Chevy Volt through the Drive Green with Mass Energy program?
July 21, 2017 11:24 AM   Subscribe

I live in Boston and have never owned a car. I use Lyft/Zipcar/Turo/Enterprise a few times a month, and otherwise stick to public transit. But I'm very tempted by the Chevy Volt advertised through the Drive Green with Mass Energy program -- $115 to lease, no money down, or $16,500 to buy. Is this as good an idea as it seems? Snowflakes and fretting inside ...

Details:

I wouldn't plan to drive much more than I do now -- one or two trips a week, maybe one out-of-town trip a month.

I reliably have on-street parking right outside my door. I don't think it would be a problem to plug in for four hours a couple times a week.

I live on a narrow side street that gets some through traffic, so driveby dings might be an issue.

I have a three-month-old whose carseat would go in the no-leg-room middle seat. (Supposedly safer than the sides.)

Questions:

What other expenses should I factor in? I know there's yearly Boston excise tax of $25 per $1,000, Massachusetts sales tax of 6%, and insurance. Am I safe assuming not much maintenance or repair cost for the first three years?

Lease or buy? Given the changes hitting the electric car market, in 2020 would I rather have a 2017 Volt or $13,000?

If you've been on both sides of this one -- am I going to be happy I made this change? It means trading one pile of hassles and expenses for another, and I'm finding my technolust at war with my fear of the unknown ...

previously - basically the same question from 2012
previously - good general info on the electric car experience
posted by john hadron collider to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I've had a 2011 Volt for a couple of years now and I love it, its great for both around the town and long trips. I've only had to pay for an oil change. I've had the charging system light come on, but it didn't cost anything to have it diagnosed and turned off at the dealership. (I was using a regular old extension cord at a hotel in Florida to charge it overnight and it overheated. You aren't supposed to do that, but it works fine! Just remember to get up early and unplug it.)

Another thing to remember is that even if you don't get a chance to plug it in, it gets pretty good gas mileage. Look around your city for free EV plugs that are within walking distance.

The Volt is much more narrow than other cars I've had, so I think it really excels at urban suitability. That being said, our infant just goes behind the driver side. I think it might be kind of hard to lean over and get her in the middle. Its a pretty small car. I use a KeyFit 30 and anyone much taller than me (68 inches) might have a hard time having the car seat behind them. The anchors are very easy to get to though.
posted by stormygrey at 3:38 PM on July 21, 2017


We have a 2012 Volt and we really love it. They are great cars that wear out and depreciate very slowly, so it's quite likely that a 2017 Volt will be worth significantly more than $13,000 in 2020. We have a garage, but we've also parked it on the street overnight in Pittsburgh running the charging cable off a friend's porch, with no problems (even on rainy nights). I think you are very safe to assume very low maintenance costs for the first three years; that's about how long we've had ours, and so far we have only paid for a few oil changes (and we drive it on long-distance trips pretty frequently, so you will probably have fewer of those).

On the whole, I don't think there are any additional complications with owning a Volt, but rather lower overall costs; any other pros and cons would be the ones you'd have for any car you were considering buying.
posted by daisystomper at 9:15 PM on July 21, 2017


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