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Happy to be here!

Quick summary: Reside in SF Bay Area (Belmont), commute 9 miles one way to Redwood City. Saw a Volt a few months ago and was intrigued enough to go in for a test drive at the local Chevy dealer's demo car. Put my name down (no deposit) not really hoping to get one since I was told that there were several names ahead of me and they only get the occasional vehicle once in a few months.

Went on a 5 week international trip and came back late June to a voicemail from the dealer asking if I wanted an "orphan". Asking price was 5k over MSRP, but they were willing to negotiate. Went over and decided not to take that since I was keen on the Rear Camera Ultrasonic Parking Assist that was not on the one they had. On a hunch, visited Edmunds.com to research reviews and to my astonishment found a dealer in San Jose (> 40 miles away) that had an inventory of 6. Called them up and learnt that they were available for sale. I was particular about 2 numbers, the EV range and the MPG in CS mode. I asked if I could talk to any of their existing customers about these numbers. Surprisingly they couldn't get hold of any, but they offered to loan their demo car to me for the weekend to check the numbers myself. I backed off on that but returned home and found data on this forum that reassured me that the numbers claimed by GM were good.

Went back and leased #3490 on July 5 (for 1200 below MSRP with no haggling on my part). Within a couple of weeks, Level 2 Blink chargers went up at my workplace at 3 prime parking spots right next to the lobby. I share them with 3 Leaves. A couple of them can't make it back home without the charging option at work. I've told them that they can always have my spot if they are all taken since I don't have that "anxiety".:D One of them challenged me to a drag race. Since I am not the drag racing type, I offered to race him but only after a warm up of 100 miles;)

Am positively addicted to the car and this is true even when I am not driving it. The iPhone App and myvolt.com and this forum as well as all the videos and reviews are quite simply overwhelming. More on that later. This post is getting way too long as it is.

Have had a minor problem that unfortunately took several visits to resolve. A week after I took possession, I noticed the that Hood Release Lever was hanging loose off the wall. I could not operate it to open the hood (not that I needed to, but the best part of showing off an electric car to co-workers is to show what's under the hood, right?). I was reluctant to take it to my local dealer and called up the distant one who promptly called me over. I covered the 40 miles drive to the dealer all in EV mode with 1 mile left on the SOC. They managed to attach the lever to the wall and get it to open the hood, but said that they have ordered the release cable from GM for an in-warranty fix. Got 42 mpg on the highway and 38 mpg overall on my return in CS mode. As far as I was concerned, the problem was solved since the latch was in place and was operational.

Went back a week later (with 3 miles to spare on the SOC this time) to do the replacement but was taken aback to learn that they wanted me to leave the car for the whole day. I was not prepared for that especially being 40 miles away from home/work. By sheer coincidence, my VA called me on my phone (just a How is the Volt doing courtesy call) while I was at the dealership. Great timing, I said and told him the story. He advised me to take my car back and that he will take care of it with my local dealer. Which he did, I am happy to report. Strangely, GM won't let the dealers transfer the part and so my local dealer had to order the part and I eventually got it replaced last week.

My daily experience: I live on a hill (500 ft.) about 3 miles up from the freeway. 4 miles on the freeway and another 2 miles on surface roads to make up a 9 mile commute. In D/Normal, I can actually get to work on par, sometimes even +1 and sometimes -2. But I pay for it on my way back and usually lose 15-16 miles in doing the reverse 9 miles. Net effect is a -15 which is actually quite good since the round trip is 18 miles.

After reading through some of the posts here, I have switched to L and after hypermiling for a few weeks, now drive in L/Sport all the time:). The Bay Area weather being on the chilly side this summer, I've been on Fan-Only mode most of the time and get 100% on that. The only time the A/C is used is during Remote Start in the afternoons.

Already managed to lock myself out and used the iPhone App to get unlocked.

Hopefully, I can cut down on the wordage in my future posts. Great car! Great forum!

-Venky
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Best EV range: 46.9 miles (got a head start going downhill but got switched to CS mode well ahead of my return)
Best SOC: 44 miles (the Level 2 charger at work)
Odometer: 962 (EV:844, Gas: 118, 88% on Electric, Fuel Economy: 267mpg, Electric Economy: 33 Kwh/100 mi
(The last 30 days data reported by myvolt.com is, of course, incorrect and don't I know that very well now after reading this forum!)
 

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Excellent post!

