Diesel no image

Published on September 3rd, 2009 | by Nick Chambers

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Audi Chief Calls Chevy Volt “A Car For Idiots”

September 3rd, 2009 by  
 

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Bring on the war of words. In a frank conversation with MSN writer Lawrence Ulrich, Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen has said that the Chevy Volt will fail and that anybody who buys the car is an idiot. Not only that, de Nysschen has lumped proponents of any type of electric car into a category of “intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are.”

I’m guessing that means a fair amount of the people reading this would be considered idiots and pompous intellectual elites in Mr. de Nysschen’s book. Funny that. Hearing an Audi executive mocking any other car as being for intellectual pompous elites is, err, interesting, given that Audi is known for being in exactly that category themselves. Agh.

So taking the diplomatic view, ignore, for a minute, his purposely inflammatory and derogatory statements, and consider his analysis. In de Nysschen’s mind, no one will be willing to pay the expected $40,000 base price of the Volt when the cars it’s competing with are $15,000 less (he thinks the Volt will be competing with Toyota Corollas). Also, he noted, the Volt doesn’t deliver a premium luxury experience and, therefore, its eco-lux price tag is inexcusable to the average consumer.

Keep in mind that de Nysschen is a strong proponent of diesel technology and Audi is currently investing a lot of energy and capital promoting diesels to Americans. He feels that modern fuel-sipping low emissions diesel technology has been largely ignored by the US government and that people have been wrongly convinced into thinking that electric cars are the answer.

His preference for diesels over electric and plug-in cars is based on his following conclusions:

  • A wholesale shift from gas to electric cars in the US would result in a net increase in carbon dioxide emissions due to the fact that about 70% of American electricity currently comes from coal plants.
  • Recent advances in diesel technology have resulted in very high mileage cars with extremely low emissions.
  • Diesels already have the infrastructure needed to provide a fuel supply. Electric cars need to have infrastructure built and completely upgraded.

On the surface, he may have some thought-provoking points. But I’ve done some thinking on this topic in the past too, and this is what I’ve concluded:

  • While it’s true that about 50% of American electricity currently comes from coal, that number is changing quickly as more renewables come online. In some areas of the country, large amounts of electricity already come from renewable sources. Given that EVs will come on relatively slowly as well, it makes sense to conduct the switch simultaneously.
  • Regardless of that, there is research that shows even given the current ratio of coal power in the US, it would be less polluting to switch to plug-in hybrids and electric cars.
  • It’s much easier and more cost effective to regulate a relative handful of single source emitters such as power plants than it is to regulate hundreds of millions of tailpipes. When new pollution reduction technology comes online all you have to do is go to your power plant and add the new technology there. Imagine trying to get that new technology into all 250 million cars.
  • Transmission of electrical power is orders of magnitude more efficient than shipping refined oil all around the country to thousands of different fuel stations.
  • If the power source in your car (electricity) is independent of the power generation method (coal, natural gas, wind, solar, geothermal, wave, biomass burning, etc.) you ensure that not only will your transportation method be adaptable to future changes, you also increase the stability and security of your transportation infrastructure because you have a diverse variety local power sources to choose from.

While I agree with Mr. de Nysschen that the US should be taking a good look at the viability of diesels (especially considering that Europeans can already buy a huge variety of high mileage diesels), his analysis of why electric cars are doomed to fail is completely off base. And his method of delivery of the message is tasteless and unnecessarily mean.

Source: MSN autos

Image Credit: Audi USA


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About the Author

Not your traditional car guy.



  • HL

    cause he would know whats best for us right. tell him and his 70’s porn mustache to shove his junk Audi’s where it hurts, and concentrate on actually making a new model cause they haven’t changed their crappy over priced lineup in forever and hair

    • Dean

      Yeeeeaaaaahhhhhhhhh…. About the “junk” you refer to. The story is full of crap about so called renewables. They will not ever be viable. Period. Don’t believe me? Stop govenment subsidies and see what happens to these “renewables”. Diesel is a proven technology and though I don’t have an Audi “piece of crap” I do have a 10 year old Jetta diesel that is almost down to half a tank and has gone 400 miles already. Just in case you are wondering-PROVEN technology that works, saves fuel and is way more fun to drive than some electric or hybrid piece of crap. Period.

      • Iron Mike

        The total amount of “renewable” energy consumed in the USA is 7% (source is Wikepedia). The vast majority of the renewables is hydroelectric. If you factor out hydroelectric and just count wind and solar, the amount of contribution would be less than 1% of the energy consumed in this great nation. You could triple the number of windmills and solar crap on the ground and it wouldn’t make a dent.

        The Volt is a piece of crap that costs $40,000. It is about time, people started putting this electric car technology in its place (in the garbage pile). I remember over 15 years ago when I worked at a electric utility and somebody loaned the company a few “electric cars” to test. We were going to have to build hundreds of recharging stations. I didn’t test drive the cars and to the best of my knowledge, there weren’t any recharging stations build. How many Volts have been sold? It is a joke compared to the total number of cars sold. A $15,000 Honda Fit is a better deal than a $40,000 Volt that Uncle Sam subsidizes.

        • The percentage of electricity generated that comes from renewable sources has been increasing in the U.S every year for many years. and is actually increasing more than ever, so yes, it will eventually make a dent.

          You failed to mention that at least 20% of electricity comes from natural gas in the United States. 28% the last time I checked the DOE.

          You also failed to factor in nuclear (which you love so much) which emits no CO2 nor other toxic gases into the air.

          You are two faced, you conveniently act as if electric vehicles could not be clean yet you same republicans act as if all electricity could easily come from “clean, cheap nuclear power plants”.

          Recharging stations don’t have to be built for the vast majority of electric vehicles because everyone has 110 and 240 volt outlets at home. The 240 volt 13 amp outlets can charge EVs overnight, and that does not overload the grid because plenty of surplus electricity generated at night by those nuclear and coal power plants that you staunchly support due to the fact that they are not controllable.

          Wind power is an affordable 9 cents/kWh unsubsidized even at an awful capacity factor of 35% according to the NREL (which is DOE). Electric vehicles each contain massive amounts of energy storage, which is literally all wind farms need now. I should also add that solar and wind power plants need only 15 minutes of energy storage to back them up until peaking power plants start, because that is how long that type of power plant takes to start.

          Electric vehicles actually help load balancing.

          About EV emissions, they are actually considerably lower than gasoline vehicle emissions: http://www.stanford.edu/group/greendorm/participate/cee124/TeslaReading.pdf

          • werbaz neutron

            Once you began to insult me (“two faced”) I ceased to pay you any attention. You assume I am a republican and that shows another weakness. That makes me wonder whether your advocacy supports another more important, to you, agenda you will not advocate directly. Solar from wind seems – from what I see – to have been a false start. The two large episodes of “Climategate” or the leaked e mails calls the entire global warming religion into serious question. I am a retired Ph.D. economist who, when in academia, taught senior and graduate level seminars in energy economics, so I can do without the tinker-toy lecture on your passions. Have a nice day.

      • Mel Shapiro

        You mean there is no perpetual motion machine on the way; the current hunt for fountain youth? There you go again waking me from my dream of Nirvana!

      • roger

        I agree, been driving diesels for years. 3 vw diesels and they have all been great and very reliable.

      • William Bell

        Speaking of subsidies, each Volt buyer get a $7500 tax credit. Adding $7500 to the Federal budget deficit, which is funded mainly by borrowing from China, the principal and interest on which will eventually have to be paid by other U.S. taxpayers. Instead of feeling smug, Volt buyers who don’t voluntarily remit an additional $7500 when filing their 1040s are free-loaders who should be ashamed of themselves.

      • Keith

        Exactly, this author is one of those elite dolts that the Audi guy is speaking about, and I hate Audis. I’m glad he’s done all of this “thinking” about this, but perhaps some actual research would be a little more helpful. I dare the author to revisit this subject once a year for the next 5 years and we’ll see who turns out to be right.
        Electricity transmission is not efficient and and the fact that we have no technology to store electricity makes most renewables almost useless in the real world. You still have to build up enough fossil fuel electric capacity to make up for the times when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing and we already are pushing the limits of the capacity we have right now.

      • ken

        Amen brother

      • mark gorski

        He has some credible points, Yet he defys logic and the petrol fuel industry’s grip and lobbyist’s ruling our
        overpaid and ineffective dolts, that were elected and “serve ” us . the design and production of the volt was set up to fail. GM has no useful purpose too build a effiecient and affordable car that runs on electricity, Its obvious
        to this elitist and and he is just preying on the less than intelligent to blow his horn. Why the contrversy?
        hybrid autos will win. It is a car that will use solar, diesel,and any fuel that is available to provide US a reliable
        auto. battery packs alone was an incredible farce.

      • Don

        Word! You hit several nails squarely on the head dude!

      • slickzip

        LOVE Diesel !!!!!!

      • paarl of rhodesia

        500,000 MILES on my VW Golf TDI…one clutch replacement…timing belt every 100,000 miles…still at 46 MPG with a big ugly cargo carrier on the roof..to hell with the Volt

        paarl of Rhodesia

      • Cody

        You forgot to mention that diesel cars don’t catch fire just sitting around like these terrific electric (coal powered) cars.

      • RS

        Exactly! If they weren’t dim witted they wouldn’t be Libtards. How energy efficient is a flashlight? Even an LED flashlight… Oh yeah, more light from the batteries… And what is the impact of a trillion batteries every year on our environment? Our ground water? The energy cost to make, ship, and market them? And what about the sacrosanct compact fluorescent bulb nightmare? $8.00 for a mercury poisoning, cheap piece of garbage that doesn’t last 1 year. Can’t be used in an enclosed fixture, porch lights, ovens, pool light fixtures and more; and the enviro-atheist religious zealots want to force their “Electric cars” on America that will poison the ground water, require a hazmat response team for every minor electric vehicle accident. And what about the aged, decrepit electrical distribution system in America? Imagine the blackouts and brownouts from an already severely overloaded national grid. One can’t even get a high priced car battery to last! Yeah-yeah, I hear ya… See Compact Fluorescent above. So what’s the common denominator in all this? Socialist lack any degree of common sense, which is rightly defined as; Wisdom! Of which they are totally without because it comes from the God they so vehemently hate. Period. I agree, the Audi guy is throwing stones from his glass porch into GM’s glass house. But he wasn’t incorrect.

        rs@toobad.net

        • CFLs cost $3, and they take 2.5 months to pay for themselves in the United States on average, this is clarified here: http://www.kompulsa.com/index.php/energy-index/save-money-on-lighting/
          Fluorescent bulbs contain only 5 mg of mercury. How often are people poisoned by CFL mercury? You need to come back with some credibility. I have been able to use my CFLs everywhere that I need them. Including outside. They last 3 years. Li-ion electric vehicle batteries normally last 7-10 years, and their 8 year warranties back that up.

          You don’t care about groundwater nor any other environmental issue. Electric vehicle batteries are recyclable (unlike combustion engine emissions) which cause global warming, which causes drought, which causes food prices to explode. That is one of many reasons why getting off oil is good for the economy.

          Electric vehicles almost never catch fire. Gasoline vehicles actually catch fire more, and that is because they contain the extremely flammable substance known as gasoline, and a big 18 gallon tank full of it. EV batteries only catch fire when the safety circuitry is defective, which is very rare. It is not an issue.

      • Scooter

        I’ll second that! The new electric cars will never be viable until the price drops significantly and they have a proven track record. For some vehicles, the hybrid premium will take over 10 years of normal driving to balance out the extra costs. I have an slightly older truck that is paid for an all I have to do is put gas in it. It makes no sense to buy a new electric car ~$40,000 and have to pay for fuel each month versus having a paid off reliable vehicle where all you have to pay for is insurance and fuel each month. The economics is just not there. Also, I wish they would make a special lane for all those Prius drivers that do 10-20 mph under the speed limit in the passing lane. If your car won’t go, move the hell to the right!

      • Diesel Rabbit best car I’ve ever owned and that includes a Town Car which was OK but not half the Rabbit…

    • jt

      HL, you are the most ignorant fool to ever post a reply on the internet which is saying a lot. You know nothing NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING u ignorant bastard, Audi is at the forefront of automotive design and engineering….u are too stupid to even post a serious reply to.

    • stc

      Dont be jealous just because you dont have the testoterone to grow a thigh tickler!!!
      He’s right electricity has to come from somewhere …theres no electric tooth fairy! And coal burning electric companies have a monopoly on prices. At least with oil there is some competition. you can go to the cheaper gas stations. oil companies compete with one another driving prices down. Aside from Opec which needs to be dismantled, oil is the clear winner. Theres a reason its on top now…spare me the conspiracy cr2p! Its the cheapest 3 billion yr old bio-liquified pre-packaged solar energy that we have…and low and behold we are sitting on 3 bill yrs of production of it. Until we get nuke plants running the Battery crowd need to shut the hell up!

    • Since 1917 when the first one was built the electric car has been the next great thing to happen in the auto industry. Think about that 94 years and it still has not been perfected.

      • That was because lead-acid batteries were the only option until recently, lithium ion batteries have been improving drastically, even with 10x improvements in energy density (look up Stanford and MITs recent battery inventions for the past 4 years, also look up “battery that charged in seconds), and modern electric vehicles which get 250 mile range (like the Tesla Roadster) are proof of that. By the way, the 10x improvement is actually 10x more than even the Tesla Roadster batteries, which are actually old technology. Electric vehicles used to get only 40 mile range per charge. So you are obviously totally wrong.

        • nifongnation

          Very true, but electricity is made economically with oil and coal, and this is why we need to expand use of oil and coal.
          Eventually, technology will find economically viable ways of producing electricity, but denying our nation the use of oil is not going to help find alternatives.

    • David Weiss

      It would be nice if we clarified what our problem is. Is it Pollution or Importing Middle East Oil? There are Production VWs getting 70 mph today that would solve our Oil import problem. The time frame to get recyclables up to speed could be a while – especially allowing for possible problems of birds flying into windmills or having to put used batteries and solar panels in landfills.

    • Trevor

      Electric cars are horrible. You eco-freaks are completely annoying, wrong, and liars. The Audi guy is right on the money. The Volt and GM are a joke. GM should be bankrupt. The Maobama regime stole the company from the stock holders and gave it to the unions. Complete illegal, BS! If any private individual or company did any of the things the liberals are doing they’d be put in jail for life. These “elected” officials think they are above the constitution and law of the land. What are all of these renewable energy sources that are coming online? Wind? Solar? More jokes. Wind turbines kill all kinds of wildlife and the noise they emit drives people insane. Solar – where do I begin with all of the problems with it. There’s a reason electric car development was stopped over a hundred years ago. It doesn’t work. Who the hell wants to have to charge their car all night when it runs out of power? Liberals are the problem. Looking very much forward to the 2012 elections.

      • All kinds of wildlife? Look who is calling people liars. Do you voluntarily do humanitarian and environmental cleanup work like those awful far left liberals that you love to bash? No, you lack integrity overall and care about no one but yourself.

        Wind turbines rarely kill birds, and that is because they are obvious. Even windows kill more birds than wind turbines. Wind farms kill less than one bird per turbine per year. Also, oil spills kill thousands of various types of animals in the ocean, which is far more than any wind turbine, but you act as if that isn’t important when it comes down to it. I would take wind powered cars over gasoline powered cars and expensive food (global warming caused droughts) any day.

    • RobertG

      Do not like Audi? I do not drive Audi or Chevrolet so I’ll just sit back and enjoy the argument 😉

    • derfel cadarn

      I conclude from your attitude that you are one of the morons that purchased a Volt the answer to a problem that does not exist. Electric cars are not the answer to any problem and if they were their intergration into widespread use is limited by electrical generating capacity,transmission of that power and a delivery systems to the end user. That my intellectually challenged friend is hundreds of billions of dollars and decades into the future(if not more). although I have nevered owned an Audi they appear to be well made. Also they have never filed fort bankruptcy and never screwed their bond holders far more than can be said for 2/3s of all current American car companies. In the future please do your homework first and think before you comment. The enviromental impact of implementation will far exceed any return these vehicles could ever produce.

    • Loved my doiesels

      HL…Crappy and over priced line up? Aren’t you a little confused bro? Sounds like Government Motors to me. I’ve had 10 of them from Chevys, Olds, GMC’s and Caddies. Compared to VW/Audi/Porsche, which I’ve owned multiples of as well, there is no contest in the areas of economy, performance or safety compared to Detroit alternatives.

      Just look at LeMans series racing results in the last 10 years – the 24 hours, a test of endurance and performance – not even close. They even had to change the rules to keep the Audi diesel race cars from lapping the field.

      Don’t believe me – do some research and quit drinking the Government Motors/UAW Kool aid.

    • Danny

      It is all well and good to buy electric cars, but where will the electricity come from?
      From fossil fueled power plants. All the wind and solar power is less than minimum to sustain anything for long.
      You are still producing electricity on the back of fossil fuels. The advent of long term electric cars are at least 20 to 30 years away. Sometimes dreams get in the way of reality.

      • nifongnation

        The dreamers elected Obama. They need to wake up soon!

    • Mohamed

      The Audi chief is absolutely correct. Only morons can even consider buying this clown car. GM should offer red shoes and puffy nose to go with it.

      • nifongnation

        Stop that! You are insulting our Supreme Leader! Great stuff!

    • slickzip

      You tree hugging socialist ODUMBA lovers know he’s right ,, and you seem to know a lot about “porn” ,,,,

    • Texan

      HL, you are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. All the smart people know that only the lifetime politician turned eminent scientist Al Gore and the esteemed automobile executive Barack Hussain Obama Soetoro know what’s best for us. After all, those nasty Audis damage the environment by burning too much diesel and gasoline. The Chevy Volt doesn’t burn anything – it only uses clean electricity! Yeah! And all of that extra electricity comes from power plants that burn coal, diesel, and natural gas, which are so much cleaner than diesel and gasoline…wait a minute…oh, dang it, facts and logic have once again screwed up Big Government Utopia. Back to the drawing board…

  • HL

    cause he would know whats best for us right. tell him and his 70’s porn mustache to shove his junk Audi’s where it hurts, and concentrate on actually making a new model cause they haven’t changed their crappy over priced lineup in forever and hair

    • James

      Guess what, my BMW emits water out of it’s tailpipe nowdays and has been since 2006. The pollution control emmission system is so advanced in not longer emits carbon to the atmosphere.

