GM to develop 230 MPG car: Oh, NOW you care?
by Dracomicron, Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 07:22:00 AM EDT
General Motors Corp. said Tuesday its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon of gasoline in city driving, more than four times the mileage of the current champion, the Toyota Prius.
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.
Now, I'm thrilled that automakers' R&D are finally making a concerted effort to develop electric cars, but GM finding religion on this only now, after they've been faced with bankrupcy, a major oil crisis, and an ecological disaster in the making, makes me roll my eyes.
Surprisingly enough, the electric car was invented in 1834 and rechargable batteries were invented in 1859. One would've thought that, in the 140 years since, they could've come up with an electric car viable for mass market use before the new millenium.
But no, between squabbling over property rights for the hydrogen cells between Toyota and GM and the petrolium industry lobbying behind the scenes to axe a technology that could seriously cut into their profit margin, I have few nice things to say about the current efforts to make fuel efficient vehicles. These are the companies who had my city's extensive trolly lines removed to make room for more streets for cars to drive on; we're only just now starting to recover our light rails.
Seriously, guys. The environmental impact science on internal combustion engines has been there for twenty years or more. There was an oil crisis in the 1970s. Sixth grade science class could tell you that fossil fuels are non-renewable.
Now you want a prize for a last minute hail mary when you should've been running the ball for the last four quarters? Get back to work, slackers.