By 2010, expect to see a hybrid coming from General Motors. The Volt was first introduced in 2007 in Detroit and this model from the company is General Motors’ hopes in countering whatever advantages Toyota has made courtesy of its Toyota Prius. The Volt will have a plug-in capability for recharging from household electrical currents and a small gasoline engine that can keep the car batteries charged on trips longer than 40 miles. I did a little research on the Chevy site, and these are the things that I’ve got.
The Chevy Volt features that revolutionary E-Flex Propulsion System is considered to be far different if compared with the previous electric vehicle because this model will take advantage of the lithium-ion battery with a variety of range-extending onboard power resources that includes gas and E85 ethanol to recharge the car’s battery when you drive the car. This car is a plug-in range -extended electric vehicle that also features an on-board gasoline generator. The car has a large battery that stores power from the home electric outlet which is then connected to an electric motor. This electric motor is the one that directly powers the car. This battery can run for the first 40 miles and after some time, the on-board gasoline/E85 generator has the role of powering it to keep the battery from running out. Though they are both hybrids, the Volt is different from Toyota’s Prius. The hybrids that are available in the market right now are called parallel hybrids. These parallel hybrids use a small electric motor for low speed driving and then switch to regular gas for acceleration and faster driving. That’s where ‘parallel hybrids’ labeling come from. The two engines work side by side or in a parallel. The Chevy Volt on the other hand is what you call a series vehicle; this means that only the electric motor will power the car. The gas engine inside will only act as a generator, making electric to keep the batteries charged every time. If charged overnight, the car is expected to be driven to at least 40 miles on pure electricity and after that, the gas engine will enter the picture and will allow the car to be driven up to 400 miles on a full tank- that’s 6 to 7 gallons of gas. It will be a four-seater car and it is expected that the car will be sold and priced competitively. It is the goal of GM to sell it at less than $30,000.00 but the first versions of the Chevy Volt might be near $40,000.00.
A prototype of the Chevy Volt has already been tested and GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz said that the car had reliably met the objectives. He added that the car had been hitting the 40 miles on electric power. The dynamometer tests have been successful even under various thermal conditions. Mr. Lutz went even further and said that the battery of the car is the least of their problems. He explained further that much of the engineering challenge ahead has to do with the software. The production Chevy Volt will be slightly different to the original showroom Volt that was introduced in 2007. Partial teasers and a camouflaged Volt has been released in the market, adding fuel to some excitement and speculations. It has been reported as well that the Volt will be seen in Paris in US production specification. The presentation of the car will take place at the Paris Motor Show that is scheduled for October 4-19. So this means that the Volt will be arriving in less than five months. If the Chevy Volt will be coming soon, then better start saving up.
Pictured is a Chevy Volt E-Flex Electric Hybrid Concept Car.