The Chevy Volt goes skiing

Well, okay, you caught me taking license with my blog title … the Volt didn’t itself go skiing, but this brand new iPhone-crossed-with-an-electric-car-hybrid took us skiing at Bogus Basin.

I’m referring to the new Chevy Volt in the family.

I owned a Chevy Chevette once.  (Wow, that was a long time ago.  It’s too scary long ago to mention here with actual facts and details)

I haven’t owned a Chevy since.  Hmmm… after the Chevette, I wonder why?

But, this Volt is pretty fricken (or fracken) awesome.

The stats for the first drive.

– It’s 39 miles roundtrip

– There’s a 3,300 ft (~1000M) elevation gain

– Near the top (~6,000 Ft above sea level) the road is completely ice-covered

– The parking lot is ice, potholes, and gravel

The Volt was abfab (absolutely fabulous).  At the end, it had used 10.3 kWh of electricity (that’s about $0.90 worth), and 0.3 gal of gas.  The engine came on right before we hit 6,000 ft elevation, but I’d done some errands in the morning before starting the drive, and since I don’t have the quick charger, the battery was only ~80% full to start. Yep, the “slow charge” takes about 10 hours to finish.  For me, that’s usually ok, I don’t even drive every day.

So, this ski trip, energy wise, cost us a sum total of $.90 in electricity (for 80% of the drive) and $1.00 in gas (for the last 20% of the drive) = $1.90.  (I won’t talk about the somewhat painful new car payment… but I’m convinced we will make up for that over the long haul, because we like to ski… a lot!)

What was also fun is that on the way down, there was no burning of brakes to allow a graceful descent for nearly 4,000 lbs of car and passenger… instead, nearly all that energy went back into the batteries, so that when we hit the valley floor, we had enough charge to make it home without firing up the gas engine again (it fires up automatically when needed).

I’m expecting that, if the battery is fully charged and we go straight there, we may make it with no gas usage whatsoever.

This car is the first since my VW Jetta that I actually have fun driving.  I’ve owned too many big, clunky SUV-type vehicles to get the family around.  The volt hugs the curves, and was a real charm on the twisty road to Bogus (basin, that is).

More on the volt to come, but this is a fun one.  Chevy done right!

And, I’m thrilled that I can go skiing with a much lower carbon footprint  (most of our power comes from hydroelectric).