The 2011 Chevrolet Volt electric car qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, effectively reducing the net base price from $41,000 to $33,500. Some states offer additional purchase incentives that can be combined with the federal credit. Other electric vehicle-related perks that vary by city or state include single-occupant access to carpool lanes, free metered parking and significantly reduced vehicle registration fees. Home charging stations, which cut charging times in half compared to standard wall outlets, are also eligible for attractive incentives. You can find more incentive information at fueleconomy.gov and pluginamerica.com.
By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.4
Chevrolet's Volt for 2014 is more than a hybrid and more than a pure electric. Actually, it's a bit of both. Unlike most hybrids, the Volt can run at freeway speeds on pure electric, but only for limited range of about 30-40 miles. When the battery pack is depleted, a small gasoline engine kicks on to run a generator that powers the electric motor while simultaneously recharging the battery pack. With the gasoline engine running, the Volt's estimated range is increased to 380 miles and its fuel economy estimated around 40 mpg. Unlike many electric and hybrid offerings the Volt's styling isn't awkward or geeky, and its interior is one of the coolest we've seen in or out of a hybrid.
The 2014 Chevy Volt delivers on its promise to be green by providing a pure electric mode up to nearly 40 miles. Unlike electric cars, the Volt won't leave you stranded once the battery runs down, so long as there is fuel in the tank.
Even with a price reduction and tax credits, the 2014 Volt doesn't come cheap. The Volt's back seat is small, and only holds two people, limiting its usefulness to many urban buyers.
The Chevrolet Volt sees no major changes for 2014.
Driving Impressions As an electric, the 2014 Chevy Volt's motor offers up a big serving of torque right out of the gate. From a stop, our Volt sprinted to life with enough...... thrust to push us into our seats as it silently reached 50 mph. The absence of engine noise and gearshifts does take some getting used to. Even when the gasoline engine kicks on, it doesn't rev relative to road speed. As for the Volt's driving characteristics, we'd hesitate to call them sporty, but the Cruz-based platform does provide decent handling and a rather smooth ride. The Volt's electric power steering is responsive and direct, nicely weighted without being too vague at highway speeds or too heavy when parallel parking. Although GM claims the Volt's electric range at 38 miles, the actual range will vary hugely depending on circumstances.
DELAYED START AND DEPARTURE TIME MODE
Using information supplied by your local electricity provider, you can program the Volt to start recharging its battery pack when rates are at their lowest. And if you tell it when you plan to leave in the morning, the car will automatically schedule the charging process to ensure it's ready.
VOLT SMARTPHONE APP
The OnStar MyLink app lets you check your Volt's battery level, tire pressure, available electric range, lock/unlock the doors and start the A/C system to pre-cool the interior, all from your smartphone. You can control charging rate and get a text or e-mail alert when the battery is "full."
Taking a page from the Apple computer school of design, the 2014 Chevy Volt's interior can be covered in bright white and dark accented plastics and touch-sensitive controls for the audio and climate-control functions. Two 7-inch LCD screens replace the traditional analog gauges, with one serving as the instrument cluster (speedometer, fuel and range gauges) and the other in the center stack displaying the electric motor/battery operation as well as the available navigation screen. The cool-looking touch-sensitive buttons are a little tricky to identify and operate. The rear seat takes only two occupants and their head- and legroom are snug.Exterior
With the goal of total operating efficiency, the 2014 Chevrolet Volt's design team crafted a body shape that could cheat the wind while delighting the eyes. Up front are a rounded nose, closed grille opening and steeply raked windshield. Sharp edges along the Volt's rear fenders help slice through the wind, as does the functional rear hatch spoiler. This is one of the most aerodynamic cars in GM's long and storied history. Even the Volt's wheels and tires are designed for maximum efficiency; the ultra-lightweight wheels (17.8 pounds) mount Goodyear Fuel Max low-rolling-resistance tires.
The base 2014 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid comes with a more comprehensive feature set than just about any other Chevy on the market. It's also the recipient of all of Chevy's latest and greatest technology and features, including touch-sensitive climate, audio and drive controls, and an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on its battery pack and associated electrics. Other standard features include air conditioning, keyless access, power mirror/locks/windows, 110-volt charge cord, color-touch AM/FM/CD radio and 17-inch wheels. Standard safety features include electronic traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes and eight airbags. You also get USB connectivity and five years of OnStar.
