GM to develop 230 MPG car: Oh, NOW you care?

GM in development of triple-digit gas milage car.

General Motors Corp. said Tuesday its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon of gasoline in city driving, more than four times the mileage of the current champion, the Toyota Prius.

The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile range. After that, a small internal combustion engine kicks in to generate electricity for a total range of 300 miles. The battery pack can be recharged from a standard home outlet.

Now, I'm thrilled that automakers' R&D are finally making a concerted effort to develop electric cars, but GM finding religion on this only now, after they've been faced with bankrupcy, a major oil crisis, and an ecological disaster in the making, makes me roll my eyes.

Surprisingly enough, the electric car was invented in 1834 and rechargable batteries were invented in 1859. One would've thought that, in the 140 years since, they could've come up with an electric car viable for mass market use before the new millenium.

But no, between squabbling over property rights for the hydrogen cells between Toyota and GM and the petrolium industry lobbying behind the scenes to axe a technology that could seriously cut into their profit margin, I have few nice things to say about the current efforts to make fuel efficient vehicles.  These are the companies who had my city's extensive trolly lines removed to make room for more streets for cars to drive on; we're only just now starting to recover our light rails.

Seriously, guys.  The environmental impact science on internal combustion engines has been there for twenty years or more.  There was an oil crisis in the 1970s.  Sixth grade science class could tell you that fossil fuels are non-renewable.

Now you want a prize for a last minute hail mary when you should've been running the ball for the last four quarters?  Get back to work, slackers.

Tags: auto industry, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, General Motors, GM (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

Yeah, I know, better late than never

As much as I want to see this stuff take off like a rocket, save the american auto industry, and slow the damage to the environment, part of me expects GM to get greedy and screw this up, like charging out of the price range of most drivers for the Volt, essentially negating the gains and making it another curiosity like previous attempts at electric cars.

by Dracomicron 2009-08-11 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, I know, better late than never

Finny how when Tesla makes an $80,000 electric car, everyone praises them to no end, but when GM makes a car at half the price... oh, no, bad GM!

The bigotry towards the upper midwest continues unabated...

by LordMike 2009-08-11 05:43PM | 0 recs
Excuse me?

I LIVE in the upper Midwest, thanks, and I didn't say a damn thing about Tesla.

by Dracomicron 2009-08-12 05:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, I know, better late than never

Dude... Do your research...  Did you even READ the article?    This car has been in development for a couple of years.  Its due out in 2010.  This isn't being R and Ded right now, it is being FINALIZED... Yes, there are few kinks being revised but that's about all.  Your idiotic diary makes it sound like this is several years away... its due out next year.    The production design model was out last year.   In fact, one of the main reasons that GM was bailed out, was so the VOLT technology didn't get lost or end up in the hands of a foreign automaker.  

Google is your fucking friend... Get your facts straight next time and don't act like a jackass.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_V olt

by 30000Fine 2009-08-11 07:53PM | 0 recs
I read the article

I don't think "idiotic" is a fair assessment.

While I perhaps could have phrased it better, the fact remains that GM sat on this technology for decades, for apparently the sole reason that they had an economic pact with the oil industry.

If they'd been responsible and diligent about electric/hybrid technology, I'd be willing to bet that we wouldn't have had to have bailed them out in the first place.

So, in summary, either politely argue your points, or bite me, jerk.

by Dracomicron 2009-08-12 05:16AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm trying to figure out

 what GM could do, short of time travel, that would get them a pat on the back. Is it just me, or are we getting into the habit around here of taking what ought to be some good news and turning it into a steaming pile of crap?

by QTG 2009-08-11 08:11AM | 0 recs
I acknowledge that it's good news

I'm just saying that we shouldn't let our guard down now that GM has suddenly found religion, just like true conservatives shouldn't suddenly be happy with Republicans who have only found fiscal responsibility now that there's no longer a Republican president.

I do say that the advancement is a good one, if it pans out.  I just hope GM keeps working and isn't expecting us to break out the party balloons just yet.

by Dracomicron 2009-08-11 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: I acknowledge that it's good news

From what I am reading the limitation remains the battery issue,b ut it sounds like we are finally investing in this area after years of neglect under the Bush administration. With any luck, we can catch up to the other countries. Certainly this by GM is a good start.

by bruh3 2009-08-11 11:54AM | 0 recs
The neglect goes way beyond Bush

The United States has been neglecting the potential of the electric car for many, many years; under Clinton, GM basically had a token electric car division that they trotted out from time to time to show people what neat things they could do if they felt like it.  Then they buried it again.

by Dracomicron 2009-08-11 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: The neglect goes way beyond Bush

So, did Toyota... or has everyone forgotten who killed the all-electric Rav-4... the only electric car with a back seat?

I forgot... Toyota is precious!  They cannot be criticized!

by LordMike 2009-08-11 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: The neglect goes way beyond Bush

wll in fairness our standard should not be to match our competitors. It should be to surpass them.

by bruh3 2009-08-11 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The neglect goes way beyond Bush

Well, we've surpassed them...  Toyota's proposed plug-in Prius only goes 10 miles before a recharge is necessary...  Pathetic in comparison...

by LordMike 2009-08-11 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: The neglect goes way beyond Bush

I am just saying lowered expectations is maybe not a winning strategy.

by bruh3 2009-08-11 06:21PM | 0 recs
*spits coffee*

<quoteblock>I forgot... Toyota is precious!  They cannot be criticized!</quoteblock>

Come again?  Did you miss the part where I said that Toyota and GM couldn't come to an agreement about rights to the technology?  This diary isn't about Toyota, anyway, it's about GM.  I've never said a word favoring Toyota.

You've got a persecution complex, friend.

by Dracomicron 2009-08-12 05:20AM | 0 recs
Re: GM to develop 230 MPG car

The concept of a combustion engine making electricity to make a vehicle move has been in use for decades in diesel-electric locomotives.  Applying it to passenger cars is a good idea, especially if the combustion engine can be swapped for whatever is most efficient to run.

The Volt has been very publicly in development for some years.  The only news item is that the EPA published an estimate of CITY mileage, where the Volt will use NO gas (for the first 40 miles).  If your commute is less than this, and you plug the Volt in every evening, you might get a 230MPG equivalent.  EPA used a formula to equate a unit of electricity usage to a unit if gas consumption.  That said, overall mileage might be around 100MPG.  

The car is not projected to be inexpensive.

by Leading Edge Boomer 2009-08-11 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: GM to develop 230 MPG car

Way cheaper than a Tesla!

by LordMike 2009-08-11 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: GM to develop 230 MPG car

Not much cheaper than the Tesla Sedan... if it ever comes out.

by 30000Fine 2009-08-11 07:54PM | 0 recs

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