backtop


Print 140 comment(s) - last by winterspan.. on Jul 13 at 12:11 AM


The Chevrolet Volt is all the rage these days in automotive circles, but Ford wants no part of plug-in hybrids -- for now at least.
"Our position in the hybrid market makes it easier for us to sit back"

When it comes to advanced technologies to improve the fuel efficiency of America's vehicles, we often hear from the likes of General Motors and Toyota. Both companies are investing heavily in hybrid/plug-in hybrid technology and GM in particular has made huge leaps with fuel cell technology.

With the exception of advances to existing technology like turbocharging, and a few fuel cell demonstration vehicles, we haven't heard much from Ford. Ford currently only has three hybrid vehicles available on the market, and all three are essentially the same vehicle (Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid).

Ford is currently content with sitting back and letting GM and Toyota develop plug-in hybrid technology, and it will jump in after all of the heavy lifting has been done. "If customers aren't buying them, we're not making them," said Ford Senior Manager of Energy Storage Ted Miller. "If there's going to be a true plug-in hybrid market, we're going to be there. It's just that that's a huge commitment to actually go to production."

Ford says that its “wait and see” approach to plug-in hybrids gives it more focus and additional funds to develop and produce traditional hybrid vehicles. The company is currently in the process of putting the final touches on the production version of its Fusion Hybrid sedan.

However, with Toyota working on a plug-in version of its next generation Prius and GM taking up headlines with its Chevrolet Volt, Ford may be left without a star player in the race to produce vehicles that derive a large portion of their propulsion from electricity.

GM took a wait and see approach when the Prius first hit the market, and saw that it missed a great opportunity to place itself at the forefront of automotive technology. GM officials made it a point not to let that happen with plug-in hybrids and its efforts in the field with the Volt have so far out shadowed Toyota's efforts. Only time will tell, however, if public mindshare with the Volt will turn into sales of the estimated $40,000 vehicle.

Ford saw its sales dip 11% in May -- which included a nearly 20% decline for its stalwart F-Series trucks. With more Americans realizing that they don't need full-size trucks for their daily commutes during a period of record gas prices, the Honda Civic/Accord and Toyota Corolla/Civic went on to outsell the mighty F-Series during the month of May.

As Ford slowly builds its hybrid fleet and sits out the plug-in hybrid craze, it is hoping to bring a more fuel efficient, next generation Focus along with a new Fiesta to quench America’s thirst for fuel efficient vehicles. Both vehicles, however, won't make it to the U.S. until 2010 at the earliest.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

40K!
By Alphafox78 on 6/30/2008 9:58:58 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, didnt know it would cost that much..
gas would have to be like $7 a gallon to cost justify it, imo. it would be really nice to plug it in at night and go for 40 miles though on no gas!




RE: 40K!
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/30/2008 10:08:01 AM , Rating: 3
IIRC, Congress is cooking up a $7,000 - $8,000 tax break for Volt buyers.


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 10:13:16 AM , Rating: 5
Well as much as I like the Volt I don't like that idea.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 10:23:34 AM , Rating: 5
You mean you don't want to help pay for my Volt with your tax dollars?


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 10:42:34 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty simple way to put it. Apparently people don't agree with me since I got voted down.


RE: 40K!
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 6/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 3:57:15 PM , Rating: 3
Yup. You figured them out. Now go back in your basement.


RE: 40K!
By winterspan on 7/1/2008 12:08:36 AM , Rating: 4
Yes, yes, we all get it. You're an old conservative who just wants his farm and shotgun and big government to leave him alone, right?

Tax credits, subsidies, rebates, and other incentives etc are going to be enormously important to get green tech off the ground, including hybrid cars, electric vehicles, solar power, wind power, hydro power, nuclear power, C02-capture coal, etc.

If you want to bitch about government subsidies, maybe you should direct it at the senate republicans who just voted to keep giving Oil and Gas companies TENS OF BILLIONS over the next 10 years in tax breaks, at the very same time they are seeing historic profits!


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 7/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: 40K!
By ICE1966 on 7/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 7/1/2008 9:41:17 AM , Rating: 3
> "I cannot see any reason for fuel to cost as much as it does except for greed. "

Many people who don't understand basic economics say the same thing. The reasons, however, are quite simple. Oil prices aren't set by oil companies, they're controlled by a huge network of commodity traders who are continually attempting to match supply to demand. How do they do that? By changing the price of the product!

Now, here's the part those with room-temperature IQ's continually miss. If demand goes up, say, 10% and supply doesn't, the price has to rise. HAS to. And how much does it rise? No, not 10% as well..it has to rise enough to force demand to fall 10%.

If that doesn't happen, then we continue to buy more gas than we produce....and voila! The pumps run dry and we all wind up walking to work. (Note: this happens quite regularly in socialist nations with firm price controls...it's why the shelves were always empty in those old Soviet stores)

The only way around it is even worse -- government-mandated quotas. And in fact, when the government stepped in with price controls on gas in the 1970s, they were forced to do just that -- put a quota on how much gas you could buy. I doubt you're old enough to remember the situation, but if you love waiting in a line of 150 people to buy gas on those days of the month you're allowed to actually buy any -you would have loved 1973 and idiotic government "solutions" which only make things worse.

On a commodity people love as much as gasoline, its HARD to drop demand. This is why a tiny change in demand leads to huge price changes.

Simple really. But the vegetative softhead crowd perenially persists in invoking conspiracy theories. Be brave...don't join that crowd.


RE: 40K!
By theapparition on 7/1/2008 3:57:14 PM , Rating: 3
While I completely agree (and couldn't disagree since everything you posted is complete fact), the other side of the demand is supply.

I find it disheartening that many corportations are not investing at all to increase supply. Some are, but many plan no infrastructure investement (cough....Exxon....cough).


RE: 40K!
By Shining Arcanine on 7/1/2008 9:00:24 AM , Rating: 2
I do not think companies should be paying taxes at all. Mathematically speaking, corporate taxes are a form of double taxation, as you first pay your income taxes and have less money than you had when you started and then you pay the corporate taxes that are included in the price of goods when you purchase them. That is not including sales tax, which is a third layer of taxation.

The federal government should just set a flat income tax for US citizens and be done with it. They should have none of this double taxation business. The main thing it accomplishes is to send jobs overseas because people in other countries do not want to pay a premium for our overpriced goods.


RE: 40K!
By phxfreddy on 7/3/2008 11:53:00 AM , Rating: 2
When I give oil companies money .....they give me a product back !!! Bad mouthing oil companies is making you look more than stupid.

Its time to drill off the coasts. Drill in ANWR. Drill in your mothers bunda if she has oil there.

Only then will the dollar collapse abate.

Or we can continue to act like effeminate little princesses who believe the charade that global warming is true and oil companies are bad. I like oil tax breaks. It helps them fund new oil discoveries and in the they just let them KEEP their money....Its not giving them anything. Government is not the solution...it is the problem. How? Open the coasts for drilling. Open oil shale for development.

Its only a matter of time till this happens now. Its only a matter of how long till we collectively say uncle. The pain will inexorably increase until we do.

And I will love to see the kooks who believe in MMGW laid low. And for those of you who say its only going to be a little oil I reply "then it will only be a little bit of environmental risk" But then we know what your words are worth. At every step liberals try to manipulate society.


RE: 40K!
By winterspan on 7/13/2008 12:11:15 AM , Rating: 2
"little princesses who believe the charade that global warming is true "

Don't know what rock you've been under (or what right-wing charlatan news host you've been listening to) but EVERY MAJOR SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATION IN THE G8 AGREES WITH THE CONSENSUS VIEW THAT ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING IS A FACT.

There is NO ONE doubting this fact other than groups with vested interests in seeing to it that C02 and other green house gases are not regulated. This includes Oil and Gas corporations, among other industrial companies, and their well-payed legions of lobbyists and of course the lunatics that run and/or work for right-wing "think tanks" AKA coordinated lobbyist groups, like the American Enterprise Institute, PNAC, etc. Then of course you have a bunch of republican congressman who get massive campaign donations from these same energy companies.

There is a reason why all the anti-climate change folks who are trying to confuse the public are all NOT SCIENTISTS.

Anyone deceived into thinking global warming is not a legitimate issue by these right-wing hacks and special interests is a moron, and needs to learn how to do basic research. If they did, they would quickly find the truth.
Just visit the website of any climatological science professor or trade association.


RE: 40K!
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/30/2008 10:34:59 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm a bad person but anything to get my hands of the Volt :)

Besides, for all the griping $40k...that's downright affordable next to the Tesla Roadster.

Also, I don't get why people would complain about a government subsidy. With gas prices what they are, over the course of the car's lifetime it would repay the subsidy to the consumer. So the consumer would be getting in essence a tax break, and get a sweet car in the process.

Why do some love tax breaks dearly, but abhor alternative energy subsidies, when the end result of both is the same -- putting money back in the consumer's pocket?

I know there's a bit more to it than that, but that's the basic bottom line.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 10:40:20 AM , Rating: 2
> "I don't get why people would complain about a government subsidy. With gas prices what they are, over the course of the car's lifetime it would repay the subsidy to the consumer."

Because the consumer isn't the only one paying for the subsidy. Everyone is paying it, whether or not they personally buy a Volt.

> "Why do some love tax breaks dearly, but abhor alternative energy subsidies, when the end result of both is the same -- putting money back in the consumer's pocket?"

I can't believe you actually typed that Jason. I'll be kind, and assume you simply haven't had your morning coffee yet.


