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PHOTO CAPTION: GM CEO Dan Akerson celebrates launch of Chevy Volt.

Chevrolet Volt Example of American Engineering Ingenuity

Peter Murray sees the Chevrolet Volt as a triumph of American engineering ingenuity.

Published: 30-Apr-2012

PORTLAND - The Chevrolet Volt, brought to market by General Motors in 2011 after years of painstaking engineering development, is a triumph of American engineering ingenuity.

It is the world's first mass-produced electric automobile with a range-extending on-board gasoline generator. For the first 35 to 40 miles after a full charge, the Volt runs on its massive lithium-ion battery, which powers two electric motors attached to the front wheels.

When the battery becomes about two-thirds depleted, the gasoline-powered generator comes on automatically and pours enough additional juice into the battery to keep the car running indefinitely. It is driven 100 percent of the time by its electric motors, with energy supplied by the battery or by the on-board generator.

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