Dale Earnhardt, Jr., on Chevy Volt: ‘The Technology Isn’t There Yet’

By Nicholas Ballasy | March 3, 2011 | 6:43 PM EST

(CNSNews.com) – NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that Chevrolet’s “Volt,” a hybrid electric car, is a “good product” but the “technology isn’t there yet really to provide the consumer with something that can go a little further [in mileage] than that and do a little bit better job with that.”

At the National Guard Youth Foundation’s ChalleNGe Champions gala on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Earnhardt, “One of the cars that’s been getting a lot of attention, as far as green is concerned, is the Chevy Volt, and Consumer Reports today said that it’s actually, in their mind, inefficient because it only gets 30 miles to a charge – and it’s a lot of money, it’s an expensive car. What do you think about the effort that car companies have made, with specifically the Chevy Volt?”

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Earnhardt said, “I think that the Chevy Volt’s a good product. I think that the consumers need to understand how difficult it is to produce a car with the standards that they have, with the guidelines that they have today, that can actually do what the consumer wants and what the consumer expects.”

“The technology isn’t there yet really to provide the consumer with something that can go a little bit further than that [in mileage] and do a little bit better job with that,” said Earnhardt.  “But as the technology gets better, batteries and such things like that get safer to where they can be more heavily charged and the mileage can be a little bit longer.”

NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Wikipedia Commons)

“That’s down the pike -- but for where we are today, it’s a pretty good product in my mind,” said Earnhardt.

Earnhardt was in Washington, D.C., at the gala with other popular Americans such as American Idol’s Kris Allen and country singer Gretchen Wilson.

“The program itself is pretty special to the [National] Guard and does a lot of good in a lot of states,” Earnhardt told CNSNews.com.  “It’s graduated a lot of kids and given kids opportunities they have never had before.”

Consumer Reports said the Volt it tested got 23 to 28 miles per charge and cost $48,700. "For now, it seems that owning a Volt is an expensive way to be green," said the review.

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