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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New GM electric vehicle

Larry Greenemeier, Scientific American, Aug 11, 2009, reports. The General Motors today announced that its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle, set to begin production in late 2010.

The Volt will have two modes of operation. In "electric" mode, the Volt will not use gas (petrol) or produce tailpipe emissions because the car will be powered by electrical energy stored in its 16-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack. When the battery charge gets too low, the Volt is designed to automatically switch to "extended-range" mode and use a gas-powered engine-generator to produce electricity to power the vehicle. The energy stored in the battery supplements the engine-generator when additional power is needed during heavy accelerations or on steep inclines.

The EPA's plug-in electric vehicle federal fuel economy methodology assumes plug-in electric vehicles will travel more city miles than highway miles solely on electricity. At low speeds and short distances, the Volt is expected to operate solely on battery power, without touching the reserves in the petrol tank.

The Volt's actual gas-free mileage will vary depending on a number of factors, including how far the car travels, the weight of the cargo and passengers and whether the air conditioning is used. Based on the results of unofficial development testing of pre-production prototypes, GM reports the Volt can achieve 40 miles of electric-only, petroleum-free driving in both EPA city and highway test cycles, before needing a recharge, which can be achieved at a household outlet.

GM claims that the new vehicle shall achieve city fuel economy of at least 230 miles per gallon (mpg), based on a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formula. See discussion on the subject

Governments should support low-carbon initiatives:

The governments must maintain and improve the research and development tax credit scheme, which encourages investment in low-carbon innovation. Participate in the discussion .. ...