OK. let's make this realistic. Take that Volt, and come to Michigan (you know, where GM is). Take a jaunt from the suburbs to the city (for example, north side of Holland to East Grand Rapids, a typical commute), in February, during a "snow event". That means 40 miles at 35 mph with defrosters at maximum, wipers on, radio on, outside temperature at 20F, and frequent ABS/TC activation. Electric vehicles are impractical for huge areas of the country; our electrical grid/infrastructure is overloaded already, and most of that electricity comes from coal. Is this the future? God, I hope not.
In the future, we WILL have to reduce our energy consumption to what is sustainable. If we priced energy at its true cost instead of the current heavy subsidies, the market forces would help us do the right things, such as changing either our housing or our jobs so as to NOT have a 40 mile commute through the snow.
When I say to price energy at its true cost, I mean things like tax imported oil to pay for the armies we maintain in the Middle East to maintain enough stability to promote continued oil extraction and exports.
I just changed my daily commute vehicle from a Ford Mustang to a Toyota Prius, thereby cutting my fuel consumption by more than half. (And I love the car, which is full of gadgets that I am still slowly discovering.)
The Volt is not just a limited battery powered vehicle so it can handle all extremes and get you there and back. When the weather is reasonable, which is most of the time,it runs longer on the battery and less on the back-up engine.
If you're near Springfield, Illinois,you're 15 miles north of these guys. Good luck in the mountains. Illuminati's car towed a trailer with a fancy bicycle from Springfield, IL to Champaign, IL on a single charge. 0-60 mph times are getting into sports car territory. 208 equivalent mpg. I think you guys should run 'em off, title for title. lol
Hope you can get used to the Capacitive touch switches. When i test drove a volt i hated the switches because everytime i tried to use the touch screen i turned on or off the A/C system. It also took me 10 minutes to find the navi button. Good luck and enjoy the ride. I wasn't too impressed by it.
Let's see... we burn coal or natural gas, or deal with nuclear waste, in order to boil water to make steam, to turn a turbine, to produce electricity, which is distributed through lossy conductors, and stored in a battery, with some efficiency. To make the battery, we mine lithium and nickel, and other heavy metals, using fuel to extract them. And we transport them using fuel to a site where they are fabricated using fuel into the form of a battery. From whence they are further transported using fuel, to the place where cars are assembled. THEN they are further transported using fuel, to the place where cars are sold, in order that we might enjoy being able to move about the planet ... efficiently? At $.20/kwh, given all of the inefficiencies in this system... which is less expensive, electricity or gasoline?
OH...I forgot the cost of extracting and transporting that coal, too. Which is why natural gas is the favored fuel for 'peaking plants' in the electric industry.
And PV solar electric is not the answer. It costs 4-5 times as much as fossil generated electric, and that's WITH government subsidies. Without, it's much higher.
We need a national energy policy based on life cycle environmental impact and costing, and not on political polls.
You told all the problems with BATTERY TECH. yOU WANT national energy policy. Could you please specify it with solutions rather than magnifying the problesm?
Need solutions for the problem, not problem to the problem.
The Pacific Northwest would likely be a better fit for electric or plug-in hybrid cars. We have mild weather so heater and AC won't get over worked. Most commutes are on the order of 25 miles or less each way.
We also have too much electricity because of all of the wind farms being built in central Oregon. The turbines are government subsidized and proliferating like wildfire. There isn't enough transmission capacity to get the power down to California where it's needed more, so when the rivers are up, the wind turbines often have to shut down to allow the hydro generating capacity to regulate the rivers.
Too much green electricity... Go figure.
Hi Brian -- Max here -- I certainly hope you are going to stop by my stomping ground here in Huntsville when you are on the Alabama part of your trek.
First of all Huntsville is an oasis of high technology ("more rocket scientists per square foot than anywhere else in the world," or so I've been told). But more importantly I'm here and I'm sure that you owe me a beer :-)