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Ed Driscoll

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December 7, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Obama-VW-Lemon-Parody-8-6-10

“Chevy Volt doesn’t make 2014 list of fuel economy leaders,” the Washington Examiner reports:

The Department of Energy released its 2014 fuel economy guide, complete with a list of fuel economy leaders, and yet again, the Volt didn’t make the list.

In fact, the Volt — a compact car — doesn’t even perform as well by most metrics as some midsize plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, according to the guide.

The Volt gets 37 combined mpg (35 mpg city, 40 mpg highway) using premium gasoline. That’s better than most non plug-in vehicles, for sure. But compare that to the Honda Accord plug-in hybrid, which gets 46 combined miles on gasoline — with no mention of it being premium — and 47 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway. Or the Toyota Prius, which gets 50 mpg combined (51 mpg city, 49 mpg highway).

With a starting price of $34,185 (before the $7,500 tax credit, $26,685 if you get the full credit), the Volt isn’t exactly cheap. Compare that to the Prius, which outperforms the Volt on most measures and has a starting price of $29,990 before the tax credit.

The Volt has a range of 344 miles with premium gasoline. Compared to the Ford Fusion plug-in (602 miles with regular gasoline), the Accord plug-in (561 miles with regular gasoline) and the Prius (530 miles with regular gasoline), and the Volt falls further behind.

Perhaps the Government Motors vehicle simply isn’t as hot as it seemed when it was first envisioned — on the other hand, it can on occasion, get too hot for the wrong reasons. If so, here’s news you can use from car blog, Jalopnik: “What To Do When Your Electric Car Catches On Fire: An Explainer.”

On the other hand, perhaps this California proposal might light up Chevy Volts — or at least their sales:

One longtime critic of federal transportation spending once concluded that it would be less expensive for the government to buy every new transit rider a Jaguar XJ8 than it would be to build certain new rail systems. Unfortunately, California officials may not have realized that the idea of buying people new cars wasn’t a serious proposal as much as a way to illustrate a point about excessive spending.

The California Air Resources Board is now embarking on a program that would help poor people buy energy-efficient vehicles. In one scenario posed by the agency, a “voucher” might even pay the full price for a Nissan Leaf, an electric car with an MSRP above $21,000, or for used cars with lower price tags.

Perhaps the state could even design a low-cost “people’s car” for the masses…

*****

Cross-posted from Ed Driscoll’s blog

Blogging since 2002, affiliated with PJM since 2005, where he is currently a columnist, San Jose Editor, and founder of PJM's Lifestyle blog. Over the past 15 years, Ed has contributed articles to National Review Online, the Weekly Standard.com, Right Wing News, the New Individualist, Blogcritics, Modernism, Videomaker, Servo, Audio/Video Interiors, Electronic House, PC World, Computer Music, Vintage Guitar, and Guitar World.

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Top Rated Comments   
This is absolute B*llsh*t! 37 and 45 mpg? They dont't get it! Over 80% of drivers drive less than 40 miles a day. I drive 23 miles to work. I get between 37 and 41 miles per charge. Uh Hello! During the work week, I use NO gas! I charge at work and drive the 23 miles home with 13 to 15 miles left of charge. In 1 year my mileage is now over 300 miles per gallon of gas used...Everywhere I go, people LOVE this car! I LOVE this car!! Our Toyota Camry averaged 37 mpg and I still used 17 gallons a week. In 1 year i have used 30 gallons or 2 weeks worth of gas! AND, the Hybrids require constant service. I think the design team at GM should be given a medal for this car. People at my work have gotten rid of their Leaf and got the Volt. We now have over 25 Volts in our parking lot!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow, this amount of cluelessness may take longer than this comment allows to set straight, but do my best....

1) The Volt's ICE (internal combustion engine) MPG is very good at 37, but the fact that it's less than the Accord or the Prius are comparing apples and oranges. Both the Prius and Accord Plugin models have anemic electric ranges, at 11 and 13 miles, respectively. The Volt's 38-mile range blows them all out of the water for gas-free driving. Since Volt owners use very little gas anyway, the MPG makes little difference, same for the need for premium fuel. Chevy engineers did make the decision to put a standard engine into the Volt to extend electric range in the first few years, to get this groundbreaking vehicle (which was started under the GW Bush administration, BTW) out the door. In the next iteration of the Voltec system, a more efficient engine will be substituted.

2) Comparing a Volt to a Prius on performance is laughable. I've owned both and while the Prius is a good vehicle, the performance is pathetic. The Volt, on the other hand, feels like a sports car, giving my old Supra a decent run for the money with a 5-second 0-60 (after some tweaks that I did).

