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Chevrolet Recycles Gulf Oil Spill Waste in Volt

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author photo by Autotrader May 2011

The saying goes, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." When the US experienced one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in history, Chevrolet decided to take that sentiment to heart.

Almost five million barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico following the April 20, 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. In an effort to keep the resulting oil slick from reaching the shore, hundreds of miles of oil collecting booms were stretched across the coastline. After they were no longer needed, the question remained of what to do with the oil soaked booms.

Chevrolet plans to recycle materials leftover from the oil spill cleanup efforts in its greenest vehicle, the Volt.

Chevrolet recently announced that it has been working with environmental technology developers, recyclers and auto parts manufacturers to convert some of the material from the booms into wind deflectors for the Volt extended-range electric vehicle.

According to Chevrolet, 227 miles of oil boom material will produce a one-year supply of Volt wind deflectors. The company and its partners have already prevented 212,500 pounds of solid waste material from winding up in landfills.

Chevrolet said it has enough material for the wind deflectors, and will continue to work with its partners to find new uses for the rest of the oil booms.

The Volt is Chevrolet's unique take on a hybrid electric vehicle. In most hybrids, a gas engine does most of the work with help from an electric motor to save gas. In the Volt, the electric motor provides most of the power, and the gas engine is primarily used to recharge the battery pack.

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Chevrolet Recycles Gulf Oil Spill Waste in Volt - Autotrader