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Chevy Volt Does What We Can't: Lives With Rich and Famous People


2011 Chevrolet Volt outside Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant

2011 Chevrolet Volt outside Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant

Celebrities, it seems, often champion environmental causes. Take Ed Begley, Jr., for example, who’s been driving electric cars for decades and currently owns a battery-powered Toyota RAV4. Begley is known to commute via public transportation and even via an electric bicycle, a sacrifice that most celebrities aren’t willing to make.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the extended range EV Chevrolet Volt has become popular among celebrities concerned with the environment; what may surprise you is that the list isn’t limited to Hollywood types.

Inside Line reports that a diverse range of celebrities are among the early adopters of the Chevy Volt. Buyers include NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, who owns a black Volt, and author Stephen King, who bought one for his wife Tabitha. King, who spends part of his year in Florida, boasted to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that, “…it’s like saying to the oil cartel, ‘Here, stick this in your eye.’ It’s like a license to steal.”

Even uber-car-guy Jay Leno purchased a Volt, but made sure the serial number had significance: he took delivery of VIN 12 (as in “12 Volt”, we presume) just before Christmas of 2010. Leno praised the car to the LA Daily News, saying, “I like the fact that it’s electric when you want it and gasoline when you need it.” Not to correct Leno on anything automotive related, but the Volt is electric all the time, using gasoline only for the range-extending generator.

Alyssa Milano has a Nissan Leaf, but to promote domestic harmony she purchased a Chevy Volt for her husband, Hollywood agent David Bugliari.  Former Baywatch babe Alexandra Paul, who considers herself an environmental activist, also owns a Volt but is quick to point out that she’s owned electric or hybrid vehicles for years.

Will celebrity endorsements help sell the Volt? Probably not, but it certainly does give Chevrolet’s marketing department some additional talking points.

[Inside Line]

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Comments (7)
  1. I wish someone would explain the ugly piece of black trim just below the window line on the Volt. I know that the original Volt concept had a larger side window profile with a lower beltline... but trying to immitate that with plastic trim is just tacky.
     
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  2. Black trim costs less than bigger glass windows.
     
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  3. WSE, sorry, I can't help you. I'm still obsessing over the ugly and pointless "blades of grass" on the Volt's taillights...
     
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  4. Um, author. Jay has it right. At higher speeds, the Volts engine does, in fact, contribute to propulsion. This was an engineering compromise made by GM after they'd announce the "generator-only" function of the engine when they decided that all-electric operation would be too taxing on the Volt's batteries.
     
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  5. Techy- Volt's propulsion is always all electric. Some imagine a mechanical connection under certain conditions, but that never actually occurs. The gas engine's only purpose is to keep the charge of the battery from falling below a certain level and has no capability of mechanically driving the vehicle.
     
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  6. Techy, I have more than a little familiarity with the Volt, as I had the opportunity to drive one from NYC to Detroit. The engineering compromise you refer to is a propulsion assist to the electric motor at high speeds; this is done via a planetary gearbox and makes the Volt feel more like a "conventional" automobile at highway speeds. As Dan Miller points out, the Volt can not be "driven" at any time by the gasoline engine alone.
    Critics will argue that the use of "supplementary propulsion" from the engine makes the Volt a parallel hybrid, not a serial hybrid. I disagree, since the Volt can't be driven without using the electric motor. Linking the engine to the motor at high speeds makes the Volt a better car, so I'm all for it.
     
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  7. I want to share a testimony of how I became very rich and famous, sometimes ago i met this illuminate association hood on net on how they help people get rich and famous and i begged them to help me to be Wealth and famous and they told me that they do not give people bread that they teaches people how to bake bread, i asked what they meant with that parable and they told me that they will show my the root of money and they introduced me to the most famous occult known as Baphomet secret cult (ILLUMINATE) and i followed their instructions and was initiated. Few weeks later i got a building contract of about 200 million dollar. And today i am one of the famous builder in African, for your own interest of becoming a member and also becoming r
     
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