Can I wax mega nerd for a few minutes?
Two of my favorite things in life are 1) fun technology, and 2) a great deal. When it came time to get rid of my gas-guzzling mom car a few months back, I started looking around at “regular” cars because I no longer needed a huge SUV with room for a double stroller and all of the stuff that comes alongside two small children under the age of 5.
Eventually, I stumbled upon the Volt. Which I’d never even heard of or seen out on the road. Initially, the MPG got me. 98+? Awesome. So, what’s the story?
The Volt is an electric car with a gas tank back up. So, I get 40 or so miles on a full charge and then it switches over to gas until I can charge it again. I fill up about once every 3 or 4 weeks and I spend about $30 on 7 gallons of premium gas. There are also great tax incentives and rebates in the state of Illinois that made the car even more appealing. You don’t need a special electric service in your house to charge it—a regular outlet will do, and it costs about a buck to charge it completely from empty.
Initially, it was really weird. Like driving a golf cart. But, now I’m used to some of the quirky stuff about it. Like the fact that I constantly sneak up on people walking their dogs and scare them because they can’t hear the car (it comes with a polite little muffled honk to let people know you’re there). Or the fact that when you drive in “L” the car slows pretty dramatically when you let off the gas (golf cart style!).
But, this car. I’ve never liked a car so much.
Things I adore:
- It is connected. I suspect most new cars are, but I just love the huge touch screen. It did take some getting used to, and I still hit the wrong button from time to time, but overall, I like it. Total integration with my iPhone—directions, phone and Pandora.
- It’s like a game! How many MPG am I getting? The car gives you driving tips for improving your usage of electricity.
- I love seeing how long I can go between filling up. If you live very close to where you work, shop and play, you’d literally never have to buy a drop of gas. Although, they do recommend not letting fuel sit in your gas tank for years and years.
- Oil change every two years. Crazy.
- I feel like it is a great choice for the environment. I might be one of the few Volt owners who has this as a pretty low item on my list (again, I love the cost-savings and the techy stuff), but it is also pretty awesome to get my occasional emails stating how many pounds of carbon I’ve saved!
There are things I don’t love—it sort of runs like a Chevy Cavalier or something when it is on gas in stop and go traffic, and it isn’t enormous (remember, I had a Traverse!), and it seats 4 (although I’ve read that they are working to get the battery trimmed down a bit to accommodate 5 in the back seat).
But, I’m sold on electric. And now I want a Tesla.