Chevrolet Volt: The thriftiest hybrid yet?

Pete Mait

The much heralded electrically powered Volt is intended to bring about an upturn in the fortunes of the insolvent General Motors corporation. With this low-emission family car, GM hope to set a fashion that will catch on both inside and outside the USA and also, of course, make pots of money. The sister model of the Opel Ampera is due to go on sale next year. It covers the first 40 miles (64km) of any trip purely on power supplied by a lithium ion battery. At this point, a 1.4-litre petrol engine kicks in to recharge the battery as the car drives along. General Motors have based the fuel consumption figures for the Volt on a method agreed with the American EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), according to which the Chevy Volt does 230 miles to the US gallon (3.785 litres) on the urban cycle.