Billy Let us first examin WHY the speed limits are being raised. Interstates now handle a finite traffic flow at 75 MPH whch is 10 to 15 MPH as previously on about the same or LESS per-trip-gas, with the same or LESS number of accidents but, the highway can handle about 10% MORE traffic at a cost to the state of only the new signage! On city to city Interstates everybody wins.
HOWEVER, Intracity roads are jambed! What better excuse would a politicion want for new toll bypass roads or intra city public transportation !
As to your accelerate comment. It (can be) a lot better in an EV than combustion engines! This is (amoung other things) why L6 Vetts lose to EVs at the drags.
As to big oil it will take a little time to change and put an INTERNATIONAL plan in place to effect changes neccessary to redirrect the worlds oil cartel. I see this as becomming the world's largest money redistribution game! People like author John Perkins are already helping readers understand the new rules of this game.
I like your reference to Apple. Apple, like GM, didn't create the first smartphone or tablet computer, but they created valued products with features and benefits exceeding anything else on the market. The Volt appears to be just another EV/hybrid car selling for a lot more than cars selling with the same or better value. Telsa, like Apple, has decent sales because their customers see value in what's offered for the price.
Economics is a tricky word. Esthetics may be more powerful than economics at times, something that engineers often try and overlook. But you can't.
I met the chief engineer on the Volt. He lives in Royal Oak and drives to work at the GM Proving grounds where the development work now happens. He powers up at night and drives out every morning some 50 miles. He plugs in there and drives home in the evening to power up again. Like many Michiganians he has a cottage up north so he and his wife throw their two kids in the back and go up to the cottege on the weekends. It must be a considerable distance.
The head powertrain engieer is a woman. Hope that doesn't offend you.
His mileage averages out at 100mpg. The Wikipedina comparison showed virtually no difference in mileage between the Prius and the Volt. And there is no comparison between the packages. The Volt wins hands down.
The Volt is more solid and more comfortable than my friend's CTS. It'a a heavy car and I believe that it would do well in protecting people in a crash.
I gave Lloyd Reuss a rough time at the Press Conference about the fact that they did not show the new ELR or Converge which was the only really bright spot at the NAIAS in 2009. He made it clear that next year it would be the star of the show.
Day late and a dollar short? Maybe, but on a rating scale of 1 to 5 it rates a solid 100.
If the government is going to rebate 10g then sales should take off. Remeber that February had the highest monthly sales of the Volt ever so any speculation about the demise of the Volt is frivolous and the comments are supercilious.
Throughout the History of our Country the Federal Government has incentivised different things. Land was one. Not farming your land is another. Free market talk is as much nonsense as it is for one political party to prance around taliking about their principles. Their principles drove us into the GD recession and placed us deep in debt.
The Converj is possibly the finest automobile in the history of personal transportation from a number of perspectives, we should all be proud of it. The Prius is the equivalent of fruit boots if you know what they are.
I'm not going to speculate about some new fuel type such as ground up cow pies. The Volt was designed for our time.
Now when I was in college there was a woman who drove into town in her Detroit Electric. These were produced into the first and second decades of the 20th Century. It was a magnificent sight.
The car was all black and yes it had vases inside and she had flowers in them. When she climbed down you could see that she was lithe and beautiful, though older. Her face was not scarred from laying on the beach in her younger years and she had a twinkle in her eyes, a beautiful smile, sprightly moves and wore a black taffeta dress with puffy shoulders and numerous buttons. And she had high top lace up black boots straight out of the 19th Century. The car was very quiet.
I saw it again at an event for Bob Lutz in early this year and it had been gussied up with a dark blue body panels.
If you look at the motor powering the vehicles for VIA you will notice a small cylinrical casting 11" in dia and 11" long. That is a 400 hp motor manufactured by REMY.
Lutz claims to be a Republican, but when he pointed out that Mitt didn't have a clue, he knew what he was talking about. He pretty much always does but he has upset one or two scientists. And he doesn't know that the Betz limit can be hit with wind engines designed by another brilliant Detroit Engineer.
Depreciation does not factor into cost of ownership much if you own a car for 150k-200k miles. Times have changed. 100k now is considered a relatively new car. Any car can go 200k miles without much issue as long as is maintained. And assuming you don't buy any Cadillac, Chrysler or other clunkers that have multiple black spots on consumer report.
It makes no sense to keep a car for only 5 years 50k. Only reason to do that is to keep up with the jones. And if that is what you want to do, money is not an issue to you anyway.
Gas at $4.5/gal, between a 30mpg and 45mpg car over 200k would be 10k. Prius cost $25k. You effectively get the car for $15k over its life.
The unit discussed below operates on SLCNBF, stimulated liquid contained nano buble fusion princiable.
