Archive for review

Tesla Model 3 vs the Chevy Bolt – And What About the Volt!?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 20, 2018 by jtoddring


The GM Bolt is a great car – but boring and ugly, and utilitarian, in my view, with surprisingly limited cargo space for a hatchback.

The Tesla Model 3 is also a great car, and with surprisingly good cargo space for a mid-size car – and it’s gorgeous.

There’s no comparison between the two.

One is a Korean-styled, KIA imitation, utilitarian economy car with some minimal quirky econo-car/hatchback charm, with a joystick shifter and control panel buttons from the 1970’s.

The other looks like an Italian-Scandinavian design team came out with something super-cool and sleek, and absolutely leading edge.

Again, no comparison.

The GM Bolt and Tesla Model 3 are the only cars available at this time, apparently, that are fully electric, with a range over 200 miles or 300 km, and anything near approaching affordability.

And, just as it did in a match-up with the flagships of the full-size luxury car market – beating BMW and Mercedes in sales with the Model S – in the mid-size/compact market, Tesla wins again, unsurprisingly.

The Tesla Model 3 has 400,000 advance orders, and has just hit production levels of 30,000 vehicles this year, and is ramping up fast.

The Bolt started strong, with sales strong enough to justify a GM production ramp up, but it simply can’t compete with Tesla styling or mystique.

And while both are plug-in EVs that can be plugged into any home or office wall socket, GM has nothing remotely comparable to the Tesla-built electric charging infrastructure for North America, which is the Tesla Supercharger stations.

The Bolt is $37k USD, the base Tesla is $35k USD. It’s a no-brainer.


By the way, GM, where’s the Volt?! Now there is a car with some style, in my opinion, and charm, and cargo space! All it lacks is an optional bigger battery pack.

Can you say, “Duh!”?

You survived bankruptcy, though the US government had to bail you out and become the major shareholder; you pulled the mothballed electric car project out of the back shed, and kudos for that – now give it some style, please.

The easiest way to do that would be to simply put a big battery pack option onto the undercarriage of the very well-designed, stylish and attractive extended-range EV Volt, and make a long-range full EV option for it.

Simple. Don’t over-complicate things. Advance the Volt.

And hire some Italian designers. Or Tesla designers, if they’ll part with the company they love.

A larger battery pack as an option for the stellar Volt would cost $5k-10k, but it would make the Volt a major contender as a mid-size, mid-price car that is also a long range electric vehicle, with a price around $39-44k USD.

Now this should be a no-brainer. Come on GM. Think about it for just a second, and get it in gear!

Until then, I’ll keep my 2012 Volt, with its 60km electric range and micro gasoline-powered range extension, and wait for a used Tesla Model 3 to come into our price range.

Too bad for GM though. This is a big lost opportunity, so far. Bad management decisions, General Motors.

As for the Volt, it is worth more than a few words as an aside.

The Chevy Volt is a great car – the best car I’ve ever driven, by far, if the environment is any consideration, which of course it should be.

We have a 2012 model, and it’s still a great car. I wouldn’t trade it for any other car, other than a Tesla, or a newer Volt. Nothing else really compares – at all.

Unless you really need giant SUV-size cargo space, or a truck or van for trades work, the Volt is simply the best car available on the planet – after the Tesla Model 3, of course, which blows it out of the water, and at a lower price.

GM, you seem to have no present ability to compete with Tesla on styling, but at least with a long-range battery pack option for the Volt, you could compete with the Model 3 on cargo space, with a car that I think is quite attractive – not gorgeous, like the Teslas, but attractive.

But no, that would require something akin to common sense. And you didn’t go bankrupt for no reason.

But once again, kudos to Tesla, for breaking new ground, and bringing electric vehicles further and further into the mainstream.

(Guess who’s leading the industry, by the way. It’s not GM. And it’s not any of the auto giants. It’s Tesla – again, and still.)


Now that Model 3 production is ramping up fast, what qualms does Top Gear have with the new Tesla? None. It’s simply a great car.

The only problem is waiting for the back orders to be filled. Quite the problem for a company to have – we can’t keep up with demand, so you’ll just have to wait for the lovely.

But then again, the best things usually don’t come overnight.

That’s hard for an instant-gratification culture to accept. But this is, when both price and environment are considered, as they must be, the best car ever made, to date, bar none.

June 20, 2018

Lament For A Nation – A Review

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by jtoddring

(Originally written as a review for Good Reads)

Here is a must-read for all Canadians – George Grant’s classic masterpiece, documenting the poor decisions which led to the loss of sovereignty of Canada to the US empire, just at a time when the British empire had been weakened enough that our former subservience to that great power could be severed, and the nation finally become truly free and independent.

While the book became, and remains, seminal in the literature of Canadian history and politics, it’s lessons have yet to be learned, and are as relevant today as they were when Grant’s essay was first published, more than fifty years ago.

Grant’s critique holds all the more power and poignancy, because it does not come from the left, nor even from a liberal vantage point, but from a conservative. And while I cannot agree with him on everything, Grant shows what a conservative of conscience might look like, and represent. Neoconservatives, such as George W. Bush, or Stephen Harper and his posse of saboteurs and corporate raiders, should stop and listen, and reflect.

I don’t agree with all aspects of Grant’s view (the biggest thing I disagree with is his pessimism), but the crux of his argument is a devastating critique of political weakness in the face of imperial powers – and that is a message which needs to be heard, because it simply speaks the truth.

Anyone living outside of Canada, who wishes to understand Canada, its history, politics or people, should read Grant’s major work. Within Canada, the Liberals, the NDP, the Green Party, and especially the Conservative Party, along with all other Canadians, simply must read (or re-read) this book.

Yes, I am Canadian, and proudly so. But no matter where I may have been born, or where I might live or call home, I despise imperialism, and the imposition or dominance of one nation or power over another. If I were American, I would join the American Anti-imperialist League, along with Mark Twain and other great Americans. Being Canadian, I find kindred spirits in George Grant, Margaret Atwood, George Woodcock, David Orchard and Maude Barlow, among many others who have stood up for Canada and have opposed political, economic or cultural domination by any power.

If we value freedom, or democracy, or independence, as we should, then we should value it for ourselves and others alike. Both subservience and domination are abominations to the soul, to human dignity, and to any nation – be it the dominating or the submissive party. We should be disgusted by either attitude, and repudiate them both alike.

J. Todd Ring,
October 18, 2015

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