RE: 40K!
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 11:10:01 AM , Rating: 3
> "Eh? The government pays for tax breaks too"

Honestly, I'm not trying to be insulting, but this inability to see the difference between a refund and a subsidy is classically comic parody of a neosocialist.

But no matter; let's attack the root of the problem. A tax break involves the government taking less of your money from you. A subsidy involves the government taking money from you to give to someone else.

See the difference now? Quite obviously the subsidy benefits the recipient; there was never any question about that. It's the effect on everyone else that matters.


RE: 40K!
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/30/08, Rating: -1
RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 11:30:08 AM , Rating: 5
> "I clearly said there was some difference, but the chief result is the same"

The result is NOT the same for three very large reasons:
1. Not everyone will buy a Volt. They'll thus pay, but receive nothing.
2. Some taxpayers will wind up paying for dozens or even hundreds of Volts, regardless of whether they buy one or not.
3. Some other taxpayers who pay no taxes at all, will nevertheless buy a Volt, and get a free $8K for nothing.

And before you discount the third option as unlikely, I personally know an individual with assets in the tens of millions who has paid no taxes at all the past three years. It happens more than you think, especially when capital investments underperform.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 11:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
To further add to problems government distortion of the market causes, let's assume that even half the people in the nation bought a Volt. That's 150 million electric cars suddenly on the road. Now -- how do we charge them?

Yes, most will charge at night when demand is low...but some will charge during the day, causing an explosion in peak electricity demand. And even a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that even if everyone charges at night, the increased demand is more than either our grid or our power plants can fill. The end result would be a massive increase in blackouts and brownouts, and tens of millions of people stranded while waiting for a charge.

So we can't even ALLOW everyone to buy a Volt. Not for a the next 15-20 years at least. These subsidies will benefit the few, at the expense of the many. They're a politically correct football, kicked to garner votes, rather than to benefit the country at large.


RE: 40K!
By guacamojo on 6/30/2008 1:17:49 PM , Rating: 4
Fortunately, we won't need to do much to prevent everyone from buying a Volt. GM won't be able to produce that many.

The Prius at its fastest-selling (May 2007) was about 24k units per month. Let's say GM is really on the ball, and the new tech batteries and power electronics are being pumped out without any logistical problems. Make it 500k cars per year. At that rate, 150 million cars will only take 300 years to build?

That should be enough time to upgrade the electrical grid, I think. Maybe we'll even build some nuclear power plants by then.

Okay, I'm being facetious, but even if all cars sold in North America were made plug-in hybrid tomorrow, it would still take 10 years to build 150 million cars. (about 15-16 million units per year)


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 1:29:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "but even if all cars sold in North America were made plug-in hybrid tomorrow, it would still take 10 years to build 150 million cars."

Right...but upgrading the power grid and building dozens of new nuclear plants will take considerably longer than 10 years. Furthermore in areas like California (just the state which is most likely to buy these), only a few hundred thousand electric cars can easily strain an already overburdened power system to the breaking point.

The point is that, until we change our philosophy and start investing again in power generation in this country, electric cars aren't a solution at all. And given the iron grip environmentalists exert on government, we won't even begin to discuss new power plants until all these new electric cars are already causing brownouts and blackouts in many areas.


RE: 40K!
By guacamojo on 6/30/2008 1:58:03 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The point is that, until we change our philosophy and start investing again in power generation in this country, electric cars aren't a solution at all. And given the iron grip environmentalists exert on government, we won't even begin to discuss new power plants until all these new electric cars are already causing brownouts and blackouts in many areas.


That's exactly what you need to spur change. Those cars won't appear on the scene all at once; that's my point. Things will get progressively worse. It will take time to overload the system, even in California. That will create political pressure to fix things. The market will respond too, because power generation will be profitable. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

It's a sad commentary on our society that it takes a bridge collapse to talk about reinvesting in road and bridge infrastructure. It'll take some brownouts to spur the discussion about electric power.

Environmentalists will be divided over this one, because it takes those nasty, polluting gasoline engines off the roads and centralizes power generation where it can be more efficient and clean. (either through scrubbers, nuclear, or renewable sources.) If people are charging off-peak, it makes better use of the generation capacity we have, too.

Overall, I'm pretty excited about this potential. It seems more promising to me than the much-touted hydrogen economy. (at least in the short run, maybe less so over time) You've already got a scalable generation and delivery system in place, which can be built up over time.

And no, I'm not a power systems engineer. It might be a good field to enter in the next decade, though.


RE: 40K!
By Spuke on 6/30/2008 2:23:44 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
It will take time to overload the system, even in California.
Can't speak for the rest of the state but SoCal is already near overload. People can't even run their A/C units en masse in the summer without triggering rolling blackouts to conserve power. Throw a few hundred thousand Volts on the grid and bye bye 21st century.

Good thing I'm not on LA's power grid.


RE: 40K!
By TomZ on 6/30/2008 2:00:33 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The point is that, until we change our philosophy and start investing again in power generation in this country, electric cars aren't a solution at all. And given the iron grip environmentalists exert on government, we won't even begin to discuss new power plants until all these new electric cars are already causing brownouts and blackouts in many areas.

QFT. Everyone should read this again and again. It is why we as a society are, yet again, pursuing an unrealistic and counterproductive "solution" to our energy problems.

But hey, it makes for good politics and PR - so it's not all bad!


RE: 40K!
By Whedonic on 6/30/2008 2:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
This is why America needs to get back in the game of power infrastructure. There are some amazing new designs for fission reactors, and increasing our power production that way would lower enviro impact, as electricity to vehicles is much friendlier/more efficient than pretty much anything else. Bottom line, you're right, and I think the solution in keep looking at plugin vehicles, and start building more generators asap.


RE: 40K!
By adiposity on 6/30/2008 11:47:43 AM , Rating: 4
You have to be kidding with this argument. I've paid over $200,000 in taxes over the course of my life. So according to you, any money I get from the govt up to $200,000 is just "my money". So therefore, since electric vehicles help me as a consumer, the govt. should just buy me a couple Teslas?

And even better, EVERY SINGLE american consumer should welcome this, because it helps "consumers"? That's crazy.

The money we have paid in taxes is GONE. LONG GONE. So if the government decides to give certain consumers tax subsidies (i.e. FREE MONEY) then other consumers get SCREWED because their tax money is partially going back to these certain individuals. Now I will agree that in principle, granting certain kinds of tax breaks has the same effect as a subsidy (i.e., the govt gets less of your money that year). Which is why certain tax breaks are also opposed by some people.

In fact, I'd be happy for an $8k credit. But that's because I want an electric car (not the Volt, but something). And the energy benefits may be worth it in the long run for the USA. But to pretend giving a selective credit to people who can afford $32k-$40k cars is good for all, is just silly.

-Dan


RE: 40K!
By hashish2020 on 6/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 12:14:47 PM , Rating: 3
> "Increased costs in the foreign exchange market as we import over $400 billion dollars worth of oil a day "

Your figures are off. The US imports some 13M bbl/day. At $140/bbl, that's $1.8 B/day, rather than $400B.

And while I support in general the concept of electric cars, one has to come to grips with a very painful fact. The people pushing subsidies for such vehicles are the very same ones blocking the construction of new power plants in the US...and we *cannot* power a national fleet of electric cars without dozens of new such plants.


RE: 40K!
By ICE1966 on 7/1/2008 7:07:26 AM , Rating: 3
You are right masher2. I think the EPA has done nothing to help with this except add to the problem. the only thing green the epa sees is more tax money for an already to big government.


RE: 40K!
By Ringold on 6/30/2008 2:53:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
-Increased costs in the foreign exchange market as we import over $400 billion dollars worth of oil a day (more than 50% of our trade deficit) driving down the value of the dollar and thereby increasing inflation and eroding consumer purchasing power


That's not a valid externality to list for oil, as all imports to the US involves a firm going in to the forex market to purchase them for import, or using forex to buy a foreign currency to pay workers in a foreign plant. If I buy some collectible off Ebay UK and the corresponding forex transaction bothers you, you need more things to worry about.

quote:
-Increased military costs overseas to ensure supply


The military is also a questionable one to list. Why was the Marine Corps even created? To protect trade routes! That was long before the rise of oil.

quote:
-Increased costs to protect pipelines, supply lines, and refineries because of the risks that are part and parcel of using flammable materials


Before you preach about externalities, check your definition again. That's not a cost placed upon a third uninvolved party; the firms incur the cost of maintaining their own facilities, and passed on to consumers of the product.

quote:
-Increased respiratory disease rates


Lots of whining, but you did indeed find at least one externality that would be a valid concern to attribute to oil-derived gasoline usage.


RE: 40K!
By phattyboombatty on 6/30/2008 12:38:36 PM , Rating: 3
The reason you don't seem to be able to tell the difference between tax breaks and subsidies is because you have a Communist mentality that all property belongs to the government. Thus, any money that the government allows an individual to keep for themselves is a gift to the individual from the government. Looking at it in that light, a subsidy really is the same as a tax break.

However, we thankfully do not live in a Communist country (not yet anyway despite the best efforts of many politicians), and the People individually own their private property. The government deciding not to forcibly take the private property of individuals (i.e. tax breaks) is very different than the government forcibly taking the private property of individuals and redistributing that property to a select group of individuals (i.e. subsidies).


RE: 40K!
By WTFiSJuiCE on 7/1/2008 3:02:48 AM , Rating: 2
If I remember correctly, I think you are confusing Communism with Socialism. Marx's concept of Communism is the final stage where gov't is completely absolved and there is no longer a need for it as everything is shared equally amongst the people.

Socialism is where it all belongs to the state and everyone works for the profit of the "nation" i.e. the old Stalin system, which was not Communism but an totalitarian state.

Alas I digress and I apologize for getting off topic....what were we discussing again?


RE: 40K!
By Samus on 6/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: 40K!
By BansheeX on 6/30/2008 10:49:32 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Why do some love tax breaks dearly, but abhor alternative energy subsidies, when the end result of both is the same -- putting money back in the consumer's pocket?


Pfff, no it isn't. A general tax decrease simply allows each individual earner to keep more of his earnings. A subsidy means people able to afford these expensive alternatives are are being subsidized by a cumulative appropriation of other people's earnings, many of them with incomes too low to afford a $40,000 vehicle. That's simply morally repugnant and retard economics.


RE: 40K!
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 11:15:23 AM , Rating: 2
I suggest not giving the subsidy. That way its neither on the backs of middle class Americans nor the very wealthy. Since neither are responsible for helping to make the car you want to buy more affordable for you.

Why is this such a hard idea to understand?


RE: 40K!
By hashish2020 on 6/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 12:22:30 PM , Rating: 2
While George Orwell would be proud of that sterling example of doublespeak, the fact remains that government is the problem here, not the solution. We're facing $4/gallon gas today because the government has consistently blocked domestic drilling and the building of new gasoline refineries.

Forcing taxpayers to subsidize electric vehicles for a lucky few isn't a solution; it ultimately results in an inefficient distribution of resources, as it emphasis an uneconomic option over potentially better alternatives.

If the government wants to assist funding alternative energy research, fine. But subsidizing technologies that can't stand on their own is harmful, plain and simple. It's also unfair to the American taxpayer.


RE: 40K!
By andrinoaa on 7/1/2008 4:12:40 AM , Rating: 1
HOLD ON there nelly. Who the fuck do you think the GOVERNMENT IS. Its you, dickhead. If you think they are idiots, who is the bigger one who voted for them? lol
You complain so much about new technologies, maybe you can explain to everyone how you are going to keep the cost of oil down? I would have thought any measure that kept the demand side down was going to lead to cheaper prices long term. If it means a government subsidy was needed, surely its a good thing?
As for drilling willy nilly anywhere, if we killed everything around us that made life worth living( because according to you, everything is measured in dollars ), whats the point?


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 7/1/2008 9:45:20 AM , Rating: 1
> "As for drilling willy nilly anywhere, if we killed everything around us that made life worth living"

I don't know how barren wasteland in the Arctic Circle "makes life worth living" to those who will never come within 5,000 miles of it, but your basic premise is flawed. Drilling doesn't "kill everything around"...do you have any idea how many thousands of wells are in California alone?

> "Who the fuck do you think the GOVERNMENT IS. Its you, dickhead. If you think they are idiots, who is the bigger one who voted for them? "

Sorry, I don't vote for candidates which favor huge government subsidies, and in fact I active campaign against such individuals. The "dickhead" here certainly isn't me.


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 12:34:33 PM , Rating: 4
Oh really? I don't want to pay my fair share. I pay thousands of dollars in taxes every year. What do I get from it other than roads, police, and the military? Nothing. I get no tax breaks, I get no Welfare checks, I pay for my healthcare, etc.

quote:
as the opportunities you took advantage of to get where you are financially were subsidized by taxpayers before you


I have never used the public school system save one summer at a public high school for PE and LMS. I paid for college out of my own pocket. Please tell me what was subsidized by tax payers to get me where I am today.

Now I ask you, what does any of that have to do with a subsidy from buying an electric car? I think its wrong for the government to provide taxpayer money to consumers for buying a product. Sure I pay more than $8000 a year in taxes. But them giving me a subsidy for buying a car is not them giving me my money back. Because that money was already spent. So you're taking a small portion of my tax dollars and giving that back to me and taking a small portion of many others tax dollars and giving that to me as well.


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 3:58:51 PM , Rating: 1
That's what I thought. You've got nothing.


RE: 40K!
By Ringold on 6/30/2008 3:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because most of us do not rely on the flawed theories based upon some purported economic rationality of humans


Okay, you start off on some sort of libertarian foot..

quote:
o not want to pay your fair share


.. and end on a communist one.

Strange. In my experience, trying to put too much moral philosophy in to economics isn't productive, but good luck with that.

Maybe this will help some people:

http://pics.bestpicever.com/pics/pic_1210993531904...


RE: 40K!
By Spivonious on 6/30/2008 11:21:44 AM , Rating: 3
If the car can't sell itself at $40k, then it either shouldn't be made or the price should be lowered. The government should not encourage unfeasible products simply because they're "green".


RE: 40K!
By BansheeX on 6/30/2008 12:21:07 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The very poor typically are not taxed, so this would not be on their backs.


Nonsense, in addition to state and federal income taxes, there are property taxes, the SS and Medicare tax, the gas tax, the sales tax, tariffs on imports which are passed on to the consumer. And those are formal taxes, to say nothing of purchasing power transfers resultant of federal inflation which is perhaps the most destructive and misunderstood of all. Those are not avoidable or defeatable costs to the poor regardless of their income bracket.

quote:
Obviously the middle class would bear much of the brunt of such subsidies, but if you think that's unfair perhaps you can suggest a tax on the very rich to subsidize the program. I am NOT suggesting that, obviously that's a controversial idea, but it sounds like that's what would please you.


So, someone in the middle class who already bought a prius or someone who needs that money to pay off more immediate debt for their home or child's tuition is going to be subsidizing a potential Volt buyer? That's also stupid. And no, I'm not suggesting general tax hikes on the rich either, a lot of those people are employers. Redistribution of wealth for market purposes is socialist idealism. People just need to keep more of what they earn and make choices with their own money, and congress needs to learn from the ethanol blunder and go home. The very idea of politicians dictating where money they didn't labor for is spent just reeks of inefficieny, corporate-government collusion, and conflicts of interest.


RE: 40K!
By theflux on 7/1/2008 11:20:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Obviously the middle class would bear much of the brunt of such subsidies, but if you think that's unfair perhaps you can suggest a tax on the very rich to subsidize the program. I am NOT suggesting that, obviously that's a controversial idea, but it sounds like that's what would please you.


A modern day Robing Hood you are, Jason. Rob the rich to give a Volt to yourself!


RE: 40K!
By fic2 on 6/30/2008 12:44:03 PM , Rating: 3
This will be eaten up by the "Extra Dealer Markup".

A friend went to a GM dealership in Dallas a few weeks ago and tried to test drive a Tahoe Hybrid. They wouldn't even show him the car much less let him drive it. They kept trying to push him into a regular Tahoe or a Suburban. As he was walking out they told him they would sell him the Tahoe Hybrid sight unseen for $50k. This is what is going to happen to the Volt.

BTW, he bought a Santa Fe.

This is the hybrid I want:
http://www.worldcarfans.com/2060724.006/pml-builds...


RE: 40K!
By juserbogus on 6/30/2008 10:25:33 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
gas would have to be like $7 a gallon to cost justify it, imo


and why is that? many people spend >$40k on a vehicle now.


RE: 40K!
By StevoLincolnite on 6/30/2008 11:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
Here in South Australia, in the more country-ish areas the price is sitting on $1.81 a liter, with the price to jump to $2 a liter in the coming months.

That would mean 1.81 x 3.77 = $6.82 a gallon, and the latter figure to be $7.54 - I think personally at this stage, Hybrids are looking rather attractive... (The Australian Dollar and Average wage is fairly similar to the American at the moment also).


RE: 40K!
By rudolphna on 6/30/2008 11:26:10 AM , Rating: 2
Something people dont know about> If you have a family member that works for Ford (or any other american auto company, i dont know about foreign makers) then you can get a discount. We bought our originally $38,000 03' Expedition for $30,000 because of the Ford X-plan because my uncle works for Ford. We can get a fully loaded SE fusion for like 17k


RE: 40K!
By Smine on 6/30/2008 1:42:32 PM , Rating: 2
What you say for normal vehicles is true, however I know someone that works for GM and there are no price breaks on any of the hybrid vehicles. Even employees have to pay sticker price.


RE: 40K!
By Hiawa23 on 6/30/2008 11:51:02 AM , Rating: 3
most of us have not spent $40k on vehicles, as I have only bought cars in the $10k-20k range. Hell, my 06, Mitsu Lancer Ralliart was $18k, so no sure how you can assume most have already bought vehicles> $40k


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 10:47:53 AM , Rating: 2
Well consider that even with a car like a Camry you can easily spend $100/month on gas. Add that to your car payment and maybe you can afford it if you don't use much gas. I know if I had one, I'd barely use any gas since my daily commute to work is 16 miles round trip. So I've still got 24 miles to use. Can go to the store in that. Only taking a chick on a date would make me go over 40 miles since to downtown and back is about 50 miles.


RE: 40K!
By fic2 on 6/30/2008 12:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Only taking a chick on a date would make me go over 40 miles since to downtown and back is about 50 miles.

But then you get to "run out of gas, uh, electricity"...
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean, know what I mean...


RE: 40K!
By Doormat on 6/30/2008 10:54:41 AM , Rating: 4
Electricity: 12c/kWh
Battery: 16kWh capacity

40mi on electricity = $1.92

Est. Cost for 12,000 mi/yr = $700

If you drive less than 40mi/day its an outstanding deal. At $4.25/gal, you'd save about $1,000/yr on gas compared to a 30mpg car, and $1,850 compared to a 20mpg car. At $7 it goes to $2100 and $3500 per year.

