Rocketboom

Chevy Volt Electric Car

Story Links: Rocketboom field correspondent Steve Garfield checks out the Chevy Volt next-generation electric car.

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Posted to Daily News
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October 17, 2007 • 9:00 am | Permalink

65 Comments

  • vveerrgg says:

    awesome! Nancy Hogan wow... Great interview Steve!

  • seecatzuriel says:

    ..well done

  • iAm a big fan of electric cars. iHave one that is radio controls and it used to drive my GI Joe's like ALL around the house.

    Go GO Garfield!

  • C-C says:

    Well that was a weird twist letting that passerby butt in on the interview. Talk about putting the poor guy (and I DON'T mean Steve) on the spot; although I think he handled it quite well.

    As for electric cars, their cost, and battery lifespan, as with anything innovative, they will be expensive at first and then drop dramatically as the technology evolves and progresses.

    • Nancy, the passerby, may be on to something. Imagine if all cars were electric. Demand for electricity goes up. Electric providers are a monopoly. So, why wouldn\'t electric cost become as comperable or even more expensive than gas/oil. And, might not the production of electricity have even higher evironmental costs than does the direct use of gas/oil?

      • Energyefficient says:

        everything can be transformed into electricity, including all the gas/oil today used by the cars. the difference it that you can buy a solarpanel and charge an electric battery, but you can´t make anything that produces oil. you can have electricity from wind, heat...from everything. it´s pure nonsense that theory. And anyway, pay more for electric motor is better than have a gas motor without gas. the gas is going to end soon

  • foureyedmonsters says:

    That women makes my stomach feel weird.
    But I love German standing his ground for the new battery technology. Good stuff.

  • vigodits says:

    What I find interesting is that GM who scrapped all the EV1s because a 100 mile range would not be acceptable by consumers and
    is now planning to replace that concept with the Volt which gets a whopping 40 mile range.

    Remember it was the Vega that was supposed to be the answer to small imports.

  • Cowdozer says:

    Cool car, I like the polycarbonate-glass veneer idea, and the last guy knew his stuff.

    Unfortunately that lady was one of those overpassionate, uninformed types. I feel bad for the man having to give her answers when she obviously didn't care, but he did infact keep his story straight and provide logical answers.

  • jt says:

    Dear god,

    what was with the crazy woman? I mean she had "valid" kind of points, but seriously? That's the interview you chose to use? come on.

  • jt says:

    Oh I take it back. That was pretty amusing.

  • leron says:

    What I love about new media: A slightly off-balance woman barges into a standard TV-news-type interview with a prim and respectable designer dude, who is there to give such nice, safe interviews, and the guy recording the interview:

    A: Recognizes that the interchange between the two has real value, despite not being planned out and not being what the audience is expecting.

    And B: Has the freedom to keep rolling and actually post the freaking thing, whereas a nice, respectable network-news correspondent would have shitcanned the footage without blinking, knowing that if he didn’t his boss would and his own job would be on the line.

    Nancy Hogan may have some issues but she cut right to the chase: The electricity that will power this thing will not be manufactured by pixies dancing around a campfire in a wooded glen. It will come off The Grid, which despite the hoopla surrounding wind and water turbines and all, is heavily dependent on all those nasty coal-fired plants churning away across the country, and will be for a very long time. There is still an environmental cost, it’s just easier to hide. And it makes the typical consumer feel all warm and fuzzy. That’s about as deep as GM ever goes.

    The designer dude is right: Despite his best effort, he is not fooling anyone. GM has not dragged its heels on alternative-fuel vehicles because battery technology has lagged. GM has dragged its heels because it moronic leaders have refused to let go of the idea that selling behemoth gas guzzlers is the best way to make consumers wag their tails, and thereby make a buck. They watched Toyota and Honda roll out practical hybrids years ago and just sat there clucking their tongues at all the foolishness, while green-lighting crap like the rolling potlatch known as the Hummer H2, which gets *maybe* 10 mpg and which is as useless off-road as it is ugly. (Thankfully its target demo would never dream of taking it there.)

    Now they are coming to the party very late, trying to wow us with glass-polycarbonate sunroofs (bet the deductible to get one of those replaced will be awesome) and steering wheels that look like they were ripped off from the Batmobile. Never mind the practical, lookit the pretty toys!

