Chevy Volt

Tames D

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I know there was a thread started a while back about the Chevy Volt automobile. I believe it may have been started by Steve. Unfortunately, I can't find that thread and I would like to gather some information on the car.

My oldest son will start driving soon and I was thinking the Volt might be a good car for him. Since I know nothing about the car other than I think it looks very cool, can anyone give me some info on how they like it and if it would be a good investment? Or is it a piece of crap? Where do you charge the batteries and does it also run on gasoline?

I will google it tomorrow but I was hoping to get some first hand opinions from actual owners. Thanks.
 

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Rich Parsons

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I know there was a thread started a while back about the Chevy Volt automobile. I believe it may have been started by Steve. Unfortunately, I can't find that thread and I would like to gather some information on the car.

My oldest son will start driving soon and I was thinking the Volt might be a good car for him. Since I know nothing about the car other than I think it looks very cool, can anyone give me some info on how they like it and if it would be a good investment? Or is it a piece of crap? Where do you charge the batteries and does it also run on gasoline?

I will google it tomorrow but I was hoping to get some first hand opinions from actual owners. Thanks.

Tames D,


Full disclosure, I work for GM and with the team that does the propulsion controllers software and hardware.
Feel free to contact me with questions.

Here are some quick websites:
http://cleantechnica.com/2014/02/25/chevy-volt-crosses-400-million-ev-miles-today/

http://www.greencarreports.com/news...e-electric-miles-than-nissan-leaf-drivers-why

http://www.voltstats.net/
 

Steve

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Hate is a strong word. I have owned an ev and also a plug in hybrid. If you have specific questions, I'll answer honestly. I have no personal stake.

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Tames D

Tames D

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Hate is a strong word. I have owned an ev and also a plug in hybrid. If you have specific questions, I'll answer honestly. I have no personal stake.

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Thanks Steve. I know you will always give and honest opinion on any subject. I'm just looking to see if this is a good car to buy for my son or if I will have to worry every time he takes it out on the road.
 
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Tames D

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Steve

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no problem. You might also consider a ford cmax or something all electric. It all really depends on how far he really will be driving. I have recent experience with both ford and Chevy, and the build quality of Ford is really good.

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Carol

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Considering an all-electric for a teen in my eyes would depend on how long the teen is expected to have the car. The life of someone that young can dramatically in a short amount of time.

If the EV is going on lease for (say) 24 months to cover the balance of the teen's time in high school, or if the car is going to stay the family after graduation, that may be a good choice. But if the car is going with the teen to college or wherever, how will anyone know what the driving habits are going to be, or how predictable the teen's life would be? I know when I was at that age, I was all over the place, in more ways than one.
 
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Tames D

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Considering an all-electric for a teen in my eyes would depend on how long the teen is expected to have the car. The life of someone that young can dramatically in a short amount of time.

If the EV is going on lease for (say) 24 months to cover the balance of the teen's time in high school, or if the car is going to stay the family after graduation, that may be a good choice. But if the car is going with the teen to college or wherever, how will anyone know what the driving habits are going to be, or how predictable the teen's life would be? I know when I was at that age, I was all over the place, in more ways than one.

Carol,
I assume he's going to drive the car for a few years. I don't lease anymore, I didn't like being told I had to turn the car in on a particular date and scramble to buy another car in that time frame. Leased once and didn't see any advantage to it.
 
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Tames D

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no problem. You might also consider a ford cmax or something all electric. It all really depends on how far he really will be driving. I have recent experience with both ford and Chevy, and the build quality of Ford is really good.

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I'll have to google the ford cmax. Not familar with it. I like the way the Volt looks, and I'm a very visual person, I want my son to be styling. I know...I'm a little on the shallow side :)
 

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If you're targeting taking the car to college -- be sure to consider the practical issue of charging stations. There're not real common in my area, and I've actually had to run a few people out of business parking lots where they could find a plug to use the on-board charging system. Which, as I understand it, is not quick...
 
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Tames D

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If you're targeting taking the car to college -- be sure to consider the practical issue of charging stations. There're not real common in my area, and I've actually had to run a few people out of business parking lots where they could find a plug to use the on-board charging system. Which, as I understand it, is not quick...

Yeah, that's one of the issues I need to educate myself on with these cars. He's turning 16 and won' be attending college for a couple more years, thank God.
 

jks9199

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Yeah, that's one of the issues I need to educate myself on with these cars. He's turning 16 and won' be attending college for a couple more years, thank God.

