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Every time I drive my Volt, I think about a guy I once knew -- a guy with a smooth V6 under his feet and a manual transmission in hand.

This guy spent his life in the left lane, weaving around slow-moving cars and trucks, annoyed by those who dared the speed limit or slower. He passed people with reckless abandon, and relished the chance to be first in line at a stop light to stomp those slower than he.

Traffic was a nightmare; the highway a dream. A road with stoplights always avoided, even if it meant double the miles. And the highway--it was required to go, minimum, 10 mph over the speed limit.

The A/C was always set, the fan blowing as fast as can be. Comfort, power, speed ruled all.

This was a guy I once knew.

Now, I think of this new guy -- one who cheers at a slow-moving rig under the speed limit in the right lane--and carefully follows him as far as possible. This guy who maps the slowest roads with the shortest distance between two points. The guy who hopes to be behind someone at a stop light and prays he won't expend more than 20 kWh on an acceleration. The guy who wonders if he "needs" to go beyond the speed limit on the highway, or if he can "get away with" just below it to save a few electrons.

This guy rarely sees the left lane, and, what's more, even avoids highways. He opens his windows, runs the fan at the lowest possible setting, and is always asking -- am I that hot to need the A/C?

This is who I am today. And when I arrive at my destination using 45+ electric miles and not a drop of gas, I am much happier for it.
 

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Me too! Not just in my Volt but as a new motorcycle rider, almost the same thing goes (except for using gas) with going on back roads instead of highways. Luckily most of the time, I have a choice of roads.
 

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I was like the first guy you know too. Always highways 118 km/h (speed limit 100 km/h, ticket if 120 km/h) and always the first off the line at stops. Now... well, I am a new me - something like the OP. But I still use the AC and not cracking the windows though.
 

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This was exactly me, I traded in a 2010 Camaro for the Volt, and I was always ripping down the fast lane. Now I am at the guy in the right lane or avoiding the highway altogether. Its all in the car, it changes the way you drive. Anything to drive more efficiently. And I generally try to use the 20kW wall for acceleration as well.
 

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Just FYI, above certain speeds, it is more efficient to use the a/c rather than open the windows (due to drag)... Mythbusters measured this once. I don't recall the specifics, but I think it was around 40 or 50mph, I'm sure it varies by car. Might be something you can play with if you have regular routes. Congrats on being more efficient!
 

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I still drive like I stole it, especially around town. It's more fun, and I figure watching a Volt burn the other cars off the light is being a better ambassador than watching a Volt slow down everyone else.
 

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twas built for efficiency

glad to see you are enjoying your Volt ,it was built for efficiency but you can drive it how you want, it was not built to drive it like you stole it .if you want maximum range and efficiency if you drive 50 miles an hour per the manual it gets you 50 miles all electric in the 2012and if it's a two lane highway they can pass you on the left, and if they happen to follow you in the right line you can help them learn how to save gas and drive efficiently ! 55 saves lives also !!
 

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My previous car was a Toyota Solara. While not a sports car, it's still known as a "fast car". I don't consider myself an "aggressive" driver, but my idea of a safe speed is about 10 mph over the speed limit. I get annoyed if I can't go the speed I want and occasionally do "dumb things". One reviewer compared the Volt to a "farm implement" that tends to plow straight ahead. That may be true. But I drive my Volt the same way. It's very peppy in sport mode. The mileage is so excellent anyway that going slow seems to be a waste of time and effort. It seems like tedious planning of routes to gain 1 mpg or 1 mile of range is hardly worth it.
 

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Thats awesome. Same thing for me. I used to speed everywhere I went. Now I am always going slower, and trying to get as much range as I can.

I guess going from a tuned 335i and 335d will do that to you.
 

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Before Volt (BV), I used to regularly drive 15-20 mph above the speed limit. After Volt (AV), I rarely go much above posted speed limits, unless I am in a rush. Yesterday was a perfect example of how the Volt (and now C-Max as well) have changed my driving habits. I had a 52 round-trip drive yesterday with no charger access at the destination. The drive is also 95% highway. I pretty much drove the speed limit (55/65) the entire time I was on the highway. Upon arrival, I had 48% battery charge remaining (25 miles) for a 26 mile return trip. I again drove at or slightly below the speed limit for the return trip. I ended up driving 5 miles on the ICE (return drive was slightly uphill I'm guessing).

In my old ICE cars, I would have been driving 75+ the entire time on the highway.
 

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Hmmm, maybe the Volt can be used as a type of therapy. There have been many complaints that our legal system merely punishes criminals instead of reforming them. Perhaps Judges should sentence speeders to drive a Volt for 6 months instead of paying a fine?
 

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I loved reading this write-up and in so many ways I agree with you. I am exactly the second guy when I expect to end up burning gasoline...but...

