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Chevy Volt Sparks Praise

It's the little electric car that could. And it has. Not only did Motor Trend and the North American International Auto Show name the Chevrolet Volt its Car of the Year for 2011, the Volt has also won the hearts of one Wilton couple, who received their new vehicle less than one month ago.

John and Donna Sohikian had their collective eye on the Volt for some time. Donna is a contract recruiter for Google, Inc. John, director of technology for a media and advertising company. They had been "watching the development of the Volt for years." He adds, "As an early adopter of new technologies, I was impressed with Chevy's innovative plug-in, hybrid approach." He is not alone. According to Motor Trend's review, the Volt is "a game-changer."

John and Donna, who have lived in Wilton for 13 years, did their due diligence as far as which electric (or hybrid) vehicle they were going to buy. They did a "fair amount" of research, John says, not only on the Volt , but on the Toyota Priu s, Honda Insight and Nissan Leaf as well. In the end though, Chevy's Volt, which they purchased at Wilton Motors, crossed their finish line first.

After charging its battery for six-to-eight hours in a standard 110-volt outlet, the Volt can run exclusively on electricity for up to 40 miles. After that, the car -- a standard mid-sized sedan -- runs on a range-extending gasoline generator that produces enough energy to power it for hundreds of miles on a single tank.

This factor appealed to the Sohikians, both of whom commute to Manhattan via the Wilton train station -- a five-mile journey each way. "The Volt suits our driving needs. It's all electric around town but you can also go long distances on the gasoline generator engine." In addition to their daily jaunts to the train, they've also traveled to and from Vermont in the Volt. "It gets 37 miles per gallon combined on gasoline alone, and then 250 miles per gallon on the battery. We've averaged 62 miles per gallon over 750 miles," says John.

John has only good things to say about his new vehicle. "It's quiet, responsive, roomy and just a blast to drive. It's not a racecar, but it it's got power when you need it," he says. The couple also own a 2010 BMW 328xi but when it comes to who gets to drive the Volt, John says, they can't always agree. "We flip a coin," he says.

John says the Volt makes them just plain feel good, as they enjoy doing their part "to wean us off of foreign oil." And as the Sohikians pass by the gas pumps in their Volt, he adds somewhat conspiratorially, "It's fun watching people spend $100 to fill their SUVs."

Are you thinking of purchasing an electric/hybrid vehicle? Let me know here, or email me at

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