Ignorance and the art of electric car bashing

There has been a lot of misinformed commentary, being passed off as fact, appearing in mainstream newspapers lately about the supposed “disaster” that is the electric vehicle. Much of it is appearing in the Ontario press, presumably to attack the current Liberal government’s supportive policies in this area in the lead-up to October’s provincial election. My Clean Break column this week in the Toronto Star offers a reality check:

———————————————————————-

Tyler Hamilton

There is a certain curmudgeonly segment of the population that seems to despise new, attention-grabbing technologies, particularly those that hold the potential to make the world a better place.

Electric vehicles fit all three categories, and this is probably why they have been criticized so much over the past two years – or past two weeks, for that matter.

The following points are almost always emphasized, and confidently passed off as “unwelcome facts” in attempts to prove electric vehicles are just a passing fad:

They’re too expensive and always will be;

They don’t drive far enough on a single charge and this will always be a problem;

They’re not really green if the electricity you charge them with is dirty;

Electric cars have come and gone in the past, and this time is no different.

Let’s start with cost. They do come at a premium and will for the next few years. But how is “premium” defined?

The roughly $42,000 (before rebate) price tag for the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid or $39,000 for the all-electric Nissan Leaf is high when you compare it to a Honda Civic or Mazda 3, but not for folks who opt to purchase an Acura TL.

Why would consumers purchase an Acura TL when they could get a Honda Civic instead? I’m not sure, but they do. Maybe it’s faster, or has extra features that appeal to certain individuals.

Similarly, electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf will appeal to those who want the latest technology, better performance, place a higher value on clean transportation, and are tired of being gouged at the gas pumps.

The words “premium” and “expensive” are subjective, so to generally dismiss electric vehicles as too rich is disingenuous, particularly coming from folks who opt for marble countertops, high-end furniture and luxury SUVs.

Now, regarding the range of electric vehicles, there’s no question that all-electric cars aren’t ideal if you want to drive across Canada or to the cottage. Not yet, at least. They currently take too long to re-charge and there aren’t enough charging stations in existence today to support such a journey.

But automakers haven’t marketed them that way, so it boggles my mind when I read reviews that criticize the poor range of these vehicles. All-electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf are being promoted for urban driving, and will likely appeal to families with two cars or more.

The vast majority of people travel less than 50 kilometres a day to and from work, and millions of Canadian households have two or more vehicles in the driveway. This means that for a significant per cent of Canadian drivers an electric vehicle, even with current range limitations, makes sense.

They should be tested and reviewed in this context.

It should also be recognized that not all electric cars are created equally. The Chevy Volt, and other models likely to follow, comes with a gas-powered generator as backup. Range is not an issue, something critics of electric vehicles conveniently overlook.

Meanwhile, energy-storage technologies are improving – ask the engineers at Magna e-Car—charging speeds are getting faster, and costs are coming down. The vehicles will become more affordable to more consumers, but it won’t happen overnight. Nobody said it would.

It’s true, however, that electric cars are only as green as the electricity that goes into them. But even in jurisdictions still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, studies suggest the high efficiency of electric motors makes plug-in vehicles the slightly cleaner option.

Fortunately, the majority of electricity in Ontario comes from zero- or low-carbon sources. Without question, an electric vehicle charged in this province is dramatically cleaner than any gas-powered vehicle, particularly if it’s charged at night, which will be the case most of the time.

Let me make this final point: This is not a passing fad, nor can it be compared to past attempts at introducing electric vehicles or hydrogen fuel cell cars.

There has never been a time in history where most of the world’s major automakers have introduced, or have committed to introducing, a commercial model of a plug-in electric vehicle.

Never have there been more companies in the world working to develop and drive down the cost of supporting technologies, such as battery storage, charging infrastructure and electric drive trains.

Maybe electric vehicles won’t ever come to dominate the roads, or maybe they will. In the short term, even if they capture a few per cent of global vehicle sales over this decade it would be a major achievement – and this is entirely possible.

But to declare electric vehicles stillborn on the first year of their commercial introduction, as some observers have recently said, amounts to a stunning display of ignorance.

Tyler Hamilton, author of Mad Like Tesla, writes weekly about green energy and clean technologies.

27 thoughts on “Ignorance and the art of electric car bashing”

  1. Costco:

    Costco is doing exactly as predicted for the future of charging
    stations for electric cars – removing them due to lack of use.
    Unfortunately, the EV groups are crying that Costco is failing to
    support progress and electric cars. I disagree with the scam artists.

    I am a strong EV supporter and believe electric vehicles will
    replace the ICE vehicles when laboratory discoveries through
    nanotechnology for improved capacity of electric batteries
    combined with low cost, smaller ultracapacitors can provide the
    range and reasonable recharging time as refueling today’s ICE
    vehicles. Meanwhile, the EV remains a secondary family car for
    errands and short trips with recharging in the home garage.

    Public Charging Stations:

    Why would anyone switch from filling a lower cost Internal
    Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle gas tank once a week in ten
    minutes to a more expensive Electric Vehicle (EV) that needs
    Level 2, eight hour, high amperage 220 volt charges daily at a
    public charging station?

    If home charging an electric vehicle cannot provide full service
    for a driver, he should not buy an electric powered vehicle, even
    if it is a family’s second car. A hybrid is an alternative.

