Charged Up By the Volt
Chevrolet goes to great lengths to tout the flexibility of its plug-in hybrid Volt, which the carmaker claims can travel about 35 miles on electric power before relying on its small gasoline-powered generator to provide an additional 375 miles of anxiety-free driving. (It has even staked a claim to the phrase “range anxiety.”) So there, Nissan Leaf, the all-electric that can travel only 100 miles before it and its driver must cool their heels while recharging.
But Jay Leno claims near-Leaf-like powers with his Volt. The comedian and late-night television host says he has run up 11,000 miles on his Volt in the last 11 months while using less than half of the full tank of gas (9.3 gallons) he received with the car. “It’s my daily driver,” he told the New York Times. “It really is. I commute in it to work every day. My commute, and all my other daily running around, totals less than 35 miles.”
Leno’s advantage: charging stations at his home, studio, and expansive automobile collection -- where he can always opt for an all-gasoline-powered vehicle for long trips if he wants to keep the Volt-boast going. “You get 40 miles free, as they say,” Mr. Leno said. “Because of the way I drive it, it almost never kicks into gasoline mode.”
-- Reed McManus