I’ve written before about my enthusiasm for the concept of an electric car with an onboard, range extending, generator. The Chevrolet Volt (a.k.a. Opel Ampera) is the current leader in this field and is closest to becoming a production model.
The New York Times recently carried a review of a pre-production model of the Volt. It’s one of the first times that a journalist has been allowed to drive the car in range-extending mode – with the onboard generator running. It’s well worth a read if you are interested in this car, but here are the main points:
- It really works…
- The engine generator cuts in very smoothly and provides seamless drive – it isn’t an engine, just a generator that charges the cars batteries, from which all drive is powered.
- It seems to offer real potential as it could be used as a household’s sole car – unlike all-electric cars (in most cases)
- The reviewer finishes up by describing the current Volt as “an extremely refined vehicle”.
As I have said before, I would seriously consider one of these (if the price/fuel consumption figures stacked up) but would not consider an all-electric car. How many other people must be in the same position as me? I can’t wait until this comes to market, which is scheduled for around 9 months from now, in the US.
Note: The New York Times has now published a followup article in which the reviewer, Lindsay Brooke, answers some of the questions submitted by readers in response to his review – click here.