- A 1.4-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine capable of 84 horsepower.
- A primary A.C. drive motor-generator rated at 149 horsepower (Motor A).
- A secondary A.C. motor-generator rated at 74 horsepower (Motor B).
- A continuously variable transaxle.
- A 16 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
- A 9.3-gallon gasoline tank.
BATTERY-ELECTRIC PROPULSION Motor A powers the front wheels through the transaxle with electrical energy drawn solely from the battery pack. This mode is used up to about 50 m.p.h.
BATTERY-ELECTRIC PROPULSION with both electric motors operating: When the Volt tops 50 m.p.h., it shifts into a higher range of gear ratios similar to any car with an automatic transmission. Both electric motors then draw electricity from the battery pack to power the front wheels.
SERIES-HYBRID PROPULSION After the battery’s charge is depleted, the gasoline engine automatically starts to provide the propulsion energy. Motor A continues driving the wheels. Motor B, spun by the engine, operates as a generator to supply electrical current to Motor A. At speeds below 30 m.p.h., the transaxle’s lower gear is engaged.
SERIES AND PARALLEL HYBRID PROPULSION At higher cruising speeds, when the battery is depleted the transaxle shifts to its higher range of gear ratios. Motor B, driven by the engine and operating as a generator, continues supplying electricity to Motor A. The engine also provides power to the front wheels. In this mode, the split between engine and motor power is about 2:1. In other words, the gasoline engine provides 60 to 70 percent of the propulsion power with the remainder from Motor A.
REGENERATION MODE During deceleration, Motor A operates as a generator. The recouped electrical energy restores a portion of the battery’s charge. To assure a long battery life, only 65 percent of the capacity, or 10 kilowatt-hours, is normally used.