Is the Chevy Volt the happy medium of electric cars?
Posted by David Brooks | Monday, July 16, 2012
From one ponit of view, the Chevy Volt is just a plug-in hybrid; from another, it's the range-anxiety-free electric car you've been waiting for. (The Volt is almost always driven by the electric motor, even at high speeds; standard hybrids, whether parallel or series, use the gas motor to drive the wheels much of the time.)
My column today talks to a Volt owner. He pulled in next to me at a local bakery and I rushed over, since it was the first local Volt I had seen. That's one of the fun things about being a reporter: You have an excuse to badger strangers.
He loves it, and in the first 90 days is burning fuel at the equivalent of about 120 mpg. Of course, that doesn't count the cost of electricity for overnight recharging.
One notable point: The owner is roughly my age, and this is the first American can that he or his wife have ever bought. We grew up in the era of the Pinto and Vega and other rusting Detroit crap, to put it bluntly; the thought of buying an American car never crossed our minds. That seems to be changing.