Thursday, December 1, 2011

Math Is Hard!

Oh gods, what fools these greenies be.

Stopped into the local warehouse store this weekend. They've got partnerships with various businesses that give discount to club members; one of which is special pricing from a local car dealer. There's often a special model car out in front of the club, and this past weekend they were showcasing this:

It's Electric!

That's a 2012 Chevrolet Volt, the (heavily subsidized) plug-in hybrid electric/gas econobox from Government Motors.

Take a closer look at the price tag:


Now, take a look at another part of the sticker:


Got that? 35 freakin' miles on a charge. The rest of your trip takes place courtesy of a tiny gasoline motor that gets less-than-fantastic mileage, mainly because it's trying to power a vehicle that's too large for it. You'll save $7,600 in fuel costs over five years! It's right there on the sticker! Too bad it costs about $25,000 more than any other comparably sized vehicle, so it will take you more than 15 years TO BREAK EVEN.

Let me state this as clearly as I can: If you buy this car expecting to save money, you are a fucking moron.

You're not saving any money whatsoever - at $46,000, the difference between the Volt and a Civic/Corolla/Sentra/any other comparably sized gasoline engine car in gas mileage is negligible. Even with gas at $4 a gallon and and an annual commute of 20,000 miles, the gasoline-only car getting 25 MPG would cost you $3200 for the year. Even if the Volt were 100% free, it would still take almost 10 years of driving to offset the cost differential.

And this one does run on coal, at least in those paltry 35 miles you run on the batteries. That's another bone of contention. 35 miles on a 4 hour charge? What's the point? I have a pretty reasonable commute - only 15 miles each way - and I'd be hard-pressed to make it back and forth to work on a single charge if the weather is bad, I hit heavy traffic, or I run the air conditioning in the summer. Oh, and it might catch fire in an offset crash. Nothing to see here.

Only a car company owned by the Federal government could screw up a hybrid this bad.

That is all.


Marty said...

Worse still is that if you use a plug in electric car it is actually being powered by COAL. Your net carbon footprint goes UP!

Pakkinpoppa said...

Limbaugh always calls them "coal powered cars" since electric has a further journey than just from those holes in the wall.

Thirdpower said...

Don't forget that you still have to plug the things in for that charge time and you're paying for the electricity.

Scratch that fuel savings.

AndrewSarchus said...

It's even worse. They calculate the eMPG based on what is in the battery (energy equivalent to 1/3 of a gallon of gas). But if you include the genneration and transmission losses this turd goes about 35 miles on the coal equivalent of a gallon of gas. So the MPG actually goes up when the engine starts.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Another Dirty Little Secret: I think theres a Tax Write Off in the Federal Code that goes with this Monstrosity, and I know the People's Republik of Kalifornia gives out a Big one for Hybrids, also. Less revenue for the State and Feds. BUT a 50+MPG Volkswagen Diesel does NOT get that Tax Break, because it uses "Evil Diesel", even though the new Diesel Fuel Tdi's are Cleaner than Gas Powered Prius'.

I remember when GM started their Ad Campaign for the Volt. They claimed it was ALL Electric, and were finally forced to admit that it was just a Hybrid when people at the Auto Shows pointed to Gas Caps and Fuel Injectors and said 'Why are they on an all Electric Car?"

Of course, the Greens are really Stupid. They think that those who have $46,000 to pony up will spend it on that POS. But they forget that there aren't THAT many Idjits around, and one could buy a Nice F-250 4x4 Diesel Earth Fucker for that same amount of cash, and it'll be cheaper to run over its lifespan than any Hybrid.

Mikael said...

In the meantime the swiss have a futuristic looking electric RV due to release 2014... it's got a topspeed of about 90mph, but it runs 24 hours on a full charge... and the it has sunpanels on the roof that will recharge it in 8 hours(in other words, as long as the sun is shining, you drive it for free, with practically unlimited range).

Or at least that's what I read in the paper earlier this week... the name of the car is Ecco.

No mention of a pricetag though.

Jay G said...

And that's the whole thing, isn't it?

If a Prius were maybe $1K or even $2K more than the Corolla, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. It's not, though; it's $10K.

I've had it pointed out that the new Honda Insight is *far* more reasonably priced compared to the same-sized Civic; even there the differential is still $3-4K.

