Reporting Charlie Langton
DETROIT (Talk Radio 1270) How do you charge a Chevy Volt? Ask 12-year-old Ariana and 14-year-old Aliya Khan, sisters from Northville who took it upon themselves to create a series of videos promoting the Detroit-made electric vehicle.
They’re unpaid, but they seem to relish the job.
“We charge it every day, at night, and then if we’re at home, we can plug it in again and it’s no additional charge,” Aliya Khan told Charlie Langton during a visit to his 1270 Talk Radio morning show where they outlined why they’re doing what they’re doing.
The girls, with father Farris Khan, started a blog called bobbleheadguru, where they promote the electric vehicle.
“We, like, research together,” Ariana Khan said, adding, “I want to write a book.”
A book about the Volt? Langton asked “Maybe” she responded, adding, “I’d write that it’s a good experience and I’d describe the Volt.”
Dad Farris Khan, a database analyst at an Ann Arbor firm, explained they started the family project to help the girls learn how to research a topic and to spend time together. The family pays $499 a month to lease the Volt, including taxes, and they use 15,000 miles a year. He figures they save $140 a month in gas.
One charge covers about 300 miles, and their Volt gets 86 miles per gallon on average. “We’re always running all over the place,” Aliya Khan said.
“I like how you can charge it at any time,” Ariana Khan said, with her dad adding their favorite charging station is in Ann Arbor. A few more charging stations are located in Detroit and Livonia.
The Volt got some unflattering news coverage recently when the New York Times created a “break even” analysis that found, even factoring in the superior gas mileage, it would take 26.6 years to recoup the cost of the Volt over the price of a similar compact American car. The Volt costs $31,767 on average.
Farris Khan questioned the analysis, saying, “A lot of times they compare it to the least expensive or highest economy Chevy Cruze, it’s like comparing a Mac to a Netbook … If you compare it to a bicycle it’s 100 years to break even.”
He suggested the Volt is more in line with a BMW 3-series.
Do others agree? The public seems to be on their side.
“Sales did drop in January (before rising to record levels in March) … We’re hoping they continue to rise,” Aliya Khan said.