By on December 4, 2012

In late 2011, photos of melted and damaged Volt charging cords appeared on the internet. GM initially blamed wiring problems in the electrical outlets, eventually, the company announced that they would replace all the 120V chargers in all 2011 and some 2012 models with a new unit. About 9,500 charging units were replaced.

When the 2013 model came around, Volt owners were faced with a new and improved feature: Longer charge time. In self-help groups on the Internet, the culprit was quickly found:  GM had reduced the default circuit load of the charger from 12 Ampere to 8 Ampere. Then, a low intensity war on the message boards ensued, and is still rages on. Here the latest dispatches from the front:

Volt owners found out that there is a way to make the Volt charge at 12 Ampere and therefore faster. But that is buried a few levels deep in a maze of menus – and most annoyingly, it can’t be made sticky. Must wade through menus every time. Of course, the most practical solution would be to use the 240V charger on a 240 V circuit (something yours truly could install in a few hours, including a trip to the hardware store), but owners confess that they are too lazy/stingy to do that, and the complaints continue.

“Melissa” of  “Chevrolet Customer Svc” intervened. Chevrolet must have the matter outsourced, because Melissa identified herself as an “Associate of Morley Companies, Inc.” On its website, Morley introduces itself as a “group travel, business theater, interactive, research, performance improvement, exhibit, display and experiential marketing firm,” which more than establishes its credentials to handle the matter. Especially after its associates receive some remedial English lessons.

Melissa informed the frustrated Volt owners that it’s not a bug, it’s a feature:

As a safety feature the Volt will automatically default to the 8amps. This was designed by the engineers as a safeguard the Volt needs. This is to assist and remind owners that the Volt needs to be on a dedicated, grounded, oriented outlet on an individual circuit to be able to charge. This feature is to prevent the outlet getting “warm” and overheating.”

To change from 8A to 12A, says Melissa, is very simple. It also reminds the Volt owner that there is a competing product from Nissan:

“The 2013 owners only have to push the “Leaf” button, select the charging tab, then charge level, and then push the amps they would like to charge at. You can change this level while driving. “

Oops. Don’t let Ray LaHood read that last. No, you can’t make the 12A setting sticky, and don’t hold your breath that this will ever change:

This is the way the Volt was designed for the 2013, there will not be an option to retrofit, or change the charge cord charging design. We truly do value your feedback regarding this safety feature.”

Howls of protests ensued. “This is absolutely idiotic form a usability stand point.” You honestly want us to push FOUR times?

Yep, says Melissa. “I understand your frustration for the safety feature and we appreciate your feedback for the option.”

That exchange happened in early September. It did not appease the Volt owners, and the discussion is raging on, wisely sans Melissa. Tired of talking to themselves,  enraged 100 Volt owners  widened the conflict.  Complaints appeared in comment sections of Forbes.  Expect more elsewhere. TTAC just received a reader’s letter, complete with headline! (See above.)

BS comment: Of course, pushing buttons four times won’t make charging at 12A any safer, and it won’t help the outlet keep its cool. It simply gives GM opportunity to instruct the user each and every time of the potential hazards, and (hopefully) lets GM off the hook.  A standard three prong (with ground) U.S. outlet is good for 15 Amp, should be connected to a 15A wring with a 15A breaker, and therefore plenty for a 12A load. If something else is on the line, the breaker should blow. Note the shoulds.

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104 Comments on “New Improved 2013 Volt – Now Charges 30 Percent Slower (Push “Leaf” Button To Fix)...”


  • avatar
    jz78817

    “A standard three prong (with ground) U.S. outlet is good for 15 Amp, should be connected to a 15A wring with a 15A breaker, and therefore plenty for a 12A load. If something else is on the line, the breaker should blow. Note the shoulds.”

    Yes, the “shoulds.” A standard circuit can deliver 15 amps assuming everything is installed *to code* and in *good condition.* Unfortunately GM can’t audit every Volt buyers’ home to make sure they aren’t plugging it into a 50-year-old receptacle with corroded and fatigued contacts; or a hacked-in circuit that Uncle Bob installed one weekend for a case of beer.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      A 15A branch circuit should never be loaded to 15A. The NEC only allows a branch circuit to be loaded to 80% of breaker capacity, so a 15A circuit should only carry a 12A load maximum. If your Volt is plugged and charging at 12A, nothing else should be plugged into that circuit.

      • 0 avatar
        65corvair

        I’m not an electrician, but it makes sence that 15 amps for a long time isn’t good. At my old house my air compressor allways trips the circuit breaker when plugged into the farest outlet from the electical box.

        That said, shouldn’t the engineers know what a outlet can handle? If not, shouldn’t they found out in testing? These are mistakes someone like me whould make, not a huge company.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        No matter, that is still an awful lot of electricity to draw to charge the battery: 8A@110V=880Watt; 12A@110V=1320Watt for however many hours it takes to fully charge the battery, if ever.

        8A is equivalent to a 25cu.ft. Refrigerator/Freezer and 12A is on par with most electric space heaters.

        If you hook up a portable electric heater to a wall socket and keep it on for hours at a time, both the plug and the socket are going to be hot.

        And, as far as not plugging anything else into that branch circuit, new construction often uses one 15-amp or 20-amp line from the breakerbox to several outlets, i.e four outlets in the dining room on one line, or four outlets in the kitchen on one 20-amp line, possibly even ONE 15-amp outlet in the garage to power the Washing machine, garage door opener and lights.

        Nah, if I had to choose, I’d hook the charger to the Electric Dryer circuit, either on a ONE 30-amp 110V leg, or using BOTH 110V legs of the 220V outlet. It would be an either/or choice: either the charger, or the Dryer.

        Before I had my current upgraded electrical setup, that’s how I powered my 2-horse electric air compressor. And when we had power failures, that’s how I backfed an AC generator, using only the two main 60-amp breakers as isolation from the grid. Not too whoopee, but it worked. Now everything is according to code with a automatic x-fer switch.

        Sometimes you gotta make do with what you got. In this case you’re choosing increased charging time in favor of overheating an electrical circuit.

