2016 Chevrolet Volt Gets 3.6 kW Charger

NOV 26 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 137

2016 Chevy Volt - Props To Our Anonymous Photoshopper

2016 Chevy Volt – Props To Our Anonymous Photoshopper

2016 Chevy Volt Cutaway

2016 Chevy Volt Cutaway

The next-generation 2016 Chevy Volt will get a slight upgrade in the charging power department, as compared to today’s Volt.

For 2016, the Volt will get a 3.6 kW onboard charger, up from the 3.3 kW offered today.

It’s not the 6.6 kW that current Volt owners are demanding though, so it’s a let down for sure.

This development is pretty much exactly in line with what we predicted 4 months ago after hearing GM electrification boss Larry Nitz describe the next gen Volt as better in everyway…that we think the customers really like” – at the time faster charging was not included as a perceived want of the consumer.

Why 3.6 kW?  Our guess is that with the 2016’s increased useable battery capacity, General Motors is aiming to maintain or slightly improve charge times.  3.6 kW will allow the next-gen Volt to fully recharge in the same amount of time as today’s Volt, despite more useable battery capacity.

MSN speculates:

“The bump in charge power was likely controlled by Chevy’s findings on its Volt owners. A May 2012 USA Today report revealed roughly half of Volt drivers rely on their “Level 1” 110/120V trickle charger for overnight battery top-offs. At either 8- or 12-amp capability off the household receptacle, roughly half of all Volts would never realize the full 3.3- or 3.6-kW capacity. The 2016 Volt’s more energy-dense battery pack will have a greater amount of energy (20.5 kW-hours is our guess) with a deeper discharge cycle, meaning the 0.3 kW uptick will be mighty helpful for those at the “Level 2” spigot (208-240 volts).”

Source: MSN

Categories: Chevrolet

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137 Comments on "2016 Chevrolet Volt Gets 3.6 kW Charger"

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Goaterguy

No need to upgrade the charging cables or house wiring for those who have the Clipper Creek LCS-20 like me.

SIvad

You wouldn’t have to upgrade even if it was 6.6 kw capable. Your 15 amp/ 240 v charger would only send 3.6 kw to the 6.6 kw on-board inverter which is fine.

Lustuccc

It’s another sign that GM does not want EVs to succeed. After 5 years of supposedly R&D “progress”, it is a regression, not a progression. Ridiculous bad faith!

I’ll just use my old 3.3 on my new gen 2 Volt.

I have zero issues with this newly announced charging level.

Boyd

deal breaker for me. My Volt is 4.5 years old now. at 5 years, I am going to get a new plug-in. My requirement is 6.6KW or greather charging. my office charges per hour not per KWh.

Close to a deal breaker for me living with a Volt for three years. My next car will have 6.6kW charging as a minimum.

Dan

If you are paying commercial rates to charge your Volt, then you are almost certainly losing money anyway.

What does your office charge per hour, and what are gas prices in your area?

Thomas J. Thias

Not So Fast, Boys N’ Girls.
Sorry Eric and Jay (Statik)

No OFFICAL GM Statement of #NextGenVolt, 2016 MY Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicles’ Charging/Refueling kW speed limit, that I can find.

A lot of this:

“We Do Not Comment On Future products And Technologies.” GM

A whole lot of this:

“The Cyber Echo Chamber Rumor Mill Is More And More Reporting Rumor As Uncited Fact.

Then Reporting On Reports Of Reports As Assumed Facts From ‘Unnamed Industry Source’s And Then Sharing These Unsubstantiated Claims Again As Fact Laced With Opinion, Assuming Facts”
TJT

Best-

Thomas J. Thias

Sundance Chevrolet Inc.

517-749-0532

Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt

Bill Howland

You mean you , as an Authorized Chevrolet Dealer, are saying this info is bogus? I have to admit I didn’t see where the writer came up with the reference.

So why is JC publishing stuff that has no source? A head scratcher.

I would think, unless Lear, or their current CHARGER manufacturer offered a mild change, I really don’t see why they would bother, and it would make much more sense to use the same old part number in both types of volts, of course, with myself and most others here politicing for a ‘2 charger option’, using the same parts, and only a modified ‘response’ to the EVSE current broadcast, as well as a 2-fer liquid cooling cable. The option would also get you a 32 amp rated port.

GSP

Bill,

I doubt that Thomas is a dealer. If so his name would be on the business. He is “just” a great salesman. I wish there were more of him.

Also, all I see in his comment is this is not official GM released info. It shouldn’t be identified as such. We will have to wait for GM to release the real info to see if this info is “bogus” or not.

GSP

Anton Wahlman

Not sure how you are counting to 4.5 years. 4 years ago today, the first Volt had yet been manufactured. The first delivery took place in December 2010.

Lou

Funny that if the 2016 battery is rated at 50 miles range, then the attraction of a 6.6 on board charger becomes much stronger. That would allow the car to charge up in about 2 hours. At my car’s present range(officially 35 miles) it is not nearly as attractive to me to have that faster charger. I’d like it, but it’s a minor improvement. If my 2012 Volt runs low or out of juice I simply let the gas generator kick in. But with additional range and a faster on board charger, I might consider stopping for a 240V charge somewhere. But right now it is not worth the inconvenience of sitting there for an hour to get 10 miles, all the while paying the equivalent of 1 gallon of gas(basically 3-4X’s the rate of plugging in at home). What a 6.6 charger might do though(assuming the larger battery)is influence me to invest in a 240V home charging EVSE.

Lou

Bonaire

True but the common driver doesn’t “need” 2 hour turn around that often. If they do, they are running errands and are your typical “soccer mom”. Soccer moms drive CUVs in my area of the country and not sedans. So, I feel that it would be better to build a CUV Voltec system with 6.6 KW charging for such situations.

