How Many Chevy Volts Will Be Sold in Nevada County?

Russ Steele

My CABPRO News was in the mail today and when I read this letter to the editor, it left me wondering how many Chevy Volts will be sold in the County?

The letter is on line HERE

Eric Bolling (Fox Business Channel’s Follow the Money) test drove the Chevy
Volt at the invitation of General Motors.

For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine. Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery. So, the range including the 9 gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles. It will take you 4 1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours. In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.
According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of electricity. It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.  The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned so I looked up what I pay for electricity.  I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery. (Electricity is expensive and the Government wants to make it more so). $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.

Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine only that gets 32 mpg. $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.

The gasoline powered car cost about $15,000 (more like $20K) while the Volt costs $46,000.

So GM (Government Motors) & the Government want us to pay 3 times as much for a car that costs more than 7 times as much to run and takes 3 times as long to drive across country.
You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure the GM Volt is not very cost effective and does not save energy in the long run.

And, you may recall Nevada County does not have any 220 or 440 volt charging station in the County.  I have serious doubt that we will even see any Chevy Volts in Western Nevada County.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

7 Responses to How Many Chevy Volts Will Be Sold in Nevada County?

  1. stevefrisch says:

    Yeah, I wonder what your editorial responsibility is as a web site editor. The figures on price per kwh for electricity used by the esteemed former reporter for Fox Business Network used to calculate the cost of charging the Chevy Volt are off by a factor of 10. The national average price per kwh for electricity in the Us was $0.1153 per kwh, not $1.16 per kwh. So the cost per charge nationally is actually closer to $1.80.

    Of course in California our average cost per kwh is more like $0.14 so it would be an extra 15 to 20 cents to charge here!

    • sean2829 says:

      At $0.14/ kwh it would take $2.24 for 25 miles of driving which is pretty close to $0.09 per mile. That means running on electric is not that much different to running on gas but the car costs twice as much. A hybrid, which has a much smaller price premium and getting 45 mpg is much more cost effective.
      I have to admit I like the idea of a plug in hybrid but this first iteration by GM leaves a lot to be desired. Between its weight and its sticker price it’s hard to make a case for the Volt. It seems the most compelling reason to purchase this car is access to HOV lanes.

  2. Steven,

    Read the letter a little more closely, the writer was quoting his cost, not the national average. I do not edit letters to the editor, they are what they are one persons opinion, nothing more. It was the letter writer doing the calculation not the Fox Reporter. You are letting you emotions get in the way of your thinking.

    • stevefrisch says:

      Yeah, Russ, what I am saying is that you clearly printed a letter that is inaccurate. There is nowhere in the US where electricity is $1.16 per kwk–the highest is Hawaii at $0.25 per kwh.

  3. stevefrisch says:

    The other issue that is relevant here is that the Volt (or any other electric vehicle) is a niche vehicle. It is not designed nor recommended for people who live in Wyoming, or for that matter Cement Hill. It is a car for people who live in an urban setting, may only drive 25 miles a day, or use it commute to work and charge while parked.

  4. Steven,

    It appears the letter writer misplaced a decimal point. It was perhaps 11.6 kwh. In Hawaii it is 36.25 cents per kwh, according to the EIA. Readers can see the rate in the communities they live here:

  5. I was watching CSPAN last week and a fellow was being interviewed about the “electric” car and he called them “coal-fueled” cars. I thought how appropriate.

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