GM has touted the 2011 Chevrolet Volt as a plug-in electric and you can clearly see the claim by GM that the Volt is powered only by electricity in the video below. Are they trying to lead us down the garden path? Some within the auto industry say that claims are misleading and wonder what makes the Volt, that has a gasoline engine, different from a hybrid like the Prius. The Volt's 1.4 liter gasoline engine is supposed to extend the drive and operate the drive system until the battery can be recharged. Electric cars don't have gasoline engines, right? So, it's a hybrid? According to U.S. News & World Reports, GM defends its claim by saying that the gasoline engine can't power the wheels independently of the electric motor.
Doesn't it seem like a gasoline engine assist would be something that an automaker would prefer to highlight rather than gloss over? The New York Times reports that a GM executive explains that the gasoline engine wasn't publicized to protect the technology while patents were being obtained.
Do you think that GM is playing word games or do you think the media is stirring up unwarranted controversy? Or are you simply confused?