This Chevy Volt Has 468,000 Miles On Its Odometer: Video

FEB 25 2019 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 110

It certainly shows signs of wear and tear.

If you’ve followed InsideEVs for a few years now, then you’re aware there’s a Chevy Volt that has racked up loads and loads of miles.

If not, well then, welcome to the world’s highest mileage Volt. It was driven as a commuter for years and years. One way trip – 110 miles. So, 220 miles per workday, which alone is quite insane.

Owned by Erick Belmer, this Volt has put on the miles like no other. But before moving forward, let’s take a look back:

With that bit of history out of the way, let’s move on to the latest update.

Belmer had some issues with his Volt after passing 400,000 miles. We hadn’t seen an update from him in quite a while, but now he’s back with this video showing off his 467,838-mile Chevy Volt.

Called Sparkie, the first-generation Volt owned by Belmer proved reliable and extremely durable. The biggest yearly expense was often just tire replacements.

At 400,000 miles, Belmer told InsideEVs this:

“Volt is holding up flawlessly! No noticeable battery capacity loss.”

“The Volt was always my dream car! To get to drive it everyday is a dream come true! 

Well, that changed just a short while later. A semi-truck tire struck the Volt and did some major damage. As Belmer says, it’s never been the same since the $7,000 in needed repairs. Battery/charging issues have cropped up and now it’s basically just a gas car. There’s also a coolant leak, which may have damaged some portion of the electric powertrain.

But still, 468,000 miles in any car is certainly impressive.

Check out the video for more on Belmer’s Volt.

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110 Comments on "This Chevy Volt Has 468,000 Miles On Its Odometer: Video"

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That is amazing. Need to keep that link handy for every time some troll says “Muh…you will need to replace your battery every 3 to 5 years!”

I think that applies to Model S/X, not Chevy Volt. Sad that Volt is gone. Dies of over croding.

You obviously need a new battery too…all this trolling must be exhausting.

NIssan LEAF, typically not Teslas.

No they don’t. The battery doesn’t fail, just degrades…so technically you don’t need a change.

LEAF had a battery issue with the very first year but it has been fine ever since.

lol, if you want to lose all your money give it to TeslaInvestors!!!!

Yup, he’ll be glad to “explain” why you should short TSLA, and why Tesla’s rapidly growing market share is actually a sign it’s going to fail any day now. 🙄

You might say that, like evil, shorting TSLA is its own punishment.

He mostly used gas tho

If I paid a shop to install a new charger then it started leaking that bad, either they fix it or refund the money. Imagine if it was a heater core. Completely unacceptable in my opinion.

I totally agree. It’s sad that this is the kind of service you get at dealerships today. But it’s not just Chevy.

I have had my volt for almost 6 years and zero money spent on repairs and almost none on maintenance. Oil changes once a year because 90% of my miles are on electric.

I laughed at the part where they wanted to change $8,000 worth of computers. That is so typical of dealerships. They LOVE to replace computer modules because they are really expensive, and quick and easy to do in most cases. The sad part is, they are rarely the actual problem. But in many cases they do this on purpose just to “blow you out of the water” so you’ll leave and they won’t have to deal with it.

Thank god for auto parts online shopping. Must of the job can be do it yourself

Wow.. The just shows how well an American manufacturer can make a very reliable vehicle. Sucks for the unforseen circumstances on the tire accident, but i really hope Chevrolet steps in and hands this gentleman a brand new 2019 Volt.

Give this guy the last Volt off the line. He’s earned it.

That would be an outstanding PR move, which is why I think GM won’t do it, or they will and they’ll find a way to screw it up.

GM isn’t modern like that

With those miles, I’m surprised they didn’t total when there was $7K in damage.

No way the insurance company didn’t make this a salvage title. Maybe he just bought it back from them.

Or dropped him

I begged them not to total it!

Wrong move imo no matter how much you like it..
Any car after big accident is never the same..usualy worse

110 miles one way twice a day.

That is one heck of a commute. I do ~83 miles total five days a week, and that already seems like an insane commute.

This does make me optimistic about the potential lifetime of my 2014 Volt, which is already up to 70 K miles.

It is EASILY the best American* car I have ever owned, hands down. Also the first American car I have ever owned that gives me far better MPG (and MPe) than on the sticker.

