"It's just one of the many good things Motor Trend magazine had to say about the all-new Chevrolet Volt as it named the car the "2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year®." The annual award is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed in the auto industry and further proof that it's a new day for Chevrolet, not to mention the entire auto industry. Powered by electricity without being tethered to electrical outlets, the Volt does everything a great car does and, according to Motor Trend, better than any other. It's further proof that today, tomorrow and on into the future, Chevy Runs Deep.
VOLT FAQ 2011 NORTH AMERICAN CAR OF THE YEAR
Volt FAQs Overview RangeFuel EconomyChargingBattery LifeWarranty
(1) Based on GM testing. EPA estimates not yet available.
(2) Whichever comes first. See dealer for details.
(3) To take advantage of a reduced off-peak rate plan, you must sign up through your utility. Not all utilities offer off-peak rate plans at this time.
Q. What is Volt?
A. Volt is a full performance and full speed electric vehicle with extended range. In its simplest form, the Volt operates two ways - EV mode (battery powered) and extended-range (gasoline powered). With a fully charged battery, in moderate conditions and depending on the temperature, terrain, battery age and how you drive, Volt offers an initial electric range of 35 miles
(1) - totally gas and tailpipe emissions free. After that, you can drive for a total range of up to 375 miles with the extended range mode until you can plug it in or fill it up again.
1. EPA estimate. Actual range varies with conditions.
2. EPA estimated 93 MPGe (electric); 35 city, 40 hwy MPG (gas). Actual range varies with conditions.
Q. How Volt works.
A. Energy is stored on board in a 16-kWh, T-shaped lithium-ion battery. The battery powers the electric drive unit, which is capable of meeting full vehicle speed and acceleration performance while driving the car electrically for an initial range without using a drop of gas.
And when the Volt's electric range has been used up, a gas engine works with the electric motors to keep you going. So whether you want to go cross-town or cross-country, you're free to drive wherever you want, efficiently. And even though the Volt plugs into any standard 120 V household outlet, if you don't have a chance to charge it, all you have to do is fill it up just like you do with your car now.
Q. How often do I have to plug it in?
A. While Volt has been designed to be the most efficient when it's plugged in daily, it will run efficiently without being plugged in for days, weeks or even months. With Volt, you don't have to plug in every day if it doesn't accommodate your schedule.
Q. What is it like to drive Volt?
A. Those who've had an opportunity to test-drive Volt have noticed how easy it is to use. Steve Parker, blogging on Huffington Post, commented on what it's like to drive Volt: Push the "start" button and Volt springs into life All in all, it's an intuitive area for the driver The car is quiet, smooth and fast off the line (electric motors have all their torque at start-up, unlike gas engines which need time to build power). On top of that, Volt can also accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about nine seconds.
Q. Is the Volt an electric car or a hybrid?
A. Volt is an innovative, never-been-done-before car that exists alone, in a brand-new category of cars. Volt is a full performance electric vehicle with extended range.
Q. How is the Volt different than the Toyota Prius (or a typical hybrid)?
A. Hybrids are not designed to travel extended distances in EV mode. Hybrids generally use battery power while stopped or at low speeds, and also cannot typically operate at high speeds while being powered by electricity alone. Volt is designed to travel longer distances and at all speeds (up to 100 mph) in EV mode. Once the battery is depleted, Volt uses the gas-powered, range extending generator to drive hundreds more miles.
Q. Why did GM go to all the trouble of developing something new instead of improving its previous electric car, the EV1?
A. Volt is an electric car with the flexibility that most American drivers need. We heard from American drivers that the current cars on the market aren't giving them what they want. They want freedom from the gas pump and freedom from the charging station. And that's why we built the Volt as a better electric car. The Volt can be your only car. A car that gives you freedom from gas and freedom to drive anywhere you like.
Q. Will old gas sitting in the tank damage my vehicle? I don't drive too far and I plan on using very little gasoline.
A. Part of the allure of Volt is the ability to drive gas and tailpipe emissions free. However, that means the gasoline in the tank might sit there for an extended period of time.
There are two modes that help make this process worry free.
Automatic Engine Maintenance: The Volt will alert you, as required, about every 6 weeks to run the engine to keep it properly maintained and lubricated. Note: This only occurs if the engine has not been used for the last 6 weeks.
Automatic Fuel Maintenance: The Volt will alert you that the engine will run to use up some of the older gasoline in the tank (over one year old). If the fuel in the tank is over 365 days old, the Volt will also alert you to add some fresh gas (gas will stay good in Volt's pressurized tank for approximately 365 days).
