2013 Chevrolet Volt - Driven, December 2012Enlarge Photo
The Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car scores higher on owner satisfaction than any other vehicle GM has sold since it began surveying its buyers.
It has attracted new buyers who'd never otherwise haveconsidered a Chevy.
And GM data reveals that 80 percent of all Volt trips, and two-third of all Volt miles, are covered on battery charge provided by the electric grid--despite its seemingly low electric range of 35 or 38 miles.
In other words, the Volt is the electric car that gives you almost all electric running but none of the range anxiety of running out of charge.
That's because its 1.4-liter engine switches on when the battery gets low to recharge it enough so the car continues to drive for more than 300 miles.
Gas it up, and you can do the same again.
That's a great concept; it's also extremely hard to explain, advertise, and market--and to date, GM hasn't done a very good job at any of that.
As it enters the used-car market, the Volt appears to be a high-quality and reliable option for those who want to drive electric most of the time but need the assurance that, if required, they can knock out 250 miles at a stretch.
First 2011 Chevrolet Volt delivered to retail buyer Jeffrey Kaffee, in Denville, NJ, December 2010Enlarge Photo
The first-generation Chevy Volt went on sale in December 2010, and lasted five model years.
Total production was likely around 100,000 units, when you include Volts sold in Canada and other markets--including its Opel/Vauxhall Ampera siblings (now discontinued).
An all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt goes on sale next month in California, with 53 miles of range and a 41-mpg combined gas mileage rating when operating on engine power.
The first-generation Volt is an aerodynamic five-door, four-seat compact hatchback. Its rear seats are tight, with the T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack fitted down the tunnel and under the rear seats.
ALSO SEE: 2011 Chevrolet Volt Vs 2011 Nissan Leaf: 7,000 Miles Later (Jun 2011)
The Volt is about the size of its sibling the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan, but the range-extended electric Volt successfully aimed at an entirely different market.
What should you know when starting to consider buying a used Chevy Volt?
The asking price for a used Chevy Volt will vary greatly, depending on whether it's being sold privately or by a dealer. Of course age, mileage, and battery condition will play a role too.
Unlike the Nissan Leaf, however, Chevy Volts so far have shown virtually no evidence of notable battery degradation.