2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery
When the Chevrolet Volt finally hits the market late this year, the U.S. Department of Energy will help out by providing free 240-volt home chargers for 4,400 early buyers. The chargers are made either by ECOtality (which will install 2,600 Volt chargers) or Coulomb Technologies (1,800 chargers). In all, the DOE is helping to fit around 15,000 plug-in vehicle chargers across America. Of course, 'free' might be a relative term here. That's what the headline says, but Tony DiSalle, product and marketing director for the Chevrolet Volt, said in a statement that, "For Volt owners who want to install a faster 240-volt charge station, we expect the Department of Energy project to save $1,000 and $2,000." We have heard that these chargers will cost around $2,000.
What does the DOE get from this? Data. Part of the deal is that Volt drivers agree to let the government agency collect information to help "understand what is required for widespread electric vehicle use." Nissan also has a partnership with ECOtality to bring home chargers to Leaf buyers and Ford is also working with Coulomb.
Related GalleryQuick Spin: 2011 Chevrolet Volt pre-production prototype
[Source: General Motors]
4,400 Chevrolet Volt Owners to be Eligible for Free Home Charging Stations
* When the Volt goes on sale later this year, buyers will be eligible for a 240-volt charge station, and home installation in some cases
* Part of Department of Energy project to install approximately 15,000 240-volt home charge stations across the U.S.
* Data collected from the charge stations will be analyzed by the Department of Energy to understand what is required for widespread electric vehicle use
DETROIT – The first buyers of the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended-range capability will be eligible for one of 4,400 free home charging stations. The program will provide Volt owners with a 240-volt charge station from either ECOtality, Inc. or Coulomb Technologies. In many cases, it will include the cost of home installation. The projects are made possible with a grant of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
"Many owners will plug their Volt into a normal 120-volt electrical outlet, charge overnight and drive to work in the morning using only battery power," said Tony DiSalle, Product and Marketing Director for the Chevrolet Volt. "For Volt owners who want to install a faster 240-volt charge station, we expect the Department of Energy project to save $1,000 and $2,000."
The U.S. Department of Energy projects were established with two objectives: installing charging stations in residential, workplace and public areas to encourage consumers to purchase electric vehicles; and studying electric vehicle usage to optimize future electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
To encourage consumer purchases of electric vehicles, federal grants and other funds have been awarded to install more than 15,000 home charge stations. That total includes 4,400 home charge stations for Volt owners; 2,600 as part of The EV Project from ECOtality, and 1,800 as part of the ChargePoint America project from Coulomb Technologies.
To study electric vehicle usage, the programs will collect data such as average charge time, energy usage and the starting and ending time of the charging process. This data will be analyzed by the U.S. Department of Energy to understand how electric vehicles are driven, how and when they are charged, and ultimately what is required for widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
"In addition to saving money, these projects offer Volt owners an opportunity to play a role in developing our collective understating of electric vehicles in the market," DiSalle said.
At the time of purchase, Volt buyers will receive a portable 120-volt charge cord, and will have the option of installing a 240-volt charge station available from Chevrolet. Volt buyers that live within the program cities may apply for a free 240-volt home charging station through the Coulomb or ECOtality programs if they are willing to share their charging information. Additional consumer information on eligibility requirements and the application process will be available when the Volt goes on sale later this year.
The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with extended range capability, designed to drive up to 350 miles without stopping to recharge or refuel. For the first 40 miles, Volt is powered by pure electricity, without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt's lithium-ion battery is depleted, a gasoline-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles.
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Chevrolet is a global automotive brand, with annual sales of about 3.5 million vehicles in more than 130 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. In the U.S., the Chevrolet portfolio includes: iconic performance cars, such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long lasting pickups and SUVs, such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers, such as Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly" solutions, such as the upcoming 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco model that is expected to deliver up to an estimated 40 mpg highway, and 2011 Chevrolet Volt that will offer up to 40 miles of electric driving and an additional 300 miles of extended range with the onboard generator (based on GM testing). Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security, and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response, and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
About ECOtality, Inc.
ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. Through innovation, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, ECOtality accelerates the market applicability of advanced electric technologies to replace carbon-based fuels. For more information about ECOtality, Inc., please visit www.ecotality.com. For more information about The EV Project, the world's largest electriv vehicle infrastructure deployment program, please visit www.theevproject.com.
About Coulomb Technologies, Inc.
Coulomb Technologies is the leader in electric vehicle charging station infrastructure with networked charging stations installed in municipalities and organizations worldwide. Coulomb provides a vehicle-charging infrastructure, with an open system driver network: the ChargePoint Network (www.mychargepoint.net) provides multiple web-based portals for Hosts, Fleet managers, Drivers, and Utilities, and ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations ranging in capability from 120 Volt to 240 Volt AC charging and up to 500 Volt DC charging. For more information, follow Coulomb on Twitter at twitter.com/coulombevi. To request a charging station in your area, visit http://www.mychargepoint.net/request-station.php. To download the ChargePoint iPhone App, click here.