Bias from the oil boogieman... er, companies? Really? Couldn't possibly be that the general public just thinks they suck, and would rather have a real car that can actually haul 4 normal adults at greater than the speed limit?
Point 1: I'm not boycotting the Volt. Just saying that the corporatism that goes into gov't having the taxPayers foot the bill on some items and not others is a bad thing.
Point 2: Boycotting food would be difficult (although doing it for a short stint probably would not hurt me). I am against subsidizing farmers, and regulating them (ie: tobacco allotments). I really am a free-market guy. I can provide mucho evidence of abuse of the corporate entitlements ... but that is off topic. I'm glad Volt owners are happy with their Volts ... I just think it's wrong that I had to pay for 70% of the vehicle.
OK, one good example, at Camp LeJeune ... they had a huge media parade about putting solar panels in on all the barracks. Sounded great. I was one of the few who looked at the numbers for the article. If the panels last 75 years with no operating costs, they will pay themselves off. Problem is, they only last 25 years and they do have operating costs. So it is once again the gov't throwing away tax payer $s. Technology will get there. The technology of yester-year did not get here based on gov't subsidies. Technology is a good thing in and of itself ... let it earn its way ... and let's avoid resource mis-allocation because of political whim (note, I'm not picking a political side, I'm not calling anyone an xxx-tard ... I'm just saying stop forcing tax payers to fund political expediency).
Counting all vehicles sold since 1999 at over 193 million and about 1.2 % of this number is hybrids and all electrics do not even make into a rounding error. I guess you may have a point about my skeptism. As far as complication, I drive a 1968 Pontiac! Think about the ease I have in repairs (if needed). Changing oil is not a warranty issue.
I will give you this, Toyota has a good record. but the bulk of sales are with the last 5 to 7 years. Again, at these low volumes, they should be making good cars!
Not sure how this justifies having the taxPayers fund 70% of the cost. Maybe the technology is the best. If so, it should win out in the market. As it is, when a huge extra-market force manipulates, resource allocation is completely skewed. Ask the Volt owners how many would buy their new Volt if they had to pay for it all themselves (ie: $100K instead of $30K). That technology might be a harder sell. I'm not against the Volt, just against paying for lots of Volts that I don't own ... and not allowing competing technology the same advantages.
I would add "cost to manufacture" to your thoughts. The Volt is currently sold at a loss, and I suspect volume will only get them part of the way there. Personal guess is that the 40k price is GM's estimate of the profitable retail at high volume. It is a slow seller (esp. to public) in the low 30k range.
At this point the public acceptance, or lack there of, of the Volt at it's fictional price tells us very little about the commercial viability. This is one of the problems with govt subsidies (in anything), they block the manufacturer from getting vital information from the market that will help them make a good decision on the product.
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Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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