Latest posts by James H. Rust (see all)
The following is a letter sent to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week showing the Volt’s performance is worse than thought. The electricity cost for a charge will be $3 or higher around the country to go 35 miles or less. This is more expensive than the cost of gasoline at today’s prices for a high mile per gallon small car.
The June 24 article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution by San Antonio Express-News writer G. Chambers Williams III “Volt charging up for nationwide release” makes the 2012 Chevrolet Volt performance available.
Mr. Williams wrote it takes 12 to 14 hours to charge the battery on 110 volts and four hours on 240 volts. Since you obtain 1.5 kilowatts from 110 volts or 5.5 kilowatts from 240 volts, the charge takes at least 20 kilowatt-hours.
Governments are pushing electric cars because of claims of high fuel efficiencies and small carbon footprints. Under good conditions the Chevrolet Volt travels 35 miles on a 20 kilowatt-hour battery charge. However, you need to trace that charge back to the power plant where it originated. Two-thirds of the energy is lost by conversion at the power plant and transmission to the home or charging station.
So it requires 60 kilowatt-hours of energy from the source to charge the Volt’s battery for a 35 mile or less trip. Sixty kilowatt-hours of energy is equivalent to 1.6 gallons of gasoline. So your Volt is getting 22 miles per gallon as an electric car. Conventional cars of this size would get 40 mpg. If you lived in Hawaii or certain parts of Florida where electricity is produced from oil, the Volt would add to our consumption of oil compared to other small cars.
About half our electricity comes from coal, so it is an easy calculation to show a Volt has a larger carbon footprint than almost all other cars. On top of this performance is a waste of taxpayer’s money by a $7,500 federal and $5,000 Georgia subsidies.