General Motors is now offering a whopping $10,000 worth of rebates toward the purchase of a Chevy Volt. Now, cue the wise-guys, right-wingers, Tea Partiers and snark merchants to say, "See. Told ya it was a flop and a waste of tax-payer money."
It's been a bad two days for electric cars. First, the Congressional Budget Office skewered the government's rebate program for electric car buyers, saying the program doesn't actually do anything to boost electric-car sales. Then Toyota announced it is scrapping plans for a small all-electric car, according to Reuters, because nobody wants them.
The EPA has finally weighed in with its (long awaited) fuel economy numbers for the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. While the results are impressive – 93 and 99 miles per gallon equivalent for each of the two vehicles, respectively – the more important story is that consumers are likely to remain confused about just how fuel-efficient this new automotive technology is.
On the first day of its Chevy Volt media drive program, GM officials confirmed speculation that the Volt's 1.4-liter gas engine does help drive the wheels of the car, "in low torque situations," according to Volt chief engineer Andrew Farah. "It's all about efficiency," he said. GM is using a version of its two-mode hybrid transmission that allows for a so-called "power split" mode that connects the crankshaft of the gas engine to the Volt's two electric drive motors by means of a planetary gea
Translogic episode 5.3 takes a look at the 2011 Chevy Volt and what makes it tick, and next week we'll get behind the wheel to tear up GM's Milford Proving Grounds in our in-depth road test. But first, let's clear up a few issues. With the Volt just months away from going on sale late this year, consumers still have plenty of questions about how it works and why General Motors built it the way it did.
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