2011 Chevrolet Volt: Wasn't Trying, But Thanks
November 15, 2011
Went to adjust the volume while listening to Stern this morning and brushed the REC sensor field. The Volt threw up this terse warning. I was slightly fascinated that someone thought to include this screen, as the REC sensor is normally used to import CD/USB tracks into the Volt's hard drive.
Then I wondered how much longer this activity won't be permitted. There are portables that can record 10 or 15 hours of SiriusXM programming. In this era of the App Store and constant software updates, updating the Volt's multimedia system to enable sat-rad recording should be as simple as GM sending a firmware update through OnStar, or at the very least with a visit to a local dealer.
Something tells me it has more to do with music industry licensing than technological inability. Probably a bit of both.
On another note, I've decided to leave future hypermiling feats to Dan Edmunds and Magrath. Last couple times I've driven the Volt home (48 miles one way) on a full charge, I've only averaged about 32 or 33 electric miles. That's driving it at around 70 mph in normal D mode with pretty open traffic, not on the brakes much. I've babied it a handful of times -- 62 mph, L mode, smooth on and off the throttle -- and usually made it within two, three miles of home before the gas engine kicked in (made it all the way home on the battery only once).
Still liking the Volt, after all the hype, hysteria and 12,000 collective miles. Actually like the way the gas engine kicks in with a satisfying hum, not unlike a modern diesel. Makes me excited for the Cadillac ELR. Just hope they get the brakes right on the next pass.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor