2019 Chevy Volt Takes “Only” 2.3 Hours To Charge up!

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My teeth and gums are particularly sore today.

I read – and relate with sourness – that GM has achieved the miracle of reducing the charge-up time of the 2019 Chevy Volt to”only” 2.3 hours – assuming you can plug the thing in to a 240 Volt “fast” charger.

If not, the time to achieve the equivalent of a full tank is only 13 hours.

This is taken as progress in a world where that word invariable means regression.

Progress used to mean or at least be roughly synonymous with improvement. Thus, it would be considered an improvement if a car cost less, performed better or imposed fewer hassles on its owner.

Well, it would by the old standards of language.

We are supposed to cheer as “progress” a vehicle that takes literally orders of magnitude longer to recover its capability to move – the thing we expect a car to be able to do above everything else – than a car built 100 years ago took to recover its ability to move. Do the math. Call it two hours. That is 120 minutes. As opposed to the five minutes it takes to gas up a normal – a sane – car.

How many times does 5 go into 120?

Twenty four times.

That’s the best-case scenario, remember.

If you do not have access to 240 Volts – which most people don’t because it takes special wiring/infrastructure (which costs extra, too) – and have to plug into 120V instead, the recharge time more than quintuples. It  takes literally half a day to recharge on household 120V current.

You don’t want to do that math.

Though maybe you should, given the hard push electrics and plug-in hybrids are being given by Uncle. You soon may have no choice about plugging-in.

And paying for it.

The car – and then the charge.

One of the anvils hanging over the collective heads of the electric car earnest – the starry-eyed fools who see these things as The Future – is the current absence of charge. Not the electricity but the having-to-pay-for it.

Many of the public charge stations are currently “free” – for now. It is a Tricky Dick (or Slick Willy, if you prefer a more  . . . current reference) means of gulling the gullible into thinking – such a deal!

And none of the public chargers or the electricity piped into your home includes motor fuels taxes, as on gas and diesel.

Which of course it will have to at some point because it must. How else will the roads be paid for? If anything, electric cars accelerate wear and tear on roads because they weigh considerable more than their IC-engined counterparts. That fact will probably be factored into the taxes applied to electricity once the electric car thing really gets rolling – assuming it ever does. But without question, at least the equivalent of the current 50-something cents per gallon we pay in addition to paying for each gallon of gasoline or diesel will have to be applied to the kilowatt-hour equivalent of electricity.

That math will be unpleasant, too.

But there will be plenty of time to figure it all out. Using an abacus, if you like. There’s no hurry.

Ah, progress.

We pay more to wait longer and go not as far in cars that cost more.

And they ask me why I drink . . .  .

. . .

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53 COMMENTS

  1. Ummm….you don’t need a 240V charger for a Volt – it’s a PHEV, not a pure EV.

    And running it on electricity will still only cost 1/3-1/4 vs. running it on gasoline.

    • Hi Bill,

      You need the charger (whether 240 or 120) to charge the batteries sufficiently if you want to avoid running the gas engine to charge them. On gas, the thing averages 35-40 MPG. Which is good, but not spectacular. Many much less expensive gas engine-only cars do just as well.

      So, if you want to run on “efficient” battery power, you’re stuck waiting at least 2.3 hours to recharge.

  2. another aspect of this BS with electric cars involves the California mentality. legitimately in the past they had a massive pollution issue and made some well thought out rules to effectively address the problem. this was an earlier time and generation much more the functional America of the past. the elite types who are pricing the “other” out of their beautiful lifestyles consider themselves more deserving than the rest of America. some have communicated that the real goal of electric cars and for the overall disinvestment in local power production is to outsource their pollution to other areas regardless of cost. never underestimate the contempt of the liberal elite for middle America people. they have always considered others slaves for their lifestyle, hence the offshoring, high cost of once middle class areas, ridiculous environmental rules and various financial schemes. the regular people are condemned to brutal work commutes, broken communities, sorry state of industry and now pollution. the liberal elite see themselves as the modern aristocracy and wish to exclude everyone else from their paradises. they are actually more racist than anyone else, but only inflict the toxic forms of diversity on others.

    i have had these people as clients, and they trust me enough to speak freely. this is how these disgusting people think.

