This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Testing Chevy Volt's Endurance

Stocks in this article: GM

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's being called "the world's best car" by many people who drive it -- including me -- but can it handle a 1,100 mile high-speed dash through the deserts and mountains of the American West? I'm writing about the Chevrolet Volt, the electric car with a gasoline engine as range-extender.

I'm one of the still relatively few people who have put thousands of miles in the all-new Chevrolet Volt, and people often ask me: Can it handle going at a steady 73 miles per hour for over one thousand miles, up and down the hills? So I set out to prove it.

The Volt is driven primarily by a combination of two electric motors, but when the battery charge has come down to 25% and you're driving fairly fast and at a steady speed, the 1.4 liter four-cylinder gasoline engine can also help provide some power, apart from its function to charge the battery. The question is whether this arrangement is enough to drive the Volt comfortably at high speeds for long periods of time, sometimes heading up mountains.

Chevy Volt
Chevrolet Volt

I had the Volt's tires inflated to the factory-prescribed 35 psi, charged the battery to full, filled up the gas tank, and headed out to tackle the long stretches of deserts, farm lands and mountains of the American West. I had taken the exact same route at least three times before in a 2008 Toyota Prius Touring, so I had a good object of comparison.

To further clarify the driving conditions, there was only one person in the car, two small suitcases, and the air conditioning was running at a medium level. The speed was kept by the excellent cruise control to 73 and 68 MPH most of the time, but a few slower passages took the average down to 65 MPH. In addition, I stopped for a break on average every two hours, causing the 1,100 mile test to take 19 hours in total.

With those parameters in mind, the Volt consumed 29 gallons of premium gasoline over the 1,100 miles. That would imply 37.9 MPG, but considering that the first 35 miles were driven on electricity obtained from a free public charging station, the "real" MPG for the 1,065 remaining miles was 36.7.

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,959.44 +154.64 0.87%
S&P 500 2,078.54 +7.89 0.38%
NASDAQ 4,781.4240 +16.0440 0.34%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs