Friday, December 18, 2015

Second Generation Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Volt has been with us for five years now and when it was launched, we couldn't tell if it's a hybrid or a zero-emission vehicle like the Nissan Leaf. In general, this is the first ever PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle) in the market and because it's a PHEV, you can either refuel it with petrol or charge the batteries in one plug. To commemorate the Chevrolet Volt's fifth anniversary, a regeneration to the first ever PHEV in the market has occurred and for the new Chevrolet Volt, this PHEV promises to go further, sticking through to its "FIND NEW ROADS" slogan.

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Here it is, the future really is now thanks to science and some clever American engineering. The new Chevrolet Volt looks more crisper to look at than the previous model, although some Chevrolet purists find the new look to be more sacrilege to the front just like what the Traverse, Impala, as well the upcoming Spark and Cruze had because by losing their trademark Chevrolet front face that has been around for ages, Chevrolet purists might simply just call it witchcraft. Putting the sins aside, it looks not too bad to look at.

2016 Chevrolet Volt interior
2016 Chevrolet Volt interior

On the interior, this is more of an improvement if I'm honest. Even though the outside looks somewhat resembled to the Corvette Stingray, it's surprisingly spacious as well although the back needs a bit more room if I'm honest. In terms of convenience, the Volt, like all Chevys, have 4G LTE connectivity so you can connect to the internet wirelessly and do whatever you like while you're stuck at traffic. There's also a wireless charger which makes the new Volt a handy power bank on the go but due caution however that it might use up most of its batteries, making its range a bit of a setback. If that's a problem, better set this Volt to run on petrol alone while letting its batteries do the talking on the electronics department. Sounds shoddy even if you're a city folk going out town with your friends.

2016 Chevrolet Volt

The new Volt is powered by two electric motors as well as a 1.5L petrol engine which now runs on regular rather than premium. Running on electric alone, the new Volt claims to have a range of 55 pure electric miles  but by running on unison, it can get up to the claimed total range of 420 miles on a full charge and a full tank of gas. That's over a thousand miles between fill-ups by charging regularly and overall, its overall fuel consumption is around 82 MPG-e city and 72 MPG-e highway. 

That's even less than the BMW i3, which costs 17,000 dollars more than the Volt's $25,670 suggested retail price, but mind you, the new Volt has the highest range by any PHEV available, meaning that most of the owners will rely on electricity alone and because it takes $650 dollars to fill the Volt per year, $150 less than what the previous Volt did, it's value for money as well. Think about the savings you'll get from this car.

In terms of charging the car, the Volt comes with either a 120-volt portable cord which lets the car to be fully charged for half a day or a more expensive 240-volt charging system, which allows the Volt to be fully charged after four and half hours later. There are many ways of battery management in the new Volt, including a brand new Regen on Demand system which transfers the kinetic energy from the moving car and stores it in the batter while slowing it down. There's also a programmable location-based charging as well.

Being capable on taking on city traffic, the new Volt offers safety tech such as an available Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Forward Safety Awareness. For protection, it was utilized in advanced high-strength steel for better weight loss and added rigidity as well as implementing ten airbags.

So, should you buy one? As mentioned, the new Volt starts at $25,670 but don't rush for these ones just yet because just like the last model, the new model is available in selected US states, including California. Next year, it will be available nationwide.

Photo: General Motors

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