The 2011 Chevrolet Volt hasn’t even hit dealerships yet and General Motors’ engineers are already looking for ways to cut costs on the second-generation model. The battery-pack of the current model costs roughly $10,000 and GM is doing all it can to get that down by 50 percent by the time the next Volt is due.
GM’s new vice president of global vehicle engineering, Karl Stracke, says that the company is considering a wide range of possibilities including a rotary engine or a 2-cylinder gasoline engine making 15-18 kW. Stracke says the Detroit automaker is also looking at a diesel engine.
“The cost of the engine would be higher for the manufacturer,” said Stracke, “but the fuel costs would be cheaper for customers.”
Refresher: The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, “T”-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. According to GM”s preliminary specs, the system puts out 150-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes less than 3 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 8 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries a 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 300 miles.
First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Volt:
All Photos Copyright © 2010 Omar Rana ““ egmCarTech.
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Inside Line