It looks like, at least temporarily, gas guzzling trucks and SUV’s produced by General Motors will be singing their swan song. Today, GM has announced they will shutter 4 GM plants that produce trucks and SUV’s as sales sag even more as the price of oil continues to climb. CEO Rick Wagoner also indicated that GM may stop producing the ultimate gas guzzling vehicle all-together: the Hummer. That would be music to my ears! Every time I see a Hummer driving down the road all I can think about is the ultimate symbol of greed, phony power and wastefulness as it rolls on by.
During his comments, Wagoner indicated that he thinks the shift to smaller more economical vehicles is going to be permanent. I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Wagoner and feel like possible this American auto manufacturer is looking ahead and not back at their past. Smaller, more efficient vehicles have been the mainstream in dozens of other countries around the globe and I think it’s about time we make them more available here as well. There is more good news when it comes to alternative fueled vehicles too. Waonger said that the board of GM approved the production of the Chevy Volt, the new electric concept car that was unveiled awhile back. Apparently the electric car will be available beginning in 2010.
The Volt won’t be all electric but with a large, re-chargeable lithium-ion battery pack, Chevy engineers say the plug-in can travel up to 40 miles on just the electric charge alone. They estimate that during peak energy-usage hours it will cost you a mere $0.80 to recharge the battery. During off-peak just $0.40. If you travel longer than 40 miles the hybrid engine will kick-on and help power you to your destination at what engineers say would average 100 miles per gallon of gas.
By cutting production of SUV’s and trucks, GM hopes to save more than $1 billion a year.
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