GM unveils electric car

DETROIT — General Motors Corp. Tuesday unveiled its new electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, which it said will go on sale in 2010.

The Volt will be powered by electricity stored in a lithium-ion battery pack that runs the length of the car. After charging for several hours, the car will be able to run about 40 miles without using gasoline, CNN reported.

“The Volt symbolizes GM’s commitment to the future,” said Rick Wagoner, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

The car will have the equivalent of about 150 horsepower and a top speed of 100 mph, the Detroit automaker said. The car’s expected price was not revealed, CNN said.

The car’s zero-to-60 mph time will be under nine seconds, said GM vehicle line director Tony Posawatz.

“The center of gravity of the car, with the center battery pack, it’s going to have real great ride and handling,” Posawatz was quoted as saying.

GM said the car will cost “less than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee” to recharge, and use less electricity annually than a refrigerator.

Some characteristics of the Volt:
–Lithium-ion batteries, which are still under development, are expected to propel the car up to 40 miles on a single charge from a home outlet.

–As it approaches 40 miles, a small internal combustion engine kicks in to recharge the batteries, extending the car’s range to hundreds of miles. The engine can run on gasoline or E85 ethanol.

–Design is among the most aerodynamic in GM history, although the company won’t reveal its drag coefficient.

–Interior has a liquid-crystal instrument display that the driver can configure to his or her needs, as well as touch-screen climate, information and entertainment controls.

–It takes about eight hours to recharge through a 120-volt outlet, costing about 80 cents a day assuming a price of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour.

–Top speed is 100 mph.

–Due in showrooms in November 2010.

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