published Friday, April 1st, 2011

Learn ways to live green at Eco Expo

Chattanoogans can get a look at Motor Trend magazine’s 2011 Car of the Year when Eco Expo, a showcase of practical ways to “learn green / live green,” returns to the Chattanooga Convention Center on Thursday.

The Chevrolet Volt, a hybrid that has displaced the Toyota Prius as the most fuel-efficient car to be made widely available, is due to be rolled out nationwide this summer after debuting in six select U.S. markets.

“The Volt has been featured at select media events, but this is the first time it’s been seen in this market,” said Jim Frierson, director of the Advanced Transportation Technology Institute.

In EV mode (battery powered), the Volt gets up to 93 miles per gallon with a radius of 35 miles. Upon switching to extended range (gasoline powered), a driver can cover 375 miles before having to fill up or plug in. The five-door hatchback does not require stops at a charging station. Its lithium-ion battery pack can be charged by plugging the car into a 120-240VAC residential electrical outlet.

Among other highlights of the event are a luncheon address by Dr. Gerhard Prätorius, who heads corporate social responsibility and sustainability for Volkswagen at its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Tickets for the 11:30 a.m. luncheon, a separate event sponsored by the Volkswagen Group of America, are $35 in advance or $45 at the door (includes expo admission). Admission to the Expo only, open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. is $5.

Luncheon and admission proceeds will benefit the conservation mission of RiverRocks and its beneficiaries.

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