General Motors continues to prepare for the upcoming release of the Chevrolet Volt. Today the company announced a new deal with SPX Service Solutions to offer a 240V Voltec home charging unit for only $490. Unfortunately this is only the price for the unit itself and the installation charge will run an additional $1,475, on average.

A 240V unit is not required to charge the Chevy Volt but it is certainly convenient. The Volt can plug in to a standard 120V outlet but it takes approximately 10 hours for a full charge. Using a 240V outlet cuts this charge time down to approximately four hours.

It is easy to put a price on convenience and a more than 50 percent reduction in charging time will likely convince many Volt customers that the 240V charging outlet is worth the expense.

SPX is equipped to handle all aspects of installation and the company already has a comprehensive website set up to handle the upcoming home charging station requests. SPX has broken the process down into six steps:

  1. Online Customer Survey
  2. Installation Scheduling
  3. On-Site Survey & Quotation
  4. Permitting
  5. Installation
  6. Post Installation Inspection
Although SPX has everything in place to accept and complete 240V charging station orders, the company recommends that customers wait until they have been notified that their Chevy Volt order has been accepted for production. At that point, customers should identify a location for the charger installation and contact SPX to begin the process.

In other Volt news, Chevrolet, OnStar and The National Fire Protection Agency have launched a series of first responder electric vehicle safety training sessions. The three-hour training session covered EV-specific topics including power shut-off procedures, lithium ion battery details, extrication cut points and more.

The first training session was held in Auburn Hills, Mich., but upcoming training sessions will be offered in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, New York and Washington, D.C.

Pricing for the 2011 starts at $41,000 before the federal tax credit, which could shave up to $7,500 of the MSRP. GM is also offering a 36-month lease option with payments as low as $350 per month. The Chevy Volt will be available in select markets in late 2010.