Aug 11, 2009 | 23
General Motors today announced that its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle, set to begin production in late 2010, is expected to achieve city fuel economy of at least 230 miles per gallon, based on a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formula that neither GM nor the EPA has defined very well publicly.
For comparison, Toyota's Prius currently is rated to get up to 51 mpg during city driving.
Here's what we do know: The Volt will have two modes of operation. In "electric" mode, the Volt will not use gas or produce tailpipe emissions because the car will be powered by electrical energy stored in its 16-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack. When the battery charge gets too low, the Volt is designed to automatically switch to "extended-range" mode and use a gas-powered engine-generator to produce electricity to power the vehicle. The energy stored in the battery supplements the engine-generator when additional power is needed during heavy accelerations or on steep inclines.
Feb 5, 2009 | 18
The company that killed the electric car is ready to resuscitate it. General Motors (GM) this week laid out plans at the Washington (D.C.) Auto Show to prepare communities for the 2011 debut of its Chevy Volt and plug-in electric vehicles that other automakers are set to start building next year. So where are they likely to show up first? Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, GM says, noting that those cities not only have ready-made markets for its lithium ion battery-powered Volt but, also, have a history of welcoming new kinds of cars (like the Volt's predecessor, the EV-1).
See a Scientific American.com slide show featuring the Volt
Jan 12, 2009
As we just noted in our rather last, rather sobering post, there isn't going to be a lot of gravy at this year's North American International Auto Show...but that doesn't mean there won't be a lot of high quality meat, especially for the greens.
In fact, I don't think I've been this excited about an auto show since I started blogging. What will we be seeing? Well, I can't say for certain, but we can start by skimming the surface of what we know already.
BYD will be showing off the world's first production plug-in vehicle, and while it won't be available in the U.S. until 2011, it's pretty impressive that China managed to beat both the U.S. and Japan to the punch on plug-in hybrids.
Fisker, will be unveiling it's production plug-in Karma. The car, which made a huge splash last year in concept form, is like a cheaper, more practical, more beautiful Telsa Roadster.
Sep 10, 2008 | 11
Can you keep a secret? Apparently, the folks at General Motors can't either. Wieck Media, a clearinghouse for automakers' pictures, Wednesday posted photos of the production 2011 Chevrolet Volt on a media information Web site for just 12 minutes before taking them down, long enough for TheCarConnection.com to grab them and keep them live for the rest of the world to see.
GM's response to the exposure of it new electric car was that the photo release was an "accident." The company will likely release official info on the Volt Sept. 16, the company's 100th anniversary, the Associated Press reports.
Aug 14, 2008 | 9
The world’s major auto companies have yet to bring an electric vehicle (EV) to market and keep it there for long. Some drivers, however, taunted by stratospheric gasoline prices, have taken matters into their own hands.
They are retrofitting their gas-guzzlers into their own DIY EVs.
A company catering to these gas-averse early adopters is Electric Vehicles of America, a New Hampshire-based company that sells you the parts in a kit and gives instructions to convert a fuel-dependent vehicle—from a pick-up truck to a boat—into an EV.
Unfortunately, the electric-conversion enthusiasts are banging up against the same technological ceiling that the big boys have yet to shatter: limited range. One vehicle mentioned in a recent CNN report, a 1995 Chevy S-10 pickup, runs on 20 six-volt, lead-acid batteries and got only 40 miles between charges. Bob Batson, the founder of Electric Vehicles of America, notes, however, that the average driver only logs 20 miles per day, so such an EV could work for some people.
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