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13/04/2012 728

Chevrolet - Volt Concept

Chevrolet Volt - GM's Concept Electric Vehicle - Could Nearly Eliminate Trips To The Gas Station

The Chevrolet Volt concept sedan, powered by the E-flex System – GM’s next-generation electric propulsion system – could nearly eliminate trips to the gas station.

The Chevrolet Volt is a battery-powered, four-passenger electric vehicle that uses a gas engine to create additional electricity to extend its range. The Volt draws from GM’s previous experience in starting the modern electric vehicle market when it launched the EV1 in 1996, according to GM Vice Chairman Robert A. Lutz.

“The EV1 was the benchmark in battery technology and was a tremendous achievement,” Lutz said. “Even so, electric vehicles, in general, had limitations. They had limited range, limited room for passengers or luggage, couldn’t climb a hill or run the air conditioning without depleting the battery, and had no device to get you home when the battery’s charge ran low.

“The Chevrolet Volt is a new type of electric vehicle. It addresses the range problem and has room for passengers and their stuff. You can climb a hill or turn on the air conditioning and not worry about it.”

The Volt can be fully charged by plugging it into a 110-volt outlet for approximately six hours a day. When the lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the Volt can deliver 40 city miles of pure electric vehicle range. When the battery is depleted, a 1L, three-cylinder turbocharged engine spins at a constant speed, or revolutions per minute (rpm), to create electricity and replenish the battery. According to Lutz, this increases the fuel economy and range.

“If you lived within 30 miles from work (60 miles round trip) and charged your vehicle every night when you came home or during the day at work, you would get 150 miles per gallon,” Lutz said. “More than half of all Americans live within 20 miles of where they work (40 miles round trip). In that case, you might never burn a drop of gas during the life of the car.”

In addition, the Chevrolet Volt is designed to run on E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Using E85, fuel economy of 150 mpg would translate into more than 525 miles per petroleum gallon.

In the event a driver forgets to charge the vehicle or goes on a vacation far away, the Volt would still get 50 mpg by using the engine to convert gasoline into electricity and extending its range up to 640 miles, more than double that of today’s conventional vehicles.

A technological breakthrough required to make this concept a reality is a large lithium-ion battery. This type of electric car, which the technical community calls an “EV range-extender,” would require a battery pack that weighs nearly 400 pounds (181 kg). Some experts predict that such a battery – or a similar battery – could be production-ready by 2010 to 2012.

Jon Lauckner, GM vice president of Global Program Management, said the Volt is uniquely built to accommodate a number of advanced technology propulsion solutions that can give GM a competitive advantage.

"Today's vehicles were designed around mechanical propulsion systems that use petroleum as their primary source of fuel." Lauckner said. Tomorrow's vehicles need to be developed around a new propulsion architecture with electricity in mind. The Volt is the first vehicle designed around GM's E-flex System.

“That’s why we are also showing a variant of the Chevrolet Volt with a hydrogen-powered fuel cell, instead of a gasoline engine EV range-extender,” said Lauckner. “Or, you might have a diesel engine driving the generator to create electricity, using bio-diesel. Finally, an engine using 100-percent ethanol might be factored into the mix. The point is, all of these alternatives are possible with the E-Flex System.”

The Volt concept car is built on a modified future architecture, Lauckner said, similar to the one GM uses for current small cars, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR.

According to Larry Burns, GM vice president for research and development and strategic planning, the world’s growing demand for energy and its dependence on oil for transportation is the common theme behind today’s headlines.

“Whether your concern is energy security, global climate change, natural disasters, the high price of gas, the volatile pricing of a barrel of oil and the effect that unpredictability has on Wall Street – all of these issues point to a need for energy diversity,” said Burns. “Today, there are more than 800 million cars and trucks in the world. In 15 years, that will grow to 1.1 billion vehicles. We can’t continue to be 98-percent dependent on oil to meet our transportation needs. Something has to give. We think the Chevrolet Volt helps bring about the diversity that is needed. If electricity met only 10 percent of the world’s transportation needs, the impact would be huge.”

GM’s E-flex System moves automobile toward new electric age

GM’s E-flex System enables multiple propulsion systems to fit into a common chassis, using electric drive to help the world diversify energy sources and establish electricity from the grid as one of those sources.

