The design of the Chevrolet Volt production car has evolved from the original concept that was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The production version of the Volt, shown here, is more sedan-like. Here General Motors North America Vice President Chevrolet Ed Peper stands with the Chevy Volt electric vehicle.
For trips up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered only by electricity stored in its 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator seamlessly provides electricity to power the Volt's electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. This mode of operation extends the range of the Chevy Volt for several hundred additional miles, until the vehicle's battery can be charged.
Now in its engineering mule form, the Volt has been seen running around GM's facilities for testing and media purposes.
GM has outlined part of its strategy for building the Volt, saying that the company will establish the first lithium-ion battery pack manufacturing facility in the United States operated by a major automaker.
Despite GM's troubles, the company is charging ahead with Volt development. In June 2008, the GM Board of Directors approved the Chevrolet Volt program and Voltec propulsion system for production starting in late 2010.
The Chevrolet Volt in the Battery Lab at the General Motors Tech Center in Warren, Michigan Wednesday, October 15, 2008. Expect the battery pack to be the "secret sauce" for electric cars in the future.