Energy Transition New York

Misuse of EV Provide Fresh Battery for Second Owner

By Nicholas Lalli

It has been over three years now since GM has introduced its ground breaking Chevy Volt, and as lease contracts expire they make their way onto used car lots. As the 2012 and 2013 Volts arrive awaiting the beginning of their second life, as this reports shows, one thing stands deviant. Their lifetime MPG range. These pre-owned extended-range electric vehicles show a lifetime range of 34-39MPG. These Chevy Volt owners were using the gasoline engine for the majority of the 30,000-100,000 mile range these cars were driven. The EREV’s can reach over 100 MPG when running with electricity, only inputting a little help from a gas powered engine when reaching high speeds or low battery power.

The poor gas mileage was due to a misusage of the Volt. After further research, it became apparent that this group of Chevy Volts were fleet vehicles. Fleet vehicles are used by government officials; officials who have the cost of their gasoline usage covered, but not electricity costs from charging at home. The result is a large number of electric vehicles rarely ran on electricity at all.

This lack of efficiency has become an opportunity for the next wave of Volt owners. They can now purchase a Chevy Volt for much cheaper of costs due to high mileage, but the battery usage is much less and practically new. The misusage of these ‘Chevys gone green’ could have decreased the gasoline expenditure of the government, with a much cheaper energy source, electricity. This environmental and monetary benefit could have been composed with the simple additions of charging stations at the work sites of volt drivers. Something the US government is trying to promote through the Workplace charging Challenge (with varying success). Gasoline expenditure would have been decreased by 2/3, and the savings would have easily covered the cost of the added charging stations.  With that, the second wave of Chevy Volt owners have a chance to make use of all 100MPG’s and save some cash by simply plugging in.


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