With less than one year left until the Chevrolet Volt begins rolling off the assembly line, battery pack chemistry has been finalized. The engineers at GM have decided on lithium manganese polymer chemistry to store power for the plug-in hybrid, which has a range of at least 40 miles without burning any gasoline. GM plans for the battery pack to have a 10-year life, much longer than that of current hybrids.
Vehicle weigy is being looked at very seriously through Volt production, as every ounce saved will allow further range. As it stands the battery pack alone weighs in at nearly 440 lbs. With that said, final vehicle weight is yet to be determined.
Chevy is also addressing with the silent nature of hybrids and ways to alert pedestrians and bicyclists of the Volt’s presence. It has developed a friendlier version of the standard honk that will notify people nearby that the car is approaching. The audible tone would be activated by simply pulling on the turn signal indicator.
The Chevy Volt is scheduled to begin production late in 2010 as a 2011 model. “We’re on schedule to start regular production of the Chevrolet Volt almost exactly one year from now,” said Volt vehicle chief engineer Andrew Farah. The plug-in hybrid sedan will be built at a Cadillac plant in Hamtramck, just outside Detroit. The plant is being retooled to prepare for Volt production.