In my free time searching around the net for more car information to fill the mushy little noodle in my head with I came across Chevy’s beloved Volt. I started reading into it and I wanted to know why the Volt was so much more different from the rest of the Hybrid cars on the market; I soon found out why. The volt is a zero emission out of the tail pipe vehicle with a battery that will last about 35 miles.
There is a gas engine under the hood that is basically a generator to charge the battery on long trips over 35 or so miles. So like the Nissan Leaf the Chevy Volt is a pure electric vehicle per se. I don’t see it as pure electric because it still needs gas to run the gas engine to charge the battery on trips over 35 miles.
Basically this works when the battery hits a certain point the gas engine turns on and starts to re charge the battery. The car can go a total of about 380 miles on a tank of gas and charge. This is quite interesting considering if I only drive 35 miles a day and recharge it every night what happens to the gas in my tank that I don’t use? Yes gas can go bad if left in a tank for so long. Chevy solved this by warning the driver after some time that the gas may be getting old the car will also run the gas engine from time to time to cycle the gas. Chevy states the gas will stay good for one year in its pressurized tank. Same thing with the engine, the car will run it at least every 6 months to make sure the oil keeps the cylinder walls and everything else lubricated.
The Volt also has great electronics to help keep you notified and the car efficient. The center stack has a screen at the top to tell you things like charge level, battery usage and other mileage information. It also gives you normal information like climate control and radio. You can also set up your charging schedule so that the car will start charging during certain times so it will be ready when you leave in the morning. You can also enter your utility rates for summer and winter and only have it charge when you want it to while it is plugged in. Also through on star you can download an app to your smart phone so you can check charge levels and mileage. You can also have the car turn on the AC and turn the heat on, before you get into your car so it is ready to go and comfortable once you step into it. So far the technology Chevy has put into this car seems pretty impressive and makes me want to buy one!
I know what your asking yourself… What about charging times? Well with a normal 110 volt outlet it takes the Volt about 10 hours to charge. With a professionally installed 220 volt outlet the car charges itself in 4 hours. Chevy claims the price is about $1.50 a day to charge the car. They do recomend charging it during non peaks times which is estimated between 9 p.m. to about 7 a.m. Also like most Hybrids the braking on the car also helps charge the battery a bit, the center cluster will tell you if your braking to hard or accelerating to fast so you can get the most fuel economy.
So after searching through Chevrolet’s website and reading about the Volt I am thoroughly convinced on this car being a pretty good electric car to drive. Personally I like it more than the Nissan leaf just because of the more range and it is a little bit easier on the eyes. I have lost faith in american cars for a long time and maybe this is what Chevy needs to put some faith back in the people who lost faith in buying american. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring and what the next gen electric cars will be like. Hopefully we will have a battery that can go 400 miles on a charge and not need a gas engine for back up.