A Watershed Moment: The Chevy Volt

On the January 24 episode we hear from Brian Isch, the Volt specialist from Berger Chevrolet on 28th St.

The Chevy Volt is one of three electric cars highlighted in Revenge of the Electric Car, the first film in WMEAC’s film series. Isch was the Volt expert on the panel discussion that followed the film on January 4 at the Wealthy Street Theatre.

The Volt is an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (EREV), which means that it has an internal combustion engine allowing the battery to last longer. For the average 40-mile roundtrip commute to work, the Volt can run solely on electricity. Assuming the Volt is charged every night, gasoline would never need to be bought for the average day. Jay Leno, for example, has owned his Volt for a year and has yet to put gasoline in it.

The Volt with its charging cord

Charging the Volt requires a simple three-prong outlet. Companies like Consumers Energy offer different energy packages such as the flat-rate package, or a package that charges less money during off-peak times when electricity is cheaper. Either way, the price change in increases an electric bill by about $1.50 a day, a much cheaper alternative to gasoline.

Chevrolet recently announced that they are performing an enhancement on the Volt. This was in response to a Volt being involved in a fire, though it was not the cause of it. “There is no recall on the Volt, I want to make that perfectly clear,” said Isch. The purpose of the enhancement is to allay any fears there might be of the electric battery. Being realistic, a gasoline powered vehicle is far more dangerous in a fire than an electric vehicle.

With zero tailpipe emissions, and the power of a 250 horsepower v6 engine, the Volt is appealing to both environmentalists and car junkies alike.

Listen to the full interview here

“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life.  Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media  Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

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