I have another year on my current lease and have no idea what I will get next. My fuel bill from all of last year was just over $1600, so saving money would not be a reason for me to lease a Volt. I would need to feel strongly about other other benefits derived from an electric for me to drive one.
Gary, Nice car. For sure, in the hybrid department that one is the one. I thought even cheaper than 35K even with 4wd?
All they could do better would be to offer it in NG/gas.
We bought it right after the Tsunami in Japan and it was looking like then, that it could be a 6-9 month wait, so price was not negeotiable. We got very lucky that they had this one which was 99% what she would have ordered anyway. But they worked with us on the trade-in and have been super in the Service Department.
Five years from now, how would a 5 y/o Volt stack up against a 5 y/o Lexus CT200h when it come to re-sale value? Another no-brainer......
Her Dad had a small van in his home country of New Zealand that he used for hauling boat gear around in and it was an NG/gas vehicle. Problem there was that he had to know where every NG/gas station was in Auckland since there were very few around that carried NG!
Oh, and 18 months ago, I traded in my POS Mercury Moutaineer after 14 years and 96,000 miles for a new 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe ($25,000) with a peppy, 175 hp OHC I-4 and my fuel costs have come down 30%+ and I'm thrilled with the quality. Built by a bunch of Alabama red-necks too!
I am a little dissapointed that you prefer to work on the performance end of things rather than the economy end, but that's your choice and I hope you have fun with it.
I also think you may be better off doing your first conversion to a different car than the Benz. Start with a VW based chassis. Here is why. Weight of power pack. The huge advantage VW's have is the massive amount of after market suspension products available. The "Baja Bug" componts allow the common VW to be beefed up to handle plenty of battery capacity. I understand that ditching the Benz engine will give you plenty of weight to replace, but once you cross the line of that weight, your gonna be stuck there. VW Carmon Ghia would be a good choice or convert one of the VW based Bradly GT types.
Excellent point - I have to admit, I have not gotten there in the trade space yet. The reason I want to go down the performance rather than the economy path is that so many people are already going down the eco path and frankly can probably do a better job of that than me. Building a performance electric is not unique, but certainly offers more room to innovate.
Mrs. T already owns a Benz and has already threatened me if I try to use her car. The 230's are fairly easy to come by, and as a convertible, you can decrease the need for AC and its associated power draw on the batteries. (Understand this is also an option with some karmann ghia's as well)
WaterEngineer - Yes, you do sound like a friggin tree hugger! Did I fall off my bike and hit my head? Seriously, I'm not hung up strictly on batteries, but there are some things I'd like to play with here. I think you'll see batteries become more prevalent in cars in the next few years as more cars go hybrid. Batteries are an excellent means to capture, store and reuse energy for example in regenerative breaking technology. Why throw away all that kinetic energy when you stop?
Fast forward x number of years and you could see electric cars with minimal batteries and pulling their power off the road through induction. No fuel cell, no deadly "third rail", unlimited mileage. Just have to rebuild the road network. (minor detail)
The only way I'd consider an electric vehicle, for myself, is if it could haul 6000 lbs up a slippery slope and cruise at 65 mph for not less than 4 hours out of the day. Most businesses could not use electric. Can you imagine an electric tractor trailer rig? The wife could use an electric car, she just runs to the sack of suds every now and then. Another item that has me concerned is the use of all those rare earth materials, the poor living, working conditions and low pay of the people who mine that material, to support the high technology and the cost of battery replacement at the end of their useful service life, may eat up all the gas savings. I really think that if you measured the cradle to grave carbon footprint of a high tech auto, it might be more than our current "low" fossil fuel vehicles. Just there are more questions than answers at this point.
Just obstacles that spring to the fore front of my brain housing group, just thinking, maybe I should investigate further.
I think I saw a report that did this comparison and
for a gas powered car the footprint was like 1.98 per mile driven versus 3.98 per mile for the electric car....
Meaning that over the life of the vehicle this was the ecological cost of the vehicle
Volt is catering to the early adopter market right now. They need to develop a model BASED on feedback from these folks to have any chance of improving the technology and marketing the tech properly before they can cross the chasm and sell to mass market, skeptics
Its fascinating to watch a disruptive tech go through the steps to market adoption.