PHOTO CAPTION: Gene Weingarten has won two Pulitzer Prizes.

The Shocking Truth About the Electric Volt

Washington Post's award winning humorist Gene Weingarten shares his riotously funny spin on Chevy's Volt.

Published: 30-Jan-2011

Here's the hyphen-heavy heap of hype on the Chevy Volt, GM's new, highly touted plug-in hybrid electric car: It's packing a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. It has a 1.4-liter, 16-valve, 4-cylinder, in-line gasoline engine fed by a 9.3-gallon fuel tank. It's got front-wheel drive and does a peppy 8.8-second zero-to-60.

You don't care about all that? Me, either. I'm not sure why automotive writers think we do. Ordinary people tend to make their car-buying judgments on a different, non-hyphenated calculus. This is particularly true for a concept car such as the Volt, which has been selling disproportionately to men, and which is why, to better serve you, the discerning consumer, I am stopping an attractive woman on a Bethesda sidewalk and asking her if she would sleep with me.

K.C. Hernandez is 32, a marketing associate visiting from Chicago. I assure her that I am a working journalist and that my question is purely hypothetical. Judging by appearances alone, I ask, what would be my theoretical chance of having sex with her, expressed as a percentage?


Adolph Hitler inspects model of Volkwagen 'people's car' in 1939.

Jonah Goldberg joins Chevy Volt critics, comparing it to Hitler's "People's Car" scam.

Chevy Volt's MSPR at $41,000 prices it in the upper middle-class car market.

John Crisp takes on Volt critic Jonah Goldberg in this oped.

2011 Chevrolet Volt can be plugged in while away from home, but doesn't have to be. That's the beauty of it.

Wired looks at what's changed since the last spike in electric car activities in the late 1990s.


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