“The DNA of the automobile has not changed in more than 100 years,” said Burns. “Vehicles still operate in pretty much the same fashion as when Karl Benz introduced the ‘horseless carriage’ in 1886.

“While mechanical propulsion will be with us for many decades to come, GM sees a market for various forms of electric vehicles, including fuel cells and electric vehicles using gas and diesel engines to extend the range. With our new E-flex concept, we can produce electricity from gasoline, ethanol, bio-diesel or hydrogen.

“We can tailor the propulsion to meet the specific needs and infrastructure of a given market. For example, somebody in Brazil might use 100-percent ethanol (E100) to power an engine generator and battery. A customer in Shanghai might get hydrogen from the sun and create electricity in a fuel cell. Meanwhile, a customer in Sweden might use wood to create bio-diesel.”

The Chevrolet Volt is just the first variant of the E-flex System. The Volt uses a large battery and a small, 1L turbocharged gasoline engine to produce enough electricity to go up to 640 miles and provide triple-digit fuel economy. GM will show other variations of the propulsion systems at future auto shows.

“GM is building a fuel cell variant that mirrors the propulsion system in the Chevrolet Sequel (fuel cell concept),” Burns said. “Instead of a big battery and a small engine generator used in the Volt, we would use a fuel cell propulsion system with a small battery to capture energy when the vehicle brakes. Because the Volt is so small and lightweight, we would need only about half of the hydrogen storage as the Sequel to get 300 miles of range.”

Future concepts might incorporate diesel generators, bio-diesel and E-100.

Environmentally conscious vehicles can be aesthetically appealing

With exterior proportions associated more with classic sports cars, the Chevrolet Volt conveys an immediate message of agility and sophistication. Twenty-one-inch wheels and sheer, taut surface relationships reiterate the statement. The Volt’s athletic design challenges the notion that an environmentally conscious vehicle can’t be beautiful and possess an aesthetic spirit that matches its driving characteristics.

“We leveraged our resources around the globe to develop the design aesthetic for the Volt,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. “It was important that the design capture the face of the Chevrolet as it’s recognized around the world.”

True to the heritage of its Chevrolet bowtie, the Volt’s exterior design suggests spirited performance and is wrapped in a stylish package, with classic Chevrolet performance cues that hint at both Camaro and Corvette. On the inside, near-term technologies and innovative materials combine with ingenious use of ambient light for an interior environment that’s light, airy and thoughtful.

“First and foremost, this is an advanced technology vehicle that uses little to no fuel at all. But we didn’t see any reason why that should compromise its design,” said Anne Asensio, executive director, GM Design. Asensio led the design team that created the Volt concept, with designs solicited from GM’s studios around the world.

“We wanted a size that connected with everyone, so we designed a small car,” said Asensio. “In the end, the interior design team from England inspired the final interior execution, and the exterior is the work of the Michigan advanced design team.

“Our job was to design a vehicle people could easily imagine,” said Asensio. “It couldn’t be a ‘science project,’ because that’s not what this car is all about. It had to be realistic, executable and carry the essence of the Chevrolet brand.”

 

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DESIGN:

CHEVROLET VOLT CONCEPT’S SPIRITED DESIGN PROVES ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS VEHICLES CAN OFFER EXCITING STYLING

DETROIT – While the technologically advanced Chevrolet Volt has the capability to travel 40 miles on electricity alone, at first glance, the concept could easily be mistaken as simply a design statement.

The Volt conveys an immediate message of agility and sophistication, with exterior proportions more commonly associated with classic sports cars. Twenty-one-inch wheels and sheer, taut surface relationships reiterate the statement. The Chevrolet Volt’s athletic design challenges the notion that an environmentally conscious vehicle can’t be beautiful and possess an aesthetic spirit that matches its driving characteristics.

“We’ve leveraged our resources around the globe to develop the design aesthetic for the Volt,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. “It was important that the design capture the face of Chevrolet as it’s recognized around the world.” Design and engineering collaboration between GM designers and GE Plastics, using unique material technology and design engineering support, helped achieve the Volt’s distinctive appearance. True to the heritage of its Chevrolet bowtie, the Volt’s exterior design suggests spirited performance and is wrapped in a stylish package, with classic Chevrolet performance cues that hint at both Camaro and Corvette.

