Let's see, a trip from Washington, D.C., to Orlando, strictly on
electric power, will require ONE WEEK! But that includes just
recharging of the battery.
Including layovers, rest and eating -- allow TWO FULL weeks.
Face it folks, electric cars are no more than fads for the rich at
this point in time.
Tom Hanks will have to have his Volt recharged twice just to get down
his driveway to the Interstate.
For we ordinary motorists, the technology is years off.
In fact, we might be cited in alt.obituaries before we can buy one
that's meant for driving as we know it.
"GM Volt's price induces some sticker shock"
By Peter Whoriskey
The Washington Post
Wednesday, July 28, 2010; A10
The long-anticipated Chevrolet Volt, General Motors' electric car,
will cost $41,000, the company announced Tuesday, leaving consumers to
decide whether its environmental appeal is worth a price far above
that of similarly sized conventional autos.
Electric-car technology has been around for years, but the high cost
to make the vehicles has prevented automakers from producing them for
the mass market. The price announcements for the Volt and its electric
rival, the Nissan Leaf, have been highly anticipated as a result.
Nissan, the only other major manufacturer expected to bring such a
vehicle to market this year, said the Leaf will cost $32,780.
GM and Nissan are relying on a $7,500 federal tax credit for buyers of
electric vehicles to offset some of the added cost, and they're hoping
that the allure of their novel power source will make up the rest.
"The Volt is a game-changing product," said Tony Posawatz, GM's
vehicle line director for the Volt, which is expected to hit showrooms
in November 2011.
(Photos: 2010 International Auto Show)
Although the prices are high, enthusiasts say that electric cars can
reach a large, untapped market for vehicles with little or no tailpipe
The Volt can travel 40 miles on its battery charge and an additional
340 miles on a gasoline-powered generator. The all-electric Leaf has a
range of 100 miles.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama pledged
to put 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015.
But some analysts said they doubt that electric cars can reach a broad
audience in the near term. Hybrid cars took about eight years to reach
the million-unit sales mark in the United States, according to Energy
"I'm not sure the Volt is going to be a volume vehicle," said George
Magliano, director of automotive industry forecasting for North
America at IHS Global Insight. "The technology still isn't there to
make them cheap. At the end of the day, the consumer pays a hefty
premium to make a statement."
To move the industry along and bolster U.S. manufacturing, the Obama
administration has put its weight, and billions of dollars, behind an
effort to develop electric cars and batteries in the United States.
In developing the Volt, GM is seeking to fulfill its promise to
Congress during the government bailout to move beyond gas-guzzlers.
The company had been planning the Volt long before it neared
bankruptcy last year, however, as an attempt to leapfrog Toyota in the
quest for fuel-efficient vehicles.
The president has expressed optimism that automakers will be able to
lower the price tag of electric-vehicle technology. Earlier this
month, he suggested that major reductions in battery costs, one of the
primary reasons electric cars are more expensive, are on the horizon.
"Because of advances in the manufacturing, [battery] costs are
expected to come down by nearly 70 percent in the next few years,"
Obama said at the site of a planned battery factory in Michigan.
"That's going to make electric and hybrid cars and trucks more
affordable for more Americans."
Both the Volt and the Leaf will cost considerably more than rival
gasoline-powered compact sedans, such as the Honda Civic or the Ford
Focus, each of which costs under $20,000.
Price is only one potential barrier to mass adoption, however.
Consumers must also get accustomed to plugging the cars in at home. It
takes hours to recharge the vehicles, and in the absence of a network
of public recharging stations, drivers that run out of juice may need
a tow truck.
Both Nissan and GM are planning relatively low production levels at
first, especially compared with the more than 11 million vehicles
expected to be sold nationwide next year.
GM plans to produce 10,000 Volts next year, and 30,000 in 2012,
company officials have said. Nissan has indicated that it will sell
about 25,000 Leafs in the United States next year.
(U.S. government borrowing is $1.4 trillion this year - could buy
36,750,000 volts or ...)
As the only two major manufacturers preparing to mass-produce cars
that can run on batteries, GM and Nissan are engaged in a debate over
price and capability.
On purchase price, the Leaf is significantly less, though the leasing
prices are very similar. The Volt will also be available by lease with
a monthly payment of $350 for 36 months and $2,500 due at signing, the
"The Chevrolet Volt will be the best vehicle in its class . . .
because it's in a class by itself," said Joel Ewanick, vice president
of U.S. marketing for GM. "No other automaker offers an electrically
driven vehicle that can be your everyday driver, to take you wherever,