"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.
Your article starts with the premise that range anxiety is the reason a participant in your survey might not want a Volt or Leaf, and then asks if that is not the case????? What kind of survey is that? Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife Yet? 56% say YES.
What if you learned that of people actually DRIVING Lithium powered electric cars, NONE of them have range anxiety AT ALL. Would it bend your world view just a wee bit too far to learn that availability of charging ports is absolutely a non-issue? I guess it would.
Then you'll find it curious that I would own neither a Volt nor a Leaf for an entirely different reason. They aren't a good value proposition. Their purchase price exceeds their utility.
A Nissan Vesa is $17K+ It is the same car as the Nissan Leaf, but in gasoline version. It already gets great mileage.
A Chevy Cruze is similiarly $17K. It is the same car as the Volt but with ICE engine only and it also gets very good mileage.
The OEMs are askign us to PAY DOUBLE for the same car. And both of them are ECONOMY cars at that?
Chevrolet goes further to announce an even MORE downscale full electric in the Spark.
You cannot hide the higher component costs of an electric vehicle in the BOTTOM end of the economy line. Show me an electric Cadillac and I might be tempted. Meanwhile, my Model S depositi is in, and I already have six electric cars I drive now.
I can afford any car I want. I don't want a Leaf or a Volt because I'm not 24 years old looking for an economical basic transportation car. I don't WANT those cars. I wouldn't buy a Cruze on a bet. And so one at twice the price is even less attractive.
But it's not because of "range anxiety" or long tailpipe pipe theories that make utterly no sense at all derived from uninformed luddites.
And my wife is happy, loved, and doing quite well really, thank you.
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