    And ‘home charging’ means installing a more powerful Level 2 –
    220 volt system with 30 or more amps. The existing 220 volt
    system in most homes for water heaters, air conditioning, and
    clothes dryers is insufficient to recharge an EV in eight hours.
    Forget 110 volt charging that will require 21 hours to recharge.

    Also, apartment dwellers, condo owners, single family homes
    without garages, families with only one car, and long distance
    commuters have no logical reason to switch to electric vehicles.
    Hybrids are the best means for these people to reduce dependence
    on foreign petroleum by reducing gasoline usage by individuals.

    I am a condo owner without access to an outlet for charging an
    EV. After ten years driving the 2001 Toyota Prius, and having
    taken a course in converting ICE cars to electric power, I am
    convinced the electric car, especially if dependent on high cost
    public charging stations, will not compete. It will remain a niche
    market because time is the man’s controlling factor, not cost.

    Light weight, low cost, more efficient batteries in combination
    with ultracapacitors are being developed. Laboratory research
    offers hope, but it is a long road from nanotechnology laboratory research to an industrial assembly line.

    Check the following Detroit and Exxon misinformation:

    It’s Time To Kill The Electric Car, Drive A Stake
    Through Its Heart, And Burn The Corpse

    My opinion differs slightly, but is similar. Until batteries and
    ultracapacitors or a similar replacement for lead-acid batteries are
    produced cheaply, the following article is a sound review. The
    EV dream promotion of the California lobbyists who are living
    off contributions and payoffs is another scam of the American
    taxpayers as being done by charging station manufacturers and
    installers. The Costco action ripping out the charging stations of
    the past week, for lack of use, is the first result of economic
    analysis and common sense. But a few companies have conned
    the taxpayers to support “progress.”

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/289828-it-s-time-to-kill-the-electric-car-drive-a-stake-through-its-heart-and-burn-the-corpse

    —– –

    Who Killed the Electric Car?

    1911 – “I did,” said Charles Kettering, “with my electric starter
    on the 1912 Cadillac. Henry Ford offered my electric starter on
    the 1914 Model T and he and Edison stopped their electric car
    manufacturing venture that was to use Edison’s new batteries.”

    2011 – “We did,” said Brit Cella Energy CEO Stephen Voller,
    “with our new nanotechnology discovery to make $1.50 per
    gallon, synthetic hydrogen gasoline with no carbon emissions.”
    http://www.gizmag.com/breakthrough-promises-150-per-gallon-synthetic-gasoline-with-no-carbon-emissions/17687/

    2011 – “We did,” said Volkswagen, “with our new advanced
    diesel technology, aerodynamic design, and light weight
    composite components to achieve 285 mpg in our concept
    ‘1 L Car’ (1 liter per 100 kilometers) that will reach the market
    in 2013.”

    And,

    2011 – “We did,” said Volkswagen, “with our new light weight,
    two cylinder–four piston opposed engine producing 300 hp and
    100 miles per gallon using gasoline, diesel fuel, or ethanol.”
    See video: http://www.engineeringtv.com/video/Opposed-Piston-Opposed-Cylinder

    And,

    May 2011, VW announced 2013 as the year they will introduce
    a Chinese joint venture produced electric car in China.

    September 2011, VW shows the NILS at the Frankfurt Auto
    Show. Volkswagen has produced a minimalist and frugal
    commuter vehicle for the Frankfurt Auto Show. NILS is a
    single-seat electric concept car with an aluminum space frame
    and gull-wing doors. The light weight, small frontal area offers
    sports car performance at speeds up to 80 mph from a 25kW
    electric motor. Range is limited to 40 miles. It recharges in just
    two hours from a conventional home, Level One, 230-volt outlet.

    To compete in the ICE market, VW announced the new “Beetle”
    to lead their battle for world auto supremacy. This “New Beetle”
    could be the frame for future electric cars as battery technology
    improves (in 5-10 years).

    And,

    September 2011, VW introduced their one-seat Electric Vehicle at the September Frankfurt Auto Show. It is based in the L1 concept vehicle above, but to “provide better performance.”

  2. A very refreshing article! I have bought a Volt and hope to be driving it by the middle of October. I bought the Volt because I like the technology and I’m sick of being gouged at the pumps. I’d much rather pay my money out in the front end and have it go to middle class autoworkers in North America than have it gouged out of me at the pumps going to OPEC Fatcats! Over the time I plan on owning the car, 8 years or so, it will cost me no more than the other car I was considering, a 2012 Jetta TDI which would be $29000 with the same trim level as the Volt I ordered.

    I don’t understand why the Right Media has such a hate on for a car that is a great boost to both the North American economy and to the environment. Clearly they are using it for political rhetoric and not to make a logical argument about the merits of the car. The one thing that speaks the loudest about the car is when a Volt hater does a week long test drive. Everyone I’ve read has changed their minds and become Volt advocates!

    Thanks for printing some open honest opinions and corrections of the misinformation that is being printed out there.

  3. Wainair,

    Are you Canadian or American? Either way, would love it if you could keep in touch and share your own experiences driving this vehicle. Thanks for the comment.

