It’s possible for a car engine to be too quiet. Two people so far have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning when their Chevrolet Volt cars switched imperceptibly to their gasoline engines. When this happens, the engine remains so quiet that it’s possible to forget that the car is running, and the combustion engine gives off the silent gas that can be deadly in an enclosed space. Like a garage. [More]
Late last year it was revealed that the Dept. of Transportation was looking into possible problems with the batteries in electric vehicles after a Chevy Volt caught fire following a crash test. Now it looks like General Motors will spend the next few months upgrading the battery containment and coolant systems in every Volt currently on the road.
As mass-produced plug-in electric vehicles continue to roll off assembly lines, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking a closer look at the batteries that power these cars following an incident in which a Chevy Volt caught fire three weeks after undergoing a NHTSA side-impact crash test.
The government offers tax credits of up to $7,500 to those who purchase hybrid electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt. Word that demand for the vehicles has far outstripped supply has led some to speculate that dealers may be selling the cars to each other in order to take advantage of the tax break.
“Meep! Meep!” Quiet electric and hybrid cars will be forced to do something like that to alert pedestrians they’re coming under a new act passed by Congress.
Yes, Virginia, there is an electric car. Sibling Consumer Reports got their hands on a pre-production model of the Chevy Volt, a new plug-in electric car hitting the asphalt this fall. It has a range of 40 miles on just electric. After the battery is depleted, the gas engine kicks in, extending the total range to 300 miles. Yep, you can plug it in to a standard outlet. But how’s the ride?