The best of both worlds
Story by : Julie-Anne Dupont-Turpin
A few years ago, my husband and I bought our first home. Our love of space and nature, as well as real estate prices, meant that we had to buy in the country. It’s amazing to be able to buy a nice home with a big yard at half the price of what it would cost in the city, but there’s a trade-off. My husband and I both work in the city, some 65-70km away. With opposite work schedules, we unfortunately can’t carpool. With a growing family plus pets, we were convinced, like so many others, that we needed large, spacious vehicles. It seems that whatever you save on a mortgage, you spend in gasoline for the commute to work and back. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Our gasoline budget was just shy of $1000 per month for both vehicles. Weekend outings or a quick grocery run, induces thoughts of “How much gas is this going to cost me?”
We started to consider a Volt a few yeas ago, but dismissed the idea pretty much right away due to the perceived high cost. The Volt became a bit of a dream; one of those things that’s part of the “five year plan”. It was discussed here and there, but always as “I wish we could afford one”.
About three years later, the Equinox was starting to let us down repeatedly. We were seeing the end of our warranty fast approaching. After six visits to the service center in less than six months, that was a scary thought.
We finally decided to bite the bullet and start looking into the Volt. We joined a Facebook group and talked to real owners. We took in as much information as we could. We started talking with our local dealership. The price had come down a little bit since the first Volts rolled out. Between the “employee pricing” sale and the government rebate, the Volt was affordable. There was no reason NOT to get a Volt. We rang the gong and signed on the dotted line.
And then we waited… Since the dealership did not have any Volts on the lot, we ended up ordering a 2015. It was like being five years old and waiting for Christmas, only you don’t know WHEN Christmas is! We finally got our “cool car” (as my three-year-old son likes to call it) seven weeks later, and oh was it worth the wait! We even had a small “welcome wagon”. A fellow Volt owner found us at the dealership and showed us a few tricks. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. The Volt is more than a car; you get a community of EV drivers with it.
We’ve only had the Volt for a few months, but we’re already seeing the savings. It’s been well worth the investment. Even with the lean on our Equinox, and the Extended Warranty, our monthly payment is slightly lower than it was with the Equinox. Our insurance went down too, which is always nice. There is little maintenance needed with the Volt; oil changes are a yearly event, instead of an almost monthly event for us. The Equinox’s share of the gas bill was approximately $450 per month. With the Volt, we do use a little bit of gas every day, since even when charging at work, we’re just a little bit outside of the electric range. We also use the Volt every day of the week since my husband works weekends. Despite this, our gas bill is now about $40 (one tank) every two weeks. Factoring in the electricity costs and the gas we use, getting to work and back is costing us about $120 per month. Since my husband uses the Volt on weekends, we also save gas for the Dodge Charger, simply by using it less. It now guzzles about $375 a month, instead of $450-$500.
For us, the Volt practically pays for itself in savings. We are already looking forward to the day we can trade in our Dodge Charger for another EV. That would be the best of both worlds! To reap the savings of country home ownership, without the high cost of gasoline for our commute. Looks like we CAN have our cake and eat it too. And so can you.