Sunday, March 6, 2011

2011 The Concept Plug-In Chevrolet Volt Hybrid Car

General Motors is seeking to regain its hold in the auto industry by introducing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle known as the Chevrolet Volt. Launched in December 2010 as a 2011 model, it was first offered at a retail price of $41,000.00 before factory incentives, tax deductions and other subsidies. It is also available through a lease program consisting of 36 monthly payments of US $350.00 plus $2,500.00 at lease signing and an option to buy at the end of the lease term. At least seven regions were included in the initial launch area with nationwide availability expected to happen within 12 to 18 months.

The makers of Volt refer to it as an Extended Range Electric Vehicle because of the vehicle's range-extending gasoline powered internal combustion engine. General Motors purposely avoids the term "hybrid" to describe the Volt. However, industry experts see it as a plug-in series hybrid because the internal combustion engine and electric motor is combined in a series rather than parallel.

The Chevrolet Volt is a mid-sized car with a 5-door lift back body style. It has a front-engine, front-wheel drive layout. Its engine consists of 149 hp electric motor and a 1.4 L 4-cylinder for powering a 74 hp generator. It measures 4,500 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width and 1,430 mm in height. A person who drives less than 40 miles a day is guaranteed to use zero gasoline and produce zero emission. The Volt makes use of a gasoline powered, range extending engine which drives a generator to produce electric power when the lithium-ion battery is exhausted. This happens when the vehicle is driven beyond the 40-mile battery range.

HQ Chevrolet Auto Car : 2010 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Concept

HQ Chevrolet Auto Car : 2010 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Concept
Battery Power

The Volt shares the same platform underpinning its Chevrolet Cruze compact, but these two models are starkly different from each other. The Chevy Volt has a unique body, aerodynamically designed to enhance fuel economy at all times. As designed, the Volt will run on battery only power for the first 40 miles of drive before the supplemental gas engine kicks in. This extended range electric vehicle should be able to travel more than 340 miles on a full tank of gas and much further with additional fill ups. A nightly recharge will replenish the battery allowing the car to operate in electric-only mode once again.

So why buy a Volt and not a conventional hybrid vehicle such as the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight? Well, the Chevy Volt will offer far superior fuel economy, consuming less than half of the amount of gasoline the typical hybrid uses. In addition, when operating in electric-only mode, the Volt will emit zero emissions, something no hybrid can claim.

Volt Pricing

Certainly, the $41,000 price tag will limit the number of people willing to give the Volt a try. But, that price tag is reduced by $7,500 for people eligible to take the federal rebate. In addition, in some states, such as California, a $5,000 rebate is also available. That means your Volt, which will come with all of the amenities you want, will cost you about $28,500 plus license, taxes and tags.

Lastly, fuel savings should amount to about 500 gallons annually for the person who drives her Volt 15,000 miles annually. With gas prices averaging $3 per gallon that is an additional savings of $1500 per year or $15,000 for ten years.

Matthew C. Keegan is a freelance writer who resides in North Carolina. Matt is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport an aftermarket supplier of quality parts including head lamps and HID lights.

HQ Chevrolet Auto Car : 2010 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Concept

HQ Chevrolet Auto Car : 2010 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Concept

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