In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, Jim Allison has the electrical cable plugged in charging his Chevy Volt has he discusses his perceptions of the battery-powered car at his Bloomington, Ind. home. Allison will be installing solar electric panels to his home to supplement the electricity required charge the batteries in the car. (AP Photo/Bloomington Herald-Times, David Snodgress)
Jim and Tomi Allison’s new Chevy Volt runs mostly on coal-powered electricity. But not for long.
When they install solar electric, aka photovoltaic (PV), panels behind their house, their car will be running on sunshine — mostly.
The car can travel 46 miles exclusively on its lithium ion battery, and after that, an on-board gasoline-powered generator kicks in to recharge the battery, extending the driving range to around 400 miles.
“There’s no range anxiety,” said Jim, an emeritus professor of psychology at Indiana University.
“This is a brilliant car,” he told The Herald-Times. “GM has really wowed me with their engineering.”
They traded in a Prius and a Mazda MX5-Miata to buy the Volt, intending to simplify their lives by going from two cars to one.
He said the Volt is heavier than the Prius and feels more solid. He thinks it will handle winter driving conditions better. The Volt’s 1.4 liter engine has plenty of pickup and the car has lots of leg room and trunk space.