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by George Skentzos

General Motors is offering to provide free 240-volt home charging stations to the first 4,400 eligible buyers of its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle in the US.

This offer has been made possible by a grant from the US Department of Energy which was established to boost the number of charging stations in residential, workplace and public areas to encourage consumers to purchase electric vehicles.

“Many owners will plug their Volt into a normal 120-volt electrical outlet, charge overnight and drive to work in the morning using only battery power,” said Tony DiSalle, Product and Marketing Director for the Chevrolet Volt.

“For Volt owners who want to install a faster 240-volt charge station, we expect the Department of Energy project to save $1,000 and $2,000.”

Chevrolet Volt buyers in eligible cities who opt for the 240-volt upgrade will have to share their charging information to help the US Department of Energy collect data such as average charge time, energy usage and the starting and ending time of the charging process.

This information will then be used to help understand how electric vehicles are driven, how and when they are charged, and ultimately what is required for widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

In total, the government grants will help to install over 15,000 home charge stations across the US which includes the Volt allocation along with 2,600 as part of The EV Project from ECOtality, and 1,800 as part of the ChargePoint America project from Coulomb Technologies.

“In addition to saving money, these projects offer Volt owners an opportunity to play a role in developing our collective understating of electric vehicles in the market,” DiSalle said.

In this respect, Australian households are prepared for the arrival of the Holden Volt in 2012 as our standard mains power is already 240-volt across the nation (230-volt give or take 10 per cent).




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