I am also skeptical of the results. Low volume sales of a high priced hybrid/electric would tend to go to those most passionate of the technology and climate change fears. Their 'feel good' attitude is biased. What would be more interesting is to watch warranty claims if/when the volume of production goes up. At low volume, it should be easy to make good cars!
Some people really need to look at the numbers, many people forget to factor in the monthly saving in gasoline. If your commute is small, hybrids and electrics might not be your thing. If you drive any kind of appreciable miles, there is a huge difference.
I just drove my Prius 2100 miles, and it didn't skip a beat, tight as a rock. Hope you got a great warranty... and you are fooling yourself if you think OIL prices are going anywhere but UP.
Hybrids and Electrics have everything to like, and it is obvious that these owners surveyed don't miss their ICE counterparts in the slightest bit. Do they feel cheated because their car payments are higher? Of course not, because they laugh at all the denyers at the pump putting $60-100 in their tanks. I put 30 dollars in the tank and it goes 500 miles. I just took a road trip 2100 miles in total, didn't worry about speed (avg 66mph) and got 47.9mpg avg in my Prius. Here is the damage:
43.84 Gallons used X $3.25 (avg Gas Price) = $142.48 for the entire trip
If I took old car, Toyota Solara: stats from previous trip, current Gas Price, 18.5mpg
113.51 Gallons used X $3.25 (avg Gas Price) = $368.91
That is a difference of $226.44
The savings paid for 2 hotels and food and drink on the trip.
Why the Hell would anyone want to go back to an conventional ICE engine?
Yup. This is what makes any value comparisons, whether vs. Cruze or Prius or whatever, utterly meaningless. It may be a great car, but it is easier to build a great 30k car if you can spend 60k, 70k or who-knows-what to make it.
When it is affordable and profitable I will be impressed.
How can you be skeptical of the results? GTOlover: Toyota has sold millions of hybrids, and their repair records are unbeatable. Since the ICE engine is the most complicated, expensive and problematic component of a car, the hybrids and electrics have the advantage. For instance, my Prius only needs an oil change every 10,000 miles, because it is not used nearly as much or as hard as a conventional ICE. I am really suprised that the bias caused and created by oil companies toward electrics and hybrids is actually believed.
I would add "cost to manufacture" to your thoughts. The Volt is currently sold at a loss, and I suspect volume will only get them part of the way there. Personal guess is that the 40k price is GM's estimate of the profitable retail at high volume. It is a slow seller (esp. to public) in the low 30k range.
At this point the public acceptance, or lack there of, of the Volt at it's fictional price tells us very little about the commercial viability. This is one of the problems with govt subsidies (in anything), they block the manufacturer from getting vital information from the market that will help them make a good decision on the product.
Not sure how this justifies having the taxPayers fund 70% of the cost. Maybe the technology is the best. If so, it should win out in the market. As it is, when a huge extra-market force manipulates, resource allocation is completely skewed. Ask the Volt owners how many would buy their new Volt if they had to pay for it all themselves (ie: $100K instead of $30K). That technology might be a harder sell. I'm not against the Volt, just against paying for lots of Volts that I don't own ... and not allowing competing technology the same advantages.
Lithium-ion battery prices will drop rapidly over the next 10 years, setting the stage for plug-in vehicles to reach 5%-10% of total automotive sales by the mid- to late-2020s, according to a new study.
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