Test drive: Volt owner in a Tesla Model S

2013 Chevy Volt
Tesla sent out an e-mail last week about a test drive event being held in Ottawa at the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata, Ontario. I could not resist the chance to finally test drive a Model S. This quick post will not be a review and will not cover all the features of the Model S as many others online have done a much better job covering those elements. This is not intended as a point by point comparison of both vehicles but the Volt is mentioned throughout to provide some context to my comments.

Chevy Volt

We have been happy Chevy Volt owners for almost 2 years and are very familiar with what it is like owning an electric vehicle. We have a level 2 charger installed at our home and have used various private chargers in the region, when possible. Regenerative braking, cold winter driving, silent operation, low maintenance and weather impact on range are all part of owning an electric car. You would be surprised at the range hit you take in the rain. There is quite a power draw required to pump the water through the treads of the tire during every rotation.

2013 Chevy Volt

Our 2013 Chevy Volt has a small 16.5 kwh battery that provides a range of 65 kms fully electric range in the summer and 45 kms electric range in the cold Ottawa winter. However, it is different than most electric vehicles because it comes standard with a small gas generator that is used to offer the Volt unlimited range by generating electricity for the battery. Through a series of 3 clutches and the electric motor and a generator, the Volt is quite a feat of engineering. The Chevy Volt also has 4 different riding modes to help manage electric usage as well as 2 levels of regenerative braking. Regenerative braking uses the electric motor itself to provide braking. By doing so, the car is able to generate electricity by simply lifting off the accelerator pedal which turns the motor into a generator. read more