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By Russ Finley on Oct 18, 2015 with 119 responses

Does the 2016 Chevy Volt Really “Seat Five?”

Answer …not really. More on that later.

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Chevy Cruze and Volt

I was hoping to see the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model X at the Seattle car show but the Nissan Leaf was the only all-electric car I saw on display this year. Nissan hasn’t messed with the Leaf’s look yet but the range on its SV and SL models has been improved about 22% (for a price).

I saw maybe a half dozen hybrids and a few plug-in hybrids on display. I took several pictures of what I thought was a Chevy Volt displayed on a roped-off stage. Later, out on the floor, I ran across two actual Volts. I’d been taking pictures of the new Chevy Cruze by mistake, which looks a lot like the Volt from the side. There was no information available for either car.

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Volkswagen Jetta hybrid

The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid caught my eye. MSRP was $32,340, with a combined MPG of 44. Not bad. I asked the Volkswagen representative if there were any diesels present and was told that for obvious reasons, no.

The Volt has gone through a major redesign and according to Inside EVs:

Perhaps most importantly … the 2016 Volt can now seat 5 persons [author's emphasis]. The fact you can seat 5 is a real selling bonus [my emphasis] for the extended range [my emphasis] car.

Note: the Chevy volt is a plug-in hybrid.  Their marketing department created the term (EREV) extended range electric vehicle for its version of a plug-in hybrid to differentiate it from other plug-in hybrids.  However, they don’t hesitate to call it one or the other depending on the situation.  For example, in an ad attacking the plug-in Prius, GM refers to the Volt as a plug-in hybrid. Interestingly enough, they also released an ad attacking electric cars. The Chevy Bolt marketing department was probably not too happy about that.

But perhaps most importantly (to borrow a phrase), the Volt does not really seat five persons anymore than a bicycle can seat two persons unless someone is willing to sit on the handlebars.  I strongly suspect it was pressure from the marketing department that made the engineers put padding on top of the center console and connect  a seat belt to it. The Volt is now the only car in the world where a passenger can sit on top of a padded center console and have, not one, but two cup holders directly between his or her legs …awkwaaaarrd!  I’m going to predict that the next request from the marketing department will be to lose the cup holders.

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 Back seat of 2016 Chevy Volt

I watched several people attempt, with little success, to sit on this “padded console with a seat belt” and the taller they were the more ridiculous it got.

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Maybe not the smartest marketing ploy I’ve ever seen and just wait until the neck injury claims begin rolling in.  On the other hand, I could be wrong, having already read on several websites that the Volt seats five as well as having already suffered Volt enthusiasts boasting in comment fields that the 2016 model now has five seats:

The 2016 Volt is a 5-passenger car. It can fit more comfortably than the Nissan Leaf. The Nissan Leaf is a very cheapo looking like its made-in-China materials. The Volt is much more upscale.

If 90% of the trips are less than 50 miles, then the Leaf and Tesla are carrying a lot more extra weight 90% of the time compared to the Volt. The Leaf has a lot worse passenger fitting and the Leaf look a lot worse than the Volt.

Admittedly, having a fifth seat isn’t such a big deal.  I can’t remember the last time I had five people in my car.  I could see soccer moms and dads wanting a fifth seat and most certainly a family of five but those groups must account for a small percentage of potential Volt buyers. I envision that the Volt engineering team was handed a list of critiques gleaned from the Internet to fix:

  1. Only seats four
  2. Only gets about 38 MPG while in hybrid mode (GM now says it’s about 42 MPG)
  3. Only goes about 38 miles in electric mode (GM now says it’s about 53 miles)(1)
  4. Uses premium gasoline (no longer limited to premium)
  5. No quick charge capability
  6. Looks too much like the Chevy Cruze (I made that up)
  7. Costs too much (you can buy two Cruzes for the price of a Volt)

(1) From Consumer Reports:

GM claims a 20-percent bump, from 40 miles to 50 miles. We got 35 miles from the Volt we tested, so figure the new one may achieve around 40 real-world miles on electricity.

Fake fifth seat aside, I think the engineers have done a commendable job. Note that the Volt in hybrid mode now gets the same MPG as the Volkswagen Jetta hybrid mentioned above and for the same price.  The 2016 Prius hybrid (which, surprisingly also resembles the Chevy Cruze from the side) still has a 10 MPG advantage over the Volt’s hybrid mode as well as a $10,000 price advantage.  The Volt retains the advantage of being able to transform into an electric car for about 40-50 miles if you plug it in.  Some pundits are positing the hypothesis that the Chevy Volt concept is the beginning of the end for the Prius hybrid and I would agree except for the extreme difference in cost.

What is the advantage of going electric?  You will use less oil.  What are the advantages of using less oil?  It costs less than electricity and if you live where the grid is low carbon you will produce fewer greenhouse emissions.  However, because you are not likely to compensate for the high sticker price with fuel cost savings, the last argument standing is to pay a great deal of money to reduce greenhouse gas emissions assuming you live in an area that has a low carbon grid.  This is as true for a Nissan Leaf as it is for a Chevy Volt.

From my experience at public charging stations, Volt drivers appear to plug their cars in more often than Leaf drivers do, which makes some sense considering that it has roughly half the electric range.  But why do they bother considering that they don’t have to plug the car in?  Here’s an interesting article from the New York Times about electric car and hybrid plug-in drivers battling over electrical outlets in California.

Certainly it makes little sense to go to so much trouble to plug a Volt in at a public station just to save a few bucks.  I suspect they’re doing it for bragging rights.  It’s a game to see how little oil they can use.  With people fighting over public charging spots should plug in hybrids have a lower priority?  I just thought I’d throw that out ; ).

One of these days someone will write an article about Volt drivers who have stopped plugging their cars in after the shine wore off.  Does the fact that you have to plug in an all-electric car now become an advantage?

While researching this article I ran into a 2013 study by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Citizens which confirmed that only 2% of the 1000 people polled thought that a fifth seat was necessary.  I was also able to tease out of this study the fact that 85% of those polled would have almost all of their range needs met with a 100 mile range electric vehicle.  The study found that largely because not everyone has access to an electrical outlet for their car and because a lot of people think pickup trucks are cool (today’s electric cars don’t meet their “perceived” towing and hauling needs), at best only about 40% of car drivers can take advantage of a plug-in hybrid and only about 25% of drivers can can take advantage of an all-electric car with only 60 miles of range.  With a 100 mile range all-electric car, the 25% figure approaches 40% and with high speed chargers at most gas stations, the 40% figure approaches 70%.

Also note that ubiquitous high-speed chargers and 100 mile all-electric vehicles will spell the end of the Volt concept unless it can be made significantly cheaper than an all-electric car.  The study also completely ignores cost.  None of the above will come to fruition if the price of batteries does not become significantly lower.

  1. By Pointswest on October 19, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Consumer Reports is typically confused by the Volt. The model they tested was EPA rated for 35 miles, which is what they got. So they should expect to get 53 miles from the Gen 2 since it’s rated for 53 miles.

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    • By Russ Finley on October 19, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      I threw that quote in there as a cautionary note. I once made the mistake of congratulating the Volkswagen engineers for reducing diesel emissions while also increasing performance.

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      • By Pointswest on October 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm

        Lol. Fair enough. :)

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  2. By Forrest on October 19, 2015 at 7:37 am

    It’s a good marketing move to promote 5th seat, but they should better describe as child seat. Potential customers don’t like to be mislead and once discovering the truth will be turned off and think the rest of the sales info is inaccurate, as well.

    Volt is a good attempt to solve the BV shortcomings. Fiat described the market for alternatives vehicles as totally regulation driven. So, consumers are happy with their ICE. They like these lower cost vehicles. Manufactures and suppliers of auto markets know this and attempt to minimize the environmental harm of this low cost automobile. An exception may be mild hybrids. These vehicles take the sweet spot parts of BV operation and leave the bad parts behind. Auto market analyses predict the market will shoot up after 2023. For example, the Bosh 2rd generation 48v mild hybrid will power A.C. with engine off, offer low speed electric power for maneuverability upon traffic jams, parking, etc. Improved start stop technology, regenitive braking, coasting with engine off, and power electric turbo. Another promising technology for ICE is the hybrid electric turbo that will generate power.

    Probably the most significant auto for GW concerns, not powered by the grid, but by ethanol fuel. Engine manufactures already know how to maximize the fuel potential efficiency and can do so with current technology. This class of auto would continue to offer low cost attractive solutions to the consumer and at a convenience. This may become doubly important given the news of damming diesel emissions and cheating. No taxpayer incentives required as the vehicle will be less expensive than current gasoline alternative. Field testing of these E85 optimized engines prove to have better mileage than current gasoline models and do so with cheaper fuel. These engines have reduced emissions as compared to both gasoline and especially diesel. The ethanol optimized engine does need to be beefy, even more so than diesel. Longevity should improve per better engine design. Overall, the engine should weigh less and be less costly per half the size and half of the displacement.

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  3. By Jorge Negron on October 19, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Volt owner here.
    With respect to the fifth seat, no compact car seats five adults comfortably. Volt added a padded area for short and infrequent use, like giving your kid’s friend a ride home from soccer practice. Seems it would also work well for a baby car seat. I have a family of four and a fifth seat has not been missed.

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    • By Russ Finley on October 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      I tend to agree. A fifth seat is overrated. I usually mention it as an obvious example of an engineering compromise. It’s a reasonable cost/performance tradeoff. Engineering is the art of compromise.

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  4. By MichaelLAX on October 19, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Volt owners driving for Uber will appreciate the legal ability for three backseat passengers (four total) and less quizzical looks from inebriated two couple passengers on Saturday nights who now sit on one’s lap without a seat belt!

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  5. By David Gilmore on October 19, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Volt owner. I plug in (in public) because the ride in EV mode is better, more fun, more comfy, quieter. Not less expensive or more eco friendly.

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  6. By Max Smart on October 20, 2015 at 12:06 am

    NO car comfortably seats 3 in the back seat. The point is that people wanted to be able to put a child’s carseat in the back, which they now can. I’ve heard that having children is quite the fad, I’m surprised not one blogger reviewing the Volt has heard of it.

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    • By ricegf on October 20, 2015 at 9:26 am

      “Grown ups in the corners and car seat in the middle” is how I describe (and use) my Leaf, though we’ve carried 5 adults in a pinch. The middle back seat person in our Leaf has sufficient leg room, just not much elbow room. :-)

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  7. By Mark Renburke on October 20, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    The oft repeateded Prius’ “$10,000 price advantage” doesn’t hold water under basic scrutiny. First of all, strictly talking MSRP, a base Volt is less than $9,000 higher than the least expensive Prius (II), $33,995 versus $25,025. And the base Volt is better equipped so you’d need to add at least a couple thousand $ in features to the Prius to be apples to apples.

    But the real importamt omission is that now and for likely several years to come, virtually every Volt buyer will get a $7,500 federal tax credit (a refund of their own taxes, which has a fairly low threshold of $46k single/$56k married taxable income) making the true net consumer cost within the first year is $26,495, not even $1,500 more than that base Prius, for a much better electric+hybrid car (I own both, don’t bother to debate this statement)

    And in several states there are additional instant or quick incentives that put the Volt under $24,000 which is less than any Prius liftback. But like this article, much of this info is not easily shown or explained to the public, so they believe this spoon-fed myth than a Volt will cost them $10k more than a Prius.

    And on average, of course, the Volt costs less every month to operate, so that $1,500 premium would evaporate in savings, and 5+ year total cost of ownership of a Volt would be significantly less (on average) than a Prius or even most compact “economy” sedans (Civic, Elantra, etc). All whil driving a superior performing and more convenient vehicle (it “refuels” mostly at home overnight while you sleep from the standard home outlet most drivers already have)

    So the big question is, why aren’t more articles covering these true cost and benifits points??

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    • By Russ Finley on October 25, 2015 at 12:08 am

      The oft repeateded Prius’ “$10,000 price advantage” doesn’t hold water= under basic scrutiny. First of all, strictly talking MSRP, a base Volt is less= than $9,000 higher than the least expensive Prius (II), $33,995 versus $25,025 (these both include delivery fee, to be apples to apples).

      Because the 2016 MSRPs are not finalized, I used the 2015 MSRPs listed on the EPA website. Delta price = $9,970 (not that there’s any significant difference between $9,000 and $10,000 over the life of the car). See graphic below.

      And the base Volt is better equipped so you’d need to add at least a couple thousand $ in features to the Prius to also be apples to apples in terms of features.

      I would disagree. Not only do we not know how much a handful of bells and whistles costs the manufacturer, we also cannot account for the profit or loss associated with each model, component quality, rust proofing etc. An apples to apples comparison can only be accomplished by comparing respective MSRPs assuming that they reflect the manufacturer’s best attempt to make a profit.

