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    bajapat Junior Member

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    OK here is go...

    This is my first post i'm not a troll and i'm not looking for a fight to start.

    I see that this is a very open minded board and maybe prius owners have test drove the volt and a few have bought them.

    Here is where I'm at.

    I own a 2005 Subaru Baja i'm getting 23-25 MPG spending about 70 a week on gas right now. I love the truck and do burn wood so i have used the trucklet for moving fire wood and the like.

    I'm a firefighter who lives 52 miles one way from the station I work at mostly highway miles I do a 24 hour shift so I would be able to plug in. The rest of my travels are under 16 miles one way

    My wife has a brand new Traverse which is nice because we have a new baby and a 10 year old so having that room is a must.

    Now here is the deal

    The Volt $42,000 , $1000 from our gm card and what ever we have to put down and the trade in of my Baja figuring about 30K on the loan. makes a payment of about 500 a month and i would not get the car till December so I could use the tax brake at the cars payment for the first year or so. Also I would get a trailer for behind the Wife's truck for yard work and the like.


    The Prius figuring I'd get one of the base models $25000 I could get it sooner and if i wanted to get a small truck (new even) for $22000.


    Now the type of driver I am normally i do like to get on her and go but lately I've really try to get the most out of my MPG. in my wife's truck she get 16.9 out of the instant MPG (i know it's horrendous) but I've gotten 21.9 when I've taken it to work (once).


    SO here I am.. I believe I can get where i'm going mostly on the volt battery and have no problem using very little gas. BUT I'll have to wait or I can get the Pruis hyper mileage the sucker and get my savings now..


    I'm not sure what to do and the Volt boards are SOOOOO slow there is hardly any posting on them.


    Also those who have the Volt how do you like them and are there any problems you have seen.



    Thank you.

    Please no catching on fire jokes and the like just looking for a fresh opinion
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    austingreen Senior Member

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    First test drive both cars, they are very different. This will likely give you a strong preference.

    Since you will be able to recharge the volt at work, you will use a lot less gas with it then the prius. On the highway when your battery is down the prius mileage is 48mpg versus the volts 40mpg once the battery runs out. The best deals on the volt is the lease though, and you look like you drive too many miles a year for the lease deal.

    So after test driving decide if the better acceleration and less gas use are worth the extra price of the volt. The prius will save you a lot of gas compared to your baja.
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    bajapat Junior Member

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    I guess I for got to add that I did test drive them both. I really like the volt as i love the styling of it but the Prius is not bad also. They pretty much drove the same. Being I'm told my subaru is ugly i'm guessing anywhere would be up.
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    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    The big question is, how many of those other short trips do you do? That affects the relative value of a Volt, Prius or Plug-in Prius.

    Given that you can charge at work, there's also potential for a LEAF or Focus EV. It seems that with the ability to charge at work you'd be making good use of the range, and you'd be able to make those other short trips in it too.
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    ksstathead Active Member

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    Also, consider Prius and Prius c. Even though gassers, the mpg is great.

    Volt is a reasonably good PHEV fit for you, but both it and Prius PHV have the big up front cost.

    You could also do the Leaf if you really want EV. That would take gas out of it.

    BTW, you need not wait on Volt, just change your withholding in anticipation of the credit on your return.
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    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    To answer the first part.. I absolute love my volt. Best car I've ever owned. Great drive, quite, powerful, etc.. I chatted with literally hundreds of volt owners online and only 1 did not really love his car (and traded it in on a Jag, so clearly looking higher end/power.)


    There are many dimension to a car purchase. Don't confuse fuel economy with total economy (and don't ignore it either. Do some TCO analysis.
    Check out the article and calculator at
    A free calculator for Economy, Hybrid and Electric Cars


    As you describe your situation, I'm not even sure I'd be recommending a new car. (I'm financially very conservative). Sounds like a more efficient car for the commute is in order, but a good used Prius may be a better match for your current situation . If your state offers any good deals on plugin-kits (engineer, hymotion, Boulder conversions), they might help out a lot. In Colorado, a 4kw conversion kit, has a net cost (after state credit) of $750! Even if there are not incentives, adding a $4k pack to a used prius can get you into the 65-70mpg range with a much lower buyin.



    If you are looking new But given your family, your commute, I would recommend you at least consider the Leaf or wait on the FFE. Your commute is beyond pure EV mode for the Volt (though yesterday I did get 51.6miles of EV range, it was more 55mph driving the full bore highway). With a Leaf, with 73epa your compute should be safe and you have plenty of time to charge at work. And you have the Traverse for trips.

    If you talke lots of long trips, and the Prius or Volt would work for you might still be better than a Leaf, if you family can fit comfortable with all the necessary gear n a Volt. I consider that less likely unless minimal luggage trips to grandparents are common and > 100miles.
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    MJFrog Active Member

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    I don't own a volt, nor have I driven one, so take my opinion for what it's worth...

    For a 52 mile, one-way commute at highway speeds, the Volt does not have the battery capacity for significant savings for you. You might be able to do 1/3 to 1/2 on battery, then the rest using Premium Gasoline.

    If you got a Leaf and had access to an L2 charger, this would be feasible. I don't know if the Leaf can charge @110v or not. If it can, then your 24-hr shift would make it workable. BUT a Leaf is expensive!

    A small trailer for the Mini to do hauling in place of the truck sounds like a good idea.

    You wouldn't be able to get the PiP for $25,000 but a used Gen II or Gen III would be quite workable, or go with the base Gen III if you can get it for the price you can pay.

    FWIW, I did some calculations on reduced gas consumption for every increase in 1 mpg. This is based on gal/100 miles.

