EERE Network News
January 14, 2009
News and Events
General Motors Corporation (GM) will buy the lithium-ion batteries for its range-extended electric vehicle, the Chevy Volt, from LG Chem, but GM will assemble the battery packs for the vehicles in Michigan. GM has also unveiled a two-door Cadillac concept with the Volt's electric propulsion system.
"Electrified" vehicles are all the rage at this year's North American International Auto Show, with new concept and production vehicles from Chrysler, Fisker Automotive, BYD Auto, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, smart, and even Johnson Controls.
It's a blast from the past as the new Honda Insight prepares to compete with the updated Toyota Prius when they both hit showrooms later this year. But unlike the competition back in 2000, Toyota has added a twist with a new entry-level luxury hybrid from its Lexus division.
With all the current emphasis on electrified vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids, it's easy to forget that advanced engine technologies are also yielding significant fuel economy gains. Unless, of course, you talk to representatives from Ford, Audi, or Volkswagen.
It may be hard for a small team or a startup company to put together a production-capable vehicle that can achieve the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon, but it's even harder in an actual production vehicle. That's why the Progressive Automotive X Prize will allow automakers to strut their stuff.
Low-speed Neighborhood Electric Vehicles would definitely be a lousy choice on the battlefield, but the Army believes they'll serve a useful purpose when traversing the expanses of its U.S. bases. That's why the Army will lease 4,000 of the vehicles over the next three years, starting with Virginia's Fort Myer.
The slowing U.S. and global economy has caused the prices for oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, and natural gas to drop dramatically, and the prices are expected to stay low through 2009, according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). But in 2010, the trend should reverse as the economy recovers.