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Old 10-03-2016, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ron Burgundy (retired) - '01 Honda Insight base
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 71.2 mpg (US)

High Voltage - '12 Chevrolet Volt Premier
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Cowmeat learns to drive the Volt

Well, here it is!

I replaced my awesome little Insight Ron Burgundy this weekend with a 2012 Chevy Volt. I felt a little bad leaving the Insight at the dealership, knowing it was headed straight to auction, kinda like if I left an ugly pet at the pound I would know how that was going to end. I had a great time modding and driving the Insight, but it was time to let it go since I needed a 4 door.

I had researched several types of EVs and PHEVs, and the Volt seemed like the best possible replacement since I needed more range than a Leaf could give me, and well, it isn't a Prius.

I'm already loving the Volt, and as I learn the tips and tricks to getting the most out of it I'll post my findings here in case anybody else takes the leap.


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Old 10-03-2016, 05:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Gaptooth - '00 Honda Insight
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Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 62.34 mpg (US)

Backseats - '04 Honda Civic Hybrid
90 day: 47.91 mpg (US)

Work Van - '16 Chevy Express 2500
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Subscribed. Also, I'll be keeping an eye on auctions for your old Insight.
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Old 10-03-2016, 05:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Lakeland Florida
Posts: 1,333

Ron Burgundy (retired) - '01 Honda Insight base
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 71.2 mpg (US)

High Voltage - '12 Chevrolet Volt Premier
Team Volt
90 day: 158.33 mpg (US)
Thanks: 92
Thanked 482 Times in 306 Posts
Yeah, sorry man! I was gonna see if you wanted it, but this deal came up so suddenly I didn't have time to get with you first I didn't expect to find a Volt that fast

Once Ron Burgundy heads to auction, somebody needs to jump on it! The car is in excellent shape other than the failing IMA battery, so somebody is going to come away with a great deal

Drop a working IMA battery in it and it'll be set for years
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Gaptooth - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 62.34 mpg (US)

Backseats - '04 Honda Civic Hybrid
90 day: 47.91 mpg (US)

Work Van - '16 Chevy Express 2500
90 day: 14.7 mpg (US)
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If the price is right, I might buy it for an EV conversion, and keep the lower mile engine to drop in my current Insight one day.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Lakeland Florida
Posts: 1,333

Ron Burgundy (retired) - '01 Honda Insight base
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 71.2 mpg (US)

High Voltage - '12 Chevrolet Volt Premier
Team Volt
90 day: 158.33 mpg (US)
Thanks: 92
Thanked 482 Times in 306 Posts
Woo Hoo!

Made my first trip in EV-only last night. I had charged it enough in the morning using "mountain" mode to have 18 miles showing on the battery, and I made the 21 mile trip with a couple of miles to spare!

I finally charged it with the cord for the first time last night, but I forgot to plug it in until late so it only showed a 30 mile range this morning. But on the way to work on the 21 mile trip I only used 12 miles of the range, so I'm sure I'll make it home tonight in EV mode.

Last night's victory pic

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Old 10-05-2016, 07:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Gaptooth - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 62.34 mpg (US)

Backseats - '04 Honda Civic Hybrid
90 day: 47.91 mpg (US)

Work Van - '16 Chevy Express 2500
90 day: 14.7 mpg (US)
Thanks: 532
Thanked 602 Times in 392 Posts
I'm curious to see how far you can stretch EV range. One of these days I'm going to EV-convert my Insight, but I dunno how much battery I'll need. If I can get 150-200 miles out of a Leaf battery, it'd be enough.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe I missed something, but why aren't you plugging in right when you get home???
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Lakeland Florida
Posts: 1,333

Ron Burgundy (retired) - '01 Honda Insight base
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 71.2 mpg (US)

High Voltage - '12 Chevrolet Volt Premier
Team Volt
90 day: 158.33 mpg (US)
Thanks: 92
Thanked 482 Times in 306 Posts
Quote:
Maybe I missed something, but why aren't you plugging in right when you get home???
Electric companies charge different rates at different hours of the day so I'm charging my car at night, when the grid sees the lowest usage and they charge less per kwh

During the day at peak usage the electric is a lot more per kwh.

Also, I read somewhere that finishing the charge just as you're getting ready to use the car will keep the big battery at a proper operating temperature

Below is the rate chart at Lakeland Electric, the rates vary A LOT!. So charging the car, running the dryer, etc . . . are way cheaper late at night

Once I add in the fuel use surcharges, etc . . . a kWh costs 7 cents, so an electric equivalent to a gallon of gas ends up being $2.36

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Last edited by cowmeat; 10-19-2016 at 07:15 AM..
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Vermont
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Gaptooth - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 62.34 mpg (US)

Backseats - '04 Honda Civic Hybrid
90 day: 47.91 mpg (US)

Work Van - '16 Chevy Express 2500
90 day: 14.7 mpg (US)
Thanks: 532
Thanked 602 Times in 392 Posts
I use this power strip:

https://www.amazon.com/Quirky-PPVG-W.../dp/B00GN92MC6

I'm uncertain if you can use it without a Wink or other home automation hub (you might be able to configure it with just an app) but you can set on and off timers for two of the outlets. Plug the car in when you get home, have it flip on at 9PM (or whenever) and flip back off at 8AM (or whenever) in case you don't leave that day.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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90 day: 31.25 mpg (US)

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90 day: 47.32 mpg (US)

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90 day: 21.82 mpg (US)

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90 day: 27.09 mpg (US)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowmeat View Post
Electric companies charge different rates at different hours of the day so I'm charging my car at night, when the grid sees the lowest usage and they charge less per kwh

During the day at peak usage the electric is a lot more per kwh.
Wow, those are your rates?

Your mid-tier is slightly cheaper than my rate here, and the off-peak is about 1/4 of the cheap rate I pay. It's practically free to use electricity off-peak in your area.

You might consider the Edimax smart plug to set charging schedules and track energy and cost usage. It goes on sale for $15-$20 from time to time.

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