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Volt - Month 2


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Here's the April update on Volt 1712:

With the weather warming up here in CT, I am easily seeing 40+ miles in EV range, with a high so far of 48 miles. Staying off the highway and sticking with the back roads is the easiest way to see the higher mileage because of regenerative charge back to the battery during coasting and braking. This isn't always possible or practical or course, and I don't take the back roads just to extend the EV range.

I still continue to drive in SPORT mode and have found it has not reduced my range. I'm also experimenting with driving in Low (in lieu of Drive). Some Volt owners on the Voltage site have indicated that driving in Low has extended their range, so I'm giving it a shot. In short, Low allows for more regenerative braking without having to step on the brake, saving your brakes and extending your range. It takes a bit to get used to since when you lift off the "gas" pedal the vehicle really slows down versus coasting when in Drive. Once you get the hang of it, it's actually pretty fun since you can just drive with one foot, accelerating and braking by just lifting off a bit.

So far, no reliability issues to report, no squeaks or rattles either. The car is really enjoyable to drive. Most people comment on how good looking they think it is. I think the popularity of the Prius and the general acceptance of that shape has helped but I do think the Volt has improved on that theme. It is definitely more aggressive looking than a Prius, but looks are subjective.

As of today, I've covered 1323 miles, 1199 of them in EV range. The Volt's iPhone app provides all the statistical info. I've also used 3.18 gallons over the 124 miles beyond EV, for an average of 39 MPG while in extended mode. If I factor in the cost of electricity in my area (9 cents per k/h) and the cost of premium gas in CT ($4.20) I have averaged a 137.8 MPGe since I've had the car; well above the 93 MPGe estimated by the EPA. It's clear that the more you can drive in EV mode, the better.

I did end up getting a 240V charger installed by SPX. It's great for the weekends where I can charge up in very little time (comparatively). I can now also carrying the 110V charger that comes with the car with me wherever I go, in case I can charge while I'm out and about.

That's it for now, I'll check in next month.

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Thanks for the update.

It is good to see things are working well as as stated by GM. People can make a fuss over the Leaf all they want but this is the car that has a shot at mainstream. Just getting the price down would really make this model over the top with the general public.

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