The car companies have to make their investment back, certainly. Toyota got in on the ground floor with the Prius insofar as being a status symbol - note that when it looked identical to the Toyota Echo, sales were abysmal. As soon as they redesigned it to a completely different, unique look it started selling like gangbusters - because it was trendy.

Anonymous said...

zeeke42 said...

My Honda Fit gets 38mpg and cost $16k. With gas at $5/gallon, I can drive it 228,000 miles for the cost difference.

Laura said...

Let me state this as clearly as I can: If you buy this car expecting to save money, you are a fucking moron.

I'd like to edit that. If you buy this car, you're a moron. Plain and simple.

Laura said...

By the way...the new Elantra easily gets 35MPG city, and my Sonata gets 35 highway with only a little focus on avoiding traffic. Even a fully loaded Sonata costs less than that fugtastic piece of tin.

Wolfman said...

I did the math on a plug'n'pray electric a while back. Using the Electric industry's own numbers for liquid fuel generation (to keep apples with apples) and accounting for line loss and off-peak generation loss (I used the 70% loss figure that I was given in college, if anyone has a better/more verifiable figure, please enlighten) I figure that the Nissan Leaf gets the equivalent of 10mpg. My diesel pick-up gets 19 avg, weighs around 7000 lbs, and I drive it like I stole it.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

My new (to me) '08 Saturn Astra is averaging 29 mpg so far (in very "stop and go" traffic). Driving it home from my parents after the holiday I was getting 34 mpg (mixed interstate and state highway). The car itself cost less than 1/4 what they're charging for that hybrid POS.

If I bought a Volt, I would never be able to make back the cost difference - the car would stop working and have to be replaced before reaching that point, even taking into consideration the extra 3 years / 40,000 miles I might get out of the Volt and ignoring any battery replacement issues.

Why would anyone with a brain buy a Volt when a good used car will be cheaper - both immediately and in the long run - and last nearly as long?

Weer'd Beard said...

Not to mention all the toxic shit used to make the batteries, and how your power was generated. If you buy this car expecting to save the environment, you are a fucking moron.

And of course weather you buy the shitty car or not, we all paid for it.

Nice, huh?

Stretch said...

Since we've nuclear generators providing some of our grid's power I use the expression "nuc-u-lar powered car" to annoy pious Prius drivers.

Mr Evilwrench said...

Plus, the batteries have a *gasp* lifespan, and *oh noes* a replacement cost. If you're sinking $5k into a new set of batteries every 5 years, just think how much that works on the cost!

Anonymous said...

in a state such as Michigan, with the defroster and heater running in the winter with sub zero temps, you'll be lucky to get out of the drivway before the batteries are dead.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Heh. And now this story came up on Yahoo today:

Another Chevy Volt fire risk? Power cords may ignite.

The Chevy Volt is simply Fail on four wheels.

Justin Buist said...

"in a state such as Michigan, with the defroster and heater running in the winter with sub zero temps, you'll be lucky to get out of the drivway before the batteries are dead."

They thought of that. Both the Nissan Leaf, and I believe the Volt, can be programmed to warm up or cool down while still plugged in. That way the bulk of the work is done off the grid instead of the battery.

I was pretty stoked about the Volt in its original design. All electric drive with just a motor for a generator. Then they went and made it into a damned hybrid.

Ross said...

If any car companies are reading this, here's what it will take to sell me an electric car:

Charged range of 250 miles - REAL miles, with lights shining, AC blowing and radio playing, not some lab figure that's too optimistic by 50%.

An ROI of no more than 2 years greater than a comparable non-electric car.

All-wheel drive - I live in freakin' New England, where we have SNOW.

Make it the size (at least) of something like a Subaru wagon so I can carry all my guns.

Batteries should be replaceable by a shade-tree mechanic (Tom Swift and His Electric Car, anyone?).

That would sell me on an electric car. Until then... keep trying.

TOTWTYTR said...

Not to mention that there have been several battery fires in Volts of late. The DOT is investigating and a recall may be coming in the near future.

Oh that "$7,600" savings that they tout on the sticker? That comes from you and me. Come to think of it, much of the money used to develop that POS comes from you and me.