October 11, 2010
By Rob Einaudi
Jen and I got the chance to drive the new Chevy Volt on Saturday. Rolling into the office today we were greeted by a mounting Volt backlash in the automotive press. It appears that GM is now saying (admitting?) that the gasoline engine will directly power the wheels in charge-sustaining mode at speeds over 70 mph. This contradicts previous statements that the gasoline engine was only there to recharge the battery. GM also downgraded the electric range in recent weeks from a 40 mile range to a 25 to 50 range.
So what does this all mean? To me it means that the Volt is an electric car when you use it for short trips around town, but then it morphs into more of a hybrid-type vehicle when you use it for longer trips. It doesn’t mean that it’s a bad car. But GM definitely has a marketing problem, and they’re gonna need to figure it out pronto.
We’ll get our Volt reviews up shortly, but here are the cliff notes: it’s a very cool car. You can read more about the Volt drivetrain at Motor Trend, with commentary on the recent findings by Jalopnik, Autoblog and Edmunds
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