Lupient Chevrolet in Bloomington (952-884-3333) and Village Chevrolet in Wayzata (952-473-5444) both have the new electric Volt vehicles in their showrooms, ready for test drives.



I went to look at it today at Lupient. It wasn't available for test drives this morning, so I kicked a few tires instead. A few observations:

The view from the rear view mirror is slightly better than a Prius. It has an unusual split view that might take a little getting used to.

The gas tank holds 9.3 gallon and it only takes premium fuel (91 octane or higher).

The car runs about 40 miles on a charge, maybe 30 in cold weather, but the gas allows you to go another 300 miles.

The charge cord connects to a standard household outlet and takes about 10 hours to re-charge. The cord itself is about 25 feet long.



The prices is about $42,000 but after the rebate it's about $35,000. Go ahead and ask for a discount, but this model is still in the early adopter phase. Chances of a discount? Slim. The good news, early adopters, is that even though the nationwide rollout isn't until October, you can order one from one of the local dealers. They'll be happy to take it from stock in California, Michigan or Virginia, the first states to sell them.

About 10,000 Volts will be available for sale in 2011.

For a full review by a non-gearhead who doesn't care about engine cylinders, valves or liters, check out the analysis in the Washington Post. And for all the non-gearheads in the Twin Cities, Lupient Chev has a deep red one model. Village has a gray one.