Chevrolet Volt

Environmental concerns, as well as customer demand, has required car companies like GM to come up with new, clever cars that use alternative power sources that have a zero carbon output. GM’s answer to this demand is the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid electric motor vehicle.

More on the Chevrolet Volt
Chevrolet Volt Origins

The Chevrolet Volt was introduced as a concept vehicle in January 2007 at the North American Auto Show. It is the first serious electric car ever introduced to the public. The concept car seats four, a big improvement to the two-seat concept car introduced by General Motors in the 1990s. The concept car can reach 100 mph as well, an increase of 20 mph over the previous concept.

A production model was introduced in 2008 at a Centennial celebration for General Motors and was heralded as a new direction for the then-beleaguered automotive company. The 2008 model is slightly more aerodynamic than the concept car, introduced in 2007. Journalists tested the first car in 2009 after General Motors found a suitable partner for the production of the lithium ion battery to be used in the vehicle.

The Volt was officially revealed at the Detroit/Hamtramck assembly plant in Michigan in November 2010. The first Volt produced remains on display in the GM Heritage Center, but the second was sold in public auction. The first Volt that Chevrolet delivered to a customer was in December 2010.

About the Chevrolet Volt

The Volt is known as the most fuel-efficient car sold in the United States as specified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to EPA estimates, the car will run using 36 kilowatts per 100 miles. The total range of the car with a full gas tank and a charged battery is an amazing 379 miles. A full tank of gas is only 9.3 gallons.

The tailpipe of the vehicle only releases 84 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, making it the lowest emitter of greenhouse gases at the tail pipe, even beating out the Toyota Prius.

Safety on the vehicle is also topnotch. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Volt the "Top Safety Pick" award. It received a "good" rating for the front, side, and rollover tests done by the institute. An electronic warning sound system is in place, so when the vehicle is running at a low speed, it makes a small sound to alert those with poor sight or animals that a car is nearby. Otherwise, the Volt runs without a sound.

Some controversy surrounds the Volt, since government dollars bailed out GM during the production of the Volt.

Chevrolet Volt Features

The 2012 model of the Chevrolet Volt has many impressive features.

The engine is an electrical drive unit that produces 149 hp and 274 lb-ft of torque. A gas generator engine is also included; a 1.4-liter combustion engine that produces another 83 hp.

Safety features include standard anti-lock brakes, a Stabilitrak electronic stability control system, a tire pressure monitor, and six air bags. It also has the sound alert system mentioned earlier, a rear camera, and park assist option available.

The standard trim on the vehicle is very nice, including a color-touch radio, Bose sound system, hard drive with a 30 GB capacity, Bluetooth, heated seats, and leather upholstery.

No special trim levels for the Volt have been released yet, but keep an eye out; this is a new vehicle that may just surprise us in the upcoming years with new trim levels boasting impressive features.

The one thing holding back the average consumer in the states and Europe is the price tag, however prices drop as vehicles become more popular and therefore cheaper to produce. Look for cheaper models in the future.

Chevrolet Volt Evolution

The Volt hasn’t been around long, so we’re still seeing the first generation vehicle out there on the road. No improvements between models have been offered. We’ll have to wait and see what Chevrolet has to offer in the future.

Select a Chevrolet Volt Year

2019 Chevrolet Volt

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

2018 Chevrolet Volt

Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

2017 Chevrolet Volt

Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

2015 Chevrolet Volt

Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

2014 Chevrolet Volt

Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

2013 Chevrolet Volt

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

The 2013 Chevrolet Volt is a revolution in transportation technology.

2012 Chevrolet Volt

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

The Chevrolet Volt debuted last year so expect few changes for 2012. New standard features include keyless entry, OnStar, and Chevrolet's new MyLink connectivity system. The Chevy Volt gets two new exterior colors--Blue Topaz Metallic and Summit White--and two additional interior color accents (spiced red and white). Finally, 17-inch wheels are available as an option.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

Unveiled as a handsome concept in 2007, the production Chevrolet Volt is more rounded and aerodynamic, but is also more amorphous. Chevy says the car has no competitors, though it will be compared with hybrids and pure electrics. Expect very limited volume for a few years, at a $41,000 price (or $33,500 less $7,500 in tax rebates), to serve mostly as a showroom-builder for the new Cruze.