The Car Geek: The Volt's European Counterpart

The Car Geek

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Volt's European Counterpart

We already know what the Chevy Volt is all about. It is just a matter of waiting until the fuel miser that is the Volt reaches the production stage. But the Volt is not the only General Motors car which boasts of superb fuel economy and limited greenhouse gas emission. That's because the Chevy Volt has a European counterpart in the Opel Flextreme.

The Flextreme is a concept car just like the Chevy Volt. It is also a vehicle that will get you to your office and back without ever burning a single drop of fuel if your daily mileage amounts to about 34 miles. And I think, just as the Volt will use components as sturdy as Chevrolet Tahoe step plates, the Flextreme will also be using reliable and safe parts.

While American automakers are more focused on the development of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, European automakers are focusing on the use of clean diesel engine. And since Opel is a German brand, the automaker will equip the Flextreme with a fuel efficient, clean as gasoline 1.3-liter diesel powerplant. This engine will act as a 'range extender' as General Motors call it. When the juice of the car's battery runs out, the diesel engine will start charging it.

According to the automaker, this is not a technology they will display just to keep environmentalists out of their back. The technology used by the Volt and the Flextreme are already in the developmental stages and may soon be practical enough to be mass produced. Thus, for those looking to own a vehicle as green as the Volt, the wait may reach four or five years but the wait will be worthwhile once General Motors makes these cars available to the general car buying public.

The Flextreme may have a lot in common with the Volt, after all, it is the Volt's European counterpart, but there is one thing that the Flextreme has which I think the Volt does not have. And that is a Segway. This technologically-advanced two-wheeled personal mobility device gives you an added 23 miles of clean transportation although the use of the Segway on public roads is prohibited in some countries. I think that the Segway will not make it into production since it would cost too much. But for those willing to do more for the environment for additional cost, I think a Segway can be stowed in the Flextreme when it comes to production.