- Chevrolet promised that the Volt was "all electric", in that the once the battery reached zero or close to it, the gas motor would charge the battery, which would in turn drive the car. But in practice, at high speeds, the motor drives the wheels directly. Well, okay, that's interesting, but really, we all knew that the Volt would burn gasoline one way or another, so I'm not sure why this technical detail should get anyone's knickers in a twist. Connecting the gas motor directly at high speeds yields more efficiency, not less.
- GM also made some very high "MPG" claims about the Volt, but went to great lengths to point out that MPG isn't a useful metric for plug-in-hybrids. And Popular Mechanics' and Motor Trend's tests aren't testing the types of driving where the Volt delivers the most benefit. Popular Mechanics put the car on the road for 600 miles on a single charge—that's a full day of highway driving. Not exactly your typical commute for most people.
I don't know about you, but that sounds like a damn fuel-efficient car to me.
A friend of mine, who always buys GM cars, has been lusting for the Volt ever since it was announced. during that time the price went from about $18K to $40K+. Now he's looking at the Leaf from Nissan. It will be the first foreign car he's ever bought.
It's true that even after the big subsidy, the Volt isn't a great deal. Still it has a range of 300 miles, so it's more suitable for most American households, who seem unwilling to buy short-range cars.
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