How does a Chevrolet Volt fare on New York streets? Not so well according to reporter Gersh Kuntzman, who lament the fact he doesn't have a full-time place to plug it in like his boss.
"...(Chevrolet Volt) sounds great if you live in the city, well I live in the city, I live in the real world. I am not a suburbanite with some sort of garage that I plug into every night. I'm a guy who lives in New York City in one of these kinds of Brownstones. Where you gonna park it? You park it on the street. You get a spot in front of your house? This is New York, of course you don't! So lets see the kind of day I had trying to use my Chevy Volt."
The written piece and video entitled "Electric cars like Chevy Volt are still impractical for New York streets", does have a point; that is if it were not for the vehicle and premise in question. It can be darn hard to drive on all electricity, all the time in NYC.
What to do if you can't find a plug everyday for your Chevy Volt in NYC?
However, given the fact that the Chevrolet Volt is explicitly designed to 'not be plugged in' on those occasions when it is not convenient to do so, seems to fly in the face of the antics and over-acting shown in the video.
Mr. Kuntzman notes in his article that the "short commutes" of New Yorkers in theory makes the Volt ideal due to its ability to drive gas free (well, for 53 miles or so anyway). We agree. But we have to wonder, if those commutes are so short, wouldn't the Volt's full charge most likely be good for the bulk of the work week?
Curious to know how short on average that work commute might be, we looked up a Brookings Institution survey and found out the average NYC commute was 7.7 miles. Further still, Mr. Kuntzman - who calls Brooklyn home, lives just about ~5.7 miles from work (Brooklyn to New York Plaza). So, what gives?
Does this reporter really need to be on the prowl for a place to plug in all the time? Regardless, why does he care if he has to burn 1/10th a gallon of gas to go an extra few miles on occasion at week's end if he fails in that mission? Is he really going door-to-door with an extension cord?
Essentially, a single charge would almost get the reporter to and from work all week long...he would only have to "get lucky" in finding a plug maybe once a week to run gas free, or (perish the thought) drive to an actual public charging station (there is more than a 100 within 10 miles of his location) if he abhors the use of any gas so much.
That isn't how a plug-in hybrid works NY Daily News. If you want to do a piece on the limits of a short range, all-electric car in NYC, then why not use an...all-electric car?
Somewhere in this story is a valid point; that short range, all-electric cars probably aren't the best idea for living in New York City...we get that, it would be a pain. However, for plug-ins like the Chevrolet Volt and uber-long range EVs - like the upcoming inexpensive Chevy Bolt EV and more pricey Tesla Model S, they will work just fine in our opinion.
Fortune, Hat tip to sven!