*Yes, caveats suck, but I’m an Old Person who has owned some amazingly awful cars proudly made here in the USA. (80’s Dodge and Ford: thanks for the ‘fun’ memories. ) To the point where I just gave up on them entirely for two decades. Until I bought a Volt.

Same here. Had two Japanese cars in Accord and Element and One Korean car in Spark and now the US volt

I’m a proud owner of a 2018 Volt. This is the best car I owned. All my life I bought Japanese cars. I had no regrets, or reason to get anything else. I have been looking to go electric for awhile so I decided to stop by the Chevy dealer in Redwood City, Ca to take a look at the Volt. A few of my colleagues drive Volts, and they all are extremely happy with their vehicle, specially because our company provides free charge. After I test drove the Volt, and as soon as I got out of the car I told the salesman that I was ready to make a deal. I have the car for a year and I love it!!! The technology, the look, the acceleration, the comfort and the fact that I have spent $80.00 in gas since I bought it are some of the reasons why I am stunned that Chevy stopped making this amazing vehicle. So I have been thinking, why? What happened? This car is a masterpiece, but Chevrolet’s marketing program on the Volt has been (in my view) one of the biggest, most idiotic mistakes a car company has ever made. The… Read more »

The Volt was cancelled for many reasons, not just one.
– The factory at which it was made was closing.
– GM has decided to drop most of its sedans in favor of trucks and SUVs.
– It is not clear that the Volt was ever profitable for GM.
– The Volt was never effectively marketed.
– GM decided to put its focus on EVs rather than PHEVs.

I am sympathetic to these reasons, except the last two. Only a PHEV like the Volt can give drivers a pure EV experience the vast majority of the time, while enabling hassle-free long distance travel.

A long-range BEV is pretty hassle-free too in most situations. By the time GM brings their new BEV models to market, it will be almost all cases. PHEV was an important transitional technology when long-range BEVs were not affordable — but that’s changing right now.

The issue is in the qualifier, “in most situations”.

If you make a long-distance trip in a BEV, particularly one you’ve never made before, it’s a lot of work to figure out where high speed chargers and how you might have to alter your route to hit them. Drivers, particularly in the US, are used to a mindset of jumping in their gasmobile and heading to Some Place Far Away. All they need is a credit card and they can stop at any gas station along the way and fill up their tank in less time than it takes their kids to visit the restroom. No worries about compatibility or billing networks or the filling station slot being blocked or any of that nonsense we EV drivers endure.

A big part of this comes down to how determined one is to drive on electrons. Many of us here do it, even in somewhat trying circumstances. But I know quite a few people who would never deal with the current hassles of long distance trips in a BEV. I suspect the charging infrastructure won’t improve enough to convince those people anytime soon.

Lou, if you go for a road trip in a Tesla it’s a real eye opener, it’s no work at all! The car finds the Superchargers, plans your route, modifies it on the fly if needed, even warns you if you ignore the route. The only real compromise is you eat what’s near the Supercharger, normally when you finish eating the car is almost fully charged for another 5+ hours of travel.

Well said Lou. Even in my RWD model 3 LR which has the most highway range of any BEV plus the SuperCharger network, road trips anywhere other than A to B along Interstates require planning and in many cases factoring in winds and air temperatures. I personally enjoy the planning but it is a lot different than just hopping in a ICE vehicle (PHEV or otherwise) and just driving until the gas tank gets to 1/4 full or so and then looking for a gas station which you know will be there in all but the most remote areas of the country. In my case the model 3 LR had the minimum highway range required for me to replace my 2014 Volt and go pure BEV but I also had to be willing to spend twice as much money and put effort into planning road trips. And I don’t see any BEVs with that kind highway range on the roadmap from GM. I still think a PHEV Equinox would have a 4-6 year window before BEVs with the Equinox form factor and 300+ miles of highway range become available.

Agree completely. My 2018 volt has an outstanding powertrain and would make a great foundation for equinox size SUV.

I think the core reason is that almost everyone who counts want GM to make as much money as possible each quarter, and not potentially sometime in future. This includes (1) The GM management, (2) The UAW, (3) The shareholders and (4) The gov’t.

add 2 dollar gas an end of 7500 tax credit, which will not end for its competitors for several years.

