Chevy Volt


Pros: Driving the Volt brought back memories of driving my Camaro. The Volt’s tight steering is like driving a sports car and has a punch to it when you put

Cons: One of the problems I had, on the longer trip home, was the driver’s door. I like to rest my arm on the window ledge or the armrest below the window.

My daughter and I picked up our Volt on Friday, February 11th from New York and drove it back 750 miles to Lansing, MI. We drove 60 to 80 mph and even in a snow storm. You would never know that it was an electric car if the engine would not have turn on and back off.


We picked up the car at 2:30 p.m. from Atlantic Chevrolet in Bay Shore on Long Island New York. Our salesman was Neal Diamond who has sold over 18 Volts. They had the car all cleaned and charged up when we arrived and we got the paperwork done in about an hour.


We had a problem with the navigation system trying to get a download from OnStar. We had to call three times and had OnStar send the directions to the car. We found that you have to make sure you canceled the current route before having a new one sent to the car.


After picking up the car, we went to Times Square and parked at Fast Park on 44th Street. We went 26 miles on the dealer charge and the rest on gas. It took some time for them to find the key to the 220V charger. After 20 min of talking with them about how the car worked we headed to our hotel.

On Saturday we got up at 6 a.m. to start the 12 hour trip back. I got out my Droid and sent the command to start the car so it would be nice and warm when we got to the parking ramp. We drove 26 miles on the battery and the ICE turned on. We averaged 60 to 65 mph until we reached Michigan. Once in Michigan we stepped it up to 75 to 85. The car handles very nice at high speeds. We averaged 35 mpg on the 730 mile trip. We paced thru a snow storm and I felt safe in the car. I tapped the breaks hard to see if the car would slide. It kept going straight - which gave me the feeling of a bigger car.


I have been driving the car to work that is a 26 mile round trip. Until they get chargers installed, I have been using a 120V outlet behind one of the buildings on the campus of Michigan State University. I plug it in after the 13 mile drive in and it’s charged by noon. The charge will allow me to run the kids to dance at night and not use a drop of gas all week. Due to other errands and showing the car off, I have used 0.4 gallons of gas this week.


The Good
Driving the Volt brought back memories of driving my Camaro. The Volt’s tight steering is like driving a sports car and has a punch to it when you put it into sports mode.


The Bad
One of the problems I had, on the longer trip home, was the driver’s door. I like to rest my arm on the window ledge or the armrest below the window. The window ledge was too narrow and made my arm go to sleep. The rest on the door was to low and not comfortable. I also found the electronic console to be very uncomfortable for a 12 hour drive. I would rest my knee on it; after a while it would begin to hurt, but there was no other room or place to rest my knee. I plan on putting some black padding on it. I find with my larger fingers, that as I press one button on the electronic console, I end up bumping another. Lastly, I wish the seat-belt release didn’t sit so far below the center console – it makes it hard to reach the button.


The Conclusion
I have owned 11 GM cars and 1 Ford truck. The Volt comes in at a very close 2nd to my T-top Michigan State green Camaro, but you can’t beat the car I drove my beautiful bride in after our wedding!


Follow my car at

Chevy Volt

The extended-range electric vehicle is no longer just a rumor. We have put tremendous design and engineering resources in place to make this vehicle a reality. The Concept Chevy Volt, with its revolutionary E-Flex Propulsion System will be different than any previous electric vehicle because it will use a lithium-ion battery with a variety of range-extending onboard power sources, including gas and, in some vehicles, E85 ethanol(1) to recharge the battery while driving. When it comes to plugging in, the Volt will be designed to use a common 110–volt household plug. For someone who drives less than 40 miles a day, Chevy Volt will use zero gasoline and produce zero emissions.(2) For longer trips, Chevy Volt's range-extending power source kicks in to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack as required. We expect a driving range of an estimated 640 miles.(3) Not currently available. Target date for end of 2010.

Engine3-cylinder, turbocharged engine
Additional Features6 to 6.5 hours charge time with 110-volt outlet; 0 to 60 in 8 to 8.5 seconds; 120 MPH top speed
Fuel Typeelectric with range extender (gas, E85 ethanol)
Miles per Charge640
Body TypeSedan
EV TypeHighway speed vehicle
Release StatusUnreleased
Fuel Economy City (MPG)
Fuel Economy Hwy (MPG)
Release Date
Top Speed
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Related Media/Links:


Chevy Volt at the NY Auto Show - MPGomatic



Bob Lutz discusses the Chevy Volt concept with Green Fuels Forecast



How To Get On the Waiting List:

While GM does not have an official waiting list for the Chevy Volt, has started an unofficial waiting list.  To sign up, add your email address here.


Cost of Operation:


The Volt can drive for 40 miles on a single full electric charge of it’s battery pack. It is a known fact that the battery pack will be allowed to drain down from 80% to 30% before the gas-generator kicks in. Since the battery pack holds 16 KWH of energy, that means 8 KWH will get you 40 miles.


The cost of a KWH from the electric grid varies considerably depending on location and time of use. Usually, off-peak hours, from 9PM to 10AM will have the lowest rates from one’s electric utility provider. This will require a special meter that not all homes have.

The map above shows the average retail price of electricity in the U.S. by state in 2003. It ranges from around 6 cents/KWH to 17 cents/KWH. The U.S. average for 2007 is 10.65 cents.  If we use the average, the cost to recharge the Volt will be $0.85, and the range for 2007 will be from 48 cents to $1.34 depending where you live. Clearly for 40 miles of driving at present gas and electric prices, there will be a very significant cost savings. Of course, there is some uncertainty of where these numbers will be when the Volt arrives in 2010.


After the first 40 miles, the combustion engine generator will kick in. This will keep the battery at a 30% state of charge. This 3-cylinder 1L engine will get 50 mpg fuel efficiency. To calculate the fuel efficiency for drives longer than 40 miles use the following formula: Total MPG = 55*M/(M-40)


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