General Motors will bring the much-anticipated Chevrolet Volt to Miami next week as part of a 3,400-mile, cross-country drive to showcase the company’s first electric vehicle with extended-range capability.
The tour has been dubbed “Volt Unplugged” and Miami consumers get an opportunity on Oct. 28 and 29 to test drive the Volt, meet the people behind the development of the vehicles — Chevrolet engineers, designers and others — and participate in activities.
Volt test cars will be parked in front of Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Dr., and available for test drives from 7 to 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29. GM officials say people are welcome to come by and test drive the cars. City of Miami commissioners and the mayor have been invited to attend.
Later, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Volts will be at the Florida International University South Campus, 11200 SW Eighth St., where they again will be available for test drives. Activity at FIU will be staged between the Gold and Blue parking lots at the end of the main driveway on the South Campus.
Other South Florida activities for Oct. 30 were in the planning stages and could not be confirmed at press time. They included test drives at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, test drives with the Florida Electric Auto Association and a visit to Miami’s Terra Environmental Research Institute High School.
“The Volt Unplugged tour gives people a chance to get behind the wheel of the Volt and find out for themselves what makes this vehicle so special,” said Tony DiSalle, Volt product and marketing director. “This drive will demonstrate the one-of-a-kind capabilities of the Volt, the only electric vehicle able to drive such long distances under a variety of driving conditions and climates without having to stop to recharge.”
On a fully charged battery and a tank of gas, the Volt has a driving range of about 400 of miles. Because the Volt can use gasoline to create its own electricity in the extendedrange mode, long trips are possible. The Volt is powered only from electricity stored in its 16-kwh lithium-ion battery for a typical range of 25 to 50 miles depending on terrain, driving technique, temperature and battery age. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas engine-generator seamlessly engages to extend the driving range.
Fans can follow the Volt’s journey and register for test-drive opportunities on the “Unplugged” tab located at ChevroletVoltAge.com, the Volt’s official social network or on the Chevrolet Volt Facebook page.
The Volt will cost $41,000, but federal tax credits can bring that down to as low as $33,500. GM also plans to lease the Volt for $350/month with $2,500 down at lease signing.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.