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Chevrolet Volt  (Source: automobilemag.com)
The production halt was expected to last four weeks, but will resume a few days early

After a temporary halt in March, General Motors (GM) has announced that production of the Chevrolet Volt will start back up earlier than expected on April 16.

On March 19, GM put a halt on Chevrolet Volt production in order to get rid of some of the older versions of the plug-in electric hybrid and make room for those with the recent battery fix. Also, new Volts with the changes made for the California market are making their way into the inventory.

The production halt was expected to last for four weeks. However, new reports show that Volt production will resume a few days earlier than planned. GM has already started notifying Detroit-Hamtramck plant employees, where the Volt is assembled.

It's a good time to bring Volt production back to life, since it seems that Volt popularity has risen recently. In March, U.S. Volt sales shot up to 2,289, which is its best month yet since release. Of that total, 2,129 were sold to retail customers while 160 were sold to fleet customers.

Even former Republican President George H.W. Bush jumped on the opportunity to buy a Volt, and gave it to his son, Neil Bush, as a birthday present.

This surge in sales couldn't have come at a better time, either. The Volt had a difficult year throughout much of 2011 and during the beginning of 2012 due to problems with battery fires.

In May 2011, Chevrolet's Volt caught fire three weeks after a side-impact crash test conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Volt was parked in a NHTSA testing facility in Wisconsin, and was so severe that it ended up catching nearby cars on fire as well. This led to an investigation into the safety of lithium batteries.

Later, in November 2011, NHTSA conducted three more side-impact crash tests on three separate Volts. Two out of three ended up sparking or catching fire while the third remained normal.

GM moved quickly, offering loaner vehicles to customers and even buying Volts back from scared owners. In January 2012, GM recalled 8,000 Volts off the road as well as another 4,400 for sale in showrooms to fix the batteries. The fix entailed the addition of steel to the plate that protects the EV's T-shaped, 400-pound battery. This aimed to prevent penetration into the battery in case of an auto accident, and would stop both coolant from leaking and would evenly distribute the force of a crash.

The investigation placed a bad image on the Volt for awhile. Customers were afraid to purchase it, and dealerships wanted nothing to do with it since it wasn't selling. Sales plunged in January 2012 with only 603 Volts sold.

But it looks as if the Volt's luck is turning around, with March sales at its best and an early production start beginning in 10 days.

"It seems like we've sustained ourselves through this difficult period," said Dan Akerson, GM CEO. "We hope to get up to 3,000 plus in the coming months and are certainly positioning it."

According to Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, the Volt made a comeback because people are beginning to get to know the car well and understand how it works.

"We're matching production with demand," said Reuss.

Source: Automotive News



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Good news
By Boingo Twang on 4/6/2012 11:32:59 AM , Rating: 0
Now let's see how the GM/electric car/alternative-fuel/Obama haters try to spin it otherwise. :-)




RE: Good news
By toffty on 4/6/2012 11:36:43 AM , Rating: 2
QFT!

While I don't have a Volt, I do have a Leaf and I love driving on electricity!


RE: Good news
By RDO CA on 4/6/2012 11:48:36 AM , Rating: 2
I do have a Volt and in my first year I used 2.4 gal of gas.
Great car and I love it


RE: Good news
By freedom4556 on 4/6/2012 12:34:10 PM , Rating: 4
Problem is that electrics don't make financial sense. Look at the 2012 Ford Focus EV as a good example. (It's a good example b/c it's available in electric and regular drive trains). I did the math for over in the UK where gas is ~$8 a gallon and electricity is $.14 a kWh and it took 4 years driving a tank a week (and the equivalent distance in the EV) to pay for the DIFFERENCE in cost between the EV and the MOST expensive gas-powered trim. The EV is nearly 50% more expensive. Then there's charge times to consider. At 6hrs a charge (conservative estimate on 120V) it takes 32hrs a week to charge the EV, or almost a full work week. Not all of us have a garage we can put a 240V charge point in. Then you have to consider that after 4 years of driving the battery will be nearly shot and estimates are those will cost thousands to replace.

And MPGe is the biggest joke ever. Who cares about the energy equivalence, what matters is the energy usage! kWh/mi people. MPGe is just propaganda...

Fueleconomy.gov http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/models/ and google are my sources.