SIvad
But the question is where does this argument break down? If a 6.6 kw isn’t needed for a 15-16 kwh pack when does it need it? 18 kwh, 20 kwh? The Leaf has a usable 20 kwh and most opt to get the 6.6 kw charger. 15-16 kwh is awfully close to 20 kwh. I know the Volt has a range extender but most of us never want to use it unless we are going on a trip out of town. In fact I hate using cs mode. It usually ruins my day. If I had a choice I would prefer first having an EV with a range of 200 miles or second an EREV that has an AER of 85 miles. Since those don’t exist I am very excited about having an EREV with an AER of 50 miles but not excited about having a 3.6 kw on-board charger. Some days it’s not a problem but 3 days out of the week I have to drive 50 miles round trip in the winter. There are Blink chargers at the destination but I get gouged on the $.04 a minute and I’m only there for an about an hour which… Read more »
Dan

On a PHEV/EREV, the argument breaks down when commercial charging prices become competitive with charging at home, or at a very minimum, when they become competitive with gas prices.

JRMW

The i3 Rex is basically an 85 mile AER EREV.

Sivad

The i3 Rex is also more than $10K more than a Volt and is a little outside of what we are willing to pay.

william edwards

And the i3 still have a bloody small back seat!

no comment

unlike the Volt, the Leaf is a BEV, so if you run out of charge, you are SOL. so fast charging is very important because you might have to do emergency charging when you are not at home. even then, you are faced with the inconvenience of hours of downtime while waiting for the car to recharge (or at least having to wait long enough to get enough charge to get back home). the Volt doesn’t have this problem, so fast recharging isn’t as important.

Sivad

I am a Volt owner so I am quite aware that the Volt can use gas. The point is the need to charge doesn’t have to be for an emergency for it to be desirable to a certain group of customers like me who would be willing to pay extra for it as an option.

Yes I think it should be an option too. The Leaf and Tesla both offer “optional” faster charging configurations. I think Chevy is missing the boat on this issue

Stephen

As a “hockey dad” I would love my Volt to charge at 20mph instead of 10mph

GSP

This.

We can use gas in an emergency or for long trips. This is great.

But, for everyday use around town, 20 mph daytime charging would greatly extend EV range, make gas use unnecessary most of the time, and make public charging more cost competive with gas.

Please offer a 30 A (6.6-7.2 KW) charger option.

GSP

pjwood

Good point, Lou. The i3 might be lame, for its winter losses, and I expect by being much better in this regard, Volt 2 may close an otherwise big AER gap. But, then consider eventually pulling over with CCS (~50+kw), vs. 3.6kw, and the tables turn.

I get Nitz’s point about the $$ math that really adds up to little, as manufacturers spring for more battery. To each, his own. I’d pick the Volt for other reasons, even if isn’t looking to come with 6.6kw charging. I doubt they saved more than $200-300, with this move.

no comment

but why would you stop for a charge at all??? if you run low on charge, then you have the ICE and generator to keep you going. it seems hardly worth any wait time at all for recharging, regardless of the recharge rate.

don’t get me wrong, i would like for the Volt to have a 100 mile EV range, but i’m not willing to pay $100K for that capability. that said, given the pricing of the ELR, it seems more of a mistake to not have the EV range in the 100 mile range, even with the ICE and generator. EV driving is rather of a premium feature, so for the higher price they should be able to cover at least 90% of driving scenarios.

GSP

What wait time for recharging? Cars are parked most of the day. That is the time to plug them in.

The faster charger gives you more EV miles for the time you spend parked. Often the extra miles would make gas unnessary.

The Volt is a good car in “gas mode,” but it is an exceptionally great car in EV mode.

GSP

no comment

read the comment to which i was responding before posting your remarks: “with additional range and a faster on board charger, I might consider stopping for a 240V charge somewhere”. “stopping to charge” suggests a willingness to wait while the car recharges; what i was stating is that such waiting is unnecessary with the Volt.

under the scenario that you described: “Cars are parked most of the day”, the 3.3kW charging offered by the Volt is more than enough.

Keith Myers

+1

I was really hoping that Volt Gen. 2 would have a 6.6 kWh charger with the expected 50 mile AER. As it stands now I always run about 4-6 miles short of an all electric run into town for shopping. The best days in range I’ve ever accomplished in Spring or Autumn temps is 46 miles. I don’t know how everyone else manages these 50+ miles AER excursions. I drive country roads at the 55 mph speed limit. When I need to go to the south end of town for shopping I have free, convenient Level 2 charging available which only nets me 4 additional electric miles for 1 hour of charging. I rarely spend more than half an hour shopping but when I do spend the hour charging, I can make it home all electric,IN THE AUTUMN OR SPRING when the temps are fair. Now that winter temps have arrived, I will always be short about 10-15 miles in range. The Chargepoint chargers easily handle a Leaf or Tesla so I know they can handle

Keith Myers
+1 I was really hoping that Volt Gen. 2 would have a 6.6 kWh charger with the expected 50 mile AER. As it stands now I always run about 4-6 miles short of an all electric run into town for shopping. The best days in range I’ve ever accomplished in Spring or Autumn temps is 46 miles. I don’t know how everyone else manages these 50+ miles AER excursions. I drive country roads at the 55 mph speed limit. When I need to go to the south end of town for shopping I have free, convenient Level 2 charging available which only nets me 4 additional electric miles for 1 hour of charging. I rarely spend more than half an hour shopping but when I do spend the hour charging, I can make it home all electric,IN THE AUTUMN OR SPRING, when the temps are fair. Now that winter temps have arrived, I will always be short about 10-15 miles in range. The Chargepoint chargers easily handle a Leaf or Tesla so I know they can handle a 6.6 kWh charge. The power comes from a 500 Kw solar array in the parking structure. It will be a shame to… Read more »
Malcolm Scott

Only 3.6 kw uplifted from 3.3 on a previous 17.1 kWh battery really makes one wonder what design criteria GM is treating as most compelling. The Volt seems to have the most capable battery cooling system of all EVs for the chosen chemistry. Mitsubishi shoves 50 kW DC into the Outlander’s 12 kWh battery. Why is GM SO CONSERVATIVE, and so sure of itself that we don’t want instead the option of faster charging leading to a midlife replacement with a much superior battery. Hopefully there will now be an after market for a reengineered 6-7kW Volt charger. I really hope that a GM battery engineer eventually tells us the range of considerations and the justification for this pathetic charge rate. I can’t drink that much coffee whilst I wait for an eternity. Seems like a real cowards design.

