Chevy Volt Electrifies Your Drive: Plug In Hybrid Electric Car

The Plug In Electric Hybrid Car from Chevrolet

When was the last time you felt electrified by your commute?

Do you find gas prices as shocking as I do?

Before long, you'll be able to drive right past those fuel pumps without a care, as the Chevy Volt - an electric car - has been unveiled by General Motors!

The public has seen visions of the future over the past several years, with the Chevy Volt Concept Car highlighted at car shows. The "real deal" has just been publicized by the company, and is now available for purchase.

What makes the Chevy Volt different from other hybrid cars currently on the market? For starters, it runs on electricity, straight from ordinary electrical outlets. This green car can travel 40 miles on a single charge, solely on electricity.

No greenhouse gas emissions and no need to give your right arm at the gas station! Plug in your electric car during working hours, and you'll be ready to drive back home (recharging takes only a couple of hours) at the end of the day. Most commuters will never again need to re-fuel! Statistics show that 75% of the workforce drives less than 40 miles each way to and from their jobs.

If you are traveling a further distance than 40 miles, the Volt is recharged by a gasoline engine or, in some models, ethanol fuel. Unlike traditional hybrid vehicles on the market, fuel never powers the wheels - it simply provides the source of electrical charge for the car's battery.

If you have been doubtful about the "hype" regarding plug-in electric hybrids (also known as PEHVs), it is time to change your mind!

The Chevy Volt is a reality - brought to you by the good-old American company, General Motors!

Exciting new Chevy Volt
Exciting new Chevy Volt

Consumer Poll

Would You Buy the New Chevy Volt?

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Chevy Volt Performance Statistics

Some of the vital statistics for the Chevy Volt plug in hybrid electric car are important to note:

  • It has a range of 300 miles
  • Travels at speeds of 100 mph
  • Zero to sixty in 9 seconds
  • Plugs into an ordinary electrical outlet
  • Travels exclusively on electricity for 40 miles (no gas!)
  • Interior display tells you when the battery is being recharged by fuel
  • Zero emissions during first 40 miles of travel
  • Fully recharges in a matter of hours
  • Revolutionary propulsion system - powers the Chevy Volt beyond its battery
  • Equipped with a powerful lithium-iron battery
  • MSRP: $30,000-35,000
  • Cost per mile on electric charge = 2 cents; cost per mile for fuel-powered vehicles at $3.50/gallon = 12 cents per mile

The Chevy Volt is Ready to Roll!
The Chevy Volt is Ready to Roll!

GM Unveils the Chevy Volt September 16, 2008

The Chevy Volt Concept Car

While many people may not have been aware of GM's first foray into the PEHV market in the mid-1990s, the Chevy Volt has been on automakers' radar for several years.

The Chevy Volt Concept Car has been showcased at a number of auto shows in recent years. Sleek and futuristic, the concept car is streamlined and exciting! With the unveiling of the 2011 Chevy Volt, some are disappointed by its boxier look.

In reality, the style of this plug in hybrid electric car is more appropriate to reach across demographics and appeal to both "soccer moms" and business executives. Plus, the interior of the vehicle itself is exciting and unique. The driver and front passenger will sit down into a cockpit-like surrounding that faces a computerized display.

Compared to the interior of a Corvette, the inside of the Chevy Volt reminds you that this is no ordinary vehicle!

Chevrolet is Leading the Plug In Electric Car Revolution

Widely regarded as having "killed the electric car," some consumers may wonder why GM is now leading the charge (so to speak) with plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.

Back in 1996, GM developed the EV1, an electric-powered car. Times were different then, however. Technology had not advanced to allow mass-production of the lithium-ion batteries that will propel the Chevy Volt. Consumers were not clamoring for an alternative-fuel car, either. Gas prices were nowhere near the $4.00-$5.00 per gallon level they are today, and we were not fighting a war in the Middle East. We've come a long way in the past 12 years.

The EV1 is but a footnote in history - yet an important one. Now that the public is ready for and demanding alternative fuel vehicles, the future is bright for both GM and the environment. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil supplies is a key political goal - for both parties. Its about time for us to break our "addiction to oil."

I'm ready for a plug in hybrid electric car - are you?

A peek at the inner-workings of the Chevy Volt
A peek at the inner-workings of the Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt Concept Car

The interior of the Chevy Volt
The interior of the Chevy Volt

Drivers Should Consider Plug In Hybrid Electric Cars

Whether or not we open up protected off-shore areas for more drilling, or tap into Alaska's oil supplies in the Arctic National Wildlife Area Reserve (ANWAR), we all know that oil is a limited commodity. But electricity can be generated in a number of ways (beyond traditional burning of coal) - hydroelectric, wind and solar energy can all be converted to clean power. Using renewable energy to get around is the appropriate long-term answer. And, when it is used to power plug-in electric hybrid vehicles like the Volt, zero greenhouse gas emissions are produced!