RE: Good news
By MasterTactician on 4/6/2012 1:30:28 PM , Rating: 4
You have to start somewhere... As always, the early adopters will bear the cost of these innovations until advances in efficiency bring a much improved version to the masses.


RE: Good news
By freedom4556 on 4/6/2012 1:31:06 PM , Rating: 2
...and bad ideas are just bad ideas. Need I pull out my laser-disc player I didn't buy? Or where did I keep that Beta tape deck I never got...

I hope Congress figures it out eventually, then we can funnel money into real solutions like diesel and hydrogen and electric hybrids of those.


RE: Good news
By martin5000 on 4/6/2012 2:36:14 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe these are the equivalent of Beta tape, but then if no one had bothered working at the technology and risking mistakes along the way then you'd still be listening to records on your gramophone (or iGramophone as it would now be called) rather than blurays.


RE: Good news
By semo on 4/6/2012 3:12:47 PM , Rating: 1
Diesel and hydrogen? First of all, diesel comes from the same place as petrol and you might as well use both. I don't think fossil fuels need more investment.

Hydrogen is just a form of energy store. The technology is more expensive than owning a battery and you still have to go to a garage to fill up. At least with battery electrics, people have a choice to trickle charge at home (cheap to install), fast charge at home (expensive to install) or at a public charging station. It is much easier to install a quick charging station than it is to have a specialized hydrogen station.

Another advantage of pure electric is that you won't need truck deliveries. I would argue that just the national grid is more efficient at transmitting energy than a hydrogen garage.


RE: Good news
By semo on 4/6/2012 3:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Should be "I would argue that the national grid is more efficient at transmitting energy than a hydrogen infrastructure."


RE: Good news
By tng on 4/6/2012 5:22:03 PM , Rating: 3
There is a hydrogen infrastructure?


RE: Good news
By Jeffk464 on 4/6/12, Rating: 0
RE: Good news
By semo on 4/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: Good news
By Mint on 4/7/2012 4:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel is a dead end until you're sure that biodiesel can be made at low cost and without agricultural land use:
http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/should-america...

Hydrogen requires too much infrastructure.

CNG is the closest to a realistic substitute, but it also has an infrastructure problem (not as bad as H2, but its there). Building a garage CNG pump is a lot more involved (and dangerous) than a 240V outlet.

PHEV is not a bad idea in any sense of the word. They're essentially just regular hybrids with a bigger battery and a charger. The former is already cost effective (400k hybrids sold per year in the US), and the latter is pretty much there over vehicle lifetime (5000 cycles of 10 kWh displaces ~4000 gallons of gas), though the payback time needs to be shorter for mass market appeal.

The tax credit unquestionably spurring demand. It's only going to be a total of $1.5B as it is ($7500 for 200k EVs), and by the time runs out, EVs will be competitive with gas, unless we get another crisis that drops the price of gas.


RE: Good news
By Jedi2155 on 4/7/2012 7:59:13 PM , Rating: 2
CNG filling at home does not make sense. Nor do CNG powered vehicles for consumers. It takes just as long to fill up as electric, and the primary benefits of low fuel cost and longer range (versus electric) are offset by higher vehicle cost (you're paying $10k more for a CNG Civic versus a conventional civic), less performance, less efficient and less places to fill up outside the home (far more EV charging stations than CNG fill ups).

Keep in mind that filling up your CNG vehicle at home uses up about around ~1.4 KWh/gallon equivalent so for a 8 gallon tank is the same as charging an Volt.

Plus natural gas burned a power plant is more efficient than it being burned in your engine.

The only place where I see CNG powered vehicles make sense, is large fleet owners where the infrastructure cost is a smaller part of the total cost for the vehicle/fuel and overhead cost of NG compression and fill-up is less of an issue. Having more CNG fill ups would make sense, but until that happens I can't recommend CNG over EV.


RE: Good news
By tng on 4/6/2012 5:21:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I do have a Volt and in my first year I used 2.4 gal of gas.
I would ask how many miles did you travel?

This is not aimed at you personally, but at all the people who have EVs or Volt type cars that drive hundreds of miles on our roads, contributing to the wear on infrastructure, without contributing to gas taxes to help repair them.

There are some serious issues that will have to be solved if EV adoption becomes a large percentage of the driving population. I would propose a specific tax on EVs that will fund local, state and federal road construction and repair, but that is just me.


