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Driving the Future

What a difference some government regulations make. In light of the high US governments Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards automakers are now forced to innovate new technologies to meet strict regulation. There have been several responses so far. Besides Toyota's extremely successful Prius model dominating the hybrid market, Ford has also developed its own hybrid technology, as seen in the Fusion and Escape models.

GM, on the other hand, was falling behind. Only a few models had a hybrid option, but it wasn't anything exciting or technically innovative when compared to say, Toyota. Until now. The Chevrolet Volt, going on sale this November in the United States, promises to be a game changer. Powered by lithium-ion battery packs producing an electric range of 40 miles on the batteries alone. Once the batteries run out of power, a small gas powered engine will begin to produce power for the batteries to allow them to recharge. All told, expect 230 miles per gallon.

No, that's not a typo. For those of you who've been following the Volt's development since the concept's introduction at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, this number is nothing new. For the rest of the public, this jaw-dropping number is a deviation from everything they've ever known about the automobile. Like the old Ford Model T, the Chevrolet Volt could help change how we view cars and mass transportation forever.

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