Friday, January 31, 2014

Charging stations will be installed at our new work site!

Our division is expanding to a second site and we just got word that this new cool site will have EV charging stations! I work for one of the companies that makes EV charging stations (residential and commercial) so it will be really cool to be plugging into our own hardware! I can't wait to order the residential model for myself even though I cannot install it right away. So far I got the employee discount for the charging station and the GM Supplier discount for the car...I love my workplace! I am still not sure if I can get the government rebate since I am renting and will not be installing it at my place. I will try emailing the government website again and hope for the best.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

No new status updates on my Volt

I emailed my sales rep and he has no new updates on where my Volt is in the assembly. This is taking forever! I get the feeling it will arrive near the end of February...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Eligible for the $8000 Quebec Drive Electric Program!

I spoke with my Volt sales rep and he confirmed that I will be eligible for the full $8000 government rebate! Sweet! The reason for this is the rebate uses the date that the car is registered in Quebec. My Volt isn't even built yet so by the time it arrives here it will be some time in February. Either way, the previous rebate was $7865 which is still amazing but the difference almost covers the TPMS sensors I bought for the winter tires. Now if only the government would respond to my emails regarding the charging station and my current housing situation (I am renting so I will either just buy the charger now and install it when I move or install it at my parent's house)...

On a side note, I have to mention that Hamel Chevrolet in Montreal (St. Leonard) has been outstanding with their service. I will ask my sale's rep if he is ok with me mentioning his name on this blog. He is as knowledgeable as you can get and always immediately accessible via email, even on the weekends although I try to avoid bothering him with "Where's my Volt?" questions hehe. Buying a car is not like it used to be!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pictures of tires, extension cord, TPMS and steel rims!

Here are some pictures of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3, the 16" steel wheels (GM OE wheels), TPMS sensors and the Noma 25ft 12 AWG extension cord. The Michelin's are 215/60R16. I still need a u-lock and cable lock, then I will be set!

2014 Quebec EV incentive program is official! Incentive increased!

The Quebec government just updated their Drive Electric program for 2014 ( ). The 2013 rebate of $7865 for the Volt has been extended until January 31, 2014. This was based on a $8000 maximum rebate for battery packs 17kWh or more. From Feburary 1st, the $8000 rebate applies to vehicles with battery packs of 15kWh or more! Therefore Volts registered in Quebec in February or later will get $8000 off the price! My Volt will only be ready in February so this should apply to me as well! Awesome! Also the charging station rebate has been increased to $1000 from $800! It's a good time to buy EVs!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quebec government trying to extend $8000 EV incentive until 2017

Although the EV incentive is down to $4000, the PQ government wants to keep the $8000 limit until 2017. Here's a link to their proposal PQ Electrification proposal . Let's hope it goes through and the word gets out so more people buy Volts!

Tires arrived!

I ordered 4 Michelin X-ice Xi3 from and they arrived today! So the great prices and fast delivery are for real! The tires are brand new and the tread looks aggressive. I will take pictures of the tires, steel wheels and TPMS sensors (AC Delco of course) soon. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Loan interest rate only decided when Volt arrives...

When I put a deposit on the Volt in the December the loan interest rate was at 4.99%, which is quite high for a new car. However the actual rate will be decided when the Volt arrives (but cannot be more than 4.99%). There is a promotion now at 2.99% and I initally understood that I would get the lowest rate between the deposit and the car but alas it is not the case. However this 2.99% is expected to last a while. I hope it drops to 0% but let's not be too picky :). I picked up the steel wheels and TPMS sensors from the dealer and the Michelin Xi3 are arriving tomorrow! Can't wait to get them assembled! I just need to pick up a GFCI adapter, a cable lock and regular U-lock to protect the charger if it needs to stay outdoors.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quebec "Drive Electric" Program subvention cut in half!

I logged on to the Quebec government EV site to send them another email asking if I need to install a 240V charger to get the $800 rebate. I am renting and therefore do not want to install the charger on property that is not my own! I plan to buy a L2 charger and install it when I eventually buy a home. As an employee of one of the L2 suppliers I can get a pretty sweet discount. I checked out the Quebec EV rebate for 2014 and it has been cut in half! The maximum is now $4000 with the Volt getting a $3961 cash incentive. Without getting into socialism issues, this is a significant drop and I believe it will negatively impact EV sales in the short term. Let's hope battery technology continues to improve so that the vehicle prices can drop.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ordered winter tires!

I decided to go with the Michelin X-ice Xi3 for the Volt. I ordered them from the online site . The price, including shipping was a nice amount cheaper then the dealer, Canadian Tire and Costco. Let's hope they are legit! I have read on some forums that they are reputable though. They accepted Paypal so I decided to give them a shot. I will be ordering the 16" steel wheels and TPMS sensors from the dealer. They gave me a great deal (equivalent or better than online sites and even Ebay for the sensors). Now I just need the Volt!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter tires and wheels

I will be getting an update from my GM sales rep tomorrow regarding the status of my Volt. In the mean time I have been doing research on winter tires and steel wheels. It quickly becomes obvious how much more expensive tires are in Canada than in the US. But that issue is for another blog. As for tires, living in Quebec means winter tires are mandatory by law. Honestly, comparing even super cheap winter tires (Walmart Nexens) to all-season tires (aka three-season tires) is not fair because of how much better dedicated winter tires perform in winter conditions. Actually I do not want to give the impression that the Nexens are no good, I have them on my Mazda3 and they are great snow tires with very predictable handling and balance. They perform better in slushy conditions than my first generation Michelin X-ice when those first came out (X-ice were some of the smoothest and quietest tires I ever had though). Anyway all this to say, I will be getting winter tires and steel wheels for the Volt. Costco supposedly has universal steel wheels while GM would have original equipment ones but at $30 more per wheel. For the tires I found some great deals online from Quebec-based dealers. I am leaning towards Michelin X-ice Xi3 as they keep getting excellent reviews everywhere. They are also considered low rolling resistance tires (Green) which seems to be fairly new for winter tires. Nokian also gets top ratings but are more expensive. Actually just about all brands have excellent winter tires with pretty comparable performance but my gut feeling says to go with the Michelins. They also are rated to last much longer than other tires. Given my short commute this means I will have the tires for many many years so I better like them! Another thing to consider is TPMS sensors. Everyone is telling me to just not install them on the winter wheels (they are $240 at the dealer but cheaper from Ebay however I am a little paranoid of cheap knockoffs). This would mean seeing tire pressure warnings on the display every single time I drive the car! I am on the fence with this but I see myself getting sensors for the winter tires despite being expensive. Sometimes technology can be annoying!

On a side note, Canadian Tire has some excellent reviews (including videos) of most of the winter tires they sell. They actually performed the tests themselves on a closed track. I was really impressed with this. I just wish the prices were more competitive! Canadian Tire was my favorite store since my childhood and I feel they lost their focus in the last few years :(. I haven't made a purchase there in ages but I am glad they are going back to their roots!