Chevrolet Volt: A Tweener

Are you familiar with the Chevrolet Volt? Of course you are. So much has been said about it over the last few years. It’s an electric vehicle (EV) that comes with a gasoline engine that kicks in if the battery runs out of juice.

The Volt has just been updated with the arrival of the second generation. Quite frankly, it’s a good car, suitable for just about anyone.

But let’s talk about it honestly, because not everyone considers it a true electric car.

In Québec, electric cars benefit from several advantages. These include incentives to encourage drivers to buy electric cars and help the government reach its unrealistic EV target numbers in the next few years.

Beyond that, EV drivers whose cars are equipped with a green licence plates get to ride on provincial ferries free of charge and can even use reserved lanes on the highway.

Nice perks, but does the Volt deserve it?

It depends.

If you drive less than 80 kilometres per day, the Volt is an electric car. If you surpass 80 kilometres, you’ll need the gas engine and then some. In 100% gas mode, the car consumes nearly 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

With that level of fuel consumption, isn’t the Volt really a hybrid car? Since the gas engine in the latest Volt can assist the front wheels when the electric motor isn’t up to the task, it’s looking a lot like a hybrid, but Chevrolet prefers the term “extended range electric car.”

At the end of the day, the Volt’s behaviour depends on how many kilometres you put in. So, it’s safe to say that the Volt is both an electric car and a hybrid. It’s a tweener!

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