2011 Chevrolet Volt First Impressions Review – Yes, it drives like a real car

Chevrolet Expert Reviews

2011 Chevrolet Volt - Volt Unplugged Tour
Volt Unplugged Tour

A caravan of Chevrolet Volts have embarked on a 3,400-mile, cross-country drive showcasing how easy it will be to live with the world’s first electric vehicle with extended-range capability.

The tour, dubbed “Volt Unplugged,” will give consumers an opportunity to test-drive the Volt, meet the people behind the development of the vehicles – Chevrolet engineers, designers and others – and participate in activities at each stop.

Stops on the Volt Unplugged tour include:

  • Oct. 9 and 10 – Seattle
  • Oct. 13 and 14 – San Francisco
  • Oct. 16 – 18 – Los Angeles
  • Oct. 20 – San Diego
  • Oct. 22 and 23 – San Antonio
  • Oct. 24 and 25 –  Houston
  • Oct. 28 and 29 – Miami
  • Oct. 30 – Orlando
  • Oct. 29 and 30 – Washington, D.C.
  • Nov. 1 – Raleigh, N.C.
  • Nov. 5 – 7 – New York City
  • Nov. 18 and 20 – Chicago

Along the drive, Chevrolet representatives will reach out to local community leaders, schools and consumers to educate each group about the one-of-a-kind characteristics of the Volt and discuss the progress of the nation’s electrical infrastructure. There will also be many opportunities to sit in and/or drive one of six Volts that will be on tour.

Fans can follow the Volt’s journey and register for test-drive opportunities on the “Unplugged” tab located at ChevroletVoltAge.com, the Volt’s official social network or on the Chevrolet Volt Facebook page. Participants in the tour will share updates using the Volt’s many online platforms including the @ChevyVolt Twitter account, the Chevrolet Posterous page and the Chevrolet Volt Foursquare account. These platforms will feature photos, videos and text updates to keep consumers updated on the tour.

On a fully charged battery and tank of gas, the Volt has a driving range of hundreds of miles. Because the Volt can use gasoline to create its own electricity in extended-range mode, long trips are possible. The Volt is powered only from electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery for a typical range of 25 to 50 miles depending on terrain, driving technique, temperature and battery age. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas engine-generator seamlessly engages to extend the driving range.

The Chevrolet Volt starts production at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck facility this fall and will be sold in California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan and Washington D.C. Quantities will be limited. The Volt will be sold nationwide about 12-18 months after start of production.

The Volt’s Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $41,000 ($33,500 net of the full federal tax credit, which ranges from $0-$7,500) including a destination freight charge of $720. GM expects to offer qualified lessees a price as low as $350/month with $2,500 down at lease signing, including security deposit based on current conditions, which could vary at time of delivery. The benefit of the $7,500 tax credit is included in the reduced lease payment, with the tax credit going to the lessor. The lease term is 36 months with 12,000 miles per year.

2011 Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius 2011 Chevrolet Volt Review – Our Weekend With Chevy’s New EV/Hybrid and a Prius
By Dan Tsuchiya

“Living with the Chevrolet Volt is about making a green statement, but without the usual green sacrifices”

2011 Chevrolet Volt 2011 Chevrolet Volt First Impressions Review – Driving the Chevy Volt
By David Colman

“The best part of owning a Volt is staying green without being a dolt. Unlike the Leaf’s ToonTown caricature face, the Volt looks slick and futuristic without pandering to stylistic digression.”

2011 Chevrolet Volt 2011 Chevrolet Volt First Impressions Review – Yes, it drives like a real car
By Derek Mau

“Typical of all battery-electric cars, there is no audio cue to signify the car is alive. Switching on the ignition, the driver is treated to a light show displayed in the instrument cluster.”

2011 Chevrolet Volt The Wait is Finally Over! 2011 Chevrolet Volt Pricing Announced
By Derek Mau

“After nearly four years of development and extensive testing with the pre-production models, General Motors has officially announced pricing and has begun taking customer orders for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt in seven select markets starting today.”

Chevrolet Volt Chevy Volt On Schedule for November 2010 Debut
By Tony B.

“Despite all of the economic turmoil swirling around General Motors these days, they still say everything is on track for the late 2010 debut of the Chevy Volt plug in hybrid.”

Chevrolet Volt Flint Gets a Jolt From The Volt
By m35man

“Instead of constructing a whole new factory to make engines for its new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle, General Motors has decided to build them in an existing facility located in Flint, Michigan.”

Chevrolet Volt Unveiled Chevrolet Volt Unveiled
By Derek Mau

“General Motors continues to develop its gas-electric plug-in car called the Volt and unveiled a pre-production model at GM’s 100-year anniversary celebration.”

Chevrolet Volt Concept Chevrolet Volt Development Charges On
By Derek Mau

“A few months ago we had the opportunity to get a close look at the Chevy Volt Concept and speak with key people surrounding the project. Whenever GM releases news that the Volt is getting closer to its 2010 production date, we get all tingly inside.”

