2012 Chevrolet Volt
1.4L 4 cyl 85 HP gasoline engine
110 Kw Primary Drive Electric Motor + 55 Kw Secondary Drive Motor / Generator
16 Kwh Lithium-Ion Battery
Crystal Red Tincoat with Light Neutral Leather
The photo gallery/slide show of the Volt
Needles to tell you that we were anxious to spend a few days with the Volt. Although we have an enduring attachement for serious horsepower, we also appreciate vehicles that have an electric motor, and less horsepower.
The Volt is our first experience with a vehicle that actually covers a distance without resorting to an ICE (internal combustion engine)...from our perspective its totally cool.
What is so cool about a Volt?
Its a good looking car with original styling, that sets it apart from most small cars. As you can imagine most folks view the car as an oddity.
It makes interesting sounds as it starts, since electric cars do not start in the conventional sense, lets just say that it makes interesting sounds when it "engages" and when it "disengages"...a reminder of Star Wars.
The interior is well finished, and distinctive communicating that its a different car, with a different powerplant. The rear bucket seats are novel.
Contrary to many small cars, the Volt has a full complement of options, including Navigation, a good sound system, accompanied by intuitive controls.
Agreed that due to the roof line the rear doors are headroom challenged.
What is genuine surprisw...the car feels bigger than it is, is supremely quiet, often not realising how fast you are going...yes, that quiet, and smooth. Its refreshing since some smaller hybrids have an entrenched small car feel about them with an elevated price.
Numerous pundits have experienced the Volt and shared their thoughts on the various aspects of "electric".
Our thoughts from our experience...
As we entered a 400 series highway staying with the flow of traffic we anticipated the battery to quickly run out, which it did after 40 kms, while being totally cool to keep on going with a "dead battery" and an engine that feels like a generator with no relation to the speed of the car.
On surface streets/suburbia environment its a memorable experience using the Volt with the electric motor only, and plugging in to recharge the Lithium-Ion battery. In start and stop use of mostly short distances, where a gasoline engine would not reach its operating temperature, while accompanied by poor fuel economy. The Volt is a revelation with the gas engine never starting.
Charging the car is intuitive, with a green monitor on the dash indicating that its charging. In addition when the car is locked if the charge cable is disconnected the alarm will sound.
As you can imgine the elctronic controls to balance the ICE and 2 electric motors are sophisticated while making the entire operation completely seamless. The displays on the instrument panels keep you informed of the various interactions that are going on.
The habitual economy question....lets take a look. We drove 100 kms draining the battery after 40 kms and covering the other 60 kms with the ICE generating the electricity in a surface street, 400 series highway application. We used 3.38 liters of premium gas and 10 Kw/h of electricity.
Lets say that it took 11 Kw to recharge the 10Kw battery at 8.3 cents per Kw = 91 cents (8.3x11) and the car indicated that it used 3.38 liters of premium at 1.32 per liter = 4.46 for a total of 5.37 (4.46+.91)
How much gas does $5.37 buy, even regular and how far will you go with a 4 or a 6, or an 8 cylinder engine.
From our perspective there is an undeniable cool factor using an electric car, especially one that does not impose range anxiety.
The quick review