Epoch Times The Volt An Electric Car That Could Change Everything

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Chevrolet Volt Electric Cars

The Volt: An Electric Car That Change Everything

150 miles per what a concept! GM vice Robert Lutz reveals an new electric car design, the Volt, the company hopes to produce as as advanced battery technology is (General Motors)

General unveiled the Chevrolet Volt car in early 2007, electrifying the world and exciting those for revolutionary progress in sustainable


A stylish and sleek coupe room for four, the Volt happens to be a plug-in electric with fuel economy up to 150 per gallon. If GM builds it and that s a big if the Volt could usher in a new era of electric cars for the masses and go a way toward helping America end its but ever-growing addiction to oil.

What makes the Volt is General Motor s new E-Flex which uses an electric an electric motor, an advanced battery pack and a three-cylinder combustion engine. The keystone of the system is the battery pack, consists of hundreds of individual cells and the software that them. The batteries can be fully by plugging the car into a standard outlet for about six hours.

The gas engine powers the electric which has two functions: recharge the pack when needed and extra juice to propel the car at speeds.

The flex in E-Flex is the gas engine is flex-fuel, meaning it can gasoline or E85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 gasoline); and the E-Flex drive is such that it can use a diesel or a hydrogen-powered fuel cell of a gas engine.

But regardless of whether it s a gas engine or a futuristic fuel that component of the E-Flex does not directly power the Its role is to power the generator, provides electricity to propel the car recharge the batteries when That s how the Volt would from current gasoline-electric such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius, which are more dependent on gas.

Their electric motors their gas engines; either the or the engine can directly power the

With the Volt concept, GM s is to blend the best features of vehicles and hybrids, and bring to perhaps as early as 2010 a family car that uses the system. GM says the Volt deliver all-electric driving, zero gas burned, for up to 40 miles in conditions. At 60 miles of driving, the s fuel economy would be 150 at 80 miles, 100 mpg.

Beyond that, if the driver can t via a plug-in outlet, the engine the batteries and the Volt s fuel drops to a still respectable 50 All this combined, GM says, propel the car 640 miles on just 12 of fuel, enough to go nonstop Detroit to Washington, D.C.

the engine can recharge the batteries, it s far economical and potentially cleaner in of emissions to use the local electric rather than gasoline, or biodiesel. Assuming the local s rate is 10 cents per kilowatt (the national average), it cost about $1.50 to charge the car. Driving a hybrid 40 miles will you $2.50 to $3.00, depending on the s fuel economy and the current of gasoline.

Volt owners who drive short distances recharge every night and go without having to buy gas. And if with renewable energy, as solar or wind, the car would zero or nearly zero

Obviously the Volt concept is but there s a significant hurdle to before the Volt can move the concept stage the lithium-ion pack. While lithium-ion are already in use in many rechargeable tools, it will take technological breakthroughs before are feasible to power electric produced in great numbers. think that breakthrough is a few years away; numerous and development companies worldwide are on advanced lithium-ion batteries.

Burke, a battery expert and professor at the University of California, has three concerns about the program: the life cycle of the their safety and their He estimates a current 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack (like used in the Volt concept) cost up to $16,000. Burke that as of yet, nobody has the battery.

This is why General Motors that it will build the only as soon as the appropriate technology is available. But GM executives confident they can solve the and have established research with advanced battery We are 100 percent committed to making happen, says GM vice Robert Lutz.

This is the toughest and most exciting GM has undertaken.

Given General history with false on electric cars, some whether the automaker sincerely to build the Volt, or is just to improve its image. Last GM s financial troubles were by heat from the documentary Who the Electric Car?, which the demise of GM s EV1 and other electric (read a summary and review of the at www.MotherEarthNews.com ). But GM says it has learned the experience. Larry Burns, GM president of research and development and planning, says that cars such as the Volt are now a of General Motors DNA.

And, given the new reality of gas prices, the public s growing about global warming and GM s to be at the forefront of advanced transportation the stakes are higher now than before.

Excerpted from Earth News magazine, the guide to living wisely. the full story at motherearthnews.com or 800-234-3368 to subscribe. Copyright by Ogden Publications, Inc.

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