Promoting electric drive technologies and infrastructure

Iraq Veteran Joins Growing Army of Chevrolet Volt Owners

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012 - Tom's River, New Jersey - Bob Tanner isn't the kind of guy who'd revel in someone else's pain. But as fuel prices soar across the country, Tanner admits it feels good to pocket an extra $200 a month while his friends helplessly watch their fuel bills soar.

General Motors is a member of the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA).

Tanner, who served twice in Iraq as a Marine, has recently joined a growing army of money-saving Chevrolet Volt owners who are turning friends and acquaintances into believers. Since trading in his old car for a Volt in December, Tanner has cut his monthly commuting costs by two-thirds: from $300 to under $100 by charging nightly. The savings will come in handy given that he and his wife, Melissa, are expecting their second son in May.

Tanner's leased 2012 Volt is about to graduate from its own "boot camp" with high honors. Over his first 3,160 miles, he has averaged 94 miles per gallon of gas used.  And the Volt's quick acceleration has been extremely helpful when Tanner needs to merge onto New Jersey's notoriously unforgiving freeways.

"I also love that when I'm in full electric mode, it's so quiet - I call it my vehicular ninja," ? Tanner said. "And the way the cockpit is set up; I feel as though I'm inside my own video game." ?

But most of all, Tanner's favorite aspect of his Volt, in Crystal Red Tintcoat, is the green he saves. While he has friends who drop more than $300 a month on gasoline, Tanner spends $50 a month on fuel and another $40 a month in electricity to recharge his Volt nightly.

Tanner's daily commute to his job as a civilian product manager at the Army Contracting Command at Fort Dix, N.J., is 62 miles round trip, so his Volt does use some gas during the trip home, albeit a fraction of what he used to use.

"In my old car, I was filling up about every four days. Now I'm filling up twice a month, and getting around 640 miles to the tank, which is fantastic," said Tanner, who has learned how to use the vehicle's dashboard feedback to drive more efficiently and maximize his all-electric range.

Tanner, who finished his bachelor's degree and earned an MBA after leaving active duty, began studying the Volt and other electric vehicles in 2009. He eventually chose the Volt because of its range-extender and its masculine look, and already plans to replace it with another Volt when the lease ends.

"Another big decision (to drive an electric vehicle) was the fact that I'd be using less gas. Having fought overseas twice, I have strong opinions on oil and its effects on international politics and policies," ? said Tanner, whose first day of Marine boot camp was Sept. 11, 2001.

"It's one of the same reasons I joined the Marines. Every contribution I can make counts toward the overall mission." ?

The Chevrolet Volt is available in all 50 states, and is the world's first extended-range electric vehicle, with a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, which is warranted for eight years or 100,000 miles.

When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank. The EPA estimates a combined 94 miles per gallon equivalent for the car in electric mode and 35 city and 40 highway miles per gallon in extended-range mode.

Chevrolet recently surveyed Volt owners and found they fill up an average of once a month, traveling more than 900 miles between gas station visits. The EPA fuel economy label for the 2012 Volt indicates owners can expect to save approximately $7,600 on fuel over five years compared to the average new vehicle, assuming the Volt is driven 15,000 miles yearly.

Volt owners have traveled more than 25 million miles, with roughly two-thirds of those miles powered by grid electricity, since it went on sale in late 2010. The Volt has earned a top five-star safety rating from theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Volt is unique among electric vehicles because you have two sources of energy. You have an electric source battery that allows you to drive gas-free for an EPA-estimated 35 miles. And there's also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go up to a total of 375 additional miles on a full tank of gas.

With nearly 5,000 military veteran employees, General Motors' support for the United States armed forces spans generations. Today, Chevrolet assists Cell Phones for SoldiersAchilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund, a variety of employment and grassroots initiatives, and is the Official Vehicle of the Army-Navy game. The GM Military Discount program offers the industry's best discounts on most Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles for active-duty, reserve and retired service members and their spouses. GM's military community can be found on Facebook.

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