Hi, I’m Curt Rowell, a DePaula Chevrolet Sales Consultant. For over 25 years I have helped people sort out their priorities to buy the best car for themselves and their families. This is not always easy, as a matter of fact it is often difficult because we as individuals have many priorities and they often conflict. I’m not going to focus on the individual analysis part of my job, but need to indicate that to be successful I have to understand and help you understand the many characteristics of the car or cars you may be considering. Every car is the result of hundreds of design and engineering decisions; each decision affects some aspect of how that car can be used. And now, with the advent of the practical electric car, the understanding of what the car is and can do is more important than ever. In this blog I will explore some of the many aspects of what the Chevy Volt is today and what it becomes as it evolves rapidly in the future.
First, the Chevy Volt is a decision to allow two fuels for transportation – electric and gasoline. Chevrolet believes first and foremost a car must provide the ability to get from A to B, where the distance to B is variable and sometimes unknown at the onset a trip. It is important to understand your “typical” transportation needs, and if you are considering a Chevy Volt those needs are like most American’s – less than 35 miles of travel a day. But, what if your trip today is 120 miles? Should you start making plans to rent a car? Should you have a second car in your garage? Or should you not even concern yourself with the occasional trip because your car can cover the ground? Chevrolet says, “Don’t worry, we have it covered.”
What if on a planned trip, nearing home at 83 miles you have an emergency? What if you really need to get to the hospital 22 miles away? Chevrolet says, “Don’t worry, we have it covered!”
The beauty of an electric car is that you can help reduce carbon emissions when getting from A to B. And it is great to know that most of the time you won’t burn any fossil fuels running your errands, but it is also very reassuring to know the occasional trip of 120 miles is not a problem and that you can handle emergencies when they inevitably arise.
As I said, there are hundreds of design decisions in building a modern car today. I will cover a bunch of the key decisions that are especially related to an electric car. I will also answer questions you ask or my customers have asked that I think will be helpful for the many considering electric cars today. Here are a couple questions that have come up recently.
1. Say you are visiting a friend 25 miles away. Can you run an extension cord out and charge up, so the return trip doesn’t use any gasoline? Yes. After 25 miles you still have enough for 10 to 15 miles, depending on how you drive, the weather and terrain. It will take about four hours to add the electricity needed for the last 10 to 15 miles home, with the built in 110 volt charger. Or if your friend has a Volt too, why not just use his faster 220 volt charger?
2. What is the current situation with the tax credits? My understanding with the Tax Credit amount for 2012 is you may get up to $7,500. total in NY. You will need to confirm this with your tax advisor and as I learn more details I’ll provided them as well.
3. What do I have to do to shift from electric to gasoline? Whenever the car senses the battery has reached the point at which the engineers say switch, then the gas charger automatically turns on to start charging so the battery never goes any lower. You will hardly notice this except for the added hum of the small, quiet gas engine. With a full tank of gas (just 9 gallons!) your overall range should be about 375 miles.
4. How is the acceleration? Can I use it on highways? The acceleration is very good on the local roads and highways, better than many gasoline powered cars. Yes, you can go on the highways and top speed is about 100 mph (Yes I know unnecessarily fast!).
Please comment with any questions you may have about our new Chevy Volt. If I don’t know the answer right off, I’ll research to find it. Drive safe and please conserve energy!