(Note absurdly-large 20-inch wheels, you know, for “luxury.”)
Sometimes I just don’t know…
Well, I’ll tell you, I was worried about Costco’s unused electric charging stations last year, and now it looks like America’s favorite big box has given up on them, electing not to upgrade to this year’s flavor-of-the-month charging system, the au current J1772. (The chargers Costco installed in their parking lots back in The Aughts looked like they were from an electric car museum, covered so much with detritus and spider webs and whatnot they were.)
But you know, if you live in the 415, your new Nissan Leaf all-electric car should be able to make it home anywho.
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Let’s ask, “Why would an electric car pioneer like Costco just give up now?” (They must have a rationale or two…)
This is quite a change from the heady days of 2006. Indeed, Costco has been offering electric chargers of some sort since the 1990′s:
“Costco offers 90 charging stations at 64 locations. Most of the stations are in California, with a handful in Arizona, New York and Georgia…The process couldn’t be simpler. Members park in reserved spaces, attach special paddles and head into the warehouse. By the time their shopping is done, their car should be, too.”
Now, some are saying that Costco is looking into / reviewing this issue, so who knows what will happen.
All right, here’s a bit from 2008 to show you what things looked like at San Francisco’s SoMA Costco back then:
“Whether your ride swings AC or DC, whether it needs MagneCharge or Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (EVI) “brand” electricity, Costo has got you covered. Shop at the store and buy a $1.50 hot dog and a Coke, all while recharging.
The future is now:
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Remember the former mayor’s P.O.S. Chevy Tahoe with an engine bigger than that found in the city buses from the failed CultureBus program?
It was necessary for his safety or something. Oh, here it is, parked in a bike lane for an hour or two on a Healthy Saturday, or a Healthy Sunday, or a Healthy Holiday – mem’ry fades…
Anyway, that machine is long gone so here’s the new ride for our new “interim” Mayor – it’s a Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid.
See? Mr. Pig’s Wild Ride:
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All right, Remedial Ed:
Are we on the same page now? Good.
Let’s see here, even if you keep this rig charged up and topped off with juice all the time, it’s going to burn fuel from its gas tank, right? I mean at least some of the time. (The people at Government Motors recommend a half a tank of fuel for people who intend to drive around mostly in electric mode.)
Regardless of what anybody tells you, this machine will burn gasoline – it has to, by design. It’s programmed to do so, actually.
So avert your gaze here:
“The Mountain Mode option gathers an energy reserve in the lithium-ion battery so that the car has the full power of both the gasoline engine and the electric powertrain behind it for, say, navigating a series of San Francisco inclines.”
Or I don’t know, just drain every last drop of gas from the tank and fill it up with sawdust and then see how far you and your Volt make it, I don’t care.
Or, just get a Nissan Leaf – that probably would have been the better move, considering the stated parameters.
Anyway, those are the differences between the old and new mayors so far – nothing else has changed.
How it looks outside of City Hall sometimes:
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Leave us begin, starting with the white one on the left:
Honda Civic Hybrid;
Third-Generation Toyota Prius Hybrid, possibly with plug-in feature;
Nissan Leaf* pure electric vehicle;
Honda Insight hybrid
About the only thing that’s missing from this array is the 2012 Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid.
Oh, here it is, with garish utility monopoly graphics removed.
…or better two?
Now you know better your electric and hybrid electric vehicles…
*The funny thing about the Leaf is that some crappy competing company what says oh, we’ll have an electric car ourselves this year (employees have been saying that about the same basic vehicle every year since 2008) criticized the Leaf last year because “housewives” wouldn’t “feel comfortable” behind the wheel of such a futuristic-looking vehicle. Ridiculoso.
So, what do you think?
Better A (from back in 2008)?
Wow, it’s the new swoopy Chevy Volt electric car from GM, a private company!
Or, Better B (from right now in 2011)?
Oh, it’s the dumpy new Chevy Volt non-electric car from Government Motors:
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As always, You Make The Call.
[UPDATE: Well, I spoke too soon - Pigs, Giraffes, & Elephants just decided to foot the bill for their departing CEO. See below]
I don’t know, the problem with talking about “GM’s race to develop the electric Chevrolet Volt” is that the Chevrolet Volt isn’t an electric car.
It’s a plug-in hybrid, just like those familiar Toyota Priuseses you see being driven (badly) all over town.
So, calling the Volt “electric” is muy prohibidado, ‘specially for the writers at the New Yawk Times.
A PG&E exec motoring through the Inner Richmond to the glamorous West Bay suburbs of the 415 – let’s hope he won’t get $35 million of our money* when he screws something up/kills people and then quits/gets fired.
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(Garish decals removed, you’re welcome)
*”PG&E Shareholders to Pay Pension Benefits for Retiring CEO
SAN FRANCISCO, April 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Earlier today, PG&E Corporation’s (NYSE: PCG) Board of Directors voted to amend the pension benefits for retiring Chairman, CEO and President Peter Darbee to provide that all pension benefits will be funded by the Corporation’s shareholders.
“With Mr. Darbee’s decision to retire, the Board is fully committed to taking steps that demonstrate the company is moving in a new direction,” said Lee Cox, the Board’s Lead Director. “Renewing public faith in PG&E is critical to our future. Today’s decision is another opportunity to show customers, regulators and others that PG&E is listening closely and taking action to earn back their confidence.”
The company announced last week that Darbee will retire effective April 30, 2011. Effective May 1, Cox will serve as interim Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation until a long-term successor to Darbee is onboard.
PG&E Corporation is a Fortune 200 energy-based holding company, headquartered in San Francisco. It is the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, California’s largest investor-owned utility. PG&E serves more than 15 million Californians throughout a 70,000 square-mile service area in northern and central California. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.pgecorp.com.
Toyota Prius drivers, on average, are the worst in the San Francisco Bay Area. Also, they behave, on average, as if they are more privileged than the average driver-citizen.
Keep that in mind when you take a look at this vanity license plate
“PIOUS 1″ - you can’t argue with that:
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Click here to see the latest version of the proposed Chevy Volt “series hybrid” gas-electric car from General Motors. Yes, that’s a fake grill on the nose of the car – apparently, all Chevies gots to have a grille whether they need it or not.
But that’s the way this “boring, boring, boring” vehicle will look once it gets to production.
But look below to see what the Chevy Volt looked like less than a year ago when it visited San Francisco.
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Nobody expected these 22-inch wheels (complete with ”not for road use” Michelin Green-X tires”) to make it into production, but the folks at Chevy could have tried a little harder to drag the show car dream into existence.
Comes now Toyota with the third-generation Prius that might get a plug-in option at the end of next year. GM better hurry if it wants to get the Volt on the road before then.
But at least Hollywood’s Michael Bay is doing all he can to help. Having honed his skillz directing Scarlett Johansen (as Jordan Two Delta) in The Island, he’s now working on fitting the Chevy Volt into Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.