Saturday, September 27, 2008

100 mpg - Say what?

General Motors Corp. says it may get clearance for its Chevrolet Volt, an electric vehicle with a gasoline generator, to be rated as achieving 100 miles per gallon by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The federal agency says testing parameters haven't been completed, but it hopes to have guidelines in place soon.
GM says it expects to start selling the Volt in about two years.
The Volt will need to be plugged in to an electrical outlet to get charged up, then can travel 40 miles before the gas generator kicks in.

We got a peek at the unveiling of the production-model Volt in Detroit, and again a few days ago at a GM event in Dallas. To see it for yourself, check out this video:

Reaching the 100-mpg mark would be a big win for GM, which is seeking to position itself as a company capable of making many fuel-efficient vehicles after years of relying on big trucks and SUVs.
Those vehicles have fallen out of favor with consumers because of high gas prices.
The highest rated car for fuel economy on the market today is the Toyota Prius hybrid, which gets 48 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway.
Most hybrids on the market today don't need to be plugged in, although GM will unveil plug-in hybrids soon.
Hybrids work differently from the Volt, because they alternate continuously between running on the electric battery and using gasoline.
The Volt will use electricity for the first 40 miles, then switch over to gas.
U.S. automakers will have to raise the average mileage of their fleets by as much as 40 percent, to 35 mpg, by 2020 as a result of new federal standards.
GM hasn't announced pricing for the Volt, but GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said recently it may sell for more than $30,000.

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