ET: Why is the Volt not a hybrid in the traditional Prius-like sense?
Voelcker: A Prius-style hybrid, known technically as a power-split hybrid, can run as a gasoline car alone, or in blended mode. It uses much smaller, less powerful electric components than the Volt. The battery pack holds just one-tenth the energy, and its electric motor can only propel a Prius at low speeds, under light acceleration.
More than that, in the eyes of car buyers, I think “hybrid” has come to mean a Prius-style vehicle that uses electricity to recapture wasted energy but still largely runs on gasoline.
ET: Is the Volt not an electric vehicle?
Voelcker: The Volt is absolutely an electric vehicle! If you take out the battery pack, it won’t move an inch. But if you took out its gasoline engine, it would remain an electric car without the extended range–it would just be an EV that goes only 25 to 50 miles.