Green Car Rally: The Chevy Volt Versus the Toyota Prius
General Motors has been inundated in recent years with nothing but bad news. After filing for bankruptcy and receiving a controversial government bailout, the ailing car maker is trying to revolutionize the auto industry and breathe life back into its deflated sails with the introduction of the Chevy Volt.
Considered to be an "extended-range electric vehicle" or E-REV, the Volt is set to go on sale late next year and is unlike today’s hybrids. A lithium-ion battery powers the Volt for the first 40 miles of a trip and then the gas engine kicks in to create more electricity to keep the car rolling. If recharged every 40 miles, the Volt’s owner may never need to go to the pump again. The Volt is slated to receive a 230 mpg rating (through a bit of creative math), which is impressive, but we wanted to know how it stacks up against the current hybrid front runner, the Toyota Prius.
First off, let’s take a look at Chevy Volt’s stats. The Volt does 0-60 in 8 seconds and runs on electricity for the first 40 miles, then the gas engine kicks in and recharges the battery. Once the batteries are depleted and the generator kicks in, the car has an additional 260 miles of driving range. If the Volt is driven farther than 40 miles without recharging, it will get roughly 40 mpg while running on the generator. The wheels, however, are always driven by the electric system. The Volt has to be plugged in and takes 6.5 hours to charge using a standard 100 volt home outlet.