Chevrolet has introduced their new car, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle classified as an extended range, and have the formation of an entirely new segment in the global automotive markets. The new Volt comes with a five-door, four-passenger that designed to provide the benefits of electric vehicles without the range of limitations associated with other electric vehicles on markets.
“The Chevrolet Volt can be the only car you own,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “The Volt delivers it all: a revolutionary propulsion system, progressive styling, industry-leading safety, premium amenities and user-friendly technologies, and spirited driving dynamics.”
Designed, developed, manufactured and delivered to customers in 29 months, the Chevy Volt will be sold at Chevrolet dealerships before the end of 2010. It is presented in a well-equipped trim level, with two option packages: Premium Trim Package, and a rearview camera and parking assistance package.
The Chevrolet Volt is not a hybrid. It is a one-of-a-kind, all-electrically driven vehicle designed and engineered to operate in all climates. Powered by GM’s revolutionary Voltec propulsion system, it consists of a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and electric drive unit that provide pure electric range between 25 and 50 miles, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. A 1.4L gasoline-powered engine extends the range up to an additional 310 miles on a full tank of fuel by operating the vehicle’s electric drive system until the car can be plugged in and recharged or refueled. This distinguishes the Volt from electric-only vehicles, which cannot be operated when recharging is not immediately available – such as during a power interruption or on a long-distance trip.
In the Volt, the battery feeds a 149-hp electric motor that drives the front wheels. The response and the immediate power are what we’ve come to expect from electric cars. The Volt is by no means a sports sedan, but it will briefly chirp its tires when pulling away from a stop. Acceleration is acceptable; with four occupants on board, the Volt felt like it could probably run from 0 to 60 mph in about 10 seconds. GM’s 0-to-60 target for the production Volt is a bit more aggressive, at 8.5 seconds. The single-gear transmission provides seamless and CVT-like acceleration from a stop. Unlike a gasoline engine mated to a CVT, the nearly silent electric motor doesn’t scream as it propels the car forward under hard acceleration. There is a bit of a whirring sound from the motor, but it is far from the spaceshiplike hum emitted by the electric motor in the Tesla roadster.
What isn’t yet clear is how the Volt will behave when the battery is depleted and the gasoline engine kicks in to provide more juice. In this so-called range-extending mode, the electric motor will be limited to the power provided by the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. The gas engine is never used to charge the battery; the engine turns a generator that directly feeds power to the electric motor. If the engine is revving at 2000 rpm and making 25 hp, the electric motor will be able to make only 25 hp. If more power is needed, the gasoline engine could conceivably run at its power peak at a very high rpm. Taking the point further, if the gas engine is rated for only 100 hp (our estimate of its power output), the 149-hp electric motor will be able to make only 100 hp. The upshot: The Volt will be quicker running on battery power than it will be when the gas engine is providing the electricity.
The Chevrolet Volt’s bold, sleek, performance-oriented stance conveys its electrically driven capabilities, and looks like an upscale, midsize sport sedan. This is made possible by its wide front and rear tracks (61.2 / 62.1 inches [1556 / 1578 mm]), 105.7-inch (2685 mm) wheelbase, wheels-out stance, sculpted belt line and premium execution.
Like all Chevrolet vehicles, the Volt helps protect occupants before, during and – thanks to OnStar – after a crash. Crash-avoidance features include standard anti-lock brakes with traction control, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and advanced, LED daytime running lamps that make the Chevrolet Volt more visible to other motorists and pedestrians.
Occupant protection continues with a strong structure, and the Chevrolet Volt’s body-frame-integral structure strategically blends advanced steels to help ensure crashworthiness and stiffness. Nearly 80 percent of the Chevrolet Volt’s overall structure consists either of high-strength, advanced high-strength or ultra high-strength steel. Active occupant protection features include eight standard air bags and safety belts with dual pretensioners to help reduce the risk of injury.