The following is from a press release about the new Chevy Volt “electric” car.
The Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability. On a fully charged battery and tank of gas, the Volt has a total driving range of over 300 miles. Its electric driving range is 25-50 miles depending on weather, driving technique and terrain. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered engine generator seamlessly engages to extend the range another 300 miles or until the vehicle can be plugged in to recharge the battery.
Let me see if I have this right, the total range is 300 miles of which around 10% is electric driving and this is an electric car? In full electric mode I can drive between 12.5 miles and 25 miles and still get home if I wish to use electric power. That doesn’t get me to the mall and back and in some parts of the country it doesn’t get you to the next visible sign of civilization, nor would it get you from SoHo to the Bronx and back. I suppose you have to start somewhere to get where you need to go with an environmentally friendly car, but for $40,000 or so, I’d like a little more juice (or a long extension cord).
No doubt corporate types will be buying fleets of this vehicle to demonstrate their greenness. Uncle Sam wants to give a jolt to the Volt so you can get a $7,500 credit for buying one as well. Did you ever notice that really good ideas that result in a product or service people want to buy don’t require a government credit to turn people on?