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Chevy Volt: An exercise in the obliviousness of the American Public

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production-chevy-volt_021 Recently GM came out with a hybrid electric-gas car called the Chevy Volt. A nice looking car that was designed to run (initially) up to 40 miles a day on electricity from its’ internal battery pack and then the small gasoline engine would turn on, allowing the battery to charge while also driving the electric motor. In total, the car would cost about $40,000, would weigh about 3,500 pounds (of which the battery would weigh 400 pounds). For this amount of money, you would be able to drive a maximum of 640 miles! That is, you would be able to drive for 40 miles on the battery and then another 600 miles on the gasoline! This was the original design of the car, which had 12 gallons of gas capacity in addition to the batteries. Later GM decided that twelve gallons of gas is too much for a hybrid and redesigned the car with only a six gallon tank so that the range is closer to 300-400 miles. What amazes me is that the no one on the internet, nor on TV or radio has thought of or mentioned the following issue which should piss a lot of consumers off.

fat_guy_in_car First we have a car that is light weight and has an engine that gets about 50-60mpg when it is driving around a car that weights 3500 pounds! This car, if it had just the gasoline engine and no batteries, would weigh around 3000 pounds and probably exceed 70mpg. Think about it: you are driving a hybrid car that has the equivalent of two people (200 pound people each) in battery power to go only 40 miles. If you take that extra weight off the car, the gas engine will be much more efficient and be able to drive much easier and faster AND farther!! GM mentions nothing about this, nor do they offer a gas only version of this car, which if it had only the original 12 gallon tank, would be able to drive around 600-700 miles between gas stations. To give you a better idea of what I am talking about, imagine being able to drive halfway to Miami on ONE TANK OF GAS! Not to mention that this car would be able to do it with three people in the car because you substituted the weight of the batteries for two more passengers!

1990.geo.prizm.4713-300x189 Secondly, the weight of the car is insane. Even without the batteries, this car is still too heavy to be considered an ecologically friendly machine. It is supposedly made up of lighter components and synthetic materials that are safer then my old 1992 Geo Prizm, but it still weights 700 pounds more then my nearly 20 year old car! Imagine if I took the Chevy Volt engine and placed it into my old Geo Prizm car body. I would assume the 700 pound savings in car weight would translate into a 100mpg car that would easily drive me all the way to Miami without needing more gas! I can not make this crap up. My older, steel car, weights less then this fiberglass piece of shit that was made my GM. Am I really going to believe that this car is worth $40,000? Am I really going to think that GM wants’ people to save money on gas or save the environment by buying these things??

6a00e551d9ce44883301127976f95328a4-800wi Finally the makers of GM have the nerve to pretend that this is an efficient machine and to charge a premium for the ability to drive it. I am not sure why no one has called GM on this publicly is beyond my comprehension. It is as if everyone took happy pills and went to sleep. Essentially the Chevy volt weighs 1200 pounds more then my older car (that is, the whole car, batteries and all). How many people does 1200 pounds make? Well let us be a really overweight family. 300 pounds a person would give me 4 people to put into my old car, just to make it weigh the same as the newer car. Can you imagine fitting 4 people weighing 300 pounds in a Geo or a Volt? I can’t and I don’t understand how they can justify this weight difference. And on top of that, the Volt engine is more powerful then my old Geo engine (and yet it is more efficient): 115hp vs 149hp. So if they lowered the HP of the Volt to match my Geo, this car would very likely exceed the 100mpg threshold.

All I can hope for is that a Chinese company steals the engine designs and sells a viable knock off. That way I could buy a new car engine for $1000 and make my old Geo a cross country driving machine!


Written by Josecito

January 14, 2011 at 12:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] Chevy Volt: An exercise in the obliviousness of the American Public […]

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