Three years after presenting the first concept of the Volt electric car with extended-range capability at the Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet has started taking orders for the Volt in the seven U.S. launch markets where the Volt will go on sale in just a few weeks from now. European customers will see the Volt at Chevrolet showrooms in late 2011.
The Volt stands apart from other electric or hybrid propulsion systems. It drives up to 60 kilometers on electricity, stored in a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the battery’s energy is depleted, an onboard generator sets in and produces electricity to power the electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. This extends the range of the Volt to more than 500 kilometers and makes it an environmentally friendly alternative for customers driving a car with regular combustion or diesel engines today. To recharge, the Volt can be plugged into any 230V household outlet and will fully charge in less than three hours.
“Volt is the best solution on the planet today for worry-free electric driving, ” said Wayne Brannon, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe. “We are very excited about the forthcoming start of sales in the U.S. The information and learnings during the first year of sales will be very valuable for us as we prepare the Volt launch and distribution in Europe.”
2011 will mark the centenary of the Chevrolet brand. On November 3, 1911, the Chevrolet Motor Car Company was founded by Swiss engineer Louis Chevrolet and American entrepreneur Billy Durant. Chevrolet Europe plans to celebrate the 100-year anniversary with the arrival of the Chevrolet Volt in Europe.
“I am sure that Louis Chevrolet, a great engineer in his own right, would be very proud knowing that a car like the Volt carries his name. The Volt marks a new category of electric cars and is an important step toward the electrification of the automobile in the future. In 2011, when we look back at 100 years of passion for cars. The Volt will focus our attention on the next exciting 100 years of Chevrolet,” says Brannon.
How does the Volt work?
The Volt drives up to 60 kilometers on electricity stored in its cutting-edge 16-kWh lithium-ion battery and emits zero CO2. When the battery’s energy is depleted, a gasoline-fueled onboard generator produces electricity sustaining the charge of the battery. All energy that results from braking is regenerated and charges the battery as well. This extends the range to more than 500 kilometers and makes the Volt suitable for short distance commutes as well as long distance travel. To fully recharge, the Volt can be plugged into any 230V household outlet for less than three hours.
The Volt’s “Efficiency Meter” in the digital instrument cluster gives the driver real-time feedback on driving efficiency. The heating and cooling system has several efficiency modes, while activating the Volt’s “Green Leaf” button provides access to vehicle power flow, charging status and energy information. The driver will be able to set the charging schedule inside the vehicle or remotely, based on time of day or cost. And the Volt even has audio and visual cues to alert the driver when the car powers on, off and when charging is activated.
The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability
An electric vehicle with extended-range capability (E-REV) like the Volt is different from a hybrid in that the vehicle’s wheels are always driven electrically. The Volt uses electricity as a primary source and gasoline as a secondary source to generate electricity.
Hybrid vehicles require both sources – engine and battery – to provide full vehicle performance. Typically, in a hybrid, the combustion engine is the larger of the two propulsion sources and provides most of the power during high-power vehicle maneuvers.
With the Volt you can drive up to 60 kilometers purely electrically
When the Volt is fully charged, the power used for driving up to 60 kilometers is supplied by the electricity stored in the cutting-edge, 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. When the battery’s energy is depleted, the onboard generator produces electricity to power the electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. Research shows that 80 percent of European drivers travel less than 60 kilometers per day.
With the Volt you can travel more than 500 kilometers
The Volt has a total range of more than 500 kilometers, battery charge and on-board generator combined. Once the battery’s energy is depleted, the onboard generator seamlessly kicks-in and extends the total range to over 500 kilometers. The battery can be recharged at any time during the journey by plugging the vehicle’s on-board charge system into a standard 230V household outlet. A full recharge takes less than three hours.
The Volt is an every-day car and fun to drive
The five-door Chevrolet Volt offers ample space for four passengers and a 300-liter trunk for luggage. Thanks to instantaneous torque of 370 Nm, the Volt accelerates quickly from zero to 100 km/h in around nine seconds, and has a top speed of 161 km/h. Compared to conventional propulsion systems the instantaneous torque of the Volt launches the car like a powerful V6 engine.
With the Volt, you can reduce emissions, fuel consumption and running costs
While driving on electricity delivered by the battery, the Volt emits zero exhaust emissions. Chevrolet estimates that the Volt will save about 1,700 liters of gasoline based on 60 kilometers of daily driving and 22,000 kilometers annually. For drivers who commute 100 kilometers per day or 36,500 kilometers annually, about 2,200 liters of gasoline could be saved. As a baseline comparison, Chevrolet estimates that the cost per km to operate a car with Voltec electric propulsion system is approximately €0.02/km electrically versus €0.09/km using gasoline priced at €1.16/L.