      But like this article, much of this info on true net consumer cost is not easily shown or explained to the public, so they believe this spoon-fed myth than a Volt will cost them $10k more than a Prius… And in several states there are additional instant or quick incentives that put the Volt under $24,000 which is less than any Prius liftback model. Both

      Using the existing temporary subsidy of the Volt (or a Leaf for that matter) to compare costs with a car that no longer has a subsidy truly creates an apples to pumpkins comparison. We received a $3500 tax credit when we purchased our Prius. Government subsidies are meant to be temporary. They’re a
      means of testing economic waters. Obviously they should be excluded when comparing the cost to manufacture a given vehicle.

      It was not the intent of this article to sell cars by informing readers of various and sundry temporary State and Federal subsidies and manufacturer rebates etc. Pretty much anyone interested in purchasing an electric car or plug-in hybrid is already aware of the temporary Federal tax credit available. For obvious reasons, I never include State and Federal government subsidies, manufacturer rebates, and other assorted “temporary” cost savings when I write about the actual feasibility of things like solar panels, electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids etc. Solar panel enthusiasts are always quick to point out that I excluded Federal subsidies even though they are scheduled to go away next year. It’s misleading to include temporary rebates when discussing respective costs to produce.

      …for a much better electric+hybrid car (I own both, don’t bother to debate this statement)

      To debate your statement we would have to settle on a definition of much and better. We could start by comparing respective sales in 2014 (18,000= to 242,000) and of course, the $10,000 price differential once the subsidy ends.

      And on average, of course, the Volt costs less every month to operate, so that even that $1,500 premium would fairly quickly break even in fuel and maintenance savings, and 5+ year total cost of ownership of a Volt would be significantly less (on average) than a Prius or even most compact “economy” sedans (Civic, Elantra, etc).

      Your $1500 premium is a temporary blip that disappears when
      the tax credit disappears. Nobody is disputing the lower fuel costs of plug-in hybrids and electric cars. See graphic below for EPA calculations based on average use and average gas and electricity prices.

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 1:17 am

        Russ wrote “Because the 2016 MSRP are not finalized…”

        Wrong, Russ, they’ve been finalized for months. The car is already on sale. You’re eithe misininformed or misinforming.

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        • By Russ Finley on October 27, 2015 at 11:26 pm

          Wrong, Russ, they’ve (the 2016 MSRPs) been finalized for months. The car is already on sale. You’re eithe misininformed or misinforming

          I used the 2015 data because my source of information, the EPA website, has not listed the MSRP for any of the 2016 models. See graphic below.

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 1:23 am

        Re: The Volt being better equipped
        You can “disagree” if you want, but it doesn’t make you any less factually incorrect. Try to set aside your anti-Volt bias for just a moment. The Volt comes standard with many features the Prius does not (such as 17″ alloy wheels, hard a “bell and whistle” rather something that significantly affects ride and handling, and had significant value to the consumer. This is a simple fact. What these may or may not cost the manufacturer is irrelevant to your article and this discussion. What additional they would cost the consumer to select or order however, IS relevant.

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        • By Russ Finley on October 27, 2015 at 11:29 pm

          The Volt comes standard with many features the Prius does not (such as 17″ alloy wheels, hard a “bell and whistle” rather something that significantly affects ride and handling, and had significant value to the consumer. This is a simple fact. What these may or may not cost the manufacturer is irrelevant to your article and this discussion. What additional they would cost the consumer to select or order however, IS relevant.

          “17″ alloy wheels, hardly a “bell and whistle” rather something that significantly affects ride and handling…” …spare me.

          I still disagree. Not only do we not know how much a handful of bells and whistles costs the manufacturer, we also cannot account for the profit or loss associated with each model, component quality, rust proofing etc. An apples to apples comparison can only be accomplished by comparing respective MSRPs assuming that they reflect the manufacturer’s best attempt to make a profit.
          the manufacturer’s best attempt to make a profit.

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm

            Spare you? Not a chance. :)

            17″ alloy wheels only come standard on the Prius 5 which at $31k is quite a bit more than the $26.5 net comsumer cost of a base Volt. But it has even more “bells and whistles”, so to be fair, it looks like around $699 is the option price for Toyota 17-imchers. Plus the base Volt has remote start, another $499 for the Prius 2.
            So just one bell and one whistle accounted for, and we’ve already had to tack $1,100 on to our Prius 2 to make it closer equipped to a base Volt. The gap narrows to under $400…

            I am curious, since the article makes no mention of manufacturer cost, profit, loss, etc, only that the Volt supposedly has a “$10,000 premium” to the consumer, why the suddem obsession with Toyota’s profit margin on options, and how is that even relavent to what a car costs *the consumer*?

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            • By Russ Finley on October 28, 2015 at 1:01 am

              17″ alloy wheels only come standard on the Prius 5 which at $31k is quite a bit more than the $26.5 net comsumer cost of a base Volt. But it has even more “bells and whistles”, so to be fair, it looks like around $699 is the option price for Toyota 17-imchers. Plus the base Volt has remote start, another $499 for the Prius 2. So just one bell and one whistle accounted for, and we’ve already had to tack $1,100 on to our Prius 2 to make it closer equipped to a base Volt. The gap narrows to under $400…

              Because every bell and whistle has a profit margin associated with it, the cumulative total of those profits may be the only profit in the sale of a given car, or not. Only the manufacturer knows. Without the bells and whistles, it is entirely possible that the Volt would sell for a loss, or most certainly for less profit. Like I said before, not only do we not know how much a handful of bells and whistles costs the manufacturer, we also cannot account for the profit or loss associated with each model, component quality, rust proofing etc. An apples to apples comparison can only be accomplished (approximated) by comparing respective MSRPs assuming that they reflect the manufacturer’s best attempt to make a profit.

              I am curious, since the article makes no mention of manufacturer cost, profit, loss, etc, only that the Volt supposedly has a “$10,000 premium” to the consumer, why the suddem obsession with Toyota’s profit margin on options, and how is that even relavent to what a car costs *the consumer*?

              The article was, overall, quite positive about Volt. The main goal was to dispel the fifth seat marketing ploy. There was only one sentence that mentioned the price difference between the Prius and Volt. So, I am curious, why the obsession with the price differential?

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 28, 2015 at 11:48 am

              re: >”why the obsession with the price differential”

              Not an obsession, rather putting consumer cost education about PEVs at a higher priority than you are, as the three most common beliefs/misconceptions about the Volt/all PEVs are:

              1) Range limited compared to “conventional” car (true for the LEAF)
              2) Long charge time concern (not relevant for the Volt as it has gas backup)
              3) Vehicle will cost me a lot more than comparable cars (not true for Volt or LEAF if consumer is informed and eligible for EV tax credit)

              All very common misconceptions among still the majority of prospective car buyers (not just people already looking in to plug ins, shouldn’t people deciding whether to to consider them at all be informed?, and the omission in your article and statements like “$10,000 price advantage…the extreme difference in cost” perpetuate myth #3. Almost no one is paying more than around $27k net for a base Volt since 2013 and this will continue for several years 2016-17 at least, and that’s why your statements are misleading to consumers who should be able to rely on your articles for useful information.

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            • By Russ Finley on October 29, 2015 at 12:41 am

              If you shrink the Leaf’s battery down to the size of the Prius battery you could argue that there might be little future cost differential. But, because the price difference is largely the result of the extra 700 pounds of machinery and batteries in the volt, it seems likely that the volt will always cost significantly more. As I stated repeatedly before, that price differential is in reference to what it costs to manufacture each car which is a measure of their future relative feasibility sans subsidy. This is what … the seventh time you have been told this?

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 29, 2015 at 4:10 am

              Yes, it might be the seventh time…but repeating the same weak, red herring (talking about manufacturer costs to distract from *consumer* costs the actual article is referring to) over and over doesn’t make it any stronger, only more visible. It’s often an effective propaganda tactic though! :)

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            • By Forrest on October 29, 2015 at 7:28 am

              You make good points on the advantages of the ICE side of the Volt. So, the internet has Ford focus offers for 2015 at $18,680. This is attractive as their is no taxpayer expense incurred for the choice. Our federal government is broke and running on credit cards. Not so good to maximize cost to taxpayer with personal car purchases as their is no free money. Evaluate the extra cost of investment for the Volt at 1% / mo. This is my cost burden to invest capital in search of a positive return. It’s practical figure since the extra capital will have to be replace at later time. I would need over $83/mo fuel savings to make the Volt purchase, by your lowest Volt cost figures. However, by choosing the focus purchase one could drive with no cost of fuel for this figure. The Volt would never be justifiable. Especially since the Volt needs fuel as well and suffers the inconvenience of plugging in to attempt lower cost fuel. Also, being such new and complicated technology, the car will suffer high maintenance and repair cost during lifespan. Being such ultra low sales volumes, it would be difficult and expensive to obtain quality service, repair, and low cost parts. When refueling I prefer the E85 fuel and will get the FFV focus or just run high blends upon non FFV. The E85 runs $1.60/gallon last fill up. The environmental advantages of the high blend ethanol fueled engine surpasses the grid energy supply per most analysis’s within Michigan’s high coal content. Also, Michigan’s power cost is set to spike as supply will not meet demand. Much of the present day grid is old and unreliable as well. The Focus is good for 250k miles, with a proven track record of low repair, maintenance, parts, and technology that is well understood by all repair shops. So, I understand you have a grid that produces close to zero carbon emissions and you must know that all of your green power would wasted if not plugging in your Volt. In your very extreme case, a battery car would be the best choice. Your household as well should be entirely electric as not doing so would waste all the extra power not being utilized.

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            • By Forrest on October 29, 2015 at 7:49 am

              After reviewing the Volt’s Mpg ratings, the car sucks. I don’t use that word often, but this car takes a backseat to the benefits of straight up BEV as well as hybrid. The car suffers short range battery power as well suffers lower efficiency upon trips. The focus could do close what the Volt does on any trip. Fuel the focus up on E85 and your harming the environment less as well. Don’t forget the carbon and energy cost of manufacturing the Volt would be high indeed. If the car did achieve much energy savings it would take a very long period to recover. Also, present day pollution incurred by manufacturing is more potent than a gradual pollution stream over many years. The Volt is a good attempt to minimize the shortcomings of the battery car, but it appears too much of a compromise. Better off saving your money and purchase a traditional small vehicle, maybe with some hybrid technology and fuel up on high blend ethanol. Save yourself and taxpayers a bundle, as well.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 29, 2015 at 10:34 am

              Just because you aren’t able to understand how the Volt works real world, does not mean “the car sucks”; that’s just akin to you using the logical fallacy of “personal incredulity”:

              https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/personal-incredulity

              Let’s break it up as simply as possible so it’s easy to understand. The Volt gets 53 miles EV range. Most cars have zero EV range. If (and only if) the battery is depleted, the Volt then gets 42 mpg. That’s of course better than the vast majority of compact cars on the road. Two better things put together as a package that support one another = sucks? Well if you are STILL not convinced…

              Now apply those simple facts to various driving scenarios involving the vast majority of commuters/families. What it will show is that with zero behavior change nor compromise (beyond a nightly plug in most already have access to, which is a good trade to not have to go to the gas station for many weeks or even months), the car then delivers an mpg in the hundreds and an MPGe (total efficiency) in the high double digits. And of course thereby reducing personal oil consumption and all the ills related to it.

              Now as an admitted anecdotal example of how this works, take mine or similar: all electric commute daily/weekly, and then the Volt is also used on weekends and for any long family trips, zero waiting to charge required, juts drive it like “a regular car”. The result after 3.5 years? 73,000 EV miles and 7,000 gasoline hybrid miles. 90% EV and 10% gasoline. Total mpg (which informs on gasoline reduction) of around 400 mpg. Total MPGe (which informs on total energy usage and therefore carbon emissions, maintenance costs, and Total cost of ownership: 100+ MPGe.

