So I’ve owned my 2017 Chevrolet Volt Premier “Lightning’s Girl” for the past week. And obviously there are some inherent costs involved with operating a car. You have to feed it gasoline. And because my car has a pressurized gas tank, there is a recommendation to use high-octane gasoline (91 in a pinch, 93 preferred).
So after driving to Syracuse and back for last week’s NBL Canada / TBL All-Star Classic, I stopped to refuel my tank.
Okay. Gritted my teeth. This is probably where it’s going to hurt me. Right in the wallet.
I put my credit card in the slot. Chip accepted. Okay, let’s fill the tank with 93.
Fuel activated. Pump is pumping.
And then, in a few moments …
Pump stops. Total of six gallons in. $29 total at the pump.
Wait … I just spent $29 to fill my tank?? With premium gasoline?!? What form of sorcery and alchemy is this?
I started the car. Fuel cell listed as full. Estimated mileage on gasoline alone = 385 miles. And I still had 17 miles of electric battery available.
Oh, and let me tell you about the cost of charging a car. This is good.
I work a day job in downtown Albany, which means I park in one of Albany’s municipal garages. These facilities have dedicated electric car charging stations with J1772 pumps – perfect for my needs. The cost to charge at these stations is $0.15/kilowatt hour. No, you read that correctly. Fifteen cents per kilowatt hour. I drive in, plug my car into the charging station, activate an app on my phone, and go to work. (this charging station uses an app called Connect EV, there’s another app called ChargePoint that also scopes out various charging docks wherever you are). At lunchtime, my phone alerts me that the charging is complete.
The first time I charged up Lightning’s Girl, I previously had maybe four miles of battery life in it. A finished charge of 53 battery miles cost me a whopping $2.09. That’s a tick less than four cents per mile.
That’s right, kids … while some people in this area still have glorified attention-whoring online tantrums about the price of fuel – and yes, fuel is expensive these days – my feeling is, you can either kvetch about it, or you can do something about it. I chose to do something about it. Every car I’ve owned has had a remarkable improvement in MPG than its predecessor. My ’91 Pontiac 6000, for example, barely ticked 20 mpg on a good day. And I haven’t owned that car in twelve years.
This Chevrolet Volt Premier, on the other hand? I can do 20 miles on battery power for less than a dollar.
Oh, I’m definitely good with this. Because you know … any savings I generate with Lightning’s Girl at the pump … those savings will automatically end up as additional car payments. Because you know, as sure as anything, I want this car paid off as quickly as possible. Just so I can save MORE money.
Oh, and a side note. I understand that there have been some comments regarding the warranty on the car’s battery. Rest assured. Chevrolet’s battery warranty is transferable to whoever owns the car (like me), and full maintenance and/or replacement of the battery is good for 100,000 miles or eight years, whichever comes first. So I’ve got at least 40,000 miles or until 2025 to worry about paying for a replacement battery.
I’m good with that. Maybe I’ll pay for the battery in all the money I’m not spending on fuel. 😀