Bonaire
Why wait? Sure, I have sat through a full 3.3 KW recharge cycle because I was truly waiting on something or someone. However, drive the Volt on gas if you don’t have a charge. The car is not a BEV. Why do people need to treat it like one? Yesterday I returned back from a trip in cold weather. I had great electric and gas range the prior day in 65*F temperatures and the drive back was in 41*F temperatures. My trip MPG on Monday was over 53mpg for 300 miles. My trip back on Tuesday was 42mpg for 300 miles. Weather makes a much bigger difference than charge rates. No way I would have stopped for a charge of any kind on this 300 mile route and there are no “Tesla Superchargers” so nobody can say I could have done the trip in a Tesla either. The Volt is the third element of a binary mindset. It works just fine on an ongoing charge overnight basis, saves 80 percent or more of someone’s gas usage. AND it offers over 40 mpg on longer trips with no compromises – gas is everywhere. I think the electrification movement is very myopic… Read more »

“The car is not a BEV. Why do people need to treat it like one?”
———-
Exactly. If you want a BEV, buy a BEV. The Volt is an EREV. It’s battery size was designed to cover your daily driving on the majority of days. It’s charger is designed to recharge your battery overnight on the majority of nights.

That’s it. It is really that simple.

SIvad

Because a BEV can’t go on trips, even short ones. We are getting rid of our only gas car, a hybrid, and buying an EV but we still need our Volt that can go out of town and get my wife to work. She drives round trip 70 miles a day with nowhere to charge at work. In the winter she would never make it. We can’t afford a Tesla so the current crop of BEVs don’t work for us. But we do drive the Volt as if it’s an EV as is possible. The 3.3 kw charger has always been irritating to us.

Now in 3-4 years there our problems will be solved with the next generation of longer range more affordable EVs but until then we will be limping along in our Volt on those day when we need to charge while out.

no comment

i don’t do much out of town driving, but on the one occasion when i did, the Volt, with it’s 10 gallon gas tank, was great. i was able to drive 300+ miles between fill ups, each of which only took a few minutes. when i drive locally, i only keep about 2 gallons in the tank because most of my local driving is in charge depletion mode. i recently got a fill up so that i won’t have to stand out in the cold to get gasoline during the winter.

It’s not that simple. Why should we be forced to use gas if we really don’t need to when a simple upgrade in the onboard charger could reduce gas use? This isn’t about text book definitions of BEV vs. EREV. It’s about maximizing EV time and reducing fossil fuel use. I don’t like driving on the ICE but I need it for long trips. No other car can give me what I desire/need. Why stop improving a great platform because some people think it crosses a line between BEV and EREV? That’s kind of stupid if you ask me.

If you are retired or saddled with an 8-5 desk job I can understand your acceptance of the 3.3kW charger but people like me who drive a lot throughout the day, a 6.6kW charger could be very helpful.

Sivad

+1 Exactly the position I’m in.

cab

Great post Bonaire. Could not agree more. Out and about charging is , honestly, overrated with the possible exception of work place charging. The best case end game seems to really be a Volt model for the foreseeable future. Even the Model S doesn’t work for some of our out of town jaunts. I’ll take a reasonable battery size and modest charge rate paired with a gas backup any day.

CherylG

A 3.6 may be the standard, but I would not be surprised if a 6.6 or a DC was optional. Not having a 6.6 available would be a major oversight.

Yes, I think we need to wait and see if 6.6 will be offered as an option….

Thomas J. Thias

My Take, Mr. Energy Czar!

Not So Fast, Boys N’ Girls.
Sorry Eric and Jay (Statik)

No OFFICAL GM Statement of #NextGenVolt, 2016 MY Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicles’ Charging/Refueling kW speed limit, that I can find.

A lot of this:

“We Do Not Comment On Future products And Technologies.” GM

A whole lot of this:

“The Cyber Echo Chamber Rumor Mill Is More And More Reporting Rumor As Uncited Fact.

Then Reporting On Reports Of Reports As Assumed Facts From ‘Unnamed Industry Source’s And Then Sharing These Unsubstantiated Claims Again As Fact Laced With Opinion, Assuming Facts”
TJT

Best-

Thomas J. Thias

Sundance Chevrolet Inc.

517-749-0532

https://twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt

Bill Howland

Since you are someone with a certain amount of authority, and we, of course cannot hold you to ‘off the record’ comments, but in your management meetings has GM ever dropped any hints of:

1). A larger charger option for ANY present or Future GM product, (SparkEV,ELR,Volt)?

2). If there is great concern about GM having more than One STOCK Charger company wide, has there been thought of offering TWO Identical chargers as an option on the same car; or is the minimal change in response by the chargers, since it was designed by Lear, made it impossible to have exactly the same part number and therefore GM doesn’t wish to be bothered by this?

Djoni

It’s a downer even thouht it was expected.
In any cold environment as northern state or here in Québec, the 6.6 kw allow heating of the cabin without discharging the battery or starting the engine.
Beside making possible charging on the road at diner time or else.
Bad move!

Agree on that issue.

I plug in on cold mornings in AZ just to warm up the cab…..the 3.3 can’t keep up.

It does catch back up after the Cab is heated though. It just takes longer.

The slight discharge and charge of the battery might help warm it though.

I’ll have to check that out with my Dashdaq (I have full instrumentation on my Volt).

JRMW

Are you using 120 or 240v outlets?

does it even matter

Avoiding using petrol in winter is a high priority for me

Just because many users today only use Level 1, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t use 6.6kW. They may consider the cost to do 3.3kW charging not worth the small boost in charge time, but would have considered 6.6kW enough of a speed up to justify a 240V charge system cost.

Hopefully GM isn’t jusy drawing incorrect conclusions from the data.

just*

Bonaire
Data doesn’t lie. It hides opinion. GM should not use data to make judgements. It should read forums, attend meet-ups, go to national plug in days and survey the attendees. If GM made this decision only on the Onstar collected data – that is not smart. Real research is done through phone calls and discussions with focus groups and owners to ask what they want. They also have to ask people why they didn’t buy the Volt (how do they do that?) Perhaps many didn’t buy a Volt as the charge rate was too slow and they did need a faster turnaround to make the purchase a good choice. Now, what if Volt cost the same as a Chevy Cruze. Would people buy it and charge it? I doubt Volt could outsell the Cruze even at the same price point. Drove past a Chevy shop in central PA yesterday. Saw maybe 12 Cruze lined up with ’15 on the windshield. Meaning – Look at all those Cruze models ready for sale to central PA. I haven’t seen a Volt there out front for almost a year. However, a top-end Cruze and a base Volt are coming closer and closer to… Read more »
ffbj

Yep.

