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Letter From Europe - Chevrolet Bolt, e-Golf, F-1 Podcast


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Letter from Europe
by Andrew Frankl
European Bureau Chief

Greetings

First seriously good news for F1 Fans.

As you may know since 1996 I have been working for The Auto Channel and for a Ferrari magazine, Forza. Now after 176 issues we’ve started something new. A Ferrari podcast.

After every Grand Prix, Editor Jenkins and I record about 30 minutes. Good, hard hitting stuff, pulling absolutely no punches.

forza-mag.com is all you have to tap in. A lot less PC than all the other F1 podcasts which are all watered down. We’ve just started but there are listeners in over 20 countries and it is of course absolutely free.

Moving swiftly on to EVs where there are more and more fine products such as GM’s Bolt and VW’s e-Golf.

The Bolt has an amazing range of over 238 miles, the Golf half of that. Whereas the Bolt is your for about 43 thousand dollars the German car comes in 33 thousand , a 10 thousand dollar saving. On the other hand

The Golf’s range in a problem unless you work from home and only go to the grocery shops. Like me. I did 76 miles in the Golf so I did not even have to plug it in. I didn’t need to plug in the Bolt either but experimented with it. Easy to use with a sufficiently long lead to reach the nearest outlet. Incidentally there are more EV charging stations here in California, the local Whole Foods has 4 fast charging ones. I have also seen several at Lake Tahoe, so it is clearly the sign of the times.

As far as these two EVs are concerned the Golf is the same old reliable Golf millions have grown up with long before the EVs came on the scene .Rock solid, easy to drive and a great deal of commonality with the 2019 Tiguan 2.0 which runs on gas . Another perfectly screwed together VW, the company with its tremendous purchasing power utilizes the same components if at all and we are talking VW, Seat and Skoda as well. Hence the very competitive prices. The e Golf is great value at 33 thou, the Tiguan is of course bigger and it comes in at 38 thousand. It is in a very competitive field and certainly needs some lighter interiors just like the e Golf.

As far as sales are concerned there is no doubt that people are still concerned about the range, especially in colder or hotter climates so the A/C would be working full time. Plus the radio of course.

Consequently where as both GM and GM sell millions of gas powered cars the EV sales are relatively small but growing. Currently we are thousands. There is also a fear of fires although that has been exaggerated because “normal” cars catch fire as well.

Right now the Bolt makes more sense than the Golf although you would have to accept a lower build quality and very cheap and nasty seats.

Give the e Golf a bigger range and it would take on Tesla.

There are arguments about the pros and cons of course, the problem of the raw materials, also where these vital materials come from.

But if you enjoy the total silence apart from the wind noise, and have no need for long trips, both the Bolt and the Golf are well worth considering.

,p>What will happen with EV's hard to say but the owners of the Auto Channel believe that as good as the EV's may become they are a distraction from Ethanol a real and timely replacement for gasoline, see what they have to say in the editorial titled Electric Vehicles, Solution or Diversion? Or Just A Modern Iteration Of The Dutch Tulip Mania Let us know what you think...bgordon@theautochannel.com