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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 autoboy on 5/2/2012 2:05:26 PM , Rating: -1
Don't believe all the crap from either side of the debate. The actual story is that we import a lot of oil, but export gasoline and other petroleum products. We have excess refining capacity so we import a lot of oil so we can make a profit on the gasoline we sell to other countries. If we didn't export any gas, then we could easily satisfy our own demand for oil using only American sources of oil (and when I say American I mean the continents not the US). So both sides are correct and wrong at the same time.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Jeffk464 on 5/2/2012 2:39:32 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the funny part, we probably sell motor oil to Saudi Arabia.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Mint on 5/2/2012 2:44:34 PM , Rating: 3
If you actually looked at the numbers you'd know that your conclusions are way off. Yes, the US refines oil and exports some of the products, but it's only a small net export - 0.4M barrels/day - and it used to be a net import for 60+ years before 2011.

Compare that to its gas consumption of 8.8M barrels/day, which needs 18.8M/day barrels of crude to produce. It only produces ~6M barrels of crude, so no, it does not produce anywhere near enough oil to feed its own gas consumption.

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Mint on 5/2/2012 2:46:28 PM , Rating: 2
(to be clear, 0.4M barrels/day is the net export of gasoline only)

RE: Makes perfect sense
By Ringold on 5/2/2012 9:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
If you actually looked at the numbers you'd know that your conclusions are way off.

They don't, though. This net-exporting of refined products line I first heard Obama's campaign advance, then some lefty blogs started trumpeting it, and now the legions of useful idiots out there are repeating it like absolute gospel because they were led to believe it was important.

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