First Volt battery pack rolls off line

From the Detroit News:


I used to be enthusiastic about the idea of plug-in hybrids until a blogger critic made a devastating observation. Since the Volt only goes 40 miles on a battery charge before reverting to conventional hybrid mileage, you really only save 40 miles per day worth of battery use.

My current gas commuter car (2002 Saturn SL manual trans) gets me 37 mpg per average tankful. My commute is 56 miles round trip. With gas at $3/gallon, I spend $4.54 in gas per day on gas right now. With a Volt, that would drop to (56-40)/40 *$3 = $1.20 per day in gasoline.

So even if the electricity is free (which it practically is in comparison to gas), I'm only saving $3.34 per day. Say I use the car 350 days a year, that makes $1,169.19 per year in savings.

The Volt is going to be about the size of a Cobalt, right? Cobalt stick shifts go for around $14,500 well equipped in stick shift version and still get 37mpg highway rating like my old Saturn (after adjusting for the newer EPA test method). The Volt is going to go for something like $35,000 correct?

Sorry, Im off the wagon. Won't be worth it until/unless there are lots of recharging stations all over the place - if then. Besides, a stick shift is more fun than a two pedal car anyways.....

Somewhere in the following is the truth, or maybe, parts of it:

We'll be running out of oil any minute now.

We're addicted to oil and we have to get away from it.

The world is warming and CO2 is to blame.

All electric cars are coming - whether you like it or not.


I think it’s a really good starting point for a struggling company. Toyota, and to a lesser extent, Honda, have discovered the benefits of marketing hybrid vehicles. The only problem I can immediately foresee is that it looks like a “normal” car; the Prius outsells the competition mostly because you can tell it apart from every other car on the road at a glance.

The good news is that an all-electric car that people want is already here:

A hefty price tag for a toy, to be sure, but automobiles began merely as playthings for the rich.

Forget everything about climate change for a minute (Argh believes that it is quite real, that the Earth’s climate is always changing, and that humans have always impacted it, but not to the extent Fmr. Vice President Gore thinks:rolleyes:), and think of the benefits of an all electric roadway. Smog and ozone are serious problems, especially for people with respiratory ailments. Acid rain is another blight on urban populations.

The Volt isn’t perfect, and if I had that kind of money, I’d probably by a Volkswagen turbo-diesel, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a commercial success or a stepping stone to something better.

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