Why does anyone even question whether or not Volt or Bolt make GM any profit? Its quite obvious lithium batteries are too expensive for anyone to make a profit on an EV or any hybrid with a 20+ mile battery pack unless that manufacturer makes tons of them. Massive volume brings costs down. GM is the king of the compliance car. At least Honda, Ford or Volkswagen aren’t posturing as if their EVs and PHEVs ARE NOT compliance plays. Sure signs of playing the system are: No advertising money spent and niche positioning and marketing of a product into a very narrow category that does not interfere with your high margin ICE models that do harvest big profit margins. When ICE OEMs produce a limited run EV or PHEV on a gas car platform, then roll it out slowly, meting it out in tiny batches mostly to CARB states, we know its a compliance play. ZEV credits, and in GM’s case, kudos as a GREEN CAR COMPANY make all the effort worthwhile for a humongous car company who can spare some nickels to accomplish the PR. Bolt tries to cleverly disguise it’s compliance nature by claiming its built on a… Read more »

I agree with your reasons listed. To keep manufacturing the Volt would have cost millions in retooling another plant. And it had already been reported that the Volt as we know it was going to be discontinued in the next few years anyways.

I am convinced GM is headed for bankruptcy Part II.

Volt just outed GM as having top tier engineers on staff. It also highlighted that the same short- sighted, cash grabbing mentality dominates it’s upper management.

The design could have been better. The car was too small and the battery form factor was, frankly, idiotic. It looks like they just took an existing ICE and tried to jam the battery into the drive shaft tunnel and behind the seats, leaving very little second row space, and little possibility of squeezing a fifth person in there.

Per kWh of capacity of the battery, the weight and efficiency was pretty horrid versus a lot its competitors. I wonder if there have been any high C battery improvements since the second gen Volt went live. It would have been nice to see them put a heat pump in the car for more efficient heating as well.

All said though, I’m still strongly considering buying this car. It all comes down to whether there’s any deals that can be had.

Just passed 30,000 miles on my 2017 volt. Zero issues

1) I seem to recall reading that Erick is a GM employee. Couldn’t get any “insider” help?
2) Curious why Erick didn’t buy another Volt instead of the Equinox(?).
3) I don’t trust dealership service shops. Many bad experiences at my local dealership. Fortunately, I found an independent service shop that is honest.
4) Thanks for the video update, Erick!

Have two volts now. Ol Sparkie and my wife’s 13 volt. The 13 is having charging issues and mechanical problems as well. Couldn’t afford to keep Both of them running with the dealerships not able to repair the vehicle on the 1st try. I opted for old technology the dealerships my understand. Sadly.

Thanks Erick! If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of problems and how many miles on the 13 Volt? Just FYI, I have both a 2012 and 2013 Volt.

Forget the drivetrain- how is this Volt’s SEAT holding up??

Of course no battery degradation! Because it was on the engine 85% of the time! The battery time is about 66,000 miles! With an electric range of 33 miles that’s 2000 charge cycles! Well for 2000 cycles it’s not bad I think!

Actually, he had over 160,000 miles on electric because he charged at home and when he worked at the Lordstown plant that made the Chevy Cruze, he also had workplace charging.

So of that 220 mile round trip he used to do, about 70 miles or so on electricity. He did state on Facebook that his gas engine started kicking in around 9.3 kWh used instead of the 9.8-10 kWh it used to show, so there was some slight battery degradation. This was prior to the accident.

Still, that many miles and only a slight loss of battery is a testament to GM’s engineers doing an excellent job of making sure the battery was well taken care of.

Ash09, thanks for the clarification!

Sorry but this isn’t how a hybrid works; especially the Gen 1 volt. The battery is always in use even when the ICE is running. The Gen 2 does in certain situations employ direct ICE to wheels power flow (mainly for better hwy mpg) but for the most part the battery is always “on” and flowing electrons.

Actually, the gen 1 does that as well.

Yeah, I should have said “the gen 2 does in more situations”.

Anyone who’s watched the power flow gauge/screen knows the battery doesn’t get the rest of the day off once the charge is depleted.

I also charged at church daily for a total of over 100ev miles daily.

No, if u look the Voltstats page for the car, it has about 160K miles on battery power. https://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/1579

So that’s 4000 cycles! Not bad at all. BTW, was that LG Chem battery?

