Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

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Thread: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Well, I didn't make January. I had to gas up. Forgot about the kids' exams and Christmas shopping. And then Mother Nature walloped us this weekend with -17c weather. Sigh. Plus, I wanted to fill up so that I don't have to worry about gas over the Christmas break, what with all the visits to friends, relatives, etc. The cars will be out for a lot of driving courtesy of the festive season .

    Here's the dash as it stood a few hours ago:

    Volt_first_fillup.jpg

    Anyway, as the picture shows, we made it to 2818kms total, 2440 electric. I filled up while out on errands this evening. We've burned through 30.2l of fuel.

    Our average fuel economy is now 1.0l/100kms, or about 235 US mpg (285 imperial mpg).

    The fill up was $39 for the 30 litres.

    When we do our next fill up actually depends on what the weather is like going forward. If it gets back down to the -20c range we'll fill up more often. If it stays fairly mild we'll last longer.

    Here's some simple stats.

    • Best range: 75km
    • Average warm weather range (>15c): 60km
    • Average fall weather range (5 - 15c): 55km
    • Average mild winter weather (-5 - 5c): 48km
    • Worst range (-17c): 32km


    The battery is truly hammered when the outside temperature is cold. And, no, we don't "precondition" the battery or the car. We're on 120 and supposedly that doesn't have enough power to properly condition the battery. We have not remote started the car, even in the frigid weather.

    Some additional tidbits of interest:

    • The engine comes on whenever the temperature is below -5c, cycling as necessary.
    • We seem to get about 5l/100km in charge sustaining mode.
    • My daughter loves "Comfort" mode, with the seats going full and the cabin temperature at least set to 24c. The impact appears to be about 2 - 3kms. Not bad.
    • The car handles fine in the snow and ice. It's very very stable. I was pleasantly surprised. And, yes, the Volt has Michelin X-Ice winters.
    • Filling up is a non-event. You depress the button to release the pressure in the tank, when it says "Ready to fuel" you fuel up. It takes less time than you'd expect because the tank is so small.
    • I got a lot of looks while filling up. It was rather funny as I'm sure some were thinking: "But isn't it electric????"
    • Defrost, etc. all work fine. No surprises.
    • Camera gets dirty (it's located above the license plate). It requires a bit of a swipe with a glove now and again, otherwise all you see is dirt. No easy solution for that, I suppose, considering the slushy streets and all.
    • I've gotten used to the sensors (front and back), though they remain loud. Honestly, it's as if GM set them for "hearing impaired".
    • The seats are very comfortable, but they should have been powered with memory. That remains a sore point with me. It's stupid on GM's part, considering the cost and complexity and luxury level of the car.
    • Bluetooth works great. I've never had it work as seamlessly as it does in the Volt.
    • The configurable dash is uber cool. Only problem is the passengers playing with the centre one all the time. Both the centre and the main one are configurable. The graphics are easy to read.
    • I love the fact that the graphic for open doors show red doors. Quite a nice touch.
    • Sport mode remains an awesome feature. I use it a lot.
    • A lot of people are totally shocked by how quickly the Volt accelerates. I've had people roll their eyes when they're behind me, only to stare in disbelief as it just up and goes. I've then received a lot of smiles. I think folks are used to anemic hybrids, such as the Honda hybrid I was stuck behind today until the roadway opened up to 2 lanes and I could pass.
    • The car sounds high end. You close the hatch or any door and it snicks with decision. None of that floppy cheap metal sound so many cars, even some high end cars, seem to exhibit.
    • The quiet continues to impress. Even though the rubber, glass, and metal are all shrinking at their own rates courtesy of the colder weather the car remains very very quiet. Eerily quiet when the roads aren't wet.
    • The winter tires seem to have more grip than the low resistance summer tires allowing for more aggressive cornering. I will definitely replace the low-resistance tires with real tires once they wear out.
    • After 2800+ kms oil is down only 2%, indicative of not needing to change the oil until well into the second year of ownership. Quite cool, that.
    • It remains an utter joy to drive.
    • And nearly 3000km between fillups (~2000 miles). Wow. I'm suitably impressed.


    One happy Volt driver. GM should make the Volt MPV. It would be a very hot seller in my mind if priced similarly to the Volt since it offers so many advantages over any other MPV.
    Last edited by zete; 12-20-2011 at 12:14 AM.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Great write up as usual Zete.

    What is your electricity useage estimate for the 2400 Km electric ? Can you gauge accurately or do you just assume 12KwH per night ?