      Good luck when your Volt catches on fire. The Audi guy is right, you would have to be an idiot to puchase the volt.

      • nifongnation

        They voted for Obama, so there must be lots of them, or else they stuffed the ballot boxes.

    • bob

      Typical illogical response from a brainwashed low IQ green chimp

  • While I love the idea of the electric car I am not in love with the 10 million batteries that it takes to move them.

    I am not a scientist nor an engineer but I believe batteries are made up of toxic chemicals. I also realize today’s batteries will not last the life of a car. A car owner will have to purchase multiple sets of them throughout the lifespan of the vehicle.

    Batteries are not only insanely expensive but also insanely heavy. Pushing an extra thousand pounds of batteries around does not seem very “fuel” efficient to me.

    If you can make a light inexpensive battery that will last for 20 years and is made out of non-toxic chemicals sign me up. Till then a 70 mpg diesel VW makes a lot more sense.

    • Bruce Gregory

      Couldn’t have said it better! For all of you EV owners that think you’re our saviors, check out the cesspools created in the third-world nations where the batteries are manufactured.

    • Jose

      Mike has the correct train of thought: electric cars are a ‘feel good buy’. That’s it. The true eletists are the ones who who want to be seen in an ‘envirnmentally consience’ vehicle. Unlike many Audi (and othe lux brands) drivers, they don’t truely understand why they like the brand or the technologies being pushed by the brand – they just want others to see them as responsible individuals. The truth is, that the third or so owner of the electric vehicle is gonna get wacked with a giant bill to replace deteriorated batteries – zeroing out any financial or evironmental benefit originally advertised by the manufactures and media today. It’s clear that those technologies are on the rise, but let us allow the market dictate that, not government. After all it was the market that brought smaller more efficient engines to America in the early to mid 70’s. To end, Diesel is the immediate relief to any fuel crisis (not really a crisis, more like hype). Let brands like Audi, VW, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes- Benz, Etc complete against each other and the world to bring on new technologies. Stop supporting government influenced experiments because they are destined to fail.

    • Buffy Goodrich

      So who is going to reap the Bolivian harvest of lithium? With a claim of 50% of the world’s lithium, it appears that at this moment in time (Dec.18, 2011) China will win the rights to mine and refine the lithium.

  • While I love the idea of the electric car I am not in love with the 10 million batteries that it takes to move them.

    I am not a scientist nor an engineer but I believe batteries are made up of toxic chemicals. I also realize today’s batteries will not last the life of a car. A car owner will have to purchase multiple sets of them throughout the lifespan of the vehicle.

    Batteries are not only insanely expensive but also insanely heavy. Pushing an extra thousand pounds of batteries around does not seem very “fuel” efficient to me.

    If you can make a light inexpensive battery that will last for 20 years and is made out of non-toxic chemicals sign me up. Till then a 70 mpg diesel VW makes a lot more sense.

    • ONTIME

      Those batteries like tires are going to be a big problem because once again idots like the one in the WH put the cart before the horse and have no concept of organization or forethought……

  • JJ

    Well I am an engineer and I have come to understand that EVs are already very sensible on the engineering scale but so too are the very efficient VW diesels at 70mpg, and esp that 280 mpg slim mobile. I used to think EVS were a flaky idea too, but the physics is on the side of EVs and peak oil is against the ICE.

    The electric drive train is already very efficient in motion, recaptures energy in breaking, and no drive energy used in idle or parking (save for cabin use). It is true that batteries are expensive right now and somewhat heavy and are toxic in manufacture but things are changing. Many improvements are on their way for EVs that are not yet in many models.

    Supercaps can be added that will allow batteries to be tuned for storage density rather than performance giving perhaps a 2x storage increase even with lead acid cells but any cell type works better with super caps.

    There is a super cap company called EEStor that promises radical improvement in energy storage. Most engineers don’t believe it yet, but the latest leaks I have studied gives me a much better feel for it than before based on a new type of aqueous manufacture process rather than packed powder.

    Lithium Ion has many variations and many new types are in R/D. There are preliminary designs that could have a 10x fold increase in charge storage density using nanotube technologies.

    Just as the PC has evolved in performance and cost by a million fold over the last 30 years, a tiny fraction of that improvement will happen in energy storage too, just wait a few more years for the dozens of new research projects to yield fruit.

    A very long time ago the CEOs of IBM and DEC thought the world wide markets for computers would be very very limited, little did they predict the microprocessor revolution and the spirit of silicon valley. That spirit is alive and well all over the world working on all the problem areas of EVs.

    Even ICEs may yet see a nice bump in efficiency by mixing diesel and gas burning in the same unit, about 20% better than gas or diesel alone and there are also TEGs to recover wasted tailpipe energy.

    Just follow the various stories here and physorg or science daily.

    I would say this Audi CEO is a complete idiot (as most CEOs are) and doesn’t know what he is talking about. Most all gas powered vehicles must eventually give way to electric drive trains no matter what. There are exceptions but most commuter trips will eventually be electric or hybrids.

    There are some concerns though already about EVs, such as potential world shortages of rare earth metals needed for the motors, batteries etc. Right now these mostly come from China, but there are supplies world wide if we are prepared to mine and pollute locally. Also Lithium may yet go into tight supply, as usual, higher prices will lead to more exploration.

    • David N, Atlanta GA

      We shall see how fast the storage capacity of Lithium Ion batteries grows. I doubt it will double in 5 years. I hope it does. In any case, the market should answer the question, not government subsidies. The only way to reduce the cost of electricifcation of the auto is to reduce the retail price of electricity. Right now the price advantage is 4 to 1, electricity to gas/diesel. The renewable movement is raising the cost of electricity so it is reducing the advantage of the electricfication of the car. We also know that most (70%) daily driving consits of total trips of 35 miles or less. So if you have a battery that can propel your car 40 miles, then you may only have to buy gas for very few days of driving when you either forget to charge your car, can not charge your car, or drive farther than 40 miles. So that is why the plug in highbred is a good solution. We will see if the Volts water cooled battery is a better solution for the auto than air cooled batteries (the Nissan Leaf). Yes the volt is a Camry/Accord car. Yes it is expensive. Yes eco-elites are buying the car. Fine. Let them fund the intial investment. Over time the market will determine if the Volt is a car that imprives the utility of transportation (less life cycle cost to owner). By the way, the Volt can use any type of engine to run its generator. So take out the gas ICE and use a Diesel ICE. Combining the two (diesel and plugin highbred) may dramatically reduce the cost of driving an auto.

      So stop wasting taxes on trains and mass transit. Stop wasting money on subsidizing renewables. Repeal PUHCA (Public Utility Holding Act of 1935) and allow the capital markets to build and maintain a national electrical distribution system. Repeal CAFE and let the markets find the solution. Markets always look for efficiencies. Government very rarely can identify and invest in efficiencies before the private markets have already tried and either succeeded or failed. Any one ever heard of Solendra?

      • Greg

        The problem with your comments is that one, the market is NOT free to decide if the Volt is going to ever become economically viable. It is subsidized both in manufacturing as well as post sale ($7500 per year tax break), so that the total cost per car is estimated at over $200,000, the vast majority of which is shouldered by the other taxpayers, not the person driving the car.
        I’m not quite sure what you mean by wasting tax money on trains and mass transit. Mass transit gives virtually all of the benefits of private individuals driving electric cars or hybrids, but the positive impact on the environment is astronomical. Every car that doesn’t get built accounts for less toxic waste from the plastics, paints, fabrics, tires, batteries that go into each and every one of them. Then consider the costs, both financial and environmental, of the lifetime of using that car and finally disposing of it when it reaches end of it’s service life. Train ridership in markets like Chicago accounts for millions of miles not driven by privately owned vehicles and the associated fuel use and emissions that would come from their use. Trains, either for moving freight or people, is by far the most economical way of moving large quantities of anything. Over the road trucking is very expensive and inefficient by comparison.
        Another form of economy that no one is talking about is that diesel is more efficient to produce than gasoline. If you take the output from a typical fractioning tower used to refine raw petroleum, a large percentage of that barrel of oil stays close to the bottom, and becomes asphalt, tar, etc. As you move up the tower you get various fuels but in reducing quantities, starting with fuel oil and kerosene (also used in jet fuel), to diesel then finally gasoline of varying octane ratings. If I remember correctly, only about 4.5 gallons of gasoline come from one barrel of oil (it’s been a while since I took Energy Markets while working on my masters, so forgive me if my data is old). Anyway, the main point is that the pro-diesel crowd here has the right answer for right now. Diesel engines are the most efficient option we have when you consider fuel cost, emissions (which on a diesel are less toxic and polluting than gasoline), economy of scale in manufacturing facilities that are already set up to build them, the cost of rare earth metals required for electric cars, t he lack of infrastructure needed to support the EV’s, etc., it’s pretty clear that the theoretical efficiencies of an electric or hybrid car can’t stack up against the current economical realities that the average driver faces.

        I agree with you that the market, not the government should decide what light bulbs we use and what cars we drive, and what source is used to provide electricity to our homes. But the Chevy volt is clearly NOT an example of that happening. It’s the worst kind of government meddling in that it is entirely agenda driven and has nothing to do with whats fair, right, or smart.

    • Yukiko

      Promises, promises, promises.

    • commonsense

      I’m an engineer too but you don’t need to be an engineer to see the volt is just a massive publicity stunt. Technology is not there. the idiocy of 50 miles to a charge is amazing. I’m with audi on this one. If electric cars were such a great idea why do they need the governent handouts to sell them?

    • mjh

      So let me get this straight… you think a car that can only run 70 miles before it has to stop 2-3 hours to get refueled is more efficient than a diesel car that gets 70 miles out of one gallon of fuel?

    • Jerome Kramer

      I too am an engineer and rely on today’s technology to solve today’s problems. Does anyone remember
      Edsel, Tucker,or Studebaker and Packard etc. They all had engineering and manufacturing problems far less than the efficient production of pollution free electricity. Wind farms are already showing their short life will not allow them to become a source of electricity. The B-10 life of their bearings cannot produce a trouble free gear box for wind farms.
      AND – who in their right mind would stand in the middle of a field during a thunderstorm?? This too kills windmills. Wind farms in our state product electricity only 35% of the time Who or what will produce electricity for the other 65% of the time???

      OH – I forgot to mention that technical colleges conduct annual competition matches to determine who can product the greatest efficiency using current technology. The College I graduated from built and competed with a car which produced 750 miles per gallon. That’s right 10 times more than the 75 mpg diesels built on Europe. Does anyone want to challenge this 750 mpg with an electric car?? NO 11 I thought so too.

      • nifongnation

        Those bad wind mills kill innocent birds too. And the Greens do not want solar panels in the desert or the tortoises will not get any sun. The best source of energy is to burn Greens and Obamaites in trash to energy plants, followed by a dose of gasoline.

    • mark

      What exactly is “peak oil”. No such thing………. and since you types don’t understand that more oil is being found every day your conclusion about electric vehicle viability is nonsense. The post about diesel on the other hand is excellent.

      • Miniscule amounts of oil that haven’t been able to even slightly increase production are found pretty often, but, they are useless. Notice that oil prices are not going down? How are those little “daily” discoveries helping us?

    • Larry Bentley

      I’m not much of an engineer but I was a mechanic for several years. And I don’t think he is being idiotic. But I do believe that the author of this article is.

      Green technologies have a net loss on the investment of energy put into them on average. Biofuels require twice as much energy to create as they put out. Photoelectric panels need to be in service for 30 years to equal the amount of energy that was put into creating them and they last up to 20. Wind and geothermal are about the only good ones. But you need wind to create energy and there is evidence that wind farms are interfering with the migratory pattern of birds. And with geothermal it’s all about location, location, location. Fuel cells require highly expensive exotic materials. Hydrogen either requires an obscene amount of energy or a lot of natural gas and still doesn’t match petroleum for output. Fusion is still decades away. Fission has the nasty side effect of “gee Wally, where do I store the waste?”.

      With the “electric” car known as the Volt. Note the electric in quotes. The thing is nothing new. It’s called a plug in hybrid. GM created a functional electric back in the mid 90’s known as the EV1. Wonder what happened to that one? Electrics are a viable idea as long as you keep the mileage down below 100 miles per day. For the average city dweller that will do good enough. But for the suburbanite or people who live out in rural areas you might as well forget it.

      Hybrids themselves are a dumb idea. A good way to pay for two methods of propulsion in one vehicle when only one is needed. I have a 1981 Toyota diesel pickup that gives me 42-45 mpg city and 58-63 mpg highway (70mph if you must know). This is relatively old technology. The motor is completely mechanical and no computers involved. And it completely blows hybrids out of the water. So what did they do right 30 years ago that they aren’t doing now? And if your half the engineer you say you are then you know that diesels are up to 75% thermally efficient vs up to 30% on gas engines. Coal fired plants are 50% at best. And coal makes up for half the power here in the US. Lets not even get into transmission and conversion (travels AC, converts to DC to charge batteries) loss.

      You’re entitled to your opinion. But I think your opinion is wrong for the most part. Electrics will have their day. But the technology isn’t up to snuff. This coming from a dumb hick that graduated high school and did a lot of hands on research out of his own pocket on alternative energies.

    • ron

      JJ, you may be an engineer but you can’t spell ‘braking’. Most of your thoughts are wishful thinking. Coal and oil are still the future.

    • bob

      If you think batteries are expensive now, wait until they try to put one in every car built. Supply, meet demand.

    • The electric car is dead before it even comes to market.
      These cars are terrible. No performance. No range.16 hour average recharge for a car that can really only travel a max of 100 miles in real world driving before it needs almost an entire day to refuel. Dead I tell you, dead!
      What no one seems to be discussing regarding Battery Powered Electric Vehicles is that (as stated above) it takes HOURS if not a DAY to recharge them. No one has come up with a quick change battery system either. Oh, and if they did have a battery swap system, it would still require that inefficient transportation network to thousands of stations everywhere.
      The real answer is Hydrogen. And it may surprise you that pretty much every car on the road today can be modified to run on it. And you’ll never hear a single story about it in the media because it would actually make sense.
      For more than 20 years BMW has showcased the technology to the world on how you move from an oil based transportation system to Hydrogen based one. Dual Fuel Vehicles. Back in 1989 they debuted a 740i that ran on Liquid Hydrogen. When it ran out of Hydrogen the driver simply flips a switch and it runs on Gasoline. Same V8 engine. It just had a high tech thermos in the trunk for the liquid H. Modifying a gas engine to burn H is easy and would cost about $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 to retrofit your current vehicle. You are basically installing a “Wet Nitrous” system on the car and using H instead of Nos. And with economies of scale, manufacturing all future cars to have a similar system would make them available at 1/10th the retrofit cost or less.
      Global Warming? The oceans are going to rise and flood our coastal cities? Where do you think we get the water from to run our cars? The only thing we need electricity for is the electrolysis to get the H. And yes I can get on board there with home solar systems to make your own fuel.

      Lithium? Yeah, a very good idea. Except not for batteries but for new generation Nuclear Power Plants. The fuel waste has only a 100 year half life, not the thousands of years that Uranium Fuel has. An accident area like in Japan would be safe to go back to within a few generations with no residual rads. Think about that.
      Oh! And when you burn H in your car the only emission is H2O. Think what a nicer place LA would be if every car there was putting water vapor out the pipe instead of Carbon Monoxide? The temperature would be 5 degrees lower in the summer and people might even learn what rain looks like!

      As for the utter moron who wrote this story? What a conceited, condescending jerk! If your going to cite “Studies” and “Reports” to support YOUR Opinion on what is and is not viable you had better actually NAME those reports and studies along with who performed them, who did the actual analysis and who paid them to do it. It’s real easy to cherry pick data and cite vague evidence and conjecture to support YOUR Opinion, but if your going to put out a hit piece like this at least have the decency to point out that your a hack and have no capability whatsoever to actually support your rose colored view of Obama’s Socialist Utopia and the wonders of cars that can almost go 150 miles before needing 16 hours to ‘refuel’. Do a little actual research before you sit down at a keyboard and look down your nose at an industry expert who is telling it like it is. And by the way: I noticed that even you couldn’t get to a point where you actually tried to defend the Volt, which is an unmitigated disaster of a car, you could only use a specific statement made by 1 man about 1 car to rant on how great the greenness to come will be if we can all just eat a little more Granola with our Kool-Aid.

    • Robert

      A so called “engineer” who doesn’t know the difference between BRAKING and breaking? (paragraph 2) The balance of your so-called analysis is a rehash of current newsfeeds to the net. I’m calling BS on your whole reply. You are not an engineer on anything close. While I do not have the typical Luddite attitude that all the new tech is flawed/dangerous/bad, I do have a healthy respect for the amount of energy that may be obtained and/or stored from electrons seeking entropy (lower energy states). Electric vehicles are limited by mass of the battery and the particular chemical reaction involved. As correctly pointed out elsewhere, they are also limited by having to transport the mass of the battery along with the vehicle and it’s payload.

  • JJ

    Well I am an engineer and I have come to understand that EVs are already very sensible on the engineering scale but so too are the very efficient VW diesels at 70mpg, and esp that 280 mpg slim mobile. I used to think EVS were a flaky idea too, but the physics is on the side of EVs and peak oil is against the ICE.

    The electric drive train is already very efficient in motion, recaptures energy in breaking, and no drive energy used in idle or parking (save for cabin use). It is true that batteries are expensive right now and somewhat heavy and are toxic in manufacture but things are changing. Many improvements are on their way for EVs that are not yet in many models.

    Supercaps can be added that will allow batteries to be tuned for storage density rather than performance giving perhaps a 2x storage increase even with lead acid cells but any cell type works better with super caps.

    There is a super cap company called EEStor that promises radical improvement in energy storage. Most engineers don’t believe it yet, but the latest leaks I have studied gives me a much better feel for it than before based on a new type of aqueous manufacture process rather than packed powder.

    Lithium Ion has many variations and many new types are in R/D. There are preliminary designs that could have a 10x fold increase in charge storage density using nanotube technologies.

