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Opinion: Don’t Be Afraid to Drive Your Volt

GM’s groundbreaking E-REV is no less safe than any other car on the road.

by on Jan.27, 2012

GM wants to salvage the image of the Chevy Volt.

Let’s cut to the chase: The Chevy Volt is as safe as any other vehicle on the road. And if something in the vehicle is going to cause a fire, it’s more likely to be its gasoline engine and associated plumbing than the groundbreaking car’s lithium-ion battery.

Still, General Motors finds itself having to defend the world’s first extended-range electric vehicle.

Your Inside Source!

The controversy stems from a crash test of the Volt conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last June. Two weeks after the test, a fire started when the battery’s coolant leaked onto a circuit board. The coolant was able to reach the circuit board on top of the battery when the agency did what it calls a rotisserie test, which simulates what might happen in a rollover crash.

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Lotus E-REVving With Extended-Range Electric

Technology to debut at 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

by on Sep.08, 2009

Lotus will show off a high-tech powertrain, rather than a new model, at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, an extended-range electric vehicle package.

Lotus will show off a high-tech powertrain, rather than a new model, at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, an extended-range electric vehicle package.

While most automakers will be shining the spotlight on their latest sheet metal, Lotus Engineering will put the focus on the iron and aluminum underneath during its news conference at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, next week.

The company, the consulting and engineering arm of Lotus Cars, has provided us with this sneak peek at its new Range-Extended engine, a serial hybrid system similar to what will debut inside the Chevrolet Volt, in November 2010.

The concept would permit a manufacturer using the EREV (for Extended-Range Electric Vehicle) technology to blend what are arguably the best assets of an electric vehicle and a more conventional hybrid-electric; an EREV, like Volt, can initially be driven solely on electric power and then, when its batteries run down, the system switches to a small internal combustion engine.

Power Up!

Power Up!

As with Volt, the Lotus EREV uses its aluminum, 3-cylinder, 1.2-liter gas engine solely as a generator.  When it fires up, it can send current to the system’s 47 horsepower electric motor, or it can be used to recharge the battery pack.

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