  3. Everything I have owned that was batter lithium charged has a battery life quicker than expected. They all come with these warnings of proper disposal of the battery that contains dangerous materals. The EV cars batteries are much bigger and real costly. Are we going to start a major environmental melt down with their disposal?

  4. “Many of the public charge stations are currently “free” – for now.”

    Just like the the MAC card in the early 80’s, the forerunner of our ATM cards. Completely free, 24/7 access to your money. That lasted about 10 years and then out of nowhere the tiny little fees started popping up. It was only $0.50 at first. But it kept creeping up. I quit using it.

  5. For most electric car owners most of the time, the charging time isn’t much of a factor because they plug in every night and the car is topped up in the morning.

    I have 220 in my garage, but that is because I wired it up years ago to run my welder. In fact I purposely set the current limit on my car charger to 18 amps to leave some current left for other stuff in the garage.

    The only time charge time is relevant is on long trips. For the most part, on long trips I have been able to stop for a meal next to a charging station and haven’t had to wait longer than I would have anyway. Except for one time I wanted to go to a restaurant that wasn’t near a charger. I ended up having to go to the nearest charger afterwards and waiting for about 20 minutes to charge. Admittedly, that was kind of a drag.

    • Hi Interferon,

      I’ve driven several plug-ins over the past couple of years and here’s my 50:

      For me, it’s a hassle. Come home, remember to plug in. Forget multiple different trips during the day – on electric power, anyhow. It only works, as I see it, if you have a fixed drive most of the time and it’s “there” in the morning and “back” at night. No random, unscripted driving in between.

      Which seems like a lot of unnecessary hassle. Why put up with this?

      I can gas up at the spur of the moment almost anywhere, almost anytime – in minutes. Hell, I can pour 5 gallons from one of the cans in my shed if I have to. Instant (almost) one third “charge,” so to speak.

      And the gas car costs less, too.

      Where is the upside?

      I mean other than “reducing carbon dioxide ’emissions’ “?

      • Actually, I don’t think it reduces co2, because most of our power comes from coal fired plants.

        The only reason I bought it was because it has great performance and lots of cool things like autopilot which helps in rush hour traffic in the city.

        It’s not for everyone, but so far it has worked out pretty good for me.

      • I should also say that it has a range of around 300 miles on a full charge, so I’ve never had a problem with going on random trips. I forget to plug it in sometimes for a couple of days, but it hasn’t been a problem.

        • Hi Interferon,

          Yes, but after about 50 miles – which is better than the other plug-ins by a significant margin – you’re on the gas engine and you mileage, while good, is about 35-40 MPG, about the same as many IC-only cars.

          The Volt at least can realistically be driven mostly on battery power. The others cannot. Not unless the trip there and back is around 15 miles or so. And even then, after that, the batteries are tapped out and now you’re probably using at least as much gas as a comparable non-hybrid vehicle and maybe more (due to the weight)!

    • We make a 700 mile (one way) trip a few times a year in 10-11 hours. We don’t stop to eat, just munch in the car. Only stop to pee and buy gas. At your rate, an electric car would require two days and all those expensive restaurant meals and a motel. No thanks!

      An electric car would be great if you live in town and had a round trip commute within the battery range, IF you can justify two cars so you can have a gas car for longer trips. If they can get a basic electric car down to $10-15K brand new, then it will be a big deal.

