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General Motors appear afresh that it will abutting three accumulation plants, including the Detroit Hamtramck branch that assembles the path-breaking Chevy Volt. Abounding commentators accept bemoaned the bags of American jobs that will be lost. Few accept commented on the implications of this accommodation for our environment.
My wife and I drive 2013 and 2017 Volts. We accept apprenticed abounding cars back the 1960s, alpha with American cars but after switching to Toyotas, again Hondas, which were far bigger advised and congenital then.
In a affectionate attack to “buy American” in the 1980s I purchased a Chevy Citation, the accepted “X-platform car.” Worst car I anytime owned, it ashamed from the alpha and bare account constantly. I alternate to Hondas.
In 2013 I bare a new car and saw abundant reviews of the Volt. With trepidation, back it is a GM product, I took a chance.
It’s the best car I’ve anytime owned. We bought a second-generation Volt aftermost year.
Why am I such a fan? Well, GM appears to accept bent up to its rivals on quality; our Volts are able-bodied and around trouble-free. They’re adequate and quiet, and, with their abundant array and low centermost of gravity, they handle able-bodied in the winter. Their electric motors are able and responsive, and they bulk a reasonable bulk with the federal activity tax credit. They accept performed actual able-bodied on blast tests and barb with the latest driver-assist and assurance features.
There’s more. We’ve apprenticed the 2013 Volt 30,648 miles, 93 percent of them on array power. That translates to an EPA-rated 197 afar per gallon. Our 2017 Volt, with a longer-range battery, has gotten 240 MPG over 15,429 miles. We recharge our cars brief and buy gasoline so rarely that we no best attending at its price. And in a archetypal ages we abstain putting abutting to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s why the Volt has won assorted Car of the Year and Green Car awards and enjoys actual aerial buyer loyalty.
We get this breadth after ambit anxiety. On the attenuate break back I drive added than 60 afar in a day — the ambit of my 2017’s array — the Volt’s gasoline agent bliss in to recharge the array as I drive. Although the Tesla and abate Chevy Bolt accept longer-range batteries, back they run out of array ability — clashing the Volt — you’re done for a while.
Although a baby atom of absolute car sales, the Volt is the best acknowledged constituent hybrid, with about 150,000 awash back 2010.
Why stop authoritative it now?
In my view, accusation for the annihilation of the Volt spreads widely. GM hasn’t answer it as aggressively as its added models, maybe because it never ample out how to calmly explain the car’s different technology to absent Americans. GM additionally bootless to alternation its sales force. Back I asked our salesman a few questions in 2013, I bound accomplished that I knew added about how the Volt works than he did — aloof from account a few articles.
Environmental crisis notwithstanding, far too abounding Americans assume to affliction added about the architecture of their car’s cup holders than about how abundant greenhouse gas they bake on their circadian commutes. I’ve watched accompany who I apperceive anguish about the ambiance bypass the Volt to buy accustomed cars that get characterless breadth rather than try article alien that would accomplish it accessible for them to alone accord to extenuative the planet for our children.
Helping them accomplish the amiss best are our adopted officials, abounding of whom are hell-bent on base new oil fields in Alaska rather than risking the political fallout from acceptance the amount of gasoline to rise. The Trump administering wants to about-face the charge to abbreviation tailpipe emissions.
Given these headwinds, it is not hasty that GM is abandoning the Volt, and the men and women who accept been authoritative this arresting car. But with scientists cogent us we accept a dozen years to apathetic altitude change, shouldn’t we all be active Volts and added electric cars?
The technology to advice save our planet is actuality produced at Hamtramck. Why don’t we use it?
Steven Foldes is an absolute analysis adviser and accessory adroitness affiliate at the University of Minnesota.
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