    Barf.

    Nancy, if you’re reading this, my hat is off to you. Have you considered a career in journalism?

    Steve, you’re a pistol. Keep it up. (Oh, and don’t think I missed the flaunting of the wedding ring there.)

    • JP says:

      Well, the upside is that those nasty coal-fired power plants are still more efficient at scrubbing pollutants than the average American car is, so switching your car from gas power to "The Grid" power will mean both lower cost to drive and less pollution. It's not just that the source of the pollution moves, it's that the source of the pollution moves to a more efficient place.

      (Now, I'm not defending coal...it's pretty dirty stuff. We ought to be going a lot more towards wind, hydro, solar, and nuclear than we are. But it's better than leaving gas-guzzlers on the road.)

      Big kudos to the designer for keeping his cool under a nearly incoherent, uninformed rant.

      • leron says:

        Hmm. I\'ve seen numbers both ways on whether coal-fired electricity is more efficient as a people-mover than fossil fuel. Depends on so many things: efficiency of the vehicles, economies of scale, etc. Got any good links? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • Ook says:

      GM is reading the writing on the wall.

      COAL FIRED POWER

      I don't think there are any laws against charging one's electric/hybrid off solar panels, home based fuel cells, wind or stream turbines, biomass generators, etc. City dwellers can still show up at public utility meetings and press for prioritizing power purchases toward environmentally conscientious providers. My city, Eugene, OR did the latter. All of us have the option to press all our government representatives to advance environmental solutions to energy production.

      Personally, I'm angry that Rockefeller's money still dictates long after his technology should be obsolete. I think living with the less viable, more regulated, dirtier, clunkier, inefficient gasoline combustion engine constitutes a lousy solution. I don't see any reason why our mobility drug need to be anything but improved on, much less mitigated. Many amazing vehicles on the road today are long overdue to refinement and to finding their way into consumer production. More options existed at the beginning of last century than now, including bio-diesel and electric.

      Rockefeller and his corporate/political cronies took care of them along with the intra-city public transportation system by the 30's. Only the railroads created something different, similar to a hybrid diesel engine--still their main workhorse and still something consumers don't have. However the railroads remain the least subsidized transportation system in our country.

      We may be undoing Rockefeller's market interference in this country now, and we should be undoing in the Middle East. He died long before I was born. I will call it an uncommon blessing if I see the sunny day his machine (larger and smaller sense) is finally put to rest.

      "OH L-A-A-A-a-a-A-A-a-a-A-A-DY"

      Another reason not to allow the crazy lady to barge into the interview, then post it, if you are a mainline reporter: desirable interviewees will avoid you. How many people do you know who would agree to unprotected exposure to random attacks? The only job career option left will be the tireless, aggressive, investigative reporter.

      • leron says:

        nice rant. very wise. but I\'m still glad Steve read the situation the way he did and let her do her thing. He chased her off at the end there, too. I would have chased her off sooner, I think. But not before we got to know her.

        The unflappable engineer dude is a good GM spokesman all right. But he is at least one-third shill. And his bosses are not all good.

        The gentleman who invented the diesel engine disappeared over the rail of a boat one night. I\'m surprised more is not made of it. And by the way, his engine originally was meant to run on vegetable oil. The money men -- you name perhaps my favorite -- realized it was a way to use the wretched crap they had not made into gasoline. That\'s why we have 200 million of them in use today.

        • Ook says:

          John Diesel.

          Invented the diesel for work around the farm using farm waste products for fuel. I think the gasoline engine was developed from it, rather than two different branches of the combustion engine.

          Didn\'t know he died that way.

          His brother sold out to Rockefeller, agreed to change the Diesel to burn low grade petroleum gas.

          Makes more sense in the light of how John died.

  • NathanSt says:

    wtf! who's this woman?

    drunk?

    she;s funny/tragic I guess

  • nikki says:

    it's been a long time since i've seen a genuine mental patient in need of speech therapy in the media. even the crazy can have valid points. loved that she got shown. hilarious.

  • B-man says:

    Tina or Nina: You ain't foolin' anybody!!!"

    Right on!

