The Good News About the Chevy Volt

Green bloggers are skeptical, but still warmer about G.M.'s justifiably teased 230 m.p.g. claim.

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The Chevy Volt's touted 230 m.p.g rating has been hammered by econopundits. (Led by the Atlantic's own Daniel Indiviglio.) But despite the self-serving pomp of G.M.'s announcement, a surprising group of commentators has been somewhat kinder: green energy bloggers.

In the midst of the justified skepticism, here are their reasons for staying positive--if skeptical--on the automaker:

  • Great Deal If Oil Prices Spike, says Bradford Plumer at The New Republic. "The Atlantic analysis is also betting that gas will merely rise to $3 per gallon by 2011. If it turns out the analysts at McKinsey and Goldman Sachs who are predicting much, much higher prices are correct, then electric cars start to look like a better deal."
  • Force People to Become Efficient Consumers, says David Friedman of the Union of Concerned Scientists as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. "When plug-in electrics become a reality, consumers 'will have to think more about how they use their car before buying.'"
  • If It's Even Close to Reality, a Huge Boon, says Michael Graham Richard at TreeHugger. "Of course, if the Chevy Volt does get anywhere near 230 MPG in real-world city driving, it will be a huge improvement over current gasoline, diesel, and even hybrid cars."
  • The Perfect Car for Medium Commutes, says Randall Parker at Future Pundit. "It is that intermediate zone for perhaps 30-50 miles per day where the Volt shines...People who drive 40 miles each way and can plug their car in to electric power while work are really the ideal buyers for Volts."

Elsewhere, there were cries today for a revived industrial economy in America. Though skepticism of G.M. remains strong, the company stepped forward this week in at least one important domain: it moved the debate away from bankruptcy, and back to making cars.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.