2011 Chevrolet Volt: Charged at Home
December 05, 2011
Earlier this year, I wrote about going an entire weekend without having to charge. At the time, I didn't have much of a choice. I had to park in a carport with no electrical sockets nearby. This post didnt sit well with some of our readers. They said that we weren't using the Volt as a typical owner would. I have a garage now, and this time, I was the typical Volt owner.
This weekend I had dinner with some friends and attended my wife's company holiday brunch, neither of which was close to home. The rest of the weekend I ran errands around my neighborhood. I left the Edmunds' offices with a full charge and then plugged in three times at home. With the battery fully discharged, it takes about 10 hours to get a full charge on 110-volt current. In this sense, I wasnt the typical Volt owner -- he would likely have his own 240-volt charger, which would cut that time in half. Perhaps I was more like a Volt owner who went to a relative's house and borrowed an outlet to plug in overnight.
I drove a total of 208 miles, 116 of which were on electricity. My utility factor was about 56 percent, well above the 40 percent we've been averaging. At home, the Volt consumed 31.64 kWh. At my rate, which is 15 cents per kWh, it cost about $1.88 for a full charge. The total cost for the weekend of charging was $4.75. Not bad for 116 miles of driving. The instrument panel showed that I had consumed about 2.4 gallons of gas. This translated to about 38 miles per gallon.
The Volt and the Leaf are often compared to one another. Initially, I preferred the Leaf. I figured, if you're going to go the EV route, why not go all the way? But now my opinion has changed. When you want to go somewhere in the Volt, you dont give it a second thought. You just go. And if you run out of (electric) juice along the way, oh well. You have the gas tank, and you still keep going.
The Leaf, on the other hand, requires more planning that I care to do. Los Angeles County is huge. I have friends and family in all its corners. Some of the round trips I take would either not be possible in a Leaf or would be very stressful due to range anxiety. I'm not saying the Leaf is a bad car, but for my needs, the Volt is the best.
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate @ 12,828 miles