Actual Kwh to charge the Volt

When Volts are available, here will be the place to talk about how to Detail, Maintain and Customize your Volt. Other good topics are charging (solar or otherwise) smartphone app usage, etc.
jamesrau
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:00 pm

Actual Kwh to charge the Volt

Postby jamesrau » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:19 pm

I've been trying to compare the cost of commuting in my Volt compared to what I was spending on gas for my last car, a Toyota Avalon. At the end of each commute, which I can do without the gas generator kicking in, the car tells me the number of Kwh used since the last charge. What I'm not sure of is how that compares to the number of Kwh I use to re-charge the Volt. It could be the same, but I'm not sure the system is that efficient. (I'm going about 32 miles using as little as 6.8Kwh. I pay 6.45 cents per Kwh using an alternate energy supplier.)
Anyone know how the Kwh used relates to Kwh needed to recharge?

PatrickZWang
Site Admin
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:48 pm

Re: Actual Kwh to charge the Volt

Postby PatrickZWang » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:00 pm

Hey James,

Are you charging @ 240v or 120v? 240 is about 10% more efficient from what I have seen.

Anecdotally, I've seen that if you used about 10Kw-h on the Volt, it takes about 11.5-12 to charge it @ 240v.

But I haven't done specific measurement or math beyond just looking at my bill and totaling up the incremental usage vs. the car's reported usage.

Patrick

jamesrau
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:00 pm

Re: Actual Kwh to charge the Volt

Postby jamesrau » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:53 am

I've only had the Volt a few weeks and had been using the 120V charger. I just had the 240V charger installed for it's higher efficiency and recharge speed. Thinking about putting a meter on the 240 circuit to get a better measurement. Although Volts come with a hefty up front cost, you can't beat the cost per mile operating expense!

CalBob
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:40 pm

Re: Actual Kwh to charge the Volt

Postby CalBob » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:37 pm

As of three days ago, I am a new Volt owner. After my initial daily driving , I can see from my normal commute I will not need to use any gas. However, living in California with PG&E, my cost of electricity is 3x the 12 cents per Kwh national average that GM touts in their advertising. So at these rates of 34 cents per Kwh my cost is closer to $4.50 per charge rather than the $1.50 GM speaks about. This is not much of a savings over using gasoline. I am therefore looking at switching my rate program with PG&E to a time and use plan instead of a flat rate plan. PG&E uses tiered pricing going from Base (Tier I usage) to Tiers 2,3,4,&5 and I would venture to say there are likely very few people that own their own homes that are not pushed into Tier 3, 4, of 5, which have progressively higher rates. PG&E told me the time and use plan will be better for me but it pushes my Tier 4 and 5 rates during peak times up to 54 cents/ Kwh. So assuming based on normal usage, I am pushed into Tier 4 or 5, using AC in the summer during the day when most people need it, will be very expensive, even if I charge my car in the middle of the evening during off-peak periods. In order to keep my power usage closer to the base or Tier I which is about 5 cents Kwh, I am looking into having a second meter installed. I am thinking it would be worth paying the upfront costs to install a second meter for the Volt use and invest in a 240v charger. I would be interested in knowing if anyone else located in N. California has looked into or done this?

simscottsim
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Actual Kwh to charge the Volt

Postby simscottsim » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:07 pm

Picking up my 2013 tomorrow...I had put a 220V panel in the garage in preparation for next EV, and wondering about the lowest/best 220V Level 2 charger. I am pretty sure that the free (subsidized) program thru ecototality/chargepoint is over. Advice on either an easy to to home install (have bare 220 wires), or cheap pro-installl would be appreciated. NorCal location.

roar
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: Actual Kwh to charge the Volt

Postby roar » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:48 pm

CalBob wrote:As of three days ago, I am a new Volt owner. After my initial daily driving , I can see from my normal commute I will not need to use any gas. However, living in California with PG&E, my cost of electricity is 3x the 12 cents per Kwh national average that GM touts in their advertising. So at these rates of 34 cents per Kwh my cost is closer to $4.50 per charge rather than the $1.50 GM speaks about. This is not much of a savings over using gasoline. I am therefore looking at switching my rate program with PG&E to a time and use plan instead of a flat rate plan. PG&E uses tiered pricing going from Base (Tier I usage) to Tiers 2,3,4,&5 and I would venture to say there are likely very few people that own their own homes that are not pushed into Tier 3, 4, of 5, which have progressively higher rates. PG&E told me the time and use plan will be better for me but it pushes my Tier 4 and 5 rates during peak times up to 54 cents/ Kwh. So assuming based on normal usage, I am pushed into Tier 4 or 5, using AC in the summer during the day when most people need it, will be very expensive, even if I charge my car in the middle of the evening during off-peak periods. In order to keep my power usage closer to the base or Tier I which is about 5 cents Kwh, I am looking into having a second meter installed. I am thinking it would be worth paying the upfront costs to install a second meter for the Volt use and invest in a 240v charger. I would be interested in knowing if anyone else located in N. California has looked into or done this?


I'm in the same situation - exactly!
My notes: Taking a base of 12kwh to charge the Volt from depleted (most daily cases for me) and a 30 day month, PG&E's time tiered E9a (one meter) runs a little under $80 a month for just the car, while the E9b (two meters, two baselines) is under $18. So, depending on your installation costs, how much you drive, and how long you are keeping the house/Volt, it may be ultimately less expensive to go with the two meter system.

If, however, you are interested in solar for your home, one meter seems to be the way, but I'm just looking into that now.
Thom - one white 2012

CalBob
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:40 pm

Re: Actual Kwh to charge the Volt

Postby CalBob » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:55 pm

Just installed my 220v charging station today. I program my volt for a delayed charge based on my planned departure time. It was satisfying to see the planned charge will take only 4.5 hours which is very good considering I was down to zero range left on my battery today. Now I can truly be in off-peak time to do a complete charge which I was not able to do using 110v. I went with the GE Wattstation which is a 30 amp charger. The Volt only pulls 16 amp but who knows what the future may hold in store for improvements in battery technology and further GM innovation. Installation was fairly easy. I went for the plug in model because it will be easier to remove and take with me if I decide to sell my home.


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