It's all about TRUTH.

Location is determined by position
Evidence will vary by location.
Facts will change according to evidence.
But TRUTH is unchanging.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Chevy Volt: Practical or Prodigal? Miracle, or red herring?

Today's number (for those of you who are in on the count-down) is 34250. Or 399251. If you like, you can use 5250, but nobody has figured things out Yet, so what's the point?

I've been doing some reading on the Chevy Volt. For those of you not in the know, it's a new type of car scheduled to hit the market in 2010. It has
Been given a preliminary figure of 230 mpg. That's NOT an error. TWO
HUNDRED -THIRTY MILES PER GALLON. It is being touted as the answer to clunkers, an incredible achievement of the transportation industry.


The Volt is an electric car. Similar to a hybrid in function, the primary
Source of power is electric, not gas. A hybrid functions on gas first,
Battery second.

230 MPG. If you travel 10,000 miles per year, with gas at 2.50 a gallon,
And 30 mpg on your car, you spend about 850 a year on gas. For a VOLT, it would be about 109.00 a year. Now, let's say you drive enough to need to charge the battery daily. This has been estimated to be 8 hours/day, and would cost about .40 a day. (Remember, this is what I've been reading) So, add another 146.00 per year. So, total, just for "Fuel costs" for a year is 255.00. That's a savings of 595 per year "fuel" costs.

Ok, but that's the Little Picture. The volt's preliminary base sticker
Price, bare-bones, is 40,000. If you have 7% sales tax, and put that as
Your down payment, and borrow the 40,000, you are paying the loan back in 5 years -- 800 approx. per month. So, you save about 22 days of payments per year. In 5 years, You've saved enough to make slightly less than 4 months of car payments.

What's the rest? Well, you get to use the vehicle for about 40 miles before
The battery runs low. Don't get caught in traffic! If the battery goes low
The alternate engine kicks in. That huge lithium battery becomes
Dead-weight. Oh, the gas engine will get you where you are going ok. But
Don't expect great speed, or powerful pulling. This vehicle might get you
50 MPG. But you will have to recharge soon. That kind of lets out longer
trips, doesn't it? What if your job is 50 miles away? Or if it's 30? Don't
expect miracles.

A "VOLT" will pay for itself in fuel costs savings in about 74 years.That
Assumes that all prices remain stable. If you don't travel more than 40
Miles a day, it MIGHT be worth it. But what happens when that battery wears out? How much is a replacement? A few grand? Battery for a large
fork-truck runs about 3000 pounds, and about 4 grand. Don't try this at
home, people. You'll probably need a heated garage, too. Extremes of temps wreak havoc with batteries.

Conclusion? The Chevy "Volt" would better be called the GM Joke.
We've been lead through the deserts of hope, and we've discovered a mirage.

The Volt doesn't have to be Practical AND Cheap. But if it's not practical,
it's just another colossal blunder. It's just another delusion of a mind
Numbed by cold in this period of "Global Warming."

If they prove wrong (And I have no doubt that they will), I will gloat. If they prove right, I'll be happy to chow down on crow. But a meal of crow won't be so bad as compared to what GM will face when the music is turned on -- AS I SEE IT.

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