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On the Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt is starting to look more and more like a GM pipe dream every day. For instance, this little bit of anecdotal evidence:

NHTSA, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, proposed earlier this year that U.S. automakers must achieve a 25% increase in fuel economy from the 2011 to 2015 model years. When the NHTSA asked GM why they left out the Chevy Volt in their submitted plans, GM basically responded by saying the Volt was a low-volume application and would not really be widely produced in that time frame. GM spokesman Greg Martin was quoted,“We’ve been very cautious in terms of the volume, just because of the innovation and the technology associated with that vehicle. There’s a note of caution that, yes the technology is breakthrough, it is a game-changer, but as with any new game-changing technology, there needs to be a reasonable expectation set in terms of volume.”

Game-changer… Right.  If privately owned companies like Tesla are coming out with cars that travel 220 miles on a charge, than I would hardly refer to 40 miles on a charge before a gas generator has to kick in to recharge the battery as game changing.  GM has access to vast amounts of resources and this is the best they can come up with? And they continue to beat this FlexFuel ethanol horse to death, which will never take off.  We might as well run our cars on fresh produce and livestock, rather than still relatively cheap, useless in any other application, oil.  Anyways, I’m sidetracked and I’ll have to write another post on the Volt later when they give me a good reason to. But for now, I don’t have much hope for this still very much a concept vehicle. Hope they prove me wrong.

Electric Smart Car by 2010!

Smart Car

Undoubtedly you’ve seen these things on the road by now. They’re not the fastest, or sexiest, or roomiest cars, but they are flying off the dealership lots in the U.S. Soaring gas prices coupled with a reasonable price between $11,000 and $18,000 have made these cars the popular choice for those who aren’t ready to take the plunge into the expensive hybrid market. Now Daimler plans to include the Smart Car in its new line of electric vehicles. This announcement came just weeks after Daimler bought batteries from Tesla in “a small deal that could potentially lead to a very big deal.” I’ll go on the record to say the Electric Smart car will be an incredible hit in the U.S. The Smart Car is the ideal size for an electric motor, not much larger than a golf cart. With the lower power requirement, the price of the electric version should not be bad at all. Mark my words, this will be big if it stays around $20,000.

On the Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

As much as I love the Fisker/Tesla slap fight going on right now, I don’t care to talk about it. Hopefully, this will be the start of a long, healthy competition between the two companies, not just a sue fest. And with Fisker optimistically anticipating production of about 15,000 Karmas a year at $80,000, we could have a battle on our hands. Tesla only expects to produce 2,000 Roadsters a year with its higher price tag of $100,000. However, the Fisker Karma will not have quite the performance, 0-60 in 6 seconds, compared to the Roadster’s 3.9. Interestingly, the Karma will have two driving modes, “Stealth Drive” and “Sport Drive”. The former will provide “relaxed and efficient driving” while the latter will unleash the cars power according to the company site .

On the Lightning GT

Here’s a sleek new electric sports car that you might not have heard about yet:

Lightning GTThis British electric supercar will go 0-60 in 4.0 seconds and has over 700 brake horsepower according to the company’s site.  It sounds like they will come out with a “standard” version as well that has a 0-60 of 5 seconds. The car is still early in development, but you can preorder it today at the company’s website. However, before you get too excited, the car will cost you nearly $300,000.