I recently was invited to a Chevrolet event at the State Fair of Texas to drive the new Chevy Volt. Chevrolet has a winner on their hands with the Volt, as it lives up to all the recent hype. I only got a few laps around the small test track, but the Volt had great road manners…at our low speeds anyway. All that instantaneous electric motor torque gives it surprising acceleration too!
The idea of this vehicle is genius really. Everyone and their dog seem to be building hybrids and “no emissions” electric vehicles these days. Someone at GM decided to go a step further and mesh the best of both those worlds. The Volt, to quickly summarize, is solely an electric-driven car with a generator (engine) to provide power to the batteries once battery power is drained. I won’t go on with the seriously technical details, but make sure to check out http://www.chevroletvolt.com.
For most people seriously concerned with the environment and/or just saving some cash on fuel, the Volt is a great progression of automotive technology in this day and age. It has a 40 mile range solely on battery power before the “range-extender” generator kicks in to power the batteries, which will keep you on the road for about 300 miles. This means you can take a cross-country trip, which is not easily done (or even possible) in most electric cars. Once the Volt hits the market, the Prius better watch it’s mirrors. The Volt will catch up fast…in more ways than one.
Check out the photo gallery by clicking on one of the below images!
Thanks – Donna McLallan at GM for the opportunity to drive the Volt! And John Stack, one of the Volt fuel system engineers, for some great technical explanations. It was truly an honor and a pleasure talking with you.