Engineers Confirm Chevrolet Volt is Capable of All-Electric, 40-Mile Target

General Motors engineers have confirmed that the upcoming Chevrolet Volt will indeed be capable of achieving its highly touted all-electric, 40-mile range.

Andrew Farah, the Volt’s chief engineer and former EV1 engineer, is confident the Volt’s lithium-ion battery technology and power system will hold up to its billing when it’s time to go live.

“We’re still doing a few last-minute tweaks and tunes on the aerodynamics but, again, that’s just to stabilize some things,” says Farah. “This weekend alone, I had at least two cycles that were over 40 miles. I think I drove one at 41.5 and another 42.5.”

After its 40-mile all-electric range, the extended-range electric vehicle uses a fuel-sipping 1.4-liter, four-cylinder generator to replenish battery charge. The generator is rated at 71 horsepower after all power conversion losses while the electric motor moving the Volt puts out 149 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Plug-in capability and regenerative braking are also key components to the Volt's wizardry.

Late last month, GM's Hamtramck assembly plant started building its first Volts for manufacturer validation. Several hundred of these manufacturing-validation vehicles will be built before production of consumer production models begins later this year. The actual date for full-scale production has not been revealed yet but GM asserts the Volt will be released by the end of 2010. Final pricing is currently predicted to be set at $32,500, after a $7500 federal tax credit.

Source: Detroit Free Press

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