RE: Good news
By Jeffk464 on 4/6/2012 8:14:51 PM , Rating: 3
I propose a special tax on whatever niche you fit into. :)


RE: Good news
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2012 8:23:54 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I propose a special tax on whatever niche you fit into. :)


We're already paying that. It's called a "gas" tax and other taxes that EV owners get massive breaks on and we don't.

It's time to end the subsidy for EV's and ALSO level the playing field (favorite slogan of the left). Tax EV's just like any other vehicle that uses the roads and stop paying people to buy them, THEN we can see how the Volt sells.


RE: Good news
By Jedi2155 on 4/7/2012 8:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
Lets consider it an incentive for EV drivers, until the EV market reaches mass appeal. Then you can tax us for it. To tax an emerging market is to kill it, which is completely opposite of the point of the tax credit to begin with.


RE: Good news
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2012 8:53:45 AM , Rating: 1
The job of the Government is not to "incentivise" people to buy certain goods over others. That's called picking winners. And damages our market. Especially when the company it's backing took billions in taxpayer money. Conflict of interest much?

You people act as if we have a moral imperative to "get off oil" and go EV. That's rubbish and has no place in this discussion. If we have to pay people to do so, we're no better off than when we started!

I get the point of the tax credit, Jedi. You don't have to explain the rationale behind it for me, thanks. But that's missing MY point.


RE: Good news
By RU482 on 4/8/2012 6:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
doesn't the higher MSRP, and thus higher yearly tags/tax rate you pay for an EV/PHEV accomplish the same thing inherently as a fuel (or energy) tax, when compared to a similar class car?

in other words, if I buy a Volt, I'm paying a much higher tax/tag fee to the state DOT every year than a comparably sized vehicle, thus at least leveling the playing field on how much money gets applied (in theory) toward road maintenance.


RE: Good news
By tng on 4/8/2012 10:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...if I buy a Volt, I'm paying a much higher tax/tag fee to the state DOT every year than a comparably sized vehicle, thus at least leveling the playing field on how much money gets applied (in theory) toward road maintenance.
So all those poor people who bought a $40K car that uses gas should get a refund for all the gas taxes they have paid?

Sorry you don't get it, license fees and registration fees are typically state, and fund state motor vehicle departments. Gas taxes are federal and are used for road maintenance. One does not support the other


RE: Good news
By Qapa on 4/7/2012 3:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know if this kind of problem could also affect Leaf?
(I have really no idea on this)

Also, I like how they call it:
"battery fix"
"fix the batteries"

Well, the battery is the same and they only added a plate to protect it...

A fix should be: "it cannot happen anymore in 99,9999% of normal crashes"

And I say "normal crashes" because, if a train or a plane rip the car apart, it should be acceptable that it might still happen since, in that case it wouldn't matter anyway.


RE: Good news
By toffty on 4/9/2012 2:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
Are you talking about the Volt battery bursting into flame? No it cannot happen in the Leaf because the Leaf's battery is not liquid cooled. The Volt caught fire because the liquid short-circuited the battery.

Also, in normal use you'll never see this problem even without the 'fix'. Durring testing they took the battery from the volt - after the first crash - and reinserted it. They then crashed the car again. Then they left the Volt parked for two weeks with the battery still charged. Then the fire occured. If the rules for battery-powered cars was followed correctly, the battery would have been discharged - easy and quick to do - this would have never happened.


RE: Good news
By Reclaimer77 on 4/6/2012 12:16:00 PM , Rating: 3
You're right, it IS good news. So I guess since the Volt is selling so good, we can dispense with the subsidies right?

Yeah lets see how YOU spin that.


RE: Good news
By Markwbrooks on 4/6/2012 12:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yes let's do... And let's start with the 10 billion in subsidies and special tax credits handed out to Exxon, Bp, gulf and many others who have hidden behind the slogan of "energy security" .

Then we can talk about the $200 million handed out to all EV purchasers including the volt.

We now finally have a choice that doesn't involve a horse and buggy, let's use it!


RE: Good news
By Solandri on 4/6/2012 1:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
The Federal gas tax alone adds an extra $25 billion to the cost of gasoline, so the net effect of subsidies + taxes (using your $10 billion) is that the government charges an extra $15 billion to use gas. Many states also have their own fuel taxes, so the subsidy to oil companies is more than counteracted by these taxes.