    Date when this car will come out? 2010
    Yeah, right...

    More like 2510

    Check out the movie "Who killed The Electric Car"

    That woman may have come off as crazy, but she was smarter than you think.

  • DStyle86 says:

    Damn hecklers... Was she hired by Rocketboom? :D I don't understand why Garfield just filmed that stupid conversation instead of asking her to leave: He was making an interview ffs!

  • rocketboomer says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Rain Woman! Spectacular interview!

  • gypsonite says:

    way to roll with the unexpected Steve. you got to love it when stuff like that happens. Great interview, cool car.

    Someday, i want to watch a rocketboom episode where joanne announces that someone released an electric car for $5000 and its available today… that would be awesome, i guess i\'ll keep dreaming.

  • Tint Windows says:

    We need Tina to barge in on automotive trade show events. Lets fly her to SEMA next year in Las Vegas and put a 24 hour Justin.tv camera on her. I would pay to see that.

  • t.cooke says:

    The Chevy Volt will be the next Prius....if they can work out the bugs but 2010. Keep in mind, folks, that the battery range is 40 miles, but the generator will kick on at that time so you can drive coast to coast if you want to, unlike straight electric cars.

  • Awesome video footage of a very futuristic automobile! I am excited by all the advances... but perhaps some are not so optimistic .... Check out the heckler!! ha ha ha This lady cracks me up!

  • BadBeaver says:

    Rock\'n\'Roll, Nancy! Very nice. Keep track of that woman.

  • Kam says:

    Talk about one up'smanship, yikes! Nancy... a slightly off-balance, crazy mental patient, or just totally wasted? who knows. At first I thought it was surprising & funny but near the end, I wished she'd just shut the f@#k up. Even though she came up with some valid points as leron pointed out, Steve I'm sure, had those same questions in his back pocket & given the chance, would have asked them. I found her distracting & irritating.
    That said, I wondered where the air bag is stashed in that steering wheel, I couldn't see one, you plough into that at speed & it's gonna cave a few ribs & leave the Chevy logo imprinted in your forehead. The sunroof... driving on a rainy day would be magic but on sunny days, you'll need SPF 1000 & the AC running overtime & when you pull up to a stoplight, the squeegee guys are gonna charge you extra.
    To date the Aptera is my favorite "green" car @ 300 mpg.
    later people

    • leron says:

      There won\'t be any squeegee guys. They\'ll all have jobs fitting micron-thick glass shields to polycarbonate sunroofs.

      Your keen observation reminded me of a car show I went to recently, which included a little all-electric car available now, just the thing for motoring from the main estate house down to the gate to see if the latest missive from the broker has arrived. Another visitor sidled up, looked it over and said, \"If a bus hits that thing, anybody in it is a grease spot.\" Still, it was cute. Like an adult version of one of those little battery-driven kiddie cars. Which I suppose it exactly what it was....

    • Mike Dixon says:

      Kam, it's funny that you should bring up the subject of squeegee guys because I actually moonlight weekends as one, down there at the intersection of Laurel and Hardly, just west of Main, alongside the tracks, and up from the Lorel Grill. If you or anyone else would like an estimate, then come see me; I'll take care of you.

      You know, the job pretty much entails fulfilling a basic non-need: washing clean windshields of unsuspecting motorists, then expecting to get paid for it. It's a tough living; one that requires an aggressive bulldog personality; one that causes a lot of anti-drama, whatever that is, because, of course, genuine drama issues forth from the effort to fulfill a real human need.

      An important aspect to the future of transport, according to a Gen Y-er friend of mine, is to be able to see down the road ahead clearly.

      Words of wisdom, and well worth the wait, Walter.

