The (almost) gasless car is (almost) here

Chevrolet has unveiled the final production model of its Volt, a car that can travel 40 miles on a battery charge … without any gas. They say it will be available in 2010.

It’s not a Flintstone-style, foot-powered vehicle. Instead you fill the tank with gas, and the gas powers a generator that can charge the batteries on a longer journey.

Of course, it’s not free of all energy use. (Remember physics? Motion is energy. OK, I never took physics. But that’s the general idea.) Instead, you plug it in to charge the batteries, so theoretically, you could use clean power, solar, wind, etc. No word on whether the “common household plug” it will use will be 110 volt or 220 volt, but it would be annoying to have to run new power to your garage if it were the latter.

The price is estimated somewhere in the $35,000 range. The mileage? Well, that appears to be seriously confusing, but consider it somewhere between 48 miles per gallon and 100 mpg.

Now if only they can invent a gasless dog. Or a car that charges its batteries using canine gas as a power source …

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How about 235 mpg?

Last week, I wrote about a forthcoming hybrid vehicle from Honda. Some of the comments concerned the fact that today’s hybrids scarcely get better mileage than some vehicles got in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s — hardly enough to justify their higher expense.

How about a VW that gets 235 miles to the gallon? That blows the early Hondas out of the water. Tentatively slated to be available in 2010 in limited quantities, the Volkswagen 1l (for 1 liter of fuel per 100km) is a two-seater — but with that mileage you can get the kids their own. (Via Green Daily)

It’s supposedly a safe vehicle, according to the VW Web site, but I notice they didn’t attach a price. I don’t think we’ve seen a cheap VW since the original Bug, so meanwhile, the jury is out.

Would you ride two in a row if it saved you that much gas?