Chevy Volt: driven by petrol power, part-time

October 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Much controversy over the latest Chevy Volt revelations: turns out it isn’t wholly electrically-driven after all. Whilst the claims that “GM lied” (as many bloggers are blustering) are understandable, it’s not a total whitewash, however: the range-extender engine, which acts as a generator producing electrical energy most of the time, supplements the motors’ power during high-speed cruising over 70mph, or when under heavy load (i.e. on steep uphill inclines). It’s still not directly linked to the drive system, however, and as such, the Volt can still be described as an “extended-range EV” rather than a hybrid. GM says that this arrangement – kept quiet until now until the patents were in place – gives a 10-15% fuel economy improvement and allows for a few extra miles of range in electric-only mode. More at Autocar, which has a fairly sensible take on the situation; official response from GM here.


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