    From what you say, the fit and finish and general feel of the car is more upmarket than a Cruze or other similar sized vehicles. Would you compare it to say a BMW 1 series or Audi A3 ?
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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Very interesting write-up. What are the best and worst parts of owning/driving your Volt?

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Quote Originally Posted by isszy View Post
    Great write up as usual Zete.

    What is your electricity useage estimate for the 2400 Km electric ? Can you gauge accurately or do you just assume 12KwH per night ?

    From what you say, the fit and finish and general feel of the car is more upmarket than a Cruze or other similar sized vehicles. Would you compare it to say a BMW 1 series or Audi A3 ?
    The fit and finish is easily better than most cars I've driven. I find the interior more appealing than a 3 series, which I find too teutonic. Compared to the A3/A4, it's a toss up though I prefer the general characteristics of the Volt more -- it just looks like someone cared and didn't just melt an interior over a pre-defined slab.

    The Volt is definitely a mid-luxury type of car, maybe a bit higher up. To me, it's nicer inside than an Acura or an ES Lexus, for example. It is much much better than the last gen CTS or my old G8, for example. I'd say it's even nicer inside than the current Enclave.

    As to electricity usage, I figured that out in another thread. It's cost us about $42 for 50 days. We're now fully 60 days in and my estimate is that it's cost us less than $50 for those 60 days. Most days it's fully or nearly fully depleted, while on weekends or when the kids take it out we end up using gas -- such as over the last week or so due to exams and Christmas shopping, etc. The cost is about $0.80 per full charge, about 12kWh. Even at peak it'd cost us about $1.30 or so, nothing major or onerous. We've averaged 41km on electric since we got it (2440/60 days). I figure that will drop as the frigid weather approaches and then improve once March rolls in. From March - next October I figure we'll be averaging 50+km. I won't know for sure the full year until mid-October 2012, wherein I'll definitely post again, God willing.

    BTW, I also reverse costed the cost of charging the Volt by looking at the 12kWh the EPA quotes, the 41km per day on average, plus the cost of electricity (taxes in) here in Ottawa ($0.08/kWh). Ottawa Hydro just recently purchased a Volt, too, and have said it costs less than $1/day to fully charge so I'm not making it up, as some seem at times to contend.

    Being able to go 1400+km/month on $45 is unbelievable. $20 of gas and $25 of electricity. 1400+km. Amazing.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Show-Me View Post
    Very interesting write-up. What are the best and worst parts of owning/driving your Volt?
    Well, here's a short list of best/worst.
    • Best
      • Awesome driving dynamics
      • Quiet, unbelievably so
      • Unbelievable fuel economy (1l/100km!, 235mpg)
      • Very well appointed, seats are very comfortable
      • Overall, the vehicle is vastly more comfortable than I imagined
      • OnStar and Bluetooth very well integrated, seamlessly so
      • GM's support of the vehicle is fantastic, they are truly going overboard ensuring customers are happy
      • A joy each time I get in it
    • Worst
      • Should have had power seats and memory
      • I wish it was about 6" longer so there'd be more space behind my 6'3" frame for rear passengers
      • The steering wheel should be heated
      • I wish there was a better way to hide your junk in the hatch. They have a privacy screen, but I wish there was a hard liner that was optional
      • The front air dam (rubber) is too low and brushes against the driveway


    I could list way more positives than negatives, and have to stretch to find any negatives, to be honest. Other than the power seats GM did a slam dunk, repeatedly. I am constantly impressed by the NVH which is as quiet as our old Enclave or any Lexus I've driven or driven in. And the handling is, quite frankly, unbelievable. You really and truly need to test drive one, especially in Sport Mode, to fully appreciate how much GM got it right as a car you can be fully involved with. You simply don't feel like you're driving a compromise. It's a full-on sporty-sedan. You can feel Lutz's influence all through the car. The guy loves cars and driving and the car drives and feels that way. It makes me truly jealous of what the Cadillac ELR will be like, because I think that's going to be an utter dream.
    Last edited by zete; 12-20-2011 at 12:15 AM.
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    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    As to electricity usage, I figured that out in another thread.
    Unfortunately many of the other threads have been hijacked and so some of the important information gets lost...
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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Quote Originally Posted by isszy View Post
    Unfortunately many of the other threads have been hijacked and so some of the important information gets lost...
    Yeah, I know. Jealousy is an ugly trait.

