After yesterday's media inferno surrounding whether or not the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is a true electric vehicle, General Motors is out to set the record straight. The company has released a statement on its Chevrolet Voltage blog that goes deeper into the Hows and Whys of the vehicle's drivetrain. According to The General's latest statement, the car's Voltec drivetrain cannot operate without power to the electric motors. Furthermore, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder range-extending engine can't move the Volt by its lonesome.
That sounds good and all, but what about the reports that arose yesterday that indicated that the gasoline engine could, in fact, drive the Volt's wheels? GM says that notion is somewhat misguided. In its statement, GM states that there isn't a fixed gear ratio between the engine and the drive wheels. Instead, the four-cylinder generates power that is then fed through the drive unit during extended range driving. That power is then "balanced by the generator and traction motor."
That still reads a little murky to us, but we're going to reserve final judgment until we can manage to drive the production vehicle for ourselves. As for why it took so long for GM to come out and reveal the details of the Volt drivetrain, the company says that until just recently, its patents on the Voltec system were still pending. Now that they've been secured, GM is less worried about another manufacturer swiping ideas from its system. You can read the full statement here, including a laundry list of complimentary quotes about the Volt from various media outlets.