Chevrolet Volt: Range-Extended Electric Car Ultimate Guide

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2013 Chevrolet Volt  -  Driven, December 2012

2013 Chevrolet Volt - Driven, December 2012

The Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car has been on sale since December 2010--but it's still one of the most popular electric vehicles on sale.

At the moment, the Chevy Volt is fairly unique in the plug-in car market, in that it's neither a traditional hybrid vehicle, nor a full battery-electric car. Instead, it uses a 1.4-liter gasoline engine as a generator, keeping the batteries topped-up--while most of the time, drive is handled exclusively by the electric motor.

Read our full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Volt

Over the next few pages you'll find links to all sorts of information about the Volt. This page deals with the basics and buying a Volt. Page 2 has information on owning a Volt, and the technology behind the car. On page 3, you'll find information on the Volt's social media and marketing, as well as a full run-down on the Volt's recent battery fire issues.

The basics

The Volt is a range-extended electric vehicle, with an official 38 miles of electric range, according to EPA figures. Total range, with the gas engine acting as a generator, is 380 miles. It'll do 98 MPG-equivalent in EV mode, and 37 mpg combined on the engine--though many owners are getting a much higher figure, making the most of electric running instead.

You'd best start with the basics, before reading our first drive of the 2012 Volt. We've also got first production photos, first drive impressions and an editors discussion - just how will the Volt fare? For further information, you'll find more links below.

 

Buying a Volt

 

So you've learned about the Volt, then what? You might be interested in pricing--$34,995 including an $810 destination fee--and then in the 8-year, 100K mile battery warranty. You can also compare the Ford Focus Electric and Chevy Volt, and read why one reader chose a Prius Plug-In over the Volt. Want even more? Check out some of the links below.

2013 Chevrolet Volt

2013 Chevrolet Volt

Owning a Volt

Before you buy, what's the Volt like to own? You might want to know how much it'd cost to repair after a crash, what one owner thinks after 7,000 miles in both his Leaf and his Volt, or compare how much a Volt costs to run, with its closest rival - the Prius plug-in hybrid. After more? You can find it below:

One of the main things Volt owners are finding out is that they aren't using much gas. Some owners are saying it's more electric than you'd think... but why not join the debate? Is the Volt really an electric car?

 

The technology

With all that technology, you might be interested in how some of it works. You might like to start with whether GM really did lie about the Volt's EV capabilities - is it range extended, or just a hybrid? Next, you'll want to know how to charge it.

We've also had a Q&A session with the Volt's chief engineer, and how one owner got the equivalent of 3000 MPG... And just how much gas have Volts saved? A supertanker's worth! For more, check out the further links below.

2013 Chevrolet Volt - Driven, December 2012

2013 Chevrolet Volt - Driven, December 2012

Social Media And Marketing

The Volt has spent a lot  of time in the media - some may say a little too much time! Still, that means a lot of information to trawl through, but there are some interesting Volt-related stories out there. Jay Leno is a fan... well, he wasn't at first, but he clearly came around to the idea.

Motor sport fans might want to see the Volt tackling Pikes Peak, but the Chevy Volt Dance is a little less impressive. Not that it put off the woman who bought two... even if she gave one away. Finally, want to see one of the most unique pieces of automotive art featuring the Volt? It's fluorescent, and painted entirely in the dark. Intrigued for more? Have a sift through the links below.

 

Volt safety

You know we mentioned the Volt spending a lot of time in the media? Well most of it was down to an unfortunate incident occuring during an NHTSA crash test... or in reality, several weeks after the crash test. Basically, a pack caught fire. You know the drill - the right-wing media seizes an opportunity to pounce, does so, totally misinterprets everything and then the whole thing dies down again after an official hearing. It's like the media vs. the Prius, round two...

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