Electric or Gas?

Do you think about getting an electric car as your next car purchase? I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Especially after the gas prices were over a dollar a litre (which I realize was a while ago). But it really started to hurt when it was averaging or exceeding $1.25 per litre. As much as I love my car for it versatility for traveling, moving and chauffeuring the kid (and dogs) around, it has a 50 litre tank (Honda 2005 Element) and it’s not the most fuel efficient (no aerodynamic). It can cost me well over C$60 to fill the tank.

I don’t profess myself an expert about cars. I’m just a person who needs one and drives one. As far as I know, Hybrids, are the more common ‘electric’ cars on the market. Almos all car brands have at least one model that is a Hybrid. Chevy, has this [not so new] Volt, and electric car that has the option of gas. It’s like the duel fuel stove … no! It’s nothing like that…

Anyhow, GM was kind enough to let me test drive their Volt for a week. I happen to get it the week that I was headed up to Ottawa for Social Capital Conference May 31-June 1st with a detour to Montreal.


As you can imagine, with any new car, it drives quiet smoothly. I’d like to tell you that you can go from 0 to 60 km/hr in X-amount of seconds, but what this car teaches you is that if you ease your startup and braking, you don’t use much power/gas, therefore you’re being energy efficient. With an elaborate dashboard panel advising you of what is happening in the car plus your surroundings, you can keep informed while you drive.


A fully charged car, it can travel about 60km, which is good for your daily commute to work. It’s most efficient running exclusively on electric as long as you’re driving under 80 km/hr. Once you’re on the highway, you’d need to put the battery on ‘hold’ and it will run on the gas engine, which is a 30 litre tank.


With this charger, it plugs right into a regular household 110 volt plug. It can take up to 8 hrs to charge it fully from empty. There’s also options to set the car to time of day (so that you can charge during low peak time). If you install a 220 volt plug at your home, it will take less time to complete the charge.


All in all, I really liked the car and I’d strongly consider it as top of my list of next car to buy.


• Total [Premium] gas purchase: $60 = 1 week’s worth of driving around Toronto, to & around Montreal, to & around Ottawa, and back to Toronto again.

• Taught me that I have a heavy foot when driving, and I learnt quickly how to be more gas/energy efficient.

• Roomy trunk considering it’s a sports car

• Little leg room in the back seat. Only enough for my kid to sit comfortably in the back

• Shape of the back window was difficult to look out of through the rear view mirror