Previously I mentioned my general dislike for most electric or hybrid cars-Not because of their progressive attitude toward alternative energy sources, but because most of them are so hideously ugly. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder for designs such as the Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf or the very cozy (cramped) Smart cars.
There is no variety for people who actually want to look proud in their car, people who wish not to sacrifice curves and fringe for something that has no personality. The lighthouse in this proverbial storm seemingly should be the Chevrolet Volt, but, does it really have the drive to break this trend?
Specs & Numbers:
The Volt’s front-mounted electric engine is said to generate 120-kilowatts of power, which equates roughly around to 160-horsepower. There is also a 53-kilowatt generator in the Volt to house some extra oomph. Settled next to the front electric-engine is a 1.0-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder gasoline engine. The Volt can hold 12-gallons of fuel. It also boasts of 40 miles that it can run purely on electricity. Not bad.
The Volt can save the average commuter around $900; however, their electric bill will increase around $300 to charge the car’s lithium-ion batteries. At least you can say you are helping the environment, though, right?
When the Volt first appeared at the Detroit Auto Show and within concept stills of the car, the car looked like it would be the sports car lover’s answer for an affordable hybrid vehicle. Because the price tag for a Tesla Roadster, at around $112,845, is still quite hefty for the average American, the Volt showed promise. Unfortunately, something happened between the design and building of a tangible, real Volt.
Perhaps in order to conform more easily into the hybrid crowd, or look more pleasant to a family unit, the Volt’s sharp designs were replaced with a humbled sedan with a hatchback rear. If anything, the poor Volt looks like the Frankenstein monster between a new Malibu and Cruze. And the bland silver that is shown on practically every model in the news does not do it justice. However, the Volt is not anywhere as disgusting as the new sport Honda CR-Z.
The interior resembles something more of a low-budget science fiction movie spaceship console. And it looks rather confusing to even operate the car successfully.
Remember the Tesla Roadster’s price? A little over $100,000 for it, but, you are actually getting some bang to your buck. The Volt has been recently priced at a steep $41,000. While some may guffaw at such a price, this is actually quite high for a Chevrolet—even if it’s an electric car. The Camaro is listed at around $22,000 or the ever-popular Malibu at $21,000 brand new.
On top of the $41,000 you will be shelling out for the Volt, the home charging device has been said to put you back at least $500 to $2,000 (if you include installation “fees”). However, this charger is quite vital and will charge the Volt, full-power, in about four hours.
The Volt will be released sometime in November 2010, and despite some pitfalls, should be a huge step forward in the American market for electric cars. While the Roadster is decidedly a lot sexier and enticing, the Volt is the everyday man’s car, albeit it’s not-so-everyday-man price.
Regardless, this is still a step in the right direction. Not all grand unveilings are perfect!
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