Latest data sheds light as the Chevrolet Volt testing nears completion
August 11, 2011
by Gabe Shenhar
We’ve been testing and living with the Chevrolet Volt for seven months now, exposing it to the rigors of both winter cold and summer heat. As we count down to the complete test in the October issue, we want to share some insights from our experience with this intriguing car.
Overall, the Volt is an ingenious concept, essentially an electrically powered car with a backup gasoline engine for when you run out of electric power. That 1.4-liter engine acts as a generator, maintaining the battery at a sufficient state of charge to preserve most of the electric drive experience. Most importantly, it allows for an extended driving range. And even then, it’s not like you are left with a puny 80 hp, 1.4-liter engine. The car retains the instant torque of an electric car, shuts off at idle, and recaptures some energy in regenerative braking while coasting.
Full article at link.We’ve already praised the Volt’s strong-and-seamless acceleration and quietness. Putting aside fuel-economy and electric drive considerations, as a car, the ride is taut and compliant and handling is secure and responsive. The seats are supportive. On the debit side, the Volt is only a four-seater, so practicality is limited. Visibility is problematic, getting in and out of the low slung car can be challenging, and some controls are confusing. GM says the heater will be stronger in 2012 models.
The Volt can save you money on running costs if charged often enough to maximize its electric capability. Plus, it doesn’t suffer from the range limitation of other EVs such as the Nissan Leaf. Clearly, for the prudent consumer, and for the long-distance commuter, a Toyota Prius is a proven and established entity. But for those who feel, a Prius is old-hat, the Volt certainly pioneers a new genre and goes a step further.
The Car Connection certainly concurs:
When Can A 2011 Chevy Volt Save You Money? Consumer Reports Has An Answer