By William Maley
Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
March 7, 2013
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson made some ambitious announcements at a energy conference in Houston, TX on Wednesday.
For starters, Akerson said General Motors has a goal of reducing vehicle weight by 15% by 2016. This will be accomplished by using lightweight materials like aluminum, carbon fiber, and magnesium. Akerson says the move to lightweight materials could improve fuel economy by more than 6.5%.
Akerson also said the company is working on two electric vehicles; one that comes with a 100 Mile range and another vehicle with a 200 Mile range.
"There will be breakthroughs in battery technology, they're on the horizon. We're actually developing a car today which is really anathema to the way the auto industry works: We're running a dual play on the technology to see which one will succeed. One will result in" a 100-mile range, "the other will be a 200-mile range," Akerson said.
While GM is embracing its green and efficiency side, Akerson reassured everyone that future GM models would still be desirable.
“But if you’re worried that we’re going to throw safety, comfort and performance out of the window to get there, you can breathe easy,” Akerson said.
Akerson confirmed that the automaker will continue to produce V8 engines, mostly for Camaro, Corvette, and truck customers. Akerson went onto to say that internal combustion engines will be sticking around thanks to advancements such as direct fuel injection, turbocharging, and cylinder deactivation.
Akerson also promoted commercial trucks and vans powered by compress natural gas, and called on the Obama Administration to form a commission to evaluate the nation’s energy framework every five years for the next three decades.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)