One Owner's Chevy Volt Running Cost: 2 Cents Per Mile

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Chevy Volt Owner's adjusted EPA sticker [Image:]

Chevy Volt Owner's adjusted EPA sticker [Image:]

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Chevrolet Volt owners love their cars.

That's one thing we've realized since the Volt hit the market in December 2010. It's subsequently topped customer satisfaction surveys, saved a supertanker worth of gas, and driven over a hundred million miles on electricity alone.

Now, one year after buying his Volt, one owner has calculated just how much he's saving in fuel and maintenance costs--and the Volt is costing him only 2 cents per mile.

It's likely that many Volt owners are saving to a similar degree, but the blogger behind My Chevy Volt has shown his workings for maximum impact.

A few numbers need laying on the table in order to calculate the savings. 2012's average gas price of $3.60 per gallon provides the baseline, as does an electricity cost of 6 cents per kilowatt-hour.

97 percent EV mode!

19,938 of the Volt's total 20,642 miles in 2012 were driven on electricity--a staggering 97 percent. Electric efficiency was calculated at 31 kWh/100 miles, and gas mileage topped 36 mpg on average.

That meant the owner's total electricity cost was $371, and gasoline cost a measly $71--for a total fuel cost of $442. Cost per mile? Only 2 cents.

For comparison, a 50 mpg Toyota Prius would cost 7 cents per mile over the same distance, with a total fuel cost of $1,486. The average 30 mpg car would use $2,477 in gas, at 12 cents per mile.

Maintenance was low too, with the car not requiring any oil changes, and the owner's real electricity cost was lower than $371 as about half the charges were free, at work and at shopping malls.

Read it and weep, EPA

Perhaps our favorite aspect of the owner's calculations is the adjusted EPA sticker.

While this wouldn't be the same for everyone--most Volt owners do use at least some gasoline, even if it's only for about a third of their total driving--it shows just how much an owner with a short commute could save in gasoline costs, compared to the average new vehicle.

Only the mpg on gas is lower than the official sticker (denoted by the red text), something the owner puts down to the engine barely ever cutting in for long enough to warm up to an efficient level.

2013 Chevrolet Volt

2013 Chevrolet Volt

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Naturally, there are caveats.

One, 6 cents per kWh is a fairly low electricity rate--12 cents/kWh is more common--something the owner admits. Few owners will be able to achieve the same 97 percent electricity use as the Volt owner either, though some undoubtedly will.

Perhaps the blog's most pertinent point is that with cars like the Volt, the actual running costs can vary hugely depending on your usage--possibly more than any other car on sale.

The potential for huge savings is there though, and running costs of only 2 cents per mile are probably enough for a few more people to sit up and take notice...


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