  6. Not to mention the load on the grid if lots of people start plugging these things in. I haven’t seen specs on what the average 240v charger draws but probably 10-20 amps for most. Add that to the a/c load during the present heat wave and you have the perfect formula for some serious overload blackouts. When I was still working for the power company here on days like this we’d sometimes have to go around measuring load on each phase of a circuit and switch load around as necessary to keep it balanced. Usually by now they would be sending out calls to cut back usage but I think with it being a holiday week a lot of places are shut down/people are away.
    Some “holiday” to be slightly off topic, where the sheeple celebrate their “freedom”. I would gladly trade the puny taxation imposed by King George III for the monstrosity of taxes, rules, and humiliation forced on us by the present gang of criminals. I plan to spend July 4th quietly drinking to keep my brain numb to the abomination the USSA has become.

    • Mine is limited to 70 amps, but very few people have 70 amp circuits in their garage. I purposely set the limit to 18 amps.

      I get a price reduction for charging at night, which is what most electric car owners do anyway. The grid isn’t loaded nearly as much then anyway.

      The daytime price is $0.22 per kwh and night time is $0.07 per kwh.

  7. Of course a Volt doesn’t have the range problem associated with the pure EVs and something like a Volt or Prius , gets their best mileage in the stop and go conga line( a condition that drastically reduces mileage in a conventional ICE powered vehicle)

    • Exactly. And to think that for years the govt told us that we should think environmentally sound and not use as much fuel, so my wife and I both bought a Prius. Not because we are so inclined to be ecological, but for the sake of getting cheap transportation. So now we find out that the State of Indiana charges us $150 more per year BECAUSE we get 45-50 mpg and they think we don’t pay enough in their precious road taxes!! Governments are CROOKED, all of them. Feel like I’m dealing with the Corleone family!

  8. Pay more, wait longer and not go as far… Seems pretty straight-forward to me. LOGIC is desperately missing in today’s world. I don’t drink, but I have never had so many hankerings to entertain the thought of taking it up.

  9. “Many of the public charge stations are currently “free” – for now.”

    That’s already changing, and they aren’t even going to wait until more people convert to hybrid or electric. I’m starting to notice fee-for-usage electric charging stations for vehicles in some of the more middle-and-upper class urban areas. They’re usually given special parking adjacent to the main building located in the parking lot of a primary destination and allowed to charge while the owners are elsewhere. Drivers plug their vehicle into the charger after swiping their debit/credit card and are charged for the duration.

    • My local gas stations want to ding me for air. They say the money will go to charity.

      Yeah, when pigs fly.

      I have an air pump at home, so I say, “No way, Jose.”

      • Many years ago I lived near a gas station with one of the last ‘free air’ set ups. My winter beater had a leaky tire and it was a lot faster than filling it at home. What I found there and the few other places that still had such a set up was people who filled compressed air tanks for nailers and such and worst of all people who just plain damaged the equipment for no good reason. The purpose of vending machine air stations became clear.

        I don’t think things will work out better for charging stations and they will all need to cover these costs. Once electric cars aren’t just for rich people any more.

  10. I agree that the word “progress” is totally abused by the political Progressive movement.

    To them, the word means that the government only moves forward and never backward. Which is why they always work to ban things they are opposed to in favor of something else, instead of keeping the former system as a backup. You know; in case something goes awry.

    Progress is never measured in terms of benefit to the citizen; it is only measured in terms of how much government control is exerted upon our “freedoms.”

    True progress for the people will never happen, since there will always be sociopaths and technocrats who believe in their own hubris and right to enforce their control over their fellow citizen, whom they consider their slaves.

    As far as the road taxes: Vehicles will have their mileage archived by the NSA or some other equally disastrous government agency, where it will be shared with the IRS, who will issue people a bill for the amount of driving they did throughout the year (or some other time period as they may decide).

  11. In my experience I’ve noticed that a great amount of people cannot do basic math so pointing out issues such as charging time along with all the other math based arguments is a waste of time. Application of math into real world situations (word problems) hasn’t been part of the “education” system in years and we’re seeing the results now. If a pizza shop were to offer a single large pizza for $7.99 and 2 for $16.99, I’d almost guarantee somebody if not several people would buy the 2 pizza offer and think they were getting a good deal.

