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GM plugs into a better fuel economy

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Steve Chiotakis: The new General Motors plans to introduce a 230 — you heard me right –230-mile-per-gallon car. Mostly electric, but part gasoline-powered car. The battery pack can be recharged from a standard home outlet. Reporter Tamara Keith joins us for a quick update live right now to talk about all this from Washington. Good morning Tamara.

Tamara Keith: Good morning.

Chiotakis: Has this mileage figure been tested by the EPA yet?

Keith: No, not yet. This is the Chevy Volt that we’re talking about here. And they haven’t tested it yet. We also don’t know what the combined city highway mileage figure would be, but it will likely still be in the triple figures, which is significantly more efficient than the popular Toyota Prius, which is a gas-electric hybrid that doesn’t plug in unless it’s been modified.

Chiotakis: But the Volt will be a lot more expensive than the Prius?

Keith: Exactly. It’ll be about $40,000, which is a lot more money. So people will be buying it to make an environmental statement, rather than an economic one. And really that’s what this is for GM too. It’s an environmental statement post-bankruptcy. It’s trying to green its image a bit.

Chiotakis: Yeah, but talk about green. You know, this news coming out — as we get the story that GM’s not being so green.

Keith: That’s right. There’s an AP story that says GM is dropping out of a program designed to prevent mercury pollution. That basically the new GM is saying, ‘hey, we’re brand new. We’ve never had a problem with mercury in our cars.’

Chiotakis: OK. Some logic there I guess.

Keith: Well, yeah.

Chiotakis: All right, reporter Tamara Keith joining us this morning from Washington. Tamara thanks.

Keith: Thanks.

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