There has been talk of an 8kWh battery version of the Volt for cheaper, and it may work well, since you're carrying less weight it the battery, but you'll need to convince your company to put in a recharging station (which would be easy for me since my company is "green" anyways).


RE: 40K!
By someguy743 on 6/30/2008 11:09:06 AM , Rating: 2
If the Volt is priced at around $33,000 or less, I am definitely going to buy it. I am hoping the government will have some VERY nice incentives like tax credits available. That'll definitely jump start the upcoming "age of electric cars".

If gas prices are $7-8 a gallon in early 2011, I think it will be a NO BRAINER for people to want to buy a Volt. I bet people will buy the Volt for no other reason than to piss off Big Oil and OPEC. I'm serious. Hell, if gas is $7-8 a gallon, GM will be getting a lot of criticism for not building enough of them fast enough. People will LOVING having another "fuel" besides freakin' gasoline to make their cars run ... good ole electricity right out of the garage outlet.

I bet a LOT of Volt owners only end up buying 3-5 tanks of gas per YEAR vs. the 24-30 EXPENSIVE tanks they have to pay for now. Big Oil and OPEC ain't gonna like that. NOBODY will care how OPEC and Big Oil feel as the electric car industry begins to shrink the oil business more and more every year. I don't care how many of their "please like us" oil industry commercials they put on TV. Us drivers are going to LOVE it. We'll laugh and flip a bird at every gas station price sign in town on the way to work. :)

The Chevy Volt is "an idea who's time has come". I think it'll be a hugely popular car. Hopefully, GM will make the exterior and interior look cool to go along with the high tech powertrain under the hood.


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 11:20:29 AM , Rating: 2
Or you could just buy the car on your own and realize its not the government's job to make a product more affordable for you.

I didn't get any government subsidy when I bought my car. Why should you just because you choose to buy an electric car? I like the Volt too. I'd like to buy one if I can afford it. But I don't expect the government to help me afford it just because the technology, and thus, the price is expensive.


RE: 40K!
By someguy743 on 6/30/2008 12:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
It looks pretty obvious to me that America needs to take some DEAD SERIOUS measures to deal with our ADDICTION to oil. GW Bush was dead right about that. We are in DEEP water with our oil addiction. OPEC and Big Oil have us by the cajones if you haven't noticed.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-oil28-2008ju...

I think the government needs to MAKE SURE that electric cars like the Volt have a solid foot in the door and STAY that way whether oil prices go up or down. We need electric cars on the road PERMANENTLY.

At 150 mpg, they are "oil demand destroyers". This is good for EVERYONE. We need that badly ... "demand destruction" like Wall Street calls it. That's why we need government incentives. The batteries will eventually be more and more affordable once the "economies of scale" kick in with mass production. Watch GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz here if you doubt it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoYnnSKH_6I

In 2015 or so, we'll all say "thank god we have these awesome new electric cars like the Volt ... we'd be screwed if we were still stuck with our 20 mpg cars like in 2008. Now we have 150 mpg cars ... and the batteries are getting more and more affordable every year because they are building more huge battery factories."

Governments all over the world get involved with their private industries ALL THE TIME to help give those industries a competitive advantage. You should see all the things that the Japanese and their "keiretsu cartels" do to help their companies. They don't call them Japan, Inc. for no good reason.

The Japanese government is HIGHLY involved in their private industries. They definitely help certain companies get an UNFAIR advantage vs. foreign competitors. How the hell are American companies supposed to compete? Other countries simply do not play by the same "rules" that American companies do. It's not a level playing field.

GM might already have a "Toyota Prius killer" hybrid on the road right now if the US Government and a "corporate keiretsu cartel" helped finance the development of the technology.

When you go up against a big company like Toyota, it's NOT just the employees who make them successful, it's the WHOLE country. Believe me, all the people in Japan don't mind sacrificing to help make Toyota the #1 car company. It's a nationalism thing like before WWII in the 1930s. They haven't changed all that much since then. They are not individualistic like us Americans are. They are more like "the Borg" in those Star Trek TV shows. They feel the government and Big Business know best and the people go along with whatever is best for Japan, Inc. Read this for more details. Japan, Inc. does NOT want the average American do know about this:

http://www.uwsa.com/issues/trade/japanyes.html


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 1:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Please stop watching the liberal news.

And we've tried for years to get off our FOREIGN oil addiction. But the same idiots who are pushing that aren't letting us drill here.

And all those batteries add nothing to our economy since they're all made where? China.


RE: 40K!
By someguy743 on 6/30/2008 1:44:02 PM , Rating: 1
George W. Bush and John McCain both are for dealing with our oil addiction. McCain wants to have big tax credits for electric cars like the Volt AND a $300 million X prize for whoever can make a big breakthrough in battery technology. Both of those guys are REPUBLICANS.

The reason why gas prices are so high is because Americans drive way too many gas guzzlers and Big Oil didn't do enough drilling in the oil leases THEY ALREADY HAVE in the past 5-10 years. Big Oil SHOULD have been monitoring oil demand in China and India and started drilling a LOT more to deal with the new demand.

Instead, Big Oil noticed that they were making RECORD profits by NOT drilling for oil, letting supplies go DOWN and gas prices go UP. Big Oil's desire for huge profits and their executives desire for huge bonuses and stock options comes FIRST you know.

Drilling for enough oil to keep gas prices reasonable is NOT in their best interests. Wall Street speculators making money and executives getting their big bonuses is THE priority. They couldn't care less about "the little guy" getting hammered by the gas prices in the long run. The execs will be on the golf course in retirement enjoying their bonuses and stock options. They don't worry about the long run too much.

They didn't feel like drilling for oil very much in the 90s apparently and they didn't care about oil demand from China and India. What we REALLY need is COMPETITION for their product called gasoline and diesel.

What will that competing product be? Hmmmm ... ELECTRICITY sounds pretty good to me. Pennies per mile sounds awesome vs. throwing a $5 bill out the window ever 15-20 miles in the cars we drive nowadays. In Europe, they throw a $10 bill out the window every 15-20 miles unless they drive a Prius or something. I'd like to NEVER throw ANY cash out the window for Big Oil and OPEC. You CAN do that if you buy yourself a Volt and drive under 40 miles a day in 2010+. Big Oil and OPEC ain't gonna like that ... like ANYONE will care.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 1:52:40 PM , Rating: 3
> "George W. Bush and John McCain both are for dealing with our oil addiction"

McCain has long opposed drilling in ANWR, and until very recently opposed lifting the drilling ban off the Atlantic Coast; his energy record is thus vey shaky.

> "Instead, Big Oil noticed that they were making RECORD profits by NOT drilling for oil"

Come on, we really don't need another conspiracy theory here. "Big Oil" has known the relationship between supply and demand since the 1950s -- they didn't magically discover this and formulate a plot 10 years ago.

What really happened is threefold. First, the US and many other free-market nations stopped letting companies drill for oil, leaving the supply at the mercy of unstable dictatorial regimes. Secondly, demand from places like China grew much faster than anyone could have guessed. Third, oil prices turned out to be even more inelastic than anyone guessed...who would have believed that gas could rise from $1.5/g to over $4, and people would still only cut their usage a couple percent? Hell, you can save more than that without even switching cars or driving less, just by driving a bit slower.

So don't blame the oil companies. Blame us and our governments, for a series of poor decisions that have ultimately come home to roost.


RE: 40K!
By TomZ on 6/30/2008 2:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
who would have believed that gas could rise from $1.5/g to over $4, and people would still only cut their usage a couple percent?

I think this is only the case in the short term. After all, it takes time for people to react in terms of purchasing smaller vehicles, moving closer to work, etc. I think that as time goes by with gas prices staying high, people will change more and more and we'll see consumption reduced. Energy costs are going to create a real financial burden for families and businesses alike, and I don't see how they will be able to ignore them or otherwise absorb the higher costs.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 2:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
> "I think this is only the case in the short term. After all, it takes time for people to react in terms of purchasing smaller vehicles, moving closer to work, etc. "

Oh certainly; I agree. But every day I still see people constantly tearing off with jackrabbit starts from traffic lights, driving 85+ on the interstate, and spending hours in the car every Friday or Saturday night, on discretionary driving. Hell, most of the time I'm one of them.

While some people *are* shifting to new cars or closer homes, the fact is we could cut gas consumption 10% just be better driving habits. The fact that current prices haven't even forced us to make that little sacrifice is a great surprise.


RE: 40K!
By fic2 on 6/30/2008 4:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
I was just thinking about that after lunch as I came out and saw two different people sitting in the parking lot, cars running, windows up, A/C on, eating their lunch and, I guess, listening to the radio. I see this everyday. I figure if people are sitting idle in their cars for 30-45 minutes gas still must be too cheap.


RE: 40K!
By jRaskell on 6/30/2008 5:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While some people *are* shifting to new cars or closer homes, the fact is we could cut gas consumption 10% just be better driving habits. The fact that current prices haven't even forced us to make that little sacrifice is a great surprise.


That honestly comes as a great surprise to you? When I look at the numbers, it really doesn't surprise me at all. Cutting my fuel consumption by 10%, even with today's gas prices is only around 5 bucks a week. Why would I change my driving habits for a few bucks a week?

The real truth is, at sub $2.00 a gallon, transportation costs for all but the lowest income American was borderline negligible, barely even worth bothering to put into my monthly balance sheet. Even now, it represents the SMALLEST monthly bill I have to pay out, and hardly represents itself as a budget busting expense.

