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Discussion Starter #1
Most of you all seem pretty smart, so i joined the forum.
I´d love your insights as to a choice.
I finally went electric a few years ago and bought a base 2012 Volt. LOVE IT! But, wife´s been encouraging me to upgrade (as she´s wont to do) as I’m about to change jobs and go from driving maybe 8000 miles/year to around 25000 miles/year...and now I´m really thinking about it. I’d also save a bit of gas money vs my 2012 especially since I can charge at work...i’ll probably spend around $1200/year in gas at the new job. I figure I’d save half that gas money with a Gen 2 Volt.
I´m also a Model 3 reservation holder, but when I run the numbers and think through the pros-cons, I thought I’d take a look at Gen 2 Volt Premiers and overall that seems like the best fit for me.

Here are the numbers:
(*My state tax is 8.25%)

Keep my 2012 Volt...$0.

2016 Volt Premier...23000.
...May be able to find what I want for ~$21000...after tax (no tax credit) it’s 23000.

2018 Volt Premier...$29000
...Looks like new could be had for $33500...after tax & tax credit it’s 29000.

2019 Volt Premier...$29000(?)
...supposed to be about same price I assume(?)...the 7.2kW charging would be cool but honestly I’d rarely use it.

And just for academic purposes...
Model 3...$47000.
It’s $49000...after tax & tax credit (likely 7500 if it’s delivered by Dec as it says) it’s 47000. That’s the cheapest option currently - has the 310 mile range and premium package.

So, really? Only $6k difference between a 2016 vs new Volt? Does that look right to you all?
Think it´s worth it? Why? or Why not?
What’s better about the 2018 Volt (or 2019...i’m patient) that would make it worth the extra $6k?
I´d probably keep it for 8 years or more.
Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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Have you considered a Bolt? With it's range and your work plugin, you'd use no gas. We used to put on about that many miles a year on our 2011 Volt, now it's all using the Bolt which we really like. Still have the Volt.
 

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Are you in TX? That's the tax rate there (although maybe it's only 6% on cars?).

IMO, I wouldn't upgrade to a gen 2 over a gen 1 for the "fuel savings." Yes, you'll save some, but you're going to spend way more for the new car even after the "savings."

That said, I think the gen 2 is more than worth it for the infotainment upgrades, acceleration increase 0-30 mph, and the greater EV range. If you want the gen 2 for those reasons, then I say go for it.

I am about 94% EV at ~3k mi on my '18, but I've gotten crazy mileage on the ICE so far. Last ~30 miles I had to run it I averaged around 47-48 mpg. I do a little over the rated 106 MPGe on EV power this time of year, but I'm way above on the ICE mileage. Plus heat is "free" when running the ICE.

As for pricing, have you considered an LT with the comfort pkg, convenience pkg (leather, heated seats/steering wheel), and driver confidence pkg? It's got all the stuff I really found myself wanting from the Premier, and it didn't come with the largely useless Driver Confidence pkg 2 that most Premiers have. You can't get ACC with the LT, but IMO, at the price you're paying for an ACC Premier, I'd probably snag a Honda Clarity Touring (I cross shopped both). I also never saw an ACC car on a dealer lot around here, so it'd be special order only.

Just an idea to trim the price down. I went from a $36.x k MSRP on my optioned LT, and got it for $29k before any rebates/incentives (so about $22k OTD for me). A Premier with DC1/DC2 was going to be $5-6k more, which I just couldn't justify. Don't regret the decision one bit.
 

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Are you in TX? That's the tax rate there (although maybe it's only 6% on cars?).
The tax rate on cars in Texas is 6.25%.
 

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The '16 and the '18 are the same car. The '18 has an additional efficiency meter found in the infotainment system, and some different colors available if you're set on one.
 

