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GM is the big news at Detroit's North American International Auto Show, according to Treehugger, "hitting the ground running with the Chevy Volt, a battery-powered, four-passenger electric vehicle that uses a gas engine to create additional electricity to extend its range."
In the preblog world, that's all we'd know unless we were professional auto journalists willing to do some digging. Now with a mouse click or two we can read Joel Makower's thorough take on this development, with links to technical accounts of the needed developments in battery technology for the Volt to become reality. Beth Lowery, GM's vice president for environment and energy, told him, "We wanted to show our overall commitment to environmental excellence. We’ve been working on it for decades, but nothing was showing through. I think this really broke through. This allows people to take us seriously."
With another mouse click or two we can read the takedown by Dilbert creator Scott Adams (yes, he has time to blog too): "Someday GM hopes to figure out how to make a big honkin’ car battery, and figure out how to do it economically, and hope the whole project ends up saving more energy than it consumes, or failing in that, hope no one asks how much energy it takes to build the cars. It’s called a 'concept car' because that sounds better than 'something we pulled out of our ass and hope to someday shove up yours.'"
(Visit the Dilbert blog for his idea of his first and last workday in GM's concept department.)