Dan

These methods of surveying do not account for prospective buyers who would consider getting a Volt if the price were lower.

GM cannot get anywhere selling new Volts to existing Volt owners. They need to grow the market.

vdiv

Considering how unreliable the OnStar data is and how poor GM is at communicating with their customers our hopes may have just been crushed. If GM is content with selling one of the slowest-charging plugins there is a simple solution, get a new plugin from someone other than GM.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Indeed.

Sam

Shows that GM isn’t serious about electric vehicles. The charger is the easiest piece of equipment to upgrade. But it’s too easy to just rely on the ICE when you run out of charge.

“Shows that GM isn’t serious about electric vehicles.”
——–
What? You base this assumption off of charging? You know the Spark EV has DC fast charging right?

vdiv

If the Spark EV indicates GM’s seriousness for selling EVs they are not only laughing but spitting in our face. A compliance vehicle sold in two states, kinda with a fast-charging capability nowhere to be found?!

I think you missed the point. Basing the entire EV commitment of a company who has invested billions in the technology, on the charging rate of one if its plug-ins is ludicrous. The OP just doesn’t understand the design philosophy. Engineer for the task, 80/20, etc. When most people are going to use the car as designed, why would GM want to raise prices and force all these people to pay for something they don’t use?

vdiv

No, I think the OP understands it perfectly fine. Penny-wise and dollar-foolish. The charger decision was not an engineering one, it was a bean counter and a short-sighted one.

Form follows function. Why don’t the put a 5th wheel on the car too?

Draighven

Not sure where you get your information from but I live in Indiana, no where near a CARB or compliance state. And our fast charging network leaves much to be desired. The Spark is for sale here at every GM dealer I have been to looking at Volts.

vdiv

Not Spark, Spark EV.

One nice thing about Indiana, is the pro-ev city of Indianapolis. Have you tried using their BlueCar EV service yet (assuming it’s up and running now)?

Feels like a pretty idiotic decision. And with no regards to customers wishes nor the possibility to be able to actually start selling vehicles in numbers in Europe.

Count me as someone who charges at 120V, 8amps, every night. If I stop at home before running out again that night, I sometimes set it to 12amps. The only thing that makes me want to go to a 240V charger is in the winter, when range is really affected. It would nice to be able to charge at 3.3kW before running those errands. I may wired up a 240V plug for a Turbocord, or just keep my $500… meh.

Yeh not sure why we get silly comments like:

“Just shows GM isn’t serious about EVs”

or

“Considering how unreliable the OnStar data is and how poor GM is at communicating with their customers”

The fact remains that most people that own a Volt think that 3.3 is sufficient. I think it is and I own one.

You just use your 120V charger so 3.3 is plenty for you.

Why should GM increase their costs if customers already are perfectly happy with 3.3?

sven

“The fact remains that most people that own a Volt think that 3.3 is sufficient. I think it is and I own one.”

When I had dial-up internet, I thought it was sufficient because I mainly used it for checking email, web surfing, and reading & posting comments on InsideEVs.com. Now that I have high-speed broadband internet, I’d never go back to dial-up. 😀

But how much more do you pay now, and did it require you to rewire your home?

no comment

the reason why your analogy is inappropriate is because for most people, the Volt will not function any differently whether it is operating in charge depletion mode or charge sustaining mode. the same does not apply to internet access because you can do a lot more with high speed internet access than you could with dial up.

GSP

The Volt is much smoother and quieter in EV mode than in gas (CS) mode.

Also, if you use gas mode very often, you may have to visit a gas station (O, the humanity of it all).

GSP

GSP

kdawg,

Check out the clipper creek CS-20. Only $399, very tough and dependable, and only requires a 20 A breaker and smaller gauge (less expensive) wiring.

You can charge faster, be full EVERY morning, and keep the 120 V cord in your trunk.

GSP

JRMW

How much does it cost to put in a 3.3 kW vs 3.6 kw vs 6.6 kw charger?

Does it cost a lot to upgrade?

Does it take up far more space?

Is gm afraid people will charge too quickly too often ruining the battery?

My thoughts

-Does it cost a lot to upgrade?
-It costs… more

-Does it take up far more space?
-It takes … more

-Is gm afraid people will charge too quickly too often ruining the battery?
– More about focus on the home. 3.6KW at 220V can be supplied by a 20A breaker, which most homes have. If you go up to 6.6kW you talking about larger breakers and larger AWG wire. AKA… more

If someone needs to charge at 6.6kW, then a 20kWh battery car is probably too small of an AER for them anyway (assuming they have a gas-phobia).

EVger

Charging my Ford C-Max Energi at 3.3v worked fine for two years. I upgraded to 6.6v this year. Glad that Ford gave me the option as a standard feature. Great to have the capability when you want it.

EVger

Sorry. kWh, not v.

GSP

You don’t need to have a 6.6 kW EVSE at home if you have a 6.6 kW charger. A 3.3 kW unit is great for overnight charging, and you can use the 6.6 kW rating of your charger at public charging points.

GSP

It doesn’t ruin the battery.

Charging a 19KWh battery at 6,6KW it’s only 0,35C. It charges at a lot more Cs with the regenerative braking. The same LG battery cells are in use in the Spark EV that as fast DC charging capability.

If GM really want to leapfrog the competition they should embrace the 6,6KW AC charger and the DC CSS charger capability, if not standard at least as an option. Put it as an option so there isn’t an excuse about the cost.

jkw
The charger itself is the same size, but it will generate more heat (probably about twice as much), so it will need more cooling. And charging is done while the car is parked, possibly a garage with no airflow and high summer temperatures. The cost difference of the electronics is pretty minimal. But all the wires have to be larger. And the cooling solution will cost more. But it is probably a few hundred dollars at most. It also costs more to install a 6.6kW outlet in your house. 12AWG wires are standard for home wiring and can supply 4.8kW (downrated to 3.6kW for anything that will go over three hours). Going over 3.6kW requires larger wires, so the EVSE installation costs go up, potentially by quite a bit. I think you need 8AWG wire for 6.6kW, which costs about 3 times as much as 12AWG. The wires are also stiffer, so the electrician is likely to charge more for labor. And the breakers get more expensive. My guess is that a 6.6kW EVSE installation would cost several hundred dollars more than a 3.6kW installation, and possibly quite a lot more if the charging station is far from your breaker… Read more »
Frank

Actually, a 20 A or 40 A breaker (240V) costs exactly the SAME.

