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What exactly is the Chevrolet Volt?
Termed a “plug-in electric”, the Chevrolet Volt car is new kind of vehicle which uses both electrical and gasoline technologies to power the vehicle.
First, the battery alone then the ‘extended range’ gasoline generator to power the electric motor.
- What makes the Volt different to other cars?
The Volt is almost silent! eerily so!
As mentioned above, the volt is driven by an electric motor – this in itself makes the car different to other traditional vehicles. For the first part of your post-charge journey the volt uses the on-board lithium ion batteries. When the battery runs out seamlessly switches over and the gasoline powered generator powers the electric motor for the rest or your trip.
- What makes the Volt different to other hybrid vehicles?
I’ve learned not to call the Volt a “Hybrid”. Hybrid cars technically use both electricity and gasoline combined.
The Chevrolet Volt uses only an electric motor to drive it. Instead of working electric then using a typical combustion engine the Volt just uses one.
- What kind of battery does the Volt use?
The Volt doesn’t contain just one big battery – instead it contains a n umber of lithium ion battery packs. These batteries, though specially developed for the Volt and the automotive industry are similar to those found in your Smart Phone and Laptop computer.
- What is the Volt’s cost of operation?
Of course there are many, many variables that change how much it costs to operate the Volt on a daily basis from traffic to driving conditions, to how light or dark it is, how hot or cold it is, how hilly your drive is and more.
Typically a fully charged battery costs about $1.50 which may take you (again, typically) about 35 miles. After that it all depends on your gasoline prices and driving habits.
- What is the driving range for the Chevrolet Volt?
Ranges vary depending on a wide variety of things. However, in theory the Volt can travel about 400 miles on the battery and gasoline tank combined. (between 25 and 50 miles on the battery and about 350 miles on the tank)
- How many miles per Gallon does the Volt get?
According the the EPA Specs the Volt will get 37MPG on average.
MPG would depend on the length of your trip. I found that over 90 miles I got about 60MPG with battery and gasoline combined.
EPA averages for 30 vehicles finds that the Volt can get 167.1MPG yours could easily be a lot more or a lot less.
- How many seats does the Volt have?
Because of the T-shaped battery pack the Volt is a 4 seat vehicle. 2 in the front, 2 in the rear. There is a center consol that runs along the middle of the vehicle.
- How much does the Volt cost?
Anywhere between about $35,000 and $45,000 depending on trim and features. Various Government incentives are available depending on what you but, where you buy and when you buy it – see your dealer.
- How long does it take to recharge the Volt battery?
On the average home 120V line the Volt can take between 8 and 10 hours to fully charge. Of course if you have a 220V at your disposal the charging time would be cut in half.
- Do I have to fully charge the Volt every time?
Nope- if you have a couple of hours in which you can plug in your car then use it. You won’t get as many miles as you would on a full charge but you’ll have something.
In fact, you don’t have to charge the Volt at all if you don’t want to. You could run it on gasoline all day, every day if you wanted to – it kind of defeats the whole idea though.
- Are there any solar panels on the Volt?
Not on current models. Hopefully GM will add some as the vehicle develops – the addition of solar panels would hopefully supplement the vehicle battery and extend battery-only driving distance.
- Does the Volt generate its own electricity?
To a point. The Chevrolet Volt uses regenerative charging. When decelerating or braking the Volt uses the energy generated by the wheels to put a little juice back into the battery. Unless you’re going downhill all day long you’re not going to completely recharge the battery. You will notice, while using the battery, that you can increase the number of miles in the battery when you travel down hill.
Do you have any questions? drop me a comment – I’ll see if I can answer them for you!
Author: Andy Quayle
Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
Known globally as a willing source for tech news and views, Andy takes great pride in consultation and education.
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