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Is Anyone Surprised By The Volt Fail?

March 3, 2012 10:29:04.934

I'm not surprised by the failure of the Volt:

GM, which is based in Detroit, announced to employees at one of its facilities that it was halting production of the beleaguered electric car for five weeks and temporarily laying off 1,300 employees.

I suspect that the production shutdown will be more prolonged than that. Electric cars are a luxury status item, not a useful transit option. Why do I say that? Well, consider: if you live in the suburbs, the range problem makes them highly impractical. If you live in the city, where that's less of an issue, there's the charging problem. Where, pray tell, do you charge one for the multiple hours you need if you usually park it on the street?

Hybrids make perfect sense to me; pure electric vehicles? Not so much. They've been "the car of the future" for a century now, and they'll still be "the car of the future" for a very, very long time.

Update: To clarify - yes, the Volt has a gas tank, so it has the range of a regular car. The fact remains though: the battery is an expensive brick for most people. If you live in the city and use street parking, you'll never get to charge it. If you live in the suburbs, you'll only get to charge it at home (and based on the charge time using a standard 110 outlet, never enough). This car solves no problems, but it sure gives the owner new ones to deal with.

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posted by James Robertson


Re: Is Anyone Surprised By The Volt Fail?

[Byron] March 3, 2012 13:47:43.307

Er, the Volt *is* a hybrid. It doesn't work like the Prius in that the drivetrain is all electric and the gas engine acts as a generator, but it's not a Leaf and the range is what you would consider "normal" (350-400 miles on a tank when driving continuously).

Re: Is Anyone Surprised By The Volt Fail?

[James Robertson] March 3, 2012 20:43:52.764

My 22 year old car gets 35 mpg in town, and doesn't require premium gas. I still call it an expensive fail.

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