GM revealed the production model of its highly-anticipated plug-in electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, this morning. GM’s chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner, introduced the Volt, scheduled to go on sale in 2010, at the automaker’s Detroit headquarters during an event to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
"The Volt symbolizes General Motors’ commitment to the future," Wagoner said.
The Volt can go 40 miles on a large, t-shaped lithium-ion battery pack running the length of the car. After that, a small gas engine will power it for 300 miles, making it the first long-range electric vehicle.
GM did not announce pricing for the car, which will have the equivalent of about 150 horsepower and a top speed of 100 mph, the automaker said.
To charge the lithium-ion battery pack, drivers will plug a cord into one of the ports just ahead of each of the side mirrors, reports CNNMoney. The cord can then be attached to an ordinary home electrical outlet.
The car will cost "less than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee" to recharge, and use less electricity annually than a refrigerator. The Volt should cost less than 2 cents per mile to drive on electricity, GM said, compared to 12 cents a mile on gasoline at a price of $3.60 a gallon.
After an “accidental” leak of photos of the production Volt last week, the feedback GM received was not good. A lot of people didn’t like the rounded, bubble-like shape of the Volt. It looked nothing like the concept version, which was edgy and futuristic.
Apparently, the concept car’s angular face wasn’t aerodynamically efficient enough to make it to the final version as GM engineers and designers tried to extract every extra foot of "all electric" range from the car, GM designers have said.
The Volt will seat four, not five, as the space required by the battery pack would not allow for a center seating position in the back, GM said.
GM is also planning to debut another plug-in vehicle in 2009, the Saturn Vue Plug-in Hybrid SUV. That vehicle will be a standard hybrid vehicle, meaning that both gasoline and electric power will move the wheels.
Photos courtesy of Reuters.