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Detachable Home EV Charger Works Faster

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author photo by Autotrader December 2010

Tanvir Arfi, president of SPX Service Solutions, the exclusive supplier for Chevy Volt’s 240-volt chargers, maintains that SPX’s level 2 home chargers are likely to become a necessary accessory in the next few years. He’s probably right.

For openers, the SPX charger is not hard-wired. The compact, detachable units can be plugged into 240V wall outlets –similar to the circuit used to connect an electric dryer, range or central air conditioning. Plus, they can be easily unplugged and transported to other locations. Arfi recently told Automotive News, “The charger is plugged in and sits on a hinge. If you’ve got a cottage, if you want to go to grandma’s house, you can take it with you.”

And there’s more. The level 2 units take about 31/2 hours to charge up an EV – a significant jump from the 10 to 12 hours it takes 120-volt household lines to do the same.

SPX, one of a handful of companies that is concentrating on the residential market, is not stopping there. The supplier is working on Level 3, 480-volt chargers, which reboot an EV in less than 30 minutes. As Arfi noted, “These are the kinds of chargers consumers will need in a dealership environment or outside a coffee shop.” SPX is hoping to get the Level 3 launched next year.

However, Volt is their main effort, explained Arfi, “We’re focused on the home-charging side to ensure that when you’re buying a Volt, your experience of charging a Volt is seamless.”

To keep their Volt owners onboard, SPX provides a full-service support program, which includes setting up permits, getting rebates, sending out an electrical contractor and providing toll-free help. The four to six hour installation costs approximately $1,950, which includes the price of the charger.

The evidence is out there. Pike Research, a market research and consulting firm that provides analysis of global clean technology markets, projects that by 2015 there will be 4.7 million charging units around the world. About 1 million will be located in the United States. The logic? Americans are expected to prefer the convenience of at-home charging.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Detachable Home EV Charger Works Faster - Autotrader