Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Driving Unplugged the Volt's Gas Anxiety

I sold my house, took about 9 months but finally sold. Unfortunately the there were problems in closing on the House we are buying, and things have been delayed. Until things are straightened out I've been staying at hotels near work, during the week, and my Wife's house on the weekend. Which means little or no opportunity to recharge my car, non of the hotels have offered that option, and I've been told at work that I am not allowed to plugin there.  Luckily, the Volt has a Gasoline engine to backup the batteries, but I've been seeing my Lifetime MPG rating which topped out at 117mpg slowly fall over the last week.

General Motors last year copyrighted the term "Range Anxiety" the fear people have of driving an all electric car, with a limited range, and running out of charge. The idea with the Chevy Volt is you dont need to worry the Gas engine will kick in when the batteries are depleted and keep you going as long as you need.

But I'm suffering from Gas Anxiety, I'm not afraid of running out of electricity, or even gas, I've been afraid to simply use gas, I know that whenever I do my lifetime MPG rating will drop, and I feel the pangs of guilt, I'm burning Oil, dirty smelly oil, that fills our air with pollutants and green house gases. Expensive oil, which will keep getting more expensive, with the money going to big oil company executives and foreign countries, while we fight wars to maintain our oil supply. And limited Oil, which we are burning up now, so there will be none left for our children.

My old Z3 only got 22 mpg, but I didnt worry about driving it, because I had to, and that was all I had to get around in. Even driving the Volt without plugging in, at its absolute worst its still getting Gas mileage much better then most other cars on the road. The new house we are getting has Oil heat, I read that the average US home heated by Oil burns 800 gallons a year, I'd have to drive the Volt 30K miles without ever plugging in to use that much gas. Every item of clothing, books, food, tech toy I buy was transported using Oil. So why do I feel guilty about driving the Volt in Gas mode? Because I know there's an alternative, and in this one little, almost insignificant matter, I can make a choice.

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