How I Roll
For the past 4 years I either had a short 1 mile commute or no commute when working from home, so I didn’t really care much about what car I drove. Since we recently moved, we’re living in a new apartment complex that has a lot of great environmentally friendly features. They have a few public charging stations for electric cars and every garage has some handily 120 and 240 outlets for plugging in electric cars. The apartment is about 10 miles away from the office, so I thought it might be worth it to see if a plug in electric car made sense for me.
There are several options available, but range is a big concern for me because I didn’t want to have to worry much about getting stuck somewhere with a dead battery. Charging an electric car takes a long time, so being stranded with no charge seems like a deal breaker for me. The Tesla Model S is amazing and has a 200+ mile range on a charge, but it’s way out of my price range. The only reasonable option seemed to be the Chevy Volt, which had a 40+ mile range but also has a gas engine that kicks in when the battery gets low. You can drive pure electric as long as you don’t drain the battery all the way, but the convenience of an 8 gallon gas tank allows you to drive it like a regular car when the battery does get drained.
I read a few articles about how there were some good lease deals going on for the Volt, so I went to the local dealer to check it out. I drove up to the dealer in my 2010 Honda Civic, but drove home in my 2013 Chevy Volt.
After driving the Volt for the last couple of months, I can tell you that this is the way most cars will be made in the near future and we’ll look back on our gas engine cars and wonder what the fuck we were thinking.
Chevy did a great job with this car. The electric engine is super quiet and the smooth linear acceleration is something you need to experience for yourself. They also have all the other stuff that you’d expect in the age of the iPhone. Great audio, Bluetooth for voice calls as well as playing music, touch screen controls in the dashboard. It sounds like a freaking spaceship when you push a button to start the car. They have an OnStar iPhone app that lets me unlock the car, start the car, as well as check my battery charge, gas level and even tire pressure. There’s a Volt specific iPhone app that shows your EV miles performance vs other Volt drivers.
It’s not perfect, but it feels like it’s heading in the right direction. For myself, I can say I’ll probably never buy a gas only car again. For my wife, unfortunately it’s still pretty early days and there’s nothing available for driving kids around, someone needs to release an electric minivan or something before that’s a real option.
I love this car. If your total daily commute is less than 40-50 miles and you want to start living in the future, I highly recommend the Chevy Volt.