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Chevy Volt Loses Volts

Chevy Volt Loses Volts

Chevy Volt

By Evan Ackerman

Alright, so technically I guess the Chevy Volt is losing amps, not volts, but it was a pretty obligatory headline, right? GM says that they’re going to be reducing the size of the Volt’s gas tank from 12 gallons to something less than that (but they’re not exactly sure how much yet). This’ll drop the range of the Volt from about 600 miles to less than 400 miles.

Just to recap, the Volt travels its first 40 miles on pure electricity (which it gets from your wall outlet). After that, a gas powered generator kicks in to extend the range of the car. On a day to day basis, most people don’t drive more than 40 miles, so the gas tank isn’t a factor at all. When it comes to longer trips, GM says that having a range of 600 miles isn’t really necessary since “most bladders can’t go 600 miles.” Um, okay. Also, reducing the size of the gas tank will apparently reduce both cost and weight, enabling GM to call this an “improvement,” although I can’t imagine it’s really that significant.

I guess this shouldn’t be that big of a deal, and this sort of thing is only to be expected as the Volt transitions from concept to reality, but I’m worried that the essence (and the remarkableness) of the Volt is getting slowly eaten away. The late 2010 release date is only a few years away, but a lot can happen between now and then, and so far, it hasn’t been anything good.

[ Chevy Volt ] VIA [ Autoblog ]

  • Sly

    This isn’t so bad- most gas powered cars that I’ve owned can only travel 350 miles on a tank. It is unfortunate that when concept cars become real cars they lose some awesome points, but the average person couldn’t actually afford most concept vehicles if they were produced in their original concept form.

  • So basically you could commute 40 miles daily on electricity and then gas the rest of the time? That is a huge money save right? Oh and I think this car is going to be in the Transformers movie along with the Chevy Beat. So if it doesn’t suck in the movie I bet people would be interested in buying it.

  • An idea to think about: A removable ‘trunk’ that contains a generator and fuel that has the ability to produce 75% of the energy to run the car (if it takes 100kw per hour, generate 75kw). Have this kick in when the battery hits 50% charge.
    Use the weight reduction to increase battery size which will increase electric only range. Aim for 60 miles.
    On days that one is traveling less then 60 miles, leave the ‘trunk’ at home. If you are going more then 60 take the ‘trunk’, and you should get around 100 miles of range. If you are running in the city you will get a lot more range as there are all those stoplights and traffic jams to charge up during.
    The trunk can also be shared between cars, so one per family (assuming they have the same model car, or some smart company makes a universal connection)