Chevrolet unveiled its new electric sedan, the Volt, at the North American International Auto Show on Sunday. The car uses 'E-Flex' technology that combines a a battery-powered electric motor which can drive 40 city miles per charge and a gasoline-powered, one-liter, three-cylinder engine that is only used to generate electricity to both power the car and replenish the battery; it is not connected to the wheels. The Volt's combined range is up to 640 miles and can be recharged by plugging it in to a standard 110-volt outlet for about six hours. The gasoline engine can get about 50 m.p.g when generating electricity to drive the car and can also run on E85 ethanol. According to electric car advocates, 30 miles of battery powered driving at the average cost of 9 cents a kilowatt-hour in the U.S. would cost 81 cents; combustion-engine cars cost $2.40/gallon for regular gasoline. GM's cancellation of its previous electric car, the EV1, due to technical problems, angered environmentalists and was the basis of the 2006 movie Who Killed the Electric Car?.
• Sources: The New York Times, AP , Reuters
• Related commentary: Will GM Be Killed By The Electric Car?, So What If GM Relies On Overseas Markets?, GM Management Remains Stable , Who Killed the Electric Car?. Conference call transcripts: General Motors Q3 2006 Earnings
• Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM). Competitors: Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F), DaimlerChrysler (DCX), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM), Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC)
Seeking Alpha's news summaries are combined into a pre-market briefing called Wall Street Breakfast. Get Wall Street Breakfast by email -- it's free and takes only a few seconds to sign up.