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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: GM Electric Concept Car
By FITCamaro on 1/8/2007 6:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
Uh yeah and that Tesla car is also $100,000. And that's 250 miles depending on how you drive. It's a sports car. Is anyone going to not keep their foot on the gas? And consider how much in 3-4 years its going to cost to replace all the batteries on that thing. GM is obviously going for cost over longevity. And someone like myself, 40 miles is enough to go to work and back. The only question is can the gas engine recharge the battery fast enough to keep up with demand while the car is cruising. If so, its a great concept. And it keeps the battery weight down.

And no its not going to revolutionize anything. It's a niche market that only the wealthy can afford. Building $100,000 electric super cars doesn't pave the way to anything. And only the major car companies even have a chance at building a successful electric car.

Are you going to buy a car without a warranty? Or with one but you have to ship the car across the country for a week or two just to get it worked on? Electric cars don't just run forever without any problems. They need maintenance like any other car. And no startup is going to have the resources to build a nationwide infrastructure to sell and service an entire line of vehicles. They can design a car and try to sell it to a larger company, thats about it.

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