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.
Jun 3, 2009 | 17
Since General Motors filed for bankruptcy on Monday, auto aficionados and green geeks alike have been speculating about the fate of the company's long-heralded electric car, the Chevy Volt.
"We don't know whether GM will be able to introduce the Volt or not," said William Holstein, author of Why GM Matters, in a Washington Post Q&A. "It would have been, and could still be, a real breakthrough vehicle." The car, previously scheduled for release in fall of 2010, would run on an electric battery and have a small gas engine to generate backup juice if needed.
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
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.
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