First 30 days with our Chevy Volt! 1,700 miles and VERY little gas burned…

September 16th, 2012    Posted in About Chevy Volt, Getting Started with Volt, The Volt Experience

Well it has been one full month now with our new Chevy Volt and so far the experience has been first rate! The biggest thing about owning this car of course is fuel efficiency and it’s a star on that front! We’ve driven the car exactly 1,700 miles in these 30 days, 1,248 of those miles on pure battery power. “Burning electrons” I like to say. To cover the other 452 miles we burned 11.9 gallons of gasoline. So, depending on how you prefer to calculate your MPG we are averaging over 140MPG overall or roughly 38MPG during those times we were actually burning gas. Not bad at all on either front I would say!

The cost to run this car doesn’t stop with gasoline usage of course, after all you do plug it in and recharge that big battery every night. But charging up the 16.5kwh battery in this car isn’t as expensive as you might think. Based on our electric power rates I estimate that a full charge on the battery would cost us about $1.25. That’s pocket change! And that pocket change can take us 45-50 miles and more! Remember too that it doesn’t need a “full from empty” charge every single night. Based on our use over the last month it looks like it will cost about $25-$30 each month for the power to keep this car charged. If our utility company offered special “Time of Use” rates as many others do, our cost for charging would be even lower.

So, our electric bill will go up a bit but when you compare that to how much our gasoline bill will go down the benefit is obvious. Comparing to what we would have spent driving the car we replaced with this Volt (2002 Nissan Maxima) it looks like we saved more than $200 in fuel costs this month! I like that. Read more

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Chevy Volt gives 50+ miles on a charge. How to beat EPA estimates (38).

September 1st, 2012    Posted in The Volt Experience

“How far can you go on a full charge with your Chevy Volt?”

Good question, and one I have already been asked numerous times since we took delivery. The EPA estimates the answer to be 38 miles but even in normal driving around town I’ve found that is a remarkable underestimation of the car’s capabilities. So yesterday morning I had a prime opportunity to see what it could do. After using the Volt to take my boys to school and run a couple of quick errands I drove on to see just how far it would go.

What you see above is the 7″ screen which is part of the center console in the cockpit of this car. What it’s showing is the Volt’s tally for what happened since the last time it was fully charged (overnight). As you can see it shows that I was able to travel a total 52.7 miles on pure electric power! This trip started at my home and ended there as well, so any gains from going downhill were equally offset by the same rise in elevation to complete the trip. If you ask me, that is incredible! Read more

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Can Chevy Volt help an American town? Meet Hamtramck, MI.

August 30th, 2012    Posted in About Chevy Volt

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First day trip with our new Chevy Volt, lots to like in this car!

August 20th, 2012    Posted in Getting Started with Volt, The Volt Experience

Three days into owning our new Chevy Volt and it’s time for a road trip. This will be an interesting jaunt which will give us a good sense of what this car can do on the road. It will be a (roughly) 200 mile round trip which means it will not be all on electric power.

On this day we planned to take a day trip to Cumberland Mountain State Park. For the trip we briefly pondered whether to take the new Volt or drive our second car, an older SUV. It was really not a hard choice at all since even when running on the gas generator for power, the Volt should give us double the fuel mileage of the SUV.

Decision made, we loaded up four of us in the Volt and headed out. This would be our first trip to this destination so first order of business was to get some directions. One simple touch of the OnStar button was all it took. In a moment we had an OnStar representative asking how she could be of help. We told her where we wanted to go and in a matter of seconds we were hearing first navigation direction over the car stereo while the instructions were also shown on the 7″ screen in the center console stack. Easy peasy!

So off we went and just as expected we made the first part of our trip on electric power alone. No gas (yet). Read more

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