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When President Obama won his office, many felt cheered and relieved that a savvy, well-spoken – "cool" – man of the people had replaced an incurious, inarticulate – embarrassing – aristocrat as "leader of the free world." But many right-wing media outfits and politicians have kept campaigning against Obama, and some have cast silly suspicion on the country's first black president as a foreign-born Marxist that would "turn [the US] into a Muslim nation." And, since Obama routed some of the TARP bank bailout money to save General Motors, and some of the Recovery Act stimulus money to create a domestic electric car industry, many right-wingers have gone on to smear GM's new electric car – the Chevy Volt. In the same silly fashion, some of these right-wingers have painted the car as an "exploding Obamamobile," made in China, that might leave you stranded in the Lincoln Tunnel. But (like Obama) the Chevy Volt is cool. You plug it into an electric socket in your garage overnight, and the next day drive it 35 miles solely on electric power, for about one-third the price of gasoline. After those 35 miles, whether you find yourself in the Lincoln Tunnel or anywhere else, the Volt's gasoline motor switches on, and you can drive to the farthest coast getting 40 highway miles per gallon. If you never drive more than 35 miles, you practically never buy gas. And, by the acclaim of the automotive press and of those who own one, the Volt is a safe, trouble-free, well-performing, fun-to-drive vehicle. 39 owners reviewed the Volt at Edmunds' website, giving it an average of five out of five stars. Here are some of the comments:

The best way that I can describe how the Volt drives and handles is that it is solid and extremely quiet. The doors close with a solid thud and when underway, the steering is connected to the road and the cabin is extremely quiet. ... (2012-03-23)
I just purchased a Volt; great car: great performance, really fun to drive, amazing torque, very high quality build, been running it almost entirely on electricity (... radius of my daily driving is not more than 35 miles), the gasoline engine kicks in seamlessely to extend range to 300+ miles (at approx 40 mpg), and easy to recharge at night. ... (2012-03-03)
This car is fantastic! -- It's as roomy as an entry level Mercedes Benz, zips around city streets like a sports car, handles like a BMW and is quieter than a Rolls Royce.  ... The interior is sleek and comfortable ... According to my odometer, so far I've driven 1325 miles on 0.2 gallons of gas. (2012-02-16)
This is the best car I have ever owned. It looks good, handles well and is incredibly inexpensive to drive. 6,500 miles and 41 gallons of gas - only because I drove it to FL from MI. 42.5 mpg on the way down using gas. I drive it typically under 30 miles per day and usually have 39-40 miles of battery available when I start in the morning. So unless I need to go more than 40 miles, I don't use any gas. I plug the car into my 110v house system at 8:00 at night and it's fully charged in 10 hrs (6 am). ...
My wife and I had the privilege of having a 1999 GM EV1 when it was a  prototype all electric car with a range of 90-110 miles. ... We loved that car! When the EV1 was taken back by GM as part of the agreed up prototye lease agreement we kept aiting and looking for an alternative fuel replacement. ...

The Volt meets nearly all my needs. It has an all electric range of 38-50 miles in my experience. ... I am an engineer and this car is loaded with features. I feel GM could have badged this as a Cadillac. (2012-04-20)

These ratings are borne out by Consumer Reports' survey finding the Chevy Volt number one in customer satisfaction. The Volt has also won the North American and Euro Car of the Year awards. And a citizen of the U.S.A. can take pride that this machine is designed, engineered and built in America, its factories in Flint, Hamtrammack, and elsewhere around Detroit, the good old heart of America's auto industry. And you don't have to say it of President Obama to say it of the Chevy Volt – it is all-American and cool.

(From The Paragraph.) [Sources] (Click for FREE BOOK.)

* * *

By Quinn Hungeski,, Copyright (CC BY-ND) 2012

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Comment Preferences

  •  Time magazine rated it the lowest cost-per-mile (8+ / 0-)

    to own over a (iirc) 100,000 mile service life.

  •  I saw one on the road today, (11+ / 0-)

    It's a really sharp looking car.  It amazes me how Republicans are now rooting for the failure of GM, considering the long history of the "Buy American" theme in Republican thought, especially with regard to automobiles.  Their hatred of Obama truly trumps all.

    •  I did too! Man, oh man... was I coveting it! (6+ / 0-)

      They are beautiful pieces of machinery.  

      I want one...big time!

      "The death penalty is never about the criminal. They've already done their worst. The question is always "will we join them"?" - jlynne

      by Hopeful Skeptic on Tue May 08, 2012 at 10:26:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. I'm flabbergasted. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungeski, 6ZONite, sostos, JeffW
      It amazes me how Republicans are now rooting for the failure of GM, considering the long history of the "Buy American" theme in Republican thought, especially with regard to automobiles.  Their hatred of Obama truly trumps all.
      I'm planning to buy a car soon.  I want to test drive a Volt.  My father says that if I decide to buy one, it will take six months or more for me to get it.  That doesn't make sense to me, because Chevrolet shut down the Volt factory for four weeks earlier this year for lack of sales.  Even if my local dealer doesn't have one in stock beyond the "floor sample", it seems to me that I should be able to get one as fast as the car transporter can bring it from the factory.  

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Wed May 09, 2012 at 08:23:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the most advanced powertrain available today. (5+ / 0-)

    Built in America by union auto workers.

    I'd buy one except I need a micro-van for work.  None the less, the Volt plug-in hybrid system will soon enough become the universal standard on cars and light trucks.  And there are other hybrid systems available for heavy trucks, particularly in urban service with stop-and-go driving.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Tue May 08, 2012 at 10:04:26 PM PDT

  •  Love My Volt (7+ / 0-)

    I've had my Volt a little over 5 months.   It is such a pleasure to drive.   I simply love to drive this car.

