GM to launch electric, ethanol Volt model in 2011

16 February 2010 21:58  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS news)--General Motors (GM) said on Tuesday it will produce flex-fuel Chevrolet Volts in late 2011, combining technologies that will allow the vehicle to run on electricity and ethanol blends of up to 85%.

The company expects to launch sales of the Volt in November 2010, but initial production will include only vehicles with engines that run on electricity or gasoline.

GM claims the Volt will deliver 40 miles of all-electric driving before switching to either gasoline or ethanol.

We are really excited about the complementary nature of biofuel and electric propulsion,” said Tom Stephens, GM's vice chairman for global product operations, during a speech at the National Ethanol Conference.

By combining these two promising energy sources, we can practically eliminate petroleum from the Volt and dramatically cut its CO2 impact,” he told delegates in Orlando.

The launching of the Volt in November will take place in only three markets, the executive said, adding that vehicle would initially be offered in Detroit, Washington and Los Angeles.

Stephens declined to give information on the expected retail value of the Volt, commenting only on the cost for GM to make its vehicles flex-fuel capable, which he estimated is $100m (€74m) a year.

GM on its website claims the purchase price of the Volt is “yet to be determined”, saying only the car will qualify for the maximum US tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles of $7,500.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: William Lemos
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