Lyle Dennis trades his Chevy Volt for a Ford C-Max Energi

Dr. Lyle Dennis, the founder of the Web site,, which once upon a time contributed to GM’s decision to build the Chevy Volt, is trading in his 2011 Volt for a Ford C-Max Energi.

The only reason, he says, is the pending five-seat Ford plug-in hybrid has room for his wife and three growing children, whereas the Volt is a four-seater.

Lyle noted further that his wife used to have a three-row SUV but wanted a Nissan Leaf. Now that they have the Leaf, the two-EV family needs a five-seat long hauler, he said, and observed otherwise the Volt has been a great car…

“I have had the honor of owning the eighth unit off the production line since December of 2010,” wrote Dennis yesterday on his new blog site, InsideEVs. “So far I have driven the car 14,000 miles with a lifetime 190 mpg. It has been a fun high tech and dependable car. In fact I always imagined I would own the car for 20 or 30 years. That is until this summer…”

Writing of the C-Max Energi decision, Lyle said he was surprised and disappointed when he first learned the Volt’s large T-shaped battery pack impeded rear seat room, eliminating the rear middle spot. But next month, Ford is launching the new plug-in hybrid he said, which should meet his family’s needs.

While saying he still likes the Volt, and conceding the C-Max Energi may not go as far on electric power nor is it as aesthetically pleasing, Lyle said the Ford is simply more practical for him.

I am grateful to GM for launching the plug-in revolution, and I have enjoyed my two years of Volt driving. Change however is an inevitable fact of life,” said Lyle.

Trite as it may seem, size matters sometimes.

Lyle Dennis is respected by all car geeks dedicated to expanding the range of alternative power and designs. He did a superlative job representing us all on the Volt advisory board.

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