    And I promised to update folks when I first filled up. I had truly hoped it'd be in January. But, the festive season conspired against me . Well, actually, my kids going to exams, parties, shopping, etc. did my estimate in. Should have realized they have a life as I did at their age... I guess I'm just too much of an old fart now and am slowly morphing into my dad. I guess it's our destiny to turn into our parents, no matter how hard we try not to. Or, as my kids say, I have to practice screaming: "Damn kids, get off my lawn!"
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Hey! MyVolt.ca just came online, mostly. It provides a bunch of information like tire pressure, OnStar info/minutes/plan/etc., auto diagnostics, etc. It will provide statistics soon, too, it says. However, it already offers some interesting stats, namely:


    • Lifetime fuel economy: 1l/100km (but we knew that)
    • Lifetime electric economy: 26kWh/100km (.26kWh/km or .42kWh/mile)


    I predict both of those will get worse over the course of the winter months and then drastically improve once Canada greens up in the spring, summer and fall. BTW, that number is the draw from the grid. That means I've drawn down 634kWh since we bought the car. At $0.08/kWh (taxes in) that works out to be $50.75 for the 65 days of ownership, $0.78 per day. Odd, I think that's about what I've been saying. In fact, it's less than I believed since at the 50 day mark I thought it cost me $42 but it really cost me $39. Oh the shame. It cost me less. Damn GM! Why do you go and mock your haters so?
    Last edited by zete; 12-20-2011 at 12:46 AM.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Pretty awesome!

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    Well, I didn't make January. I had to gas up. Forgot about the kids' exams and Christmas shopping. And then Mother Nature walloped us this weekend with -17c weather. Sigh. Plus, I wanted to fill up so that I don't have to worry about gas over the Christmas break, what with all the visits to friends, relatives, etc. The cars will be out for a lot of driving courtesy of the festive season .

    Here's the dash as it stood a few hours ago:

    Volt_first_fillup.jpg

    Anyway, as the picture shows, we made it to 2818kms total, 2440 electric. I filled up while out on errands this evening. We've burned through 30.2l of fuel.

    Our average fuel economy is now 1.0l/100kms, or about 235 US mpg (285 imperial mpg).

    The fill up was $39 for the 30 litres.

    When we do our next fill up actually depends on what the weather is like going forward. If it gets back down to the -20c range we'll fill up more often. If it stays fairly mild we'll last longer.

    Here's some simple stats.

    • Best range: 75km
    • Average warm weather range (>15c): 60km
    • Average fall weather range (5 - 15c): 55km
    • Average mild winter weather (-5 - 5c): 48km
    • Worst range (-17c): 32km


    The battery is truly hammered when the outside temperature is cold. And, no, we don't "precondition" the battery or the car. We're on 120 and supposedly that doesn't have enough power to properly condition the battery. We have not remote started the car, even in the frigid weather.

    Some additional tidbits of interest:

    • The engine comes on whenever the temperature is below -5c, cycling as necessary.
    • We seem to get about 5l/100km in charge sustaining mode.
    • My daughter loves "Comfort" mode, with the seats going full and the cabin temperature at least set to 24c. The impact appears to be about 2 - 3kms. Not bad.
    • The car handles fine in the snow and ice. It's very very stable. I was pleasantly surprised. And, yes, the Volt has Michelin X-Ice winters.
    • Filling up is a non-event. You depress the button to release the pressure in the tank, when it says "Ready to fuel" you fuel up. It takes less time than you'd expect because the tank is so small.
    • I got a lot of looks while filling up. It was rather funny as I'm sure some were thinking: "But isn't it electric????"
    • Defrost, etc. all work fine. No surprises.
    • Camera gets dirty (it's located above the license plate). It requires a bit of a swipe with a glove now and again, otherwise all you see is dirt. No easy solution for that, I suppose, considering the slushy streets and all.
    • I've gotten used to the sensors (front and back), though they remain loud. Honestly, it's as if GM set them for "hearing impaired".
    • The seats are very comfortable, but they should have been powered with memory. That remains a sore point with me. It's stupid on GM's part, considering the cost and complexity and luxury level of the car.
    • Bluetooth works great. I've never had it work as seamlessly as it does in the Volt.
    • The configurable dash is uber cool. Only problem is the passengers playing with the centre one all the time. Both the centre and the main one are configurable. The graphics are easy to read.
    • I love the fact that the graphic for open doors show red doors. Quite a nice touch.
    • Sport mode remains an awesome feature. I use it a lot.
    • A lot of people are totally shocked by how quickly the Volt accelerates. I've had people roll their eyes when they're behind me, only to stare in disbelief as it just up and goes. I've then received a lot of smiles. I think folks are used to anemic hybrids, such as the Honda hybrid I was stuck behind today until the roadway opened up to 2 lanes and I could pass.
    • The car sounds high end. You close the hatch or any door and it snicks with decision. None of that floppy cheap metal sound so many cars, even some high end cars, seem to exhibit.
    • The quiet continues to impress. Even though the rubber, glass, and metal are all shrinking at their own rates courtesy of the colder weather the car remains very very quiet. Eerily quiet when the roads aren't wet.
    • The winter tires seem to have more grip than the low resistance summer tires allowing for more aggressive cornering. I will definitely replace the low-resistance tires with real tires once they wear out.
    • After 2800+ kms oil is down only 2%, indicative of not needing to change the oil until well into the second year of ownership. Quite cool, that.
    • It remains an utter joy to drive.
    • And nearly 3000km between fillups (~2000 miles). Wow. I'm suitably impressed.