              Again, faith-based statements like “Better off saving your money and purchase a traditional small vehicle” are not supported by facts, data, nor scientific analysis for that matter. But you are still free to believe them, this is America, people can believe all kinds of outlandish things if they choose to. The good thing about science, as Neil Degrasse-Tyson put is, is that “It’s true whether you believe it or not.” :)

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            • By Forrest on October 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm

              I like how you judge your post and then judge other posts as if you are the only one capable to do such finial judgement. The Volt is a lousy hybrid and a poor battery car. The car has to be. Their is no magical efficiency boost by combining a plug in hybrid with a battery car. It is a compromise as if the vehicle were to be engineered with competitive capability of a battery car and same with hybrid, you couldn’t afford the car and it would be extremely heavy. So, they compromised, much how the mild hybrid cars compromise, but they do so within a few hundred dollar expense vs $10,000 expense.
              You are a true enthusiast of the technology and willing to maximize the value. Most people don’t care and will not work overtime to save a few pennies. They like the choice of ICE cars vs one model. They like bigger cars, more luxury, value, and ease of operation. The mild hybrid is expected to offer a plug in option, but its sales volume will be low as most can not justify the cost or hassle. Some like yourself get all excited to plug in the car, it may be an option for you in future. The mpg of conventional ICE high mileage vehicle with the mild hybrid is much more impressive than volt for average unmotivated driver. Also, I wouldn’t think BEV owners would opt for $10,000 wiper option. They treat the Leaf as a second car and satisfied to run short hops with the vehicle in town. They always have a conventional ICE for backup and trips. If the household is one car, that would be a conventional ICE, maybe additional hybrid tech for uptick in mpg if affordable. I don’t see a market for the Volt. It is a novelty car and being such, persons willing to fork over money for show and tell like the exercise.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm

              You wrote “The Volt is a lousy hybrid and a poor battery car. The car has to be.”

              Got it. It “HAS to be” these things in order to confirm your existing belief system, unshakable by little things known as facts , evidence, and data. I get how that works, I’ve seen this movie before too many times. Meanwhile, back in the real world again:

              “The 2016 Chevy Volt: An energy-efficient car that doesn’t drive like one”
              http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/10/the-2016-chevy-volt-an-energy-efficient-car-that-doesnt-drive-like-one/

              2016 Chevrolet Volt First Review: The Volt you’ve waited for
              http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/2016-chevrolet-volt-first-review-the-volt-youve-waited-for/2000012510/

              “2016 Chevrolet Volt Test Drive: Better in Every Way”
              http://www.tflcar.com/2015/10/2016-chevy-volt-test-drive/

              Seems like I’m not the “true enthusiast” out there… :)

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            • By Forrest on October 30, 2015 at 6:08 am

              The rating for battery range and hybrid efficiency are the facts. No need to go further. A lousy battery car combined with a poor hybrid with a $10k cost penalty. Sure, you can plug it in, big whoop. The grid has enough problems without you stealing road tax money. The ICE side of the Volt will provide a backup to battery and since the car suffers such short battery range sorely needed. I suppose it’s nice to have a ICE to bail out the battery car problems. If the EV mode is so wonderful get a cheaper car, buy the traditional battery car, save your money, and work around the car’s shortcomings. Take the bus for trips. If you find yourself always in need of a ICE to meet your transportation needs, well take a self evaluation and understand the traditional car a better fit and save a boatload of money. Buy, a small high mileage hybrid. If you like money wait for the mild hybrid and fill up on mid level ethanol for maximum environmental benefit. Oh, I thought your domicile wasn’t the biased Green Car channels?

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on October 30, 2015 at 11:11 am

              Fact: 85%+ of drivers only go 50 miles or less on a typical day.

              Fact: Most drivers don’t want to be concerned about range, charging, etc. I don’t blame them…

              The Volt was specifically designed and engineered with these facts in mind. Your inabilibility to understand how it actually works very well real-world is irrelevant to the basic truth that it DOES. Almost 100k Volt owners with a greater than 90% satisfaction rating also speaks for itself – and that was the previous model; the new one improved across the board by all accounts, “green” ones or not.

              The EV mode is partially great because it uses no gasoline, rather 100% domestic (American) energy and much of it lower or zero carbon for many drivers especially where plug ins are currently having the greatest interest and adoption numbers. All your other alternative suggestions are frought with greater inconvenience and/or emissions. Once you actually drive a Volt (or similar, doesn’t HAVE to just be a Volt), those other options don’t make any common sense for most adopters and are the actual compromises.

              And the gasoline aspect aside, the EV power train, whether running on grid power or gas backup, is simply a better driving experience. 273-294 foot pounds of near instant torque from zero rpm in a 3500-3800 pound compact car. Yeah, it’s fun too. :)

              re: “I thought your domicile wasn’t the biased Green Car channels?”

              Ars Technica is “a publication devoted to technology that would cater to what he called “alpha geeks”: technologists and IT professionals.” Not a “Green Car channel”.

              kbb is…Kelley Blue Book. Not a “Green Car channel”.

              TFL Car is “The Fast Lane” Auto News, Views and Real World Reviews”. Not a “Green Car channel”.

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on November 2, 2015 at 7:30 am

              The Volt was supposed to be a historical car per bailout investment. The company had to follow the dictates of government ownership for the production of such a car. The old GM management was held up by left politics as the problem with Corporate America. So, from the get go the Volt was birthed by politics. GM management offered and hyped the car to Left Environmental crowd now with the keys to government operations for easy money. The car has never lived up to the sales hype. The sum sales to date, below original forecasts of the first production year. The 2016 Volt is much improved as compared to the debut model, but market enthusiasm has shifted to Chevy Bolt’s 200 mile range battery vehicle. Google searches as one indicator of popularity, also, indicate a large drop in interest. The $7,500 government subsidy for each sale is ludicrous for a country spending way beyond it means. That should be a major incentive by citizens to snub the car and yell at owners. That and skating by road tax support responsibility. The car is a niche car and complicated. Hard to evaluate per customer as so much depends on personal habits, grid power, climate, commuting distance, variety of trips, etc. Battery power range is greatly affected by cold temperature and high speed cruising. After, the engine takes over for more than short trips, the car’s efficiency is poor at least for hybrid only class of vehicle. Also, reviews claim the engine is noisy in this mode. Most consumers shopping for such cars, will opt to go with simpler battery car in second car status. They will opt to save their money and not leach off taxpayers as much. If you intend to put up with hassle of plugging in, it would be best to minimize the inconvenience and maximize benefit per the extra capability of the longer range battery car. If electric mode is grand, maximize you car’s ability to stay in that mode. If you are a Volt owner and notice you seldom use the engine, well, consider upgrading to full battery car to maximize the battery joy and minimize the short range concerns. The Volt popularity enjoys a deeply committed small cadre of vicious defenders that appear to enjoy battling CW and claim all non enthusiast just ignorant of their wonderful car benefits. That people just don’t get it or unable to understand how the car works. Spare me.

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 2, 2015 at 8:28 am

              Volt Myth #1: “The company had to follow the dictates of government ownership for the production of such a car.”

              Truth: The Obama administration requested the Volt program cancelled as a bailout condition in 2009 as too expensive, and GM senior management actaully had to convince the Fed to change their mind, using the evidence most of the development cost was already sunk (As the final production verison was completed and unveiled in Sep. 2008) and the that the car was key to the success of their future product lines.

              Historical proof, US New, 06-Apr-2009:

              http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/daily-news/090406-Government-Won-t-Cancel-Chevy-Volt-but-GM-Might-Delay-It/

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on November 3, 2015 at 5:00 am

              Is that before or after the Administration appointed the CEO?

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 3, 2015 at 8:29 am

              Well, that’s irrelevant* to the fact that you were incorrect about the origins of the Volt, and proven so through historical record. Are you strong enough to admit when you publicly make a mistake, or only prefer to change the subject when it happens?

              *Rick Wagoner resigned as Chairman and CEO at GM on March 29, 2009, replaced Frederick Henderson who was the Vice President of GM and has been with the company since 1984. On December 1, 2009, Edward Whitacre, Jr.(former AT&T CEO) became interim CEO following Henderson’s resignation…

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on November 3, 2015 at 11:25 am

              Production of car is different than as you characterize my post as “origins”. Your quest to be right appears to just labeling other posts as wrong, googling answers you want, and insults. It’s sounds kinda authentic and a little knowledgeable until reading the malarkey. I think you think in your own mind your something. In the end nothing you post is of worth, only argument. Mostly I believe you are prideful and naive and can’t stand to be wrong.

              The Volt isn’t selling, so most of the public agrees with me. The market place has already proved your full of it.

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 3, 2015 at 11:29 am

              Forrest, let’s look at your EXACT words, now proven false based on historical evidence: “The company had to follow the dictates of government ownership for the production of such a car. ”
              This is a false statement, do you retract it?

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 3, 2015 at 11:31 am

              PS, I don’t need to “google” a single thing I’ve written about anything related to theVolt or PEVs in general; I’ve followed and know all of this information for years, most of it is fairly common knowledge in the industry and among those actually seeking the truth. I’ll say it again: “Sunlight is the BEST disinfectant.”

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm

              pps “The Volt isn’t selling, so most of the public agrees with ” Where there’s a whopper of a logical fallacy, not to mention being objectively untrue.

              Meanwhile, back in the real world, where the Volt was the BEST selling plug in car for 3 years running, it returns to the top spot again this month with the debut of the generation 2 (you know, what a car company usually does when the first generation is enough of a success to want to build on it). I’m sorry that your narrative is invalidated by a little thing known as…facts. ;)

              http://media.gm.com/dld/content/Pages/news/us/en/2015/nov/1103-gmsales/_jcr_content/rightpar/sectioncontainer_0/par/download_0/file.res/GM-Deliveries-October-2015.pdf

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on November 3, 2015 at 3:57 pm

              I read a market analyst that stated that GM was disappointed with sales. They lowered price to stimulate sales and directly addressed the most egregious problems. Also, the Volt drive was ported to Cadillac and another over priced car line. Those attempts failed. Consider the market analysis predictions are poor for the plug in hybrid. Battery powered cars are taking over the minute green car sales volume. If consumers were truly motivated to buy the Volt car, why the all the free money assistance? Your arguments just nonsense.

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 2, 2015 at 9:01 am

              Volt Myth #2: “The $7,500 government subsidy for each sale is ludicrous for a country spending way beyond it means. That should be a major incentive by citizens to snub the car and yell at owners.”

              Truth: Describing the federal EV tax credit as simply a subsidy is misleading, at best, as it is actually non-refundable tax credit that operates no differently for an individual tax payer than a mortgage interest tax deduction credit or a child tax credit.

              This means that rather than a subsidy paid out to anyone regardless of tax status, it is in fact a refund of the purchaser or eligible tax payer’s OWN taxes paid or owed, not money paid out in addition to that form the general fund.

              And unlike mortgage or child credits, the EV tax credit is fixed end limited, to just 200k units per manufacturer to ensure it functions as a not a handout rather a “hand up” to develop production economies of scale that lower tech cost and helps manufacturers develop market share for this new type of vehicle, specifically because it has benefits to society, economy, and security. Note that the original credit was signed in to law by President George W. Bush in 2008.

              So unless you are also propose that citizens “snub the car and yell at” taxpayers who own their own home and/or have children…

              Reference:
              Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Law_110-343#Energy_Improvement_and_Extension_Act_of_2008

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on November 3, 2015 at 5:05 am

              Oh, I see if taxpayers must replace revenue for a tax credit for poor families with children then they must do the same for well heeled Volt owners. Also, a tax credit of fed taxes is free money not affecting deficit or revenue.

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 3, 2015 at 8:37 am

              So then you are staunchly against mortgage interest, child credits, really any tax deductions? Because they all do they same thing (if non-nonrefundable), simply reduce the taxpayers tax rate and therefore total liability to the government. Or are you only against specific tax rate reductions that you disagree with for political reasons?

              Your comments about “taxpayers must replace revenue” is so logically fallacious and lacking basic understanding of business basics that it is not worth further response. Do yourself a favor and try to understand how the tax code works, and what is the difference between revenue (which of course any tax rate reductions affect and this is budgeted for) and expenditure.

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on November 3, 2015 at 11:16 am

              I like how you label comments you don’t agree with or miss characterize them. What good is it to just Google the answer you want? I’m one of the few who do their own taxes personal,. business, and passive income. And did so for decades. Maybe your one of the foolish who think revenue needn’t keep up with expenditures.

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 3, 2015 at 11:26 am

              So, have you ever taken a mortgage interest deduction, child tax credit, or really any personal deduction at all that reduced your taxable income below what it previously would have been before your eligibility? Of course you have, and therefore by your very OWN definition ( a twisted one mind you, not advocating for it) you have received an ANNUAL (not just one time) “government subsidy” for your house, child, etc….revenue that “taxpayers must replace”. Why is your “subsidy” AOK, and someone else’s that is deemed just as important for good tax policy not?

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 2, 2015 at 9:14 am

              “The car is a niche car and complicated. Hard to evaluate per customer as so much depends on personal habits, grid power, climate, commuting distance, variety of trips, etc…If you intend to put up with hassle of plugging in…”

              Yes, math, science, economics, and understand technology are all are hard subjects for many Americans, who might not understand how much they actually drive per day or spend on their car’s fuel, much less what they pay for auto maintenance, home electricity, how a heated seat works to save gasoline, etc.

