Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What kind of MPK does your car get?

I love gadgets. I'm a gadget guy. Most of my gadgets wind up on Ebay, so I'm now being very careful with the gadgets I decide to buy. I've resisted the PSP and the Kindle - so far.

Lately though, I've noticed that gadget just wind up costing you more money. Like that Kindle gadget. It's nice. Now they have a DX model or something, with a 9-inch screen. Once you buy the Kindle (for a cool $500) you need to buy the books (duh) for ten bucks and/or (slash) a newspaper subscription for six bucks a month. Currently, I'm wondering if the 500 bucks is a small enough investment to justify not having the newspaper delivered. I'm guessing not, so I'll keep getting my paper newspaper and throwing it in the recycle bin - for now at least.

The latest gadget looks like a good idea, but I have a question:
WARREN, Michigan – General Motors Corp. said Tuesday its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon (98 kilometers per liter) of gasoline in city driving, more than four times the current champion, the Toyota Prius.
The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile (65-kilometer) range. After that, a small internal combustion engine kicks in to generate electricity for a total range of 300 miles (480 kilometers). The battery pack can be recharged from a standard home outlet.

An electric car. Screw the oil companies, right? Maybe. Amidst all the hyperbole, nobody is saying what it will cost to re-charge the battery. Electricity isn't cheap, and it isn't getting any cheaper. We're constantly hearing about "energy vampires" in our home that continue to use power even when they're off: TVs, DVD players, cell phone chargers, computers, microwaves -- virtually everything in your home that's plugged in and has a clock or some reserve power supply uses electricity to keep it active while you're at work.
My question: What is it going to cost to re-charge the battery? It has to take a Hell of a lot more power to charge an automobile battery - especially one that runs an engine - than it does to charge a tiny cell phone or iPod.

Although General Motors would not give details on pricing, the first-generation Volt is expected to cost near $40,000, making it cost-prohibitive to many people even if gasoline returns to $4 per gallon.
The price is expected to drop with future generations of the Volt, but GM has said government tax credits of up to $7,500 and the savings on fuel could make it cost-effective, especially at 230 miles per gallon.

Sure, there's that 230 miles per gallon thing again.
They don't give details on what it will cost to fuel it from your home power outlet, and something tells me that might negate some of the luster from the alleged 230 miles per gallon, and might cause consumers to pose a new question:
What's the miles per kilowatt?


Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I'm excited for the day when our homes will be completely powered by solar panels and maybe a small wind turbine in the backyard.

Then the plug-in hybrids will be getting cheaper energy-hopefully from the sun and wind. It would reduce the coal output needed to fuel electricity to all these homes and plug-in cars.

Firestarter5 said...

The Jetta is still getting around 50mpg after 7 years and 217,500+ miles.