GM launches production version of its Volt hybrid electric vehicle


Detroit, MI, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 18, 2008 – General Motors yesterday unveiled the production version of its hybrid electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, which is expected to become commercially available – in the U.S. at least – in late-2010.

The Volt – dubbed an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) – is slated to offer around 40 miles of electric driving, and a further 400 miles using an onboard gasoline-powered generator, which powers the electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the lithium-ion battery.

The Volt has a single charging point in front of the driver’s rear view mirror and can be plugged into either 120 V or 240 V outlets for charging. With intelligent charging technology the Volt’s 16 kWh battery can be charged in less than three hours on a 240 V outlet or about eight hours on a 120 V outlet. The cost of a full charge is estimated at about 80 cents (10 cents per kWh) – and thus less than a cup of coffee – and a once daily charge will consume less electricity annually than the average home’s refrigerator and freezer units.

GM estimates that the Volt will cost about two cents per mile to drive while under battery power compared to 12 cents per mile using gasoline priced at $3.60 per gallon. For an average driver who drives 40 miles per day, this amounts to a cost saving of $1,500 annually.

The Volt is said to offer spirited driving performance in a remarkably quiet interior, and a top speed of 100 miles per hour. According to GM special attention has been paid to the aerodynamics, with features such as rounded and flush front fascia, tapered corners and closed front grille, which enable air to move easily around the car, while in the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler allow the air to flow off and away quickly. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag.

In the interior technological features include a driver configurable liquid crystal instrument display, standard seven-inch touch screen vehicle information display, touch screen-style climate and infotainment controls, an optional navigation system with onboard hard drive for maps and music storage, and standard Bluetooth for cellular phone and USB/Bluetooth for music streaming.

“The Volt is symbolic of GM’s strong commitment to the future … just the kind of technology innovation that our industry needs to respond to today’s and tomorrow’s energy and environmental challenges,” said GM chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner, at the launch.