Holden Volt By Miika: Canberra, ACT
Why did you choose this particular model?
I chose the Volt because of it’s adaptability – it’s EV range is perfect for commuting to work and back, while it’s petrol range extender allows me to go on long trips without too much hassle when the need arises. It was also reasonably cheap at the time, I purchased it second hand and saved a lot of money that way.
Which other models did you consider at the time of purchase?
A second-hand Nissan Leaf was the other option – it would have been perfect for around town but long range trips would have been more of a struggle in this car. With more and more charging stations opening up on the major highways this will become less of an issue in the future.
How long have you owned the vehicle?
Three and a half months – not very long! I’m certainly enjoying the experience and don’t think I’ll go back to an ICE vehicle any time soon!
Do you own any other vehicles? Do you have them for long trips or practical reasons?
We own a 2007 Ford Focus that my wife uses to get to work and around town when the Volt isn’t available. I’d love to replace it with a Nissan Leaf eventually, I think my wife is warming up to the idea!
What do you enjoy the most about the car?
I enjoy the smooth, quiet drive and certainly the low running costs compared to a petrol car! Pre-cooling the car is wonderful in hot weather. I also like not having to use petrol stations unless I go on long trips interstate!
What niggles you about it?
The terrible touchpad centre console – it’s almost impossible to use while driving.
Has your style of driving changed since owning an EV?
Absolutely! I’ve always had sports cars and drove fairly aggressively, where as this car rewards driving conservatively. I’m enjoying the tranquil experience of driving to the speed limit these days.
What's the longest and shortest range you've experienced?
So far the longest EV range I’ve had is 80 kilometres through lots of down hill driving, the shortest would be 60 kilometres after driving up hill and being a bit more of a ‘lead foot’! I expect the EV range to drop significantly more in Winter due to the colder weather.
Where do you mostly charge?
I charge mostly at home using the Cylon32 fast charger and at work using a spare 240V power outlet. These are more than adequate for my needs. The public charging stations here are unfortunately very expensive to use – I’d be better off using petrol, it’s that expensive.
How much longer do you intend to keep it for?
As long as possible! It’s a wonderful car and I’ll keep it for the foreseeable future.
How have the dealers been with regards to support?
This is interesting. These days there is only one Volt certified Holden dealer in each state’s capital city, all the other dealers have pulled out of the Volt program. Having said that, the dealer I go to has been very forthcoming and the service experience has been a good one. No complaints here!
Do you unashamedly consider yourself an EVangelist? ;-)
Oh yes!! I’ll talk my friends and family’s ear off about the benefits of owning an EV! They are now considering EV’s for their next purchases too!
Anything else to add that might help prospective buyers?
Take the time to do the research into the vehicle you want to buy, particularly now that EV’s have been around for a few years. Learning from other people’s experiences will be invaluable in finding out each cars’ quirks and abilities. The devil is in the details, as they say. A bit of research will help you to manage expectations and perhaps discover new advantages you weren’t aware of before.