Friday, January 11, 2008

Sensible Hybrid and GM -- not an oxymoron


IS being shown at the detroit auto show, and is promised to be a production car. The availability has not been worked out, due to the need to select the supplier for it's lithium ion batteries.

The Volt looks like a very pragmatic compromise. Depending on your commute length, the Volt is either a Electric Vehicle or a Hybrid Vehicle.

The Volt is expected to have a range of about 40 miles running on batteries. As the batteries start to get low, a 71 HP turbo charged engine automatically starts and recharges the batteries. Driving range on a tank of gas is 640 Miles. I commute roughly 60 miles round trip which would yield a 150 MPG equivalent fuel efficiency. Maybe a sunny spot and an electric solar panel could trickle charge the car during the day to improve that further.

But for most people their daily driving would be covered by the 40 mile range of the batteries and they would only see gas stations on trips.

The base vehicle is all electric, there is no mechanical connection between the engine and the drive train.

Another plus is that engine works on any combination of ethanol and gasoline, keeping future fuel options open.

I didn't expect to ever say this, but my next car may be a GM Hybrid... If they get it to market.

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