At 16, it's a concern, too. He SHOULD have enough range for school, etc... but having been a 16 year old kid myself once... it's amazing how many miles you can put on a car in a night without doing "anything." Not to mention if he gets a job delivering pizzas or the like. Or just is a normal 16 year old kid, and doesn't remember to plug it in. Do you want that call "Dad, my battery's dead and there's nowhere to charge it nearby."
 
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Tames D

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At 16, it's a concern, too. He SHOULD have enough range for school, etc... but having been a 16 year old kid myself once... it's amazing how many miles you can put on a car in a night without doing "anything." Not to mention if he gets a job delivering pizzas or the like. Or just is a normal 16 year old kid, and doesn't remember to plug it in. Do you want that call "Dad, my battery's dead and there's nowhere to charge it nearby."

My understanding is that this car is a hybrid, and when the batteries die the gas system kicks in.
 

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I don't know anything about the Volt to be honest. I know Steve is passionate about all-electric cars, and suggested that they were looked at, I think his passion is awesome and he is very knowledgable on the subject esp since he owns an all electric himself. I just had concerns about logistically how that would all work out given all the many factors of teenagers :)
 

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Carol, I appreciate the vote of confidence. However, it's not specifically electric cars. Im really specifically passionate about reducing our dependence upon oil in general, and foreign oil specifically.

But, electricity has so many financial advantages over gas, its a terrific way to go if it works for you.

Honestly, the best way to figure out which type of car is going to work best is to keep a driving log for at least three or four months. Do a daily odometer reading and also log your gas expenses.

If you drive less than 60 or so miles every day, you could save a boatload going all electric.

If you typically drive 30 miles or less, but sometimes need to go further, a plug in hybrid is ideal. The more often you go over the all ev range, the worse your mileage will be and there's a point where the extra expense for the plugin hybrid over a straight hybrid doesn't make sense. I can explain this further if anyone's interested.

I'd say, if you typically drive over 30 miles per day and need more range than an ev can give you, AND it's all or almost all city, a hybrid is a great alternative. Not a plugin hybrid. Just a regular, old hybrid. And, just to be clear, they aren't all built equally.

Same as above but all or almost all freeway driving and I'd recommend looking at a German TDI.

There are also great, cheap, fuel efficient all gas cars to consider. I bought my kids a 2013 ford fiesta for $12k. It gets well into the 30s mpg city and pushes 40mpg on the freeway. By the time I spend enough in gas to justify the extra cost for a volt, I will likely no longer own the car.

Another thing to consider is space. The volt has the interior of a Mini Cooper. It's smaller than you'd think from the outside and seats only four. The cmax and Prius models seat five comfortably.

Finally, any plug in hybrid is going to have way less cargo space than anything with just one drivetrain. The plugin hybrids have to make room for an engine, an electric motor and lots of batteries.

I'm all about being educated and getting the car that makes sense for you.

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Tames D

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Carol, I appreciate the vote of confidence. However, it's not specifically electric cars. Im really specifically passionate about reducing our dependence upon oil in general, and foreign oil specifically.

But, electricity has so many financial advantages over gas, its a terrific way to go if it works for you.

Honestly, the best way to figure out which type of car is going to work best is to keep a driving log for at least three or four months. Do a daily odometer reading and also log your gas expenses.

If you drive less than 60 or so miles every day, you could save a boatload going all electric.

If you typically drive 30 miles or less, but sometimes need to go further, a plug in hybrid is ideal. The more often you go over the all ev range, the worse your mileage will be and there's a point where the extra expense for the plugin hybrid over a straight hybrid doesn't make sense. I can explain this further if anyone's interested.

I'd say, if you typically drive over 30 miles per day and need more range than an ev can give you, AND it's all or almost all city, a hybrid is a great alternative. Not a plugin hybrid. Just a regular, old hybrid. And, just to be clear, they aren't all built equally.

Same as above but all or almost all freeway driving and I'd recommend looking at a German TDI.

There are also great, cheap, fuel efficient all gas cars to consider. I bought my kids a 2013 ford fiesta for $12k. It gets well into the 30s mpg city and pushes 40mpg on the freeway. By the time I spend enough in gas to justify the extra cost for a volt, I will likely no longer own the car.

Another thing to consider is space. The volt has the interior of a Mini Cooper. It's smaller than you'd think from the outside and seats only four. The cmax and Prius models seat five comfortably.

Finally, any plug in hybrid is going to have way less cargo space than anything with just one drivetrain. The plugin hybrids have to make room for an engine, an electric motor and lots of batteries.

I'm all about being educated and getting the car that makes sense for you.
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Excellent post Steve. Yes, I thought the volt looks like a bigger car than the prius. That suprises me. What is a TDI? A diesel vehicle? How is that on the environment? Sorry for all the questions.
 
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