General Motors has long been running a series of online chats with various members of the Chevrolet Volt team. One would think, given the current blizzard of news surrounding the car, GM would want to discuss how safe it is or perhaps how the investigation with NHTSA is moving forward. Instead, GM is thinking of a blizzard of another type: one with real snow.

That's why, tomorrow (Friday), Volt Energy Integration engineer Larry Laws will hop online at 3 p.m. EST to talk about winter driving efficiency. A preview post on the Voltage site points out that it simply takes more energy to warm the cabin (and the battery) in winter than it does in the summer. Seems obvious to us, but most Volt owners will be experiencing their first winter with a plug-in car this year, so it bears repeating. GM and Laws will be offering tips on how to eke out more electric miles in the snow season. There's also this:

Please be aware: when starting your Volt in these colder months, in some instances, your gas engine may engage regardless of the state of charge of the battery. This was designed into Volt to generate heat for the battery when temperatures are well below freezing. A message will pop up on your display to indicate the gas engine has been started due to cold temperatures and will run for a short period of time until sufficient heat is generated, at which point the Volt will revert to battery operation.

If you don't want to wait for the chat to start to hear the rest of the tips, you can read through GM's list of high-, medium- and low-impact ways to increase your efficiency here. On the one hand, having this chat makes a lot of sense. Most everyone who bought a Volt has a vehicle that is operating just fine and so can make good use out of these tips. On the other hand, all anyone wants to talk about is the Volt fire and its aftermath, so wouldn't a direct communication channel between GM and Volt drivers specifically about the issue be a good thing?





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