Chevy Volt Test Drive: Electrical Outlet Scavenger Hunt

When you've got an electric car, being able to charge it is always on your mind. The Chevy Volt allays that fear, since when you run out of battery power, you've got gas backup. But when you've got an electric car, you want to be running on battery, so you always want to find a place to charge.


  1. My outdoor GFCI plug was blown after charging the Chevy Volt, to much Volt-age? I'm having an electrician come take a look.
  2. UPDATE:
    The electrician arrived and tested the circuit. It's working and there's no problem with the outlet or the electrical circuit.

    The GFCI outlet has a safety feature made to keep children from pushing pins into the socket and electrocuting themselves. It looks like the socket is closed off, but it isn't.

    You need to insert both sides of the plug at the same time, into the socket, while exerting some pressure. 

    The plug is now in, the cord is plugged into the Volt, and the car is charging.
  3. Without a place to charge at home, My wife Carol and I went to the local Whole Foods Market in Boston, which offers FREE charging while you shop. 
  4. Free EV Charging at Whole Foods!
    Free EV Charging at Whole Foods!
  5. We plugged the car in and went shopping. To fully charge, I'd have to shop for about four hours. ;-)
  6. According to the Chevy Volt website:

    Q. Electric Driving Range

    A. With a fully charged battery you can go 38 miles† on the electricity stored in the battery – totally gas-free and tailpipe-emissions-free.

    Q. How long does Volt take to charge?

    A. Using a 120V† outlet, in about 10 – 16 hours, depending on selected charging level and outdoor temperature, you'll have a fully charged Volt waiting for you, ready to go. 

    You can also install a 240V charging station, which can charge Volt in as little as four hours.

  7. Actual shopping time = 30 minutes
  8. After  shopping it was on the road to meet friends for lunch in Rhode Island. I searched online to see if I'd be able to charge up while eating lunch.

    That called for a quick Google search for "electric car charging station RI".

    This is what I found:

    "BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is building up to 50 electric vehicle charging stations for motorists around the state and also plans to purchase hybrid or electric-powered vehicles for the state fleet whenever possible, the governor announced Tuesday.

    Gov. Lincoln Chafee said the moves, paid for by federal stimulus money, will help improve the state's economy and save money on gas.

    "We are developing a clean and efficient transportation infrastructure for the future, saving taxpayer dollars and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants," Chafee said in a written statement.

    The first charging station is at Roger Williams University in Bristol. The others are scheduled to be installed by Sept. 30, said Allison Rogers of the state Department of Administration."

  9. Oh great! That's not soon enough for me.
  10. I also searched for ChargePoint Stations near Providence, RI. Not many.
  11. ChargePoint: Providence, RI
    ChargePoint: Providence, RI
  12. If we lived in San Francisco, there'd be no problem.
  13. ChargePoint: San Francisco
    ChargePoint: San Francisco
  14. Well, we've always got gas.
  15. With an smartphone, my motto is, ABC, Always Be Charging

    With and electric car with limited electric range, it's Always Be Searching for a charging station. 
  16. Chevy Volt: Electrical Outlet Scavenger Hunt
  18. One detail on the Chevy Volt I noticed is that is has retro styling of an old side-view window. See that little window at the front. 

    Back in the old days you'd be able to open it and direct air flow towards you. A cool feature that adds to visibility, although the frame at the front of the car is pretty wide and I found it distracting. 
  19. Chevy Volt little side window, like my old '67 Pontiac Tempest had.
    Chevy Volt little side window, like my old '67 Pontiac Tempest had.
  21. I plugged my iPhone into the arm rest's USB port and the entertainment system immediately recognized it. It also allowed access to my Pandora Radio stations. This is a nice feature.