Chevrolet, EV - Electric Vehicles, Ford, Fuel Economy, Road Test Special

Road Test Special: Living With An Electric Vehicle – A Day-To-Day Comparison of Three Models (The Twitter Version)

EV, Logo, Road Test Special, Iain Shankland, 2017 Ford Energi

Car #2 – 2017 Chevrolet VoltEV, Logo, Road Test Special, Iain Shankland, 2017 Chevrolet Volt

Nuts & Bolts:

  • It runs on an electric charge, but uses its “Gas-powered Range Extender” or “gas-powered generator” (Chevy-speak for “the engine”) when the battery runs low to recharge the battery – completely eliminating “Range Anxiety”
  • With a fully charged battery (lithium-ion), the Volt is capable of driving up to 85 kilometres without using gas

Drive mode Options: Normal (battery whenever possible), Sport (same as Normal, but way more fun), Mountain (no idea what this is) and Hold (saves plug-in power for future use, eg: initial drive is on the highway, but later driving will be at lower city/town speeds)

Propulsion System:
Electric motor: Electric drive unit. Power: 149 hp and 294 lb-ft. of torque
Engine: 1.5L DOHC I-4 with VVT and Direct Injection. Power: 101 hp
Transmission: Electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT)

Recharge Time (approximate): 120-volt – 13 hours // 240-volt – 4.5 hours
Location-based charging – Based on GPS data, a programmable “home” setting for charging allows you to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates when you’re charging at home but always begins charging immediately when you’re charging off-site

 Cost (base price): $38,590 (For up-to-date pricing and options in your region visit:
Rebate / Government Incentives: Up to $12,389 in Ontario when purchasing/leasing
Effective base price: $26,201

EV, Logo, Road Test Special, Iain Shankland, 2017 Chevrolet VoltTo Operate…
Fuel consumption is rated at:

  • 2L e/100 km (electricity + gas) combined city/hwy
  • 6L/100 km (gas only) combined city/hwy
  • I averaged 1.1-1.7L e/100 km on the highway at a fairly constant 120 km/h and 2.2L e/100 km over the entire week I had the Volt
  • Total kilometres travelled: 466.3 kms
  • Gasoline used: 5.9 litre / 1.26 L/100 km (assuming it was completely full when I picked it up)
  • Actual fuel cost: $5.63

The Verdict
I LOVED the Volt. It was fun to drive – even better in Sport mode, and returned phenomenal fuel economy regardless of how I drove it. There’s enough range in the battery to actually be useful and when you fall a little short, there’s the range extender to get you home. Range anxiety is zero in the Volt and thanks to the plug in aspect it’s better than a standard hybrid car. There is no downside to this car and unlike the Fusion Energi it has a very useful trunk, better fuel numbers by a huge margin, more than double the electric range and is fun to drive. Why it gets a $12,389 rebate in Ontario versus $7,730 for the Fusion I can’t understand… but who ever said they understand what the government does? Comparing actual gas used for the week, it only cost us just over $5 in the Volt compared to last weeks’ $51.44 in the Energi! Sure we did fewer kilometers this week with the Volt, but the cost per kilometer comparison is pretty impressive. Score 1 for the Volt!EV, Logo, Road Test Special, Iain Shankland, 2017 Chevrolet Volt
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