Chevy Volt: All In The Family

Img of Lee Howard's Family of Chevy Volts
SEVA Member Lee Howard liked his first Chevy Volt so much that he went out and bought two more!

Name: Lee Howard  Car Year: 2012 (x2) and 2013 (x1)  Make: Chevrolet Model: Volt
Range: the electric-only range is 30-40 miles for the older 2012 and 35-45 miles for the newer two Battery Pack Size: ~10kWh usable for electric-only  DC-Charge Capable? No.

1. Why did you choose to drive electric?

We live in a rural neighborhood 7 miles out of town and consequently do a lot of driving (sometimes 4 trips per-day to town). I got tired of burning $150 of gasoline every month. Plus, continuing to burn gasoline seemed environmentally unfriendly. But, I had to wait until used prices on the Volts came down to where it made financial sense to me. That all happened concurrent with the company I work for starting to develop electric vehicle charging technology, and so the two dovetailed nicely.

2. How long have you had your EV?

The first was purchased in 2014. That’s the one I drive. My wife then insisted that I get her one, too. That was in late 2014. Then I needed a car for my daughter to drive, I bought that one in 2015.

3. Have you had any range issues?

No, because the Volt has the gasoline-driven charge-sustaining mode for whenever I go beyond the ~40 mile electric-only range.

4. Do you use it more as a daily driver-commuter or do you do long road trips?

Both. We’ve done long road trips in the Volts, but due to them having only 4 seats my family of 6 needed to take two Volts to do it. We only did that once and afterwards reverted to our practice of renting a minivan for road trips (which we did before even when we owned a minivan, ourselves). I take the Volt on “road trips” to Portland regularly for work, though.

5. Have you had any issues with you EV?

Two of the three have needed the motor bearing repair done (fairly common with 2012-2013 Volts). Both repairs were done under warranty. There have been no other issues.

6. What are the 3 BEST things about driving electric?

While I started driving electric primarily for economic and environmental reasons I have since fully been converted to driving EVs for the convenience of charging at home and for the smooth, quiet, peppy way they drive.

7. What are some of the challenges about EVs?

We didn’t have 240V in our garage, so I had to run circuits for the EVs to be charged with Level 2. There really has been no other challenge for us besides the limitation to four seats.

8. What is the funniest or strangest questions reaction you’ve gotten from driving an EV?

I’m continually surprised by how many people think that the Volt can only travel 30-40 miles before it stops.

9. What’s the most positive reaction someone’s had to your car?

People asking questions about my cars. I feel like I’m driving something special.

10. Will you ever go back to driving an ICE engine?

I wll never go back to driving a non-EV. Some EV enthusiasts would say that the Volt still has an ICE, and it does, but it is also an EV. I have zero regrets. I would buy the Volts all over again.

12. What else would you like the world to know about electric cars?

A used EV is not a bad option at all.

13. Lastly, if members of the public have questions, are you willing to be contacted? And how?

Yes. E-mail is fine:


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