I take strong issue with Chuck Murray's January 8 column "I killed the electric car" in which he complains about the six hour recharge time (6 hours) to squeeze 70 miles out of the GM's ill-fated electric car, the EV1. He asks if he would have to rent a gasoline-powered vehicle if he had to take trip to a 200 mile. Well, yuh, maybe. What's the point?
First, I support all efforts to build an electric car which for the next decade or two will probably some hybrid version of gas and electric. For all the gas-powered slurpers unveiled at The North American Auto Show this week, the Chevy Volt electric car will get a lot of attention. And dammit, it should! Chuck didn't even mention the Volt in his column that takes a shot at a movie lamenting the demise of the EV1. Puhleeze! The Volt is now and EV1 is history. We continually ding GM for its pathetic performance and tripping all over itself. We should. As an American, I want GM to climb out of the hole it dug for itself and win back share from Toyota. I love my 1997 Silverado pick-up, but also realize that I won't be able to drive a vehicle with a V8 gas-guzzler much longer.
So, Chuck, GM finally does something promising and you're talking about cupholders and comfortable seats!? The notion that consumer tastes alway reign supreme implies an inexhautible supply of cheap oil. It's high time everyone woke up to the realization we're running out of oil and destroying the atomosphere. The Volt is only a concept car at this stage, but it promises triple-digit MPG and goes 40 miles on juice before the gas engine kicks to recharge its batteries. Who can argue against that direction with gas headed for $5 a gallon and the prospect of 100-degree summers and 60-degree winters?
The Volt is far-sleeker than clumsy EV1 podmobile that only tree huggers could embrace. There's no doubt GM learned much from EV1 to come up with the Volt, though. In a online survey from GM, more than 98% of respondents said they'd consider buying one and 99.5% urged GM to build it. Granted, the "Vote for the Volt" survey is self-serving - it doesn't cost anybody anything urging GM to build or saying they'd consider buying it. If you really want to get into the Volt and perceptions, check out the comments in GM's Fastlane blog. Too bad, GM screens all the comments. An unvarished view of the Volt would clear away a lot of the hype, but the comments are not without insight.