So, two years have now passed. The reason I know this is that OnStar sent me a note telling me the Volt needed an oil change by its second anniversary as none had been done prior to this.
The car now sits at nearly 35,000km and a lifetime average of 1.3l/100km (181mpg).
We've also had our first scheduled maintenance, that aforementioned oil change. That ran us about $100. I also had a minor alignment, fixed the air dam my wife ripped off by going over a high curb, had the 2 year maintenance checks recommended by GM which in total cost another $300. So, after 2 years our first maintenance cost us $400 taxes in, including fixing the busted air dam which was $175; in reality, maintenance cost us $225.
Our old Cruze cost us about $200/year in oil changes or $400 during the same period. Since the Volt needed but one that means we saved $300 there, or nearly what we spend in electricity and fuel per year to drive the Volt more than 17,000km. Or, to put it another way, we effectively drive every other year free just on the oil change cost savings vs. the Cruze.
Some statistics for those keeping track:
- 28,744km electric
- 5,792km gas
- 83% electric
- 2 full years, which means 2 full Ottawa winters and 2 hot and humid Ottawa summers
The savings in fuel vs. our Cruze, which has been driven nearly an identical number of kilometres, is about $2400/year. Considering that we intend to keep the Volt for a long time we should continue to see those savings year over year. Compared to the Enclave we traded in for the Volt our fuel savings are about $4000/year. And we've only been desirous of the space in the Enclave a couple of times, but have resolved that need by renting an Enclave each time: easily a much more financially sound decision .
For those who love pretty pictures, here are the one year stats from OnStar for the car as graphs.
I'm not going to go into anything I covered in my prior updates -- you can look them up via search if you're curious. Overall we are exceedingly happy with the car.
I still get asked about the car all the time. A lot of people have been gulled by the idiots in the media. One person even asked me if it was true the car didn't work in winter. I said that, yes, it does work perfectly fine in winter and that we've driven it 2 winters and it's the best FWD car we've ever driven and I'd argue better than most AWD cars we've driven for winter driving. Stopping at a gas station does raise some eyebrows now and again, but with more and more of these vehicles on the road the arched brows are fewer each time. I know a couple of friends who have a Volt tagged as their next car. The generator provides those friends with the peace of mind to know they can commute cheaply every day via electricity and then, for longer trips, know the gas generator will get them wherever they want to go.
One interesting point is that GM dropped the price of a Volt to about $30k after the provincial rebate here in Ontario. When you consider a fully loaded Cruze, Corolla or Civic runs about $27k the math turns in the Volt's favour very quickly. Here is what someone today would see based on our fuel costs on our Cruze LTZ vs. our Volt assuming 17,000km/year and the way we tend to drive.
Cruze Volt Car cost $27000 $30000 Annual Fuel cost: $3000 $450 Cost Year 1: $30000 $30450 Cost Year 2: $33000 $30900 Cost Year 3: $36000 $31150 Cost Year 4: $39000 $31500 Cost Year 5: $42000 $31850
That doesn't include maintenance which for oil changes alone would cost us $200/year for the Cruze and $100 every two years for the Volt. Or, put another way, $400 in oil changes for the Cruze for every $100 in oil for the Volt meaning the savings in oil changes is nearly a year of free driving since we're running about $450/year in gas+electricity costs to go 17,000km/year in our Volt. And that's simply impressive.
There are a few questions I know folks will ask and I'll happily answer them in this thread. The one other question I get asked regularly is: When's the last time you filled the Volt. And, to be honest, I don't remember. I think it was June. Maybe May. Before that I know it was March. Now that the colder weather is coming we'll be back to every 4-6 weeks in December, unless the chill holds off until January. But we can't really complain about a cost-per-month in "fuel" of $40, about $900 for the two years, to go nearly 35,000km.
Ultimately the only question that matters is: Would you buy one again? Yes. In a heartbeat. It's a fantastic car. We have and are thoroughly enjoying it. I do wish it was a tad bigger. I still think it should have been on Epsilon II. If it were on EpII it would have been perfect, in my opinion. A CUV can't come fast enough and as the years go buy GM will surely sell more and more and more Voltec equipped cars.
Do we ever think a car will pull us out of the Volt? Maybe an EpII CUV-based Voltec car might. A pure electric won't simply because those have too many compromises. I don't want to think about whether I can get up north to visit friends and family or head into a national park and enjoy Canada's natural bounties. But a Voltec equipped car eliminates any compromise. I can do 83% of my driving on electric per year and when I need to know I can get to Val d'Or or Algonquin Park or Quebec City or Gaspe or TO or anywhere else in Canada without having to do any more planning than taking the existing highways and byways.
BTW, one thing I truly enjoy is just turning off the stereo and not having any noise while driving. After a hard day it's a restful way to commute home.