Chevy Volt Home Charging Unit to Cost About $2,000 For Equipment and Installation

· · 7 years ago

When we're talking about charging a plug-in vehicle at home in North America, there are really only two ways it can be done: you can use a standard 3-prong wall outlet (110-120 Volts, called 'Level 1'), or you can opt for a faster, higher voltage wall mounted unit (220-240 Volts, called 'Level 2').

The Chevy Volt, just like the Nissan LEAF and the upcoming Ford Focus Electric, will come equipped with a cord to be able to charge from a Level 1, 3-Prong outlet (see the video below), but if you want access to the higher speed charging station you'll need to pay extra—significantly extra. Again this is the same setup as with the Nissan LEAF, and, presumably, all of the first generation electric cars coming to market in the next few years.

According to Chevrolet, the Level 2 charge station available for sale side-by-side with the Volt will be supplied by SPX Solutions. And while the hardware itself is a relatively affordable $490, the expected installation costs of about $1,500 will bring the total cost up to about $2,000. This is very much in line with what Nissan has estimated for the installation of its Level 2 home charging station supplied by AeroVironment.

In the case of the Volt, it will take 10 hours to charge the battery from empty to full (about 40 miles of range) on a standard Level 1, 3-prong outlet. If you want to reduce that 10 hours to about 4 hours, the only solution is to get a Level 2 station installed. Although Chevy is marketing the SPX solutions charger, $2,000 is a lot of money to invest right up front... even with the federal tax credit for 50% of the purchase and installation costs.

Chevrolet walks us through what charging your Volt at home entails.

So, as many of us move forward into the future of the plug-in vehicle, it's important to keep in mind that these Level 2 charging solutions that are bundled with each manufacturer's vehicle are not required. Nissan has said explicitly that LEAF purchasers don't have to go with the AeroVironment chargers and that, if they do want a Level 2 charger, they can buy any one of the plethora that are springing up over the next few months. With that competition, prices should come down pretty quickly... especially when you've got competition over the installation price. It really seems like $1,500 to install is pushing it in terms of what a homeowner should reasonably expect.


· TD (not verified) · 7 years ago

So who does the installation? I imagine most states would require a licensed electrician. And in many states it would probably require an inspection by the local building inspectors.

· Eric G (not verified) · 7 years ago

I wonder if any of the chargers coming out have any advantages over others?

Can you point me in the direction of where to find out the details on the 50% tax rebate on the charger? I have been looking at all the government sites I can find and none mention this rebate that I have noticed. I really want to take advantage of it before it expires at the end of this year.

· Priusmaniac (not verified) · 7 years ago

If the Chevy makes it to Europe it will be very interesting because 240 V is the standard voltage in all the houses and the gasoline is sold at 7 $/gallon.

· Mysticstarman (not verified) · 7 years ago

Well GM/Chevrolet seems like you've taken such a good design in your first concept car to the level of a Vega. You said all the changes were to get every mile you could out of the batteries. But now you've come out saying this car will only get 25 miles on batteries alone. Might be you should have kept the first more appealing design that started all the excitement. You use it for your Caddies, must not be that bad. You've taken all of the appeal out of a winner and dropped the ball. We hopeful buyers are asking WHY? WHY GM? WHY CEO? WHY DESIGNERS? WHY DID YOU ALL RUIN SUCH A PROMISING CAR? I even bought stock in GM when I saw the pictures you used to show people where you planned on going with GM. Ended you took the air out of a beautiful car and ended up with a fancy VEGA.

· JJ (not verified) · 7 years ago

Do you need to change your electrical panel?

· · 7 years ago

Eric G,

Nissan's LEAF website is actually a great source of information on federal, state and local tax credits and it lets you search by zip code:

· · 7 years ago


The Chevy Volt will be sold in Europe as the Opel Ampera. It is essentially the same car with a different skin and will be available in Europe next year.

· · 7 years ago


It all depends on what kind of electrical panel you have. Some older panels will indeed need to be upgraded to be considered safe (or in some cases even be able to supply the 240V 40A service. That's why you should have a qualified electrician come out and do an evaluation.

· Eric G (not verified) · 7 years ago

Thanks for the link Nick! Does anyone know anything about differences (if any) in chargers by various manufacturers? I know the plug is standardized, but am trying to find out if I should just go through Nissan's supplier or consider other options.

· · 7 years ago

Eric G,

You're welcome! That's a great question about charging stations. Because most of them don't really exist yet (i.e. haven't been sold) it's hard to say what the major differences are. Some, like the Blink Stations from ECOtality, and the ChargePoint stations from Coulomb, have fancy hookups to the internet and are part of a nationwide network that allows you to do all sort of monitoring from your smartphone and web browser and pay any bills online (for when you are traveling and use public stations). Some are no more than simply a box with a cable and some lights (AeroVironment's current generation and Leviton's stations). Leviton is the only manufacturer that says you can install their stations without hardwiring it to the circuit breaker, but most manufacturers claim this is illegal based on current electrical code rules for electric vehicle supply equipment. Eaton Corporation's box is made for industrial duty, so it should last quite a while even if it looks kind of ugly. Most of the charge stations themselves will cost between 500 and 1,100 dollars for the hardware. If you think you can get a better installation deal than Nissan's supplier, AeroVironment, (typically about $1,500) you can just make some calls around and see if there are any qualified electricians in your area and then ask them to come out and give you a quote for installation and then choose whatever station works for you.

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