The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that was manufactured by General Motors from 2010 to 2019. In addition to North American markets, GM also produced slightly modified versions of the Volt for Australia, China, and much of Europe. In November of 2018, Chevrolet announced that they would be discontinuing the Volt in favor of more all-electric models. The Volt comes standard with a factory 120v charger. The Volt and its variants are the top-selling PHEVs of all time both worldwide and in the United States. Please see our article here for a discussion of PHEV and EV batteries. It will be interesting to see if GM’s pivot pays off…
That being said, there are still over one million Volts and Volt variations on the road today. These vehicles need to be charged and like most owners of alternative energy vehicles, Volt people are always looking for ways to improve this experience. Some questions just keep popping up about the Volt. One that I have seen multiple times is can the Chevy Volt Factory 120v charger be plugged into 240v? A great question that we hope to provide an answer to.
A Bit of an Explanation
Like all PHEVs, the Volt operates as a purely electric car until the battery drops to a certain capacity. When this happens, the car’s internal combustion engine (ICE) powers an electric generator to make the car go. The second generation Volt is capable of traveling up to 420 miles when fully charged and fueled up. Similar to all-electirc vehicles (EVs) the Volt’s electric battery can be charged using a level-1 or level-2 charger. There is no DC fast charging option for the Volt.
Back to our question: Can the Chevy Volt Factory 120v Charger Be Plugged Into 240v? Well, it depends. For first generation chargers, the answer is a resounding no and please don’t even try. We would hate to see anyone damage their charger or worse, get hurt. That being said, it does appear as if you can use your second generation 120v charger in a 240v socket.
Please please please take all of this with a grain of salt. I am not an electrician and I’m gathering most of the information on this subject from posts by random Internet dudes. Despite this fact, I do believe this thread from the GM-Volt forum is worth checking out for anyone interested. The author claims to have done exhaustive research on the components housed within the second generation charger. After conducting a few experiments, he was able to determine that you can in fact achieve level 2 charging speeds with your 120v charger.
The trick is to use an adapter to allow the charger to plug into a 240v socket like the one for your dryer. If you can obtain one (the author mentions Clipper Creek as a decent vendor) you can almost double your charging speeds! For those of you brave enough to try, I wish you nothing but success.
What do our readers think about the claim that a second generation Volt charger can be used to charge at level-2 speeds? Has anyone out there tried it and care to comment? Please leave a comment below and let us know.
Source | Images: Glendora Chevrolet