I guess if you've got that problem, it means that you've managed to stay gas and tailpipe emissions free for one heck of a long time. Good job! Range
Q. Electric Driving Range
A. With a fully charged battery, in moderate conditions and depending on the temperature, terrain, battery age and how you drive, you can go 35 miles on the electricity stored in the battery - totally gas and tailpipe emissions free.
(1) EPA estimate. Actual range varies with conditions.
A. On a full electric charge, most people can commute gas- and tailpipe emissions-free for an average of $1.50 of electricity per day. The battery combines the power of 288 lithium-ion battery cells. Each cell is about the size of a 5- by 7-inch photo frame, less than a quarter-inch thick, and weighs about a pound. The battery monitors the voltage and current of groups of cells. EPA estimated 35 miles initial range based on 93 MPGe (electric); actual range varies with conditions.
Q. How does regenerative braking work?.
A. Kinetic energy is the energy of an object in motion. When a vehicle slows or stops, this energy must be dissipated, which is usually accomplished through a conventional braking system, which converts the kinetic energy to heat. But this energy, which is typically lost, can be recaptured in the Volt, which instead converts it into electricity, helping to make Volt even more efficient to drive.
Here's how it works: Volt accelerates using its electric motor by converting electrical energy from the battery into mechanical energy. When you step on the brakes, even slightly, the electric motor reverses this process, converting mechanical energy from the motion of the vehicle back to electric energy into the battery to be re-used later.
Q. I thought the EV range was 25 to 50 miles, Why does the EPA label say 35 miles?
A. While the published EPA EV range for the Volt is an estimated 35 miles, the electric range that customers actually experience may be higher or lower than 35 due the driver's technique, the terrain, battery age and the outdoor temperature. On a full charge, most customers under moderate conditions will experience an estimated 25 to 50 miles of EV range. The high range of 50 miles is based on ideal circumstances - conservative driving using no air conditioning in mild outdoor temperatures. The 25 mile range represents a slightly more aggressive driving style using the heater in the ECO setting in cold outdoor temperatures of 25 degrees.
1. EV range claim is derived from EPA testing methodology. 50 miles is based on Urban Federal Test Procedure, which represents a miserly driver using no air conditioning in mild outdoor temperatures. 25 miles is based on a slightly more aggressive driving style using the heater in ECO setting at 74 degrees with cold outdoor temperatures of 25 degrees.
2. EPA estimated 35 miles initial electric range. Actual range varies with conditions. EPA estimated 93 MPGe (electric); 35 city, 40 hwy MPG (gas).
Q. Can I alter my driving habits to improve EV range?
A. There are a few ways to help with the extended range. - In terms of driving behavior, Volt has an efficiency gauge to help you drive smarter and more efficiently. You can optimize your efficiency by keeping the ball green and in the center of the gauge while you drive.- Control your cabin temperature settings. You'll get the most EV range with the heat and air conditioning turned off. To aid with this, there are three climate modes to choose from: Fan-only (most efficient), Eco and Comfort.- When you are done driving, take a look at the screen where Volt rates your driving style and climate settings to see how your last drive was rated for efficiency.
Q. What will cause my EV range to vary?
A. The electric range of the Volt may be higher or lower than expected due the driver's technique, the terrain, and/or the outdoor temperature. In other words, driving and braking aggressively, driving in areas with large elevation changes, or driving in extreme outdoor temperatures will impact the electric range capability. While electric-only range may vary based on these factors, the range extender feature is always available for hundreds of miles of additional driving.
Q. What causes the in-vehicle display for EV range to adjust?
A. The EV Range displayed in the vehicle is a projection based on recent driving conditions. It is normal for the displayed value to adjust while the vehicle is driven, as this estimate is constantly being re-calculated. Adjustments are based on recent driving history for the vehicle. The displayed EV Range can vary from season to season, week to week, day to day and even drive to drive.
