GM Powertrain Executive Skeptical of Plug-In Vehicles
The WSJ yesterday reported that auto company executives are skeptical regarding the prospects for plug-in electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt. The skepticism was displayed at the annual Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress. Among the skeptics was General Motors' executive director of powertrain-engine engineering, Sam Winegarden. It seems that not all criticism of the Chevy Volt and cars like it are driven by a right-wing conspiracy to enrich oil companies.
Mr. Winegarden presented a chart comparing the amount of energy delivered by a given volume or mass of fuel. According to the article, "On his chart, lithium-ion batteries, used in electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and GM's plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, were ranked close to zero compared to gasoline and diesel fuels, which delivered the most energy for the least amount of weight and cost to the consumer. 'The rumored death of the internal combustion engine is premature,' Mr. Winegarden said." I guess Mr. Winegarden hasn't been paying attention to GM's spin on what a technological wonder the Volt is.
Other industry executives were also aware of the limitations of the much-hyped Chevy Volt along with other lesser-hyped EVs. Also from the piece, "Robert Bienenfeld, senior manager for environment and energy strategy at Honda Motor Co.'s U.S. arm, said that by 2025, a customer who buys a plug-in hybrid could wait 10 years to recover the added upfront costs, compared with a 2025 car outfitted with a more efficient gasoline engine and transmission. The payback for an all-electric car would be even longer."
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