General Motors has released a teaser image of the car that will become its first battery-powered E-Flex production model – the road-going Chevrolet Volt.The image shows the front end of the car only. It reveals little about its shape, but does suggest that it’ll be a more upright, less overtly sporting vehicle than the original concept.
Charging to a road near you
Development work on the Volt is shifting into a high gear now at GM, with prototypes of the special lithium ion batteries that will power it almost ready for on-road testing. The majority of the work being done on the Volt at the moment is aerodynamic; supplying enough air to cool the underfloor battery pack, while making the car as low-drag as possible, is arguably the biggest challenge facing its designers. “The electric-only range of the Chevrolet Volt is very sensitive to improvements in aero, in contrast to a traditional vehicle in which mass plays a larger role,” explains chief engineer Frank Weber.The more aerodynamic they can make the Volt, then, the further it will go on battery power alone. “After extensive development of the Volt, and more to come, we have achieved a vehicle with more than 30 per cent less drag than the original Volt concept,” said GM design boss Ed Welburn.