How far can cutting-edge, environmentally responsible transportation take you? The all-new 2012 Chevrolet Volt ? the world's first electric vehicle with extended range ? can drive between 40 and 80 kilometres1 on electric power alone ? and then keep going, thanks to the 1.4L gasoline-powered generator. Statement-making design meets innovative technology and advanced connectivity in Volt. The result, as described by Motor Trend, in naming Volt its 2011 Car of the Year: 'Moon shot. Game-changer. The car of the future that you can drive today, and every day.
The Volt is the most fuel-efficient compact car with a gasoline engine sold in the United States, as rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Volt operates as a pure battery electric vehicle until its plug-in battery capacity drops to a predetermined threshold from full charge, at which point its gasoline engine powers an electric generator to extend the vehicle's range. The Volt's regenerative braking also contributes to the on-board electricity generation. In order to further improve energy efficiency, the internal combustion engine may at times be linked mechanically to assist its traction motor to propel the Volt.
The Chevrolet Volt has won numerous awards such as the 2009 Green Car Vision Award, 2011 Green Car of the Year, 2011 North American Car of the Year, 2011 World Green Car and 2012 European Car of the Year.
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has a 16 kW·h / 45 A·h (10.4 kW·h usable) lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged by plugging the car into a 120-240 VAC residential electrical outlet using the provided SAE J1772-compliant charging cord. No external charging station is required. The Volt is propelled by an electric motor with a peak output of 111 kW (149 hp) delivering 273 lb·ft (370 N·m) of torque.
While driving, after the Volt battery has dropped to a predetermined threshold from full charge, a small naturally aspirated 1.4-liter 4-cylinder internal combustion engine (Opel's Family 0) with approximately 80 horsepower, burns premium gasoline to power a 55 kW (74 hp) generator to extend the Volt's range. The vehicle also has a regenerative braking system. The electrical power from the generator is sent primarily to the electric motor, with the excess going to the batteries, depending on the state of charge (SOC) of the battery pack and the power demanded at the wheels.The Volt requires premium gasoline because the higher octane rating fuel allows the 10.5:1 compression ratio engine to maximize its fuel efficiency by 5 to 10% as compared to regular gasoline. For users who drive mostly in electric mode and to avoid maintenance problems caused by storing the same gasoline in the tank for months, the 2011 Volt has a sealed and pressurized fuel tank to avoid evaporation, and as a result, the fuel filler has to be depressurized before opening the tank. Also the engine management system monitors the time between engine running and it is programmed to prompt the driver to run past the 40-mile (64 km) all-electric range before recharging in order to consume some gasoline. If the driver does not run on gasoline, the system will automatically run the maintenance mode which starts the engine to consume some of the aging fuel and circulate the fluids within the engine. A configuration with an E85 flex-fuel capable engine is under development and is expected to be available in 2013