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GM CEO Akerson Promises 200-Mile Electric Car, 15-Percent Weight Loss

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson announced at a conference in Texas that his company will build lighter cars and develop an electric car that can drive 200 miles per charge. The pronouncements came during a speech outlining GM’s plans for more efficient, more environmentally responsible cars.

2013 Chevrolet Volt front three quarter 300×187 imageAkerson said that thanks to the implementation of fuel efficient technologies, GM vehicles built between 2011 and 2017 will use 12 billion fewer gallons of fuel over their useful lifetimes. That’s reportedly equivalent to 675 million barrels of imported oil. The automaker also plans to make 125 of its facilities landfill-free — meaning they recycle more than 97 percent of their waste — by 2025, compared to the 105 landfill-free plants in operation today.

To improve vehicle efficiency, Akerson announced two main research directives. First, he said GM will endeavor to reduce vehicle weight 15 percent by 2016. Using lightweight materials like aluminum, carbon fiber, and magnesium will reportedly help put future models on a diet. Akerson claimed that could improve fuel economy by more than 6.5 percent. Currently, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the only GM vehicle to use a significant amount of carbon fiber in its construction.
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