Charging At Home - 2011 Chevrolet Volt Long-Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Volt Long Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Volt: Charging At Home

December 19, 2011


In warm weather I can drive the Chevy Volt home and back to the office without recharging. My roundtrip commute is just under 40 miles. But now that the weather is colder, a full charge on the Volt only allows us about 35 miles of electric driving before switching over to the gasoline engine. I'm sure most of you would consider our California weather to be cool rather than cold. So, if any of you have a Volt in a really cold climate, I'd love to hear about your electric range experiences.

After driving home Friday night, I still had about 14 miles of estimated range left. A few errands on Saturday left me with 1 mile left. That's when I plugged in and left it to charge overnight. It sure is nice to be able to "refuel" your car at home instead of going to a gas station -- if you've got the time.

The cord from the charging unit to the car is very long, so you don't have to worry about it not reaching your car. But the cord from the unit to the actual plug is very short. You need to have something for the heavy unit to rest on while you charge so it's not dangling in the air. The way my garage is set up I had no problem. I usually park in the driveway though, and leave our other car in the garage. So, this wouldn't work for people who don't have secure parking. I have outdoor electrical sockets but there are too many curious critters wandering around my neighborhood at night, so I wouldn't want to leave it plugged outdoors while I was asleep. Am I being too paranoid? The charging unit gets warm and I can imagine a skunk or raccoon snuggled up to it for warmth. In the words of Kurt Cobain, "just because you're paranoid doesn’t mean they're not after you." The skunks particularly like my house ;)

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 13,356 miles

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