      And speaking of wisdom, that SteveGarfield dot com interview today with those Frankfurt guys took place at Faneuil Hall, Boston which reminded me of the huge, magnificent, 4 story tall Tower Records that used to be there on Massachusetts Avenue, Boston where I once fished out a cheap video tape of a foreign-made 'b' movie from a bargain bin in the lower sub-basement. I don't remember the name of it right now, but it was about some high-school kid who had a futuristic car--similar to the one featured today on RocketBoom (or your Aptera)--that ran on a mixture of protein, testosterone, and blended endo-micro-fibers of old Levi's. I don't recall the plot, either, but basically this boy, who had a satchel full of magical content seeds that he reached into from time to time pulling one or two out and flinging them over his shoulder, would turn around and notice forests blooming behind him at a breath-stopping rate. No wait! Sorry wrong movie. My memory is cloudy. It was actually about a boy who idolized a band, and strove to emulate them. This was pre-internet, so he would get all their albums, watch all their t.v. appearances, and go to all their concerts, and write them letters. A true fan, he had a guitar and the allurement to play it. The band had a female lead singer. And as the movie progresses his gaze slowly shifts focus over time to her, a girl from Latvia, whom he hadn't really noticed before because she blended in with the boys so well. Anyway, he falls for her, that distant sort of love at first...and they eventually end up getting happily married, with a crop of ruddy, happy kids by the end. A real sappy 80's flick.

      Now I only like movies with lots of guns or animation. I can buy good DVD's with the extra cash made from the moonlighting squeegee gig. But, alas, I may have to give the weekend soap-bucket gig up as it is beginning to interfere with my regular job, where I work Monday thru Friday as a member of an elite think-tank inside a Capital Vault. We haven't really thought of anything lately, but just give it time.

  • beagle says:

    Bank that interview! Awesomely funny. Kudos to that man's Nancy-handling abilities - smoooooth, dude, smooth :)

  • B-man says:

    and now they're picking on Apple and its iPhone as if all other cell phone manufacturers don't use dangerous chemicals. The BS meter is running at peak level today.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/telecoms/article2673340.ece

  • TamaraMedia says:

    I so wish he would have gently told this woman he was doing an interview, and she could pose her questions after he wrapped up. I have been a reporter for 13 years, you can do this with class, but firmly.

    She made this piece more farcical than informative, and it absolutely ruined it for me and left me annoyed. More shots of the car, less crazies.

  • Bob Johnson says:

    According to her, the name is Nee-ancy, not Nancy. Reminds me of a MadTV or Saturday Night Live comedy skit it was so extreme. But it was real. Wow, he handled it well. She was asking how this car would make gas prices go down, but this is not much of an issue if people go electric instead.

  • Robert W says:

    Was there a full moon or something?

  • stevegarfield says:

    TamaraMedia and DStyle86 - that part of the report was actually less of an interview by me and more a recording of other reporters asking questions. I was recording what was happening and the woman showed up, so I kept filming. It's called real life, and as commenters on Rocketboom have said, you probably would not have seen that exchange on a network news show. That's what makes Rocketboom great.

  • David Wright says:

    Have to chime in and say that the interview was un-watchable.

    Having a half-crazy person interject valid or invalid points is not interesting or amusing. They would not have put up with a 10-year-old butting in and saying "What's electricity?" or "Why?" over and over again. There is no reason to have put up with someone acting like a 10-year-old. What if instead of sort-of being on topic, she had ranted about the war in Iraq, or abortion, or "those damn Martians"? "Gas prices are going to go down" over and over. First, is she psychic? Second, so what? Using a gallon of gas is still using a gallon of gas.

    Say excuse me, continue somewhere else or wait until she leaves. Not news.

    • Jason says:

      Yeah my thoughts exactly, it might be edgy to have some crazy person jump into you interview and talk over the top of someone whose trying to answer your questions but it certainly isnt informative.

      it was all abit cringe inducing.

  • Bmud says:

    That lady rocked my face off. Awesome show! It was good to hear both sides of the argument.

  • BandMan says:

    The guy...uh...Von Weber? I want him to teach me patience and Public Relations. He was AWESOME!

    Oh, and the car is cool, too.

  • jaime21985 says:

    I loved teh Nancy Hogan part... Great!!!

  • bobjjones says:

    Listen when Von Weber or whatever is introducing himself - right when the guy in the red first enters the picture. You'll hear Neeancy yell something like "Who do you know?" Then watch in the background how she goes under the tarp, then suddenly heads straight for the camera. Fascinating to watch her in action. Her voice, the fogged up glasses, the way she leans into the camera when she's talking. I think I hear someone snicker when she says "Neeancy" as well. This is beautiful.

    Unfortunately the scene fades away before the men with the clean white coats come to take her away.

