hcsharp wrote:You will find the Volt uses about 50% more energy per mile (as in higher electric bill) even if you never drive it on gas. There's a price to pay for lugging around all that extra weight.
I have an FFE and a Volt, and the Volt does not use 50% more energy per mile than the FFE while in EV mode. I see virtually no difference in electric energy consumption between the two during my commute. In current weather conditions, both take around 9 kWh to drive down to work (42 miles). On the way home (39 miles), the FFE uses 11.5-12.5 kWh, and the FFE uses 10.8 kWh + a little less than a pint of gas (average 0.09 gal). I'm interested in where you got that 50% figure from. Oh, and the Volt weighs about 150lb more than the FFE, less than an average male human being. Last I checked, having a passenger in the FFE didn't increase my Wh/mi consumption by 50%.
That being said, there are valid reasons to choose an FFE over a Volt. First and foremost in my mind is value... The base Volt, like what I have, is spartan compared to the base FFE, and with current incentives, the FFE is much cheaper to buy and to lease. The base Volt has no backup camera, navigation, nor heated seats. And a fully loaded Volt will run you a couple thousand more than a fully loaded (i.e. leather+premium color) FFE. Also, the FFE comes standard with an upscale hard cover over the cargo area, the Volt has a cheesy piece of cheesecloth. The FFE has HID headlights, and the Volt has garden variety halogens. The Focus seats 5, and the Volt seats only 4, and has less cargo space.
Also - If you lease, the FFE will have a residual value of about $16K, probably less based on posts on this forum. The Volt, on the other hand, will have a residual value of $21K or probably more, which makes it really hard to purchase at the end of the lease or to trade it in before the 36 months is up. This difference is because Ford passes on the $7500 tax credit to us immediately in the form of a rebate. The Volt lessor (US Bank or Ally) does not directly pass on that tax credit to the customer - they keep it and jack up the residual by $7500 to effect lower monthly payments.
Another strike against the Volt is its instrumentation - it's very hybrid-oriented; not what I expected for an EREV. Shortcomings include no Wh/mi display, no brake coach, too much real estate dedicated to gas usage/efficiency, to name a few.
I think the Volt is a great replacement for an ICE (which is what I did) or a hybrid, but probably not a BEV like the Leaf. FFE is a much better choice in my opinion.
As far as Leaf vs. FFE - check out the forum posts on the recent Car and Driver EV comparo, maybe read the article if you haven't already done so... FFE shoulda won instead of being runner-up (my biased opinion). The Leaf came in 4th out of 6. Must be taken with a grain of salt, though... the author seems to be from a very different mindset than the typical BEV owner. Also, it seems like the FFE is more affordable than the Leaf SL considering the current rebates and lease incentives (seems more appropriate to compare with the SL rather than the S since the base FFE is very well equipped). In my opinion, the only reason to get a Leaf over a FFE is if fast charging is really important to you.