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GM's goal is to cut weight by as much as 15 percent to reduce fuel consumption

General Motors (GM) is in the midst of developing an electric vehicle (EV) that can achieve 200 miles of battery-only range.

GM CEO Dan Akerson unveiled the project last week at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference broadcast on

“There will be breakthroughs in battery technology, they’re on the horizon,” Akerson said. “We’re actually developing a car today which is really anathema to the way the auto industry works: We’re running a dual play on the technology to see which one will succeed. One will result in” a 100-mile range, “the other will be a 200-mile range.”

Akerson went on to say that fuel consumption can be reduced by 6.5 percent if the vehicle weight is cut by 10 percent. GM's goal is to cut weight by as much as 15 percent.

GM CEO Dan Akerson
Further, Akerson described GM's previous plans to put 500,000 green vehicles on the roads by 2017. It's doing this with its Chevrolet Volt, the new all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark and a diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze.

GM hopes to increase Volt sales by 20 percent this year alone.

“Everywhere you look there are opportunities to seize the energy high ground,” Akerson said. “Indeed, our leaders have been presented with an historic opportunity to create a national energy policy from a position of strength and abundance. The pillars of such a plan must include energy diversity, so we do not become dependent on any one fuel or energy source.”

Last week, Akerson called for a consumer-driven national energy policy where he'd like President Barack Obama to appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission (which would lead to the development a 30-year policy framework for energy security with progress reviews every five years).

Source: Bloomberg

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RE: Diesel is not green
By Jaybus on 3/11/2013 12:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
It is not quite obvious that a hybrid is in fact more green. If it uses less petroleum, then it is because it is running on battery. So one must factor in the charging of the battery. How much coal, gas, or oil had to be burned to charge the battery? Is it really greener? Well, it depends on where it is charged. I suppose that if you charge it here in Tennessee where TVA produces 47% of its electricity with nuclear (38%), hydro (8,3%), and wind/solar (0.7%), why then yes it is. If you live somewhere that has shut down their nuclear facilities, well then unless wind and solar get orders of magnitude better than they are now, then probably not.

RE: Diesel is not green
By Dorkyman on 3/11/2013 12:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
Great article in the WSJ today about this very topic. The data shows that it takes a HUGE amount of energy and CO2 generation to make an electric car, and that the electric car's net CO2 footprint only becomes less than that of an ICE car after 50,000 miles of driving.

RE: Diesel is not green
By Mint on 3/12/2013 7:27:48 AM , Rating: 2
CO2 is a tiny part of pollution. It merely has the biggest buzzword.

Urban air pollution is far more significant in terms of health issues. "Dirty" cities are a in fact more efficient economically and environmentally on a per-capita basis, but it also means that pollutants effect more people before they becomes benign.

The other thing is that new electricity generation is almost all natural gas or wind. The WSJ article mentioned 6oz of CO2 per mile, which works out to over twice the CO2 per kWh of natural gas. So they made the incorrect assumption that each new EV produced results in electricity generation proportional to our existing mix.

RE: Diesel is not green
By CZroe on 3/11/2013 3:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't talking about plug-in hybrids. In fact, I specifically excluded them with the word "only" before I accidentally lost it when editing for clarity. "...dino-fuel [only] hybrid cars..." Oops.

And, yeah, the futility of all this is kind of my other point.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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