Consumer Reports issued a harsh initial review of the Chevy Volt, questioning whether it makes economic sense.
“When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. The Volt isn’t particularly efficient as an electric vehicle and it’s not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy,” said David Champion, the senior director of Consumer Reports auto testing center at a meeting with reporters here. “This is going to be a tough sell to the average consumer.”
The Volt tested by Consumer Affairs got 25 to 27 miles on electric power alone, but that was in harsh winter conditions. The range in more moderate whether however, should be around 40 miles. Champion says that a hybrid such as the Prius makes the most sense for longer trips, and that “If you drive about 70 miles, a Prius will actually get you more miles per gallon than the Volt does,”.
Champion also noted that the Volt costs twice the amount of the Prius.
He did offer some praise of the Volt despite the heavy criticism, and commented on teh acceleration, and noted that under certain driving cycles, consumers could by and large avoid consuming gasoline.
Refresher: The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, ‘T’-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. The system puts out 149-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes 4 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 10-12 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries an 84-hp 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 379 miles. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt gets an EPA estimated 93 miles per ’gallon-equivalent’ when driving under electric power only, 37 mpg when in gasoline mode and over the long term it is estimated to get 60 miles per gallon in combined gasoline-powered and electric-powered driving. Prices for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt start at $41,000 but with a full federal income tax credit (which range from $0 to $7,500), the Volt can cost a total of $33,500.
2011 Chevrolet Volt:
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Detroit News