[ad#post_ad]This week I took the next step in what has been a remarkable four year journey. I ordered my very own Chevrolet Volt.

Fortunately I live in an early launch market in the metro New York City area and work only a block away from Englewood Auto Group , a dealership that has both Buick/GMC and Chevrolet stores side by side. I got in touch with the owner Steve DeScalsi and we ordered my Volt. It only took a few minutes over the phone and now I have an official order number. I chose the cyber gray metallic exterior and the jet black leather interior with white accents. I would have preferred the dark console but those won't be available on the initial wave, not reaching the retail market I'm told until March.

DeScalsi has owned his GM franchise since 1999, and had another Chevy store in a different location from 1989 to 1999. He actually started as a salesman working his way up to becoming an owner.

Steve is very excited about the Volt. "How could I not be," he said. "This car will bring in a ton of new showroom traffic." He is committed to servicing the cars and currently has five Volts on allocation (four besides mine). He has no intentions of charging more than MSRP. "I will not price gouge," he said.

I can honestly say I am extremely excited about taking possession of this car, the object of my intense fascination and continuous surveillance for the past four years. I look forward to being among the first in the nation to drive one and look forward to joining the nationwide community of Volt owners. Though I drove a MINI E for a year, the Volt offers so much more, and with far less stress and limitation.

I have been considering whether to lease or buy the car. The $350 per month lease is for three years at 12,000 miles per year. Since I travel about 22,000 miles per year, at 25 cents per extra mile I would expect to pay $558 per month to lease. After three years that would be a layout of about $20,000. I would then owe $22,500 on the car ($1500 for leather option) minus a $7500 tax credit, or $15,000. A five year loan at 3.9% APR would be $643 per month.

At five years though I will have traveled 110,000 miles, passing the battery warranty of 100,000 miles. At that point it is possible all-electric range could drop somewhat as battery capacity begins to fade. Also generation two or some other Voltec variant may be available by then.

Most prospective Volt owners have decided they will lease the car. In a poll on this site, twice as many said they would lease rather than buy the car. How do you see the decision?

For your viewing pleasure GM has released high resolution photos of all the available interior and exterior color options which you can see in the brand new gallery below.

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