Friday, September 24, 2010

Strange Questions to Consider

Looking at three green car news stories, more questions popped up for me...

GM has been promising 40 miles in battery power alone on the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid. Now the company says it will get between 25 and 50 miles before the gas-powered engine kicks in, instead of the flat 40. Reasons: how you drive, the temperature (outside and inside the car), hills climbed, and age of the lithium-ion batteries.

Is any OEM being honest and accurate about the actual driving range of these pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles?

From Green Car Advisor: "Almost all gasoline in the U.S. is now an E10 blend, the ethanol added as an oxygenator to help improve gasoline combustion." I had heard something about this before, but didn't realize that 10% of our gasoline consists of ethanol.

How did this come to be, and how powerful is the corn growing business in this country?

Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway will be visiting Chinese carmaker BYD Co. next week. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s $232 million investment in Shenzhen-based BYD grew substantially at first then dropped after BYD's shares plunged 21% this year. Sales in the fast growing Chinese car market have dropped. BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu also may not deliver electric cars to California this year as promised.

Will China really become the leading global electric vehicle industry, as it's aspiring to be?

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