In this Post, I combine two shorter stories from March.  Coming tomorrow: The glories and green dreams of Dr. Chu.

03-13-11: The Automotive Story That Won’t Die!

It’s the automotive saga that won’t die! See my most recent post on the Volt here.

Chris DeMorro (here) writes about the Volt:

Without a doubt the biggest knock against the Volt isn’t its limited electric range or its so-so fuel efficiency, but the $41,000 price tag. Yet GM has the ability to make a cheaper Volt. So what are they waiting for?

DeMorro notes many of the issues I’ve raised in my several articles on the Volt including the very pricey battery ($8000-$10,000–nobody knows for sure and GM isn’t telling) and the fact that:

GM doesn’t make a dime off of every Volt they sell…

But DeMorro’s analysis of a smaller Volt with a smaller, less expensive battery produces a car that still costs about $32,000 with the federal tax credit, yet has an all-electric range of only 12-15 miles, as opposed to the Volt’s real world pricing of up to $65,000 and a range of only 25-40 miles.

Well who wouldn’t want a pseudo-electric car that was only a little less expensive than the Volt, yet has substantially less range? To DeMorro’s credit, he admits in an update that considering economic issues,

…a smaller battery might not actually make sense.

No kidding.

And at (here), they note that the Volt’s “More car than electric” advertising slogan has been conspicuously missing from recent Volt commercials. GM did respond to the autoblog folks with this comment:

It’s More Car Than Electric” is still the tagline for the Volt. We did replace the tagline to announce the ‘Motor Trend Car of the Year’ and “North American Car of the Year.’ We also do not use the tagline when we are using Volt as more of a halo story for Chevrolet.

And so GM continues to market a car that is too expensive to manufacture, too expensive to buy, is no significant improvement on contemporary vehicles and has expensive, unproven technology that has not caught up to the hype and never may. Other than that, it’s a brilliant new concept and will revolutionize the automobile industry in the same way that Mr. Obama policies have revolutionized the energy industry so as to cleverly, stratospherically raise gasoline prices. No wonder people call him the smartest man on the planet! And remember, “it’s more car than electric,” which is rather like saying “it’s more washing machine than coal.”

UPDATE: Rob over at PACNW Righty (here) has a story about a few charging stations being installed in the Puget Sound area–and their limitations. Nothing like a four to eight hour visit to a charging station to catch up on your reading or knitting!

03-17-11: The Volt That Wouldn’t Die!

It may be worth your while to visit Patrick Michaels’ relatively brief article on the Chevy Volt at Forbes (here), if for no other reason than to reinforce what you’ve already learned, and in much greater detail, on this scruffy little blog. You’re ahead of the curve on this one!

Michaels reinforces the fact that the Volt makes no fiscal sense for GM or for potential driver/owners. One interesting bit is that a GM representative apparently told Michaels that cold would not effect a Volt’s battery operating range. Apparently GM has discovered how to sidestep the laws of physics, so I’m anxiously awaiting the brand new, warp drive 2012 Volt, with optional transporter and replicator. I wonder how much of a tax credit that will wring from the Feds? And of course, you’ll probably only get 1.5 light years on the battery before the warp drive kicks in. I’d definitely check the power reserves before trying to transport at warp though. It can be disquieting to scatter your atoms all over the universe.

Michaels also makes an interesting point about GE preparing to buy many Volts from GM. GE President Jeffrey Imelt, you may remember from my past Volt posts, is now serving as Mr. Obama’s economic advice honcho. Could there be any collusion or conflict of interest in the head of GE buying up unsellable cars with heaters that don’t work in order to shore up bull-goose looney Obama fiscal policies? Surely this would be impossible in the most transparent administration in history!

Actually, the Volt and everything and everyone remotely associated with it represent the very worst of feckless government meddling in the economy. Oh–and quit calling me Shirley.

My previous posts on the Volt may be found in the SMM Electric Vehicles archive.