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CHEVROLET VOLT CONCEPT A PRODUCTION REALITY?
General Motors announced that they are planning a production version of its well-received Chevrolet Volt concept, according to a recent AutoWeek article. GM says they are now working on the production engineering of the Volt concept, which will ride on the next-generation Delta platform. This will be the same platform the upcoming Cobalt or Astra small car will be built on. Two versions of the Volt will be put into production: one powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and the other will run on gasoline. The editors at AutoWeek report that the Volt could hit vehicle dealerships as early as 2010. However, GM says that suppliers need to produce a reliable lithium ion battery for the Volt in order to meet the 2010 release date. The Chevrolet Volt was showcased at both the Detroit and New York Auto Shows earlier this year, giving consumers a first-hand look at this future production car.
The upcoming Chevrolet Volt will be a low-volume production vehicle, GM says. The automaker indicates that the Volt will be a “series hybrid,” meaning that the vehicle’s wheels are turned by an electric motor that is powered by a battery pack. The battery pack is recharged by a small gasoline engine, which isn’t connected to the wheels. In addition, the battery pack will be rechargeable, so consumers will be able to plug it in to an electrical outlet for an overnight charge. This could mean that the Volt can drive up to 40 miles each day upon startup without using a single drop of gasoline.
A fuel-cell version of the Chevrolet Volt will primarily sell in China, according to the article, which will run on GM’s fifth generation fuel-cell small enough to fit into a conventional four-cylinder engine bay. The automaker also says that the same car can run on diesel or ethanol, depending on the market.
Source: Truett, Richard and Lareau, Jamie. (May 7, 2007). “Prius Fighter: GM Commits to Volt Production.” AutoWeek. Retrieved May 10, 2007 from www.autoweek.com.