I remember that when the Volt first came out, GM said that they would put solar panels on the roof, hood & trunk to charge the battery when it is sitting out in the sun.
It's been out a while and to date have not seen anything other than the initial statement about solar panels. Where are they? Seems like a natural and with new solar technology, they could be done so that at first glance you'd never know they were there. That first 40 miles on pure electric could be stretched out much longer before the ICE kicks on.
Now everyone is waiting for the next generation of batteries, so lots of people who might have bought a Volt figure they'll just wait it out. Put the solar panels on it and I'll trade in my Civic for a Volt.
In the meantime, oil continues to be a dwindling resource. We won't get off that teat until it dries up completely. Might be too late by then, but isn't that human nature. A fascinating read is "Collapse" by Jared Diamond. It might provide some insight as to where we are headed. Alternately, you can rent "Idiocracy". That also provides some insight as to where we are headed. It will be interesting to see which prediction comes true first. My money is on "Collapse".
Thanks for the feedback. One clarification I'd like to make is that the current VOLT does NOT actually have exceptionally good MPG, contrary to the EPA's patently fraudulent calculations (esp. in EV mode).
First, due to the high battery weight and the fact that Chevy "cheaped out" on the gas engine and did not use one of the new, highly efficient ones - the gas MPG is not great, but could have easily been ~8-10 MPG better, and of course even higher with hybrid operation.
More important - the EPA's calcualtion for EV MPG is ridiculously incorrect. I won't go into the all the proof...but the EPA's figure of "93 MPGe" for EV mode should be approx. 1/2.5 to 1/3 that figure (or 31-37 MPGe) if it actually measured how much fossil fuel was burned at the power plant, based on avg. USA grid power statistics. Yes...in other words - you're better off burning the fossil fuel IN THE CAR, instead of layers removed for an EV.
The Volt is done. Put a fork in it. It is another Obama failure which will be part his Marxist legacy. We need to let the free market decide on what's best in terms of energy usage and not allow the government or any special interest like the Eco-warriors force things on the consumer that they don't want or need. This is not just the end of the Volt it is the end of GM. Taxpayers should demand every cent of their money back.
The problem isn't the tech or the engineering, the car should have been the Buick Volt or the Cadiallac Volt. The car should have been sold to make a profit. It is horrible that a government owned car company is allowed to exist in the USA in the first place, but being allowed to sell it at a loss? (roll eyes and shake head)
Kevin, that is a great idea! I would say that if they did that, they should make it as a second version of the Volt, keeping the current one in the line, reason being so as not to have the perception that the current version is flawed. In fact, it isn't flawed, other than pricing. The market is there (look at Prius sales...) but the pricing is the hurdle for most potential customers. They should have taken a page out of the Lexus product launch handbook and been willing to sell the car at competitive pricing for 5 years, even if it means taking a loss on every car, until there is a loyal customer base, and then start raising the price.
RedPluto, I agree that dividing the total milage of a hybrid by the gallons of gas consumed is a silly statistic, but so is the tired one of dividing the government subsidy of the technology by the cars sold to date. After all, if you buy a $200,000 house, after five days it's costing you $40,000 a night to stay there! :)
Your idea could work, but I have no faith in GM or their engineers. They have been putting out bad quality, poorly designed cars for years. That is the genesis of their financial woes (aside from outrageous labor costs). I just don't see it in them to be able to engineer a workable solution with the corner they've been backed into.
$6,000 bucks for a battery that's probably going to last 4-5 years and then need servicing or worse yet, replacing? I can buy a nice slightly used gasmizer for that much at auction. I don't see the batteries going down much. The battery I use to start my car every day is essentially the same battery in every car and truck on the road and that battery seems keep going up everytime I need a replacement every 4-5 years. And those things have a very high recycle rate too.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
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