The Volt is a classy sedan which looks right at home on the streets of Beverly Hills. But does it fit the lifestyle of the driver who wants to go for a surf or race a triathlon? Is there room for a board or a bike?
My friend Colby borrowed my Volt last weekend to see if a test drive would encourage his parents to purchase. His mom has leased the Mini E for the past year, but his dad drives a SUV, so the Volt had to be able to take Dr. Trudeau (photo, at left) surfing. They were able to fit his 9 ft. board in the car and close the back by putting down the backseats and the passenger seat.
My husband Ian, a triathlon coach and an avid cyclist, needs to be able to bring several bikes at a time to races and rides. Although you can fit one bike comfortably inside the Volt with the back seats down, two bikes are not feasible, unless you donít mind stacking them on top of each other. My friend Darell feels that the lip of the trunk is unnecessarily high and the opening of the hatchback needs to be wider for easier loading. I tend to agree, although we both love the look of the Volt and sometimes design takes precedence over practicality.
Since it is too new a vehicle model, there is currently no rack made specifically for the Volt, neither for the roof nor for the hatchback door, so we are getting a trailer hitch rack made. A custom one is required due to the low placement of the center rear light, and we will still need to carve out some of the rear bumper to allow the hitch to come from under the vehicle. We are hoping for an access point that is hidden behind the license plate. Note: the Volt cannot tow, the trailer hitch rack simply holds bicycles.
Adding a rack will increase drag and reduce mileage, but being able to attach one makes the Volt more attractive to a larger number of drivers, and to the Trudeau family, I hope.
Alexandra Paul is a longtime electric vehicle advocate, actress and former EV1 driver. She is working with Chevrolet to educate consumers about EVs and the Volt. Full disclosure, Chevrolet is paying her for her time, but her opinions will always be hers.