17 Things You Need to Know About Charging Chevy Volt

If you’re a proud owner or a prospective buyer of the Chevrolet Volt, navigating the intricacies of charging is essential for maximizing your electric driving experience.

From understanding charging infrastructure to optimizing charging habits, this article unveils 17 crucial insights that every Chevy Volt enthusiast should know.

Whether you’re a seasoned electric vehicle driver or new to the world of plug-in hybrids, these tips and tricks will empower you to make the most of your Chevy Volt’s charging capabilities.

1. How to Charge a Chevy Volt?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the charging process as a beginner:

1. Locate the Charging Port: The Chevy Volt’s charging port is typically located on the driver’s side front fender. It is marked with the familiar EV charging symbol.

2. Unlock the Charging Port: Ensure that your Chevy Volt is unlocked, as this will allow you to open the charging port door. You can use your key fob or the door unlock button inside the vehicle.

3. Inspect the Charging Cord: Familiarize yourself with the charging cord. One end has a standard J1772 connector that plugs into your Volt, while the other end has a connector that plugs into the charging station.

4. Choose the Right Charging Station: Locate a compatible charging station. Public charging stations and home chargers with a standard J1772 connector are suitable for the Chevy Volt.

5. Plug In the Charging Cord: Align the J1772 connector with the charging port on your Volt and insert it securely. You should hear a click when it’s properly connected.

6. Initiate Charging: Depending on the charging station, you may need to use an RFID card or a mobile app to initiate the charging process. Follow the instructions provided at the charging station.

7. Monitor Charging Status: Once charging begins, your Chevy Volt will display the current charging status on the dashboard. You can also check the station’s display for additional information.

8. Wait for Charging to Complete: Charging times vary based on the charger’s power and your Volt’s battery level. Be patient, and use this time to explore nearby amenities or relax.

9. Unplug and Secure the Charging Cord: When charging is complete, unlock your Volt, press the button on the charging connector to release it, and safely stow the charging cord.

2. How Long Will a Chevy Volt Go On a Full Charge?

The electric range of a Chevy Volt on a full charge depends on various factors, including the battery’s state of health, driving conditions, and temperature. However, here’s the table with the average distance that your Chevy Volt migh go on a full charge:

Chevy YearElectric Range
2011-201235 miles (56 km)
2013-201538 miles (61 km)
2016-201952 miles (85 km)

3. How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Chevy Volt?

The cost of charging depends on various factors, including:

  • Electricity rates
  • Charging location
  • Time-of-use rates
  • Charging efficiency

According to the average estimation, it costs about $2,39 to full charge a Chevy Volt at home, and $4,6 to charge the car at public station.

Below, there’s a full estmation based on the newest Volt generation with the battery capcity of 18.4 kWh. Older than 2016 models will have a slightly cheaper cost because of a smaller battery (around 10-15% cheaper).

Estimation for Charging a Chevy Volt at Home:

  • Battery Capacity: 18.4 kWh
  • Electricity Rate: $0.13 per kWh (this is a general average and may vary by location)
  • Charging Cost at Home: Charging Cost = (18.4 kWh) x ($0.13/kWh) = $2.39

Estimation for Charging a Chevy Volt at a Public Charging Station:

Assumed Public Charging Rate: $0.25 per kWh (this is a general average and may vary).

Charging Cost at Public Station: Charging Cost = (18.4 kWh) x ($0.25/kWh) = $4.60

Additional Considerations:

  • Monthly Charging Costs: If you charge your Chevy Volt at home every night, and assuming you drive around 1,000 miles per month (53 miles electric range), your monthly charging cost at home might be approximately $71.70.
  • Comparison with Gasoline: Compare this cost with the average fuel efficiency of traditional gasoline vehicles. If gasoline costs around $3.00 per gallon and the vehicle gets 30 miles per gallon, you might spend $100 on gasoline for the same monthly mileage.

4. Does Chevy Volt Support Fast Charging?

Unlike some all-electric vehicles, the Chevy Volt does not support Fast Charging, known as DC fast charging. Fast Charging isn’t neccesary for this car, as it’s useful for long trips, and Chevy Volt has a gas engine for this purpose.

5. How Often Should You Charge Your Chevy Volt?

Charging your Chevy Volt daily is often recommended, especially if your daily driving distance falls within its electric-only range. This ensures that you maximize the use of electric power for your routine commuting, minimizing reliance on the gasoline range extender.

Since the Chevy Volt is designed for overnight charging, plugging it in before bedtime allows for a full charge by the time you need to use the vehicle the next morning. This practice takes advantage of lower electricity rates during off-peak hours, potentially reducing charging costs.

Important: EV battery replacement can cost $1000s. To avoid high-voltage battery replacement, there are some things you can do. Read this article to find out the 10 best ways to maximize EV battery life and save tons of money!

