More people are reaping the benefits of owning a hybrid vehicle. The Chevrolet Volt, the first mass produced plug in hybrid available to the general public, is convincing more consumers of its very low running cost.
On a full charge, the Volt could only go 40 miles on electric power alone but as soon as the power from its battery runs out, it reverts to its onboard gasoline engine that functions as a generator. A gas engine was installed as a backup if the vehicle’s power is depleted.
The plug-in hybrid’s running cost is significantly lower than a normal gasoline engine. One example of a proud Volt owner is Kory Levoy who spent up to $200 monthly for his Audi but was amazed that with the Chevy Volt, he only has to fill it up three times in 7500-miles of driving.
Carey Bailey is another Volt owner who sees the advantages of this plug-in motor. His gas expense has fallen from $500 monthly to $100. On average, it only costs $1.10 to fully charge the Volt.
Cristi Landy, Volt marketing director, said that Volt owners have driven more than 2 million miles to date. Of this figure, about two-thirds were powered by domestically produced electricity. He added that Volt owners are able to charge their vehicles whether at home at night or at the office in the day, enabling them to have “real savings.”
The Chevrolet Volt features the Voltec propulsion system that gives you a pure electric drive as well as a highly efficient engine that gives it up to 350 total miles of range, making it one of the best electric cars in terms of range autonomy.
The battery fitted into the Chevrolet Volt is a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery made in Brownstown Township, Mich. and comes in at 435 pounds and measures 5.5 feet. It gives the car an output of 111 kW or about 149 hp to cover distances of around 25 to 50 miles, depending on the driving techniques, temperature and terrain. And all that driving puts emphasis on being environmentally friendly, without the fuel emissions and tailpipe emissions of a regular car.
What’s more, you have a value-oriented battery that is of high quality and top-performing, durable, safe and reliable. For more peace of mind, the battery is covered by an eight-year or 100,000 miles warranty. The American carmaker’s engineers have been testing their battery packs since 2007, logging more than four million hours and a million miles of tests for the Volt’s battery packs to ensure that these conform to thousands of standards. It also helps that 95 percent of the components you find in a Volt battery pack are manufactured and designed by GM itself.
GM Executive Director for Global Electrical Systems Micky Bly says that the company is committed to giving their customers the highest standards for quality, performance, reliability, value and safety as a way of thanking them for their commitment to the technology that will help lessen society’s dependence on petroleum.
When the battery dies down, the Chevrolet Volt will switch to extended-range mode, where you can get power from the 1.4 L gasoline-powered engine that gives you 84 hp of output. That will give you an additional 310 miles to find a charging station or to get home.
And if you worry that driving an electric car would mean slow drives on the road, think again. The Volt can easily reach 100 miles per hour at low speeds and it has excellent roadholding with 273 lb. ft. of torque, helping it go from 0 to 60 mph in just under nine seconds and reach a quarter of a mile in less than 17 seconds.
Charging the battery is very easy and you can just plug into a 120 V conventional electrical outlet at your house. Or you can charge it through its dedicated charging station. It takes only four hours to fully charge the Volt using the 240 V charging station and up to 12 hours using a 120 V outlet. What’s more, you can schedule your charges to either start immediately or at a later time when electricity rates are much lower. Volt owners would also have access to the MyVolt.com Web site where they can monitor or manage their cars. Or they can download the smartphone app called Chevrolet Mobile App, which takes its data from OnStar MyLink.
The Impressive Chevrolet Volt
The Chevrolet Volt features a bold and performance-based appearance that hints at the power of its engines. It looks like a high-end sportscar. With its wide rear and front tracks, protruding wheels, and a long wheelbase, the sculpted belt and the masterful craftsmanship complement its overall look.
GM director of design Bob Boniface explains that the Volt is a revolutionary car and the carmaker wanted to have a sleek and dynamic design that would make a bold statement. Boniface adds that by looking at the car, you will see that it is highly technical and meticulously refined with its interrelating surface, crisp edges and clean lines.
The car’s design was developed by designers, engineering experts and aerodynamicists in the carmaker’s own wind tunnel. The Volt is regarded as the most aerodynamic car under the Chevrolet brand. The aerodynamics of the car also helps lower the energy needed to counter air resistance, giving it eight miles more electric range and 50 miles more extended range.
The flush and round front, grille and tapering corners allow the car to move easily with less drag. Air flow is further controlled by the meticulously designed spoiler and sharp edges at the rear, while the windshield and black glass feature a steeply sloping rake that is designed to lower the drag.
All elements of the Volt have been thoroughly designed and impeccably executed, making it one of the most beautiful cars in its class. The underhood compartment gets the same treatment as well.