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Courtesy of MSNBC
We can make it bigger, drive longer, not that much faster, we have the technology, kind of.

General Motors announced last week the revival of its electric car.  Their new design, the Volt, will mass market the electric car and use little to no gasoline. 

The Volt draws its power from a next generation battery, the E-flex system, which is recharged by a small onboard engine.  According to GM, when the battery is depleted, a 1L, three-cylinder turbocharged engine spins at a constant speed to create electricity and replenish the battery.  The motor will not provide forward propulsion and is only used to recharge the battery. The car is said to reach 40 miles on one charge and save close to 500 gallons of gasoline a year.

This new development sprouted from the failed EV1 project GM began in 1996 and abandoned in 2003.  They were heavily criticized for abandoning the experimental electrical vehicle program, but with the Volt, GM hopes to improve on their previous ideas of the EV1.

Some improvements on the new model include more passenger space, longer battery life, smaller battery size, and higher cruising speeds.

While most ultra-clean and efficient vehicles on the market today use hybrid gasoline-electric powertrains, the Volt will use E85 fuel which is a blend of 85% Ethanol and 15% gasoline.

Since the project is still in the concept stage, a final production version of the car is not projected for another 3 to 5 years.

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RE: Who Killed The Electric Car?
By lildog on 1/8/2007 6:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
While the movie did exaggerate a lot it is not 'science fiction'. Within days of the Ca decision to not require Zero emission vehicles GM and Toyota killed their electric vehicles. Both did their best to round up the vehicles and get them crushed. I find it quite interesting that the head of the board that made the decision to quit Zero Emission requirements stated for the record that he believed that hydrogen fuel cells were the way to go without disclosing that he now had a personal interest in promoting hydrogen fuel cells. He had been appointed to the head of a research project before he led the dismantling of the requirement under which the electric car was feasible.
As for the argument that the electric cars are not salable, I would like to note the following items. GM did not have large stocks of electric cars waiting to be sold. My understanding is that they leased every car they wanted to. Toyota also had backlogs of orders. I could not get on the ‘waiting list’ because they did not maintain any official waiting list. But at the dealers near me they sold everyone they could get their hands on. My friend still has his Rav4 EV and loves it. If you want a look at how well they are liked try buying one. I look at E-Bay once in a while and see them going for $40K used.
As for GM not making any money on the EV-1 and the technology just not being available, I would like to remind you that GM purchased the rights to a rotary engine called the Wankel to power the Corvette, and/or Vega. They dropped the plans because the engine would never be able to be mass-produced. It’s a good thing Mazda wasn’t told. We would never have had the RX-7. Mazda was willing to go trough the problems of getting a new technology into production, without a few government billions for research. Did they really want to get an electric car into production or did they just want a billion in research money?

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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