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General Chevy Volt Questions

Do i need a special plug / charging station for the Volt and how long does it take to charge?

GM will provide a special cord that will plug into your ordinary wall socket at 110 volts.  If you use this method of charging – it would take roughly 8 hours (updated 1/12/2011: 10 hours at 110v) to charge a completely drained battery.  (They worked it out so you can charge overnight on an ordinary socket)  If you prefer faster charging, you can also install a special 240 volt charger, which can charge a drained battery in 3 hours  (updated 1/12/2011: 4 hours at 240v).  Installing the special charge however requires hard wiring changes in your house (You can’t just plug into your washer/dryer plug)  However there are a few companies with grant money out there to subsidize some home installations.

Check out the complete post on Chevrolet Volt Home Charging Equipment

Also check out my new post on my 240 v installation in my garage for the Chevy Volt.

How big is the Chevy Volt’s Gas Tank and what MPG does the car get when it’s on the backup generator?

The word out there is that the gas tank will be 9 gallons.  Official MPG numbers have not been released by General Motors (updated: 1/12/2011 EPA says 38 MPG in charge sustaining mode in my highway runs at 65 MPH I’ve been getting around 33-37 MPG real world) While they certainly have several MPG numbers through their testing, they seem to be making sure not to release it until they can market it appropriately.  Speculation is anywhere between 35 MPG ~ 50 MPG but again that is pure speculation.  The basic tradeoff is that while you gain some efficiencies running the engine at its most efficient point to provide electrical charge, you also lose some energy in the mechnical to electrical conversion process.

Read more in the complete Chevrolet Volt Review and Test Drive from Milford Proving Grounds

14 Responses to “General Chevy Volt Questions”

  1. Jerry says:

    What can be done if the battery in the Volt loses it’s range of power (40miles/charge) after 3-4 yrs..

  2. Francine Pfitzenmaier says:

    I will get my new Volt on 10-21-11. I plan to drive to Chicago from Michigan. Where do I find a list of charging stations between Michigan and Chicago?Thank you

  3. PatrickZWang says:

    Hey Jerry,

    The Battery is under warranty for 8 years – 100,000 miles so if the battery starts to under perform before then, you can get a warranty repair / replacement.


  4. PatrickZWang says:

    Hey Francine, check out http://www.mychargepoint.net – that might be a good starting point.


  5. Greg Barney says:

    2012 Volt owner question:
    I’m in the driveway washing the Volt. I want to hear the ball game on the radio while I wash it. The car is OFF. I want to hear the radio LONGER than the 10 minutes I get when the car is OFF. is there a way to keep the radio running while in OFF mode? (Like ACC in a “normal” car).

  6. Jacob says:

    I am a current volt owner and I would like to know more about how the volt battery pack is designed to fail at the end its life expectancy. After 8 years or 100k there should be 70% but how low can the capacity drop before replacement is absolutly necessary? When the pack gets down to lets say 20% can you just drive it like a hybrid to reduce capacity loss?

    Thanks in advance,


  7. Lauren says:

    I recently moved to an apartment complex and pay for my own garage but it is attached to a row of other private garages which share the same power. I have tried everything from lowering the charging unit to 8 amps from the 12 and delaying the charge start time, both to no avail. Does anyone have any advice or has anyone come across this same problem? I sincerely appreciate any help! Thank you in advance.

    • PatrickZWang says:

      Hey Lauren,

      You might try to post in the forums to get more responses, but it sounds to me like there is an issue with the shared outlet. 8 amps is pretty low draw. Are you tripping the circuit breaker when you try to charge the car?


  8. Kian says:

    Question: The downtown San Jose charging station cost $1.25 to plug-in and $0.25 per KWh to charge. If the Chevy Volt takes only 16 KWh and 35 miles E-rage. My math says it is cheaper to put gas in it at $2.95/gal and 35 MPG then charging. Any comments on my math?

    • PatrickZWang says:

      It’s still not good but a full chevy Volt charge is more like 12 Kwh. The battery doesn’t charge the full way. So $.25 *12 = $3 + $1.25 = $4.25 to fully charge for 37 or so miles.

      In general the garages are very expensive for electricity compared to at home of $0.12-0.16 plus you don’t get the 1.25 base fare.


  9. Susan Kaiser says:

    I need to replace the tires on my 2015 Volt. I am considering the Bridgestone Drive Guard run flat tires or the Goodyear Ultra Tour traditional tires. My question is does anyone have any experience with run flats on their Volt and does the run flat tires affect the electrical usage? Thank you

  10. ira j osman says:

    i have a dead remote, key in dash turns on dash and let transmission go to park r, d. new 12 volt, but engine doesn’t work or turn on at all. i have 200 miles of high test fuel in tank says the dask, i did a soft reset but i need to reset so electric will run a gas as charger light doesn’t come on when plugged in. i was told that when car will not let you charge lion battery, the collent is low and needs to be raised to be able to charge. can anyone tell to to reset computer to make car run on gas till i get coolant and new clicker

  11. Ben says:

    Can anyone tell me how I can possibly drive my 2013 Chevy Volt from Orange County, California to Phoenix, Arizona, when, at full, the gas tank gauge reads only 116 miles and a full battery only has about 39 more miles? That only totals 155 miles, when the distance between O.C. and Phoenix is about 350 miles.

  12. antoinette kuzminski says:

    My 2019 Volt works fine, but the 220 charging station, purchased in 2016 appears to have died. Is there a reset button inside the case somewhere, or do I just need to buy a new one?

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