Chevy Volt. Next generation electric vehicle?

Chevy Volt

GM recently announced plans for a concept car, the Chevy Volt, which will be all-electric and plug-in. Sounds good, but as always, one needs to be careful about GM announcing alt energy vehicles. They have a long and tired history of not following through, like they did when releasing the EV-1 then killing it. Also, the Volt is a concept car. They say it’ll be in production in 2-3 years, if they figure out the battery thing. That’s a big “if.” If it works, the Volt will be a next gen EV with a range of 640 miles. Sort of.

But here’s that GM spin again. Is it really an EV? It has a 3 cylinder flex-fuel engine which will need fuel to run to get that 640 mile range while the electric battery alone will only take you a puny 40 miles.

The battery has always been the problem with electric cars. It takes several hours to charge them and the range is only 100-150 miles. This hasn’t changed for over one hundred years. Yes, electric cars have been around that long.

In The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History by David Kirsch, he details how electric cars were quite prevalent from 1890-1915. There were even magazines about them, one of which ran an article in about 1912 saying we almost got that battery thing figured out now…

So, while GM wheezes towards getting alt energy cars on the road, Toyota, who gets it, is already selling hundreds of thousands of them, primarily the Prius. I have a 2001 Prius, it gets 45 mpg in LA and goes over 500 miles on the tank of gas. So, pardon my skepticism about the Chevy Volt. I hope it happens, but given GM’s history on such things, don’t hold your breath.

[tags]electric vehicles, EV, Chevy Volt[/tags]