    Some figures:
    @25 mpg, you use 4 gal/100 miles of driving, or $16/100 miles @$4/gal.
    @50 mpg, you use 2 gal/100 miles of driving, or $8/100 miles @$4/gal. To reduce your fuel usage further by just 1 more gal/100 miles, you need to get 100 mpg!

    A Gen III Prius should easily get 50+ mpg on your commute. A used Gen II should get 45+ mpg on your commute and would be much cheaper. The fuel savings at 50 mpg vs 45 mpg comes to .222 gal/100 miles or < $1/100 miles for $4/gal gas.
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    drinnovation EREV for EVER!

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    Stick to what you know. Even with EPA estimate it would be 2/3's on battery. Depending on the driver its easy to get much better than EPA.. I did 51.6 yesterday.

    Using EPA and recognizing the OPs commute is mostly highway, expected MPG would be more than 120MPG.


    And yes Leaf's can charge on 120v; its about 18-20hr from empty-to-full.
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    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator

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    Welcome to Priuschat, Troll. :welcome:
    (just kidding about the troll part)
    :yo:
    $70 per week is $280 per month. This is just over than half the cost of a new car. Yeah we're mostly a bunch of eco hippies around here but a buck's a buck.

    No worries; we're pretty tired of hearing them too!

    Financially, I completely agree, as I quoted above.
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    sxotty Member

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    I would not recommend a Leaf for someone needing 52 miles one way in a location with cold winters. Unless he only plans to keep the car 3 years or something anyway.
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    Keiichi Active Member

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    And I was reading up on the Leaf, it can charge from 110v sources, it is a trickle charge versus a regular charge which means it is going to charge slower than if he had a dedicated 240v charging station.

    The Volt would be a slightly better option over the Leaf unless he happens to be in a major metro area where they are pushing electric charging stations in various places. Right now, the plugin infrastructure is way too immature to make the pure electrics be an viable option unless the commute is small and allow people to not worry about charging range.

    The Leaf, from what I saw, at least gives you a rough idea of how far you can go with your vehicle as well as possible charging stations.

    Now whether or not going with a Prius or wait for the Volt or Plugin, I can't say or recommend one way or another. The Volt and the Prius Plugin would still be better over the Leaf as you have a fall back for your car's power and allows you to recharge once you get home. The Leaf and pure EVs will be better once all cities start providing more charge points, especially in public places.
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    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    OP wrote that he has a 24 hour shift which means he can fill it on 120V.
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    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Assuming the fire station is a public one and there's no set policy, I wouldn't count on being able to charge. It only takes one disgruntled tax payer to complain.
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    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    If money is a factor, there's no EV that pays. Best financial deal would likely be a used subcompact if the commute is highway heavy else a used Prius.

    But, as for a LEAF:
    - CT isn't a severe winter state, AFAIK. In some places the average winter high doesn't even drop below freezing. So time of day of the commute would be a factor.
    - OP has indicated a willingness to drive for economy so he wouldn't be speeding like a Masshole. I believe that in CT highway speeds are often 55mph anyway.
    - His route might have a Nissan dealership on it to take care of any charging in really extreme circumstances.
    - At home he can precondition on the plug to reduce the need for heat off the battery.
    - No or limited preconditioning on 120V, but going home isn't the same as going to work: i.e. no deadline.
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    bajapat Junior Member

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    the guys with the diesel trucks are allowed to plug in... the even put a outdoor plug in for them
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    sxotty Member

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    No one doubts that a cruddy used car is the cheapest option. But I didn't think that was what we were discussing here.

    I don't really know how cold CT is and preconditioning cabin would help a ton no doubt, but even then a 73 mile range will be diminished with the heater. And the battery will degrade. Nissan specifically says to avoid using the whole battery if you can to limit degradation. The post would be using nearly the whole thing and charging all the way up every day which is also suggested not to do in the manual. It just seems like it isn't a good idea. If the goal is to just save gas then I agree that a used prius would do well. A volt would actually do pretty well in his scenario since he could make about 75% of the distance both ways on EV mode, but personally I would not want to do that either. It would use 0.65 gallons a trip about. (with 26 miles in charge sustaining mode out of the 104 miles).
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    Codyroo Senior Member

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    The Prius is a fairly well known and the battery (and hybrid components) are well tested and durable. The Volt has a lot of newer technology, but it is not well tested, in the real world. I'd be leery of the Volt in that

    1) Mr. Lutz didn't want to develop the car at all.
    2) GM then used it as a PR tool during its bailout period.

    I'd be concerned about the new tech, the initial lack of desire to build the car, the PR aspect and push to get it to the market. I'd be worried about corners being cut in order to speed it to market.

    Toyota waited and tested their Lithium batteries, realizing that if they had any issues, it would be a PR nightmare.

    Were it my money, I'd get a Prius over the Volt. You can get excellent mileage on the highway with a Prius.
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    ksstathead Active Member

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    At 55 and under the Prius c will rock the mpg.
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    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    You don't have to wait until December to get the benefit of the tax credit. Just have your withholding value lowered so you have more take home pay, and then return it to its previous level next year or when the extra pay equals the credit. A bit of a PITA since you can't simply set a dollar amount on the form, but you can get the Volt before the expected gas price increase. With GM wanting to clear out stock, incentives might also come up.

    If you aren't in a hurry to buy, I'd wait to check out Ford's C-max and new Fusion. Both will be available as a plug-in or plain old hybrid.
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    austingreen Senior Member

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    I agree about the first part, I don't understand the second though. Why wouldn't you want to charge the volt both ways? It seems like it would use 1/3 of the gas of the prius for this driver, but the cost of the vehicle is much more. That's the trade off and decision.
    The flip side of this is I would wait for the my change on the volt, that is when the best discounts are usually to be had. On the prius there may still be deals.

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