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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Me and My Volt

Me and My Volt


We have a third driver in the household now, and the need arose for a third car. (Not that the third car belongs to Gabbey. We all swap vehicles depending on the weather, purpose, destination, etc.) My husband selected a Chevy Volt – for which Pennsylvania was offering a substantial tax rebate. So far it has proved to be a fantastic electric/hybrid car. It runs on battery until the charge is used up, then switches seamlessly to the gas engine. We’ve put about 600 miles on it and used 6 gallons of gas. (I know gas is cheap these days, but we have solar electric panels on our house, so we don’t pay a lot for electricity, either.)

If I have any complaint about the Volt, it’s that the car is kind of whiny. It’s constantly beeping at me or displaying a warning. At first I couldn’t decide if the Volt reminded me of Marvin the depressed robot from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or the Talky Toaster on Red Dwarf, but finally I realized it’s more like the Printer in this video, Your Printer is a Brat.

Bob says it’s because the car is almost sentient and it doesn’t want anybody to crash it.  Here is a typical exchange between us:

Volt: BEEP BEEP BEEP! Proximity alert! Oh my God, there are cars all around us! AAAHH!

Me: That’s because we’re in a parking lot.

Volt: Collision warning! You’re going to hit a car!

Me: I am not. I’m backing out of a parking space. Chill out, will you?

Volt: Ice! There could be ice on the road!

Me: There could be, but there’s not. The roads are dry.

Volt: Winter advisory for Baltimore County!

Me: Thanks, but I’m not in Baltimore.

Volt: Front Collision Danger!

Me: Now, come on! The car ahead of me braked, but I’m 5 car lengths behind him.

Volt: Front Collision Danger! You were going to hit him …

Me: I was not! I had my eye on him, at least until I had to take my eyes off the road to read your warning.

Volt: Ice! There could be ice on the road!

 So, do any of you have a “smart car?” Does it have a personality?


14 Responses to Me and My Volt

  1. I’d have the beeping disconnected within a day. Mine would scream at me all the time.

  2. mshatch says:

    Ha! No talking cars here although if mine did I’m sure it would have a few things to say, like, ‘Are you ever going to clean me out? Ever?’

  3. Tiana Smith says:

    LOL. That would probably drive me insane! I’m actually a very safe driver and am very cautious, but I can’t deal with too many warnings or I get freaked out 🙂

  4. Shelley Sly says:

    That’s too funny. And probably annoying if you’re the driver. I’ll be looking for a new car later this year, so thanks for the info on the Volt, however positive or negative. 🙂

  5. Sheri Larsen says:

    Ooh, I remember when we began referring to our family as a three-driver fam. Scary, but also so totally nice! It truly made my life a little easier. But now we’re up to a five-driver fam, with one left to go. Now that makes me sigh.

    Those alarms can be so annoying. I totally hear you there. Funny post.

  6. You have me cracking up! A worrywart car. How awesome. 😀 I do not have a smart car, which is fine as my gps is annoying enough. Even my 5-yo daughter yelled at it the other day. “You already said that! Stop saying that, it’s getting annoying!” and “Oh great, now it’s going to say that again.” Haha! It’s good stuff.

  7. If I had a car that talked to me that much, with all those warnings and such, I think I’d be afraid to drive it. : )

  8. That’s hilarious. I know I’d be talking back to that car within a day or so if it spouted that many warnings at me. ^_^ As for me, I drive a Yaris. It’s named Ivan. Why my small Japanese car has a name better-suited for a large Russian, I don’t know.

  9. ChemistKen says:

    Oh no! We’ll be having a third driver at my house in about a year. I’m not mentally prepared for that yet. Make the youngest one have to drive the Volt.

  10. Ohmigod, that would be hilarious! For about a day and a half, that is. Then I have no doubt that my husband would figure out a way to shut that car up. It’s be like having a back-seat driver in the car with you. Maggie can get annoying enough. (The GPS)

    AAAACK! Your book came out yesterday, and I forgot! No problem. I WILL buy it today.

    Happy weekend!

  11. I do not have a smart car- my car is almost 10 years old. I thought it might be nice, but after reading about all the warnings I realized it might drive me up a wall to have my car talking to me all the time. Definitely interesting and something I will have to test out before I get another car! 🙂

  12. I do not have a smart car. Mine is dumb, dumber, dumbest. And that’s a good thing because at least while I’m behind the wheel, I feel rather intelligent.

    Wait until the car drives without you. That’s on the very near horizon. I can imagine it now.

    Me: Wait. I need to go downtown. Where are you going?
    Car: Gotta a date with a hot Prius. See you later.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  13. Beate says:

    The way you wrote the conversation made me laugh out loud 🙂 I have the same trouble with those new cars, they sometimes even get me into almost-crashes because I’m trying to find out where the beeping is coming from instead of watching the street carefully…. 😉