    Just as the PC has evolved in performance and cost by a million fold over the last 30 years, a tiny fraction of that improvement will happen in energy storage too, just wait a few more years for the dozens of new research projects to yield fruit.

    A very long time ago the CEOs of IBM and DEC thought the world wide markets for computers would be very very limited, little did they predict the microprocessor revolution and the spirit of silicon valley. That spirit is alive and well all over the world working on all the problem areas of EVs.

    Even ICEs may yet see a nice bump in efficiency by mixing diesel and gas burning in the same unit, about 20% better than gas or diesel alone and there are also TEGs to recover wasted tailpipe energy.

    Just follow the various stories here and physorg or science daily.

    I would say this Audi CEO is a complete idiot (as most CEOs are) and doesn’t know what he is talking about. Most all gas powered vehicles must eventually give way to electric drive trains no matter what. There are exceptions but most commuter trips will eventually be electric or hybrids.

    There are some concerns though already about EVs, such as potential world shortages of rare earth metals needed for the motors, batteries etc. Right now these mostly come from China, but there are supplies world wide if we are prepared to mine and pollute locally. Also Lithium may yet go into tight supply, as usual, higher prices will lead to more exploration.

    • Racklefratz

      @JJ Typical engineer – none of them can spell. “recaptures energy in breaking”. It’s BRAKING……BRAKING…..not “breaking”.

    • An Engineer? No way.

      Everyone in the industry and who knows ANYTHING about EVs knows they are nowhere near ready for market and are being FORCED there by dipshit ignorant enviros. There is nothing honest about a debate on viability that includes government subsidy….if it has to be subsidized to generate any interest, it’s not viable, period.

      And the Volt is the WORST EXAMPLE of EV design, construction, and capability, lol! To defend it, is to admit you are a lying Leftist, not an engineer, lol!

    • Yukiko

      Promises, promises, promises. When these promises come true and are on the market, I’ll think about purchasing an electric vehicle. But not before the prices come down enough to make them cost effective.

    • AFITgrad86

      If you are a scientist (which I doubt) then you will know that energy can not be created or destroyed. You will also know that each time energy is transformed say from chemical to heat from heat to mechanical etc. that process always has some waste (i.e., it is less than 100 percent efficient). If you simply walk through the number of times energy is transformed from oil to electricity to chemical (battery) to electrical to mechanical in a plug-in car you will see that it is a very inherently wasteful and inefficient process. Now factor in the line loss of transmitting the electrical power across the grid and you will see why any engineer worth their degree will tell you plug-in vehicles are far less efficient than either the Otto (petrol) or Diesel engine.
      Electric cars are all about feeling good and the insane belief in Global Warming. The only plus to electric cars is that the source of pollution can be distant to the place where the energy is ultimately consumed.
      Now, just for fun, let’s look at the amount of energy needed to create the electric car, it’s batteries, and the infrastructure to support it and divide that by the total energy savings of that solution over a well designed diesel competitor. Oops … you can’t divide by zero and get a real number can you?
      Case Closed.. The arrogant German is correct .. he’s just a little too blunt for most people’s taste.

  • HL

    i don’t care what anyone says I’m sticking with my horse and buggy these “automobiles” will never be affordable or safe…never…

    yea 70 mpg diesels are great too bad that Americans don’t force car companies to sell them here i mean its been almost 40 years since the embargo you would think if we wanted diesel we would have them by now…

    there are batteries that are non toxic look at the zero motorcycle and if we think we know everything than we will get nothing… we must do what Americans do best, innovate. Or did we forget/forgetting how to do that?

    • GL Lee

      It’s not the car companies HL, it’s the government. Who do you think is supplying high MPG diesels to Europe?

      • boggy

        Well again, you ARE arguing with an obvious,uneducated, uniformed leftist idiot. Complete waste of time and breath. 🙂

    • John

      Does anyone has a clue as to why diesel is more expensive than gasoline, I understand it’s a by product
      of gasoline production. In Europe more than half the car engines are diesel. Of course the people there are being ripped of by the govt’s. with $ 9.00 P.g. fuel. Give them (obozo and his commie buddie Cass Sunstein) a chance they would do it here too.

    • TomB

      Actually, up until the last year or so, our imperial federal government had restrictions on diesels in place that made them impossible to sell here. “government forcing” anything is as bad an idea, if not worse, than government banning them. Let them come here, people will buy them if they want them. What a concept!

  • HL

    i don’t care what anyone says I’m sticking with my horse and buggy these “automobiles” will never be affordable or safe…never…

    yea 70 mpg diesels are great too bad that Americans don’t force car companies to sell them here i mean its been almost 40 years since the embargo you would think if we wanted diesel we would have them by now…

    there are batteries that are non toxic look at the zero motorcycle and if we think we know everything than we will get nothing… we must do what Americans do best, innovate. Or did we forget/forgetting how to do that?

  • Aix

    This was probably one of the most well spoken articles i have read in a long time and it is what i have been saying for a long time now! Yes 70mpg diesel is good but it is not getting us anywhere. All it is doing is slowing the problem down until eventually we will have to switch to electric anyway. Even though much of the energy we use in our houses comes from coal plants, this will not last and they will be changed. Also i was reading an article about being able to power 250,000 homes from a satellite that would send energy down through microwaves. If somehow this could be done safely than the possibilities are endless. So many things can be done with electricity and with technology moving the way it is today, there will be new ways and more efficient ways to do almost everything.

    • stan

      well spoken doesn’t equal results. anyone can say what they want without reference. realize we are decades away from having the EV tech to do what everyone would like to have – cheap and clean electricity. until then we need a bridge and we should capitlize on the resources available that keep us competitive until we get there.

    • Lt Scrounge

      There is a major hole in your argument. That hole is the fact that diesel fuel can be made from organic sources, and it is a LOT more environmentally friendly than ethanol. As for it ONLY delaying the inevitable switch to electric, you are right, but that is what needs to happen. EVs are NOT technologically advanced enough as to be economically viable. If people can’t afford to BUY them, they won’t buy them. At $40,000+ for a Chevy Volt, the payments exceed the capacity of the average wage earner to afford them. Additionally, because of the costs of repairing a $40,000+ EV being so high, insurance costs are equally higher than the $18,000 gas or diesel powered vehicle. Now as time passes, the technology necessary to bring the price of the EVs down to the range of a gas/diesel powered vehicle MAY develop. A far better way to make an EV would be to replace the batteries with capacitors. Unfortunately, that technology doesn’t currently exist on a level necessary to power a vehicle. Capacitors provide a HUGE advantage over batteries in that they not only take and hold a charge, they can be recharged in a substantially shorter amount of time. Research the 5.11 tactical light for life for an example of a capacitor instead of battery usage. The flashlight recharges to full charge in 90 seconds while comparable batteries take hours. Now when it becomes possible to produce that kind of power, at an affordable price, EVs MAY become more mainstream. As for me? I’m firmly in the corner of the turbodiesels. Anyone who believes that a 200 mile range vehicle should be the standard has never lived outside of a major city. I drive for work and routinely do over 200 miles in a single work day. An EV would NOT work for me as it would leave me stranded. Additionally, if I want to shop at anything but the local SMALL Walmart, Sears, or JCPenney, I’ve got to drive 75 miles to the nearest Target or other large chain store. EVs also won’t work for anyone in farming (All of you ecology nuts try growing enough food to feed the millions of people in the big cities without diesel powered tractors to plow, plant and harvest the fields, or truck to transport the food to market.) Diesel is with us to stay. As for the man made global warming scam, it is exactly that – a scam designed to defraud the governments of the world of tax dollars. The historical record shows that the planet is NOT warming at a rate any higher than it has whenever it has come out of an ice age, which we are currently still doing.

      • “If people can’t afford to BUY them, they won’t buy them.”

        So why is it that there are no “organic” diesels then?

    • ustserv

      Our best hope was to perfect hydrogen power. Our messiah decided not to support it and cut all the funding. Billions of private dollars from GM, Ford, Daimler, Chrysler and Fiat have been expended working on this technology but I guess it does not help the subsidized farmers who are selling corn to make ethanol or the subsidized windmill companies or the subsidized solar panel companies.
      One can only note that the elitist writing this article never mentions this fuel alternative that is made from atmospheric particles, burns cleanly with no emissions and would revolutionize the entire automotive and trucking industry.
      Follow our government, they will find the most expensive, wasteful, inefficient way to solve this problem.

    • annonmous

      Diesel technology is excellent technology and produces low amounts of Carbon Monoxide. However we have to be realistic with Airline Travel expected to double over the next twenty years and most of our goods are moved by railcar and Trucks how are you going to get these modalities including intercoastal and ocean going vessels to electric. The other point is that there is limited range, power and climbing ability to the electric cars. For a person who travels how could you possibly drive from let’s say LA to Seattle in a timely manner in an electric car. Another Faustian Socialist dream!

  • Aix

    This was probably one of the most well spoken articles i have read in a long time and it is what i have been saying for a long time now! Yes 70mpg diesel is good but it is not getting us anywhere. All it is doing is slowing the problem down until eventually we will have to switch to electric anyway. Even though much of the energy we use in our houses comes from coal plants, this will not last and they will be changed. Also i was reading an article about being able to power 250,000 homes from a satellite that would send energy down through microwaves. If somehow this could be done safely than the possibilities are endless. So many things can be done with electricity and with technology moving the way it is today, there will be new ways and more efficient ways to do almost everything.

  • Frank

    The real idiots in this case are Chevy with their 230 mpg claim based on completely non-practical measurements.

    I am surprised that Audi can allow anyone to blurt out such a damaging statement. I wonder if this guy will keep his job after this, considering that more and more ‘enlightened souls’ are seeing that any advancement in petroleum technology is just delaying the inevitable rush towards peak oil.

    I can install a solar panel or wind turbine at home that will recharge my future EV, but I would never consider trying to install a diesel bowser in my home. Go figure

    • David N

      So if you plug your Volt in every night, drive less than 35 miles every day, would you ever buy gas? Sure. But very little. So what is the miles per gallon of a car that you drive 12,000 miles a year and purchase a tank of gas once a month (16 gallons time twleve is 192 gallons or 62.5 miles per gallon). What is the MOG of a volt running strictly on gas? I have never heard the number.

  • Frank

    The real idiots in this case are Chevy with their 230 mpg claim based on completely non-practical measurements.

    I am surprised that Audi can allow anyone to blurt out such a damaging statement. I wonder if this guy will keep his job after this, considering that more and more ‘enlightened souls’ are seeing that any advancement in petroleum technology is just delaying the inevitable rush towards peak oil.

    I can install a solar panel or wind turbine at home that will recharge my future EV, but I would never consider trying to install a diesel bowser in my home. Go figure

  • Norm

    Call me a idiot because I would love to have a Volt. I am 73 years old and I am running out of time. 70 MPG VW would buy that, but how many 90 year old men buy cars? Been reading about the Volt for years, heck GM can’t even put their Equinox in the show rooms. Guess the best I can do is get a Toyota Prius.

    • Armed Texan

      You’re an idiot.

  • Norm

    Call me a idiot because I would love to have a Volt. I am 73 years old and I am running out of time. 70 MPG VW would buy that, but how many 90 year old men buy cars? Been reading about the Volt for years, heck GM can’t even put their Equinox in the show rooms. Guess the best I can do is get a Toyota Prius.

  • SR

    Nice post JJ, fair & balanced w/ a healthy dose of optimism…like it. I also think that EV technology will go the way of the pc, although I wonder if it’ll be much faster than the pc. As soon as someone produces a lightweight, long-life, & high density electric storage system, all hell is going to break loose. I’d like to see EESTOR pave the way and hope that their EESU works out. It’s been really secretive from the get go, but then again, so was the Manhattan project.

    • GL Lee

      So was the Philadelphia Project…

      • Eric

        You mean the Philadelphia Experiment?

  • SR

    Nice post JJ, fair & balanced w/ a healthy dose of optimism…like it. I also think that EV technology will go the way of the pc, although I wonder if it’ll be much faster than the pc. As soon as someone produces a lightweight, long-life, & high density electric storage system, all hell is going to break loose. I’d like to see EESTOR pave the way and hope that their EESU works out. It’s been really secretive from the get go, but then again, so was the Manhattan project.

  • MB

    Frank said on September 3rd, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    The real idiots in this case are Chevy with their 230 mpg claim based on completely non-practical measurements

    ———————–

    Although I think there are better ways to publicize the capabilities of the Volt the EPA-designed driving cycle is entirely practical and statistically valid.

    Most people will get much better than 230 mpg CITY when they plug-in their Volts at night. My own driving patterns would have me fueling up once every 2-3 months.

    The HWY number is what most people interested in the Volt are curious about even though that is not the most frequent length of trips they make.

  • MB

    Frank said on September 3rd, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    The real idiots in this case are Chevy with their 230 mpg claim based on completely non-practical measurements

    ———————–

    Although I think there are better ways to publicize the capabilities of the Volt the EPA-designed driving cycle is entirely practical and statistically valid.

    Most people will get much better than 230 mpg CITY when they plug-in their Volts at night. My own driving patterns would have me fueling up once every 2-3 months.

    The HWY number is what most people interested in the Volt are curious about even though that is not the most frequent length of trips they make.

    • Jerome

      Technical colleges compete annually with their fuel efficient cars using today’s technology. The College I graduated from submitted a gas guzzler producing 750 miles per gallon. They are reaching for 1000 miles per gallon.

      Does anyone want to compete with an electric car ?? Why not??

      California has been using wind mills for over 30 years. I wroked there and passed many old RUST FARMS which never paid back their investments due to the short life of bearings in their gear boxes. The short life problem stll exists.
      The wind farms in our state produce power for only 53% of the time due to thunderstorms, high winds or no wind.

      The Wind farms are not feasable today. WE must get back to Engineering basics which state — Solve today’s problens using today’s technology.

  • I never said not to continue working on electric vehicles or that they are not what we will be driving in the future. What I did say is that right now, today, this week the average person should not waste their money on an electric vehicle purely because battery technology is not where it needs to be to make electric vehicles cost effective. If you are wealthy and want to drive one feel free, for the rest of us it would be a lot smarter to wait a few years till battery prices, weight and lifespan improve.

    The masses are not as stupid as they appear. When buying an electric vehicle will cost less than a gas vehicle and do most of what a gas vehicle can, almost everybody will jump on board.

  • I never said not to continue working on electric vehicles or that they are not what we will be driving in the future. What I did say is that right now, today, this week the average person should not waste their money on an electric vehicle purely because battery technology is not where it needs to be to make electric vehicles cost effective. If you are wealthy and want to drive one feel free, for the rest of us it would be a lot smarter to wait a few years till battery prices, weight and lifespan improve.

    The masses are not as stupid as they appear. When buying an electric vehicle will cost less than a gas vehicle and do most of what a gas vehicle can, almost everybody will jump on board.

  • Raymond

    You need to revise your assertion that electrical transmission is orders of magnitude more efficient that the distribution of liquid fuels. It isn’t true, and suggesting that the differential is 100x or greater undermines your credibility.

  • Raymond

    You need to revise your assertion that electrical transmission is orders of magnitude more efficient that the distribution of liquid fuels. It isn’t true, and suggesting that the differential is 100x or greater undermines your credibility.

  • LF

    This isn’t the first time an Audi Executive has slammed the American Car Driver…..Recall back in the 80’s when Audi had the ‘lurching forward’ problem with their sedans…….The response was that Americans don’t know how to drive their cars……This only demonstrates the continued arrogance of Audi.

    • Robert Korn

      and of course you failed to mention that the “lurching forward” problem of the 80’s was determined to be driver error by NHTSA, Audi was 100% correct. The company was almost ruined by 60 minutes and their engineered failures to support a non-story.

    • bob

      there is one problem with what you say… Audi was right, their car was;t the problem, the American driver was.
      Look it up, our Government exonerated the Audi 5000 and blamed the driver

  • LF

    This isn’t the first time an Audi Executive has slammed the American Car Driver…..Recall back in the 80’s when Audi had the ‘lurching forward’ problem with their sedans…….The response was that Americans don’t know how to drive their cars……This only demonstrates the continued arrogance of Audi.

  • paul

    One thing to keep in mind when we talk about diesel fuel is diesel fuel is yield as a curtain percentage of every barrel of crude oil.

    So, you take one barrel of oil (42) and refine it. You get around 20 gallons of gasoline, 10 gallons of diesel and around 5 gallons of jet fuel and the rest includes other stuff (it all depends on the type of crude oil…).

    So think about it, if all the cars on the road were diesel, the refinery would have to spend more time/money/energy into producing diesel from gasoline. Bad for the environment.

    In Europe and the United States, there already is this problem. The United States uses more gasoline and Europe uses more diesel. The United States refines crude and ships some of the diesel over to Europe and Europe sends some of their refined gasoline over to the USA.

    The bottom line, if more diesel cars are released in the USA, the price of diesel will go up and the price of gasoline will drop.

    Do diesel cars make environmental sense? Not in my opinion… not by a loooooooooong shot.

    • David

      Paul, you cannot be correct. If what you said was true, then diesel would cost twice what gasoline does. Please cite a reference to this wild claim.

    • Steven

      Paul,
      I think your post is somewhat misleading….. your breakdown of the barrel of crude is what is currently being done with the raw material. Gasoline is in MUCH higher demand than diesel fuel, so they squeeze 20 gallons per barrel. If they (refineries) were to change their ‘recipe’, they could get 30+ gallons of diesel from that same barrel. The distillation process allows them to control the ratio of products they get from a barrel. You are correct by saying that the type and quality of the crude oil will ultimately determine the ratio of final products, but for the most part…. refineries can get whatever they want out of that crude. Also, I think you’re right about diesel not making a very big environmental impact.
      I just did a little comparison here…. I have a 2000 Toyota Tundra 4×4 that gets 12/13 MPG around town and 17/18 out on the road….. horrible, which is why I don’t drive it very often (5K miles/yr). I am looking at buying a diesel Jetta.
      Fuel here in TX is roughly G:3.25 and D:3.75…. Economically speaking, 15 mpg in the ‘Yoda vs. 60 in the Jetta….. diesel would have to cost $16 a gallon for me to lose on the transportation end of things, and I don’t see that happening any time soon.
      I digress…….
      Electric vehicles aren’t quite there yet, we should continue to develop the critical components (batteries and motors) so that some day they WILL be a viable main stream alternative… but until then, I’m going with the Jetta.

    • cc

      The government and army both use lots of diesel; When a disaster happens diesel is many times the only fuel available for that reason. Diesel has weaker chemical bonds than water and therefore can be used to create hydrogen generating fuel cells making it the greenest technology in existence right now. Diesel is not the only fuel that diesel cars can burn. They can also burn 100s of types of other oils some of which are biproducts of other industrial processes.

    • Greg

      Paul I think your numbers are upside down. In the fractioning process the highest yield is from the least refined elements of the process. Most of the barrel ends up on the bottom end of the scale, ie asphalt, tar, and works it’s way up through fuel oil, kerosene (jet fuel) diesel and finally gasoline and high octane fuels used for racing or aircraft applications. The yield of gasoline is only about 4.5 gallons per barrel in a typical refining process. Modern technology has allowed refineries to modify the refining process to squeeze more fuel out than 20 years ago, but still the yield of gasoline is a relatively small percentage. Diesel yield is naturally higher just by the nature of the fractioning process, so you wouldn’t need to fiddle with it much at all to create even more diesel at a lower cost than gasoline. The only problem is getting the auto-maker/oil company mafia to allow it to happen.

      • Greg

        and incidentally, the reason kerosene is used in jet fuel is it has more energy by weight/volume than gasoline. The same is true of diesel. That’s what makes it more efficient is that it takes less fuel to create the same amount of energy compared to a gasoline engine.

  • paul

    One thing to keep in mind when we talk about diesel fuel is diesel fuel is yield as a curtain percentage of every barrel of crude oil.

    So, you take one barrel of oil (42) and refine it. You get around 20 gallons of gasoline, 10 gallons of diesel and around 5 gallons of jet fuel and the rest includes other stuff (it all depends on the type of crude oil…).

    So think about it, if all the cars on the road were diesel, the refinery would have to spend more time/money/energy into producing diesel from gasoline. Bad for the environment.

    In Europe and the United States, there already is this problem. The United States uses more gasoline and Europe uses more diesel. The United States refines crude and ships some of the diesel over to Europe and Europe sends some of their refined gasoline over to the USA.

    The bottom line, if more diesel cars are released in the USA, the price of diesel will go up and the price of gasoline will drop.

    Do diesel cars make environmental sense? Not in my opinion… not by a loooooooooong shot.

    • chad

      You are completely uninformed. You can power a diesel engine with 100% renewable vegetable oil (biodiesel) Where have you been? on the moon? You do not need to get a single barrel of oil out of the ground, it is a VERY simple and low cost low energy process to convert any plant based oil to biodiesel. LOOK IT UP

      • Greg

        Chad you seem to be drinking the same coolaid as the global warming crowd. Every energy source has it’s cost, sometimes it’s financial, sometimes it’s an undesirable side effect or byproduct. Biodiesel cannot be produced economically on the scale that would be needed to support a fundamental shift in energy sources. I mean you can run a jet engine on coal dust or wheat dust with some mods to the fuel delivery system, but it’s not an efficient (not yet anyway) way to run a gas turbine. How much energy does it take to create biodiesel? Ethanol is a joke because it costs more in energy to produce than it delivers. And ethanol also gives us the added bonus of driving up food costs because now the demand for corn is going up, AND we are destroying more of the brazilian rain forest so that farmers there can grow the soybeans American farmers stopped growing because corn turns a higher profit. Just like the original point in the article above, none of this is really viable without a government subsidy. When electric cars, and hybrids, and biodiesel and ethanol, etc., can all survive in a competitive marketplace without a subsidy, then it’s time to take a serious look at it, but until then this is all just applied research, and another opportunity for the leftists politicians of the world (such as Al Gore among many others) to use a feel-good catch phrase to fund and support their own private agendas. And one last thing, don’t throw some wild statement out there and try and justify it with a simple “look it up”. You look it up and then give us a link or reference a specific analysis or study from a credible source.

  • Jerry

    I agree with Mike, although we like EV, the current technology, or even the technology in the lab right now is not enough for the transition we are talking about.

    As to power generation, I think California is struggling their way to reac 20% renewable before 2020. It’s a long way.

    Yes, you can install PV on rooftop, but even with 30-40% of subsidy, the PV is not very cost efficient right now. Not to mention PV production process also involve high pollution and energy consumption.

    Back to battery, power storage tech is not changing very fast even though the need of it is incredible in the past two decade. Look at the battery pack you have on laptop 10 years ago, they are not much different than today. The largest difference is the PC is more energy efficient and use less juice.

    Expecting power storage tech to advacne follow CPU is unrealistic.

  • Jerry

    I agree with Mike, although we like EV, the current technology, or even the technology in the lab right now is not enough for the transition we are talking about.

    As to power generation, I think California is struggling their way to reac 20% renewable before 2020. It’s a long way.

    Yes, you can install PV on rooftop, but even with 30-40% of subsidy, the PV is not very cost efficient right now. Not to mention PV production process also involve high pollution and energy consumption.

    Back to battery, power storage tech is not changing very fast even though the need of it is incredible in the past two decade. Look at the battery pack you have on laptop 10 years ago, they are not much different than today. The largest difference is the PC is more energy efficient and use less juice.

    Expecting power storage tech to advacne follow CPU is unrealistic.

  • ChuckL

    One more thought on the advisability of electric cars is the target for an Electro-Magnetic Pulse bomb, which would result. Such a bomb would wipe out all electric distribution systems in the country.

    Can anyone think of a more inviting target?

  • ChuckL

    One more thought on the advisability of electric cars is the target for an Electro-Magnetic Pulse bomb, which would result. Such a bomb would wipe out all electric distribution systems in the country.

    Can anyone think of a more inviting target?

    • Greg

      Good point

  • ChuckL

    LF, The “unintended Acceleration” problem was traced to many brands, not just Audi. It was also traced to drivers using the accelerator pedal for the brake.

  • ChuckL

    LF, The “unintended Acceleration” problem was traced to many brands, not just Audi. It was also traced to drivers using the accelerator pedal for the brake.

  • Ben

    Look. The low price of E is largely because it’s not yet taxed to build roads. Fuel – gas or diesel – is. E will be, count on it (how do you think they’ll maintain the roads otherwise?) Right now, it’s irrelevant because there are too few E vehicles. When that changes, so will the tax structure, and there goes your low cost operation. This doesn’t change the environmental picture at all, but those of you who think this is inherently inexpensive, you’re hallucinating. Likewise high mileage fueled vehicles; if you end up going to the pump less often, you’ll pay more, because of the same reason: Someone has to pay for the roads based on something related to actual road use, and that someone is YOU.

    As for batteries and rare metals, that’s going to be irrelevant. Ultracaps will be the energy storage mechanism used, regardless if it’s EEStor this month or some crazed, long haired nano-fiber chewing nutbar at MIT next decade. Motors don’t take rare metals to manufacture unless they’re exotic as heck; and most aren’t (nor would such a motor be likely to end up in a widely distributed vehicle.)

    As for the Audi guy… the day I buy a diesel is the day the exhaust doesn’t smell like a garbage truck, the day the vehicle has the kind of power to weight ratio that the Tesla has, and the day that it all costs 20 grand. Which is to say, his remarks are irrelevant to me and always will be.

    WRT energy distribution, the infrastructure is there NOW. Here’s how it’ll work: (1) You install a supercap based charging station in your home. (2) Overnight, when most of the power grid’s capacity is unused by the usual culprits, this thing sucks enough energy to give you a good charge. (3) In the morning, you dump this into your car in seconds and drive off. (4) You probably don’t use much, and next morning, you top it off, and bingo, you’re cycling the grid as it exists now in an efficient and effective manner that neither requires new transport infrastructure or new generation capacity.

    You have to remember that old school operations like Audi have a real stake in misdirecting the consumer base such that they stick with them for more gas, diesel, etc. Just open your eyes, THINK about the issues, and don’t buy into such crap. EV’s are the future, and the sooner we learn to ignore pinheads like Mr. Audi there, the sooner we’ll have Evs.

    • EdA

      Actually the senario of “Overnight, when most of the power grid’s capacity is unused by the usual culprits”
      dosen’t make any sense if EV’s are the standard mode of transport, actually studies have have revealed that an entire upgrade of the transmission lines will needed to handle all the “off peak” (which will become the new Peak) usage period.
      Be careful what you wish for.
      Just curious, how many of you live in Cold weather States that make EV’s very poor performers and can be down right dangerous when heat is needed to preserve ones life?

    • Greg

      You are right about one thing Ben, EV’s are the future. The very, very distant future.

      You talk about charging your car during off-peak hours. Most of the generating capacity in this country is coal fueled, and those plants take time to make any changes in output based on demand. Peak demand generation is typically done by other types of energy generation plants that are relatively quick to start up or ramp up output in a matter of minutes and not hours, natural gas and nuclear are two that are common. The trouble is “peak” power costs more to produce. Most of the time the energy companies and traders don’t make you pay more for electricity based on peak usage but simply a flat rate that is supposed to take into account the overall cost of providing the energy. If so-called peak usage changes, or we eliminate peak usage because we are running our air conditioning all day and charging our cars all night, then it would require more long term investment in energy production and delivery as demand has simply increased during off-peak hours to where now it’s more of a flat usage band across the day, just for different reasons at difference times.

      And you are right about the tax structure changing along with it. So essentially what will happen is we will all pay some form of energy tax that covers the cost of developing new sources of generating capacity, as well as road-use or milage or wheel taxes or simply much of the nations roadways being converted to toll roads to cover the cost of maintaining the road infrastructure. This idea had already been put on the table two years ago in Seattle where officials worried about the sudden influx of high-milage hybrids and other compact cars was going to cause a reduction in fuel taxes and could ultimately impact the governments ability to maintain the roads. Ideas such as a mileage meter that would transmit you usage data to receivers either along or under the roadway and you would get a monthly bill to pay for the amount of miles you used. I found this whole thing ironic because one branch of the government was going to subsidize green cars and another was going to penalize you for them. Another unintended consequense will be a rise in the cost of paying your residential energy bill. This could have dire consequences for many families living at or below the poverty level, or require yet another government subsidy so that those so effected can keep the lights and heat on in the winter.

      No one has yet mentioned that because the hybrid or electric cars generally are smaller and weigh less, they would actually cause less wear and tear on the roadways than existing gas-guzzlers. Also on that note, an over the road semi causes 200 times more damage to the road than a typical family car. The logic would be to further up the taxes on large trucks, but that won’t happen because the trucking companies, teamsters unions and all retailers would scream from every mountaintop about putting people out of work and pricing consumer goods out of reach.

      There is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has to be paid for, and everything has it’s negative consquences.

      So the problems are not just technical, They are political and economic as well. As I said, electric cars may be the future, but I wouldn’t count on it anytime soon. If they really are a better idea, the market economy free from government meddling should prove that out.

  • Ben

    Look. The low price of E is largely because it’s not yet taxed to build roads. Fuel – gas or diesel – is. E will be, count on it (how do you think they’ll maintain the roads otherwise?) Right now, it’s irrelevant because there are too few E vehicles. When that changes, so will the tax structure, and there goes your low cost operation. This doesn’t change the environmental picture at all, but those of you who think this is inherently inexpensive, you’re hallucinating. Likewise high mileage fueled vehicles; if you end up going to the pump less often, you’ll pay more, because of the same reason: Someone has to pay for the roads based on something related to actual road use, and that someone is YOU.

    As for batteries and rare metals, that’s going to be irrelevant. Ultracaps will be the energy storage mechanism used, regardless if it’s EEStor this month or some crazed, long haired nano-fiber chewing nutbar at MIT next decade. Motors don’t take rare metals to manufacture unless they’re exotic as heck; and most aren’t (nor would such a motor be likely to end up in a widely distributed vehicle.)

    As for the Audi guy… the day I buy a diesel is the day the exhaust doesn’t smell like a garbage truck, the day the vehicle has the kind of power to weight ratio that the Tesla has, and the day that it all costs 20 grand. Which is to say, his remarks are irrelevant to me and always will be.

    WRT energy distribution, the infrastructure is there NOW. Here’s how it’ll work: (1) You install a supercap based charging station in your home. (2) Overnight, when most of the power grid’s capacity is unused by the usual culprits, this thing sucks enough energy to give you a good charge. (3) In the morning, you dump this into your car in seconds and drive off. (4) You probably don’t use much, and next morning, you top it off, and bingo, you’re cycling the grid as it exists now in an efficient and effective manner that neither requires new transport infrastructure or new generation capacity.

    You have to remember that old school operations like Audi have a real stake in misdirecting the consumer base such that they stick with them for more gas, diesel, etc. Just open your eyes, THINK about the issues, and don’t buy into such crap. EV’s are the future, and the sooner we learn to ignore pinheads like Mr. Audi there, the sooner we’ll have Evs.

  • JohnS

    ChuckL – I’ve heard some dumb objections to EVs but vulnerability to an Electro-Magnetic Pulse bomb is about the dumbest.

    EMP would wreck the computers in all vehicles. Without its engine management unit and host of computers, no modern vehicle will unlock, never mind start, even if the engine were a diesel. Battery vehicles are not especially vulnerable, and their heavy wiring might survive EMP better than the delicate sensors and actuators in all vehicles.

    Without the electricity grid, nothing much will work. Gas pumps won’t dispense, pipelines won’t flow and the refineries won’t produce (even if their control systems survive the EMP). Traffic lights, signs, street lighting will all be out. Navigation systems and shipping will be paralysed. Cargo won’t be unloaded. Most aircraft will be grounded.

    With the power out, there will be little point in making normal journeys. Lighting, heating and ventilation will be out. Elevators will be stuck. TV, radio, phones, the net and most communications will be down. Without computers, there will be no access to financial systems. Logistics will be in chaos. Food production, distribution and refrigeration will be out, and there will be looting and riots. Water and sewage systems will be out.

    Standby generators (that survive the EMP) will run only until their fuel runs out. There will no spare fuel for non-essential journeys.

    All bets will be off, and the only systems designed to survive intact will be the submarines deep in the ocean poised to rain down nuclear retribution on whoever started it.

    The only upside I can see is that it will stop you posting idiotic comments.

  • JohnS

    ChuckL – I’ve heard some dumb objections to EVs but vulnerability to an Electro-Magnetic Pulse bomb is about the dumbest.

    EMP would wreck the computers in all vehicles. Without its engine management unit and host of computers, no modern vehicle will unlock, never mind start, even if the engine were a diesel. Battery vehicles are not especially vulnerable, and their heavy wiring might survive EMP better than the delicate sensors and actuators in all vehicles.

    Without the electricity grid, nothing much will work. Gas pumps won’t dispense, pipelines won’t flow and the refineries won’t produce (even if their control systems survive the EMP). Traffic lights, signs, street lighting will all be out. Navigation systems and shipping will be paralysed. Cargo won’t be unloaded. Most aircraft will be grounded.

    With the power out, there will be little point in making normal journeys. Lighting, heating and ventilation will be out. Elevators will be stuck. TV, radio, phones, the net and most communications will be down. Without computers, there will be no access to financial systems. Logistics will be in chaos. Food production, distribution and refrigeration will be out, and there will be looting and riots. Water and sewage systems will be out.

    Standby generators (that survive the EMP) will run only until their fuel runs out. There will no spare fuel for non-essential journeys.

    All bets will be off, and the only systems designed to survive intact will be the submarines deep in the ocean poised to rain down nuclear retribution on whoever started it.

    The only upside I can see is that it will stop you posting idiotic comments.

  • “Transmission of electrical power is orders of magnitude more efficient than shipping refined oil all around the country to thousands of different fuel stations.”

    What?

    Wikipedia tells me that transmission losses are 7% or so.

    An order of magnitude is times 10. Orders of m are therefore, at minimum, times 100.

    You are suggesting that the distribution of gas to gas stations takes 720% or more of the gas delivered to gas stations?

    You sir are insane. Or grossly deluded, whichever.

  • “Transmission of electrical power is orders of magnitude more efficient than shipping refined oil all around the country to thousands of different fuel stations.”

    What?

    Wikipedia tells me that transmission losses are 7% or so.

    An order of magnitude is times 10. Orders of m are therefore, at minimum, times 100.

    You are suggesting that the distribution of gas to gas stations takes 720% or more of the gas delivered to gas stations?

    You sir are insane. Or grossly deluded, whichever.

  • khl

    The notion that the balance of electricity production is rapidly shifting is completely false. We are going to be generating coal fire electricity for the indefinite future.

  • khl

    The notion that the balance of electricity production is rapidly shifting is completely false. We are going to be generating coal fire electricity for the indefinite future.

  • Aquiles Meo De la Torre

    The Volt is revolting.

    I blame Obama.

  • Aquiles Meo De la Torre

    The Volt is revolting.

    I blame Obama.

    • Reddy Kilowatt

      What will happen when all those extension cords trailing the electric vehicles get tangled on the freeways and in the intersections? They’ll have to get horses to clear up the mess, or we can get Obama to spend another trillion dollar of his stash after he gets done studying the problem with another trillion.
      If there is a marke the private sector will in time find a better, cheaper solution. Until then you can enjoy your $15 light bulbs.

  • de Nysschen is marketing baloney. see http://www.fueleconomy.gov for carbon gas emission statistics of any car, it shows the 2 Audi models which use diesel in 2010 make 6.2 tons of carbon gas (Audi 3) and a whopping 10.6 tons (Audi Q7). By way of comparing their “progress”, see the VW Jetta of 2010 diesel stats (6.2 tons), compare to the VW Jetta diesel stats of 1996 (5.6 tons), their diesel cars make more carbon today than they did 14 years ago. Then they speak about cars that get 70 mpg, (a) they don’t sell them here, and (b) even if that could be done, it will still make 3 tons of carbon gas in a standard year. these are 2 ton cars. a ton of a gas still weighs a ton, and its volume is massive, like the interior of a sports stadium.

    Then he tells us an electric car’s charging indirectly makes more carbon gas at the electric plant than the internal combust. car makes, but this is pure lying. Even if charged with today’s dirty mix of plants (coal, nat gas, nuke etc), the electricity from charging is only 10% of carbon made by average car, only 20% of cleanest Prius today.

    If you burn something, it always gives off big quantities of gases, whether you burn gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel, algae gas etc. Basic question is, do you have the right to pollute as much as you choose without limit forever?

  • de Nysschen is marketing baloney. see http://www.fueleconomy.gov for carbon gas emission statistics of any car, it shows the 2 Audi models which use diesel in 2010 make 6.2 tons of carbon gas (Audi 3) and a whopping 10.6 tons (Audi Q7). By way of comparing their “progress”, see the VW Jetta of 2010 diesel stats (6.2 tons), compare to the VW Jetta diesel stats of 1996 (5.6 tons), their diesel cars make more carbon today than they did 14 years ago. Then they speak about cars that get 70 mpg, (a) they don’t sell them here, and (b) even if that could be done, it will still make 3 tons of carbon gas in a standard year. these are 2 ton cars. a ton of a gas still weighs a ton, and its volume is massive, like the interior of a sports stadium.

    Then he tells us an electric car’s charging indirectly makes more carbon gas at the electric plant than the internal combust. car makes, but this is pure lying. Even if charged with today’s dirty mix of plants (coal, nat gas, nuke etc), the electricity from charging is only 10% of carbon made by average car, only 20% of cleanest Prius today.

    If you burn something, it always gives off big quantities of gases, whether you burn gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel, algae gas etc. Basic question is, do you have the right to pollute as much as you choose without limit forever?

  • Ron Wagner

    There is an assumption that there are no alternatives to buying dirty coal fueled electricity. Communities and individuals could produce electricity for vehicles with:

    1. Natural gas or propane fueled generators. Possibly micro-turbines.

    2. Solar panels.

    3. Wind power.

    and there are other clean possibilities.

    • Who is John Galt

      Solar and wind are cost prohibitive. The only reason anyone uses them is the government steals taxpayer money to subsidize it. In case you haven’t noticed we’re broke and can not afford the subsidy parade any longer.

  • Ron Wagner

    There is an assumption that there are no alternatives to buying dirty coal fueled electricity. Communities and individuals could produce electricity for vehicles with:

    1. Natural gas or propane fueled generators. Possibly micro-turbines.

    2. Solar panels.

    3. Wind power.

    and there are other clean possibilities.

  • Colin

    Many families have two cars. Is it essential that both cars have >100 mile range? I would suggest not. I reckon that a 100 mile range car would be very attractive as the second car in a two car family. Bear in mind that it could be topped up every night so could manage 100 miles a day.

    For families with only one partner working.. which car would be used for the daily commute to work? Given the lower running cost I suspect it would be the electric one.

    Problem is there isn’t yet an electric car that manages 100 mile range with acceptable performance at the right price.

  • Colin

    Many families have two cars. Is it essential that both cars have >100 mile range? I would suggest not. I reckon that a 100 mile range car would be very attractive as the second car in a two car family. Bear in mind that it could be topped up every night so could manage 100 miles a day.

    For families with only one partner working.. which car would be used for the daily commute to work? Given the lower running cost I suspect it would be the electric one.

    Problem is there isn’t yet an electric car that manages 100 mile range with acceptable performance at the right price.

  • GL Lee

    Diesel burning cars in England are getting about 60 miles to the liter.

    I have an issue with the statement “In some areas of the country, large amounts of electricity already come from renewable sources”

    This simply is not true. The word “renewable” is a misnomer, for one. No one is “renewing’ the sun or wind. And no where in this country is either of these sources making a significant impact on the grid. As a matter of fact, the libtards who begged for wind turbines (the same ones that begged Coke and Pepsi to use plastic over a real renewable source – glass) are now begging to shut them down due to the occasional bird death. Where’s the outrage over clean windows?

    The world has has all of about 100 years of fossil fuel (of a significant nature). The world has been here for 5 billion years. We’ve not made a single place on the planet inhabitable, nor are islands disappearing for any other reason than erosion, no matter what we’ve done… we, as inhabitants of earth, are not significant enough to actually impact such a massive planet. We, too, will be a blip in time in the perspective of the life of the planet. Enjoy it while you’re here… go buy a jet ski or a snowmobile, burn gas, provide jobs, have fun.

    ’nuff said.

    • ejdavid

      Sixty mile per liter? I believe you have your conversion tables mixed up. I do not know of one diesel car that gets sixty miles per us GALLON. A US gallon is about .95 percent of four liters.

  • brutus07

    1. The new renewable energy coming online is a tiny fraction of that needed to power an electric car fleet. You have to know that.
    2. Real world prices matter. Not MSRP. Go to carsdirect.com and price a similar sized SAME BRAND product. A LT1 (not a base model) Malibu with power stuff and even a sunroof is $21,500 after rebates. That’s even LESS than the $25,000 figure the Audi chief mentioned in his comments.
    3. The Volt sells there for full MSRP, or $39,999. So, the premium for a comparable Volt is not $15,000, but $18,500! If you want to include money stolen from other Americans to fund sales of GM cars via tax credits to Volt Buyers, it’s less, but still huge.
    4. Therefore, what other assumption must one make when a reasonable alternative is a $25,000 Jetta or even a $33,000 Passat, cars that handle and perform much better? Obviously these are purchased to make a statement, not to save money, save the planet, or reduce our dependence on anything except maybe government subsidies to favored corporations.
    5. Factor in the energy used to construct the massive infrastructure needed to support electric cars and their footprint is higher, not lower.
    6. Toss pebble bed nuclear plants into the mix and you may have a different outcome. But then some want their cake and to eat it too, don’t they? (No nukes, no gas, no diesel, no fun)

    At this point in technology, all this is about feigned moral superiority and the eons-old human genetic desire to control the behavior of, be seen as superior to, and have more status relative to other human beings. Why truly be a better person with all the hard work required when you can just lay out payments on a sweet green E car? If you have the cash it’s really no sacrifice. Cheat on your wife? “He’d never do that, he drives a Volt”. Swindle others in business? “He must be a good guy, look at that car.” Nasty disposition? “But he must be nice deep down, he cares about the planet.” See? $40 grand buys you a lot more than just a car.

    • John West

      Great comment. You have it right.

    • I want my perpetual motion machine! What, no perpetual motion? Boohoohoo……

    • RS

      What can I say? I would have paid to read your post! Would that it go viral!!!

  • murf

    My Chevy Volt has a range of 40 miles. After I arrive at my office I have my Chevy towed home. When I get home (bus fares are cheap where I live) I plug it in in my garage and watch the coal fired power plant belch thick, beautiful black smoke. Driving a Chevy Volt makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    • @ murf

      The Chevy Volt has an ALL-ELECTRIC range of about 40 miles. It can go over 300 miles, as it has a gas-powered range extender.

      • john

        So if the chevy volt didn’t have the weight of the electric drivetrain and batteries that only gets it 40 miles, how much more fuel efficient would the chevy volt be if it was gas only? Doh! Its the same as driving around with 2 big guys to push your car when you run out of gas. If you didn’t drag the 2 big guys around maybe you would get further.

      • theyrepukes

        Don’t forget the strip mining necessary to produce the batteries. And the toxic waste. And the shipping parts all over the world and back during fabrication. But none of that matters because the liberal feels good about driving a car that is actually more destructive to the environment than a standard car. All they care about is labels and “electric car” is a desirable label. Never mind the fact that it’s a horribly dirty and half-baked technology.

      • Cgris; Check me on this one: there is a’rare’ 1896′ ,collector’s car, one of a kind, battery powered electric ca.r
        it has a range of 40miles per charge– THE SAME AS THE VOLT!!!! So whats new ????

        • @ Frederick

          The Volt can go faster, farther, in more comfort and versatility than a 100 year old EV?? It also has a range extender that lets it go up to 300 miles after the battery is exhausted?

          So what’s new? lots of things.

          • Jeff

            Isn’t the “range extender” in the volt a gasoline engine?

        • 100 years ago, gasoline powered cars in general got 10-20 MPG. In the 1980s, they still got 10-20 MPG, now that the manufacturers have been put under pressure, they are just exhibiting improvements in fuel efficiency, so now 30 MPG is common. I must point out that the Chevy Volt is extended range, meaning that GM chose to use short range 40 mile batteries in conjunction with a generator instead of what the fully electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Tesla Motors achieved, which is a whopping 250 mile range per charge, and it can be charged overnight at home, at a small fraction of the cost of a gasoline powered vehicle.

          Take a look at the 2012 200 hp Camry hybrid please. It is only $25,000 and gets 43 mpg city.

      • Armed Texan

        Yeah, just don’t plan on using any “luxury” items like heat, AC, or headlights. Oh, and don’t plan on climbing any steep hills or going over 60 MPH

      • Eric Parlin

        Gas-powered range extender, lol…that’s too funny. Range extender, oh wow…gas-powered range extender, hahahaha…(I’m laughing so hard, I’m getting teary-eyed). Did you mean that as a joke, or are you really calling the ICE in it a gas-powered range extender. If you’re serious, that’d make it so much funnier. I’d love to type more, but I have to go use the hydro-power assisted aquatic waste disposal apparatus. LOL, gas-powered range extender. Bless your heart.

    • jim

      Amen

  • Ediv

    Great comments by the Audi chief. Nothing riles the pompous Left more than when someone calls them out. Anyone paying 40 grands for a death trap where the hvac is considered a luxury is both a liberal and a puke.

    • Who is John Galt

      Bingo!

  • He’s right. You would have to be an idiot to buy a Volt. It isn’t even competitive with other electric vehicles and the batteries are an environmental nightmare. Natural gas may be an answer for the immediate future but renewable energy won’t be a factor for many years to come.

  • What is the Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI) for an electric car?

    For solar PV it is 0.48. For wind power it is 0.29 depending on many factors. For an electric car it is probably no more than 0.1. Like most alternative energies, THEY ARE UNSUSTAINABLE.

    And when you need another set of batteries for your electric car, it might be cheaper to buy a Smart or Fiat instead.

  • yankeefan

    Say what you will about the Volt you skeptics! I am in line to buy a Chevvy Volt that comes with a Solyndra solar panel incorporated in the roof. This option is only $6,000 more. As long as the sun shines, my Solyndra Volt generates enough free electricity to run the radio plus my CD player in the car, I can listen to Kumbaya all day long while I’m sitting in traffic on I-680 ! and it’s free, free, FREE! So there!!

  • len

    “I’m guessing that means a fair amount of the people reading this would be considered idiots and pompous intellectual elites in Mr. de Nysschen’s book.”

    Stop guessing because you don’t speak for me. Chevy Volt is a clunker as evidenced by poor sales and poor manufacturing–didn’t it just have a recall due to wiring malfunctions? lmao. Electric cars are a joke.

    That said, Biofuel technology(algae) is a good thing; if only it could be cheaper…

  • Robert g

    The chevy volt was an idea to appease environmentalist. So yes it’s a car for idiots.

  • Jim Navium

    Get lost you eco-fascists you. How are Chevy Volt sales doing? Oh, they’re not! Left wing fools…

  • t-bird

    Audi Chief: “Volts For Dolts”
    435 lbs of batteries. Batteries are so “renewable”.
    A two-ton compact car. Think about that.

  • bill kilgore

    He also neglected to mention that internal cumbustion engines, particularly diesel, have an efficiency of well over 50% while the electrical grid has an efficiency rating in the low 30 percentile range. Couple the increase in emissions, battery manufacture and disposal, windmills defacing the landscape and providing T Boone Pickins with a tidy tax-subsidised income, moonshine (alcohol based fuel) using half the corn crop with a concurrent increase in food costs if not outright food riots and you’ve got the makings of a broken country. Liberal government: the unspeakable deceiving the unteachable.

  • TimM in p

    He is right. Even GM is willing to buy back the Volt. Ever hear of that before? It’s overpriced junk for what it offers. The future? Maybe EV will catch on, but remember behind every EV is a generator having to generate electricity for this car. Also, how much to you have to increase the grid if you have millions going electric? The grid goes down: no one goes anywhere. It may be a viable part of the solution eventually, but natural gas offers a 90% cut in pollution while using a resource that America has in greater abundance than oil in Saudi Arabia. Using multiple solutions offers more opportunities, but plug in electric is still at the beginning of development.

  • Otto

    The author thinks that switching from a hybrid to a fully electric car pollutes less than a diesel? The Audi guy is right. Renewable resources are less than 1% of the total production. Go beyond the government source and do the real research. Diesel gives 40-60 MPG in Europe. The cost to upgrade the power grid to support electric vehicles will cost more. At least the Audi guy has a MBA to understand it and back it up.

  • X Audi Tech

    Audi–Audi made of tin, drive it out, push it in!!!

  • HMichaelH

    Apparently, little Nickie Chambers doesn’t like it when some speaks the truth with which he disagrees because of his politics. So, instead of documenting why someone who buys a Volt isn’t an idiot, he just attacks the person who made the comment.

    BTW, Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen is 100% correct. Anyone who buys a Volt is an idiot, and if you don’t think he’s right, just go out and buy one yourself, you idiot! Eventually you will come to understand how huge a mistake such a purchase is.

    I think the people who support the electric car as an environmental salvation from the combustion engine as so stupid they think electricity is produced out of thin air. Never mind those huge plants churning out all those pollutants (unless, of course, they are nuclear) into the air in order to actually “make” electricity on which your little, VERY expensive and inconvenient car will run! Only an idiot would fail to understand how electricity is generated, and why the Volt is a joke…..a very expensive joke, but a joke, nevertheless.

  • Wadx

    Diesels are also incredibly long lived.

    My 1978 Mercedes-Benz 240 is still going strong after 33 years.

    300,000 miles on it and it still doesn’t burn any oil at all.
    I expect I will still be driving it at 600,000 without any significant repairs.

    I KNOW a Chevy Volt will not still be drivable in 33 years.

  • Stu in Iowa

    All this coming from a CEO whose company historically creates the worst ‘luxury’ cars on the planet. Audi’s are notorious for being crappy.

  • PowerPC

    Is this a news report or an editorial? I do not see it labeled as an editorial and if it is a news report opinions should be left out of the story. Volts are a waste of money at this time. Why spend $40,000 for an electrified Chevy Nova when you can buy a real car for that kind of money? I think the Audi rep is right. The buyers of the volt want to show how enlightened they are, how earth friendly and that they know what a carbon footprint is. However, it is their money to waste.

    • Greg

      It’s our money actually. The overall subsidy for the volt shifts most of the cost to all taxpayers.

  • Olivia

    I would like to know what some of the engineers on here think about the Volt’s safety. Some people in the industry, that I know, do not think it is a safe car for several reasons. Does anyone have information on these claims?

  • Drewist

    Any reason MSLSD did not want to report this first…The electric car does support the ass backwards agenda? Very Good Comment by the Audi Chief!!!

  • phreetoz

    Electric cars are retarded, Diesel is here to stay, until another form of fuel can be made to act like it. Electric cars are never going to go anywhere, they expensive pos.

    I’d rather ride my bike then get an electric car.

  • eddyjames

    Going electric sounds nice, but in the long run I really don’t think any money will be saved.Just like our great leader as said “The cost of electricity will have to Sky Rocket” The politicians could care less about saving you money unless it affords them the chance to take it by increasing taxes on it.Any potential for use to save money by switching to Ev’s will be over ridden by government greed and much higher electric rates.And they will have you by the balls when they limit where and when you can plug your electric car in to recharge. Simply flip a switch and no one is going anywhere further than the 40 mile range of your little electric car. You can store gas or Diesel in tanks or barrels allowing all most unlimited travel for years. It is about controlling travel,not saving the planet comrade.

  • Steven Goodwin

    Remove the ‘green’ subsidies and see what happens….. they ALL go down the toilet.
    Electric cars aren’t a bad idea, they just have serious limitations. I think they are best suited for high density (city) environments where congestion is a HUGE problem. I happen to agree with Mr. Audi about diesels…. the new breed of diesels are amazing and certainly warrant further development. I had a VW pickup with a tiny diesel and I loved that little gutless truck…. 50+mpg. When I bought it, it had just over 200K on it and I put another 90 on it before it got stolen…
    Anyway….. keep going with the diesel technology

  • Scott

    He’s right…The volt is an expensive joke. It’s way expensive for its class. It, like wind, solar and most so-called green technologies are expensive jokes as well…Take away the government subsidies and the Volt is deader than the proverbial doornail. Take away government subsidies and electricity produced by wind and solar would as Obama said, “under my plan, electricity costs will neccesarily skyrocket…Expensive jokes! We as a nation took a pass on Nuclear which is the truest of green energy. No emissions at all…Yeah right, what about Chernobyl and Fukushima? Yawn, nuclear power has been around for fifty years. The US Navy set the gold standard for nuclear safety. They have sailed hundreds of ships for over fifty years without a nuclear accident. Oh yeah, I’ve been to Hiroshima. It is a city of millions built on the ashes of, wait for it…An atom bomb. So, take the 10,000 year half-life bull$hit of radiation an spin it up your windmill. So, we don’t want to use nuclear power because we had two known nuclear accidents, ever…Tsk, tsk. Wow, someone mentioned peak oil. Another fraudulent non-sequiter. There is no such thing as Peak Oil. Why, there cannot be a discussion of Peak Oil without linking it to current technology and known oil reserves. Since technology is always advancing the methods of exploration and extraction peak oil moves through time with those advances. Yeah, if we were using technology of 100 years ago, we would be out of oil. Oh shucks! What to do??? Recent discoveries like the Bakken field and new technologies for using oil shales mean that oil will be plentiful and cheap for decades. Natural gas anyone? We have hundreds of years of natural gas known reserves here in the United States. Anyone who ever ever mentions Peak Oil without linking it to a chronology of technology and known reserves is either pushing and agenda or stupid. Or both…Obama and our self appointed green overlords like Gore are either stupid or disingenous or both as well. Americans need to be rid of these frauds and let the markets respond to our driving and energy needs. They are only making life for ordinary people hugely expensive while they promote the global fraud of classifying the naturally occuring and life-essential carbon dioxide…Get over it!

  • Joe Moe

    Do they call this site gas-two because every post shows up twice?

  • The author thinks regulation by the government is the answer when government regulations are the problem and the Audi exec is right it also cost more to repower the volt due to this administrations regulation on coal and consider this the wind does not blow 24/7 so wind farms only produces when it is windy and every wind farm I have been by in my travels has seen only at most 50 percent of the wind mills producing.

