Gwen Leron: 50 Shades of Green


Why the Chevrolet Volt is One of the Greenest Cars Around

Brains Wrapped in Beauty

The 2016 Chevy Volt: One of the Greenest Cars You Can Buy

Each day when I pick my kids up from school, there is a car I walk by in the parking lot. At the beginning of the school year, it took me a few days to stop gawking and finally check to see what the make and model of that car was.

It was a Chevrolet Volt.

*Drool* (This picture is of the current 2015 Chevy Volt)

Being that it's called a "Volt" I figured it may be an electric car and I was right. The Volt is an electric vehicle but what makes it special is that it can also run on gasoline. Your choice. Having that choice makes it possible to travel long distances, something typical hybrid cars cannot do.

Chevrolet recently unveiled the 2016 version of the Volt at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last month:

Again, *Drool*

I'm still on the hunt for my next car and the clock is ticking. My current car is getting up there in years and mileage so before I totally run it into the ground, I'm being proactive by doing my research. Like when I had the chance to drive the 2015 Chevy Malibu for a few days. That was quite the experience and I learned a lot about the innovative things GM and Chevrolet are doing for the environment.

So let me tell you about the 2016 Volt (available in the second half of 2015) and what makes it special. Because believe me when I tell you, this car has so much more than just a pretty exterior. Chevy's tagline for the Volt is "Brains wrapped in Beauty" and I really can't think of a better way to describe this car. As you read above, I was initially drawn to it by its exterior but when I learned how it worked and how it is an excellent choice if you are looking to buy a car that is more eco-friendly that a regular car, the exterior paled in comparison. (But I still like the exterior a lot!)

Even Your Car Hates Canadian Winters

Truth be told, I did not know too much about how electric cars really worked before the Volt. If you aren't quite sure, take a look at this short video to learn what makes the Volt it tick and what makes it one of the greenest vehicles around:

Still have questions on how this car works? Click here to check out GM's FAQ page about the Volt.

Here are some highlights of the 2016 Volt:

  • With a fully charged battery, the Volt can take you up to 80 kilometres gas-free and tailpipe-emissions-free (this is dependent on driving conditions and driving habits)
  • New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 45 kg (100 pounds ) lighter than the first-generation drive unit
  • Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-48 km/h acceleration
  • Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 9 kg (20 pounds)
  • New 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a GM estimated combined fuel consumption rating of 5.7 L/100km.
  • Stronger body structure and quieter ride
  • Location-based charging capability

But is it safe? This is of course one of the biggest questions we have when buying a new car and yes, GM has put a lot of thought and effort into making the Volt one of the safest vehicles around. The Volt has received a 5-Star overall New Car Assessment Program rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the current model.

The 2016 Volt's safety features work with an all-new body structure to provide crash-avoidance and passenger protection capability. Some highlights include:

  • Standard rear-vision camera
  • Ten standard air bags, including driver and front-passenger knee air bags
  • Available active safety features offering lane keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert with lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert with following distance indicator, front automatic braking, and advanced park assist with front and rear park assist (semi-automatic parallel parking)
  • Expanded use of high-strength steel throughout the body structure improves strength and reduces weight
  • More effective structural load paths in the frame, along with reinforced rocker panel structures and side structure reinforcements

So there you have it. The latest car to be added to my "to consider" list. The 2016 Chevrolet Volt goes on sale in the second half of 2015. If you are going to make a new car purchase soon too, would you consider purchasing an electric car like the Volt?

All images © GM