Before I get into some of the main topics for today’s blog post, I just wanted to mention another weather blog that has similar content to ours here at StormTrak9. It is called “State of Occlusion” and can be found here: http://adiabat.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/catching-up-tomas-snow-links-climate-change-hail-video/ If you can’t get enough of a “weather fix” here in the weather blog, you might want to check that one out from time-to-time.
The biggest issue on my mind today is the Chevy Volt. As you know, I have followed closely the development of electric vehicles over the last few years. I have been hoping to see a low cost option arrive before one of my old gas vehicles konks-out. Unfortunately, the cost of most electric vehicles is out of my price range – including the Chevy Volt. The closest to my price range is the Aptera 2e and the Nissan Leaf (I am not including tricked-out golf carts but these are an affordable option for driving short distances). Other than cost, up until this week, I really didn’t have much reason at this point to prefer one brand over another. I am just happy to see the potential for cleaner air with the adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S. The sooner we are all driving electric vehicles, the sooner we can get rid of all the days with Air Quality Alerts – like today (in effect through 4pm).
Up until this week, I was just as happy to see the progress of the Chevy Volt as any other electric vehicle, but no longer. Previously, I shared a rather sour analysis of the Volt from one side of the political spectrum and now comes another jaw-dropper: GM (maker of the Volt) will not have to pay taxes for years to come. The GM bailout has already cost taxpayers billions and billions of dollars. The government rebate (while stimulating the purchase of electric vehicles – which could be viewed as a good thing) is also going to cost taxpayers an enormous sum. Now taxpayers are essentially going to pick up the tab for billions and billions and billions and billions of future tax revenue that GM will not be paying. I can no longer write glowingly about the Volt. When I see start-up companies like Think, Zap, Aptera, and Teslaputting their own (and private investor) money into their companies to get this movement off the ground, that is worth more praise. When I see the idealism and passion of some of the people building the new EVs it makes me want to cheer. Some of these entrepreneurs are taking great risks and should be rewarded if they produce a great product. Not to mention all the other car companies and their workers who are battling against GM and all the government money. So no more coverage of the Volt. I won’t spend time producing ”bad” opinions about GM and the Volt, but I won’t be sharing any press releases either. I know the workers at GM will not be happy with this opinion but it is how I feel about the Volt at this point in time. I have to be honest.
I would prefer to make my next car an electric, but if the price it too high, there are still some other money and fuel saving options on the market. My current gas engine gets about 37 mpg. Could you believe that there are new gas engines coming onto the market that could double that number? Just when you thought fuel efficiency was tapped-out, along comes Mazda with a new car+engine design that tops out at 70 mpg!
Lastly, for those of you who entered the 1st snowfall contest, it still looks like a potential for an inch or two of snow on Saturday. If we get 1 inch in Wausau on Saturday, it will be the end of the contest and we will draw the big winners next week on Wake-Up Wisconsin.
Have a nice Tuesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on November 9, 2010