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Any Chevy Volt owners?

sun&fun

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Two person household currently driving 2007 EOS convertible (his) and 2002 Avalon (hers). So now that we've established who gets the fun car and who gets the practical car, I'm considering replacing the Avalon with a new Volt.

We do very little long distance driving any more or long commutes so I think the plug-in EV would do nicely for my daily use. (We still have a 1991 Toyota truck that runs like a champ if we ever have to haul anything big). I've been researching Volts for over a year now and had decided that the 2016 model year was worth waiting for. MD is one of the states where the 2016 is available now and the 2015 federal and state tax rebates are an attractive incentive.

I'm interested in hearing reviews/opinions from any Volt drivers, especially if anyone has experience with the 2016 model.
 

Jason245

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Consumer reports gives it a 68... the best opinion is usually your own experience. .why don't you rent one for a week or two and see how it works for you.

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AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
A Family Affair.

Any Chevy Volt owners?
Our son has a bright red Chevrolet Volt.

Our daughter-in-law has a steel-grey Chevrolet Volt.

Our brother-in-law has a silver-blue Chevrolet Volt -- ditto our nephew, who liked his leased Volt so well that he bought the car outright when the lease expired.

They specially enjoy all the high-tech features, not just the ability to plug'm in to utility power instead of running on gasoline.

They also like the gasoline back-up feature for when they're driving beyond the Volt's all-electric range.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

sun&fun

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Consumer reports gives it a 68... the best opinion is usually your own experience. .why don't you rent one for a week or two and see how it works for you.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

I very much wanted to rent one after my test drive, but couldn't find a rental car business in my neck of the woods that had Volts, in fact, no EVs for rental at all. I suspect people renting cars don't want the range anxiety and the need to search out charging stations.
 
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sun&fun

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Our son has a bright red Chevrolet Volt.

Our daughter-in-law has a steel-grey Chevrolet Volt.

Our brother-in-law has a silver-blue Chevrolet Volt -- ditto our nephew, who liked his leased Volt so well that he bought the car outright when the lease expired.


-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

Oh, I see. Your family members aren't quite sold on the Volt ;)

Thanks for the input!
 

Jason245

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I very much wanted to rent one after my test drive, but couldn't find a rental car business in my neck of the woods that had Volts, in fact, no EVs for rental at all. I suspect people renting cars don't want the range anxiety and the need to search out charging stations.
Sometimes dealers will let you rent em.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
 

tompalm

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My 30 year old son wanted an electric car, so I went car shopping with him about a month ago. The Volt was nice, but prices are a lot higher than the Nissan Leaf. Even after tax credits, it was about $10,000 more. The best deal going was to lease a Leaf for $200 a month. The deposit was $2000, and $200 a month included 12,000 miles per year for three years. We negotiated a better deal for $210 a month and 15,000 miles per year. They were asking $250 a month, but took less. Technology is changing so fast that it seemed like a smarter play to lease than buy. Especially with new batteries coming out the range will be better in the future and resale on an electric car will not be good. The lease seemed like the smart way to go. The car is fast and impressive for what it looks like and worth a look.

If you can land a deal on the 2016 Volt, that might be a good way to go. But the Nissan Leaf is probably a lot cheaper.
 

rhonda

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Bumping an old thread. The Volt has just entered our radar. We currently drive a pair of Toyota SUVs (FJ Cruiser) and have a Buick Rendezvous for hauling passengers. The FJ's average 16mpg; the Buick does better, something mid-20's.

My husband's commute has changed to from 30 miles round trip to 60-100 miles daily. He is currently running that on the newer FJ but it is getting painfully expensive. We think it is time to consider an economy vehicle as his daily drive. The Volt entered our radar last weekend. We are toying with a certified used 2014 (~$16k) or splurging on a 2017 Premier unit. We'd be thrilled to find a cert used 2016 (early gen2) but these haven't come off the initial lease circuit yet and are extremely scarce in our area.

Thoughts? Comments? Other ideas? Thank you, all!


EDITED TO ADD: Our electric bill runs $0.21/kWh tier 1; $0.43/kWh tier 2. We generally consume all of tier 1 ... so charging a car at home would be at tier 2 prices.
 

WalnutBaron

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Hi Rhonda...I have several thoughts for you.

First, I encourage you to look at Carmax.com and open an account (free) so that you can save your search for the Chevy Volt you're looking for--including your preferences for year, model, and other features you're looking for. Carmax doesn't offer the cheapest prices for used cars, but they do perform a 175-point check on all cars they sell and their no-haggle policy makes buying a car from them a pleasure. I've bought three used cars through Carmax and all have been excellent cars.

