Monday, September 22, 2008

Chevrolet Volt

Production version of Chevy Volt unveiled

Posted by: Anthony Lim

General Motors has unveiled the much-anticipated production version of its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle. The design of the Volt production car has evolved from the original concept that was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show.

Volt's up, you say?

Many of the design cues from the concept vehicle however endure in the production Volt, including the closed front grille, athletic stance, rear design graphics, outside rearview mirrors and more.

Inside, the Volt offers the space, comfort, convenience and safety features expected in a four-passenger sedan, with a variety of interior color, lighting and trim options. Modern controls and attractive materials, two informational displays, and a touch-sensitive infotainment center with integrated shifter will distinguish the Volt's interior from other vehicles in the market.

The Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) uses electricity to move the wheels (which feature specially developed low rolling-resistance tires sitting on 17-inch forged aluminium alloys) at all times and speeds.

Spiffy interior should win friends.

For trips up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered only by electricity stored in its 16kWh, lithium-ion battery; more than 220 lithium-ion cells are contained within the Volt's battery pack. The electric drive unit delivers the equivalent of 150bhp of power and 370Nm of instant torque, and a top speed of 160kph.

When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator seamlessly provides electricity to power the Volt's electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. This mode of operation extends the range of the Volt for several hundred additional miles, until the vehicle's battery can be charged. Unlike a conventional battery-electric vehicle, the Volt eliminates "range anxiety," giving the confidence and peace of mind that the driver will not be stranded by a depleted battery.

Volt a lot of promise, for sure.

The Volt can be plugged either into a standard household 120v outlet or use 240v for charging. The vehicle's intelligent charging technology enables the Volt's battery to be charged in less than three hours on a 240v outlet or about eight hours on a 120v outlet. Charge times are reduced if the battery has not been fully depleted.

The Volt is expected to be built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing facility, subject to GM successfully negotiating satisfactory government incentives. Production is scheduled to begin late 2010 for models in the United States.


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