Autovolt Magazine

Chevrolet Volt EV/Hybrid Car

  • Chevrolet Volt
    Chevrolet Volt

    European Car of the Year 2012

  • Volt is electrically driven at all times
  • Up to 300 miles of driving on a full battery charge and full tank of fuel
  • Electric range of up to 50 miles on one battery charge
  • Recharging is quick, reliable and safe
  • Five Star EuroNCAP rating
  • Instant torque and aerodynamics to match Corvette

The Chevrolet Volt – voted European Car of the Year 2012 – opens a new chapter in the history of electric motoring. By virtue of its fundamental design, the Volt enables occupants to enjoy the benefits of no-emission driving as well as the performance and practicality normally associated with conventional cars. Whether you are out in the countryside or bogged down in a traffic jam, the Volt will get you home.

Equally important, the Chevrolet Volt delivers confident road manners. Its electric drive unit provides 370Nm of instant torque, an acceleration time of 0-60mph in 9.0 seconds; and a top speed of 99mph, making the Volt as nimble as any passenger car.

On a single battery charge, the car is capable of covering 25-50 miles using solely its internally stored electrical energy.

Independent studies have shown this is sufficient to meet the daily needs of 80 per cent of European drivers.

In extended-range mode, which activates whenever the battery has reached its minimum charge, motive power from a generator is seamlessly inverted to the electric drive unit.

“The Volt is the first mass-produced car that combines the efficiency and carbon footprint of an electric vehicle with a range and degree of flexibility previously unthinkable in this segment,” said Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe. “The Chevrolet Volt is the best solution on the planet today for worry-free electric driving.”

A sample of early Volt customers in the US, where the car has been on sale since late 2010, suggests that they drive 1,000 miles before filling up the fuel tank. In Europe, meanwhile, the Volt qualifies for government subsidies in many countries and cities. In the UK, the Volt qualifies for the government’s Plug-In Car Grant worth up to £5,000, while it is exempt from the daily congestion charge in London, saving owners up to a further £2,000 per year.

The Volt’s design reflects its technical sophistication. With its grounded stance, sculpted shoulder line and finely crafted light clusters, the Volt looks and feels like an upscale, sporty compact car. It is no coincidence that the Volt ranks among Chevrolet’s most aerodynamic vehicles. With a drag coefficient of 0.28, its aerodynamic performance is on a par with the Corvette’s.

Among the Volt’s key interior features are the two large screens that replace conventional instruments in front of the driver. They provide essential information and help the driver use the Volt and its unique propulsion system as efficiently as possible, depending on individual requirements.

Thanks to its extremely strong integral structure, the Volt ensures outstanding occupant protection. In 2011, the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Chevrolet Volt its “Top Safety Pick” while the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the car a five-star rating.

Pioneering Voltec electric propulsion system

The heart of the all-new Chevrolet Volt is its unique Voltec propulsion system that makes it the world’s first electrically driven, extended-range vehicle. The Volt’s 150hp electric drive unit consists of two electric motors, three clutches and a planetary gearset that improve overall efficiency by reducing the combined rotational speed of the electric motors. Crucially, the drivetrain includes an onboard generator that extends the vehicle’s range to more than 300 miles in total.

Being electrically driven at all times, the Volt offers 25-50 miles of battery-powered electric driving, depending on terrain, driving technique and temperature.

Its capability to operate after the battery’s energy has been used up sets the Volt apart from other electric vehicles. The Volt’s 250 miles of extended range comes from an advanced 1.4-litre, 86hp petrol-powered engine. Once the battery’s energy is exhausted, power is 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 compromise.

Its drivetrain delivers 0-60mph acceleration in 9.0 seconds and a top speed of 99mph. Four driving modes – “Normal”, “Sport”, “Mountain” and “Hold” – assist the driver in manoeuvring the Volt through a variety of driving situations. “Hold” enables the driver to preserve the full energy stored in the battery pack. This is particularly valuable when driving into restricted emissions zones, such as the London congestion charge area.

High-performance battery pack

The Volt’s T-shaped, 198g lithium-ion battery pack has a storage capacity of 16kWh and comprises 288 prismatic cells. It sits in the centre tunnel of the vehicle, protected by ultra high-strength Martensite steel. Because batteries can be sensitive to temperature changes, the pack is climate-controlled by an active liquid control system that is designed to provide reliable operation from -25°C to +50°C.

The standard 6m-long charging cable stows under the rear cargo floor. Using a conventional 240V/10A power outlet, owners can fully recharge the battery in six hours.

