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Product Review: Chevy Volt

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Tuna

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
796
Location
Mustang, OK
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)
Well, the wife has been out of town on a business trip so I have the Chevy Volt to drive the last 5 days and I've driven it a lot - Sorry V Wagon and Vette. Wife also told me to drive it and put some miles on it before the lease runs out.

Okay, the Volt ain't a V or a Vette but it's a good car to take to work every day. The "expected range" value displayed on the dash on activation has been going up nearly every day. When I started driving it last week, it showed 35 miles range. This morning it showed 39. I think my wife drives it harder than I do. Then again, I rarely drive it so it's always a novelty when I do.

The "glass" cockpit takes getting used to and the climate control is "different" to say the least. It's comfortable and surprisingly "sporty" when pushed. I've only used the gas engine one day while I've been driving it. That was Saturday and I did a little running around that went over the battery range.

When I say I used the gas engine, that doesn't mean that the gas engine was actually "driving" the car because it isn't really hooked to the wheels like a hybrid car. In the Volt, the electric motor does all the driving and the gas engine just runs a generator that electrifies the car when the batteries discharge to a preset amount.

It's supposed to be capable of 100 MPH all on battery and electric motor but I haven't had it that fast - yet. I know it will do 85 and it's still accelerating at that speed, so 100 seems like a good bet.

Plugging it in at night and unplugging it in the morning takes 30 seconds or so each day. That's a lot less time than gassing up the V or Vette each week.

The Volt is showing 26,000 miles now and the life cycle gas used is right at 115 gallons. That's over 28 months or about 49 gallons of gas a year. If we only drove it to work and stayed on battery all the time, gas usage would be much, much less but sometimes we drive more than 40 miles in a day and sometimes it's really cold here and the gas engines starts up to warm up the battery. Batteries hate being cold when you're using them.

Tomorrow, the wife gets the Volt back and I have to get back into the V Wagon. Oh well.
 

Tuna

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
796
Location
Mustang, OK
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)
The V Wagon is in the office parking lot today. Back to shifting gears (the Volt has only 1 gear) and feeling a boat load of power under my right foot.
Have to get home early as there is a chance for storms this afternoon with baseball sized hail. Tomorrow, I drive the Vette.
 

Tuna

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
796
Location
Mustang, OK
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)
Update!

Drove the Vette today as I promised it. Highs around 80 with with a lot of wind. I may still drop the top after work as I need to hit a few places on the way home and I like to drive with the top down when I can.

Wife says the Volt has shown 42 mile electric range the last couple of days. The Volt likes warmer weather and gets a lot better range when the temps are above 60. I get the Volt Saturday as my wife is taking the Vette to a Corvette show. I'm working on the railroad Saturday, so the Volt is probably the car of choice for that "office." I'll put it in "SPORT" mode and burn up ions because I know, I'll be on gas generator coming home Saturday anyway, so why not!
 

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