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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I Took A Chevy Volt For A Test Drive Tonight

This 2013 Chevy Volt has a $45,000 sticker on it. They claim a $17,000 discount. 

There is a large hatchback and the back seats fold flat.

The interior materials and fit are beautiful. 

Tonight my friend George Dawson and I took a Chevy Volt for a ride. You know how much I like electric cars - and although this one is a hybrid - it is also a plug-in car. It has a gas engine and an electric motor. 

When the battery is charged - the car will run the first 40 miles on the electric motor alone. I wanted to see how this felt to be just using electricity. It was very very quiet and responsive. The electric motor has 150 horsepower - but because it has strong torque at any speed - it feels very fast. The silence is deafening. You keep expecting the engine to rev up and go - but nothing. 

It is governed to go up to 100 miles per hour on just electric power. After that first 40 miles - the batteries are low - and the gasoline engine kicks in to re-charge the batteries. You can go another 360 miles before you need to add gasoline. 

At night - you can plug the car in to recharge the battery. It takes 4 hours to recharge using a 220 volt plug - and 10 hours to fully charge it with a 110 volt plug. In other words - if you only drive 40 miles a day - you will never have to buy gasoline. The price per mile using electricity is 1/3 the price per mile using gasoline. 

The fit and finish of the car are very good - some say Mercedes quality. The electronic controls - touch screens - readouts - are right out of Star Wars. You can even control the car with your iPhone. 

Cost - the price of the Chevy Volt is coming down - mainly because they are not selling. I drove a 2013 model. There are leftovers because again people are not buying them. The sticker price on the car I drove was $45,000. They were offering a $17,000 discount - which was a bit of a fraud. Yes - I could have the car for $26,000. But that discount includes the $7500 IRS rebate. Also - it does not allow for the price drop from a 2013 to a 2014 car. This same car as a 2014 model is $5000 less in price - again - because the cars are not selling. 

I have driven a 2008 Toyota Prius for the last 4 years. It is a great car and gets 48 miles per gallon. It is quiet - roomy - smooth. It has 47,000 miles on it now - time for a new one. You cannot drive the Prius in a just electric mode - like the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf.

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