The Chevrolet Volt’s trail of missteps and poor sales has been well documented. Now, some electric vehicle industry observers are saying that it is the Volt’s lack of a sustainable charge mode that has helped keep an otherwise sound vehicle down and not its headline grabbing high price, banning from HOV lanes in California and battery fires.

These proponents of sustainable charge modes are arguing that General Motors is well aware of how marketable and useful this mode is. After all, GM has added this mode to the Chevrolet Ampera, the European version of the Volt.

The charge-sustaining mode is used by drivers when they want to put their vehicle into gas-burning mode, which in turns saves the battery power for when zero-emission mode is required. This is necessary in old Europe, a land containing many areas where only zero-emission vehicles are allowed at certain times of the work week.

If, in addition to its current Standard, Sport and Mountain modes, the Volt had sustainable charge and zero-emission modes, consumers would be more eager to purchase the vehicle since they could better control how long their vehicle charges lasted.

Some observers believe that Chevrolet will eventually produce Volts with these additional modes. In fact, even Chevy executives have said that if they can get the Environmental Protection Agency to agree to the concept, they would be open to doing so.

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