Personal: Chevy Volt—Still Electric After All These Years

Opinion

New Lectron Charger Adds To Versatility

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2018 Chevrolet Volt
42 months and now all mine

Decision time came last month for me. I was at the end of a 3-year lease and a 6-month extension on my 2018 Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Hybrid. It’s now what’s know as an orphan car—no longer in production as GM moves to full electrics. I love several things about the Volt that tipped my decision to buy out the lease and keep on driving—mostly on electricity:

  1. Lectron 16A charger
    The Lectron charger has style and speed

    The car has been nearly flawless. Its second oil change was forced as part of the hand-over from the dealer. The only other visits to the dealer were for software updates that had minimal impact before or after.

  2. Electric-only range of the Volt has not only not diminished, but I’m regularly see 60-mile estimated ranges after a charge.
  3. Due to the pandemic my mileage has dropped dramatically, but I’ve been able to keep my EV miles at a high level. After 3 ½ years my mpg is well north of 200 mpg (the measurement tops out at 250 mpg, which is my goal). So far in the new year I have only driven on electricity; we’ll see how long I can extend that.
  4. Almost all of my charging is done at home, so I’m always eager to check out the latest equipment. The latest is the Lectron 16A, which I’ve been using for the past six months. It’s fast, chargin at 3.86 kilowatts/hourm which will add about 11 miles for an hour of charging; I’m continually surprised at how quickly the Volt is topped off. The Lectron unit also comes with a Tesla adapter should any of my neighbors want to charge up their Model 3s or Model Ys (and there are many of them) at my place. Its 21-foot heavy-duty cable makes it easy to charge in the driveway if someone does stop by in need of a top-off.
  5. Finally, the pleasant surprise at the end of my lease was something I wasn’t expecting—my Volt was worth substantially more than the buy-out. If I’d wanted to, I could have turned around and sold the Volt for a profit of several thousand dollars. I passed on that opportunity because I really like the car and, if I was going to turn around and replace it with another car, I’d be faced with the same elevated prices.
Lectron 16A charger
The Tesla adapter is a must in my neighborhood

It’s a shame plug-in hybrids seem to be falling out of favor. What I found in the Volt is an electric car that provided me with 80-85% all-electric driving with a backup good for more than 200 miles more before having to charge up or refill the tank (something I only had to do twice this past year. With its fastback looks, hatchback versatility and enhanced handling due to low-slung batteries, the Volt answers the call for a sporty car that’s also earth-friendly. While Chevrolet’s support for the car may diminish over the years, there’s a lively group of enthusiasts online more than willing to support each other.

I’m sure my next car will be a full electric (the options are expanding daily and I’m getting a chance to experience many of them), but in the interim I’m driving almost exclusively on electrons and not making any car payments. It’s hard to find a downside to that.

More Volt Stories from the Archives:

Personal: Chevrolet Volt & Accell Charger  

Road Test: 2019 Chevrolet Volt

News: Say Farewell to the Chevy Volt

Road Test: 2017 Chevrolet Volt

Road Test: 2016 Chevrolet Volt

News: 2016 Chevy Volt Nabs Green Car of the Year

Personal: 2016 Chevrolet Volt Replaces Nissan Leaf

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