Hi,

I read your long post, but found it an excellent one as a new Volt owner. Your post will help convince other "lurkers" (readers who are interested but haven't decided) that the Chevy Volt is everything that you may read about (only the positive reviews and posts) and more. I smiled about the Nissan Leaf drag race, since the Volt is heavier and would never beat the Leaf that way. Ask the Leaf owner to add weight so both cars are the same before doing that race ;-)

Personally I don't have a Volt yet, and I have to wait until the 2013 MY arrives at my local dealer. But I am convinced about the Volt, and I am a GM fan, having driven their vehicles since 1970. I have a 1995 Buick Regal and a 2009 Chevy Equinox, so the Volt will replace the Regal, unless GM announces the Buick Electra. Meanwhile I am saving for a down payment to buy the Electra or the Volt (whichever comes first!).

Have fun and enjoy your Volt!
 

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Hi,

I read your long post, but found it an excellent one as a new Volt owner. Your post will help convince other "lurkers" (readers who are interested but haven't decided) that the Chevy Volt is everything that you may read about (only the positive reviews and posts) and more. I smiled about the Nissan Leaf drag race, since the Volt is heavier and would never beat the Leaf that way. Ask the Leaf owner to add weight so both cars are the same before doing that race ;-)

Personally I don't have a Volt yet, and I have to wait until the 2013 MY arrives at my local dealer. But I am convinced about the Volt, and I am a GM fan, having driven their vehicles since 1970. I have a 1995 Buick Regal and a 2009 Chevy Equinox, so the Volt will replace the Regal, unless GM announces the Buick Electra. Meanwhile I am saving for a down payment to buy the Electra or the Volt (whichever comes first!).

Have fun and enjoy your Volt!
Actually the Volt is faster. :)
 

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Hi,
I smiled about the Nissan Leaf drag race, since the Volt is heavier and would never beat the Leaf that way. Ask the Leaf owner to add weight so both cars are the same before doing that race ;-)
Hmm, I like the Volt's chances. Tests I've read about put the Volt about a second faster at both 0-60 and the quarter mile. Enough power to overcome the weight disadvantage?

That said, I've been a bit disappointed to see Leaves clobbering Volts in "sightings in the wild" here in Silicon Valley. So far I've tallied Leaves 6, Volts zero! The only Volts I've seen are in the dealer lots, and in the pictures posted here from the Google campus which I don't drive by. I guess here the Leaf has a lot of appeal for all the multi-car households between the HOV sticker, lower MSRP, and the (now halved) $5k CARB rebate. As a single car household, the Leaf was never really a serious contender for me, but I can see how it could work for two+ car families. Anyway, in nine days I'll increase the Volt column by one. I wonder if I'll spot any Volts before I get mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, Raymond and At_liberty!

Raymond, I am impressed with your devotion to GM and can understand the frustration of not being able to own one in PR till MY 2013!

Jimmy, is that just pride of ownership talking or do you have any data to share? :)

Stephent, aside from the one I saw in Belmont that piqued my interest, I saw another one (could be the same one) a couple of weeks ago in Belmont. I saw a White Diamond one in my company's parking lot last week (a visitor as I know all the co-workers who drive electric, we have an internal mailing list to manage the charging spots). But I do see a few Leaves, so your readings match mine. When I was having the Hood Release work done at the Redwood City dealership, I saw 3 brand new leaves being unloaded and driven inside the service shop (all the dealerships on that street share a common service department). As I was taking possession of the Volt, I asked the service adviser about those Leaves. He lowered his voice to a whisper and said "I sell both cars but I think the Volt is better!". When pressed for the reason, he cited the Extended Range and looks. He also mentioned that the Leaf does not have the Remote Start feature. Even the colleague who offered to drag race with me remarked "I must say that the Volt is a handsomer car than the Leaf!".

Just went for a drive to Palo Alto and parked in the City Hall Underground garage that has 3 Chargepoint spots. The charging is free but the card costs $5 but they deliver quickly. The Bay Area has 100s of the Chargepoint stations with the Google Campus holding a lion's share of them. I enjoyed my meal in Palo Alto switching back and forth between the OnStar Remote Link and the ChargePoint app (which reports the KW and KWh data while charging the vehicle!)

-Venky
 

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Nice read. I am personally waiting for the MY13 Volt myself. I dont want to get the Volt until the ICE can run on E85 as there are quite a few E85 pumps in my area. I have a feeling that GM will add E85 to the MY13 model. Because I like to go for large drives on the weekend and when the Volt switches over to CS mode I want this to run on E85 due to being cheaper and better for the enviroment.
 

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I've driven both the Leaf and the volt and there is no discernible difference in acceleration up to 50mph (which was as fast as I could take them both on city streets).
 
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