        Your electric bill will skyrocket, regardless, and when the grid is overloaded with millions of plug-in EVs and your neighborhood blacks out, you’re still SOL.

        Better invest in an AC generator. I recommend the Honda Inverter EU6500iSA. It’s even safe for sensitive electronic circuitry like computers and Volt Charge stations.

      • 0 avatar
        Pig_Iron

        Our place is 80% tube & knob, but the previous owners upgraded some to aluminum, so we’re all set for when our Voltesque car comes.
        ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        highdesertcat: “Your electric bill will skyrocket, regardless, and when the grid is overloaded with millions of plug-in EVs and your neighborhood blacks out, you’re still SOL.”

        I love it. EVs have been discussed for decades, there’s plenty of actual information available as to what the grid can handle (there’s plenty of capacity for EVs, especially at night when rates are cheap, although peak hours could be problematic in a few areas) but it seems some people still prefer to hyperventilate over this.

        Given the rate of adoption, we do have a few years to address this issue in those areas where it might be a problem before we have “millions” of EVs on the road.

        Common sense might even suggest to one that electric companies aren’t interested in EVs because they enjoy tripping out entire neighborhoods but because they see this as a revenue opportunity that they can handle.

        And the Volt, in case you had forgotten, runs on gas when electricity is unavailable.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Unless I really incorrectly, the NEC only allows for 80% max loading for continuous loads, with continuous being defined for 3 hours or more…

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Kix, when one of my refrigerators kicks in it dims the lights where I live, and when my old freezer kicks in, by itself, my UPSs throughout the house beep. I have two modern 200-amp breaker box service panels fed by one electric meter.

        Don’t presume that all areas of these United States have an overabundance of electricity to spare. In New Mexico we have acres and acres of solar farms and wind farms in the desert but we still have power interruptions, brownouts and blackouts and our electricity rates are still going up with yet another raise in front of the PRC right now.

        It’s a good thing that EVs are not popular in my area. We can’t handle much extra load since we can barely handle all the air conditioners and swamp coolers during the summer.

        Our part of the electrical net is fed from two sources, the Texas grid and the Palo Verde Nuclear grid out of Arizona, and we are plagued with brownouts and blackouts, yes, even at night.

        We can tell when there is a glitch because the UPSs throughout the house beep. Annoying! Usually the AC generators do not kick in, but on one occasion recently they did and ran for about 15 minutes around 1am. That 15KW Generac is loud! Let me tell you.

        I used to run all my AC generators once a week, every week (on Sunday) from noon ’til 6pm to keep them ready. I can only imagine what our electrical service will be like if people actually adopted an EV lifestyle. But I don’t think that will happen until we run out of oil. It costs a lot more to generate electricity using gasoline than it does using the grid, but sometimes I’ve got to, or be without.

        Hey, I’m not against EVs. I believe that if people want them they should be able to buy them although they should not be subsidized by the taxpayers with tax rebates.

        And if a Hybrid like the Volt can run on premium gasoline, that’s great, but it is also counterproductive to the whole EV scheme if you have to run on gas most of the time. You’d be better off buying a lighter weight Cruze for half the cost of a Volt.

        I figure that “overnight” charging at 8-amps @110V would simply not be enough to fully charge the battery in the Volt, but I don’t own one, so I don’t know because we, the public, don’t know what the energy-density of the Volt battery actually is, and at what temperature.

        Hence my suggestion to buy a Honda Inverter AC generator with a 30-amp 220V L14-30R and a 30-amp L5-30R to charge that puppy fully in just a couple of hours, regardless of the condition of the grid.

        The alternate method would be to hook the Volt Charger up to the 30-amp Dryer outlet (or the 60-amp Stove outlet) using either one or both 30-amp or 60-amp 110V legs.

        I can imagine the old codgers in my area who currently own a Prius, trading it off for a Plug-in Hybrid and then having their electric bills skyrocket.

        Just give me plain old gasoline. There’s plenty of it and it is a bargain at any price.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @highdesertcat- a full recharge of a volt in se michigan costs about $1.35 for 35 miles of driving. volt is more economical @$3.87 gas than prius until commute exceeds 80 miles round trip or 80 each way if company 110v or public outlet to plug in during the work day is available. electricity is cheap compared to gasoline/diesel.

        the ceo of our state’s power grid company has a volt, and provides outlets for employees ev’s. they are developing plans for smart chargers to allow management of home ev charging. the grid has far more capacity than needed right now, since most ev charging in residential areas will be at night. the ev population can multiply many times before grid concerns might arise.

        when we see inductive chargers you can place on the floor of your garage and just park over, ev’s will be even more convenient. from a personal perspective, i would never have to buy gas with my typical daily travel. the few longer trips i would take can be handled by volt uniquely among “volume”(lol) ev brands, though we have other alternatives in our household for longer trips. since i want more room,don’t need capability for long trips, the spark is very interesting.

        batteries are still the weak link, but continuous improvement should gradually reduce their mass and cost disadvantages. a betting man should bet on vehicle electrification.

        “resistance is futile.”

        ev’s certainly aren’t for all usage, prius is a better choice if you regularly drive hundreds of miles per day.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        doctor olds, thanks for the info. The electricity in my area is figured a little differently because in New Mexico PNM breaks down the cost per KWH to include the power lines and other infrastructure and then adds an additional charge for the solar and wind farms subsidized by we, the people.

        They are now asking the PRC for yet another rate increase across the board for the infrastructure, fixed costs and for each individual KWH. Yeah, it never ends. We’ve already had two raises effectively tripling the cost of electricity in my rural area.

        So my last electric bill was ~$115 for ~800KWH, and that’s not counting the times that I run three gasoline generators on Sundays for about 7-8 hours, nor does it count the power failures when my three generators kick on automatically and simultaneously for a minimum of 15 minutes.

        My brother who lives in our parental home in Palos Verdes Estates told me just now that his last electric bill was ~$387 for ~1100KWH, but his infrastrucure charges are fixed and he has only a small camping generator in his RV for emergencies and blackouts to keep the fridge from thawing. So he depends on PG&E to provide him with all his energy needs, electricity and natural gas.

