Mixed reaction to Chevrolet Volt media launch

General Motors launched the Chevrolet Volt to the US media October 10, provoking a storm of criticism from the world's journalists and bloggers.

In its official launch, GM described its long-awaited vehicle as reinventing "automotive transportation in a complete, no-compromises electric package," although it quickly discovered that some commentators disagreed.

Most damningly, Motor Trend's Frank Markus took an in-depth look at the vehicle's powertrain and discovered that, contrary to GM's claims, the Volt's gas engine doesn't just recharge the battery - it also turns the wheels, sometimes.

Motor Trend said that at speeds above 70 mph (113 km/h) when the battery is depleted, the Volt's engine both powers the car to enable electric drive and couples to a gear to get a "more efficient direct mechanical connection" to the wheels, meaning that, in Markus's words, "on paper the Voltec has more in common with a Prius than anyone suspected."

Influential auto website Edmunds.com took a stronger line against the Detroit giant, entitling its blog post "GM Lied: Chevy Volt is not a true EV."

While CNET's Wayne Cunningham declared "Rather than a revolutionary automotive powertrain, GM has merely delivered something evolutionary," others such as the Economist were more sanguine, admitting that "as most drivers do not have much of a clue about what is going on under the hood of their car, this may not make much difference to anyone other than the most techy of drivers."

The furore over the Volt's launch could bode well for the Nissan LEAF, which is (as far as we can tell right now) 100% electric, although if you ask the Detroit Free Press, it doesn't matter anyway.

"The furor over whether the Volt is "really" electric amounts to debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin," opined the paper's Mark Phelan, pointing out that the car can't move using the engine alone.

"It's a short trip from poorly reported blogs to 'everybody knows' GM lied about whether the car is really electric."

http://www.chevroletvoltage.com

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

    Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

    Recruitment Genius: Invoicing Clerk

    £14500 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are contractors to...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy