Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chevy Volt

Angie in the new Chevy Volt
I was talking to my friend Angie at the office and she mentioned that she had recently attended the Detroit Auto Show and was lucky enough to get a ride in a new Chevy Volt.  It's exciting that at least somebody I know has been close to an electric hybrid.  I asked her why she didn't get to actually drive the car and she said that she was there for a champagne event, and of course there's no drinking and driving!

Angie and I were talking about how long the wait is for an electric hybrid in Michigan.  But then I read on Wiki that Volts are available in Michigan as they are manufactured at GMs Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant.  Here's the rest of the story from wiki...

The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle manufactured by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. The Volt has been on sale in the U.S. market since mid-December 2010, and displaced the Toyota Prius as the most fuel-efficient car sold in the United States.
According to General Motors the Volt can travel 25 to 50 miles (40 to 80 km) on a 16 kW·h (10.4 kW·h usable) lithium-ion battery.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found in tests using varying driving conditions and climate controls, the all-electric range averaged 35 miles (56 km), with an energy consumption of 36 kWh per 100 miles (810 kJ/km), and the total range (using battery power first then electricity generated by the on-board gasoline-power generator) is 379 miles (610 km).  EPA rated the Volt's combined city/highway fuel economy at 93 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent in all-electric mode, and at 37 mpg-US (6.4 L/100 km; 44 mpg-imp) in gasoline-only mode, for an overall fuel economy rating of 60 mpg-US (3.9 L/100 km; 72 mpg-imp) combined.
The Volt's lithium-ion battery pack can be charged by plugging the car into a 120-240VAC residential electrical outlet.  No external charging station is required.  After the Volt battery is depleted, it switches to extended range mode, when a small 4-cylinder internal combustion engine burns premium gasoline to power a 55 kW (74 hp) generator supplying the electrical power to extend the Volt's range. In addition, while in extended range mode and travelling at highway speeds, the engine can engage mechanically via a clutch to combine with the electric motors for propulsion.The electrical power from the generator is sent primarily to the electric motor, with the excess going to the batteries, depending on the state of charge (SoC) of the battery pack and the power demanded at the wheels.
The suggested retail price for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt starts at US$40,280 excluding any charges, taxes or any incentives. Qualified buyers are eligible for a US$7,500 U.S. federal tax credit and additional incentives are available in some locations. The Volt is also available through a lease program with a monthly payment of US$350 for 36 months, with US$2,500 due at lease signing, and with an option to buy at the end of the lease.  The Volt will be initially sold in seven regions: California, Washington DC, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Austin, Texas. Nationwide availability in the U.S. and Canada is scheduled to begin with the 2012 model year commencing in late summer 2011.

The Volt seats only four people as the battery runs down the center of the car preventing a rear bench

And just today, I recieved an email from Chevy telling me about all the awards and accolades they've collected and how they'll need a bigger award cabinet - yeah right!.  The email also included a link to a vehicle locator  but this didn't turn up a Volt within a 25 mile radius of my zip code.

In the meantime, we're still on the short list for a Nissan LEAF, having plunked down our $99 last year on Earth Day.  If I remember correctly, during the first 24 hours of the reservation system, something like 6,000-8,000 people, including our family made their initial reservation.  After a few months when the reservation process concluded, about 20,000 had signed up.  I haven't seen or heard anything lately from Nissan indicating that a LEAF was coming our way soon.

While the Volt is probably closer to reality for us, it only seats 4 and very expensive....we may just wait and see an bit longer. 

But in the meantime, I have Angie who's been inside a Volt!


1 comment:

  1. love it! good luck whenever you get whatever new car you get :)