  4. If you don’t want it, don’t buy it. Simple as that. There’s still a very large market of people out there who do want such a vehicle, either as a second car or main car. The CostCo example is misleading — it was ripping out very old charging stations installed in the late 1990s. True, it doesn’t want to add new charging stations, but several retailers of equal size and influence are, so Costco may in time reconsider.

  5. I to am the proud owner of a Chevy Volt with a second on the way. We charge ours off our home grid tie solar system and the payback will be much quiker than most from that fact. So far over the last 2200+ miles we have used a tenth of a gallon of gasoline. We have no range anxiety because of the include ICE generator extended range.

    Perhaps this a transition car to pure EV I don’t know, but it is the greenest thing I have ever done, next to electrifiy my house with solar PV and adding solar hot water. Plus I figure it will save use money in the long haul. It certainly will allow a fixed cost going into retirement and take back most of my contribution to the balance of trade issues. Plus none of my money will make it to OPEC.

    PS, I sold a CTS-V to buy the second one and I class the fit and finish right there.

  6. Your welcome Tyler. I am Canadian. I live in Southern Ontario. I ordered my Volt in May once GM.ca released their Official Launch Dealership list. The colour I ordered was late availability so my build date is actually tomorrow! So I hope to have my car next month. Again thanks for the great article!

  7. As a 3 month owner of a Chevy Volt, I charge at home on 110 volts every night. It takes just under 10 hours for a full charge. On nice days, the charge will last 50 miles. I commute to and from work using no gasoline. Didn’t even buy any gas in July and only 2 times in August while on vacation in Maine. My electric bill went up $30 per month compared to spending $120 per month in gas. Loving it!

  8. This is all great feedback. Again, anyone posting here who has purchased a Volt, Leaf or any other EV please circle back occasionally to share your experience with us, in both winter and summer. It’s only with this kind of sharing that we can educate the general public on the benefits of driving electric.

  9. I’m yet another (US – California) satisfied owner of a Volt. I’ve had mine now for slightly more than 5 months. I’m still on the dealer-supplied tank of gas (with 4 gallons remaining!) My commute is entirely electric. Range anxiety? Not with the Volt. I can drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a single tank of gas (and the 50 miles I would get on the initial charge.) When the Volt is driving on gasoline, it does get a very decent 40mpg. Not quite the 50mpg you might get with a Prius (a very fine car…), but then again, I don’t think you’ll be able to drive the Prius the 4250 miles I have driven on only 5 gallons of gas! Much greener given my personal driving routine (do I need to state that your milage may vary?)

    It takes only about 4 hours to charge at night (when the electric rates are very low) at 220V. I DO live in a condo and I was easily able to install the (free) charger in my garage. With all due respect, Al Hodges, most homes and condos have the current capacity for 220V charger installation. Level 2 chargers use about the same current as a common electric dryer (about 30 amps) and most abodes have 100 amp service.

    My electric bill has also gone up by about $30 per month which is FAR less than I’d be paying at the gas pump – usually well over $150 per month with my old beloved Honda Odyssey. So if you carry through the calculations on gas savings and tax incentives, the car REALLY only costs me about $20,000 over 10 years. I call that a steal – and I’m “stealing” most of that money from OPEC!

  10. We bought our 2011 Volt the last Saturday of April and we absolutely love our car! I have driven it twice to Louisiana and used gas on those trips. However, most of the time, my spouse drives the car to and from work and never uses gas! I could go on about the comfort and the great styling of the Volt along with the great navigation and radio in the car. There are so many wonderful things I could say about the Volt but truly, one should drive the car to experience the great qualities of the car for themselves. I think of the old story about the blind men touching an elephant in different areas of the same elephant..this can apply to Volt owners as well..some love the looks, other the interior, still others love the navigation system and so one..it’s the same car but the Volt will and does mean different things to it’s different owners. One constant thing we all can agree on is it is truly awesome to drive at least 30 miles at highway speed without a drop of gas being used. I say drive the Volt and everyone will want one as it is that great of a car to drive and own.

  11. Great article Tyler!

    The 2012 Volt is the best car I have ever owned. It turns on a dime, accelerates very rapidly, is heavy enough to hold the road, and runs quiet. For me, the total cost of ownership is the same as a Chevy Cruze.

    The car is very comfortable, and has terrific heads up information features. Moreover, I am routinely complemented on its appearance.

    Having experienced instant electric torque, I will never purchase another internal combustion engine vehicle. All in all, the Chevrolet Volt is a vehicle that will be appreciated by people who love driving great cars.

    James McQuaid

  12. Amazing Chevy Volt EREV Facts Guy

    WhitePaper $7,200.00**

    The plug in adventure has begun…….Plug it not pump it !!!

    My local Power Company is NOW my Filling Station !!

    I can not hold myself back any longer. I have met the driving future and it is here now……!!!!

    On the market now in limited supply and possibly sold out is the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. Just a 7 launch market rollout to allow for strict quality control and seamless consumer adaptation. The 2011 production run involved a total of 3975 1st Generation Vollt EREV’s.

    The 2012 Amazing Chevrolet Volt EREV’s are cranking out the door at Detroit, Michigan’s Hamtramck plant with production ramping up to 5000 a month by February 2012!

