Get enough Chevy Volt news yet this week? We didn’t think so. Even as the electric car on which GM’s future dreams of green driving bliss ride on undergoes a beating in the desert during field trials, its makers back home in Detroit are busy preparing early Volt owners’ homes for charging stations. This comes via an announcement today around 4,400 future Volt owners being eligible for free in-home (well, garage really) fast charging stations.
The GM initiative on these free charging stations (which also includes free installation in some cases) dovetails on a program by Coulomb Technologies recently unveiled to install these stations (a similar program is being done by Coulomb rival EcoTality). The projects are made possible with a grant of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). On a grander scale, federal grants and other funds have been awarded to install more than 15,000 home charge stations to encourage consumer purchases of electric vehicles. For Volt owners in covered cities, 2,600 chargers are part of The EV Project from EcoTality, and 1,800 are part of the ChargePoint America project from Coulomb.
Why such a big deal you might ask? You’ll definitely be able to plug your 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, but for those who want a quicker charge a special 240-volt charge station will be required. This station will also allow data collection on items such as average charge time, energy usage and the starting and ending time of the charging process.
GM says that at the time of purchase, “Volt buyers will receive a portable 120-volt charge cord, and will have the option of installing a 240-volt charge station available from Chevrolet. Volt buyers that live within the program cities may apply for a free 240-volt home charging station through the Coulomb or ECOtality programs if they are willing to share their charging information.” Additional information on eligibility requirements and the application process will be available when the Volt goes on sale.
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