I Love My Battery Car
I’ve had my Volt for about one year now. I’m not proud to say that it was almost an impulse buy that was made shortly after test driving a Tesla Model S, and the crushing realization that I had nowhere near enough funds to acquire my dream car. So I set out to look for what I could consider the next best thing.
The Toyota Prius
Was the first vehicle that I test drove. It had become the poster boy for Eco-friendly vehicles over the past few years, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Now you see, I loved how powerful and grounded the Tesla felt. It moved forward with confidence, stood strong with each sharp turn, and just knew that it was the best vehicle on the road. The Prius didn’t really share any of these traits. It was a timid beast, hesitant to drive and cautious around curves. It almost felt as though if you sneezed wrong the car would startle and hobble away as fast as it could.
It did, however have astounding mpg (compared with full gas-guzzling alternative vehicles), but it shared none of the wonderful traits of the Tesla.
The Nissan Leaf
This car showed a bit of promise being a full electric car, it had that in common with the Tesla right off the bat. It was quite responsive since it had the same ‘instant torque’ feel when you pressed down on the acceleration. The biggest let-down here was that it still felt a bit on the cautious side. Meaning, it didn’t charge forward with as much power as I would have liked.
The next letdown was the range. This car was a commuter car. That’s the nicer way of saying you can’t go from one side of town and back without running out of power.
Alright I’m exaggerating a bit, but you won’t be taking any road trips in this vehicle with the range being under 100 miles. It’d be a good fit for most people on their commute to work and back, and it had nice bells and whistles come standard, but it didn’t suit my needs.
The Chevrolet Volt
The funny thing is, I didn’t actually like this car when I test drove it. It still had an internal combustion engine (ICE), which meant it ran on that exploding fluid made from liquified dinosaurs. I had asked the salespeople to charge the car before I arrived so that I could test it in full-EV mode, but they told me they didn’t know how/if they could; go figure.
At any rate, the test drive wasn’t so great, the model that I drove had an oddly loud ICE, and there was no way to test drive the car in EV mode.
I went back to my home and began to do some research. Turns out, on the interwebs Chevrolet was calling the Volts ICE a “range extender”, which was a nicer way of putting it. Volt owners were talking about how their average mpg was anywhere from 50-250 mpg. This was astronomically better than my current vehicle which was chugging away at a paltry 16 mpg. At the time gas prices were so high that it was depressing driving to and from work every day and seeing the tank meter go down so fast.
Long story short, I couldn’t find any vehicles that came anywhere near the Tesla’s handling and performance, but the Volt was the closest cost-effective alternative on the market, so I scheduled another test drive, this time making sure they had charged the car.
I must say, it was quite the ride. It didn’t have a 0-60 speed worth mentioning, but it handled and accelerated to 40mph better than most cars I’d driven up to that point, and handled curves better than most vehicles thanks to the lower center of gravity afforded by the battery.
The Volt wouldn’t get me across the country with solely electric power, but it is a very good commuter EV that I could take on road trips if I wanted. In the end, it won over my heart. Also I haven’t paid for gas in over a month, so the commuter EV has been working quite well.
One day I’ll [hopefully] have a Tesla. For now though, the Volt is performing quite nicely.