To put it another way, it's like if the government gave each EV purchaser a $7500 tax break for buying the EV, but then charged them an extra $18750 special EV tax. And your state also had its own special EV taxes to add on top of that.

Even if you ignore the additional taxes, the oil subsidies amount to less than 2% the price of gas, while solar subsidies are about 20% the cost of PV panels, and EV subsidies about 15% the cost of an EV. The argument you're reciting was created by someone who did poorly in math and had no idea when it's appropriate to compare percentages, and when it's appropriate to compare raw numbers. If I were to use your argument in a different context, it's like saying "OMFG! The top 1% pay an average of over $250,000 in taxes each, while the bottom 99% pay an average of less than $5,000 each. What are they complaining about?"


RE: Good news
By Samus on 4/6/12, Rating: -1
RE: Good news
By tng on 4/6/2012 5:09:22 PM , Rating: 1
While I will be the first to say that there are many very large corporations that need to pay more taxes, oil companies included, you need to qualify what you just said.

Let's say that you are correct, 10M on 2.4T of sales. Now is that gross sales or net profit? This is where we all should pay more attention to what our lawmakers do. If the 2.4T is net profit, how were they able to cut that back with loopholes built into the tax system to only pay 10M? Shouldn't we pay more attention to getting rid of these loopholes rather than just crying about how evil big oil is?

The same could be said about the mortgage interest deduction on a house that you might own and use to decrease your personal income tax load. I know more than a few people who will say that it is unfair that just because I own a house that I get a tax break, and they are probably correct, but as long as that loophole exists, I will use it.

The long and short of it is that don't blame Exxon or Chevron or GE for using loopholes that were put into the system, you would do the same thing. Work on getting rid of the loopholes and the people back in DC that put them there in the first place.


RE: Good news
By KCjoker on 4/6/2012 6:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for ending supsidies for oil companies...so long as we end them for ALL companies. Whether it's GE, Exxon, etc...end them now.


RE: Good news
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/12, Rating: -1
RE: Good news
By Dan Banana on 4/7/2012 9:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oil companies do not get directly subsidized, that's just a slogan for liberals. They do get tax breaks, like EVERY OTHER business.


So a "tax break" for electric car buyers then is bad how exactly? Because that's what electric car buyers get when they get an electric car tax CREDIT: a freaking "tax break". No one at the federal govt. is giving them any federal money. Are "tax breaks" good for business somehow but bad for citizens?


RE: Good news
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2012 9:04:33 AM , Rating: 2
First off the two aren't even comparable. You're talking about tax breaks to an industry that brings in billions in taxes to the supply side policy of a tax credit for picking a certain car. Also thanks to the bailout terms, GM doesn't pay ANY taxes for 10 years. I think that's enough of a tax break, don't you?

A better analogy would be if the Government offered car companies a tax break for producing EV's. That would at least be sort of on par with oil production tax credits. But to directly help fund a consumer purchase, which has no benefit to anyone other than themselves? Questionable.


RE: Good news
By Dan Banana on 4/8/2012 7:33:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
First off the two aren't even comparable. You're talking about tax breaks to an industry that brings in billions in taxes to the supply side policy of a tax credit for picking a certain car. Also thanks to the bailout terms, GM doesn't pay ANY taxes for 10 years. I think that's enough of a tax break, don't you?


I can't speak for a massive corporate giant like GM but what is clear is that EVs prevent US dollars from going to other countries for oil, produce far less climate changing CO2, increase energy security which will create the opportunity to increase peace and decrease military expenditures, deprive countries like Saudi Arabia of at least some funds to finance Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, cause growth and new employment in industries like batteries and in the case of the Volt directly increase US employment in manufacturing and retail.

I really don't care if some cranky and ignorant throwbacks with a 19th century outlook on economics imagine that a tax credit (not a tax expenditure) to accomplish all this think that it's not government's job.


RE: Good news
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 4/9/2012 10:58:17 AM , Rating: 1
*facepalm* There you go again! Lots of rhetoric with no sources cited. So, I'll keep ya straight (again):
quote:
EVs prevent US dollars from going to other countries for oil
True.. it now goes to China for rare earth materials that we refuse to mine ourselves.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57411223/ch...
quote:
produce far less climate changing CO2
Besides the fact that NASA has already released a report citing climate hasn't changed in 10 years, the fact of the matter is, producing the batteries actually outputs the same CO2 footprint than a gasoline engine for life! True story!
http://skeptoid.com/blog/2011/06/17/electric-cars-...
quote:
increase peace and decrease military expenditures
WTF? Heard of Iran? I don't think they think your chevy Volt does such thing!
quote:
directly increase US employment in manufacturing and retail.
You really do believe the lies you tell yourself. LOL!


