Posted by: carboncreditsusa | December 18, 2008

2010 Chevrolet Volt To Drive 40 Miles Per Charge With Gasoline-Powered Generator Charging Battery After Lower State Of Charge


The battery propels the Volt for its first 40 miles on a charge. That number is significant, Peterson says, because nearly 80% of the U.S. population faces daily one-way commutes of less than 20 miles. Once the battery reaches a lower state of charge, the Volt’s gasoline-powered generator kicks in to recharge the battery, allowing it to continue powering the vehicle down the road for a few hundred additional miles.

Most eagerly anticipated is the 2010 Chevrolet Volt, which General Motors is calling an “extended range electric vehicle.” According to Rob Peterson, manager of electric vehicle technology communications with General Motors in Detroit, the Volt features a nearly 400-pound T-shaped lithium-ion battery that’s aligned down the vehicle’s center spine beneath the passenger compartment.

But those who stay within that 40-mile round-trip to work each day wouldn’t need the generator  and could ostensibly do 100% of their commuting on pure electricity.

Some observers believe cars that run on lithium-ion batteries, on which GM is banking heavily, are more likely to be profitable in the long-term than current hybrid technology. Because so-called two-mode hybrids feature two separate power trains — one gas and one electric — they are expensive to manufacture, and even economies of scale will not mitigate that cost. In addition, the nickel-hydride batteries used exclusively in today’s hybrids is also exceptionally costly, owing to the fact that nickel is an expensive metal that’s expected to become even more so over time.

The price to develop lithium-ion batteries is daunting now, those experts argue. But once developed, those batteries will power vehicles that will be more affordable to manufacture on a long-term basis than today’s hybrids.
According to Peterson, the Chevy Volt will go into production in November 2010, with first sales to the public expected before the end of that year.

Meanwhile, Toyota is planning to unveil a mass-produced battery electric vehicle, or BEV, according to John Hanson, national manager of environmental safety and quality communications for Torrance, Calif.-based Toyota Motor Sales USA. Toyota expects that car to be on the market in the early 2010s.


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