Science Friday Discussion of the Volt vs. LEAF
On NPR's Science Friday today Ira Flatow talked about the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan LEAF, comparing and contrasting the two soon-to-be-released vehicles. Phil Ross (editor at IEEE Spectrum) joined him in the studio as well as Nick Perry from Nissan and Tony Posawatz from the Chevrolet.
Ira Flatow asks, is the wait for EVs over? Would you buy one? Are they safe? How long do you have to wait to get one? What kind of plug-in do you want to see?
Nationally, for the demand for these vehicles as reported by Nick Perry & Tony Posawatz:
- 18,000 Nissan LEAFS reserved
- Chevrolet cannot comment yet on the specifics of how many Volts are in demand, but Tony says its "overwhelming"
- Over 12,000 public charging stations in the ground this Fall, nationwide (19 states)
- Chevrolet aims to be manufacturing the Volt in the US and exporting it to China by 2020
- All car companies in the world are working on the electric drive, because governments are demanding it, not because customers are clamoring for it.
The show also responded to the concerns of many different callers on the expected topics:
- Price point and rebates
- Charging and range questions
- Safety of lithium ion batteries (they're safe). The batteries lose capacity gradually with age, after 5 years 80% capacity, after 10 years 70% capacity; the batteries designed to be reused in other capacities after they are done in the vehicles, they are completely reusable and recyclable.
- How charging EVs effects CO2 production.
If you missed the show I encourage you to go to the Science Friday and listen, the segment is about 30 minutes long and covers some important EV basics and some more interesting details. Definitely worth listening too!