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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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.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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