Ready For Some Good News?
By Cassandra D
From the Washington Post:
"General Motors Chairman G. Richard Wagoner Jr. on Sunday unveiled an innovative prototype, the Chevrolet Volt -- a plug-in vehicle that derives its power primarily from electricity rather than gasoline -- as the world's automakers take on global warming and U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
"GM put its electric-car plans back on track after being stung by the rising gas prices after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Higher gas prices ended the boom in sales of large SUVs, which have supported the Detroit automakers. They've also watched from the sidelines as the Prius gas-electric hybrid has brought a windfall of positive attention for the Toyota brand.
"'The domestic industry spends hundreds of millions to cultivate image,' said Harley Shaiken, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. 'What they've been slow to realize is that fuel efficiency is increasingly sexy to many Americans. Even if you don't buy a Prius, you have the sense that Toyota is with the program.'
"GM killed off its previous electric vehicle after corporate officials balked at more than $300 million for further development. At the time, GM nearly had the alternative-car market to itself. GM has played catch-up to Japanese rivals Toyota and Honda, which seized the advantage, turning their electric-car know-how into today's hybrid cars.
"GM's Volt would use its battery pack and electric motor as the primary source of power. The small three-cylinder engine, serving as a generator, kicks in to recharge the battery when power starts to fade. As envisioned, the Volt would have a top speed of 100 miles per hour. It would have an all-electric range of 40 miles, more than what many Americans typically drive in a day, making it possible for some people to commute to and from work without using a drop of gasoline."
And I know of a nice, vacant GM plant they can use to build it.