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PHOTO CAPTION: 2011 Chevrolet Volt can be charged from common 120V outlet, but it could take up to 8 hours.

Driving the Volt, Driving the Future

Chris Chase gets his hands on Chevrolet Volt and apart from its high price tag, finds it a taste of a promising future.

Published: 16-Jan-2012

The future is electric, and the Chevrolet Volt - indeed, the Chevrolet brand as a whole, if this car is any indication - plans to be a big part of that future.

This is a car that's been in the news for a few years, and it's proved well worth the wait. Its $42,000 base price cuts deep in the compact-car class that the Volt competes in size-wise, but that number is almost certainly a bargain compared to what parent company General Motors would need to charge to make back the research and development that went into the car's high-capacity battery and electric motors.

Chevrolet touts the Volt as an electric car with "extended range," that bit in quotes coming courtesy of a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine. On a full charge, achieved by simply plugging the car into the wall like a cellphone, Chevy says the Volt will travel anywhere from 40 to 80 kilometres. After the battery has run down, the gas engine starts - completely automatically - to generate electricity so that you can continue driving the car.

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