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The Chevrolet VOLT is coming … and KARL Chevrolet will be ready!  We want to make sure you start to understand what the VOLT is all about!  Sure VOLT is an electric vehicle, but the Chevy VOLT will create a new benchmark in terms of what we think about electric vehicles and it will leapfrog any and all competition currently on the market.  Quite simply, there has never been a vehicle like the Chevy VOLT – the innovative EV that goes further.  

One of the most commonly asked questions about the Volt is how it compares to other offerings in the marketplace. Beyond the enjoyable experience of driving electrically (quiet, smooth acceleration, impressive torque, no tailpipe emissions), the Volt’s advantage over typical gas-fueled vehicles and hybrids is that it uses significantly less gas. This translates into fewer trips to the gas station and a lower operating cost per mile. The advantage of the Volt to a pure electric vehicle, such as the Nissan Leaf, is that there are no driving limitations — you don’t need to worry about running out of electric range before you get to your next destination to plug in. The Volt can be used like any other compact car — you can take it on a long trip and never plug it in or plug it in frequently and enjoy most of your driving electrically.

Comparison of VOLT vs. Leaf based on Preliminary information on both vehicles
  2011 Chevy VOLT 2011 Nissan Leaf
Category: Extended Range Electric Vehicle Pure Electric Vehicle
EV Miles: 40 miles 100 miles
Total Range: 300+ miles less than 100 miles
Top Speed: 100 mph 90 mph
Charge Time 120V: 10 hrs 16 hrs
Charge Time 240V: 4 hrs 8 hrs
Market Availability: Late 2010 Late 2010

2011 Chevrolet VOLT
The Innovative EV that goes further.

What is it?  VOLT [vohlt] – noun … An electric car that can create its own electricity.  Plug it in, let it charge overnight, and it’s ready to run on a pure electric charge for up to 40 miles – gasoline and maintenance free.  After that, it keeps going, even if you can’t plug it in.  VOLT uses a small gas engine to generate its own electricity.  Enough energy to power it for up to an additional 300 miles on a single tank of gas. 

Some interesting VOLT facts:

  • 0-60 in about 9 seconds

  • Top speed of 100 mph

  • 273 lb-ft of torque

  • Equivalent of 150 horsepower

  • Extremely quiet interior

  • Seats 4 adults comfortably

  • Intuitive instrumentation for the driver

  • Long Life Battery

  • 10 hours to charge using standard 120V outlet

  • 4 hours to charge using special 240V outlet 

Exactly how does VOLT work?   

1.  Electric Mode (fully charged)   

When fully charged, you can drive up to 40 miles on the electricity stored in the battery – totally gasoline and emissions free!   

2.  Extended Range Mode (after the battery charge is depleted) 

After the charge in the battery is depleted, VOLT automatically uses gas to generate its own electricity, enough to power it for up to 300 additional miles until you can plug it in or fill up with gas again.  If your trip is longer, the Extended Range Chevy VOLT is the only EV that will get you there without stopping for extended charging periods.  Just fill up with gas and continue another 300 miles, when you can do it all over again!  VOLT will take you wherever you want to go. 

Key points:

  • Electricity is stored in a 16-kWh Lithium-Ion Battery

  • Electric motor drives the wheels at all times and speeds

  • Energy is captured during braking and converted into electricity

  • Electricity is created by VOLT’s own gas-powered generator once the initial battery charge is depleted 

Some VOLT Q&A:   

Who will get the most benefit from driving VOLT?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, more than 75% of people commute 40 miles a day or less.  If you plug in frequently, you’ll experience the greatest gas savings and reduced emissions.  Per mile, electricity is less expensive to use than gas, so if you can plug in before or shortly after the electric charge runs out, you’ll get the maximum benefit out of VOLT. 

