Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The New Chevrolet Volt

General Motors launched its next 100 years by unveiling the much-anticipated production version of the Chevrolet Volt - a vehicle that delivers up to 40 miles of gasoline- and emissions-free electric driving, with the extended-range capability of hundreds of additional miles.

"Revealing the production version of the Chevrolet Volt is a great way to open our second century," said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO. "The Chevrolet Volt is symbolic of GM's strong commitment to the future... just the kind of technology innovation that our industry needs to respond to today's and tomorrow's energy and environmental challenges."

New era in automotive transportation

The Chevrolet Volt is leading a new era of electrification of the automobile by creating a new class of vehicle known as the Extended-Range Electric Vehicle, or E-REV.

The Chevrolet Volt uses electricity to move the wheels at all times and speeds. For trips up to 40 miles, the Chevrolet Volt is powered only by electricity stored in its 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator seamlessly provides electricity to power the Chevrolet Volt's electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. This mode of operation extends the range of the Chevrolet Volt for several hundred additional miles, until the vehicle's battery can be charged. Unlike a conventional battery-electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt eliminates "range anxiety," giving the confidence and peace of mind that the driver will not be stranded by a depleted battery.

The Chevrolet Volt can be plugged either into a standard household 120v outlet or use 240v for charging. The vehicle's intelligent charging technology enables the Chevrolet 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. At a cost of about 80 cents per day (10 cents per kWh) for a full charge that will deliver up to 40 miles of electric driving, GM estimates that the Chevrolet Volt will be less expensive to recharge than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee. Charging the Chevrolet Volt about once daily will consume less electric energy annually than the average home's refrigerator and freezer units.

Charge out of driving

The Chevrolet Volt offers spirited driving performance in a remarkably quiet interior. More than 220 lithium-ion cells contained within the Chevrolet Volt's battery pack provide ample power. The Chevrolet Volt's electric drive unit delivers the equivalent of 150 horsepower, 273 lb-ft. (370 Nm) of instant torque, and a top speed of 100 miles per hour. The lack of engine noise, combined with special sound-deadening materials, make the Chevrolet Volt an extremely quiet vehicle to drive.

GM estimates that the Chevrolet Volt will cost about two cents per mile to drive while under battery power compared to 12 cents per mile using gasoline priced at $3.60 per gallon. For an average driver who drives 40 miles per day (or 15,000 miles per year), this amounts to a cost savings of $1,500 annually. Using peak electric rates, GM estimates that an electrically driven mile in a Chevrolet Volt will be about one-sixth of the cost of a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle. The cost savings are even greater when charging during off-peak hours, when electric rates are cheaper.

The Chevrolet 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.

Technical Specifications

  • Vehicle type: 5-door, front-wheel-drive sedan
  • Category: Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV)
  • Chassis: independent McPherson struts front, compound crank twist axle rear, four-wheel disc brakes, full regenerative brakes to maximize energy capture, electric power-assist steering
  • Seating capacity: four
  • Tire and wheel size: specially developed low rolling-resistance tires on 17-inch forged aluminum wheels
  • Performance
    • Top speed: 100 mph / 160 km/h
    • EV range, city (miles): 40 (based on EPA city cycle)
  • Dimensions
    • Wheelbase: 105.7" / 2685 mm
    • Length: 177" / 4404 mm
    • Width: 70.8" / 1798 mm
    • Height: 56.3" / 1430 mm
    • Cargo volume: 10.6 cu ft / 301 l
  • Battery system
    • Type: lithium-ion
    • Energy: 16 kWh
  • Electric drive unit
    • Power: 111 kW / 150 hp
    • Torque: 273 lb-ft / 370 Nm

No comments: