Google "Chevy Volt sales" or jump to this article -- the Volt makes the Edsel look like a home run. There were four times as many Volts available for sale in dealer showrooms as the company sold worldwide in July. If you're selling only 20% of your production "excessive demand" isn't the problem.
It appears that what will be required to get customers to buy the Volt will be the same thing as what it took to get GM to sell it: "offer you can't refuse" pressure from Washington, perhaps enhanced by the removal of other options. (Anyone care to guess what a 56mpg family car will be like?)
Let's be practical. The chevy Volt has a 40 mile range, more or less. How many people live less than 20 miles from their work place? Maybe, after the Socialists force all of us to live in Government Housing next door to our work place, maybe. Then let's look at the physical aspects. It has no ground clearence and my wheel barrow has a larger tire. A skinny cat would have trouble getting under it. Not good when you live in a rural area where the snow drifts are 5 to 6 feet high and the roads are snow packed and icy from mid November to mid February. In Summer we have pot holes that a large dog could lay down and die in. It has no passenger room. Not good for running errands with the kids or for taxi service on school days. Basically, Chevorlet has built a very expensive, street legal golf cart and the Green Peacer have went gah gah over and expect the rest of us to 'get with it' and buy the stupid thing. Nope in this life time. Like it or not, it is a novelty that is just not practical in the real world, at least the one most of us working stiffs have to live in.
I would like an electric as a second car for local trips. About 25 to 50 miles range would do. (I would keep my Prius for long trips.) I would use a solar photovoltaic array to charge the batteries. (I helped a friend build just such a system about 22 years ago and he used it to commute to work and back on sloar electric. That car had regular old lead batteries and worked pretty well.)
If one charges off the mains from a coal power plant, an electric is actually a coal-fired steam car. although the electric system (including the losses) does give better overall efficiency than a gas engine.
It seems many of the posters are confused by the Volt. It is NOT a pure electric, it is a hybrid, and as such it has no range anxiety issues as long as you can find a gas station, just like any other gas powered vehicle. It makes more sense to think of it as a rather conventional car that has the ability to run in a high-effiency mode (electric) much of the time, thus lowering operating costs. I commute 75 miles each way a day, so it would definately save me money on operating costs, even though it wold run in electric mode only for the first part of each leg. Would the cost savings be a good tradeoff to the rather high initial vehicle cost? Probably not, considering that there are alternatives. I have weighed many options, and my next commuter vehicle will be a VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI diesel.
The Volt is a losing proposistion that cannot be justified economically, even if the Feds are using my tax dollars in an attempt to bribe others to buy it. Burning coal or natural gas to generate electricity, transmit it, charge the battery and then use it to drive a motor? Too many conversion inefficiencies and losses along the way. Makes as much sense as using food stock as a fuel base. Get the government out of the equation and let the market find an appropriate solution.
I certainly realize that Plymouths are no longer manufactured! It was an attempt at wit, sarcasm, etc. Obviously you are too blind to comprehend that simple tool of English literature. I am NOT opposed to change, when "change" is for the better, AND has been determined to be of value. The Chevy VOLT is NOT a value purchase for MOST Americans. In my 45+ years of professional employ, I have NEVER worked for anyone that was within 15 iles of my residence. Given the vastness of this country and the diverse needs for general transportation vehicles, and given the extremes in weather conditions from sub-Arctic winters to subtropic summers, the electric vehicle is NOT ready for prime time. Consider, if you will, the recent analysis completed by CONSUMER REPORTS at their Connecticut facility where they tested an electric vehicle. The published report explicitly states that the battery life was severely less than advertised. WHY? Because they did their testing in the winter months which necessitated the need for the cabin heater AND the battery pack heaters to be activated.
I did NOT say that battery vehicles should be relegated to the curio. My comments were directed at the present, and I stand by my conviction.
M-I-T has demonstrated a promising breakthrough in battery technology. When and IF it can be commercialized, THEN the electric vehicle WILL become a viable option for many more people.
Its price. If the price was less than a conventional gas car of the same size, Chevy would not be able to keep them on the lots.
It always bothers me when someone rants about the government pushing hybrids. If the government was pushing hybrids then the subsidy would be much more than $7800. This is just a gesture to make it seem like they care.
Open your eyes do Politicians care about the environment or energy conservation? Maybe a little bit but, their lively hood depends on caring about where campaign money comes from.
Follow the money to find out what they really care about. If they wanted to push hybrids they would take some of the billions of dollars that are traditionally spent securing oil reserves and spend it on hybrid rebates, making driving a hybrid practical and advancing the technology and or any substitute technologies. But since oil companies put out big bucks for political campaigns it will not happen.
Electric cars are just a bandaid for the problem. To be completely successful, a vehicle must have a unrefueled range of at least 350 miles and refueling must be readily available and take no more than 5 - 10 minutes. The Volt does not really fulfill these requirements because after only 30 miles or so, you may as well be driving a standard gasoline powered car. My money is on fuel cells in the long run.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.