Unlike gasoline-powered cars, a plug-in hybrid electric car's fuel efficiency is mostly dependent on driver habits. After being fully charged, the Chevy Volt can drive between 35-40 miles on electricity alone, using no gasoline. This means that if a driver's commute, or daily driving responsibility is less than the Volt's electric range, they could potentially rely solely on electricity to power his car. Alternately, if a driver has a longer trip, but has a chance to recharge once reaching a destination, like work, for example, they could double his electric range by plugging in again.
The Chevy Volt is powered by a lithium-ion battery with rechargeable energy storage system and Voltec electric-drive system, as well as a 1.4L gasoline powered range extender. Driver's can plug the Volt into a standard 120-volt household outlet. Displayed on the volt are indicator lights that show the status of the charge.
Since Kaffee first took home his Chevy Volt in 2010, the Volt has become the world's top selling plug-in hybrid electric car. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, it has also been rated as the most fuel-efficient compact car with a gasoline engine sold in the United States. Chevy estimates that over 110,000,000 miles have been driven by Chevy Volt vehicles, saving an estimated 5,800,000 gallons of gasoline.
It is expected that plug-in vehicles will improve and become cheaper over time. As batteries get better we will see electric ranges grow as well, improving real-world fuel consumption numbers in whole. There may even come a day when purely electric vehicles eliminate the need to burn gasoline altogether, bringing a cleaner environment and an end to an unfortunate reliance on a nonrenewable resource.
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