There was once a documentary called Who Killed the Electric Car. As it turns out, the electric car never really went away, just diversified. Consider the 2019 Chevy Volt. While not strictly an electric car, the Chevy Volt can run off a full battery for up to 53 miles. Considering that most commuters make a 32-mile round trip, you might almost never need to put gasoline in the Volt’s tank. An electric car the Volt is not—it’s better. The 2019 Chevy Volt is the best of both worlds.
53 Miles and Then Some
The 2019 Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid car. That means you can leave the Volt plugged in to a 240-volt outlet in the garage for just two and a half hours—thanks to a speedy 7.2-kW built-in charger—to fully charge the battery. But even a conventional 120-volt outlet will fully charge the Volt’s battery in 13 hours. Once the Volt is charged, you can enjoy guilt-free, thrifty driving for the next 53 miles, getting the equivalent of 106 miles per gallon.
What happens after those first 53 miles? The gasoline-powered engine fires up automatically, and the Volt starts operating like a hybrid, which is still better than a conventional gas guzzler. As a result, the Chevy Volt is still inordinately thrifty, getting 42 combined miles per gallon. So say hasta la vista to gas pumps and fuel emissions. Depending on your driving habits, you might be able to operate the Volt as an electric car indefinitely.
On the Road
You’re probably wondering how the Chevy Volt fares on the road. How does a plug-in hybrid drive? A few years ago, the Volt might have been dinged for lackluster driving dynamics. But no more. Since the second generation of Volt debuted in 2015, we really have no complaints. First of all, thanks to its electric engine, the 2019 Chevy Volt is whisper quiet. Even when the Volt switches to hybrid power, the cabin stays serene.
Second, the Volt is fun to drive. With a team consisting of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack, the Volt excels at out-of-the gate acceleration. The steady thrumming of its systems means the Volt can move into the passing lane with confidence. The Volt can go zero to 60 in just 7.8 seconds with the electric motor, which is some spirited driving for an electric.
We also love the smoothness of the Volt and how this plug-in hybrid powers into turns and curves. The steering is accurate, and handling is not just capable, it’s playful.
This isn’t your parents’ electric car, when such things were new and subpar. This is a whole new generation of plug-in hybrids. The best of both worlds.