Now, should fuel prices double up again in the next few years (ie $8.00+ a gallon) then I may consider investing in an alternative power vehicle, or possibly, though unlikely, consider adjusting my driving habits.


RE: 40K!
By Spuke on 7/1/2008 7:13:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think at $7.50 a gallon I'll be able to justify another car to replace my wife's truck as a commuter. But even then the additional car payment, gas, maintenance and insurance could be no more than $390 a month.


RE: 40K!
By Pythias on 6/30/2008 9:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious. How does taking on a new car payment to save money on gas make any kind of sense?


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 2:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
You should go work for Obama or Pelosi. You'd do great in their crowd.


RE: 40K!
By trox5361 on 6/30/2008 1:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
If reducing the demand of oil will lower prices, why won't increasing the supply?


RE: 40K!
By andrinoaa on 7/1/2008 4:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
Can't, simple. Unless you start a war!! lol


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 1:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
> "In 2015 or so, we'll all say "thank god we have these awesome new electric cars like the Volt ."

If by 2015, even a third of us have electric cars, we'll be seeing blackouts on a daily basis in most cities. As for "demand destruction", do you realize that less than half of oil is used for private autos? It's used to make fertilizer, plastics, and dozens of other products, as well as powering trains, ships, airplanes, etc.


RE: 40K!
By someguy743 on 6/30/2008 1:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
You are wrong about blackouts caused by electric cars. Even the electric utilities will tell you they have plenty of capacity for electric cars for the next 10 years.

In 2020+, they'll probably have plenty of new plants online. The electric utilities are working on a bunch of "smart grid" technologies right now. They should be ready for the influx of electric cars. Hopefully it'll be clean tech plants like solar and wind and some inexpensive, safe nuclear plants if necessary. A lot fewer coal plants I know that.

There will be lots of garage car chargers that automatically kick in at night no matter when you plug it in. Some people will have "garage batteries" that pull electricity off the grid at night or off your solar panels during the day. If you have "garage batteries", you can "quick charge" your electric car ANYTIME you feel like it without it affecting the grid one bit.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 2:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
> "Even the electric utilities will tell you they have plenty of capacity for electric cars for the next 10 years"

Utilities have *some* capacity for non-peak charging; very few have *any* capacity for peak charging...and some people who buy electric cars will charge during peak hours.

Furthermore, an electric car uses far more power than a light bulb or vacuum cleaner..if a substantial portion of our fleet goes electric, the "non-peak" demand will easily grow to larger than what our peak is today.

As far as us having "plenty of new plants" in 10 years, do you have any idea how long it takes today to build a plant? It can take five years just to receive environment impact approvals...and nearly all of the new plants proposed in the past decade have been rejected. Put simply, if we aren't planning those plants TODAY, we won't have them ten years from now.


RE: 40K!
By someguy743 on 6/30/2008 2:15:56 PM , Rating: 1
From what I've been hearing, it won't take too long for the solar and wind projects to get up and running. I hear solar panels should get MUCH cheaper in the next 5-10 years. People might soon be buying some inexpensive solar panels along with some "garage batteries" just for the purpose of charging up their electric car.

That would REALLY tick off Big Oil, OPEC and Big Coal. :) People would be driving on SUN POWER. Large companies couldn't charge for those sun rays hitting your solar panels you know. They'd hate that. They like commodities like oil where you can manipulate the supply and make big profits, bonuses for executives, etc.

I'd MUCH rather give my energy dollars to companies like GM, solar companies like Nanosolar and battery companies like A123 instead of Exxon Mobil and some Big Coal smokestack plants.


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 2:29:34 PM , Rating: 3
What is it with you and this "Lets piss off Big Oil" mantra?

Christ are you breast feeding from Pelosi's teet?

God I nearly threw up just saying that.


RE: 40K!
By someguy743 on 6/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 4:04:38 PM , Rating: 3
Are you a complete idiot? "Mother Nature" doesn't have a lot left huh? So nevermind the proven fields in ANWR we're not touching, the oil shale in the Dakotas, off shore oil we haven't touched, and the oil under the arctic circle hasn't even been touched. Not to mention there's a ton of places in the world we haven't even LOOKED for oil. Yeah there's not a lot left.

I have no issues with being conservationalist. I actually would love to buy a Volt. But I don't expect the government to pay for it. Nor do I think that our economy should be ruined to support the idea that oil is nearly gone when that is a downright lie. Or that it should be ruined to support the idea that we're ruining the planet with our fossil fuel burning when there is absolutely no proof.

And my only hope for 2108 is that people like you do not exist.


RE: 40K!
By someguy743 on 6/30/2008 6:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
If the oil companies thought that there was another monster oilfield the size of Saudi Arabia's off the East coast somewhere, don't you think they'd be clamoring to drill for oil there?

Nobody has stopped the oil companies from using their seismic equipment to try to determine if there IS any oil there. Obviously, they don't think the odds are good. Why do you think the oil companies would actually drill off the coast right now even if they did get the leases? They haven't drilled in the millions of acres of leases they already have in the Gulf of Mexico.

All the oil rigs and drilling ships are down in Brazil. They couldn't drill for oil off the U.S. coasts right now even if they wanted to. They'd have to build a bunch of new ships and rigs to do it. VERY expensive.

The problem with the oil in Canada, the Dakotas, Colorado and offshore is that GETTING TO THE OIL will be a LOT more expensive. They have to spend a lot on energy and other capital expenses to process the oil in the shale or oil sands. I've heard that there's barely enough oil underground in Alaska in ANWR for it to be worthwhile. They'd have to work in freezing temperatures and build expensive pipelines, etc.

The oil that has been inexpensive in the past is the kind that's easy to get to ... the light, sweet crude or whatever. The easy stuff to get to has been in the Middle East where you can practically stick a straw in the ground and oil comes up. The thing is, the oil companies probably could get us more of the "heavy sour oil" like in Canada, offshore, or in the Dakotas that is very expensive to process, but we'd STILL end up having to pay $5+ per gallon for it at the pump ... maybe $10 per gallon in 2015. Who knows?

Who wants to pay $5-10 per gallon for gasoline if you don't HAVE TO? Why not just buy a Chevy Volt in 2010 and get your "fuel" straight from the garage outlet? The government should put a LOT of money into battery research and other incentives to get a bunch of battery factories built. From what I've been reading, better batteries at cheaper prices really ARE in the pipeline ... batteries that could have TEN times more capacity than the one's available today. Accelerating the research and development will get them on the market sooner.

By the way, A123 says if they get the Volt contract, they will build a battery factory in the U.S. Why? Probably in large part because of the price of shipping ... diesel fuel for ships, etc. It will soon be cheaper to just manufacture in America instead of getting it outsourced from China or wherever where they pay the workers peanuts.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 7:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
> "If the oil companies thought that there was another monster oilfield the size of Saudi Arabia's off the East coast somewhere, don't you think they'd be clamoring to drill for oil there?"

Err, they ARE clamoring to drill there. Read a paper sometime.

> "Nobody has stopped the oil companies from using their seismic equipment to try to determine if there IS any oil there"

Oops -- do yo uhave any idea how expensive seismic sounding is? The supercomputer time alone to process the data can run millions, much less the costs of getting the readings.

Why would a company spend this vast sum, only to have Congress either a) refuse to let anyone drill there, or b) give the lease to one of their own competitors.

This is why the "unused leases" argument is just a smoke screen. Sure, companies buy leases all the time...and they don't exploit all of them. Not every one they buy has oil underneath it.


RE: 40K!
By someguy743 on 6/30/2008 8:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
The bottom line question is this ... IF Congress let the oil companies drill anywhere they felt like offshore OR on land, do you think it would cause the price of oil to go down? If so, how much? When exactly would this happen?

Would the oil they find be enough to drop the price of oil below $100 a barrel like it was a few years ago? Could they drop the price of oil enough to supply America AND China, India and the rest of the developing world at reasonable prices ... like they were just a few years ago?

Could they do by 2015? That's the really big question. By 2015, we'll all be driving electric hybrids like the Volt and we won't NEED no stinking oil like we used to. It's the "demand destruction" caused by the deployment of new fleets of hybrids like the Volt that will bring down the price of oil. More than drill, drill, drill. If they drill, drill, drill they better find 3 or 4 more Saudi Arabia sized oilfields or it ain't gonna do squat for gasoline prices. Once the batteries for electric cars get a lot cheaper, people won't even THINK of buying a car with an internal combustion engine in it again. Bad newz for Big Oil and fatcat oil sheiks and Hugo Chavez. Makes you want to cry doesn't it?

Oil used to be about $20 a barrel when Dumbya Bush became President in 2001 you know. Looks like Dumbya and Cheney sure have helped out there oil buddies in the past 8 years ... a LOT. Cheney's Halliburton buddies must be thrilled to have him as VP. Bush and Cheney did what they were supposed to do. Pretty much block any threat to Big Oil profits and don't have any energy policies that could be a long term rival to oil ... things like electric cars. They'd hate the idea of people being able to run their cars on something other than THEIR product. Big Oil knows they couldn't compete with the efficiency of electric drivetrains and the price of electricity.


RE: 40K!
By Lord 666 on 7/1/2008 12:05:06 AM , Rating: 2
Think of ANWR or US offshore as your 401k; while it might be tempting to use some money from it now to buy a car or house, the value of the of it will only get larger if you wait. If the United States taps into ANWR now, it will start using the reserves while oil is "only" $142 a barrel. The value of that oil will more than likely be far greater and more scarce in the years to come so its prudent to wait.

