The Chevrolet Volt is a new electric car that’s not strictly electric. The car is slated for a late 2010 launch and it looks very promising. Here’s how it works: there’s a lithium-ion battery powered electric motor that drives the front wheels. You can charge the battery by plugging the car into your garage power outlet (yes, it’s a plug-in hybrid). GM claims that an overnight charge is useful for a range of 40 miles. That’s handsome. But don’t worry if you’re going to drive for more than that because there’s also a 1.4 litre petrol engine to keep you from getting stranded in case the electric juice runs out. When the battery reaches 30% of its charge, the engine fires up and starts charging the battery. Where the Volt differs from other petrol-electric hybrids is that the IC engine is only used to charge the batteries. It cannot power the car on its own. This means that you’re looking at zero emissions and zero petrol consumption if your drive between charges is less than 40 miles. Neat.
Quick Specs: 4-seater sedan | 0-100 kph in about 9 seconds | 160 kph top speed | battery charges in 8 hours @ 110 V and 3 hours @ 240 V | price not knownShare on Facebook