Inside, a host of current or near-term technologies and materials, combined with ingenious use of ambient light, creates an interior environment that’s light, airy and thoughtful.

“First and foremost, this is an advanced technology vehicle that uses little or no fuel at all. But we didn’t see any reason why that should compromise its design,” said Anne Asensio, executive director, GM Design. Asensio led the design team that created the Volt concept, with designs solicited from GM’s studios around the world.

“We wanted a size that connected with everyone, so we designed a small car,” said Asensio. “In the end, the interior design team from England inspired the final interior execution, and the exterior was the work of the Michigan advanced design team.

“Our job was to design a vehicle people could easily imagine seeing on the road,” said Asensio. “It couldn’t be a ‘science project,’ because that’s not what this car is all about. It had to be realistic, executable and carry the essence of the Chevrolet brand.”

Athletic, bold exterior

Sized for an urban-centric lifestyle, the Volt concept sedan carries dimensions similar to a Chevrolet Cobalt, with an overall length of approximately 170 inches (4,318 mm), a height of 52.6 inches (1,336 mm) and a width of 70.5 inches (1,791 mm). However, the Volt’s proportions, dictated by the layout of its electrically driven powertrain system, make it distinctly different from its mainstream Cobalt sibling.

“The configuration of the drive and energy components dictated we push the front wheels forward and outward to the corners,” said Bob Boniface, design director, GM Design, and lead exterior designer. “We wanted to keep the overall dimensions relatively small. This is an urban-centric car, so it needs to fit into small areas.”

The Volt’s proportions, combined with large wheels, wide front and rear tracks (64 inches / 163 mm, front and rear) and a tight wheel-to-body relationship, enable a sporty, confident stance. Other key proportional highlights include a dash-to-axle length that positions the driver far rearward of the front wheels; large 21-inch by 7.5-inch wheels; short front and rear overhangs and departure angles that deliver a sense of taut, compact energy. Also, the offsets between the upper glass elements and tire planes (the glass is inboard of the face of the tires) contribute to the sedan’s balanced stance and enhance the vehicle’s dynamic static image, resulting in pure, athletic proportions.

“What’s beautiful about the proportions is that when you think about some of the competitors out there, you tend to think of those vehicles as ‘the sensible shoe,’ “said Boniface. “People buy environmentally friendly cars because they feel it’s the right thing to do, not necessarily because of their looks or to make a fashion statement. But the Volt is different. It’s something one would buy because it is so compelling to look at, and the fact that it has the potential to never burn any gasoline – that’s just a bonus.”

Transparent roof and beltline

The Volt’s roof, side glass and beltline are constructed of GE Plastics transparent, glazed polycarbonate material that delivers the scratch resistance and gloss surface appearance of glass, combined with the formability of a plastic composite.

As a result, the Volt provides the driver and occupants with exceptional visibility, enabling a “city lights” theme in which the outside world passes through to the interior of the vehicle. Also contributing to the visibility is a shouldered, tinted side glass – constructed of the same GE polycarbonate material – that enables a dual beltline.

Additional exterior design elements

In addition to the upper daylight opening and roof, key exterior panels are made with a GE Plastics composite, and each – in and of itself – is designed as an artful shape that could be displayed on its own. As a result, the exterior panels fit together like a well-crafted puzzle, with flowing surface-to-surface cut lines that bring a sophisticated composition and overall harmony to the Volt’s exterior appearance.

The front door hinges enable enhanced entry/egress to the vehicle, as well as a graceful, forward-leaning door cut line. Milled from billets of stainless steel, the hinges serve as design elements, extending into the front quarter fenders and incorporating a plug-in recharging port access on both sides of the vehicle.

The vehicle face – designed to carry a serious, confident appearance – is clearly Chevrolet, with a twin-port front grille, center-positioned bowtie and lower air intake. Horizontal headlamps with aluminum bezels deliver a jeweled appearance, leading to translucent light-emitting diode (LED) forward illumination elements.

The underside of the vehicle consists of a flat, composite molded belly pan that is integrated with the fascias and rockers for a clean, uncluttered and finished appearance. The belly pan – which contributes significantly to the Volt’s 0.30 coefficient of drag – contributes to the sedan’s overall impression of refinement and demonstrates the design of the underbody was just as important as the upper body.

Thoughtful interior

The interior environment of the Volt was designed to appeal to an urban dweller who desires a smart, daily-use vehicle, according to Wade Bryant, design director, GM Design.

