2011 Chevrolet Volt Prove It Can Be An Electric Wizard Too

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2011 Chevrolet Volt charging port

2011 Chevrolet Volt charging port

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When is a 2011 Chevrolet Volt not a plug-in hybrid? 

When it covers 2,500 miles between fill-ups.  

That’s how far Maryland resident Jeff Parmet has driven in his 2011 Chevrolet Volt in the past six months.  In fact, he’s just visited the gas pump for the first time since buying the car.  

Until its release last winter, Chevrolet was pretty adamant that its 2011 Volt was a range-extended electric car. That is, until it was disclosed that under circumstance, its range-extending gasoline engine could directly drive the front wheels, making it a plug-in hybrid.

A whole group of electric car fans were horrified. “How could General Motors have cheated us?” they asked. To them, the Volt was nothing more than the automotive equivalent of a mudblood. 

2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

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But just like that clever wizarding mudblood Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, the Chevrolet Volt has proven time and time again that it is capable of being just as much an electric car as the all-electric 2011 Nissan Leaf. 

Driving 2,500 miles on a single tank of gasoline equates to 2,156 miles of all-electric driving, with just 344 miles of gasoline-fueled driving. Put another way, with the Volt’s 9-gallon gas tank, that equals an average equivalent fuel economy of 277 miles per gallon.

2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

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That’s enough to make cars like the gasoline-sipping 2011 Toyota Prius look like a Humvee. 

Although most Volt drivers are unlikely to achieve such a long period between fill-ups, perhaps it's time for Chevrolet--and the electric-car industry--to acknowledge that, when driven mindfully on sub-35-mile trips, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is most definitely more electric than car


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Comments (11)
  1. I have driven my Volt 6800 miles on 22 gallons of gas, so it is pretty doable. And that's without any kind of inconvenience at all. It just fits my commuting pattern. #1756 in SoCal.

  2. The problem with the Volt is that its technology is
    far too complicated and results in a cramped, high priced vehicle that was practically obsolete the day it rolled off the assembly line. GM built a car better left unbuilt. By the time the very expensive batteries need to be replaced, I seriously doubt that anyone will still make them and with the Volt's inflexible architecture there's no way that this car can be transformed into a genuine electric car, which one would want to 8 years from now when battery prices will make cars like the Volt seem very eccentric.This article, which essentially claims that the Volt is an electric car because it mostly uses electricty,completely misunderstands why electric cars are better machines.

  3. Ramon Leigh. Do OEM platforms last 10 years in todays market? A fully electric car should have a smooth bottom and no transmission hump. In other words ground up design. Some infrastructure and about 250 miles range with a price of about 23,000 would make it about universal. Until then The Volt provides for most driving all electric and needs no added infrastructure to keep running. It does get tiring spoon feeding commentors w/ chips on their shoulders that keep bumping against their blindfolds though.

  4. The beauty of plugin hybrids. Im happy to see there will be more on the market in a few years. Now why couldn't GM come straight from the get go and market the volt as plugin hybrid. That would have helped the move of plugin hybrids into the mainstream.

  5. The beauty of plug-in hybrids. I feel that if GM would have come clean from the get go and marketed the Volt as a plugin hybrid, it would have given a good boost to the mainstream adoption of future plugin hybrids.

  6. Ramon,
    Until there are much better batteries and many more quick charge facilities, then pure electric cars will be mostly for short commuting and still expensive. Living with the Volt and the Leaf on a daily basis shows us that the Volt is the better finished and more functional vehicle NOW. Even the $67,000 version of the Tesla S, when it arrives, will have only a 250 mile range between charges. Plug-in hybrids, perhaps with diesel or more economical range extending engines, are broadly functional right now. We have 5300 miles on our Volt, and the lifetime mpg is at 99.6. We use fuel maybe two days a month when we drive to S.F., but the rest of the time, our Volt is an EV.

  7. the volt is never gonna be a big seller. for one, it is way too expensive.

    all this talk about how little gas drivers are using with the volt just goes a long way to confirm what i have already stated - most people can get by today with a 100 mile range pure ev.

    being that most households have more than one car, they can always keep one good used gas car for their trips to san francisco.

  8. I LOVE my Volt! What a fun driving, $34k luxury car that just so happens to let me drive most of the time without using gas. I can use the Volt as our primary car because it can also drive 350 miles on gas in addition to 40 miles on battery. I am now getting about 211-250 MPG per day, and can STILL beat other cars from a stoplight.

  9. Thank you Tina Dignon. You have said it all. And George too, as always.

  10. I am not impressed. I have gone 2100 miles in my Volt #1316 and have not used a drop of fuel. The engine does, however, burn 0.1 gallons every thousand miles as a maintenance routine.

  11. Has anyone calculated their cost per mile at +/- $0.10/KWh (my rate)when running hyper-electric? Maybe even converted into costs in mpg ($3.50/gal). This would get us gas-guzzlers attention.

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