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Chevrolet Volt: The Saviour Of Cars? - XCAR

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As pokes in the eye go, the Chevrolet Volt is a pretty impressive one. The project came about after Bob Lutz, former GM hero, saw a Tesla Roadster and thought: "We can do better than that."

Initially the Volt was supposed to be an all-electric vehicle, but thanks to range anxiety concerns the concept was fiddled with -- it was to be a range extended electric vehicle. What that means is the Volt is, at its core, an EV but it's also got a 1.4-litre petrol engine.

"So", I hear you ask, "doesn't that make it a hybrid?" Oh, my beautiful idiots, no it doesn't. The petrol engine is there to provide power for the 'leccy motor and doesn't actually drive any wheels (unless you're going at high speed).

If you have access to a charge point you can plug it in and charge the batteries at home, too.

The tech combo means that in theory you can a) get away without using any fuel
at all and b) you can get over 100mpg.

This is in the theoretical world of the lab, in which teleportation is also possible.

The real world is somewhat different. I didn't manage over 50mpg while it was in my care and used a fair lick of motion lotion.

No matter... In electric mode it's a silent cruiser, a stealthmobile for those of a Greenpeace mentality. I rather enjoyed its electrically enabled insta-torque and the fact that no matter what I did to the throttle, the petrol motor didn't respond in any 'normal' way.

Its looks are impressively American yet don't look out of place in the UK. We liked them. However, the Volt's interior split opinion -- some of the XCAR team found it a bit tacky, whereas I like it. To me, it was like being inside the brain of the late Steve Jobs -- all touch screens and kinetic graphs.

Chevrolet has done well with the Volt. You can drive it without fear of running out of all-powerful sparks and, because it's not a 'hybrid', people don't think you're a motorised vegetarian.

Until battery tech allows us to go 500miles on a single charge in the real world (not the lab) cars like the Volt may just be the best stopgap we can get.

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Chevrolet Volt


Chevrolet Camaro:

Renault Twizy:

Engine: 1.4-litre petrol/Electric
Power: 86bhp
Torque: 272lb ft
0-60mph: 9.0seconds
Top speed: 99mph

Credits Carfection
added on 3 Jun. 2013

Make: Chevrolet


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