The initial Chevy Volt concept model had a 3 cylinder 1.0 L engine as the generator to keep the battery charged. The model with this engine suggested the vehicle would get 50 mpg when running beyond the 40 mile EV range. Recently we heard rumors on this point, neither confirmed nor denied, that GM might be considering a 4 cylinder 1.4 L engine instead.
Now GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner has confirmed these rumors. The 1.4 L turbocharged ICE is expected to power the Chevy Cruze we’ve recently just seen photos of, the car Wagoner refers to as the next generation Chevy compact.
Wagoner answered the following question, among others posed of him by the Flint Journal, centered around the fact that GM was planning to built this engine’s assembly plant in Flint, Michigan:
Flint Journal: Are there opportunities for Flint to have a hand in the future production of the plug-in Volt?
Wagoner: The new, small displacement engine that is tentatively scheduled to be built in Flint will be used first in the next generation Chevy compact car. However, we are looking at other potential; vehicle applications, including an application as the range-extender engine in the Chevy Volt.
Wagoner also mentioned that the turbo 1.4 L “achieves a superb balance between fuel efficiency and power” and specifically tell us “when teamed with a manual transmission, the new engine will offer customers a 9 mile-per-gallon increase in fuel economy over Chevy’s current entry in this segment.”
It is possible that this engine change decision may not represent so much an engineering issue, but rather an economies of scale advantage. It is clearly a big decision since Wagoner himself is aware of the debate.
This entry was posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2008 at 7:38 am and is filed under Generator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.