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Friday, September 29, 2023

Life + Arts

Industry heavyweight releases sustainable auto

Green drivers can put the pedal to the metal with one of General Motors’ latest electric car models, Chevrolet Volt.

On Aug. 11, Chevrolet announced that the Volt could get up to 230 miles per gallon in city, making it the first vehicle with a fuel economy in the triple digits by federal regulators.

The Volt is able to get this gas mileage because it is an extended range electric car that can run for up to 40 miles after one charge of its enormous lithium ion battery pack.

Once that runs out, a 1.4-liter I4 flex fuel engine kicks in to continue powering the electric motor.

The Volt is able to run in two different modes of operation: electric and extended-range.

In electric mode, the Volt doesn’t use gas and runs purely on the lithium ion battery. When the battery becomes depleted, extended-range mode kicks in, and the Volt’s engine generator uses gasoline to produce electricity that powers the vehicle.

By using the EPA’s methodology to define the efficiency of plug-in vehicles, GM estimates that the Volt will use as little as 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles in the city.

The average cost of electricity per kWh in the U.S. is around 11 cents, meaning a typical consumer would get 100 miles for around $2.75. This equates to about 2.75 cents per mile.

The average gas price in Texas is $2.44 per gallon, and consumers who drive a car that gets around 20 mpg, pay just above 12 cents per mile.

‘The 230-city mpg is a great indication of the capabilities of the Volt’s electric propulsion system and its ability to displace gasoline,’ global vehicle line executive Frank Weber said.

‘Actual testing with production vehicles will occur next year, closer to vehicle launch.

However, we are very encouraged by this development, and we also think that it is important to continue to share our findings in real time.’

The Volt is slated to launch in 2011. GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz confirmed that the first-generation Volt should retail for around $40,000, and they expect to produce 10,000 Volts in the first year.

The price is steep, but may be worth it for some if gas rises to $4 per gallon.

With its potential 230 mpg, 150 horsepower and 100 mph top speed, this might be the car that brings GM out of the bankruptcy graveyard.

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