile on gas
$0.12/kWh / (60mi / 13.8kWh) = 2.76 cents per mile on electric
You're slanting those numbers a bit (assuming very low mpg_cs and very high AER) and you ignore charging losses. It's 42 mpg EPA for the gen2, so 4.8 cents per mile gas. And 53 miles AER with some charging losses is 3.6 cents per mile for you, but for me with $0.20 / kWh it's 6.0 cents per mile... gas is cheaper! Luckily I charge at work for free most of the time...

For the OP, I still use L1 exclusively at home, but free L2 at work. I rent, and it was hard enough getting a 120V outlet for my use, I wasn't about to press my luck for an outside 240V one. I agree L2 is nice, but I'm not sure I would buy one even if I had my own home... they cost a lot and L1 gets me mostly electric for day-to-day stuff. It's diminishing returns to get that last bit. If I had gen2, I guess I would probably do the OEM L1 conversion for cheap-ish L2, though.
 

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It's more like $.15/kWh here. So I would spend $600 to save $.01/mile. I may never put 60k miles on my gas engine...

Don't get me wrong, I would like the convenience, but I have other things to spend that money on.
For me, my electricity costs anywhere from zero (if generate more using our solar panels than we use) to 38 cents/Kwhr, if we use low amounts of electricity per month. High amounts of electricity will lower the rate to between 18-19 cents. I still went with an L2 charger. We already had a 40 amp circuit added to the garage some months back. I bought the charger and also the connections and breaker and installed everything myself. Also, I like the ability to charge quickly. I don't get home until 7pm+ most days and leave around 6 am many mornings. So, there's no way to completely recharge. And even if that wasn't the case, I still like the ability to use the Volt to take miles off the other (larger, more polluting) car. We went out yesterday to church, breakfast, and errands. I came back, charged the Volt, then went on a date with the wife while the kids were at home. We use no gas the entire time. For me, the convenience and technology factors are more important than the cost.

Even running 100% electric, I don't think I'll make up the cost of a Volt over a reasonably priced car. The Volt is expensive if you want the safety features. You're close to 40k, 33k after the Federal tax rebate. You can get a nice Civic with similar safety features for 6k less. That's a lot of gas. And where I live, your car taxes (paid yearly) are based on the cost of the car -- without incentives. My taxes will be based on 40k versus a 27k car. That's hundreds of dollars more in taxes over the next 6 years. The Volt really doesn't make a lot of financial sense (and I may not get much -- or any -- of the federal tax rebate, based on my unique situation).

I think it all depends on why you bought the car. If money is your primary incentive, then L2 might not make sense. If it's technology or low pipe emissions or something else, then an L2 makes sense. It made sense for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
edit: if there were a non-invasive way (like '16s and '17s) to make the OEM an L2, I'd probably have saved the $1200.
With the converted portable charger, you still need to do the 240v wiring/breaker. A clipper creek L2 costs under $400 for the hardware. And the government is paying 30% :)
 
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