Audi's take on Chevy volt

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Audi's take on Chevy volt

Post by Briano1234 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:48 am

Browse: Home / 2011 / December / 16 / Audi Chief Calls Chevy Volt “A Car For Idiots”

Audi Chief Calls Chevy Volt “A Car For Idiots”

By marfdrat on December 16, 2011
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I’ve been calling it the Chevy Dolt for quite some time -because it seems like a genuinely stupid idea to have an electric car that will only go 40 miles (or 62 km if you’re driving the European Ampera) on a charge, but I’ve never gone so far as to say the people who buy it are stupid. As far as I’m concerned, you are free to spend your hard-earned dollars as foolishly as you want – that’s what free markets are for (GM bailout notwithstanding).

Audi’s American division president, however, doesn’t mince words when it comes to Dolt buyers (no pun intended).

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.”
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Re: Audi's take on Chevy volt

Post by Calimus » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:14 pm

I have to partially agree on this. I've been looking at a lot of the electric options out there as well as Hybrid for the simple fact that my commute is so short. The problem is, they have a staggering list of drawbacks. Pure electric has super short range and the batteries will only handle X amount of charges and must be replaced. This is also hampered by the high price most of them have. Add to that, the horrible charge times on 110v or even 220v. In many cases, what you would pay at the pump is less then what you will pay on your electric bill for constant daily charging.

Hybrids are close, but the batteries are still the weak point. Any eco-friendly view on these cars should be wiped when you see how caustic those batteries are. Not to mention, all but a few will turn that gas motor on for almost any movement above 15mph. Again also for many of these, is a nasty price tag as well. For me, the initial cost as well as the environmental cost due to the battery doesn't pan out. I also don't go far enough in a week for the gas motor to charge the battery worth a damn.

Tesla had a decent idea. 200 mile range, 4 hour charge time on 220v and capable of highway speeds. However, if you can afford it, you could save even more money by buying a brand new TDI and save a hell of a lot more money and have a similar eco foot print.

People see these electrics as a way to show they care more about the environment, but fail to acknowledge that they power they use to charge them mostly comes from coal burning plants. Add to that, the more ppl that buy pure electric or any plug in, put more strain on the electric grid that's already in poor shape and we just replace gas with coal. We reduce nothing, it just looks better on TV. It's a big picture problem and there is currently no good solution. However, pure electric to me is the worst of them all until some things change.

So, while I think the Audi guy has a set of big one's for voicing his opinion the way he did, in my view, he's not incorrect.
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Re: Audi's take on Chevy volt

Post by randy1234 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:33 am

Is there some sort of "like" button to push? I sure appreciate the comments- -scratch that- -wisdom listed above. In the area I am from television news people were test driving the dolt during the news hour. I thought "What the heck is this, news or advertising?"

Seriously good points!!

randy

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Re: Audi's take on Chevy volt

Post by Calimus » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:29 am

Thanks Randy. This has been an area that I've been researching for a while as the technologies evolve. I'm and IT guy and I geek out on automotive tech just as much as computer tech, maybe more so some days. However, never take anything I say as gospel. I really encourage folks to research it for themselves. Never know what I might have missed in my own research.

I'm fairly certain I'm spot on in this though. I've worked on a Prius before and spent a lot of time talking to those that have some of these eco-wonders. Many weren't trying to be eco-friendly, they just got the cars second hand at a price they couldn't refuse and some didn't know anything about TDI's. One guy I know, unloaded his Prius, picked up a TDI Jetta and has been laughing all the way to the bank. Turns out, Prius's require all kinds of special little bits or their range is drastically cut. Oh well, I still putt around in my land yacht for now. Even at 18mpg in the city, my 8 miles a day only uses 1/4 of a tank a week.
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Re: Audi's take on Chevy volt

Post by gull » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:53 pm

I think the Volt has some potential, but the technology isn't quite there yet. It's a nice way to get around the limited range problem of electric cars, which is going to be key to making them useful in the US. I mean, sure, most people could commute in an electric car with a 100 mile range, but they also want to be able to take their car on their family vacation and such, so pure electrics are always going to be a tough sell. No one wants a car that (effectively) has a 5-gallon gas take that takes eight hours to refill.

The battery disposal issues are not that big a deal, IMHO...these aren't like AA cells that you throw in the trash. They're best coped with by recycling. It's not like current cars have any lack of toxic materials in them.

I'm not surprised by the comments in the original post, though. Audi is a luxury carmaker. Their target market doesn't care about fuel economy. Frankly, considering the steep depreciation and the constant stream of expensive Audi parts to replace bits that break, gasoline is probably not a major factor in an Audi's cost of ownership. ;)
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Re: Audi's take on Chevy volt

Post by Calimus » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:27 am

Actually, Audi has hybrid and full electrics on the way. Their targets for performance are more in the usability range, but then again, the expense will be out of reach of most as are most of their cars anyway so there's that.

I still see that batteries as being a large issue. The cost of the packs for replacement are sometimes enough to purchase a small used car and while many can be recycled, some can't. Now at least the car makers are getting wise to this problem and most are now making the packs out of many smaller packs. Thus you can replace a bad set of cells at a much lower cost.

I think there is potential, but it's still a bit farther down the road and this country (along with others) still needs to get it's electrical infrastructure vastly upgraded to handle the load as these cars become cheaper and easily obtained by the masses.
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Re: Audi's take on Chevy volt

Post by gull » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Calimus wrote:I still see that batteries as being a large issue. The cost of the packs for replacement are sometimes enough to purchase a small used car and while many can be recycled, some can't. Now at least the car makers are getting wise to this problem and most are now making the packs out of many smaller packs. Thus you can replace a bad set of cells at a much lower cost.
In practice this hasn't turned out to be a huge problem, though, probably largely because the manufacturers have been very conservative with how they design the packs so far. CR tested a Prius with 200,000 miles on it that still had the original pack and it got the same fuel economy as it did when new. I suspect very few people are actually replacing or rebuilding packs, except modders who are increasing capacity; if I needed one I'd go get one from a lightly wrecked car, most likely.
I think there is potential, but it's still a bit farther down the road and this country (along with others) still needs to get it's electrical infrastructure vastly upgraded to handle the load as these cars become cheaper and easily obtained by the masses.
There may be some issues there, although it will help that the charging will mostly happen at night, when A/C loads are lower. In that respect it may actual level the load somewhat.
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