Tag: volt

I Want My MPGe

In honor of Earth Day, I will once again declare my love for my Chevy Volt electric vehicle. It has cool features, saves on gas, and yet still has that insurance policy of the “charge sustaining” engine for a total range that is unlike any other (except for maybe the Tesla). But yes, despite the engine as safety net, I will admit that “gas anxiety” is a real thing. I find myself avoiding the use of gasoline whenever I can, maximizing for electric even if it means altering routes or destinations.

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Blink of Time: Inequities of Commercial EV Charging Networks

There are other Level-2 chargers available for the Chevy Volt besides the recommended SPX Voltec; EVs have reached the point where charging units are even sold at local home improvement stores. And in addition to chargers that you own, there is an emerging infrastructure of commercial “charging networks” such as Blink and ChargePoint*. These companies have made an investment in providing chargers in public places, adding the convenience of charging while out-and-about at work, at the mall, or going to your local library, school, or recreation center.

Keep in mind that the 15A Voltec charger was specifically endorsed by Chevy for the Volt because it is not over-engineered for what the car requires as dictated by the car’s built-in 3.3kW charge-regulating circuitry. The same can be said of the Nissan Leaf, even though its AeroVironment charger is rated at a slightly higher 16A.

GE, Schneider, and ECOtotality offer 30A Level-2 chargers, which can deliver a maximum of 7.2kWh of energy. Blink is a division of ECOtotality, and as would be expected, they use their own 30A chargers in their network. But the Leaf & Volt cannot take full advantage of the energy that these high-amperage chargers deliver. And therein lies my issue with the Blink Network. (continue reading…)


Thoughts on the Chevy Volt

A Car as Political Football

When I bought my Chevy Volt this month, I had no idea I was buying into politics. I just thought that given the escalating gas prices, my ever-predictable commute, tax/rebate incentives, and the gadgety nature of the car itself, an Electric Vehicle was a reasonable choice for a bleeding-edge tech guy such as me.

But no, apparently I am an idiot, an intellectual elitist who wants to flaunt my enlightenment. I’ve bought into some sort of Obama-led government meddling with GM. Well, as a registered Republican I can say this without partisan bias: sometimes a car is just a car, “going green” is not just for hippie tree-huggers, and given that the Volt actually pre-dates Obama, the Obama-hating conservatives with questionable logic skills should just STFU!

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