You've nailed the critical point, Cabe. The Volt is fantastic if you have a predictable commute that's relatively short. If the commute is less than 37 miles, and if you ar committed to charging it every night, you could go many months without putting gasoline in it. But as you also point out, many city dwellers like yourself don't have easy access to predictable daily charging.
Cap'n, I read your headline and the first part of the article and remembered the article you mention later. Considering the adoption curve for new technology and the nature of the question, I would be interested in a more detailed statistical analysis.
We recently went through the process of buying a new car. Actually we bought a certified used car. This was for my wife, and she started out looking at Japanese cars. We encouraged her to look at some other brands, and we looked at some American and German cars. This was a car for commuting to work, so mileage was reasonably important. She ended up with a very nice Volkswagen. It drove so much better than many of the others she looked at. With the warranties and the miniscule differences in quality between the brands, we have many more choices we can feel secure with.
Considering the improvements in fuel efficiency we are seeing with ICEs, much of coming from electronics, and the fall in the price of gasoline, hybrids need to get much better to make a dent. Have you noticed that gasoline is down over $1 (closer to $1.25) per gallon over the past year? With new sources here, which are cheaper than middle east oil (I have seen figures of $47 per barrel), this situation should hold for the foreseeable future.
I am sure the Volt is a nice car, but for twice the cost of a comparable Chevy in its class, it is not that nice.
It's good to see car owners embracing hybrid vehicles and their satisfaction with them is a positive step in the direction to lessen the popularity of and dependence on traditional fossil-fuel vehicles. It really is the way forward to make cars more economical and environmentally friendly. As car makers improve hybrid technology in the future let's hope satisfaction numbers grow.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.