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Thread: Buying a Volt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Buying a Volt

    I've been looking for a bit now and am amazed at the asking price for used volts. I just looked a base model 2013 and it was only 5k cheaper than a new really loaded car, after rebates. This brings me to a couple of questions which aren't clear to me.

    Is it true that you can plug your volt into a dryer (240) outlet and save the cost of a dedicated charger. Is it the same charging cord?

    What exactlty is pre conditioning and do you need 240 to do it.

    I looked a 2015 with 192 km on it so a new car to the dealer. It has suede inserts in the leather interior. Do all leather interiors come with that and how does it look after 6 month or a year.

    The dealer tells me you can only order a new volt to be built till end of Dec, is this true. It seems a long time before the 16's come out.

    Gordon

  2. #2
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    May 2011
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    Delaware
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    You can plug directly into a dryer outlet and avoid a permanent installation. However, you'll need an EVSE (your "charger" - which actually is a safety device that sends AC power to the real charger located in the cars right front bumper,) that can handle 240V - unfortunately GM's OEM one doesn't. These start at about $400 and go up from there, depending on the features you want.

    Preconditioning is turning the car's climate control systems on before you get in the car. It can be done plugged or unplugged, with 120V or 240V connected. However, if you aren't on 240V, it'll draw most of the power from the battery, and can eat up to about 4 miles of range on a really cold day. If your drive is short enough, that may not matter.

    The leather on newer cars is different from the leather on my 2012, so I can't help you there.

    Lots we don't know about the 2016s - it wouldn't surprise me if GM accelerated them and started selling them in the Spring, though no one has said anything like that so far.
    Walter
    C4884 - White Diamond, purchased 10/15/11
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Florida
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    My 2014 has the beige insert leather interior. Looks as good as day 1 after 6 months. The dryer plug is acceptable for your L2 ESVE connection. The dryer circuit if it's 220/240V would most likely be on at least a 30A breaker. Just be sure to buy an ESVE that offers a non-hardwired connection to match the existing plug.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    If you are in Ontario, a 240v EVSE must be hardwired, at least if you want to take advantage of the rebate the Ontario government offers. It has to be inspected and certified to be in compliance with code. It's a better arrangement, anyway.
    2012 Volt, White, premium interior, nav and entertainment.
    2.8L/100 km., 55/45 EV and ICE lifetime
    Greenback Troll #2.75

  7. #5
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    My volt with suede is over a year old - holds up just fine. Having driven multiple cars with non suede leather seats, I love these. You don't burn the backs of your legs while wearing shorts in the summer. My kids hate riding in our BMW and Cadillacs, but love the cloth seats in the suburban and the suede in the volt.

    Dealers are asking too much for used, when for just a few K more you can get new. The 2015 models have a bit more EV range than the used 2013, despite the sticker saying it doesn't. Instead of 10.6 KW you get around 11.1 KW, which buys a few more miles. Plus new means you know where it's been and whether it's been cared for.
    LLninja (greenback troll #1)
    2013 Volt G1 white diamond tricoat

    If I can get the guy in the mirror under control I can be skinny and rich.
    If you don't have the money, don't buy it.
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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyodor View Post
    If you are in Ontario, a 240v EVSE must be hardwired, at least if you want to take advantage of the rebate the Ontario government offers. It has to be inspected and certified to be in compliance with code. It's a better arrangement, anyway.
    I cannot help with Ontario codes, but some have tried to assert that it is 'code' here in the US, and that is a load of bull... Some have tried to discuss the 'safety' of hard wired vs plug. Also a load of bull... Go check out a SALT WATER marina. You'll find some heavy duty PLUGS for shore power connections. Just because it is hooked up to a car doesn't change a thing. You CAN make a plug safe.

    I would never hard wire my EVSEs. I have a 240v EVSE at each of my homes. BOTH are disconnected and taken to relatives houses and plugged into convenient dryer outlets near to garage so I can get MUCH faster charging while visiting out of town. While I can't speak to available rebates, I would think long and hard before you commit to hard wiring.
    2017 Volt (Red) 'SUN FUEL'/Tesla Model X 'OVR OIL'/2008 Tahoe Hybrid
    ...both 2012 Volts went to offspring

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  9. #7
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    May 2008
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    USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restlessone View Post
    I've been looking for a bit now and am amazed at the asking price for used volts. I just looked a base model 2013 and it was only 5k cheaper than a new really loaded car, after rebates. This brings me to a couple of questions which aren't clear to me.
    I was surprised by this too. Used made no sense when I purchased new recently.