This WELL TESTED system being prepaired for market is called ****-*****. The system uses doped pure wated contained within a circulating vesel that generates and sustains power after being started. The power is AC & DC controlled and with selectable voltage values, (normally 220 VDC) and (220 VAC @ a lower crrrent). Engergy used to driver a 500kw to 2.5 Mega watt unit is 14,500 watts. Initial TBO is 5 to 6 years continous at below 50 deg.C operating temp. Cold Start to full load is 3 minutes. Design rebuild is 25 years. Total fuelload cost $10,000 dollars (at overhaul). Power selling price is 0.1 cent / kwh and the unit is modular and scaleable. NO EMISSIONS OR WASTE IS GENERATED ...PERIOD.
This is only one type of unit soon to hit the market and there are many more to come. Not only is this design affordable but it can eliminate the Grid mess built over past years. Peeking will in the future be local.
Yes, insurance is expensive, but nowhere close to the most costly expense of a vehicle. Recently, in consideration of purchasing a new car, I collected data on the ownership and operating costs of various vehicles, mostly compacts and midsize cars. The following table shows the average costs per category (on a % basis) for about 20 cars, 2010 and 2011 models. Assumptions: buy a new car, drive 10K miles/yr, and sell after 5 yrs. Also shown is that of a 2010 Prius for comparison.
Taxes & Fees
So while insurance is expensive, on average, it's about half that of depreciation and fuel. Also, compared to a 2010 Corolla LE, the cost of the 2010 Prius is $5600 (or 20%) more, so even the mature technology of the 2010 Prius is no match, economically, to a Corolla of the same year. The Prius is better on fuel, but more than makes up for it in depreciation and maintenance.
And, no, I don't drive an old clunker. My 09 economy car gets about 30mpg at around 75 mph. At 55, it would probably get mid to high 30's, a 20% improvement.
Obama is increasing the tax credit to $10k. (I'm not sure this applies to the Volt but I'm assuming it does.) I expect what we'll see is a move soon to Gen 2 of the Volt. It's got to come down in price a bit to be saleable. GM can't pull the plug on this technology, not in the wake of the bailout. The prob is, they've raised unrealistic sales expectations. So now they've got to split the difference: manage downward the expectations, while pushing the car forward so they can actually sell more. Maybe corporate fleets, like the sale to GE, is the way to go?
I agree with almost everything you have said. At the core of the issue is economics. Once all the hype and distortions are stripped away, what matters is that the free market deems the product worth the price paid.
If one looks at the following Wikipedia page, about halfway down in OPERATING COSTS, see comparisons of the LEAF, the VOLT and the PRIUS. Some simple calcualtions (using the reasonable assumptions therein), you'll see that to BREAK EVEN economically by buying a VOLT (used in EV mode only) vs. a PRIUS (assuming MSRP was paid for both vehicles) - it will take 350,000 miles before the VOLT breaks even with the PRIUS!!!
If the VOLT is also run in GAS mode (which is going to be a common occurance with most users) - the numbers look worse, of course. To add insult to injury - GM requires the VOLT to use 91 octane fuel, adding about 20 cents/gal for no good reason.
Also, to Blogger ARCHITECT - you said "The conversation for the electric powered vehicle is well in place now and it's ultimate success is inevitable." I say - that the "ultimate success" is not much more"inevitable" now than it was in the 1920's (the first EV "bubble".). See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_electric_vehicle
In regards to getting off of fossil fuels - I agree that this urgently needs to be a top national priority, and getting off of foreign oil being the most urgent sub-issue. My studies have led me to have a different opinion on the best way to get there vs. most of the hype we are now hearing about EV's.
While EV's indeed get us off of oil, they primarily just shift our energy needs to Coal and Natural Gas and would over-tax the grid if mass-adopted. In short - with today's power grid, EV's are not really a very good solution. A more practical, phased strategy would be to convert our native COAL resources to gasoline as a stopgap (a known, economic process invented by the Germans in WWII that China, India and others are already doing to supply their fuel needs). Burn it directly in the cars, and continue improving the efficiency of cars, as hybrid technology does. Again...this is only a STOPGAP measure.
Then, when technologically possible replace this Coal-Based syn fuel with a renewable solar-synthesized fuel (either a biofuel or direct solar synthesized). This plan would allow us to transition first off of oil, then off of all fossil fuels - while not having to change to EV's (with their massive costs and user trade-offs) or rebuild the entire power grid.
The only thing that would dramatically change my view on this is if some kind of wonderful power generation technology breakthrough (fusion?) dramatically changed the landscape of how the power grid is fed. Then EV's would probably be a logical choice to leverage this breakthrough. Even then, it might be more practical to use the power to make a synthetic liquid or gas fuel for cars, to avoid the other convenience trade-offs that EV's have.
Just my 2c worth...but I've spent a lifetime researching all aspects of this stuff.
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