High/Maximum impact Medium Impact Low/Minimal Impact
High cabin heat used on a cool day Eco cabin climate control Radio/USB
Cabin A/C on a hot day Rear window defog Sport Mode
Defrost (front window) Heated Seats
Cold outdoor temperatures Accessories (power outlet)
High Speeds (70+ mph) Low tire pressure
Aggressive Accelerations Steep Incline
Q. Will the engine ever start when there is EV range available?
A. Yes, when vehicle power is ON, the engine may start to provide energy for heating and cooling, independent of the vehicle being plugged in or completely charged. Some other conditions that may also cause the engine to start include: - Propulsion battery charge is low- Propulsion battery temperature is hot or cold- Cold ambient temperatures- Hood is open- Engine and Fuel Maintenance (occur only if engine has had very limited operation over a long period)
Q. Why does the engine start in cold ambient temperatures? What happens to the EV range?
A. In cold temperatures (around 25 degrees Fahrenheit and lower) the engine will start to help warm the interior cabin and the electric drive unit. This will occur even if the vehicle was plugged in prior to driving and if the driver has the heater turned off. The vehicle will turn the engine on and off as needed to control the temperature. The driver will be alerted of these changes based on the cluster changing displays from EV mode to extended range mode.
Q. What does "L" on the PRNDL do?
A. "L" position provides more coast down regenerative braking. When in "L" you can feel the vehicle decelerate more aggressively when you lift off the accelerator pedal. "L" can be useful for maintaining speeds on hilly roads.
Q. What happens if I drive further than the EV range (i.e., more than 35 miles)?
A. On a full charge, the Volt's initial electric range is an estimated 35 miles. After the Volt's electric range has been used up, a gas engine works with the electric motors to keep you going for up to 375 miles of total range. So whether you want to go cross-town or cross-country, you're free to drive wherever you want, efficiently. And even though the Volt plugs into any standard 120V household outlet, if you don't have a chance to charge it, all you have to do is fill it up just like you do with your car now.
Q. Why is the Volt Fuel Economy Label different?
A. With the influx of new-technology vehicles, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation are revising the fuel-economy labels for 2012 that are required on all new cars and light-duty trucks.
Volt's fuel economy label for 2011 is based on one of the proposals for 2012.
Q. How is the mpg displayed in the Volt calculated? Is it on the label?
A. In-vehicle, the Volt displays mpg calculated from the total miles driven divided by the total gallons of gas used. This is how most consumers think about fuel economy today, but it does not match the MPGe figures. The table on the lower portion of the Volt label shows what Volt drivers can expect to achieve using this calculation for mpg depending on how frequently they plug in.
Because real world fuel consumption of plug-in vehicles, like the Volt, is so dependent on how frequently they are charged, this table is particularly helpful for consumers in estimating how much gas they would use.
Q. What is MPGe, why is it on the label?
A. Current Electric Vehicles show EPA city and highway efficiency in units of kWh/100 miles, this makes it difficult for consumers to compare energy efficiency with more traditional cars and hybrids that are rated in miles per gallon.
The 2011 Volt label shows that cars will be rated on a miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe) scale, which converts alternative means of propulsion-such as electricity-based on its energy content relative to that of gasoline (for example, 33.7 kWh = 1 gallon of gas).
Vehicles that use electricity more efficiently (lower kWh/100 miles) will have a higher MPGe value.
Q. How many different mpgs are on the Volt label?
A. On the official vehicle label, fuel economy for the Volt is calculated several ways.
1. MPGe (all-electric)
2. MPG (gas only) assumes you never charge the Volt
3. MPGe (combined) based on a blend of EV and extended range driving
4. There is also a table on the label that shows the overall mileage (total miles/total gallons used) that a driver might realize a similar calculated value is displayed within the vehicle. Charging
Q. Off-peak charging.
A. To use the power grid more efficiently, we recommend recharging the Volt when overall energy demand is at its lowest each day. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this is usually from around 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. If you'd like to know whether reduced off peak electricity rates are offered in your area, contact your local electric company.
Q. What happens if I never charge the battery?
A. You'll probably spend more money on gas than you need to, but Volt will run just fine.
Q. Charging Station — Preparing for your Volt.
A. Every Volt comes standard with a 120V portable charge cord that can plug into most common household outlets and will fully charge a Volt in about 10 hours, depending on outdoor temperature. You can also have a 240V charging station (additional cost plus installation) professionally installed in your home that will reduce the charging time to about 4 hours.
Upon ordering a new Chevrolet Volt, discuss with your Volt Customer Advisor the benefits of installing a dedicated 240-volt home charging station. 240V Charging stations provide faster and more consistent charge times.
Chevrolet's home charging service provider offers charging stations, installations, permits, inspections, as well as information on special programs and incentives. Visit homecharging.spx.com/volt for more information.
Q. Is a special outlet required to charge the Volt?
A. No, you can plug it into any standard 120V household outlet. In the case of a non-dedicated circuit, the current rating of the outlet circuit breaker could be exceeded and cause it to trip or open.
