In a world filled with gas-guzzling vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt, a sleek, aerodynamic four door, conjures up the typical image of a futuristic car. While being hyped as the first affordable electric car, the Chevy Volt brings numerous advances in vehicle technology to the nearer future than many would expect.

How the Chevy Volt Works

According to GM’s website, the Chevy Volt is an electric car that is being built around a specially designed advanced battery pack that uses lithium-ion chemistry. The battery pack uses fewer cells in a smaller battery pack than current electric cars, making the vehicle more affordable.

The electric motor can be charged through a standard home outlet (110 volt), requiring approximately 6.5 hours of recharge time. If a 220 volt outlet is available, charging time can be reduced by about half. The electric motor solely propels the car for the first 40 miles of drive time.

Designed differently than a hybrid vehicle, the Chevy Volt is referred to as a series hybrid. After 40 miles, when the battery life is reduced to approximately 30%, the on-board gasoline generator (E85) kicks in to keep the battery from dwindling down to zero. This feature makes the vehicle more reliable than the previously created EV-1, which lacked an on-board generator.

Release date of the Chevy Volt

Currently, the Volt is planned to be built in an assembly plant in Orion Township, MI, creating and maintaining more jobs in the auto-industry rich Detroit area.

“There’s one significant thing about this car. It meets all regulatory requirements of all major countries in the world, including China,” Lutz proclaimed. “This thing will be built in the United States and exported all over the world.”

Price of the Chevy Volt

While the GM website claims that the goal is to eventually make the vehicle available to consumers at a price of around $30,000, both the website and Lutz agree that first-run cars could be as high as $40,000. Lutz declared that the price might be closer to $32,500 if a consumer utilizes the a governmental credit available for clean fuel vehicles.

Interesting Facts about the Chevy Volt

Some interesting facts that are presented on GM’s website are:

  • The Chevy Volt is a 4-door, 4-seater vehicle
  • Solar panels may be introduced in a future model
  • The Volt is being designed to fit up to the 95% percentile height for men, making it more accessible for taller people
  • The 6-7 gallon gas tank will get approximately 50 mpg after the first 40 miles (which runs on electricity alone)
  • The first 40 miles is estimated to cost the consumer approximately 80 cents (based on current electric rates of ~10 cents/kwh)
  • The Volt uses regenerative braking (the energy created by breaking will be recaptured and stored in the battery)

General Motor’s industry-leading technology will steer consumers to a more affordable, environmentally friendly way to travel. The Chevy Volt is anticipated to spur competition in the field of electric vehicles, which in turn will lead to more advances in technology. With a high mpg rating, a low electric out-of-pocket cost, and a projected affordable sticker price, consumers may finally be able to financially benefit from going green.