General Motors’ Voltec technology, the plug-in system at the core of the company’s new Chevy Volt, will be awarded Edmunds.com’s 2011 Green Car Breakthrough Award this week at the New York International Auto Show.
Voltec is a rechargeable hybrid technology that represents a major achievement in the evolution of electric cars. The system allows for a vehicle to drive 20 to 40 miles on an electric charge at which point an internal combustion engine kicks in to keep providing power. While not entirely emissions-free, the technology is a big step toward helping the U.S. slash greenhouse gas emissions from the passenger vehicle segment.
“Voltec is a game changer for the electric vehicle community and it offers a blueprint for commercial manufacturers to build upon as these types of vehicles continue to develop,” said John O’Dell, senior editor at Edmunds.com. “Applied to a broader base of vehicles, Voltec and other automakers' versions of the extended-range plug-in hybrid technology can have a tremendous impact on U.S. fuel consumption.”
GM’s latest foray into the plug-in market has proven to be a success. A total of 1,200 Chevy Volts have been delivered since they debuted on the market in December, with half of those deliveries coming in the month of March as production has ramped up. GM says that its dealers have sufficient unfilled orders on hand to take care of the first year's production.
The Edmunds.com Green Car Breakthrough Award is provided annually to a vehicle, technology or program that sets new standards in fuel efficiency, emissions reduction and/or sustainability, or that stands out for promoting public use and acceptance of such a vehicle or technology.