The Chevy Volt is a fairly expensive acquisition, but after a year of driving one, how do the numbers add up? According to former General Motors executive Jeffrey B. Cohen, really good.
It should come as no surprise that the Chevy Volt is, like most high-tech hybrid and pure electric vehicles (EV), more expensive. True, Federal and State tax incentives, while we still have them, help to defray the cost, but buyers will still end up with payments in the +$400 range. This has put some buyers off the new technology. What they don’t realize is that, in the long run, they’ll save far more than if they’d spent less money on a conventional vehicle. Federal and State tax incentives aside, the gasoline savings are significant, even when you factor in the cost of EV charging equipment and recharging fees.
Having done some cost comparisons myself, EVs are consistently better than conventional vehicles. For example, I have calculated that the Toyota RAV4 EV costs about the same as a conventional RAV4, after about five years of ownership. On the other hand, a Nissan Leaf is cheaper than a Nissan Juke after just one year of ownership. Jeffrey Cohen is a former General Motors executive involved in the development and marketing of OnStar, as well as the GMC Jimmy and Envoy SUVs. He has been driving a Chevy Volt for the last year, and his insights into the vehicle are reassuring, especially coming from someone directly involved in the automotive industry.
According to Cohen’s calculations, it costs him about 44¢/mi to drive the Chevy Volt, the largest chunk of which is the lease payment. He also bought the car before General Motors reduced the price, so others might pay less. This also includes the money spent on the EV charger and the free tank of gas that came with the car, which he’s used less than half of. Compare this 44¢/mi to his previous 2006 Infiniti M35, which cost him 73¢/mi. He’s saving 39¢/mi driving the Chevy Volt, which he refers to as “the best vehicle [he] has ever owned.”