“On the interior of the Volt, you’ll find technologies, materials and an environment that enable the car to help make life simpler for a person who’s environmentally conscious and leads a city-centered lifestyle,” said Bryant. “It’s ergonomically correct, provides connectivity to the world, and demonstrates smart responsibility through the use of lightweight, recyclable materials.” Two such examples are the instrument panel topper and steering wheel made with GE Plastics.

Bryant said the interior environment of the four-passenger Volt is defined by a host of current or near-term technologies and materials combined with the ingenious use of ambient light. “It’s definitely based in reality. All the things you see on the interior are within reach in the next few years.”

According to Bryant, the interior team and the exterior designers worked closely together to make the Volt look like one vehicle. Two examples of their collaboration are the dual beltline and the door hinge that’s visible outside of the car. “We designed this as one element that comes inside the door and becomes the interior pull handle,” said Bryant. “It’s all about integration, refinement and thoughtfulness.”

Super Imaging instrument cluster

Super Imaging is an innovative, dual-mode technology display that provides two visual levels of vehicle information to the driver in the instrument cluster. It is a design innovation developed to provide a primary interface between the driver and the vehicle’s key feature: the next-generation, electrically driven propulsion system.

“The dual-mode instrument cluster was developed to highlight the car’s plug-in capability,” said Bryant. “The powertrain technology is the key feature, so we wanted to make sure the interior communicated that, and the driver would have a sophisticated, fun and useful interaction with the electric-drive system.”

The first level of information – configured similarly to a conventional instrument cluster – provides traditional data in the form of analog, three-dimensional (3D) LED displays, including three gauges for fuel level, speedometer, odometer, battery level and the transmission “PRNDL” indicator. The second level of information – a transparent screen positioned in front of the 3D LED displays – delivers color, animated data related to the Volt’s advanced propulsion system with a holographic-like appearance.

Super Imaging works by using invisible, fluorescent inks that are printed on the transparent screen. When illuminated by an ultraviolet (UV) laser projector located behind the instrument cluster (from the driver’s perspective), the inks become excited, and provide four-color illumination and animation.

Foam/fabric surfaces

Compression-molded foam with a textile-patterned surface layer is applied on the entire lower instrument panel, lower door trim panels and rear quarter trim areas. The material enables soft, tactile, low-gloss surfaces throughout the interior cabin that appear hand-crafted and specifically tailored to the car.

This material, used in some of the latest luggage designs, enables zippered access to traditional storage areas such as the glove box, doors, etc. The material is very inexpensive, wears well and enables flexibility in design.

Composite panels

Molded GE plastic panels provide thin, structural interior surfaces that can be cantilevered in space. The material is applied on the upper instrument panel, seat backs, center console sides and door inserts.

Light, strong, affordable and recyclable, the panels are sheathed in reconstructed scrap leather to achieve a soft, hand-crafted surface.

Use of ambient light

The aspect of light – from outside and within the vehicle – is played throughout the interior environment. Highlights include a transparent upper roof that provides large quantities of natural light and is enhanced with thinner pillars and rail sections; Gelcore® LED indirect lighting around the roof periphery that illuminates during evening hour entry/egress and can be seen from outside the vehicle; LED functional storage lighting that passes through transparent zippers and provides ambient light during evening hours; and conductive ink controls situated on the interior surface of the glass roof that provide touch access to lights, OnStar buttons and more.

“All the storage areas are lighted internally, and the light escapes through the clear zippers, so you’ll always be able to find your storage at night,” Bryant said. “It all adds a nice little ambient effect, and the illumination will be color-keyed to the instrumentation lighting color. It’s functional and cool, and when you open it, light from the interior storage area spills out.

“A big enabler is the transparent upper roof. It provides the Volt with more natural light than most other vehicles. It’s very distinctive and appealing.”

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E-FLEX

GM’S E-FLEX SYSTEM MOVES THE AUTOMOBILE TOWARD NEW ELECTRIC AGE

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. will introduce multiple propulsion systems that fit into a common chassis, using electric drive to help the world diversify energy sources and establish electricity from the grid as one of those sources.

GM refers to this family of propulsion systems as the “E-flex System.”