For 2014, most Chevy Volt options are grouped into a few packages, including the Premium Trim (adds leather seating trim, heated front seats and a rear center armrest), and two Enhanced Safety packages, one including rear park assist and a rearview camera and the other adding front park assist and the lane-departure and collision-warning systems. Stand-alone options include an energy-saving Bose sound system (it's 40 percent lighter and uses 50 percent less energy than a conventional sound system), MyLink, a 240-volt charging station and a navigation system with 30GB hard-drive music storage and Sirius NavTraffic.
The 2014 Chevrolet Volt's propulsion system consists of an electric drive unit that makes 149 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, a 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 1.4-liter/84-horsepower 4-cylinder "range-extender." That engine takes over when battery charge is depleted – normally after 25-40 miles of driving – and generates on-the-fly electricity for another 300-380 miles. Recharging takes 10-16 hours using a standard 110V outlet or about four hours on a 240V dedicated unit. The Volt has four operating modes. Normal is the most efficient, Sport provides more direct accelerator response, Mountain helps the battery cope with extended steep grades and Hold runs only on the gas engine/generator, conserving battery charge for when it may be wanted (in town, for instance).
AC synchronous electric motor/generator
16kWh lithium-ion battery pack
1.4-liter inline-4 (drives generator only)
111kW/149 horsepower @ 4,800 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 0-4,800 rpm
EPA projected full-charge range: 38 miles (all-electric), 380 miles (gasoline range-extender only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 93 MPGe (all-electric, mpg equivalent), 35 city/40 highway mpg (on gasoline engine/generator)
The 2014 Chevrolet Volt's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts right around $35,000 and loading one with leather, navigation, Bose audio, and the rearview camera and park-assist package will bump that figure to $40,000. Even when you factor in the potential $7,500 federal tax credit, that pricing limits the Volt's appeal. Leasing may be one way to make the payments manageable. Although Chevrolet projects a full recharge will run only about $1.50 per day, the cost of a dedicated 240V home charger to replace the standard 110V cable will run $490 plus installation. As with the Nissan Leaf EV, it's difficult to assess how well the Volt will retain its value over time, although we expect the 2014 Chevrolet Volt to remain on par with the Leaf, but far below the values for the Toyota Prius and VW Golf TDI.
By Ralph on Friday, October 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Well engineered. Green. Great leather"
Cons: "Hard to see out the rear window."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car is neither your Grandfather's Electric Golf Cart, nor a Prius. Its an exceptionally well engineered automobile. It flies. Its electric motor gets you where you need to go, no matter if it is getting around town on the charge or going across country with the Generator assist. The torque is phenomenal meaning the car gets up and goes. The engineering behind this car is wonderful. As is the interior. The leather is subtle, the passenger compartment is quiet and refined. As an extra engineering bonus, when you put the back seats down, there is a remarkable amount of cargo area. In fact, I got an entire set of kitchen cabinets in it."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By rkt on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great mileage,fit and finish, handling, fun to dri"
Cons: "No power drivers seat."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I originally bought a 2013 Volt, and my wife hated the black, so after 20,000 miles in 10 months, I decided to get her favorite color, white. We never had the '13 back to the dealer, except for an oil change, minor maint. great car no problems at all. scale of 1-10, i give it a 10.No one would ever believe the trade I got for it. With all rebates, credits, EPA rebate, suppliers discount, GM rebate,I could not keep a car with 20,000 miles on it, so i traded. Cost was about $150.00 total for a new car with no miles on it. '14 Volt is in the same category, no problems at all, great car. My wife drives it most of the time, and always has the air on high, or heater on high, and doesn't know how to be economical, but we still average over 149 MPG. We have used 67 gal of gas for 10,000 miles. Our gas purchases went from $350-$400 a month to around $100. Pays for itself in gas savings. I highly recommend this car to anyone that likes to thumb their nose at the gas refineries."
9 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By linda1951 on Thursday, August 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive and one time tax credit"
Cons: "no spare tire small air comprssor to fix flat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car! 68 mpg lifetime. 142 mpg on this last tank of gas. My electric bill did not go through the roof. It costs about $1 a charge. Most of my driving can be done in electric but when I run out of electric car goes seamlessly into gas mode. On a trip last summer when I could not charge I still got 40mpg driving at highway speeds of 75mph using the AC. When lease is up I will be leasing another."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful