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Consumers choose fuel efficient normal vehicles over EVs and hybrids

Despite the fact that gas prices are at record levels in many parts of the country, the sales of electric vehicles are still falling. Many consumers are staying away from electric vehicles due to the relatively high cost of entry and range anxiety (in the case of the Nissan Leaf).
Two of the most popular electric vehicles in the country are the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf. The Volt isn't a traditional electric vehicle; rather it's an extended range hybrid that runs on battery power and features a generator to recharge the battery for extended driving. GM says that in the month of April 2012 1,462 Volts were sold, which represents 200% increase from April of 2011 when 493 were sold.
April was the second best month for retail sales of Volt cars since it launched in 2010. Interestingly, the good month for Volt sales comes not long after GM suspended production of the car due to soft demand.

Chevrolet Volt sales are up.
While sales of the Volt were up, the Nissan Leaf saw sales fall 35% with only 370 units sold. Nissan hopes to sell 20,000 Leaf EVs this year, and will have to sell over 2200 monthly to meet that goal.
While electric vehicle sales are down, Ford has a booming business with its fuel-efficient EcoBoost-powered vehicles. Ford has announced that it has started a third shift at the Cleveland plant that builds EcoBoost engines.
The addition of a third shift to the engine building plant will add 250 jobs. However, most of those positions will be filled by employees that are transferring from a different Cleveland engine plant that will be placed on idle later this week.

The 2013 Ford Fusion will offer two EcoBoost four-cylinder engine options.
"Our engine plant in Cleveland is the first and only facility in North America to produce EcoBoost engines, and we are tripling production capacity to meet customers' growing needs for fuel-efficient engines," said Ford Americas President Mark Fields during a celebration with employees at the plant Tuesday. "EcoBoost engines are a key part of our plan to give customers the power of choice — from EcoBoost-powered vehicles and hybrids, to plug-in hybrids and full electrics."
Ford's EcoBoost engine has found its way the under the hood of everything from full-sized trucks to small economy vehicles. EcoBoost engines use a smaller displacement engine with turbochargers for increased power and fuel efficiency. 

Sources: Detroit News, Detroit News

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Makes perfect sense
By Church of Dirac on 5/2/2012 12:26:43 PM , Rating: 1
The current Fusion Hybrid gets 39MPG combined while the SE 2.5L auto gets 26MPG according to the EPA. Running costs for the Hybrid are $1,500 compared to $2,250, so a savings of $750 a year. The SE is $22,975 and the Hybrid is $28,775. A $5800 premium which would take 7.75 years to recoup. Not much of a savings, plus you run the risk of more expensive repairs due to batteries, etc. The new 1.6L turbo is expected to do even better.
Part of the problem is using MPG instead of the more logical L/100KM or similar (Gal/100Miles???). MPG is inversely proportional to your expenditure, the volume of fuel used, while L/100KM is directly proportional. This means that the space between the numbers corresponds to a dollar amount, so the difference between say 2L/100KM and 4L/100KM is the same as 8L/100KM and 10L/100KM. With the MPG scale, the difference between 10MPG and 20MPG is the same as 30MPG and 60MPG. Higher MPG is just a marketing tool. Here is a graph showing the relationship.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By nolisi on 5/2/2012 12:46:42 PM , Rating: 5
Besides the power train, there are huge differences in standard equipment. People who argue against hybrids ALWAYS overlook this.

The SE doesn't come with sync, Dual climate zones, and several power features. The base SEL at $25,425 is a closer match featurewise. When you factor this in, the differential drops to $3,350, which takes 4.5 years to recoup- well within the life of a 5 year loan.

Also, factor in better resale value of hybrids, a longer warranty over the hybrid powertrain (8 years), and the fact that you have a higher potential for better than EPA returns on mileage (I bought an Escape, I can easily achieve 36-38 mpg in mixed driving, well above EPA estimates), and the picture is much different.

Hybrids don't make sense for everyone. But one shouldn't skew/overlook the facts by equating base models when they have substantially different standard features. Most manufacturers package more standard features with base model hybrids compared to standard ICE vehicles.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By mcnabney on 5/2/2012 1:31:20 PM , Rating: 1
Also, the satisfaction of knowing that less of your money is going to people that hate us / want to kill us.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Arsynic on 5/2/2012 1:55:28 PM , Rating: 5

RE: Makes perfect sense
By geddarkstorm on 5/2/2012 2:38:43 PM , Rating: 3
They are devious fellows, trying to kill us by making us fat from their delicious maple syrup. The Canadians have many diabolical plans in motion!