6. Can You Charge a Chevy Volt at a Tesla Station?

It’s not possible to charge a Chevy Volt at a Tesla Station. Tesla Supercharger stations use a proprietary charging connector specifically designed for Tesla vehicles. This connector is not compatible with the standard charging port on the Chevy Volt, which uses a J1772 connector.

7. What Kind of Charging Station Does the Chevy Volt Use?

The Chevy Volt is compatible with charging stations that offer level 1 or level 2 charging, are compatible with J1772 connector. Thus, it’s possible to charge your Volt at home, or public charging stations like ChargePoint, EVgo, and others.

The Chevy Volt comes with a standard Level 1 charging cord that plugs into a regular household outlet (120V). This is a convenient option for home charging, though it’s relatively slow compared to Level 2 charging.

For faster charging at home or at public charging stations, the Chevy Volt is compatible with Level 2 charging using a 240V power source. This type of charging requires a dedicated charging station with a J1772 connector.

The charging port on the Chevy Volt is equipped with a J1772 connector, which is a standard connector used by many electric vehicles in North America. This connector ensures compatibility with a wide range of Level 2 charging stations available for public use and home installations.

For convenient home charging, many Chevy Volt owners choose to install a Level 2 charging station in their garage or designated charging area. These stations typically require professional installation and provide faster charging compared to a standard household outlet.

When charging away from home, Chevy Volt owners can use public Level 2 charging stations that have J1772 connectors. These stations are commonly found in shopping centers, parking lots, and along major travel routes.

Various charging station networks, such as ChargePoint, EVgo, and others, offer Level 2 charging stations compatible with the Chevy Volt. These networks often have mobile apps or RFID cards for easy access and payment.

8. Does Chevy Volt Charge While Driving?

During braking or deceleration, the Volt employs regenerative braking. Instead of traditional braking systems that convert kinetic energy into heat and dissipate it, regenerative braking captures some of this energy and converts it back into electricity.

The electricity generated through regenerative braking is directed back to the Volt’s battery, effectively replenishing a small amount of the charge. While this process doesn’t fully charge the battery, it contributes to the overall efficiency of the vehicle and extends its electric range.

9. What Happens if You Never Charge Your Chevy Volt?

If you never charge your Chevy Volt, you need to rely on gasoline. That way, you reduce your overall car efficiency, pay more for fuel, pay more for engine maintenance, and maximize carbon footprint.

Also read: Chevy Volt Battery: Warranty, Replacement Cost, Lifespan, etc.

10. Should You Charge Your Chevy Volt Every Night?

Charging your Chevy Volt every night can be a practical and beneficial practice. It’s mostly because the car’s battery system is designed for regular charging and discharging. Regularly charging your vehicle helps maintain battery health and longevity.

There are more benefits of charging a Chevy Volt every night:

Optimizing Electric Range: Charging your Chevy Volt every night allows you to start each day with a full battery, maximizing the electric-only driving range.

Cost Savings: Charging overnight at home often takes advantage of lower electricity rates during off-peak hours.

Convenience: Charging your Chevy Volt at home eliminates the need to visit public charging stations frequently and ensures your vehicle is ready for daily use.

11. Can You Leave Chevy Volt Plugged in?

Yes, you can leave your Chevy Volt plugged in without causing harm to the vehicle or its battery. Modern electric vehicles are equipped with charging systems that prevent overcharging. Once the battery reaches a full charge, the vehicle’s charging system will typically manage the charging process to maintain optimal battery health.

Once the battery of your Chevy Volt, reaches its full charge capacity, the charging system is programmed to terminate the charging process. This means that the flow of electricity to the battery is stopped to prevent overcharging.

Moreover, charging systems have overcurrent protection mechanisms to prevent excessive flow of current, which could lead to overheating and potential safety hazards. If there is a fault or irregularity in the charging process, these systems can disconnect the charging circuit to prevent damage.

12. What Kind of Charger Does a Chevy Volt Take?

The Chevy Volt is compatible with both Level 1 (120V) and Level 2 (240V) chargers, utilizing the industry-standard J1772 connector. The Chevy Volt does not support DC fast charging.

The Chevy Volt comes with a Level 1 charging cord that plugs into a standard household outlet. This charger is convenient for at-home charging and is often referred to as a “trickle charger.” It is suitable for overnight charging and can fully charge the Volt’s battery over a more extended period.

For faster charging at home or at public charging stations, the Chevy Volt is compatible with Level 2 charging using a 240V power source.

13. How Long Does it Take to Charge a Chevy Volt at a Charging Station?

Charging time for a Chevy Volt at a charging station depends on the battery capacity and the charging power provided by the station. Here’s an estimate of charging times for different Chevy Volt models with varying battery capacities:

Chevy Volt ModelBattery Capacity (kWh)Level 1 Charging Time (120V)Level 2 Charging Time (240V)
2011–201216.012–13 hours4.5 hours
2013–201416.513–14 hours4.5 hours
201517.113.5–14.5 hours4.5 hours
2016–201918.414–15 hours4.5 hours

The charging time is estimated by dividing the battery capacity by the charging power. For Level 1 charging, a common charging power is around 1.44 kW, and for Level 2 charging, it’s around 3.3 kW.

