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Captain Hybrid

Chevy Volt's Big Problem Isn't Safety, It's Cost

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Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Back to the drawing board
Dave Palmer   2/9/2012 10:24:58 AM
NO RATINGS
@rickman: Your point about long-term cost of ownership may be valid, but most peoples' cash flow doesn't allow them to make decisions which take five years to pay off.  I need to pay my bills from month to month.  So money which is available right now is worth much more to me than money which I might have five years from now. (Besides, if the car gets totalled in an accident, or some other unforseen event happens, the long-term savings which the spreadsheet predicts might never materialize).

You may have a point when it comes to leasing.  But in any case, I'm not in the market for a fully-loaded Prius, either.  I might consider a $19,000 Prius C.

rickman
User Rank
Iron
Re: Back to the drawing board
rickman   2/9/2012 7:02:23 AM
NO RATINGS
Am I the only person left who still uses a spreadsheet these days? Take a 2012 Volt w/ leather, and Bose. Skip the chrome rims and Nav for now. Take a comparable 2012 Prius (i.e. leather, stereo upgrade, tele-whatever (whatever their onstar equivalent is), and other comparable features. Apply the tax credit. Good? Now assuming typical driving habits, cost them out year by year for gas purchase and electric cost. Amazing what happens in year five right? VOLT IS CHEAPER. Change the price of gas to $4 or $5 and that savings kicks in on year 4 or 3. So if after 3-5 years of ownership the Volt equals or is lower in cost than a Prius, why is the Volt 'priced out of market' and a loaded Prius is not? 

Let's take it one step further. Assume you LEASED both cars. Well, in that case the Volt is cheaper day ONE, since the Volt's attractive lease deal puts it ahead of a comparable Prius lease (assuming similar mileage and down payment).

Do the numbers before you try blasting the numbers.

 

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Back to the drawing board
Beth Stackpole   2/9/2012 6:41:26 AM
NO RATINGS
"See if the Volt has legs"??? Is that suppose to portend an early demise for the Volt? Talk about a ding in GM's reputation. Why not get that engineering team back on the design and figure out a way to make the batteries smaller and take cost off the BOM?

I know automotive development cycles are far longer than other products, but isn't agile and iterative engineering what it's all about, especially when you're talking about new technology like EV vehicles. Obviously, you need to strike a balance so you don't have the market sit and wait until you finally get it right. Maybe there's some sort of rebate or upgrade plan for  brave early adopters. But it is far too soon to give up on the Volt, PR problem or not.

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