I pretty much drove like an old man most of my life. I was the 'coaster' who didn't need a brake job until after 100K miles. If I saw a red light up ahead, the foot came off the gas. I was never a real speeder, but a few miles over the speed limit was fine by me.

Now...if I am driving around town and do not worry about making it back to the plug without burning gas, I, sometimes, am that FIRST guy. While I don't speed enough to warrant tickets, I can enjoy being first in line, in Sport mode, and zipping that Volt out in front of everyone. I enjoy the thought of people seeing that this wonderful automobile is a peppy people mover, capable beyond expectations- and SILENT while doing it!

...however...once in this mode, I realize the folly of the mindset of staying that way...as usually all that is accomplished is that I am the first one to the next red light. Much better to be the second guy, we will live longer, I am sure.
 

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I just traded in one of our Volt's for a new Stingray and I still use the driving style I use and love in our Volt. I still find myself lifting off the throttle early and slowly coasting to a stop as if I'm regenerating power back into the battery, and I still accelerate slowly and no longer need to prove my cars prowess.

But yes I find I'm no longer in a rush. And with the Stingray I enjoy all the "buzz bombs" and Mustangs that go blowing by me and yet I pull alongside them at a stop light nice and serene like. And you know what, I still get to where I'm going usually along side the guy driving like a fool.

So yes the Volt has made me a much better driver. Reminds me what I read about the great Jackie Stewart's driving style. Driving like you have a full glass of water on your dash.
 

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Thanks for sharing this story. I'm like flmark and enjoy the silent peppyness of the Volt when my travels are close to home.

I was driving on Hwy 401 through Toronto yesterday. It was my first time in heavy traffic with the Volt. I tried keeping a much longer following distance than I used to. It's amazing how far 2 seconds actually is. I know it "doesn't work in traffic because people pull in front of you." Which they sometimes do, but so what? Honestly I've never been more relaxed driving in heavy traffic than I was yesterday.

I like spending time in my car - I'm not in such a rush to get everywhere.
 

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.... Comfort, power, speed ruled all.

This was a guy I once knew.

Now, I think of this new guy -- ... I am much happier for it.
yes, drive safely and how you want. Please practice lane courtesy though. (you know "keep right except to pass", move left to allow traffic to enter and exit, and then move right again, etc.)
I was and wanted to be the fastest car on the road who was not driving to endanger others... ( you know them when you see them, strange how they can get away with this: 25 mph over the limit, often in pairs, while speed traps catch decent drivers who are rolling downhill around a sweeping highway curve at 9 mph over the limit.)
Now I am willing often to drive in the right lane at "1 under to 1 over", just for fun. though I am very happy that my Volt still allows me to be the "fastest sane driver on the highway" if I choose to be.

on MOST trips the difference between " 1 mph under" and "12 over" is a few minutes at most, traded off for better mental clarity and reduced driving stress.
 

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You must be my twin! Lol. Yes, my Volt has changed my driving habits. We get free charging at work, and never a morning person my usual start time use to be between 7:30 and 8:30 am. Now I have a goal to get to a charger before everyone else, and with a winning attitude I get up at 5 and am at work by 6:15-6:30 am. Lol. My commute is only 20 miles round trip, so if I'm successful at getting to a charger I hardly if ever have to charge at home :). Oh and gas........

2 things.... Cruise control is your friend, and the Green Ball will teach you correct braking...
 

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Every time I drive my Volt, I think about a guy I once knew -- a guy with a smooth V6 under his feet and a manual transmission in hand.

This guy spent his life in the left lane, weaving around slow-moving cars and trucks, annoyed by those who dared the speed limit or slower. He passed people with reckless abandon, and relished the chance to be first in line at a stop light to stomp those slower than he.

Traffic was a nightmare; the highway a dream. A road with stoplights always avoided, even if it meant double the miles. And the highway--it was required to go, minimum, 10 mph over the speed limit.

The A/C was always set, the fan blowing as fast as can be. Comfort, power, speed ruled all.

This was a guy I once knew.

Now, I think of this new guy -- one who cheers at a slow-moving rig under the speed limit in the right lane--and carefully follows him as far as possible. This guy who maps the slowest roads with the shortest distance between two points. The guy who hopes to be behind someone at a stop light and prays he won't expend more than 20 kWh on an acceleration. The guy who wonders if he "needs" to go beyond the speed limit on the highway, or if he can "get away with" just below it to save a few electrons.

This guy rarely sees the left lane, and, what's more, even avoids highways. He opens his windows, runs the fan at the lowest possible setting, and is always asking -- am I that hot to need the A/C?

This is who I am today. And when I arrive at my destination using 45+ electric miles and not a drop of gas, I am much happier for it.


It is called: maturity.
 

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The Volt has certainly mellowed my driving but I think you may have taken the zen thing way too far by sitting behind a semi! I'm not doing that. ;)

Also you may be benefiting in some ways. and getting to your destination a little faster. Empirically when traffic is heavy the far right lanes usually move faster.
 
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