Is this a case of the grass is always greener, or is GM cutting the U.S. market out of one of the Chevy Volt’s coolest tricks? Over in Europe, the Chevy Volt will get a selectable EV-mode button that will allow drivers to choose if they want to run the gas-engine, or drive in EV-only mode.
An EV Button for Europe…
The Truth About Cars
reports that Euro-Market Volts its cousin the Opel Ampera will get a button that will allow the plug-in hybrids to switch between the gas generator, and running on battery power. This feature is a response to congestion charges in cities like London, where cars running on battery power don’t have to pay the congestion charge.
And if you ask me, it sounds like a really nifty feature. If I know I am going to get on the highway for 90 miles, and then drive through the city at the end of my trip, wouldn’t it be better to save my battery for the city driving? I certainly think so, but either by executive decision or government legislation, it looks like such a button won’t be making it stateside.
…But Not The U.S.
TTAC speculates that one reason this feature didn’t make it to the U.S. is because the EPA demands that cars must run in their most efficient mode at all times. But the Fisker Karma let’s you switch between EV and gas-engine mode. It could also be because that such a button would lower the EPA ratings of the Volt.
Either way, there are no plans for adding this feature to the American-market Volt. Which is a shame, because if there is anything Americans like, it is technology. Maybe in a future model, this option will be included. But for now it appears to be another case of an American company denying its home country some cool features and technology for some arcane reason or another. They’re all guilty of it, though hopefully further globalization will start to fill in some of those gaps.
So you tell me…is this a feature you’d like to see on the Volt and other plug-in hybrids? Or does it not matter either way?
Source: The Truth About Cars via Automobile Magazine
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.