by Joseph Delli Gatti
As the market tumbles to pre-2004 prices, and oil climbs in price, we find ourselves realizing that the US is becoming a more expensive place to live for the average American Hockey Mom. While presidential candidates throw out buzz words like “clean coal”, “wind”, “solar”, “drill, baby, drill”, etc. to gain greater public approval, our hearts and interests begin to turn towards greener, cleaner, less-expensive fuels. According to the presidential candidates, we need to become less-dependent on foreign oil. One of the easiest remedies appears to be to turn to electricity for an answer. While this may not provide a fix-all solution, it does provide a partial substitution.
The Chevy Volt, which has been announced by Chevy to have a release date of 2010, could turn out to be the perfect fit. For the first 40 miles, the Volt will run on strictly electricity. After 40 miles (or one full charge), it will run on a combination of gas and electric. So, it promises to be an electric car for the first 40 miles, and shift to being a hybrid afterwards. One of the advantages of this is that most Volt owners will rarely need to buy gasoline – most people work within 20 miles of home. Another advantage, which completely cancels out the greatest short-coming of electric vehicles, is its extended travel capabilities. Most cars powered solely by electricity have a range of about 30-40 miles and have about a six-to-eight-hour charge time. So, if you want to travel 100 miles in a traditional electric car, plan on an extra 18-24 hours. The Volt, however, currently claims 400 miles per tank of gas if you start with a full charge and a full tank. Although this number has been reduced from an originally stated 600 miles, the cost of gas per mile is still impressive. On a 100-mile trek, you can expect to get 200 Mpg.
“What about speed and power,” you may ask. The Volt has a three-cylinder engine that is pulled by 150 horses. It claims to be able to reach 100 MPH. Its 0-60 MPH time is supposed to be nine seconds, which is about the same as the economy models of BMW and Audi.
Future batteries promise to extend the driving range and decrease the charge-up time.
The body design is visually appealing and offers chrome and aluminum accents. The roof on the show model had a sleek black top that blends into the tinted rear window.
For more images, go to http://www.chevy-volt.net/chevrolet-volt-photos-08.htm. The inside of the model car had a fancy electric panel, four seats, a nice stereo, etc. It’s a beautiful car and is very likely going to meet the needs of a lot of people.
So what is the projected price of the car on its release date? $40,000 has been speculated as the potential price. This price would undoubtedly come down after a few years of production. McCain plans to subsidize the cost of these cars through a tax break to purchasers of vehicles that make use of alternative fuels. Also, a tax cut was implemented by the Bush administration beginning 2006. Although it is expensive for a vehicle designed to save money on gas, it will be half the price of some electric cars being advertised today, and it will immediately be a greener way to get around town and around your state.
-Joey Delli Gatti