Since the Volt’s launch, Chevrolet says owners have traveled more than 10 million miles, two-thirds of this on grid energy, and everyday people including Jay Leno are making ideal use of their daily driver Volts.

Leno’s commute to his job at the Tonight Show has seen him rack up 10,000 miles using only electrical power, and he is still on the original tank of gas that came with the car.

“I like electricity when I need it and gas when I need to use it,” said Leno. "I travel 28 miles to the studio every day, then I go shopping, run errands, pull in the driveway; that's 40 miles or so, then I plug it in, but if I need to travel further the car is ready for that too.”

Another satisfied Volt owner.

Besides Leno who is using the car exactly as intended, a recent Chevrolet survey found on average Volt owners fill up monthly and go more than 900 miles between gas station visits.

Another five-figure electric mileage Volt owner is Edward Ellyatt of Fort Myers, Fla. He makes use of public charging and never uses gas for his daily 41-mile commute.

“I’m an opportunistic charger. I charge anywhere I can to extend my electric driving range,” said Ellyatt. “I generally find a 120-volt plug in the parking lot and ask management if I can use it when shopping or dining. If I am at one location for an hour or two I can expect to get enough EV range to get me home where I can plug back in.”

Chevrolet has given both Leno and Ellyatt “10,000 Electric Mile” badges for their Volt usage, and the list of drivers doing this and more with the still-rolling-out car is growing.

Jim Jonah from Highland, Mich. is approaching the 10,000 EV miles mark in his Volt.

“Volt owners are an extremely passionate and enthusiastic group. They carry pictures of their car, refer to themselves by their VIN number and freely talk about their ownership experience with anyone who will ask,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Global Chevrolet Marketing. “The 10,000 Electric Mile badge not only recognizes their achievement, but gives another point to brag about with anyone interested in learning more about the Volt.”

One Volt driver on target for 10,000 EV miles is Jim Jonah from Highland, Mich. His round trip is 90 miles daily to and from Detroit, and he says he is saving a lot on fuel costs.

“I'm using about $450 a month less in gas than I was in my Honda Pilot,” he said. “I've redirected my monthly transportation costs from most of it going to the oil companies to most of it going to an American car company, American workers, an American electric company, with a tiny bit going to the oil companies.”

News from Oz

Including the above stories, we’ve seen overwhelmingly positive news from first owners of the Volt in the U.S., and GM is beginning to prepare the way for similar stories to come ASAP in several major markets, including Australia.

Specifically, the Holden Volt is expected to go on sale there toward the end of 2012.

Yesterday the company announced “The Holden Volt has Landed!”

Red Lion Badge Volt.

The news was about the first Holden Volt to arrive from Detroit-Hamtramck. It’s a left-hand-drive model and is being used by Holden's engineering team for in-country validation and verification.

If you are in Sydney or Canberra, you might even see the Volt as it has been used on a number of regional validation trips.

“The engineering department will use these validation exercises to ensure the electrical infrastructure around the country supports the Volt and that the recharging process is as seamless as possible for customers,” said Paul Gibson, Director of Electrical Engineering at Holden.

The company says the “Volt represents a major milestone for the Red Lion brand,” and Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said the Holden Volt will be a “game changer” for Holden and the wider automotive industry in Australia.

A Holden-badged Volt reportedly could cost around $60,000 or so.

“It is among the most technologically advanced cars on the road anywhere in the world and spearheads Holden’s push to become a leader in the field of technology and sustainable motoring,” he said. “The Volt will make driving more economical, more environmentally-friendly and will fundamentally change the way Australia thinks about alternative transport solutions. This is the start of something big for Holden and Australia.”

No doubt many in Oz would have liked the car sooner, but it is on its way. We expect in time to be hearing more success stories from other parts of the globe.

Chevrolet , Holden

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