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With all of those commuting miles do your right foot a favor and get a Volt Premier with Adaptive Cruise Control (available on mid-2017 or newer) that has Driver Confidence Package, Driver Confidence Package 2 and Full Speed Forward Automatic Braking (FAB) (FAB includes Adaptive Cruise Control.) If you have the opportunity to charge while at work, assuming this is Level 2, then you may want to wait for the 2019 Volt Premier with the 7.2kW on-board charging capability. It would make the difference, fully charging in ~2.5 hrs versus ~5 hrs (essentially all day, this might be perceived as hogging the charger at work.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for the comments so far! You guys are great.
I didn´t realize you could spec-up an LT with all that stuff...i figure if I´m going to go through the trouble and expense I´d go for leather and heated seats this time around. Don´t care about much else but the Adaptive Cruise Control might be nice because I do hit about 15min of bumper to bumper traffic on my usual 40 to 70min work commute (each way).
I´ve always been a pretty simple guy...discovered these guys ¨theminimalists.com¨ a while back and what they preach definitely strikes a cord with me...not really in to material things or luxuries, but I do kind of see the appeal and how spending a little more often does add real value, convenience, whatever. My wife´s the exact opposite, so i probably wouldn´t make a move without her encouragement. For me, the extra expense might overall be worth it to me so long as I ¨pay myself back¨. I´m blessed in that I could just work some extra shifts to make up the added expense over time (sweat equity) and that compartmentalization makes the purchase acceptable to me. We´re thinking 20 extra shifts would be enough and we´ll check them off one by one on a paper.
I have thought a about a Bolt or even the latest Leaf. Those are lower on the list though because it´s important to me that I could just choose to take a long distance drive every so often (even though admittedly it is rare)...only the Volt or Model 3 seem realistic in that regard.
Oh, and the work charging is just a household 110 outlet...usually there 9 hours so probably would only get around 75% charge(?)...still the drive home is more downhill so I think i´d make it. Maybe someday they´ll get beefier chargers there.
 

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Personally, I'd aim to get a killer deal on an older 18 that's been sitting over the next couple months just before or as the 19s begin to get delivered.

With that kind of mileage, you're going to take a huge hit on resale, so it's important to start from a good point.

I'd go for a new car one way or another to get the most out of your warranty as well given the mileage you'll accrue. While most Gen 2s have been very reliable, there are some weird ones out there, and a 16 could have been a trade-in of someone else's problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great points. Yeah, i think my favorite idea is wait 3-6 months for a 2018 to be a better deal as the ´19s come out, but still try to get it done before the tax rebate expires for GM...sounds like they´re getting close to 200,000 cars too.
BIG THANKS everyone - great input for me to consider. Much appreciated.
 

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You will have at least until the end of the year before the tax credit will be reduced. And with recent legislation (or sales) maybe longer. I'm in the same situation. Will need to get a '18/'19 by 12/31.
 

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Great points. Yeah, i think my favorite idea is wait 3-6 months for a 2018 to be a better deal as the ´19s come out, but still try to get it done before the tax rebate expires for GM...sounds like they´re getting close to 200,000 cars too.
BIG THANKS everyone - great input for me to consider. Much appreciated.
I think you get two quarters of full credit after they hit 200K. Might be one quarter. I do know they are required by the law to publicly announce when they hit 200K.
 

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Get the extra goodies like ACC as well. You only live once, and you can't take it with you. Assuming your not living on the edge, put some joy and relaxation in your life during all that time you spend in the car. As an added bonus you get the extra safety features like auto-braking that might save your life one day.
 

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Depending how the deals look once 2019s are out, I'd either go with 2018 or 2019. These cars are basically computer-on-wheels and the newer models always come with lessons-learned already fixed and lots of components optimized in their latest software. I've seen many posts from 2017/16 about software upgrades/recalls/etc. I have yet to get a recall for my 2018.

Not sure about gen1, but one thing about gen2 is that the long distance driving is not very comfortable, at least for me. Maybe because I came from driving an SUV, I found the comfort is lacking in gen2, but I don't do those trips that often. My daily commute is about 40 mins each way, and I can make the round trip with 0 emission (freeing charging at work helps).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is Model 3 worth $15,000 more than a new Gen 2 Volt Premium?

This is my latest iteration of my questioning. I'd love more of y'all's honest opinions. You guys are probably a little biased towards Volt on this forum. Maybe I'll post this on Model 3 Owners forum as well. That should be a hoot.

