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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Updated Review of the Chevy Volt

[Published Aug. 30, 2012, in the Denver Post and 4 Jeffco weekly newspapers]

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!



  1. Hi Jim! This is Kelly from Ed Bozarth. Thanks for giving us a call today, and for sharing your blog with me! We always love to hear that people are enjoying their Chevy Volts - one of our service technicians is about to buy his second Volt because his wife keeps stealing the first one! Only two gas fill-ups - pretty amazing.
    Kelly Carson
    Ed Bozarth Chevrolet

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    1. Jim,

      Your post is right on point. The saving in gas is obvious. Marcia and I both have Chevy Volts that are charged by our home 5.2MW PV solar system. We are both leasing our Volts, but will get the State tax incentive up to $6,000 for each car. I started driving the Volt in February of this year and it only took 6 months before my wife decided she should be driving the same car (different color) for the same reasons. She leased her Volt in August, and her lease was much cheaper than mine, which still boggles my mind. My advise for anyone considering a Volt is to look at the lease options as well. Yes, we have a milage limit of 12,000 a year, and that is something you would need to consider. The monthly payment is very affordable and like Jim notes... we hardly ever fill up on gas. My Onstar iPhone app currently shows my Volt at 159 mpg with 7,078 miles driven where 5,650 are electric miles. The cost for those miles in my mind are covered by the 1 time cost of my PV system which after rebates, and tax incentives was around $8,000 (but it generates enough electricity for both cars and my home). It really feels good to know that I'm cutting down on my carbon footprint, and at the same time ... in the long run saving money. And if it is good for the husband... it is good for the wife too! :)

  3. You obviously sound so satisfied with your Chevy Volt. :D Yeah, you’re right about its advantages, which are all matched with a very smart interior. And it’s amazing that it made green living and technology meet. No wonder it’s still making a buzz in the market when all its competitors have quieted down. -->Tyra Shortino