Any GTAM'ers own an electric vehicle? | GTAMotorcycle.com

Any GTAM'ers own an electric vehicle?

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
My wife's trusty Chrysler 300 is still ticking and looking good...but sometime this next fall/winter it will roll over to 400,000+ kilometres and be headed for 500,000 by the end of next year. Not that I expect it to blow up In the short term or anything, however it will be getting long in the tooth and we are contemplating end of life plans.

For quite a few years now we have been contemplating an EV but the math on the cost versus savings potential didn't make sense for us purely from the perspective of buying an EV for gas savings vs "we just wanted a new car" and the EV was secondary to that fact.

I am however now leaning towards a used Chevy Volt for a variety of reasons:


  • Extended range with the gas backup, so no range anxiety
  • Resale price on the earlier models are now in the $15K range so easier to swallow.
  • They've been around long enough now that the quirks are known and solved.
The new Chevy Bolt would also fit the bill but the price is still stupid. Tesla would be awesome, but I refuse to spend that sort of money.

Smaller/cheaper pure EV's like the Leaf don't have the range she needs. The Prius, still not really a pure EV in the end.

Based on her commute and right now she should be able to make it almost the entire distance on electricity alone and there is a possibility that she will have access to a plug where she can, over the period of an eight hour shift even on the slow 15a charger, pick up enough of a recharge to make it 50–75% of the way home on electric alone again. And then recharge at night.

There's also lots of talk about free overnight charging in Ontario for EV's in the future, that would certainly be a perk but not ultimately a deciding factor, however it is in the back of my head

Curious if anyone here owns a Volt or has had experience.
 

SunnY S

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I wouldnt buy an older Volt. batteries are due for replacement soon $$$$ and I dont trust GM engineering on first gen products.

The Bolt actually looks quite promising, despite its stupid price tag, I believe there are govt grants in the $10 to 15k range last I heard, but haven't really looked into it and the limited range is a disappointment.


Electric cars are here to stay, but apart from Tesla, I still think they are in their infancy with their limited range and high price tags.


If I were in the market for an "electric" type car, which I will be soon, I'd go HYBRID! (2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid.. 26mpg City for a huge azz 3 row SUV is great!!)
 

GateKeeper

Well-known member
do your homework....

a while back there was a comparison to a hybrid (prius maybe) and a BMW 3 series, and the 3 series won for fuel economy, efficiency, etc......

.

if it wasn't for the cost, the only EV I would look at or even consider at this time and possibly in the near future would be a Tesla

.
 

SunnY S

Well-known member
Site Supporter
do your homework....

a while back there was a comparison to a hybrid (prius maybe) and a BMW 3 series, and the 3 series won for fuel economy, efficiency, etc......

.

if it wasn't for the cost, the only EV I would look at or even consider at this time and possibly in the near future would be a Tesla

.

I call BS on the above, unless possibly it was diesel? did the report talk about maintenance and long term reliability? please post a link.
 

Brian P

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
The 3-series vs Prius was Top Gear, and it was a very contrived test that is meaningless in the real world.

The Volt has proven to have excellent reliability. Batteries generally haven't been a problem; GM did their homework with these. There are a few people who have put very high mileage on them. If you are used to the interior space of a Chrysler 300, the Volt is ... a bit smaller. The back seat is strictly for two people because of where the battery pack is located in the chassis.

I don't care for the playskool interior of the first-generation Volt, but if you can get past that, it's a good car. The second-generation model is a lot better looking inside and out (and uses less fuel and has a longer electric-only range and better performance) ... but those will still be at new-car prices.

(P.S. Congrats on putting high mileage on a non-Sunny S-approved vehicle! Every vehicle I've owned that has gone past 400,000 km has been non Sunny S approved ...)
 

SunnY S

Well-known member
Site Supporter
GM warrants the Volt battery for 8 years, so I'd be careful when looking at a 2011, I'd look into whether it had its battery pack replaced or price what it will cost in a year or two later. most people dont think about those costs in the long term and how much it will add to the price of the car.

still wouldnt touch a first gen version.

edit : good read here on battery replacement http://www.autoblog.com/2014/01/10/chevy-volt-battery-replacement-cost-34000/

and here : http://www.autoblog.com/2015/09/02/real-costs-chevy-volt-road/
 
Last edited:

DJM

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I did my homework. Almost pulled the trigger on a used 2015 Volt last year. Wife has a 20 Km stop-and-go round trip while I have 40 Km mainly hwy trip.

The biggest issue I read on the Volt forums was a thing called ERDTT (engine running due to temperature) in cooler weather. This had a major effect on my total cost of ownership calculations, and the mental gymnastics required to get the most battery range and least fuel usage out of the vehicle. Ultimately there was no way my "I just want to turn the damn key and go" spouse was going to operate it at that level.

Other issues was charging, a level 2 charger was required to get the vehicle to charge in a decent amount of time, not included with the vehicle. Purchase and install was about 1K for that.

Charging etiquette (look it up) means Volts go last. Anyone with an EV is going to give you grief or worse unplug you because you can still operate on gas. I don't need the confrontation, I don't do well at that.

