At long last, the ground-breaking Chevy Volt has arrived at Carlisle Chevrolet in Waxahachie and is ready for Ellis County residents to go by and try it out.

A limited number of units are being made available at dealerships throughout the country during a six-month rollout period. Carlisle received its first unit Friday.

“It’s not a hybrid – it’s referred to as an extended range electric car,” said Carlisle representative Mike Mason.

Simply put, the Volt is powered by a high-torque electric drive system that runs off of a 16 kwh lithium ion battery pack with 288 cells. The six-feet long, T-shaped battery pack is positioned in the center tunnel of the car and, when fully charged, the car will have a highway range of approximately 40 miles in electric only mode before the gas engine kicks in. Using both electric motor and gas engine, it has a range of more than 350 miles on a full charge and tank of gas.

 “Let’s say you make a 350-mile trip, check into a motel and you can run your electric cable through your motel window and plug your car to a 110-volt plug outlet,” said Mason. “A 110-volt charge will recharge the battery pack in 10 hours – and a 220 volt will charge it in four hours.”

Shoppers might do a double take when they glance at the sticker and see the 93 miles per gallon EPA equivalent rating.

Based on current electric rates, it comes out to about 4-cents a mile to operate in electric only mode — or an EPA equivalent rating of 93 mpg for electric only driving.

In full gas-engine mode, the Volt has an EPA fuel economy rating of 37 mpg.

In real world driving, most users will need to operate beyond the 40-mile electric only range, requiring both electric motor and gas engine, resulting in a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 60 mpg.

When operating on electric only mode, the car uses no gas — ideal for commuters who drive less than 40 miles per day. But when needed for longer trips, the Volt’s gas engine takes over and the car operates just like a regular gasoline-powered vehicle, allowing the driver to travel an extended range without having to worry about plugging in to recharge the electric battery.

The four-passenger, front-wheel drive Volt also comes with several high-tech features.

“Because of the technology, you can power your car up on cold mornings from your desktop computer or your smartphone so your car will be warm when you get in – or in the heat, you can power it up from your iPhone and have the car cooled down,” Mason said.

A five-year OnStar Directions & Connections Plan is standard on the Volt, including Automatic Crash Response, eNav and Destination Download.

And even in electric only mode, the motor produces 368 lbs.-ft. of torque, making the Volt extremely quick on the road.

The Volt can reach a top speed of 100 miles per hour. The Volt is manufactured at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Hamtramck, Mich., and is loaded with a full slate of standard safety features, including eight airbags, stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes and OnStar.

It also comes with an eight-year100,000-mile warranty on the battery system (five-years on the gas engine).

The Volt has a base price of $41,000 ($33,500 after the $7,500 federal income tax credit).

For additional information on the Volt or to test drive the vehicle, stop by the dealership at the intersection of Interstate Highway 35E and U.S. Highway 287 or contact Carlisle Chevrolet at 972-938-8000.

On the Web

Carlisle Chevrolet www.carlislechevy.com.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.