With great fanfare, General Motors announced this week the Chevy Volt, the car picked by the Obama administration to turn the company around, will get around 240 miles/gallon, if true, certainly a great achievement. What was not mentioned is that General Motors will be selling the Volt at a loss, in other words the company will lose money every time someone buys a Volt. This proves the great influence GM’s new owners the Obama administration, has on the new GM, no body in this government understands capitalism.
There is more bad news about this Government Motors model that the POTUS wants to shove down our throats, it will hurt rather than protect our energy supply:
By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
Conservation: The Chevy Volt is said to be able to get 230 miles per gallon. That’s if it’s continually plugged into a fragile and overburdened power grid. Where will you be when the lights go out?
The folks at GM, now affectionately known as Government Motors, have made this astounding claim. Before you drive one off the lot, you should read the fine print. Chevrolet’s caveat is that this assumes “a Volt driver (will) plug into the electric grid once each day” to get “40 miles of electric-only, petroleum-free driving.”
That depends on where you live, according to Adam Victor, president of TransGas Energy, who has been fighting with the city of New York and its resident Nimbys to build an environmentally friendly natural gas cogeneration facility in Brooklyn to generate electricity these cars might plug into.
Writing in the New York Post, he notes that in much of the nation, particularly in flyover country, many utilities use heavy fuel oil to generate that electricity. So the more electric cars you plug into the grid, we may actually be increasing pollution and carbon emissions by using oil that’s not included in miles-per-gallon computations.
As Victor puts it, “If a few thousand well-meaning dupes plug a few thousand new Chevy Volts into electrical outlets (especially in urban centers), you could actually add millions of pounds of dangerous, dirty unregulated pollution and carbon into the air we breathe — possibly more pollution than would be offset by putting the Volts on the road.”
Since most U.S. electricity generation is not carbon-free, the Congressional Research Service agrees. The “widespread adoption of plug-in hybrid vehicles through 2030 may have only a small effect on, and might actually increase, carbon emissions,” it observes.
Also not included in these mpg calculations is the coal used to generate much of this electricity. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office says the move to electric cars may only shift the problem somewhere else. That’s why we have called them elsewhere-emission vehicles.
“If you are using coal-fired power plants and half the country’s electricity comes from coal powered plants, are you just trading one greenhouse gas emitter for another?” asks Mark Gaffigan, co-author of the GAO report. The report notes: “Reductions in CO2 emissions depend on generating electricity used to charge the vehicles from lower-emission sources of energy.”
Nuclear power would solve the elsewhere-emission problem. But with the administration shutting down the Yucca Mountain facility in Nevada where spent fuel was supposed to be stored, we have one more impediment to building a nuclear plant.
Wind? Solar? Geothermal? These non-fossil fuel sources generate less than 1% of U.S. electricity and work only when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining. They also have their own environmental drawbacks.
And where do you put all the wind turbines, solar panels and transmission lines required? A 2007 MIT report says that a reliance on bio fuels, another renewable, would displace so much cropland that the U.S. would have to become a “substantial agricultural importer.”
TransGas’ Victor, a New Yorker, is familiar with brownouts and blackouts. After decades of refusing to build nuclear power plants or clean facilities such as the one he proposes, does the system have enough capacity?
He wonders if the electrical grid can handle even a few thousand Chevy Volts. He warns that adding them to “a growing list of devices that need to be plugged in will put a major strain on an already flimsy electrical supply and distribution infrastructure.”
As with any mileage rating, it depends to a certain extent on how you drive your car. It may give you 40 miles of gas-free driving, but after that you must either plug it in again or use gas to run the car and recharge the battery.
What happens to a plug-in hybrid in a brownout or blackout is anyone’s guess. Just be sure to keep that gas can ready.