For Earth Day, we push the Chevrolet Volt to its limits--and beyond

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By: Bob Gritzinger on 4/22/2011 A lot has person's name written concerning the General Motors' green darling, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt--it's person's name poked, prodded and picked separately by each automotive pundit on the planet.

But up to petroleum point, the majority of the stories concerning the Volt contain person's name feature on drives conducted beneath the watchful and overprotective eye of the General. Individual consumers' impressions contain person's name largely colored by completely pride of ownership and completely righteous zeal to wring the maximum height of efficiency as of completely shiny electric chariots.

Now, by means of 2,000 Volts liberally as,because previous December's create of production, and 1,000 in consumer's driveways in seven states, a attractive red Volt landed in our examination fleet for a number of real-world driving. We determined to shove the limits, steadily heavy for a day up Michigan's mitten and back.

For an additional twist, we tossed an unfilled gas can in the hatchback (hermetically sealed in a trash bag) by means of the on purpose meaning of organization our Volt out of fuel. GM told us we wouldn't hurt the car, and so as to in fact, we'd get a pleasant surprise of a few additional battery on foot on one occasion the on-board gasoline generator went tango uniform.

putting gas in the Chevy Volt.
A bit of gas stay the Volt rear on the street following we intentionally ran downward the petroleum tank and the battery pack.

Sure enough, at what time the Volt ran out of its 9.3 gallons of premium fuel, the gasoline-powered generator shut down, the instruments school warnings, but the speedometer by no means wavered as of 70 mph as the car correct away tapped eager on the battery for additional power. Think of it as an electric "reserve" tank, intended to give an additional inquisitiveness or four on foot of variety if you run out of gas. About inquisitiveness on foot later, we ran low on reserve battery authority and securely slowed to a discontinue on the shoulder of the road.

We healthy a chase car for gas, poured in two gallons on the roadside, turned the key, and we now on our way again. The generator ran at maximum ability for the after that inquisitiveness on foot to replenish the battery preceding to the powertrain established rear eager on usual operating mode. Very small drama.

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On our one-day adventure, we posted 36.5 mpg, counting the first 26 on foot on battery authority alone, in excess of a 560-mile trip.

Our small trial divide us so as to as,at the same time as Chevy's small electric sedan strength appear similar to a pricey discipline project, for us it's earned its real-world stripes.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

On Sale: Now in seven states, 50 by day end

Base Price: $41,000

Drivetrain: 111-kilowatt, 149-hp, 273-lb-ft electric motor, 1.4-liter, 84-hp I4; FWD

Curb Weight: 3,781 lb

Fuel Economy: 93 mpg-e all electric/37 mpg gas only/60 mpg-e joint composite

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