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1 Year Of Chevy Volt Ownership: Reflections

On Monday, January 7, 2013, I will have owned a 2012 Chevrolet Volt for one year [editor’s note: this was originally published on Friday, January 4]. It’s been one hell of a year. What started out as a simple car purchase turned out to be a life altering event. Why? It’s a long list.

Image Credit: Chevrolet

The car vastly exceeded my expectations, which were born from a technological car crush way back when the Volt was announced as a concept in 2007. I followed the Volt’s development closely, mainly on gm-volt.com, for several years. My goal was to own a Volt as soon as it was sold in my state. And based upon my expected use cases, I figured I would average around 100 MPG combined with my 70+ miles per day commute, not the 1000+ MPG I would get after a full year of ownership and 20,000 miles. Owning a Volt for one year has removed any doubts about the viability of the electric car movement. While nay sayers will complain about the cost of EVs, at the same time, people like me can show these cars are already a cost effective solution for many — I have no doubts that the electric car industry will follow the same trend that every other piece of technology has gone through during our lifetime: initially high adoption premiums, whose costs are rapidly diminished through economies of scale, and delivered not only cheaper, but better. You would have to completely ignore history to believe otherwise.

I didn’t realize the influence I could have as an early adopter, helping usher in the electric car age. I participated in several state-wide Plug-in Vehicle Readiness Groups funded through the Department of Energy. That work is helping our entire state get educated on electric vehicles, and promoting sustainable, thoughtful and appropriate policies for their adoption. Not only that, but working with large and powerful stakeholders such as car manufactures, power companies, and legislators helped fill in any knowledge gaps I had about electric cars. In this past year, I learned what it is like to be a true advocate, sacrificing a lot of personal time to help promote electrification. This blog is only a tiny portion of that work. I even battled a conservative radio talk show host, I believe successfully, for about 15 minutes on air.

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