Save at the pump, do not further deplete limited oil supplies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the progression of global warming. To achieve all of this for the projected $30-35,000 price tag for the Chevy Volt seems to be a bargain.

See you at the re-charging station!

The 2011 Chevy Volt

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Comments 31 comments

vrajavala profile image

vrajavala 8 years ago from Port St. Lucie

looks very cool. What about people who live in apartments though?

And what about big families with kids?

For people who to save now who don't have 30K


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi vrajavala - yes, the industry is on top of your questions. Many government parking garages are already being retrofitted to include re-charging stations for electric vehicles. Hopefully, private landowners/landlords will follow suit. As cars like the Chevy Volt get more popular, demand will increase for places to plug-in electric cars. Keep posted on the question of large families - I am preparing a series of hubs addressing the number of PEHVs in development and on the market that will be in variety of sizes and shapes - for all lifestyles. Thanks for the comment

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

Looks like a good urban vehicle.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Bob - I think that GM is hoping that suburban and rural people get excited about the Volt too! 40 miles is a respectible distance for a single charge before having to use gas to recharge, but auto makers are continuing to try to push the envelope in this regard and get even greater distances on electricity alone - how does 100 miles sound?

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

I am so excited about the Chevy Volt--it is the future, and as soon as it has been on the market for awhile and prices come down--I'm there! I think GM has done a real turn-around here from selling gas guzzlers to making the greenest car on the globe. Kudos to them and to you:-)

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Robie - I agree! I have been hoping that my Volvo wagon can limp along for another couple of years so I can replace it with an electric car! And yes, Kudos to GM for the exciting Chevy Volt. It is definitely a step in the right direction!

solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

I love this beautiful car GE Chevy Volt! It looks so hot and modern and it also brings many new technologies to the car market. Yesterday I read official news from the GM that they will substantially increase capacity of Chevy Volt's batteries, which will increase driving distance and make that environmentally friendly car even more popular.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Ervin - I read the same news about the Chevy Volt that you did! I am excited that they decided to get the 2011 model ready for release in the meantime. So many people can benefit from driving an electric car. The environment will be happier too!

In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California


This is great news for GM right now. As you probably are aware they are really doing poorly because of the foreign car market. Perhaps this will bring them back as a competitive player in the automotive industry. I just hope that the retail cost of the vehicle is not too restrictive to be productive in the long run! Great news for all of us who are plagued by the prices at the pump!

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi there, in the Doghouse! Yes, the news in general is not great for GM. The timing of the announcement of the 2011 Chevy Volt was, I am sure, quite calculated. Keep your fingers crossed for the competitive pressures on other auto makers to propel us forward with alternative fueled vehicles! And, of course, eventually reduce the overall cost of such cars.

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

The Chevy Volt looks great! I love the interior. Like you said, once the competition gets going on their versions we will have even more clean energy cars to choose from - a win/win for consumers and the environment.:)

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Amy! I would love to try out one of these Chevy Volts to see how it drives and feels! What a great thing to see GM actually take a concept car and make it reality. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg for electric hybrid cars.

Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Hey Steph,

I love your new avatar, you look sooooo cute! :)

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Awwww... thank you Misha! I was in Hawaii last week for a friend's wedding. And now that I can no longer marvel at the beauty of the islands, I'm back to writing hubs about electric cars... :-) LOL

Hybrid Cars Hub 8 years ago

@stephhicks68: WOW! Now that is what I call an in-depth article. Very nicely done! It is definitely nice to see American auto manufacturers getting serious about alternative fuel/electric vehicles.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hybrid Cars Hub - thank you! I appreciate your comment and cannot agree more that the Chevy Volt (and other cars like it) are long overdue. I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more hybrids, plug-ins, etc. in the coming months.

viralprospector profile image

viralprospector 8 years ago from DFW Texas


Great hub, and it is wonderful to see you positive about a domestic auto company. Ha ha, I worked for GM in management for 25 years. I am also impressed at all the positive comments. America does need manufacturing, and GM has had to give it up mostly to other countries. We just used to manufacture our way out of recessions.

Be on the lookout for hydrogen fueled cars. They are the way to go. Most of our electricity comes from coal or natural gas. So, we pollute to make the electricity. Hydrogen is the truly clean fuel, but it is tough to break those tow Hs from the O.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Viral Prospector - thank you for the comment.  Good to hear from a GM manager regarding the Volt!  I don't know about hydrogen fueled cars - what I am hoping to see is electricity generated by clean sources such as hydroelectric, solar and wind energy.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

earnestshub says.

A very complete and informative hub Steph.

This is indeed a sterling effort from the General.

I believe that we still have to find another fuel for the 600 million ICE's on the road now also.

They will not go away, and apart from converting them all to LPG (expensive) I still do not see a long term solution. After all, we will have to fuel them for at least another 30 years even if we stop making them today!

