A popular trend in modern day motoring is going with a hybrid. Â With the high gas prices, people are trading in their old vehicles for cars that get better gas mileage. Â The hybrid is powered by both a gas engine and an electric motor. The heat from the engine charges the battery. Â The most popular hybrid is the Toyota Prius. Â Chevrolet decided to enter the hybrid market when it first revealed the Â Volt in 2008. Â The Volt would be a plug-in hybrid, in which the battery could be charged by an external source. Â In Mid-December 2010, the Volt was released. Â Chevrolet classifies the Volt as an extended range electric vehicle, but I consider it a plug-in hybrid because the car can be propelled by a gas engine.
I first saw the Chevrolet volt at the 2011 Houston Auto Show and I was not impressed. Â Chevrolet is promoting the wrong car. Â Chevrolet showed off the Corvette Stingray concept, which I hope goes into production, a Camaro convertible, and another Camaro powered by a 7.0L engine. Â All those I would rather have than the Volt. Â I think the Volt is slow, overrated, and overpriced.
The Volt is powered by 16 kW-h lithium-ion battery that powers a 149 hp, 273 lb-ft torque electric motor and 1.4L gas engine that uses premium gas and generates 74 hp. Â The gas engine never charges the battery, it turns a generator that powers the electric motor. Â The car can go for 40 miles on its batteries before the gas engine kicks in and give the Volt an additional 310 miles. Â It takes 3.5 hours to recharge the battery with a 240 VAC outlet. Â The Volt goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9 seconds and has a top speed of 100 mph. Â To offset the cost of R & D on the Volt, it costs $41,000 dollars, but with th $7,500 tax incentives, it costs $33,500 to the owner.
The Volt can be seen in Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen as the Autobot Jolt. Â Motorweek reviewed the Volt, praising the car so much that the Volt was Motorweeks’s 2011 Driver’s Choice Car of the Year. Â Motortrend Magazine named the Volt its 2011 Car of the Year. Â
Final Thoughts: Â I don’t think the Volt deserves the praise it is getting. Â The Volt gets poor mileage, slow, and overpriced. Â I was with my family at a wedding in Dallas. Â We were in a V6 Toyota Camry and got over 400 miles on less than a tank of Â regular gas. Â The Volt uses premium gas, which is more expensive than regular gas. Â The Volt gets about 350 miles before running out of gas and juice. Â I could name several cars that are more deserving of 2011 Car of the Year. Â Better cars include the Camaro, Mustang, Corvette, Infiniti G and M sedans, BMW M3, BMW M5, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, and any diesel powered vehicle. Â At the $33,500 price after the tax incentives, you could instead get a V8 mustang or a V8 Camaro. Â Porsche will be releasing a plug-in hybrid that gets 78 mpg and can reach speeds of 200 mph, the 918, first announced in 2009 and costs $630,000 when it will be released. Â Since the Volt is a plug-in hybrid, you need to have a place to charge the car over night. Â The technology for electric and hybrid vehicles is still not there. Â Most hybrids are slow and electric vehicles get poor mileage. Â Wait for improvements in hybrid and electric vehicle technologies. Â I would pass on the Volt.
Photo taken from a camera phone
Originally written on March 8, 2011 in the TGWTG blog section