Glen Jenkins, a systems consultant in the Houston area, bought a Volt back in March and has driven 5,000 miles so far. "I typically use my Volt to go to work and back home, driving less than the 40 mile range so I do not use any gas," he says...
When I do make long trips, my Volt has gotten 45 mpg on the highway. Try taking a Leaf over 90 miles in the summer or winter and you will be calling a tow truck!
I have had a perfect and defect-free seven months of operation, making the Volt a fabulously reliable U.S.-made vehicle on par with my Lexus. Yes, the Volt is more costly than the Leaf, so if you are sure that you never need to drive over 80 to 100 miles between charges, then the Leaf is a better buy. So far I have used 22 gallons of gas during my 7 months of use, giving me 193 mpg overall average.
The Volt's interior gives the feel of a fighter jet cockpit.
Here are some interesting answers from other LinkedIn group participants:
Andy Bassham, an automated cell specialist in Nashville: "Tesla."
Jeff Johnston, a senior manager of operations in the Phoenix area:
No, I wouldn't buy an electric vehicle. The environmental reasons don't hold water. The carbon footprint may actually be greater than gas. Let's assume the boiler to generate the electricity has roughly the same efficiency of a gas engine, you still have 50% line losses getting the electricity from the point of generation to the point of consumption. In addition, you have a huge mass of batteries as toxic waste at the end of their life. The financial reasons also aren't there. The cost per mile is less, but the up-front cost [is] so high it doesn't seem like you will ever recover the difference.
>What's the max speed when the battery is depleated?
40 miles, if you don't go too fast
0-60, 8.5 secs
>Will it go 70-80 mph up a hill with a depleated battery?
Yes it will, and therein lies the tale. It's a hybrid so at 70 MPH the gas engine connects directly to the transmission and you get pulled by a 3 cylinder ICE. So your hill grade needs to be 3 cyl friendly.
>Environmentally, battery power isn't any better, and may even be worse, than >gasoline or diesel.
Source for this statement, please? The amount of "contaminants" in Lithium cells is minuscule. Further, cells are fully recyclable just like that 12V lead-acid battery in your car.
"If you have a sufficient set up at home of a wind turbine and solar panels ..."
"[A] sufficient setup" for charging the Volt has to supply 12 amps at 120V for ten hours (presumably the Leaf has similar requirements) which will require a pretty large solar panel even in a sunny location, or a rather substantial turbine and reliable wind currents, neither of which is likely for the typical buyer. We could consider the carbon footprint involved in building, installing and maintaining those devices but frankly it's probably a moot issue.
If I had to choose, the Volt would be the only one to support my work commute length. But for $40K I expect a lot more than a marginal performer that looks very uninspiring and would kill me in a wreck.
My current car cost me $40K (Dodge Charger R/T Daytona w/ 5.7L HEMI). While I only get 20mpg in town (up to 28mpg highway), I have performance that is more like the Tesla ($100K or so), looks that turn heads, size enough to carry family and friends, and could survive quite a wreck.
Not everyone wants to drive triple digit speeds,but some of us want the option. For others; feel free to drive your little cubes to the cube farm.
I occasionally choose to drive a few hundred miles to visit family or take a vacation. For me, a vehicle must be able to drive several hundred miles without stopping. And refueling should take 10 minutes, at most. An all electric vehicle just can't do that. So, clearly I wouldn't buy a Leaf.
Other than price, I have one concern regarding the Volt that I haven't been able to get answered. They say it will travel several hundred miles using battery and gasoline. But all the performance numbers were measured using battery only or battery/gasoline in combination. What's the max speed when the battery is depleated? Acceleration? Will it go 70-80 mph up a hill with a depleated battery? I would need to know these things before I would be willing to seriously look at the Volt.
Environmentally, battery power isn't any better, and may even be worse, than gasoline or diesel.
I drive a Silverado Hybrid. I only bought it because it was used. I would never have paid the full price when a gasoline only vehicle is so much less expensive.
I recently took a Volt on a 750 mile 2 day trip. I only charged it one time and gassed up a couple times. This trip could not be made in a Leaf. The Leaf gets 60-100 miles on a full charge and can take as long as 20 hours to get a full charge. Other than as a novelty for local use, its not real useful. In my opinion, the decision is easy. In the Volt, you can drive all electric when it meets your driving needs or it seamlessly switches to gas when necessary.
According to Motor Trend, "This is a fully developed vehicle with seamlessly integrated systems and software, a real car that provides a unique driving experience. And commuters may never need to buy gas!" Without adding numerous options, the Volt is $31,645 after tax credit.
the edison institute claims the grid uses about 8 % of the electricity generated -not so much compared to loss in an ice. a power plant recently built nearby has a combined cycle with nat gas input with an eff. of about 55% . grid losses are porportional to the current squared so off peak charging will be even better grid wise. so there's places where the e v will kick ass !!
Thank you Tim! They always forget that point about how power stations work, don't they?.
Let's not forget how they always leave out the energy efficiencies and costs of drilling, pumping, transporting, piping, refining, more transporting and delivery of gasoline. Besides, there are zero-emission, nothing-to-burn forms of generating electricity but the same can't be said for gasoline. I've commented on this before but, a Volt? First of all, a Volt is a hybrid, not an electric car. Why not compare the Leaf to a Prius? I imagine the Volt started as a pure electric, like the EV-1. Then they realized they were going to lose their shirts since there aren't any wear or consumable parts or require "tune-ups" at the dealer. So they threw in a gasser engine, mated the two with a gearbox from hell (in terms of complexity) and called it "Volt". I think "Fume" would have been more appropriate.
Horsepower of gasoline engines, someone said. Obviously doesn't know that, pound for pound, an electric motor has several times the instant torque of an ICE and it does it at many times the efficiency. Slow EVs? Go to YouTube and search for "Black Current 9.5" It's an old VW bug with a DC motor and common lithium cells. It does 0-60 in 1.6 seconds.
EVs are not for everyone due to current battery technology limitation. But wait a couple of years. New cells are coming that will match gas ranges.
For now I believe, the cost of purchase, and the replacement cost of batteries makes them a more expensive option for the product features offered. The styling and performance doesn't interest me; unless, you look at a Tesla, and that moves even further out of my price range.
RE: Tim Jones:
Electrical Power Transmission is not my specialty; however, wouldn't the electricity transmission power losses be very significant? Additionally, I believe there would be a need to overhaul our power infrastructure if a large portion of the population opted for electric cars. I also believe that power companies are NOT always running at their peak efficiency, and power is transmitted and lost even when usage is way down. I suspect the electric batteries may have parasitic losses while parked for a time (particularly if plugged-in and trickle charging at maintenance levels) that are greater than the gasoline evaporation.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.