Chevy's Volt is a bold move for the automaker, an experiment with a completely new type of automotive power train. Technically a hybrid, the Volt uses an electric motor to drive the front wheels, which gets electricity from both a battery pack and a gas engine.
The Volt's styling looks benign, a simple sedan-like front-end and an inconspicuous roofline. The grille has minimal venting, as it is designed more for aerodynamics than cooling the radiator. As the small engine doesn't have to rev high, its cooling needs are minimal.
A plug-in port sits up on the driver side of the car and uses a standard J1772 plug. It can be plugged into a 110- or 220-volt home outlet, or a quick charger. The lithium ion battery pack can run the car for 35 miles on a full charge.
The Voltec power control module is a computer that notes when the battery is exhausted, and decides when the engine needs to turn on. It also governs regeneration and other electricity flow within the car.