    Quote Originally Posted by Restlessone View Post
    Is it true that you can plug your volt into a dryer (240) outlet and save the cost of a dedicated charger. Is it the same charging cord?
    Yes, I am doing that now. Of course you need an EVSE to actually plug into the dryer outlet. The volt does not plug in directly. It actually cost me a little more for the 240V charger with the dryer plug than the same unit without the plug (hardwired version). I wanted the plug because I had an existing outlet in place and this also meant that I did not need to get any permits or inspections to get the EVSE rebate in the state of Maryland. Every region is different with the rules on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Restlessone View Post
    What exactlty is pre conditioning and do you need 240 to do it.
    Pre-conditioning is simply turning the car on while it is still plugged in. The car will warm up or cool down depending on the weather and will use as much electricity from the wall outlet as it can. If you use a 240V plug, it can use more power from the wall. If you use a standard 120V plug, it will use this power from the wall and will then dip into the battery for the remainder of its heating/cooling needs.

    If you don't precondition, you just jump in and drive and the car will use the battery to get the cabin (and maybe the battery itself) to the prescribed temperature.

    There is no need to pre-condition unless you are trying to maximize your potential EV range.


    Quote Originally Posted by Restlessone View Post
    I looked a 2015 with 192 km on it so a new car to the dealer. It has suede inserts in the leather interior. Do all leather interiors come with that and how does it look after 6 month or a year.
    My wife loved that insert. Only the tan color comes that way. The other leather seats are more typical leather coverings. I am not sure how it will hold up. This is something we wondered too. Only 1000 miles on mine.
    Last edited by Nuclearboy; 12-05-2014 at 08:09 AM.

  10. #8
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    Feb 2013
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    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyodor View Post
    If you are in Ontario, a 240v EVSE must be hardwired, at least if you want to take advantage of the rebate the Ontario government offers. It has to be inspected and certified to be in compliance with code. It's a better arrangement, anyway.
    Wierd, I got the Ontario rebate and my EVSE isn't hardwired? My electrician setup an external outlet and then setup an industrial grade outdoor 240V extension cable for me. The cable's hefty like no cable I've ever seen and added a lot to installation costs. I own a Clipper Creek LCS-25P (one with the plug). It all worked great until last spring when salt water / ice managed to break through the seals on my LCS-25P and fried it. Clipper Creek true to their word thou replaced it on warranty and explained that their charger isn't meant for those conditions. I upgraded the setup by putting the LCS-25P in a tupperwear container which is sealed by silicone in the two openings I had to cut for the cables. The charger's bone dry now so hopefully no more failures anymore. I think as long as you can get an electrician to give you a ESA certification for proper electrical install, you can get the Ontario rebate.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulpes View Post
    Wierd, I got the Ontario rebate and my EVSE isn't hardwired?.... I think as long as you can get an electrician to give you a ESA certification for proper electrical install, you can get the Ontario rebate.
    I don't understand electrical codes - perhaps they are municipal and Brampton's and Thunder Bay's are different. I'm just repeating what I was told by my installer and may have misinterpreted. Oddly enough, one reason he gave was for weather protection. The other was that it needed to be on a dedicated circuit, which maybe yours is.

    BTW, mine is the same unit, Sun Country branded, and has been out in the weather for two full winters, starting into its third, and has not given me any problems.
    2012 Volt, White, premium interior, nav and entertainment.
    2.8L/100 km., 55/45 EV and ICE lifetime
    Greenback Troll #2.75

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by flmark View Post
    I cannot help with Ontario codes, but some have tried to assert that it is 'code' here in the US, and that is a load of bull... Some have tried to discuss the 'safety' of hard wired vs plug. Also a load of bull... Go check out a SALT WATER marina. You'll find some heavy duty PLUGS for shore power connections. Just because it is hooked up to a car doesn't change a thing. You CAN make a plug safe.

    I would never hard wire my EVSEs. I have a 240v EVSE at each of my homes. BOTH are disconnected and taken to relatives houses and plugged into convenient dryer outlets near to garage so I can get MUCH faster charging while visiting out of town. While I can't speak to available rebates, I would think long and hard before you commit to hard wiring.
    I can't and won't comment on the 'code' issue beyond saying that it was the only option given to me if I wanted an inspector's certificate. That may be a municipal issue or just the province covering itself ( a la GM ) in case of upstream problems.

    I don't feel strongly about it one way or the other, certainly not as strongly as you do. It comes down to how much you really need to detach and take it with you. If I had had a plug and socket for my EVSE, it would have been plugged in once two and a half years ago and left there, same as for my dryer.

    Our Volt does spend the summer up north, plugged in to the 120v outlet in our boathouse. It only gets used once or twice a week so longer charging times are never a problem. The rest of the year it never goes anywhere where plugging into 240v would even be possible.

    The other thing you need to consider is if you really want to be pulling those plugs every time you want to switch between using the dryer and the EVSE.
    2012 Volt, White, premium interior, nav and entertainment.
    2.8L/100 km., 55/45 EV and ICE lifetime
    Greenback Troll #2.75

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