As for 20A being the norm… who cares as nobody will use an existing 20A circuit to feed it’s EVSE. They’re all used for heating / cooling already. The additionnal stiffness of #8 gauge isn’t a big deal.

Which means, great if GM tried to lower the costs as much as possible, but at least give us the option for the remaining 40% of us who wants a 6.6KW charger.

P.s. I’m an electrician.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Welp, looks like I’ll be holding onto my 2013 a bit longer, until BMW comes out with a midsizer or I find a good deal on a S85 CPO… Still annoying and stupid that the Accord plugin has a smaller battery and gets 6.6kW and the Volt doesn’t. Stupid stupid stupid.

+ 1

Daniel Marc Aurele

+100!
Especially true in Canada where you loose about 40% of AER in the winter (+-4 months): opportunity charging (lunch, diner) therefore becomes important!

3.3 kwh / 4 hour charging time IS indeed IRRITATING and some people are willing to pay not to get irritated!

Nelson

So the Volt is stuck at 10 mile per hour charge rate, instead of 20 mile per hour charge rate offered by the 6.6kW charger.

As of today North America Tesla Supercharging Station count is 132. Bring on that Model 3.

NPNS! SBF!
Volt#671

Two different products.

As Larry Nitz said, you can “supercharge” your Volt at any gas station.

Tesla Fan

but you’re using gas…

pjwood

Borrowing you quoting someone else:

“Shows that GM isn’t serious about electric vehicles.”

I’m not sure there’s much to suggest GM will lead a CCS roll-out. At least they aren’t doing a hydrogen head fake. If they become the de facto pilot of EREV and soft pedal BEV, it really won’t bother me. Being wishful about BEV slows things down.

Priusmaniac

110 V ouch! I was slightly forgotten about that overseas strange remaining low voltage. I am complaining of being house limited to 400 Volt when I would like to have more, but 110 Volt that is really worse. I can’t imagine feeding a Tesla battery of 85 KWh on such a weak voltage, the wire sections must be huge or the accepted losses astronomical. How can that still be in operation in the 21 Th century that is really mind boggling.

American homes have 240V for appliances requiring more amps.
(it’s 2 legs of 120V at 180deg phase)

Priusmaniac

That’s OK for a few kw but how do you charge the model s at 22 kw? Even with 3 phased 400 volt you already take 32 amp to get it, so if you work with 1 phase 240 v you gona need 92 amp. If you have a one mile distance to the transformer, you gona have a large percentage of line loses.

Most, if not all American households are wired for 240 V. But the sockets inside rooms and garages tend to me 120 V. Those sockets are usually either 15 amps and in some cases 20 amps. So that means 1.6 KW is typically drawn from such a socket when charging your car. So the cable is not huge, the charge rate is just very slow.

Most of us will install a 240V station in the garage, so it isn’t really an issue.

ModernMarvelFan

15A 120V is ONLY rated to sustain 12A.

That is only 1.44kW at most. Most outlets requires no more than 80% loading for sustained usage.

It really is. But the US has always been far behind in every kind of infrastructure.

Bill Howland

tesla s – 12 amps.
tesla roadster- 12 or 15
volt – 8 or 12 amps.

Tesla is the only manufacturer that has lousy efficiency (2/3 or less) at 110 compared to 220.

Volt seems to be equally good at any charge rate.

It really amazes me seeing the comments here. We have a Leaf with 6.6 Kw charging and a Volt with 3.3. The Leaf really benefits from it because it is a battery-only car. The Volt really doesn’t. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice, but I wouldn’t be willing to pay extra for faster charging on the Volt. 4 hours to recharge for a PHEV is plenty adequate for me. In fact, I could probably get by with using 120V and waiting 8 hours. But at that rate I’d definitely miss out on some EV driving on occasion.

mustang_sallad

GM needs to sell this car to the general public, not to a bunch of EV enthusiasts. If this helps them keep the cost down, I’m sure it’ll help increase sales more than catering to some weird use case that involves opportunity charging on a daily basis. Most people drive to work and back every day, most people drive less than 40 miles a day, and most people can charge this car for more than 4 hours at at least one of those two destinations. Sure, they could geek out and give it tons of awesome EV specs, but is much rather then try and get the price under $30k.

Dan

100% agree.

To us EV advocates, we always want the best and fastest we can afford. But (hopefully) we become a smaller percentage of total EV owners out there. When EVs are mainstream, a lot of the features we “demand” don’t matter a lot to the general population.

In the long run 3.6kW charging isn’t that big of a deal. As long as the Volt charges in 4-5 hours that’s plenty.

You know what I care about infinitely more than the charging speed? If that Gen 2 same-sized battery pack can be retrofitted into a Gen 1 Volt to boost our range to 50+ miles. I’d love to replace the pack at its end-of-life and get a 50-60 mile pack to replace the 35 mile pack in my 2012.

Since GM won’t retrofit the small stuff, I’m guessing there’s very little chance of a large retrofit like a battery pack. Especially since the whole car platform changed.

lewl

There is a glimmer of hope, though.

Similar T-shape (could possibly be same dimensions, if smaller, could be shimmed into place with filler brackets)
Same voltage.
Battery management controllers are in the battery unit itself and communicate to other modules.
So it is fully self contained, should have the ability to communicate with gen 1 systems (highly doubt GM would make entirely new communication protocols), and it will charge to the same nominal voltage that the existing charger is used to.

There are more points in favour of compatibility than against, but I won’t hold my breath.
Plus it’s not that big of an increase. Doubled capacity in the same volume/weight would be something to drool over.

Steve

We can already “recharge” rapidly at a gasoline pump, which makes the speed of the battery recharge a whole lot less critical. I know I know — avoid gasoline is one of the best parts about the Volt. But still, at least the slower recharge won’t leave you stranded.

jzj

Good Volt:
1. Good basic series architecture.
2. Good improvement in using both motors for acceleration.
3. Good value, quality, and performance.

