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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 CNBC.com.

“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: Doubling down on dumb
By snhoj on 3/11/2013 5:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
In vehicle versus immovable object yes but in vehicle versus vehicle the combined momentum ensures that the lighter vehicle suffers a greater change in velocity and hence impact. That said I don't agree with the size arms race on the road where people buy bigger and bigger cars to be bigger than everyone else so they can feel safe. The flip side of that equation is everyone else they might meet on the road is exposed to greater risk.
A GM vehicle that is soon to hit market in my part of the world (the VF Commodore) demonstrates the GM philosophy of reducing weight and hasn't changed the basic structure of the vehicle. They have shaved weight by replacing non-structural body parts with aluminum parts and redesigning some of the cars mechanical parts. The main structure of the car is a carryover from the previous model. Weight loss is to reportedly be up to a fairly modest 220 lb though. When weight loss becomes significant enough to allow the selection of smaller components (brakes, drive line, etc) that bring their own weight savings the process starts to feed into itself to an extent.


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