Will I always get 40 miles on an electric charge?
No.  Like every electric vehicle, electric miles per charge, day-to-day, will vary based on Terrain, Temperature, and Technique.  Like all vehicles, electric vehicles are less efficient driving uphill or in extremely hot or cold temperatures.  In addition, personal driving style, use of features like air conditioning and heat, additional cargo in the vehicle and the age of the battery will affect the electric range.

Is it easy to use?
Yes, the VOLT is very easy to use.  You can drive VOLT just like a conventional car and charge up in your very own garage.  VOLT has intuitive LCD displays that even provide helpful hints on how to drive most efficiently. 

What happens if I never charge the battery?
If you can’t plug in, no worries.  You’ll probably spend more money on gas than you need to, but VOLT will run just fine.  Just remember that you’ll get the full benefits of owning a VOLT if you charge it routinely.
What happens if I travel more than 40 miles?
Once the charge in the VOLT Battery is depleted, the gas engine will turn on to seamlessly generate enough energy to continue powering the car for up to another 300 miles. 

Is a special outlet required to charge the VOLT?
No, you can plug it into any standard dedicated 120V household outlet.  Or, you could have a 240V charging station installed in your garage – it would require a dedicated electrical circuit similar to what is used for your clothes dryer or stove.  There are some government grants available to help with this cost! 

How much does VOLT cost to charge?
Electricity is an extremely affordable way to power a car – the average American pays less than 12 cents per kilowatt hour.  If the car is driven less than 40 miles per day, it will cost about $1.50 a day for electricity.  That’s about the same annual cost as running a common household appliance.  To save even more, some utility companies recommend charging overnight for off-peak rates and may even offer incentives to customers who do so. 

How much interior room does the VOLT have?
VOLT will carry four adults comfortably.  The hatchback design provides surprising flexibility for larger cargo. 

What is it like to drive VOLT?
Those who’ve had an opportunity to test-drive VOLT have noticed how easy it is to use.  After his first extended drive in a VOLT, Lyle Dennis commented “To start, the keyfob simply has to sit anywhere in the car and then the start button is pushed while the brake pedal is depressed. The screen then comes to life letting you know the car is on.  The test track was a 0.4 mile winding pylon flanked path set up on an uneven parking lot surface, so some slight grades were included, but nothing steep.  And so with one small step for me and one large step for all of us I hit the accelerator.  The car accelerated precisely and assertively and felt very spirited.”  You can read his full account on his GM-VOLT blog site.   

What kind of battery will the VOLT use?
The VOLT is powered by a 16-kWh Lithium-Ion battery.  While there are many different kinds of lithium batteries, the VOLT cells are specifically made for vehicles.  The Li-ion battery holds its charge efficiently and has no memory effect, which means you don’t have to run it down completely before recharging it. 

What makes the VOLT battery better?
The VOLT battery is designed for long life and to be reliable.  Each battery pack is made up of more than 200 rectangular cells arranged in a series-parallel configuration.  Computer systems monitor the battery cells to make sure everything is working correctly.  Also, the VOLT battery is liquid cooled to help ensure a longer life. 

How much will VOLT cost?
Ah, the sixty-four thousand dollar question… well, it won’t cost $64,000!  While GM has not determined the introductory price of the VOLT, it is expected to be in the $40,000 range.  The VOLT will qualify for the maximum Federal tax credit for electric vehicles of $7,500. 

OK, I WANT ONE!!! When can I take Delivery?
An even better question!  While we anxiously await the arrival of the first Chevy VOLT’s here in New Canaan, GM has announced that the initial distribution markets for VOLT will be in California, Michigan and Washington DC.  The first VOLT models are expected to arrive in November 2010.  We have no ‘inside information’, but we expect that the metro NY market would be among the next wave of markets to receive VOLT shipments.  As with any new product launch, we will not over promise on delivery.  When more details are available, we will post them here.  But if you are seriously interested in a new VOLT, feel free to email Leo Karl at and you will be added to our email list.  We will provide you with periodic personal updates on everything VOLT related.  For a video tour of the all-new Chevy VOLT, check out the YouTube link below. Thanks for your interest.