Pricing: Chevrolet Volt home charger to cost $490 to $2,000

Consumer Reports News: October 06, 2010 04:46 PM

General Motors has announced pricing for its Chevrolet Volt home charging will be $490.

Consumers, however, should budget as much as $2,000 for the home charger, including installation. The national electric code requires that the charger have its own dedicated 220-volt, 30-amp circuit. Many older homes may not have such a circuit or enough power to run it, and therefore may need a substantial electrical upgrade.

The Voltec home-charging unit is a 240-volt (aka Level II) charger, and, according to GM, can replenish the Volt's 8 kwh batteries in about four hours. A 110-volt cable, which would take about 10 hours to fully recharge the car, comes standard with the Volt. (Read our recent story on electric cars and whether they are right for you.)

SPX, which builds the Voltec charger, will work with consumers and their GM dealers to inspect buyers' homes and make sure the wiring can power the charger.

By comparison, Nissan Leaf buyers who have to purchase a charger for that car's larger battery packs are expected to pay $712, plus installation. Many consumers who buy either the Leaf or the Volt will get chargers for free from one of a few government programs.

Retail price for the compact Volt is $41,000, including destination. GM has said the car can drive 25 to 50 miles on electric power before a gas engine will kick in to give the car an overall range of more than 300 miles.

See our guide to fuel economy for advice on saving gasoline. Learn about future technologies in our guide to alternative fuels.

Eric Evarts

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