RE: Good news
By Keeir on 4/9/2012 1:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
::sigh::

#1. EVs don't require Rare Earth Metals. The Tesla Model S will have next to no rare earth metals. On top of that, Australia, Canada and the US all have large assests of rare earth metals.

And contrary to the name, "Rare" earth metals are actually fairly cheap for what they do... so cheap that China is going to use -price- controls to keep reserves for the future.

#2. That's an interesting article on CO2. Of course there are a few problems.

A. I can't find the study the Author claims to talk about
B. The Think-Tank mentioned actually has posted quite the reverse
http://www.lowcvp.org.uk/assets/reports/RD11_12480...

(Page 47)

A typical C segement car using standard ICE technology will produce 40.3 tons of CO2 over 150,000 miles. A C segement EV will produce 19.5 tones.

Not isolated either. Seems to be a prevelant conclusions throughout numerous of thier publications. The Author of you linked article seems be distorting thier numbers. (Who thinks a car doesn't last at least 150,000 miles these days?!? Are people blind to the fact that the average US car is ~10 years old?!? )


RE: Good news
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 4/9/2012 3:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
EVs don't require Rare Earth Metals. The Tesla Model S will have next to no rare earth metals. On top of that, Australia, Canada and the US all have large assests of rare earth metals.

Cause everyone can go out and buy a Tesla.. right? AS for the Prius, Volt, and every other EV on the road... yeah, rare earth materials!

"Nickel-metal hydride batteries, which are used in gas-electrics like Toyota Prius and Ford Escape hybrids, use large quantities of the rare earth element lanthanum in their battery chemistries. (The Prius is believed to use at least 22 pounds of the mineral.)"

Oops!

As for the mining of this material... when you can push the environmentalists aside, using US assets may be a viable option... but until then, our automobile energy will be imported just the same.
quote:
typical C segement car using standard ICE technology will produce 40.3 tons of CO2 over 150,000 miles. A C segement EV will produce 19.5 tones.

Except, you left out the carbon footprint of just creating the battery in your quote! Try reading the rest of the article and read the chart.

"The report, being released as part of the LowCVP Annual Conference 2011 on 9 June, highlights the increasing importance of accounting for whole life carbon emissions to compare the greenhouse gas emissions of low carbon vehicles. The study found that some of the CO2 savings made during the use of low carbon vehicles is offset by increased emissions created during their production, and to a lesser extent, disposal."

Way to cherry-pick!


RE: Good news
By Keeir on 4/9/2012 5:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
Hello,

Your right of course. NiMH batteries used primarily in hybrids designed prior to 2010 have large amounts of "rare" earth metals.

Of course, Lithium type batteries do not.

EVs all use LITHIUM batteries. Most Hybrids, even mild Hybrids, use LITHIUM batteries. Most Lithium comes from ChiLE not ChiNA.

quote:
As for the mining of this material... when you can push the environmentalists aside, using US assets may be a viable option... but until then, our automobile energy will be imported just the same.


22 lbs is about 4 gallons of gas. GOSH! Oh Noes! We switched 100s of gallons of gas for 22 lbs of material! Oh wait, we don't have to use that material? We don't have to use rare earth at all? We can even develop other technologies that can be easily retrofited that don't even use Lithium? We can completely recycle existing Lithium batteries?!?

The whole rare earth thing is a red herring. It more important to the electronic component areas than EVs. All the rare earth metals in a Volt for instance account for ~200 dollars of the price. Even if this trippled, thats a very small slice of price. Some electrical components (like harddrives for example) contain significantly greater fractions of rare earth materials. But it does sound catched "rare" making it plump for a media headline.

quote:
Except, you left out the carbon footprint of just creating the battery in your quote! Try reading the rest of the article and read the chart.


Except I didn't. Maybe try page 49.

