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 26, 2009 | 7
The era of the electric auto may finally have eased out of the driveway.
Hundreds of people in several states are test driving electric MINI Coopers And a preproduction version of the Chevy Volt hit the streets earlier this week, weeks ahead of schedule. But being an early adopter isn’t cheap.
GM's Fastlane Blog features a post by Chevrolet Volt Vehicle Chief Engineer Andrew Farah about his experience driving the Volt for a few laps around the company's Technical Center campus in Warren, Mich. Besides the expected glowing review of the car, Farah reports that Chevy is making a few Volts per week now and plans to have about 80 preproduction vehicles built by October. The production Volt isn't due until 2011.
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