Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Aproved Charging Station

Well BMW has graciously approved of our existing Coulomb CT500 ChargePoint station that we use for the Volt. They also seem to have approved the credit info Bob submitted, so now we are just waiting to see if a car is available. Assuming one can be allocated to us, it will be interesting to see if ChargePoint pings me with a "WTF?" when they start seeing this other car showing up on their charging records.

Friday, January 27, 2012


OK, I'm a GM guy, but my partner's first car was a BMW and he's always had a soft spot in his heart for them. I'm sure he gets tired of hearing me rant about the "crazy BMW drivers" around me on the SoCal freeways.

So when I read recently that BMW was putting out a new 1-series electric, I was interested from an EV standpoint, but not at all from the "BMW" standpoint. Ah but then a flyer from BMW arrived in my mailbox inviting me to become an "Electronaut". 700 of these 1-series cars are available for a 2 year closed end lease. Now that Bob has sold his Escalade and was having trouble trying to decide what to replace it with, I got to thinking... and signed him up to get one of these limited-availability babies.

It's kind of a chance of a lifetime and it combines his like of BMW with his love of EV technology. The stars will have to align just right, but we signed up and already got them to approve our existing charging station. Now we just wait to hear from the dealer as to whether there is a car available for us and if we qualify. Bob is very excited and it's a short enough commitment. Conveniently timed to him selling his Esky and us getting tax refunds.

Of course you know I'll be making comparisons to my Volt here.


Monday, January 23, 2012


Yep, had the generator run on and off about the last mile and a half home tonight.

Cold, Rainy, and Wet!

So battery charge and range are definitely affected by weather and today is out to prove it. I've been seeing shorter range displayed on my DIC for several weeks now due to colder temperatures. Today adds rain and darkness to the mix. I got to work this morning with an estimated 13 miles left, which is the lowest I've seen so far, I think. Not to worry, as I have a full tank of gas. Also I could have plugged into the 110 outlet on P3 today as that parking space was available, but I don't mind if the engine starts for a bit on the way home. It gets little enough use. Will report what the results are when I park it at home tonight.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Charging At Work

Recently our company had an item in the news about adding solar panels to several of their buildings and I contacted the folks who put that news out for us to see if they know anything about possible plans for EV charging stations for employees (and maybe even members) in the future. I've been getting passed around from one manager to another, which is good because those managers are now aware of the interest in the subject. Now I've been in touch with one person who indicated a couple of groups are working on the idea. Right now there is a moratorium on EV chargers while the thing about policies and procedures for people using them, and I've asked to be included on any questions or needed input any of the people looking into this might need. 

Keeping fingers crossed. I don't really need to be able to charge at work, since my commute is 32 miles and well within the 40 or so battery-only miles my car has. And of course, the generator kicks in to take me as far as I want to go beyond that, if needed. But charging at work would reduce generator use for those times when I need to run errands or go somewhere outside my normal commute that would otherwise require me to use gas to run the generator. And I think seeing the charging stations at work would provide a strong incentive for fence-sitters or even folks who haven't considered an EV. For Leaf or Coda owners, it could be the only way their drive would be possible. So I hope I can help get the ball rolling here. Not just for me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics report

Mileage: 5149

Electric Consumption: 33 kW-hr/100 miles
Electric Miles: 438
Gas Miles: 4
Total Miles: 441

Percentage on Electric: 99 %

Oil life: 84%

Tire rotation is due at 7500 miles.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

First Gasoline Fill-up!

Shell station on Victory in Burbank. 6.947 gallons at $3.939/gal so spent $27.36 total. I kept looking around to see if anyone was watching the guy with the Volt put gas in the tank. Yes, the car next to us had some passengers taking a more than casual notice. Only two other patrons there that time of night.

Went well over 5000 miles on that first tankful. Had about 70 miles left (about 2 gallons).  :-)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rant Against TIME

Another idiotic post about electric cars, this time from TIME magazine.


My comment, in part, to TIME was:

TIME magazine saying that Volt's price tag is a "huge premium over a comparably sized car" is absolutely wrong... it's about the same price as a similarly sized BMW and about comparably equipped. And yes, I've heard from people who've owned both and they feel they are comparable with the Volt getting a bit of an edge over a BMW. But people who don't look very deep into the Volt only see it as an electric version of the Cruze. It is not that at all. And it's not like any other small Chevy. It's not an "economy" car like an Aveo or Spark, so saying it's priced way over similar cars is saying you don't understand what this car is. Unless you've taken the time to go to a dealer and drive one, you don't know what you're talking about. A Leaf or a Prius has a much cheaper feel. Not in the same class at all. But if you think of this as a car in the same league and price as as BMW 3 series, but electric, you've got an idea. 

Read more: http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2012/01/06/battery-warning-why-electric-vehicles-have-yet-to-take-off/#ixzz1ijsTYaxH

Thursday, January 5, 2012

LA Times Article on the Recall

GM says fix in works for Chevrolet Volt after fires during tests

None of this bothers me. I've had no troubles with my Volt at all and love driving it. It will be interesting to see how this works out and how long I'll be without my car when they schedule the fixes. Of course they'll provide another vehicle for me to use while mine is in the shop. Hopefully not from that stinky Enterprise agency I had to use before.

Important Letter from GM’s Mark Reuss

Got this via email as well as FedEx today:

January 5, 2012

Dear Volt Owner,

A little over a month ago we brought to your attention efforts by GM and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to better understand the cause of a post-crash electrical fire that occurred after NHTSA crash tested a Chevrolet Volt.  I am writing to inform you of our solution to this issue.

We remain firm in our belief that the Volt is a safe car- before, during and immediately after a crash.  Although there have been no real world customer incidents, we’re taking precautionary steps to ensure your peace of mind.  The focus of this investigation has been on what happens days or weeks after a severe side pole impact test, followed by a roll over.  We are enhancing the vehicle structure and battery coolant system to improve battery protection after a severe crash.  We will notify you in February to schedule service to make these modifications.

We’re sure you will have questions.  We will be hosting a web chat on Friday, January 6, 2012, at Noon EST that will specifically address details.   Please join us at ChevroletVoltAge.com http://www.chevroletvoltage.com/index.php/volt-blog/18-volt/2564-chevrolet-volt-battery-web-chat.html.  If you aren’t able to join us for the web chat, you can read it later at the link above.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your Volt advisor.  The contact information is 877-4-VOLT-INFO (877-486-5846) or VxxxdaXXX@gmexpert.com.

Our mission is to provide our customers with the best vehicles on the road.  Among the many benefits and attributes we strive to provide our customers, safety is the most important.  It’s the ultimate piece of standard equipment we can offer.

We are tremendously proud of our owners’ overwhelmingly positive response to the Volt.  There is no greater compliment to our team than to have you, our owners, rate Volt the highest of all makes and models on Consumer Reports Annual Satisfaction Survey.

Finally, I want to sincerely thank you for standing by us during this experience.  It’s been very gratifying to read the supporting comments you posted on Volt’s Facebook page and other forums.

Please have a happy and safe new year.

Kind Regards,

Mark Reuss - Volt Owner (#1457) and the GM Team

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Only 20 minutes into the new year. Here's hoping I see a lot more electric and hybrid cars on the road in the coming year!

Both Leaf and Volt sold more units in the U.S. during their first year on the market than did either the Toyota Prius or the Honda Insight. And the 17,000 plug-in cars that sold amount to almost three times as many as were sold in the entire previous EV era of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Outside of the US, sales were even stronger. 60,000 plug-in cars hit the planet’s roads in 2011.

Link to Charged