In 2008, when General Motors showed the production version of the Chevrolet Volt to the world, everyone was excited about this, especially GM which saw the Volt as one way out of its crisis, which was at its peak when the vehicle was announced, and we all know GM was hit the hardest. Now, two years later and only one month away from its debut, the Chevrolet Volt is finally unveiled.
First of all, according to GM, the Chevrolet Volt is not a hybrid, but in a class by itself. Actually, the Volt is pretty similar to the other hybrids on the market, meaning it also has two power sources, an electric motor and a gasoline engine, the only difference being that the gasoline engine doesn’t power the car, but is only used to charge the batteries.
“The Chevrolet Volt can be the only car you own,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “The Volt delivers it all: a revolutionary propulsion system, progressive styling, industry-leading safety, premium amenities and user-friendly technologies, and spirited driving dynamics.”
This system is called Voltec and it features a 111 kW (149 hp) electric drive unit capable of delivering between 25 and 50 miles (40 to 80 km) of electric-only driving and a 63 kW (84 hp) 1.4-liter gasoline engine that provides extra 310 miles driving range. The electric motor is powered by a 435 pound (200 km) 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with 9 modules and 288 prismatic cells. The process of fully charging the battery takes four hours using a 240V charging station or between 10 and 12 hours using conventional household power outlets.
The Chevrolt Volt will come in one standard trim level with two option packages, a Premium Trim Package and a Rear Camera and Park Assist Package. For the exterior, six colors are available, Viridian Joule Tricoat, Silver Ice Metallic, Black and Cyber Gray Metallic, Crystal Red Metallic Tintcoat and White Diamond Tricoat, while the interior features include 40/40 rear-folding seats, two special 7-inch high-resolution displays, navigation radio with 60 GB hard drive, vioce recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, XM Satellite Radio and XM NavTraffic/Weather, a permium Bose audio system featuring six speakers and a subwoofer, plus 5 years of OnStar Directions and Connections service.
Other interesting feature is a driver-activated sound which alerts pedestrians, especially the visual impaired. The feature was developed with the American Federation of the Blind and it was necessary because being an electric vehicle means it’s pretty quiet.
The Volt will be priced at $33,500 (the actual price is $44,000, but it gets a $7,500 tax credit) and it will be available starting with the end of 2010.