Seems pretty darn silly, not to mention wasteful and polluting. If you can't get grid electricity to the car, maybe an EV isn't for you.
That, and perhaps this owner's manual statement which reads:
Originally Posted by Electrical Requirements for Battery Charging
Notice: Do not use portable or stationary backup generating equipment to charge the vehicle. This may cause damage to the vehicle's charging system. Only charge the vehicle from utility supplied power.
Can you use a portable generator to charge the volt? I live in a condo and trying to figure out ways I can charge it without running a cord through the yard which the condo association may not like.
You could, but why? The Volt contains a portable generator, just put gas in its tank. This would be far more efficient and less costly.
Also, the manual specifically recommends against portable generators, most likely because of dirty power and uncertain grounding. If you're on a movie set, fire camp, or similar with big diesels you're probably going to be OK but I wouldn't want to chance it with a portable Honda or the like.
As mentioned above, it's not a good idea to try and charge with a generator. And I can think of a few reasons:
1. The output of most generators is very ugly, nothing like the nice sine wave you get from grid power. I have a Ford Ranger EV and it refuses to charge off a gas generator. The output is what is called a modified square wave, and looks more like a 2 step staircase than a sinewave. The electronics don't like this.
2. Generators are not very efficient, the Chevy Volt system is designed specifically to charge the battery from gas.
3. Generators are not very clean. There are no pollution controls on gensets, as opposed to the emission controls on the Chevy Volt.
4. Defeats the whole purpose of the electric mode of the Chevy Volt, the EV mode is intended to get America to use less gas, and using a generator will actually use more.
I also live in a condo (for now) and will be unable to charge my Volt at home. I am very fortunate that my work will install chargers for employees who purchase an EV or EREV so I will have a reliable charging location. Can you think of any alternative charging locations that you could use on a regular basis?