I’ve mentioned the little Suzuki Swift Turbo Inter-cooled Diesel Before, this is a prime example of the auto that MIT said would likely rule the road as per efficiency through the year 2040. Nothing on the drawing board comes close to the compression ignition engine which delivers far more work for the energy dollar.
At 61.4 MPG, and with performance auto enthusiasts are giddy over, you can travel 30,000 miles for the same money it cost to purchase and install the optional 240 VAC home charger for the Chevy Volt! When you consider that the inner city crowd make up the majority of folks attracted to the Chevy Volt, and the limited amount of miles they drive, the cost of the Volt home battery charger and installation could pay for all the fuel the Suzuki might use over the average period of ownership for this group of drivers. This is based on $3 a gallon fuel cost, and the information I found on the GM Chevy Volt forum. The optional charger allows you to charge the battery in as little as four hours, the 120 volt charger system won’t cut it for most drivers.
Of course your friends who are all excited by the Chevy Volt will think this Zuk is a stinker! Nothing could be further from the truth, read the article.. http://uk.cars.yahoo.com/car-reviews/car-and-driving/suzuki-swift-1.3-ddis-1004762.html
The only thing that stands between us and the People’s Car is the EPA. There’s a new conspiracy theory I heard… was it out of wikileaks? It’s reported that American Big Oil bribed top officials at the EPA in order to keep the super high efficiency vehicles out of the Country….. Ralph Nader Killed the Corvair, and now this… when will the corruption end? When will the American public be able to own the cars they want?
As I look at the hybrids and think about the advantages we might all visualize in stop and go traffic, my thoughts are interruped by reality.. I think of all the days here that it’s so wet, the windshield wipers on, the heater and defrosters going to keep a safe view of the road in all directions, and other reasons the power consumption is high. About the time these conditions let up, it’s too hot, the AC is on as we watch the heat waves rise from the hot asphalt. But there’s more to think about. In EV mode, we might charge batteries off the grid, but what kind of losses have we then inserted between the distant prime mover and the rear wheels of our Car? What investment will it take to assure the grid can handle the charge current of all these EVs?
Some will note, compression ignition engines run cool while idling, it’s a sign of their far better efficiency, and under realistic conditions, and over a reasonable periods of time, it’s going to be very difficult for the EVs to deliver cost per mile at less cost than a diesel like the Zuk. I say the Volt doesn’t have a chance. History will tell. The Zuk Diesel is my choice for ‘Car of the Year’
OK, OK, I can hear it now..some will say.. “you don’t understand, the Volt is no People’s car, there’s more luxury here, it’s a step up from your diesel Zuk” my reply… “Then why are all Americans forced to subsidize it, let the wealthier people buy their own Volt”.All the best, George B.