Trying Out the EV Life - 2016 Chevrolet Volt Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited January 2017 in Chevrolet
imageTrying Out the EV Life - 2016 Chevrolet Volt

I don't have a charger at home, so I often drive the 2016 Chevrolet Volt on its gas engine (like a hybrid) until I can hook it back up to the office charger. But I wanted to see how much charge it would take during an afternoon coffee break.

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  • markedwardsmarkedwards Member Posts: 32
    “…I suspect the next-gen Volt would be here by the time I could replenish the battery from the garage outlet.” You suspect? Does that mean you haven’t bothered to test it? If so, I’m appalled that you don’t understand a fundamental EV advantage—the ability to recharge while you sleep. I’ve lived 32 months with a 2014 i3 and only a standard wall outlet in my underground, communal garage. I’ve found that as long as I plug in before the charge level dips below 25%, I’ll have a full charge by morning. You’d probably discover the same thing holds true for the Volt since it has essentially the same usable battery capacity as my i3. However your attitude typifies the shortsightedness of most car reviewers who insist on equating gasoline refueling times to EV charge times. You ignore the convenience of fueling your vehicle when it’s otherwise idle.
  • justoneopinionjustoneopinion Member Posts: 21
    markedwards is right: Dan Frio whiffed on a few elementary concepts of living with an EV – specifically the Volt – in a real-life driving situation.

    First off, his statement, “driving the Volt primarily like a hybrid, running solely off the gas engine,” is not accurate. One or both of the electric motors are running at all times for torque, regenerative braking and/or battery charging, even when the gas engine is operating. That kick in the [non-permissible content removed] you feel when you push a Volt accelerator pedal to the floor is gorgeous electric motor torque, not the result of the wheezy 101-hp gas engine chugging away.

    The writer expresses dismay that he received just 13 miles of range from 80 minutes at a parking garage charging station. Well, that’s about a quarter of the total Volt battery range and a pretty good charge considering the relatively small amount of electricity the Volt can accept through its on-board charging system, compared to other EVs. The Level 2 ChargePoint station in the parking garage was not designed to quickly “refuel” any EV. More than four hours on a Level 2 are required to fully charge a Volt battery. Level 2 chargers help EVs with depleted batteries get around a local area, not serve as the vehicle’s primary charging source.

    Like markedwards wrote in his comment, the home is the primary place to recharge. On the rare occasion that I’ve depleted the battery on my 2017 Volt to 25% charge, a standard 110-volt outlet in my garage fully charges the 14 kWh of usable battery capacity in 9 to 12 hours using the car’s 12-amp charge setting. Most of my driving requires shorter charge times. A $500 (plus electrician’s fee) Level 2 charger would allow multiple charges in a day.

    I simply plug in the Volt when I get home from work or errands and let it charge during the evening/night. Not complicated and not disappointing because the next morning I enjoy the superior EV driving experience for the cost of pocket change.

    Unfortunately, few Americans will be encouraged to “see how the clothes of EV life fit” if they read misleading blogs like this one.
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