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 Dispatch1 on Tuesday, July 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "$$$ savings, great accel for what it provides"
Cons: "Getting in/out slightly awkward for tall people"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After National ($7500) and State ($3916) Rebates paid only $23500 for this car (of note, was a show model, bought with about 3800 miles, vs similarly packaged cruze listing for around $24000). Have owned it about 1 year, had one mechanical issue that was resolved quickly. Similar in size to the Chevy Cruze, but with leather interior, NAV and all the other bells and whistles, the Volt came out far ahead in financial calculations. At .08 cents a KWH, it costs me about $1 to go between 25 and 40 miles depending on the time of the year. Approx 1/4 the cost of gas. The design interior went futuristic with what appears to be touch sensitive plastic for the center console, did not like this hence the 8 on design, but outside of that, interior is nicely done. Comfort took a hit as I am 6'5", I found it took a little extra effort to get in and out of the car, but once in, I fit very nicely with room to spare. Was able to get a passenger in the front seat that was 6'8" and another passenger in behind him on a trip, while not ideal for long trips, it is doable for rides under 2-3 hours. One of my favorite perks.... typically has about 8 gallons of usable gas before the low fuel alert comes on, I have been getting between 650 miles (winter) and 2400 miles (Summer) between fill-ups, saving time at the gas station. Of note, the majority of my driving does fit into the electric range of this vehicle, the engine will also kick in occasionally (to keep the engine warm) despite having electric charge remaining when the temp goes below 25F, and the car is rated 37mpg on gas power although I have obtained closer to 43mpg when on longer trips with cruise control set at 65mph. Would check with the State and Fed first to see if the rebates are still available, and if so, how much.... IL is not the only state that offers a rebate."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By KITTOwner on Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Not worrying about gas prices."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car has delivered on everything I had hoped for. I spend 90% of the time on the battery. I love that I can take long trips if I want and not worry about finding a charging station because the gas gen takes care of me, or have to own a second car, or rent a car. I think Chevy got it right with this car."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By richardNbatonRouge on Monday, June 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,881overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "saves gas, but so would a sub compact."
Cons: "flat tires are EXPENSIVE"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Not sure if it's a problem with the type of tire. First two years I had no tire problem. This year, I've had to have it towed 3 times due to flats. The fix-a-flat would not hold in any of the flats I had. The problem with no spare is that I've had to stay in a hotel over night. In the most recent case, the dealership could not get the tire till the next day. I missed two days of work and had a hotel stay on top of the tire cost. Should a dealership carry at least one tire for any kind of car they sell? what happens when they decide to stop making this type of tire?"