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FREEWHEELING November, 2011

scotland . com

Hi-Tech Volt set to charge ahead

FreewheelingScotland.com — Driving the way forward


CHEVROL E T


VOLT

THE ELECTRIC REVOLUTION IS now well under way, and with it there’s already a choice between hybrid technology and full EV models from a raft of manufacturers. However, each and every one of the vehicles currently on sale have their shortcomings, either because of their limited range or the fact that they did not really deliver what was initially promised on the tin. But how things have changed, for American giant General Motors are set to raise the bar by a huge amount when they introduce

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CHEVROL E T VOLT their Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle next February. What makes this machine so different from the rest, is the Volt is powered purely on electricity, which comes either from the charge stored in the car’s battery or via a generator which is powered from an on-board 1.4-litre petrol engine. With the battery topped up – it can be charged in only four hours from a 16A power supply – the Volt has a range of up to 50 miles, more than enough to see the majority of UK drivers through their day. But, when the battery has reached its minimum state of charge, the engine kicks in to power up the generatror which then provides charge to the battery. Simple yet highly effective. And in this “extended range” mode, the Volt can run indefinitely just by filling up the petrol tank.

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CHEVROL E T VOLT The Volt has already been on sale in America for some months now, and surveys already show that the average owner travels more than 1000 miles before having to top up with fuel. And trust me, that is not just some high-powered sales patter conjured up by General Motors’ executives. For I can vouch for these claims after putting the Volt through its paces over some pretty demanding Swiss roads. Driving steady and sensibly, there’s little doubt that the 50-mile range is achievable – especially round town when the car shuts down while in stationary traffic or at traffic lights – but pushing on a bit and taking on Alpine inclines, that magical figure was never going to happen for me. However, I still managed to cover the first 100 miles of my journey using less than two litres of petrol – a phenomenal fuel

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CHEVROL E T VOL consumption figure by any standards and not too far away from the 235mpg official figure claimed by Chevrolet. Out on the road, the Volt is not so much a mini marvel but a family-sized one. The large lithium-ion battery pack which extends through the centre of the car restricts it to just four seats, but for those travelling there’s masses of space all round. Ultra quiet and silky smooth on the hoof – well only tyre and wind noise are

heard unless the petrol engine is engaged – the Volt’s top speed has been hemmed in to a maximum of 100mph, while the standard zero to 60mph dash takes around nine seconds. Relying solely on the battery, the Volt is emission free, but allowing for some input from the engine means the official figure is still astaggeringly-low 27g/km. Like all new hightech

produc come have p £33,54 govern vehicle consid on-the reflect

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cts, the Volt does not cheap, but Chevrolet priced the Volt at 45, but once the UK nment’s £5000 electric e subsidy is taken into deration, the £28,545 e-road price tag does t excellent value.

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CHEVROL E T VOL

Beautifully finished outside and in, with its ultra-modern exterior design and luxurious interior, which includes full leather trim with heated front seats, twin seven-inch screens which replace traditional instrument panels, park assist with rearview camera, MP3 CD sound system and air conditioning, the Volt

certainly does stand out from the crowd. The Volt goes on sale in spring of next year and with its clever extended range technology offers a fantastic compromise to both the internal combustion engine and full electric vehicle worlds.

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CHEVROL E T VOLT

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Chevrolet Volt  

Chevrolet Volt road test by FreewheelingScotland.com

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