6 May

I really thought I was going to like the Volt.  Of course, I got the car, then 5 days later get caught in a hailstorm.  And then it goes in the body shop on day 10, and stays there for two weeks.  That doesn’t give one much time to gather an impression.

Picked it up from Magnum Collision in Marietta on a Friday.  I have to say that Magnum did an outstanding job with the work, much of it came out with Paintless Dent Removal, but the panel they did have to pain can’t be told from the others.  They also worked hard to have the car back to me early, the biggest delay was waiting on some parts for the Volt, which ended up being over-nighted from Chevrolet.

Anyway, pick the car up on a Friday, and leave on Saturday morning for a week at Disney World.  🙂 This is why they rushed to get the car back to me.

Left with a full charge on Saturday morning, but of course that was pretty much gone by the time we got to the south side of Atlanta.  I followed advice from online: put the car in “Mountain Mode” and just drive.  Mountain Mode lets the battery discharge to where it has about 10% or so of the charge left, then uses the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE – aka Range Extender) to run the generator and power the car, while holding that reserve battery.  The 2013+ Volts have what is called a “Hold Mode” that does the same thing, but you can enable it at any state of charge, so you could start off with a full charge and keep that for when you get to your destination.

So, get on the highway in Atlanta and settle in with Mountain Mode.  I was not sure what the trip would be like out on the highway, but really this is where I fell for the car.  It is a very comfortable and capable highway car.  I-75 in Southern Georgia and Northern Florida is more or less flat, 3+ lanes in each direction and traffic flows at 75 to 80+ mph, even with the occasional State Trooper and County LEO car posted up to try and slow things down.  You get into Northern Florida and speeds pick up, the enforcement efforts being a bit less oppressive.

Somewhere around Lakeland, FL I stopped for fuel (yes, just like the T.V. Commercials, you can put gas in the Volt).  So I fill the 9 gallon tank with somewhere around 8 gallons, since the “Low Fuel” light was on.  This was about the same point I usually have to get gas, but then I would usually pump in over 15 gallons.

Back on the highway, across the Florida Turnpike without having to slow down, thanks to buying a Sunpass transponder a few trips back, and on to Disney, where we were staying at the All-Star Sports Resort.  What can I say except that I could have done better than the slightly over 38 miles per gallon had I stayed more in the right lane than the left.  But it was a very comfortable ride,with power when you wanted to change lanes without having to make other traffic slow down.

3 🙂 You got to love Disney.  No one else could pull off a 3 story stairwell disguised as a Coke cup, complete with straw, and it not seem cheesy.  There were also Footballs, Tennis Ball cans and other fun themes.  However, I think that Pop Century is still my favorite of the Disney Value Resorts – where else is your staircase inside a Rubik’s Cube?

2Buffalo Wild Wings near Disney has a ChargePoint charging station, and offers free charging.  So, free charging, big screen T.V.’s and good hotwings?  Well, you know that was a place we had to visit.

Let’s see, what else am I leaving out?  Well, the required picture of being parked at Disney, of course.  And although I wasn’t silly enough to take pictures, it was sort of cool to see the Volts that were on display at EPCOT.  There was a Red Volt in Innoventions and then the White Volt at Test Track.  I did spot one other Volt in the parking lot as I was on the monorail – a red one parked at EPCOT.  I only took one picture in the parking lot, that was one morning when we got there pretty early.photo

At the end of the week, there was the drive home.  Filled up with gasoline at a Hess station near Downtown Disney, then again somewhere just before the Georgia line and back home.  Managed an overall 37.2 MPG for the trip.  I also learned that if you don’t get a full charge, eventually somewhere around 1,000 miles, the energy used page stops tracking the total number of miles.


I still can’t complain about nearly 38 mpg overall for the trip.  I still suspect if I’d stayed right a bit the numbers would have been better.

Oh, and that horrid lifetime mpg of 48.5 – well, the car appears to have almost never been charged in the 13,900 miles that were on it before I got it.  I’ve already got that over 50 lifetime by now, but we will cover that in another post.


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