Here's what I learned about Chevrolet's Volt (and the MPV5 5-passenger Crossover version of the Volt): In a Volt with fully charged batteries, enough electrical energy will be stored to power the Volt up to 40 miles (64 km). This distance is capable of satisfying the daily commute for 75% of Americans, whose commute is on average 33 miles. After 40 miles, a small 4-cylinder gasoline internal combustion engine creates electricity on-board using a 53 kW (71 hp) generator to extend the Volt's non-stop range to more than 300 miles (483 km). The electrical power from the generator is sent primarily to the electric motor, with the excess going to the batteries, depending on the state of charge of the battery pack and the power demanded at the wheels.
16 kW/hr (8.8 kW/hr usable) lithium-ion battery pack can be fully charged by plugging the car into a 120-240VAC residential electrical outlet using the standard-equipment charging cord. No external charging station is needed.
In Anchorage, Alaska, the Municipal Light
& Power utility price for residential electricity was 11.3 cents per
kWh in 2004. Does this mean the cost of fully re-charging a depleted battery will cost about a dollar (8.8kW-h X $0.113 = 99.44)? If so, does this mean I can go about 40 miles at a "fuel" (energy) cost of $00.0249 (2.5 cents) per mile?
Since I presently pay about $3.33 for a gallon
of gas, averaging about 22.5mpg driving around town, I pay a fuel (energy) cost of 15 cents per mile ($3.33gal / 22.5mpg = $0.148), right?
I drive a Volt about 30 miles per day every day of the year, I'd never use gas to re-charge the battery so my daily fuel cost would be 30 X .0249, or $0.75. This means my annual fuel (energy) cost would be $271.91, about twice the normal monthly household electrical bill in my area. At 22.5 mpg and $3.33/gallon for fuel, my present car costs me $4.44/day, or $1,616.16 each year, so does this mean a Volt could reduce my cost of driving by $1,344.25/year (83%)?! If I got a 5-year loan at 10%, promising to pay $1,344.25 /year, I could borrow $5,096 from my credit union or bank simply because the cost of driving the Volt will free up most of the money I pay for gas each month.
If a Volt
doesn't cost more than $5,000 above what I paid for my 2009 Subaru that has about the same specs as the Volt, why wouldn't I be interested in a Volt or the more versatile MPV5?
Since initial production of the Volt will be relatively small, it's likely the cost of such vehicles will decrease when production volumes produce economies of scale, therefore, I suspect the initial $41,000 price will decrease. The value of the $7,000+ tax credit is, of course, uncertain.