A Chevy Volt Owner Shows Us His Mileage

Last week ago I mentioned the strange "controversy" over the Chevy Volt. This car is the brainchild of a lifelong auto enthusiast who is also a political conservative, but to the right-wing media it has become a whipping boy and symbol of pinko environmentalism gone wild.

My friend Garrett Gruener, a successful long-time tech venture capitalist in the SF Bay area (and an avid, high-time pilot, who once flew his family on an extended around-the-world journey in a turboprop Pilatus, much as some families might take an extended drive from coast to coast), sends in this report on his Volt:

I've owned one for the last six weeks.  I'm very pleased.  I've averaged 128 mpg over the life of the car (now about 1100 miles).   It drives well and is well-outfitted (even without adding "...for an American car").  [He includes this shot of the dashboard, showing cumulative mileage of over 132mpg.]

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It would interesting to do the math on what the American economy would look like if the Volt were taken to scale.  One thing's for sure, we'd have much less need for the Sixth Fleet.
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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