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2007 Detroit Auto Show – Chevrolet Screams 'We're Green Too!' with their Volt Concept

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The Conceptual Answer?
A tangible concept can help communicate in a way words never could. General Motors’ introduction of its Chevrolet Volt Concept Vehicle at the 2007 North American Auto Show put hardware in the forefront where GM only trotted out talking heads at the LA Auto Show. In Los Angeles, GM simply stood behind a podium and rattled off statistics and their plans for a greener future. But in Detroit they communicated with a concept that probably created the most positive ‘green’ PR buzz they’ve had in awhile.
In fact, the Volt may be a green idea that would get the most jaded of AutoPacific and VehicleVoice staffers “green”.
Is the Chevrolet Volt the Most Important Concept at NAIAS?
The Chevrolet Volt, seemed to zap the audience into believing GM will rule the global market with a cure-all plug-in vehicle. In terms of powertrain technology the Volt may have been the most important vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show.
The illusive answer to the problem of petroleum-based transportation has been challenging both consumers and automotive manufacturers for years and yet no long-term definitive answer has been delivered. Sure, some auto manufacturers have toyed with plug in electric vehicles but they have either been viewed as science experiments for the environmentally friendly few or self-proclaimed socially conscious. The Chevrolet Volt may be the conceptual (read: theoretical) answer allowing the consumer to choose the most energy efficient solution within their geographic region.


The Versatile Volt – E-Flex
A collaborative effort between GE plastics and GM the Volt’s exterior is attractively styled. With very little finessing, the Volt’s exterior could be turned into a production vehicle and not simply viewed as another oddly styled ‘plug in’ (e.g. EV1).
The Volt E-Flex offers package provisions for a global market interested in decreasing their dependence on oil. It is really first and foremost an electric plug in with a range of 40 miles using lithium ion batteries. The wheels will forever be driven by electricity. However, the true genius lies in the Volts versatility.
The Volt concept allows consumers to choose their energy solution based on energy availability where you live. Should you live in the U.S. perhaps you would opt for the Inline 3-cylinder internal combustion gasoline engine running E-85. The Volt would offer a myriad of other geographically dictated choices including Gasoline, E-85, Hydrogen and Pure Electric. In a nutshell the Volt will run off of Lithium Ion batteries and the energy medium of your choice.

WHAT! Only 40 Miles? – Then Engines Recharge the Batteries
Yes, the Volt does have an Achilles heel; it will only propel you 40 miles down the road before it switches to its E-flex powerplant or you plug it back in. Not a big deal. The beauty of the system is that the engine will be putt-putting at a constant RPM serving only to charge the batteries. The electric motors will be doing all the work. This will result in a competitive cruising range and “miles per gallon” ratings substantially higher than a typical hybrid.

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