Europeans tend to go for diesel vehicles over hybrids since they care about the performance they get from their cars. With that in mind, General Motors may dramatically reengineer the Chevrolet Volt/Opel Ampera extend-rage electric-vehicle to better suit high-speed European needs.
How will GM go about doing that? A report by the Telegraph suggests that GM is considering powering the Volt directly from its gasoline engine at high-speeds. While the electric-motor will still be a part of the game, the 40 mile on battery power alone range is expected to drop.
“We are considering driving the wheels directly from the petrol engine,” says Andreas Voight, an Opel project engineer. “There are a number of different ways we could do it, but the whole thing is subject to some intellectual property rights negotiations so I can’t say any more,” said Voight. “You will see an announcement this autumn.”
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:
– By: Omar Rana