@Absalom: Finally I see a kindred spirit in this discussion. I thought I was the only one in the world who felt this way. It is a lifestyle choice that I am not willing to commit to. Just the same as growing all of your own food, making all of your own clothes and so many other "Save the Earth" lifestyle choices I am unwilling to make. God bless those who want it, but do not try and ram it down my throat.
My wife and I own and drive 3 ICE vehicles with a combined 400,000+ plus miles on them and I have not had a car payment in over 10 years. I like it that way.
At some point in the future, I want a battery-electric vehicle with an ~200mile range, recharged from solar panels on my house.
Regarding shifting the problem from the car to the power plant, that's a reasonable concern to raise, and "well to wheel" considerations are indeed complex. For example, on the one hand, a very-large, stationary power plant can be made much more efficient than a very-small, light-weight, mobile one, but on the other hand, transmission line losses gobble up a lot of that advantage. In the final analysis, however, the simple reality is that battery EVs do have a considerably lower cost per mile than similar-sized gasoline vehicles.
I think the main benefit that battery EVs have is that they form an insulating layer between the energy-production means and the propulsion means. That is, a battery EV could ultimately be hydro-electric-powered, oil-powered, natural-gas powered, nuclear powered, or solar powered, or of all of the above simultaneously in various percentages. Separating the one big problem into two separate, independent problems makes both problems easier to solve.
That is just leftist drivel. Wars have nothing to do with oil and would have happened anyway. The so called 'subsidies' recieved by the oil companies are provided to help offset the obscene amount of regulatory overhead and tax burdens. In truth, the natural price of gasoline could be below $2 a gallon without government interferrence.
Without subsidies for 'green energy' there would not be green energy. no one disputes the desire for clean, low input cost power. Unfortunately, the technology just isn't feasable.
I'm NOT a fan of EVs; being involved in the auto industry (including EV design!), and as a SYSTEMS engineer, I look at the "big picture" of the entire system including infrastructure, life cycle costs, etc. However, to play "devil's advocate" I want to suggest another way of dealing with the "I occasionally take trips too far for an EV" issue. Just about EVERY poster thus far has said they would need to own another vehicle for that reason. How about RENTING an ICE vehicle for those occasions? I know a lot of big-city dwellers who do just that, while depending on mass transit for their normal travel. Just an "out-of-box" idea!!
There have been numerous studies trying to determine the real cost of gasoline. The numbers range from $5.28 to $15+ per gallon due to the many subsidies, social and environmental and also the cost of national security, wars and police actions. These are hidden costs to the tax payers.
<If you have a sufficient set up at home of a wind turbine and solar panels-then how do you have a carbon footprint when plugging in your electric vehicle at home?>
The usage model for most EVs will involve overnight charging. In the interest of zero carbon footprint, I assume you will not go to work the next day if the night was windless?
Another mentioned the carbon footprint caused by extracting, refining, and transporting gasoline. True...and the bulk of electrical generation is from coal ! Most EVs are coal-fired...think about it as you gaze through the haze in the Grand Canyon area caused by coal plants in the region. Definitely a social trade-off that needs to be decided...switching from the pros and cons of gasoline engines to the massive change and new pros and cons of increasing national generation and grid capacity by approximatly 35%
Sorry to bring this up, but Hybrids and more importantly electrics are'nt environmentally friendly. The problem is batteries. Not the replacement cost which a lot of anti-hybrid people automatically spout either. DISPOSAL, because later, even if it's much later that battery pack is going to need to be disposed of. The fact is that currently the better the battery the more toxic it is likely to be. When many of these cars are end-of-life we are going to have a real problem with battery disposal.
Second the comment of the staffer John Titus is also true. A pure electric is only getting it's energy from a remote location, not producing it. Total negitive. Poor energy use and battery disposal at end-of-life.
Lastly, almost evey company that makes a hybrid also makes a gas only car that post better all around fuel consumption. If you are a city dweller and do not drive long distances or in difficult terain you are OK for a hybrid and may do better than pure gas. If you do any long distance driving, or high speed freeway, or tough hills then the pure gas versions will usually return BETTER gas milage than the same companies hybrid, without the end-of-life problems.
>What's the max speed when the battery is depleated?
100 miles per hour.
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.
Volt has a 4 cylinder ICE, not 3. It has a "mountain mode" to maintain normal speed during steep ascents, 40 mph is back-up if "mountain mode" is not engaged. See Motor Trend site for more details.
"Without adding numerous options, the Volt is $31,645 after tax credit."
There's no way to know how much of the cost of the Volt is subsidized before it hits the showroom; the GM EV1, which can reasonably be considered Volt's predecessor, is believed to have cost about $100,000 per vehicle to produce. Certainly not all of the billions we gave GM went to bonuses and political donations.
But even considering just the selling price quoted above, think how many of your neighbors will be forced, through their taxes, to pay for that juicy tax credit for the fortunate few who can take advantage of it. For every Volt owner who gets a credit, dozens, probably hundreds of other car owners (and non-car owners!) will pay a tax premium.
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