Patch Blog: Our Week With Volt, Day 5 & 6

A longer trip with the Volt.

If you want to catch up on what you missed, check out , , ,  and .

Saturday was my day to have the Volt and I had to drive down to Laguna Beach to pick up a present for my husband (our one year wedding anniversary is coming up).

I usually spend Saturdays with my mom and she didn't mind going down so we went together. She really loves my Jeep, she likes the comfortable ride as well as the ample amount of space. I think she was a little skeptical about taking the Volt down for an hour-long drive, but by the end of the trip she was SOLD! She absolutely loved the car and we easily spent 30 minutes talking about all the different features. Mind you, my mom is not a car person. To get her talking about cars was pretty impressive. She thought the interior was very luxurious and comfortable, not to mention she had the same impression as me regarding the pure coolness factor of the car. 

I started in Montrose with 38 miles of battery, and actually made it 53.6 miles on battery alone. Basically, I made it PAST Disneyland on electricity. I should note that this car does amazingly well in traffic, it actually makes traffic a little fun. The whole time I was regenerating electricity which is why I was able to go 53.6 miles on battery. Anyone who has ever been down the Golden State (5) freeway knows how bad it can get, and I really didn't even notice. The gas generator kicked in when we were turning off the 5 to drive through the mountains to get the the beach and it was a seem less transition, we barely noticed that it happened. 

Overall, I used 2.5 gallons of gas to go to Laguna Beach and back, which is over 100 miles roundtrip. So that means that not only did I get great battery life, but then I also got great gas mileage once I was actually on the generator.

My mom, shortly there after, went online and started "building a Volt" for herself. 

Later that evening, after dropping off my mom, my husband and I went to a friend's birthday party in Los Angeles. The car didn't have time to charge, so we were still on gas. At the end of the night, when the valet pulled up the car, I heard some guys say, "Hey, that's that Volt, the one that drives on electricity," and they were staring at it like it was a Ferrari. It was amazing! I was so proud! Even if the car was a loaner - they didn't have to know that.

The next day we went to church, home, back down to Glendale for Mother's Day dinner, and back up home all on electricity. My dad even got to joy ride in it and he loved it.

Monday was our last day with the car, George will speak more to that... But I can tell you that I really enjoyed this car and I really enjoyed driving it. My husband has an Audi and I find it a little difficult to drive (the gas pedal is stiff and the brake pedal is weird), but with this car I found it to be very easy and seemless.

This car is a step in the right direction for alternative fuel vehicles. It is by far not perfect, but a GREAT stepping stone!

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Paul Anthony Buehler May 19, 2012 at 03:06 PM
K&G, thanks for the blog... Love all the little details. Being a resident above Foothill and one who uses the Crest quite a bit, I am really interested in the "mountain" performance. Also, how about the usability for those couples road trips to Morro Bay? Not that I want you guys taking road trips (but it would be nice to see a photo-essay... LOL!), but I am interested in interior space and functionality for a "working" car. What are your takes on it beyond the flatter portions of LA? TIA...
George L. May 25, 2012 at 08:12 PM
As I highlighted on Day 4 it really is a no compromise experience. What I mean by that is that this is a hybrid drivetrain. Nothing like a Prius but still uses gasoline once you exhaust the all-electric range. After that point you have about 300 miles of range using the gasoline generator. This is a seamless transition from one fuel type to the other. The gasoline generator is just that, it uses the potential energy in gasoline to turn an electric motor to generate electricity. Keeping you rolling and the battery pack from going below zero. There is a "mountain" mode that allows you to sustain your battery charge knowing you are approaching a long mountain road. Ensuring that you have plenty of power to make the climb. Speaking of climbing, we drove up the 2 from Glendale to La Canada regularly and it easily handled the grade and even showed some athleticism accelerating from 60mph to greater speeds on the hill. Hopefully that helps!


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