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Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Not just good for the environment
Tim   2/10/2012 7:37:17 AM
NO RATINGS
One reason that the Volt is not selling well is that really does not appeal to any type of family transportation. The large battery and fuel tank do help with the range of the vehicle, but the relatively small backseat limits the comfortable trip range. Pile on the easily googled fire issues on the vehicle, and most families would steer clear of the Volt

PghEE
User Rank
Iron
Re: Not just good for the environment? Maybe just not good.
PghEE   2/10/2012 9:32:08 AM
NO RATINGS
re: "I'm a Volt owner since March, 2011. Before that, I estimate that I 'donated' over $2000 each to the Saudis and Hugo Chavez since 9/11/01. Since I bought my Volt, my 'donations' to anti-US regimes have declined by over 90%."

Taxpayer 'donations' to GM for each Volt are on the order of $250K

http://www.mygovcost.org/2011/12/21/gms-chevy-volt-costs-taxpayers-250000-per-vehicle/

If there is anything 'anti-US' it is an administration which trashes the rights of bondholders.

All OEM's increased in January, except for GM. Leading the decline was the Volt, with 609 units..

(edited to add link) U.S. New Vehicle Sales Recovery Continues in January http://blog.polk.com/blog/blog-posts-by-tom-libby/us-new-vehicle-sales-recovery-continues-in-january 

Subsidizing junk to push consumption is as anti-free market as you can get.

Let the Engineers design & build better cars, not the politicians & bureaucrats.

 


philipp10
User Rank
Gold
Re: Back to the drawing board
philipp10   2/10/2012 9:35:13 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree, if you can keep the Volt under 40 miles and only drive on the battery, the numbers are compelling.  Concumers should be buying the Volt based on overall costs. The real problem for the Volt will happen when Toyota offers the plug-in Prius.  Then the Prius will again win out.

Its hard for consumers to kick out 32-40k for sucha  small car and on top of that, most consumers cannot do the math to figure out long term costs.

nyeng
User Rank
Gold
Re: Not just good for the environment
nyeng   2/10/2012 9:36:13 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree that price is the problem.  I'm always looking to save money but alternatives such as hybrids and electric will save me gas but not money.  Usually my analysis tells me what I'll save in gas I'll spend on higher payments.

I think area utility prices have a lot to do in the decision as well.  For the person who did the spreadsheet where VOLT pays off in 5 years I'm guessing you have a good electric rate.  GM advertises $1.50 per day charge based on 12 cents per kwh.  Here in NY, thanks to the corruption and graft, I pay 25 cents per kwh.  Only another $1.50 per day, but it still makes a difference.

Diesel cars and domestic natural gas powered cars are the answer.

philipp10
User Rank
Gold
Re: Not just good for the environment
philipp10   2/10/2012 9:37:57 AM
NO RATINGS
Wrong.  The US is running out of cheap oil.  Whats left is expensive to extract. Lots of oil in ND and Colorado but extraction costs are $60-80 a barrell. Politicians are not preventing extraction except on teh coast of California.

Arden Dulou
User Rank
Silver
numbers say
Arden Dulou   2/10/2012 9:42:21 AM
NO RATINGS
If you do a quick spreadsheet, at today's prices, the return on investment is 20 years on average. If you want to spend less on fuel, get a Fusion Hybrid, a Cruize, or VW diesel.

If you want to save the world, have China reduce their emissions and work on developing cost effective fuel cells for all wheeled vehicles...

jim_in_nj
User Rank
Iron
Re: Not just good for the environment
jim_in_nj   2/10/2012 9:47:23 AM
NO RATINGS
Actually, the Volt works well for my family.  We have a 25 year-old daughter, and she and her 6-foot fiance regularly sit very comfortbably in the back seat of my Volt.  And, actually, the 'trunk' is quite large since the Volt is a hatchback. In fact, when we need to move larger items, we use my Volt instead of my wife's Fusion or daughter's Camry.

  You're right about the 'fire' non-issue.  It's too bad that so much negative press was made out of such a non-issue, because it will probably cause people ot avoid the Volt.

rickman
User Rank
Iron
Re: numbers say
rickman   2/10/2012 9:50:34 AM
NO RATINGS
@Arden -- As confirmed by Kiplinger, the Volt comes within $1,000 of a Cruze after 5 years. Not 20 years. That's without adding leather or other options that increase the Cruze price to better match a comparable Volt.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not just good for the environment
naperlou   2/10/2012 9:50:36 AM
NO RATINGS
Extraction costs really don't matter that much.  Middle East oil, which costs very little to extract, costs just as much.  Sure, there is a greater profit, but that goes to national governments.  These typically don't spend it very efficiently. 

The oil extracted here would provide more profits here and royalties paid here.  From a national economy point of view, this is useful.

The other thing to remember, though, is that gasoline powered vehicles are still cheaper to own than the alternative.  There have been many articles in Design News and other publications discussing this.  Even in Europe, where gas was at $4 per gallon ten years ago, when I lived there, the vast majority of vehicles are gasoline or diesel powered.  The price of gasoline is significantly more there now. 

Until the battery issue is solved, electric and hybrid vehicles will be more expensive to own.  The interesting thing is that these are all smaller, or perhaps, mid-sized cars.  At least in most of the US, this is a small segment of the market.  We have also not really seen the end-of-life costs of these vehicles.  What happens to the batteries when they are retired? 

jim_in_nj
User Rank
Iron
Re: Not just good for the environment? Maybe just not good.
jim_in_nj   2/10/2012 9:53:30 AM
NO RATINGS
That $250,000 per Volt subsidy number is totally wrong.  First, it counts hundreds of millions in subsidies given to battery maker A123, but the Volt uses LG Chem batteries.

Second, it doesn't count the fact that this money went to plants that make things other than the Volt, and will operate years and probably decades longer.

Third, it doesn't spread the cost over Volt-developed technology that is now being used in other GM Products (e.g. the start-stop tech in the new Mailbu and Regal).

And fnally, it only divides ALL of these subsidies by the amount of Volts sold through November 2011, not across all vehicles for which this money is used.

A better analysis from thestreet.com puts the gov't subsidy at $25/per Volt. 

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11354404/1/setting-it-straight-chevy-volt-vs-the-government.html

 

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