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by Brett Davis

Chevrolet and SPX Service Solutions, the company behind high-speed recharging units, have released details of the optional ‘Voltec’ fast-charge unit for the upcoming Chevrolet Volt.

The companies say $490 (or around AU$498) will get you the charging unit alone, but to have it installed into your home it will cost three times that. So although the idea of owning your own electric vehicle sounds good, and with the thought of being able to recharge it in a respectable time frame in the comfort of your own home sounding even better, of course there’s going to be a catch.

Called the Voltec, the unit can be ordered from SPX now. It unit offers ‘level 2′ charging, which means it is capable of 240 volt AC recharging compared to the standard ‘level 1′ 120-volt conventional US home socket. Basically, it means the Chevrolet Volt can be fully recharged from ’empty’ in four hours instead of 10 hours.

What happened to the days when batteries were included? iPod cables, USB connections and accessory add-ons are electric goods’ biggest downfall, now it seems the same problems exist for electric vehicles. Americans will have to dish out an additional $1500 on top of the Volt asking price of $41,000 if they want reasonable convenience.

General Motors and SPX say they will be releasing other 240 volt home charging units later in the year, although no prices have been attached at this stage.

  • Shak

    Still, the savings you should make by filling up at the right times such as off-peak electricity should easily pay you back for the extra outlay for the Charging station.

    • Shak

      One more thing: How much do you guys reckon that motorised ‘Volt’ badge weighs and cost to put on, over a simple lid like on a conventional car, or the LEAF. it looks like a simple case of techno overkill.

      • Bold

        That lid on leaf is really ugly, and it is wrong to put it on the bonnet

    • Bold

      Dont think so, US$40,000 can get you a really good car in US, while a turbo-diesel volt size car is a lot cheaper. it is unlikely many commuters can drive that many kilos to make a saving and cover this huge gap.

  • greenroom

    i want the charger zapper.. might keep the kids under control… taser for the home.

  • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

    What happens if i buy more than one electric car? Can i get a double adaptor?

  • o

    as australia uses 240v does that mean we wont need to buy this

  • Luke Skywalker

    I suppose like all cars, this will be touted as just another optional extra for convenience. I can just forsee the option packs:

    Convenience pack: Fast charger, recycled bottle holder, bicycle rack.
    Environmental pack: Low energy tyres, manual winding windows, Hessian backed seats (with stuffing made from unwanted hair of Eco-warriors).

  • Dave S

    I like it. No more trying to fill up on the way to work. Hope it does well.

    • Tomas79

      But no more any unplanned after work side trips either…

      • Richo

        It’s a hybrid, not 100% electric, so you can drive it on petrol if the batteries are flat, so you can still go wherever you want without worrying about having to wait 4 hours between recharges, the “plug-in hybrids” just give you the option of running on pure electric unlike other hybrids such as the prius

  • Lazybones

    I’m starting to think the 2+2 arrangement of the volt is going to cause it some sales problems. I just don’t understand why with a car that was a ground up EV/Hybrid design, why the smaller battery pack isn’t completely under the floor like the leaf.

    110v Power, now that just sucks if you want an EV. Hopefully aussies will only have to buy an adapter from bunnings rather than spend $$$ for this thing.

  • Simonsez

    With electricity prices going through the roof and petrol getting cheaper you have to wonder at the economic viablity of purchasing and recharging an electric car.

    • Richo

      It’s not a pure electric car, you can drive it on petrol and it will act the same way as a prius where the electric motor just improves economy, or you can charge it up and run it on pure electricity and run it as a pure electric car.

    • Lazybones

      Petrol getting cheaper!! Are you serious?

      8 years ago i was paying 73c per ltr, my last fill up was 128c per ltr. Nearly 6% per year. Electricity has gone up about 3% per year over the same period. Not to mention electicity isn’t running out.