Taking it one step further, its cheaper and easier to borrow money from a parent or friend to take money out of your own savings. In the United States case, it is currently easier and cheaper to buy someone else's oil and/or take over their land. Just today, Iraq prime minister announced bidding on their oil fields - http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/30/news/international...

With direct knowledge, I know of many areas in Oklahoma and Utah that are being scouted for possible oil fields. There are plenty of places left over for discovery, but it makes sense to wait a bit. Saving .20 a gallon on gas now is chump change to what it will be in 10 years. Plus, if the US improves relations with Cuba, I hear there is some oil there too that can be tapped.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 7/1/2008 1:25:26 AM , Rating: 2
> "Plus, if the US improves relations with Cuba, I hear there is some oil there too that can be tapped"

Oops -- China is *already* drilling that Cuban oil. Just 70 miles off the coast of Florida, in fact.

> "The value of that oil will more than likely be far greater...so its prudent to wait."

Wait for how long? Even if we started today, ANWR will take 10 years to come up to full production, and will still be producing 25-30 years after that. By 2045, we may not even be using oil any more for transportation.

By the logic of "oil will one day be more expensive", we should never have drilled a single barrel on US soil...an obvious fallacy.


RE: 40K!
By Lord 666 on 7/1/2008 9:27:17 AM , Rating: 2
Your sarcasim detector must have been turned off at 1:30am. Its unfortunate that the US policy towards Cuba has been stuck in the Cold War error. There still might be a chance for the US to make an offer to Cuba they cannot refuse. Maybe we can give them our old cell phones to spark the deal (sarcasim, fyi).

Just came back from family vaction in Disney; my wife and I chuckled during the Ellen's Energy Adventure ride when they said there was about 50 years of oil left. However, the mentality that we may not be using oil in 2045 is the very reason why our energy policy failed for the last 30 years. Counting on future advances (same as when you were in school and solar was going to be cheap "real" soon in the 70's) is a plan for disaster.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 7/1/2008 9:48:07 AM , Rating: 2
> "Your sarcasim detector must have been turned off at 1:30am"

It usually is. So does that mean you're not seriously proposing waiting to drill for domestic oil until some misty, undefined point in future history?

If not, please lay down your timetable on exactly when we should start securing our own energy future.


RE: 40K!
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 2:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
> "I hear solar panels should get MUCH cheaper in the next 5-10 years"

I heard the same thing in school in the 1970s. The fact is, you can't predict advances in technology. It could be tomorrow, or 200 years from now.

In any case, even if solar panels were free, it wouldn't solve the entire problem...you still need some economic way to store energy when the sun isn't shining. So that's another quantum leap in technology needed.


RE: 40K!
By Doormat on 6/30/2008 11:24:26 AM , Rating: 2
Plus the Volt's engine can run on E85. So not only do you buy less gas, but if they can figure out cellulose-based ethanol and make the 85% of the fuel domestic ethanol, you're really buying a fraction of the amount of gas you were before - 90% petrol/10% ethanol at 500 gallons per year (450gal) vs 85% domestic ethanol/15% petrol at 50 gallons per year (7.5gal).


RE: 40K!
By Diesel Donkey on 6/30/2008 12:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
However, your mileage when running on the ICE will not be so hot. But I guess that's a different story.


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 12:36:54 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they're tuning it to run on E85. So if they design it right, it might get its best MPG on E85. This worries me because E85 isn't available everywhere.


RE: 40K!
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/30/2008 2:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
E85 is also expensive as hell once you remove the subsidies.


RE: 40K!
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 4:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
Well I didn't go there but yes. Another example of subsidies hiding the true cost of something. Fact is E85 would probably be on par with regular gas if it weren't for government subsidies.


RE: 40K!
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/30/2008 6:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
I recall a figure that Gas would need to be 5.18 per gallon for E85 to be economical.


RE: 40K!
By Hiawa23 on 6/30/2008 11:37:47 AM , Rating: 2
I am sorry, I got a 97 Honda Civic & a 06 Mitsu Lancer Ralliart, & $40k per vehicle is way out of most people's budget for any car. Hell, most people probably can't even get financed for a car costing $40k, so if the Volt & these plug-ins our our supposed savior to outragious fuel prices, most of us Americans are in trouble. Hell, my house was only $68k, there is noway I would buy a car for that much. Seems like these are for the rich only.

There has to be some answer to bring down fuel prices cause most are not just going to drop whatever vehicles they have & buy the hybrids. Does anyone have any answers to make our current gas/combustion engines run more efficiently, or the gas that goes into them costing less, I think is the question most Americans want answered, not who can build the next electric/gas hybrids.


RE: 40K!
By ccmfreak2 on 6/30/2008 1:12:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Does anyone have any answers to make our current gas/combustion engines run more efficiently, or the gas that goes into them costing less, I think is the question most Americans want answered, not who can build the next electric/gas hybrids.


I would agree. When doing a little research a month or two ago, I found it puzzling that the consumer hasn't been given a hybrid that can get upwards of 70 mpg since the original ones earlier this decade. Today, the best you can find is around 55 mgp at best with the hybrids.


RE: 40K!
By Alexvrb on 7/1/2008 6:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
It's still an estimate. We don't know what the final price tag will be. Regardless, they are going to be pretty expensive initially, but as the technology matures and as they ramp up production (assuming it does well) prices will come down.


Gas crisis
By chmilz on 6/30/2008 11:29:16 AM , Rating: 2
I wish I could have your "gas crisis". Up here in Canada (and in Europe as well) we pay more for gas than you do, and yet there's no "crisis" here. Americans make more money on average and pay less for everything from cars to houses to fuel, yet still can't manage to fill their tanks?

The US doesn't have a gas crisis, it's people have a budgeting crisis.




RE: Gas crisis
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/30/2008 12:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
The U.S. hasn't adopted the "deprive ourselves of everything good in the world" mindset that Europe has embraced. Also, in Europe your high prices are mostly due to the incredible tax rate and VAT rate that you must live with. If you push the taxes down to the U.S. level and eliminate the VAT as well, you will find many of your products are about the same price as the American products.


RE: Gas crisis
By Eri Hyva on 6/30/2008 1:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
Everything good in the world?
Good? World?
(Arrogance??????)

Those gas tax and VAT euros are used for example for free education (from primary education to universities and colleges) and for free health care. So maybe we "embrace" those over almost free cruising from A to B with V6 or V8.
It is true driving a car costs double here compared to the US.

That kind of sounds like masher2: "There is only way to do arrange things, the US republican way". Well, sir, it still ain't so, no matter if you repeat that for 100 years.
And those mantras for 9-years-old: Taxes bad, government bad. Yawn.

In many things a co-ordinated system receives better economies of scale than putting the burden to each individual separately. And not even let me started with universal human and citizen rights, what should one could make profit out of.

Hospital, Inc ( Yippee, companies making profit out of your or your kid's cancer)
vs
Free Hospital for all citizens

Private decent education (Yippee, let's keep the poor uneducated, and their kid's too. Our system needs those minimum salary work force. And let's make profit out of education)
vs
Free decent education

Next thing -> Army, Inc ( or are you already there??? )

Adults know there are always options to choose from, and not one Ultimate Truth (tm)

http://www.pisa.oecd.org/document/2/0,3343,en_3225...

Please count for me, how much it would cost me and me wife for giving our 3 children education from 6 years old to 26 years old with medical doctor degree in the US? And do not forget to add health insurance to all 5. Those are all mandatory costs in family, here or there or anywhere.

Please, tell me (like arrogant Americans so easily do to the rest of us), what good am I deprived from?
I can't imagine a thing. Nothing at all. Nada. I really tried. Must be I am an idiot. Yeah, whatever.

So we pay over double for the gas here, and we laugh at the pump. Do you still wonder why?


RE: Gas crisis
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 2:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And not even let me started with universal human and citizen rights, what should one could make profit out of.


First of all, that sentence doesn't even make sense.

Second, universal human and citizen rights are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not free health care and a free education.

Third, we have both public and private schooling here. The fact that most public schooling sucks is a three-way fault. One, poor teachers or teachers that aren't allowed to teach thanks to liberal ideas like "No Child Left Behind". Two, parents who don't get involved in their kids education. Three, kids who just don't care.

There is no conspiracy to keep the poor person poor. Any poor kid can go to school and do well in life. I grew up going to a school full of rich kids and a lot of them were dumb as bricks. So don't give me a bunch of crap about how rich kids in private school are always going to do better.

And the point is why should I have to pay for your kids to go to medical school when my kid didn't want to or I don't even have kids(which I don't)? Your kid can be like the rest of American's who don't have rich parents. He/she can get loans. And if you or your wife don't have a good enough job to provide medical care to your child, who's fault is that? It sure as hell isn't my fault. So why should I have to pay for that?


RE: Gas crisis
By Spuke on 6/30/2008 7:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is no conspiracy to keep the poor person poor.
There sure as hell isn't!!! I grew up poor (government housing, food stamp, one foot from the street poor). My mother was single but she didn't just stay in that situation. She got a job, moved up, got a better job, moved up until she was eventually able to afford a house. My siblings (sis, bro and I) and I all joined the military and my bro and I got bachelors degrees (my bro got a scholarship and I paid for mine myself). My sis isn't doing well financially but that's her own damn fault. My bro and I are doing very well and quite frankly I couldn't be happier with my success.

I had it bad growing up but it could've been MUCH worse. My mother didn't freeze up and sit on her butt like so many others do that are in the same situation she was in. She got out and worked and made improvements and so did the rest of us. I've been there and I don't want to hear any crap about boo hoo I'm too poor or boo hoo my daddy left when I was 6 months old. It's all BS!!!

