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The Volt: Electric Car For the Future Available Today
by Marjorie Dorfman

The Volt is all the rage for a world with a “green eye” towards a sustainable future, which would be unaffected by political upheavals in the Mideast. The Green Car Journal has named the Volt its 2011 Green Car Of The Year, making it the first electric car to ever win such a prestigious award. Read on and find out more about this amazing vehicle.

Although the Volt is not the world's first electric car, its practicality causes it to shine above all others of its ilk. It represents a bold union between electricity and gas as it can run on both. It carries its own conventional gas engine and performance is in no way affected when a change to the petrol engine is in place. The car is always powered by the same electric motor and Chevrolet estimates a zero to 60mph run at about 9 seconds with a top speed of 100 mph.

In front of the driver is the instrument cluster where a symbol indicating remaining battery power replaces the conventional fuel gauge. There are many symbols in this cluster that are alien to the modern driver. They tell the story of the state of the battery, the available range and driving efficiency. The cluster also contains more familiar information, such as a digital speed indicator, fuel level, trip information and tire pressure.

Above the center stack sits another 7-inch screen. This one offers information on current energy usage and that which has been utilized over the lifetime of the car. Another display indicates the power source and still another updates the recharging process. Volt owners also have the convenient option of programming the recharging process so that it occurs doing overnight hours when the rates are usually cheaper.

If plugged into a conventional 110-volt household circuit, Chevrolet states that recharging the battery will take from 10 to 12 hours. A 240-volt system that reduces recharging time to four hours will be available for free as a premium for the first 4,400 customers. The battery in the Volt could power the Apple iPad for 266 days of constant use, or the i-pad Nano for 112 years of nonstop music.

The Volt calls for a new type of energy charge. The Lithium Ion battery represents the new generation of batteries and the newest technology available for energy-powered vehicles. These batteries are more expensive than the traditional kind. They are, however, known to operate over a wider temperature range with higher energy densities, while being smaller and lighter. They require a protective circuit because they are fragile.

Lithium-ion batteries are very common in the world of consumer electronics. They are among the most popular types of rechargeable batteries due to the fact that they have one of the best energy densities, no memory effect and a slow loss of charge when not in use. LIBs are also becoming more and more in vogue for military and electric vehicles as well as aerospace.

Just plug the Volt in to charge the battery, and most people can commute gas-free and tailpipe emissions-free for about $1.50 of electricity per day.

How much does this wonder car cost, you may ask? Good question.

The Volt is slated to start at $41,000 but that price can be reduced by up to $7,500 in federal tax credits. Chevy said various states are also offering credits, such as $3,000 in Maryland, to reduce the price still further.

The Volt will not readily be available everywhere. Initially, select launch markets will include: California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area beginning this fall. According to General Motors, availability to those living in other states will begin within 12 to 18 months.

Some time with the manual will be required on the part of new Volt owners to understand the function of all the center-stack buttons. This center console has a seven-inch diagonal high-resolution screen with touch-sensitive control. General Motors has promised that around-the-clock advice via a toll-free number will also be available.

In addition to all of these perks, some Volt owners may qualify for tax rebates.

Electricity is a cleaner source of power and the way of the future. As technology improves, so will reduced carbon outputs. Electric-powered driving will help make our world a cleaner place.

Consider a Volt when it's time for YOU to get a new car!

General Motors will thank you and so will the planet.

Did you know . . .

Copyright 2011