    ----------

    Now, it's entertaining, and I also appreciate how an online journalist keeps this in there, but it kinda disturbs me that we're all (including me, and I have about the loudest laugh) sitting here watching this either unstable or very very drunk human being and laughing at her. She might need help.

    Now that I have the Catholic guilt out of the way, back to laughing at her interruption.

  • Ali says:

    Who\'s he foolin\'?!

  • wardrone8 says:

    Electricity price(somewhat), Electric car price, Gasoline price will all be high. I wish I could say that the cents paid for electricity will be worth it. However, you kind of make up for it by paying so much to get this fancy electric car. God forbid that you are stupid enough to go and buy a hybrid like this Volt cause then the little gas it takes will cost just as much as gas does now; maybe more.

  • whisperwarehouse says:

    I had to google nancy Hogan after watching this! I'm a big Rocketboom and Garfield fan. I was wondering if nancy was a plant! She bring a good point, even if somewhat incoherent! :) I think we know what she's trying to say! I think her inclusion in the piece was a good way to bring that point (plant or not).

  • veramentegina says:

    the woman was annoying as hell. i rather wanted to hear about the car. asking intelligent questions is one thing, but letting this looney with incoherence interfere is another.

  • spiderofdoom says:

    She was drunk. Surely people can only be that dumb drunk.

  • swankrecords says:

    She needs help. Verbal feces on our species.

  • morality101 says:

    I think the crazy woman was really an actor sent by Big Oil!!!

    CW "Gas prices is going to go down.
    "Demand for electric cars will go up"
    CW "Of course they are like like housing costs go up"
    CW "Electricity goes up"
    CW "Who you fooling? Who's he fooling?"
    CW "Electricity costs a lot of money."
    CW "He ain't fooling nobody. Electricity costs a lot of money."
    CW "Electric cars cost American consumers a lot of money."

  • Caitlin says:

    Dude. If you don't supply an email it wipes your comment :(

    I just wanted to say (again) that that Guy handled himself really well and I will be excited to see this car reach the market.

    That crazy anti-everything lady was just that, crazy.

    This car will work. GM realized that killing the electric car was a bad move. I'll be there to buy it...one day :P

  • trevorlsciact says:

    lmao at that woman hahahahaha

  • LovePontiac says:

    Crazy lady is actually right. I'm not bashing the Volt in any way but its likely to cost ~$40,000. Something like a Cobalt would be way cheaper to own, even with the fuel costs.

  • jwil2570 says:

    The retarded woman represents the entire fossil fuels industry. It's very entertaining.

  • LatteLiberal says:

    That woman is right. Electricity will cost 10 times more then gas if we go electric. Theres no nighttime capacity to recharge. The answer is more drilling and take over Iran and Saudi Arabia before the Chinese do. And nuclear power doesnt need any subsidies like solar power. Nuclear power is so cheap you dont have to meter it. But liberals refuse because they want to make money on solar. They use solar profits to fund homosex, art, abortion, veganism, satanism and environmentalism.

  • bjhorton2005 says:

    ?! wow you might need to see somebody..

  • bjhorton2005 says:

    Wait I get it, sarcasm. LOL sorry, sometimes I have a hard time grasping that.

  • Oz9110 says:

    There is some odd comments in here about a revolutionary car and a car company is taking big steps towards our future, an American one at that. Will your electrity bill go up? what none sense is that, yes but not at the staggering rate as fossil fuel. Will there be Carbon foot print beside commuters exceeding 40 mpg, yes very minimal. Why are people in this blog so pestamistic about an achievement that should be recognized? Could you imagine what this will do to OPEC, wow devastating.

  • Metallik695 says:

    she is about to slap the shit out of him

  • emforty2 says:

    he said it will send a message of GM being Green?? ha ha

    its llike the devil saying i will save your soul ??

  • TranCendenZ says:

    There are no savings with the Volt. The price is estimated at $40K to $48K. Automobile critics have dubbed it "Grandma's electric vehicle." The production Volt is hideous and bland. Nissan has already developed an electric car that gets TWICE the mileage as the Volt.

  • This car would look amazing with some professional window film. Click here if you want to know more about window tint film!


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