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Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid: first official photos

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 -0700

By Ben Whitworth

First Official Pictures

16 September 2008 15:08

This is the first official photograph of the new Chevrolet Volt – GM's landmark petrol-electric plug-in hybrid car, unveiled today to mark the General's centenary. CAR Online dropped into the centenary event and has the full photographs and details of the Chevy Volt and the other announcements made today.

New Chevrolet Volt: is it the car to save GM?
Amid an orchestrated flurry of congratulatory backslapping, GM pulled the wraps off the production version of its Volt – the car and technology tasked with hauling the General back from the brink of financial collapse.

It's a landmark car for GM – and one of the first cars to evolve hybrids to be revealed in production spec. Chevrolet calls it an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV). The small gasoline (or, in future, fuel-cell) engine charges the 16-kWh, T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack so the car can travel on electric mode for the majority of journeys. GM claims it can travel 40 miles on battery mode without emitting any exhaust gases.

In an hour-long live webcast from GM’s Detroit headquarters that seamlessly hooked together GM’s key bases around the world – Korea, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, China and Mexico – the company put a brave face on its woeful financial situation, charting global sales growth to avoid plummeting US sales and massive domestic losses.

From the gleaming smiles on everyone’s faces you’d never guess that tumbling SUV sales pushed GM’s losses to $38bn in 2007, bringing total losses over the past five years to a Wall Street-troubling $70bn. Astonishingly, GM is eating its way through a barely believable $1bn a month this year...

So the Volt will suddenly fix the financial woe?
'A lot has changed in the last 100 years – hell, a lot has changed in the last 100 hours,' said a tired but ebullient GM boss Rick Wagoner. 'But our assignment is to show that we are more than a 100-year-old company, but a company ready for the next 100 years.

'The whole word is watching who will lead the reinvention of the motor vehicle,' said Wagoner, 'and GM is going to be that leader. The Volt is symbolic of our commitment to the future.'

Click 'Next' to read all about the new Chevrolet Volt


By Ben Whitworth