Tony DiSalle, Chevy Volt marketing on the John Batchelor radio show

Tony DiSalle, Chevy Volt marketing on the John Batchelor radio show

There are three cars nominated for the North America Car of the Year. There are fifty journalists from North America that vote for the car of the year. Of those journalists, four are women. I am one of the women journalists that decide which car wins car of the year.

Host John Batchelor, John Avalon, CNN, Tony DiSalle, Chevy Volt marketing and I talk about the Volt, why it should be car of the year, and where the Volt technology goes from here.

There are three cars nominated for the car of the year; Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Sonata. All good competitors. Hyundai Sonata gets the most bang for the fuel buck, and is stylish inside and out. The Volt and the Leaf have the most in common because they are both advanced technology that epitomize the political and economic sentiment of this year.

Congress is mired in partisanship and is too busy trying to keep their jobs to create an energy policy. Back in the ’70s we had gas rationing. Brazil had the same problem as we did with gasoline. Brazil created an energy policy and found a different energy source to compete against gasoline. Today Brazil is off the dependence of foreign oil.
According to the Foreign Trade division of the Census Bureau imported oil will cost the United States about 270 Billion dollars for 2010. Bob Tippee, editor of the Oil and Gas Journal, extrapolated the yearly refined motor gasoline from imported oil. Tippee estimates that we are paying 113 billion dollars for imported oil refined into motor gasoline for 2010. We still have no energy policy and no competition against oil, until today.
Our infrastructure is not ready for everyone to go full electric. Whether it is a case of reconfiguring circuit breakers so that hair dryers are not on the same circuit breaker as your electric vehicle, or rewiring your old house because you still have cloth wiring, or knowing that your reset button on your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is in a completely different part of the house. One learns more about what they have taken for granted, and that many things need to be changed before we can have a mass market of electric vehicles.
With an electric vehicle, and range extender, we get to look at how energy is used in our house and how it is used nationally.
The best hybrid can give you fifty miles to the gallon. But you still need that gallon of gasoline, and it is climbing back up to $3.00 a gallon. You can charge these EVs for about $1.50 a charge in the comfort of your own garage.
You save money in your personal budget.
You give gasoline a competition.
You reduce the trade deficit by importing less oil.
You can take that money that stays in the United States and provide jobs to upgrade the energy  infrastructure and create new jobs around clean energy.
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has over compensated on their emission rating. At one time the EPA gave a tax credit to the manufacturer for a flex-fuel vehicle that most people used gasoline to run. But when it comes to the Volt the EPA would only look at the gasoline side of the equation, even though every customer that buys the Volt or Leaf will have access to electricity.
Another issue in some circles is the $7,500 tax credit that some consumers will have access to use on their taxes. A friend of mine’s signature on his email reads, fuel efficiency equals national security. National Security is one of the primary uses of our taxes, according to our constitution.
When you drive a Chevy Volt or a Nissan Leaf it gives you a paradigm of thinking about you, your house, your budget, the energy infrastructure, the Nation’s debt. These two cars put theory into practice.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.