Bad Volt:
1. Bad invasive battery pack design (instead of under the floor).
2. Bad charger limitation (should be 6.6KW).
3. Bad decision not to have true five-passenger seating.

Lou

You know, I honestly prefer the “feel” of the car while driving electric. I think I have filled up 1X in the 2 months that I have had the Volt and I will fill up tonight-taking an airport run of 80 miles total and we are having snow here in Philly so the range hit due to the cold weather and defroster/heater is real. After my commute home, I will have zero EV miles left until I can plug in. I’ll easily bite the “buy gas” bullet, because it makes the airport trip doable and one of the reasons I opted for a used Volt…but that doesn’t mean I will _like_ doing it. Our charging infrastructure here in SE Pennsylvania is getting better but it’s far from what is seen in So Cal…no airport charging, eg(not even trickle charging). Having increased charging opportunities means using less gas. Charging at 6.6 would help as I could leave with a full battery. However, I get the sentiments about the car being an EREV not a pure BEV, that the car was designed to do exactly what it is doing. Again, I get the argument, but no harm in looking for better.

Lou

Bill Howland

Since its a trivial change, Not sure why they did it, unless LEAR offered a slightly bigger charger consistent with the EURO 16 amp single phase limitation.

So that means, to get 3600 watt charging you need to plug into a source that has 225 volts so, when you plug into a 195-205 volt ‘public’ source, you won’t even get 3300 watts and will notice NO CHANGE from Volt 1.0.

That said, I still don’t see why the VOLT can’t be offered with a DUAL (7.2 kw – 32 amp) option a la Tesla, in countries that allow 32 amps single phase, such as North America, Britain, Australia, etc.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Incidentally, what would the actual bill of materials difference be between a 15A and 30A onboard charger, as far as uprated cables and components are concerned? Judging by retail prices and knocking a few bucks off for margin, I can’t imagine it being more than $800. GM should offer it as a $1k option.

Bill Howland
So, say a difference between 16 and 32 amps (I’m slightly changing your initial conditions since I believe the current Volt charger draws 16 amps if there’s 206 or less volts). Not much I’d say., maybe with markup, say $500. If people don’t like my ‘2 or 3 charger idea’, lets say, under the rubric of ‘use as many interchangeable parts as possible’, similar to the way that all Chrysler products seem the same, how about they contract out a charger that has 2 or 3 16 amp inputs. Taking a 3 segment charger, as a for instance, for the North American Market they could wire a J1772 and charge it at 48 amps maximum (so thats 9600 watts at 200 volts) FOr the european markets they could use the same part number and use a 16 amp Mennekes connector and still have a 9,6 kw unit. OR, since they already have the 3.3 kw (per our Chevy Dealer friend we’re not sure whether this whole article is bogus or not), they could offer the 3.3 kw years old charger as standard, and the 3 segment 16 amp changer (48 amps total for the States) as an option, say $800?… Read more »
Bill Howland

That also means that customers who have the coily corded VOltec or else the $395 ClipperCreek whose limitation is 15 amps (this is most Chevy dealers, by the way), then that means you need a full 240 volts at the charger to get the full 3600 watts.

Most dealerships where I have tried the Voltec CDSC/EVSE is 195 volts at 15 amps, so, around 2800 watts at the dealership, so no change when at the dealership.

Bill Howland

err…. 195 @ 15 amps is 2925 assuming pf=1

I understand those that are satisfied with 3.3-3.6kW charging. At least make it an option for those who wish to charge faster. Even the lame Honda Accord PHEV has 6.6kW charging.

ModernMarvelFan

And the Cost of Honda Accord PHEV is $3K more than the Volt with less than 1/3 of the range…

no comment
let’s be clear on this point: the writer of this article may want 6.6kW charging; a few EV enthusiasts may want 6.6kW charging; but contrary to what the article states, “current Volt owners” ARE NOT collectively demanding 6.6kW charging. for those who claim that 6.6kW charging is a “deal breaker”, those people will probably buy a BEV because what they ultimately want is maximum EV range. but for those of us who do 120V charging, this is not a big deal; the Volt is not a BEV, so if you need additional range, you have the ICE and generator. all you need in the Volt is enough charging capacity to recharge the battery with an overnight charge from a 120V outlet. unlike most in this forum, i am not an EV enthusiast; the reason why i am commenting is that i suspect that GM does read these comments and so my motivation to comment here is to let GM see that there are actually realistic people who are buying the Volt. the Volt was not designed for the EV enthusiast; it was designed to bring EV technology to the general public. and as much as EV enthusiasts like to rave… Read more »
ModernMarvelFan

Very well said.

The key difference is that “enthusiasts” will always want the best and latest. But in order for plugin cars to go mainstream and do better than the “regular hybrids”, it needs to be cost effectives while providing a superior option….

BEV purist will NEVER understand that key point.

vdiv

The best and the latest is the 43kW chameleon charger on the Zoë. 6.6kW is the defacto standard L2 power across the US and that is all we’re asking for.

The “key” point is if GM loses the “enthusiasts” and does not win “the rest” Volt II will be a disaster.

ModernMarvelFan

“The “key” point is if GM loses the “enthusiasts” and does not win “the rest” Volt II will be a disaster.”

Well, “most” of “enthusiasts” already hate the Volt or GM for various reasons. They are usually made up by BEV purist, EV-1 lovers, GM haters, Tesla fan clubs or various type of anti-Volt groups. The small % that actually accept Volt for what it is trying to be is actually a very small slices of the pie. That is why Volt sales are stagnant in the last couple years.

If Volt can’t go mainstream, then Volt is already “dead” even if it just converts some of the “enthusiasts”.

QCO

The Volt has already gone beyond EV enthusiasts to the mainstream right here in this forum. Otherwise how to explain over 120 posts in another thread about something as non EV specific as the back seat.

What’s next….. A debate about cup holders?

ModernMarvelFan

I agree.

