Monday, January 08, 2007

GM Volts Ahead

We had heard rumors that GM would show something special at the Detroit Auto Show, and the rumors were true.

Here is part of the story from the Flint Journal

Detroit shocker: GM unveils plug-in hybrid
- and plans to build it

The Flint Journal
Sunday, January 07, 2007
By Todd Seibttseibt

DETROIT - General Motors unveils a shocking concept car today: the Chevrolet VOLT. The VOLT moves GM toward a car driven solely by electrical components - yes, an electric car.

But it's one that plugs in to a normal outlet to recharge and has a small engine on board. And those two features mean no limits on driving range because of battery life.

GM plans to exhibit the VOLT at the Detroit auto show, which opens to the public Saturday at Cobo Center. And the company says it will put the vehicle into production as soon as it can work out some battery issues.

"We're committed to doing this fast," said Jon Lauckner, GM's vice president for global program management.

Unlike GM's 1990s foray into electric cars, the EV-1, the VOLT's 1-liter, three-cylinder, turbocharged engine can recharge the batteries on the fly, allowing cross-country travel.

The VOLT concept, part of an overarching "E-Flex" system, allows GM to develop vehicles that operate on different fuels, from gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel, E85 or E100, right on into the expected hydrogen-based future.

"We are very, very committed to this," said Bob Lutz, GM's vice chairman for global product development. "In our judgment, there is no single fuel for drive systems ... in the future." more

Perhaps more importantly, the Volt , as indicated above, is part of a whole new family of vehicle systems called E Flex.

GM Introduces Electric Vehicle System
World Changing
Mike Millikin
January 7, 2007

In an announcement its executives describe as “very important to the future of our company,” GM has introduced a new family of electric vehicle systems—the E-Flex Systems—and is showing the first concept application of E-Flex at the North American International Auto Show: the Chevrolet Volt, a 40-mile all-electric range (AER) plug-in hybrid.


E-Flex vehicles are all electrically-driven, are plug-in capable, feature common drivetrain components, and can generate electricity on board either through a genset or a fuel cell (a series hybrid configuration). Regenerative braking will also contribute to the on-board electricity generation. (“E” stands for electric drive and “Flex” for the different sources of electricity.)

The Chevy Volt. GM chose its Global Compact vehicle architecture (Cobalt-sized) for its first E-Flex application, the Chevrolet Volt.

The Volt uses the same electric motor as used in the Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle in its electric powertrain: a 120 kW peak machine that develops 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque.

The Volt will use a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that delivers 136 kW of peak power. Plug-in charging is designed for the home (110V, 15 amps) and will take around 6 to 6.5 hours.

The Volt can support all-electric mode from 0 to its top speed of 100 mph (with bursts to 120 mph). Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes 8 to 8.5 seconds. The basic operating strategy is to run the vehicle in all-electric mode until the state-of-charge (SOC) of the battery reaches 30%—that strategy delivers approximately a 40-mile range. more

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Blogger B said...

While I am quite green and happy to see progress, I do not feel that progress is a true manner to describe the Volt and GM as a whole. Not only have they built and sabotaged plug in electric vehicles, but they've "mused" about hybrids since the 60' (read here).

My point is that we know GM has been aware of the technology and able to build it for years... Yet they continue to produce hollow hybrids and dazzle most of the public with concept cars that will never see the light of day in the next 5 years if ever.

It's time for GM and many other companies to put up, or shut up. We know they can build green cars... Now just build one for the entire world...

10:23 AM  

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