        I’m not against EVs but for me it will always be the old gasoline-fired ICE. If people want to drive EVs, good for them, but I do not believe that EVs should be subsidized by the tax payers with a $7500 tax rebate, because less than 50% of Americans actually pay income taxes, so they are left out of the picture.

        If Obama wants to raise taxes in the name of fairness, he should raise all taxes across the board, even on me who has to pay no taxes because my income is below poverty level. It’s better when everybody plays because it is better when everybody pays. That’s fairness.

        My small-business owner friends who have an income of over $250K are often broke each month long before I am and they will carry the burden of higher taxation.

        I believe that EVs and Hybrids will remain a niche, a toy, a social statement for those so inclined, until we run out of oil. And since that won’t happen for at least the next 200 years, I’m not even going to worry about it.

        However, for those people who want to plug in their EVs and further drive up the demand for electricity and the cost of each KWH of electricity, that does affect me directly because it costs more money for me to generate electricity with gasoline in my generators than to draw it off the net.

        Adding to the mix then includes drawing 8A @110V for the duration (my guess is not miles driven on battery but hours of charging same battery at 8A) and if multiplied by a million Plug-in EVs, that adds a significant load on the electrical grids across the nation. I don’t think we can handle it, even with load-balancing.

        It’s a good thing that NM is not a big on EVs of any kind because I do not believe that our electrical net can handle the additional load.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Meh, then make it a set-it-and-forget-it default with appropriate disclaimerage, and/or have the 8A/12A settings a selectable toggle on the screen that pops up when you push the charge door open button. This is really a bunch of creeping nannyist bullshit from GM, and if they haven’t fixed this by the time I’m looking to trade my Volt, I certainly hope Teslas get access to improved battery tech (say 400Wh/kg Envia) since AFAIK they don’t subject their owners to this sort of BS (other sorts, perhaps).

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        How’s this sound:

        “Warning: If you select and use the higher, 12A charge setting on the included, portable, OEM 110v charger that came with your Volt, GM cannot be held liable or be sued for any resulting damage to anything past the point of the charger plug. So there. Signed, The Lawyers.”

  • avatar
    TR4

    It’s been my experience that the 120V/15A molded plugs/receptacles as shown in the pictures will usually fail after long term/continuous use at close to their max rating. Hopefully they are UL listed and will just melt and not burn. Replace the molded plugs/receptacles with good heavy duty screw-on connectors and the problem goes away.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Exactly. And don’t EVER buy electrical splitter devices at Harbor Freight Tools either!

      Overmolded electrical cord ends and triple-taps can be misleading – is it hard to plug into because the mechanical connection (where it counts) is so good, or because the male prongs are binding up in the too-small slots? If the latter, you may have a problem.

      I always test non-overmolded electrical receptacle/socket devices before I buy them in this manner: take a two-prong (non-grounded) plug and see how much force it take to insert and remove it from the receptacle. The more, the better. Hospital-grade devices are tops (because you don’t want the heart monitor’s plug to come loose) but then can cost $20 for a duplex receptacle. You can get spec-grade wall receptacles for $5-10 (but typically more for the cord-end type).

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    This sounds like a lot of hot air, blame storming and ass covering but if you think about it, it sounds like a fitting issue. The over heating is around the connection so that narrows it down.
    GM could be at fault in two area’s. One is in the quality of materials in the contact area of the plug fitting in the Volt, which, to be honest is not likely and the other is in poor customer education and post sales support.
    And as to customers at fault… who knows?

  • avatar
    savuporo

    Customer: I bought this hammer from you. When i smack myself in the head with it, it hurts and can cause serious injury. Fix it !
    Manufacturer: Here, we wrapped a towel around your hammer.
    Customer: I cant swing it anymore ! I will sue your ass

    Only in U.S. of A

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    “You have to push the button FOUR times?”
    gotta love those first-world problems.

    We have the older charger where you can pick the 8/12 amp setting right on the charger. We had problems with the 12 amp setting on ours, and yes it was the fault of the house wiring, and yes it was resolved easily with a $15 trip to home depot. My only complaint with the car/charger is that it should have come with 120v/220v settings instead of needing to buy a second charger. Again, a first world problem, and not worth getting sand in your panties over.

  • avatar
    segfault

    The picture looks like a three-way “tee” adapter that wasn’t up to snuff. It could’ve failed whether the charge rate was 12 amps, 8 amps, or 1 amp.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Look honey! I’m charging the car and the hedge clippers at the same time.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        People are pretty careless about electricity and it’s easy to be careless… it’s just *there* all the time and if the prongs fit, you’re good to go. I probably think about it more than the average Kix and I’ve made some things surprisingly warm from time to time.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        That carelessness and possible Made in China electrical equipment is what prompted GM to reduce the total current draw. Lower draw will equal less heat build up in those marginal connectors or undersized cordsets. I can’t blame them. They have no control on what the Volt will be plugged into and they tried using 80 percent of 15 amps, which is fine for good wiring, but not for idiots. So they dumbed it down. Can’t blame them at all. Either that or provide a plug configuration for 20 amp receptacles.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So the 30% longer is only for 110VAC applications? If the owner follows the manufacturer RECOMMENDATION then this is a non-issue?

    Am I understanding this correctly?

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    GM: “Why hire engineers when we have lots of surplus MBAs?”

    GM: The problems go in before the name goes on.

    GM: We don’t give no smelly Obama about no bondholders.

    GM: What does the word “volt” really mean?

  • avatar
    daviel

    a slower, safer charging system? What a nightmare!

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    Wow, people rip the volt when it does have a problem, and then they rip GM for fixing it.

    Lose/lose.

    Meanwhile, all of the Fords being recall (4th one for the “new” Escape) for starting on fire get swept under the rug.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Well done for finding some unhappy Volt owners especially since for the second year running I believe Volt owners have been deemed the most happy of any car owner.
    Anyone uninitiated in the car world would think looking at TTAC that GM has 50% market share based upon the number or articles written about it.
    I await the article saying how GM raced past the 20K target for this year, especially as last year there was an article on TTAC about how they missed an equally arbitrary target of 10K.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      Here you go……. 20,828 through November.

      http://www.thestreet.com/story/11781999/1/gm-volts-nov-sales-decline-masks-gains-by-controversial-car.html

    • 0 avatar
      d524zoom-zoom

      Yeah but it is to be expected with this site….TTAC should be renamed something fitting the overall negative theme regarding GM

      It just gets old reading hate day after day

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        Derek’s bizarre attacks on Lincoln yesterday and today demonstrate that TTAC is willing to give negative coverage all around, even if it is often just loudmouth opinion absent of intelligent analysis.