    • Agreed, Six… unfortunately…

      It still slays me, though, that we are supposed to accept as “progress” cars which can’t just be fueled in minutes and which only go a third to half as far and which costs twice as much and which have a variety of no-small-thing functional gimps, such as being affected greatly by extremes of temperature…

  12. And if your breaker box is full, now you also need a new breaker box, and maybe heavier duty wiring going from the street to the house.

    • Hi Joe,

      Yup.

      Most houses – as far as I am aware – do not have a dedicated/easy-access 240V outlet in the garage or other conveniently accessible place for plugging in a hybrid. Mine doesn’t.

      Most homeowners will therefore need to have an electrician come and do some wiring – which may not cost a fortune but will absolutely cost something.

      It’s another hidden cost of electric cars…

      • eric, I couldn’t begin to tell you how many houses have an electrical service that wouldn’t support that dradraw.

        Unless you specifically stated you wanted a server that would handle such things as a fast charger, the electrician who gets the bid will use the smallest service entrance wire he can for that house unless he’s under legal obligation to conform to a code stating larger wire.

        When I wire something I’ll use close to twice the number of runs, hence circuits if the future might hold more electrical needs.

        • Hi Eigth,

          I had the same thought… in my neck, many of the homes only have 100 amp service… I think they’d have to go up to support the “fast” charger… and that’s not going to be cheap, either.

          • eric, I haven’t used anything less than 200 amp in decades. 50 amp for both the cooking stove and the welder, 30 for the water heater. I have a shopvac that pulls nearly 30 so that’s powered by an add-on circuit outside. The chop saw is near 30, outside ac unit is 26 and inside is 10. The barn is all 25 amp teceps and 30 amp breakers. House and barn are on same service.

            Heavy into fabrication if I have help we cook outside, especially in hot weather.

        • Down here in Texas I don’t think the grid or the homeowners pocket book could handle every house charging one of these overnight with our current energy prices.

          • Brazos, Texas has a huge amount of excess electricity. Right now non-peak power is going for a negative $8/mgwhr. Subsidy still makes it profitable.

            This is produced by wind generation. I work in those fields since they’re in the oilfield….fairly much everywhere.

            I top the hill in the dark of morning and sometimes take in the view of 4 major wind generation fields one of which is very old dating back to the 80s, Horse Hollow.

            While the energy is there, the infrastructure for cities isn’t so rural users are able to take advantage of it since the entirety of west Tx is the source of most of it.

            I had to leave old Pete one day and ride in with a stinking àss crew but there was a bright spot. About 3 miles west of Roscoe Tx just north of I 20 a big tornado was ripping through a wind generation field.

            I’d try to post pics and videos of such (spectacular) but my Galaxy S4 just died a month ago taking everything with it.

            Of course, there’s no way to supply power to everyone in big cities.

            I can just see it now, 15KV 3 phase lines running through huge urban areas supplying the populace with electricity for their EVs.

            I also see world peace with everyone having every need fulfilled…via government. HA, HA, HA, HA, HA…..

    • Not always, joe. Most modern houses have at least a 200 amp panel. If that’s full, an electrician can move a few 240A circuits into a subpanel, including the new circuit for the charging station. Older houses with smaller services would probably need what you describe, though.

      For me the main thing that triggers my sense of the ridiculous is the recharge time and the fact that your electric car is pretty much tethered to charging stations, as far as range goes. You can’t just leave home and drive away from your charging station past the halfway point of your range unless you know there’s a charging station at the end of your car’s range.

