New Kid on the Block: The Chevrolet Volt is a Game Changer

As expected, it didn’t take long for Chevrolet’s Volt to turn the heads of car-enthusiasts everywhere.  Within a month of its release, GM’s newest hybrid car has won several awards, including 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year and Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year.  With sales anticipated to skyrocket, Chevrolet has already announced that they plan to double manufacturing, releasing over 100,000 units nationwide by 2012.

Considered the stepping stone to an automobile revolution, the electric car’s release was met with enormous buzz and expectations.  The list of features is impressive – automatic seat warmers, a Bose Energy Efficient Series sound system, and a seven-inch LCD-screen panel that presents driving feedback and estimated electric and gas ranges – but the most appealing aspect of the car is probably its multi-faceted engine.  A lithium-ion battery pack allows the Volt to travel up to 40 miles on pure electricity while a gasoline reserve powers the electric motors and fuels an internal generator.  As expected with a green car, the Volt’s energy ratings are impressive.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated the car’s overall fuel economy rating to be 60 mpg, the highest in its segment (the car’s all-electric mode is 93 mpg and all-gas mode is 37 mpg).

Chevy Volt

Chevrolet Volt (Image courtesy of Chevrolet.com)

Some experts believe that plug-in cars will catch fire in a similar fashion to other recent technological innovations such as smartphones and flat-screen TVs.  It may be a slow start – the number of available refueling stations initially limited the release of the Volt to select states – but the combination of environmental friendliness and financial benefits will soon propel these vehicles up the ladder.  Buckle your seatbelts; the roads are about to change!

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