Two-and-a-half years after Chevrolet delivered its first Volt electric car, its owner from New Jersey says the vehicle has gotten the equivalent of about 450 miles per gallon.
The Volt has an on-board gasoline generator that makes electricity when the plug-in charge runs out after about 36 miles, but Jeff Kaffee, a retired airline pilot, said he rarely drives more than that before he recharges.
Kaffee said he has had to fill up the generator only three times over 13,700 miles, with a total of 30.2 gallons of gas.
"The wave of the future is here," said Kaffee, who noted that he will probably buy his wife a Volt in another year or two.
Kaffee said he appreciates electric cars both because they have less of a negative impact on the environment than traditional cars and because they don't funnel American dollars into unstable, oil-producing regimes.
Sales of electric cars have fallen short of what enthusiasts had hoped for, including President Obama, who predicted a million would be on the road by 2015.
GM said it sold 23,461 Volts in 2012, and while Volt sales are up 8.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, the company also admitted in a statement that a recent study showed "drivers are only marginally aware of electric vehicles."
Kaffee agreed, and said he would like to see GM do more advertising for the car.
Kaffee predicts the electric car will enjoy an increase in popularity in a few years. He said he bought a hybrid Toyota Prius back in 2005, when few were on the road.
"Now the car is ubiquitous, you see them everywhere," Kaffee said.