MrSeb writes: "Pity the poor Chevrolet Volt. It’s built by GM, the company that took a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer bailout. It’s a car that comes with a $7,500 government rebate. Now it’s being dissed by Fox News and chain-mailers for costing more to drive than a gasoline-powered car selling for a third as much. On Fox News, Eric Bolling and Kimberly Guilfoyle of Fox’s The Five somehow managed to mistake the Volt for an electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf. 'The car ran out of electricity in the Lincoln Tunnel on my way to work... Why would you put out an electric car that gets only 25 miles?' Of course, the Volt has a petrol engine that kicks in when it runs out of juice (and most daily driving is under 25 miles!). Then, following the Fox News fail, a chain mail ('Cost to Operate a Chevy Volt') sprouted up that claimed the Volt wasn’t a good deal financially for taxpayer or Volt-owner. Using a figure of $1.16 per kilowatt hour for electricity, the chain letter concluded, 'So Obama wants us to pay 3 times as much for a car that costs more than 6 times as much to run and takes 3 times as long to drive across the country.' Electricity actually costs about $.127 per kilowatt hour now; a tenth of what the chain email states. The battery pack stores 16 kWh of energy, but, says GM, not all 16 kWh are used. A full charge adds 9.6 kWh that can be used to move the Volt and another 3-4 kWh are used in charging on a 120-volt system, less with a more efficient 220-volt charger. So a full charge on 120V power consumes 13.4 kWh of electricity, or $1.57. The Fox News 25-mile jaunt thus cost 6.3 cents per mile; if the Volt got 35 miles on a charge (not unusual), it would be 4.5 cents per mile. A compact car getting 35 mpg would cost 10 cents per mile using $3.50-a-gallon gasoline."
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