Volt Birth Watch 107: Officially Official: Volt Does NOT Recharge Its Batteries on the Fly

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
volt birth watch 107 officially official volt does not recharge its batteries on

It find it more than a little ironic that the animation on GM’s Volt media website offers an embed code that doesn’t work. Thankfully, GM is web enough to give the average car nerd access to its propaganda, so you can click on over and see what all the fuss is about (hit the little higher res button under the image). The cartoon in question– complete with the kind of background music you’d find at a Lebanese restaurant– clearly indicates the Volt will not recharge its batteries until its owner plugs it in. So, are we to assume that once Chevy’s hybrid depletes its battery to about 30 percent of charge, after a [maximum] of 40 miles (downhill, wind at your back), the Hail Mary’s 1.4-liter ICE mini-mill will sustain the generator sufficiently to maintain something other than really crap performance? Good luck with that.

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4 of 42 comments
  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 30, 2008

    Given the price of the Volt, I think you would get an economic payback vs. a comparable ICE car after at least 10 years. Quick show of hands, please. Who really wants one?

  • Campisi Campisi on Oct 01, 2008
    Quick show of hands, please. Who really wants one? ... ... *meekly* I sort of want one still. I'm a huge nerd with a James May sort of infatuation with mechanical devices and basic physics. The idea of an electric car that doesn't strand me once the battery charge percentage goes critical makes me happy in a "ooh, the Linux terminal" sort of way.

  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Oct 01, 2008

    Can I retrofit a squirrel and a little wheel? There seems to be room for that.

  • Charly Charly on Oct 01, 2008

    The cost of the Volt is such that my guess is that a free battery replacement is calculated in by GM. I don't think battery technology is there yet for decade plus use and the raw matrial is expensive so an economic model were the battery is loaned for the duration of the cars life is logical. Adding a supercapacitor isn't out of this world either to releave the batterpack of wear.