Get your ass out and work!!! If you don't know how, find someone that does. With the internet and most everyone having access to a computer, this info can be easily had. There are people out there running marathons with no legs. There's hardly any excuse.


RE: Gas crisis
By Ringold on 6/30/2008 10:26:25 PM , Rating: 1
In case some people don't know what the "American Dream" is, well, it can take many forms. One such valid form however is Spuke's above post.

The 'American Dream' is not "I will be rich," or "My life will be as easy as possible" or devoid of hardship. It is more along the lines of "If I work sufficiently hard, and in a smart way, I can achieve the goals I want."


RE: Gas crisis
By andrinoaa on 7/1/2008 4:51:53 AM , Rating: 2
About time you got a reality check. American dream? Holliwood had better scripts. 50million on the poverty line, GREAT DREAM you have ,loser. Thats exactly the line a pimp would use ... lol


RE: Gas crisis
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/30/2008 2:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In many things a co-ordinated system receives better economies of scale than putting the burden to each individual separately.

Sounds like communism to me, no thanks. I have no intention of working hard just to be "average" when in the U.S. I can work hard and get "above average". Your system is a recipe for mediocrity, where nobody gets ahead and everyone is the same.

quote:
Hospital, Inc ( Yippee, companies making profit out of your or your kid's cancer)
vs
Free Hospital for all citizens

Yes, because I want my tax dollars to go to your kids.... because your not skilled/educated/talented enough to get a good job that provides you with good healthcare. Forget that, I pay for my healthcare, you should do the same. Not my problem if you can't.

quote:
Private decent education (Yippee, let's keep the poor uneducated, and their kid's too. Our system needs those minimum salary work force. And let's make profit out of education)
vs
Free decent education

Education is what you want from it. I did quite well in public schools. I got a job and paid my own way through college. I don't really think you should get hand outs because your family cant afford to go to school or you somehow think that just because your kid slacks off in a private school that he will get any more than slacking off in a public school. Frankly I find both school systems to be equally crappy.

quote:
Please count for me, how much it would cost me and me wife for giving our 3 children education from 6 years old to 26 years old with medical doctor degree in the US? And do not forget to add health insurance to all 5. Those are all mandatory costs in family, here or there or anywhere.

Well the majority of America seems to get by. In fact the majority of the U.S. has healthcare through their employer and can put their kids through college. For people who somehow can't pay for college, there are scholarships, grants, or even student loans. Maybe working hard to get ahead and getting a good job to support your family is too much of a burdeon for you. In America we embrace the concept that your only as good as you make yourself. You work hard, you get a good job, you get a decent education and some marketable skills and you won't have any problems.

I'm sorry if this is too competitive for you, but this is the way we like it in America. Your future and your success is completely in your hands. You can go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone you want to be.


RE: Gas crisis
By Pythias on 7/1/2008 12:10:40 AM , Rating: 2
You heartless scumbag. These people are entitled to the benefits of your hard work. Why, the world will be a paradise when 70% of the population is working to support the other 30%!


RE: Gas crisis
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 12:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
You're looking at average income. We have more millionaires here than anywhere in the world. Thats about .1% of America. Then theres the rest of us. Whereas 6 months ago I was spending $25 to fill my tank I'm now spending almost $50.


RE: Gas crisis
By chmilz on 6/30/2008 6:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get me wrong, fuel has rocketed up everywhere. I remember the days when putting $5 in the tank wasn't a joke. What I'm saying is that with housing markets crashing, cars that cost 30% less than here (Canada), cheaper fuel, cheaper clothes, cheaper food, I could live like a king in most places in the US on the same money I make here, yet many Americans seem to be in all kinds of financial trouble despite having those advantages.

Maybe capitalism has it's flaws, maybe the celebrity-jaded generation is so dumb they shop themselves into financial ruin, who knows. I just wish Americans realized they actually have it damn good compared to most of the known world.


RE: Gas crisis
By Spuke on 6/30/2008 7:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
yet many Americans seem to be in all kinds of financial trouble despite having those advantages.
The US media has overstated the issue a bit. Over 90% of Americans are still making payments on their homes on time. Most of us are NOT in financial trouble. As far as gas prices here, we are used to paying VERY low prices for gas. It's simply more than we're used to paying and people are complaining. Quite frankly, people have been complaining for over 10 years but now it's on the news.

Don't watch our news. It's really not even close to what's actually going on in America. It's cherry-picked and heavily biased. I don't even watch it and I live here (lots of people don't).


RE: Gas crisis
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 3:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
I "watched" the news a few nights ago after a show of mine went off and I was getting ready to go to bed. Wanted to shoot the TV.

I watch the Daily Show sometimes. Not for its news value though. Just because I find Stewart funny despite his highly liberal attitude. He makes some good jokes.


Missed opportunities
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 10:23:03 AM , Rating: 2
> " It's just that that's a huge commitment to actually go to production..."

In development terms, the difference between a hybrid and its plug-in variant is very minor. My guess is Ford has already done the development, and is simply waiting to see how the first units from GM and Toyota sell before ramping up a line.




RE: Missed opportunities
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/30/2008 10:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
Well, traditional hybrids usually use NiMH batteries b/c they don't need to power the vehicle in battery-only mode for very long. IIRC, the Toyota Highlander hybrid can only go one mile on battery power alone.

Plug-in hybrids, however, use lithium-ion batteries which give them longer battery-only range.


RE: Missed opportunities
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 10:48:14 AM , Rating: 2
Range is determined by the size of the battery pack though; increasing range is a very simple proposition. In fact, many people have been self-modifying their Priuses into plug-in models...it doesn't take a corporation and billions of dollars of development to do so.


RE: Missed opportunities
By dagamer34 on 6/30/2008 10:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
However, the battery itself is going to wear out. The way the Volt works compared to hybrids of today is that there is NO gas-powertrain to the motor. Gas is used ONLY to charge the battery and nothing else. Though the Volt should get more useable energy through a indirect chemical->electrochemical->mechanical energy shift since the chemical->mechanical energy change we use today is still horribly inefficient (around 12% or so).

The subsidy is really to incentivize enough people to buy the car such that economies of scale start to kick in (especially on the battery) so that parts become cheaper over time. Without it, we may be waiting 20+ years for this technology to ever hit mainstream (or let's just let oil hit $300/barrel).


RE: Missed opportunities
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 11:14:44 AM , Rating: 3
> " Gas is used ONLY to charge the battery and nothing else. "

In technical terms, its known as a serial hybrid, as opposed to the parallel hybrids such as the Prius. The conversion ratio is about the same; the real benefit is that you can design the engine to run at a constant rpm, which vastly improves its efficiency. The overall complexity of the approach is also lower, which makes for a generally more reliable vehicle.

However, you can't really make a serial hybrid with NiHM batteries-- their coloumetric charging efficiency is too low. That's why automakers had to wait till Li-Ion batteries were cheap enough before designing such.


RE: Missed opportunities
By rudolphna on 6/30/2008 11:28:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
owever, the battery itself is going to wear out


Yes, after 5 or 6 years. And then you have to pay like $6000 for a new battery. Thats for the smaller batter in the Escape Hybrid too. Until batteries have higher capacity and longer life, i wouldnt buy one. what you save in gas you end up throwing into a new battery in a few years.


RE: Missed opportunities
By DigitalFreak on 6/30/2008 2:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
IIRC, warranties on the hybrid systems for current cars are ~8 years.


RE: Missed opportunities
By jRaskell on 6/30/2008 1:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gas is used ONLY to charge the battery and nothing else.


That's not entirely correct. The ICE is tied to a 53kw generator. When the battery drops below 30% charge, the ICE kicks in for two purposes, to charge the battery, but also to power the electric motor during cruise and light acceleration operation. The battery will kick back in under any sort of acceleration that the generator can't handle.


RE: Missed opportunities
By guacamojo on 6/30/2008 11:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
On the face of it, I'd agree with you. It's just a bigger battery.

Of course, there was that "thermal event" with the self-modded Prius in CA. I'd imagine GM is engineering the hell out of the Volt batteries to avoid that kind of PR. That could kill the electric car for real.

Heck, apparently it's not even that easy to make Li-Ion work consistently in a laptop application! That should have been easy by comparison: relatively controlled environment, low power output, high volume/high automation. And yet, laptops burst into flames as recently as last year.


RE: Missed opportunities
By jRaskell on 6/30/2008 5:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
And yet people completely ignore the fact that ICE cars have caught on fire and burned to the ground on numerous occasions. Even some high profile cars such as Ferrari, Mercedes, as well as the more common cars such as Ford, Toyota, GM, Honda... I'd hazard a guess there isn't an automobile manufacturer out there that can say that none of their vehicles have ever caught on fire. It's common enough that it doesn't even make the news when it does happen. And we're talking about a technology that's been in use for nearly a century now. Li-Ion has only been around for about a decade.


RE: Missed opportunities
By guacamojo on 6/30/2008 6:47:30 PM , Rating: 2
Good point, although usually that level of problem at least results in a publicized recall.

Unfair or not, the first Li-Ion cars will have to win consumer confidence. It doesn't matter if the older technology has problems; people are used to it and they've accepted it.

If the Volt fails in any kind of spectacular fashion (like burning up), it'll make the news. It's too big not to.

The battery tech is pretty impressive when you think about it. An 80 hp motor draws more than 60 kW. My house has a 200 amp panel, which is only 48 kW. That battery could power my whole house!

Do you suppose they'll make whole-house battery backups with these?