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Samus on 5/2/2012 4:08:06 PM , Rating: 1
Buying a hybrid is like having a pre-paid cell contract. The up front cost is higher, but you DO break even, especially on how you use it.

Many people just own hybrids for the wrong reasons. Ideally, you shouldn't do a lot of high-speed "highway" travel, and you should operate in a temperate climate that won't stress the batteries. Garaging the vehicle will help fight parasitic loss. Again, these are all unreasonable demands for many people, and those are the people who should not be considering a hybrid, and instead, a safe, simple beater.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By macawvet on 5/2/2012 9:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
Blame Canada!
South Park, USA

RE: Makes perfect sense
By WalksTheWalk on 5/3/2012 11:04:27 AM , Rating: 2
The fact remains that the US is not prepared for mass adoption of electric vehicles from an infrastructure standpoint. We are close to capacity for the current electrical power plant infrastructure so more electrical power plants would be needed. This brings up a whole other fight about electric power sources: coal vs nuclear vs hydro vs solar vs geothermal vs etc.

Adding to this is the fact that electrical power storage is nowhere near where it needs to be for price-efficient mass adoption of electric vehicles.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By autoboy on 5/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Makes perfect sense
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 2:39:32 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the funny part, we probably sell motor oil to Saudi Arabia.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Mint on 5/2/2012 2:44:34 PM , Rating: 3
If you actually looked at the numbers you'd know that your conclusions are way off. Yes, the US refines oil and exports some of the products, but it's only a small net export - 0.4M barrels/day - and it used to be a net import for 60+ years before 2011.

Compare that to its gas consumption of 8.8M barrels/day, which needs 18.8M/day barrels of crude to produce. It only produces ~6M barrels of crude, so no, it does not produce anywhere near enough oil to feed its own gas consumption.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Mint on 5/2/2012 2:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
(to be clear, 0.4M barrels/day is the net export of gasoline only)

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Ringold on 5/2/2012 9:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
If you actually looked at the numbers you'd know that your conclusions are way off.

They don't, though. This net-exporting of refined products line I first heard Obama's campaign advance, then some lefty blogs started trumpeting it, and now the legions of useful idiots out there are repeating it like absolute gospel because they were led to believe it was important.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 2:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
The rich saudi royal family members don't want to kill their Oil consumers. How would they possibly be able to afford to fly unsuccessful hollywood starlets to fill their harems if it weren't for all the money you give them filling up your SUV?

RE: Makes perfect sense
By SoCalBoomer on 5/2/2012 6:42:46 PM , Rating: 1
Let's see. . .countries we get stuff to make EV/Hybrids:

Lithium: Chile (hate us); China (love to take our money, don't really like us)
Neodymium : China
Dysprosium (used to make the motors and control systems): China

Yep, less of my money is going to people who hate us (Chile) or want to kill us - they just want to buy us out. . .

RE: Makes perfect sense
By FITCamaro on 5/2/2012 1:35:13 PM , Rating: 3
The purpose of a hybrid is to save fuel. Yet the only way to get most hybrids is in the top, read: heaviest, trims.

Not everyone wants all those other features. My guess is they force it because the markups on those luxury features is huge and they use that to subsidize the cost of the hybrid system.

The fact is that hybrids are more expensive. Regardless of why.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By nolisi on 5/2/2012 2:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
The fact is that hybrids are more expensive.

Pay attention to the conversation: no one is arguing against the fact that hybrids are more expensive.

However, that fact is mitigated substantially by features included. In other words, value.

No one compares a BMW 3 series to a Toyota Yaris. Besides the fact that they are aimed at totally different market segments, their standard features list is completely different. However, the BMW3 series appeals to people based on multiple factors of value that the Yaris doesn't provide.

You also don't compare a base model Corolla against a Civic SI even if they are in the same segment- their price points and, subsequently, target audience are different, again, because of their features.

The same idea applies to a Fusion SE and Base Fusion Hybrid. Their standard equipment list is different, and therefore they offer different value even if the features are there to mitigate the cost of the hybrid power train.

The bottom line is the value that the manufacturer is able to offer with a particular package. And given the feature list, the value provided by the hybrid trim is much greater than just fuel efficiency, making a comparison against the SE invalid if you're only comparing on the basis of efficiency.

Further, no one wants to buy a hybrid that feels technically the same as a base model.

So, it's not just cost subsidy. Manufacturers target vehicle packages at price points that most buyers are likely
fall into. They have one package for bare bones buyers, but if someone is likely to spend $26/27 K on a vehicle, they're also likely to want to add on certain features. It makes it easier to provide dealers with stock and further incentivize that stock.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 2:42:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yup the new 240hp BMW 3 series is the ultimate economy car.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By chromal on 5/3/2012 11:20:15 AM , Rating: 2
The BMW HybridActive 3 sedan looks sweet, at least, if you're into sedans with automatic transmissions, but at a MSRP starting over $50K, you can hardly call this an economy car. Try 'luxury sedan.'

Even if I could afford one, I would keep looking unless they offered it as a wagon and with a 6-speed manual transmission. That's just how I roll. ;)

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 2:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
PS I think the BMW 3 series was designed to push up BMW's fleet average MPG. But it should sell well to people that want and can afford an upscale car but have a green mindset or believe in energy independence. Traditionally upscale cars have been pretty bad resource guzzlers.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Church of Dirac on 5/2/2012 3:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously you've never seen the M3 :-P. Although BMW makes a new 320d ED which is rated for (and got in magazine testing) 4.1L/100km combined which is 57MPG. Plus it has 161hp. Too bad we'll never see it in the States.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Mint on 5/2/2012 4:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
26MPG combined isn't particularly green. It is quite good for the performance, however.

The M35h is more impressive in that regard, IMO. It's a much bigger upscale car than the 3 and has 360HP, but is gets 30MPG. Nissan should figure out how to fit a bigger battery in there and make it a plugin, as everything else is already there.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Just Tom on 5/5/2012 11:22:48 AM , Rating: 2
Yet, despite your arguments the only hybrid that sells in any quantities is the Prius. So obviously the value the market has set for hybrids is not what the automakers think it should be. Unless the major auto manufacturers wish to have monthly sales in the 100's for their flagship hybrids.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By CK804 on 5/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Makes perfect sense
By FITCamaro on 5/3/2012 9:43:05 AM , Rating: 2
And that torque peaks equally quickly.

Yes electric motors can deliver good low end performance. Doesn't take away from the fact that batteries are heavy and expensive.

As far as smoothness and quietness, if the slight noise of the engine of most cars today (assuming you hear it at all) bothers you, maybe you need to be a little less anal. In stock form I could barely hear my cars engine. And as far as smoothness, that depends on how I drive it.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Flunk on 5/3/2012 7:51:01 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think optional creature comforts are really that important to the people looking for the best possible deal. If you're scraping together the money to buy the car in the first place you don't really care how many climate zones or electronic gadgets it has.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By DukeN on 5/3/2012 11:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
I have a hybrid and my argument is because of the additional electric drivetrain, my engine takes much less of a beating.

Also, I drive a lot more than the typical driver so my savings on a hybrid are a lot better than a non-hybrid.

Lastly, I bought a three year old pre-owned hybrid than a brand new one. Difference between my car and similar non-hybrid was at the time approx $1000-$1500 (thanks to hybrid fear mongering)

RE: Makes perfect sense
By nolisi on 5/2/2012 12:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
The one benefit standard ICE vehicles have is you can typically make a deal/get incentives which drive the price well below MSRP, especially toward the end of the year when dealers are trying to liquidate stock. But this is always a case by case basis.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By robertisaar on 5/2/2012 1:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
so.... you want to move to a non-linear fuel economy system?

the average consumer has enough trouble with the system that is already in place. and it's considerably simpler to use.

10 MPG compared to 20 MPG. in one, i'll be able to travel twice as far as the other using the same amount of fuel. if i travel 100 miles, i'll use 10 gallons of fuel in one, 5 gallons in the other.

now move over to gallons per 100 miles, for example.

now you're asking the average person to do division, which is a bad idea. but now we see that the one vehicle will have a rating of 10gal/100mile, the other 5gal/100 mile...

i really don't see a benefit to be had from converting from a system that already works, to one that states the same information in a different unit of measurement...

RE: Makes perfect sense
By alpha754293 on 5/2/2012 1:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
miles per gallon makes it easy for people to calculate "how far can I go before I run out?"

L/100 km or gal/miles (inverse of mpg) makes more sense from a purely "efficiency" perspective, but as stated, it's not really all that practical.

When you ask someone how far they're travelling, you don't measure it in L or gal.

The other thing is that between mpg or L/100km and the size of the tank, you can calculate all sorts of marketing gimmicks. The reality is this: if you're going from 30 mpg to 60 mpg, you're twice as efficient.

Just as if you're going from 4 L/100 km to 2 L/100 km - same thing.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Church of Dirac on 5/2/2012 2:30:23 PM , Rating: 2
Fuel per unit distance (L/100km, gallons per mile, etc) is a measure of consumption. Rate of consumption is a very practical measure and is often used in aviation, engineering, and other fields. In addition, much of the world uses it to describe fuel economy in car. It works well for comparison shopping since the scale is linear and intuitive.

It is just as easy to figure out how far to go using fuel consumption. "I have 20L left in my tank and my car uses 7.3L/100km, 20L/7.3L/100km=272km". I'm sure anyone concerned with fuel economy can handle that simple arithmetic.

My 330i has an analog "MPG gauge" which is supposed to read out in L/100km but reads MPG in a strange inverse scale. L/100km directly corresponds with current fuel usage and how much of your money is getting burned. For example, if gas is priced at $1/L, L/100km = dollars/100km. You could easily program the trip computer to accept the current price of gas and read out $/mile. Miles per $ doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Spuke on 5/2/2012 3:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
It works well for comparison shopping since the scale is linear and intuitive.
MPG works extremely well for comparison shopping and is intuitive also. This system works and all 350 million of us understand it. How much you have left is largely irrelevant and handled by a simple gauge that all cars have. I look at my gauge to see how much fuel I have and if it's too low I fuel up. See how easy that is? There's absolutely NO need for other measurements when the one's we have work perfectly.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Ringold on 5/2/2012 9:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
As far as aviation goes, that's not quite right. Fuel consumption was given in terms of quantity per hour, not quantity per distance.

In fact, what I usually ended up doing to make my life easier was converting it to MPG for the cruise portion of the flight so I wasn't dicking around with a flight computer to figure out my range. I had standard take off, departure and approach quantities, then gave myself a slightly high-ball estimate based on MPG, and called it a day. (Not the FAA-approved method, but I over-provisioned at every step, so never would've got myself in a bad situation. The math was just quicker and easier)

Since different planes cruise at different speeds, for comparisons that were easy for my American brain to relate to I always calculated and compared different aircraft based on MPG at economy cruise as well.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Determinanto on 5/2/2012 2:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
Your math is incorrect.

When you compare 2L/100KM and 4L/100KM vs 8L/100KM and 10L/100KM, you are comparing the difference which is identical.

When you compare 10MPG and 20MPG vs 30MPG and 60MPG, you are comparing the ratio (not the difference!). So yes these numbers have the same ratio but the difference is different (no pun intended).

You have succeeded in confusing yourself with a neat looking graph. To convince yourself that what I am saying is correct, you can convert all the numbers to L/100KM and do your comparisons again.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Church of Dirac on 5/2/2012 2:50:47 PM , Rating: 2
Gah! You're right, good catch. I blame it on lack of coffee. In any case, it gets the point across even more, given that at the same difference in consumption, the step from 10MPG to 11MPG is close to the same difference as the jump from 50MPG to 100MPG.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Just Tom on 5/5/2012 12:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
Gah! You're right, good catch. I blame it on lack of coffee. In any case, it gets the point across even more, given that at the same difference in consumption, the step from 10MPG to 11MPG is close to the same difference as the jump from 50MPG to 100MPG.

Have another cup of coffee.

The gain incurred going from 10MPG to 11MPG is 10%, either 10% further distance travelled per unit of gasoline. The gain with going from 50MPG to 100MPG is 100%. How are they close to the same distance?

Your problem is you seem to forget that MPG and L/100KM measure the same thing/i>. I am going to use Gallons/100 Miles to avoid conversion messiness.

Here is the equation for MPG: MPG = miles traveled/gallons used.

And the equation for G/100M: G/100M = (Gallons used/miles traveled)*100 per 100 miles

The equation for G/100M is also: (1/MPG)*100 per 100 miles

MPG makes determing cost per trip and distance till empty easier than L/100KM, although both are fairly trivial.

Equation for cost per trip (MPG measure): cost = price per gallon*distance of trip/MPG

Equation for cost per trip (L/100KM measure):cost = price per litre * distance of trip * L/100KM)

Equation for distance till empty (MPG Measure): distance = MPG * gallons left in tank.

Equation for distance till empty (L/100KM Measure): distance = litres left in tank * (1/L/100KM))

Volt and Leaf sales
By Richard875yh5 on 5/2/2012 4:51:36 PM , Rating: 3
When the Volt was not selling well, the media had all kinds of negative stories, but now that the Leaf is not selling well, I don't see those negative stories. What is it, the Japanese are Teflon coated and can do no wrong. The people in the USA have better wake up.

RE: Volt and Leaf sales
By adak on 5/2/2012 11:03:02 PM , Rating: 1
You made me sign up to post. I have a volt and no I am not a green freak and I live in a major city so here is some reality to go with your theoretical math.

I averaged 85 mpg at 12k miles on the odometer and I have a heavy foot so you get the first 35 miles or so from battery but you also get the regeneration. My wife now drives the car and she drives about 1000 miles a month – her mpg is 250+. The 9 gallon tank is filled up about once every 2 months.

Does a volt make sense for everyone? No it does not but for those that can make it work it sure saves money. I also don’t want to forget the low maintenance and once a year oil change. Not sure where the extra 10k cost comes from but to get all the options on it the delta is much less than that.

RE: Volt and Leaf sales
By Rukkian on 5/3/2012 10:15:49 AM , Rating: 2
That is simply due to Faux News not being able to tie Obama to the leaf as easily. Give it time, they will find a way.

EcoBoost problems
By macawvet on 5/2/2012 9:22:09 PM , Rating: 2
I drove an F150 EcoBoost back to back with the 6.2L V8. I live in Albuquerque, and at least at our altitude (that saps about 25% of engine power), the turbo was noticeably more powerful! While seriously considering the turbo F150, I found page after page of problems with the engine! Apparently there is a problem with the turbo wastegate control causing a rapid pulsing of power around 45 MPH, and also coking around the valves. Neither has a fix yet. From what I was reading, the valve stems are never exposed to the detergents in gasoline so that they are developing deposits from the tiny amounts of combustion products leaking past the valve seals (causing premature wear) similar to Audi's and other direct injected motors. In Europe, apparently the engines periodically perform a maintenance procedure that causes high heat at the valve stems that burn this coke off, but that in the USA our emission regulations don't allow them to do this. Fuel economy, especially when towing, has been disappointing as well in all of the EcoBoost vehicles, although highway cruising MPG is impressive. As soon as there is a fix I'll be in line to put my money down, but until then I'll wait. Kind of like the exploding Mustang transmissions from bad bolts in the force plate-- Ford needs to spend less money advertising on American Idol and more money fixing their product failures (*cough* myfordtouch *cough*).

RE: EcoBoost problems
By sprockkets on 5/2/2012 10:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well I'll take the first point, but the second had more to do with Getrag and their china factory not making good transmissions, AFAIK. Getrag is supposed to be one of the best makers of manual transmissions.

RE: EcoBoost problems
By Samus on 5/3/2012 12:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
My Getrag MTX285 in my SVT Focus is a piece of crap, and it's made in Germany and was (shortly) used in the Mini Cooper S. I preferred the 5 speed in my old Mazda Protege much more, and the Tremec T5 in my Mustang has solid feel and drivability as well.

The syncros aren't beefy enough, the dual-mass flywheel concept is a joke for a car this light that isn't even Diesel, the transmission mount (not Ford's design) is the same style of many VW's, a stupid dog-bone that's bushing constantly wear almost annually, and overall the transmission is overcomplicated and a nightmare to work on. I've had to replace almost every exterior component, from axle seals to shift linkages.

Getrag can die. German's know a thing or two about gears, but when it comes to putting them in a case it's all down-hill.

By Targon on 5/3/2012 11:10:47 AM , Rating: 2
Most of the article was about how poorly EVs are selling, but if you start digging, Ford has a LOT of interesting plans going forward that involve EcoBoost. For those who don't know, EcoBoost is really just Turbo that has been tuned with economy being one of the goals.

Now, for most people, the idea of turbo is more horsepower, so you aim for more horsepower from it for a "fun" experience. Ford is going the other way, replace larger conventional engines with smaller engines that get the EcoBoost approach, so you end up with the same amount of horsepower in a smaller engine, and this results in better fuel economy. For the Fiesta, going from a 4 cylinder engine that delivers 120ish horsepower to a 3 cylinder EcoBoost engine that delivers around the same horsepower will result in better fuel economy. For the Focus, going from a 2.0L at 160 horsepower(2012 model year) would add a 1.6L EcoBoost engine that can hit close to 180 horsepower(or 160, depending on how it is tuned). For small trucks and SUVs, going EcoBoost means you can get a fairly powerful 6 cylinder engine while delivering the power of a v8.

That is the direction Ford is going in with EcoBoost, the same or better horsepower that gives you better fuel economy. The idea that Ford is reserving this for only the highest trims is really more about the idea of scaling up demand and the ability to get production up for the EcoBoost engines. If they make EcoBoost available across the entire product range before they have the production for the engines scaled up, it will hurt, and boosting production too soon before availability will also hurt. So, they are working to increase production capacity, but not before there is enough demand to justify it.

Going off on a bit of a tangent(which many people did already), the Fusion gets a fairly significant overhaul for the 2013 model year, so all these numbers for the Fusion Hybrid that have been talked about is already close to going out the window. The Focus right now(2012 model year) has a number of features that just were not in the Fusion, and that is being addressed in the 2013 Fusion. It SHOULD be very interesting to see how much of an improvement it will end up being, but the regular Focus at this point is worlds better than the older generations(2011 model year and earlier).

So, EcoBoost is a positive sign for things going forward, and it will be interesting how GM responds.

By Boingo Twang on 5/14/2012 3:43:00 PM , Rating: 2
Middle class incomes have been stagnant for 20 plus years and somehow people are surprised when the market doesn't choose much more costly electric vehicles over conventional ICE engines? Then the perpetually occluded right wing throw backs moan and whine about tax credits for electric and high MPG vehicles too. The good news here that in the space of a few short years lighter more fuel efficient IC engines are rapidly taking over the marketplace from extremely thirsty, heavy, fuel inefficient non turbocharged engines.

I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By autoboy on 5/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 2:49:46 PM , Rating: 1
No one said the Cruze eco is not a green car. If we can get the US average MPG to 40mpg the effect on oil imports and world oil price would be huge.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Reclaimer77 on 5/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By nolisi on 5/2/2012 3:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, someone doesn't have faith in the market to solve the problem...

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Spuke on 5/2/2012 3:13:49 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, someone doesn't have faith in the market to solve the problem...
Faith doesn't make anything work or not work. Real problems are solved by real people not magic. 40 mpg CAFE is indeed possible. How much are you willing to pay for a car?

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By nolisi on 5/2/2012 3:27:48 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on the car. After all, I might be willing to spend hundreds of thousands on a car that not only gets 40 mpg, guarantees me women, and prepares a homecooked meal every night.

But since you bring it up- the problem of 40 MPG has already been solved by vehicles affordable to the average American. If my assumptions are correct- these problems were probably solved by a combination of faith and real poeple doing real work.

You think this can't be duplicated to the mass market?

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Spuke on 5/2/2012 6:46:16 PM , Rating: 2
The OP said

If we can get the US average MPG to 40mpg the effect on oil imports and world oil price would be huge.

He wasn't talking about ONE car and neither was I. He said AVERAGE. A 40 mpg average (like the OP said) is quite possible. Again, how much do you want to pay for your car?

By Reclaimer77 on 5/3/2012 10:59:03 AM , Rating: 1
Let them do the work WITHOUT a mandate from on high then. That's all we're saying.

Nothing good comes from CAFE. Nothing.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By nolisi on 5/2/2012 3:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but with the Cruz, if my daily commute is 20 miles one way, I'm guaranteed to be paying 50+ bucks every few weeks to fill up a tank of gas.

That same commute with a Volt, I have the potential never to fill up the tank as long as I own the vehicle. Gas becomes an accessory rather than requisite for operation.

Besides- you only get that mileage out of an eco at highway speeds- which I promise you we don't operate at 90% of the time. You get the 40 miles in the Volt regardless of speed.

