Electric Car Notes 07 by Mike Brigham: Chevy Volt October 2012 Update

By Mike Brigham

My Volt has been operating beautifully, except for one very small but annoying rattle. When a car operates so quietly, a rattle seems to be amplified in one’s mind.

I’m seeing in most cases, about 64km (40 miles) range on battery electric, but to be fair, my longer drives where I most often test it are somewhat uphill. The lifetime fuel economy is 3.1 l/100k which compares very favourably with my 2010 Prius, which used to consume 4.8l/100k.

Much of my driving has been well beyond the battery range, for example a 2.5 to 3 hour drive to my cottage (each way) most summer weekends, of which only the first 45 minutes or so are on battery power, so overall I am very impressed with the lifetime fuel economy.

The oil life is startling–as the dealer advised–it looks like my oil changes are going to be every 2 years. I have already owned the car for about 11 months and the computer tells me that the remaining oil life is 88%. The 2 year mark is the time where regardless of remaining estimated oil life, it gets changed. I used to go for oil changes twice per year and am very happy to no longer have the bother and I’m also pleased at just one more way whereby I’m consuming fewer fossil fuel products.

I still very much enjoy driving the car but it has unfortunately really spoiled me. When I am travelling, just about any rental car seems very lacking by comparison. I still feel that if someone offered to buy me any car in the world to own with money as no object, this is what I would choose again.