2011 Chevrolet Volt 4dr Hatchback (gas/electric hybrid DD)
When I first read that GM was coming out with an EV and that it would only get 40 miles per charge and then use a gas engine generator after that I was very disappointed.
I thought why bother?
After all I had built a BEV in 2001 that had a 70 mile range.
But as I continued to read about the Volt and think about what GM was trying to do with it, I realized this was an absolute brilliant interim solution to the current EV catch-22.
Batteries are too expensive and performance too limited to make a pure EV viable, a pure EV wont be viable until batteries are cheaper and performance is better.
GMs solution was to put just enough batteries to cover the daily commute of 80% of the people.
In hindsight this may seem obvious, but Nissan doesnt get it, nor does Ford.
They are both building battery only EVs.
And while I applaud their efforts I know for me a vehicle which only gets 100 miles and then has to sit for hours and hours to recharge simply will not cut it.
I bought the Volt from a dealer 175 miles from my house.
I could not have done that with the Leaf or the upcoming Ford Focus EV.
I bought the Volt thinking that it would allow me to do the majority of my driving on electricity.
That it has done.
With 700+ miles now my lifetime MPG is at 128.
Excluding the 175 drive home from the dealer I have driven close to 700 miles and used just 0.5 gallons.
After the $7500 tax credit the Volt cost me $37k.
At this point many people point out that they can get a Prius for 23k, but the reality is that a Prius comparably equipped to the Volt is $33k to $34k, so I am paying a ~$3500 premium to the Prius.
I think the fuel savings alone more than justify that premium.
From the pictures of the Volt I was not expecting a very stylish car.
I was thinking more along the lines of the Prius.
In person I was pleasantly surprised to find the Volt is very stylish with plenty of pickup.
This is my first GM product and I am very happy with how the car is performing.