And when it goes on sale in the UK next year, the Volt will cost from £28,545 after the government backed £5,000 electric vehicle grant, making it less expensive than some traditional petrol or diesel engined five-door hatchbacks.
Of course, by plugging it in, you’ll save yourself a fortune. The Volt has an electric-only range of between 30 and 50 miles depending on terrain and traffic conditions, after which its on-board generator kicks in to sustain battery power. Unlike conventional hybrids, the electric drivetrain – known as E-REV, Extended-Range Electric Vehicle – directly powers the car’s wheels. The petrol engine is there to simply prevent the battery going flat, thus eliminating the fear of ‘range anxiety’ experienced by users of other electric vehicles, who are dependent on a limited range and a charging infrastructure before they can use their cars without compromise. Yet if the driver is only commuting, he or she need never put any petrol in the car, meaning it only ever needs fuelling for longer journeys.
The Volt’s technology is so clever that it has won the car multiple awards in the USA, where it was crowned North American Car of the Year, as well as winning similar plaudits from major titles Motor Trend and Automobile Magazine.
Chevrolet chose to announce the UK pricing of the Volt, which comes to showrooms in right-hand-drive form in Spring 2012, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the US-manufacturer was celebrating its centenary.
“We wanted to back up a century of progress with our vision for the next century,” said Chevrolet UK Managing Director, Mark Terry. “Except it’s more than a vision, it’s a reality.”
“The Volt is a truly incredible car – the first ever compromise-free electric car with zero-emissions capability. You can use it for going to work and back during the week without ever putting fuel in, but it’s also an electric car that you can use for a family holiday. There are never any concerns that a flat battery will leave you stranded.”
All UK Volts will come with full leather interior as standard, adding a touch of luxury to the world of electric commuting.
Customers interested in finding out more about the Volt should visit the dedicated Volt customer site at www.voltchevrolet.co.uk