2011 Chevrolet Volt – Vehicle Electrification Initiative

Beginning December 2010, the Chevrolet Volt will be on sale in limited quantitites and in limited markets in the United States. This unique car, powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and supplemented by a 1.4-liter four cylinder engine, has been in the works for several years. The hype has far exceeded the product’s impact, nonetheless the Chevy Volt could eventually lay the groundwork for future vehicles utilizing what GM calls its Voltec technology.

Modern EV

What is so special about the Volt? Many things including that it will allow GM to finally say that it has built and sold an electric car. GM did build a modern electric car dubbed the EV1 beginning in the 1990s, but that program was canceled. GM never got beyond the test phase for those vehicles and received criticism for “killing the electric car” with some people suggesting a widespread conspiracy with the oil companies.

Conspiracy theory aside, the earlier electric vehicle or EV likely cost too much to produce and that technology wasn’t as advanced as what will be found in the Chevy Volt. For one, the lithium-ion battery pack is far superior than the nickel-cadmium pack used in the EV1, offering better range and lighter materials. In addition, the testing GM has been doing with the Volt demonstrates that the car won’t wilt under Arizona desert driving conditions or freeze up in a Minnesota winter. Continue reading “2011 Chevrolet Volt – Vehicle Electrification Initiative”