My husband was in the market for a new car, and had been talking about the Chevy Volt for months. So I did what any wife would do for her husband, I surprised him with a weeklong test drive. The fine folks at Chevy provided us with a Chevy Volt to try out for the week. My husband was so enthused about it, he decided to write this post. Note, these are his actual opinions being expressed. Let’s see how he does as a guest blogger…
Everyone has their own way of being green and helping the environment. For me, chaining myself to a tree or abstaining from flushing my toilet is not my cup of tea. So I decided that my contribution would be to go green with an electric vehicle.
I had already sacrificed horsepower for leaf power 3 years ago when I decided to get a Toyota Prius, and my lease was coming up so I started planning what would be my next gas-sipper.
From my initial research, I was instantly drawn to the Chevy Volt. I liked the electric vehicle aspect, especially as the San Francisco Bay Area gas prices continued to skyrocket. With the amount of driving I was doing, I was looking for some relief from the pump.
However, I know myself, and I know that I would somehow forget to charge the car and come to a gentle stop in the middle of my commute, so I was comforted by the Volt being able to use to gasoline as a backup. I was thinking about all these features my new whip would have as I drove to and from work everyday.
Imagine my surprise when one morning someone shows up at my door with a Chevy Volt and my wife tells me that she had arranged for me to test it out for a week, take it anywhere I wanted (except Tijuana) with no strings attached. Epic surprise!
The Volt looked great, sleek lines, stylish trim and leather interior. Another thing that surprised me was how powerful the car was.
I had the impression electric vehicles drove like suped-up golf carts, but this was not the case. The Volt has this instant-torque thing, which lets you zip right off the starting block. Of course, it’s preferable to maximize the fuel economy with a smooth acceleration, and the screen up front makes a fun game out of trying to keep the green ball in the middle, so it incentivizes you to change your driving style.
But I couldn’t help open it up a few times, especially on the way up to Tahoe. It did a great job of hugging the turns and pushing past the big rigs. Also, the hatchback trunk was really useful to pack in the all of the family’s gear.
I put the Volt in Mountain mode to try and get the most mileage out of it, however, we needed a fill-up once we got to the mountains. I wondered if someone would approach me and say, “I thought those cars don’t need gas”, like the commercial, but that didn’t happen.
After enjoying it on the weekend, I had a week of work to put the Volt through the grind of my daily commute. My drive to work is about 35 miles each way, and I couldn’t find a place to plug in at work, so even though I charged it at night, I was burning gas on the ride home. That put a little damper on my dreams of saving the environment one commute at a time, but the Volt was still way more efficient than a normal vehicle.
Some of the other adventures I had with the car were a trip to beach when I was supposed to be working, and a few trips up and down the hills of San Francisco.
My take on the Volt experience is that for a city-dweller or a suburbian with access to an electrical outlet, this car rocks. And as the infrastructure of electric vehicle charging becomes more prolific, this car will definitely be able to save you even more green.
I also want to acknowledge the people at Chevrolet for their customer service, which was just great. They were incredible friendly and helpful and did whatever they could to ensure I had a positive experience. And finally, I want to thank my wife for her surprise, it was truly astounding.
Moraleja: If you want to make your husband happy, give him a high voltage surprise.
To learn more about the Chevy Volt you can follow them on Twitter @ChevyVolt