News Flash: August 11,2009
GM just announced that the Volt will be the first mass-produced motor vehicle to claim more than 100 miles per gallon fuel economy. The Chevrolet Volt is expected to achieve city fuel economy of at least 230 miles per gallon.
Taking my camera to the depths of GM’s operational hideout, the Renaissance Center, I was able to catch a glimpse of the future of this auto maker: the Volt!
“We’re not dead yet”, appears to be the war cry coming from downtown Detroit. While in a desperate struggle for survival, GM is in the process of bringing to market some exciting new technology. They are actually looking to free us from the gas pump. Halleluiah! Can it be true? No more pain at the pump.
The Chevy Volt (pictured above) is designed to move more than 75 percent of Americans back and forth to work without a drop of gas. No gas. No emissions. No more “doggonit, those jerks raised the price again”. A dream come true. But this is more than just a dream. The Volt is scheduled for release in 2010.
A hybrid vehicle is one that uses multiple distinct power sources to move the vehicle. Many hybrids use a combination of gas and electric power. As gas prices jumped over the four dollar a gallon pain threshold last summer, the move toward hybrid technology to reduce our dependency on greedy oil producers accelerated.
The Volt uses a lithium-ion battery that is designed to go up to 40 miles on a single charge. What then? You won’t be stranded in places unknown. The Volt combines the battery with a gasoline powered, range extending engine that kicks in to drive a generator to provide electric power after you hit the 40 mile limit.
So the bottom line is, your day to day commute can be gas free, but you’ll still need the petrol for the long hauls. But, I’m sure they’re working on that too!
Note: GM has other hybrids also, like the Yukon Hybrid (see below), which uses hybrid technology to get improved fuel economy. The technology used in the Yukon Hybrid does not go nearly as far as that in the Volt in reducing our need for gasoline. But, more than 20 miles per gallon in the city in a truck that large is impressive nonetheless.