    One happy Volt driver. GM should make the Volt MPV. It would be a very hot seller in my mind if priced similarly to the Volt since it offers so many advantages over any other MPV.
    Am I the only one who finds irony in all the criticism the Volt getting 235 mpg was? And yet, that IS your mileage!!! IT DOES USE LESS GAS!!!!!

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    I'm going to translate your post into American units, if you don't mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    Well, I didn't make January. I had to gas up. Forgot about the kids' exams and Christmas shopping. And then Mother Nature walloped us this weekend with -17c (-1F) weather. Sigh. Plus, I wanted to fill up so that I don't have to worry about gas over the Christmas break, what with all the visits to friends, relatives, etc. The cars will be out for a lot of driving courtesy of the festive season .

    Here's the dash as it stood a few hours ago:

    Volt_first_fillup.jpg

    Anyway, as the picture shows, we made it to 2818kms (1747 miles) total, 2440 (1513) electric. I filled up while out on errands this evening. We've burned through 30.2l (almost exactly 8 gallons) of fuel.

    Our average fuel economy is now 1.0l/100kms, or about 235 US mpg (285 imperial mpg).

    The fill up was $39 for the 30 litres. (roughly $4.89 per gallon)

    When we do our next fill up actually depends on what the weather is like going forward. If it gets back down to the -20c (-4F) range we'll fill up more often. If it stays fairly mild we'll last longer.

    Here's some simple stats.

    • Best range: 75km (46.5 miles)
    • Average warm weather range (>15c): 60km (37.2 miles)
    • Average fall weather range (5 - 15c): 55km (34.1 miles)
    • Average mild winter weather (-5 - 5c): 48km (29.76 miles)
    • Worst range (-17c): 32km (19.84 miles)


    The battery is truly hammered when the outside temperature is cold. And, no, we don't "precondition" the battery or the car. We're on 120 and supposedly that doesn't have enough power to properly condition the battery. We have not remote started the car, even in the frigid weather.

    Some additional tidbits of interest:

    • The engine comes on whenever the temperature is below -5c (23F), cycling as necessary.
    • We seem to get about 5l/100km (47 mpg, hot damn!) in charge sustaining mode.
    • My daughter loves "Comfort" mode, with the seats going full and the cabin temperature at least set to 24c (75F). The impact appears to be about 2 - 3kms (1.24-1.86 miles). Not bad.
    • The car handles fine in the snow and ice. It's very very stable. I was pleasantly surprised. And, yes, the Volt has Michelin X-Ice winters.
    • Filling up is a non-event. You depress the button to release the pressure in the tank, when it says "Ready to fuel" you fuel up. It takes less time than you'd expect because the tank is so small.
    • I got a lot of looks while filling up. It was rather funny as I'm sure some were thinking: "But isn't it electric????"
    • Defrost, etc. all work fine. No surprises.
    • Camera gets dirty (it's located above the license plate). It requires a bit of a swipe with a glove now and again, otherwise all you see is dirt. No easy solution for that, I suppose, considering the slushy streets and all.
    • I've gotten used to the sensors (front and back), though they remain loud. Honestly, it's as if GM set them for "hearing impaired".
    • The seats are very comfortable, but they should have been powered with memory. That remains a sore point with me. It's stupid on GM's part, considering the cost and complexity and luxury level of the car.
    • Bluetooth works great. I've never had it work as seamlessly as it does in the Volt.
    • The configurable dash is uber cool. Only problem is the passengers playing with the centre one all the time. Both the centre and the main one are configurable. The graphics are easy to read.
    • I love the fact that the graphic for open doors show red doors. Quite a nice touch.
    • Sport mode remains an awesome feature. I use it a lot.
    • A lot of people are totally shocked by how quickly the Volt accelerates. I've had people roll their eyes when they're behind me, only to stare in disbelief as it just up and goes. I've then received a lot of smiles. I think folks are used to anemic hybrids, such as the Honda hybrid I was stuck behind today until the roadway opened up to 2 lanes and I could pass.
    • The car sounds high end. You close the hatch or any door and it snicks with decision. None of that floppy cheap metal sound so many cars, even some high end cars, seem to exhibit.
    • The quiet continues to impress. Even though the rubber, glass, and metal are all shrinking at their own rates courtesy of the colder weather the car remains very very quiet. Eerily quiet when the roads aren't wet.
    • The winter tires seem to have more grip than the low resistance summer tires allowing for more aggressive cornering. I will definitely replace the low-resistance tires with real tires once they wear out.
    • After 2800+ kms oil is down only 2%, indicative of not needing to change the oil until well into the second year of ownership. Quite cool, that.
    • It remains an utter joy to drive.
    • And nearly 3000km between fillups (~2000 miles). Wow. I'm suitably impressed.


