Phoenix Valley residents have long been plagued by heavy commutes over long distances. The average valley resident knows the feeling of waste that comes with sitting in a running car on a backed up rush hour freeway. Arizona cities are known for their beauty and space, but one inevitable draw back is the urban sprawl. For those who know this dilemma well, Chevy has developed a uniquely American solution to a uniquely American problem. The new 2011 Chevy Volt plug in electric hybrid vehicle is the ideal answer for Phoenix Valley residents seeking a practical and responsible option.
The Volt, which has replaced the Toyota Prius as the most fuel efficient car, sports an energy consumption of 36 kWh per 100 miles and a conversion factor of 33.7 kW-hr of electricity being the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially rated the Volt’s combined fuel economy at 93 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent in all-electric mode, and 37 mpg-US in gas-only mode, for an overall combined fuel economy rating of 60 mpg-US. Imagine the savings on the freeway and in dense cross town traffic, not to mention the fact that it couldn’t hurt to remove some smog from the sometimes less than pristine central Phoenix skies.
Beyond the practicality and environmental friendliness of the Volt, it also drives like a dream. The Volt always has an EV-like demeanor. Which is to say there’s almost no waiting—and no downshifting—as it responds swiftly to throttle inputs. Acceleration is one continuous ooze of thrust—sort-of CVT-like, only without the engine drone. In fact, although the Volt isn’t slow compared with its peers—its 9.2-second 0-to-60-mph time beats both the Leaf and the Toyota Prius by 0.8 second—it feels quicker than the numbers suggest because, off the line, no matter what the driver does, the electric motor’s 273 pound-feet of torque rolls out modestly and averts wheel spin. The immediacy you feel shows up better in the 3.7-second 30-to-50-mph time, which is just a couple of ticks slower than a V-6 Mazda 6.
As of now the availability of the Volt is limited. If you need one now, then you may want to venture out to our neighbor California to pick one up, or if you can wait, nationwide availability will start later this year. Keep an eye out for the Volt, arriving soon, at your local Phoenix Valley Chevy dealer.