I have been watching the commercials for the Volt with owners talking about not filling their cars for months. I know if left for too long gas does go bad. I wonder if this is going to start being a problem with these hybrid electric / gas cars? Any thoughts?
GM's website dedicated to the Volt has on online realtime counting mechanism. It counts miles driven by the Volt and the resultant gas gallons saved. Adding up the miles, then dividing by the gallons "saved" one can say that GM claims a gallon saved for each 48 miles driven. Interestingly though... if you write down their numbers, wait an hour, and do it again, it amounts to one gallon saved per 160 miles. I smell a rat, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for this analysis. In 100000 miles, that's a touch over 2000 gallons, or less than $8K lifetime gas savings. That's on a $46,000 car. Even if you take the $6000 of "free" money from Uncle Sam, I make this comparison: For about half the money I can buy a car that meets my needs. For about 1/3 the money, I can buy a used car with only 30K miles that meets my needs. For $3000, I bought a nice LOW MILES 4-door that gets 27mpg all the time. Bottom line is STILL that I am not in a position to buy cars on ideology. I didn't say the ideology was BAD, just that I cannot justify it on my family's budget, and we are by no means poor. Most self-sufficient Americans do the math similarly. Yes, fossil fuel is finite... but they've been saying that since 1974 or even before. Americans need a solid reason BIGGER than ideology to buy into something like the VOLT. It'd be even more credible if the FEDS weren't tossing in $6K to pump up their miserable sales figures.
If we ignore "mandatory government coersion" and look at successful products from Pet Rocks to Iphones there are two primary drivers to successful products -  folks want them and  folks can afford them. Technical excellence and need are down the list.
Part GM's problem is that they shot themselves in the foot when they spent considerableable money to repo and crush their EV1 rolling laboratories and data collection vehicles. GM has failed to create any real 'buzz' or 'lust' for the Volt and they have failed to price it effectively - presumably due to high manufacturing cost.
Off the wall...
A comparison of Corvette vs. Volt [yes, they are apple and orange] will show that they have similar low production volumes and a $50k vs. $40k price. A look at the buyers and potential buyers will show that the Vette has a lot more 'lusters saving up' and the Volt purchasers consist of a number of reluctant purchasers who have made their decision based on rising gasoline prices. What all of this means is that the Volt is in trouble for the long run. Their Marketing and Promotion Plan for the Volt stinks. If they continue down the current path, the Volt will likely fail...
@Architect: disrespect crossed with ignorance; you have revealed yourself to be a frequent drinker of leftist flavorade. And no, I am not a Republican. I happen to be a fiscally conservative, socially liberal American, thanks for asking. Parties are blinders; I suggest you take yours off and start being honest with yourself. (i.e. think for yourself!)
As I mentioned from down here in Australia (not really), the factory has three platforms and every year, at model change time, the factory is stopped and started for various reasons. In this case inventory balance and Impala remodeling. The headlines give the impression the Volt is faltering, but in fact, it is the top seller among all EVs and is increasing as a trend. I also mentioned this past month was the best sales month ever. By the way, I am a life long Republican. Go figure that one out!
Agree - Although I would tweak the comment by saying that there will eventually be a demand, but not at the current vehicle price. We can still buy a lot of gas for the extra cost of one of these machines. Some leap in technology to bring the cost down is still required for the average stooge like me to buy one of these.
Also agree that GM will be back once again begging at the public trough in time to come. Not because of a project like the Volt, but because the bailout was really a union bailout and the long term issues were never properly addressed as they could have been through bankruptcy.
By the way - you can always tell when you've successfully touched a nerve when someone accuses you of being a "republican" or "conservative". However, you really haven't come full circle until they take a shot at "God" or "religion".... So keep trying. LOL...
By the way, why is it that during GWB administration the media gave us DAILY stories about gas higher than $2 per gallon, but during the reign of King Barry have remained virtually silent on the issue??
I think that we should get used to seeing the Volt production idled. There is no genuine market demand!
This is just another example of a malinvestment made by central planners, spending other peoples money. ( <-- period )
The technology may be whiz-bang spectacular, but if there is no demand, the market will not make it a winner.
I expect that we'll see GM's palms up again within five years, pleading for more bailouts. The "saving the automotive industry" line that the statist left loves to toss around was really just a transfer of wealth from the rightful owners ( bondholders...people buying GM bonds over the course of a career) to the auto-unions in exchange for continued political support. It's a disgrace. But, for GM, it means that the company still hasn't made the kinds of changes necessary to put it on a sustainable path. The 'GM failure can' has been kicked, that is all.
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.