GM might build the Chevrolet Volt in China

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 4, 2011

If the Chinese consumers welcome the extended-range Chevrolet Volt, it’s likely that its production will be transferred to the country, according to General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson who was at a Bloomberg News forum.

He said that GM is planning to export the vehicle to China from its Detroit Hamtramck Assembly plant and then make a decision if it will be assembled in China, where it would qualify for as much as $19,000 in Chinese government subsidies.

Akerson said that this vehicle will be exported to China for a year or two and if it sets the “right usage patterns”, according to TheDetroitNews. If it does, GM may switch the production to China. He clarified that the Chinese government or GM's Chinese partner had not pressured the company to share the Volt technologies.

GM is collaborating with partner SAIC on a battery electric vehicle for China. The country requires that foreign automakers have to partner with Chinese companies. Akerson explained that GM doesn’t invent everything and either builds, buys, or partners.

At the core of the Chevrolet Volt is the Voltec propulsion system that brings together a top-notch electric drive and a range extending engine. This gives the Volt a range of up to 350 miles.

The Volt has a 5.5-foot T-shaped 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that weighs 435 pounds and that was made in Brownstown Township in Michigan. The battery pack fuels the 149 hp electric drive engine. If you only rely on the energy provided by the battery, the Volt can go up to 50 miles of fuel-free and emissions-free driving. That depends on the type of terrain you are driving on, temperature and driving techniques.

The battery is designed to be safe, of high quality and value, high performing, durable and reliable. It comes with an eight year or 100,000 mile warranty. GM’s engineers have clocked in more than four million hours and at least one million miles and four million hours of validation testing for these battery packs since 2007, including the pack’s modules and prismatic cells. There are 161 parts in the Volt battery and these have all been validated while the development, test and validation teams have made sure that they meet a wide variety of specifications. Around 95 percent of these parts are designed and engineered by GM.

GM executive director for global electrical systems Micky Bly has said that the carmaker is committed to give their customers the highest standards when it comes to reliability, value, quality, safety, and performance. This is in response to their customers’ commitment to technology that will help lower dependence on petroleum.

Once the battery juice runs out, the Volt will then switch to extended range mode. Instead of the battery, a 1.4-L 84hp engine will be supplying the power to the electric drive unit, giving the Volt enough energy to go for 310 miles more.

The Volt can reach top speeds of 100 miles per hour and it has an outstanding 273 lb.-ft. of torque at low speeds. The Volt can also go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 9 seconds, while covering a quarter of a mile in 17 seconds.

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