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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chevy Volt: 23,000 Miles Later

[Published in the Jeffco editions of YourHub]

On Labor Day, I bought gasoline for just the 12th time since taking delivery of my Chevy Volt 16 months ago. Each fill-up takes only 8 gallons. I have burned 99.1 gallons to go 23,000 miles. That’s because 19,700 of those miles were on battery power alone. My lifetime average is 232 mpg. The electricity I used would have cost $550 if purchased from Xcel Energy, but my electricity comes mostly from the solar panels on my home and my office building. (Our agents and visitors get free charging!)

My Volt’s lithium ion battery pack shows no sign of degradation despite daily use and re-charging.  I’m still getting over 40 miles on a full charge (slightly lower in the winter), after which the 4-cylinder gas engine runs to maintain a minimum battery charge. (The motor does not drive the wheels, it merely generates electricity.)

Dependability is built into the car’s design. It has no fan belt, catalytic converter, or many of the other components of a gas powered car. I still have 72% of my original oil life remaining — my first oil change will be at about 65,000 miles. My garage never gets hot because my car’s engine does not heat it up.

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