  • jks

    Here is the bottom line. A double AA battery filled with gasoline vs. electricity will deliver 100 times the output/power. Every engineer/physicist knows this is true. Fact is, you can’t change the simple laws of physics. In the early 1900’s we tried gas, diesel, Stanley Steamer, Electric, and Henry Ford even had a bio-fuel lab. Guess what won out, and always will win out no matter how much money govt. pours into “alternative energy”.

  • WAM

    I’m glad someone has the guts to finally say it like it is. The average American one car owner could never last with an electric car. Not to mension the millians of changes that have to be made across the country to support the huge increase in demand. Try to drive across any midwext state or farm country and see if you could find a place to plug in. They will only work for anyone less than 50 miles from work. Having owned a Mercedes diesel in the past we are missing a big chance to allow hybriid diesel cars that can get over 100 miles per gal and find many places you can fill up. The whole issue with the Volt is the big goverment trying to shove a product on us that satisfies the Invermentlal wackos.

  • Rusty

    if anyone wants info on a real electric car that far out performs any electric vehicle offered or on the drawing board of the “auto industry” check out Tesla motors, all electric 0 to 60 in 4 seconds with a 300+ mile range per charge…an embarresment to auto makers that a silcone valley company with no automotive industry history comes out of the gate with an automobile far advanced that anything the big 3 or any others can even imagine.

    • nifongnation

      I believe they went bankrupt.

  • ThOccum

    Well Audi President is exactly right – $40k base price for an electric hybrid (basically) is insanity. Sure Audi has motivation to push their own brand and view but the only people who have that money to burn are the emotionally unstable greenies who want to make some social statement at this point. Want to push green, make it $28k and market it main-stream. Audi is predominantly for the “intellectually pompous elites”? Really? According to who Nick… You? Sad fact, fossils fuels will be around for another entire generation of car and truck buyers. Chevy and others who cannot price and manufacture to compete with fossils fuel vehicles are producing a curiosity – nothing more. De Nysschen’s point may be smarmy smack talk but that is secondary – he happens to be right in this case.

  • Fred

    Well, right or wrong, the Audi CEO’s comment was out of line. Regardless, he is probably correct that most people who do buy a volt aren’t weighing their budget so much as their belief system, which may be at odds with actual hard science. Carbon may or may not have an impact on global surface tempuratue (why do other planets that orbit our sun have surface temps that fluctuate synchronously with ours? Perhaps it’s the heat source they share in common?). Whatever your measure on the green scale the hard fact is that the Chevrolet Volt produces *more* carbon lbs/mile than an average fuel efficient gas powered car, read and weep http://junkscience.com/2011/04/14/junkscience-details-the-greenwashed-chevy-volt/

    • nifongnation

      Global warming because of human civilization is a farce.

  • Miguel

    This guy’s story-writing is bluntly stupid on it’s surface. I don’t like Audi’s for reasons of it’s appeal to the elitist yuppie bas_ards, and I truly hate the whole electric car insanity in it’s brain-dead appeal to the stumbling arrogance of academia and cynical environmental plunderers of our society. No green tech on any big scale works w/o giant behind-closed-doors theft from the taxpayers into the pockets of green elitist criminals who are robbing all of us just to “feel good” that their windmills in CA are killing hundreds of eagles (for any one whose deaths any ‘evil human’ would be prosecuted), and hopelessly over-priced Volts are burning up as they wildly under-perform.

    All engineers know electricity transmission is extremely inefficient, no matter this author’s lies. The progressive left’s enviro-academics are unabashedly trying to make all of us the impoverished worker ants with them being the lords and ladies in their attempt to re-institute their beloved Old European oligarchies. My former party cynically uses faked science to rob us with it’s Chicago-style government corruption.

  • werbaz, neutron

    The author of this article has intellectual blinders on. The main probem we face here is not air pollution, it is unemployment and long term jobs producing something of value – not like most artificial government jobs enforcing regulations and doling out borrowed money we don’t have for unemployed people to stay unemployed longer.
    Consider that our Gross Domestic Product is strongly and tightly linked to our consumption of primary energy. The link as about 1: 0.75. That is, if we see GDP here increase one percent a year, we should expect to see our use of primary energy increase 0.75%. No way around that. Next, Obama is going to shut down all our coal plants that produce electricity. According to him electricity is going to cost, therefore, massively more. There are going to be severe power outages unless we go to massive production by nuclear means, which obama’s people reject.
    So where are all these electric cars going to fit into this? Shall we all drive around in them, and then sit at home in the dark? Much less find a job to feed our families. Crazy.

    • nifongnation

      We need to get the Canadian pipeline finished, and use more oil. The more oil the better.

  • Howard Frump

    Johan de Nysschen is correct. Proponents of electric vehicles are idiots. The limiting factor for electric vehicles is power storage density, a problem which engineers have failed to overcome in 120 years of battery design. Battery powered electric propulsion may be fine for golf carts, but will never be a serious factor in the automobile market.

  • BikerBen

    “It’s much easier and more cost effective to regulate a relative handful of single source emitters such as power plants than it is to regulate hundreds of millions of tailpipes.” That’s the most important thing to leftists, i.e. ease of regulating what Americans do and what choices they make. Electric cars are only of value to a very small segment of society. One cannot live in a climate that has cold winters as batteries lose up to half their efficiency in cold weather. One cannot live in a climate that has hot summers as batteries lose enormous range if air conditioning is in use. one must own or rent a house with a garage in order to securely plug in their electric toy overnight. In short, electric cars will never be viable, and will be relegated to the dustbin of history along with the current occupant of the white house whose pushing for their use.

  • Bob

    When will these electric car drivers start paying their “fair Share” of road tax like gasoline and diesel drivers do?? Oh yah, and stop taking our tax dollars subsidies.

  • Markey Moonman

    Right now electric vehicles are for idiots. Build some nuclear plants, or let us mine more coal, to produce large amounts of cheap elecricity and maybe electric vehicles will make sense someday. The problem is the same idiots that are buying electric vehicles do not want to build more nuclear plants or mine coal. Go figure.

  • Robert

    I’m not spending any amount of money for a car that won’t go past 50 miles before a six hr. recharge.
    Attack of the tree huggers. I believe that alternative fuels will come around one day, but the technology just isn’t here yet. We are only touching the surface. We have a three hundred year supply of oil in the US, (that the liberal driven EPA won’t let us touch),by the time it’s used up, I’m sure another form of fuel will be available.

    • nifongnation

      We need to exercise our Unalienable rights, and throw Greens into a trash to energy plant.

  • Angry American

    Mr. de Nysschen’s comments are spot on, despite the writer’s bruised feelings. The only people able to afford such an impractical, expensive, and ostensibly unenvironmental method of transportation are environmental elites. These are the people who the ‘mental’ in environmental.

  • DeeMerk

    What happened to hydrogen fuel cell technology?

  • The Truth Hurts

    Anyone who buys the Volt is a dumb ass! Anyone who says it’s not a joke, is a liar, a thief and a douchebag.
    The car is a fraud, the movement is a fraud.

  • TAT

    It is not possible to power 10% of autos from the existing power grid, let alone 250 million. The entire system would need to re-engineered, a costly and long duration project. The existing power grid would crash and burn (literally). Converting to electric cars would be very expensive and impractical at this point. How about doing an engineering evaluation and feasibility study first, instead of just lunging ahead blindly in an atempt to violate the laws of physics.

  • DivideByZero

    He’s spot on, only a moron would buy a battery on wheels and claim it’s a car. This will go down as Obama’s Edsel.

    • nifongnation

      The Edsel was not built on taxpayer money. Obama needs to go take a nap, and never wake up.

  • Madarain

    Brutus07 is on the right track but sadly alone here. He’s the only other commenter to bring up the need for nuclear energy to accomplish these lofty utopian pipe dreams , or the phony pose taken by most of these global BS fans. The authors response is as off target as the Audi head. Except that the Audi head will be proven right, at least in the short term. The irrational faith that most here place in the Global BS hype has them twisting themselves into positions that no yoga master would attempt. Do yourselves a favor. You guys are making me feel sorry for all your pain. Either embrace nuclear or stop believing that fairy tale altogether. You have no other options.

  • Let’s see – you live in the city (of which there are many) in a row home or condo with no driveway and yo have to park on the street. You need to recharge your EV so you pull up to your house and find there is no parking. You have no choice to but to recharge to get moving again so you have to double park and plug this thing in. Now we have the sidewalk littered with wires and clogged up streets.

    Has anyone thought about the consequences and the practicality. Of course not – they want what they want and that is money from environmentalists who care nothing about the environment – only their religion.

    If you look at the math the Volt is better for the environment when running on gas in every state no matter what they burn at the power plant. But you never took GM to task, you just bought their lies.

    The government is now ready to buy back every Volt – why is that?

  • AtlasObjectivist

    LMAO – Nysschen tells it like it is. Now I know why I drive an Audi.

  • JamesT

    The Chevy Volt, like the other ‘green’ cars, are inventions of Madison Avenue, meant to prey on a specific type of consumer. They do it quite well.

    If someone wants to drive an overpriced feel-good coal-fired car, God bless them.

    But leave me the hell alone.

  • cheapsmack

    Epic fail by the author who has no real understanding of any of his points .. one example transmission of electricity ,you can’t transport power more than 40 to 50 miles without losing over half he power . If that was true our power plants would be built at the source of the coal and at the ports where the oil was imported, instead we have pipelines to transport the oil and trains to move the coal . And the statement that renewable sources are going to make any significant percentage of our energy supply is laughable . Wind and solar are economically unsustainable without huge subsidies. The whole article is a fantasy.

  • geek

    Right now an all electric car is foolish for most, would I call a buyer an idiot, in most cases Yes.
    Given the lack of reliability I also do not think highly of those who buy an Audi or for that matter a VW, I was an idiot 3 times before I wised up.
    I understand Audi sales are on the increase but given their past performance I will no longer take the risk of purchasing a car that has frequent problems and once outside of warrantee very expensive to fix.

  • Rick O’Shea

    I can get in my Corolla drive to San Antonio, drive around there for two days and drive back home, which is 5.5 hours from San Antonio, and get 36.2 MPG. That’s what the electrics are competeing against and they can’t win. In the summer I can turn my air conditioner on high, stay cool in 110 degree outside temperature, and get 36.2 MPG. The only way to make electrics viable is to restrict oil production and importation and decrease refinery production to drive refined oil products to about double what they are now. There’s only one fly in the ointment, the american people. Because we cling to our Bibles and guns and live in unhabitable area of the country we can be managed, at least until we are pushed an inch to far.

    • nifongnation

      Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! Give them the whole nine yards! With the exercise our Unalienable rights, given by our Creator, which is self evident, we will obliterate tyranny and the heretics. We ought to be willing to give up our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor . to remove this diseased pariah from DC.

  • chris

    Hi is right. Liberalisms foundation is arrogance, not saving the planet; not just being idiots.

  • anon a mouse

    He could also say that anyone buying a volt is a democrat since idiot and democrat are easily interchangable

  • Anyone I have ever known that has owned an Audi has had MAJOR problems with them, and they rate at the bottom of the list on Consumer Reports reliability ratings. So, Der Ulrich, I wouldn’t even MENTION the word junk if I were you.

  • bob self

    he’s telling us something we didn’t know?? of course it’s a pos, it’s obama supported, it’s supported by eviormental idiots, it’s made by government motors. where’s the surprise??? if we could make a car that ran on all the b. s. that comes out of the left’s diarreah mouths, THEN we’d have something!!

  • Don T

    This article has shown the wisdom of Mr de Nysschen’s comment.

  • Bob

    It’s simple, Golf carts belong on the golf course, NOT on the roads. Unless and until one can get into an EV and drive 400-600 miles in a day, refuel (recharge) as necessary in just a few minutes, then do it again tomorrow, EV;’s are a non starter. The whole idea of an automobile is being mobile independently. (auto-mobile) . Being tied to a small travel area, and rare recharging stations, is an anathema to the concept of personal transportation. Nope, no EV for me.

  • Ken H

    Audi is right. We ignore diesel here while glorifying electric cars which freeze you in the winter and catch on fire weeks after an accident.

  • JerryinTampa

    I am currently in the decision process to decide on my next car after the lease on my VW is up next year. Audi is one vehicle I am considering and after reading Lawrence Ulrich’s article I believe it will be an Audi for me. It is already THE upscale car choice in Europe. As for our Socialist leaders forbidding the use of Diesel engines in cars they are the the useful idiots. Hopefully we will replace all these Socialists fools with people open to smart business practices that will include allowing diesel engines in our still great Nation. As for Lawrence Ulrich, maybe our NEW Government might offer him a position to enhance our ability to win the the World Economy.

  • Heywood Broun

    The Audi head is right. Sorry enviro-Nazis. Sometimes the truth hurts.

  • Bippy Bellito

    The Volt is the representation of all things Obama. Government Motors was hell bent on pushing the Volt, ObamaCare, and other non nonsensical ideas down our collective throats. All that Obama touches turns to crap. Place the Volt near the top of the list. It is a Yugo, only worse.

  • jerry

    You are either a idiot or just plain stupid if you think buying a electric car you are saving the planet.
    1.How much pollution in the making and disposing of a Battery big enough to power a car.
    2.Do you have a wind mill powering your charge or perhaps a solar panel probably not.
    3.How many miles to a charge?
    4.So yeah your a idiot.

  • mike

    My electric bill is way higher that my gasoline bill now. Way higher.
    Everybody seems to think that the electricity for these EVs is free. It is not.
    We now have essentially an unlimited supply of natural gas in this country. The power plants can convert from oil and coal to natural gas (as an engineer, I know this) and then we will have all the oil for gasoline or diesel that we need.
    Or, of course, we can surrender to China (you know, better red than dead.)

  • greengo

    I am an electrical engineer, and I agree that the Volt is indeed for idiots. The mining of nickle and other required minerals has left many square miles of once pristine land in Canada and the USA as literal death zones. Battery storage of energy is very inefficient and dangerous as shown by recent Volt fires.
    Thoses of you who think we are about to run out of petroleum should read the works of Dr. Thomas Gold. After studiing the hydrocarbons on other planets he came to the conclusion that most if not all petroleum is abiotic in nature and is continuously being created in the Earth’s mantle. Look up abiotic oil on line and decide for yourself. Just like anthropogenic glocal warming, peak oil is a fraud created by those who wish to control and profit from you.

  • Nosmo

    Electric vehicles have really advanced over the last 110 years…NOT!!!!

  • Larry F.

    Did someone’s feelings get hurt?

  • marantz

    I drove the hell out of one of these a few weeks ago. It had good power. Handling was up to sports sedan standards and the stability control worked perfectly. Unlike the CTS that threw me over a 15 foot cliff, upside down and backwards. Its not worth the price, of course. Certainly I could use one and never need the gas engine since none of my round trips are more then 30 miles. Even driving like a mad man I was good for 25 miles.

    Seriously, if they put this exact driveline into a 2500 lb roadster I would simply buy the son of a bitch for the hell of it.

  • john

    All I can say of the electric car is what others said one hundred years ago..that is it fine for short trips, it takes a while to charge, has not too long a range, and lastly while good as an idea..it is quite inefficient….Even Thomas Edison who championed the electric car in the1900-1914 period agreed it was not viable and got a Ford Model T.

    The other point one hundred years later is not too much has changed….

  • William Bell

    Instead of feeling smug, Volt buyers should be ashamed for taking a $7500 subsidy that adds to the Federal budget deficit, which is financed mainly by borrowing from the Chinese, and will eventually have to be paid off by other U.S. taxpayers, along with the interest. Frickin freeloaders!

  • Michael Giuliani

    The Chevy volt is for Idiots! They are unable to sell them, without a $7500 taxpayer credit. Don’t drink the Kool-aid. Pres. Obama is flawed – inept, immoral, unethical, unelectable. But, Acorn will start up their, vote-rigging, ballot-box stuffing and false voter rolls and try to steal the election for him. People, are you really better off than you were four years ago? Can you take four more years of Pres. Obama’s failed policies? Mitt Romney is the only candidate to send Pres. Obama to the golf course permanently!

    • nifongnation

      Time to exercise our Unalienable rights. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  • Fritz

    Audi…whatever. What is correct is tha fact that as americans, we are being cheated out of high MPG vehicles by the Auto industry. Diesel is way cheaper to produce, diesel fuel is made with a small amount of refining. Unleaded fuel requires way more refining to make quality fuel and you pay for that every time you fill up. Diesel costs more because it represents only a fraction of the fuel industry in the US. If it swapped placed with unleaded and became the predominate fuel of the country, the price would go down…way down. The US automakers are happy making millions off selling unefficient vehicles to the masses. EV’s, despite all ther claims, are tied directly to batteries. There may be a day when we all drive them , but until the scientists can get the storage capacity of batteries to increase while keeping the size needed and heat generated low, EV’s will never be anything more than a novelity. Super efficient diesels make way more sense for the time being until battery problems can be resolved. Remember, Fiat, Audi and many others are the European arm of GM, Ford and Chrysler. They already have license to the technology but refuse to market here in the US….WHY!!

  • jmc6270

    Electric toy cars are impractical considering cold weather renders them even more useless. Wishing it works doesn’t make it so.

    • nifongnation

      if wishes were facts, then Obama would have a brain.

  • ejdavid3

    Testing. Testing. Testing……

  • Ejdavid3

    This site is poorly constructed. First, although it has a login button, I do not see an obvious sign up button. So. I posted several times using the form at the bottom of the thread. Not one of them posted.

  • Ed

    Chevy is WT.

  • edwardo

    Isn’t it ironic that we in the USA have to look to The Europansis, and Maoists to find the truth! Obama lies to us, and the greenie wienies all are corrupted the unions and the government and media in this country. The truth hurts.

    • nifongnation

      I would trust Putin before Obozo. Plus Putin’s country has the prettiest women.

