Award-Winning Chevrolet Volt Concept Heading Towards the Middle East
First shown at Detroit in January this year, followed by Canada and more recently at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the award-winning Chevrolet Volt Concept car has created great excitement within and outside the motoring community. The Chevrolet Volt concept is the first vehicle to use GM's new E-flex family of propulsion systems which can offer triple-digit fuel economy. The car is capable of traveling up to 1,030km without a fuel fill-up or a battery recharge. The Volt draws from GM’s previous experience in starting the modern electric vehicle market when it launched the EV1 in 1996, according to GM Vice Chairman Robert A. Lutz.
The Volt also represents a new chapter in hybrid thinking. While current hybrids use an electric motor to supplement or complement a gasoline-powered engine, the Volt has been designed to run only on electric power until the battery runs out. To recharge the battery, there’s a small internal combustion engine that helps moves a generator to produce electricity for the battery. Technology employed in the Volt also ensures that energy usually lost in braking is also tapped efficiently. Alternatively, the batteries can also be recharged by plugging into an electrical outlet at home.
The stylish Volt is a four seater and gets a front-mounted electric motor that generates 120 kilowatts of power (about 160 horsepower).
With the current battery technology, the Volt has a range of 60km on pure electric power, which is the distance most commuters travel each day. Studies have showed that half of commuters travel less than 50km per day to work.
No wonder the Chevrolet Volt concept has also impressed the critics. The concept was awarded the 2007 North American Specialty Concept Vehicle of the Year and the Most Significant Concept Vehicle of the Year at an awards ceremony at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn.
The Volt concept is an important vehicle and is not just a ‘science project’. The technology chapter is on going and at the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show in April, a fuel cell variant of the Volt concept was announced.
GM is consciously working towards helping energy diversity and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The Chevrolet Volt concept was designed with exactly these objectives in mind and uses energy diversity as part of the solution.