2013 Chevrolet Volt Range Extending EV / Plug In Hybrid Review
Join us as we take an in-depth look at General Motors' first plug-in hybrid which they prefer to call an EV with a range extender. We talk infotainment, drivetrain, batteries, charging, hop in the trunk and take it on the road. The Chevrolet Volt may be the most maligned and least understood car on the market. After a week of strange questions and bipolar reactions to GM's plug-in hybrid, I came to a conclusion. GM's marketing of the Volt stinks. By calling the Volt an "Electric Vehicle (EV) with a range extender," a huge segment of the population can't get past "Electric" and immediately cross the Volt off their list. There is also [strangely] a segment of the population that says, "that's great but I want a hybrid." Guess what? The Volt is a hybrid. Before we dive into the Volt, it's important to know how hybrid systems work. GM's Belt-Alternator-Starter, Mercedes' S400 Hybrid and Honda's IMA hybrids are all systems where the engine is always connected and even if the car is capable of "EV" mode, the engine is spinning. Porsche, VW, Infiniti and others use a pancake motor and clutch setup to disconnect the engine from the motor and transmission allowing a "pure EV" mode. Honda's new Accord has a 2-mode setup where the motor drives the wheels via a fixed ratio gearset, the engine drives a motor and above 45MPH a clutch engages, linking the engine and motor together at a ratio of roughly 1:1. Ford, Toyota and the Volt use a planetary gearset "power splitting" device. Yes, the Volt uses a hybrid system that although not identical, is thematically similar to Ford & Toyota's hybrid system. Say what? I thought GM said it was a serial hybrid? Yes, GM did at some point say that and I think that has caused more confusion than anything else about the Volt. The bankrupt Fisker Karma is only a serial hybrid. The engine drives a generator, the generator powers the battery and the motor to move the car forward. At no point can the engine provide any motive power to the wheels except via the electrical connection. The Volt's innovation is that it can operate like a Fisker Karma or like a Prius. It is therefore both a serial and a parallel hybrid. To do this, GM alters the power split device power flow VS the Ford/Toyota design. Then they add a clutch allowing the gasoline engine to be mechanically isolated from the wheels. And finally they add software with a whole new take on a hybrid system. Statistics powered by ChannelMeter http://channelmeter.com
2016 Chevrolet Volt Makes Solid Improvements | Consumer Reports
More electric-only range, faster acceleration, better fuel economy, and easier controls: they're all part of the Volt's redesign, shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Full Detroit Auto Show Coverage: http://bit.ly/1C1dn6p Full Chevrolet Volt Coverage: http://bit.ly/1syI2Ga
Testing electric cars at Consumer Reports test track | Consumer Reports
Are electric cars really the vehicles of the future? Consumer Reports tests the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf to see if they're ready to go mainstream. Learn more about electric cars and alternative-fuel vehicles on our website: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/resource-center/alternativ e-fuel-guide/index.htm?EXTKEY=I93YT01&CMP=OTC-YUTBE
First Drive: 2011 Chevy Volt
We finally get our hands on Chevy's much-anticipated extended range hybrid, the Volt, and take it for a spin. Is this the car that will bring GM back to life?