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Chevrolet Volt Hybrid

Volt, not Bolt!!!

Chevrolet Volt is quite a familiar car in the U.S. This plug-in hybrid car is manufactured by General Motors and marketed and rebadged as the Holden Volt in Australia and New Zealand and also carries different fascia as the Vauxhall Ampera in the U.K and as the Opel Ampera in the rest of Europe.

The Volt started making its appearance on roads in U.S during mid-December 2010. This was the start and then the Volt made it big in the European market and international markets in 2011. Global sales combined, the Volt and Ampera family sold about 1,10,000 units by the end of March 2016. The U.S was the leading market with over 96,000 Volts delivered through May 2016.

The Volt II is a new concept that envisages newer boundaries and better sales than ever. The new Volt proves that GM’s novel idea for enviro-hybrid has cleared the tower of experimentation and is on full-powered ascent into regularly producing a sustainable vehicle.

Either way, the new Volt’s styling makes a 30-year thematic leap to contemporary windswept sensuality, and the interior is no ­longer something out of the Apple catalog c. 1999. The silly touch-sensitive capacitive controls are gone, replaced by a mosaic of conventional push buttons set in a pleasingly organic fan of interior plastics and complemented by an elegantly integrated infotainment screen.

No doubt some Voltifosi will lament the car’s reach toward design normalcy, toward looking a lot more like a Honda Civic. But the car both looks and functions a lot better, especially since GM makes a terrific effort to cater the car’s controls to the needs of EV buyers and especially their hyper-miling radical elite. And Volt lovers can rejoice that the basic four-door-hatchback envelope is essentially unchanged, with just about a half-inch inserted in the wheelbase and 3.3 inches added overall, mainly for styling and to give rear-seat passengers a little more legroom. Indeed, the frontal area and claimed drag coefficient of 0.28 are essentially as they were before.


GM had marching orders from its wide range of customers demanding more range in EV mode. The engine was loud and the customers wanted a quieter and a spunkier car. The old power train that paired an iron-block 1.4-liter four-cylinder to one large propulsion/regen motor/generator and one smaller multi­purpose electric machine, got a complete rethink. Now, the company has added a more powerful engine named the Atkinson-cycle 1.5 liter aluminum-block engine that works in concert with two smaller motors that are housed inside a transaxle to drive the differential through a chain instead of gears as the vehicle did before.

The reason behind choosing the 1.5 is because a bigger engine turning more slowly can be remarkably efficient and quiet. A T-shaped battery pack still lies under the tall center tunnel, but its capacity climbs from 17.1 kWh to 18.4, with fewer but larger liquid-cooled prismatic lithium-ion cells to generate more power from a lighter but slightly larger package.

You can drive it around 50 miles a day and recharge it overnight. The Volt runs on electric power until it depletes the usable portion of the battery, and then seamlessly switches to a combination of gasoline and electricity.


Although the Volt has an eco-friendly image, the car is actually pretty fun to drive. The car cuts down all the range of anxiety of the otherwise known electric cars. The gasoline-hybrid power train is pretty impressive all by itself. The engine delivers greater efficiency, and better acceleration. The all-electric range is 53 miles; after that, the gas engine starts up to recharge the battery and keep you going. Total driving range is 420 miles. There are five seats, but the middle rear seat is almost unusable. Charge times are 13 hours on 120V and 4.5 on 240V. Aesthetically, the car has 17” x 7” 5-spoke painted aluminum wheels. The vehicle gets a fresh looks and the noticeable attractions such as headlamps, LED low-beam, halogen reflector high beam, automatic exterior lamp control are a few additions. The car also has tail lamps with LED illumination and solar absorbing glass.



Inside, this car has plenty of additions that make quite an impression. The Volt has front bucket reclining seats with adjustable head restraints, 60/40 split rear seats. The center console comes with covered storage bin with front and rear dual cup holders and 12-volt rear power outlet. It also has floor mats, carpeted front and rear, tilt and telescopic steering column, leather wrapped steering wheels, steering wheel controls with mounted audio controls. Entertainment has also been given a lot of attention.

The vehicle has an 8-inch color digital reconfigurable LCD screen with driver information center, compass, trip fuel information, vehicle information and vehicle messages. It also supports On Star, Remotelink app and can be paired with the smart phone. Additional features include keyless ignition, push start button, passive unlock and lock on all doors, Remote start, panic alarm and delayed charging override functions. Cruise control, electronic with set and resume speed comes as an addition. Lastly, this car has umbrella pocket, bottle holder, Map pockets and front passenger seatbacks.


Bottom Line:

The Volt has been quite a successful car throughout and has been awarded the 2009 Green Car Vision award, the 2011 Green car of the year award, 2011 North American Car of the year, 2011 World Green Car, 2012 European Car of the Year,and 2016 Green Car of the Year. With plenty of credibility at stake, the new Volt should continue the legacy just fine…

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