While most of the 2011 and 2012 Volt buyers were “enthusiats”. The 2013 and 2014 buyers (in my opinion and California demographics) were mostly “mainstream” buyers. Those buyers want to dip toe into something cleaner but don’t want a BEV. They want to save ga$ but want something more fun than a Prius. In order to convert more of those people, price and value are pretty much the ONLY way.

At my work, 2 out of the 9 Volt owners were “enthusiasts”. The rest of them just glad that they are saving tons of gas/money per month. Many of them wouldn’t have considered a GM car if Volt didn’t exist…

ModernMarvelFan

Oh, the 7 out of 9 Volt owners all mainly charge on 120V. Only 1 of them bought a 240V EVSE (3.3kW).

GSP

More than 2 out of 9 Volt owners have 240 V charging at home.

However, the percentage using 120 V is pretty high, maybe 30-40%. This supports the “3.3 kW is enough” theory, but it is not enough for *everyone.*

GM: Please offer a 6.6 kW option.

Also, please make the charging cord that comes with the car 120/240 V capable. That would allow owners to just install a $6 NEMA 6-20 outlet (plus wiring and a 20 A breaker) to get 3.3 kW charging at home.

GSP

Agreed. I’m now an ex-Volt owner and will be looking at the 2016 Volt and i3 late next year. If the Volt has slow charging and lower than expected EV miles that may tip me over to the i3.

Frank

You have to think the other way around.

As enthusiasts, you get used to wait, or at least familiar with plugging and knowing the limitations. (which are few I know…)

But a fast (er) charge will convice a lot of new customers. Why? Because most consumers will ask the same question. “How much time for a charge?”

no comment

i disagree that charging speed is an important attribute to the general public. the think about the Volt is that you don’t have to ask the question “how much time for a charge”; because you just plug it in at home for an overnight charge, and the next day, you just get in your car and drive — you don’t have to worry about the charge level in the battery because the ICE and generator will kick in to keep you going if you run out of available charge. when you are in charge sustaining mode, the Volt (generally) drives the same as it does in charge depletion mode.

The “general public” over the last three years has asked me repeatedly: 1. how many miles, and 2. how long does it take to charge?

no comment

but are those people thinking that the Volt is a BEV? even though i don’t expect everyone to be up on the alphabet soup of EV terminology, i can agree that there is a challenge of educating the public on how the Volt is different from an “electric car” (i.e. BEV).

the point is that with the Volt, you don’t have to ask these questions…

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Quite true.

It’s just plain embarrassing that the Accord plugin charges faster than the Volt, when it is in many ways the inferior tech.

There are plenty of real-life instances of trips of mine where 6.6kW would have prevented fuel burning, and an opportunity charge of 6kW or so in an hour’s charging would have made all the difference. Every time that happens it stings a bit, and has me thinking about when I can trade in for something better.

ModernMarvelFan

Apparently with 6.6kW, the Accord PHEV doesn’t really push the sales needle, does it?

It even has the covet 5th seat.

So, it shows that in this case, it is the support of the company, price and EV range tha makes the biggest impact, doesn’t it?

QCO

Fair point.

The biggest strength of the Volt is the ability to be accepted as a normal car by almost everybody, regardless of use. That drives mainstream acceptance of electrification, and it’s good for the environment.

For John Q Public an average day consists of <40 miles plus sitting in the driveway overnight. Some days may include longer drives and a trip to grandmas on the weekend, but for those and all other corner cases, the engine is there. No lifestyle compromise.

Bill Howland

If our chevy dealer friend is right and this story is TOTALLY BOGUS, then the “Slight improvement in Charging” to me could easily happen by running at 3300 watt charging level ALL THE TIME without tapering… This would shave about 20 minutes off the charge time and could even increase the SOC since they admit the gen 1.0 volt is too conservatively adjusted.

kubel

The speed of charging is a concern no matter if it’s a BEV or a PHEV. With a BEV, a fast recharge can be a matter of convenience, but also necessity- no other option is available except waiting for a charge. With a PHEV, it’s solely convenience- since you always have the option to burn gas.

But on the other hand, no one in the right mind would rather have a slow charger and be forced to burn gas because their car couldn’t charge fast enough (unless it comes with a significant price savings).

And there lies the issue. Are people willing to pay more for a faster charger? How much are they willing to pay? And would this represent a large enough profit for GM if they offered it as an option (or made it standard)?

With all that said, I have a 3.3kW charger on my LEAF and have no option for CHAdeMO charging, and obviously no gas to fall back on. Charging isn’t fast, but it’s fast enough to fill my battery while I sleep- which makes up 99% of my charging. I think this is what GM is aiming for.

Joshili
Count me in with those who are very disappointed. Maybe there is a great reason for not including the 6.6 kW charger. Maybe it is way too expensive or too detrimental to battery life, but from my limited knowledge, neither of those makes a lot of sense. If it had the 6.6 kW charger, people could still charge at 3.6 kW if they wanted or if their home wiring didn’t support it. Maybe there could be an option like the 12 amp vs 8 amp for the 120 volt charging so you could only use the 6.6 when you need it, but not for routine overnight charging. EREV’s are just a bridge to long range full BEV’s. Faster charging is one easy way to push up the percentage of EV driving, which is the point, and can somewhat compensate for the smaller battery in EREV’s. It is much more enjoyable driving my Volt in electric compared to gasoline. I still like the security of he gasoline backup, but anything that can give me more EV driving would make me love the car even more. This kind of reminds me of the argument Apple used to make that people don’t need… Read more »
Bill Howland
Totally agree with that sentiment. Give the people what they want.. Have the standard volt be the old 3300 watt charger that is working fine.. But have a $500 optional second 3300 watt charger to satisfy people who want a ‘quick’ charge at a public station even though they may charge at 900 watts at home. Why not? Dealers are always selling cars with options people don’t need. But here’s something that at least 5% of the VOlt buying public wnats. And when gas prices go up, there will be more buyers. Probably most will charge at 110 at home, but then, on the road they’d like to charge at the public charger’s capacity. So they’d charge at full speed on the minority of ChargePoints that are actually 32 amps even though they’re 30, and just slightly slower elsewhere, but basically they’d get another full charge in two hours, which is about as long as you can stay at a store or restaurant anyway. High gas prices will make people flock in droves to the chevy volt, and then a percentage of them will want to charge fast at public charger docking stations. Its not like EVERYONE is being forced… Read more »
Dan

The problem is that in order to offer the higher-powered charger as an option, the entire car needs to be redesigned to accommodate that.

