The Chevy Volt has been General Motors' centerpiece since the concept was first introduced. The Volt was supposed to be the answer to many peoples' problems with the short distance of traditional Electric Vehicles. However, GM recently went on the record to say that the range would be reduced, and it's not by a few miles.
Ever since being introduced at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, the Volt has had one major selling point: A 600 mile total range. By using a 160 horsepower electric motor powered by a Lithium-Ion battery pack, it can run up to 40 miles on a single charge. After that, a one liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine will kick on and begin to recharge the battery packs via a 53kW generator. The 3-cylinder has no direct connection to the wheels.
Originally, the fuel tank was going to hold 12 gallons and when combined with a full charge, the Volt could cover about 600 miles before you needed to stop for more fuel and a recharge if possible. This almost completely resolved the issue plaguing many of the first electric vehicles to be introduced. Now, the size of the tank has been reduced by an undisclosed amount and the final number has been dropped to around 400 miles.
Their reasoning behind the capacity change is to save weight. GM continues to argue that the average commute is still less than the 40 mile all-electric range and if someone does have to travel farther, it will still be far less than the 400 mile combined total range. Although this is a fair argument, the real question is: Will the drop in range ultimately cost them potential buyers? Since the price estimate has been fluctuating so much, some people may look at this and wonder what else they will be changing before the 2010 target release date. Opinions?
Source : KickingTires