2012 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
Imagine the horror.
There you are, driving your electric car through the Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan from New Jersey.
Your battery pack gives up its last few electrons, so your car slows to a halt in the narrow tube, blocking traffic, causing a cacophony of curses and horn-honking.
That's the picture painted by the latest--and most egregious yet--anti-Volt "reporting" that regularly spews from some Fox News commentators.
Consider the headline on this report, which is factually accurate, but utterly beside the point.
Yes, the Volt ran out of charge in the Lincoln Tunnel.
It's not until you get to the seventh sentence that the article manages to note, "Fortunately, the car has a gas engine that will kick in when needed, so he was not stranded."
In other words, the battery depleted, the range-extending engine switched on, and...nothing happened. The car continued on its journey.
2012 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
Fox reporter Eric Bolling most likely had to pay close attention even to notice the engine switching on, since it happens almost imperceptibly.
You can watch Bolling's full clip on "The Five" here. His segment came after driving a Volt for a week.
Right upfront, it becomes clear that some of his contempt stems from dislike of GM because the company was bailed out by the U.S. government. Which is fine, except that it has nothing to do with the Volt itself.
The panelists discuss the Nissan Leaf, too. Amusingly, it's presented as a less morally objectionable alternative, because the company that builds it did not receive U.S. government funds.
Nissan was granted a $1.6 billion low-interest loan from the Department of Energy to expand its Smyrna, Tennessee, plant to build Leafs (starting next year) and fabricate the lithium-ion cells there as well. It ended up using only $1.4 billion of the funds.
The segment has some verbal nonsense worrying about "getting electrocuted" by electric cars in the rain. There's also repartee comparing Volts to Girl Scout cookies, and Volt owners to recovering drug addicts who are now drug counselors.
We're amused to see that comments on that piece have been closed, by the way.
Given the number of Volt owners who organized to counter Fox's distorted reporting, we wonder if the site administrators grew uncomfortable with having actual, ummmmm, facts to counter the anti-Volt attitude?
Neil Cavuto Targets Chevrolet Volt Owner Eric RotbardEnlarge Photo
Bolling has obviously picked up anchor Neil Cavuto's animus for the Volt, though for all we know, it's Fox corporate policy.
Cavuto is the one, remember, who was neatly dispatched by polite, rational, and factual Volt owner Eric Rotbard last November in a clip that's now widely circulated among Volt owners.
We think the more salient point from the segment is that Bolling only achieved 20 to 26 miles of electric range.
While he may have had the cabin heater roaring full blast all the time--which Volt owners know has an impact on range--that's still real-world usage. And it's lower than Volt owners record in more temperate climes like California.Our favorite comment comes from electric-car advocate Chelsea Sexton.
"So it's news because it happened in...a tunnel?" she asked.
And she summed up the absurdity of the news story crisply: "Only Fox could trash a car for working exactly as advertised."
UPDATE: Readers pointed out that this article is about one commentator, not about all of Fox News. It's a fair criticism, so we've changed the headline to reflect that.