6. Volt: GM charges toward an electric future
Posted by Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com
General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner just announced a new line of vehicles called E-Flex that will run on electrically driven propulsion systems. The Chevrolet Volt is the concept car that represents this development direction, and it looks promising from both a design and technology statement. The swooping roofline and four doors give it a sort of an American-ized Mercedes-Benz CLS appearance.
It travels 40 miles on pure electricity before the internal combustion engine kicks in to charge the batteries. (The engine never actually drives the wheels). The short range on pure electricity is designed to work for people who have a shorter commute. However, even with a 60-mile commute, the Volt would get the equivalent of 150 MPG, GM's product development chief Bob Lutz said.
The idea behind E-Flex is to utilize electricity as much as possible while still having an extended range via internal combustion when needed. As a bridge to pure electrical propulsion it could be a viable direction.
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