              Hassle of plugging in?!! Surely you’re joking. It’s takes 3 seconds when you get home each night, that’s it. Versus 5+ minutes a week standing outdoors at a remote gas station, holding the filthiest public object know to man (a gas pump handle). Hassle indeed. In fact it’s an easy way to take back 4+ hours of your life every year.

              Some have said driving electric is not for everyone, only those who can do math…

              So you’ve not made a case against PEVs here, only one for better education of car buying consumers and their choices…because oil companies and most automakers would much rather prefer to keep the public “down on the farm”, to maximize profits by minimizing consumer choices that actually save money, time, and are more enjoyable to drive.

              Or as I like to put it, “An informed consumer is the electric car’s best customer.” -Renburke/Sims

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on November 3, 2015 at 5:19 am

              I like this one. Just this weekend a story of battery car and public polling data. The statistical sampling found those within public whom bother to read and know more of these cars were more apt to purchase them. So, the public needs to read and understand these cars more for the market to progress. Anyone with half a brain would laugh at such a preposterous assumption. Ask yourself wouldn’t those within the public whom were attracted to such solution’s bother to read and become familiar? Why is the premise misguided? If we utilized propaganda marketing, wouldn’t more chose green cars, also? The poll was designed as a push poll by the nature of the questions as well. My favorite with this nonsense polling is asking random children if they ever were hungry and didn’t know what the eat? Then assume we are a nation of overweight starving children. Or how about college taking credit for smart kids or graduates that earn more. This doesn’t explain Bill Gates wealth and the rest of successful businessmen that didn’t see the value to be indoctrinated by overpaid union professors whom never worked in real world. College is mainly a sieve to separate the less intelligent and lazy from the herd.

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on November 3, 2015 at 8:29 am

              Or, to cut through your 200 words of mostly off-topic conjecture with Occam’s razor, perhaps polling simply confirms that indeed “An informed consumer is the electric car’s best customer.” :)

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on October 29, 2015 at 5:33 pm

              I originally thought GM was on to a efficient design, with the Volt. The likes of early pioneers of the hybrid. The do it yourself crowd would mount a small ICE engine into cars to generate power along side the battery power. This made the battery car practical since the lead acid battery had little energy. These cars were designed to maximize battery range per offsetting most of the energy with the engine. The engine operated at maximum efficiency upon a constant rpm for the task of powering the generator. The battery was utilized to accelerate the car. The combination over 100 mpg. When the battery completely discharged the car was still able to ambulate, albeit at 45 mph speeds.

              My guess the lithium battery of modern battery vehicles require a strict charge and discharge control cycle. The constraints of lithium battery nixed the above approach. One way around the problem that is not expensive or complex, is to have the rear wheels powered by ICE:generator. This would be completely separate system. The engine would be small and only capable of powering the car to 45 mph. The low hp engine would be inexpensive and light, probably air cooled, and operate at maximum efficiency per exact rpm power curve. The rationale would be per original hybrid intent, to power the car to just below Hp requirements and let the battery fill the gap and exercise driver demands. The battery car would zoom to maybe 300 mile range with such a setup and pay no penalty for heat requirements of cabin or battery. An ICE can be engineered to constant 40% efficiency for such a demand. This is probably double of the real run numbers of the Volt. The mileage would get a big boost as well as driving range. Automotive could utilize a supply company for the engine generator and share the cost across all manufacturers. No need for transmission if utilizing the wheel motor. In this instance a good motor for such application. This would keep weight down, cost down, and achieve max benefit.

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on October 29, 2015 at 9:40 am

              Think of the Volt engine as akin to the windshield wipers in a car, as that’s what their value equates to in a sense. Most day/drives, you juts don’t need them or want them. But on occasion, they are very handy to be able to drive conveniently and “be safe”. The real value in the Volt is the fully powered electric drive train and right size battery. Having the backing up engine juts creates an risk free, 100% driving confidence scenario that allows maximum utilization and longevity of the electric.

              The rest of the stuff you wrote is basically you professing your fact resistant faith versus now proven data and facts (such as Volts w/100k, 200k, or more miles real world zero issues, battery or other wise, actually fewer average issues and maintenance). It’s your misinformation/same old FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) against the verifiable facts you choose to ignore or discount.

              And {opinion alert} ethanol is still an energy intensive (and water intensive) to produce, polluting burning fuel. It’s a dead end 20th century energy technology using resources we should instead be investing in for food or other products, not more polluting carbon fuels for to go in in inefficient and higher maintenance engines.

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on October 29, 2015 at 12:02 pm

              Now, your in fantasy land. The law of probability for failure in a system is a multiple of each components reliability. Auto companies make an extremely complex system and require 5 sigma quality for components. Even a simple screw can fail on occasion. When using one screw not a problem when using 1,000s one has to have very high quality control. The volt starts out being as complex as a conventional ICE, then they add the battery side and then they have to make them work in symphony. So, their complexity and component count is through the roof as compared to simple ICE car. They must lose money on this vehicle as it would take a large engineering and quality control staff to ensure any kind of quality. If they start to amp up new models they will have a quality control mess. Meaning if they did break the bank on this one model, they won’t be able to keep it up and compete in the marketplace.
              Your just wrong on ethanol. I don’t think you know much of the fuel and unable to discern it’s value. Your just throwing rock at the competition as you have a fantasy love affair with the Volt.

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on October 29, 2015 at 5:03 pm

              Conjecture and rambling “Auto companies make an extremely complex system…Even a simple screw can fail..complexity and component count is through the roof..” etc, etc, etc, blah, blah blah

              Well it is new tech, there is bound to be some speedbumps, but here in the real world (where facts and data live) even the first generation:
              “Chevy Volt Wins Most Reliable Used Compact In First Year Of Eligibility”
              http://insideevs.com/2011-chevy-volt-deemed-most-dependable-compact-by-j-d-power/

              and

              2012 Volt Has Gone 247,585 Miles, Farther Than Moon is From Earth “…the only service he’d needed to perform was replacement of a right-front wheel bearing. Maintenance consisted of oil changes every 38,000 miles, and tire rotations at 10,000 mile intervals.” (car now has 272k miles/ 96k EV miles as of Oct. 2015; see sparkie on Voltstats.net)
              http://www.hybridcars.com/2012-volt-has-gone-247585-miles-farther-than-moon-is-from-earth/

              [link]      
            • By Forrest on October 30, 2015 at 6:32 am

              You bestowing way to much credit upon a puny sampling and inferring the technology of the Volt is more reliable. In quality control terms it can’t be (all things being equal) as the car has all the burdens of typical ICE + battery car+ interconnections. So, the car given the same attention by manufacturing, engineering, etc. will not be as reliable as either a battery car or conventional ICE. Maybe this one model may have extraordinary QC costs for debut show, but it will catch up to the auto company expense report sooner or later. Jet fighter planes have a reasonable defect rates too, but the cost is staggering. This is the real world. Every thing you read on Volt promotion sites by proponents of the car is not real world info. You need more experience to have much understanding. You utilize bombastic language, emotional language, loaded with connotation such as within an argument. Typical of youth whom think “winning” is all about who throws the most insults. Do you really think by attaching negative labels to other viewpoints, your winning or convince the readers? Isn’t that juvenile?

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on October 30, 2015 at 7:13 am

              I’ve provided real-world long term reliability data from from a professional independent resource, as well as examples of many real world higher mileage cars (mine included wih over 80k) You’ve provided zero data, only unsubstantiated conjecture. The burden of proof lies with you.

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on October 30, 2015 at 11:43 am

              Sorry, just not interested in viewpoints with no evidence to back them up, rather in data and evidence that speaks for itself.

              re: “puny sampling”

              How much data, real-world do you need on high mileage reliability and performance/efficiency? (as in you wrote “This is the real world. Every thing you read on Volt promotion sites by proponents of the car is not real world info. You need more experience to have much understanding.”)

              There are over 1,400 cars being tracked daily on voltstats.net (that’s around 2% of the Volts on the road in the US). Here’s a sample of just the 15 highest total miles ones, and the the 15 highest EV miles (a few crossover on both lists). Analyze it any way you want, as I said, the real-world data speaks for itself:

              Top 15 high mileage Volts

              name
              state
              EV miles
              Total miles
              EV %
              Total mpg
              MPGe
              hybrid only mpg

              1
              2012-07353
              sparkie
              OH
              96795.7
              272777.4
              35.5
              60.01
              48.92
              38.71

              2
              2011-02892
              Savannah Volt
              GA
              70183.1
              193556.3
              36.3
              53.56
              44.31
              34.14

              3
              2011-03637
              DetroitSongbird
              MI
              85065.8
              144514.5
              58.9
              85.11
              55.31
              35.01

              4
              2012-21083
              Electivire-Volt
              TX
              11701.1
              126122.8
              9.3
              38.45
              37.04
              34.88

              5
              2012-11058
              Ortiz’ Volt
              MI
              64221.3
              125508.9
              51.2
              69.32
              50.33
              33.85

              6
              2011-03399
              Motown
              MI
              71418.1
              124946.6
              57.2
              88.06
              57.14
              37.73

              7
              2011-00042
              Jeff N
              CA
              74043.5
              118314.2
              62.6
              116.12
              65.18
              43.45

              8
              2011-03371
              jegund
              NH
              77938.7
              114587.4
              68
              122.45
              64.6
              39.16

              9
              2012-21694
              Green ReVolt
              SC
              18903.9
              112498.4
              16.8
              41.41
              38.56
              34.45

              10
              2011-00486
              e- 2 AU
              OH
              64550.1
              109623.5
              58.9
              82.91
              54.37
              34.09

              11
              2012-03399
              Lord Voltmor
              SD
              23598.7
              109208.1
              21.6
              39.07
              35.85
              30.62

              12
              2011-00197
              RR Volt
              CA
              86319.3
              104412.6
              82.7
              145.27
              63.4
              25.17

              13
              2013-07152
              Braxton Volt
              WV
              40725.8
              102173.7
              39.9
              57.21
              46.41
              34.41

              14
              2013-22542
              Richard’s Volt
              AL
              11805.5
              101448.1
              11.6
              40.3
              38.46
              35.61

              15
              2012-02718
              Green Machine
              GA
              58752.2
              101061.8
              58.1
              86.98
              56.55
              36.41

              856022.72
              1960754.22
              45%
              75.08
              50.43
              35.18

              Top 15 high
              EV mileage Volts

              1
              2012-07353
              sparkie
              OH
              96795.67
              272777.44
              35.5
              60.01
              48.92
              38.71

              2
              2011-00197
              RR Volt
              CA
              86319.31
              104412.59
              82.7
              145.27
              63.4
              25.17

              3
              2011-03637
              DetroitSongbird
              MI
              85065.76
              144514.47
              58.9
              85.11
              55.31
              35.01

              4
              2012-10318
              PLUG1N
              VA
              83321.9
              83461.46
              99.8
              4929.26
              92.39
              8.24

              5
              2011-03598
              jrvolt
              CA
              80857.89
              98154.11
              82.4
              229.63
              75.68
              40.46

              6
              2011-03371
              jegund
              NH
              77938.68
              114587.36
              68
              122.45
              64.6
              39.16

              7
              2011-00042
              Jeff N
              CA
              74043.52
              118314.2
              62.6
              116.12
              65.18
              43.45

              8
              2012-15787
              Oppy
              CT
              73513.68
              80866.25
              90.9
              387.92
              81.64
              35.27

              9
              2011-03399
              Motown
              MI
              71418.13
              124946.63
              57.2
              88.06
              57.14
              37.73

              10
              2011-02892
              Savannah Volt
              GA
              70183.08
              193556.33
              36.3
              53.56
              44.31
              34.14

              11
              2011-01506
              Volt TED
              FL
              68591.66
              95752.58
              71.6
              139.84
              67.32
              39.67

              12
              2012-23554
              VOLT168
              CA
              67372.98
              75908.45
              88.8
              340.3
              80.77
              38.26

              13
              2012-00470
              ON Solar and Wind powered Volt
              ON
              66482.38
              94571.74
              70.3
              113.44
              61.37
              33.69

              14
              2011-00486
              e- 2 AU
              OH
              64563.11
              109636.47
              58.9
              82.92
              54.37
              34.09

              15
              2012-04151
              Snoqualmie-Volt
              WA
              64266.32
              68813.61
              93.4
              477.68
              83.13
              31.57

              1130734.07
              1780273.69
              70%
              491.44
              66.37
              34.31

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on October 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm

              PS: here are the numbers for the Voltstats “fleet” (1,435 cars) averages & medians. Note that on average, at 116.5 mpg, these real-world Volts are using less than half as much gasoline to go the same mileage as the very best hybrid only subcompact car (Toyota Prius C currently), as well as a higher MPGe (lower total energy use):

              Average EV%: 70.4
              Average mpg: 116.5
              Average MPGe: 63.19

              Median EV%: 77.5
              Median mpg: 153.4
              Median MPGe: 68.47

              [link]      
            • By Mark Renburke on October 29, 2015 at 5:06 pm

              re: “fantasy love affair” I’m debunking your misinformation and conjecture about the actual vehicle that is the topic of this article with facts and data, and you’re incessantly returning to your favorite topic of ethanol (when there aren’t even ethanol vehicles to but nor hardly many places to fuel them?!!) Yeah, someone’s in a “fantasy love affair” alright and they need to grab a mirror quick… ;)

              [link]      
      • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 1:45 am

        Russ wrote “Pretty much anyone interested in purchasing an electric car or plug-in hybrid is already aware of the temporary Federal tax credit available.”