    American Made, American Fueled!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Here is a statement of 2011 production from Doug Wernert-GM Volt Team-
    July 20 2011.

    ( http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?8451 )

    Hi everyone,

    This is Doug Wernert from the Volt team. Hope I can help clarify:

    Our Detroit-Hamtramck plant builit 3,975 2011 Chevrolet Volts since start of production in November 2010. To date, nearly 3,200 have been sold to customers through Chevrolet dealerships, roughly 550 were delivered to dealers as demo units and about 150 held for internal purposes (marketing and engineering). The remaining 97 units are still available for sale. The 2,745 number you may have read are for the 2011 calendar year, not the model year.

    One note: the Volt’s delivered to utilities throughout the United States are refurbished pre-production units and total sales to fleets were fewer than 200.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The 50 state roll out is building for the 2012 Model year. 60,000+ are now in production with 15,000 to be diverted to companies such as GE Inc, your local utilities, government fleets and off shore sales. With a possible doubling of the production volume for 2013

    Following the owner blogs and postings at gm-volt.com it can now be assured that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle rollout has been near flawless!!!

    I have been studying the concept of an Extended Range Electric Vehicle since the announcement at the 2007 North American auto show of the Chevrolet Volt Concept Car.

    I am infuriated at the amount of false information, flat out attack stories and wrongly informed websites, columnists, newspaper articles, reader replies, salespeople, blogs, news reports and of course a wrong headed Consumers Reports review.

    So, let me begin like this………………HERE ARE THE FACTS…

    1 ) The 2011/ 2012 Chevrolet Volt is an Electric Car.

    An electric car with a range extending 1.4L gasoline generator. E.R.E.V.-Extended Range Electric Vehicle.

    2 ) Under full electrical charge this sporty, comfortable sedan can travel anywhere from 30 to 50+ miles all electric powered by a 111 kw/ 149 hp Traction Motor combined at times with the second 55 kw/ 74 hp generator in tandem.

    3 ) Full range with a topped off battery and gas tank without recharging or adding a drop of gas is rated 379+ miles !

    4 ) I can drive this car across the country and back without plugging in at all-while generating some of my own electricity to extend the volts range as seen below in Fact #9.

    5 ) Seasonal temperature, driving habits and road conditions may occasionally result in all electric range somewhat lower or higher then 30 to 50+ miles.

    6 ) Reports from some determined owners now brag results in excess of 73 MPC
    ( miles per charge ) have been achieved.

    7 ) Only after driving 30 to 50+miles and the High Voltage Battery has been depleted to around 30% remaining charge does the range extending 1.4 liter naturally aspirated 4 cylinder gas engine fire up, powered from a 9.3 gallon range extending fuel tank. Seamlessly, quietly this little engine cranks a generator that powers the car onward, up to a total of 379 miles non stop.

    8 ) The High Voltage Battery is neither charged or discharged when this occurs.

    9 ) Amazingly enough as you drive this machine the Volt Onboard Systems make every effort to recharge the High Voltage Battery with a process called Regenerative Breaking.

    ********What this technology does is that any time the Volt slows down, coasts or you apply the breaks Regenerative Breaking recaptures the kinetic energy normally lost as heat in conventional hydraulic breaking by calling apon the Traction Motor to act now as an generator and recapture electricity back into the High Voltage Battery.

    The visualization in the Center Stack LCD Screen with the push of the Leaf Button is dynamic to watch as it portrays the Regenerative Breaking that extends the range of the Volts’ Electric Mode at any speed.

    ********Regenerative Breaking occures with the Hydraulic Breaks or without, any time you let up on the accelarator pedal to coast, high speed, low speed or crawl speed….this is outstanding!!

    *******Example
    Imagin this…..BELIEVE THIS FACT…..Thirty mile freeway run in a 2011 Volt with with a partialy charged High Voltage Battery with a 32 mile electric range. Thirty mile trip to demonstrate and show off the Demo 2011 Chevrolet Volt E.R.E.V. The Volt is driven at speeds of 65 to 70 mph. The drive shifter lever is in LOW ! Heavy Regenerative Breaking enroute to site.

    Shut Volt down…plugged into outside building standard outlet and went inside and gave 32 minute presentation.

    While it would seem impossible to drive thirty two miles and then demo the Volt on battery only, by driving to my destination in LOW I was able to recapture, generate and recharge on my way there. I was then was able to demo the 2011 Chevrolet Volt with still 14 miles plus of electric driving only !!

    Regenerative Breaking, ( INCREDIBLE !!! ) True ability to generate our own range extending distance while driving…….

    10 ) The high voltage battery has been field tested to the extent that GM Tech states that this battery system should last up to 10 years, 150,000 miles. The Chevrolet warranty states that the Voltec powertrain including the High Voltage Battery is warranted 8 years/ 100,000 miles….

    ……And yes, all other normal Chevrolet New Car Warrantys are in full force as well.

    So………Unless you normally plan your next used car purchase 8 years in advance there are no concerns about the battery.

    11 ) The on board Range Extending 1.4L naturally aspirated internal combustion engine
    ( ICE ) when engaged does NOT recharge, charge or extend the range of the High Voltage Battery.

