While General Motors has been a little reluctant to put its own name to one of its electric cars, and after recent history this is perhaps not such a bad thing, it is interesting to see that its Chevrolet subsidiary has created the Chevrolet Volt electric car, which is getting rave reviews across the Internet. It seems as though the Chevrolet subsidiary will be used to house the company's forthcoming electric vehicle productions and if this one is anything to go by we could be in for some interesting developments.
Specifications of the Chevrolet Volt electric car
Some of the basic specifications of this particular vehicle confirm that it is a five door hatchback, front wheel drive car which is in the same class as the Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius and many of the other more popular electric cars of today. The hybrid vehicle is powered by a lithium ion battery set with a journey range of up to 350 miles (combined fuel and electric). The electric battery itself is able to create up to 16 kW of power (although only a maximum of 10kW will ever be used to extend the life of the battery), which allows the vehicle to run at around the equivalent of 93 mpg.
The Chevrolet Volt hybrid is able to operate in full electric mode for anywhere up to the first 50 miles of your journey at which point the automatic system will kick in when the battery power is low by switching to the most efficient drive mode - which will effectively see the gasoline engine charging the electric batteries to maintain minimum charge. The only way to fully recharge the batteries is to use a charging facility when stationary.
The vehicle itself offers an array of driving modes including normal, sport and mountain which will facilitate different use of the gasoline and electric power sources to improve acceleration, improve top speed and increase minimum battery charge levels for steep and difficult terrain. Like so many of the electric and hybrid cars of today, the Chevrolet Volt also has a thermal management system for the battery packs which ensures they only operate in temperatures which give the greatest efficiency - this also assists with extending the life of the battery and getting maximum value for money.
One interesting feature of the Chevrolet Volt is the internal computer's ability to switch from the energy sapping air-conditioning system to a heated seat option in cold temperatures. There are also a number of other energy-saving gadgets within the interior which include a power saving stereo system that incorporates amplifiers able to use 50% less energy than traditional speakers. It is this ability to maintain maximum battery efficiency, reduce on-board energy consumption and also make full use of the gasoline engine to recharge the electric batteries which makes the Chevrolet Volt so popular today.
The charging times for the Chevrolet Volt electric car are between 10 hours and 12 hours for a 120 V charge and four hours for a 240 V charge. The vehicle itself has a top speed of 100 mph, is able to accommodate journeys in the region of 50 miles inner-city although, as mentioned above, combined with a full battery charge and full tank of fuel the journey range is extended to 350 miles. Like so many of the electric vehicles available today the Chevrolet Volt EV incorporates the latest regenerative braking systems, ABS, and latest safety applications.
While this vehicle originally appeared back in 2007 as something of a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it has very much been worth the wait. It has the capacity to seat two people in the front and two people in the rear with more than sufficient room for passengers and additional luggage.
Feedback on the Chevrolet Volt
While there is no doubt that General Motors has incorporated some of the latest groundbreaking electric vehicle technology in this particular model, in many ways it is the high-tech and highly efficient design of the vehicle which has caught the attention of the automobile world. There is no doubt that this is the most aerodynamic vehicle that Chevrolet or General Motors has ever produced - which has obviously helped to reduce drag and increase efficiency. When you also bear in mind the very thin margins upon which the electric vehicle market is founded, any savings with regards to aerodynamics can automatically be fed back into the system, thereby extending journey range.
A number of reviews of the Chevrolet Volt have also highlighted the spacious interior, the modern controls and the new technology display system. While for many people the ability to incorporate the electric capacity of his vehicle with a gasoline backup system does detract somewhat from the overall electric vehicle market, it does drastically extend the journey range. Thankfully, recharging is not a problem via your standard household appliance 120 V or a 240 V recharging system.
There is no doubt that General Motors has pushed out the boat with regards to the design and technology behind the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle. Having perhaps learnt a lesson from its history with electric vehicles, the company is now pushing ahead with this particular style of automobile. The feedback from those who have driven the Volt EV is very positive, with specific comments on the quiet drive, the spacious interior, the relatively high top speed, fuel efficiency and overall experience. You can find out exactly what is happening in the Chevrolet Volt forum.