volt dashThe thought of driving an electric car always seemed a little intimidating to me. Is there a learning curve? What happens when you are in the middle of the highway and the battery runs out?

When it comes to the technology of electric cars I am a bit of an auto-techno peasant but I recently had a chance to test drive the new 2013 Chevy Volt at a Chevy-sponsored TravelingMom retreat in Orlando and got all my questions answered.

Is it really as good as they say it is on gas?

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Will you run out of battery power?

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What are all those buttons on the touch screen dashboard?

There are two 7-inch LCD screens in the Volt. One has the speedometer, fuel and range gauges while the central display screen shows the motor/battery operation as well as being the navigation screen and can convey as much or as little operating information as the driver chooses.

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What Stuff Means:

MPG-E: Miles Per Gallon Equivalent–a measure of how far a plug-in vehicle can travel electrically on battery energy equivalent to that contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.

Range Extended Electric Car: The extended range mode in the Chevy Volt is a 1.4 cylinder gasoline engine that kicks in and acts as a generator to provide electricity to the motor.

Auto-techno Peasant: someone who has a limited knowledge of car technology

Regenerative braking: an energy recovery mechanism whereby when the car slows down and breaks the kinetic energy is turned into electricity and stored for later use. It is more complicated but that is the gist.