photo by ksutherland91 (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

In 2009 the American auto giant GM filed for bankruptcy, downsized and got bailed out by the U.S. government. President Obama announced that GM would be restructured; a new GM would emerge and ‘produce the high-quality, safe, and fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow’. Cue the Chevy Volt. The Volt isn’t exactly a hybrid – it’s completely battery powered for the first 40 miles (64 km) of use, after which it can shift over to running like any other petrol/gasoline-powered vehicle. So it’s neither a hybrid nor a fully electric car. I imagine that the gasoline option is what makes the Chevy Volt more ‘marketable’ than GM’s previous fully electric vehicle – the EV1 – which was made in the 90s, selectively leased and then inexplicably recalled and crushed.

The Volt has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 230 M.P.G. (miles per gallon). How accurate that figure is and how relevant it will be in the future of energy efficient and electric vehicles is unclear – especially since truly electric vehicles don’t use any gasoline, but still consume plenty of energy. Read more about it in Time Magazine article ‘The Volt’s 230 M.P.G.: Is M.P.G. Still Relevant?’

Also check out this video from Time on the promotion of GM’s new Chevy Volt:

Can the Volt Power GM to Profitability?

At the Detroit Auto Show, General Motors executives touted the Volt, their mostly-electric car, as a game-changing option, if the company can get plug-in infrastructure buy-in.

Additional resources:

Who Killed the Electric Car?

The White House Blog – “The End of an Old GM, and the Beginning of a New GM”

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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