What’s ironic about this story is that what is perhaps the most famous Chevy Volt ever was not well-suited for the role its owner stuck it with. With a 220-mile round trip commute, the vast majority of his driving would have been in gas mode. If you are going to drive in gas mode the majority of the time, there’s no point in having a Volt. He would have been better off with a Prius for mileage, and any number of other cars for comfort or utility.

Yes but the Prius is booooring.

Maybe so, but it’s rock solid reliable

Agreed.

Worse, the seats make my back hurt. The ones in the Volt don’t do that.

They actually did a story on this exact topic a few years back.

https://insideevs.com/tale-two-chevrolet-volts/

So while some Volt owners could drive it almost exclusively as an EV, there was nothing wrong with driving it mostly on gas either.

Some fleet Volts were never charged because the company that leased them probably didn’t compensate the drivers for charging them up, but paid for the gas. This meant they’d be driving it pretty much as a hybrid. Which was also fine and GM’s engineers had foresaw that scenario and made sure the Volt could still be driven on gas if you couldn’t or didn’t want to charge it up.

It just sucks that Erick’s Volt is starting to have problems, but related to the accident he had, and not because the Volt itself started to develop high mileage issues on its own.

Ash09, I wonder if there’s a way to check the battery vs. ICE mileages?

Clearly, that’s a very poor use case for a PHEV — though I doubt a Prius would actually be better… There were just no other options at that time. A year or two later, a Model S would have worked. (With this mileage, I’m sure it would pay for itself several times over in gas savings…) I guess that might not have been considered an option for a GM worker — but one has to wonder why he didn’t switch to a Bolt when that became available?…

The Prius is the car we use for every trip over 200 miles. The Volt pure electric range isn’t enough to compensate for the terrible mpg of the gen1 volt. Our 2004 prius still gets 45 mpg while the volt rarely gets even 40.

Tom, that’s true!

He drove 66 electric miles out of 220, 30%. Money math may favor Volt even against Prius.

Looks to be pretty close. Volt uses ~4.2 gallons of gas, the Prius ~4.8, so Prius burns about 1/2 a gallon of gas more but doesn’t have any electricity cost.

With my multi morning charges I was getting 105mpg on the way up to Lordstown. That’s with 70ev miles taking kid to school and running errands before going to work.

The Prius is a glorified golf cart. Volt is much more enjoyable to drive.

4,254 battery cycles over say 7-8 years (2012 model) till system failure (468,000/110). Is that a good result or an excellent result? Over the time period, is this a poor result?

I remember those GM graphs when the 16.5 kWh battery was released drawn with thick pen indicating low degradation out to 15 years and 150,000 miles.

Here’s hoping my 2013 Volt goes for very many years to come. By then I’ll be suicidal about the only 3.3 kW charge rate for opportunity destination top-up charging compared with what’s on the market.

Erick’s Volt had around 160k miles on electric before he stopped paying for Onstar which is how voltstats gets its data from. I also remember reading somewhere that in lab tests the battery was supposed to last until at least 500k miles, which is pretty close to what Erick got prior to the accident.

And while the slow charging sucks, the fact that the Volt has a gas engine also means you’re never stranded either like a BEV owner who pulls up to a broken charging station with almost no battery left, or it’s “ICE’d” by a gas car parked in that spot preventing them from using it. Until public charging is as common and widespread as the Tesla Supercharger network, plug-in hybrids still have a role to play.

Tesla owner here. While I do love the Supercharger network, if you check the Electrify America site you will find that network is growing like crazy right now, and soon will be just as good as the SC network is today. And if you combine it with other charging networks (using the PlugShare map) one could argue that total charging availability is on par or almost so with the SC network. I’m not one of those “PHEVs are evil” guys, I’m just pointing out that charging infrastructure is rapidly improving for non-Tesla BEVs.

Yes, that 3.3kw charging rate is simply too slow! That’s why I balked at getting a Volt!

