Three Cheers (or Charges) for the Volt
This is the second time I've tested the Chevy Volt, and it's the second time I've been impressed with what a nice car it is.
It's expensive to the point that most people won't even consider it. Even with a $7,500 federal rebate, a loaded Volt is going to set you back nearly $40K. (Ouch!) But the technology and execution are undeniably futuristic.
Hey Chevy, when can we get a charging station installed at Car Talk Plaza? (GM Photo)
Yeah, you've probably heard about the little fires they've had, but let's not get picky, shall we? This is one impressive ride. You plug it in, it gives you a range of up to 31 miles on nothing but the Volt's batteries. Realistically, turn on the seat heaters or pass a truck and you're down to 28 miles. But still, it's enough range for a lot of people to get to work and back on nothing but electric power.
And the cool part is that if you go too far, or have to make an unplanned trip, and the batteries run out, you're fine! The Volt seamlessly switches itself over to its gasoline engine, which powers the electric motor and takes you several hundred more miles. Imagine having an iPhone with a built in gasoline-powered generator that would keep the thing humming for an extra week once the batteries ran out. That's what the Volt is like, except the hot exhaust doesn't blow into your pants pocket.
You've probably heard about the Volt's propulsion technology already. But what's surprising is how well the car rides. It's as comfortable as any mid-size car out there, it has all the comfort features you could want, and the weight of the batteries give the car a heft that makes it feel planted and secure in cornering.
Yes, it's crazy expensive right now. But keep an eye on it. If the price ever comes down, this is the way to drive.
Our Esteemed Producer is not the only one impressed with the Volt. Check out Jim Motavalli’s recent post on some very happy Volt owners, right here.