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USA: Electric Chevy Volt is alive and getting stronger by the day

I am responding to Pat Skrable’s April 23 “Another View” article, “Free market killed Chevy Volt, not the right wing, as libs say,” which alleges that the Chevy Volt is dead. Skrable ought to go to 3Way Chevrolet and test drive the very car he claims is dead. He will find that demand has outstripped production.

The Volt has forced the rest of the industry (Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi) to follow GM’s lead. Electric vehicles in general are spurring the installation of public charging stations — a financial commitment companies would not make unless they thought the cars were here to stay and likely to become a much larger share of the new car market.

Republican President George H.W. Bush purchased a Volt and gave it to Neil Bush, his son, as a birthday gift. The Volt is quite alive and well. March 2012 sales figures of 2,289 units sold belie Skrable’s “killing of the Volt” claim.

I am a Volt owner and, after 16,312 miles, am averaging 80.7 mpg. In a three-day period last week, I averaged 208 mpg. One Volt owner in Los Angeles is averaging 497 mpg over 10,600 miles.

I have a 5.25 kW solar system that recharges my Volt to the tune of 99 cents for 40 miles. Then the backup gasoline engine-generator gives me another 300 miles. Yes, gasoline — only I am averaging 48 mpg. No, the Volt is not an all-electric vehicle. The Volt replaced my ’98 ES300 Lexus that was getting 23 mpg. At current prices, the Lexus would have cost 18 cents per mile in gas. My Volt’s average gas-only cost is 9 cents a mile. At 80 miles per gallon net (gas plus electricity) I average 5 cents per mile. After-tax money stays in my pocket because of the decision to invest in the Volt. I have calculated that the Volt will save me over $21,000 in gasoline in eight years. Skrable will have a shoebox filled with $21,000 in gasoline receipts if he is getting 23 miles per gallon. If I had burned gasoline in my Lexus, I would have consumed 709 gallons and spewed over 14,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Last Nov. 25, a young man ran a red light and T-boned my side of the Volt. He said he was travelling 35 mph. After the accident I was able to roll down my window to assist first-responders tending to my wife! The impact resistance of the Volt is rated at five stars of five. I was really glad I was in my Volt and not my 1998 Lexus. Air bags deployed and the strength of the construction of the Volt kept his pickup truck out of the passenger compartment.


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