Its absolutely true that it takes more energy and thus more CO2 to make EVs. But over a actual lifetime (150,000 miles), EVs destroy conventional cars when comparing Apples to Oranges. The study I linked to looks at 2 other studies and performs thier own analysis. Each of the three conclude the same thing. EVs have significantly lower Carbon Footprints for lifetime CO2. Just not as low as might be implied by current labeling.

quote:
"The report, being released as part of the LowCVP Annual Conference 2011 on 9 June, highlights the increasing importance of accounting for whole life carbon emissions to compare the greenhouse gas emissions of low carbon vehicles. The study found that some of the CO2 savings made during the use of low carbon vehicles is offset by increased emissions created during their production, and to a lesser extent, disposal."


Friend, I've bolded the whole problem with your reading of these studies. Some not all.

You take this statement to mean that somehow the study found that EVs produces the same or more C02 emissions than conventional gasoline.

The study does not say this. It says the reverse. It says EVs, even after accounting for all the extra costs of producing and disposing and electrical generation produce significantly lower CO2 than any other type of motoring.


RE: Good news
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 4/10/2012 9:03:23 AM , Rating: 2
WOW dude... I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, but you really are grasping here.
quote:
22 lbs is about 4 gallons of gas. GOSH! Oh Noes! We switched 100s of gallons of gas for 22 lbs of material!

When you bank on this "metal" as the long term solution for ALL vehicles, you won't be so sarcastic. As I've said before and I'll say again, there's a slight bit of irony building on a material with "rare" in the name. No one will be buying the Tesla..
quote:
Friend, I've bolded the whole problem with your reading of these studies. Some not all.
.
Friend.. I've bolded the point you clearly keep missing:

"The report, being released as part of the LowCVP Annual Conference 2011 on 9 June, highlights the increasing importance of accounting for whole life carbon emissions to compare the greenhouse gas emissions of low carbon vehicles. The study found that some of the CO2 savings made during the use of low carbon vehicles is offset by increased emissions created during their production, and to a lesser extent, disposal."

The CO2 reduction you THINK you get by driving an EV to save the planet is OFFSET by the amount of CO2 it took to create the EV during production. Are you getting this yet? It's not saying EVs produce less CO2 (under normal driving conditions compared to gasoline engines). IT SAYS THE CO2 FOOTPRINT FROM PRODUCTION TO DISPOSAL IS "ABOUT THE SAME" AS A GAS ENGINE. Christ dude.. its your article... read it!


RE: Good news
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 4/10/2012 9:13:26 AM , Rating: 2
Here's another example...

"The LCVP study found that a midsized electric car will produce 23.1 tons of CO2 over its lifetime whereas a similar sized gas powered vehicle will produce 24 tons. Emissions from manufacturing electric cars are at least 50 per cent higher because batteries are made from materials such as lithium, copper and refined silicon, which require much energy to be processed. Currently manufactured EV operate on batteries that must be replaced after as soon as three years of use. Factor in the emissions created by producing the second battery and the total CO2 from making an EV rises to 12.6 tons. Compare this to an average of 5.6 tons of CO2 to produce a conventional gas powered vehicle. Disposal of an EV produces roughly double the emissions of a gas powered car due to the amount of energy consumed in recovering and recycling metals in the battery. I should note at this point that the study did take into account carbon emitted to generate the grid electricity consumed."


RE: Good news
By Boingo Twang on 4/10/2012 9:39:05 AM , Rating: 2
Who did that study? The same folks that proposed that a Hummer is more ecologically sound than a Prius? That Hummer "study" was debunked so many times the authors are probably still spinning at 7000 rpm. The idea that a lithium battery is only going to last 3 years is absolutely bizarre and extremely laughable.

quote:
Currently manufactured EV operate on batteries that must be replaced after as soon as three years of use.
.

The Chevy Volt battery warranty is 8 years 100.000 miles.
http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/19/chevrolet-volt-batte...

The Nissan Leaf battery warranty is the same.
http://nissan-leaf.net/2010/10/26/nissan-leaf-batt...


RE: Good news
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 4/10/2012 10:14:26 AM , Rating: 2
Still grasping are we? A warranty and actually getting 8 solid years out of it are two very different things. GM can tell you whatever they want, because there hasn't been enough time lapsed to prove otherwise. WARRANTY = FREE REPLACEMENT.. and that's about it. Additionally, I'm using my arguments for/against all the available options as it pertains to the EV market. The Volt is just a small, very small, no one wants to really buy... sample you're using to construct an argument that all EVs will have some sort of >8 battery lifespan.

"Rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles include lead-acid ("flooded", Deep cycle , and VRLA), NiCd, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, Li-ion polymer, and, less commonly, zinc-air and molten salt batteries...."

.... Deep-cycle lead batteries are expensive and have a shorter life than the vehicle itself, typically needing replacement every 3 years."


Here's another study for your morning coffee! I know... the look of disappointment on your face must be priceless. Not sure if this is the same "Hummer" guys that wrote this, but I'm sure you'll be able to debunk this study with your vast amount of intellect and insight on the markets.

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-rep...


RE: Good news
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 4/10/2012 10:22:21 AM , Rating: 2
Speaking of GM and the "quality" cars they produce, here's a funny gallery of 10 worst cars EVER. Pay extra special attention to number of GM cars in this photo gallery!

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-top-te...


RE: Good news
By Reclaimer77 on 4/9/12, Rating: -1
RE: Good news
By Markwbrooks on 4/6/2012 12:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yes let's do... And let's start with the 10 billion in subsidies and special tax credits handed out to Exxon, Bp, gulf and many others who have hidden behind the slogan of "energy security" .

Then we can talk about the $200 million handed out to all EV purchasers including the volt.

We now finally have a choice that doesn't involve a horse and buggy, let's use it!


RE: Good news
By Keeir on 4/9/2012 5:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
A few notes.

According the the Enviromental Law Institue, all subsidies and tax credits given to all Fossil Fuel companies from 2002-2008
http://www.eli.org/pdf/Energy_Subsidies_Black_Not_...
Amount to ~72.8 Billion or roughly 10 Billion a year.

The primary form (as noted) is a tax credit for paying foriegn taxes under the reasonable doctorine that income shouldn't be taxed twice. This same underlying concept allows individuals to deduct real estate taxes, foriegn taxes, and state taxes. I think it might be good to get rid of this type of tax exception, but to do it just for one industry and not others makes little sense. The second biggest break comes in the form of a US manufacturing credit where a certain percentage of income made from US activities is excepted from taxation. New York Times and Starbucks both for instance use this credit as well. While getting rid of it might also be a good idea, it should be uniform for all businesses.

If you remove this two tax breaks from the equation, your down to ~21-28 billions over 7 years... or roughly 3-4 billion a year. Much of this money goes to reduce pollution, Research and Development credits, special projects, etc, etc. IE, stuff that's really hard to argue with when you actually examine the details.

From this 3-4 billion a year, these companies produce ~320 Billion gallons of gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, heating oil, jet fuel, etc and ~2.8 TkWh of electricity.

We are talking fractions of cents in terms of actual prices. Even if we added up all of the elements, the Government is subsidizing a normal persons use of gasoline by just a few dollars a year. And is spread out to almost the entire US population. IE, Since we all use gasoline and electricity, the subsidy while helping to slighly pad the bottom line of fossil fuel companies, benefits most people fairly.

In constrast, the plug-in credit of upto 7,500 for the first 200,000 by a manufacturing plug-ins could cost upto 1.5 billion per manufacturer. Given that there is clearly ~10 major manufacturers of cars, thats ~15 billion for 1/100 parts of the US population. Its a little bit like an office pool where everyone contributes 75 dollars, but there is only 1 winner out of 100. Everyone else is walking away initially empty handed. Oh, and participation is mandatory. I don't think that would be a popular program anywhere....


RE: Good news
By Solandri on 4/6/2012 1:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now let's see how the GM/electric car/alternative-fuel/Obama haters try to spin it otherwise.

I don't like GM and I'm neutral on Obama. But I like EVs and alternative fuels.

If one were to interpret this neutrally, this is "We had to slow down Volt production due to weak demand, but it turns out we slowed it down too much." It's good news in that demand is stronger than their most recent projection based on actual sales.

But it's bad news in that demand is still below the estimate used to green-light the project back when the accountants did their "we need to sell x of these a year for this project to make sense" calculations. In 2011 they were hoping for 5000/month. So 2000 and 600 a month are still far, far short of their target.


RE: Good news
By GotThumbs on 4/6/2012 1:46:46 PM , Rating: 1
Ignorance. There are NO GM/electric car/Alternative-fuel haters.

