Road test: Volt driver goes more than 8,000 miles on less than $300

Saline entrepreneur Mark Hildebrandt recently gave us a terrific report on his experience with the Chevrolet Volt (Built by Michigan!) since he bought it in March. As of Nov. 11, Hildebrandt has driven 8,267 miles for a total estimated cost of $286.

Hildebrandt, owner of Sunventrix, a solar-energy firm, has powered his “SunVolt” with the solar panels on his house ($222.63), utility electricity ($7.66) and gasoline ($55.28). According to his calculations, Hildebrandt has emitted 92 percent less carbon dioxide than an average car over the same distance, and spent 76 percent less on fueling costs.

"The Volt is an amazing vehicle. Quiet, smooth, safe, comfortable, high tech,” says Hildebrandt. “I don't have range anxiety, as the Volt with its range-extending engine takes care of that. If I have any anxiety at all it would be 'carbon anxiety,' which is why I'm trying to power the vehicle with clean solar energy!”