One month shy of its fourth year on the road, Erick Belmer’s 2012 Chevrolet Volt has crossed its 300,000th mile.
Of these miles, more than 105,000 have been all-electric for the extended-range EV purchased April 2012, and it is one of the highest mileage Volts in a private customer’s hands having accrued miles at an exceptional rate.
In the 47 months that Belmer has owned it, he’s averaged 6,393 total miles per month, and of these, 2,236 miles have been on battery power alone.
Just the EV miles are close to double the distance an average driver travels, and when we last checked on Belmer mid December 2015, he’d crossed the 100,000 EV-mile mark, and was believed to have been the world’s first Volt to have done so.
To date, the vehicle has been remarkably trouble free, said Belmer today in a phone interview.
“There’s no difference in the battery since the day I bought it,” he said while driving his 110-mile each-way commute in Ohio this afternoon. “I still get the same amount of EV miles I did when it was new.”
A millwright at General Motors’ Lordstown Complex and assembly plant where they build the Chevy Cruze, Belmer said he was faced with the long commute when the local GM plant he was working at closed down a few years ago. In the interest of staying near to aging parents and other community ties, when he was relocated by GM, Belmer and his wife decided the commute, while self-sacrificial, would be in their family’s best interest.
But, they wanted a car that would be economical to run, and the Volt was chosen, said Belmer, after he and his wife – an accountant – determined that of all potential cars to draft into epic commuter duty, the Volt would make the most economic sense.
Initially however, they had looked at a Chevy Cruze.
This was their first choice, said Belmer, mentioning they also considered a Chevy Spark, Sonic and other high-mpg cars to replace a GMC Sierra Hybrid that only returned 21 mpg.
But the Volt dominated everything they looked at, said Belmer.
“I had no choice but to buy it,” he said, admitting he has a personal preference for the Volt as he’d been smitten by it since the time he first saw the pre-production concept.
It so happens it was a good economic decision for him to buy his dream car, especially when looking at energy costs.
General Motors provides free charging at the Lordstown plant where he parks each day, plus he’s planted extra charging equipment at his parents’ home and his church with which he’s involved, enabling him to recharge upwards of three or more times per day
Combined with the fact his Volt still gets 35-40 mpg on gasoline and one-third of the miles are all-electric, and some of them free, he says he’s not at all sorry he bought the Volt.
“This is the only car that I ever purchased that I feel that I got more than I paid for it,” said Belmer.
Beyond the battery, Belmer says the high-mileage Volt is as solidly running as his wife’s 2013 Volt with 96,000 miles on it.
“It rides just like my wife’s Volt,” said Belmer. “We can’t tell them apart.”
The Belmers plan to buy a second-generation Volt when Sparkie needs to be retired, but the need for that is not perceived to be anytime soon.