Volt home charger: $490 to buy, $1,500 to install

GM debuted its Level 2 in-home charger for its soon-to-be released Chevrolet Volt.

GM debuted its Level 2 in-home charger for its soon-to-be released Chevrolet Volt, which will be priced at $490. That doesn't sound bad, considering the average price of gas is $2.73 (as of Oct. 4) and a full battery can get you 40 miles before the engine turns on. But factor in the installation costs for the in-home charging unit and you may face sticker shock at the plug.

The Voltec is expected to cost around $1,500 to install, depending on the region and amount of electrical work required to install the 240-volt charger. The upside on going with a 240V charger as opposed to a standard 120V plug is time: the Voltec will fully recharge a drained Volt battery in about 4 hours, which is half the time it would take with a standard electrical cord.

But people will undoubtedly be focusing on the bottom line rather than watching the clock. Depending on a person's driving habits, it could take a long time to recoup in-home charging station costs. However, spending $500 on a charger and another $1,500 on installation is probably going to be the industry standard. AeroVironment says the Level 2 charger it will be selling to Nissan Leaf customers runs from $2,000 to $4,200 , depending on the costs of labor rates, which account for much of the difference.

Ecotality has also released images of its Blink Level 2 wall mount charger for the home, but no costs were given.

Of course, the cheapest in-home charger would be a free one, which the first 4,400 Chevrolet Volt customers will receive courtesy of a Department of Energy grant. The Volt and Leaf both use the J1772 charging system, so it stands to reason that if the Voltec can charge a Volt, it can also charge a Leaf.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Want affordable gadgets for your student?

Everyday finds that will make students' lives easier: chargers, cables, headphones, and even a bona fide gadget or two!