Print 55 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Feb 6 at 9:34 AM

Volt will be much cheaper in the next generation  (Source: GM)
Price cut will come from smaller battery packs and economy of scale

The Chevrolet Volt is an interesting green vehicle with its ability to drive on electric power alone for short distances coupled with the ability to drive for much longer distances using a gasoline engine. The big drawback to the Volt today is the price of the vehicle.

The MSRP of the Volt is around $41,000, which is keeping some of the people that might be interested in the vehicle from biting. GM has announced that it hopes to reduce the price of the Volt by $7,500 for the next generation.

If GM were able to cut the MSRP by $7,500, when a buyer figures the federal tax rebate into the price the Volt would sell for under $30,000 making it much more appealing to most car buyers. The discount would also put the Volt more in line with the MSRP of the Nissan Leaf EV.

GM's Robert Peterson said, "As with any new technology - from plasma TVs to cell phones - the production costs lower with learnings gained with each generation. We expect to see similar cost savings, either through the development or improvement of technologies, or reduced production costs."

The discount could be achieved by taking advantage of greater economies of scale and by using a smaller battery pack that would presumably offer the same range as the battery pack in the Volt today. 

Edmunds reports that GM sold 321 Volts in January and 326 in December while the Leaf sold 87 units last month. GM plans to build 25,000 Volts this year and up to 50,000 in 2012.

The first Volt demo cars showed up at dealers this week.

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It will go back up
By knowitall on 2/3/2011 3:01:55 PM , Rating: 5
Hopefully by the next generation the indebted U.S government would come to its senses and stop the the madness of free tax money to uncompetitive products and let the free market decide. first generation support was enough by second generation it shouldn't need support anymore. we don't need to give handouts for every generation.
And when the handout is over the price will go up again and then we will see if it can survive, which I don't think its economical for a product to survive if its selling a only couple of thousands a year.

RE: It will go back up
By Taft12 on 2/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: It will go back up
By 91TTZ on 2/3/2011 3:50:34 PM , Rating: 3
He's not saying that we should give up on fuel efficient cars. He's saying we shouldn't subsidize companies who can't make affordable fuel efficient cars just so they can stay in business against companies that can.

RE: It will go back up
By omnicronx on 2/3/2011 4:08:35 PM , Rating: 3
But thats where his view is flawed. Please point me to the nearest company that can as I don't see it.. ;)

This is clearly not black and white. Its very hard to supplant old technology, especially when it has been around for so long, production advancements have been made, and said advancements allow them to sell the product at a much lower cost.

Why would I make a car for 20K and make 1K from it when I could sell it for 20K and make 5K?

If we are willing to wait for these alternative fuel source vehicles, and you are perfectly content paying extremely high gas prices then sure... let the free market work itself out..

Either way, we are going to pay for it, might as well let it come sooner rather than later ;)

RE: It will go back up
By GuinnessKMF on 2/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: It will go back up
By 91TTZ on 2/3/2011 4:47:38 PM , Rating: 5
The last thing I want is for our government to tax us even more. You see how they misuse the money they already get, giving them even more is just like throwing that money away.

RE: It will go back up
By GuinnessKMF on 2/3/2011 5:59:22 PM , Rating: 3
I absolutely agree with you that it's mismanaged, look what they're doing with it right now, giving it to people who buy EV cars...

There's plenty of problems that need to be solved for this to work properly, and efficient use of tax money and proper country wide budgeting is much more important than what cars get promoted, but I think that's a topic that's a bit out of scope for a DT forum.

RE: It will go back up
By jbwhite99 on 2/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: It will go back up
By Kurz on 2/3/2011 6:09:31 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry this post is so uninformed.

RE: It will go back up
By ebakke on 2/3/2011 6:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
but the easiest way to reduce dependence on foreign oil is not to give incentives for particular vehicles, but to tax gas, encourage conservation.
Wrong. The easiest way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil is to stop preventing ourselves from using our own oil. But foreign oil isn't really your beef, is it? Oil from anywhere == bad, right?

RE: It will go back up
By Nutzo on 2/4/2011 1:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
Drilling for our own oil would do more to reduce our dependence on foreign oil than all these electric cars combined.