    12 ) Battery Disposal: Recycling of the High Voltage Battery after its usefulness in the Volt should result in a bidding war !! Utilities nationwide will buy these battery packs up and warehouse them-using the 50-60% usability left for off peak grid electricity storage !!

    ( http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/cn/en/2011/Jul/0722 )

    13 ) My electric utility now becomes my “Filling Station”. With the provided charging cord I can top off my battery, quickly add additional electric range or more inexpensive driving range by plugging into virtually any 110 volt standard wall plug anywhere any time any place.
    .
    While a full battery charge from empty giving the Volt a C.D. range of 30 to 50+ miles takes some 10 hours nothing says that I can’t hook up any time any place any where adding 4-5 miles range per hour plugged in!!!

    14 ) Yes, my electric utility now becomes my “gas station”. Whether they generate by coal, natural gas, fuel oil, hydro, wind, solar or other means the cost to drive the Volt is much more efficient electric. 2 cents a mile electric verses 9 cents a mile gas !!!

    15 ) A liquid thermal cooling and heating system keeps the battery at a comfortable temperature as it’s being charged and discharged.

    The Chevy Volt is equipped with four fully independent cooling systems or “loops”.

    The power electronics cooling system loop is dedicated to cooling the battery charger and the power inverter module. The battery cooling system cools (or in some cases heats) the 360V high voltage battery. The engine cooling system and heater loop is specific to cooling the gasoline engine and when required, provides heat for the passenger compartment. The electric drive unit cooling system is designed to cool the two motor generator units and electronics within the 4ET50E drive unit trans axle and provides lubrication for the various gears, bearings, and bushings.

    ( http://gm-volt.com/2010/12/09/the-chevrolet-volt-coolingheating-systems-explained/ )

    16 ) Awards:

    Motor Trend-Car Of The Year !
    Quote “The more we think about the Volt, the more convinced we are this vehicle represents a real breakthrough. The genius of the Volt’s power train is that it is actually capable of operating as a pure EV, a series hybrid, or as a parallel hybrid to deliver the best possible efficiency, depending on your duty cycle.

    For want of a better technical descriptor, this is world’s first intelligent hybrid. And the investment in the technology that drives this car is also an investment in the long-term future of auto making in America.
    Moonshot. Game-Changer. A car of the future that you can drive today, and every day. So what should we call Chevrolet’s astonishing Volt ? How about, simply, Motor Trend’s 2011 Car of the year.

    Automobile Magazine Car of the Year!

    North American Auto Show Car of the Year!

    Wards 10 Best Engines 2011 !

    Popular Mechanics
    -Automotive Excellence-Breakthrough Technology Award!
    -Editors Choice Award!
    -Top 10 Vehicle Award!

    Car and Driver-10 Best Cars of the Year!

    Popular Science Magazine-Best of What’s New in 2010!.

    2011 Green Car of the Year-Green Car.com!

    2011 Motor Week Best of the Year Award !!

    Cost to Drive C.T.D.

    1 ) The Maroney Sticker on the window of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt stated this:

    Drive an average of 45 miles between full charging and you will achieve the equivalent fuel economy-real time fuel economy of 168 miles per gallon…..168 miles per gallon !!!

    2 ) The Maroney Sticker on the window of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt States this:

    You Save $7,600 if Fuel Costs over 5 years compared to the average new car.

    3 ) Comparison of Electric Vs Gas Driving.

    A ) According to the Department of Transportation 70% of daily driving is 40 miles a
    day or less.

    B ) Average fuel economy for gas engine cars combined is 20 miles a gallon highway/ city
    combined. Allow 40 miles a day average distance driven…..1,200+ miles a month.

    C ) My local utility, Lansing Board of Water and Light will charge
    $1.20 a day to top of my High Voltage Battery if I need to. Lets assume so…….

    $1.20 a day to drive 30 to 50 miles a day or $36.00 a month !!

    Link: Board of Water and Light Link: http://www.lbwl.com/PEVintro.pdf

    Let’s add a gallon or so a month in Charge Sustaining Mode for a total of about $40.00.

    D ) With the cost of a gallon of gas at $4.00 that’s $8.00 per day or $240.00 a month.
    With the cost of a gallon of gas at $3.50 that’s $7.00 per day or $210.00 a month.
    With the cost of a gallon of gas at $3.00 that’s $6.00 per day or $180.00 a month.

    E ) Let us use the $4.00 a gallon figure for now at $240.00 a month gas cost.

    $240.00 Cost of Gas
    – $40.00 Cost of Electric plus some gas
    —————-
    $200.00 Cost to Drive Reduction C.T.D.R.

    F ) Chevrolet.com says the 12,000 a year, 36 month US Bank Lease for the standard equipped 2012 Volt will cost $399.00 with $2500.00 down. Yes, 1st payment is also due up front as well plus tax and use taxes on the payment.

    Ok, fine, pushing it a little………..

    .

    Now, ready ???????

    Total real Cost To Drive per month…

    $400.00 a month lease payment
    -$200.00 reduction in the C.T.D
    ———
    $200.00 a month-net Cost To Drive !!

    **Simple Equation…………………………………….

    $400.00 a Month Lease

    X36 Months =$14400.00

    Save $200.00 a month on Gas !

