Wednesday, August 19, 2009

GM's new Chevy Volt: A gas guzzler it ain't

A Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle is displayed during a press confernce anouncing that the car will get an estimated 230 miles per gallon in city driving August 11, 2009 in Warren, Michigan. The announcement was made during a public webcast Henderson held for the media and consumers to update them on the "New GM.

General Motors said Tuesday its Chevrolet Volt electric car could get 230 miles per gallon in city driving, making it the first American vehicle to achieve triple-digit fuel economy if that figure is confirmed by federal regulators. A glance:

How does it work? The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile range. After that, an internal combustion engine kicks in to generate electricity for a total range of 300 miles.

How will it be recharged? A standard home outlet will do the job. Charging the battery pack takes eight hours with a 120-volt outlet, three hours with a 240-volt outlet.

When will it be available? Late 2010. But two critical areas — battery life and the electronic switching between battery and engine power — still are being refined.

How much will it cost? About $40,000. But the price is expected to drop, and up to $7,500 in tax credits are available.

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