General Motors Corp. may begin development work soon on a new rechargeable battery-electric motor hybrid car that would use an onboard internal-combustion engine as a generator to produce electricity to extend the range of the vehicle's power cells, GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said in an interview with auto industry trade publication Automotive News this week.
The car may be unveiled as a prototype next year and will not be an emissions-free vehicle, unlike GM's defunct EV1.
The prototype will run initially on power provided by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and will switch to electricity provided by the onboard gasoline motor or diesel-fueled generator when the battery charge runs out, according to a knowledgeable person within the company. The car would need to recharge twice per day and probably would have a battery range of 20 to 30 miles before needing to switch to electricity generated by the motor.
Ready for our HYBRID course latter this year?