Based on the electricity rate schedule, electricity rate preference and the programmed departure time, the Volt is able to calculate the charging. The vehicle will use the cheapest rate to achieve a full battery charge by a given departure time.
The battery pack is included in an eight-year/100,000 mile warranty which covers the Voltec propulsion system.

A smooth, streamlined silhouette

The Chevrolet Volt proves impressively that a cutting-edge electric vehicle can turn heads. Its refined appearance is created by wide front and rear tracks of 1546 and 1573mm, a wheelbase of 2685mm and 7x17in five-spoke, flow-formed alloy wheels. The stretched upper daylight opening is accentuated by a single arc roofline, delivering a sleek upper body appearance.

The Chevrolet dual-port grille has been closed for enhanced aerodynamic efficiency. Horizontally shaped headlamps are inset into the forward corners of the car’s front section and incorporate piano black bezels, ice-blue LED daytime running elements and halogen projector lamps.

A distinctive, glossy, piano-black shoulder line dives slightly as it runs forward, incorporating the mirror post and culminating over the front wheelarch where it carries the Volt badge.

By reducing the energy needed to overcome air resistance, Volt aerodynamicists contributed an estimated 8 miles of electric range, and 50 miles of extended range.

The cabin reflects the pioneering nature of its propulsion system, and offers the space, comfort and convenience customers expect from a technologically highly advanced passenger car. The interior features Chevrolet’s signature dual cockpit layout, black leather seats and white cabin accents.

Replacing conventional instruments in front of the driver, the Information Centre is a reconfigurable graphic display. Designed for maximum ease of use, it is teamed with a full-colour, touch screen display in the centre console, which is the primary interface for all infotainment, navigation, climate control, power use and charging functions.

Among the cockpit highlights is a driving efficiency display alongside the speed read-out in the Driver Information Centre. It depicts a revolving ball which moves up or down and changes colour according to vehicle speed, acceleration and braking efficiency. Keeping the ball in the centre of the display denotes optimum power usage.

The Volt offers five-door versatility, comfortable accommodation for four adults, and a seat up/seat down load carrying capacity of 310/1005 litres.

State-of-the-art comfort and infotainment systems

The Chevrolet Volt is equipped with automatic climate control with an electric cabin heating and air conditioning system. The air conditioning compressor is electrically powered at all times, so there is no need for a belt drive from a running engine. Heated front seats are also standard.

Every Volt comes with Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, park assist and reversing camera. The AM/FM stereo and CD player is MP3 capable, includes steering wheel controls, and has an aux-in connection. The system also seamlessly connects, charges and controls MP3 players through a standard USB port.

For customers who seek additional infotainment content, the optional satellite navigation system, along with a Bose® Energy Efficient Series Sound System, is offered. The 7in touch screen navigation system includes European map coverage, voice recognition, DVD-ROM compatibility and DVD playback capability. The upgraded infotainment system comprises a seven-speaker Bose sound system, 60GB hard drive and optional Digital radio.

Confident road command, outstanding safety

Thanks to the rigidity of its solid foundation and its low centre of gravity, the Volt delivers confident road command and driving comfort. Its 17-inch wheels are made of forged aluminium and weigh only 8.1 kg each. Special low rolling-resistance tyres were developed specifically for Europe to provide optimum electric vehicle range, noise, feel, and dynamic performance.

The electro-hydraulic brake system contributes to recharging the vehicle’s battery pack during braking. It enables 100 per cent regenerative braking, 100 per cent friction braking (traditional disc braking), or any combination of each.

The Volt provides outstanding occupant safety, built around an extremely strong integral frame. About 80 per cent of the body structure’s construction is high-strength, advanced high-strength or ultra high-strength steel.

A number of dedicated tests were performed to ensure the safety of the 16kWh lithium-ion battery, including its watertightness. In the event of an emergency, the battery pack, which is protected by ultra high-strength Martensite steel, can easily be disconnected by rescue services.

Eight airbags are fitted in the Volt, alongside an array of further active and passive protective measures that contribute to the car’s excellent safety performance. Because the Volt is extremely quiet when being driven on battery power, the driver can activate a chirping sound that to warn pedestrians of its approach.

Award-winning qualities and 2012 European Car of the Year

The Volt hasn’t just gone down well with early buyers, it has also captured some major industry awards. In addition to more than 30 engineering, technology and environmental awards already bestowed upon it, the Volt has recently been crowned European Car of the Year 2012. Other key accolades include: 2011 Green Car of the Year, 2011 North American Car of the Year and 2011 World Green Car.

Source; Chevrolet Press Release