Chevrolet Volt Concept Chevy Volt Waiting List Hits 10,000 Members
By Derek Mau

“Today we have hit a major milestone. 10,000 people have signed up on our waiting list, expressing their desire to buy a Chevy Volt. This site was started on January 12, 2007 in response to GM unveiling the Chevy Volt five days earlier.”

Chevrolet Volt Concept First Look – Chevy Volt Concept Car
By Kurt Gensheimer

“There is no debating the visual aesthetics of the Volt. It’s a sharp-looking machine. Whoever established the precedent that eco-friendly cars must resemble disfigured spacecraft obviously didn’t affect GM designers when creating the Volt.”

Chevrolet Volt Concept Video Chevrolet Volt Concept Car – video feature
By Derek Mau

“Kurt interviews Clay O. of GM and picks up a few details of the upcoming Chevy Volt and the new E-Flex system.”

Chevrolet Volt Concept General Motors’ Chevy Volt Concept Makes Its Debut In San Francisco
By Derek Mau

“Extended-Range Electric Vehicle Will Electrify The City By The Bay”

Chevrolet Volt Compared w/Toyota Prius | 2011 Chevrolet Volt
Official website for Chevrolet cars, hybrids, trucks, and SUVs – www.chevrolet.com

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  • Donald Espeut says:

    Quite simply, if the volt is designed and built by GM it is bound to suck suck just like their Diesel cay of the seventies. The have yet to build a car. Obama should have let them die!!

    • Derek says:

      @Donald – let us know your thoughts AFTER you have researched the engineering that went into the Volt and have driven it more than 5 minutes. Quite possibly your opinion will change.

  • Derek says:

    CarReview had the Volt for a few days of testing. Read about how some of the adjustments we made living with an EV and how it compared to a Toyota Prius that we use a family vehicle.


  • francois says:

    40 miles on a full charge? That’s it? How long to fully charge it back up?

    Also, I heard you need to spend $2000 for a charging station at the house? What if you live in an apartment or other detached parking?

    It’s $41k and GM loses money on each car sold? What is the point?

    Shouldn’t we be focusing on a hybrid-diesel car?

    • Derek says:

      If you cannot connect to a SMART charging station, recharging the battery using a 110V source takes approximately 8 – 10 hours.

      Apartment dwellers, users that have detached parking, and workers where a plug-in isn’t available at their place of employment have to wait until the infrastructure to support electric vehicles is built up.

      GM may be losing some money up front being on the leading edge of the EV market, but the hard fact is that we need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels because there is a limited supply and growing China is going to consume a lot more. Plus, we really need to reduce the amount of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere and stop destroying the environment in which we live. This is a huge investment by the carmakers who have put a lot of research and production dollars towards EVs and they know it is a risky business in the beginning. The carmakers aren’t the only ones involved with EVs. There is a huge movement on several fronts (political, energy providers, recyclers) that are working towards making this a success because hybrid cars have been on the market for 10 years now and they only make up less than 2% of the total cars on the road today – hence FAIL!

  • francois says:

    Lithium Polymer and Lithium Ion batteries are wayyy more powerful than Nimh or Nicad batteries (per weight or volume). But they are finicky and dangerous. In an all-electric car, they are the only way to go. But in a hybrid, I guess there are choices. The big downside to the older safer batteries is they’re way heavier and take away a lot more storage/luggage room.


    • Derek says:

      I learned that lots of work was put into making the batteries safe, reliable, and worthy of many, many, many recharge cycles. GM over-engineered the Volt and their battery system is more robust than the Nissan Leaf’s. Example: heating AND cooling the battery pack is handled better than anything on the market today to ensure that the Volt will work in extreme environmental conditions since a battery’s performance drops rapidly when subjected to temps outside its normal operating range.

  • Derek says:

    A prime example of a hybrid using leading edge battery technology is the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid which uses a Lithium-Polymer battery. Learn more about the Sonata Hybrid watching the behind-the-wheel review video by Driving Sports TV.


  • Derek says:

    The nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery packs used in all Prius models are expected to last the life of the car with very little to no degradation in power capability.

    The hybrid system does not allow the battery to fully charge or discharge,and that helps maximize the life of the battery pack. I haven’t heard of any issues with “memory” problems, nor has Toyota replaced any battery packs due to a malfunction or wearing out.

  • Twain says:

    Awesome review, Derek. It is interesting/cool that it uses lithium-ion batteries. I believe the Prius uses Nicad which have “memory” problems, correct?

  • derek says:

    California is one of seven regions to receive the Volt as the first wave of sales takes off. Initial Volt sales regions are California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area.

    Unfortunately, California buyers won’t get the $3000 ultra-low emission vehicle rebate because GM didn’t certify the 2011 model.


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