Lastly for me, there was no way I could hook up and charge at work, I inquired and it was considered theft from the corporation.

So, we ended up getting a 4cyl gas powered sedan.
 

mmmnaked

Banned
New Focus EV may be worth the bucks. Big time gov subsidy and the range is finally decent.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
I wouldnt buy an older Volt. batteries are due for replacement soon $$$$ and I dont trust GM engineering on first gen products.
I know the first thing everyone says about EV's is "Wait until you have to replace the battery!", but reality is that they're faring incredibly well, and since the volt only uses something like 2/3 of it's battery capacity (in an effort to help longevity which is clearly working) so it's not like a vehicle that's nearing 6-7 years old has consumed it. To the contrary most Volt owners report good capacity remaining even in original Volts.

Yes, there are complaints out there of battery issues, but it's been my observation that many of these originate from people who don't fully understand that running the AC or Heat without proper pre-conditioning (while still plugged in) is at fault for that, or that driving their driving habits aren't exactly efficient. There's lots of Prius owners getting dismal fuel economy as well simply because they still insist on driving their car the same way one might drive a sports car.

I still think they are in their infancy with their limited range and high price tags.
Not sure how you could say that with the Bolt coming out. 380K per charge on pure electricity alone is hardly "limited range" (That'll take you from Pearson all the way to Windsor!), and the Volt blows that away even more with the pure EV and 42MPG gas backup.

Something like the Leaf is what I'd consider "limited range", personally.

do your homework....

a while back there was a comparison to a hybrid (prius maybe) and a BMW 3 series, and the 3 series won for fuel economy, efficiency, etc......

.

if it wasn't for the cost, the only EV I would look at or even consider at this time and possibly in the near future would be a Tesla
I find that difficult to believe. As mentioned, please post a link. Regardless, it's not an even remotely close comparison to put any hybrid next to a true EV - the EV wins hands down every time on overall cost per K.

On that topic, here's a link to a VERY interesting story that really breaks down the cost to charge an EV. There are people that think that with our admittedly high electricity costs here that EV's will cost more than gas in the end, but this blows that right out of the water:

http://www.autotrader.ca/newsfeatures/20170302/how-much-does-it-really-cost-to-charge-that-electric-vehicle/#HwVWFCIoKWrjsmCQ.97

GM warrants the Volt battery for 8 years, so I'd be careful when looking at a 2011, I'd look into whether it had its battery pack replaced or price what it will cost in a year or two later. most people dont think about those costs in the long term and how much it will add to the price of the car.
As for the (probably inevitable, as we tend to keep vehicles until they're expiring) battery replacement, I'm not too worried about that - one doesn't have to dig too far to find replacement battery packs for $1000-$3000. Hell, there's one at Standard Auto Wreckers right now (to explore but one source, scrapyards) for $2100 out of a 2011. There's lots of reconditioned ones out there as well for a fraction of the "official" GM replacement as well.

The way I look at it is that a $50 oil change once every 30 days on a traditional gas engine (based on the milage my wife drives commuting) is $600/year. If after 3-4 years of ownership it needs a battery the savings on the oil changes alone will pay for that, and we're laughing all the way to the bank on the 4 years of gas savings.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
The biggest issue I read on the Volt forums was a thing called ERDTT (engine running due to temperature) in cooler weather. This had a major effect on my total cost of ownership calculations, and the mental gymnastics required to get the most battery range and least fuel usage out of the vehicle. Ultimately there was no way my "I just want to turn the damn key and go" spouse was going to operate it at that level.
Yes, the preconditioning is essential to avoid running the engine unnecessarily, but as I understand it they can be programmed to precondition on a set schedule, and my wife's schedule *is* very predictable, so that won't be an issue.

Other issues was charging, a level 2 charger was required to get the vehicle to charge in a decent amount of time, not included with the vehicle. Purchase and install was about 1K for that.
There's DIY options out there including modifying the original 110V cord to pass 220V (at the related higher amps) to the car.

Getting 220V to my garage will cost me maybe $100 or so.

Lastly for me, there was no way I could hook up and charge at work, I inquired and it was considered theft from the corporation.
This is still a question for my wifes situation in the end, but even if she has to drive home on the gas side of things the 6.5L/100K the volt manages on gas beats the 11L/100K the 300 burns now. So it's still a win.

Anyhow, aside from the eventual battery replacement I struggle to find any downsides, but it's always interesting to hear from those who have the "been there done that" Tshirt.
 

DemonPig

Do not cast your pearls before swine
Site Supporter
.... The way I look at it is that a $50 oil change once every 30 days on a traditional gas engine (based on the milage my wife drives commuting) is $600/year. If after 3-4 years of ownership it needs a battery the savings on the oil changes alone will pay for that, and we're laughing all the way to the bank on the 4 years of gas savings.
Your wife drives 100,000km a year???

Or does the 300 have abnormally short oil change intervals?

Most cars nowadays have anywhere from 8,000km - 15,000km schedules. Some even longer.
 
Last edited:

nakkers

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Is a used Volt the only consideration?

Why not a Prius?

Some heavy annual mileage. I run about the same.

