Fact file: Chevrolet Volt
The electric car that goes further
- Segment: Electric Extended Range Vehicle
The best solution for worry-free electric driving
Since its launch in the United States, the Chevrolet Volt has won a host of industry accolades around the world, the latest of which is the prestigious European "Car of the Year 2012" award.
How does the Volt work?
The Volt drives up to 80 kilometers on electricity stored in the 16 kWh lithium-ion battery and emits zero CO2. When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline-fueled engine generates electricity to power the electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. This extends the range of the Volt to more than 500 kilometers and eliminates the range anxiety commonly associated with electric vehicles. To recharge, the Volt can be plugged into a standard household outlet.
The car's "efficiency meter" in the digital instrument cluster gives the driver real-time feedback on driving efficiency. The heating and cooling system has three efficiency modes, while a simple push of a button provides access to vehicle power flow, charging and energy information. The driver will be able to set the charging schedule based on time of day or cost. And the Volt even has audio and visual cues to alert the driver when the car powers on, off and when charging is activated.
The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability
The Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability (E-REV) and differs from hybrid or plug-in hybrid cars in that the vehicle's wheels are driven electrically by an electric drive unit. The Volt uses electricity as a primary source and gasoline as a secondary source, but only to generate electricity.
Today, most hybrid vehicles require both sources – engine and battery – to provide full vehicle performance. Typically, in a hybrid, the combustion engine is the larger of the two propulsion sources and provides most of the power during high-power vehicle maneuvers (e.g. freeway cruising). A plug-in hybrid operates the same way but can be recharged by plugging in.
With the Volt you can drive up to 80 kilometers without a drop of gas!
When the Volt is fully charged, the power used for driving up to 80 kilometers is supplied by the electricity stored in the cutting-edge, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery. When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline-fueled engine generates electricity to sustain the charge of the battery.
The Volt's advanced electro-hydraulic brake system blends regenerative braking, through the electric motor, and conventional friction braking. During light braking or coasting, some energy is recovered through regenerative braking and returned to the battery. As additional deceleration is required, the friction brakes are seamlessly engaged. Similar to conventional cars, the driver may shift the transmission to "L" (Low) to control vehicle speed (i.e. while going down steep mountain roads, in city traffic). This setting increases the energy obtained while decelerating by using the electric motor to slow the vehicle.
With the Volt you can travel more than 500 kilometers
The Volt has a total range of more than 500 kilometers. The extended range eliminates the anxiety electric cars owners can experience. However, if the driver has convenient access to a power outlet, he can always drive electrically without having to use the car's on-board generator. This makes the Volt a preferred choice for customers looking for an electric vehicle that can be their only car of the household.
The battery can be charged by plugging the vehicle's on-board charge system into a standard 230V/10A household socket. Under average temperature conditions, recharging with the Volt's cord set at 10A will take around 6 hours. For home-charging, it is recommended to us a professionally installed 230V/16A home-charger which will fully charge the battery in approximately 4 hours.
The Volt is an every-day car and fun to drive
The five-door Chevrolet Volt offers ample space for four passengers and a 310-liter trunk for luggage. Thanks to instantaneous torque of 370 Nm, the Volt accelerates quickly from zero to 100 km/h in around nine seconds, and has a top speed of 160 km/h (electronically limited).
The Volt features 4 driver-selectable driving modes that are designed to deliver maximum efficiency, fun and optimal power in all driving situations. These modes are called: "Normal", "Sport", "Mountain", and "Hold".
In "Normal", the default setting, the Volt drives in the most efficient mode in terms of power use. The "Sport" mode automatically reconfigures the accelerator pedal response to provide quicker torque application. Selecting "Mountain" mode 10 to 15 minutes before entering very steep roads adjusts the propulsion system to provide sufficient battery charge needed in this environment without compromising performance. The "Hold" mode enables the driver to preserve the full energy stored in the battery pack. For example, when driving a long distance before entering a city, this mode activates the gasoline engine at the start of the journey, even if the battery is fully charged. When entering the city limits, the driver can then switch to "Normal" mode and take advantage of the vehicle's full battery-powered electric range of 40-80 kilometers and thus avoid congestion taxes.
Volt meets highest safety standards
The Chevrolet Volt has earned a top five-star rating from Euro NCAP, the European New Car Assessment Program. It has an extremely rigid body structure consisting of advanced high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels.
The Volt's brake rotors are subjected to Ferritic Nitro-Carburizing (FNC), a high temperature treatment that significantly expands the lifetime of the parts and protects them against corrosion. FNC rotors create less brake dust than non-FNC rotors and eliminate the brake pedal or steering-wheel shudder experienced in cars equipped with non-FNC rotors.
Further safety system highlights lane departure warning, following distance indicator, enhanced traffic sign recognition and forward collision alert. Forward collision alert detects objects of potential interest up to 90 meters away by means of a front view camera and notifies the driver through a chime.
The Chevrolet Volt offers enhanced connectivity
The latest Volt model offers the same impressive list of features as before, plus Chevrolet’s new MyLink connected radio. It allows users to open phone books, personal playlists, and photo galleries from compatible smartphones. Connectivity is provided through USB, Bluetooth and aux-in. In addition to voice recognition, this system offers text-to-speech capability, which enables customers to listen to text messages from their smartphone.
Warranty and Service beyond 2015
Chevrolet continues to provide warranty, service and parts through its service network to all existing and new Volt owners beyond 2015. Parts are expected to be available for a minimum of 10 years after the original sale of a new car.
Status: January 2014