        I give Bertel credit for providing context here so I have something around which to form my own opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I’m actually going to disagree. I don’t think TTAC hates GM with the passion of someone who must have watched Roger Smith run over their beloved dog and younger sister who was walking same dog while Roger was doing lines of coke off of the arse of a Venezuelan prostitute. I think an editor at TTAC hates GM with the passion of someone who must have watched Roger Smith…

        Every week there is the dump of sound and fury against GM, and we’re in the middle of our weekly dump.

        But here we are, eating the fish food, replying away – which is great for Google search results and ad views.

        The Volt continues to follow a similar sales growth curve in NORTH AMERICA when the original Prius was introduced to NORTH AMERICA. It has beaten its sales expectation for the year, and quite frankly is stomping every other plug-in and full electric into the ground this year when it comes to sales volume. It is the highest rated car for customer satisfaction two years in a row with Consumer Reports. And we know how quick people are to come defend Consumer Reports methodology on these things.

        And lets play devil’s advocate – TTAC did share that positive story.

        Hate the Volt all you want. Rage against it. Spit on it. Go all Captain Ahab on it. Chase the White Whale. The reality is 92% of customers would buy another one – that is a stunning customer loyalty number.

        Volt is on track for about 23K unit sales for the year – putting it in the middle of the pile for all cars sold in North America. There is about 2.4 months of inventory on dealer’s lots, 72 days worth, based on the annualized run rate of about 1.9K units sold a month. The 4.6K inventory number was beaten worse than an F5 key on a slow internet connection yesterday – and I don’t even want to get into that cesspool of debate.

        I know one other thing – I’m starting to see A LOT of Volts popping up in the ecologically forward thinking roads of Puget Sound – and I’m willing to guess that the slim number of Leaves sold – were all sold in the northwest corner of the USA, because there is even more of them here.

        Damn you Roger Smith for running over my dog and little sister – damn you to Hell!!!

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        PHOTO OF BURNED CUBE TAP IGNITES FIRESTORM ABOUT CHEVY VOLT

        More at 11:00!

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “… raced past…”

      LOL.

      GM had originally talked up 60K. They’ve “raced past” dramatically lowered expectations with subvented leases and Federal, State and local cashback bonuses. And the Prius edged past it this month.

      As for “happy of any car owner,” they’re early adopters just deliriously happy to be driving electrically and “getting off oil.”

      When somebody else comes along with a 40-mile PHEV (and the smart companies are waiting for smaller, cheaper batteries before they bother with that mark), then you may find that Volt satisfaction measured on its intrinsic value takes a dump.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        …dramatically lowered expectations with subvented leases and Federal, State and local cashback bonuses…

        And of course the under selling Leaf, Prius Plug-In, Ford Focus Electric, Tesla S, Fisker Karma don’t benefit at all from these same things? Hey, you want a Leaf for $99 a month? A MONTH?!?! Nissan of Bellevue, Washington is more than ready to set you up. If $99 a month isn’t giving a car away literally – I don’t know what is.

        …As for “happy of any car owner,” they’re early adopters just deliriously happy to be driving electrically and “getting off oil…”

        So in this case, where Consumer Reports is reporting something good about GM, two years in a row – they got it wrong? But everything else they get right???

        …When somebody else comes along with a 40-mile PHEV (and the smart companies are waiting for smaller, cheaper batteries before they bother with that mark), then you may find that Volt satisfaction measured on its intrinsic value takes a dump…

        Well lets see the Volt’s only been in development since 2007, and I don’t see anyone else lining up with a similar series hybrid offering or even hinting one is coming. Didn’t Tesla just raise prices???

      • 0 avatar
        hf_auto

        APaGttH:
        Better read the fine print on that Leaf offer. I’d heard about the $99/mo lease offer and looked it up (too good to be true).
        Here’s the catch: $14,818 Cap Reduction!!! You’ll get a nice shock when your first $99 bill comes in at $15,500.
        Eastside Nissan is phenomenally shady. My parents bought a Maxima from them a long time ago and the experience convinced them to just spend the extra for the rebadged I35 for the next car just to avoid this dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Yes “raced past” is apt of you exceed the target with one month to go and are likely to finish 10-15% ahead of target. Combine 2011 and 2012 and they met the 30K combined target.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        APaGttH: “Well lets see the Volt’s only been in development since 2007, and I don’t see anyone else lining up with a similar series hybrid offering or even hinting one is coming. Didn’t Tesla just raise prices???”

        Apparently, nobody else suffers from “Prius Envy” the way El Lutzo did. This motivated him to waste money building an unprofitable car that sells in tiny volumes when aided by taxpayer largesse.

        APaGttH: “The Volt continues to follow a similar sales growth curve in NORTH AMERICA when the original Prius was introduced to NORTH AMERICA. It has beaten its sales expectation for the year, and quite frankly is stomping every other plug-in and full electric into the ground this year when it comes to sales volume.”

        Yes, more’s the pity.

        The C-Max Energi, after two months, has sold about as well as the Volt in its first five. Sales for this month are similar to how the Volt was doing after twelve month. The Prius PHV, measured on months-since-launch is also decisively beating the Volt.

        But that’s hardly the whole story…

        The Prius was introduced in Japan 15 years ago. In the US about 12 years ago, when this kind of drivetrain was entirely unkown to the public. Toyota proved that they could be reasonably priced, highly effective and highly reliable, thus breaking down the market barriers.

        And Toyota didn’t execute perfectly, either. The original Prius sold at curiosity levels. It was when the Gen 2 came along, with better performance, fuel economy and useful hatchback configuration that sales took off (and that was *ahead* of the increased tax benefit). It is easy to see what’s necessary to sell these cars.