        That is a VERY untrue statement, as reflected by polling (Indiana University, 2011-2013, Harris 2013-2015) or you can go anecdotal. And to say most people ALREADY intestested in a plug in are aware of incentives is a logical fallacy, as most consumers are unaware of the incentives you also fail to mention, and very many don’t even consider these vehicles because they are unaware of them.

        “For obvious reasons, I never include State and Federal government subsidies…”

        Please, tell me the obvious reasons why consumers should not be informed of their current true cost to purchase/own. Because you haven’t yet,

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        • By Russ Finley on October 27, 2015 at 11:40 pm

          That is a VERY untrue statement [that pretty much anyone interested in purchasing an electric car or plug-in hybrid is already aware of the temporary Federal tax credit available], as reflected by polling (Indiana University, 2011-2013, Harris 2013-2015) or you can go anecdotal. And to say most people ALREADY intestested in a plug in are aware of incentives is a logical fallacy, as most consumers are unaware of the incentives you also fail to mention, and very many don’t even consider these vehicles because they are unaware of them

          Huh, this poll says “A big majority of Californians appear to support more tax credits and incentives for purchasing electric vehicles (67 percent)…” Maybe your definition of VERY is different from mine.

          I seriously doubt that these polls you didn’t provide a link for were targeting those ” interested in purchasing an electric car or plug-in hybrid” as I stated (had already gone to dealer websites etc. to ascertain cost). I find a VERY hard to believe that anyone looking into the possible purchase of one of these cars would be unaware of the existence of the tax credit.

          Please, tell me the obvious reasons why consumers should not be informed of their current true cost to purchase/own.

          As I’ve said twice before now, Strawman arguments don’t work in a comment field. My article also mentions the Nissan Leaf four times with no mention of its tax credit. Why does that not also upset you?

          Because you haven’t yet,

          The credit has been mentioned in the comment field roughly a half a dozen times now by various participants including myself.

          ….the only obvious reason I see [not to have mentioned the tax credit available for the Leaf and Volt] is to serve a propaganda agenda rather than a consumer education one.

          … I suggest you send a complaint to the EPA, which also makes no mention of it in the car comparisons shown in the graphics in my other comments.

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 1:50 am

        Russ wrote “We could start by comparing respective sales in 2014 (18,000= to 242,000)”

        Russ, not even sure why I’m responding to such another even more rediculous logical fallacy, but are you simply suggesting that a product’s sale’s volume defines whether it functions a “better electric+hybrid” in the real world?!! Credibility shrinks with each new section of your response…

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        • By Russ Finley on October 27, 2015 at 11:46 pm

          Russ, not even sure why I’m responding to such another even more rediculous logical fallacy, but are you simply suggesting that a product’s sale’s volume defines whether it functions a “better electric+hybrid” in the real world?!! Credibility shrinks with each new section of your response…

          Let me get my metaphorical shovel out again …Mark, “not even sure why I’m responding to such another even more rediculous logical fallacy. Credibility shrinks with each new section of your response.”

          But thanks again for the opportunity to repeat what I said before. To debate your statement we would have to settle on a definition of much and better. We could start by comparing respective sales in 2014 (18,000 to 242,000) and of course, the $10,000 price differential once the subsidy ends.

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 1:54 am

        Russ wrote “Your $1500 premium is a temporary blip that disappears when the tax credit disappears.”

        No Russ, this is you making a future prediction that Volt pricing WON’T change as the tax credit is phased out, with no evidence to support it. In fact there is contrary evidence, as GM has lowered the Volt price already at least 3 times based on response to market conditions and manufacturing cost reductions, and almost certainly will again as the tax credit sunsets.

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        • By Russ Finley on October 27, 2015 at 11:47 pm

          No Russ, this is you making a future prediction [that the $1500 premium that mark calculated, which includes these $7500 tax credit, is a temporary blip that disappears when the tax credit disappears] that Volt pricing WON’T change as the tax credit is phased out, with no evidence to support it.

          In fact there is contrary evidence, as GM has lowered the Volt price already at least 3 times based on response to market conditions and manufacturing cost reductions, and almost certainly will again as the tax credit sunsets.

          Strawman arguments don’t work in a comment field. I never claimed that Volt pricing won’t change. I was challenging your assertion (prediction) that the Volt actually costs (or will one day cost) only $1500 more than a Prius. The Nissan Leaf has also lowered its price.

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 2:06 am

        In the article, Russ wrote: “However, because you are not likely to compensate for the high sticker price with fuel cost savings, the last argument standing is to pay a great deal of money to reduce greenhouse gas emissions assuming you live in an area that has a low carbon grid.”

        Then in his comment response, Russ wrote: “It was not the intent of this article to sell cars by informing readers…”

        Yep, I totally get what the intent of your “article” is now. Not to inform but rather to misinform/mislead, and when called out on it, to trot out a series of technicalities and backtracking to explain why critical consumer education info is omitted, cherry picked, or exaggerated.

        Thank goodness for the comments section! :)

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        • By Russ Finley on October 27, 2015 at 11:49 pm

          Yep, I totally get what the intent of your “article” is now. Not to inform but rather to misinform/mislead, and when called out on it, to trot out a series of technicalities and backtracking to explain why critical consumer education info is omitted, cherry picked, or exaggerated.

          One way that I deal with angry aggressive comments devoid of meaningful content is to simply scoop them up with a metaphorical shovel and throw them back over the metaphorical fence, so here you go. And “I totally get what the intent of your “comment” is now. Not to inform but rather to misinform/mislead, and when called out on it, to trot out a series of technicalities and backtracking to explain why critical consumer education info is omitted, cherry picked, or exaggerated.”

          Thank goodness for the comments section! :)

          I’m with you on that one. In fact, I try to avoid a reading articles that don’t have a comment field and in general will not link to articles that don’t have them. Commenters are all important. But it cuts both ways. Misinformed comments can and should be put to positive use by authors to further inform readers, to reiterate, and clarify ideas.

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 28, 2015 at 12:01 pm

            I’m not angry or aggressive, now you’re mis-characterizing written text in a comments section by assigning your perceived emotional content that is not behind them, just as you mis-characterize lots of things in your article about the Volt (and its owners).

            I’m merely pointing out that you have omitted critical consumer cost information and it misleads casual readers to the affordability of plug in car choices for them, in this case specifically the Volt …and you even admit that you have done it intentionally for rather intellectually weak reasons (that is merely my opinion).

            It would have been one thing if you had just listed the MSRP, as Volt reviews often do, and then made no mention of the tax credit in the piece. But you went out of your way to state that the Prius has “$10,000 price advantage” and that the consumer will have to accept an “extreme difference in cost”. This creates what’s known as a lie of omission:

            “Also known as a continuing misrepresentation, a lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception. Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions.”

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Lying_by_omission

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            • By Russ Finley on October 29, 2015 at 12:37 am

              I’m merely pointing out that you have omitted critical consumer cost information and it misleads casual readers to the affordability of plug in car choices for them, in this case specifically the Volt

              …he says, refusing to acknowledge for the fifth time that the Nissan Leaf (which I own) was also mentioned four times in the article without any mention of the tax credit, or that the EPA car comparison website also makes no mention of the tax credit.

              …and you even admit that you have done it intentionally for rather intellectually weak reasons (that is merely my opinion).

              I admit that I have done it intentionally for rather intellectually weak reasons?

              It would have been one thing if you had just listed the MSRP, as Volt reviews often do, and then made no mention of the tax credit in the piece. But you went out of your way to state that the Prius has “$10,000 price advantage”

              Right, suddenly it’s OK to just list the MSRP without mentioning the tax credit as a Volt reviews often do. Now the problem has become the $10,000 price differential I mentioned between the Volt and the Prius. As I stated repeatedly before, that price differential is in reference to what it costs to manufacture each car which is a measure of their future relative feasibility sans subsidy. This is roughly the sixth time you have been told this.

              If you shrink the Leaf’s battery down to the size of the Prius battery you could argue that there might be little future cost differential. But, because the price difference is largely the result of the extra 700 pounds of machinery and batteries in the volt, it seems likely that the volt will always cost significantly more.

              This creates what’s known as a lie of omission: “Also known as a continuing misrepresentation, a lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception. Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions.”

              Says the guy caught lying about the MSRP and availability of the two cars being compared after I explained that I used the 2015 MSRP values because the 2016 values have not been finalized:

              Wrong, Russ, they’ve been finalized for months. The car is already on sale. You’re eithe misininformed or misinforming.

              Not only does the EPA website not list the MSRPs for either car but the Toyota website also does not yet list an MSRP for the standard Prius and goes on to say that they will not be for sale until the first part of next year.

              But wait a minute, you’re tripping over your own argument. You just said it’s OK to list the MSRP without mentioning the tax credit as a Volt reviews often do. There is no lie by omission. You appear to be intellectually incapable of comprehending the article’s intent (that is merely my opinion). ; )

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 29, 2015 at 4:05 am

              Article states: “$10,000 price difference…you (meaning the reader-consumer) are not likely to compensate for the high sticker price with fuel savings…”

              Russ justifies: “As I stated repeatedly before, that price differential is in reference to what it costs to manufacture each car which is a measure of their future relative feasibility sans subsidy.”

              And to point it out more clearly, the statement above is the specific intellectually weak argument and unrelated to the clear intent of the article, and is an example of talking out of both sides of ones mouth, first claiming to advocate for today’s consumer cost interests, then switching your rationale to manufacturer costs and future feasibility. You’re not fooling anyone but yourself on the comments section (but like a good propagandist, I’m sure you fooled a decent number who only read the article; that’s how lie-of-omission type propaganda works, re-enforcing existing beliefs over objective truth.) You might have sold a few more Priuses! More gasoline burned because of your media platform, and fewer plug in cars on the road. Hurrah! /sarcasm.

              And finally, so it is the EPA that finalizes MSRPs and should be the go-to place to get them first, and not the manufacturers websites themselves? Can a professional writer just use the excuse that they only checked one non-authoritative source, it didn’t have the info needed, so just substituted info for an different older model year instead? Now corrected, why haven’t you at least updated your article to say the MSRPs actually have a $9,000 difference? ($8,970 to be exact) Too proud of your previous incompetence to do so?

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 2:40 am

        Russ wrote: “I never include State and Federal government subsidies, manufacturer rebates, and other assorted “temporary” cost savings when I write about the actual feasibility of things like solar panels, electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids etc.”

        Really, Russ??! Just several months ago on this very same web column you wrote, “As an early adopter, I paid $35,000-$7,500 tax credit = $27.500 for my 2011 (LEAF)”

        Reference:
        “Drive Train is 25 Times More Reliable than Conventional Cars”
        http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2015/04/13/nissan-leaf-drive-train-is-25-times-more-reliable-than-conventional-cars/

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        • By Russ Finley on October 25, 2015 at 12:08 pm

          Oh, I see

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        • By Russ Finley on October 27, 2015 at 11:50 pm

          Really, Russ??! Just several months ago on this very same web column you wrote, “As an early adopter, I paid $35,000-$7,500 tax credit = $27.500 for my 2011 (LEAF)”

          Nice try. Telling readers how much I paid for my car isn’t the same as comparing relative cost to manufacture competing technologies. It would be misleading to tell them I paid $35,000, or $27,500 without mention of the tax credit. If, on the other hand, I were comparing the relative cost to manufacture of my Leaf and Prius, I would exclude the tax credit I received for both cars, just as the EPA has done in the graphic shown below and just as I did in the article when I compared the relative cost to manufacture of the Volt and Prius. Do you see any mention of a tax credit, rebate, or fire sale in the EPA data shown below?

