If you were to apply the $20K that the batteries in the Volt cost to reducing the weight of a Cruze by a thousand pounds you would have a car that gets 65-75Mpg and could go the usual 400 miles between fill up. On top of that it would last longer because carbon fiber and aluminum don't rust.
Attack lower mileage vehicles? Gas is a product, if I choose to buy more of it, why do you care? Or do we all have to get the same mileage, make the same amount of money, wear the same clothes? Is this the 'you're polluting my air' argument? Even Vp Gore has his own private jet.
You are right, but as Bert22306 says, they are doing this. I saw a Chevy Tahoe hybrid on the road the other day.
As you say, it doesn't get as much press, but the people who shell out serious dollars at the gas pump every few days for their large SUVs are definitely noticing.
They are doing this, Duane. For example, I think that all, or maybe all but one, of the new Mercedes Benz V-8 cars are now turbos, with several added features to bring their fuel economy up to where V-6s were just a couple of years ago.
Things like direct injection, cylinder deactivation, engine stop and restart at red lights, smaller displacement with turbo or supercharging, are used to get the same or even better performance with better fuel economy.
All of their four-cycliner engines seem to be going that way too. All turbo, multivalve, direct injection, etc.
Corvette and Camaro V-8s seem to be headed that way too. Some of the figures I've seen are as high as EPA 29 mpg on the highway, for a powerful V-8. (Obviously, not that high if you keep the right-most pedal down!)
Today's hybrids, including the Chevy Volt for the most part really seem to be firmly entrenched in the early-adopter phase. That's fine because you need early adopters to fund further research and product improvement.
I do think that, rather than focusing on already high mileage cars, it would make much more sense to attack the lower mileage vehicles.
Take a 12mpg vehicle and improve its mileage by 25% and do the same with a 35mpg vehicle.
Say each puts on 15,000 miles per year. That's 1,250 gallons ($5,000 at $4.00/gallon) for the gas hog vs. 429 gallons ($1,714) for the econo box.
The gas hod would save 250 gallons / $1,000 while the econobox would only save 86 gallons / $343.
I'd fix the bigger problem, but I guess 44mpg get more press than 15 does.
Yes, but this is a tiny incremental improvement in what SHOULD be, to make batteries remotely attractive, an enormous improvement in energy density.
I was starting to believe that hybrids, even if much milder than the Volt, would become the standard car configuration, when now we're reading articles about ever more efficient non-hybrid cars. Whether it's turbo gasoline or turbo diesel, it looks to me like the auto companies are expending an awful lot of effort to NOT have to go the hybrid route. And they are achieving meaningful results.
As to the life of the battery? I don't buy any of it. People are notoriously short-sighted about just about everything. Why should their consideration of battery life be any different? Wait a few years, when this becomes an issue, and then recanvas owners. As of now, sure, the owners are proud and enthusiastic. Fans.
The Volt saves less than one gallon of gasoline before requiring a full recharge.
And for $20000 MORE than a 42MPG Chevy Cruze Eco.
Technically impressive sure, but too little for too much for actual utility.