        Honda’s Insight hybrid crashed and burned in the market and GM had several failures behind them when the Volt was finally offered for sale.

        Valuable market insight was there for all to see. And GM, in spite of that and a wide variety of other advantages has managed to build a car that can only match the Gen 1 Prius in market acceptance!

        ApaGtth: “And of course the under selling Leaf, Prius Plug-In, Ford Focus Electric, Tesla S, Fisker Karma …”

        The Prius PHV sells in modest volumes but it’s fundamentally an option pack for an otherwise profitable vehicle. Toyota isn’t losing any significant amount of money on that. Ford, similarly, has the basic drivetrain developed and the Energi is a natural extension of the C-Max. Only GM has purpose-built a very expensive car to sell in the low K’s per month.

        mike978: “Yes “raced past” is apt of you exceed the target with one month to go and are likely to finish 10-15% ahead of target. Combine 2011 and 2012 and they met the 30K combined target.”

        I can only wish my employer would let me lower targest so that I can “race past” them.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Despite these charging snafus, *ninety-two* percent of Volt owners surveyed by the influential Consumer Reports (NOT Digest!) said they would definitely buy the Volt again…down one point from last year and tops in the industry.

    If (hypothetically) all ~30,000 Volts owners were surveyed by CR this year and last, that percentage would work out to 27,750 of them saying they’d buy the Volt again, despite the fact 9,500 (more than a third) had their charging units replaced.

    Most Volt owners seem to like their Volts very much, and I see more and more of them on the roads by the month. They’re not going anywhere.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      philadlj..

      Your said: “They’re not going anywhere.”

      That has more meanings than you may realize…. (^_^)

      (As you may gather from my previous posts, I am not an EV fan in any way, shape, or form. If it doesn’t violently, explosively burn stuff, I am not even interested…)

      ————-

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        “f it doesn’t violently, explosively burn stuff, I am not even interested…”

        It doesn’t do any of that by design but it does have potential for some pretty spectacular events. Would it help if we started making the battery casings out of magnesium?

  • avatar
    magicboy2

    So I guess since the fire thing was proven to be a non-issue, the “$250,000/$87,000 loss per car” thing was throughly debunked, and sales have picked up a bit, the default charging amperage is all the Volt haters have left to latch on to?

    Not too bad, if you ask me.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    115V charging should not be the primary means of charging any electric car. It should be used for its real purpose, providing an alternate means of charging when away from home. Looked at it in that light, limiting current draw to default to 8 amps seems, to me, to be a very prudent thing to do. Furthermore, requiring the user to set 12 amp mode each time is a further safeguard when charging away from home. How do you know that the strange outlet you’re plugging into can support the higher rate? If you’re not sure, you risk a lot by trusting that “it’s okay” which is damned close to “hold my beer and watch this!”

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Hey, bunkie,…

      I have an idea. Maybe when you’re away from home, you can find a way to just turn off the electric motor altogether, go down to your local gas station, and put in some decent dino-juice. Then you won’t have to worry about any of this, and on your way you go ! (^_^)….

      ——–

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Hey NMGOM,

        In a Volt, you *can’t* turn off the electric motor, you can only turn *on* the IC motor. Unless, of course, you wish to remain stationary! ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Meh, you can keep all your moving, complicated, wearable mechanical bits and the repair costs involved in maintaining and replacing them. I like simple, powerful electric motors and reliable electrically-driven accessories.

        Frankly, I’m thinking the hassle with 8A/12A is just to spur people into installing 240V chargers at home. I’m probably going to do so myself if only for high-speed charging, but I’ve been charging 12A at home nightly for over a year and I haven’t had any fires.

    • 0 avatar
      jjster6

      That’s better than “hold my nuts and watch this!”

      Did I really just say that?

    • 0 avatar
      hf_auto

      For a Volt, I disagree that 120V can’t be the primary charging means. I have a 40 mile round-trip commute and 120V/12A charging leaves plenty of time to charge the car for work the next day. I calculated the cost savings from the occasional trip where I use gas because of charging times and the slight improvement in charging efficiency and came up with $250 in savings over 3 years. In my scenario (roughly 12k mi/year), 240V chargers just don’t break even.
      I ended up getting a 240V for *almost* free through Ecotality, I just had to install a sub-panel in my garage. The difference hasn’t been noticeable other than having a cool touch screen on my wall now. The only reason I did it was in anticipation of maybe having another EV in the future and not wanting to miss this opportunity to get a free charger.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Again, my point has nothing to do with charging efficiency, it has to do with adding a very-high-current draw device to what might be marginal house wiring.

        You’re likely a fair bit safer with that dedicated panel and charger than you would be trusting the house wiring as it is.

        I’m a huge fan of electric cars when properly matched to the intended use. I’d buy one in a second if it fit my circumstances and requirements.

      • 0 avatar
        hf_auto

        It is safer, but I think it’s safer because it’s an all-new run that I know is up to NEC from the meter to the car. I’d rather plug the car into a “good” 120V/20A circuit than into a 30 year old 240V dryer circuit.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        Bunkie – if you think that 12A @ 120V is a “very high current draw device” than you better not use a microwave, portable space heater, hair dryer, toaster oven, George Foreman grill, etc. either.

        Almost every house today has a 200A service that won’t even notice an additional 12A load. Even the older 100A services shouldn’t have an issue.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Bunkie – if you think that 12A @ 120V is a “very high current draw device” than you better not use a microwave, portable space heater, hair dryer, toaster oven, George Foreman grill, etc. either.

        How much bread are you toasting to run a toaster at full power for 12 hours?

        Marginal wiring or connectors can definitely cause a problem if run at max load for extended periods of time. The problem I have with GM is that they make this change and put in a bunch of obfuscatory bullshit that doesn’t respect its owners. Just put in a default with some liabilityese to click through and be done with it, or go back to charger-selectable charge rates like the 2011-2012.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      bunkie,

      Setting up 220 charging adds considerably to the cost of the car. Not everybody wants to spend that. If it can fully charge overnight at home on regular house current, that’s probably OK for many users. Why spend more?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Wait. Am I the only person that sees a problem with – person buys $40K car and whines about $2K charger to safely and efficiently charge said $40K car they just bought???

