neon4891 UltimaDork
6/13/11 11:56 p.m.

Can it carry a canoe?

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

For about a hundred years, pretty much every mass-produced automobile was powered by fossil fuels. You could take your pick: gas or diesel? More options joined the list in the last decade, however, including gas-electric hybrid propulsion, compressed natural gas, all-electric and even hydrogen.

Chevy's much-publicized Volt is another alternative to burning dead dinosaurs, and this one adds another option: It can cover up to 35 or so miles as a pure electric vehicle or go into a gas-electric hybrid mode and travel more than 300 miles before needing a fill-up.

The swap from electric to gas power, as we found, is seamless. Basically you just drive it like a normal car.

Also, a word about pricing: Base MSRP on the Volt is $40,280, but that's not including the federal tax savings of up to $7500. Only a few options are available, including floor mats ($99), a cargo net ($45) and a car cover ($350). While 17-inch forged wheels are standard, they can come in a polished finish for an additional $595.

Note: We need to change our online form to get the specs for the Volt to match up exactly. Much like our now-antiquated HTML code, the Volt's new technology is a wild card in EPA test procedures. Using current methods, the Volt is rated for the equivalent of 93 mpg in electric mode and 37 mpg in gas-only mode. Those numbers don't really tell the story, though, so make sure to check out the video to get our take on what these numbers mean in the real world.

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