GM: Volt More Efficient With New Tires, Sound System

Rechargeable electric car is getting the promised 40 miles on a single battery charge thanks in part to new low-rolling resistance tires and a specially designed sound system.

CHICAGO (AP) -- General Motors Corp. executives say early versions of the Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car are getting the promised 40 miles on a single battery charge thanks in part to new low-rolling resistance tires and even a specially designed sound system.

The Detroit-based company on Tuesday announced that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will make tires for the Volt with a new polymer compound that gives them 27 percent less rolling resistance than more conventional tires, while keeping the same level of traction and handling.

In addition, the Volt's Bose sound system will be lighter than a comparable sound system in a conventional car while using only half the energy, executives from GM and Bose said at an event on the eve of press days for the Chicago Auto Show.

The two suppliers made the parts specifically for the Volt.

Joey Viselli, Goodyear Brand Director for the Akron, Ohio-based tire maker, said the company will provide Fuel Max tires for all Volts, and may build similar tires for other GM cars. Goodyear this month will start shipping similar Assurance Fuel Max tires for sale as replacement tires, with a full line in place by the end of April, Viselli said.

GM said in a statement that the tires will give the Volt an additional mile of range on electric power.

The sound system, according to Bose, is 40 percent lighter than a similar sound system on a car the size of the Volt. But company executives could not say how much the Volt system will weigh.

John Pelliccio, manager of technical product marketing for Framingham, Mass.-based Bose, said weight and energy efficiency mean a lot for a car like the Volt as GM tries to squeeze more miles out of every battery charge.

"Every watt that we're using to power the sound system is a watt that we can't be using to improve upon that 40 miles of all-electric range," Pelliccio said.

The Volt is designed to plug into a standard wall outlet and travel 40 miles on battery power alone. After that, a small internal combustion engine will kick in to generate power for the car to increase its range.

The car is set to go on sale late this year. GM hasn't announced pricing, but it is expected to cost $30,000 to $40,000 initially.

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