Why the Chevy Volt? Number one, the electric drivetrain. Its not a comprimise to driving pleasure, in fact it is the ideal propultion. Its smooth, there is no bumps in the torque output, there is no gear switching. There is no sloshing of a fluid torque converter. There is no slipping of clutches. There is instant “throttle”response.
The Volt is packed with luxury features. One feature that works great and is never mentioned is that the air conditioning fans automatically turn down a little when you initiate a phone call. There is excellent phone and audio system integration eg. Pandora and stitcher. OnStar is free for three years and lets you manage charge status, setup alerts via email or SMS and best of all, start the climate control system 15 minutes before you enter the car.
Common quetions and answers that I have recieved or experienced first hand.
Don’t we need better battery technology? Or I’ll wait until battery tech has improved. The wait is over, battery tech has improved drastically. We have seen huge improvements in capacity. For example the 1995 GM EV-1 had a battery pack was double in weight and almost double in size for roughly the same capacity. Similar breakthroughs in the internal combustion engine would be insane.
Interestingly, since the battery pack is simply a pack, the “what if” problem of, next year a superior battery gets invented, then it’s almost trivial to upgrade existing volts. This was one reason that helped me tip me towards choosing to purchase rather than lease. Also I dislike car dealerships and car salesmen, so needing to see them more than necessary would be akin to self mutilation without the dopamine rush.
What’s the range? 350 to 400 miles, electric plus the gasoline motor. You almost never need to use the gasoline range extender. I’ve been driving for a few weeks now and have a lifetime of 85 percent electric driving. and this with only casual charging using the standard 120 volt charger. I have been getting 40 miles per full charge.
Isn’t your electric bill going to go up? Yes. But only slightly. It only costs about $1.50 to fully charge the Volt. Given an empty battery and about 10 cents per kilowatt. In other terms it’s about 3.5 cents per mile to drive on electric. A fuel efficient car burns about 15 cents per mile, nearly 5 times more expensive. Yet another way to put it, my electric bill goes up about $35, while my gasoline bill shrinks by $150, for a savings of $115 per month.
Surpassing performance facts about the Chevy Volt. It’s fast. Ok it’s not the fastest car I have driven. But it beats the Camry 0-30, has a better power to weight ratio than the Jetta TDI. 50/50 front/rear weight distribution with 25 Hz torsional chassis stiffness.
Do I have a special charging station at my house? Nope, it’s a standard house outlet that I plug in the charge cord into. The car comes with this cord. If you desire a quick charge you can self install a 240 volt charge cord for 500 bucks.
Is it like a Prius? No, in terms of performance, not even close. No clunky drivetrain. superior handling and acceleration. It looks better too.
How much was the car about 31,000 this is after the tax credit. The crossover point where the car starts paying for itself is 4.5 years. This is versus buying a similarly equipped car that doesn’t have an electric drive system. Of course, after this point the car gets cheaper and cheaper to drive and as improvements in grid power come online (more efficient and clean), the Volt also gets cleaner and cleaner to drive.
Some stats, this car is loaded with them. So far, I’ve driven 400 miles and burned about 2 gallons of gasoline. 200 MPG. I’m at 85 percent electric and that’s climbing since I had a long drive from the dealership which started me off low. Check out voltstats.net to see what other Volt drivers have been getting in energy performance for yourself!