Q. How long does Volt take to charge?
A. Using a 120V plug outlet, in about ten hours, depending on the climate, you'll have a fully charged Volt waiting for you, ready to go. You can also install a 240V charge station, which can charge Volt in as little as four hours. In very hot (95° F) or cold temperatures (25° F), charging times and energy usage will increase when using the 120V portable cord set. A 240V Charging Station is strongly recommended for consumers who plan to charge in extreme weather conditions (over 95° F or below 20° F) on a regular basis.
Q. What happens if the battery is not fully charged?
A. You won't have to worry about having enough time to fully charge Volt. A partially charged battery will work until it runs out, then the gas-powered electric generator will seamlessly kick in to provide electricity and extend your range for hundreds of miles.
Q. How much does Volt cost to charge?
A. Electricity is an extremely affordable transportation fuel. With a fully charged battery, most people can commute gas- and tailpipe emissions-free for about $1.50 per day. That's about the same annual cost as running a common household appliance. To save even more, some utility companies offer lower electricity rates for vehicles charging during off-peak periods, such as night.
(1) EPA estimated 35 miles initial range based on 93 MPGe (electric); actual range varies with conditions.
Q. What is Chevrolet doing with used batteries?
A. Well before the first Volt was sold, Chevrolet was looking to what will happen to the vehicle's batteries at the end of the EV's life cycle. Used battery cells may help to increase the efficiency of the electrical grid in America. GM has signed a memorandum of understanding with ABB Group aimed at developing new projects just for the Volt batteries after they've lived out their useful lives in the extended-range EV.
Q. Will I deplete the battery more quickly if I charged it before it's completely run down?
A. The Li-ion battery holds its charge efficiently and has no memory effect, which means you don't have to run it down completely before recharging.
Q. I know a little about wiring. Can I install a charging station myself?
A. We recommend that you have the 240V charging station professionally installed in your home by a certified electrician. Visit homecharging.spx.com/volt for information regarding home charging equipment, installation and special programs.
Q. I live in an apartment. How do I go about charging my Volt?
A. You will need access to a minimum requirement of a 120V/15A dedicated outlet that is located no more than 15 to 20 feet from your vehicle. Extension cords should NOT be used. Check with your property manager to see if they can accommodate your request.
Q. I sit in traffic on my commute. Does the battery drain when I'm sitting still?
A. If you are using power the battery will deplete, it is just a matter of how much. For example, sitting in traffic without the heat or air conditioning on will cause minimal battery drain. However, using high heat on a cool day or high A/C on a hot day or the defrost function will cause the battery to drain more quickly. Battery Life
Q. Why lithium-ion?
A. When you compare lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride battery technologies, it's clear why lithium was picked to power Volt. As you can see in the charts, lithium is superior in terms of power density, energy density and cycle life.
Q. How is the Volt battery protected from the elements?
A. A great battery is nothing unless it lasts. Each battery cell is encased in a polymer coated aluminum package to withstand harsh climates. It also uses meticulously developed anode, cathode and electrolyte chemistries to improve the battery life under high temperature conditions and a wide range of charge states. A liquid thermal cooling and heating system keeps the battery at a comfortable temperature as it's being charged and discharged.
Q. Battery Capacity over vehicle life.
A. Like all batteries, the amount of energy that the high voltage "propulsion" battery can store will decrease with time and miles driven. Depending on use, the battery may degrade as little as 10% to as much as 30% of capacity over the warranty period.
Q. What makes the Volt battery unique?
A. The Volt battery is designed for long life and to be reliable. Each battery pack is made up of 288 rectangular cells arranged in a series-parallel configuration. Computer systems monitor the battery cells to make sure everything is working correctly.
Q. Since this is a different kind of battery, I need to know what I can do to best take care of it.
A. Here are a few tips to help you maximize the life of your battery: - It is recommended that the vehicle be plugged-in when ambient temperatures are below 32F (0C) and above 90F (32C).- It is preferable to park out of direct sunlight to help stabilize any environmental affects. This is particularly important in very hot climates.- If long term, unplugged storage is required, store the vehicle with (50%) charge or less and always store it in an environment with temperatures between 15F (-10C) and 85F (30C). Like any vehicle the 12V battery may need to be supported during extended periods without driving. See the owner manual for how to keep the 12V battery from running down during extended storage.
