Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Chevy Volt Seen in Secret Death Valley Test Drive

Death Valley, California

It's a long way between service stations in Death Valley. Dante's Peak at 6,000 feet offers a spectacular view of the desert floor 300 feet below sea level.

The 13 mile spur drive up to the peak is a hard climb with slopes of up to 15 degrees. We have to drop the Toyota down to first gear for sections because it lugs and threatens to stall in second gear.

Three white cars pull in next to us in the viewing area. They have masking tape over what appears to be Chevrolet grill and trunk emblems. Telltale 120-volt male plugs dangle near the front bumper.

The teams of drivers rev up what sounds like a high performance electrical generators. They plug laptops into the dashboard perhaps to analyze battery levels and generator output. Hoping for more privacy, they move to a more remote area and open the hood of one vehicle. I wander over and see a FUCHS logo on one mechanical part. FUCHS makes high performance air filters.

The driver slams shut the hood. I ask if these are Chevy Volts and the driver grunts, "NO!", but he is lying. The Volt is a all electric plug-in with the performance of a 260 HP V-6. It runs 40 miles on electric. When the batteries get low a generator kicks in. These cars are a long way from an electrical socket.

Maybe it's time to buy GM stock?

Death Valley National Park is the largest park in the lower 48 states. We were surprised by the geological diversity and beauty of the desolate landscape.

1 comment:

  1. Last week I snapped a photo of four Volts topping off at Stovepipe Wells gas station.