Saturday, August 9, 2014

Big Change

Hi Friends!
Yes I am back. I know, I know.. I feel guilty enough already that my last blog post was Valentine’s Day but I am back in a big way.
I have recently made some changes in my lifestyle in an attempt to really reduce my eco footprint. You may remember my blog post from September, 2012 where I assessed my ecological footprint and was quite disappointed in my number!
My new number:

I am happy to report that is up from the 46 I calculated 2 years ago with room for improvement. What was my big change?

That’s right… I bought an electric car! The Chevrolet Volt to be exact. I have had it for one week officially now and I am in LOVE. Sorry Mike J. After one week, I drove to work at our St. Catharines office and back home for 4 days this week without using any gas. Driving to our Hamilton office was a bit more of a challenge. Luckily however, Hamilton is leading the ‘charge’ for its downtown core and I found a parking garage a 10 minute walk away from the office with a charging station. In addition to being able to fully charge my car while at work, the lot was only $6 for the day. Trust me, in downtown Hamilton that is a steal. Now I get to save money in two ways.

It is funny though the questions you get when you buy an electric car. I think people really forget what era we live in.
·       How long does one charge last? Approx. 69 KMs.
·       What do you do once the charge runs out? Are you just stranded? No, there is a gas generator that will continue to run the electric motor for over 400km with a full tank of gas.
·       Is it like driving a golf cart? You would be surprised how many times that one is asked. It is actually a very smooth ride with a lot of power. The car has an instant torque of 273 RPMs which is well above the other mid-sized vehicles in its class.
·       When the battery dies your car is dead right? How much is it to replace the battery when it dies? This question is a little harder to answer. For one, the volt batteries are single cell batteries so if one cell fails they can easily replace that one cell instead of the whole battery. With that being said, the battery is actually warrantied for 8 years so it would be no cost. If after 8 years the battery dies and needs to be replaced, General Motors buys back the old batteries and you can replace it for an estimated cost of about $3,000. Now, you can’t really believe that completely because it hasn’t been put into practice just yet but let’s just say I am not worried about my car becoming an expensive piece of useless metal.
·       I can’t believe you would buy an electric car, how much was it? Not cheap! MSRP starts at $34,170 but you get an $8,231 credit from the Canadian government for buying an electric car; compared to the rebate of $5,000 available to Toyota Prius owners. The maximum government credit is $8,500, meaning the Volt meets almost all of the specifications required. The fact that it has the option to run on gas puts it below the Tesla models that receive the full $8,500 credit. Now that does not mean the price drops to $26,000 because after some model upgrades and warranties, in the end you are paying the MSRP plus taxes and other fees.

Now for you, do you have any questions? Ask away.
And as always, keep thinking green.

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