By on October 25, 2010

My initial self-appointed assignment was to come up with a comprehensive cost analysis of the Volt in comparison to the Prius and other vehicles. I first took this on two and a half years ago, and the results from that gazing-into-the crystal-ball exercise are actually still remarkably accurate, except for the Volt failing to meet its then-promised 50mpg fuel economy. The task, given the infinite variables, is essentially impossible, and thankfully, I was forwarded a link to this Electric Car Calculator. It’s far from perfect, given that it doesn’t account for depreciation, finance costs, leasing, maintenance, etc. What it does do is allow you to input your driving regime, both weekdays and weekends, electric and gas costs, and come up with a comparison for overall fuel costs with your choice of another vehicle; a good start: (Read More…)

By on August 26, 2010

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does journalism. GM has been trumpeting the Volt’s 40 mile target AER (all electric range) since it was first announced on January 7, 2007. From that very day three years and eight months ago, journalists and enthusiasts have been asking The Big Volt Question: what is its fuel economy in CSM (charge sustaining mode)? There has never been an answer, except that at the 2007 announcement Bob Lutz “reasoned that…(after the battery was depleted) the engine sipping fuel at a rate of 50 m.p.g.” An early target or a Lutzian wild speculation that GM soon refused to verify or qualify. Ever.

Fast forward to August 24, 2010: gm-volt announces that an astute reader has made a screen capture of an Aol Volt test drive promo video, that indicated that the Volt traveled 16.1 miles after the battery depleted and used .59 gallons, equaling 27.3 mpg. Did anyone really think that was a truly representative fuel economy for the Volt, not knowing precisely the conditions under which it occurred? Note the word “Hints” prominently in TTAC’s story. So far, it’s been the only shred of evidence to The Big Volt Question. But rather than use this fantastic PR opportunity to state a target CSM mileage figure, which could only (presumably) look good compared to that 27 mpg number; GM’s Volt Communications person Phil Colley (pictured above) states it delicately:

Yours (plugincars,com) and the other stories yesterday and today show a complete lack of understanding of the process and are quite frankly, lazy reporting.

(Read More…)

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