No nonsense actor wonders when another electric car "like the General Motors EV-1" will again be made available to Americans:
~GM Runs Out of Gas~
Bill Heard, the nation's largest Chevrolet dealer, is closing all 13 of its stores.
In , Showcase Chevrolet finally gave up the ghost. Next door, Sunset Ford soldiers on. In Cerritos, long-standing SJ Chevrolet wavers in stark contrast to the busy Nissan, Honda and Toyota lots because of its empty spaces and desperate look of desolation. Row after row of pickups and SUV carefully assembled by skilled GM workers, but no one to buy them. Few even taking the time to look over the offerings. Been there before, boring.
It's not the dealers fault; just as it's not the line UAW workers fault.
The formerly Big Three auto companies are just making the WRONG CARS.
There's no excitement: these gas-guzzling Internal Combustion behemoths are just boring, boring, boring.
GM had a chance to build on its exciting EV1 all-electric plug-in car, but chose to concentrate on gas guzzlers, supposedly because they would lose money on the EVs.
Instead, GM has lost its shirt on Yuckons, Dingalis, Suburbodons, Dummers, Tacos, and other BORING big-iron gas-guzzlers. GM execs, now begging for federal money, chose to concentrate on the big iron that they thought would be in demand, despite indications that oil prices were rising and the days of dino-cars were numbered.
GM execs whine that they couldn't have forseen the crash. But low-paid line workers trusted the execs, that's what they were paid their million-dollar salaries for. They failed to do the job they were paid for, and now want TAXPAYER money to waste after STOCKHOLDERS are broke.
Imagine how much business would be stirred up if the formerly fanatically loyal GM EV1 club would have "plug-in cars shows" at participating Chevy dealers!
Imagine if you'd still be able to see oil-free EV1 cars flitting around, beating everything else from a standing stop. You'd want to take a test drive in one, you'd want to buy one, at least, it would draw you into the dealership.
But GM crushed all its EV1, and killed the program, depriving its dealers of the innovative clean cars they would have been able to use to attract business.
The EV1 fan club were puzzled, shocked, saddened by their beloved " Test Pilot" cars being taken away and destroyed. GM even had two EV1 fans arrested for persisting in trying to buy an EV1!
GM sneered at EV1 drivers, denigrating and degrading them. Treated as pariahs, a nuisance, without human or fiscal rights. GM even charged us for "scratches" on the EV1 that they crushed!
Chrysler is even worse...unless you can get into a car called "the caliber", or, even worse, "the nitro".
And Ford, with its 17 mpg 1953 , copied from a 1930 tractor, also has BORING offerings.
Nothing with a "wow" content, nothing new, nothing 21st century, nothing except oil-burning BORING stuff that could have been around 30 or even 70 years ago.
The interesting new stuff was crushed by GM.
~The Electric Vehicles That Got Away~
Excessive reliance on oil -- finding, drilling, defending, refining, transporting, burning it -- is our biggest environmental, political and economic problem. It's been called a national crisis. We send our wealth to foreign oil dictators who arrogantly attack us, using our own money, while most of our air pollution comes from oil-fired transportation, mainly auto exhaust containing "NOX" and "SOX", which are code-words that hide the true identity of the chemicals nitric acid and sulfuric acid, plus poisonous hydrocarbons.
These toxic chemicals eat up delicate lung tissue, causing permanent lung damage. It's worse for children depending on how close they reside to autos, freeways and refineries.
Here's a link to a study by the University of Southern California and published in the New England Journal of Medicine about the effects of smog on the lungs of children ages 10 to 18 which found that “teenagers in smoggy communities were nearly five times as likely to have clinically low lung function, compared to teens living in low-pollution communities.”
Yet oil-free cars do exist. The Toyota RAV4-EV, HondaEV, and GM EV1 went up to 80 mph, and could go up to 140 miles on a charge. Some of them are still running, despite auto companies' attempts to stamp out and hide the reality that EVs work.
In fact, electric cars have existed for decades, and are plenty good enough to drive around the city or to work. Some drivers have even traveled across the country, charging up at RV parks every hundred miles or so.
If homeowners could buy plug-in cars, they could save money on gas, oil changes, tune-ups, and repairs, and use that money to pay for rooftop solar electric generating systems.
