Electric Bug

I recently bought a Chevy Volt and love it. Why? Well, for starters I purchased it 3 weeks ago and then bought a tank of gas. For 3 weeks I have done my normal driving routine including my meals on wheels routes and have not used a drop of gasoline – not too shabby. On the way to an outdoor concert Sunday, 8/19/18, I noticed the below pictured “bug” in front of me. It was an all electric bug. Wayne Garver, a research scientist in the physics department at the University of Missouri St Louis, converted it from gas to electric in 1983 using lead acid batteries but recently upgraded it to lithium ion.

Just before leaving for the concert I watched a PBS program about a man in the Baltics who converted bugs to electric vehicles so seeing one in front of me on the street in St Louis was kind of exciting. We talked quite awhile. He told me I will not notice the difference in my electric bill and it will not increase more than 10%. I crunched some numbers and arrived at the cost of a full charge on the Volt to be about $1.25 for 53 miles. Wayne said it will not be that much. $1.25 per 53 miles is about 1/2 the cost of 53 miles in a standard car and about 1/4 the cost of a truck. I read a lengthy report by the EPA about the green footprints of a Volt and Prius including the upstream “green” pollution e.g. pollution from generating electricity and producing gas fuels. The Volt beat the Prius a little but not by much. Prior to buying mine I talked to about a dozen Volt owners and every single one of them loved their Volt. My Volt is shown next to Wayne in the bottom photo.

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