The 2012 Chevrolet Volt solves the range anxiety problem in …

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи The 2012 Chevrolet Volt solves the range anxiety problem in … отключены
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Chevrolet may have an answer, and it’s called the Volt. Yes, the Volt is an electric vehicle. Yes, it has a limited range before the battery goes kaput.

But a little bit of innovation ensures that you can keep the Volt on the road long after the battery discharges.

The Kansas City Automotive Examiner recently spent a week testing a new Chevrolet Volt. And we discovered a vehicle that has all of the benefits and few of the penalties associated with most EV ’s.

The Volt is not a hybrid in the traditional sense. In a Prius, for example, an electric motor powers the car at lower speeds and keeps things like the air conditioning running at stoplights. The gasoline engine only kicks in at certain higher speeds, or when the driver blasts off the line.

That’s why a normal hybrid generally shows better gas mileage numbers for the city than the highway—the opposite of a gasoline-powered vehicle.

In the Volt, the gasoline engine never actually runs the car at all. In fact, if you take short commutes (about 30-miles) and plug your Volt into the wall outlet every night to recharge it, you could conceivably never use a drop of gasoline again. The car itself runs completely, 100-percent on electricity.

Where the 1.4-liter, four-cylinder gas engine in the Volt comes into play is when the battery runs out of juice. Then it will kick in to regenerate power in the battery. With all this going on, you theoretically should be able to travel 300-plus miles with the help of the gasoline engine.

The actual fuel economy of the Volt really depends on how you use it. If you just use the gasoline-generated power, you can get as much as 37-MPG. Plug it in, run off the electricity, and kick over to the gasoline for half your trip, and you’ll be looking at 60-MPG.

Or, charge it up and take it on a short trip where you’ll just use electricity, and you’re looking at 94-MPGe.

The Volt is a better car when it’s running on the batteries alone than it is when the gasoline engine kicks in to generate the batteries. In electric mode, the Volt is like riding on a cloud—silent, calming, and lovely. When the battery runs out, the engine is sort of strange.

You can hear it up there buzzing to charge the battery, but it isn’t hooked to a transmission, so it doesn’t shift like you might expect. It’s not horrible, but it takes some getting used to.

It is a nice car to drive. It’s not a miserable little penalty box like a Nissan Leaf. It handles well. The materials are first rate.

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And it feels as modern and high-tech as if you were driving an i-Phone. It even makes noises like a computer when you push the blue button to power it on and off.

One thing that seems to concern people about the Volt is the price. Our test car stickered at $43,880. That’s almost double the cost of a Chevrolet Cruze Eco, the basic car on which the Volt is based. But that doesn’t include some of the rebates and credits available.

The Volt gets a government tax credit of $7,500 right off the top. And there may be other places to get a little more money back if you do your research.

If you are someone who really wants to save gasoline, but does not want to be positively saddled to short commutes only, the Volt may just be the answer.

For more information on the Chevrolet Volt, visit the official website at http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car/ .

And for more from this author, including car show coverage, automotive history, and more, check out http://www.hovermotorco.com/ .

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