Q. Durable battery design.
A. A great battery is nothing unless it lasts. That's why Chevy teamed up with LG Chem to design a durable and reliable battery. Each battery cell is encased in a polymer coated aluminum package to withstand harsh climates. It also uses meticulously developed anode, cathode and electrolyte chemistries to improve the battery life under high temperature conditions and a wide range of charge states. A liquid thermal cooling and heating system keeps the battery at a comfortable temperature as it's being charged and discharged. Warranty
Q. Is there a warranty on the battery?
A. Chevrolet backs it with a 100,000 mile/8-year Battery and Voltec Component Warranty. In addition to the battery, the warranty covers the thermal management system, charging system and electric drive components.
EXTERIOR Thoughtful efficiency
By its very nature, the all-new Volt is engineered to change the face of transportation as we know it. Nearly every component of the Volt has been selected to get the most out of every charge, including:
•Aerodynamics that maximize the distance per charge and miles per gallon of fuel
•A closed grille and aerodynamic back edges contribute to its fuel efficiency
•Energy-efficient Bose® Sound System
•Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires
The Volt battery has gone through numerous environment-specific tests, including corrosion and hot- and cold-weather testing and the results were so promising that the 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is backed by an 100,000 mile/8-year warranty. Here are a few more notes on the battery:
•Just plug it in to charge the battery, and most people can commute gas-free and tailpipe emissions-free for about $1.50 of electricity per day.
•A small, quiet on-board gas generator creates electricity that powers your Volt as you drive for hundreds of miles on battery and gas power.
•Lithium-ion cells outperform nickel metal hydride cells (found in today's hybrids) in terms of life cycle
•A liquid thermal cooling and heating system keeps the battery at a comfortable temperature as it's being charged and discharged
Here are a few more advantages
•Can be set to charge during off-peak hours for greater savings
•Your Volt will be fully charged in about 10 hours, depending on climate, with standard 120-volt line, or as little as 4 hours using a dedicated 240-volt line
Volt offers the performance and forward-thinking you've come to expect from Chevrolet. Take a look:
•Instant, smooth and seamless torque right at the wheels
•Regenerative braking captures the energy from forward motion that would otherwise be lost when the car slows or stops and then converts it into electricity, helping to make the Volt even more efficient to drive
•When running on electricity, the Volt can reach a top speed of 100 mph in near silence. Free of the typical noise of the internal combustion engine, the Volt offers a quieter, more relaxing ride at any speed
Making the future safer Volt drivers and passengers will be wrapped in a cocoon of standard safety. With eight air bags ready to deploy in an emergency, it's obvious safety is of the highest priority. Joining this built-in safety is an unprecedented five-year subscription to OnStar's® Directions and Connections® Plan including Automatic Crash Response. In the event of a collision, built-in sensors can automatically alert an OnStar Advisor, who is immediately connected into your vehicle to see if you need help sent to your exact location — even if you can't respond.
The Volt has been programmed with three unique driving modes to accommodate different driving styles. Normal mode is the most efficient setting that takes the electricity and focuses it on operating the electric drive. Sport mode sacrifices a small amount of efficiency for more responsive acceleration, and Mountain mode makes sure the battery has a bigger energy reserve for driving up long, steep inclines.
Volt Mobile App
Anywhere you get a signal on your smartphone, you can have total control of your Volt. Tap away and, with the OnStar mobile app, you'll be able to check the battery charge level, available range, tire pressure, remote lock and unlock and even activate the remote start to heat or cool the interior to your preferred temperature. Navigate the interactive screens of the app, and you can change how and when you want your Volt to charge. You can even set up Alerts via text or email to remind you to plug in your Volt, when charging is complete or if charging has been interrupted. The app also provides a single button to access a Volt Customer Advisor who can answer vehicle specific questions.
Electricity - a more sensible primary fuel Put simply, electricity is a cleaner source of power. And as technology improves in the generation of electricity, we will continue to see reduced carbon outputs. Advancements in electricity production along with reduction in emissions from electric-powered driving could help make our world a cleaner place.
There's nothing like changing everything
The year of the Volt continues. Green Car Journal has just named the all-new Chevrolet Volt its 2011 Green Car of the Year, the first electric car to ever win the award. The premier magazine on high fuel efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles says, "This has been a long time coming," noting that early electric cars showed promise, but lacked practicality. The Volt runs on electricity for an initial range of 35 miles on a single charge, before a gas generator seamlessly creates electricity for up to 340 additional miles on a full tank of gas.* Practical indeed.
*EPA estimates. Actual range varies with conditions
2011 VOLTMSRP(1) Starting at $32,780
Price after tax savings. Net price shown includes the full $7,500 tax credit
Written by: Chevy Volt Electric Car
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