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 28, 2015 at 12:15 am

            But Russ, your article is not comparing the relative cost to manufacture the cars, rather simply claiming the Prius “a $10,000 price advantage” over the Volt. You are clealy talking about consumer cost, not manufacturing costs. And tax credits have a direct reduction of net consumer costs (which is why you mention them in your LEAF article) So you’re not making much sense when you claim thet are omitted because they aren’t related to manufacturing costs. More it would seem you simply don’t want folks to easily know that the net price advantage is under $1,500. I fail to see how excluding this info makes your article better or more informative.

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            • By Russ Finley on October 28, 2015 at 1:25 am

              This is the stage of a debate that I enjoy the most, where I can simply cut and paste my previous responses over and over again with minimal typing.

              But Russ, your article is not comparing the relative cost to manufacture the cars, rather simply claiming the Prius “a $10,000 price advantage” over the Volt.

              But Mark, a price advantage reflects relative cost to manufacture.

              You are clealy talking about consumer cost, not manufacturing costs.

              LOL …consumer cost – manufacturing cost = profit margin. We don’t know what the profit margins are. So as I said before, because every bell and whistle has a profit margin associated with it, the cumulative total of those profits may be the only profit in the sale of a given car, or not. Only the manufacturer knows. Without the bells and whistles, it is entirely possible that the Volt would sell for a loss, or most certainly for less profit. Like I said before, not only do we not know how much a handful of bells and whistles costs the manufacturer, we also cannot account for the profit or loss associated with each model, component quality, rust proofing etc. An apples to apples comparison can only be accomplished (approximated) by comparing respective MSRPs assuming that they reflect the manufacturer’s best attempt to make a profit.

              And tax credits have a direct reduction of net consumer costs (which is why you mention them in your LEAF article)

              No, that is not why I mentioned them in my Leaf article. As I said before, telling readers how much I paid for my car isn’t the same as comparing relative cost to manufacture competing technologies. It would be misleading to tell them I paid $35,000, or $27,500 without mention of the tax credit.

              So you’re not making much sense when you claim thet [tax credits ]are omitted because they aren’t related to manufacturing costs.

              I’m making perfect sense and, as I said before, my article also mentions the Nissan Leaf four times with no mention of its tax credit. Why does that not also upset you? Why are you not upset that the EPA makes no mention of them in their car comparison?

              More it would seem you simply don’t want folks to easily know that the net price advantage is under $1,500.

              Because the price advantage it isn’t under $1500 for all the reasons mentioned repeatedly in the other comments.

              I fail to see how excluding this info makes your article better or more informative.

              ?

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 28, 2015 at 6:12 am

              Russ, your article is written with language that its intent is to inform the consumer about THEIR cost, what they will pay compared to a Jetta, a Prius, etc, not the manufacturers cost or profit, that’s only mentioned here in the comments, as if we are discussing a different article. Key information about consumer net cost, only saying “extreme difference in cost”, and only bring up manufacturing in the comments as an excuse to exclude mention of the credit. When in reality, a Volt is NOT costing those who buy $10,000 more an avarge. That is why your article is misleading to consumers, and a disservice to PEV education.

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    • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 8:52 am

      The GREET model is probably the best and most up to date model for ethanol. EPA has one of the worse, but in their defense they just use the results as a benchmark. GREET is steadily increasing the value of ethanol year to year. Any reference of ’06 to ’07 models were horribly constructed. These old models had no credit for coproducts of corn ethanol and horribly inaccurate per ILUC penalty. They had utilized no historical factor for future productivity. Also, none of the competing energy sources have been penalized for environmental change as of yet. For example oil well land use change is huge up in Canada from pristine wildlife habitat. Wind mills are noisy, chop up migrating birds, and an eye sore. Their is a yet to be determined health effect of wind mills. Most Environmentalist go bezerk upon land use change of hydro. Same with health risk of nuclear. The PNAS evaluation per your link is rating E10 ethanol. I recognize the data of rating E10 ethanol less healthy and more PM than traditional gasoline. That was quickly outed as bogus per science community. Seems the gasoline test fuel was rigged. Adding ethanol to gasoline should always replace the more costly and health harming constituents of Benzene, Toluene, etc. Why just add ethanol to regular gas? It’s cheaper to add it to low cost RBOB and let ethanol bring the fuel to proper spec. Also, the study didn’t include the carcinogen component of which ethanol shines. Some of their assumption just not accurate.

      1. That the grid would be powered by WWS at least anytime soon
      2. That battery car could do it all and have complete market
      3. Batteries charged for long life
      4. 71% improvement with hybrid technology
      5. Utilize a hypothetical power grid per 2020 best case scenario
      6. Assume recycle cost equivalent i.e. steel car vs battery car
      7. 160,000 miles on one battery
      8. 2005 as baseline
      9. Corn ethanol merits unclear, yet offer sensational demerits
      10. Exclude oil sand petrol
      11. Pairing battery car with green energy

      If a study would evaluate battery car to the most rosy of assumptions one must consider the higher blends of ethanol as a comparison. That ethanol and farming practices has greatly improved the carbon rating i.e. fertilizer has been modified to trap more nitrogen within soil, satellite technology improving application, steam reforming of natural gas may give way to wind and nuclear production. Also, most processing plants of ethanol have cellulosic ethanol from grain in immediate future, methane digesters, and algae production of ethanol. Co-production of cellulosic and grain ethanol produce all internal energy needs. Plants are just now utilizing cogen to bump up efficiency as well as waste heat from power plants. Consider the sugar beet, Miscanthus grass, and waste ethanol feed stocks rated very low carbon. Consider most ethanol plants a great location for wind power that currently goes under utilized. The new plant to gas station supply chain. The advent of optimized ethanol engine that would magnify all the positives of ethanol and focus on ethanol specific needs of emission control. This should be impressive given the molecular purity of the fuel. To date ethanol and hydro has done the vast majority of green energy production and could easily be multiplied in future. .

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 9:11 am

        Here’s a direct quote from the PNAS sponsored study linked above:

        “Although corn ethanol as modeled here emits marginally less GHGs than does gasoline, the combined climate and air quality impacts are greater than those from gasoline vehicles.”

        If you have an issue with its finding, I suggest you take it up with the study authors, including Dr. Julian Marshall, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering at University of Minnesota.

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        • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 10:04 am

          It’s just bad info and incorrect. These studies get pushed by activist that claim they are unbiased. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Current science from Argonne labs rates ethanol as substantial not marginal. This study was based on outdated info or just attempting a smear. The gasoline base stock emitted all the PM pollution, not ethanol. The base stock was formulated to do so by the petrol processors. That is current data of which you need to do your own research. Also, as I said before E10 is proven lower polluting fuel as compared to E0. Even less corrosive for engine. Also, the most unhealthy component of gasoline goes unnoticed by the PNAS study, carcinogens. They drop like a rock with higher ethanol blends. The reports of ozone acetaldehyde were greatly hyped as other studies sponsored by petrol industry. They always take the worst case scenario, such a particular bad model year vehicles, make bad assumptions, and extrapolate poor results. In case you haven’t known, petrol hates ethanol as the fuel empowers the customer way to much and tempers the spiking ability of their process plant problems. They have always hated ethanol down through history and fight dirty.
          Having said that, I don’t mind gasoline, just want to make it better and conserve the precious resource.

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 10:11 am

            Forrest: the so called “Urban Air Initiative” is actually an ethanol industry front group; “Calling itself the Urban Air Initiative, the ethanol coalition aims to tie its foes in the petroleum industry to air pollution from automobile tailpipes…” whose specific mission is to support the goals of the corn-ethanol industry, not actually to be concerned about “urban air quality” through multiple means that are well-researched as whole like so many other actual non-partisan advocacy groups. So you the one linking to a propaganda, not me, Sorry, You’re debunked/exposed yet again.

            Reference:
            http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060018888

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm

            OK, so any peer reviewed research by actual experts in their fields that doesn’t agree with your beliefs about ethanol is “just bad info and incorrect…based on outdated info or just attempting a smear”? As for carcinogens, this is a particle pollution (smog) study…why would they discuss carcinogens?? As always, it would be nice if you had some actual evidence or data to back up these conspiracy claims that Argonne, PNAS, UCS, are out to get ethanol, rather than just doing good science that you don’t want to hear…

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 9:13 am

        Forrest wrote: “The PNAS evaluation per your link is rating E10 ethanol. I recognize the data of rating E10 ethanol less healthy and more PM than traditional gasoline. That was quickly outed as bogus per science community.” Please provide a reference to this claim.

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        • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 9:49 am

          You need to get off those EV sites and temper your enthusiasm. I’ve read a dozen or so, this one today. http://urbanairinitiative.com/ and don’t attempt to imply this site is any more dishonest than your info. Balance is the key from wide array of information. You can easily search an wide array of info. Be careful as their is a huge portion of propaganda from far Left that attempt to push their agenda. Most of it is hype and colored to fit their biases.

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 9:57 am

            Forrest: I don’t use “those EV sites” to form close-ended opinions about alternative vehicles (as you, who are convinced you know more than the experts while demonstrating again and again you don’t!), rather reference the conclusions of professional research (like the PNAS study, Argonne, UCS, UC system, etc) and real world data such as linked about the LEAF that actual does have 100,000 EV miles (or a Volt that actually has the same plus another 170,000 hybrid miles) If you believe that peer-review science and actual verifiable facts are propaganda, than we don’t really have anything more to debate, as you are no long operating in the world of reality.

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            • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 10:09 am

              The real world life expectancy of lithium battery is highly susceptible to fast charging, temperature, charge, and discharge. These are not reported to prospective consumers. Taking maximum possible lifespan has nothing to do with honest battery lifespan.

              Your still full of insults, that discredit anything you post.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 10:52 am

              Yep, and that’s why *well engineered* PEVs like the Volt, Tesla, etc have liquid thermal management systems and/or state of charge management systems, and governed charging/discharging rates. You know, like why gasoline engines have coolant, radiators, temperature sensors, redline indicators, transmissions, etc, to keep them from being prematurely damaged by heat and friction?

              160k miles is not “maximum possible lifespan” it’s a life cycle average. And I’ve already provided plenty of real world examples, heck, I drive one every day that’s already half way there with no signs of degradation much less needing replacement. Show me real world examples of well-engineered automotive lithium batteries needing *replacement* prior to 160k miles.

              And again, proving (yet again) that you don’t know more than the experts is not an insult, it’s called debunking misinformation and attempting to informing the public. Something you might want to work on. :)

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            • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 2:22 pm

              Not exactly, the plain ICE can sit outside and suffer little performance degradation from the extreme temperature such as the Midwest seasons. Sit your volt or battery car outside for a season of Texas heat or Alaskan cold and see what happens to your battery performance and lifespan. The ICE need not spend energy to cool or heat when parked and suffers no longevity cost for doing so. The recharge and discharge have an effect on battery life. The battery likes to sit at 50% charge or 50% discharge for maximum life span. Running the battery down to advertised full road capability will diminish lifespan as fully charging and more so with quick charge. The ICE car suffers little performance loss due to high mileage as compared to battery car loss of driving range. The ICE can run on a full, almost empty tank and suffers no loss in lifespan.
              By the way, those EPA mileage ratings of vehicles powered by battery are phony baloney and everyone understand that it is merely a conversion per efficiency factor of electric motor. No allowance made for inefficiency stack of of the fuel and distribution. The mileage allowed to boast image of battery car and hopefully sales. Originally the Energy department determined battery car efficiency and had realistic MPG rating. Not that impressive either. University of Toronto life cycle analysis had natural gas hybrid vehicle equal in emissions as compared to battery car. They suggest the least cost way forward for owner owners to supply them with such a vehicle as compared to battery car expense. Yes, the battery car was the most expensive to own, let alone the Volt. If you figure the actual cost savings to high blend ethanol, it’s a given. Double than with optimized engines and what the auto industry claims they need for efficient engines, octane.
              Forget the E10 environmental impact vs gasoline. That data has long been proven and required by EPA to mitigate the damage of gasoline.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 27, 2015 at 8:56 am

              Sorry, I don’t live in Texas or Alaska (so why would I park there in the cold/heat??), and I don’t own a Nissan LEAF. Volt, Tesla, Ford Focus EV, etc owners don’t have these issue because they chose a well-engineered PEV, and also one that is impossible by design to run “the battery down to advertised full road capability will diminish lifespan as fully charging and more so with quick charge”. Go berate a Nissan LEAF owner. Your cherry picked fear mongering has no power over the real world experience of owners of again, *well-engineered* PEVs.

              As for the notion that EV efficiency is “phony baloney” because no “allowance made for inefficiency stack of of the fuel and distribution”, please explain then why refining and other upstream losses are omitted from gasoline cars rating is not also “phony baloney”?