        If you can’t afford the charger – I would say you can’t afford the Volt. Call me old fashioned.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Lol@ Red Green-style triple outlet smoked.

    The general public sucks and aren’t responsible for themselves. Now we all have to pay.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Yeah but it is to be expected with this site….TTAC should be renamed something fitting the overall negative theme regarding GM

    It just gets old reading hate day after day”

    With any luck BS will move onto greener pastures soon and take the boy wonder with him, This site can only get better.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      The list of things that are stupid about the Volt is as long as your arm. None of this is “hate,” it’s just facts.

      El Lutzbo rammed through a poorly thought out project, intentionally supported by government largesse, because he had greenish envy. That’s a crappy way to run a company and they’re paying the price.

      To make matters worse, the yes-men culture at GM meant that everybody climbed on the bandwagon and noised off about it for 4 years before finally delivering a car that disappoints in many dimensions.

      It’s heavy, cramped (seats 4!!), has crappy Dead Battery Fuel Economy (you can’t count on using any less gas with a Volt than you would with a $24K Prius – or a $19K Cruze) and is shockingly expensive; so much so that, even after the tax credit support, GM has to subvent leases to move the metal.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        It also rides better, handles better is more quiet than a Prius, and has better fit and finish. People are super-happy that they bought them, because they use the car as intended, and are helping to save their little corner of the planet, and (for the most part) hardly ever stand next to a gas pump, giving more ka-ching to Exxon/Mobil and their ilk.
        It’s an expensive car that makes its owners happy – where have I heard that before?

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Lots of facts in your rant there kixstart. Volt owners measure trips to the gas station in months and years. Prius owners measure them In days and weeks. And as Shaker already noted the driving experience is night and day. The Prius punishes you for it’s frugality, the Volt rewards.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        shaker, carlson,

        In re rides better, etc, and the frequency of fillups…

        We took our brand-new Prius to the coast, 3500 miles r/t, 52mpg as measured at the pump and we weren’t driving 55mph in th slow lane.

        A Volt would have used more fuel on that trip, couldn’t have held all the people and crap we had with us in the car and required at least half again as many fuel stops. The Prius is quiet, comfortable, spacious, has good visibility, rides well and delivers value while delivering outstanding fuel economy.

        “Volt owners measure trips to the gas station in months and years.”

        SOME do. Some Volt owners are getting gas MPG of well under 100mpg.

        When we’re not traveling, we fill the Prius about once/month. Yeah, visiting the gas station once every two months instead of every month is worth $16K. Not.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        I have nothing against the Prius, and for many drivers, it makes much more sense than buying a Volt – but for a 35-mile daily commute, it’s the perfect solution, and range anxiety is eliminated.
        Even a Volt in “dead battery mode” would get better mileage than a lot of non-hybrid cars in short commutes because of the excellent regenerative braking system – “low 30′s” would be an improvement over the mileage I get from my ’08 Elantra (27mpg over 4 /12 years).
        That said, it’s still not economically sensible for me to buy one, but I would consider it just to have the security against gasoline supply disruptions that are sure to come if the Mideast goes crazy.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I thought one of the advantages with the Volt was that it could be charged up overnight without having to install a dedicated 220V outlet. If that’s still the case, even at the 8 amp charge rate, what’s the problem?

    I agree that sucking 12 amps on a typical “15 amp” branch circuit for an extended period of time is not a good idea. The problem is that small bits of corrosion on the plug or the outlet socket (especially if neither is Hubbell-grade) can lead to minute arcing, which generates lots of heat. The more amps are being pulled, the more likely this kind of arcing will happen.

    Then there’s the not unlikely scenario where Mr. Volt owner is using an extension cord to feed his car in the driveway, which cord is rated for 15 amps . . . so it’s gonnna get kind of warm at 12 amps draw, too.

    But if I owned one of these cars, I would not particularly care about short-term, fast charging. So long as the car was fully charged in the morning, 8 or more hours after I had plugged it in, that would be good enough for me. If an 8 amp charge rate won’t do that, but a 12 amp rate would, then I would have a problem.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Volt to EV1: “Hold on there daddy, I’ll join you soon in auto heaven”

  • avatar
    hf_auto

    I thought it was a slight annoyance that this setting doesn’t stick, but it makes sense in the same way traction controls always default ON. I did this for the first few months I had mine, you can easily get through the clicks while you wait for your garage door to open.

    When I re-wired my garage, I noticed some of the 3-prong outlets didn’t even have ground wires attached. The wiring run to the garage also had a nice mix of aluminum and copper runs spliced together. The 8A setting makes a lot of sense.

    My bigger charging-related complaint has to do with the Check Engine Light coming on when there is a charging error. It’s an EPA problem rather than a Chevy problem, but I can see a lot of people having issues if they’re getting CELs every time they charge a car in the rain or hook up to a station with weak power. Given how my parents react to TPMS lights, I can see how users like them would think the car is total crap when there’s nothing actually wrong with it.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      …When I re-wired my garage, I noticed some of the 3-prong outlets didn’t even have ground wires attached. The wiring run to the garage also had a nice mix of aluminum and copper runs spliced together. The 8A setting makes a lot of sense…

      And this is a great example of why the lowering to 8 amps makes sense. I’ve been in engineering or marketing of technology for 20 years now. You have to build to the lowest common denominator or make it crystal clear to customers that if they don’t do X, Y and Z (like Tesla making cutomers who bought the Roadster sign bricking agreements) very bad things will happen.

      Drawing 12 amps for hours day in and day out on an improperly grounded circuit with aluminum and copper mixed together is a recipe for home flambe. That wouldn’t be Chevrolet’s fault – but oh my it would make great fodder for another story.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      I’m assuming new wire from the panel box to and through the garage and all your outlets grounded correctly. What size circuit breaker did you use?

      • 0 avatar
        hf_auto

        I pulled an all new 4-wire 8AWG run from a 50A breaker in the main panel to the garage garage feeder with it’s own new pair of ground rods (I hope I never have to install those again…). The actual charger is on a 40A breaker, but the car can’t pull more than 12 or 16A.
        Once I saw how they wired the first J-box I opened, I re-wired the whole garage with a couple 20A GFCI circuits through 12AWG.
        Lesson learned: Lawyers (prior owner) don’t make great electricians.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    My Leaf’s ‘trickle’ charger runs at 12 Amps just fine, and I don’t have to push a ‘leaf’ button.

