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GM's Hybrid Electric Chevy 'Volt'

SpecialChem / Mar 2, 2007

General Motor's electric concept vehicle introduction by Robert A. Lutz, Vice Chairman, Product Development, and Chairman, GM North America at the recent North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit was the Chevrolet Volt. Built on a new platform referred to as E-flex, the coupe spins the front wheels via a 161 HP electric motor and a lithium-ion storage battery pack with 16 kWh of capacity, which is a piece of technology that, by GM's own admission, is not yet ready for prime time. An Ecotec-branded turbocharged 71 HP engine sits under the hood to spin a 53 kW generator, which provides one method by which to charge the pack; the other consists of a pair of plugs, one on either side, that facilitate charging via a standard 110V connection. Six hours or so of charge time at home is good for 40 miles of range, after which the IE (electrical storage) kicks in at a steady 1800 RPM to feed the packs. GM calls it an EV (electric vehicle) with 'range extending capability', but it appears and acts like a series hybrid.

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