I still miss faster charging with my 2013 Volt. I frequently have an hour lunch break that I use to charge and I get a measly 10 additional miles charging at 3.3. Even 6.6 would be a useful option, but the increased charge rate for Volts showed up way too late for me.
So I frequently end up using the gender for 5, 10 or 15 miles at the end of the day when faster charging would have meant no gasoline used.
Would a $400 option for faster charging pay for itself in my case? Nope, but I would have paid for the option if GM had priced it for twice what the upgrade costed them to option up the car. But I have a feeling GM would included the faster charging option in with a bunch of stuff I didn’t want. Going up from 3.3 kW charging capable to 6.6 or 7.2 probably costs GM an extra $150 to $200.

My 2012 Volt has almost 100K miles. I hope it makes to 200K miles and I will be happy. (my EV ration is much higher. 80K miles out of that 100K miles are electric). Sounds like the Car didn’t have any problem until the accident and then nothing worked well. Sounds like a piss poor dealership capability. That is one thing that is the problem with dealers. Some dealers are okay and some are just terrible. That is the nature of “independently owned franchise dealers”. But it sounds like the Battery is pretty much done now. When he says that the engine would come on to assist the battery despite the range is near full, that is a good indication that voltage of the cells are still indicating the range, but when load increases, the cells can’t hold the voltage due to loading. That is the clear message that the battery is “done”. so, we know that Volt battery is basically good for about 400K miles. Granted, he had about 1/3 electric and 2/3 gasoline mileages. So, that is about 130K electric on a 35miles range battery. That is 3,700 cycles. The “hybrid” buffer still wears on the battery. So,… Read more »

Well, depends on the depth of the buffer… Could probably do a couple thousand more, if more capacity is sacrificed up front.

Or the cells are imbalance due to the accident

That is possible. Maybe he should get one of those tools to check on the cells.

Great testament about the reliability and engineering of the Volt. It has delivered more than anyone could ask of a vehicle, electric or otherwise.

Sad testament about the driver, who is clearly wasting a huge portion of his limited life on this earth mindlessly driving back and forth to work.

I must disagree! I say this is a wonderful testament to the driver. The dude would obviously rather not have that commute, but he is using the skills he has to work hard every day in order to earn his paycheck and support himself and his family. So many other able-bodied Americans say “I can’t find a job (that is close, or convenient, or that I like, or similar whiney excuse)” and instead go on full or partial government assistance programs taking the money earned by other people so they can sit at home. I say kiddos to this guy and anyone who gets up every day and goes to work to earn a living and provide for their families!

You guys are both right. Now move along

Wow! Thanks! My parents are elderly and I can’t leave them now to relocate to a closer GM Plant. Right now my family has a stable environment and kid has loving grandparents to help raise her. I’m the Only one inconvenienced here and that is totally acceptable for me. My kid needs to see me every day which is why I commute daily.

Mr. Belmer didn’t have the super long commute when he bought the Volt. But shortly after he bought Sparkie GM closed the factory he worked at that was just 40 miles from his home and offered him a position at a factory 110 miles from home. He didn’t want to relocate his family so he decided to bite the bullet and make the commute work somehow.
I have a great deal of respect for the guy.

Yeah that’s a heck of a commute! I complain about my 45 mile commute… but it is the right fit to help out my family.

So, instead of admiring the guy for his work ethic, for being so dedicated to gainful employment that he’s willing to spend hours a day driving to work and back… you denigrate him for it?

You must have a very low opinion of your own self, if you feel the need to look down on others for something that’s admirable.

Love my Volt but I’m having the same (Service high voltage charging system) problem and no one in Italy is able to fix it since GM has pulled the Chevrolet brand out of Europe and subsequently sold Opel.
Yes they sold Chevrolet Volt’s in Europe (or maybe only western Europe) as well as Opel Ampera’s.

The most common cause of the Service High Voltage Charging System error is a failed coolant level sensor. If you are not actually loosing coolant, then you can fix it yourself for around $200. You need a new sensor, and then to clear the code requires a $120 VCX Nano programmer and a $40 2-year single vehicle subscription to GM Techweb (and a Windows laptop to run it on).

I had to do this myself recently.

More info: https://www.google.com/search?q=service+high+voltage+charging+system+vcx+nano&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-m

Before buying sensor check battery coolant level. It took 4 years for my Volt to burp out air in the system resulting in low coolant level. A top up was all that was needed and it was covered by warranty.
Maybe that is why Belmer’s car is not charging, if coolant was replaced by dealer after accident.

