With all the clamoring for more fuel- efficient vehicles, Chevrolet thought they hit the jackpot with the 2011 introduction of the Chevy Volt. A car that could run for 37+ miles on a single charge, then finish longer trips with a fuel efficient 1.4 liter gas engine to generate electricity should be the commuter’s/neighborhood driver’s dream.
The Volt, with its range-extending concept means that with a full charge and the 11 gallon gas tank, the car can travel 375 miles on a full charge and a full tank of gas. That breaks down to a very impressive 34+ miles per gallon ratio. That ratio seems somewhat off kilter to today’s more efficient gas only models such as Chevrolet’s top selling gas-stingy Cruz-Eco at 42 miles per gallon.
No, the Volt is not for heavy drivers. What shoppers are overlooking is that, at the average 37 miles per charge, most drivers would probably never have to buy gas under normal use. The estimated fuel cost for the Volt is under $1000 per year.
The next hurdle to jump is the cost. The Volt has an expensive price tag at $39,900 for the new technology. General Motor’s rebates of $3000 and the Government’s fuel efficiency rebate of $7500, still puts the Volt at $29,400, ahead of the Cruz-Eco costing between $16,800 to $23,190 with current sales discounts.
Greg Barnard of Barnard Chevrolet in Newark said the best way to take home a Chevy Volt is through a 36 month lease that brings the car down to a reasonable $299 per month with a $2300 cash or trade.
With its sleek interior and push button start, the Volt has two interactive LCD screens. On a recent road test with Greg, the vehicle was ultra quiet and smooth riding and the shift from all electric to the gas generating electricity is undetectable.
Charging is simple with the supplied extension cord that plugs into any normal 100 line. Users with a 220 service can get the appropriate extension cord that will cut charging time from 10 to 5 hours. “What’s nice about this car is that you could drive it to work, plug it in and charge it while working,” said Greg.
The standard models come with all the bells and whistles, including a back-up camera and full service 7” touch screen, 8 air bags and a 5 star crash rating, 3 year OnStar™, Bluetooth™, theft deterrent alarm with immobilizer and a host of extras that would add to the cost of other vehicles.
There was plenty of room for passengers and a fold down seat with back lift gate.
Mike Barnard customer, Bryce Miller, lives in Brockport and works in Rochester. Intrigued by the thought of never having to buy gas, Bryce traded in his 2008 Audi. He leased the Chevy Volt and stated the round trip to and from work is about 40 miles per day and has so far put 1300 miles on the Volt with never stopping for gas. “Basically, I’m saving $300 per month in gas. The car is practically paying for itself,” he stated. He was also impressed with the solid performance of the GM product and has not had any problems with the vehicle.
Greg Barnard is convinced that if the customers take the time to listen and drive the Chevy Volt, they would be convinced this is the car for the average driver.
The vehicle has a 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty on the battery