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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
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?
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.