    But I spent the time and money to install a 240-Volt 30-Amp charger and it works a lot better.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I’m wondering how many people put in a dedicated circuit just for charging their car? A tip of the hat to gslippy for the charger info and other factoids in other columns on electric car ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      I have a 40A well pump that’s mostly unused (meant for landscape watering) that I want to put a switch on, and run new wiring for a 30-40A charger on that. Not quite ‘dedicated’, but close enough.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @el scotto – Thanks.

      The Leaf’s trickle charger is an inline power brick that seems to only provide filtered AC power to the car, since it is labeled with 120 VAC/12 Amps for both the input and output.

      I used it for about 6 weeks, but it got old constantly dragging it out of the car to charge every night. The alternative is to leave it at home, but then with a pure EV you have no recourse for emergency charging. Another alternative is to buy a second brick, but Nissan wanted $900 for that (highway robbery, it is).

      So I bought a proper 240 VAC charger from Home Depot (online) for $750, plus the wire and a breaker for another $50 or so, and installed it myself. Besides, Nissan really recommends charging at 240 V instead of 120 V.

      Another obvious benefit is faster charge times, which I found I need on weekends when I’m running around a lot.

      Of course, without range anxiety, Volt owners will be much less inclined to install a 240 V charger. As an engineer who designs electrical connectors sometimes (albeit low power), GM’s fix for this is very lame.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        “Of course, without range anxiety, Volt owners will be much less inclined to install a 240 V charger.”

        Don’t be too sure about that. While Volt owners don’t have ‘range anxiety’, nearly all of them quickly develop ‘gas anxiety’ in which they’ll go to somewhat extreme measures to avoid buying gas. In fact, a recent report indicated that it’s the Volt owners who are currently the biggest users of (free) charging stations. Pure EV owners are much more careful about planning their trips to avoid being stranded and, thus, simply don’t need the charging stations. Imagine planning a trip with a pure EV that involved the necessity of using a charging station, only to find it occupied upon arrival.

        Volt owners, OTOH, always have their ‘range extender’ back-up, but still don’t like using it unless they have to.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        @rudiger:

        You make a fascinating point. I once planned a long-ish trip that required a charge, only to find that my phone app lied to me about the prescence of a Level 3 charger (which I have yet to see anywhere). So I had to soak a few trickled electrons at my brother-in-law’s house (also my destination), and went all Apollo 13 just to make it home at night in a very cold rain. It was a foolish experiment that I won’t repeat.

  • avatar
    Jimmy7

    5 1/2 months. 6500 miles. $128 of gas. Electric bill is up about $60 a month. Average charge, 48 miles electric driving on a 50 mile round trip commute. Charges overnight on a 110 plug. I use about a half gallon of gas a week.
    Yes, I would buy another Volt.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Wow, you must pay a super high electric rate.

      Volt and Leaf are rated about the same for ‘fuel economy’, and I’m driving about as far as you are, but my bills will probably only go up about $20/month. Are you sure about the $60?

      • 0 avatar
        Jimmy7

        SoCal Ed summer rates after you go up a tier are pretty steep. By the time you use enough air conditioning to survive it’s expensive even with the Electric Vehicle rate. The other 8 months of the year will be better.

    • 0 avatar
      ExPatBrit

      Those numbers are pretty good, assuming gas at $3.25 a gallon (Volt takes premium I believe).

      So you are spending $66.50 a month to do about 1200 miles. The equivalent of 20.5 gallons or about 59 mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Volt is recommended premium, will run on regular unleaded. There was an erroneous story a couple of years ago just before it hit market that it required premium based on some pre-production document that leaked out. The story, just like the story that the Volt costs $300K to build each, causes cancer, is responsible for the nuclear weapons program in Iran, and was completely designed by President Obama on the back of a napkin in November of 2008, took on legs of its own.

  • avatar

    Morley is contracted by GM to handle the first line of customer support, Dealer Service Support, Social Media and the dedicated Volt Customer Service. All technical information is supplied by GM because it doesn’t make any sense for a GM Engineer to field direct calls from the public when most of the questions can be answered through GM Documents and some research. Anything that can’t be answered by the Morley Representatives is automatically followed up by GM directly. Before you bash this set up, do a little research on what the other automakers offer. Believe me, it isn’t half of what GM is doing.

  • avatar
    piro

    So stop using ridiculous 110v systems for high load applications, then, it’s absurd. I don’t think there’s a problem here – the problem is the US voltage, which requires much thicker conductors, and still won’t provide a reasonable amount of current compared to a 230/240v system.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      Yes, you’d think that the “copper lobby” weighed in the decision to use 120V for the US grid.
      FWIW, it’s certainly less dangerous than 220V if you happen to come across a bare wire.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        You can thank Thomas Edison for that. The DC system had two legs at 120V to ground, with 240V between them. When AC was introduced, there was too much installed 120V DC equipment (primarily light bulbs) to even think about changing to a new de facto voltage standard.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        @redmondjp

        Thank you! I remembered that we were on 120VAC and that it had to do with Edison and DC but couldn’t remember the correct reason – how/why Edison and DC was involved in why we’re on 120.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        @redmondjp: Thanks for that – you made me look that up to clarify what you meant.
        Edison used 110VDC because that voltage matched what his carbon-filament lamps could use (100VDC); 220V would have needed a longer filament which would have been too fragile. He added the extra 10VDC (to make 110V) to cover transmission (copper wire) losses between the generating plant and the customer.
        You’re right that he went to a 3-wire system to add a higher-voltage capability (+110VDC, Common, -110VDC), but AC Power took hold because (using transformers) it could be transmitted over much longer distances using thinner wires; thus one power plant could be located away from the city that it served, and could serve many more customers efficiently.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Currents

        Strange, that many have proposed that we go back to the “neighborhood” power model of Edison, using wind, solar, hydro (location dependent) and even mini nuclear plants; and DC power for medium-distance million-volt lines is coming back into use – these ideas stem from the advances made in semiconductors that can be used to easily and economically convert between DC and AC power in any frequency you wish – these same semiconductors are the reason that EV’s are making a comeback – now, if only battery tech could catch up…

  • avatar
    rpol35

    While we’re doing this Volt thing, here’s some more food for thought…

    http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/29/chevy-volt-again-tops-consumer-reports-owner-satisfacti/

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Why would I go all out and shell out Volt money and then skimp on the charger. In the grand scheme of things I wouldnt think it would be significant in the overall ownership cost even if I had to have an electrician come out and install a 220 circuit, and I live in an 80 year old house (The wiring has been upgraded over the years however). Is the 220 charger that much more expensive?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Exactly, and I posted similar above. If you’re buying a $40K car why avoid buying the $2K charger.

