While the Volt is certainly designed to be a commuter car, with its 50-mile-range on battery only, it does have a gas generator to take over when the battery runs low.
But stay on the throttle long enough or find a large enough hill and you'll hit GM's true floor for the battery charge, around 15 percent, that's there to prevent permanent damage to the pack. In this situation, the maximum power is limited to the amount of power that can be transferred directly from the generator to the traction motor. That's 74 hp. To move a 3700-pound car.So find a long, multi-mile grade (say through the mountains) and you will be limited to 74 hp and about 55 MPH, according to says chief powertrain engineer Pam Fletcher.
And the Volt looks more like the Prius than the Nissan Leaf. Chevy Volt Surprise - Automobile Magazine THAT surprise is that a transmission connects the "generator" motor to the front drive wheels.
If all that is to make the thing more efficient, why can it be stuck going 55 miles per hour? Why not lose the automatic transmission and boost the size of the generator?
Throw in the 41,000 dollar price tag, and even with the 'tax incentive' this is an expensive car. All in all... very disappointing.