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GM 2011 Chevy Volt Officially Unveiled Inside and Out

General Motors today unveiled in Detroit the 2011 Chevrolet Volt in a press showing the company says launches “its next 100 years.”

While the Chevy Volt has been seen in concept form since its showing in the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, today’s unveiling displays the production version that should reach consumers and roads late 2010.

What sets the Chevy Volt from other energy-friendly mainstream vehicles on the road today is its ability to run purely on electric power for the first 40 city miles after a full charge, making those miles completely gasoline- and emissions-free.

"Revealing the production version of the Chevy Volt is a great way to open our second century," said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO. "The Volt is symbolic of GM’s strong commitment to the future ... just the kind of technology innovation that our industry needs to respond to today’s and tomorrow’s energy and environmental challenges."

For trips up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered only by its 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. When the battery’s energy is depleted, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator steps in to power the Volt’s electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery, which should extend the range of the Volt for several hundred additional miles.

A standard household 120v outlet will charge the Volt completely in about eight hours. With an industrial 240v, the charge time falls to a mere three hours.

GM estimates that a full charge for 40 miles will cost about 80 cents (at 10 cents per kWh), which equates to two cents per mile, comparing favorably against 12 cents per mile using gasoline (at $3.60 per gallon).

Besides the production exterior, the finalized interior was also part of the showing. While under the hood there is lots of technical whiz-bang, the interior is clearly one aimed at being cost-effective. Dual LCD screens highlight both the instrument cluster as well as the center dash. It would be unfair to call the interior unsightly, but rather it’ll be a matter of taste. If nothing else, the interior of the Chevy Volt appears to borrow more from consumer electronic appliances rather than conventional automotive dials and switches.

For a video explanation of the interior and other photographs, see Autoblog.

The Chevrolet Volt is expected to be built at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing facility late 2010. Pricing has not been announced.

  • Pei-chen
    1kWh is $0.20 in NYC. So this means I can save more or save a lot more buying a gas or diesel car.
    Reply
  • scooterlibby
    I think calling it emission free is a bit misleading. If it has to be electricly charged, it is likely that electricity came from a caol burning plant, which are the largest source of greenhouse gasses in the US.
    Reply
  • timaahhh
    If 1KWh is 20 cents in NYC then charging the car would cost 160 cent, (20 cents/hour over 8 hours). If you can get 40 miles for 160 cents then you are paying 4 cents per mile. That is way better then any gas or diesel car...

    If a car has an insanely awesome mile per gallon ratio lets say 50 MPG and one gallon cost 350 cents then you would be paying 7 cents per mile. Your car would have to get over 80 miles per gallon to match this car. If you know of such a car let me know. (I realize the Toyota Prius Hybrid can if you trick it out however Pei-chen claims there is a gas car that can do that).

    If this car is priced reasonably then there isn't anything that can match it.
    Reply
  • why not just call it chevy TL
    Reply
  • ACURA TL.
    Reply
  • calamit
    scooterlibbyI think calling it emission free is a bit misleading. If it has to be electricly charged, it is likely that electricity came from a caol burning plant, which are the largest source of greenhouse gasses in the US.
    Riiiiiight. Coal accounts for 22.6% of US energy.

    petrol 39.8
    nat gas 22.4
    renewable energy 6.8
    nuclear 8.2
    Reply
  • magicandy
    calamit
    They weren't saying that coal is the largest source of energy in the US, they were saying that it accounts for the largest amount of greenhouse gases, which is true even though it's not our most widely used form of energy production.
    Reply
  • No it is an emission free vehicle while on electric power as it is not emitting any substance into the environment when operating. Putting the burden on the factory production emissions on the vehicle itself is moronic. The vehicle has to be "produced" whether its hybrid, electric or internal combustion. All production factories produce emissions. The vehicle will not simply pop in out of thin air. This vehicle, as all no emission vehicles simply break the chain once they are produced. And yes, eventually it will end up in a landfill, unless recycled, just like every other vehicle you drive as it will not simply dissappear into thin air.

    Say hello to reality.
    Reply
  • dogman-x
    scooterlibbyI think calling it emission free is a bit misleading. If it has to be electrically charged, it is likely that electricity came from a coal burning plant, which are the largest source of greenhouse gasses in the US.Yes, it's not emission free, but even with today's mix of fuels for electricity, and the energy required to make the batteries, electric cars produce 40% less emissions than a regular car, and that will only improve as wind and solar power ramp up.

    Remember that gas engines are very inefficient, like around 20%. Huge stationary electric power plants have inherent advantages in efficiency. That's why emissions are so much less with electric cars.
    Reply
  • dogman-x
    paullubbockAnd yes, eventually it will end up in a landfill, unless recycled, just like every other vehicle you drive as it will not simply disappear into thin air.Say hello to reality.Most cars are recycled for scrap metal and spare parts. Lithium Ion batteries are expensive, so there would be a strong motivation to recycle them. Also note that Lithium is not a dangerous substance. People eat the stuff.
    Reply