) -- The more you think about some of the more fantastic ideas in human imaginations, the further away from reality they appear to be. Cold fusion, medical nanotechnology and Bigfoot come to mind.

Well, we can at least scratch one impossible idea off the wish list: triple-digit gas mileage.

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On Tuesday,

General Motors

announced that it believes its rechargeable, electric-powered Chevrolet Volt will achieve an EPA-rated gas mileage of 230 miles per gallon in city driving. For comparison's sake, the industry leader

Toyota Prius

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only gets a measly 48 miles per gallon.

The Volt will use a battery pack, which can be recharged from home and will deliver 40 miles on one charge. When that charge runs out, a gas engine takes over, bringing the total range for the vehicle to 300 miles.

In an announcement in front of journalists and analysts, GM CEO Fritz Henderson said that charging the Volt should cost around 40 cents per day at a 5-cent-per-kilowatt-hour pace.

GM didn't release highway driving data, which is likely to be lower than the city estimate. Still, Henderson is feeling good about the car's prospects.

"We are confident the highway (mileage) will be a triple-digit composite," Henderson said, according to

The Associated Press


The Volt is due out in showrooms by 2010 and will likely cost near $40,000.

Not to be outdone, and also joining the Volt on the showroom floor next year, is



electric plug-in offering. Last week the company announced the coming of its Nissan Leaf and today reiterated that the hatchback would likely get 367 miles per gallon using the same EPA framework.

Other car outfits said to be working on electric cars include




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Daimler AG

( DAI). In January,


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unveiled plans for a plug-in electric hybrid.

-- Reported by Sung Moss in New York

Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The AP contributed to this report.