    X36 Months =$7200.00

    $14400.00.00 Lease Payments

    – $7200.00 Not Spent On Gas

    =$7200.00 Net Cost to Drive

    The Amazing Chevy Volt EREV!

    For a third party opinion on heavy Net Cost to Drive Reduction see the Kiplinger report in the link below.

    September 2011

    http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/car/archive/green-cars-make-cents.html

    The Amazing Chevrolet Volt E.R.E.V !!

    So……………..

    Stop it !! Quit stating,claiming, arguing and ranting that this car is to expensive, costs to much, that the average buyer can’t afford this brilliantly conceived Electric Car !!

    Charging

    1 ) The Volt plugs into ANY standard electrical outlet such as where I plug in my Christmas Tree lights outside, through the bathroom window where I plug in my shaving razor or even that plug outside your office, shop, campground, motel, boat dock…… ya know the one with the metal protective cap…they are everywhere!!!

    Of course I can hang the Charge Cord holder on my garage or carport wall or the side of my house. Attaches firmly like an old land line wall phone. Pull in, roll out and plug in!

    Like your smart phone when you are streaming a lot of video, music or data I can plug my Volt in any time, any place, any where. Even a casual four hour quick charge will give me another 15 to 17+ mile range!!

    Sure I can install a 240 dedicated charger but I do not need to. I repeat…I can charge my Volt any time any place any where…any time.

    2 ) My local electric utility is anxious to be my electrical ” filling station”. My “gas station” in their eyes is every wall socket in my home, garage, carport, bathroom, buddies house, school, office-any standard outlet.

    Located in Lansing, Michigan the local utility is known as the Board of Water and Light. They post this on their web site….

    Operating a plug-in electric vehicle means significantly reducing your carbon footprint with the added benefit of the cost of operating the vehicle. Averaging about $1.20 a day-roughly the same as a household appliance….( $36.00 month !! )

    Board of Water and Light Link http://www.lbwl.com/PEVintro.pdf

    3 )The Facts on the FEAR of to many electric cars EV’S Crashing The Grid is Unfounded, Not Possable and Senseless. The Amount of untapped and unused Electricial power available off peak is astounding!!

    “A conservative estimate is that we have an amount of electricity unused at night that’s equal to the output of 65 to 70 nuclear power plants between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.,” Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) stated before the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee. “I suspect that’s probably our greatest unused resource in the United States. If we were to use that to plug in cars and trucks at night, we could electrify 43 percent of our cars and trucks without building one new power plant.”

    http://www.torquenews.com/397/senator-alexander-unused-electricity-our-greatest-national-resource

    Performance

    The 2011/ 2012 Chevrolet is designed to drive as similar to the any other new sedan as possable.

    While driving in the C.D. Mode ( charge depleting mode ) aka battery power the Volt takes off under full torque and feels surprisingly sporty…

    0 to 60 in 8.9 seconds.

    This volt can travel all day long at speeds in excess of 95mph.

    ( YouTube.com ” laps in a volt ” )

    — Laguna Race Track —

    16kwh Lithium Rechargeable Energy Storage System W/ Liquid Thermal management System.

    Electric Drive Voltec With 149 Hp( 111kw ) Motoring Power.

    Stage two Electric Drive with 74 hp ( 55 kW ) Generator Power in tandum, all elcectric.

    273 lb. -ft. ( 370 N·m ) pf Motoring Torque from 0 mph!

    0-60 in 8.9 Seconds/ All Electric or Gas Range Extending Electric Drive…

    Amazing!!!

    New For 2012:

    1 ) PRNDL indicator is now located on the Shift bed in addition to the Instrument Cluster. The lever indicator glows yellow to indicate position.

    2 ) A new ‘Favorite’ touch point on the center stack brings up an icon/ app display on the center stack Stack Screen allowing easy navigation of features.

    3 ) Very Cool, proximity unlock now standard on all doors and hatch release. With Key Fob in pocket or purse touch chrome button on door handle and door unlocks; hold longer and all doors unlock ! When enabled walk away and the doors autolock.

    4 ) Killowatt usage now displays on center stack ! Located on the “This Charge” Screen.

    5 ) Larger lettering for touch points on the Center Stack improver driver usage.

    6 ) Traction Controle can now be disabeled. Screech those tires!

    7 ) 3 years of On Star with full turn by turn Navagation.

    The Amazing Chevy Volt EREV Volt Facts Guy 2011/ 2012/ 2013/ 2014/ 2015/ 2016+

    Law of Logical Argument: ” Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about ”

    *Greens Law of Debate* *Burks Postulsates*

  13. Setting up strawman arguments to knock down? Is this intended to impress anyone except the EV-faithful?

    Some arguments by naysayers are, in fact, wrong. However, the chief argument against the Volt is solid… GM built a car that is too expensive to mainstream in any reasonable timeframe. Look at the cost… It’s an iMiev PLUS a Yaris. One car for the price of two. That’s indefensible, especially considering that Mitsubishi and Nissan have managed (with incentive) to get their vehicle price down to a reasonable level.