Toyota Corolla/Civic?
By epsilonparadox on 6/30/2008 10:37:59 AM , Rating: 2
That should be Camry right?




RE: Toyota Corolla/Civic?
By rippleyaliens on 6/30/2008 12:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
WELL.. a CAR that gets 40miles per CHARGE.
1. Is that constant driving at 30mph, or 60
2. What about stop and go traffic.
3. 40 miles=15-17 miles per way, Clear traffic, no stops, in decent weather..

All this for 40k? HMM, 40k +tax+fees=44000 give or take.
60month (5)year payment with 5% interest= $830 a month
1%=752.12 a month+ Electricity. Well folks, Electricity is going up in price as well. To charge a Car every night, COST.. even 5$ a day= $150 just for the car.. So just that 900 a month.. HMM
If gas hits 10$ a gallon, my 9 year old buick, which averages 24mpg, city+highway..for 40 miles a day=$333.333 a month. HUGE difference. Double for gas vs electricity but no car payment.

Getting a 700+ car payment, + OVER 5$ a day.. My computer lab of only 5 computers, running half time, cost me $5 a day, let alone charging a car battery. Electric companies will just love this..
BUT still 40 miles per charge is horrible. I can only imagine the replacement battery cost. No stereo in the car, A/C, lol, in thy dreams. RAIN, in which the road has 8-10 inches of water, will be interesting.
Companies that will let employees charge their car for FREE!!, rrrriiiiggggghhhhttttt.
Spending 700+ a month, to not even be able to drive in ANY Metro City, as traffic, distance, alone is not avaliable..
Many years my friends, until we can resolve this. Many years


RE: Toyota Corolla/Civic?
By ICE1966 on 7/1/2008 7:49:36 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 1987 Ford Mustang GT, with a 5 liter V-8, and I get close to 22mpg, it has 169,000 miles on it. this is an actual number as I just checked it last week. The actual number was 21.92miles per gal., I just rounded it up. I spend about $50 every week to fill it up. Thats $2600 per year, lets divide that into $40,000 for the volt: thats 15.4 years I can fuel my car, thats been long paid for and is in very good condition. I have virtually no repair cost except for wear items such as brakes and normal things, which you have on the volt also. You will probably have to replace things like brakes more often on the volt simply because of the weight of the car. I pay about $22 a year in taxes on my car, and the tag for the car cost $24 every 2 years. Insurance is very cheap. I just cannot see any reason to buy a volt or any other hybrid car at this point and time.

As a side note, there is not a single volt or prius that can pass me on the freeway, lol. I just could not help myself.

Dave


RE: Toyota Corolla/Civic?
By Hiawa23 on 7/1/2008 9:45:35 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 1987 Ford Mustang GT, with a 5 liter V-8, and I get close to 22mpg, it has 169,000 miles on it. this is an actual number as I just checked it last week. The actual number was 21.92miles per gal., I just rounded it up. I spend about $50 every week to fill it up. Thats $2600 per year, lets divide that into $40,000 for the volt: thats 15.4 years I can fuel my car, thats been long paid for and is in very good condition. I have virtually no repair cost except for wear items such as brakes and normal things, which you have on the volt also. You will probably have to replace things like brakes more often on the volt simply because of the weight of the car. I pay about $22 a year in taxes on my car, and the tag for the car cost $24 every 2 years. Insurance is very cheap. I just cannot see any reason to buy a volt or any other hybrid car at this point and time.

As a side note, there is not a single volt or prius that can pass me on the freeway, lol. I just could not help myself.
Dave

Dave, alot of us agree with you, which is why I brought up my 97 Honda Civic & 06 Mitsu Lancer. Most of us aint buying any new cars anytime soon, all we want like most, is some sort of answer to bring down fuel costs, which now has spilled into everything else we buy. These Hybrids are nice, but like I said most can't afford them & are not buying any new cars anytime soon, especially with every other cost, childcare rising. Those hybrids are not the answer for most of us.


RE: Toyota Corolla/Civic?
By theapparition on 7/1/2008 4:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
WELL.. a CAR that gets 40miles per CHARGE.
1. Is that constant driving at 30mph, or 60
2. What about stop and go traffic.

1. It's an estimated range, you may do better or worse, but my money would be on better.
2. Unlike gas/diesel cars which must idle, serial hybrids like the Volt use practically no engergy while stopped. Additionally, regenerative braking helps in stop and go situations. The result is that mileage for the Volt will be completely opposite from traditional gas engine cars. Best mileage will be achieved for city driving, while highway will be wost.

Further,
Your comment about the weather is unfounded. Since this car doesn't need an external air source for batttery operation, I'd wager it could probably drive submerged. Your fear that just because it's electric meets water is unfounded. Most wiring even on regular autos is sealed.


We've lost our imagination
By lifeblood on 6/30/2008 10:48:19 AM , Rating: 2
American companies used to be industry leaders, showing great innovation and adaptability. At least as far as cars we now seem to be relegated to the role of "also ran". If the high cost of gas has any silver lining perhaps it will be to kick Detroit in the butt and get them thinking out of the box again.

As a kid I use to read about all the concept vehicles at the Detroit auto show. They had some cool looking vehicles. Of course, none of them ever made it to production. Some of the technologies did, but not the cool looking cars. Anyone remember the cars with the doors that opened up? Maybe it is impractical but I really wanted one of those.




RE: We've lost our imagination
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2008 10:56:49 AM , Rating: 2
> "Anyone remember the cars with the doors that opened up?"

Gullwing doors? You can buy a kit for most cars to transform it into such...though indeed they're wildly impractical and maintenance nightmares.


RE: We've lost our imagination
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 11:21:39 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention they look retarded.


RE: We've lost our imagination
By Grast on 6/30/2008 11:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
masher,

I agree that gullwing doors can be a nightmare. However,the delorian with its torsion bar system seems pretty maintenance free, so long as the bar did not break. My neighbor has a classic original delorian from the 80's. The doors are about the only thing he has not had problems with....

Later...


Do my eyes deceive me?
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 10:16:06 AM , Rating: 1
Is GM getting credit for developing fuel cell technology? I thought Honda was the only one deserving of credit.




RE: Do my eyes deceive me?
By herm0016 on 6/30/2008 10:49:11 AM , Rating: 2
GM has always been one of the top fuel cell innovators. they have fuel cell vehicles in DC and LA for consumer testing, they have also deployed fuel cells in a factory in texas, these cells are powering the factory as they are testing them.
The great thing about the volt is its flexibility. it would take very little work to change it from a small gas generator to a fuel cell generator, or diesel, or any other power source.
http://www.chevrolet.com/fuelcell/
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/automobiles/09eq...
http://www.gm.com/explore/technology/fuel_cells/fc...


RE: Do my eyes deceive me?
By FITCamaro on 6/30/2008 11:23:34 AM , Rating: 2
I'm very well aware of that fact. My point is that the mainstream media barely makes a peep about GM developing fuel cell technology. Then Honda releases a "production" hydrogen fuel cell car of a few dozen units, mostly to celebrities that will rarely use them, and they are lauded as saviors and innovators able to do what Detroit will not.


RE: Do my eyes deceive me?
By bobsmith1492 on 6/30/2008 12:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
I.E. sarcasm. Tough to detect from your post... ;)


EV1
By Homerboy on 6/30/2008 4:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't GM already have a successful and functional plug-in electric car? That they killed?

Oh yes... the EV1




RE: EV1
By The0ne on 7/1/2008 9:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
Most definitely for their own selfish needs. Customers had no choice for the call back. I wouldn't give a care if GM or Ford were to fold and disappear. IMO they did it to themselves. The quote by Ford alone about just sitting until demands calls for it is laughable...understandable but laughable.


Few quotes wrong
By fic2 on 6/30/2008 11:51:08 AM , Rating: 3
I think you got a few quotes/headlines wrong.
quote:
Ford Steps Aside...

Ford Continues to Sit on Their Butts...
quote:
Our position in the hybrid market makes it easier for us to sit back

Our lack of position in the hybrid market makes it easier to continue to do nothing.
quote:
If customers aren't buying them, we're not making them

If we're making it customers aren't buying them.




Typo..
By voodooboy on 6/30/2008 10:25:38 AM , Rating: 2
"When it comes to advanced technologies to improve the fuel efficiency of America's vehicles, we often hear from the likes of General Motors and Toyota."...




By joker380 on 6/30/2008 12:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
40 Grand is a very stiff price if you ask me in that perspective Prius or Civic Hybrid looks more attractive to me. And by that time those Hybrid will be in their 4th or 5th generation and be able to provide at least 55-65 mpg which is good enough. And i dont think the gas prices will go that high since the whole trend is changing. Just yesterday i was watching news that Japanese automaker is introducing MARUTI SUSUZKI in INDIA which will use LPG. I think as the demand is increasing for OIL as per specualtions the fuel economy is also increasing worldwide. I think the gas prices will be around 5 for another 5-6 years and than it will start coming down taking into account of all the new plugin/hydrogen technology coming into market.




By Anonymous Freak on 6/30/2008 9:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If customers aren't buying them, we're not making them.


Uh, I think you have cause and effect reversed there, Ted.

If you're not making them, customers can't buy them. It just like that old quote "You can't win the lottery if you never buy a ticket."

Try having some balls, and actually *LEAD*ing for once. (You know, for the first time since Henry Ford was in charge.) Maybe you'll stop bleeding money if you take some leadership, instead of the half-hearted attempt that is the Escape Hybrid. (Which is a perfectly good car, by the way.)




"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki