A group of early customers of General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid revealed that they can travel 1,000 miles (about 1,600km) before they need to fill up the gas tank, Tony Posawatz, the company’s vehicle line director for the Volt, stated at a conference in New York. The vehicle model initially runs on batteries and once the charge drops, it switches to a gasoline-powered electric generator.
Such great mileage and feature make the Volt a practical vehicle to use for daily use. Autodata Corp. of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, reported that the automaker sold 1,210 Chevrolet Volt units in the United States during the first quarter. The vehicle is set to penetrate the European market in November at an initial price of 41,950 euros.
On another note, Ampera, the Opel/Vauxhall's version of the Volt, is also scheduled to go on sale in Europe by November at a price of 42,900 euros.
The Ampera is powered by 16-kilowatt hour lithium ion battery pack that provides electric power to the vehicle for the first 40km to 80 km (25 to 50 miles) with zero emissions. A gasoline-fueled engine/generator then sustains the battery when the charge drops.
Chevrolet was able to set a new standard for fuel efficiency with their 2011 Volt electric vehicle. It pioneered a new international automotive segment. The four-door, four-passenger Volt liftback was developed to improve the previously modest range capabilities of production electric cars.
Advertised as the only car you’ll need to own, Mark Ruess, President of GM America said that the Volt offers not just a ground-breaking powerplant but also a modern and fashionable design that ensures top-notch safety, elegant interior, intuitive controls and sporty drivability.
The Chevrolet Volt took 29 months to get from the drawing board to its first buyers. It initially went on sale in the latter part of 2010. While the standard unit is already impressive, it can be enhanced even further with any of the two packages: the Premium Trim Package or the Rear Camera and Park Assist Package.
The Chevrolet Pioneers a New Class of Cars
Traditionally, green cars were either hybrids or all-electric cars. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt may fall under the latter but its original technology and performance totally set it apart. The Volt has been developed to be usable in any climate. GM’s ultramodern Voltec electric engine, which uses a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery and electric drive unit, can solely supply the car’s power for 25-50 miles, varying according to terrain, temperature and the driver’s skill. A 1.4L petroleum engine can then operate the electric drive system to enable a 310-mile range extension from a full tank. Refuelling and recharging will only be necessary after this. By contrast, other pure electric vehicles are unusable when their batteries drain out, i.e. from a long journey or when there’s a power outage.
Doug Parks, Volt Global Vehicle Line Executive said that the Chevrolet Volt ensures a driving experience at par with any similar-sized prestige automobile in terms of safety, ease-of-use, reliability and sportiness.
The Chevrolet Volt was designed inside out to be as efficient as possible, with a very streamlined body and power-saving electronics and stereo systems among others. Weight is also reduced, notably in the wheels, which have special tyres. It is no surprise then why the Volt has such unmatched efficiency capabilities.
The Chevrolet Volt Sets a New Electric Drive Experience
The main feature of the Chevrolet Volt has to be its Voltec engine system, a uniquely configured system with a pure electric component and a very fuel-efficient engine that together provide a maximum range of 350 miles.
The Voltec power plant system makes use of a long-life T-shaped 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack measuring 5.5 feet and 435-pound (198.1 kg). Produced in Brownstown Township, Mich., it powers the innovative 111-kW (149hp) electric drive system for propulsion. The energy in the battery alone is enough for 25-50 miles of range, depending on the driver’s ability, the road surface and the temperature. This is a pure electric vehicle, with no fuel use and absolutely zero emissions.
The high quality and long-lasting Chevrolet Volt battery is developed to ensure performance with safety and reliability. An eight-year/100,000-mile warranty is included. GM has logged more than four million hours and a million miles of testing these battery packs. They have also extensively tested each of the nine modules present in every pack and the 288 prismatic cells. GM’s development, validation and test teams ensured compliance to all specifications, numbering in the thousands. The 161 Volt battery components, of which 95 percent had been developed in-house, were also each validated.