  • John

    We just drove home to Münich from a day trip to Regensburg, Germany. Our route took us by Ingolstadt, home of Audi. We drove our four Cylinder Toyota Previa (diesel), a 7 passenger van. Average speed to Regensburg was 160 to 180 km/hour along A9, a bit slower on A93. On the way home because of snow and night driving we averaged 100 km/hr. Our 6 year old diesel, full of people and one dog, averaged over 41 miles per gallon. My father in law who was visiting was surprised to learn our quiet, clean exhaust vehicle was a diesel. While EV cars may have merit for short trips around town, it will be a couple generations before the weight and capacity limitations of battery technology overcome our average requirements for intercity travel. Modern diesel technology is remarkably efficient. I’ll never go back to a gas vehicle.

    Regarding luxury driving experiences, few vehicles in the world will top an Audi for it’d combination of comfort, reliability, safety, and sheer driving pleasure. Government Motors produces crap, whether it is electric or gas or diesel. I have owned Toyotas, Acuras, and finally an Audi A3, not even top of the line. For pure driving pleasure I’ll take my 4 cylinder diesel A3 over all of them.

  • Ed in LV

    EV’s will get better as technology improves. But Audi’s will remain POS’s as they are now. This goes for Volvos and VW’s, as well gas or diesel. People only talk about mileage, what about reliability? What good is a 100 MPG car if it’s in the garage most of the time being repaired.

  • Jerome

    The Prius started in production with drive voltage of 209 volts. The new Volt is much higher – near 300 volts.
    Any accidental short circuit will melt the steel body preventing rescue of the occupants until the battery runs out of power.

    Would anyone want to volunteer as a passenger in crash tests>> No?? Why Not???

    • nifongnation

      Yes, Obama needs to be the first in the test, to put our money where his mouth is!

  • CK

    The Volt is crap.
    Give me a Tesla S.
    I don’t care about emissions, I don’t care about MPG, I only care if I like the vehicle or not. And, I like the Tesla. It is just plain nifty.
    Nothing to do with “elitism,” or “enlightenment,” Johan. Just plain ol’ cool.

    • nifongnation

      A Trabant or a Yugo would be better. They were produced in Communist nations too, that had more experience at building cars then Obozo. Obozo does not seem to have the electric car in his motorcade. His bullet proof buses are not either, or his machine gun trucks. Maybe he flies an electric copter or plane that we are unaware of? Perhaps Michelle keeps her pork ribs in a refrigerator run off batteries, and goes on vacation in a solar space ship?

  • Cottoneyed

    Electric cars. You can’t give them away. No one wants them. Plus, America has HUGE reserves of fossil fuels, so much so, we could tell the Arabs to go to hell. But because we have the socialists(environmentalists) standing in the way of us using our own energy, we continue to be forced to use foreign oil. At great expense and risk. It’s high time we told them to go to hell, too.

    • nifongnation

      Yuri Bezmenov explains why Greens are so confused. They actually do more damage to our nation then the camel jockeys at this time.

  • Bill B.

    The other problem with EV’s is the passenger comfort factor. In the Winter in the northern climes you need heat and in the Summer in the southern climes you need airconditoning. Each of which would use up most of your battery reserves in a very short while and turn your 100 mile range into about 40 miles. Not a good exchange ratio in my book.

    • nifongnation

      Plus with a brown out, who can use electric cars? It is insane when a President ,illegal alien fascist mamaluke, makes business decisions with other people’s money, and also insane when business knowledgeable people make the decisions too. Greed is universal,and only controllable, with competition between forces using their own money.

  • Greg

    If I had 40,000 to spend, would I want a volt or an audi? Probably neither.
    I would pay about $26,000 for a ford escape and have $14,000 left over for gasoline. Since we are not drilling I expect regular to average about $5.00 over the next 10 years so – thats 2800 gallons at about 25 miles per gallon – that”s 70,000 free miles for not buying either of these two cars.

    • nifongnation

      Stop being logical! Obama or Napolitano may hunt you down, and put you into a concentration camp!

  • blowitoutyerazz

    Any electric car driver is WAY more pompous than any Audi driver. When’s the last time someone in an Audi wagged their finger at you? Or scolded you? Has the guy in the electric car ever stopped? As evidenced in this article, you only have eyes for the enlightened electric car driver. So smitten you are. And yes, you are idiots. Useful ones. In crap cars.

  • mmm

    this guy is so ” RIGHT ON ” way to go Audi man…..finally some one besides Rush having the Nads to say it…GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • Facts Hurt Feelings

    The Audi president speaks the truth without sugar-coating, but maybe with some harsh snarkiness. To date in 2011, even with a $7500 tax rebate to buyers, GM has sold around 6,100 Chevy Volts and there are no signs of pent-up demand like the Toyota Prius had during its earlier sales. In 2012, GM is optimistically predicting 60,000 worldwide sales, 45,000 in the US. One can intellectualize and delude oneself ad nauseam , but the Commonsense Majority will not be buying a Chevy Volt in 2012.

  • Izzydunne

    Actually, he is right. The volt is a piece of junk that catches fire, and owners of electric card are self-righteous.

  • Kerry

    What about the pollutants involved in the manufacture of the batteries that power electric vehicles? How environmentally friendly are these? Electric cars just do not make economic sense with current technology, the guy from Aidi is correct.

  • Charles

    Lying liberal media strikes again. Unbelievable how these pukes will believe something if it’s repeated often enough. Yeah, these consensus makers. They are so smart. Love to see what we can accomplish without them, though. Can you imagine a world without these judgmental schizophrenics in charge of everything? sigh

  • Rusty

    Wow, this article is so misguided. So without any infrastructure for your coal-fired electric pieces of garbage that catch on fire weeks after being in accidents, and drive like golf carts, it’s still going to be better….
    Oh, and what about the ecological nightmare of disposing of those banks of batteries?
    Electric cars ARE for idiots. You can get 50 mpg in the jetta tdi (which is actually a real car), yet you pompous effetes continue to cling to your crappy govt-subsidized electric p.o.s.’s, claiming that you are ‘better for the environment’, when this is patently false as well.
    Ummm yeah, the Audi guy nailed it.

  • ChickenLiberal

    Sign me up for an Audi! 🙂

    • nifongnation

      Obama motors is a going down like his taxpayer funded solar panels!

  • steve stucker

    Where is all this renewable energy, and the massive increase in its use, that the author talks about? Solyndra has failed because its products weren’t economically feasible. Why in the world does this chap think that we will rely substantially on “renewable” energy anytime soon?

  • justforyouasshole

    Censor all you want. Truth is on our side. You lose.

  • elevenhundred

    I think it’d be best to wait to disagree with him until after Chevy Volts stop self immolating. Going up in flames is a pretty abject failure.

  • cswann

    Chambers has Moron attributes. I mean this kindly. “Electric” vehicles only move the polution elsewhere. promote increasing coal derived radiation release, and raises food costs over the world due to misallocations of grains, e.g. corn, et. al. His responses are specious. His efforts toward utopian goals are misdirected.

  • Fran

    Suggest you google “rare Earth elements” and do some reading.
    Could start with: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_ch_Q6ZQvM
    You may be the one with a narrow view.

  • hitwat

    Just curious about losers like you. How do you manage to get a gig where you fusspot other people’s comments into the dustbin? Do I have to agree with you to get posted? Or be on Soros payroll? Or does my IQ have to fall into the double digits before I can be considered to be enlightened like you? Just wondering how to get past you, you intolerant cunt. You’re a pussy that can’t handle an opposing viewpoint. Which means you have NOTHING but your own conceit. Pathetic creature. Eat a kitten, you’ll feel better.

  • dick tracy

    I have always considered the PT Barnum (aka PT Loser) the car for idiots.

  • John Blackadder

    So a gas Corolla gets as good mileage as a Prius, and a diesel sub-compact can get 70 mpg, beating them all, and a Smart can get 100 mpg. All irrelevant, since the high priests of the Green Church have spoken and the Volt will save us all!
    Really!
    Of course, the minor inconvenience of only getting 120 miles per charge, and the need to replace the batteries at 3 years aren’t of concern. And in doing the equations, the energy cost of making those batteries isn’t small, so the Volt is sort of off-green anyway

  • jim

    This guy spoke off the cuff about renewables and got it wrong, so I discount the rest of his slant. Total energy generation is down from Sept 2010 to Sept 2011 by about 2%. I went to the USEIA (u.s. energy information administration) to see how it broke down: Coal – down 5%, Nuclear – down 4%, Hydroelectric – up 24%, Wood-derived fuels – down 1.5%, Solar – up 32%, geothermal – up 6.5%, Wind – down 3%, petroleum – down 30%, natural gas – down 2%.
    Now before we get all wiggly about the increase in Solar and Geothermal – let’s look at the total megawattage produced by: Coal, Natural Gas, Oil, Nuclear, Solar, Geothermal, and Wind:
    Coal: 142k megawatts
    Natural Gas: 91k megawatts
    Nuclear: 67k megawatts
    Hydroelectric: 22k megawatts,
    Wind: 7k megawatts
    Geothermal: 1k megawatts
    Solar (the one Obama has been throwing money away hand over fist into): 180 megawatts – yes that is one hundred and eighty.

    I will keep buying my internal combustion engine cars, thank you – I do not need a $40k car that goes 80 miles on a charge, catches fire after accidents, and is produced by the government.

    If some profit-making company designs a car that makes sense to me economically, safety and efficiency wise, and stylistically, I will consider it.

    Audi’s chief is 100% correct in his assessment of the vaunted Volt, in my opinion

  • Monte Lyons

    I too am an engineer and have worked in aerospace and energy for over 30 years. I found the comments by the Audi exec on target. Most of the solutions advocated by the environmentalist movement and their supporters tend to ignore the glaring gaps in their benefit analysis. Too many of the green solutions neglect to factor in the environmental impact of the total product life cycle and infrastructure necessary to support EV deployment. Having worked wind energy in the early 1980’s we discovered the turbines were deadly to birds, created noise pollution that interfered with wildlife habitats, and scared the landscape with UGLY towers. The fact is electric was considered early on and rejected due to many technological limitations. In a hundred years these have not been overcome. The answer is to completely rethink transportation and designing a system that takes into account many of the legitimate issues with all our current approached. With that said EV is NOT a viable solution.

  • thomas

    only the Germans would use petrol base GAS instead of Nuclear device. the VOLT is not a car for idiots, it’s a car for the idiots that are spending 40K for a car to make a statement. the VOLT should only cost 20K. most family cars in the USA fall into this price point and GM’s massive mistake is placing the cost of this car out the mainstream market. no other car company has developed a drive train like the VOLT and if you were to merge the new diesel tech you could easily see 90 mpg.
    in the early 90’s VW made a hybrid diesel/electric that got 80 mpg but would not mass produce it because the subsystems were problematic. GM needs to eat some cost here and lower the price. studying the drive train GM has done a game, set, match. you can place this drive train in a large number of DIFFERENT designs just by shrinking or super sizing the components. toyota and other manufactures can’t ; they must R&D a new drive train for each new vechile design. i work in the WASHINGTON D.C. market and travel area roads everyday. since the car’s release i have only see 5 on the road and we have commute times in excess of 80 miles one way and 1.5 hours+. dealers in this market only sell them on a order bases . none are kept on the lot .

  • Sam Sharp

    I’ve been driving my my Prius since late 2007. So far the only expense has been a new tail light. I recently read an article about the testing of a new Prius compared to one with 200,000 miles on it (one owner). This old Prius had the original battery pack, etc. Well, the old car performed as well as the new one. So much for the statement above about replacing the batteries numerous times over the life of the car. The world is really filled up with idiots. If you really get into the facts about the Prius design including production costs, environmental impact, the trade offs of plug-in cars versus the on-board generation of electricity you’ll find out that Toyota has a lot of common sense. I love this car. It drives nice, is not too small. lots of rear seat room. By the way the battery pack (nickel metal hydride) does not weigh thousands of pounds but about 125 pounds. It is a terrific piece of engineering. If the U.S. wanted to really make a dent in foreign oil usage it should buy up the patents from Toytota and produce Prius (the word is being used as singular or plural) like popcorn. It would be a better planet. I’m sorry but I see GM dying a slow death. The volt is a good idea but if you actually want it to work at a reasonable cost without horrific maintenance, let Toyota build it.

  • nifongnation

    Electric cars are silly. They run off electricity made by fuel anyway. People who buy electric cars are actually ignorant.

  • Disco Missile

    I can’t see spending $40k for a Volt when you can get a much, much better vehicle for that price. Besides, the Volt’s counterpart, the Chevy Cruze, is only $15k. That means Volt buyers are paying around $25k just for an electric motor. In that sense, I agree with de Nysschen. Volt’s are for idiots.

  • Bobothree

    Both of you miss the really reason the Volt is for idiots; it only goes forty miles on its battery charge until a onboard gas engine kicks in, not to power the car, but power the batteries to power the car. Under forty miles you get 220 mpg, over miles you get 22 mpg. Furthermore, as a person who cannot afford a car, I object my government giving a person who can afford a $40,000 car $7,000.00 to do so.

  • David C.

    In 2007 I wanted to buy a Yaris Diesel, but thanks to Califirnia’s CARB boards hate for diesels, I could not. Living in Utah, in was especially irritating to be affected by the irrational members of this group of people that had effectively killed diesel imports to America. I found accounts of dealers in CA rolling odometers forward on VW diesels so they could meet the “used” definition and comply with CARB’s insane regulations. Why? Because Americans do want diesels. Demand exceeds supply. IMO, if the diesel Yaris were available in America, it would immediately become the #1 sub-compact. The car crushes Hybrid technology and is half the price.
    Why are 50% of passenger cars in Europe diesel and in America maybe 2%?
    I completely agree with the Audi executive. Electric cars are for buffoons with more money than sense.

  • Steve

    Well with the GM (government motors) cars bursting into flames I just hope the liberals that buy them keep a good supply of hot dogs and marshmallows in the vehicles for when it does burst into flames so they can at-least hand out hot dogs and smores.

    The chevy is a piece of crap, in 1995 I bought a G-30 van for my company that had to be the biggest crap wagon I have ever owned and would NEVER buy another chevy again

  • Audist

    The author may criticize the motives of Audi as a diesel engine promoter, which they unashamedly and rightfully are, however, they are aggressively researching the viability of electric vehicles too: http://www.fourtitude.com/news/publish/Audi_News/article_7363.shtml. Wow!
    Anyway, I agree with Audi; Volts suck. And are probably dangerous to their owners as well.
    RideWell,

  • ADM

    Hydrogen is going to be the next fuel for the long term. The only by-product out of the pipe is drinkable H2O.

  • Mario

    1. Buy your electric car – feel proud that you’re saving the planet from global warming while sitting in a blizzard at night on a desolate highway. Bring quilted sleeping blankets because people have been known to get stranded in snow drifts for 12 hours and if your batteries are at the end of their life cycle…oh well…start looking for a car or truck with a fossil burning engine.
    2. Accidents: I don’t want to be anywhere near powerful batteries that get shorted – heck the Chevy Volt self destructs on it’s own without any help as it is.
    3. Diesels: The US gov keeps the price of diesel too high – too bad as that fuel is not only more efficient, but it is safer (higher flashpoint) than the gasoline bomb in our tanks.

  • Who is John Galt

    Every non polluting [except nuclear] method of electric generation is many times more expensive than coal/oil/ generation. We will not be able to afford electricity anymore if the green idiots continue to have their way. The AUDI guy is right.

  • Nick Chambers stated in part: “…his analysis of why electric cars are doomed to fail is completely off base. And his method of delivery of the message is tasteless and unnecessarily mean.” Support your ‘off base’ comment with some facts. And your ‘…tasteless and unnecessarily mean…’ wording is immature and provides an insight into your bias. “Mean?” At least the guy presented his his bullet points unlike you and the rest of the greenies who use emotional words to defend themselves and their positions. Let’s not forget the battery fires that are now plaguing the Volt…………..a design rushed into production that will eventually and most likely injure someone. Can you say law suit?

  • nifongnation

    Electric cars use electricity from fuel. If ignorant people want to pay $40,000 for a car that is a pretend fuel free vehicle, that is OK, as long as they pay for it without using other people’s money.

  • ferd woodstock

    Fact: Taking the ecological disaster that results from high-tech battery manufacturing and disposal, along with the cost of carting 500 lbs. of batteries around the high-tech diesel is far and away more efficient. Fact: Renewable energy is a joke amounting to less than 1% of the total energy produced in the US and most of that is not economically viable without government subsidies. Fact: Chevy offers a diesel version to European buyers. Why not offer diesel power to US buyers? Besides, if you listen to microcephalics like Obama, all you have to do is put air in your tires and keep your car tuned up to conserve energy. Who need $40,000 hybrids built by Government Motors and subsidized by tax payers like you and me? :<)

  • Greg

    Johan de Nysschen is right on the money, and this supposed intellectual snob-job you call an article is so full of holes and half-truths it’s beyond belief. First of all, what studies and research are you referring to about the coal vs. internal combustion engine powered American driving public are you referring to? References would be nice. Secondly, what renewable energy sources are you talking about for cars or generating electricity? There aren’t any! At least not on the scale that would make a dent in US consumption. Wind power? Short of being an eyesore, an ecological disaster (find out how many millions of birds die EVERY DAY due to impact with the moving blades), expensive to maintain and not providing the slightest measurable fraction of our overall needs. Then there’s ethanol, the secret to Al Gores fortunes. Costs more in energy to produce than what it delivers. And you get the bonus of driving up the cost of cheap, bad for you food, AND the destruction of the Brazilian rain-forest to grow the soybeans US farmers won’t grow any more because government subidies make corn more profitable to large scale farming operations. Solar? Nice idea but decades away from providing large-scale power. Geo-thermal? Would be great if we lived on the plaent Vulcan, but we don’t. Hydro? Just how much of American soil are you willing to put under 100 feet of water to make electricity? The truth is there is no great renewable and efficient source of energy that is either available now or in the near future, (unless you create wood-burning electrical plants that is!). High efficiency diesel (or gas) engines make more sense as the infrastucture is already there to support them. A country like the US that is in dire economic and political crisis has no business reinventing the wheel at this stage. We can barely maintain existing infrastucture as it is.

    Oh, and by the way, the Volt and all other green cars are heavily subsidized by the US govt because they are not economically viable. If you had to pay the full price of a Volt, it’s over $100,000. Way over.

    So yes, the Volt is for idiots. Idiots with money and no clue about the real world. Oh, and celebrities. Oh wait, they are idiots with money and no clue aren’t they? Ha!

