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, depending on the costs of labor rates, which account for much of the difference.
Ecotality has also released images of itsfor the home, but no costs were given.
Of course, the cheapest in-home charger would be a free one, which thecourtesy of a Department of Energy grant. The charging system, so it stands to reason that if the Voltec can charge a Volt, it can also charge a Leaf.