  14. I too am a Volt owner and am actually on the “right” side of the political spectrum in America. The ignorance or down right malice toward the Volt and other EVs has been a source of frustration and shame for me. It’s truly a great car to drive and I’m in the 300 MPG ballpark range

    On top of that when I do the numbers I see that if you annualize my costs of ownership I am about $2k less with this car than my last car that was getting about 30 MPG. I plan to have it at least 10 years and so what I’m really looking at is that I get a great car that I should be comparing to $15,000 cars. It’s so overwhelmingly a great deal that it’s hard to pass up.

    Of course, this is GM and it’s not for sure that the quality of the car will last. So far, so good but we’ll see in a few years.

  15. My red Volt is scheduled to be produced this week so I’m very excited about that. I was able to drive a dealer demo for two days in June and after that I ordered one. It is a fantastic car!

  16. My Volt is in the process of being built right now. It was ordered several months ago, and I’m very excited about all the good things I’d read about it from people who own it. I plan to use it to commute about 18 km each way to work, on days I don’t ride my bike.

    Hopefully the Ontario election won’t lead to a change in government, which would mean a end of the whole green energy programs in Ontario.

    Can’t wait to be driving electrically on the streets of Toronto.

  17. I also have been driving my Volt, (for about 8 months now), and as an owner/driver, I would like to correct some of the lies often told about the Volt. For one, even the 240 volt charger for the Volt only draws 16 amps (about half what a clothes dryer draws) for 4 hours to fully charge the car, and the 120 volt charger draws either 8 or 12 amps.(settable by the user). So the electricity cost for the Volt is VERY reasonable.

    In fact, in most areas of the country, electricity providers have special programs available for charging cars. They install a second meter, just for the car charger, which gets the lowest available rate for off peak (nightime) charging, usually only about 4-5 cents per killiwatt hour. Since it only takes about 12 killiwatt hours to fully charge a Volt, that means you pay no more than 60 cents per night for a full charge, which will drive for another 40 miles. Compare that to the cost of gas to drive your current car 40 miles!

    The Volt will probably have the lowest maintenance costs of any vehicle available also. It has no belts to change, no alternator to burn out, no starter to quit on you, (the electric generator starts the gas engine when it is needed), probably less than half the brake pad/rotor wear due to regenerative braking, expected engine life may easily reach over one million miles, because it only runs about ten% of the time except on long trips, and you won’t be facing a $5000 transmission rebuild because it doesn’t have an automatic transmission to wear out.

    Your major maintenance expense on a Volt will be tires and the windshield wipers. Oh, and you do have to get the oil changed about every two years. The high voltage battery is warranteed to have better than a certain percent of its capacity for a full eight years, and will probably last longer than that. And the cost of replacing the battery is expected to be half what it is now by that time.

    And, for that full lifetime of the Volt, I am driving one of the best cars I have ever been in.

  18. Why can’t both be available?

    Even though I have placed my order for a Chevy Volt, I do not proclaim that all other cars should be destroyed or production halted.

    For my personal driving patterns, a Chevy Volt will work for me. It is my money, and I choose to spend it how I see fit. I expect to decrease my gasoline consumption about 95%, and to me that is important.

    If you think the idea of a extended range electric vehicle is stupid, or you do not fit in the intended design specifications for this or any other electric vehicle, that is fine, go ahead and buy whatever you feel is the best vehicle for you to use. That is your right, and I am happy for you. But on the other hand, if I make my choice, why is it that you feel you must tell me that I have made an unwise decision, and that only your transportation method is the correct one?

    And as far as price, I laugh at the people that tell me I could buy two cars for the price of a Volt, and then they go out and spend $50K+ for their BMW or Benz. If the purchase price was the main factor, there should be no cars sold other than KIA RIO’s. We all know that is ridiculous. But it is always what is thrown up at us when we decide to purchase a Volt.

    I wonder if the people that hate electrification of transportation so much felt the same way about the introduction of expensive first generation cell phones, DVD players, personal computers, in house electricity and plumbing, electric clothes dryers, etc, etc, etc???? After all, many of the same arguments could have been used against any of those items. But they all succeeded in the marketplace.

    I think we should let the market decide if the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Tesla, Fiskar, et al have a place in the transportation needs of the world. Is that too much to ask?????

    JMHO

  19. I too hope to be taking possession of my Volt in a couple of weeks.

    Regarding the environmental impacts of electrically an EV in Toronto:

    The source of the electricity is very important and here in Ontario, due to our high percentage of nuclear electrical generation (ugh!), we increasingly have surplus electricity at night, because you can’t throttle the nukes back, and Ontario’s night time electicity needs have reduced. I’m not a fan of nuclear and nukes are anything but emission-free, but because they cause us in Ontario to often be in a surplus electricity situation at night, as long as I recharge only at night, I feel that I will be consuming what would often be surplus (waste) electricity and therefore of zero impact environmentally.

    Granted, not every night is a surplus supply situation, but I hope that as we move towards a renewable energy future, the emissions attached to generating electricity for my car will reduce even further.

  20. One BIG point regarding electric cars in cold climates like we have in much of Canada. I think most have the argument backwards, instead of being a limitation or a liability in cold weather I think electric cars are exactly what we need and would hugely beneficial.

