Published September 24, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
The Chevrolet Volt has been acclaimed as winner of the “Alternative-fuel category” in the WHATCAR? Green Awards 2012.
Not to be confused with the “Green Car” category award which the publication gave this year to the BMW 320d and last year to the Vauxhall Ampera – which is functionally identical to this year’s “alternative fuel” winner –editor in chief, Chas Hallet, explained the Volt’s placing:
“The Chevrolet Volt is an alternative-fuel car without compromise. It can travel 40 miles on electric power then switches to its petrol engine,” he said, “so there’s no range-anxiety involved. It is also effortless to drive, quick, comfortable and whisper-quiet.”
Actually, the Volt is quite “green” but the publication essentially played musical chairs this year separating the Voltec drivetrain – this year in the Volt – into the alternative fuel category this year.
As an alternative-fuel solution, the Volt stands out because its wheels are powered by electricity at all times. The electric drive unit is supported by a small 1.4-liter gas-fuelled generator which seamlessly continues to power the battery, and keep the driver going further for longer.
The results are a total driving range of more than 300 miles and, according to figures produced on the official European Test Cycle (ECE R101), Volt achieves 235.4 mpg and combined tailpipe emissions of just 27g/km.
Beyond the innovative technology that drives the £29,995 ($48,730) Volt, there is plenty of practicality and an abundance of creature comforts to be found in the spacious 4-seater, including a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, heated leather seats and eight airbags.
Rebecca Lawman – Head of Marketing Chevrolet UK said “the key innovation of Volt is that it eliminates the concern of ‘range anxiety’ while offering genuine electric vehicle ownership and benefits. As a result Volt has redefined expectations in the alternative-fuel sector, offering cleaner motoring without any compromise in terms of ownership.”
As well as benefiting from the government’s Plug-In Car Grant, zero VED, zero Congestion Charge and a 50 percent reduction in company car tax, Volt costs around £1.00 ($1.62) to fully charge in the UK, depending on tariff. But since it doesn’t rely on a public charging infrastructure for propulsion, it can continue to be driven normally on electric power if a charging point isn’t available.