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GM says Chevy Volt could top 230 miles-per-gallon

Rebecca Cook/Reuters

(Read caption) A Chevrolet Volt is seen during a news conference at GM's Warren Technical Center in Warren, Mich. on August 11, 2009. The Chevrolet Volt, the electric vehicle GM is counting on to recharge its image with consumers, is on track to hit an unprecedented fuel economy rating of 230 miles-per-gallon in city driving, the automaker said on Tuesday.

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Update: On Twitter, Nissan laughs off the Chevy threat.

Back in 2006, the X-Prize Foundation offered a bundle of cash to any group that could build a 250 miles-per-gallon, non-polluting car. It was a monumental challenge, and one that even three years ago, seemed out of reach. Welcome to 2009, the year of the battery- and gas-powered Chevrolet Volt.

Today, GM officially unveiled the Volt, which reps said can travel up to 40 miles on a single battery charge. The car, pictured above – and in the video below – will likely start production later this year. According to GM, the Volt will get city fuel economy of at least 230 miles-per-gallon, and come packaged with a flex fuel-powered engine-generator. The range of the Volt will be 300 miles, GM said.

"From the data we've seen, many Chevy Volt drivers may be able to be in pure electric mode on a daily basis without having to use any gas," GM Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson said in a statement. "EPA labels are a yardstick for customers to compare the fuel efficiency of vehicles. So a vehicle like the Volt that achieves a composite triple-digit fuel economy is a game-changer."

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