Disclosure in case of doubt - I don't work for Chevy and no one in my family or close friends does and I am not a salesman:)
I also acknowledge that I am a lucky man in so very many ways and one is that I am simply able to afford a nice new car and I know that is not the case for the vast number of people in the current time. I'm not a flashy person and I have always bought used and driven it for 10 years/150,000 miles prior to this and as you will read below my decision to do this came with much thought.
With those considerations I'm going to tell you - if you can in any way, get your hands on a Volt and if you can't, tell Chevy to make more cars like it that more of us can afford! Find out more below the squigglet.
Quick caveat to my buying rule - I also happen to be lucky that I can drive a street legal golf cart to work for the 6 mile round trip. I got it a couple of years ago because I thought it was a good thing to do to show the locals that you could be green and have fun plus I got it for almost free because of a tax credit.
Like I dare say all of us here I try to be green. I've grown better and better over the years. I have my hypocritical moments but I think green whenever I can - recycle, conserve, turn it off, etc. So, as my used vehicle started hitting the mid 100's I started reading about the Chevy Volt before it was ever available and I was impressed.
For those that don't know about it the crux is that it's an electric car which 100% of the time has the actual drive train powered by electricity. It can however run by burning gas but when it burns gas what happens is that it acts as a generator - the gas powers the generator (which is a much simpler task than the firing of cylinders to move the car) and the generator power spins the wheels "on demand". So, unlike a hybrid which flips back and forth in burning gas and using the electric motor the volt drives for 40 miles using zero gas and then it starts to burn gas if you go farther until you charge it again. After charging you go 40 miles 100% on the charge, etc. etc.
When it does use gas it gets an amazing 47 MPG (because again - the job of running the genny is easier than a fossil engine). The car drives exactly the same feel-wise in either mode. Additionally it is intended to use the gas not just as a fallback - in other words - if you wanted to drive from NYC to Florida it's perfectly fine - you would just mainly use gas.
A few things about this should be clear - if you live in a smallish community and have a short commute you may almost never use gas. I have had the car for 3 weeks and I have used 1 gallon of gas and that is because the day I got it the dealer only charged it for an hour and it was a decent drive from home. I am projecting that I make possibly 10-15 drives a year where I will use any gass at all - and at 500 miles to the tank well...... I'm pretty gas free.
Briefly I want to mention a few notes about my own feelings regarding buying a new car. As mentioned before I always have bought used and I have mentioned to friends that the greenest car you can buy is a used car because everything that goes into getting that new car to you uses more fossil energy than a lifetime of gas.
So why did I do this thing I have never done?
#1 - I do know that manufacturing needs to happen for the economy.
#2 - If it's going to be manufactured, if there is a component or a thought which leads to more green on at least some front then I want to be supportive.
#3 - If this technology is supported, hopefully it will spread to more affordable vehicles using the technology - IE - I want demand to spur production and thus to lower costs.
#4 - I've always bought American. I am so excited that this genius technology is an American product and I believe it will bring new life to American manufacturing if played right.
#5 - One of the greatest things is it's an AMAZING car in so many ways - it's SO well made. It's sleek and roomy at the same time. It is the best driving car that I have ever owned by far. I didn't need in any way to convince myself to buy it because of what it represented. Although I have never bought a car for nearly the price, if I were spending the cost of this car and it was not electric and I had a choice between it and so many others I would choose it for it's styling, it's features, etc - it's a kick ass car and you sacrifice nothing by buying it.
I joke with my girlfriend that I need to preface my conversations with the fact that I am not a chevy salesperson. I'm not - I just think that this car is a knockout and it represents so many good things. I know that there is a long way to go. I know that I have a short commute. I know that the power to create the electricity for most comes from fossil (although to note - I have heard the conversion for those fules to electricity is extremely effiecient - comparable to 95 MPG converted) but, I am also looking into doing solar for my home to then be truly as fossil free as possible.
Quite honestly I simply can't see the dark cloud in this one -
- American jobs
- Cleaner environment
- Amazing car in looks, features and the way it handles responds and drives - WORLD CLASS
- New technology leading to new business (charging stations)
- Less reliance on foreign oil
- Helping to bring down oil consumption and possibly less need for foreign oil.
And in truth I haven't met a person in real life who had anything but praise for the car they see plugged in in front of my garage. People want to know about it - that's exciting and is very positive.
But, guess what? there are plenty of people who actually opposed the Volt. I simply am dumbfounded. Guess who they are??? Here's a sample:
So - let me get this right - love America soooooooo much with all of it's exceptionalism but bash it's technology and it's techonology leaders. Pro-America but not if it's a kick ass "librul" product/idea which has the potential to do great things for our country and maybe help the environment along the way. Nahhhhh.
When I saw that I was interested - I searched on the Google - There are so many examples of negativity toward this amazing American product it's truly sad and that's what we're up against - but I will keep on fighting and without making a dime off it - I will keep on selling (oh .... wait .... not actually selling - promise!!)
Here's the fleet at the bluedog_sd (read my sig please!!!!) homestead