tattoogunman wrote:I've been talking to some people on a Volt forum and there really aren't very many people having problems and if there are, they are minor. The Volt appeals to me because you always have that gas backup (and I know the point is to get away from that). They are also starting to show up quite regularly on the secondary market because everyone's leases are starting to end, etc. I guess my biggest fear with a pure EV is if I loose power at the house. I've been in situations over the last several years where we have lost power for a day or more (up to a week in one case) and I was thinking about those scenarios - what do I do with my pure EV if I can't charge it up at home and the battery is near dead? When the power goes out here, it almost always affects surrounding areas (like shopping centers) which may be my nearest charging spot(s). Then on the other hand, I am find Leaf's for sale in the area with under 10,000 miles on them for under $10K (cheaper than what the used Volts are going for). I may go test drive a Volt today to see how it drives and what not.
I've always felt that a BEV will need to have at least two days autonomy on the battery for normal/emergency usage, for the reason you state above, before the general public will accept them. That way, if the power goes out overnight while you sleep (or you forget to plug in, as has happened to even some dedicated EV owners), you can still get back and forth to work and/or to a hospital, and have time to make other arrangements in case the outage is prolonged. But a PHEV, especially a longer-ranged one like the Volt, buys you even more freedom/options - you're covered for several days either way. And if the electricity is out over a wide area, then unless gas stations in that area are required to have backup generators you won't be able to pump gas either, so it's nice to know you can drive 300 miles or more before that's an issue. If the outage is that prolonged, then FEMA etc. should be bringing in generators or providing fuel so that people can gas up and evacuate if needed.
One downside to the Gen. 1 Volt is the limited visibility to the front corners owing to the wide A-pillars needed to meet rollover requirements with the highly sloped windshield; another is that it only has four seats, if that's a problem. In Texas, you probably don't care about having 'Hold' Mode (available on 2013-2015) in addition to 'Mountain Mode' (2011-2015).
Other used PHEV options would be the Ford Fusion or C-Max Energis, if you can find any around. They're rated at 19 miles AER, which will cover most if not all of your routine needs, and also offer five seats, but they have limited cargo height (the battery was put under the cargo bay/trunk floor, which is several inches higher than the ICE/hybrid versions).
All that being said, the e-bike is your most efficient, lowest cost option for your commute (barring a regular bike, but 10 miles each way is more time and effort than the casual rider is likely to be comfortable with; serious cycle commuters will happily do that and a lot more). When speaking of an e-bike, is the one you have essentially a moped, or a pedelec (you have to pedal, but you can add various levels of assistance)?
Oh, yeah, re LEAFs in Texas. Don't do it, it's too hot. The people who will tell you the LEAF if fine without a TMS (Thermal or Temperature Management System) live in much cooler climates than you. For battery longevity in Texas, you want an active TMS, preferably liquid-cooled. The Volt has both, and IIRR the Fords also use a liquid-cooled TMS (might be AC-cooled instead; I forget). What you don't want is any BEV/PHEV that just uses ambient air blown by a fan, or one like the LEAF that has no cooling at all. Heat kills batteries.
About the only relatively affordable BEV I'd recommend for Texas would be a 2014 Spark EV, and they weren't sold there. The 2014s used a Lithium-Iron-Phosphate battery, which is more heat tolerant than the Li-Manganese-Oxide batteries used in the LEAF, the 2015+ Spark and most non-Tesla BEVs. The Sparks also have liquid-cooled TMS.