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2011 Chevrolet Volt Preview

After thousands of spy shots, rumors and speculations, GM has finally revealed the 2011 Volt production version. The official unveiling was held in Detroit and celebrated GM’s 100 anniversary.

The Volt uses electricity to move the wheels at all times and speeds. For trips up to 40 miles, the 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 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.

Chevrolet Volt Preview

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 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 Volt will be less expensive to recharge than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee. Charging the Volt about once daily will consume less electric energy annually than the average home’s refrigerator and freezer units.

According to GM’s preliminary specification, the 2011 Volt’s electric drive unit delivers 150 hp and 273 lbs-ft of torque. It is capable of a top speed of 100 mph.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

General Motors launched its next 100 years today by unveiling the much-anticipated production version of the Chevrolet Volt 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 Chevy Volt is a great way to open our second century," said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO. "The 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."

Form follows function

The design of the Chevrolet Volt production car has evolved from the original concept that was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Because aerodynamics plays a key role in maximizing driving range, GM designers created an aerodynamically efficient design for the production vehicle. Many of the design cues from the concept vehicle endure in the production Volt, including the closed front grille, athletic stance, rear design graphics, outside rearview mirrors and more. The Volt’s rounded and flush front fascia, tapered corners and grille are functional, enabling air to move easily around the car. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler allow the air to flow off and away quickly. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag.

Working closely with GM aerodynamicists to shape the Volt, design and engineering teams developed one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in GM’s history. They spent hundreds of hours with the Volt in GM’s wind tunnel, testing and re-testing parts such as the front and rear quarter panels, rear spoiler, rockers and side mirrors. Aerodynamic improvements enabled GM to reach the Volt’s target of driving up to 40 miles (based on EPA city cycle) without using gasoline or producing emissions.

Inside, the Volt offers the space, comfort, convenience and safety features that customers expect in a four-passenger sedan, and it delivers them in a variety of interior color, lighting and trim options unlike any offered before on a Chevrolet sedan. Modern controls and attractive materials, two informational displays, and a touch-sensitive infotainment center with integrated shifter distinguish the Volt’s interior from other vehicles in the market.

Some of Volt’s interior technological features include:

  • Driver-configurable, liquid crystal instrument display
  • Standard seven-inch touch screen vehicle information display
  • Touch screen-style climate and infotainment controls
  • Optional navigation system with onboard hard drive for maps and music storage
  • Standard Bluetooth for cellular phone and USB/Bluetooth for music streaming

 

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 Volt uses electricity to move the wheels at all times and speeds. For trips up to 40 miles, the 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 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.

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 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 Volt will be less expensive to recharge than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee. Charging the 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 Volt’s battery pack provide ample power. The 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 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 Chevy 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. Pricing has not been announced. Visit media.gm.com/volt for more information.



6 comments:

When I first saw the prototype of the Chevrolet Volt, I was determined to purchase one regardless of the price. But now that I’ve seen the production version, I’m thoroughly disappointed. Now it looks like every cheap economy car on the market, but with a $40,000+ price tag

Lotus, any voltage over 50 is considered lethal so in that regard 120 is no more dangerous than the 240 volts. Both can be lethal. However what actually matters is the current passing through your body. 5 milliamps can kill a person and the normal current rating for a power supply is 8 Amps. A lower voltage usually requires a higher current which makes it even more lethal.

Thank you however for your reply. It was much appreciated.
As for soundproof materials, yes, they are used in a lot of cars but it is the way that it is listed in the comment above that makes it sound moronic."The lack of engine noise, combined with special sound-deadening materials, make the Chevrolet Volt an extremely quiet vehicle to drive."

Mounir - It is more efficient to have the engine recharge the batteries because it can run at an optimized BSFC point the whole time. If it ran the car it would have to go through multiple RPM’s and loads. As for hydrogen, it’ll only be worth it if hydrogen is produced using a renewable energy source, like solar or wind, because it takes more energy to make the fuel than the fuel yields itself. It’s been argued at that point u might as well burn fuel.

AK - Hybrids, and the volt, still have sound deadening material because they still have engines. As for the voltage, 120V is ran because it is not lethal if you get shocked by it, whereas 240V could possibly be. It was done for safety.

On a latter note, hybrids are silent so using sound deadening materials sounds moronic at the least and adds more weight. But then, this is GM we are taking about.

And Mounir, I do agree about saving the enviroment but I don’t trust a GM product to do the job.

And can someone tell me why Americans are using 120V power supplies when everyone else is using 240volts? Is this another of their ploys to be different? Or is there some good reason behind it?

This car will come out in 2011, by which time Toyota will have a plug in Prius, Honda will have their own hybrid. Even Mitsubishi will have something up their sleeves.
This thing will be eating their emission free dust.

oh so this is it. I dont no why but I agree with fuel-cell hydrogen cars more than full electric/hybrids the technology is available BMW and Ford both have proven but BMW backed out even though it seems like a better idea than PAS and think of this you plug the hybrid into your homes outlet and it recharges now where is that electricity coming from, powerplants who work on coil and fuel and other gases take that in mind and the volt also has an onboard gas engine used to recharge the battery, wouldnt it be more efficent to power the wheels using that motor when the battery dies and as it is powering the wheels it recharges the battery that would make more sense ut nonethless hydrogen would be the better way to go yes its harder to make and costs more but I believe the main objective was to save our planet. who agrees

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