The second-generation hides a nifty trick that some owners may not be aware of. With every 2016+ Volt comes a standard charger capable of plugging into a 120-volt outlet, which provides a slow trickle and long charging times.
However, for owners with the proper electrical lines, the charger can actually handle 240VAC, thus pulling Level 2 charging speeds without the need for a charging station. The tip has been around since early 2016 after users on the GM-Volt Forum explored the possibility. Users found the factory charger actually comes from Clipper Creek and is already manufactured to handle the higher amperages.
But, owners will need to do a little conversion to unlock the Level 2 charging capability. An adapter, which you can make yourself or purchase, allows the charger’s 5-15 plug to go from hot-neutral-ground of 120VAC to hot-hot-ground of 200-250VAC.
As the owner of a 2018 Chevrolet Volt, the solution immediately intrigued me since there’s a 220-volt outlet in my garage. With the adapter, I’ve had no issues with overheating—just ultra quick charging after depleting the car’s electric range. In fact, the standard plug also features a thermal sensor to protect from overheating.
While a 120 outlet normally took 10 to 11 hours to charge a fully dead battery, my 220 outlet has brought the time down to around five hours.
Of course, this is a modification to be done at an owner’s risk with no responsibility on General Motors or this publication.