3) Talking about gasoliine range is silly, especially with the Volt. You can fill up with gas anywhere, any time, so who cares what the range on one tank is? And once again, Volt owners use very little gas, so it's especially a non-issue. The Volt designers made a concious decision to have a smaller gas tank to accommodate a much larger electric battery than other vehicles (as I mentioned above). It makes the Volt's electric range far larger than other plugin-hybrid vehicles, but also drives things like the size of the gas tank and the price (since the battery is the most expensive part, although that's starting to change).

4) Talking about EVs catching fire is ridiculous when you look at how often standard vehicles catch fire (which is constantly, but never makes headlines). It's just a silly thing to say: it's an issue that makes "OMG" headlines for the benefit of the clueless but little else.

5) The Volt has consistently won top honors from every major car magazine and organization, which have no vested interest in EVs or the Volt in particular. It has topped owner satisfaction in report from Consumer Report and JD Power, again with no vested interest. My own opinion is that it's the best car that I've ever owned, and my first American car (I owned all Toyotas previously), my first Chevy (and definitely a new breed of Chevy vehicle with top fit-and-finish and outstanding performance/handling), and I'm still thrilled with it after 3 years of driving.

Bashing the Volt and talking about "Government Motors" (especially when GM paid off it's loan from the US long ago and is now the #1 carmaker in the world...an American company). It's clueless, silly (but that's par for the course, apparently) and counterproductive. I suggest instead being proud that an American-designed (during the GW Bush administration, as I said) and American-made vehicle from a classic American brand and company is a groundbreaking vehicle that defined an entirely new segment, one that other manufacturers (including Toyota and Honda) are struggling to match (and they still haven't).

In addition to being pure nonsenical ranting, bashing the Volt with lies and silly comparisons is un-American, pure and simple.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (21)
All Comments   (21)
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Lot of anecdotes, here, that belie all the DATA DRIVEN reports we've seen.

Given the ObamaFuhrer's tendency to lie, and his shills to cover, the remarks are, shall we say, suspect?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
With respect to fires, I think if you do the math, electric cars are MUCH less likely to catch fire than gasoline cars. I personally have needed to summon the fire department, using OnStar from my Volt, when a gasoline powered car started burning while driving down the,road.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hmmmm...I've been driving for 45 years, 15K-25K a year, and have seen ONE fire in all those years - a old POS Chevy Caprice, which was about 15 years old.

And for those clueless, who think everyone else is, remember: fuel is fuel, whether gas or electric (or jet fuel, in my case) and in an electric car, the pollution is on the FRONT end.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Malarkey!
The bottom line for all fuel efficint cars is fuel usage.
I used 109 gallons of gasoline to go 14400 miles the first year in my Volt
In year 2, I went about 12500 miles on about 65 gallons of gasoline.
To get that low gasoline usage, I pay about 60 cents a day for electricity.
My Volt gets about 38 mpg when running on gasoline, but I've gotten up to 49 mpg for an entire trip on gasoline, depending on the driving conditions.
I love Hondas and own one, but don' t pretend it's anyhere near my Volt in reducing gas usage.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Posting such a deceptive story simply makes you lose any credability. Cherry picking facts and ignoring the electric only aspects of the Volt is frighteningly ignorant on your part but simply exposes your bias. As the average car purchase is over 30K today, the Volts technology makes it a bargain, and by the way, people spend far more on other cars for far more frivilous reasons than being a technology pioneer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My 2011 Volt. 65,000 miles 119 miles per gallon lifetime. That is way above any other cars you considered. I have saved somewhere near $12,000 in gas and maintenance in less than three years. 22 miles to work and during the week I use no gas at all. Anyone considering a Volt would be making a wise choice. Anything else considered is just wasting gas. Edward Ellyatt
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't get it @EdDriscoll, do you actually investigate a topic and report on it or are you some copy/paste idiot? Based on the above article you don't really have an understanding of the topic, and as a Volt owner, and a freaking conservative, you really piss me off. Let me educate you:
1 - The Volt has ~38 miles of range using electric only. If the temp is over 60 and you are driving in the city, you will most likely get 40-50 miles of range. What this means, is that most people can go to-and-from work, as well as run their weekend errands in electric only mode. If you did research you would understand that concept. For example, in the last two months I have used 1 gallon of gas and put almost 2000 of miles on the freaking car! Do you get it...?? The engine just gives you the peace-of-mind (you wont be stranded like in Leaf), and the ability to take a long trip if you want.
2 - Who the heck ranks the Prius higher than the Volt?! The Volt is faster, handles better, brakes better, is better put together, is more up-scale inside, and has more options... What I am saying here is fact - anyone that actually reads reviews can confirm (car reviews, not lazy-ass moron reviews).
3 - why are you comparing the Accord and the Fusion to the Volt? I bought my Volt with $2000 worth of Options, and after the tax rebate my Volt was $27,000 plus tax/license - Why are you comparing an over $40K Accord (that has like what, 10-15 miles of range??) with the Volt? Fusion is also over $40K, and barely gets 20 miles of range. It's another example of you not knowing.

