5. Like all hybrids and electric vehicles, the Volt uses regenerative braking to convert unwanted momentum to electrical energy. When accelerator pedal pressure is reduced and/or the brake pedal is applied, the main drive motor temporarily operates as a generator and the electrical current so produced partially restores the battery's state of charge.
To trump both the Prius and the Leaf, Volt combines their merits in one handy advanced-technology sedan. It employs cheaper and cleaner electrical energy drawn from the grid. It provides efficient electric drive without the usual compromises. It uses gasoline intelligently in a supporting role. It is a pure electric, a series hybrid, and a parallel hybrid all rolled into one.
That begs a daunting question: is Volt the right car for the times or another technological flight to nowhere? The only answers that matter will come from consumers -- both those who buy a Volt and report their level of satisfaction and also those who kick the tires but ultimately spend their dollars elsewhere.