Volt Birth Watch 105: EV or Not EV?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
volt birth watch 105 ev or not ev

While we await clarification on how the plug-in electric – gas Chevy Volt’s battery/generator/engine interface works, the stakes just got a lot higher. Automotive News [sub] reports that GM has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to classify the Volt as an electric vehicle. “Normally, a vehicle is run on an EPA test loop, consisting of both city and highway driving, to measure tailpipe pollutants and provide data for calculating fuel economy. But for electrics, which have no emissions, the government uses a Department of Energy mathematical formula to translate energy use into some equivalent of miles per gallon of gasoline.” And here’s the kicker: the EPA loop is longer than 40 miles. So how do you test a vehicle that– in theory– runs for 40 miles on battery power and then does, uh, something else with its gas engine? While they sort that out– good luck using politics to sway the EPA– the California Air Resources Board has given the Volt “preliminary certification” as an electric. While the prestigious Society of Automotive Engineers considers the Volt a hybrid (imagine that). If the EPA classifies the Volt an EV, GM would have an enormous marketing advantage over the market-leading (owning?) Toyota Prius, AND receive a HUGE boost to the automaker’s federally-mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. [TTAC’s Michael Karesh has a proposal for a third EPA standard here.]

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  • Bytor Bytor on Sep 28, 2008

    " When your shooting B.S. the first ammendment right the EPA will shut you down for violating the clean air act enforced and created buy the EPA." Somewhere in that Jumble is the impression that we should be free to pollute the air as much as we like, so we end up with air quality like Calcutta. No thanks.

  • Ctoan Ctoan on Sep 28, 2008

    ...what? The Clean Air Act violates the freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and press? Are you about to argue that pollution is a form of speech? In any case, Congress is given by the constitution the right to regulate commerce, which the EPA is clearly an exercise of.

  • Blindfaith Blindfaith on Sep 28, 2008

    "In any case, Congress is given by the constitution the right to regulate commerce, which the EPA is clearly an exercise of." Thats how congress legally controled the slave trade as well. Congress also protected the companies rights to shoot unarmed women and men that formed unions for a living wage. Thats why juries responsibilites is to evaluate the law, evaluate the application of law and vote you conscience. This is to control congress.

  • Ctoan Ctoan on Sep 28, 2008
    blindfaith Your argument: "Congress has in the past done questionable things, therefore the existence of the EPA is unconstitutional." Nevermind that slavery was an entirely legal affair right up until the constitution was amended, or that assault and murder are legislated by the states, and are not the domain of Congress, or that there's no jury with authority over Congress. None of that has anything to do with the EPA or the Bill of Rights, or indeed the Commerce Clause.