              You don’t have to. The answer is logical and simple. Cars are rated on a pump to wheels (or in the case of EVs socket-to-wheels which does include charging losses) And unlike gasoline refining (which is a fairly standard efficiency loss of around 15%) no authority has the ability to know how and where a particular PEV driver is getting their charging energy from. Mine is from mostly nuclear, next natural gas, and then several% renewable. Why would I accept some bogus for my car efficiency/emissions number based on a lower national average or some other state’s coal generation?

              But if you insists: My car equates in emissions to an 83+ mpg gasoline only vehicle (source: Union of Concerned Scientists), if one existed, and that is a well-to-wheels CO2 number. Other pollutants would be scaled similarly in my case, as there is almost no coal generation in my entire grid region.

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            • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 10:19 am

              Ya, I believe that. Why is bad ethanol “science” and good ethanol propaganda?

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 10:40 am

              Forrest, it’s pretty simple: They have a specific pro-ethanol industry agenda only, where as all the other research organizations I have referenced have either merely an agenda to do accurate research on all alt energy sources, or at “worst” simply pro-emissions reduction agenda.

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 10:11 am

            Reposted from above:

            Forrest: the so called “Urban Air Initiative” is actually an ethanol industry front group; “Calling itself the Urban Air Initiative, the ethanol coalition aims to tie its foes in the petroleum industry to air pollution from automobile tailpipes…” whose specific mission is to support the goals of the corn-ethanol industry, not actually to be concerned about “urban air quality” through multiple means that are well-researched as whole like so many other actual non-partisan advocacy groups. So you the one linking to a propaganda, not me, Sorry, You’re debunked/exposed yet again.

            Reference:
            http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060018888

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            • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 10:17 am

              It’s peer reviewed and published. It’s not an industry trade journal. You’re free to correct their bad science. Yes, ethanol has been a sponsor per the need to fight back with all the petrol funded miss information. When they see science with good ethanol info, they put a few pennies that way. Compare that to just lately two million spent on bashing ethanol per D.C advertisement sponsored by petrol.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 10:42 am

              Another straw man. I didn’t say their science was bad, rather that they have a specific industry agenda, not a balanced emissions reduction agenda, at least, like UCS for example. Their name and pretense is misleading. That in itself makes them suspect as a propaganda machine.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 11:12 am

              PS it’s also a 501 (C) (4) “social welfare organization”, which means (unlike a 501 (c) (3)) it can accept unlimited non-deductible donations form businesses/individuals, doesn’t have to make public its donors, and can act as a direct lobbyist group on its industry agenda.

              http://www.nj.com/helpinghands/nonprofitknowhow/index.ssf/2008/07/the_difference_between_501c3_a.html

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 9:21 am

        “160,000 miles on one battery”
        This is well-established research standard for life cycle studies not some exception being used by the PNAS study: “We use the GREET2 default EV battery life assumption of 160,000 miles” so again, to claim otherwise is more silliness on your part. There is NO indication that (well engineered) PEVs can’t average 160k EV miles per battery. There are Teslas and Volts real world at or approaching 100k miles already; the Volts don’t even having any noticeable range degradation; the Telsa’s have single digit % degradation.

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        • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 9:42 am

          Last science research I’ve read was the Holy Grail of one battery per lifespan of car and that was well below 160K miles. Actually, articles point to the slowing down of improved battery technology as their are just to many roadblocks. You can’t just extrapolate a continuous trend line from heyday of improvements. Many proponents of battery powered cars are guilty of such crude future projections.

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 10:00 am

            Please reference this “Last science research” you read. And then don’t take it up with me, take it up with GREET. You are of course free to have your own groundless opinions not based on science or data, just as I and others are free to continue to debunk them with…science and data. ;)

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            • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 10:11 am

              Oh, I have to prove common conventional wisdom and you spout nonsense. That is another unfair debate tactic.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 10:44 am

              No, Forrest, I called you out to actual reference the “last science research” you claim supports what you say. And instead you produce a red herring about PEV vehicle life cycle “holy grail” being “conventional wisdom”. Asking for data is not a debate tactic, rather a tactic to expose a misinform. Data please.

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          • By Forrest on October 28, 2015 at 6:40 am

            Oh, I see you get to judge your own success. Is this just a contest, a debate exercise? Something a youth would enjoy and typical. Still doesn’t appear your keyboard time and posts align with successful middle age male with money to throw at a Volt and EV. Maybe your a public school teacher or gov’t employee? They seem to have money and time. Did you change the subject? I thought you were in the throws of explaining the battery car was a better winter car than ICE. Could you elaborate on loss of BTU in cold weather of gasoline as compared to battery energy. I can imagine some fool that purchased a used battery car as the single family car per your posts. Then realizing the need to carry a 100′ heavy duty extension cord when visiting friends and relatives. “Hi, Joe! Can I plug into your home electric to refuel my car. Is it alright that I drive on your grass as my extension cord is a bit short.” Do you think upon visiting a friend at apartment house that the manager would allow an extension cord up the window or through the front door to recharge your car. How, about a late night major league game attendance with friends and despite all your planning, you have to make a detour per construction and get lost. Then having to explain to the other couple you have to stay overnight at hotel of which would forbid you recharging your car. Worse yet, can you imagine depending on an old battery car to get to the doctor upon an emergency. You know per the typical Murphy’s law stuff. How, about staying at hotel and the next day a foot of snow. You have to push on and think the roadways will get better. Can’t imagine a Leaf with tire chains, five gallons of electricity for emergency, or utilizing jumper cables for quick fix of dead battery. You get stuck and fall asleep only to realize the kids left the heater on all night draining your reserve power. Can the Road Emergency vehicle just offer to give you another gallon of electricity to drive to refueling station? How about running late for work and the darn fool teenager didn’t plug in your car, could you make a quick recharge at the refueling station and not be late for work? How does winter demand of heating cabin and all the electrical components of battery car make for efficient winter vehicle with maximum range? Up North my friends and relatives were dismayed upon realizing the hybrids didn’t work in cold weather until fully warmed by operation of the ICE as this makes the engine less efficient. Also, they were hoping a electric motor could power short trips and save the engine. I notice Volt owners all claim they don’t use the engine side and voice much praise upon the battery side. Well, if what you post is true why do you need the extra weight and cost of an extra motor and dual support architecture? Something doesn’t sound right. If you actually need the motor side and can’t be without the option, well buy a ICE and save yourself a bundle. Maybe purchase the mild hybrid and achieve most of what you post at a mere fraction of cost.

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        • By Forrest on October 27, 2015 at 7:01 am

          I quickly searched a dozen or so articles warning of loss of battery life upon hot climates. Owners experiencing 16% to 29% battery capacity loss the first 12-14 months if operating in hot Phoenix or Texas. Articles that indicate the care that must be taken upon many factors of car ownership to minimize battery capacity loss, such as parking in the shade and charging care. We all know battery cars suffer max weakness within cold and suffer loss of range to supply heating needs. Same with cooling needs. The battery car will gradually lose mileage range per natural degradation of the battery until the owner can’t accept the consequences. Compare these shortcoming to low cost efficient ICE car. No loss in driving range, waste heat utilized at no cost of driving range or fuel cost per mile, excellent cold climate performance, excellent hot climate performance, no loss of value from old energy storage container, no mandatory expensive energy storage device needed, ever.

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 27, 2015 at 8:39 am

            These are all Nissan LEAF cars, not Volts, Teslas, Ford Focus EVs, etc. One specific model, that I’ll be the first one to tell you is NOT well engineered, as already described. Is there a reason you omitted this critical fact?

            As for the additional cold weather losses incurred, as well researched by fleets, they are 12-20% for a gasoline car and 20-29% for an electric car, an 8- 10% difference apples-to-apples; and in fact since the electrics are so much more efficient than gasoline only cars, the gasoline car actually wastes more total energy in winter ( = more fuel $ and greater tailpipe pollution in comparison to any average equivalent power plant pollution increase). See link below. So you claim that gasoline cars have “No loss in driving range” and “excellent cold climate performance” is debunked.

            http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1100629_both-electric-and-gas-cars-lose-range-in-the-cold-electrics-just-lose-more

            As for my Volt, since it has gas backup, its particular EV range doesn’t really matter, ever. It’s all about total efficiency, whihc may or may not involve a little gasoline, depending upon the trip, climate, etc.

            And so you are saying typical gasoline cars with 100k+ miles never burn oil, never get less average efficiency/mpg, never produce more pollution than when new, never run rougher with less power than they did when they were new? Do you really believe that?”

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            • By Forrest on October 27, 2015 at 12:35 pm

              Are your sure you own a Volt and a BEV? Or do you just drive your parents cars? I’m sorry but your sensibilities and time on the keyboard just don’t add up to well off middle class character or ability. Most middle aged males enjoying such economic success, that can afford such toys as you post have high common sense IQ and driven to high work ethic. You post like in defense of your Dad’s pride and joy as you pick out superficial (inferior) points of interest to argue. Most of what you post lacks common sense, that which a older productive successful male would be embarrassed to post. Your defense appears via the search engine inquiries and not a gross sum total of a well thought out intelligence. Your vessel is shallow and responses reactionary and with the always present ad hominem attack popular with youth that are out for a joy insult to look big and proud. Are you working in defense of your Dad’s value system? I thought you didn’t rely on green car web sites for your talking points.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm

              Since you chose to attack the source (and me) rather than the data, I’ll put it out there for all eyes to see.

              And yes, I drive a Volt, it’s PEV, and I always make the effort to debunk misleading and dishonest anti-PEV propagandists, when I can, with peer reviewed science, data, facts. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. :)

              “But, it turns out, internal-combustion cars also lose range in the cold.

              They just don’t lose as much, concluded fleet-management company FleetCarmaafter surveying data from both types of vehicle….When the temperature dropped from 73 degrees to 0, electric cars experienced an average range reduction of 29 percent. Between 73 degrees and 32 degrees, there was a 20-percent drop in range, FleetCarma says.The gap was lower for gasoline cars…Between 73 degrees and 0, they experienced an average range reduction of 19 percent, and a reduction of 12 percent between 73 degrees and 32 degrees.”

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            • By Forrest on October 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm

              See what I mean, you chose to argue the most infantile of concerns. Any adult with a driving record knows cold weather will decrease mileage. You really think you uncovered some unknown truth? Still the ICE can out perform a battery car, by far.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 27, 2015 at 5:18 pm

              Look, you’re off on a red herring and personal attacks. Meanwhile I’ve factually debunked virtually everything you have claimed, distorted, or omitted about PEVs, based mostly in your obvious lack of knowledge and/or real world experience. Maybe we should just leave it at that, and let the readers make up their own mind about who is being “infantile”. Sound good?

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 27, 2015 at 6:13 pm

              ps and if by “outperform” you mean consuming/wasting more energy to go fewer miles while producing less torque power and greater average life cycle emissions, I’d agree, the ICE certain outperforms…for the petroluem industry. ;)

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  8. By MisterEman on October 24, 2015 at 11:04 am

    The reason Volt owners (I was one) charge frequently, besides the reduced cost of driving on electricity, is because driving in EV mode is so much better! The car is instantly responsive, very quiet, and silky smooth. Driving in “Sport” mode was fun! People that have an EV know what I’m talking about – it is addictive. And I went 5,000 miles between fill-ups here in Michigan in the summer simply by plugging my Volt in at the end of every work day. Comparing a Cruze to a Volt in EV mode is like comparing a old VW beetle’s drive to a new Audi A6. Only a Tesla was able to pry my hands from the Chevy Volt!

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    • By Forrest on October 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      So, your enjoy the electric motor drive. I would guess your a big proponent of fuel cell car, with the lower weight, longer range, and quick refill advantages.

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      • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 1:37 am

        Umm, Forest? The fuel cell vehicles on the market (Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Tuscon FCVs) have LESS total range than the Volt, and significantly less usable range and utility due to a severe lack of hydrogen fueling stations. They also both weigh significantly MORE than the Volt due to their complex systems, and have significantly less performance. And the Volt of course already has 2 “quick” refill options that FCVs don’t: 3 seconds to plug in when you get home at night and fully charged before you even wake up or at any of tens of thousands of existing (but less conveniently located) gas stations.

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        • By Forrest on October 25, 2015 at 7:43 am

          Mark, I was replying to MisterEman that claimed he enjoyed EV mode. He made the extra effort to recharge to stay in that mode. So, he doesn’t like your ICE half of the vehicle. In that regard, he must be proponent of the FCV given the vehicle technology as informed by auto manufactures to be a 3 minute refill, long range, and lighter weight as compared to battery car. This car powers a motor just like battery car and eliminates the ICE. The Volt is a compromise to make the battery car practical given it’s shortcomings. The car is very complex with two fuels and energy conversion systems. Gen one FCV ratings is not a worthwhile benchmark. Review the research coming down the pipe to understand the claims made.

