Making a difference in our environment might be as simple as driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Some of these vehicles are already here in big numbers, some are still making their way through research and development, but they’re all playing a part in making us less dependent on petroleum. Here’s a quick guide to help you stay on top of the options.
Ethanol. Growing fuel rather than drilling for it.
Ethanol is a mostly renewable fuel source made from U.S.-grown biomaterial, such as corn and other grain products. E85 is 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline. ChevyTM is working to have ethanol produced from biomass and waste as soon as late 2010. Imagine a day when your lawn clippings and old tires will be processed into ethanol, which will be used to create E85 to power your vehicle.
FlexFuel vehicles can run on either gasoline or E85 or a combination of both. Chevy has over 2 million E85 FlexFuel vehicles on the road today. More than 1,500 fuel stations across the country allow you to pump E85 ethanol into your E85-equipped FlexFuel vehicle.
Hybrids. Using electric motors to assist gasoline engines.
In hybrid vehicles, the batteries for the electric motor are charged by the gasoline engine and by power recaptured during slowing and stopping of the vehicle. Since 2003, GM has applied hybrid technology to mass-transit buses. Now Chevy is offering hybrid technology on the Tahoe Hybrid2 and Malibu Hybrid.3 In fact, the 2008 Chevy Tahoe — America’s first full-size hybrid SUV4 — offers the same estimated city fuel economy as a standard 4-cylinder Toyota Camry.5
Electric. Imagine driving without using a drop of gas.
The extended-range electric vehicle is no longer just a rumor. The Concept Chevy VoltTM,6 with its revolutionary E-Flex Propulsion System, will be different than any previous electric vehicle because it will use a lithium-ion battery with a variety of range-extending onboard power sources, including gas and, in some vehicles, E85 ethanol7 to recharge the battery while driving.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles. Zero gasoline means zero emissions.8
Chevy has launched a test fleet of hydrogen-powered fuel cell Equinox® Fuel Cell SUVs in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Southern California. Equinox Fuel Cell9 is an electric vehicle powered by the GM® fourth-generation fuel cell system, Chevy’s most advanced fuel cell propulsion system to date. The electric motor traction system provides the vehicle with instantaneous torque, smooth acceleration, and quiet performance.
Beyond these alternative fuel source vehicles, Chevy offers seven models with an EPA estimated 30 MPG highway or better.10 The efficiencies have come thanks to a number of technologies, including Chevy’s Active Fuel Management®, which deactivates half the engine cylinders when they are not needed and seamlessly reactivates them when you need the extra power. Plus every 2008 Chevy car, half-ton truck, and SUV is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitor that automatically alerts you when your tire pressure is low. A little thing, but if everyone in the U.S. had properly inflated tires, we could save millions of gallons of gas each year. For 2008, Chevy is offering our most technologically advanced lineup ever. For more information, please visit chevy.com/FuelSolutions.
1 For more information, visit GreenCar.com.
2 Limited availability.
3 Very limited availability.
4 Excludes other GM Vehicles.
5 Based on 2008 EPA fuel economy estimates of 21 MPG city.
6 Concept Chevy Volt not available for sale.
7 Visit chevy.com/e85 to see if there is a station near you.
8 Water vapor is emitted from the Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle.
9 Equinox Fuel Cell test vehicles not available for sale.
10 Based on EPA estimates and segmentation.
©2008 GM Corp. Buckle up, America!