Volt Chevy Volt electric car T shaped lithium ion battery pack …

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Volt, Chevy Volt electric car, T shaped lithium ion battery pack, Generator, Evehicle, 2011 Chevrolet Volt

Volt, Chevy Volt electric car

From The Chronicle Herald, February 11, 2010.

Last week, I posted another milestone when I was given the opportunity to drive a pre-production 2011 Chevrolet Volt, GM’s much-anticipated electric car that might just change the way the driving world goes about its business.

Firing up a Volt is as much like turning on an iPod or a computer as an automobile, albeit there is no waiting around for the screen to come up and an array of icons to show you what’s available. Just push a soft-touch ‘start’ button and a futuristic instrument panel immediately flashes up.

What is then instantly available is silent, comfortable transportation for up to 64 kilometres as the most aerodynamic car in the General Motors stable electrically propels driver and three passengers wherever they might want to go.

It’s quick, quiet, sporty and relaxing especially since ‘range anxiety’, that pesky worry associated with being stranded with a depleted battery, is not the issue it is with other electric cars.

From the passenger’s seat Mike Lelli, a program manager with the Volt Vehicle Line Team, tells me that GM set out to build the best electric vehicle (EV) solution in the world, one with no ‘range anxiety’, and that is exactly what the Volt offers.

When the battery on this electric vehicle is depleted to a set level, a 4-cylinder gasoline-powered onboard generator subtly kicks in, extending the range for hundreds of kilometres until you decide to either recharge the battery or fill the fuel tank.

Of course, if you never recharged the battery the Volt would run just fine so there would be no problem driving one across the province, the country or even around the world. But you wouldn’t be getting the most out of your investment because the aim of the Volt concept is to recharge regularly and keep gasoline out of the equation as much as possible.

In essence, the front wheel drive Volt operates entirely as an electric car for the first 64 kilometres after a full charge from a 110-volt outlet in about 8 hours, or if you’re in a hurry and have access to a 240-volt outlet, about three hours.

The 149-horsepower (111 kilowatt) electric motor that draws energy from a T-shaped lithium–ion battery pack creates 273 pound-feet of torque, enough to accelerate the mid-sized, 5-door hatchback sedan from 0-100 km/h in about nine seconds. And since the torque is available from a standing start, the Chevy Volt is surprisingly peppy, especially around town.

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