    I passed 8,000 electric miles a few days ago.   I still have half a tank left.   I actually go out of my way to make sure I do not burn any gas.   The last time I burned gas to actually propel the car was 5,000 miles ago back in February.   I am getting over 1,750 MPG.   Here are my statistics on VoltStats.

    The amazing this is that this car can actually pay for itself if you drive enough EV miles.   I will probably average 18K-20K EV miles this year.   Compared to my previous car that was getting 30MPG the gasoline would cost  $2,400 at $4/gallon.    My electric costs at $0.10 /kWh would be $450 assuming 40 miles per charge.   I usually average more.   This translates to $2,000 / year savings.

    •  thanks for the info . . . (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      defluxion10, hungeski, Gary Norton, Lujane

      how does it do warming up on frigid winter days after sitting in a frozen parking lot for several hours?  i mean, would you need to initially run the gasoline motor to get the heater cranked up enough to help melt the ice off the windshield?

      •  Here is what one Volt owner said about heating ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton, Lujane, 6ZONite

        "The heater works fine which was a concern of mine. There are 2 heater modes. Eco consumes less battery but doesn't heat as effectively. Regular is equivalent to other cars. When it is quite cold (less than 28 F), the battery will get you 33 miles but beware the gas engine will go on for about 5 of those miles to keep the battery and cabin warm. The best you'll get is about 130 mpg for those 33 miles."

        The Paragraph: Terse news, history and science.

        by hungeski on Wed May 09, 2012 at 05:20:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cold weather in the Volt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungeski, Lujane, 6ZONite

        When the ambient temperature drops to 25 degrees or lower.   The engine will turn on for a minute or two.   It will usually burn 0.03 gallons each time it turns on.   The engine turn on in order to warm fluids for the climate control.   This generally happens every 10 minutes or so.

        Range really drops pretty significantly in colder temperatures.   I'm in DC area and my 40 mile r/t commute is right at the edge of the range.   I actually do not run the heat on my commute so I can go gas free.   I do preheat the cabin off of the grid prior to leaving.   I just wear a coat and gloves!

        Now this spring with 70+ degree days, I complete my commute usually with 10-12 miles of range left compared to 2-3 on the coldest of days.

        The electric heat really kills the range of the Volt more than anything else.   There is no way to tell the Volt to turn the engine on NOW.   The Ampera (European Volt) has a mode called "Hold".   This causes the Engine to run now and will save the battery for later.   Supposedly the 2013 Volt will have this option.  

  •  The Volt is a great step forward (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6ZONite, defluxion10, hungeski, Lujane

    It's a transition vehicle, and a very good one, but the Holy Grail is an all electric car with enough battery capacity and sufficiently distributed charging stations to make it more than a short range commuter vehicle.

    Once a distributed charging network is built, we can kiss the domination of gasoline powered cars goodbye.

    The Volt has both an electric car system and a gasoline car system built into it. That is a good solution for today, but it is inefficient in comparison with an all electric car infrastructure. So, until we create that better system, the Volt has got the market sewn up.

    "11 dimensional chess" is a clever form of using magical thinking to obfuscate the obvious.

    by Zinman on Tue May 08, 2012 at 10:35:46 PM PDT

  •  And with a Wood Gasifier powered (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Skeptic, hungeski, Lujane

    Internal Combustion Engine Electric Generator at home the Volt should be the Hit with a bunch of people who probably vote Republican,and the beauty of this is that unlike trying to convert a Trucks gas engine into burning wood-gas the Volt would be totally unchanged and for longer distances put a Wood Gas powered Gas Engine Generator on a small trailer an tow it along behind the Volt.And of course there is always Solar Power to charge 'em up with as well as any-other Off-the-Grid electric System that can recharge 'em.

  •  I love my volt. I've owned 26 cars and (5+ / 0-)

    this is probably my favorite. It is designed and built very well. Quick, smooth, tight and fun are the words that describes how it drives. Once you feel that seamless electric power everything else feels clunky.

    Also, it is probably the only car that pays for itself. Mine was fully loaded for $44K. But the Feds are giving me $7.5K and CO gives me $5,900K and GM gave me no interest financing. My time of use electric rate is 4.6 cents/KWH which means it costs 1.8 cents/mile to drive on electric. Using EPA's numbers driving 15,000 year combined electric and gas will save me $2,400/ year. In 12 years, those savings pay for the car. And EPA's numbers are conservative. They project 35 miles on a charge, I'm getting over 40.

    But while the money and the environment are important at the end of the day you have to like the car. Well that's easy with the Volt. I love it. Since we got it we hardly ever drive are other car which is no beater. But it just doesn't compare with the Volt

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Wed May 09, 2012 at 05:39:26 AM PDT

    •  Feel the same way (4+ / 0-)

      When I first test drove the Volt a little over a year ago, I was amazed at how refined the interior was.   It is beautiful inside and out.

      I just love going for drives in this car.   I find any excuse I can to go for a ride.   The only other car I felt like that was my '95 RX7.

      I was able to get 56 miles on a charge the other day, which is my record so far.   With warmer temperatures I am averaging close to 50.

  •  Diesel Version would be even better (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungeski, 6ZONite

    because it would get 30% better fuel economy when the engine is running, and could be run on Bio Diesel.
    Also, the volt is far, far too expensive for someone like me to buy, even used, my current car was bought used for just $2500 and despite the gas cost, it would take forever to save the difference. I guess it'd be nice to see a 'starter' electric car for about 10/15K

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Wed May 09, 2012 at 06:11:17 AM PDT

  •  I want one but I don't have a garage. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungeski, 6ZONite

    Guess Ill keep my 21 year old Toyota Corolla another year or two.

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