The additional heat from a charger that’s ~2x as powerful means that the Volt’s charger placement and heat dissipation needs to be designed with that in mind, with that design overhead being wasted cost for everyone that has a 3.3kW charger. The same goes for the battery; you can’t have two entirely different thermal management systems without increasing the cost even more, so that means that every 3.3.kW Volt would wasted cost on a thermal management designed for a charger that’s twice as powerful.

Bill Howland
OH, I wouldn’t be too sure about that…Lets say the existing charger is 96% efficient (I’m not talking about battery resistance here since that is heat generated in a different area). So 4% heat loss @ 3300 watts is 132 watt loss, or 450 british thrermal units per hour. Lets assume a 22 1/2 degree ‘rise’ in water temperature through the charger (thats a very very minimal rise for any water cooled equipment). So thats 20 pounds of water circulating per hour, or around 2.41 gallons per hour. Thats as much as a faucet dripping. So lets assume they’re all ready cirulating 5 gallons per hour or under 11 ounces per minute. That’s a trivial amount of water. A 2-fer connection would merely half this going through each charger, and the rise would be 22 1/2 degrees fahrenheit. In the wintertime, you need as much heat as you can get and it would merely help keep the battery warm. In the summertime we are talking about 900 btu/hour on an at least 1 1/2 ton air conditioner (18,000 btu/hour). Again a trivial cooling load (450 btu/hour more at the additional charger). If all the numbers trouble you, think about how… Read more »
taser54

I proffer that if GM were to increase charging rate it would eschew 6.6 for dcfc. After all, it appears that new installlations low power dcfc will be preferred over AC charging.

Bill Howland

HUH????? !!!!!

I know of many many public charger docking stations and home charger docking stations (CDSC/EVSE) that can right this minute run a 6.6 kw charger to capacity.

I haven’t even heard propositioned a 6600 watt dc ‘supercharger’, let alone seen one for sale nor seen one in someone’s house…

cab

So the real question is: “How much more are you willing to pay for the faster charging options?” Most folks seem to agree that GM needs to get the price down to drive more mainstream sales. Even priced as an “option” increases the overall cost of the car. So, if it is $1000 do you pony up for 6.6? What about $1500 for DC? With a fully capable range extender, it really becomes more of a want than a need and I’m sure if a lot of folks did the math, they might find that the cost just doesn’t get them that much more. If my budget was tight, And it came down to leather seats or 6.6 kwh charging…I’m enjoying my leather seats every second I sit in the car.

no comment

from the comments that i am reading here, from the people who consider 6.6kW charging to be a “deal breaker”, it appears that GM would be able to sell another five (5) Volts if they would only support 6.6kW charging.

Bill Howland
They could do exactly what Nissan did. Have 3300 watts as the majority of Volts. Have an additional 3300 watt charger for an additional $500. If it were $800 (they are in business to make $$ after all), most who want it are indicating they would still buy it. Others would say its too expensive and 3300 is good enough. That is the beauty of an option. I keep going back to an Escalade or Pickup truck EV. For a minority, 3300 watts will be adequate (similar to 110 in the volt) Most will want 6600, since it would allow 100 mile range after 8 hours of charge, the most reasonable amount of charge for 2 reasons: 1). Utilities prefer the charge rate to take place over the WHOLE nighttime. 2). A high mileage pickup or escalade driver will probably only be at home 8 hours to sleep, before being on the road for the next working day. So, IF GM ever comes up with a LARGE EV (something says Lutz, if he had to do it again, would do FIRST); there is already the charger analysis done here for them, gratis. Of all the problems a LARGE EV presents,… Read more »
Bill Howland

Hey if the volt only had a 900 watt charger I would still buy one.

Almost everyone will tolerate the 3300 watt charger used by GM globally for all ev’s so far.

Many (i’d gather 5%) would purchase a 6600 watt charger option for $500, if it was offered.. And a smaller percentage would buy it still at $800.

All compatibility concerns or spare parts concerns are really no concern at all.

My GUT reaction is that GM would offer anything other than 900,1400, and 3300 for a very long time in the future.

I’m just saying if the DID offer a 6600 watt option (emphasis on OPTION, meaning if you don’t want it you dont have to pay for it), many people (at least 5%) would purchase it. And people who don’t want don’t have to buy it.

So whatever GM does 95% of us will tolerate. More immediate concerns are does the new volt have the same high reliability of the orginal volt?

Bill Howland

err, that was supposed to be ‘wont offer’

Frank
The next generation Volt requires a higher charging rate just to keep up preconditioning in cooler climates. Presently 110v in reality on a warm 70° day adds only 0.9 to 1.0 kWh charge and 240v adds only 2.4 kWh due to charging loses. Place those numbers in the real world in cooler climates it takes about 40 minutes of additional charging at 110v to make the loss and about 14 minutes on a 240v charge just for preconditioing. The car and battery cools down in that time. Yes the engine starts at start up in really cold weather it helps but for an unknown reason the battery heater will not heat past the min. So you are left with a near freezing battery and a warm cabin thus shorter range. it takes near 6 KWh to operate preconditioning without loss. GM more than likely have an increased onboard charger increased to an odd 4.8 KWh and fix the code for the battery heater. 6.6 should be the least due to the whole world is not centered in California and solves common sense simple problems. If they are not serious and pull back into knumb thinking the effect will move buyers… Read more »
3.3 is better because...

…because it will lessen the burden on the national grid, it will allow you to connect more with your neighbors, spend more time in the mall shopping while charging, will help you appreciate your battery more.

F&&K NO ITS NOT BETTER!! if existing volt users were using the 120 cord overnight, it’s BECAUSE there was no point to using the 3.3 in public!!!

THINK ABOUT IT: remember, they didn’t “ask” volt owners, they used data collected from the cars!

If you a volt in public and it takes FIVE HOURS to recharge a measly 38 miles, WHY WOULD YOU BOTHER? just suck it up and use gas to get home and THEN use 120 OVERNIGHT without the cost of an EVSE!!!

THAT’S what most volt drivers did! The “data” didn’t ASK that OR determine that because “data” isn’t enough!!