2011 Chevrolet Volt: Long-Distance Sipper
January 26, 2012
Here's a number that maybe doesn't get enough attention. It makes sense that we'd find it in the Volt's instrument display: gallons used. We've used just less than three gallons to travel 180 miles. Forget for a second that our electric bill, and the real dollars that pay it, helped us travel that distance.
What matters is that gallons used is a number that I can see and relate to. I see them add up every time I stop at the pump. There's a psychological sleight of hand here: the digits rise fast in the pump meter's LCD, yet they tick off much slower here in the Volt. And I tell myself, hey, isn't that nice? I won't have to visit the Shell as often.
It's one of those numbers that sounds pretty fantastic out of context. And like range estimates, who knows really how accurate it is? But GM should call more attention to it. Highlight it. Have some OnStar overlady like Siri whisper it from the headliner every time you park it for the evening.
Or maybe an audio clip of a congressman indignant that GM executives allowed the president to sit in a potentially flammable protoptype wunderwagen. You can take solace knowing you used less fuel over several hundred miles than those gasbags emit in a single day's investigative hearing (Hey Darrell Issa, how about a refund for that lame Viper alarm that never worked in my Integra?)
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor