Offsetting CO2 Emissions: Low Emissions Vehicle

chevy volt rear logo

With the solar panel installation, the next logical step in taking ownership of my contribution to climate change was to invest in a low emissions vehicle. After some research and going over the pros and cons my final choice was the Chevy Volt.  The Volt satisfies two major factors when it comes to the usefulness of an electric vehicle; the volt is a pluggable and a hybrid electric i.e. PHEV.  The volt technology has a great electric-only range of a little over 50 miles while incorporating the hybrid engine to extend its range and mitigate the anxiety of range or the fear of being stranded by a depleted battery.
The Chevy Volt PHEV is the ultimate melding of the technologies and perhaps currently the most practical and immediate way to offset our unavoidable CO2 emissions.  For the price, this car is a fantastic value and has made it a leader in the EV lineup.  There is possibly more technology packed into this car than any other on the road. I am not referring to the obviously visible technology such as autonomous driving technology or a fancy screen.  This technology is hidden under the hood in the 2nd Generation Voltec Drivetrain. Here is a great page with a fantastic video explaining the drivetrain.  If compared to its most visible competitor the Tesla the Volt excels because of range and technology practical usefulness. Granted the Tesla is designed more as a sports car and not a daily commuter. A seemingly simple and desirable technology of the online line upgrade is missing as a software update requires a visit to the dealer. Tesla will auto-update over a data connection.
With the addition of the Volt to my current power demand, I suspect that my current solar power generation may be tapped out.  Luckily upstate NY gets a majority of its power from renewables and nuclear. There is also some satisfaction in that the volt provides a sense of freedom from the pump and ultimately the oil companies’ hold on us.
My previous dino-fueled transportation (VW TDI) and I had a good run, and 214,000 miles later it did prove extremely reliable. I sold it to a local TDI enthusiast so it will be appreciated. At the time the hybrids were new arrivals to the markets and I was apprehensive of early adoption at the time.  Also, the boast of 50 mpg was a draw; the best I ever achieved was 53 mpg on a trip home to Nyack. The route along old Route 17 has some good downhill stretches.  I vowed not to purchase another car until I could purchase a car with better mileage.  At the moment I am currently averaging 250+ mpg as I have only run on battery since I got it.  Overall the lifetime so far of 78 MPGe is not bad.  The battery range is a bit reduced at the moment with the colder weather and I hope to see those few miles return in the spring.