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Discussion Starter #1
How is the gas mileage real world? What does it cost to charge, is it more or less than you have figured prior to your purchase? We have solar. What is the thing you like the best, and your biggest complaint? Any advice?

Dave
 

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In terms of the new Gen2 Volt, I have seen 38 to 46 mpg; totally depends on how hard you are driving it (steep hills vs. flat and 60 mph). Electricity costs 17 cents per Kwh (off peak) where I reside, so if the battery is totally depleted, it would cost me roughly $2.70 to charge it at home. So, not much different than gas if you have a 55 mpg vehicle to put it up against. If I charge at work or had solar like you (or live in a cheap electric area where electrons are provided for free during off-peak), than cost would be zero of course. No surprises before vs. after purchase if you do a little research like you are doing. The thing I like best is the smooth, high torque response and solid drive feel. My biggest complaint is the inconsistent interior fit and finish that causes some to have little squeaks and rattles or tics/buzzes from various sources inside the car. It's hit or miss. Some report nothing and others like me have a few of the pesky buggers that I still need to track down. All in all, a solid car that I have enjoyed for a few months so far and expect to continue to do so. If buying a new Gen2, go through a discount service (trueCar, AAA, USAA) and that will get you in touch with various fleet managers from neighborhood dealers who will work with you on getting you a price that is below MSRP (usually a few thousand bucks at least).
 

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Getting a Volt for your wife? Sounds like a good trade... :D

Seriously, I'd put up a Level 2 charger ASAP in the spot where she will park to make it as easy as possible plug in when she comes home. It's really not a big deal once you do it a few times, but it is a little strange for most people at first.

Check with your utility on Time of Use electricity plans for EV's. The program the car (easy) to charge during that window. It's less than 4 cents a mile for us to charge our Volts. But since we programmed other devices into that same window (pool, dishwasher, washing machine) it's actually cheaper than free to charge the cars.
 

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There is a lot of "it depends" associated with driving a Volt.

What kind of driving does "the wife" do?
Do you have some place to charge every night?

I have a Gen 1 Volt.
The last few months on my daily commute (10 miles each way) I drove 1400 miles on .7 gallons (~2000 mpg).
But when I took a 500 mile road trip last weekend I got 40 mpg doing mostly 70 mph on the freeway.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the input. My wife has a Diesel Jetta now, and with the cheating scandal, she might allow VW to buy it back. She gets a good car allowance from work, and the Federal rebate sounds like a good deal. She drives about 5 or so miles to the freeway, and then 30 miles on the freeway to work. Then the same home. She works Mon-Thursday, and we have a place to charge at home each night. Do you have special chargers, and if so, can you post some pics and costs? We really liked how it drove, and she likes the blue color. I hate the black rear bumper....but can get over it.
 

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Thanks for the input. My wife has a Diesel Jetta now, and with the cheating scandal, she might allow VW to buy it back. She gets a good car allowance from work, and the Federal rebate sounds like a good deal. She drives about 5 or so miles to the freeway, and then 30 miles on the freeway to work. Then the same home. She works Mon-Thursday, and we have a place to charge at home each night. Do you have special chargers, and if so, can you post some pics and costs? We really liked how it drove, and she likes the blue color. I have the black rear bumper....but can get over it.
Everybody likes the blue... :)

Some people use the charge cord (more properly "EVSE" for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) that comes with the vehicle. Some people buy a special purpose Level 2 EVSE and run it off a 240V supply. Some wire up an adaptor to plug the stock EVSE into a 240V outlet, which works as long as you get the right EVSE and Chevy doesn't change the one they're supplying without telling anyone (which they'd have no reason to tell about since the adapters are definitely "not supported" usage).

If she's got charge access at work this would be an utter no-question plan. If she doesn't, it's still a good idea, but a little more work to rationalize. She'll still be using only about a half-gallon of fuel per day, unless she's got a lead foot.
 

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Check with your utility on Time of Use electricity plans for EV's. The program the car (easy) to charge during that window. It's less than 4 cents a mile for us to charge our Volts. But since we programmed other devices into that same window (pool, dishwasher, washing machine) it's actually cheaper than free to charge the cars.
I'm missing something here - how can you pay less money to use more electricity, even if it's during off hours? If you're using 10KWh off-peak to run your dishwasher etc. and you add another, say, 14KWh to charge the Volt, you're going to be paying for 24KHw of off-peak usage instead of 10KWh - how is that cheaper?
 

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I'm missing something here - how can you pay less money to use more electricity, even if it's during off hours? If you're using 10KWh off-peak to run your dishwasher etc. and you add another, say, 14KWh to charge the Volt, you're going to be paying for 24KHw of off-peak usage instead of 10KWh - how is that cheaper?
Because we were kWh tiered before the Volts. We no longer have tiers, just high day time rates.
By switching to a TOU-EV plan, our 12pm to 6 am rate became very cheap, so we programmed appliances into that window.

But IIRC they changed the TOU thing lately. I don't think you need an EV to get it anymore like in 2013. Dunno, my wife pays the bills and she figured it out. I just know our electric bill is much lower today, than before we owned the Volts.
 

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Because we were kWh tiered before the Volts. We no longer have tiers, just high day time rates.
By switching to a TOU-EV plan, our 12pm to 6 am rate became very cheap, so we programmed appliances into that window.

But IIRC they changed the TOU thing lately. I don't think you need an EV to get it anymore like in 2013. Dunno, my wife pays the bills and she figured it out. I just know our electric bill is much lower today, than before we owned the Volts.
I think maybe your utility gives better rates if you have an EV. If so, this is not consistent in other locations. Smart metering for off peak usage such as at night helps anyway.
 