Either way, once the code is set, the only cure is a reflash of the BCM2 module. Adding coolant (Dexcool premix only!) will not clear the code. Lawyers designed that bit of programming…

GM has a service campaign for that burp for certain build date Volts.

Its called a code clear, not reprogramming. Ur not well informed

In GM-service-manual-speak, it is “applying a calibration.” I could post the not well informed screenshot I took of my computer doing it…

That was for an update, you can currently perform a code clear for P1FFE. Get up to date oldie.

Beside the coolant sensor possibility, it could also be slightly low on coolant.

Check the reservoir level and if it is even slightly below the fill line, it can have this error.

Some of the Volt were shipped with some air in the coolant loop which causes the level to be incorrect or slightly below the sensor reading. Over time when those air bubbles escape, it will drop slightly to cause the error. Of course, it is assuming there is no leak in the system.

I guess blown truck tires love Volts/Amperas.

I’ve had this happen a few years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF9J9Bqe9w4

I almost hit that tire. The car behind me wasn’t so lucky. He did hit the tire and you can hear it.

Service high voltage light on due to coolant loss. If u had on-star might be able to tell you. Volt sedan going bye bye but think they making a SUV with same name plate.

The most common reason for that error is actually a failed coolant level sensor. Unfortunately a regular OBD scanner can’t reset the code. One of the BMS computers actually needs to be reflashed to clear it!

Fake news.

I think what’s fake here is the trollish comments from someone calling himself “Loverboy”.

Don’t you have anything better to spend your time on, loser?

He needs to educated himself better, stop running to his defence. You have a tendancy to comment too much.

Ok. That does it. Im buying a Volt.

Better be quick before it runs out…

With 27k miles on my gen1 Volt,it looks like it will last for at least a half century more.

Adding to my favorites to show off those trolls that say you need to replace your batteries every 2-5 years

This does demonstrate the achilles heel of liquid TMS designs. One small rock can brick the vehicle or worse case destroy electronics. Savvy volt owners add an additional rock guard to the air intake but manufacturers need to come up with better protective designs.

1 small rock can destroy an ICE in the same way too. Fortunately it is a rare occurrence.

True dat but in most modern vehicles, the a/c condenser is in front of the ICE radiator so it usually takes the hit.

At some point, Belmer must have gotten tied up in the publicity he got from owning the highest mileage Volt.

Anyone else would’ve taken the insurance money and run at 400,000 miles. The truck tire incident was a fatal blow to this valiant soldier of a car. To Belmer, I say “MOVE ON DOT ORG!” His Volt is scrap iron now. It’s a very innefficient and underpowered gas car hauling around a 435lb. battery pack and filling the environment with CO2.

That’s a cool achievement of Mr. Belmer. On the other hand, my Chevy Volt is the world’s most efficient GM car in the world!
I reached 73K miles and got a lifetime 143 MPGe, after 30 months of driving and it included the use of about 40 gallons of gasoline. If I hadn’t used gasoline, I would have attained Lifetime 151 MPGe. It still drives like brand new, with all the power. I bought new sets of tires with better wet grip about 6 months ago. There’s no battery degradation at all. Too bad GM stopped producing the Volt. It’s perfect for my driving profile. I can drive 700 miles roundtrip with it without recharging nor refueling as I made a few long distance trips to Paso Robles from Sacramento.

https://youtu.be/BItbRKzZiYk

Wow! That’s higher than even the best of Hyundai Electric cars and all of Tesla’s listed cars at the EPA! Fuel economy dot gov only has 136 MPGe for combined city and freeway driving.

GM REALLY needs to beef up this Voltec drivetrain a little bit AND PUT IT INTO SUVs, PICK-UPS, MINIVANS, etc!

I just have to scream that every now & then. It drives me crazy that it is not happening.

Chevrolet should just give this guy a brand new 2nd Gen Volt!

Since GM has no Supercharger network they should build all their TRUCKs using Volt drivetrain.
That way anyone exploring the Outback or camping wouldnt need to worry about geting stranded in the boonies miles from chargers !

If they dont my next truck is Workhorse

https://workhorse.com/pickup/

The Volt isn’t an EV, it uses a gas meter to charge the batteries

Why are trucks still allowed to be driven on public roads with exploding tires? It’s ridiculous!