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First 4,400 Volt owners eligible for free home charging stations

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First 4,400 Volt owners eligible for free home charging stations

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington -- The buyers of General Motors Co.'s first 4,400 plug-in electric Chevrolet Volt vehicles are eligible for free home-charging stations, the company said today.

The 240-volt charging stations will be provided by two companies and are part of a federally funded project overseen by the Energy Department. The stations will allow owners to recharge their vehicles faster.

Chargers included in the federal program will be networked, allowing the Energy Department to study electric vehicle charging and usage, and ultimately to understand what is required to bring more electric vehicles to market, GM said.

"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."

In total, the Energy Department is awarding federal grants to help install more than 15,000 home and public charging stations.

Earlier this month, Ford Motor Co. said the first 5,000 buyers of electric Ford Transit vans would be eligible for home charging stations, while Nissan Motor Co. said the first 4,700 electric Nissan Leaf owners are also eligible.

"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 GM.

Volt buyers that live within the program cities may apply for a free 240-volt home charging station through the Coulomb Technologies 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.

ECOtality won a $100 million federal grant last August to build home and public charging stations in major markets in five states: Arizona (Phoenix & Tucson metropolitan areas), Washington (Seattle area), Oregon (Portland, Salem, Corvallis and Eugene), California (San Diego) and Tennessee. Coulomb Technologies is offering free public and home charging stations in nine regions as part of a $37 million program.

Coulomb will provide nearly 5,000 charging stations in nine regions: Austin, Texas; Detroit; Los Angeles; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif.; the San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area; Redmond, Wash.; and Washington, D.C.More than 1,000 public charging stations will be installed by December, Coulomb said this month.

The extended range electric Volt will get up to 40 miles on battery power -- and will have another 310-mile range using its internal combustion engine. The vehicle is set to go on sale by November. The vehicle is crucial to GM's turnaround.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100617/AUTO01/6170448/1148/auto01/First-4-400-Volt-owners-eligible-for-free-home-charging-stations#ixzz0r9LyTZYt

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GM: Volt could get free home charging station

BY TIM HIGGINS

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Early customers of the Chevrolet Volt electric car could receive a free home charging station through a program by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors announced today.

The Volt goes on sale late this year and 4,400 customers will be eligible for the a 240-volt charge station from either ECOtality Inc. or Coulomb Technologies. In many cases, it will include cost of home installation.

It’s all being paid for through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“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,” Tony DiSalle, product and marketing director for the Chevrolet Volt, said in a statement. “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 program will collect data from customers to learn about average charge times and time of use so that the U.S. Department of Energy can better understand how electric vehicles are used.

GM has said the Volt will be able to go 40 miles on electricity alone. After that, an onboard gasoline generator will provide power to keep the vehicle going.

The Volt can be charged at home without a special charge station using a normal 120-volt outlet. Volt owners can also use a 240-volt outlet, similar to what a dryer uses, for a faster charge.

Tony Posawatz, Volt vehicle line director, said the 240-charger will recharge the car in about four hours.

He said some of the program’s engineers have already installed 240-volt outlets to charge test-versions of the Volt at home.

“These guys would never use any gas on the weekends unless they would drive the Volt up north,” he said. “We’re learning through the whole process that the charging experience is important to us.”

Meanwhile, electric and hybrid vehicles are expected to help increase the sale of global alternative-fuel vehicles by 28% this year compared to last, according to a new report by J.D. Power and Associates. That outpaces an expect 8% industry-wide increase this year.

As U.S. sales rebound, J.D. Power expects the U.S. market to account for 55% of hybrid sales in 2015.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100617/BUSINESS0101/100617052/1331/BUSINESS01/GM-Volt-could-get-free-home-charging-station

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