General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Volt as a 2011 model on November 30, 2010. The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, produced by General Motors and assembled at the Hamtramck assembly plant in Detroit. The Chevy Volt is provided with an original Opel gasoline engine imported from the engine plant in Aspern, Austria. The engine was revised and got a lot of modified parts. The first car built for retail sale is now on display at the GM's Heritage Center museum in Michigan. The second vehicle was sold to Rick Hendrick at a public auction for $225,000, while an opening bid was $50,000. Sales began in December. The first retail Chevy Volt was delivered to an owner in Denville, New Jersey on December 2010. The cars first became available in Washington D.C., the New York City metropolitan region, Austin (TX), and California.
The Volt is equipped with 16 kWh (10.4 kWh usable) lithium ion battery. The Volt battery and all the Chevy Volt parts have gone through numerous environment-specific tests. It is provided with a 100,000 mile/8-year warranty. In order to recharge the battery, the car is to be plugged into a 120-240V AC residential electrical outlet. No external charging station is required. When the car's battery is depleted, the 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine powers a 55kW (74 hp) generator to extend the range. The generator transmits the electric power to the electric motor and driving wheels, the power excess goes to the batteries, depending on the batteries charge state. The electronic control unit controls the power distribution. According to EPA, the Volt total range on electricity and gasoline mode is 379 miles (610 km), while an all-electric range is 35 miles (56 km). The Volt's city/highway combined mode has the overall fuel economy rating of 60mpg (37 mpg in gasoline-only mode) and 93 mpg in all-electric mode. It means that the Volt has a premium fuel economy and makes a good challenge for the Toyota Prius, which is the most fuel efficient vehicle sold in the United States.
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is a hybrid, powered by electricity, being dependent on electrical outlets. It runs on electricity from the battery and on electricity produced by on-board gas-generator. Chevrolet Volt regenerative braking system converts car's kinetic energy into electricity, which makes the Volt even more efficient. In moderate conditions, depending on battery age and air temperature, the Chevrolet Volt can run 25 to 50 miles on electricity from the battery, that is gas and emissions free. Then its gas-powered generator automatically switches on to provide the power for another 300 miles or so. In view of the above, the Chevrolet Volt can run hundreds of miles until it'll be necessary to plug it in to recharge the battery or refuel the engine. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt stands a prestigious position in auto industry not only because it's able to operate using two sources of power (battery and gas generator electricity) but also because it's more efficient than any other vehicle in its class.
Chevrolet Volt has already got the following recognition and awards: In 2009 (at Washington Auto Show) it was awarded with Green Car Vision Award by the Green Car Journal. At the International Automobile Festival, the Chevrolet Volt received the 2009 Environmental Grand Prize. In 2011 Chevrolet Volt became the Motor Trend Car of the Year. The Chevrolet Volt was the first vehicle powered by electricity to win the Green Car of the Year award in 2010, rewarded by Green Car Journal at Los Angeles Auto Show. The Chevrolet Volt was recognized as 2011 Automobile of the Year by Automobile Magazine.
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