Please go get educated, you are giving conservatives a bad name - and that pisses me off even more.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is utterly wretched reporting. No mention of the fact that you get infinite gas mileage for the first 40 miles every day, on $1 worth of electricity. Some Volt drivers are getting lifetime MPG of over ONE THOUSAND. The Volt isn't optimized for pure gas MPG because typical operation doesn't require it.
Our other car is a Prius and the day we have Tesla money is the day we trade that Prius in. Every Volt owner I know feels about the same, and most have driven if not owned both.
A side note: even in a locale with coal-heavy power, driving a Volt produces emissions equal to those of a 35mpg gas car.
I charge mine from wind power exclusively.
You can do the carbon math on that.
Tldr; article ignores basic facts, distorts others, and misses the point. Which oil company paid for this crap?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is absolute B*llsh*t! 37 and 45 mpg? They dont't get it! Over 80% of drivers drive less than 40 miles a day. I drive 23 miles to work. I get between 37 and 41 miles per charge. Uh Hello! During the work week, I use NO gas! I charge at work and drive the 23 miles home with 13 to 15 miles left of charge. In 1 year my mileage is now over 300 miles per gallon of gas used...Everywhere I go, people LOVE this car! I LOVE this car!! Our Toyota Camry averaged 37 mpg and I still used 17 gallons a week. In 1 year i have used 30 gallons or 2 weeks worth of gas! AND, the Hybrids require constant service. I think the design team at GM should be given a medal for this car. People at my work have gotten rid of their Leaf and got the Volt. We now have over 25 Volts in our parking lot!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is that the parking lot at the GM plant, or the one at the Federal office building?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Volt doesn't have to cost you loads of money to own, a used 2011 Volt costs about $24K if you shop around
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow, this amount of cluelessness may take longer than this comment allows to set straight, but do my best....

1) The Volt's ICE (internal combustion engine) MPG is very good at 37, but the fact that it's less than the Accord or the Prius are comparing apples and oranges. Both the Prius and Accord Plugin models have anemic electric ranges, at 11 and 13 miles, respectively. The Volt's 38-mile range blows them all out of the water for gas-free driving. Since Volt owners use very little gas anyway, the MPG makes little difference, same for the need for premium fuel. Chevy engineers did make the decision to put a standard engine into the Volt to extend electric range in the first few years, to get this groundbreaking vehicle (which was started under the GW Bush administration, BTW) out the door. In the next iteration of the Voltec system, a more efficient engine will be substituted.

2) Comparing a Volt to a Prius on performance is laughable. I've owned both and while the Prius is a good vehicle, the performance is pathetic. The Volt, on the other hand, feels like a sports car, giving my old Supra a decent run for the money with a 5-second 0-60 (after some tweaks that I did).

3) Talking about gasoliine range is silly, especially with the Volt. You can fill up with gas anywhere, any time, so who cares what the range on one tank is? And once again, Volt owners use very little gas, so it's especially a non-issue. The Volt designers made a concious decision to have a smaller gas tank to accommodate a much larger electric battery than other vehicles (as I mentioned above). It makes the Volt's electric range far larger than other plugin-hybrid vehicles, but also drives things like the size of the gas tank and the price (since the battery is the most expensive part, although that's starting to change).

4) Talking about EVs catching fire is ridiculous when you look at how often standard vehicles catch fire (which is constantly, but never makes headlines). It's just a silly thing to say: it's an issue that makes "OMG" headlines for the benefit of the clueless but little else.

5) The Volt has consistently won top honors from every major car magazine and organization, which have no vested interest in EVs or the Volt in particular. It has topped owner satisfaction in report from Consumer Report and JD Power, again with no vested interest. My own opinion is that it's the best car that I've ever owned, and my first American car (I owned all Toyotas previously), my first Chevy (and definitely a new breed of Chevy vehicle with top fit-and-finish and outstanding performance/handling), and I'm still thrilled with it after 3 years of driving.

Bashing the Volt and talking about "Government Motors" (especially when GM paid off it's loan from the US long ago and is now the #1 carmaker in the world...an American company). It's clueless, silly (but that's par for the course, apparently) and counterproductive. I suggest instead being proud that an American-designed (during the GW Bush administration, as I said) and American-made vehicle from a classic American brand and company is a groundbreaking vehicle that defined an entirely new segment, one that other manufacturers (including Toyota and Honda) are struggling to match (and they still haven't).

In addition to being pure nonsenical ranting, bashing the Volt with lies and silly comparisons is un-American, pure and simple.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yup and the Volt can be hacked to allow the engine to engage to the wheels at low speeds, along with full electric power. Result is 0-60 in 6.5 seconds (reliably). Video has it a bit quicker but you can reliably reprogram it for 6.5 seconds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA4fLSuvkk8

Yes I hope they put in an Atkinson cycle engine in the 2nd gen Volt so it'll get over 40MPG if you don't plug in
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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