The new Chevrolet Hybrid is available on the US market since December 2010. The car’s name is Chevrolet Volt and it is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle produced by General Motors. The Chevrolet Volt is the newest type of electric car that is functional a long time because of its internal combustion generator.
If the first Chevrolet Volt had four doors and a top speed of 130 km/h, the new one is a two seats sports car. The first model manufactured and revealed to the public in 2008 suffered great changes, the new design being different from the original concept car. During two years Chevrolet’s engineers made improvements on the technical components and tested the combination between the lithium-ion battery pack and the non-turbocharged 1.4 liter engine. Even if the team had a short period of time to take care of all the details in order to create this hybrid it is a success.
Because of the Voltec propulsion system, this Chevrolet Hybrid can deliver 25 to 50 miles of all-electric driving with a single charge before the gasoline generator kicks in to supply electricity to power the engine for another 300 miles. The officials say that a full charge takes only eight hours from a standard North American 120 V and only three hours from a 240 VAC outlet.
The 1.4 liter engine RPO LUU with 4 cylinders produces 80 horsepower using premium gasoline. The GM Company is also developing an E85 flex-fuel Volt version that will be available in 2013. The Chevrolet Volt’s speed ranges between 30 and 70 miles per hour. After the electric range is depleted, the car can select the most appropriate drive mode from the two possible. This way, it improves the performance and the high speed efficiency with 15 percent. An interesting feature of the Chevrolet Hybrid is the sealed and pressurized fuel tank that avoids the evaporation of gasoline.
Chevrolet Hybrid interior
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has three drive modes: normal, sport and mountain. The last drive mode needs only an increased minimum battery state of charge of 45% that helps it “fight” against the unusual conditions. The engine’s noise will increase in this situation, because of the necessity of an additional power.
The hybrid car features a smart phone application that helps the driver to check the fuel efficiency and the electric range of the car. This application intends to control the locking/unlocking door process and to act as a remote starter of the car.
But the most important thing about a hybrid car is fuel consumption and the tailpipe emissions. According with the EPA ratings, the Volt tailpipe emission is of 84 grams of carbon dioxide/mile. Because of that the Chevrolet Hybrid beats the Toyota Prius when it comes to low greenhouse emissions. Moreover, the Chevrolet Volt provides fuel economy in the electric mode as well as in the gasoline mode.
As a reward for all the efforts made by the GM team to release this “green” car, the Chevrolet Volt was awarded a lot of prizes, such as the one from the Green Car Journal that named the 2011 Chevrolet Volt “The Green Car of the Year”, even if it competed with the Ford Fiesta, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the Nissan LEAF or the prize from the Automobile Magazine that named it the “2011 Automobile of the Year”.
You can become the owner of this amazing Chevrolet Hybrid for a price of $41,000. It may seem expensive compared to its competitor’s prices, but this “green” car earned its money, because it wrote a new page in the electric car history.