updated 09:40 am EDT, Thu June 14, 2012
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The Chevrolet Volt is unique among electric cars because it runs on two sources of energy. You have an electric source – a battery – that allows you to drive gas-free for an EPA–estimated 35 miles. And there's also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go farther. So if you want to drive using only electricity, you can. If you want to drive using electricity and gas, you can do that, too.
Sounds like the perfect car for a patent attorney who’s into exploring new technology, doesn't it? That’s certainly the case for Chuck Fredericks, a Marina Del Ray, California resident whose career and personal passions include technology that can positively impact society. "As technology has progressed, our lifestyles have become increasingly dependent on energy and therefore I have long felt that electric vehicles can have a great impact in this area," says Fredericks.
He finds the concept of electric cars to be efficient, good for the environment, and a good promoter of energy independence. But it wasn't until the Volt came along that being an owner of one was feasible for Fredericks, who's a parent and needed a car with some room to transport his family. "When Chevrolet introduced the Volt, I knew this was the perfect design to fit my needs. I get all of the fun and efficiency of a pure electric vehicle, I can drive as far as I want, and there is plenty of room for a car seat in back. My Volt has been a no-compromise vehicle," he says.
When he's not having fun with the fam' on the weekends, taking long drives up the coast of Malibu without worrying about running out of charge, Fredericks is pleased with the Volt’s daily practicality. "Round trip, my work commute is about 30 miles, which means there is always plenty of battery to get me to and from work without gas," he says. "Since I am mostly commuting to and from work, I am using the battery for about 90 percent of my driving." In fact, his favorite place to plug in is at work, mostly because it's free.
"I initially asked my employer if I could charge my Volt at work and pay for any electricity usage I might incur. When I explained that topping off my battery after the 15-mile drive to work would cost him less than a cup of coffee per day (about 50 cents), he was more than happy to let me charge for free," says Fredericks. The result is a very happy employee.
Prior to being a Volt owner, Fredericks' driving experience was having a vehicle that got him from point A to point B. The Volt, in contrast, is pure driving enjoyment, he says. "Instant torque, quiet acceleration, and well-balanced handling -- it was shocking to me that a car could be both efficient and a blast to drive!"
It’s also fun seeing how others react to the Volt. "Almost everywhere I go, people approach me to ask questions about my Volt. When I tell them that I drove nearly 11,000 miles last year and only used about 23 gallons of gas, they are blown away." On average, by charging regularly, Volt owners are driving 900 miles between fill-ups, and filling up only about once a month.
The 2012 Chevy Volt offers an EPA-estimated 35 miles on a single charge based on 94 MPGe [electric] and 35 city, 40 MPG highway [gas]. Actual range varies with conditions.
Volt is available to order at participating dealers.
Are you a satisfied Volt driver? Share your amazing story with us here.
Chevrolet Volt. Electric when you want it, gas when you need it.