Gas prices up? So what. He's only been to the gas station three times in the last year

Mark Hildebrandt and his wife put 13,480 miles on their Volt this year -- 12,495 of them electric -- and put less than 30 gallons of gas in the tank. He also offsets the electricity used to charge his Volt with his home solar energy system, making almost all of his miles traveled fossil-fuel free. Hildebrandt, an entrepreneur with professional interest and a personal commitment to alternative energy, bought the first Volt sold in Washtenaw County about a year ago. He calculates his first year's mileage with his unique set-up to be 465 mpg!

How does he like the car?

"It's so unlike your typical ride--so silky smooth, so fun to drive," he said in a story published by AnnArbor.com. "People think of electric vehicles like golf carts and it's not at all like that."

In addition to its fuel efficiency, Hildebrandt likes the car's performance. Because of its instant torque without the ramp-up of a gas engine, he said hasn't had any trouble accelerating into traffic on highway entrance ramps or passing other vehicles.

To date, General Motors has sold more than 11,000 Michigan-made Volts, with its best sales month in March (link to last month's link?). And are we loyal to our homegrown products? Michigan is one of the top five states for Volt sales, according to GM figures.