If you intend to own an electric car, then you understand that how that car is charged is an important issue. Take the Chevrolet Volt and the need for a Chevy Volt charger. The common 120 volt electric outlet that is part of every home has the ability to charge the car. However, it does take some time. If you need the car charged faster, then you will need something like the 240 volt Voltec home charging unit. At first glance, the cost of the unit may appear reasonable -- $490. But there is another cost which makes one think twice about purchasing a charger. The cost to install the unit is about $1,475. That's right! Your eyes aren't deceiving you. Again, the cost is $1,475.
However, this should not be a deal breaker if you are seriously considering the purchase of a Volt. The car can be charged with the use of a common 120 volt outlet, which is probably already present on one of the walls of your garage. But you should be prepared to wait about 10 hours to reach a full charge if the battery is down to empty. The Voltec charger takes about four hours to charge a Volt.
So, if money is an issue, then you need to do a little analyzing. If you leave your Volt plugged into an electric source all night, then the common 120 volt outlet should be sufficient. Moreover, when you take into account the fact that the Chevy Volt features a gasoline engine which works as a generator that charges the battery as you drive, then it becomes easier to decide to go with the common 120 volt outlet and forgo the purchase of a costly charging station.
However, if you opt to buy a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, then charging the vehicle to its optimum level is essential. The car is purely, 100 percent electric. There is no gasoline engine to work a non-existent generator to recharge the battery as you drive this particular EV. There is a charge station specifically being marketed to charge the Leaf. Like the Voltec system, it too is a 240 volt station and its cost including installation is about the same price as the Voltec -- $2,200.
By the way, a 120 volt outlet can be used to charge the Leaf too. But, again, it will take longer than the 240 volt charging station takes. Chevrolet has signed an agreement with a company called SPX Service Solution to provide the Voltec charger and do the installation. SPX also offers other charging stations that can be used to charge the Volt. In addition, the company can handle all aspects of the installation, including a home survey, getting the proper permits, coordinating with the Department of Energy and utility company and identifying programs and incentives that would reduce the charging costs.