General Motors have confirmed the official date for starting production of the new Chevrolet Volt 2011 model as November 11, 2010. Unlike some hybrids like the Toyota Prius, the Volt doesn’t use its petrol engine to drive the car’s wheels – it only uses the engine to charge the batteries. The key advantage of the Volt is being able to drive for the majority of daily needs using only electricity.
The vehicle is powered by GM’s new Voltec (formerly known as E-Flex) electric automobile platform, which differs significantly from GM’s earlier BAS Hybrid and Two-Mode Hybrid systems. It is capable of traveling between 40 to 80 km solely powered by the electrical energy stored in its on-board battery pack. The car has a lithium-ion battery pack that can be fukky charged by plugging the car from home into a 120-240VAC electrical outlet. Uniqueness of this electric version is that it doesn’t require a charging station.
And when the battery is out of charge, a small 4 cylinder IC engine using gasoline is used to run a generator that produces about 55KW power, extending the volt’s range up to additional 500km. General Motors explained that the Volt’s all-electric range will vary from 25 to 50 miles (40 to 80 km) depending on terrain, driving technique, temperature and battery age. When added to the gasoline-powered extended range, the Chevy Volt total expected range with a fully charge battery and a full tank is 350 miles (563 km).