Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What is the Chevy Volt?

In case you have not heard about the Chevy Volt, I would like to tell you a little of what I know. Introduced in January 2007 at the Detroit Auto Show, GM announced it as a concept plug-in hydrid electric vehicle. The car would have a 40 mile electric only range and then a genset would kick on to run the car and charge the batteries afterwards. GM said that most people do not drive more than 40 miles per day, so this would let drivers use the car without having to burn gasoline. Those were educated assumptions.

Since that show, this particular vehicle has become wildly popular and people have clamored for it, so much so that GM has moved it from concept to production. There is also a website dedicated to the Volt and you can view it at I personally like to visit that site as the web host now has access to the movers and shakers at GM and gives its readers much useful information. To see what the GM website has to say about the Volt, navigate here. Also, GM now calls the Volt an extended-range electric vehicle, or EREV for short. Apparently, they thought that acronym more descriptive than PHEV (plug-in hybrid vehicle).

I think the Volt is a great idea. I think GM could have BEGUN production a year ago using sophisticated lead acid or NiMH battery technology. Instead, they have spent much time and money perfecting a lithium ion pack and now the company is on the brink of collapse. Will the Volt ever make it to market? I am doubtful. What say you?

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