At Electrek, we try to focus on all-electric vehicles and not plug-in hybrids because they most often offer only very little electric range.
The Chevy Volt is the exception with its 53 miles of EPA range. It is enough for most people to cover their daily commute and we often hear about Volt owners not having to fill up their gas tank in months or even years.
Now with the 2019 model year, Chevy is enabling you to use the battery pack even more with faster charging and less reliance on the engine. expand full story
Love it or hate it, wireless charging has been around for years. While stereotypically the technology comes with enough convenience issues to make most users question its superiority to traditional chorded tech, like any contemporary invention it has steadily improved over the past few years.
Earlier this week, a partnership was announced between Boston-area startup WiTricity and General Motors (GM), with the goal of developing wireless charging pads for electric vehicles. expand full story
The introduction of the Tesla Model X in Canada and consistently strong Chevy Volt sales helped the country reach record numbers of electric car sales during the last quarter. Canada now has a fleet of over 20,000 plug-in electric cars (BEV and PHEV) and added a record of over 3,300 electric cars in just the last quarter (July to September).
GM announced today that it surpassed the 100,000 mark for Chevy Volt sales in the US – making the Volt the first plug-in vehicle to achieve the milestone. Interestingly, GM broke down the EV miles vs Gas miles driven by the fleet since its introduction in 2010.
The company says that Volt owners have driven “almost 1.5 billion miles in EV mode of a total 2.5 billion cumulative miles.” expand full story
Overwhelmingly, the 2017 Volt is a fantastic car that will fit into many people’s lives and probably be one of the most functional mass-market electric cars for the next 3 years. The numbers don’t lie – Volt sales are up while some EV competitors are down.
I say 3 years because I believe that is how long, give or take, it will take electric infrastructure in the US to be as convenient as gas – at which point it will become more convenient. Sure, almost every house, building and structure has an electrical outlet which can charge on level 1 or 2 (and the 2017 Volt does both levels of AC charging), meaning you wake up every morning with a full 53 mile “tank” of electricity. But to finally close the convenience gap of gasoline and frankly beyond, pure electric cars need to be outfitted with high power DC chargers and long range batteries — both of which the Volt lacks.
As a pure electric car owner, there are still a bunch of ski resorts in Vermont I can’t go to with my long range ‘200 mile’ electric car. To travel to my parents’ house in Ohio from New York, I need to avoid the straight shot Interstate 80 and dip down almost to Maryland to stay on the Supercharger route. Even going to an EV show in Montreal next month will require me to go 2-3 hours out of my way to stay charged up.
Don’t get me wrong. We’re close, but we’re not there yet with electric infrastructure. The case is being made but there are still many obstacles outside of the $1 Trillion dollar Oil industry. For one, currently three different DC fast charging standards exist (Tesla, SAE and Chademo) so there’s work needed to either consolidate or build (more) adapters. DC charging will also speed up over the next few years. Teslas can currently charge at 135kW while most other EVs top out at 50kW. That means most DC charging “fill ups” will take at least 30 minutes. But Tesla wants to take that down to 5-10 minutes by the time the Model 3 is released and has all but abandoned its under 90 second battery swap plan.
I’m currently willing to make these route/time sacrifices because I love EVs, clean air and my Tesla, but I don’t think mainstream users are OK with going hundreds of miles/several hours out of the way to make a medium-long trip electrically for the next few years.
The fine folks at GM have given us a shiny new (OK, 500 miles) electric blue 2017 Chevy Volt to test drive for the next week. I’m keeping a diary of my experiences every day here and will wrap up the week with my conclusions. Catch up on Day 1 or Day 3-4.
I managed to come into a lease of a Ford Focus Electric starting in August 2013, and this is my review of my time with it. For a little bit more background on me, and my newest primary car, please check out my review of my Cadillac ELR here.
The Ford Focus Electric (FFE) is an excellent first all-electric car to market. Coming out starting in 2012, there was not much competition, and in my opinion it was the best all-electric on the market at the time.
I have been an aficionado of electric cars ever since Tesla came up with their production roadster. I am writing this review because I noticed a gap of reviews, especially long-term ones, for my car, which is rarer than a Tesla roadster. I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences with my ELR I have now driven over 25k miles in.
Feel free to jump down to the review of the car if you like, but a little of my background and decision-making is helpful, which is why I provided this section.
Earlier this year at CES, Seth and I had the opportunity to test drive the new Chevy Volt hybrid (okay, I actually just held the camera in the back seat) which has one of the best CarPlay screen we’ve seen yet. Check out our hands-on experience with the Volt’s very nice display from our test drive below …