Volt – It’s electrifying

Volt2-Andrew-FarahThe Chevy Volt is something different and new, naturally you probably have some questions about the vehicle and how it all works. Well, to your luck, the Chief Engineer behind the Chevy Volt – Andrew Farah, answered several great questions about the Volt in the following Q&A.

[Comment From Scott ]
How was the drive and how does it compare to other hybrids such as the insight and prius?
Andrew Farah:  Clearly I enjoyed the significantly longer EV distance that is available with the Volt.   I had to drive quite some distance before the engine came on, even though I didn’t start with a full charge.   By comparison, our chassis is much more sporty than either of the other vehicles.
[Comment From Augie Churchill ]
Mr. Farah, Do you have any preliminary projections yet for the “Mean Time Between Failures” of the Volt’s Lithium-ion battery? Will there be a warranty for the battery separate from the car’s basic warranty? Have you thought of leasing the Volt’s battery so customers can swap out batteries as the technology evolves and better batteries become available?
Andrew Farah:  We’re designing for the battery pack to have a 10-year life and there has been discussion of all sorts of battery business models, but we’re working form the perspective that it will be sold with the car.
[Comment From EricR ]
How goes the software development and GUI for the interior?
Andrew Farah:  Basic controls software architecture is complete. The GUI is one of the areas that we will be refining over the next months. Still, a number of controls areas will continue calibration activities.
[Comment From Yakov ]
What will be the approximate size of the fuel tank and maximum range?
Andrew Farah:  We’re still balancing the size of the tank with other factors, but the range will be more than 300 miles on a full charge and with a full tank of fuel.
[Comment From Tom Hayden ]
Are you driving the VOLT solely on battery power so far?
Andrew Farah:  No, we’ve been driving the Volt on battery and generator.   However, keep in mind, that when the generator is running, we’re still driving electric and the battery still plays a load leveling role.
GM’s Vice Chairman of Global Product Development, Bob Lutz, gives a brief history of the Chevrolet Volt and explains the technical and design elements that make the Volt so revolutionary.
[Comment From alexander ]
What will the volt mean for the long term survival of GM?
Andrew Farah:  The Volt is an emerging technology vehicle and any company that wants to continue to improve/progress has got to be ready to move with the technology quickly.   Electrified vehicles will certainly be a significant portion of our future sales, and the Volt is a great next step.
[Comment From Greg ]
Is the round charging port the design that will be used on production models?
Andrew Farah:  We have adopted the revised SAE J1772 charge port/connector specification.   While this is a bit larger than what we have shown previously, it will enable interoperatibility with public charging that is greater than 120V.   So yes, this is production intent.
[Comment From Rick ]
Have you driven the IV in charge sustaining mode yet? If so, what can you tell us about the experience?
Andrew Farah:  Just yesterday, I was driving the latest calibration of charge sustaining mode, and I’m extremely pleased. This is one of the more challenging development activities over the next months.
[Comment From Bill Secinaro ]
Could you explain how the Volt is different from the current hybrids in that the electric motor is actually powering the vehicle at all times? Is this true?
Andrew Farah:  Hi Bill…you’re correct that the electric motor is always powering the wheels, whereas in a typical hybrid vehicle the electric motor and the gasoline engine can power the wheels. The greatest advantage of an extended-range electric vehicle like the Volt is the increased all electric range and the significant total vehicle range combined.
[Comment From Aaron Crossen ]
Will the Volt be available in different trim levels?
Andrew Farah:  Yes, and we’ll have more info on that closer to launch, but you should expect more than one trim level as with most other Chevrolets.
[Comment From Thomas Foxcroft ]
What is the energy output of the traction battery in kilowatts?
Andrew Farah:  We limit the total system to 110 kW.
[Comment From Jim Rowland ]
Does the volt respond the same in all electric mode as well as when the ICE is running, as far as back wheel power or accelation?
Andrew Farah:  The Volt is front wheel drive and yes, the capabilities of the vehicle are the same in EV and extended range modes.
[Comment From Carol Samuelson ]
Why has the charging port been relocated to the gas cap feature instead of the location in previous vehicles on the fender?
Andrew Farah:  The SAE connector is a bit larger than would fit under the fender trim, so we moved it down to accomodate.
[Comment From Kyle ]
Is their a considerable difference between the handling of the iver and the mule/cruze body?
Andrew Farah:  We had a few mule vehicles that had chassis set-ups exactly the way that we want the vehicle in production.   The pre-production vehicles are meeting this same level of performance, however, we still have some work to do on ride height, spring rates, etc.
[Comment From Bob “Sweets” Peters ]
When I was in the process of purchasing a car a couple of years ago I considered a hybrid vehicle but was told by many people that although it was enviromentally friendly it wasn’t economically friendly to someone who drives short distances…what’s your opinion of this with the Volt?
Andrew Farah:  Hey Sweets.   For short distances, less than about 40 miles, the Volt will be very economical from a cost of electricity per mile vs. gasoline per mile.   Of course, this changes as fuel prices fluctuate.   How far is it from Flat Rock to Ann Arbor? Wink
Andrew Farah:  Final question, let me find a good one…
[Comment From Dan Toomes ]
What affect does extreme cold have on the ability of the batteries to provide power to the vehicle? Might this require the engine to run to provide power?
Andrew Farah:  As most people know, cold batteries cannot deliver as much power as warm batteries.   The Volt is equipped with an automatic battery thermal management system that will keep them within an optimal temperature range.   However, in extremely cold situations we will have to use the engine to supplement the battery.
Andrew Farah:  Thanks everyone for the great questions today.   I look forward to doing this again soon.
For more information about the Volt or to see how you can get one, give us a call at (815) 747-3011 and we will be more than happy to assist you.

1 Comment

  1. Yes, all the companies are trying to produce best cars on electricity, but I’m not sure of the purpose of this

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s