Friday, March 25, 2011

Chevy Volt And Nissan Leaf: Battery Technology Not There Yet

This is what happens when a pseudo professor, with no practical experience, takes over a car company and places his cronies and unions in charge. Out comes a useless, unwanted vehicle that will cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars and insure the future failure of the American automobile industry. I only wonder how the usually astute Japanese fell for all this hype.

Excerpt, I believe from the WSJ:
Consumer Reports doesn’t have good early reviews for Chevrolet’s flagship entry into electric vehicles. A top editor from the publication said the Chevy Volt, which has both a plug-in battery and a gasoline engine “isn’t particularly efficient as an electric vehicle and it’s not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy.” He concluded that it just “doesn’t make an awful lot of sense.”

He’s right when you consider the cost and performance of PEVs, starting with the batteries, which require major breakthroughs before they will be ready for prime time. A battery for a small vehicle like the Nissan Leaf can cost about $20,000 and still only put out a range of 80 miles on a good day (range is affected by hot and cold weather) before requiring a recharge that takes eight to 10 hours. Even then, those batteries may only last six to eight years, leaving consumers with a vehicle that has little resale value.

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