So, as I think it through some more, and analyze my commute a little more, and went and looked at a 2018 Volt and Model 3 in the flesh last weekend, I actually have a hard time understanding why folks are willing to spend so much more for Model 3.
I guess for comparison:
Model 3 long-range battery and premium interior (cheapest possible configuration currently available -- and likely cheapest to also have a chance at the $7500 federal tax credit before it phases out). After that tax credit (assuming you're OK with the basic black paint and standard wheels) --> $41,500.
2018 Volt Premium, after tax credit --> $26,000.
(I don't have a state incentive in my case).

So let's call it a $15,000 difference.

What do you get for that $15,000?
--Luxuriousness(?) OK, I probably just don't get it. Model 3 does overall seem a little nicer/sleeker inside and out, but not $15k-worth IMHO. People say, "oh, compare this to compact luxury vehicles like BMW 3 series", etc. Then others say BMW's are way nicer. I have no idea as I don't have a sense of that stuff - nicest cars ever for me were my '12 Volt (base) and an '08 Odyssey EX-L. All I know is the Gen 2 Volt Premium interior seemed almost as nice as Model 3 overall to me. Model 3 had the cool AC vent and 15" Ipad screen. Chevy has the 8" Ipad screen, but also has the 2nd screen behind the wheel which is nice. AC is just as cold ;)
--Performance. Model 3 is clearly quicker, but not enough for me to care. Some will care about this. Volt's still better than any "common man" ICE car I've ever had. I care about this when I need to zip out of someone's way when they're not looking and about to side-swipe me or something. Volt gets it done.
--5th seat. M3's 5th seat is a little more realistic. I'm 6'2". I sat in the Model 3 rear middle seat for about 3 minutes straight, and did the same in the Gen 2 Volt. I could sit in either for hours if needed and don't think it'd be a big deal (much better than economy air travel seating IMHO), but certainly my legs had a real space in the Model 3 and my hair was touching the glass roof, but I didn't have to bend my head down a bit as I did in the Volt.
--Fuel costs would likely be lower than Volt for most owners...but not $0 for either. See my real-world comparison below...very little difference.
--Future-proofness. Model 3 will probably age more elegantly (maybe)...minimalist interior should age well. 310 miles will be plenty for most anyone even when they come out with 400 and 500 mile range EV's in the next several years. Also, autopilot and self-driving capability can be purchased later, but at a hefty price (currently that'd be I think $10,000 more to add on both later). Also, Tesla has those over-the-air updates. It seems whenever those get significant buzz, it's because they've improved autopilot...other changes seem to be just window dressing.
--Model 3 has more trunk space overall.

Sacrifices(?):
--Road-tripping. 310 mile range and SuperCharger network should handle all long-range needs OK, and my family does enjoy the SuperCharger road trip experience for it's novelty and futuristic feel. However, let's face it, a trip from Southern CA to Grand Canyon could be about 10 hours in a Volt and would be over 12 hours in a Model 3. SuperCharging simply takes longer. I don't think most will mind too much as a nice break to stretch and walk a little is a welcome respite in my opinion, but some will. And anytime your getting sleepy or in a rush to get somewhere, you'll be annoyed (I have been at times).
--Repair costs will be more for Tesla I'd think. Other than the battery/motor, I'd be comfortable taking Volt to any ASE-certified mechanic specializing in Chevy. Tesla not so much. Body work also costlier for Tesla from what I've heard due to many aluminum parts (although Model 3 has some steel).
--Maintenance costs probably a wash. Tesla should have low overall maintenance costs. Volt historically also super-low cost. I've had my 2012 for 3 years, bought it used non-CPO with 65,000 miles on it, appeared it hadn't been charged for months. Record showed clear title and an oil change 5 months prior. Since then I've spent $13 for another oil change (had a coupon), $300 for a recent scheduled maintenance that included checking battery coolant (probably a rip-off but I didn't want to blow off battery coolant), and I replaced the Delco battery for like $170. So call it $500 in 3 years.

