Wednesday's keynote speaker at the Chevy Volt presentation was Professor Andy Frank, pictured on the left, who has retired from UC-Davis. Professor Frank is now Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Efficient Drive Trains.
Frank holds world records in fuel economy, has designed nine generations of PHEVs, is a four-time winner of USDOE Advanced Vehicle Design competitions, holds over thirty patents, and is recognized by Congress for his leadership in the field of plug-in electric vehicle technology.
Frank started by explaining that the technology behind a battery electric car, from the battery to the wheels, is about 75 to 85 percent efficient. A car powered by an internal combustion engine, from a gas tank to wheels, is about 16 to 20 percent efficient.
The world is running out of oil and America imports 65 percent of its oil. Marin County residents, where Novato Chevrolet is located, spend $435 million per year on gasoline.
Kramer and Frank emphasized that as the American passenger vehicle fleet stops using gasoline and diesel engines, the environment becomes less polluted. Plus, there is a decrease in the expenses of everyone who drives a gasoline powered vehicle when they switch to PHEVs.Vehicles are the source for 40 percent of the greenhouse gasses produced in America.
Frank explained why the Chevy Volt is important in changing the public perception about PHEVs. On Tuesday evening, he picked up his Chevy Volt in Davis, California and figured he will reduce his gasoline purchase from over 450 gallons a year to less than 60 gallons per year. At this week's price in Northern California for unleaded 87 octane regular of $3.26 per gallon, that will save over $1,300 in the first year.
If everyone in Marin County were to suddenly switch to Chevy Volts, that would save almost $330 million in the first year.
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