Oh yes I got the poor attempt at sacrasm/negative humor alright. Your combination of two makers that are still in existance with one that is no longer does not work in your "English literature" attempt at comedy. The using of Ford and Toyota along with a once premium Chrysler brand does not work. There is no consistency in the joke. You would buy a car from FORD, Toyota or a non-existant company over a GM. Got it, you are angry over a gas vehicle related issue you may have had or heard of. Therefore everything always stinks from (insert company you dislike here) so we should no longer consider anything else ever from them. Yep I got it.
My reply was an attempt to let you know your day job should be held on to with great effort. Comedian you are not. Next time try something more along the lines of Packard, Plymouth and Mercury aligned with the witty electrical terms. Then clarify the statement with a joke that has anything to do with the topic. It may almost make sense. You know something like "Even if Packard (a car once known to be too good for its own good) came back and made a Ampere I wouldn't by it for ten years."
By the way. They do have snow in Michigan where the car was developed. So the car was "likely (sarcasm)" driven in the snow with the 12volt battery powering the heater motor. And they battery jacket cycling. Just a little known fact, the car was held back several weeks from the public until the mileage discussion was hashed out. How do you measure the mileage on this type of system and what do the federal results report when they reviewed documented testing. The automakers are not allowed to just make up the result number and stick it on the window.
The average fuel economy by ALL the manufactures is never black and white. Ford, Toyota and even the departed Plymouth play the games with economy numbers. Drove the car from home to the office in the winter last year. 22 miles one way. Engine kicked on about a mile from office. Is my trip the same as your trip? Less or more hills? More or less stop and go?
Like the VOLT a lot but I am still an engineer. Trust but verify. Identify the effectors and evaluate the impacts and define the nominal value.
Stay Cranky it is fun to watch. The world needs more visionaries with closed eyes. Have a great day!
Like every other car, a car like the Chevrolet Volt has advantages and disadvantages and it will NOT fill everyone's needs. The running cost may be low (ignoring the unknown factors such as repair costs and that dreaded battery replacement) but, overall, the Volt is not likely to be a total winner on overall cost.
Add to this the fact that the whole electric car marketplace is new (or at least "new'ish") and, yes, it is time for the early adopter's to step in. You know - those strange people who bought the first VW bugs back in the 1950s. As with all new market place developments, there will be winners and losers but,jeepers, you have to start someplace!
The Chevrolet Volt at least seems like a well built and mostly satisfactory car. I haven't taken a test drive in one yet (but hope to soon) but it might (other than the cost)meet my set of requirements - i.e. short trips around town for the most part and, if I make a long trip, then I have the gas engine for backup and, with gas refills, an unlimited range.
So would I consider buying one? Yes. Heck, I used to own a bunch of VWs back in the day (about 7 of them all told) so it is just my radical nature coming out.
First off, let’s address the issue of battery life in the Volt as well as the Leaf.Looking at the life of the Prius batteries, we have about a decade of experience where these batteries are lasting well over 10 years. In addition, the existing IC system with its troublesome automatic transmission is eliminated in an electric car so I would argue that the replacement of batteries after 10 years is about a wash since the automatic transmission is also expensive to re-build.
As far as the economics of the Volt, I believe it is too expensive of a system to make it a viable replacement for the standard IC car of today.As the writer states, the Volt is economical at daily driving under the threshold where the gas engine kicks in.Therefore, it is only economical at commutes under 40 miles per day.As soon as the gas engine kicks in, you might as well be driving a standard IC car.
GM made a decision to include a gas engine on the Volt so drivers would not be put off by the 40 mile range that the Leaf has.Somehow though, they managed to basically create a $40K Prius which will be a tough sell in this market (Prius runs under $25K).If you want a economical electric car and can stay under 40 miles a day, buy the Leaf.Typical GM management.Will they ever learn.