New Prius or lightly used should be had at a decent price. Excellent range. Decent cargo space if going with the "C" model.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

SunnY S

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Not sure how you could say that with the Bolt coming out. 380K per charge on pure electricity alone is hardly "limited range" (That'll take you from Pearson all the way to Windsor!), and the Volt blows that away even more with the pure EV and 42MPG gas backup.

Something like the Leaf is what I'd consider "limited range", personally.

Blanket statement, however as I said earlier, the Bolt looks promising. Would like to see more "real world" testing. Driving a car from Pearson to Windsor at a fairly mild cruise isn't a true reflection with hardly any strain on the battery pack.



edit: Prius is a hybrid but IMHO a overall better, more reliable choice than a used older Volt!

When we travelled recently, the Taxi company sent over a Prius to get us to the airport. We crammed into the back seat (somewhat illegally) and the trunk swallowed 4 large pieces of luggage. absolutely incredible!
 
Last edited:

mimico_polak

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Friend of mine was researching the new Chevy Bolt and he said that with the government programs, his trade in, and a few incentives the price of one is ridiculously cheap, and the government apparently subsidizes the installation of a quick charger in the house. I haven't looked into it, but from what he informed me (and he's one to do research) it seemed very attainable. Personally I'd prefer a Tesla...but can't afford it anytime soon so not even on the radar. The Bolt, may actually be on the radar but will look into it more once it comes time.

I'm also shocked that a Chrysler 300 can do 400,000km....
 

mxs

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Ridiculously cheap? .... very relative, depending on each individual obviously. I think by consensus, the BOLT is not cheap and will not be cheap for some time for most of people.

For a commute car, dull looking and badly driving, there's always the cheap Nissan Leaf ... seriously, it all depends what people need/want. I wouldn't touch the Leaf even if I could have it for currently advertised leased price of USD 49/month in California (they are unloading them probably before gen 2 release ...). Because I am not looking for a box on wheels. Plus if you need to tow anything, all but one model X) EV's are out. PHEV is an option perhaps, but I have yet to hear anyone tows anything with Volt.

Anyway, my next car to replace will be a small commuter, but I feel I will keep the gasser around for another at least 5 years (if the car plays along), because attractive and well driving compact EV's within 35K OTD will not be available for some time, regardless what kind of money will Wynn throw at us. Even longer for a used market to develop ...
 

mimico_polak

Well-known member
Site Supporter
@mxs - you're right. I should've gotten the numbers before I spewed on the interwebs. I'll talk to him in the next week or so, but if I recall it was less than $20k OTD after his trade (old GTI), and gov't incentives.

My low emission / fuel efficient tool will be the bike this season...wife hasn't asked me to sell it (yet) with our new arrival...
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
To answer a bunch of comments at once:


  • The Prius isn't in contention as it's not pure EV. At an average fuel consumption of around 5.5L/100K it uses more gas than a Volt, and it uses it all the time as there's (at least on the generations in contention in the used market, I think the new ones are mostly the same?) no option to drive on electricity alone. Yes, even though the Volt relies on gas as well after the battery depletes, with a Prius you lose those ultra-cheap electric miles, and the use more gas with every 100K of gas mileage on top of that.
  • Our 300 has got to high mileage (and remains exceptionally mechanically healthy) because I maintain it exceptionally well. I'm still a fan of the 5000-6000k oil change, so yes...for all those surprised at the fact a 300 can make 400,000-500,000K I'm in the "maintenance pays off" camp. And the 3.5L in the 300 is known as a fairly reliable engine as well, FWIW, but I had an 89 Beretta with the 2.8L that went to 500,000K as well. 500,000K should be attainable for any decent engine now with proper or conservative maintenance, IMHO - even 4 bangers like the EcoTech can hit that as long as they're maintained and not beat on. My sons Saturn is a good example, nearing 400,000K and still healthy.
  • My wife drives at least 800K/week for work, and sometimes when she goes offsite that can climb to 1000+, so yes, it adds up, and that's not including personal use. These figures also bolster the argument for pure EV vs a hybrid especially if a portion (or potentially all, if the government plan comes to fruition) electricity is free. That's more or less 150-200 free kilometers per day - who would turn down that opportunity?
  • Last I looked the Bolt MSRP was around $50K Canadian? Even with the $15K subsidy, with no trade (the 300 will have little realistic residual value by the time are done with it), by the time you add taxes back onto that you're still talking a basically $40K car, which I'm not willing to pay as the carying costs vs savings math don't make sense to me personally. There's also the range anxiety that my wife would not be cool with, or the fact that it's not realistic for any longer trips like we occasionally take - I often drive for more than the Bolts entire range before stopping sometimes on road trips, and I don't want to have to wait hours for a recharge, all while having to plan around charging station availability.
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
A friend is a Toyota Hybrid tech. He said the life of the batteries is strongly correlated to having pets in the vehicle. The battery pack is cooled by air from inside the vehicle, if you have pets, the hair plugs up these passages, the batteries run hot and they fail. Keep things clean and he sees very few problems. Just something to keep in mind when looking at used vehicles with big batteries.
 

Top Bottom