A little while ago, I drove past my local dealer (Karl Chevrolet) in New Canaan, CT after running errands and there it was, parked nonchalantly, the very first Volt. The first one I got to see "in the flesh", anyway. After causing a traffic hazard, I pulled over, of course, and then I just stood there, for 5 minutes or so. All I could say was: Wow.
Now, I'm not a gearhead per se. I drive (more: drove) a 2008 Volvo V70, a very cool car in my book, but seriously unhip. (if it were a V70R, then maybe.) But that's not it. I am pretty technical, electronically literate, and was more or less aware of what is going on in the EV world. But after a few encounters with a Prius I thought the time had not yet come. A hybrid is not an EV, but one extrapolates unfairly sometimes. But this Volt thing I was looking at, a red one at that, had some serious curb appeal. It looked awesome, as a car, not as an engineering achievement.
My three year-old in the back seat was developing a sanitary emergency, so the Red Volt and I had to say goodbye, but the morning after the dealer had an ADD-ish customer waiting for him to open the doors. It turned out to be the demo car. No, they could not sell it, for love or money. Really, they couldn't. "Let's drive it anyway." Big mistake.
Wow. All I could say was: wow.
"October." October?? You can't be serious?
Now, for many reasons; not least thanks to being married for a decade, I have monk-like patience. Being very rational too, I never buy stuff on impulse. Cars are a mode of transportation and not an extension of my masculinity. Going towards 40 years of age, common sense eventually kicked in, and put my feet back on solid ground. "I need to do some thinking. Thanks for the ride."
I took some brochures, and didn't get a thing done at work that day. I read for 10 hours straight. Much from this site. And then it happened, emotion and ration came together. What I was expecting to happen in 2013, was here today. And I wasn't ready.
Then my wife called. There had been an accident. She was ok, so were the kids. Her 2008 Chrysler minivan got rear-ended, with what turned out later to be about $10k in damages. The day after, she took the Volvo, and I got to drive a beaten up rental to work. Karl Chevrolet is on my way to work, and I pulled over to give the Volt one more look. It didn't make it easier to deal with the situation.
Ok. So we had to get a new car anyway, and the more I researched, the more I realized the perfect fit of the Volt. A pot of coffee was made, and I systematically called every single Chevy dealer in New York, New Jersey, California, DC, Texas and Connecticut. "Hello, I'm looking for a Volt. Might you have one for sale?" Most answers were like: "You're looking for a WHAT?" or "Eehh... let me connect you to the guy who knows something about that car". Sure enough, I found one in New York (Major Auto, Queens), and two in California. The guy in California said "Offers of $3k over MSRP have been turned down, just sayin' - but the GM Volt helpline might be of assistance."
The Volt line was great, they offered to help, and... they found one for sale in Milford, CT, as well. It was black/black on jet black. I went to see it, put a deposit on it straight away. Two reasons for holding off just a little: I really, really liked the red one; and I would get the sales tax credit if I would be able to trade in my wife's Chrysler.
Turns out that the Chrysler would not be repairable in a reasonable timeframe, and that the dealer in Queens gave me a really bad feeling. Not only were they creepy, they also DEMANDED full price financing through their financing arm, with their rate being 4 points over the going rate. The color was not THAT important to me.
So, I did the right thing, went for the black one, and consider myself lucky getting one at all after entering the game that late. But I have #3251 in my garage. The 240V Voltec charger arrived yesterday as well.
This is going to be fun.