This weekend I’ve been all over the place: Logan Square, Lisle, Bridgeport, Glen Ellyn, Elmood Park and back to Logan Square. As I was driving around the Chicagoland area I watched the fuel gauge needle get closer and closer to E and kept thinking “if I were in the Chevy Volt I wouldn’t have to worry about that little yellow light”.
Thursday night I had the opportunity to drive the new electric car from GM while it was in Chicago for its 12-city tour. Inside at the Craftsmen Experience, 233 W Huron, Chevy hosted a livestreaming event which featured one of the Volt’s engineers and Mike Senese of the Science Channel’s Catch It Keep It. Outside was a line of cars that attendees were invited to take out for a quick spin. We stepped in, pushed the power button, and waited. Without a combustion engine running we couldn’t tell when it was running! Then we took it around the block and the ride was so smooth it felt like being inside the Staypuff Marshmallow Man (or should I say Michelin Man, considering the restaurant guide’s
Chicago entrance this week?). The dashboard has two LCD screens that look more like futuristic movie car screens than your standard GPS, like New Tron vs. Old Tron. It was actually a little difficult to keep my eyes on the road instead of watching the pretty lights!
While I didn’t get to drive enough to really get it going it seemed like the Volt had some vroom. I’m a bit of a car nut and I would love to take this one out and test its mettle some time. Plus the idea of driving by all those gas stations with their fluctuating prices and teasing discounts that are available only if you get your car washed is enough to make me want to sign on the dotted line. That being said, I’m not sure how practical it would be for us city dwellers who park on the street. While there are some charging stations and more are being built, until I can plug into an electric pole I’m out of luck. However, there are more and more electric charging stations being built so it could be an option in the future. If you are lucky enough to have a garage it plugs into a regular 120 volt. That takes about 7 or 8 hours to charge, or you can get a 240 station installed and cut the time in half.
And then you can kiss that little yellow light goodbye.
Photo courtesy of Chevrolet Volt