The Chevrolet Volt opened a new chapter in the book of the electric car. Its fundamental design as a range extended electric vehicle gives the Volt driver all the benefits of no-emission driving along with the performance and usability of a conventional car. The Volt will get you home.
The car was voted European Car of the Year 2012. The Chevrolet Volt now available in the UK is changing the way we think of electric cars and now rewards the driver with more than adequate handling, a 0-60mph of 9.0 seconds; and a top speed of 99mph. The Volt although electric is just as nimble as any passenger car. The electric drive unit provides it with 370Nm of instant torque, On a single battery charge, the car is capable of covering 25-50 miles on its electric power alone. This is sufficient to meet the daily driving needs of 80 per cent of European drivers. The range combing the use of the onboard generator with the petrol engine extends the further to 300 miles.[portfolio_slideshow]
In the USA where the car has been available since 2010, a sample of drivers showed that they can drive up to 1000 miles before refuelling. As all drivers will benefit from this combined use of electric power only for some trips, not requiring petrol to be consumed. In the UK it qualifies for the £5000 Plug in car grant and it also avoids CCLondon.
In the Volt’s extended-range mode, which operates when the battery has reached its minimum charge, motive power from the onboard generator is then seamlessly inverted to the electric drive unit.
Watch our 10 Second HD Car Video of the Chevrolet Volt
Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe said, “The Volt is the first mass-produced electric car that combines the efficiency and carbon footprint of an electric vehicle with a range and degree of flexibility previously unthinkable in this segment. The Chevrolet Volt is the best solution on the planet today for worry-free electric driving.”
To drive the Volt feels like an upmarket sporting car and ranks among Chevrolet’s most aerodynamic vehicles. The drag coefficient of 0.28 is almost the same as the Corvette. Key interior features of the Volt are the two large screens replacing conventional instruments. These provide the driver with essential information to use the Volt and its unique propulsion system as efficiently as possible.
The Chevrolet Volts Voltec electric propulsion system
At the heart of the all-new Chevrolet Volt is the Voltec propulsion system. This system makes it the world’s first electrically driven, extended-range vehicle. The Volt’s 150hp electric drive unit uses two electric motors, three clutches and a planetary gearset that improve overall efficiency by reducing the combined rotational speed of the electric motors. This unique drivetrain also includes the onboard generator which is the range extender to make the useable range 300 miles in total.
As this car driven at all times by electric power, the Volt offers gives the driver 25-50 miles of pure battery-powered electric driving. The range for this is dependent on driving technique, road type, terrain and temperature.
The further capability to operate after the battery’s energy is depleted is what thus car differs on from other types of electric car. The Volt’s 250 miles of extended range comes from the 1.4-litre 86hp petrol engine. When the battery’s energy is gone, power is then seamlessly inverted to the electric drive unit from the generator.
The Volt can be driven in town or across the country in all climates, without the potential range anxiety of other EV’s. The drivetrain works with four driving modes – Normal, Sport, Mountain and Hold. The driving modes assist the driver throughout a variety of driving situations. The Hold mode gives the driver the ability to save battery pack energy and use it only in restricted emissions zones, such as the London congestion charge area.
Clearly the technology in the Chevrolet Volt is here to stay and we look forward to driving one.