It may come as a shock, but Callaway Cars engineers and specifically Reeves Callaway have been driving a powerfully engineered Chevy Volt around their Southern California operations lately. And as creativity never sleeps, the Hall of Fame Corvette icon and his specialists have applied their engenuity to Chevys electric wunderkind.
"We have addressed the performance potential of the Volt with a modification that should satisfy the most power-hungry enthusiast; the 10,000 volt HyperVolt. Upping the voltage of the Volt's operating system is a clear path to performance, so we took many lessons from the slot car field. There's nothing quite like maximum torque at zero rpm", says Callaway, grinning.
First and most difficult was increasing the capacity of electric motor both in terms of duty cycle and rpm. We can now pump as many as 10,000 volts into the driveline, but only for very short periods of time. The safe duty cycle for full voltage operation is less than 1 second, but the amount of thrust generated in that one second is staggering. The tiny car literally welds itself to the roadway so as not to become traction limited. But to get that amount of voltage into the vehicle that quickly, Callaway had to construct conductive brushes that function just like a slot car. The brush track only needed to be about 10 feet long because the acceleration in the first second is so violent that the vehicle needs only be aimed and propelled initially. From that point on, it's as if it had been shot from a canon...and it's all about inertia: The car will accelerate for approximately 30 miles from that initial boosted launch, albeit in a basically straight line.
The second major challenge was to increase the rpm potential of the motor. As the stock redline is less than 7500 rpm, we felt that something like 120,000 rpm was not unreasonable. One of the intended consequences was to raise the top speed to just under 400 mph. Unfortunately the aerodynamics of the platform were never intended for these extremes. Callaway cautions that users should consider a BRS (ballistic recovery parachute) system similar to those used in experimental aircraft.
Southern California Edison may partner with Callaway to bring this technology to So Cal Volt owners. The home charging stations that normally control the overnight recharging of the Volt, can be modified to introduce the higher voltage. A pleasant consequence is that the onboard battery pack can now be charged in less than 10 seconds, however there is a dramatic drop in current for the rest of the neighborhood. The Callaways recharge "
VolteMort" their personal HyperVolt, in the early morning hours to avoid neighbor anxiety.
A 'next-gen' of the Callaway HyperVolt will have a different approach to onboard range extension: a thorium laser excited nuclear generator. 50 Megawatts is the current output, so to speak, allowing the HyperVolt to travel several light years before refueling. Retired GM Product Chief Bob Lutz has been asked to be the poster person. Callaway continues: "It's about time that we start to wipe the smirks off the faces of the sniveling Global Warming Activists! We can be proud to have invented it, here, in the USA."
TVA and NRC approvals are applied for.