“The DNA of the automobile has not changed in more than 100 years,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development and strategic planning. “Vehicles still operate in pretty much the same fashion as when Karl Benz introduced the ‘horseless carriage’ in 1886.

“While mechanical propulsion will be with us for many decades to come, GM sees a market for various forms of electric vehicles, including fuel cells and electric vehicles using gas and diesel engines to extend the range. With our new E-flex concept, we can produce electricity from gasoline, ethanol, bio-diesel or hydrogen.

“We can tailor the propulsion to meet the specific needs and infrastructure of a given market. For example, somebody in Brazil might use 100-percent ethanol to power an engine generator and battery. A customer in Shanghai might get hydrogen from the sun and create electricity in a fuel cell. Meanwhile, a customer in Sweden might use wood to create bio-diesel.”

The Chevrolet Volt, introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit , is just the first variant of the E-flex System. The Volt uses a large battery and a small, 1L turbo gasoline engine to produce enough electricity to go up to 640 miles and provide triple-digit fuel economy. GM will show other variations of the propulsion systems at future auto shows.

“GM is building a fuel cell variant that mirrors the propulsion system in the Chevrolet Sequel (fuel cell vehicle),” Burns said. “Instead of a big battery and a small engine generator used in the Volt, we would use a fuel cell propulsion system with a small battery to capture energy when the vehicle brakes. Because the Volt is so small and lightweight, we would need only about half of the hydrogen storage as the Sequel to get 300 miles of range.”

Future concepts might incorporate diesel generators, bio-diesel and pure ethanol (E-100).

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CHEVROLET VOLT CONCEPT SEDAN SPECIFICATIONS

Overview

Model:

Chevrolet Volt Concept

Body style / driveline:

4-5-passenger sedan, unitized frame, electric propulsion, front wheel drive

Construction:

body-frame-integral structure with composite exterior panels and roof

EPA vehicle class

compact car (four doors with rear liftgate)

 

Drive system

Description:

electrically driven system with onboard range extender, plug-in recharge capability

Battery system:

 

Type:

lithium-ion

Energy:

16 kWh (minimum)

Peak power:

130 to 140 kW

Voltage:

320 to 350

100% recharge time:

 

110-volt outlet:

6 to 6.5 hours

Electric traction system:

 

Max. electrical power:

130 to 140 kW

Max. mechanical power:

120 kW

Continuous electrical power:

45 kW

Continuous mechanical power:

40 kW

Generator:

 

Power:

53 kW peak power

Drive:

direct

Range extender:

 

Type:

3-cylinder, turbocharged engine

Size:

1L

Fuel:

gas or E85

Nominal speed:

1500 to 1800 rpm

Max speed:

3200 rpm

Fuel tank (gal / L):

12 / 54.5

Charger:

 

Type:

plug-in

Voltage / amp:

110 / 15

Horsepower (hp / kW):

160 / 120

Torque (lb-ft / Nm):

236 / 320

Electric mode range:

40 miles – full electric vehicle (EV) range

Estimated fuel economy @ constant state of charge:

50 mpg during charge sustaining operation

Daily usage equivalent mpg:

 

@ 40 miles or less:

not applicable – no fuel used

@ 60 miles:

150 mpg

@ 80 miles:

100 mpg

0 to 60 mph:

8 to 8.5 seconds

Top speed (mph)

120 (limited duration)

 

Chassis/Suspension

Front:

independent, strut-type

Rear:

semi-independent torsion beam

Steering type:

electric, speed-sensitive, variable assist rack-and-pinion

Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m):

37 to 38 / 11.2 to 11.5

 

Brakes

Type:

electro-hydraulic power assisted; front disc, rear drum

 

Wheels/Tires

Wheel size (in):

21 x 6.5

Tires:

195/55R21, low-rolling resistance

 

Dimensions Exterior

Overall length (in / mm):

170 / 4318

Height (in / mm):

52.6 / 1336

Width (in / mm):

70.5 / 1791

 

Interior

Seating capacity (front / rear):

2/2

Headroom (in / mm):

front: 37.3 / 947 

rear: 35.9 / 912

Legroom (in / mm):

31.5 / 802

Shoulder room (in / mm):

50.6 / 1285

Hip room (in / mm):

53.1 / 1349

 

SOURCE: Chevrolet

Shows

2007  Detroit
2007  Shanghai

Picture places

Chevrolet 

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