The new electric car from Chevrolet, the Volt, is being highly touted. It is called a plug-in car. You simply plug it in to charge it up. It also runs on gas when the charge it low.
The thing lists for around $40K but Chevy states that "qualified buyers" can get a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. I wonder who qualifies for this little federal tax credit or added incentive as they call it. And more to the point, who is paying for it. The answer seems clear to me.
The Volt will go 25 to 50 miles on battery before it switches over to gas. This represents a usage of about 36 kWh per 100 miles. There are varying calculations out there about how much it would cost to charge the battery, but using the ones I found on GM's site, at 10 cents a kWh, this car would cost about $2.64 per mile to operate. Fair enough.
What will happen to electric rates if demand goes up higher due to more of these types of cars on the road? The majority of electricity in the US is generated by burning oil, coal, or natural gas. Sounds like we would be defeating our goal of getting off these things to me. The $2,64 that GM quotes in their engineering statistics looks good right now, but what if gas goes back down or if electricity rates rise due to higher demand? Also, that price is only good for up to about 50 miles until the gas engine kicks in.
The batteries are supposed to last for 10 years. There is some criticism that the battery does not operate well in cold climates. I wonder where the used batteries will be disposed of.
Any input on the new car or technology?