Great Information about Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

By Tom Strongman The Kansas City Star
Driving a Chevy Volt for a week opened my eyes to life with a plug-in electric hybrid.
First, the electric motor’s near-silent acceleration makes the cabin pleasingly quiet. Second, plugging in every
night while the car sat outside my garage was a bit of a hassle — especially in the rain. And third, I got a kick out of
driving 266.5 miles on 2.5 gallons of gas. The car’s computer said I averaged 106.3 mpg for the week.
Charging the Volt takes about 10 hours with a 120-volt line or perhaps as little as four hours with a dedicated
240-volt line. Most Volt buyers would have the 240-volt charger installed in their garage, and that would simplify
the charging routine. The car can be set to charge during off-peak hours when prices are lower.
Electricity is not free, of course. Chevy estimates a night’s charge to cost about $1.50 depending on local
electrical rates. Figuring gas at $3.70 a gallon, I spent about $18.50 to drive 266.5 miles. Driving the same
distance in a car that gets 30 miles per gallon would be $32.86.
The Environmental Protection Agency calculates the car’s mileage at 93 mpg equivalent to batteries, and 37 mpg
when the gasoline engine is recharging the batteries.
Even though the Volt has an electric drive system, it is technically a hybrid because it has a gasoline engine to
charge the batteries.
The Volt’s unique drive system uses a 111-kilowatt traction motor to launch the car from rest. At highway speeds,
a smaller 55-kilowatt motor-generator either adds drive to the wheels or recharges the battery.
The 5.5-foot long, 435-pound lithium-ion battery pack in the center of the Volt consists of thin, 5-by-7-inch cells
that are heated and cooled by a water and antifreeze liquid. The battery has an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
To relieve range anxiety, a 1.4-liter gasoline engine sits under the hood next to the electric drive unit. When the
batteries reach a minimum level, the gasoline engine kicks in to make more electricity. The car then is capable of
being driven about 300 miles on a tank of gasoline. You can take it coast to coast without ever plugging in if you
The Volt’s styling drew positive comments everywhere I drove it. The interior is nicely finished, and the dual
LCD screens display tons of information about the car, its mileage and power usage. It was tempting to pay too
much attention to them at first, but with time I found them to be useful without being distracting. Navigation,
Bluetooth and Bose stereo are standard.
Electric motors deliver torque right from rest. Chevy says the car can accelerate to 60 mph in about nine seconds
and has a top speed of 100 mph. Heavy use of the throttle hurts mileage, however, so smooth acceleration and
plenty of coasting are the order of the day. Coasting and braking recharge the batteries, and using low range in
traffic adds even more regenerative braking.
The back seat has space for two because the battery pack runs down the center of the car. The rear hatch is large
and the seats fold to make a good-sized cargo space.
The Volt is thriftiest when used as a commuter, but the gasoline engine means you can drive long distances
without worrying about plugging it in. That versatility separates it from other electrics and makes it viable as an
only car.
The base price is $41,000. The test car was equipped with the premium package of heated leather seats and
tricoat paint. The sticker price was $43,390.
Three years or 36,000 miles, with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty Send e-on the battery.

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