    One happy Volt driver. GM should make the Volt MPV. It would be a very hot seller in my mind if priced similarly to the Volt since it offers so many advantages over any other MPV.
    Awesome statistics, thanks. I suspect one of the biggest costs of the Volt is the battery pack, so the problem with making a Volt MPV or Volt Lambda is that it would double the battery costs, and suddenly you would have one world-class Voltec MPV or Lambda that costs $70,000.

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    I'm going to translate your post into American units, if you don't mind.
    No problem. But you guys should join the 20th Century sometime soon, before the 22nd starts...

    Awesome statistics, thanks. I suspect one of the biggest costs of the Volt is the battery pack, so the problem with making a Volt MPV or Volt Lambda is that it would double the battery costs, and suddenly you would have one world-class Voltec MPV or Lambda that costs $70,000.
    An Orlando-based Volt MPV should cost the same as the Volt. The battery pack would be the same, pretty much everything except that it's a crossover on Delta II instead of a car on Delta II. It's all still Delta II.

    But if you start moving over to the heavier platforms, I agree. Better to wait a couple of years until pack prices come down and densities go up, then put in an appropriately sized pack again returning 40 miles per charge even for a Lambda II.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Great write up. Hopefully this thread won't get derailed like most of the others do.
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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Michael_S's Avatar
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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    No problem. But you guys should join the 20th Century sometime soon, before the 22nd starts...
    I think that's a great ideal to move towards, but if we're not using meters, kilograms, and liters by now we're probably never going to use them.

    An Orlando-based Volt MPV should cost the same as the Volt. The battery pack would be the same, pretty much everything except that it's a crossover on Delta II instead of a car on Delta II. It's all still Delta II.

    But if you start moving over to the heavier platforms, I agree. Better to wait a couple of years until pack prices come down and densities go up, then put in an appropriately sized pack again returning 40 miles per charge even for a Lambda II.
    Use the Cruze to Orlando comparison. The Orlando is a few hundred pounds heavier and far less aerodynamic versus the Cruze. I suspect if they put the Volt powertrain and battery as-is into the Orlando you would see enough of a drop in pure electric range and range-extended fuel economy that it would sell poorly.

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 neshapop's Avatar
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    re: Didn't make it ... had to gas up (Feb 25/12 update)

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    Yeah, I know. Jealousy is an ugly trait.

    And I promised to update folks when I first filled up. I had truly hoped it'd be in January. But, the festive season conspired against me . Well, actually, my kids going to exams, parties, shopping, etc. did my estimate in. Should have realized they have a life as I did at their age... I guess I'm just too much of an old fart now and am slowly morphing into my dad. I guess it's our destiny to turn into our parents, no matter how hard we try not to. Or, as my kids say, I have to practice screaming: "Damn kids, get off my lawn!"
    On a bright side the gas seems a bit cheaper these days. It was $1.16/L in Toronto.

    Comparing to The Volt my Regal Turbo looks like a SUV monster with 10.5L/100km (22-23 mpg) in mostly (65-70%) city driving on premium grade.
    Last edited by neshapop; 12-20-2011 at 02:44 PM.

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