Courtesy of my latest Klout Perk, I had a brand-new, beautiful black Chevy Volt delivered to my Seattle address on Monday for a 3-day loan. I've taken advantage of a few perks, but never one so seemingly significant as this one. I have to say I was prepared to hate this car since I prefer a bit of high-performance when I drive (my primary car is a Lexus IS300 Sportcross). But quite the opposite--I loved it!
The Volt is not a hybrid like the Prius or a strictly electric car like the Leaf. It runs on an electric motor full-time, but it carries an on-board gasoline-powered generator for whenever your battery runs down. What this means is that it won't leave you high and dry but also that you are always running on the high-torque electric engine. That's the big thing here.
There is a lot of discussion about fuel efficiency these day, with a large contingent of folks saying that a strictly gasoline-fueled small car can beat an electric car as far as cost per mile. But to get that efficiency you generally have to give up performance. At 149 horsepower and the torque of it's electric motor, this little car does not feel like it's all about economy. It's really fun to drive!
The Volt is designed to be plugged in each night to recharge and its battery will take you about 50 miles on a full charge. To keep the efficiency high it's not a long-haul car. But if you work close to home or if you are fortunate enough to have a charging station near your work it could very well be your regular ride.
Shout outs to Ryan Gartman from the MSL Group (@mslgroup) and Kevin Williams and his team at Page One Auto for great communication and service along the way.