      If you’re going to buy a car with a premium fuel requirement and you muck up the engine pouring regular unleaded into it because the extra 30 cents a gallon is too expensive, you probably shouldn’t have bought a car with a premium fuel requirement in the first place.

      If you can’t afford a $2K charger (and $2K is high as many of these things are subsidized) you certainly cannot afford a $40K car.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Because you rent a house?

      (like I did, when I first got my Volt)

      • 0 avatar
        mfennell

        Because they’ll get cheaper/have higher capacity, and you don’t need one now?

        Another Volt owner risking life, limb, and property with nightly 12A charging.

  • avatar
    Phil Ressler

    I’ve been driving a 2013 Volt for most of my transport the past six months. My 450hp and 550hp cars have seen sharply reduced use. The facts of my experience are dramatic. My lifetime average of miles driven relative to gasoline consumed is currently 134 mpg. On my current tank of gasoline, so far gasoline economy is 178 mpg. What about the cost of electricity? Well, I’m a homeowner buying power from the Los Angeles Dept of Water & Power, and frankly looking at my year-over-year usage, charging the Volt is barely visible in my utility bill. I intend to install a 240V charger, but haven’t gotten around to it yet, so I am charging at 120V/12A. I’ve only used a public charger once in six months.

    I live in a city divided by a mountain range running through the middle of it. Since the 2013 Volt allows the driver to choose when to burn gasoline while holding battery-stored LADWP power for level terrain or city speeds, I actively choose whether to drive my electric car from power stored in the battery or power generated from the gasoline-fueled generator according to conditions. I have no compunction about using gasoline as the generating fuel for my electricity when doing so will make a trip holistically efficient, but I also burn as little gasoline as I can. The Volt has a 9 gallons tank. I am typically buying 5 – 7 gallons about every six weeks.

    My Volt’s battery-stored electricity range has so far ranged from a low of 34 miles on a 30 degs F night, to 53 in 75 degs F temperature on mostly level terrain and disciplined (but not slower than traffic) driving. On 100+ degs days, my range is typically 42 miles. When I have had to use gasoline to extend range for some sustained miles, liquid-fuel-only economy has ranged from 35 – 48mpg depending on how aggressively I choose to drive, and how much climbing a trip requires. My sustained average for gasoline-fueled driving in the Volt is 42mpg, city or highway. Would a 50+ mpg parallel hybrid use less gasoline compared to the Volt running on gasoline alone? Sometimes. But 59 mpg isn’t 134. Nor 178.

    BTW, I bought my Volt; I didn’t lease it. And as much as anything it is a test run of the Voltec platform for me to determine whether I like it enough to spend even more on a Cadillac ELR next year. So while the fuel efficiencies and the sharply reduced costs of driving relative to my recent cars are interesting, cost isn’t a prime mover for me. The Volt is the least expensive car I bought in the last 20 years in inflation-adjusted terms, and the least expensive in the last ten years in raw dollar terms. There are further reasons to love the Volt.

    One is, it’s quiet. Damned quiet. Once you get accustomed to the serenity of it, ICE cars begin to seem acoustically intrusive. I love the sounds of a big V8 but the absence of them makes renewed exposure to them less beguiling. Another is that the Volt feels structurally strong and exceptionally stable. There’s some protest now and then from the low-rolling-resistance tires but handling is satisfying for a fwd car. I’m 6’3″; the Volt has excellent seats. Yes, I have leather. Even in our 106 degs F hot days in the San Fernando Valley, I have not had to use anything more than the “Eco” setting on climate control to stay cool. In the winter, during nights in the 30s, same to keep warm. The car warms the seats before it spends energy warming the full space.

    No one wants to be the fifth person in a Prius so the four-place arrangement of the Volt is fine with me, and those back seats are comfortable too, for anyone who fits. I can actually fit back there too, behind a smaller driver — better than in too many larger cars. The hatchback bay holds plenty and then the rear seats fold flat too.

    Volt isn’t a monster accelerator 0-60, but its performance 0-35 is excellent by any measure, and power delivery is completely, creamy, smooth. These are perfect characteristics for getting around a large city, especially one as diverse in terrain as Los Angeles. And the opportunities for substantial regen are numerous on every drive. Meanwhile, when I do get a 240V charger, I expect my gasoline use to plunger further still.

    We have climate change upon us, for both natural and anthropogenic reasons. But forget about climate change. We have a much more strongly positive correlation between rising CO2 in the atmosphere and ocean acidity. And then there are simple indignities of modern economic life, like refiners and fuel distributors using zone pricing for gasoline, and exporting California fuels while a shortage in-state “justifies” price increases. “Coincidental” shutdowns of multiple refineries for maintenance. We could have falling CO2 levels and still one can be happy to step away from petroleum antics even a little bit.

    Would I be able to effectively use an 80 miles range battery-only EV? Not as my only car. I couldn’t make it to Orange County, San Diego, Santa Barbara or Palm Springs on a single charge, which are of course no problem with my Volt. But A Chevy Spark EV or Ford Focus EV could completely cover the majority of my Los Angeles local driving. The CTS-V lease is up early next year. I can’t say I haven’t considered becoming a two-charger household.

    When I first heard Volt drivers say “this is the best car I’ve ever owned…” I wondered what they drove before. Then I bought one, and now I understand perfectly.

    Phil


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