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How is the gas mileage real world? What does it cost to charge, is it more or less than you have figured prior to your purchase? We have solar. What is the thing you like the best, and your biggest complaint? Any advice?

Dave
How much solar do you have? If you are overbuilt and can spare an extra 16kwh a day, then you are set. I'm not sure I would have done the Volt for a 70 mi round trip 5 days a week unless I could charge at work. That highway regime really favors the tdi to be honest, but the more you do on electric, the cheaper the car is to run. One thing is for sure- the gen2 Volt will out accelerate my old 2011 diesel golf and you never worry about mis-fueling it.

As far as the car charger goes, if you have a 30amp dryer outlet, you can purchase a plug and play EVSE for about $500. All you need to be able to do is screw it to the wall. The evse equipment is also eligible for a 30 percent tax credit so at the end of the year, that charger will only have cost $350. Don't waste your time charging at 120v. Level 2 is the only way to go.
 

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I commute 20 miles per day. I average 165 MPG, about 2 gallons per month. I use about 125 KwH of electricity per month. I have free electricity a half-mile from my home, so I hike home from my car every night, wait two hours, then hike over to pick-up my car. In nine months, I have added about 7,000 miles to my used 2013 Volt. I do not like the lack of passenger leg room in the back seat. I do not like the lack of cabin heat in winter. I do not like the engine kicking-in simply because the outdoors is in the single digits.
 

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Would be nice to know where you live and how much solar you produce and how much electricity costs?

I pay 11 cents per kW, to fully charge my 2013 Volt costs me about 12 kw X .11 = $1.32 for that I can drive between 35 and 50 miles.

Remember there are losses in charging so while my 13 Volt uses about 10 kW it takes about 12 kW to charge it.
 

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Simply have her test drive the car to see if she likes it...Personally I wouldn't spend the $500-$1500 (depending on labor) to install a charger, unless its the wireless plugless one...If you have a 220v than I would get the adapter...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Would be nice to know where you live and how much solar you produce and how much electricity costs?

I pay 11 cents per kW, to fully charge my 2013 Volt costs me about 12 kw X .11 = $1.32 for that I can drive between 35 and 50 miles.

Remember there are losses in charging so while my 13 Volt uses about 10 kW it takes about 12 kW to charge it.
We live in Temecula, CA, North of San Diego. We produce about 50 kw hours a day, at least in the summer. We get a credit of about 80 bucks at the end of the year. We still are looking at the Volt, which she has driven and loves, but I put in a deposit for a Tesla Model 3. Figured it cannot hurt, won't be ready for about 2 years anyway. Might get a Volt in the mean time, or a Toasted Marshmellow Spark to plug the gap between selling the Jetta back to VW and the Tesla....
 

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My wife works five days a week and drives an SRX about 35 miles round trip. I try to fill her tank up for her when ever I can, but she often does it herself. With an EV, she would simply plug a cord into her car each day in the safety of our garage when she gets home each day. This compares to having to schedule a stop to pull into a busy gas station periodically, get out, run a cc through the card reader, grab the handle of a nasty ol' pump nozzle, and stand there while it fills up and do this in some very cold weather four or five months a year here in Michigan. I prefer the former. I'm sure you've thought of this, too.


(A side story: While in grad school, I used to work at the EPA as an engineer where manufacturers submitted information about their cars and where they were tested to comply with exhaust emission standards. What VW did was so unconscionable and blatantly intentional - more than any other manufacturer by far! - I cannot help to loathe them.)
 

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This compares to having to schedule a stop to pull into a busy gas station periodically, get out, run a cc through the card reader, grab the handle of a nasty ol' pump nozzle, and stand there while it fills up and do this in some very cold weather four or five months a year here in Michigan. I prefer the former. I'm sure you've thought of this, too.
This is a good point and it comes to mind for me just about each time I read one of these "don't have to stop for gas" posts - the parts about dirty gas pumps is valid, but from my experience (and probably also that of many others) one of the biggest hazards of stopping for gas is the traffic congestion around the pump islands as drivers jockey around to get to an available pump quicker than the next guy, which makes for a lot of close calls and a few fender-benders here and there. So to me that's a huge reason/benefit in avoiding the gas station, aside from the credit card skimmers, dirty pumps, etc etc.
 

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Yes-- I do not miss going to get gas every 4-5 days. Perhaps this benefit is just as good as the $250/mo saved on gasoline (compared to the V8 I was driving) and getting free solar power. I especially enjoy not worrying about combining trips and just blasting around my zip code whenever I want to.
 

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This is a good point and it comes to mind for me just about each time I read one of these "don't have to stop for gas" posts - the parts about dirty gas pumps is valid, but from my experience (and probably also that of many others) one of the biggest hazards of stopping for gas is the traffic congestion around the pump islands as drivers jockey around to get to an available pump quicker than the next guy, which makes for a lot of close calls and a few fender-benders here and there. So to me that's a huge reason/benefit in avoiding the gas station, aside from the credit card skimmers, dirty pumps, etc etc.
I'm more of the sort that finds thinking/planning when to stop for gas is irksome to bother with and I can't help doing it and obsessing about whether the price will be up or down tomorrow or a mile further on. Basically never having to think about it unless I'm driving someplace that's a DESTINATION rather than just erranding around town is nice.

And not having to check pumps for credit card skimmers is nice too.
 
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