No, this isn't the same 4,400 that were abducted by aliens and returned to a mediocre TV drama, though there could be some overlap. Rather, the first buyers of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt will be eligible for one of 4,400 Department of Energy-funded in-home charging stations to juice up their cars without having to rely on the slow feed of 120-volt residential electricity.
The charging stations will use 240-volt power to charge the cars more quickly and therefore hopefully help reduce the use of the Volt's gasoline-powered on-board generator. Some buyers will even be eligible to have the stations installed in their homes for free.
Overnight charging with 120-volt power will work for many Volt owners, says GM, but the quick 240-volt charging stations will enable top-ups after the evening commute to go back out and run around town, or mid-day recharges on the weekend.
The stations themselves will consist of 2,600 from the ECOtality EV Project and another 1,800 from Coulomb Technologies' ChargePoint America. The stations will collect data on recharge time, energy usage and start/end times of the recharge process to expand the DOE's study on electric vehicle usage.
Volt buyers that don't get the charging stations will get the standard 120-volt charging cord and the option to purchase a 240-volt station from Chevrolet.