  • Level 1 Charging Time (120V): Charging Time ≈ (Battery Capacity) / (Charging Power for Level 1)
  • Level 2 Charging Time (240V): Charging Time ≈ (Battery Capacity) / (Charging Power for Level 2)

These are approximate values, and actual charging times may vary based on factors such as charging efficiency, battery condition, and charging station capabilities.

14. How Do I Know My Chevy Volt is Charging?

To get to know if your car is charging, take a look at this guide to interpreting the charging indicators:

  1. Single Tone and Flashing Indicator:
    • Description: Vehicle is plugged in, and the battery is charging.
    • Flashing Pattern: Indicates the current percentage of battery charge.
      • 1 flash: 0–25% charged
      • 2 flashes: 25–50% charged
      • 3 flashes: 50–75% charged
      • 4 flashes: 75–99% charged
      • Solid light: 100% charged
  2. Slow (Long Pulse) Flashing Green Indicator with Double Tone:
    • Description: Vehicle is plugged in, but battery charging is delayed.
    • Meaning: The charging process is scheduled to start at a later time.
  3. Solid Green Indicator:
    • Description: Vehicle is plugged in, and the battery is fully charged.
    • Meaning: Your Chevy Volt has completed charging, and the battery is at 100%.
  4. Solid Yellow Indicator:
    • Description: Vehicle is plugged in but not charging.
    • Meaning: Charging is temporarily paused, or there may be a specific reason preventing charging (e.g., a setting in the vehicle or a delay).
  5. No Light:
    • Scenario 1: Vehicle is not plugged in.
    • Scenario 2: There is an issue with the charger or outlet.
  6. No Light and Repetitive Tones:
    • Description: Indicates an issue with the charge cord connection.
    • Meaning: There might be a problem with the physical connection between the charging cord and the vehicle.

15. Can a Chevy Volt Be Charged at Home?

Yes, charging a Chevy Volt at home is a convenient and common practice for many owners. The Chevy Volt is designed to be easily charged using standard household outlets or, for faster charging, with a dedicated Level 2 charging station.

To install a Level 2 charging station at home, you may need the services of a qualified electrician to ensure proper installation. This includes setting up a dedicated 240V electrical circuit and installing the charging station in a convenient location, such as a garage.

If Level 2 charging infrastructure is not readily available, Level 1 charging with a standard household outlet provides a practical and accessible solution for home charging.

Home charging provides the convenience of waking up to a fully charged vehicle each morning. It eliminates the need to visit public charging stations frequently and allows you to incorporate charging into your daily routine.

Charging at home often takes advantage of lower electricity rates during off-peak hours, contributing to potential cost savings compared to charging at public stations or using gasoline.

16. What Plug is Needed for Chevy Bolt Charger?

The Chevy Bolt is equipped with a charging port that uses a standard SAE J1772 connector for both Level 1 and Level 2 charging.

The J1772 connector features a distinctive ergonomic design with a paddle-shaped handle. It is a robust and durable connector designed for frequent use in various charging scenarios.

The SAE J1772 standard is widely adopted by automakers and charging infrastructure providers in North America. This standardization ensures that electric vehicles from different manufacturers can use the same charging infrastructure, promoting interoperability.

17. What Happens if You Use the Wrong Volt Charger?

Using the wrong charger for your Chevy Volt can have various consequences, ranging from inconvenience to potential damage. Use chargers with the correct connector type, voltage, and current specifications. Additionally, when using public charging stations, ensure they are compatible with your vehicle and adhere to industry standards such as the SAE J1772 for Level 2 charging.

Here are the potential issues that may arise if you use an incompatible or incorrect charger:

Charging Incompatibility: If you use a charger with an incompatible connector or charging standard, it won’t physically connect to your Chevy Volt’s charging port.

Charging Speed Limitations: Using a charger with lower power output than what your Chevy Volt is designed for will result in slower charging times.

Overvoltage or Overcurrent Issues: Using a charger with a higher voltage or current output than your Chevy Volt can handle may lead to overvoltage or overcurrent issues. Modern electric vehicles typically have built-in protection mechanisms, but using significantly mismatched chargers may still pose a risk.

Risk of Damage to Vehicle or Charger: In extreme cases, using an entirely incompatible charger could potentially cause damage to either the Chevy Volt or the charger. This is especially true if the charger doesn’t have the necessary safety features or if the vehicle’s charging system is overwhelmed.

Voiding Warranty: Using unauthorized chargers or equipment that is not recommended by the manufacturer may void certain warranties.

Safety Concerns: In rare cases, using the wrong charger could pose safety risks such as electrical faults, overheating, or other issues. It’s crucial to prioritize safety and use only chargers approved for your Chevy Volt.