We got our Chevy Volt back after a terrible 6 month saga waiting on an insurance repair after Steph crashed it. The good news is it runs fine (after an initial problem with a stuck thermostat that was fixed over one more weekend). The even better news is my EBusBar charger works for 110v (as well as the expected 220v), and that means I can plug it in at work. My 116 km commute is suddenly way more affordable. On full charge, the gauge shows 70 km. I go about 50 km on electric and then kick into “Mountain mode” whenever I am steady over 80 km/h, until I hit the edge of the Niagara escarpment. Then it’s back to electric as I float down gently touching the brake pedal as I add 2-3 km to my range (while travelling 3 km). Hitting the QEW I go back to mountain mode, dropping into electric whenever I hit stop and go as I crest the Burlington skyway, and chug through the QEW/403 merge. Into the HOV I go back to mountain mode until I exit onto the 403, by which time I check my electric range. I switch to electric when my range matches the distance left to travel, and I cruise into the office with nothing to spare.

Plugging in at work on the 110 I rarely stay long enough to get a full charge, but usually I get about 55 km worth in about 9 hours. Using a similar strategy to my morning commute, I use Mountain mode once I am at less than 25 km electric range anywhere I can make a steady speed over 80 km/h. Below that I reserve for all electric.

Following these strategies I have seen my consumption over the last 7,000 km drop below 3.3 l/100 km. Not bad for a 116 km one way commute. To make fuller use of this cars capabilities, I made my own 110 / 220 adapter so I can plug it into whichever outlet is available. That way on the weekends I can make multiple trips, re-charging quickly in between on the 220 and have all the convenience without touching the gas. My target is for a full tank of gas to last the whole week - regardless of how many side trips I end up making. This is a far cry from my woes while the Volt was in the shop - driving my Ram Ecodiesel at 9.6 l/100 km was costing me about $180 in diesel weekly, what with the commute plus weekend shopping and Maddy’s activities.

The savings are so good I may even let my wife drive it to the barn on Saturday as they have a plug there and she can make pretty much the whole drive on electric. It will depend on whether I have trips I need to make myself - and whether she can agree to leave the car clean!