This month, the Chevy Volt came one step closer to mainstream America. The first electric vehicle produced by General Motors rolled off the assembly line, and is in the process of testing before its world-wide release next year.
So, what is so special about this car?
I know your time is limited, so let’s overview the basics:
- The Chevy Volt is produced by a division of General Motors
- Official launch date is expected to be November 2010
- Sticker price: $40,000, but when you factor in a $7,500 tax credit, that drops to $32,500
- Estimated miles per gallon (MPG) is 230!
- It will take about 8 kilowatt hours for a recharge to travel 40 miles. The cost for a full recharge is about 40-80 cents (10-20 cents per mile)
- This month, 80 Volts have been built and are being tested in a variety of conditions
Want to learn more? Consider this commercial:
Perhaps one of the best attributes of the Chevy Volt is that 75% of U.S. commuters can drive to and from work without use of any fossil fuels. That’s right. Plugging it in at home and work can provide enough “juice” to give you the standard 40 mile range, without heading to the gas station. Drive less than that each day and who knows when you’ll next visit the pump?
Electric powered cars have long been considered as a feasible alternative to gas-powered vehicles, but the reality has been thwarted by a number of factors, from battery technology to (perhaps) powerful lobbyists. But the public really wants EVs, and finally someone is delivering!
The Chevy Volt is powered by electricity stored in its on-board lithium-ion batteries, which are charged by an electrical power outlet. Any ordinary outlet will do! Unlike most commercially available electric hybrids, the propulsion of the Volt is accomplished exclusively by the electric motor.
The electric car motor of the Chevy Volt will switch after 40 miles (64 km) to a small 4-cylinder gasoline internal combustion engine. That small switch can create electricity on-board to extend the Volt’s range to between 230-300 miles. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. Who drives farther than that in a single day?
Inside the Chevy Volt, on the dash, you will see a button with a green leaf. Sure, its another reminder of your eco-friendly ride, but what does it do? When you press the green leaf, you’ll get information about electrical charge rates, downloaded through OnStar. You can use it to choose your recharge time, and browse tips for more efficient functioning (for example, how to extend your range).
Worried about its power? Consider this:
“GM says that the Volt will be able to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 8.5 to 9 seconds, whether it is running on battery or engine-generator power.”
Compared to the Toyota Prius, the Volt may cost more, but it can be considerably more eco-friendly. The Prius has an all-electric range of only about a mile, but it gets 50 miles per gallon of gasoline.
We’ll compare the two vehicles in a future post. But until then…. we’d love to hear your comments!