Skip to comments.Ask Me about Your Volt
Posted on 05/01/2012 7:11:55 PM PDT by Hojczyk
Its a boxy, snub-nosed little bastard, with roughly the rear visibility of a Mercury space capsule. But Chevrolets Volt is plenty slick, in its way.
The one Ive just strapped to my back in New York City is Silver Ice Metallic with four leather-appointed bucket seats and a pair of seven-inch LCD displays on a dash arrayed with twoscore buttons and dials by which one can access the onboard DVD player, the satellite radio, the built-in nav, and the Driver Information Center. This last gives you a real-time graphic representation of the distribution of operating power among the Volts 288 lithium-ion battery cells, its electrohydraulic regenerative brakes, and the geologic pesto of processed Paleozoic carrion that folks in the flyover states call gasoline.
Those regenerative brakes, which are augmented with good old-fashioned Oh, %&#! anti-lock discs, are spongy and take some getting used to. The blind spots are more like blind blotches. And the drivers seat accommodates a 6̋ʹ2″ buffet enthusiast like this reporter only at the expense of the circulation in the rear passengers lower extremities. But the Volt is tight and responsive through turns. Its 149-horsepower (that is, 111-kW) Voltec electric motor considerably overachieves, since it requires no transmission and therefore delivers its 273 foot-pounds of torque all at once. After barely a few miles at cruising speed I figure I could get used to this. It sure beats my usual ride a dun-colored 94 Cherokee with a failing transfer case if for no other reason than that its right rear bumper isnt held on by duct tape. Oh, and it is quiet. Ghost quiet. U-boat-full-of-mutes-in-cotton-booties-coasting-through-an-ocean-of-mineral-oil quiet.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
Fun read, thanks.
Hilarious article about a sad subject!
Love it or hate it. I really don’t care. Just don’t make me subsidize it. If I’m forced to pay part of your car payment I expect you to get your butt over here and make me a sandwich.
Some real car guy writing this. He is driving a $#!t box.
The day I take political advice from Car and Driver is the day I will ask NR on which hatchback to buy.
Freepmail "Lazlo in PA" to be added or removed.
What’s funny, is when he goes to plug it in, and there is no electricity because the coal fired powerplants are shut down. HAHA !
Ya know, those laws on the books when automobiles first came out, the ones that required a man to walk in front with a lantern or maybe a bell?. Perhaps they were just ahead of their time.
Go to the link and read the article. You’ll change your mind about the reporter.
I drove one for a day. Odd feeling...no noise..no distance either. The car actually handles well. but 45,000 + t & l
50,000.....no friggin way : )
I saw a VOLT for the very first time last week. I followed it on the interstate for a few miles. Not a bad looking car actually. I can’t believe they cost over 40k. What a ripoff.
I never knew they had a gasoline motor in them. I thought they were purely battery powered. I think that’s a cool idea adding a gasoline motor for power, but eliminating the transmission...its kinda like the drivetrain of a train...diesel-electrics ya know.
Too bad about the price. If they could’ve made them for half the price they would’ve been the greatest things on the planet since the model T Ford.
” but I can see a time like the late fifties and early sixties where kids and a few old farts are souping up their battery-mobiles”
This is going to take an entirely different set of skills; a lot of this is REALLY dangerous, with high-voltage, high-powered electronics.
I don’t think the Volt is it either, but the batteries will get better, a lot of people are working on this. If it cost $10,000 HONEST dollars (no subsidies) less, I’d take a look at it. If the battery actually delivered the originally-planned miles, I think that it would have sold much better.
Some people have already hacked the Prius to make it a plug-in hybrid, with, of course, automatic “Void Your Warranty”.
I myself think the following idea is attractive: an electric car with a towable or modular “bolt-on” for the back with a tubrodiesel generator. So, during the week, you don’t need it, but if you want to take a long trip, you’ve got it. Of course, the EPA and DOT will make a commercial version virtually impossible to build or sell - at least, for now. But then, it’s not a “motor vehicle”, is it?
Actually I think the real market for electrics in the next few years is Asia. Asian cities are generally old with pedestrian or horse drawn transportation arteries. Electrics with limited rang fit in well there. I only hope, with out much real hope, that the USA can lead in developing the technology..
