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Chevy Volt Concept

Production Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt MPV5 Concept
GM revises its all-electric range for the Chevrolet Volt

At lot has changed with the Chevrolet Volt since it was first shown in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show in early 2007. Gone is the swoopy bodywork (which was deemed elegant, yet not aerodynamic enough), support for E85 fuel (the Volt now requires premium), and the gas tank was cut in size from 12 gallons to less than 8 gallons.

One thing that remained constant through this constant state of change with the Volt program over the past three years has been the electric driving range of the vehicle. General Motors has always stuck to a 40-mile range for the vehicle on battery power alone. Now, however, GM has revised the battery range to "25 to 50 miles" according to the Associated Press.

GM spokesman Rob Peterson says that the revised range figures come as a result of extended testing including operating the Volt in extreme temperatures. Other factors that will come into play include whether the driver is traveling on flat or hilly roads, whether the HVAC is operating, or if the driver has a lead foot.

By stating this change now, GM may avoid complaints from customers in the future who don't achieve the previously stated 40-mile battery range. On the flip side, Volt owners who drive on absolutely perfect/level roads, don't run the AC, and drive miserly can at least be delighted at the potential for 50 miles of battery-only travel.

The additional driving range provided by the gasoline engine/generator remains the same at 300 miles.

GM expects to build 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011 at a cost of $41,000 each (before a $7,500 tax credit). The company hopes to boost production to 30,000 the following year.

The Volt will be joined at a later date by the Volt MPV5 which offers a crossover body style and seating for 5. GM stated that that the vehicle would have an electric driving range of 32 miles at its announcement – there's no word on what the revised figure will be once it reaches production.

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By Spivonious on 9/24/2010 9:55:35 AM , Rating: 0
Every announcement about this car lessens its appeal to me.

-lame body work
-$40,000 price tag
-25 mile range

If GM hopes to compete with the regular hybrids at all, they need to get it under $30,000 before any tax credits, extend the range to at least 50 miles minimum, and bring back at least elements of the concept body design.

RE: Boo
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2010 10:43:21 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed on the design. Was way cooler when the concept was how it was going to be built. I still wouldn't be buying one though. If I was going to spend over $41,000 on a car, it'd be a barely used Corvette.

RE: Boo
By Keeir on 9/24/2010 11:04:14 AM , Rating: 3
Ouch. Logic fail.

GM has been very open. The goal of the project has been to get ~40 AER on the EPA City and Highway Cycles. For most people this would translate into ~35-40 mile range. But guess what, just like a Leaf's range is 47 to 138 miles... the Volt's all electric range can vary around its average.

The REAL news here is that the Volt will kick the generator on at 32% in normal mode (~40% in mountain mode) regardless of the number of miles traveled. There had been some concern that the Volt would automatically start the generator after so many miles as an additional way to protect the battery. This allows people like me that regularly exceed EPA cycles even when driving normally to get more than the original 40 miles AER.

RE: Boo
By flatrock on 9/24/2010 11:51:14 AM , Rating: 2
Far too high of a price premium and added hasle of plugging the car in for too limited of a benefit. I wonder what the range would be for a southern California commute in the middle of summer where the AC will be running full blast and that battery efficiency will drop because of the heat as well.

It sounds to me like the first generation volt will be a toy for people who have excess money to spend on feeling good about reducing their "carbon footprint" a relatively small amount.

Even with the high price tag I doubt the will sell enough to come close to covering development costs. For GM the value of the Volt is in showing that they are a leader rather than just following in the footsteps of other (mostly Japanese) companies. Hopefully they will be well positioned with an improved 2nd generation Volt when the economy improves.

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