Also, look hybreds. They are cheaper. Plus, the new Prius gets better milage than the Volt when running on gas.

RE: It will go back up
By acer905 on 2/3/2011 10:51:25 PM , Rating: 4
I will repost here what i posted in a separate article:

A Gas tax would only serve as a barrier for many people. Consider those who are forced to buy 5-10 year old used cars because they are in an income level that simply cannot afford new. They already pay a heavy premium, with Auto Loan interest rates for them much higher. However, a bank simply would not give money to them to buy a new car.

There are many reasons why the banks won't give out the money, most important simply being income to debt ratio. A student then, having lots of debt and working part time or full time at low wage, would be considered a bad candidate for a new auto loan.

The ratio they use looks at the general cost of living, housing, food, and transportation for the area they live in. So, if Gas was taxed to $5.00 a gallon, as some people have wanted, it would alter the ratio that Banks will give new auto loans to. This would cause a person who could have sold their old car and purchased a new more fuel efficient car to no longer be able to.

This person would then begin to lose money, having been denied a more fuel efficient car, and having their gas expenses go up. Potentially, millions of new fuel-efficient cars would go unsold because Banks will not accept fuel savings from buying a more fuel efficient vehicle into the debt to income ratio. It is too variable, and too high risk.

Ultimately, the only solution would be for the Government to force the banks to give auto loans to the high risk people (who only became high risk when the Gas tax was initiated), which after the Housing loan fiasco, nobody will do.

A Gas tax will only hurt the economy, and the citizens of the country

RE: It will go back up
By DominionSeraph on 2/4/2011 2:17:09 AM , Rating: 1
This isn't 1980. Even my American POS '05 Grand Prix GTP gets 28MPG highway.

RE: It will go back up
By FITCamaro on 2/4/2011 7:14:38 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah because when gas was $4.00 a gallon, our usage just plummeted didn't it? No, it didn't. Why? Because its not like people are just driving around for the hell of it to burn gas. They go to work, they go to the store, and yes they go out for pleasure. If the price of gas rose drastically, the only thing that would be lessened is my bank account. Shy of a few outings a month, I don't drive around for pleasure much lately because I'm so busy at work. Most Americans are like this.

The government already makes 2000-2500% more on a gallon of gas than the oil company itself. It doesn't need any more.

The easiest way to reduce dependence on foreign oil is to stop cutting domestic production and refining as the current administration is doing. Every other nation in the world is scrambling to find oil reserves to tap. Our government is basically telling the oil companies to get the f*ck out.

RE: It will go back up
By TSS on 2/4/2011 10:31:05 AM , Rating: 2
Just wait till the dollar loses it's status as reserve world currency. Gas will go from $2,80 to $6,00+ overnight, because that's what the rest of the world has to pay for it.

Don't think that can happen? It already happened to the UK and they where the reserve currency for more then twice as long as you guys.

In the past i would've said go with the gas tax since that atleast would give a shot at reducing the deficit. But considering you've gone past $14 trillion, and obama has singed a tax CUT into law, while bernake is saying he's ready to pump even more money into the economy... well.... I'd buy a big tank and all the cheap gas i could get if i where you guys.

Honestly in the future either spending has to be cut or taxes have to be raised, and probably more then both to get you out of this mess and i'd fully expect americans to protest either measure.

RE: It will go back up
By 91TTZ on 2/4/2011 12:59:37 PM , Rating: 2
No, the countries that are paying $6 a gallon on gas are paying that much because they tax the hell out of it. That's what's making their cost so much more than ours.

RE: It will go back up
By FITCamaro on 2/4/2011 3:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
He did not sign a tax cut into law. He signed into law an extension of the current tax rates.

And most Americans ARE calling for cutting spending. Most just don't realize what it means. Even slashing the military to $0 isn't going to do sh*t though. Libs will spend the money on something else. Same as they always do when they find a new pot of money to spend on things.

The federal government needs to drastically reduce in size and scope. Federal government entitlements need to end and the responsibility needs to return to the states. Then the states can decide how much they want to spend (and thus how much to raise their taxes) on those kinds of things. In reality we should pay 6-7% to the federal government and the rest to the states depending on what state programs the state you live in has. Even as it is, the programs are supposedly state run, but we add a huge cost of sending the money to the federal government to waste 25-30% on bureaucracy before giving it back to the states.

