August 19, 2008 GM's extended-range electric Chevy Volt is slated to hit showrooms in 2010. After a rave reception of the sporty concept vehicle in early 2007, GM have been going full steam ahead on the production model - and now the Volt's Director of Design is calling for feedback on the first teaser pics of the production design.
GM's Chevy Volt is one of a few exciting consumer-level electric cars set to launch in 2010. With a top speed around 190kmh, The Volt's fully electric range is only around 40 miles, but GM expects that this will allow the majority of people to comfortably go gasoline-free on their daily commute.
To make the car practical for longer trips, there's also a simple petrol-powered generator on board to replenish the battery and give the Volt a range of up to 360 miles and the ability to top up at petrol stations if there's no time for a full charge. GM is careful to point out that the petrol generator doesn't make the Volt a hybrid - it's an electric car most of the time with a range extender to bring longer trips into reach.
The new Volt design emphasises slippery aerodynamics to ge the most out of its Lithium-ion battery pack. "Aerodynamics is extremely important for an electric vehicle like the Volt, which is designed to drive up to 40 miles using only electricity to power the car," said Bob Boniface, GM's Director of Design for the Volt. "By minimizing aero drag, we can maximize the range of the battery. So, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that my exterior design team spent countless hours in the wind tunnel with our aerodynamicist to refine the Volt’s exterior. We believe this was time well spent - when you’re trying to extend gas-free driving of the vehicle, you’ll take all the efficiency you can get."
Boniface is looking for feedback on what will eventually become the Volt's production design over at the GM Next blog.