>Strained metaphors aside, numerous questions are popping up about two of the “stars” of the green car scene. The Nissan LEAF is a fully electric vehicle, and the Chevrolet Volt is an extended range electric vehicle. The LEAF is predicted to have a 100 mile range, while the Volt is projected to have a 40 mile electric-only range while the gasoline engine kicks in to power a generator that powers the electric motors for the remainder of the range.
While both of these cars are being celebrated in the press and in the greenspace for their innovation and ability to bring sustainability to the masses, concerns are being raised about some of the practical aspects. In a recent article by Popular Mechanics, they reported that the LEAF required a charge that takes up to SIXTEEN hours. Faster charging options are available, but they would presumably only be “available” as an extra-cost option.
The Volt is also being dogged by rumors and speculation. In a pseudo-viral marketing runup to a big announcement by GM, they launched the “What is 230?” campaign. As it turns out, “230” is the city MPG figure for the Volt. Supposedly. While the formulas are still being worked out as the how to convert energy (measured in killowatt/hours) into miles per gallon, the EPA is backing down from a confirmation of the claim. In addition, many are starting to question the 230 number to begin with.
As twitter user @AsianMartin noted (he’s the one who supplied the picture), GM might not be entirely truthful.
Once again, electric cars, or even extended-range electric cars, might not be feasible for the foreseeable immediate future. The Volt looks to retail for a prohibitively-expensive $43,000, and a LEAF driver might want to go on a road trip of more than 100 miles- or 50 miles, if they want to return in the same day.