I just put gas in my electric car. I last put gas in my Chevy Volt in early June; my wife put gas in it in mid July.

It’s kind of like putting gas in a rental car. I don’t remember where the filler port is or where the door release button is.

If the Volt had another 5 kWh of battery capacity we would almost never need gas—mainly for trips. We just have further travel days than typical Volt owners, so most weeks have a couple days where we use a quart or so of gas.

David Megginson September 01, 2016 18:41

Very cool! To be fair, we have a conventional Mazda 3 (manual transmission), and often put gas in it only once/month as well unless we’re going on a long highway trip. One 50 litre tank gives us about 670 km, which covers a lot of small errands around the city (outside of walking distance and off convenient transit lines/times).

Michael K Johnson September 01, 2016 19:11

The tank holds 9 gallons; I managed to fit in 7.5 gallons after about six weeks.

We didn’t plan so well. We bought the Volt in February (my 16-year-old car was going to cost a few times more to fix than it was worth) and it already has over 10,000 miles. We regularly get 60-70 miles all-electric, which isn’t bad for a car rated for 53 miles of electric range. But when we bought this house 12 years ago (to reduce commute!) we didn’t know where we were going to end up driving, and now we drive a lot more than we’d like. But we don’t like moving and really like our neighbors, so an electric car (or, given our proximity to a nuclear power plant, a nuclear car) is a good compromise for us.

There are things I don’t like about the Volt: The Gen2 volt reduced visibility to the rear, the rear quarter visibility is horrible, it doesn’t display tire pressure anywhere on built-in displays, only via an app, if you shift too soon after booting the car the infotainment system may display a black screen, and it has only a 3.3kW charger when it should have a 6.6kW charger, among other nuisances. But I do not at all regret buying it. Chevy got a lot right and I appreciate it.

David Megginson September 01, 2016 19:26

Our 50 litre tank is 13 gallons, and a typical fill for us is 40 litres (10 gallons). So there’s a real difference, but it’s incremental.

Then again, neither of us uses the car to commute, and it will sometimes sit in the driveway 2–4 days without moving, so our usage pattern may also be different than yours.

Ironically, we might just not drive enough to justify the extra up-front environmental cost of the batteries vs the on-going environmental cost of the fossil fuels we burn. Your usage pattern might be a better fit.

Michael K Johnson September 01, 2016 19:31

Yeah, we have totaled about 30K miles / 50K km per year between our two vehicles for some years. sigh

Gordon Storey September 01, 2016 21:44

Doesn’t gas go bad after sitting for a long while? :)

Michael K Johnson September 01, 2016 22:34

Today’s autogas should be stable for over a year, I’ve been told.

Eugene Crosser September 02, 2016 04:31

(or, given our proximity to a nuclear power plant, a nuclear car)

– nice touch, this :) Because if electricity comes from burning coal, what’s the advantage. (Other then questionable convenience.)

David Megginson September 02, 2016 07:24

+Eugene Crosser​​ - with coal, the advantage is mainly cost, not low carbon. Fortunately, outside the US and China, not many countries generate a lot of their electricity from coal burning any more.

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