How Chevy’s Electric Vehicles Continue to Evolve
A 200-mile range is incredible, especially when it’s an included spec in an affordable $30,000 car. As Michael Graham Richard of TreeHugger.com writes, many electric vehicle engineers have been aiming for this particular number, and Chevy has clearly established itself as the head of the pack.
General Motors used the Chevy Volt as a template when they were designing their future Bolts. While electric ranges are usually inconsistent and somewhat unreliable, the Volt’s engineers have assured that drivers can trust the Bolt’s range. After all, the range spec will be based on a variety of factors, including “the time-of-day, topography, weather and the owner’s driving habits.”
Besides the range, the Bolt’s engine is still a rather impressive unit. The electric motor can pump out 200 horsepower and 266 pounds-feet of torque, and when teamed up with the 7.05:1 final drive ratio, owners can expect a 0-to-60 time of fewer than seven seconds. Meanwhile, the 960-pound nickel-rich lithium-ion battery can hold 60 kWh of energy.
These mechanics are accompanied by a 7.2 kW charger, allowing you to regularly charge your vehicle via a 240-volt wall box. Richard notes that owners can expect at least 50 miles from a two-hour charge, and when using the optional DC Fast Charging technology, you can expect 90 miles from only a 30-minute charge.
“You usually have a battery cell that delivers either the desired levels of energy or power, but not traditionally both. With this cell design and chemistry we were able to deliver a battery system with 160 kilowatts of peak power and 60 kilowatts hours of energy,” said Gregory Smith, the group manager of Bolt EV battery pack engineering.
It’s not all about the engine, as the engineers have also revamped their vehicle’s drivability to cater to the electric unit. Richard describes how many electric car drivers will end up relying on a single pedal, as “lifting your foot off the accelerator engages the regenerative braking which slows down the car without the need for brakes.” The Bolt will embrace this type of driving strategy, as drivers can expect their electric vehicle to decelerate with a simple removal of the foot.
“When operating the Bolt EV in “Low” mode, or by holding the Regen on Demand paddle located on the back of the steering wheel, the driver can bring the vehicle to a complete stop under most circumstances by simply lifting their foot off the accelerator, although the system does not relieve the need to use the brake pedal altogether,” a press release (via Richards) said.
The upcoming Volt will offer the most impressive range we’ve seen yet, as 200 miles is an extraordinary distance for an electric vehicle.As you’ve read, the engineers are confident that their car is going to deliver, and they’ve manipulated the Volt’s mechanics to help welcome this change.