Back in June I reported that I had purchased a Chevrolet Volt, the all-electric car with a “range extending gasoline engine.”
Well, I’ve now owned the vehicle for 2½ months and driven it 3,300 miles, and I can update the review that I posted on my blog in July. I have filled the 9-gallon gas tank only twice, and my lifetime miles per gallon is hovering around 180. Now that I can re-charge my Volt while at the office, it’s unusual for me to burn any gas in my travels.
My OnStar iPhone app tells me the car has driven 2,690 miles on battery power alone, which, at 4-5 miles per kW-hour, cost me about $60 in electricity from Xcel Energy. Now that I have solar panels on both home and office, even that small cost will be reduced.
The savings in gasoline are only the most obvious. There are subtle savings, too. For example, there is no transmission, no catalytic converter, no differential to maintain or repair. Because of the regenerative braking, I won’t need a brake job for years. I won’t need an oil change until I’ve driven about 100,000 miles, since it will probably take that long to put 3,000 or so miles on the engine.
And my Volt, with no hot engine, doesn’t heat up my garage!