Thursday, November 8, 2012

VOLT Report

I thought I'd take a moment and write a little post about the electric car out in the garage. As of this weekend I'll have put 2,000 miles on the Volt. I've got to say it's completely changed the way I think about driving. Even though it has a back-up gasoline engine I'd say I get obsessed about NOT using it. I ask myself "Can I get there and back only using the battery?" If the answer is "No," then I ask myself "How can I get there and back without using gas?" This has turned me into the typical little old lady driver. I take back roads, I don't take highways, I coast up to stop signs and stop lights, and if nobody is behind me I go well under the speed limit. All these things combined can get me up to 47 miles to a charge (my personal best).

The car likes to tell me I'm getting 250+ miles per gallon. It's a mind boggling number.
Like I said, the car is not 100% electric. It does have a back up gasoline engine that acts as a generator to run the electric engine. The gas engine gets 37 mpg if you use it solely without the battery. But there is a little loop hole that Volt owners use to get better mpg's if they are traveling past their battery range. The car has several modes in which you can drive. One of the modes is called "Mountain Mode" and this particular mode causes the gas engine to run at such a high rpm that it charges the battery while you are driving. Cool eh? So if you have a long drive ahead of you all you do is deplete the battery (not all the way), put it in Mountain Mode, charge the battery while driving, switch it back into battery mode, deplete the battery and repeat. I've "heard" this method can get you up to 50 mpg. We will be finding out if this is true this weekend. I'm anxious to see if this works.

I was worried about the size of the car when we got it. It's not a big car. I'm used to driving bigger vehicles. The last car I drove was a SUV of sorts and I carried all sorts of things in it including feed bags, straw bales and my personal favorite, baby goats. I knew there would have to be some changes made to what I could and could not carry in this car. Probably no more baby goats. But I'm happy to say I've already loaded the car full of 50# feed bags and a weeks worth of groceries (horse feed in the front seat and goat feed and groceries under the back hatch with Greta in between).

It's a great car and I'm having fun with it.

Plugged in and charging.

1 comment:

Granny Randi said...

You'll have to take me for a ride in it!