GM Officially unveiled the Chevy Volt today, to which I asked, "Again?" To clarify this time it's the "Official Launch" and the first time industry outsiders we be given a full look at the mysterious vehicle scheduled to go on sale in 2010.
If all goes as planned this will be the first PLUG-IN Hybrid (PHEV) to hit the mainstream market. GM boasts that the car will cost "less than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee" to recharge, and use less electricity annually than a refrigerator. They estimate that the Volt should cost less than 2 cents per mile to drive on electricity. Not bad compared to 12 cents a mile they estimate for a car that gets 30 mpg on gasoline that costs $3.60 a gallon. Still good even compared to the 7 cents a mile the Prius costs at $3.60 a gallon.
A little different from other PHEV concepts the Volt is driven solely by an electric engine. It's batteries allow you to drive 40 miles before the gas engine kicks in. But instead of switching its drive train over to the gas engine, it uses the gas engine to produce the electricity to run the electric engine, enough for 300 more miles of driving.
As you can see in the picture above, the design is much different from the original concept that they unveiled last year. While I like the new design better, it's got people up in arms and down with disappointment. Lyle Dennis, a New Jersey neurologist who runs the blog GM-Volt.com, explained his readers reaction to the new design:
"The majority of [the comments] are negative. A lot of people are saying they're very disappointed and 'take me off the [waiting] list.' "
Well you can't make everyone happy all the time. At least it doesn't look like this!
Check out the next page for more photos at the 2011 Chevy Volt Gallery...