The Chevrolet Volt is a highly praised extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV) displaying the future technologies from General Motors. Expected to launch in or around 2010, the Volt’s E-Flex System uses lithium-ion batteries to offer a 40-mile range on electricity alone.

For trips under 40 miles, the Volt uses absolutely no gasoline for propulsion. To recharge the batteries, the Volt can be plugged into a standard 110-volt electrical outlet and receive a full charge in about six hours. For trips less than 40 miles or in the event the batteries weren’t fully charged, a small, 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged E85-capable engine extends the Volt’s range. While modern hybrids use an engine as part of the drivetrain, the Volt’s engine acts solely as a generator – running at a constant rpm to recharge the batteries. Chevrolet claims that with the engine charging the batteries, the Volt will get 60 miles per gallon with a total range of around 640 miles.

Chevrolet Volt Exterior

While GM’s last attempt at an electric vehicle, the EV-1, was a small two-seater with little storage capacity, the Volt features a larger design to allow it to be used for more practical, everyday travel. The Volt’s design is undoubtedly futuristic while retaining many design cues of a true Chevrolet. From the front, the Volt bears more than a little resemblance to the fifth generation Chevy Camaro with widely flared fenders reminiscent of the third generation Corvettes. In addition to the muscular looks, the Volt was also designed to be sleek and aerodynamic.

Chevrolet Volt Interior

Although the Volt is shorter than the Chevrolet Cobalt in both length and height, it’s increased width is what should help to provide a spacious and comfortable passenger cabin. The added width allows the Volt’s battery system to be mounted along the center of the car which not only helps fully utilize the car’s short length, but it should also help improve the driving characteristics. With the batteries in the center of the car, it allowed the Volt’s long wheelbase to stretch the cabin and maximize interior space. The concept also features a transparent roof and beltline, which would allow for a truly unique if carried over into production.

Chevrolet Volt Numbers at a Glance

Range:

  • Electricity Only: 40 miles
  • Extended Range: 640 miles
  • Estimated Miles Per Gallon: 60+

Base Technical Specifications:

  • Engine: 1.0-liter gasoline/E85 three-cylinder
  • Length: 170.0 in.
  • Height: 52.6 in.
  • Width:70.5 in.
  • MSRP: $30,000-$40,000(est.)