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Consumers choose fuel efficient normal vehicles over EVs and hybrids

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

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

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

Sources: Detroit News, Detroit News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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