RE: It will go back up
By 91TTZ on 2/3/2011 4:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
You don't see a company that can sell an affordable fuel efficient vehicle?

Chevy Volt- $41,000
Toyota Prius- $23,000

Chevy has a newcomer into a market that's dominated by the Prius. And they're selling their entry for $18,000 more than the market leader. Even with the $7500 federal subsidy, it's still $10,500 more expensive than the proven leader.

It's just a non-competitive entry for most people. Hell, Toyota will sell you a Lexus Hybrid for that price.

RE: It will go back up
By omnicronx on 2/3/2011 5:19:09 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, so you scrap the subsidy, people don't buy them.. Now we are still completely reliant on fossil fuels in which our technology is hitting the limits on what we can do with it.

You have to look at the potential of what you are investing money in, not just its current state.

Even when you consider that it requires fossil fuels to charge the volt, its still far more efficient than any car released today, and this is technology in its infancy.

Spending a little money now could very well save you more in the long run, all the while advancing our technology..

Free market can bring innovation to a standstill if you are not careful and standards become too ingrained in society. Our reliance on fossil fuels seems like one of those examples..

Clearly I'm not trying to claim we should subsidize everything under the sun, but there are instances where it does make sense.

RE: It will go back up
By omnicronx on 2/3/2011 5:31:32 PM , Rating: 3
This Prius is also a terrible comparison when you consider all the theories that surround the Japanese government essentially subsidizing the development program. And the fact that their government was instrumental in subsidizing all eco friendly vehicles in Japan.

They subsidized the vehicle itself to consumers until a few months ago.. and low and behold the market dipped..

RE: It will go back up
By 91TTZ on 2/4/2011 12:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, so you scrap the subsidy, people don't buy them.. Now we are still completely reliant on fossil fuels in which our technology is hitting the limits on what we can do with it.


The Volt is the only one that's getting subsidized, and it's not a big seller. The Prius is by far the #1 hybrid right now, and it has no subsidy.

You can't claim that people would stop buying Priuses without a subsidy when the Prius gets no subsidy.

RE: It will go back up
By wookie1 on 2/3/2011 3:58:27 PM , Rating: 2
If it's a worthy goal, nothing is stopping you from reaching for it. Just don't rip money out of my pocket to reach your goal.

National defense is a core function of the federal government. Running and owning auto companies is not. But we could save ourselves money by not providing the bulk defense forces for Europe and Japan, tell them to provide their own defense.

RE: It will go back up
By osalcido on 2/3/11, Rating: 0
RE: It will go back up
By kattanna on 2/3/2011 4:20:57 PM , Rating: 4
haha you're an idiot

im pretty sure that while your saying that your actually looking into a mirror ;>)

The government spends hundreds of billions on securing oil fields in Iraq, cleaning up after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and churning up Alaskan wilderness and you're perfectly fine.

nice way to go overboard and make blanket statements for him all without the slightest bit of proof.

Do you work for Exxon or something?

hey.. is that your mom i hear calling down to you to take out the trash?

see what i did there? :>)

RE: It will go back up
By wired00 on 2/3/2011 9:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
want to know how much the US Govt Military budget was in 2010 ? $685 Billion.

what about how many people died from terrorism in the US since 1993 till 2003? 3,227.

how many people died in 2007 ALONE to cardiovascular disease (highest annual death rate in US)? 616, 067

Cost to US govt for deaths from heart disease? $475 Billion.

What about how much funding does heart disease get annually? $1.7 Billion (combined heart disease and coronary heart disease) HA!

So thats 3,227 people died in 10 YEARS in the US vs ~600,000 in a single year to a single diseas. Yet the budget spent on heart disease research is only a minute fraction of that spent on the military.

It boggles my mind why the US people don't react to this. Could you imagine what medical breakthroughs would be made with funding like the military has??

RE: It will go back up
By FITCamaro on 2/4/2011 7:21:51 AM , Rating: 3
It's not the government's job to take care of you and keep you alive from sickness. It is the government's job to provide for the national defense.

You know why that number is so high for heart disease? Because old people typically die from heart problems.

