From an Oil Spill Comes the 2011 Chevy Volt

December 27, 2010, 10:37 AM HST
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General Motors says it has a use for nearly 100 miles of oil-soaked boom used to clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The company will recycle the material, using it for plastic and parts for the 2011 Chevy Volt.

While the Chevy Volt is already ecologically friendly on its own merits, the 2011 model will also keep some 100 miles of material out of US landfills.  The company believes that by recycling the boom it can generate some 50 tons of plastic resin that can be used in its automotive parts.  The containment boom was placed on the Gulf of Mexico to act like a floating well around the site of the spill.

The company will use the resin to make radiator air deflectors of a recycled plastic containing 25 percent recycled boom, 25 percent recycled tires, and 50 percent other recycled plastics and polymers.

On a Eco-Spree

General Motors has apparently learned its lesson following bankruptcy.  Following a 2008 bankruptcy filing many attribute to its out-of-style, and inefficient vehicles, the company has started a new path toward sustainable production of fuel efficient vehicles.  In fact, General Motors now operates 76 different “landfill-free” facilities which recycle all of their waste products for future use.

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Around the world, some 90% of all waste created at a General Motors plant is recycled either for production or energy use.  The company’s new cars and trucks are also 85 percent recyclable, allowing for a second life after the vehicles have enjoyed a complete life-cycle.  Besides recycling the raw materials, secondhand General Motors parts are often sold used and installed in still road-worthy models.

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The company has scored plenty of points with previous critics as it exits bankruptcy on the best financial footing in decades.  The company recently went public, shedding its old namesake of “Government Motors” and emerged with a new plan for viability.  That plan includes a number of new fuel efficient gasoline-powered automobiles as well as a number of new electric-gasoline vehicles.

General Motors’ CEO Dan Akerson recently commented that he would like to sell three times as many electric vehicles in 2015 than in 2012.  The company expects 2012 sales of 45,000 vehicles.

The company is expected to soon announce the Chevy Amp at the Detroit Auto Show in January.  The crossover will use the same engine as the Chevy Volt.

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