Rise of the PlugIn Hybrids July/August 2013 Sierra Magazine Sierra Club

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August Electric Vehicle

Sierra looks at electric that go the extra mile

By McManus


The Sierra Club’s Go campaign

Visit our Electric Buyers’ Guide to get information EV incentives in your state and comparisons of EVs, plug-in and conventional gas-powered cars in region. You’ll also information about September’s Plug In Day, organized by the Club, Plug In America, and the Auto Association.

Hooray for cars. I say that not as a knee-jerk jingoistic American consumerin only one of the five cars owned was made in the USA (an unbreakable Dodge Dart)but because own Chevrolet is setting the bar when it to plug-in hybrid vehicles. Volt, now in its third year, the standard for cars that plug-in battery-electric power a gas engine.

The idea that a car can run some on tailpipe-emission-free electric power be recharged at will) and then seamlessly to a gasoline engine to 400 or so miles hits home environmentally conscious drivers like many Americans, raised on the intoxicating idea cars reflect the liberating of the open road. You can help climate change-causing emissions, air and oil spills without forgoing trips.

I mulled over know-how and marketing genius as I along California’s U.S. 101 in a red four-door Volt with power. My commute (which I do by bus) is 41 miles round-trip, exactly what the Volt’s suggested I could drive on power alone.

The EPA says the Volt can travel 38 miles on a charged battery, while suggests up to 50 miles. But the term mileage may vary has never truer than with vehicles. Outside temperature, how air-conditioning and heat you use, the your driving style, and the age of the all affect how many miles charge will last.

As it turns out, I made the to work and back on a single but not without effort. Typically a fast-lane driver, I kept the miles per hour just the posted speed limit of 55 cars are most efficient at 50 mph), joining a conga of hybrid Toyota Priuses in the slow lane. And I practiced more slowly and smoothly, returns more regenerative to the battery. The Volt has a nifty looks like a carpenter’s on the verticalthat lets you know you’re accelerating or braking too Keep its rotating ball and you maximize your environmental (and minimize your costs).

Slow and steady. Now I understand why drivers drive the way they do. I got plugged in, and looked forward to 41-mile all-electric challenge the day.

The man behind the Volt is Bob a top executive at General Motors 2001 to 2010 who envied how had leapfrogged Detroit with its Prius hybrid, introduced to the States in 2000. Watch Paine’s fine documentary of the Electric Car and you learn that a.k.a. Mr.

August Electric Vehicle

Horsepower, previously us the road-hogging Ford Explorer and Viper. With the Volt, showed that he had seen the This country has to get off oil, he Newsweek in 2007.

The electrification of the is inevitable.

Lutz is also a notorious warming skeptic and was heading Motors when, starting in it scooped up all its beloved leased EV1 cars and crushed them, as in Paine’s earlier work, Who the Electric Car? So while he may not be a purist, Lutz knew how to cars to Americans, and he figured too few of us were willing to abide the range of an entirely electric car the Nissan Leaf, which about 75 miles per charge. the Volt’s backup gas engine and its electric and gas range of 380 miles.

country has to get off oil, GM’s Bob told Newsweek in 2007. The of the automobile is inevitable.

Some 14 cars and trucks were in America last year, but the car segment remains a sliver. In some 450,000 electrified were sold, and that includes now-ubiquitous conventional like the original Prius, uses its battery power and gas in concert (and cannot be from an outlet). Plug-in car last year totaled 50,000, with the Volt in the with 23,461 and the Leaf in place with 9,819.

While just a few all-electric have entered the market Sierra last looked at (Plugged In , November/December 2012), the hybrid market is comparatively In addition to the Volt, there’s C-Max Energi crossover and its Energi sedan (each an EPA-rated all-electric range of 21 the Honda Accord Plug-in (13 the Toyota Prius Plug-in (11 and the sleek and pricey Fisker (33 miles).

Supporters of pure-electric may wonder what all the fuss is Why get all eco-righteous over a car whose propels it for as little as 11 miles surrendering to a gas engine, they when most all-electric travel 75 to 100 miles per charge? have accepted their relatively limited range, being blessed with commutes to workplaces where offer charging stations or enough patience to plan recharging.

August Electric Vehicle
August Electric Vehicle
August Electric Vehicle
August Electric Vehicle

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