RE: It will go back up
By Nutzo on 2/4/2011 1:50:18 PM , Rating: 2
So lets take the entire defense budget and spend it on heart research.
The Results:
Lots of rich researchers.
Lots of old people still dying from heart disease.

And alot more people dying in the next several years as the world decends into chaos as terrorist and dictators have a free reign to do whatever they want.

RE: It will go back up
By FITCamaro on 2/4/2011 3:19:17 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. What happens when the cops say they aren't going to patrol anymore. See Cairo for example. Chaos happens. The same thing applies on a global scale.

RE: It will go back up
By Azethoth on 2/3/2011 5:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
You are kinda ill informed. The US government subsidizes oil companies to the tune of $30 - $40 billion (thats BILLION) a year. If you truly care about wallet rape, then focus on big ticket items like oil company tax credits.

RE: It will go back up
By Kurz on 2/4/2011 2:05:38 PM , Rating: 2
Sure get rid of those subsidies I see both taxes and subsidies as market distorters.

RE: It will go back up
By FITCamaro on 2/4/2011 7:08:40 AM , Rating: 1
And in turn increases its dependence on foreign sources of other goods needed for the production of said EVs.

RE: It will go back up
By gamerk2 on 2/3/11, Rating: 0
RE: It will go back up
By kattanna on 2/3/2011 4:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
Peak oil is comming

LOL, thanks man. i needed a good chuckle

RE: It will go back up
By 91TTZ on 2/3/2011 4:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
When the price of oil rises, it becomes profitable to make fuel efficient cars and manufacturers sell more of them. This happened almost overnight during the 1970's oil crisis. One year you had cars that got 15 mpg, then you get the oil crisis, and a year or two later you had cars that got 30+ mpg. This was all due to the free market, since nobody would buy a gas guzzler when they thought that gas prices would be permanently high.

Of course gas prices ended up going back down, and cars got big again, until recently.

RE: It will go back up
By Dr of crap on 2/4/2011 8:49:28 AM , Rating: 2
Uh -
It didn't happen over night, and the cars they came out with-
Chevy Vega, Ford Pinto, were CRAP!

RE: It will go back up
By 91TTZ on 2/4/2011 1:03:27 PM , Rating: 2
All the cars were crap back then, even the luxury cars.

RE: It will go back up
By Nutzo on 2/4/2011 1:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
And it will be here some time in the next 50 to 100 years.

Electric cars are still too expensive and too limited for most people. When they become cost effecting, people will buy them, without the government incentives.

We will be worse off due to the government meddling in the market, because we are wasting money and running up an even large deficit. We would be much better off waiting for the free market.

RE: It will go back up
By knowitall on 2/3/2011 3:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
If the peak oil is coming then the market will make the right choice, and buy electric cars, we don't have to force it. I don't know if coal powered electric plants are really a way out of this mess. We need better power grid and fusion technology before we can get off of oil.
In my opinion more fuel efficient vehicles and slow change in customer behavior from large gas guzzlers is the only solution until more advancement comes in battery packs and power generators. Something like what EEstor was promising is needed before we can make the jump to electric vehicles. even Lithium- ion doesn't have enough punch for electric vehicles to be economical yet.

RE: It will go back up
By omnicronx on 2/3/2011 3:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
Sometimes our old processes become so advanced and entrenched in our society that without a little bump, newer technologies that if given enough time to develop can easily surpass our current technology and for the better would not be realized for a much longer time.

110 years of dependence on oil for vehicles is not something that is going to change quickly, even in the free market.

In fact many of the great technological advancement you use today were years ahead of their time just because they were pushed in this way.

Free market certainly has its advantages, but it has its disadvantages too.

RE: It will go back up
By Nutzo on 2/4/2011 2:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
That's why it took massive government incentives and investments for the personal computer and cells phones to advance....

Oh, wait, it was the FREE MARKET that gave us the personal computer, and the FREE MARKET that gives us a large selection of phones.

RE: It will go back up
By walk2k on 2/3/2011 4:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
No, it will only get cheaper as economies of scale take over, not to mention refinements in the production processes.

The first 1 megabyte computer that IBM sold was the size of a small room, water cooled, and cost $1 million dollars.

Today you get 20-30x that much storage in a $99 cell phone and 8GB flash drives are like $8.95

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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