      • Its not that much hassle to put a subpanel below the meter disconnect( what I have- already have a dedicated 50 amp 240 service to my”Party building , easy enough to dedicate a 4 prong 240 volt outlet its right beside my carport) My back gets worse all the time and I have better things to do with my money than spend it on $5 quart oil and the quality time trying to crawl under my vehicles on ramps on a piece of cardboard. The only thing I really don’t like about electrics now is the cost,I have no problem with people who love ICE powered cars( they will always be with us) and I suspect the road taxes will be collected with a mileage tally.
        What people should be griping about is that subsidized alcohol we are forced to buy at taxpayer expense, the amount we are forced to use has little effect on anything except the Federal budget.
        One other huge problem with electric vehicles is the dissolution of industries that used to support the ICE powered auto,its going to hit the economy, we used to have gaint factories just to make the pollution control and exhaust parts on ICE vehicles,lube vendors are going to take a hit , filter manufacturers and some others it will be a game changer, the charge time is the least of my worries and of course the smugness factor of some EV owners makes Me cringe( Most EV pollution comes out a giant smokestack somewhere else) This reminds Me of the time the outside wood furnaces started coming into fashion, a slick line was ,heat your Home for free! Pure BS as a lot of homeowners got those things and started feeding them.One Guy I know who install those things told Me ,”Truthfully , with the cost of firewood and related costs , many people would be better off with a pellet stove” From a Guy who installs these things,I guess you can find an honest person occasionally .

        • “Its not that much hassle to put a subpanel below the meter disconnect”
          If you mean the meter base, that isn’t where a subpanel goes. You decide on the size of the subpanel, and install a breaker of the appropriate amperage in your current panel, and feed the subpanel from your service panel. That’s what makes it a subpanel; it’s fed from another panel, not from the meter base.

          The one in my house service panel that powers my freestanding garage is on a 70 amp breaker. It isn’t a big deal at all, it just requires that you know what you’re doing, such as not installing a new service panel just to get a couple of 240 circuits, or trying to tap the meter base for a subpanel.

          The whole idea of trying to fumblefart around with an electric car is the big deal. It’s a big, expensive hassle of a deal, and can only appeal to retards. Present company excused, of course.

          • Well I have a code required disconnect and have breaker spaces,I have two circuits running out of it besides the “main”, being well aware of electricity and its danger , I usually overbuild everything and make sure its bonded and grounded , though not a master electrician or Journeyman ,I can do most of my own wiring ( the grounding also helps a bit with the not infrequent lightning strikes.
            You used to be able to order a meter base with breaker spaces from “Lowes” , however our CO-OP” won’t let you install them. Electricity is my friend ,if the stars lineup and I can afford one I would like to get an EV and feed it via battery bank and solar panels.
            Sign Me , “Zorro Plateado”

      • So Ed, do you really think those vast urban neighborhoods will receive the power they need?

        I have to laugh at the idea it’s possible.

        People that push this shit are not only ignorant but simply delusional.

        We barely had electricity when I was a kid and rural homes often operated from petroleum fuels.

        How many fools these days would believe our, very expensive, washing machines operated, hopefully, from white gas off their oil well? I’ll never forget our first Frigidaire washing machine.

        It was electric and washed our very dirty clothes.
        We had global warming back then. ….well, it was Something in that it didn’t rain for 8 years.

        Don’t bullshit me with global warming or some bullshit like climate change. I wouldn’t know the world without constant climate change. Neither would my parents and especially my grandparents.

        Hell, they moved here to get away from the dust bowl.

        Imagine the liberals trying to deal with no rain. Thankfully, little government help(sic) was available, the very reason Tx had almost no revenooers.

        • Oh yeah, daddy gov will just wave a magic wand and the massive new grid will appear, or so it seems that the climatards think is what will happen.

          Dad’s 6th grade teacher moved out to the Big Rez in ’36 to teach school for what was then the US Indian Service. She told me that the school where she first taught was at Aneth, which is in the part of the Rez that’s in New Mexico. They had a kerosene powered refrigerator, and no electricity.

          Where I grew up there was an electrical grid powered by a hydro-electric dam on the Catawba River. We just didn’t have the money for appliances, other than a refrigerator.

