In the United States, the government “bought out” General Motors Corporation in order to keep it from going bankrupt. The government promised (which should have been the first premonition of failure) that this newly acquired yet unofficial government auto manufacturer would soon produce affordable electric cars.
Move forward 5 years, and let’s see how that worked out. The Chevrolet Volt was a much anticipated response to the desire to get away from fossil fuels. Released in 2011, the Volt was also sold in Europe as the Vauxhall and Opel Ampera, and in Austrailia as the Holden Volt.
The Volt is a gasoline/hybrid. The gasoline motor is a generator that provides power for the electric engine. In addition, braking in the Volt also produces energy to charge the battery. It’s a great concept, but does it work?
A driver’s experience with electric cars was actually excellent. Is there anyone who drove and didn’t like the Toyota Prius? It has plenty of spunk for merging in traffic, and never lags in power when needed to pass speed. It is easy to maneuver and comfortable, too. So, why don’t more people buy one?
There are two really major reasons people in US do not buy an electric car, whether Prius or Volt. The first and foremost reason is that they are small cars. Here’s what someone who has experience and loves the Prius say:
“The Volt is a little bigger than the Prius, but I have been in two major car wrecks that totaled my Chevrolet Impalas. Those are medium sized sedans. In one case, an SUV drove into the trunk of my Impala and shoved me into the SUV in front of me. Had I been in a Prius or even a Volt, I would not be here today.
The other reason they don’t drive an electric vehicle is that they are too expensive. A new Volt costs nearly $40,000. People buy at most $18,000 cars. You don’t buy a used electric car, because it’s probably about time to buy new lithium batteries for them, and those cost more than my kids’ cars cost.”
Right now, with current technology, you can’t make an electric car big enough or cheap enough for average people to drive. Only the rich elite can afford an electric car, and they’re not about to be seen in one of those little vehicles.
When you include the high cost of repairs and battery replacement, the length of time it takes to recharge the battery (15 hours for the Volt), and the fact that they’re just too small, electric vehicles have a long way to go. Some people can afford to purchase them, but my used Hummer gets good enough mileage (believe it or not) that I can wear the thing out without burning $20,000 worth of gas. And – nobody claims they didn’t see me in a red Hummer.
Which brings us to LENR. Now, that’s some technology we can hardly wait for. While Andrea Rossi says that automotive LENR technology is 20 years distant, this technology moves fast. And some genius will figure out how to make an E-Cat device that passes safety certifications and provides motorized vehicles with sufficient power to leave fossil fuels behind.