2012 Chevrolet Volt at Whalen Chevrolet Inc.
Volt is unique among electric vehicles because you have two sources of energy. You have an electric source–a battery–that allows you to drive gas-free for an EPA-estimated 35 miles. And there's also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go up to a total of 375 miles on a full tank of gas(1). So if you want to drive using only electricity, you can. If you want to drive using electricity and gas, you can do that too. Volt is first for two very good reasons.
If you can drive, you can drive a Volt. Instead of turning a key, you push a blue button. Rather than looking at dials and needles, you check two interactive LCD screens for feedback based on your particular driving style. For example, suppose you want to go from A to B in the most efficient manner possible. Volt is programmed to respond with a choice of three driving modes. Normal mode enables Volt to drive like a conventional car, only more efficiently. Sport mode gives drivers more aggressive feedback and heightened response. Mountain mode maintains a power reserve for climbing long, steep grades.
The connection is direct: head, right foot, motor, power. Without a traditional transmission, 273 lb.-ft. of low-end torque has nowhere to go except to the tires and pavement. This helps explain why a vehicle with an electric propulsion system can feel so powerful and exhilarating. No wonder Volt has the ability to reach a test-track speed of 100 mph. There's the smooth whisper-like quiet ride, perfect for expressing your astonishment. Out loud, of course.
Chevy designers constantly talk about form and function but when it comes to Volt, Director of Design Bob Boniface will tell you that they didn't compromise aesthetics to enable function. The result? A vehicle that looks sporty, quick, smooth and modern, yet achieves an extremely low coefficient of drag.
See everything that matters. Two interactive LCD color screens constantly provide feedback; like real-time info on energy usage and power flow. Efficiency feedback based on your driving style. Even how much charge remains in the battery. One screen actually allows you to program a charging schedule based on electricity rate plans. So if rates are lower at certain times of the day or night, you can program Volt to take advantage of every kilowatt.
What's the best safety philosophy? Avoid a collision in the first place. That's the kind of thinking that has earned Volt accolades–like being named a 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(2) and receiving a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Safety score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(3). Over, under, inside and around–we've thought of safety from every angle.