Maybe that changes your perspective a bit?

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By autoboy on 5/2/2012 4:22:34 PM , Rating: 1
No, it doesn't change my attitude at all. You just paid $10000 over the price of a similar Cruze eco just to save $100 a month. And that $10000 difference is only that low because the car is highly subsidized both by the federal government and by GM since they lose money on every one sold. And, btw, most Volt drivers get closer to 35 miles on a charge and there are plenty of cars that get close to 35 mpg combined.

All I'm saying is that as traditional cars get more efficient thanks to direct injection, turbocharging, and 7 and 8 speed transmissions that a Volt with 35-40 mile electric range is only saving you a gallon of gas a day. Take all the work put into that thing, take the extra price, take the government subsidies, take the loss GM takes on every car and all that effort went into saving just 1 gallon of gas a day. It just seems so stupid to me when put in those terms.

I used to like the Volt and thought it was such a technical marvel and how awesome it would be to just be able to plug in and never use any gas. And then I realized how much technology, money, time, and propaganda went into saving me $3.50 a day.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/2/2012 5:25:47 PM , Rating: 3
First of all, the ECO is not that similar. It's not nearly as well equipped, nor is the ride as good.

Secondly $100/mo over the life of the car is EASILY worth $10k. You think the car's premium is going to be worthless in 5 years? If someone is considering the Cruze and the Volt as a used, 5 year old car, is he going to ignore that the Volt will save him $100/mo, or $6k, in the next 5 years?

The Volt would be flying off the shelves if it saved that much. For most people it'll be ~$60/mo. That's still worth it, though.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Spuke on 5/2/2012 7:00:48 PM , Rating: 1
The Volt would be flying off the shelves if it saved that much. For most people it'll be ~$60/mo. That's still worth it, though.
People that can afford to buy a Volt spend more than $60/month on coffee. You guys need to look at this from a person that can actually AFFORD that car not from a teenager living off their parents. I can easily afford a Volt but it doesn't make any sense economically if I ONLY look at from a cost savings point of view (or any car like it). Even if I looked at it from an oil reduction viewpoint, it STILL doesn't make any sense. A USED, fuel efficient car is FAR less oil dependent than ANY new one period.

Here's a new one. If you REALLY cared about your environment, you'd start by turning some of your goddamned lights off for one. With all this so-called "green movement" BS, the typical energy usage is STILL at 1000kWh per month per household in the US! Hasn't gone down not ONE 1 watt but everyone cares so much about our environment. BULLSHIT!!!

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Ringold on 5/2/2012 9:58:11 PM , Rating: 1
Hasn't gone down not ONE 1 watt but everyone cares so much about our environment. BULLSHIT!!!

Nailed it, because there are so many hippies out there that if they were really doing what they preach it'd manage to make a dent in the overall numbers.

Shakespeare comes to mind ... struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more: it is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/3/2012 9:51:19 AM , Rating: 2
Do you two enjoy just making facts up?

First of all, what does electricity conservation have to do with the topic at hand?

Not a dent in energy use, huh?

Too much lighting? (fine, it's Canada, but so what).

Flat electricity consumption per household is a stark contrast to decades past, so that's a pretty big fail in trying to prove the ineffectiveness of the green movement.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/3/2012 10:35:43 AM , Rating: 2
Really? If you spend $33k on a car then you automatically spend $700/yr on coffee? You think that about Civic buyers as well? Equally equipped and leased, they have roughly the same monthly running cost.

Used cars offer more value than new ones? Wow, hand this man a Nobel Prize in economics for that brilliant insight. Why don't we all buy used cars. Then we don't have to make any more...

You must have been dropped on your head as a kid...

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Spuke on 5/3/2012 12:25:34 PM , Rating: 1
You must have been dropped on your head as a kid...
You must STILL be getting dropped on your head. I said NOTHING about value and NOTHING about automatic. Go back and read my post. I'll give you some clues, the Volt does NOT cost $33,000. It starts at $39,145. A tax CREDIT is NOT tax refund. In order for you to collect a tax credit, you MUST have tax liability. If you get a refund (yes there are still people that get refunds in the Volts target market...$170,000 per year), you do NOT get the credit. Simple as that. And you STILL never get cash, you get to apply that credit towards your tax liability. So guess what? The car still costs $39,145 plus.