OTHER:
Fuel cost comparison (and my real-life scenario)...Model 3 near $0, Gen 2 Volt $200/year.
My commute is up to higher elevation one way, back down the other. 1-2 days/week it'll be 35 miles each way, and I almost make it uphill on my '12 Volt getting typically about 30 miles battery-only range, then burn about 0.2 gal gas. In the Gen 2 Volt I'll get there all electric. I charge all day at work on just a 120 volt charger, usually get around 26 miles battery range, and always make it back all-electric. The other 3-4 days/week it's about 50 miles each way. On the uphill, I use 30 miles battery range, then burn about 2/3 gal of gas. Back down with my 26 miles of re-charge, I burn about another 1/4 gallon in my 2012 Volt. I think the Gen 2 Volt will make it all the way there all electric, but then I expect I'd still only get 26 miles of charge while at work (same 120v outlet scenario), so I'll still probably burn that 1/4 gallon. Still I go from burning about 4 gallons/week to 1 gallon/week. For simplicity, let's say gas is $4/gal. In a year that's 52 gal/$208 rather than 208 gal/$832. I save over $600/year...likely more with evening/weekend driving.

We are blessed to have rooftop solar, so Volt or Model 3, home charging cost is negligible for me now. Any road-tripping, Tesla charges 0.26/kWh to charge, which may get you 3 miles, so about 0.09 cents/mile. Gen 2 Volt at $4/gal goes about 40+ miles, so say 0.10 cents/mile. Leaving the environmental arguments aside, not much difference in cost and folks have argued you should consider the time savings -- gas fueling is still way faster let's be honest. SuperChargers also sometimes have a line (OK gas stations do sometimes too, but less often in my experience)...and you don't always get the fastest SuperCharging rate - it's common knowledge if sharing a SuperCharger you may only get a rate in the 70's kW rather than the ideal 120kW. Also, with SuperChargers that last 20% or so of charging slows way down to protect the battery, so when you get to about 250 mile range you're usually better off time-wise just stopping at that point. Also with any EV you need to give yourself at least 10% buffer on the lower so as not to get stranded, so you'll want to keep your Model 3 range between about 30 miles and 250 miles range, so really only driving 220. Also driving highway speeds will burn battery range faster, as will cold weather, etc. So Model 3 you'll want to stop at least every 200-250 miles or so. For non-Telsa EV chargers, I seem to always see 0.50 to $1.00 per kW - total rip off. Gassing up my Volt is way cheaper!
Say Model 3 saves me $300/year in fuel costs to be super-generous...but it's $15k more to buy. Hmmm, I break even in 50 years(?) Wow!

Safety.
Both have 5 star ratings. Maybe no significance overall, but I noticed Gen 2 Volt has 10 airbags, Model 3 actually only has 8. Gen 2 Volt Premium seems to have overall about the same level of safety features as Model 3 (without $5k autopilot).

Insurance.
I compared insurance costs on USAA. Almost exactly the same - both super-cheap...actually both LESS than my 2012 Volt!

Other specs seem pretty close.

Not sure it's worth it but even better numbers with used 2016 Volt Premium. No tax rebate, but can be easily found for $23,000. So now you're paying over $18k more for a Model 3. Get a Volt LT with an extra couple features for as low $21k.
BMW i3 REx also seems it'd fit my commute pretty well and used 72 mile battery range seem to start around $15k, but Volt's handle road-trips with no compromises. BMW i3 seem to have unique challenges outside ~150 mile trip. Probably not worth the hassle to me.
 

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Is Model 3 worth $15,000 more than a new Gen 2 Volt Premium?
...
--Future-proofness. Model 3 will probably age more elegantly (maybe)...minimalist interior should age well. 310 miles will be plenty for most anyone even when they come out with 400 and 500 mile range EV's in the next several years. Also, autopilot and self-driving capability can be purchased later, but at a hefty price (currently that'd be I think $10,000 more to add on both later). Also, Tesla has those over-the-air updates. It seems whenever those get significant buzz, it's because they've improved autopilot...other changes seem to be just window dressing.
To get the equivalent function of the Volt Premiere with adaptive cruise control, you need to spend more than $49k for the M3; basic cruise control is a $5k delta on the M3.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well ok on the Adaptive Cruise Control issue. When I went to see both the new Volt and the M3 the salespeople in both overall knew less than I did. Sad! Chevy folks couldn’t show me how to work ACC or even confirm the Premier they showed me had it! Model 3 a well I couldn’t drive the damned car at all! I didn’t know how to work ACC so was guessing and it didn’t kick in. However reading up on it after my understanding is it’s not quite as capable as autopilot - autopilot actually steers for you too and works on curvy roads, ACC warns against. However bottom line you need hands on the wheel for both so no significant real world difference in my view.
So, agreed, +1 for Volt.
 

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Not sure why you chose to use $4 per gallon in your example unless this was for premium fuel. The Gen 2 Volt is designed to use regular 87 octane fuel, ~$3 per gallon should cover this cost at least until the next oil embargo.
 

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We have a 2016 Volt Premier with over 42,000 miles and 14,000 miles just on the gas engine. Overall lifetime mpg just on gas(indicated as c.s.), per voltstats.net, is over 48 mpg on regular 87 octane gas at that. Range currently in summer on electric is over 60 miles. This morning with a full charge the gauge is reading with a full charge 69 miles.

I would go with the 2019 Volt with the 7.2 charging, it nice to have 60 + miles back in your car in a little over 2 hours. The Tesla also has its advantage as well, but in my opinion you have more options with the Volt.
Here are a few:

Chevrolet dealerships everywhere

Tesla dealerships, if your not in California, you may be out of luck

Tesla requires electricity to operate, without it you have a 4,000 lb driveway ornament

The Volt has 3 motors 2 electric and one 1.5 direct injection fuel efficient gasoline engine. The Volt can run on either fuel
source and has a combined range with a full tank of gas and charge of electric well for well over 400 miles. A fill up on gas is like any other gasoline fueled vehicle.

The Tesla if you are on a trip, low on electric and the chargers are not operating you are out of luck. You just can't pull into a country gas station that has 2 pumps one with diesel and one with 87 octane gas and fill her up with good ole regular.

Tesla is more comfortable for passenger comfort. More room, quicker acceleration as well.

My choice is the Volt for at least now. Living here in northwestern Oregon we have a Clipper Creek HCH 40, 7.7 KWH charger, which would fully charge a 19 Volt in 2.2 hours or so. We have standby generator that runs on reg. gas in the garage. With 40 gallons of gasoline safely stored we can run the Volt when the electric is out, and here in this area when late fall and winter storms come in hard from the Pacific Ocean it could be out for a week, and has been. So we can still run the Volt on gas just like any gas car out there and still get at least 45 + mpg or so at that.
 

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Well ok on the Adaptive Cruise Control issue. When I went to see both the new Volt and the M3 the salespeople in both overall knew less than I did. Sad! Chevy folks couldn’t show me how to work ACC or even confirm the Premier they showed me had it! Model 3 a well I couldn’t drive the damned car at all! I didn’t know how to work ACC so was guessing and it didn’t kick in. However reading up on it after my understanding is it’s not quite as capable as autopilot - autopilot actually steers for you too and works on curvy roads, ACC warns against. However bottom line you need hands on the wheel for both so no significant real world difference in my view.
So, agreed, +1 for Volt.
You are way over thinking this. You need to drive both cars and see which one you like. It's obvious that neither has any show stoppers for your situation or you wouldn't be agonizing over this. If you can't even drive a 3, I'd say it's out right there.

Please post here what you get back from the Tesla forum. It would be interesting to see some of the comments.
 

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Not sure why you chose to use $4 per gallon in your example unless this was for premium fuel. The Gen 2 Volt is designed to use regular 87 octane fuel, ~$3 per gallon should cover this cost at least until the next oil embargo.
$3 today but won't be tomorrow. It's been $4 before, oil embargo has nothing to do with it as US has plenty of oil now and plenty in future reserves that haven't even been touched yet. It's all about oil price manipulation for political objectives world wide.

Good analysis ebotrd. As for posting for a comparison on Tesla site vs. this one, I think on a site like this you will get a more even pro and con, whereas on a Tesla site there will sit the acolytes, like posting on an Apple site to get the pros and cons of Apple vs. Android.
 
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