This video shows how the RAV4-EV: plugs into solar
Here's another one about the Toyota RAV4-EV: The EV that got away:
This is not a fantasy; hundreds are doing this right now, powering their plug-in Electric cars with their own rooftop solar power. These people, now all over the USA, are driving the Toyota RAV4-EV, last sold in November, 2002, and the last EV on the road -- the only EV that escaped GM's crusher.
For more information on the vision of EV cars and solar power see http://drivingthefuture.com/
So why not resume production of the RAV4-EV, or even the GM EV1, or the HondaEV? These all worked, were loved by their drivers, and used no gas for the daily commute.
GM, stung by criticism that it killed the EV1, its beloved little Electric car, has re-introduced the EV in a small way, the GM-VOLT. The VOLT is a "serial" hybrid, or an "extended range EV" (EREV). Unlike other hybrids, it gets all of its motive power from an electric motor. It has a relatively large battery pack which can drive it in all speed ranges.
The battery can be charged from a solar rooftop system, or off-peak, at night, when the grid has excess electric power and big generators are shut down. When the battery runs down, after 40 miles of all-electric driving, a small engine-generator fires up to generate electric power to keep the VOLT moving. Since most daily commutes are less than 40 miles, it's conceivable that most VOLT drivers could avoid buying gasoline for months, perhaps only for occasional long trips.
PV-EV synergy of solar power and plug-capable electric cars that free us from oil dependence
Typical summer California electric usage
GM VOLT: What's wrong with this idea?
Why not build a hybrid EREV like the VOLT? Well, some folks don't believe that GM is to be trusted. GM's promises about the EV1 were once just as sincere-sounding as its promises about the VOLT.
The VOLT EREV is, after all, just an EV with a 40 mile all-electric range, plus a gasoline generator. Building a 40-mile EV is not difficult; there are hundreds of RAV4-EV running around with a 100-mile range and no help from a gas generator. It's not much, so why is it taking GM so long?
One big problem with the VOLT is that it's not available, and won't be available until at least 2011. Even after that date, GM has testified to the government NHTSB that it won't be available in more than test numbers through 2014, and should not be included in GM's supposedly desperate attempts to meet higher MPG ("cafe") standards. There won't be enough of them to count.
To this date, GM is still fighting higher MPG standards, still suing California for the right to build gas-guzzlers, and still spending millions on lobbying Congress to fight Electric cars. Is this consistent with the belief that it will some day "go green" and build an EREV?
In 1996, GM was producing EVs, and supposedly could have produced as many as were ordered; the same with Toyota and Honda. These auto makers claimed that there was little demand, but if there had been, they would have produced as many as needed to meet that demand. And these EVs had no help from a gas engine.
Well, now there's a demand, but they aren't producing any EVs. GM has chosen unproven Lithium batteries for the VOLT that are much heavier and bulkier than an equal capacity Nickel-Metal Hydride ("NiMH") battery; Lithium batteries cost more and don't last as long. All the existing successful EVs used NiMH batteries or common lead-acid batteries, as do all the non-pluggable hybrids. Committing to Lithium batteries that don't yet exist in production format may allow GM to just drop the program, blaming the batteries.
Will the major auto makers drop their opposition to plug-in cars, and produce them? Is GM serious, or just delaying until (they hope) gas prices come back down?
Out of the 12 million cars and trucks sold each year by the major manufacturers, not one is a plug-in car. Of the niche cars, muscle cars, cheap cars, specialty cars, coupes, sports cars...not one is a plug-in. And of course, not one is an EV, a pure electric vehicle, almost all of which were crushed -- except for the few RAV4-EV.
The cold, hard truth is that if they wanted to build an EV, they would have done so long ago; by delaying and spinning stories, the auto makers are just continuing their deception and continuing our addiction to oil-fired cars. To this date, GM is refusing to allow gutted, disabled EV1s to be restored by volunteer engineers; GM is still killing the EV1.
And here's a short video about one EV1 that got away to live another day:
And a video about test drives in Encinitas of the RAV4-EV
So what it comes down to is this: It's a national emergency, supposedly, and still, no plug-in car.
Seal Beach, CA
For more on the RAV4-EV and solar power go here.