To sum up. Good idea (better when they are not run on coal) but not a solution to the global warming that is happening right now.

solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

What I find amazingly interesting is that America has the best research institutions and universities, which are creating new scientific breakthroughs every day. However, it seems that it is amazingly complicated that the largest American corporations don't include these very scientific results into their new product ranges. I believe, the corporate culture went too far in little corporate internal politics, negative career promotions, jealousy and 'golf club decision making processes' to stay competitive with the rest of the world. I hope, General Motors will use existing domestic technological expertize of American research and academic institutions to make a great 'Come Back' to the world car market. That is only my personal opinion, which maybe wrong. Stephanie, what is your opinion about that?

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Ervin - you pose an excellent question.  There is no doubt that the U.S. has some brilliant engineers and scientists - and many are working on technologies that will improve our lives with regard to alternative fuels and renewable energy resources.  Not only are the scientists hamstrung by the need for peer-reviewed papers and industry acceptance of their discoveries, but there is indeed a corporate culture that is fed and funded by other powerful organizations (Big Oil, etc.)  Fortunately, more and more people are putting pressures on corporations like GM to listen to other viewpoints and voices.  GM looks like it is starting to get it after many years of pumping out vehicles that gobble up gasoline.  When the consumers flock to GM's product, you will see more and more automakers changing their technologies to keep up with the demand for fuel-efficient, clean cars.  The thought that one can commute without using a drop of oil is very tantalizing these days!

Eddie Perkins 8 years ago

Nice hub Steph,

Beautiful car. I hate to say anything negative but... I paid half that price for my Toyota Corolla, if I only drive 40 miles a day it would take a lot of fuel to make up the difference not to mention the inconvenience.

One reason we purchased the Corolla was the seats were high allowing Barbie dad and mom to get in and out with more ease than a Crown Vic.

I do understand the other issues you speak of and appreciate them, but for me it would never work. 

I certainly hope that we do come up with some good practical solutions and maybe this is the start of it. Thank you. ~ eddie

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Eddie - I really appreciate your honest, heart-felt comments. Yes, the price seems to be high for a lot of people to consider buying a Chevy Volt. Perhaps what is exciting is the fact that new technology is actually coming to the masses. Over time, we'll see more and more electric cars and eventually (like all new things) the prices will come down. I dream of the day (20-30 years from now) when my children are grown and they all have and drive electric cars, without ever having to worry about gas prices.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Hi steph, I think the concept of the electric /hybrid car is fantastic and it sure looks great.

Theres just two points I'd like to raise thu 1) Price and life span of replacement batteries.?   2)I do not not know what energy is running your power stations I think most of ours are brown coal. So when you say you are not having any emissions from the car, those emissions must be coming from the power stations. Quite possibly more due to inefficiency in transmission.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi agvulpes - thank you for the comment! As I live in the Pacific Northwest, we have a lot of hydroelectric power that generates electricity (cleaner than coal, definitely). With electric cars like the Chevy Volt, the question will be how much additional electricity will have to be generated to power them? Of course, when the cars are running on an electric charge, there will not be any emissions from the vehicle itself. As technology continues to improve and government incentives for other clean energy - hopefully - get passed, you will see solar panels, wind energy and geothermal as sources of electricity too. Keep questioning and asking the hard questions! This is how we continue to make advancements that make sense for both consumers and the environment. Cheers, Steph profile image 8 years ago from San Francisco, CA USA

Nice overview of the Volt!

From what's publicly known about it the Volt sure does seem like a cool car. But until it comes out and you take it for a test drive I'm not sure you can say whether or not the hype should be believed. The Volt won't be available for purchase until 2010. Around the same time Toyota (and, possibly, Volkswagon) are supposed to come out with their own electric cars models too.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi - thank you! I agree that there is a lot about the Chevy Volt that sounds promising and exciting. They are not the only auto manufacturer that will be releasing an electric car though - as you point out. As a consumer, this is only great news. Choices, choices!

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Thanks Steph,

What I would like to know is the cost of replacement "batteries" I think it is important for consumers to know this especially in today's financial climate.

We have the Toyota hybrid in Australia and I believe the replacement cost of batteries is about $5000. yes thousand. and you could expect to replace them every 5 years. So buyer beware, do your research.

JakeAuto profile image

JakeAuto 7 years ago from Calif.

Hi hub mistress Steph

The 54 minute Charlie Rose interview and Volt lab tour might be worth a look.

In answer to agvulpes's question some time back, I have seen battery cost estimates made by industry insiders of between $16,000 and $20,000, although with GM doing the heavy lifting, the cost of these batteries should go down as usage colume goes up.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi JakeAuto - thanks for the interview link on the Chevy Volt. I agree that the cost of the batteries will (and already are) come down. I heard recently that the first Volts are rolling off the production line. Very exciting.

Dave from Alternative Fuel Vehicles 5 years ago

Looking forward to Chevy and other auto manufacturers improving upon the electric car model. With improved mileage on one charge and more plug-in stations available in the future, the electric car can be one of the best alternative fuel vehicles for everyone.

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