Second, I suggest--depending on how long you and your husband will continue working and driving long commutes--to consider installing solar on your home (if you plan to stay in the home for more than five years). This will not necessarily save you $$ initially, but it will freeze your utility costs. And given the rapacious increases in electricity costs in California thanks to the state's support of all things "clean energy", you can expect continued increases in your electric bills without having solar.

Third, be sure to check Consumer Reports for their review of the Volt's reliability and service ratings. If you plan to drive the car for many years, reliability is a key consideration. Consumer Reports collects no advertising money so that they can ensure their complete independence in their reviews. I trust them completely, especially for large purchases like a car.
 

rhonda

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Thank you, WalnutBaron, for your thoughts and insights.

Yes! We've been watching for opportunity to add solar on one of our properties for some time. We are considering replacing the well shed with a new, larger outbuilding with solar tiles and a Tesla Powerwall (or similar). The intent would be to serve the well pump as a stand-alone system and, perhaps, also be the place to recharge a car. Adding solar to outbuildings makes better sense for us, in this location, than the dwelling unit.

I looked at CarMax prices over the past weekend. Boy are they high.
 

Brett

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Hi Rhonda...I have several thoughts for you.


Third, be sure to check Consumer Reports for their review of the Volt's reliability and service ratings. If you plan to drive the car for many years, reliability is a key consideration. Consumer Reports collects no advertising money so that they can ensure their complete independence in their reviews. I trust them completely, especially for large purchases like a car.

I would also recommend checking the latest Consumer Reports 2017 New Car Guide for reliability ratings
 

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rhonda

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Ah, thanks -- I've skimmed the Consumer Reports site but the content looked favorable. I guess I need to pay to see the negative side?
 

WalnutBaron

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Ah, thanks -- I've skimmed the Consumer Reports site but the content looked favorable. I guess I need to pay to see the negative side?
Yes--and it's worth it. I think an annual online subscription is $30. Well worth the cost given the size of a car purchase. I've owned one lemon in my lifetime--before I began religiously using Consumer Reports--and I learned my lesson.
 

Elan

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There are countless auto review sites that are no cost. Car and Driver, Edmunds, the Fast Lane, etc. I would try to get a more balanced point of view than just relying on Consumer Reports.
 

Brett

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Ah, thanks -- I've skimmed the Consumer Reports site but the content looked favorable. I guess I need to pay to see the negative side?

maybe (I have the pdf version)

I'll make it easy for you (if you believe Consumer Reports)

34195250704_71984189bf_b.jpg
 

wilma

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We own a 2016 chevy volt and are very happy with it. It is not a luxury car but comfortable and we used it for our travels around the bay area. We have not had any problems with it and it is easy to find charging stations. Our utility company (PG&E) offers reduced prices if you charge after midnight. It is very zippy and handles a steep hill we have to drive to get to our Berkeley hills house. When we were shopping, we asked several dealers about renting one and they just laughed as they are in short supply in Calif.
 

Passepartout

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Thanks Brett for the PDF of CR. I found it interesting that after 1 1/2 year the topic is still viable and no real NEW choices have joined the fray. My DW wants to upgrade her 2014 Prius to the new model, so this offered a 'no sweat' comparison- though we're pretty brand loyal. The '14 is our second Prius, but this latest one is a base model and the we'd like some features only available on the next generation. Or maybe there's something else worthy of a test drive.

Jim
 

rhonda

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Running some simple (perhaps misled?) spreadsheets, it appears that a typical Prius hybrid (not EV) turns in lower "fuel costs per mile" than the Volt. Granted, my data is skewed by:
a) High kWh rates
b) The intended use does not maximize EV use. Our routes and "maximum down time for charging" doesn't seem to meet a best-case for EV.
 

wilma

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Running some simple (perhaps misled?) spreadsheets, it appears that a typical Prius hybrid (not EV) turns in lower "fuel costs per mile" than the Volt. Granted, my data is skewed by:
a) High kWh rates
b) The intended use does not maximize EV use. Our routes and "maximum down time for charging" doesn't seem to meet a best-case for EV.

You mention that it car would be used to commute, it would be best to recharge the vehicle while working to maximize EV use. Our monthly usage is typically 90% electrical.
 

rhonda

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You mention that it car would be used to commute, it would be best to recharge the vehicle while working to maximize EV use. Our monthly usage is typically 90% electrical.
But sadly, looking at our numbers, our best case would be 30% EV. With 20k miles annual use and a relatively high cost for electricity, the cost per mile doesn't favor the Volt at this time. Maybe later, after we build a solar-covered outbuilding for the well pump and have a series of Powerwall. Seems the buying the car first is a 2017 version of, "cart before the horse." We like the tech, are emotionally driven to go EV ... but need to build our infrastructure first, it seems.

Congratulations on your 90% EV use. That is a lovely figure. Well done! (Someday we hope to do similarly ... )
 
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