U.S. Car Giants Launch Green Drive

The launch of the Volt comes as GM is under pressure over the cancellation of the EV-1 program in 2003, after just 1,100 vehicles were produced.

Published: 09-Jan-2007

Ford and General Motors, the two embattled giants of the US car industry, yesterday unveiled plans for environmentally friendly cars to try to maintain their position in an increasingly competitive market.

GM, the world's biggest car maker, revived the concept of the electric car, three years after it generated opprobrium from the environmental lobby by cancelling its pioneering electric vehicle, the EV-1.

The company unveiled the Chevrolet Volt yesterday at the glitzy Detroit Motor Show, where fuel efficiency and alternative fuels are emerging as a major focus. GM said its new vehicle - still at the concept stage after a year of development - could be recharged overnight and would save the average driver $900 a year at current fuel prices. It would mean, also, that 4.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide is no longer pumped into the atmosphere by the average driver.


Allocating significant money to produce a saleable hydrogen fuel cell car is likely to be a tough decision for GM. Larry Burns with image of Sequel fuel cell car behind him.

The dual-mode hybrid system will be available in a wide range of cars, trucks and S.U.V.'s made by the three companies, starting with the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe that goes on sale in fall 2007.

The pollution-free technology holds the potential of zero emissions and a sustainable source of energy produced when hydrogen and oxygen are mixed.


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