By Jaybus on 5/3/2012 2:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
The bottom line is that there are three choices. Revert back to doing without modern conveniences in order to use less energy, accept that nuclear power is currently the only way to eliminate fossil fuel usage, or whine loudly while hoping for science to come up with a viable non-nuclear alternative. Most in the "green movement" dismiss nuclear power out of hand, so I guess that puts them in the whine and hope category.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By autoboy on 5/2/2012 7:24:07 PM , Rating: 1
Don't forget the opportunity cost of $10000 now vs later. Plus, as you see I didn't base my entire argument on financial considerations, as the government subsidies on the Volt plus the GM subsidies add to the societal cost of the car and the GM subsidy isn't public knowledge.

The ride is better? Who cares? That's just chassis tuning. It has more features? Sure, but they aren't worth $10K plus all the subsidies. None of your arguments change the fact that you save a measly 1 gallon of gas a day. It's not all about the money. It's the fact that cars like this are touted as saving the world from the deadly CO2 lurking under our beds and you only saved me 1 gallon of gas a day for a total of $50K or more a car.

Take a look at the Fisker. It's a complete piece of crap. Slow, heavy, poorly built, huge on the outside and tiny on the inside, and hugely expensive. That saves 2 gallons a day based on similar size cars. Though, if you count internal volume it's a compact even smaller than the Cruze / Volt. 2 Gallons a day for $100 grand. Nice work. Pat yourself on the back for that one...

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/3/2012 10:29:44 AM , Rating: 2
Opportunity cost is worth almost nothing with 0% interest rates.

If you want to talk about societal cost, then talk about the $20k gasoline saved over the lifetime of an EV, all the pollution from burning that (no, I'm not talking about CO2), reduced imports from the middle east, longer engine life (it's running 80% less), etc.

Just chassis tuning? BMWs are lauded for their ride, but was it merely a chassis tuning to improve them over a Cruze? How much more do they get to charge for that ride quality?

Fisker's a piece of crap? It's won numerous awards, like Top Gear Magazine's luxury COTY. It's a stylish luxury sports sedan, so what are you complaining about interior volume for? Is that how you evaluate a Maserati or Aston Martin? Do they cost less? The Karma is heavy, but the weight is in the middle. That's why it's praised for steering feel and handling, and went around Motor Trend's figure-eight faster than almost every 4-door except the Panamera (including the Quattroporte).
Americans love big cars, and always have, due to their presence. Boo-frickin-hoo, it's a few tenths of a second slower than a Panamera hybrid to 60.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 5:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
Hey speaking of the cruze I just found out they are making a wagon version and it actually looks good. It seems dimension wise to be pretty similar to the mazda 3 or focus wagon/hatchback. Very versatile cars but they have a tendency to be ugly like the 5 door focus, the mazda 3 looks a little better but still.

By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 5:47:59 PM , Rating: 2
huh, it looks like the cruze might be getting a turbo diesel for 2013.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 5:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
The turbo diesel cruze will probably get the 40mpg average fuel economy somebody said would cost hundreds of thousands per car to produce, guess I'm not inasane. :)

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Spuke on 5/2/2012 7:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ok Jeff. Sorry that I took your version of English so literal. I really thought when you used the word "average" that you actually meant "average". I didn't realize you meant "some cars". Can you please provide me with a Jeff to English dictionary so I this confusion won't happen in the future?

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/2/2012 5:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
No, that's the Cruze Eco's highway MPG. Combined is 33MPG, and I'd probably get less due to LA traffic.

But fine, let's consider a gallon a day, 300 times a year. That saves $1200/yr in gas at a cost of $400/yr in electricity. If you own it for 5 years, you save $4k. When you sell it, the next owner will save $3-5k more for it than the Cruze (depending on gas prices), and realizes that the same will be true for the guy after that, though the battery will lose some range. So resale value is maybe $7k more than the Cruze (it's a nicer car, too).

Alternatively, look at the lease rates for the Volt. $2500 down, $350/mo. If you save 25 gallons a month, minus recharge costs, then you'd have to get a car with a <$290/mo equivalent lease rate. Will that car be as nice a drive as the Volt?

A Civic HF (33 MPG combined) with the same CCR costs $294/mo, according to Honda's website. It's really not that stupid at all.

By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 5:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
Civic has really been bumped off its position of being the best small car.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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