It's a picture a lot of us have entertained in our brains...home for the night, having commuted without using a drop of gasoline, our new Chevrolet Volt sitting out front for the neighbors to envy.
But how realistic is that daydream? To find out, we borrowed a Volt from the good folks at Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix for four days, shorter than our usual tests, but enough to give us an overall impression of the car Motor Trend has named Car of the Year. First of all, the Volt isn't a purely electric car. It has a gasoline engine, too. But it's not a hybrid.
Hybrids blend the gas and electric motors in driving, switching between them as conditions warrant. The Volt runs solely on its electric motor, not using a drop of gas...until the battery runs out of power. And at that point, the gasoline engine (a 1.4 liter four) takes over.
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