Finally, to address your comment "how many people live within 20 miles of work", I say it plenty. Not only that but, in the near future, employers will have chargers for their employees, thereby concievable doubling your possible commute. Also, batteries are improving as we speak. We as engineers MUST learn to realize, its not a static world.
I beg to differ with your analysis. When you say 80%, you may be speaking geographically vs population. At present, estimates place urban dwellers at 80% of the population, the target users of this technology, which is what GM publicized. I for one believe this vehicle hits the right design point, given added flexibility to the vehicle beyond the range limit of all electric. Consider the question - have you ever forgotten to plug in your cell phone? What happens if you forget to plug in your all electric car? You won't make many friends in downtown Manhatten or in the 405 if you run out of juice.....
Not likely. I did own a 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid for 3 years. I loved that car, but I had more need of a truck, so I traded it in. The Highlander's big engine was quite peppy and fun to drive. Their rear wheel electric drive system for additional traction seemed like a great idea to apply to other vehicles. Freeway mileage was a disappointing 22 mpg, but around town I got around +28. Unlike the Volt, you could drive the Highlander indefinetly on gas. I also suspect that the battery packs last much longer because the Toyota charging system always kept the battery charge/dishcarge levels around the mid range. I wonder what the average lifetime of the Volt battery with its high charge/discharge cycles will be? A battery pack replacement will be extremely expensive.
The Volt will appeal to people who have never driven a car before or people who hate driving in the first place. The Euro only e-drive Volvo turbo diesel line of cars and SUV’s get over 800 miles per 15 gal tank of fuel. If you look this up (at the Volvo Euro site) you will see that is over 60 mpg in a vehicle that is not nearly as embarrassing. A Volt or Leaf or Prius will only be for the people who need to make a “I’m a better person” statement when in reality they are not.
95 Honda Accord wagon. new 21K including finanacing. Ran 280K miles $8K after destroyed in accident. Avg 28 MPG. Avg mileage excess of 30K per years first two years over 40K. Used to raise family with LA to Pheonix commute (weekly).
03 Toyta Higlander....replaced the Honda. similar need 3 kids partner at home. active in Scouting soccer and basketball, camping etc as with the accord. still own. Car has 240K drove 8 years at nearly 30K per year. Now semiretired. Engine blew a few years back with 195K . In good spahe use for heavy lifting and camping.
08 Toy Camry Hybrid...current commuter car avg 37 mpg in LA commute. Lousy for Home Depot trips. Fuel savings significant pays for the car and insurance compared to highlander. otherwise cheaper to keep one car.
In general havnig one car is far cheaper than two. I have a bit of an advantage as the higlander is worthless on the used car market with the milage. IF I was buying the Toy new. I would have to facotr in it complete lack if utility for camping and Home support vehicle and I would have bought a Venza or Subie wagon.
The Volt the Leaf etc are good IF you have another car for all the BS a homeowner deals with or if you living in an apartment in the city...where public transportation will be useful.
The misson of these electric cars is not ameanble to enough of the public therefore it is a market failure. Note too Leafs are very availble at local dealers. not just Volts. The hybrids are very nice economical alternatives, but the real mileage winners will be well desinged high compression smal engines in midsized cars with 6 to 8 speed high efficency tranmissons with good aerodynamics. sort of like the accord wagon which with a poor tranmission (compared to today) and ealry engine management systems did a great job hauled a lot and was cheap and durable.
I have always felt that TDI is the way to go for those that are looking to really do something that will save fuel. I suspect that Chevy's attitude on the Volt is like American automakers attitude toward TDI.....'see, we told you it wouldn't work!' Our Government, which can have great sway over such matters, needs to do the right things and promote this technology as best for the country. I would also include the most important part...local governments and the oil companies need to be exposed for their 'nobody will notice' attitudes toward diesel taxing and pricing....simply put, truckers won't complain when you gouge them for what should be the cheapest type of fuel....they simply pass the cost on to us, the consumer, and the politicians and big oil get free reign.
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