Now drivers need not worry about a phone getting drained during a long travel. By this year, General Motors will feature the wireless charging mat on the Chevy Volt. The wireless charging mat will be placed on the center console, and all you have to do is to place your phone or the mp3 player and an instant the gadgets will start charging. The plan of GM is that this feature will be included in other brands like Buick, GMC and Cadillac. CNET has the lowdown on this new project for General Motors which can be accessed here.
The Chevy Volt will use a hybrid battery, and here’s some information about the batteries that can be used on this car. Most hybrid batteries recharge by reclaiming energy when the vehicle brakes. These battery packs are designed to of service for the hybrid for between 150,000 and 200,000 miles, and warranties do come complete with these batteries. These batteries are covered for between 8 and 10 years, depending on the automobile maker. The battery that is featured on the Chevy Volt will give power to a 161 hp electric motor, and this motor is connected to the front wheels and the one that provide the motive force. This lithium ion battery can peak at 136 kW and will have a total capacity of 16 kWh. If the other hybrids that are available in the market right now charges by means of braking, the battery housed in the Volt can be charged by plugging it to any standard 110 V outlet that you can find on your home. For about 6 to 6.5 hours, the Volt battery is charged again. Once charged, the battery of the Volt can move you to a range of 40 miles. The use of the Volt is just perfect for short-distance drive. But if there is a need to drive it longer, then drivers need not worry as well. A full fuel tank on the Chevy Volt- this means 12 gallons of gas- can give you a range of 640 miles!
It seems that General Motors is laying the right ground work for expected arrival of the Chevy’s Volt. One news report suggest that General Motors is seeking a tax break for the Chevrolet Volt. The company is lobbying Congress to set up tax credits for the extended range electric vehicles, such as the plug-in hybrid. If some of the speculations are to be believed, the tax break on the Volt can take away anywhere from $3,000.00 to $7,000.00 off the vehicle’s sticker price. Though General Motors have not announced a fix pricing for the Volt, some reports suggest that the price could be pegged at $40,000.00. A spokesman for GM, Greg Martin said that when that tax break do happen in the future, it won’t solely be available and exclusive for the Volt. Any tax break that will benefit the Volt will surely benefit other similar vehicles that uses the same technology. Nissan, Toyota and Ford have been working with policy makers right now to ensure that a legislative language includes extended-range electric vehicles and other future green-tech vehicles. Toyota Prius enjoyed tax breaks as well and this were part of the company’s initial push for the product in the market. This is a step to help spur consumer acceptance of the hybrid. But not all hybrid may be covered by tax breaks, if indeed it will happen. One such vehicle that isn’t expected to be included is the Tesla Roadster. This $100,000.00 plus ride is a high-end niche vehicle.
The spokesman for GM added that no action on the petition is expected until after the presidential election in November. The vehicle is still on target for the expected 2010 production.
Escalating oil price. Growing need to be environmentally-aware.
These are just two of the things that fuel car consumers and car manufacturers to drive up their research and development and focus on fuel efficient cars. In fact, the changing market conditions and realities has drove Ford Motors to re-assess its position and has seen its profits dwindle this year. General Motors and Chrysler has also the same problem since these manufacturers heavily relies on profits coming from pick-ups and SUVs. As we all know, with escalating oil prices, these gas guzzlers are the ones that take the hit. As a testament to the escalating prices of oil, the market saw the price of oil reaching $135 per barrel this week. Actually the price per barrel hit $135.09 but then fell back shortly to settle at $130.81 the moment the dollar strengthens. But even though its price continues to soar, demands for oil remains the same. As mentioned, another thing that prompts companies and car consumers to reconsider is the need to cut on emissions and the growing trend to be environmentally-aware. People right now seek vehicles that has some respect for the environment. These things are the ones that motivate car consumers to re-assess their options, to cut their consumptions or to change their mode of transport. The reactions of the consumers can be seen in sales figures right now, and the demand of vehicles. We all know now that Ford is one company that has realized the shift in dynamics. The fall of truck sales and the soaring of gas prices has led Ford to cut production and has led the company to realize less profits. But cutting production and anticipating less profits aren’t the only thing that these car companies do right now. The focus right now is to design, develop and mass-produce cars that pollute less and can go on for miles with the use of the least amount of gas. Enter the low carbon cars.
The low-down on low carbon cars.
Low carbon cars, or simply those cars that pollute less are the rage right now in the market, and advocated by environmental engineers. In fact, these engineers call for government support for this initiative. They said that the government needs to pump extra cash from fuel duty so that this may reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. A number of groups call for a carbon emissions cut to 80 g per kilometer by 2020. Automakers has responded and they are now developing vehicles that go that way- the way of low carbon cars.
General Motors is taking a lead right now, though Toyota thru its Toyota Prius has been in the business for some time and has been successful. Aside from Toyota and General Motors, we also have Honda, Nissan and Ford. Ford is expected to deliver its very own hybrids that will join the Ford Escape SUV in the Ford’s gasoline-electric line-up. At the heart of the Honda’s technology will be the Eco Boost engines that can generate plenty of power and better fuel economy. * More on Eco Boost in later postings. Nissan on the other hand plans to dip its fingers on the hybrid industry by 2010.
Then there’s General Motor’s Chevrolet Volt. The Volt is by far the sexiest green car of GM. Expect to see the Volt before the year ends in Paris and actual production vehicle can be seen by 2010. This sedan is expected to run for 40 miles before the small gasoline engine takes stage and recharge the battery for another 600 miles. For longer trips, it is expected that the Volt can deliver 100 miles per gallon. For General Motors, it isn’t just the Volt. An 80 mpg version of the Saturn Vue SUV is in the works as well and this will be delivered by next year. The Vue will be the first plug-in hybrid in the US once it debuts in the market. * More on plug-in hybrids on later postings.
These move by these companies is sure to address the needs for fuel efficient and eco-friendly cars. And most of the targets by these companies are pegged on 2010. So we will see by then if these vehicles can make a significant impact. But right now, we see oil prices surging ahead, going to record highs.
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.