Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The Volt's scheduled for release for the beginning of the 2010 run that starts in 2009.  Early estimate is something close to $40,000 for the Volt.  It has a significant advantage on the Prius, because it can go electric only for 43 miles.  

That's the trip to work and back for most people.  So for maybe 40-45% of miles traveled no gas used. Consider:

The way the Volt is designed, the wheels are powered by the electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. When the batteries run low, the gasoline engine kicks in to extend the range. There is no direct connection between the internal combustion engine and the wheels. If the driver's commute is longer, driving is more aggressive, or if no plug-in option is available, the Volt will have to use its gasoline engine to keep the batteries charged, behaving more like a hybrid in this scenario. If the driver has a short commute, takes it easy on the accelerator, and plugs in to recharge the battery during the day, the Volt will operate primarily as an EV, and the gasoline engine's role will be greatly diminished.

In this configuration, the Volt can slip through about 85 percent of the EPA's test cycle without even firing up the gasoline engine. Using the EPA's standard formulas to calculate fuel economy, the Volt averages over 100 mpg. The EPA doesn't think that astronomical number is fair and has revised its tests with the requirement that the Volt finish the test with its batteries close to full charge, which means the internal combustion engine must run for the entirety of the test, dropping fuel economy to about 48 mpg.

I bought into GM on Thursday for two reasons: 1) Good new on the loan package and a general pickup after the central bank intervention. 2)GM is prepping not only the Volt for the 2010 model year, but also is going to import the Chevy Cruze which is rated at 40+MPG and may be able to get over 60 MPG on a gas engine alone.  It's set to replace the Cobalt at the Lordstown, OH assembly, and is likely going to be targeted at the same price point, around $15,000.

Detroit's got it's mojo back, and I a plan to go for the ride.  If I hadn't spooked Thursday afternoon I'd be up about $500 instead of the $50 I am now.  That's not a bad return for a guy living on grad assistant's stipend.  GM's at ~$13 now, I expect it to pop back to around the $40 it started the year at when it becomes clear that the loan package is going to go through.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 03:48:04 PM EST
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