Monday, June 9, 2014

When life happens, the Volt is mighty nice to have...

Well, its been a long time since I have made a post.  There are a lot of reasons for that, but I'll save that for another day...

I often have dialogue with folks who see that I am 95-96% electric, and they ask, 'why not just buy a purely electric car.'  I give them a few reasons.

Reason 1: A purely electric vehicle will have less effective range every year after purchase.  This should be intuitive.  As the battery ages, the range diminishes.  However, what may not be intuitive is how this compares with a Volt.  As the Volt's battery diminishes in capacity, the gas engine just takes over sooner.  The effective range doesn't really change.  Yes, its true that if you were to add up the diminished electric range to the gas mileage, there would be a difference.  But the percentage of lost effective range is miniscule as a percentage of the total Volt range.  And since the Volt can travel as far as you like on gas, I doubt it will change your driving habits much.  Leaf owners, on the other hand, have to start adjusting to their new limited range.

Reason 2: Life happens...  What does this mean?  Well, for me, I've had to do an unexpected renovation of a property that is 100 miles each way from my house.  I've been working on this thing since the first week in February, and I'm still not done.  Can you imagine trying to do this in a Leaf?  It would be impractical, at the least, and impossible in my circumstances.  For those that buy cars with very limited range, they are going to be left with few options if things come down the pipe that are unexpected.  Maybe those Leaf owners will borrow their spouses' cars when they need to take long journeys, but I love that my Volt is a single car solution.  You don't realize how valuable this is until you really need it.

Reason 3: I just don't see the value in buying a big expensive battery that won't be utilized that often.  As seen by Tesla, to get a true gasoline car replacement in electric form is VERY expensive.  Even then, the 250+ miles of range is still a limiting factor.  If I go to the Outer Banks, I would completely exhaust the battery, and probably have to plug into a 120V outlet for days to be able to travel back to my home.  Not practical.  And then you'll have those Volt owners that want bigger batteries.  I think the Volt battery is right sized.  You could always want a little more, but the goal for the mass adoption of the electric vehicle is cheaper pricing.  You aren't going to get there with bigger batteries.  If you are going to have a gas range extender, then I think the battery capacity of the Volt should be sized to fit the vast majority of American daily driving, and leave the rest up to the generator.  While is does, and I think that is why we are unlikely to see any significant capacity changes in the Volt battery.

When pricing for batteries comes down significantly and fast chargers are prevalent everywhere, the equation changes.  But, for now, I think my 3 reasons are enough to want a Volt as opposed to a BEV for the next 3-5 years.


  1. I just bought a Volt for the very reasons you mentioned above. I wanted to be less reliant on gasoline but didn't want the range limitations of most pure electric vehicles. And the Tesla is, well, it's super awesome, but not very practical on the pocket book.

  2. Nice sharing and i am agree with you volt electric car battery big expensive price. but my personal experience Chevrolet Volt in Houston car dealer have a great offer on it. Visit westside chevrolet car dealer and get best with him.