    Gasoline engines are hard to start and require warm up times. It’s debatable how much time is required, but regardless of optimum warm up time around 2 or 3 min, the fact is most people let their cars fully warm up which takes 10 to 20 minutes. This wastes a lot of fuel but it also produces a lot of harmful contaminants as the engine is not running efficienctly when it’s cold. I hate starting my car and creating a cloud of toxins around the vehicle that I must expose my two young children to as I run the gambit from the house to car in the morning. The alternative is parking in my attached garage, but it’s not heated so I don’t want to let the car idle in the garage as the exhaust concentrates and is sure to make it into the house.

    The cold start and long idle times are also very hard on gasoline and diesel engines. And while on the subject of engine wear and tear, combustion engines have a lot of maintenance requirements – oil, coolant, tranny fluid changes. Electric cars don’t have these requirements and don’t experience the cold start wear that combustion engines do. Electric cars also have instant heat, you don’t have to wait for the engine to warm up, the heater is instantly hot at all times.

    An electric car would be so wonderful for my family in winter. It would enable me to park the car in the garage right next to a convenient plug-in, set the heater to come on 10 minutes prior to leaving for work, take the kids out to a warm car (that has not yet “started up”) with clean air as there has been no start up or ideling. We hop in to the warm car and go. No slow driving waiting for the engine and heater to fully warm up, just perfection.

    The ignorance of those who proclaim to know that electric cars are a poor choice, and in particular “are no good in winter” is so disappointing. Ignorance is fine, but don’t enter the debate and spread false facts.

  21. I think everybody has been awaiting the Volt, and the plug-in Prius. The only criticism here would be on value, both for the purchaser and the general taxpayer where subsidies are offered .

    The question mark was the full EV, or the one, from these comments, that won’t get to L.A. or LA

    How many Volt owners find the gas feature unnecessary?

  22. seems like alot of PR for the volt. no one owns a leaf. it is a true ev. it is currently outselling the volt. some critics say it performs better. i think we need to do some math.

    a true ev costs more but the payback is ridiculously faster. it has far less moving parts and far less maintenance, which your probably already getting jacked by your mechanic anyways.

    it is a no brainer, if you want to save money in the long run, buy a leaf. if you want to buy a car with likely less problems attached and a better overall performing engine, buy a volt. if the leaf does work well with few problems, than the leaf wins in my books hands down. nissan isnt known for its recalls in the past.

  23. I have many issues with the Volt. First the source of the lithium battery. The major player in lithium is Bolivia and to a lesser extent China. Bolivia is an unstable banana republic which has no love for the US . Bolivia’s president has every intention of squeezing us for every peso he can extract once we get addicted to eco-power. We are just trading enslavement to OPEC for enslavement to Bolivia.
    .
    .I have big issues with the subsidies. This car needs to stand on its own, not be propped up by Uncle Sam. I personally resent my tax money going to pay for someone else’s luxury priced car while I drive a 14 year old Toyota. My entire tax withholding each year goes to subsidize 1 Volt for someone else… And then just how much is the US Govt. subsidizing GM directly to get this car going? I’ve seen some truly horrifying figures. Since when is it the job of Uncle Sam to be a car builder? This is a gross misuse of authority.
    .
    .And of course, this car caters to the carriage trade, not the mainstream American buyer. That buyer has a budget of maybe $25,000 tops. That is a realistic price point for a car. The Volt competes against Camrys but in price it competes against Lexus or Infinity or Caddy or Mercedes. It makes no sense to me why someone would spend their money on a Volt instead of a Caddy CTS. for the same money.

  24. @Mike: A couple of rebuttal comments;
    Lithium: Do you have a portable computer or a mobile phone with a lithium battery? Did you complain about the source of lithium for that? Oh, and it’s Bolivia. BFD. “It’s like going to WIsconsin.”

    Subsidies: Do you own a house? Do you get a tax break for your state property taxes and mortgage interest? Do you get a tax break for child care? Do you get the EIC? You need to be able to live on your own and not be propped up by Uncle Sam! Less sarcastically (is that a word?), recall that Prius and other hybrids received similar tax credits during their infancies, and the credit in this case is not the “Chevy Volt” credit, it’s the “Qualified Plug-in Electric and Electric Vehicle Credit”; see IRS Form 8834 for more information. The government makes policies to encourage/discourage certain behaviors; complain to them.

    High price: Perhaps a little jealous that you can’t afford one? That $42000 Volt is really a $34500 Volt (after form 8834) and perhaps less after a couple of other credits (My state offers a 10% credit for electric vehicles, and there may be other credits available as well to further reduce the effective price). In a couple of years you’ll be able to afford one…

    I just wish you had had a problem with the concept of the Volt instead of the politics of the hybrid vehicles.

  25. As a Volt owner for the past 9 1/2 months I can only say how satisfied and happy I am as an owner. I have an average 139 MPG’s to date, with 5179 of the 7490 total miles operated by battery alone! I have been purchasing gasoline about once a month or once every two months. And why do I need to rationalize the cost of the Volt anymore than my previous cars. No one asked why I previously bought a Lexus or Mercedes when I could have bought a cavalier .
    I do enjoy driving the Volt a lot more than those other cars. Yes, even 9 1/2 months later, every drive in the Volt is still a fun experience.
    Because of the limited roll-out I can be certain that many of the critics and negative bloggers have never driven one, let alone even seen one, they just bash it with the misinformation and prejudice they keep passing along amongst themselves.

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