Mixed reaction to Chevrolet Volt media launch
Tuesday 12 October 2010
General Motors launched the Chevrolet Volt to the US media October 10, provoking a storm of criticism from the world's journalists and bloggers.
In its official launch, GM described its long-awaited vehicle as reinventing "automotive transportation in a complete, no-compromises electric package," although it quickly discovered that some commentators disagreed.
Most damningly, Motor Trend's Frank Markus took an in-depth look at the vehicle's powertrain and discovered that, contrary to GM's claims, the Volt's gas engine doesn't just recharge the battery - it also turns the wheels, sometimes.
Motor Trend said that at speeds above 70 mph (113 km/h) when the battery is depleted, the Volt's engine both powers the car to enable electric drive and couples to a gear to get a "more efficient direct mechanical connection" to the wheels, meaning that, in Markus's words, "on paper the Voltec has more in common with a Prius than anyone suspected."
Influential auto website Edmunds.com took a stronger line against the Detroit giant, entitling its blog post "GM Lied: Chevy Volt is not a true EV."
While CNET's Wayne Cunningham declared "Rather than a revolutionary automotive powertrain, GM has merely delivered something evolutionary," others such as the Economist were more sanguine, admitting that "as most drivers do not have much of a clue about what is going on under the hood of their car, this may not make much difference to anyone other than the most techy of drivers."
The furore over the Volt's launch could bode well for the Nissan LEAF, which is (as far as we can tell right now) 100% electric, although if you ask the Detroit Free Press, it doesn't matter anyway.
"The furor over whether the Volt is "really" electric amounts to debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin," opined the paper's Mark Phelan, pointing out that the car can't move using the engine alone.
"It's a short trip from poorly reported blogs to 'everybody knows' GM lied about whether the car is really electric."
Life & Style blogs
Hayfever pills and sleeping aids can 'significantly increase' risk of Alzheimer’s, says US study
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
SAG Awards 2015: Best and worst gowns on the red carpet
Nike Back to the Future style self-lacing shoes 'will arrive in 2015'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Narendra Modi: Indian Prime Minister wears suit with pinstripes that spell his name to meet Barack Obama
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...