The writer, you mean, right ?
The Volt is a POS....50 grand sticker loaded, and 4 billion in research to produce a car that sets itself on fire.
The 50s era hotrodders turned into computer nerds in the 80s and 90s. Building your own computer is almost a thing of the past now though. I don’t know what they will do when its no longer worth your time to build your own computer.
Go back to gardening maybe...or hydroponics...or home brewing and distilling?
“Too bad about the price. If they couldve made them for half the price they wouldve been the greatest things on the planet since the model T Ford.”
Yep. If they had committed to building 100,000/yr they could have sold them all at $25K and made a profit.
I understand that they couldn’t do that, however, with an entirely new design. If there had a been a serious flaw found — not the bogus overblown battery fire issue, but something real — they would have had to eat a huge loss.
People don’t realize that with a gasoline vehicle, there is never any such thing as a “new design”, as it is built on reusing 100 years of refinement. With the Volt it was not “refinement” but entirely new system integration issues that were bound to have teething pains.
Actually, it just occurred to me. They will be building, tweaking, modding, hotrodding...wait for it...robots.
Yes it is. But there are other more fruitful endeavors in need of our hotrodding urges. In my opinion.
2 energy storage systems - batteries + gas tank
2 prime movers - electric motors + internal combustion engine
1 regenerative braking system - motor/generator + hydraulics
What do you think it costs you up front for all that extra crap? And Obama still hasn’t repealed F=MA — what do you think it costs you to accelerate all that extra mass? Sure, you get some of it back on braking, but not all of it. And let’s not get started on maintenance costs — what do you suppose it will cost to replace all those LiIon cells? Lastly, what about safe disposal of the highly toxic batteries?
No Rube Goldbergs for me. The whole thing in just nuts.
True but all work and no play and all that...
White lighting now has two meanings. Sounds like the result of trying to soup up the Volt.
If you want my opinion on the future: Compressed natural gas. Right now it’s dirt cheap and pumped in America.
So the writer loves the power, smoothness, quiet, leather interior, electronics, and handling of the vehicle. Things that in any other car review would be paramount concerns.
Then he spends twice as much space lamenting that he can’t find recharge points while on a long trip — while never mentioning that exactly what makes the Volt better than the Leaf is that you can utilize gasoline on long trips. Then he laments that he can’t find working charge stations in DC, and complains about the cost when he finally does find one, when the whole point of the Volt is to charge at home and never need public charging stations.
So he leaves no doubt in our minds that he is and idiot. Why would his editor not have bounced this bumbling fool’s article and fired him for his temerity in submitting it ? The standards at NRO have really gone downhill.
GM is not capable of building anything brand new, earth shattering, ground breaking, revolutionary...for anything even in the ball park of a sane pricepoint...even with daddy-obama-warbucks backing them. GM is a factory. They are extremely good at assembling things that other people design...maybe the best in the world bar none. They have a serious labor cost problem. They have a serious “inertia” problem in terms of adaptability and flexibility. They are overburdened with internal bureaucracy. These are terrible hurdles to overcome.
That is the root of the problem.
WHAT THE * DO YOU THINK A DIESEL ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE IS YOU NITWIT??
UNION effing PACIFIC has been doing it for three quarters of a century.
now take your nonsense and stick it. I’m not putting up with your asinine bla bla bla.
Everyone with knowledge in this area has known for years that the future is hydrogen. But we can’t jump right into hydrogen now, there are too many difficulties. Step by step. piece by piece. Gasoline now. Then maybe butane, or something similar. Then propane. Then methane(aka natural gas), then finally hydrogen.
Wow, aren’t you the vicious one? You want to drive a locomotive on the streets, be my guest.
Suggest you take your hostility over to DU. You’ll be very welcome there.
whatever. grow a brain, then post something worthy of a civil response.
Capable of getting somewhere in a hurry.
Go ahead, refute my points. I look forward to your reasoned and intellectual engineering response. Bonus points for some basic physics or engineering analysis.
Fine. start by redoing your silly analysis. Then I will respond to it.
No he was making a point that long range transportation on electric is a fool’s errand. You can do all the long trip stuff on a gasolene engine cheaper than this hybrid. There are cars that get over 50 MPG that make much more sense.
