2011 Chevy Volt: My Week in the Volt
July 22, 2011
My commute is conducive to owning a Chevy Volt. I only go about 8 miles each way in traffic, so I'd theoretically be one of those people who could go months without ever tapping the gasoline engine. Since my wife rarely drives her car other than during her similar commute, that would go double for her.
As such, I decided to take the Volt every night this week to see what type of electric range I would get and over how many days the charge would last. As I described yesterday, I was trying to be as efficient as possible without being a hypermiling road block.
The result is I went 43.4 total miles on electricity, which was good for four "legs" from my house to the office or vice versa. However, the Volt switched over to gasoline with about 1 mile left to go on my fifth "leg" driving home last night. In other words, I was using electricity for 2 and a half days. Of course, I could've recharged each day, but I probably wouldn't bother. Why? Laziness partly, a lack of need would be another, but think about it from a futurist perspective. If you owned two Volts or cars similar to the Volt, you could plug in one car at a time rather than having two giant electricity vampires suckling on your house.
The more time I spend with the Volt, the more I'm convinced that it's a fantastic model for future cars. The price will go down over time, battery capacity will go up and there theoretically will be a wider variety of vehicle body types available for those who find its packaging limited. My week in the Volt points to the way of the future.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 9,353