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Volt Lovers Have to Wait for It

Scott Nickel knows everything about the Chevrolet Volts he's been selling like gangbusters this year at Chevy Buick of Wilton . But among the first things he tells eager buyers perusing the car in the showroom, is to be patient.

"We're backed out a full model year," he says. The good news is, he says, "We can build a Volt for you custom -- any way you want it."

Customers want the Volt for many reasons, the first of which is its unbelievably great mileage and its environmentally-friendly design. After charging its battery for six-to-eight hours in a standard 110-volt outlet, the Volt can run exclusively on electricity for as much as 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.

Another feather in its gas tank is 2011 Chevy Volt's selection (along with the Nissan Leaf) as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's latest Top Safety Pick winner, thanks to its standout performance in crash testing and electronic stability control.

But Nickel understands the Volt's attributes from an on-the-ground perspective. "You just have to get in and drive this thing," he says. "It doesn't handle like a battery-operated machine. This is sheer, unadulterated fun that handles like a sports car," he says.

Fun, it is. Quiet, too, with two exceptionally cool interactive seven-inch LCD touch screens that relay everything from battery use to traffic information. And the radio functions much like a digital video recorder, in that it has a "time-shift" feature that allows you to pause and then play radio broadcasts if you missed your favorite show -- or if you want to hear a song again.

The Volt is so much fun to drive, in fact, that it makes waiting for it – until the 2012 model year – seem interminable.

Are you leaning toward driving an electric car? Have you considered the Volt? Let me know.

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