And you can also not find any charging points if needed cause they barely exist. This car has limited usage and high costs and that simply isn’t going to change anytime soon.
The funny thing is I am the perfect candidate for this car. I live only 10 miles from my job so a round trip on electric would be easy for me with charge to spare if I needed to make a small side trip. However, at $50,000+, its a no-go for me.
Sorry, but all the excuses the electric carheads make for this highly subsidized car is simply so much wind. Government pushing these follys aren’t going to change anything. Like someone else mentioned, Asia would probably be the best market for these vehicles if they can ever get the costs down.
The battery disposal is something everyone seems to gloss over, much like the new spiral mercury light bulbs. Talk about environmental nightmare.
Also, if these vehicles really take off, how is the electric grid going to handle it. Burn more coal? Electric fairies?
And 28 MPG Highway.
jest a redneck
It's a valid thing to research and report; when you pay $40K for an EV you want it to work as an EV and not as a lawnmower. Scarcity of public charging stations is a problem of growth, but it's a problem nevertheless.
while never mentioning that exactly what makes the Volt better than the Leaf is that you can utilize gasoline on long trips.
He did mention that. Most of his trip was on gasoline, and he reported the mileage to be 40 mpg (premium.) [A Prius would give you at least 50 mpg on regular gas.]
when the whole point of the Volt is to charge at home and never need public charging stations.
This is a debatable statement to make. Perhaps if you live in North Korea, where you aren't allowed to leave the city, you can indeed ride around in a golf cart and you will be OK. However everyone who I know takes long trips quite frequently - sometimes even involuntarily (when family members call and ask for something that you can't refuse.) Cars, as they are today, are universal vehicles. A car can take you to work, all of five miles, but after work a call from wife can send you on a trip of 100 miles because (insert any reason here.) We do not plan our life around cars - they are our servants, always waiting for orders and always ready to carry us, non-stop, pretty much anywhere.
Cars like Leaf - and in part like Volt - are undermining this freedom. Now they are becoming new tamagotchi, things that need care and feeding. But don't we already have enough of those?
Cost-wise, modern EVs (Volt and Leaf) offer negative savings over the estimated lifetime of the car. The savings are trickling in so slowly that the car will become dust and rust before you break even. Do not forget, you are investing $40K that you could have invested differently, with interest. A car doesn't pay you an interest.
I personally would love to have an electric car. But it has to be a real car - one that can go for a few hundred miles, one that can be recharged in minutes, one that can hold the charge pretty much forever, and one that costs reasonable money. That's what today's gasoline cars do. As soon as an EV meets these requirements I will be glad to buy one. Until then, these are just toys. The technology is simply not ready.
Well, there probably won’t be any problem finding someone who wants all that lithium. 8 jillion cell phones can’t be wrong.
Love it. My sweetie builds me a new ‘puter for my office every couple of years.... My Dad was a self-made, self-taught farm boy who could repair any piece of equipment on the fly with bubblegum and bobbie pins if that was all there was. Dad was an accomplished engineer, designer, installer of commercial laundries and hotel systems... working at it up until 7 yrs before he passed on. He loved his work. He loved the creativity and challenge and despised “educated idiots”. Rock on Pappy!
After selling a record number of Volts in March 2,289 Chevrolet managed to move just 1,462 in April. This is more inline with previous recent months (1,023 sales in February, 603 sold in January, 1,529 in December) and is almost three times the 493 sold in April 2011.
For the Leaf, Nissan sold just 370 in April, down from 579 units in March and 478 in February. In fact, 370 is lower than the number Nissan sold in April 2011, 573. The Leaf’s best sales month ever was June 2011 with 1,708 units.
That explains the increased March Sales numbers. You cannot lease a $42,000 Vehicle for $369 a Month without a large Down Payment. The numbers simply cannot work, unless they used the Taxpayer funded $7,500 Tax Rebate as the Down Payment. Hmmmmmmmmm...
According to the IRS, when a car is leased, the leasing company gets to pocket the rebate.
The batteries will not last anywhere near what the liars expect. I’ve been using a golf cart regularly for years and the batteries half life is much less than ‘sticker’. The disposal issues add more $ to this as well as the lack of charging stations....it is a BIG LOSER like everything else the idiot Left touches!