Sunday, March 01, 2009

Chevy Volt

The Chevrolet Volt is a new electric car that’s not strictly electric. The car is slated for a late 2010 launch and it looks very promising. Here’s how it works: there’s a lithium-ion battery powered electric motor that drives the front wheels. You can charge the battery by plugging the car into your garage power outlet (yes, it’s a plug-in hybrid). GM claims that an overnight charge is useful for a range of 40 miles. That’s handsome. But don’t worry if you’re going to drive for more than that because there’s also a 1.4 litre petrol engine to keep you from getting stranded in case the electric juice runs out. When the battery reaches 30% of its charge, the engine fires up and starts charging the battery. Where the Volt differs from other petrol-electric hybrids is that the IC engine is only used to charge the batteries. It cannot power the car on its own. This means that you’re looking at zero emissions and zero petrol consumption if your drive between charges is less than 40 miles. Neat.

Quick Specs: 4-seater sedan | 0-100 kph in about 9 seconds | 160 kph top speed | battery charges in 8 hours @ 110 V and 3 hours @ 240 V | price not known

More Information: Photos | Videos | Motor Trend Article

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hari said...

0 to 100 in 9 seconds...WHOOOOOOSH! Quite impressive for a plug in hybrid. I just can't believe my eyes. Even an Octavia vRS powered by 1.8 litre, 150 bhp engine takes
a sluggish 9 seconds. Is Skoda hearing??

BTW, does the car make use of regenerative braking tech?

Chandrasekharan said...

interesting article... are there anyother cars which use the similar technique of using IC engines for powering the battery??

Also, I think the brain behind this technology would be none other than MASTER ASHOK KUMAR... wat do u say???

S R I R A M said...

Hari--It doesn't seem to have regen braking but it won't be surprising if they bring that in the production version.

Chandru--Toyota's Prius can charge its battery too but it's not solely devoted to doing this. The engine is also used to power the vehicle and so is not a pure electric car. Ashok Kumar? LOL!

S R I R A M said...

And it's a good comparo with the Octavia vRS. I didn't realize that.