This seems like the kind of thing that could get more people into GM showrooms and help them recapture lost market share, even if most consumers do not purchase the new Chevy Volt, due out in late 2010.
According to an Associated Press story today GM announced that the Chevy Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon in city driving, more than four times the mileage of the current mileage leader, the Toyota Prius.
From the story:
“The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile range. After that, a small internal combustion engine kicks in to generate electricity for a total range of 300 miles. The battery pack can be recharged from a standard home outlet.”
Despite a hefty initial price tag (expectations are ~$40,000), the car could still be cost effective. Why? According to the story, “If a person drives the Volt less than 40 miles, in theory they could go without using gasoline.”
If we want to reduce our use of foreign oil in a meaningful way, this is exactly the kind of innovation that could do it. Not only will less of our money go to the Middle East region, but we will be reducing pollution and Americans will be able to keep more money in their pockets by saving on the cost of gas. Count me as very much looking forward to the launch of more electric cars in the United States.