Is the Chevy Volt all it’s supposed to be?
The future is here and America is ahead of the "electric vehicle" game
Price after tax savings. Net price shown includes the full $7,500 tax credit.
$40,280 MSRP (4) with federal tax savings from $0 up to $7500.
It’s just one of the many good things Motor Trend magazine had to say about the all-new chevy Volt as it named the car the “2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year®.” The annual award is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed in the auto industry and further proof that it’s a new day for Chevrolet, not to mention the entire auto industry.
Powered by electricity without being tethered to electrical outlets, the Volt does everything a great car does and, according to Motor Trend, better than any other. It’s further proof that today, tomorrow and on into the future, Chevy Runs Deep.
The people behind the Volt talk about the car and how it will change the automotive industry.
Chevy went with “We Are the Vanguard of a New Technological Age.” It was Motor City as presented by PBS’s The American Experience, complete with stirring music, vintage footage (recreated), and a sonorous voice-over that gives even a rather predictable script a sense of gravitas.
Presenting the Volt as the culmination of technological breakthroughs from Ben Franklin’s lighting-struck kite, to Edison’s improvement on the incandescent light bulb, to the Howdy Dowdy show (or perhaps just to television in general), to the Apollo space program, to the computer revolution that began in someone’s garage. Oh, yeah, somewhere in there, inexplicably, was a white guy dressed up as Jimi Hendrix playing “Foxy Lady.”
Noticeably absent from the $3 million ad was the Volt’s tag line: “More Car Than Electric.” That’s understandable. The ad is meant to convey the innovative leap the Volt represents. The tag line is supposed to reassure us that the vehicle isn’t too far out there. You don’t want to mix those irreconcilable messages. The problem is that the omitted tag line is the more accurate assessment of the Volt.
With its combo gas tank/electric motor, the Volt sure seems a lot like a hybrid vehicle — like the Toyota Prius, which debuted way back in 1997 (and sold in the U.S. first in 2001). The Volt commercial itself is reminiscent of the one for the Prius that ran during the Super Bowl in 2005.
I wasn’t able to track down the video of that ad, but here’s the text from the Saatchi & Saatchi commercial:
It’s been a long time since transportation has truly advanced. We’ve been moving; we just haven’t been moving forward. But now we have good news for planet earth. The gas/electric Prius with hybrid synergy drive is here. With low emissions, high mileage, and plenty of performance, it’s one small step on the accelerator, one giant leap for mankind.
Oh, snap, there’s even a moon-shot reference! (And no bogus Jimi Hendrix impersonator. Triple points for that.) Without getting all sappy, Toyota presented the Prius as a historic breakthrough in automotive history — which is exactly what it was.
The Volt may be a welcome addition to the growing market of hybrid cars, but, swelling strings and eye-candy aside, the car is one very small step for mankind — when what we really need is another giant leap.
The Chevy Volt battery has gone through numerous environment-specific tests, including corrosion and hot- and cold-weather testing and the results were so promising that the 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is backed by an 100,000 mile/8-year warranty.
* Just plug it in to charge the battery, and most people can commute gas-free and tailpipe emissions-free for about $1.50 of electricity per day.
* A small, quiet on-board gas generator creates electricity that powers your Volt as you drive for hundreds of miles on battery and gas power.
* Lithium-ion cells outperform nickel metal hydride cells (found in today’s hybrids) in terms of life cycle.
* A liquid thermal cooling and heating system keeps the battery at a comfortable temperature as it’s being charged and discharged.
* Commute gas-free on electric for an average of $1.50 a day
* Can be set to charge during off-peak hours for greater savings
* Your Volt will be fully charged in about 10 hours, depending on climate, with standard 120-volt line, or as little as 4 hours using a dedicated 240-volt line
Volt offers the performance and forward-thinking you’ve come to expect from Chevrolet. Take a look:
* Instant, smooth and seamless torque right at the wheels.
* Regenerative braking captures the energy from forward motion that would otherwise be lost when the car slows or stops and then converts it into electricity, helping to make the Volt even more efficient to drive.
* When running on electricity, the Volt can reach a top speed of 100 mph in near silence. Free of the typical noise of the internal combustion engine, the Volt offers a quieter, more relaxing ride at any speed.
Volt drivers and passengers will be wrapped in a cocoon of standard safety. With eight air bags(7) ready to deploy in an emergency, it’s obvious safety is of the highest priority. Joining this built-in safety is an unprecedented five-year subscription to OnStar’s® Directions and Connections® Plan including Automatic Crash Response. In the event of a collision, built-in sensors can automatically alert an OnStar Advisor, who is immediately connected into your vehicle to see if you need help sent to your exact location — even if you can’t respond.
here’s nothing like changing everything
The year of the Volt continues. Green Car Journal has just named the all-new Chevrolet Volt its 2011 Green Car of the Year, the first electric car to ever win the award. The premier magazine on high fuel efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles says, “This has been a long time coming,” noting that early electric cars showed promise, but lacked practicality. The Chevy Volt runs on electricity for an initial range of 35 miles on a single charge, before a gas generator seamlessly creates electricity for up to 340 additional miles on a full tank of gas.* Practical indeed.