John Lauckner, GM’s VP for Global Program Management claims that the engine in the Volt will indeed send whatever surplus energy it has to the lithium-ion battery. It was originally understood that once the Volt reached 40 miles the battery would become a”paper weight” until the battery could be recharged using a 120 or 240-volt outlet. Although the engine does have the ability to recharge the battery, the engine will never come close to fully charging the battery.
According to Lauckner the engine will recharge the battery under light load conditions (non-acceleration). Once the battery is charged to a sufficient level, the engine will cycle off and the car will once again be able to drive on electricity alone. This differs greatly from early information from GM execs that stated that once the battery is drained the Volt could only be propelled by its gas engine.
Full Story: Inside Line
2011 Chevy Volt Officially Unveiled…Finally!