General Moneygrabbers -- er -- Motors announced today Washington, D.C. is now among three test markets for the Chevrolet Volt. Of all the electric cars homing in on our driveways, this one is probably the most attractive, and likely the most realistic for commuting in places like D.C.
"Chevrolet will deliver more than 100 Volts to several utilities across the U.S. – including Pepco and Dominion, which serve Washington D.C. and its suburbs – as part of an extended demonstration program. The overall program includes 500 charging stations that will be installed for residential, business and public use. They will be used to learn more about the installation process, vehicle charging and to gauge customer feedback," according to GM's press release.
Unlike GM's delusions that Hummers were of any value whatsoever, GM's idea to plug in the Volt here in DC is pretty grounded. We drive a lot up here, so people are not interested in Peel P50-like pods that run out of juice after 40 miles and can't even be supplemented by farts or kamikaze mosquitos smeared on the windshield. The Volt, indeed, goes a pansy 40 miles on its 149-horsepower electric motor, but once that milestone is reached, a 71-horsepower four-banger powers a generator to make the Volt go 300 more miles. Stomp on frogs and shove a crow bar up my nose.
Still, charging the car means the Volt plunges its straw into a disease-causing, filthy, coal milkshake. Its lithium ion batteries aren't too great for the environment, either. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: the Honda FCX Clarity is probably the most completely green car on the market.
I wish GM had stayed much closer to the concept for the Volt's exterior design. Now the poor thing will be mistaken for a second-generation Honda Insight. But at least, unlike the Commuter Cars Tango (stupid $%&#ing car-excuse), it can seat a family. And that means whenever I can, I'll be trying one out.