Under pressure to meet federal mandates on fuel efficiency, General Motors Co. plans to develop a car that runs entirely on electricity and can go as far as 200 miles. It will also be making lighter cars and unveiling new engine technology that cuts gas consumption and toxic emissions. So reports Dow Jones Newswires.
“We are quite confident we will achieve these goals,” GM’s CEO, Dan Akerson, told Dow Jones Wednesday after a speech he made at the IHS CeraWeek energy conference in Houston.
The Obama administration has mandated that by 2025, the average fuel efficiency of new cars and trucks should be 54.5 miles a gallon. That’s double what it is currently.
To meet that mandate, the automaker hopes to have some 500,000 GM cars and trucks on the road by 2017 that have some element of electrification, despite the company’s issues with the Chevy Volt, which was plagued with anemic sales and battery fire.
Akerson said GM is currently working on two electric cars, one of which could run 100 miles and another that could run as much as 200 miles in between charges, Dow Jones reports. By expanding the distance, the automaker hopes it will ease people’s fears that they will get stuck somewhere without a charge, a fear he called “range anxiety.” The Chevrolet spark, for instance, runs just 80 miles.
The company is also working on an oversized charging pad on which cars could be situated while it’s sitting in its owner’s garage.
It also plans to cut the average weight on new cars by 15% on its 2016 model, Akerson told Dow Jones. Cutting the weight reduces the average fuel consumption by nearly 10%. The frames on the firm’s new Corvette Stingray, for instance, are made entirely of aluminum – a lighter metal that wound up reducing the weight of the car by almost 100 pounds. All of the large automakers are also depending on parts manufacturers to use lighter components so that engines wind up weighing less as well.
As for new engine technology, the company is reviewing a powertrain system that PSA Peugeot Citroën SA is currently developing that would cut fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions.
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