          The libtards can’t deal with hot coffee from a drive through without suing somebody. No rain, or too much rain would kill them all off, I guess. Good riddance to bad garbage.

  13. Eric,

    They won’t tax the electricity for road use, but will use the issue to put in the “Tax Per Mile” plans they have been pushing. As for the internal combustion vehicles, expect the fuel taxes to stay in place along with a tax by mile.

    • Consider this , perhaps the “per mile” assessment, will be a method they use to license your vehicle or reduce traffic congestion. We can bellyache all we want, the fact is we still have fairly cheap electricity and the Liberals will always be with us( no bull we need all kinds , we all cannot all be followers of Nietzshe)

  14. Having been through several hurricanes and a couple of evacuations (I generally stay put), I can’t imagine the bedlam that would ensue if even a few more percent of the cars on the roads were electric. Traffic creeps along, it’s hot, air conditioning has to be blasting, everyone’s listening to the radio, they’ve got their phones and iPads and whatnot plugged in so the kids can watch Nemo Square Bob or whatever, and every gas station along the route has lines longer than a Bieber concert (yeah, yeah… I’m outta touch). It took my sister 14 hours to make it from Charleston to Charlotte during one evacuation, and they only had to stop to relieve themselves (10 minutes). How in Gawd’s name would a highway full of electric cars not lead to mayhem and destruction on an even greater scale than the damned storm itself? Oh, and after Hugo we didn’t have power for weeks, some places much longer.

    Utterly untenable. Electrics are, as you say Eric, nothing but conscience-salve toys for the rich. Absurd.

    • And consider the fact that the storms you mention usually mean electric service is down…sometimes for WEEKS! And, you can’t truck it in, can’t store a couple fill-ups worth in jugs or carry some emergency electricity in the trunk. You’re now the proud owner of a four-wheeled, 2-ton paperweight.

      Have a nice day!

      • Hi Bill,

        Very solid point. In my area, everyone – just about – has some back-up means of heating their house that is independent of grid power. Because grid power sometimes goes down for days at a time up here. And if it’s really cold outside…

      • Maybe a nice hurricane would come in and cull the automotive herd as we saw in houston recently. The dumb car owners and their prius’ are the first to drive into high water and commit suicide. Some people were out of electricity for 2-3 days if not more in Houston as well.

      • Thats were a battery bank and PV array would come in. if your favorite filling station doesnt have a generator and huge storage tanks, you had better fill up those couple of gas cans early.
        Another thing that needs to addressed is the population density in areas that are prone to disasters , would an ICE powered car do you any better if you are stuck in an airport in a freak early winter storm? I agree people who live in areas with several Hundred mile evacuation routes had better have a long range something that doesn’t require frequent refueling, I say lets stop pointing fingers and try to work on solutions.

      • I have an overhead fuel tank. That’s not to say I can always afford fill it. I hope to get the tank and stand off the ground and standing again due to the last tornado.

        Our weather (climate)…bs, is always exciting. We watch the tornadoes that sometimes go over and sometimes rip through. It’s been this way my entire life.

        I wouldn’t live in OKC nor that area for love nor money.

        Climate change is such a bs thing for anyone who’s spent several decades in the southwest.

        We’ve lived through nearly 8 years of no rain starting in 1950 with temperatures ranging from -17 (1988)to 118 2 days in a row.

        One thing you can always count on is climate change. Fuckin idiots want to paint it as something new.

  15. Residential electric service is 240V that is split into two 120V lines in the breaker box. 240V runs things like the AC, electric stove, electric clothes dryer, etc.

    Now the question is what sort of current level are we talking about here? 20A? 40A? 100A? But here’s the real rub, it’s a plugin hybrid so the battery pack isn’t going to be very large and that’s how charge times can be dropped the most, simply have a smaller battery.

    • But you would need an additional 240v outlet (as for range or dryer) in the garage which most don’t have unless set up for a welder. Also need double breaker to feed the new outlet and the space in the service panel for it.

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