  • 343yeah?

    He’s right. Electric car fans are indeed pompous asses.

  • Don

    Man, did you notice the date on this piece? This sucka is over two years old and just now getting press. I guess that shows the power of the Drudge Report.

  • howard roard

    The Audi chief hit the nail on the head when he electric car buyers are….”intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are”. That’s why they get so infuriated when someone doesn’t agree with them. But then again the whole ‘green’ idea NEVER looks at the entire picture — just looks at whatever part appears to endorse the “idea of the minute”. We see this in the “global warming (hoax) wherin if a data point didn’t agree with the foregone conclusion then it was modified or omitted. In a free economy (which the greens hate) the most efficient products will eventually arise. The auto replaced the horse and buggy; the gasoline auto replaced both the steam car and electric car (last rejection of electric cars was in the early ’80s). But any time a non free-market product is foisted on the people there is a decrease in efficiency, and an increase in cost.

    Take the curly Q light bulb for example. In an economic sense the incandescent bulb “outshines” the curly Q bulb and would NEVER take off unless legislated out of existence. While the incandescent may use a little more electricity, to look at the whole picture one has to include the quality of the light produced too. Quality of light in a curly Q bulb is far poorer than incandescent. One also has to include the monumental cost of the poisioning of the watersheds by mercury from the trillions of curly Q bulbs that will find their way into landfills in the next 20 – 30 years. From an environmental standpoint incandescent bulbs are the clear winner in being tryly GREEN.
    Greens say they are preserving the world for our grandchildren — but the grandchildren will be saying “how could they have been so stupid as to poison the very water we all need to live?

    howard roarl

  • DWD

    The really annoying thing about this guy is that he’s . . . EXACTLY right !!!
    I believe the sales figures show that people are staying away from the Volt in droves. And then there’s the new fire problems ( the “miracle of GM engineering” strikes again). The newer diesel technology is an obvious short-term solution.

    REAL, viable “renewable” energy and the TRULY useful electric car are very much like Santa Clause.
    It’s a lot of fun to talk about, but we all know it just ain’t so.

    Maybe some day we will get there. Until then, the nation has to MOVE.

  • Ron Mexico

    I love you communoliberals, my guess would be the majority of the posters here have no idea how to turn a wrench. The volt is a ridiculous overpriced mess. Government motors hasn’t made an automobile worth mentioning in over 50 years. The quality is horrible. You so called “green ” lunatics need to look at the real issues. The current technology available is not economical nor safe. Every crash with your so called green saviors create a potential hazardous waste site. Of course you know it alls love this because it adds a new government agency for you liberal wack jobs to impose on everyone else. Keep drinking your Czar Obama’s Lithium Ions

  • Audi Driver

    I love my Audi. Can’t afford one? Get a better job.

    This CEO speaks the truth.

    Just like the libs who drive a Prius, quit using an auto as a symbol of your alleged “intellectual superiority”.

    Electric cars blow. Do you know why they don’t sell? Because PEOPLE DON’T WANT THEM.

  • Daniel

    I find it entertaining that a journalist thinks he knows anything about power production in the USA. Then he’s about to correct the CEO of the fastest growing car company, that’s on the cutting edge of car technology. Then he is going to debate the merit of diesel engine technology. Here’s a fact: The Audi A3 TDI wagon gets over 40 miles to the gallon, carries 5 passengers and will run for 100s of thousand of miles with reduced NO2 emissions. The Volt….well thats another story. You need to design a car with engineers not politicians. Keep your eye on that Audi company it’s going places….in style

  • stevo

    100 years from now there will be lots of oil and the climate will be much the same, If we haven’t all killed each other , or even if we have… Live your lives people! the planet is fine but your time is short…

  • AR

    The Volt has the same range as the Roberts Electric Car from 1896. Way to go GM!!!!! Too bad the high MPG Smart car from Europe has to be heavier and non-diesel to be sold here, thus killing it’s high MPG. Way to go Congress!!!! Man those in the Political Class are sure showing their intelligence. I’m in awe. With all the natural gas that’s coming out of the ground in Texas and other shale reserves, lets use CNG to power our internal combustion engines. Let the consumer drive the market. The command economy isn’t viable. Just ask Stalin, or Mao.

  • slickzip

    ChevyVolt sucks,,,,,

  • Geoff

    Both the Audi exec and the author of the article miss the main point. Global warming and the ‘scientific’ need to control carbon emissions is a farce. While responsible efforts to increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollution should be encouraged and pursued, the alarmist global warming junk science should not be used as a basis for a rational discussion.

  • Andy fox

    Its good to see business people reject political correctness. Iam going to seriously consider audi next timed I buy a car

  • Señor Gomez

    “tasteless and unnecessarily mean”…and 100% true!

  • Banderman

    No wonder Obama backed the Volt. It is all clear now.

  • GD

    He’s right, the Chevy Dolt is for idiots.

  • Scott

    What a D00shbag! Calling people idiots isn’t going to improve your image or drive sales…. It will alienate people and cost you money!

    Besides, theres no record of a Chevy Volt ever running one if it’s owners over because it slipped out of park, and you can’t say that now can you mister Audi Dbag???

    And when it comes to over priced ego boxes you know what you’re talking about, audi’s are exactly that… A penile extension with shitty reliability rankings and poor resale value!

    Way to win them over d00shbag!

  • Argon

    I lived in Germany for several years and its true what he says about the diesels. I had one and routinely got an average in the high 50 mpg. Diesel takes much less oil to make than any other type of motor fuel making very green. The polution from the modern diesels is less than the gasoline rivals. I really can’t see an entire network of electric filling stations being put into place any time soon. And of course there is the storage problem of makeing batteries so they can quickly recharge (say in two minutes) and provide 600+ mile range of a modern diesel. What is really interesting is the possibility of a diesel hybrid.

  • tom

    You just don’t go to your local power plant and plug in the retrofits. In order to retrofit a power plant to the new regulations you have have to spend serious money. That is what is driving the power producers out of business, they cant pay the price tag of retrofits, new regulations, operating costs, and taxes.
    I don’t know where you got your 50 % figure the last I saw WAS 70% in coal supplied energy . Where did the 25 % come from so fast?

  • Dan

    You understand he is the president of Audi, right? It is not his job or responsibility to talk up or point out what is good about his competition’s products. It is his job to sell Audis. Pointing out that if you have $40,000.00 to spend on a car and are hoping to be green, you should buy a diesel Audi instead of an electric Chevy should not be a surprise to anyone. Nor is pointing out that if you choose to go with the Chevy you are an idiot going to hurt his company.

  • tony

    Just what I want to do – spend $40k on a car that has more cheap plastic than pam anderson and will likely be an unreliable POS (how are those voluntary buy-backs coming along?) As an owner of two VW diesels, I love them. I could have bought a Prius but it’s like driving a laptop. Still, I would trust Toyota over GM any day.

    GM doesn’t get it. Their cars still suck even after all of their bail out cash!

  • perlion

    It’s much easier and more cost effective to regulate a relative handful of single source emitters such as power plants than it is to regulate hundreds of millions of tailpipes. When new pollution reduction technology comes online all you have to do is go to your power plant and add the new technology there. Imagine trying to get that new technology into all 250 million cars.

    Exactly what the gov’t wants. That part above “easier to regulate” means that it will be “easier to TAX”

  • Dwight E. Howell

    The sales of volts make it clear that not even .1% of the American people want one even at heavily subsidized prices. Batteries are heavy. They are costly. They have to be recharged off the grid and we would need a heck of a lot of coal burning power plants to run fleets of them.

    Wind and solar are undependable and you’d need to cover states with solar cells and wind mills to meet the demand and even then you’d still need massive back up using something people could depend on in freezing or sweltering weather or you are going to kill people.

  • John

    I have to agree but only because I think the price for the Volt erases any possiblity of buyers who could really benefit from its features cannot afford one.

  • sylvia johnston

    The man is 100% correct. MSN is 100% BS, as usual. Hey, MERRY CHRISTMAS to the 120 idiot volt owners. And cry yourself to sleep for emitting all the dirty stuff you can. But you dirty car owners, volts I mean, would be way too dumb to understand the truth. Pity.

  • atomicar

    This is old news.
    Audi made vehicle expires same time as its factory warranty. Old Audi = Very expensive nightmare

  • DMW

    Also, as most electric cars will be charged overnight, solar energy will have little use unless and until electrical storage technology (at utilities) improves greatly. As has been pinted out, coupling electric cars with nuclear power may be the only practical way, since although renewable energy is steadily increasing, it will still be an small fraction of electrical power generation for many years to come.

  • Reekris

    The author is a Pollyanna lightweight filled with wishful, not critical, thinking. No thought was given to the range of an EV. Diesels have tremedous range. No thought was given to the amount if time it takes to fill ‘er up on the grid which is measured in hours vs minutes for a diesel. So it doesnt really matter if your imagined rapid pace of pollution reduction technology even comes close to matching the ever-presence of the gas pump, who has that kind of time? I recommend you study logistics and logic. So the Audi chief’s comments were mean? Put a band aid on it.

  • liberalsarefunny

    HA HA HA HA HA HA

    The truth always hurts, and this guy speaks the truth.

  • Jim in Florida

    The Audi chief is right and Nick Powers is the idiot. The pompous arrogant Left wants us to blow 40k on a Obama built Volt – no way Jose.

  • Bob

    How come everybody posts their comments twice? I heard you the first time.

  • Jeff

    Well Mr. Chambers, this is why you are a blogger and Johan de Nysschen is Audi of America President! Go left!

  • shawn

    EVs are crap, they would not sell without subsidies, the batteries are toxic and commercially viable renewable energy is still only a dream. There is no renewable energy that would fly cargo, move freight train. We don’t use sailing ships to move cargo on seas because it is very ineffcient. Audi guy is 100 percent correct.

  • Mike

    The guy is right. Lets see, in the “I have done some research” comment section by the “journalist”, we have an incorrect fact that coal is 50% of America’s electricity source for production, and that is changing quickly????

    Not so fast my friend. Any Nuclear plants just come on-line that the Federal Government, and anyone else living in this country know about???? Wind/Solar? Please, take a look at the numbers.

  • Vince

    I was thinking about shopping for an Audi. Now I will make sure I buy an Audi. They make a great car and he speaks the truth. Two nice traits. Especially about the “intellectual elites trying to prove they’re smart.” I love it when the academic types have their comeuppance.

  • Cranston Snord

    The major source of pollution is the manufacture of cars. If we would drive our cars longer AND if manufacturers would start building cars again that last, we’d be minimizing footprints of all kinds, carbon and others included. Why are people stupid enough to buy new cars? Crazy.

  • Riiiiight

    I doubt you have any idea how much is lost at each step during electrical generation, transmission, and distribution through dynamos, transformers, cables, more transformers, wires, splices, capacitors and more transformers still.
    I do not expect to see your math. You wouldn’t know where to begin.

  • MDKing

    One elitest bitching about another elitest. I’ll stick with Gas……

  • DirtyDave777

    Here I was foolishly thinking this was a NEWS story.
    All I see is some ecoflake whining about someone bashing their Agenda mobile.
    Grow up and find a real religon instead of a globalist money scam cult.

  • Honest John

    I’ll grant that the Audi CEO was behaving like, well the average leftist liberal, in the arrogant way he pontificates to the great unwashed about their taxpayer subsidized Volts. BUT… what he said about the practicality and advisability of pursuing diesel fueled vehicles was based on realities that are not evident when/if the viewer wears rose-colored-glasses that obscure the dirty little details behind their most favored “solution”, e.g. the woeful economics that demand robbing taxpayers to fund their most favored companies and technologies, the blithe dismissal of the cradle-to-grave environmental impact of the batteries – analogous to the mad rush into “compact fluorescent” bulbs. And then there’s the innate hypocrisy of the “greenie meanies” as they fly hither and yon for concerts & benefits to bash the evil carbon emitting ways of we little people. I dare say our government and MSM are incapable of providing competent leadership in issues as important as this – but alas they think they can!

  • Barrack Obama

    He’s correct. The pompous, self righteous, self-proclaimed enlightened elite who purchase these stupid “eco-friendly” cars are idiots. Not only that, they are idiots who think they know better than everybody else. Every time I see a Prius I laugh.

  • Eric

    The only reason electric vehicles are considered a good idea is because most of this country has little to no understanding of basic science and engineering. The Audi chief, who clearly understands both technologies, is just frustrated that his clearly superior technology is being ignored in pursuit of a clearly FOOLISH technology. We need to get govt out of the process, and get back to having the adults making the decisions.

  • aubreyfarmer

    Corporate America has put together this whole debate about electric or petroleum like there aren’t any other choices. How much technology has been suppressed just so the big oil companies and the green industry crowd can keep the scam going? We can go Mars but we can’t come up with inexpensive personal transportation? It’s all a racket. Corporate America doesn’t see us as people but numbers on a balance sheet. Whatever brings home the bacon for the 1%. You name the industry and I will show you fraud. Be it heath care, insurance, pharmaceuticals, welfare, the war on drugs, the war on terror, main stream media and a whole lot more. Now if the powers that be can just keep us stupid and apathetic long enough to take away our internet freedom. Then we can all sit at home and watch garbage on our 50 inch flat screens while what is left of our freedom and prosperity are pissed away by a Congress full of prostitutes. I love my country but am disgusted by what the lust for money has turned it into. “The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining supercapitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control… Do I mean conspiracy? Yes, I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent. Franklin D. Roosevelt, letter to Col. Edward Mandell House (21 November 1933)
    “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
    Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913), Doubleday, pp. 13-14 Well said by a traitor that got us into WWI for no other reason than the Zionists wanted him to. Great Britain promised the Zionists Palestine if their agents with Kuhn and Loeb were successful in coercing Wilson into bringing America into WWI. We can also thank Wilson for the 1913 Federal Reserve Act that has made all of this turmoil possible. “Thomas Jefferson was concise in his early warning to the American nation, “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” Every day we get one step closer to the Zionist fulfilling their dreams.

  • Mojoron

    Think BATTERIES. Think how much toxic metals are used to make them. Think NICKLE. Think acids. Think how long before you have to replace the batteries: 4-5 years at $3800-4500 per change. Think more NICKLE. Think how are we going to dispose of the used batteries. Really think how really stupid it is to use a energy source that is NOT renewable or kind to the environment. Think how much more electricity that will be needed to charge these little devils. It has been said that the environmental cost of one electrically powered car from its manufacturing to its disposal is more than that of a Hummer taking into consideration all the gas the Hummer uses. Mr Audi is right on, the only reason people want to use an electric or hybrid car is to show how environmental responsible they are, or how ignorant they REALLY are.

    • @ Mojoron

      The batteries are made from lithium, not Nickel.

      Also, the Hummer study you are citing was discredited half a decade ago.

      Welcome to 2011.

  • Jukeman

    We are never ever going to run out of oil or coal, so why bother with stupid electric cars, which will never work in cold climates and barely work in warm weather.

  • Paul

    Hybrid/electrics and wind turbines are the ultimate polluter, try and dispute these facts.

    Hybrids/electrics rely heavily on Rare Earth Elements, REEs. These have to be mined from the earth at what cost? Here is part of a report from the DOE on how environmentally friendly this so called green is.
    “…every ton of rare earth elements produced generates approximately 8.5 kilograms of fluorine and 13 kilograms of flue dust. Additionally, sulfuric acid refining techniques used to produce one ton of rare earth elements generates 9,600 to 12,000 cubic meters of gas laden with flue dust concentrate, hydrofluoric acid, sulfur dioxide, and sulfuric acid. Not only are large quantities of harmful gas produced, alarming amounts of liquid and solid waste also results from the refining processes. They estimate at the completion of refining one ton of rare earth elements, approximately 75 cubic meters of acidic waste water and about one ton of radioactive waste residue are produced.

  • Shawn Elletson

    The unnamed $15,000 cheaper car that the Volt is competing against is the Nissan Leaf. When the Volt came out it was advertised to have an all electric range of 40 miles per charge. That number has since been reduced (see their own commercials) to 35 miles a charge, while the Nissan Leaf @ $25,000 runs 100 miles on a single charge. Not surprisingly, the Leaf has outsold the Volt but both have sold only half of their pre-launch forecasts. Reporting earlier in the year was Volt production would move to China to reduce costs, but of course at the expense of the emissions to ship it across the Pacific. Nice and green. Drill HARD, Drill DEEP, Drive far!!!!!

  • Vasek

    Has anyone driven an Audi Diesel? I drove an A6 diesel from Vienna to SW Croatia and it is a machine. Acceleration, speed, economy are amazing. One of their racing car diesels won a major European race. The 2.0 liter diesels in Europe were a pleasant surprise except their diesel is cheaper because our government wishes to raise money from truckers fuel taxes while missing an opportunity to accomplish more with diesel technology. Running along at 190 kmph (about 120 mph), it will force you against your seat back.

    • nifongnation

      Obama doesn’t want the competition.

  • Hello.

    I keep forgetting to mention that, despite the high cost of electric vehicle batteries (which is covered by their 7+ year warranties), electric vehicle motors are virtually maintenance free. Gasoline engines are unreliable and very expensive to maintain. Republicans never factor in the cost of engine repair (and I mean the whole engine, not the block) when comparing gas and electric vehicles.

    Once again, look at the 2012 Camry hybrid on Yahoo Autos or Toyota’s website. 43 mpg city for only $25,000.

    • nifongnation

      Better to walk.

  • Alan DeBoer

    I love my Volt, 5,000 miles 20 gallons of gas and a lot of fun to drive! Go Chevrolet!!!

    • werbaz neutron

      Hi Alan!
      I am happy for you to say that you really like your Chevrolet Volt. However, I am somewhat less-happy to read a news report on Drudgereort.com this morning that alleges that each Volt sold now is estimated to have been subsidized $250,000.00 by we tax payers. If that turns out to be true (whether it is covered up by the democrats or not), it surely is an unseemly cost to society at large for your enjoyment.

  • George

    Electric cars would be more attractive if it has onboard thermoelectric generator. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uqnk19hn7Rc

  • George

    Electric cars would be more attractive if it has onboard thermoelectric generator.

    • nifongnation

      Electric cars would be more attractive if they ran on petroleum fuel.

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