          Also, I’m not a proponent of either as they are to expensive for the value both environmental and consumer. Auto manufactures know this and understand the vast majority of consumers are very discriminating upon their transportation choice. They are not into wasting precious resources such as money. Your Volt car could be turned into a much better value if the technology was flipped. Let the ICE to the heavy lifting per low purchase cost and driver preference of hassle free operation. Let the BEV side shrink per the expense and weight. Utilize the battery for maximum benefit to maximize efficiency of ICE operation. That’s exactly what the most popular car models coming down the production line do. The cost of mild hybrid technology is easy justified. The vehicle will do much more environmentally given the large sales volume and slow conversion of the power grid. Conscientious Environmentalist could take the mild hybrid a step forward for improved emissions for GW sake if refueling up on high blend ethanol. In most regions of country this would be superior choice as compared to fuel powering the grid. Also, ethanol is improving cost and carbon rating as well, given waste, sugar, and cellulosic feed stocks. Even grain ethanol has made large strides to decrease carbon rating. Miscanthus grass cellulosic is expected to be a negative carbon rating. Even the “Green” grid won’t be able to catch up with that rating.

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 9:20 am

            Forest wrote: “FCV given the vehicle technology as informed by auto manufactures to be a 3 minute refill, long range, and lighter weight” of course pro-FCV manufacturers will claim that, but none of it is yet true, so you are engaged in the very silly (and lacking critical thinking) exercise of comparing vaporware to a existing, now 5 year proven real world vehicle. You might as well compare future battery tech projections if you are going to talk future FCV tech. Silly, aren’t you?

            And you have also demonstrated a great deal of ignorance about the Volt or similar PHEV/EREV actual operation and efficiency compared to say an old school gasoline only hybrid you seem to support. I actually own both cars, Prius and Volt, and have driven both real world for many tens of thousands of miles, and seem which saves the most gasoline by far (Volt) and which is actually now a compromise in terms of efficiency, driving experience, convenience, maintenance, operating cost and long term total cost of ownership (The Prius or any similarly engineered “weak” and/or gas only hybrid)

            Ethanol is more polluting Well-to-Wheels than either average electric or even a compact gasoline car. This is proven by professional research, unless you start talking future theory tech, which is again just as silly as what you are saying about FCVs. Do some research because you’re lacking in facts and data to support anything you claim as valid TODAY. Start with the particle pollution life cycle study by the University of Minnesota (google PNAS vehicle life cycle study)

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            • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 8:09 am

              Your quite the insult machine. That is juvenile and most adults will read your posts as lacking maturity.

              Your debate tactics unfair and your conclusions skewed. Few argue:

              The market sales is a bad indicator of vehicle popularity.

              The battery car is lighter than FC per BTU
              The refueling constraints of battery car is more convenient
              The purchase price not a big deal
              That WWS power is prominent upon grid or soon to be
              That Environmentalist support nuclear power as good
              That if battery car is good than the Volt is better
              That future sales of either will be more than marginal

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 9:03 am

              Forrest, pointing out that your lack of facts, data, and logic is silly and that you ARE ignorant (proven) is not juvenile rather important so that others don’t mistake you for having any analysis that is accurate or of value. If you don’t believe you are being silly (meaning: weak-minded or lacking good sense) just chalk it up to denial being an additional thing you are demonstrating.

              So let’s just use basic facts to show how silly:

              Chevy Volt (the car we are discussing here) curb weight:
              3,543 pounds

              Toyota MIrai curb weight:
              4,079 pounds

              Hyundai Tuscon FCV
              4,150 pounds

              Both FCVs offer less performance than the Volt.

              The rest of your nonsense list are just straw man logical fallacies as those are not even close to points that I presented, rather your cherry picked straw men that are easy for you to tear down, and unrelated, because again, the topic being discussed here is *the Chevy Volt*.

              If you are going to publicly misinform about PEVs, you need to expect that more knowledgeable people are going to swiftly expose and debunk you. Better get used to it, and go back and do some real research before you post. I’m not the first and probably not the last to give you this heads up! :)

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            • By Forrest on October 26, 2015 at 9:37 am

              Your insults are as accurate as your misplaced comparisons. Compare, weight of battery vs hydrogen on equal btu basis. Your volt is not a battery car, more like a plug in hybrid. The data I’ve read the plug in acceptance and cost of marketplace is definitely a no go.

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            • By Mark Renburke on October 26, 2015 at 9:49 am

              Yours is a flawed, cherry picked comparison, and not using current vehicles rather some future theoretical products and scenarios, juts as you are attempting to do with your pro-ethanol fantasies. Simply claiming FCVs are “lighter” on a “on equal btu basis” a cherry-picked logical fallacy, as one is powered by an energy carrier, and the other by an energy *storage*device. If you want to claim that the basic technology for the vehicles themselves to operate without their power sources is lighter, remove the hydrogen and its tank from the vehicle, and then remove the battery, and weigh them. Which is “lighter” now?

              A person retaining basic critical think skills can see that regardless of whether the battery in a an EV weighs 400 pounds (Volt) or 600-1100 pounds (Leaf, Tesla, etc), the basic technology in an EV (or even a PHEV for that matter) currently weighs LESS than all the systems required (including a required battery) to make an FCV system complete with out its energy source…and we are talking about FCVs with small fuel cells (~100 kW) provide inferior driving power capability even compared to economy level PEVs like the Volt, LEAF, etc.

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          • By Mark Renburke on October 25, 2015 at 9:31 am

            Here the study, just particle pollution (“smog”) but other studies already show EVs equally or more favorable for CO2 reduction (see Union of Concerned Scientists 2014 updated map for WTW CO2 of EVs; my region equates to an 83 mpg car or better). Have a look at the ethanol pollution bars in Figure 2. Versus my Volt which is powered by only nuclear, natural gas and renewable (coal is virtually non-existent or single digit percent here in Southerm New England with the last coal plant shutteringfor good in 2017, as is the case or better in the West Coast where the majority of the ~400,000 PEVs to date are operating)
            http://m.pnas.org/content/111/52/18490.full

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      • By MisterEman on October 25, 2015 at 11:19 am

        “Fool Cells?” Not really supportive of them, although better than gas, I suppose, since they’re basically EV’s. So the driving experience would be comparable, I suppose. But I don’t want to waste time filling up with hydrogen when I never have to do that with my Tesla, since I have a “full tank” every morning. Also, why support a new, polluting infrastructure for the manufacture and distribution of hydrogen when we already have electricity in houses? Plus, my Tesla is even more fun than the Volt, and faster, and safer, etc. Who needs fuel cells?

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        • By Mark Renburke on October 27, 2015 at 11:42 am

          MisterEman asked: “Who needs fuel cells?” Exxon Mobil needs fuel cells, Exxon Mobil and dozens of other petroleum companies.

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  9. By Telveer on October 25, 2015 at 11:56 am

    What a bunch of baloney!

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  10. By Forrest on October 27, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I was reading about Volt’s technology to maintain the standard car battery. It’s again non standard technology. Just another layer of complexity the owner and repair shops needs to retrained upon. Why the use of a 12v common lead acid battery? Surely the high teck Volt would have the easiest and most reliable source of power with Lithium. I guess they believe the standard lead acid battery even with the additional weight has more value. Isn’t this the case in all of automotive. The value of lithium is not there, unless you can exploit the lithium for maximum usage and highest return of value. That is the zone mild hybrid hopes to capture if the price of lithium continues to fall, they think average consumer looking at value may opt for the extra expense of mild hybrid technology. I read reports from auto manufactures and industry experts that claim the same. As far as to be intelligently determined the plain ICE will remain supreme and viewed as the most desirable upon shopping public. Mild hybrids will creep into mainstream choice. Hybrids far behind. Battery cars, plugins, and fuel cell very anemic sales. They know what they speak as they have a good handle on how far the ICE technology can be pushed. They have a decent handle on cost of fuel and cost of power that is set to rapidly increase. We need to temper our thinking per reality and review why so many potential 2rd owners of these green cars did not return, but opted for luxurious SUV. So, if one was an environmentalist and truly attempting to make the auto and truck emissions minimal, they would be all over promoting ethanol blends and demanding optimized ethanol engines. Instead it appears they just love their solutions and looking for a problem to make them practical at any cost. It just smells of hypocrisy, when they fear monger GW and then insult nuclear, hydro, ethanol energy, and attempt to regulate ICE out of existence.

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    • By Forrest on October 28, 2015 at 7:44 am

      Think of a consumer that is attracted to the carrying capacity and roominess of the ever popular crossover vehicle. The luxury, value, quiet operation, performance, gas mileage, four wheel drive, handling, higher view, and good ride. It’s very impressive for the buck. The vehicle has ample acceleration, that is not a factor as quiet performance is well beyond need. Why would a consumer shopping for max value and suitability of family needs purchase a “Green” vehicle? The time value of money difference will more than offset the pennies saved on fuel and maintenance. Good mileage saves money. Extra, extra high mileage saves pennies. Consider the operator demands of the Green vehicle, the inconvenience, and anxiety. For most of the country the environmental benefits not that impressive either. Also, those regions of country powered by nuclear or hydro consider they have used all of the Green power before you purchased your vehicle. So, the power isn’t wasted. These low cost power generators will always be utilized first. Load balancing technology and utilization will improve regardless of battery car.

      Think of the second car purchase of the value shopper. Here is the only position a battery car could perform, but what utility does the car achieve? Most prefer a supportive car to have high utility such as load carry capability, extra passenger capability, towing capability. They trailer motorcycles, boats, RV trailers, snowmobiles or just tow other vehicles in transport. Consider the aluminum Ford Ecco-Boost that has high MPG without the high turbo need, but if the engine needs maximum torque the turbo will empower the engine to pull the heaviest loads. Consider the fuel cost would be minor once crossing well over the 20 mpg range. The purchase price always the largest cost factor. Consider the cost saving achieved by having such a vehicle with high utility.

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      • By Forrest on October 28, 2015 at 8:04 am

        Also, if your concerns lay with minimum environmental emissions, fuel up on mid level ethanol. It’s a very positive step and more powerful than given credit for. Most vehicles per my experience and a broad reporting public claim high blends of ethanol very attractive to engine longevity, performance, and low fuel cost. This may well be superior to electric power in your region.

        If you truly have a desire for lowest emission car out their on a budget, let me offer some advice. The greenest car would be an old car. A car you salvaged and reconditioned to run another 100,000 miles. The well to wheel accounting of GW gas has dwindled down to just fuel and tire wear at this point. This beats any modern “Green” vehicle ratings and double if powered on E85 fuel. Invest $1,200 for engine overhaul such as just recently quoted to me by Accurate Engines of Grand Rapids, MI. They take your engine out, overhaul, reinstall with impressive no cost 100,000 mile warranty. The engine will actually run as long as the prior engine. You should pick one of the higher Mpg vehicles that will achieve 25 mpg or so.

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        • By Forrest on October 29, 2015 at 8:46 am

          If Volt drivers really excited about a 15 mile battery range car, then consider other low cost alternatives for such short trips. Bicycle, powered skateboard, scooter, moped, or high mileage motorcycle such as Honda’s 250cc that has reported up to 100 mpg. This transportation is fun, low cost, and can be exercise. Or how about reviewing the Elio debut car 2015. This car will cost well below $10k and achieves 86 mpg on highway. Room for two and luggage. The company founder and CEO is an engineer and prior owner for automotive parts company. He designed a car that maximizes the most important detail within mpg. That would be wind drag. It’s responsible for something like 60% of energy waste. So, you could maximize that and still build a inexpensive car by not blowing such huge sums of money on trivial mpg improvement technology such as the Volts. This car company evaluated every car part attempting first to utilize off the self parts with a proven track record of reliability, low cost, and low weight. New parts such as the engine designed with the same criteria of maximum value and common low cost technology. The car has 100% U.S. content, extremely dependable, and extremely easy and low cost to fix. It meets all saftey and pollution standards. Reminds me of the beloved VW beetle design criteria. It would be a tremendous environmental car on its own, double than when fueling up with mid level blends of ethanol. Volt couldn’t touch this vehicle low carbon footprint. Nice that it can be a car for the masses. Nice that achieving high sales volumes per such masses that look for good value, sensible choices, and dependability will gladly opt for the “new” car. Their old car probably worn out, unsafe, suffering high repair bills, and low mpg. Wouldn’t this car model do 100x more for the environment than the ultra low sales volume Volt?

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