Its Obama that's the problem. No Republican has come out AGAINST electric cars or alternative-fuels. It's the fact that Obama doesn't have the vision for addressing current economic/energy circumstances...while still encouraging future progress towards greener solutions. His approach is .... throwing the baby in the pool and saying "Now swim". This is BIG problem and you can't fix it over night.....but have vision to address current issues while encouraging movement towards better long-term solutions.

Obama lacks Leadership Ability. FACT!


RE: Good news
By Shig on 4/6/2012 2:05:33 PM , Rating: 1
GotThumbs, you are wrong on every single thing you just said. Republicans have done nothing but come out against electric cars and alternative fuels. Every republican candidate has come out against the Volt and alternative fuels (like Algae fuel). They've bashed both of these on the entire debate trail.

Obama's plan is to drill more (US is drilling more now than ever) AND use way more renewable energy combined with the electrification of our fleet / move some of the fleet to LNG. The only republican plan I've heard so far is drill baby drill and go to war with Iran while maintaining full subsidies for fossil fuels and cutting all renewable subsidies.

Please check Obama's approval rating with that of Congress's and the Republican controlled house. Get back to me on which is higher.


RE: Good news
By Jeffk464 on 4/6/2012 8:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
well said

We will never get rid off our middle east problem until we have energy independence.


RE: Good news
By Spuke on 4/6/2012 8:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We will never get rid off our middle east problem until we have energy independence.
So terrorists are going to stop attacking us and our buddies because we're energy independent? Really?


RE: Good news
By Jeffk464 on 4/6/2012 9:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
Don't be so naive as to think that we haven't been supporting ruthless dictators and manipulating politics over their for the last 60 years. Yes, the US getting out of middle east concerns would eventually ease anger over there. Do you see much hostility between Fiji and the middle east? Why not? because they don't bother each other.


RE: Good news
By tng on 4/6/2012 10:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
Spuke
quote:
So terrorists are going to stop attacking us and our buddies because we're energy independent? Really?
Exactly
quote:
Do you see much hostility between Fiji and the middle east? Why not? because they don't bother each other.
Now that is naive. The US and Europe are the focus of the hate of Muslim Fundamentalism because we are first on the list. If the US and Europe were gone tomorrow, they would move on to another country, maybe Fiji, since they are not Muslim. Eventually they would get to Muslim countries that they think are not enforcing Muslim laws strictly enough, and so on...

By the way, didn't Muslim terrorists set off a bomb in a nightclub in Fiji several years ago? I think the objective was just to kill infidels, or maybe it was because they are using oil from the Middle East?


RE: Good news
By StormyKnight on 4/6/2012 11:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Obama's plan is to drill more (US is drilling more now than ever)

Wrong.

Having averaged about 600 during the 1990s, the number of rotary drilling rigs in operation in the U.S. tripled between 2002 and 2008, reaching a high of 2,031 active rigs in September, 2008. Rig activity plunged in late 2008 in response to the global economic downturn on energy prices. The national rig count has steadily recovered from its June 2009 low (875 total rigs). As of the week of May 27, 2011, the number of active drillings rigs was 1,847.
The recovery has been driven by oil drilling. While only about 15 percent of all active rigs from 2004 and 2008 were drilling for oil, the share of all active rigs drilling for oil has climbed steadily since late 2009 from 30 to more than 50 percent. This corresponds with a tripling in the price of oil between early 2009 and May 2011 (as compared to natural gas price, which has not recovered since the recession).
Source: http://headwaterseconomics.org/wphw/wp-content/upl...


RE: Good news
By Exedore on 4/9/2012 12:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Every republican candidate has come out against the Volt and alternative fuels (like Algae fuel).


Wrong. They are against them as a short term solution. They won't help bring down the cost of gas now when people are struggling to afford driving to work each day. Those alternative fuels will come into play when they are well developed with supporting infrastructure and economically feasible. There is no way, in the short term, that our infrastructure could support even a small percentage of this country switching over to plug in cars yet.


RE: Good news
By KPOM1 on 4/7/2012 11:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
We're talking about a car that sells in the hundreds per month even with a $7500 subsidy. Most of them to date haven't been sold to individuals, but instead to municipalities using stimulus or taxpayer dollars.

Electric vehicles may eventually be economically feasible, but the Volt is a car produced and sold for political, not economic reasons.


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