Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Electric Car

Just imagine pulling up to your favorite Algonquin access point with you canoe secured to the roof of an electric car. Although it may seem like just the kind of thing some tree hugging, canoe toting, Algonquin lover might dream of, Chevy promises their new Volt will make this dream a reality.

Electric vehicles have been around for years, but for the most part have been unable to replace gas powered cars for one main reason....lack of range. If you wanted a vehicle to run around town they were great, but for any trip beyond 100 kms they were useless. So given the choice consumers always choose the gas powered car. I mean, who wants a car that is only good for half of the trips that make the vehicle a necessity.

In 2010 Chevy plans to turn the electric car market on it's ear by mass producing the worlds first electric car with an on-board biodiesel powered generator.

How it works:

  • Plug in in to your household current and it recharges in 6 hours
  • On a full charge it can travel up to 60 kms completely on electric power
  • When the batteries get low the on-board biodiesel generator automatically recharges the batteries, which solves the range problems associated with EV's (electric vehicles)
  • This synergy between electric and combustion engine technology's results in an astonishing 1200-1500 kms per tank of bio-diesel (for long trips), but gas/emission free driving for shorter (sub 60 km) car trips!
From the Official Chevy Volt website:

"The Chevy Volt is just another way Chevy is working to bring you drivable and practical vehicles that help decrease our dependence on petroleum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This major advancement in existing technology will make it possible for those short, up to 40-mile or less commutes to be gasoline-free."

Chevy expects the cost of the vehicle to come in at just above $30,000 mark, but when you factor in the fuel cost savings and the proposed Canadian federal tax credits for this vehicle ( $4000 at purchase and $1000 annually thereafter) it quickly becomes a realistic vehicle for most Canadians families.

I have already placed myself on the waiting list for the Volt and this will be my first EVER GM vehicle. So it seems that GM has started to listen to consumers by producing a vehicle they want and in doing so has started the process of re-establishing itself as leader in the auto sector.

Another great site for news on the development of the Volt can be found HERE

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