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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: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/2/2012 5:25:47 PM , Rating: 3
First of all, the ECO is not that similar. It's not nearly as well equipped, nor is the ride as good.

Secondly $100/mo over the life of the car is EASILY worth $10k. You think the car's premium is going to be worthless in 5 years? If someone is considering the Cruze and the Volt as a used, 5 year old car, is he going to ignore that the Volt will save him $100/mo, or $6k, in the next 5 years?

The Volt would be flying off the shelves if it saved that much. For most people it'll be ~$60/mo. That's still worth it, though.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Spuke on 5/2/2012 7:00:48 PM , Rating: 1
The Volt would be flying off the shelves if it saved that much. For most people it'll be ~$60/mo. That's still worth it, though.
People that can afford to buy a Volt spend more than $60/month on coffee. You guys need to look at this from a person that can actually AFFORD that car not from a teenager living off their parents. I can easily afford a Volt but it doesn't make any sense economically if I ONLY look at from a cost savings point of view (or any car like it). Even if I looked at it from an oil reduction viewpoint, it STILL doesn't make any sense. A USED, fuel efficient car is FAR less oil dependent than ANY new one period.

Here's a new one. If you REALLY cared about your environment, you'd start by turning some of your goddamned lights off for one. With all this so-called "green movement" BS, the typical energy usage is STILL at 1000kWh per month per household in the US! Hasn't gone down not ONE 1 watt but everyone cares so much about our environment. BULLSHIT!!!

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Ringold on 5/2/2012 9:58:11 PM , Rating: 1
Hasn't gone down not ONE 1 watt but everyone cares so much about our environment. BULLSHIT!!!

Nailed it, because there are so many hippies out there that if they were really doing what they preach it'd manage to make a dent in the overall numbers.

Shakespeare comes to mind ... struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more: it is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/3/2012 9:51:19 AM , Rating: 2
Do you two enjoy just making facts up?

First of all, what does electricity conservation have to do with the topic at hand?

Not a dent in energy use, huh?

Too much lighting? (fine, it's Canada, but so what).

Flat electricity consumption per household is a stark contrast to decades past, so that's a pretty big fail in trying to prove the ineffectiveness of the green movement.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/3/2012 10:35:43 AM , Rating: 2
Really? If you spend $33k on a car then you automatically spend $700/yr on coffee? You think that about Civic buyers as well? Equally equipped and leased, they have roughly the same monthly running cost.

Used cars offer more value than new ones? Wow, hand this man a Nobel Prize in economics for that brilliant insight. Why don't we all buy used cars. Then we don't have to make any more...

You must have been dropped on your head as a kid...

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Spuke on 5/3/2012 12:25:34 PM , Rating: 1
You must have been dropped on your head as a kid...
You must STILL be getting dropped on your head. I said NOTHING about value and NOTHING about automatic. Go back and read my post. I'll give you some clues, the Volt does NOT cost $33,000. It starts at $39,145. A tax CREDIT is NOT tax refund. In order for you to collect a tax credit, you MUST have tax liability. If you get a refund (yes there are still people that get refunds in the Volts target market...$170,000 per year), you do NOT get the credit. Simple as that. And you STILL never get cash, you get to apply that credit towards your tax liability. So guess what? The car still costs $39,145 plus.

By Jaybus on 5/3/2012 2:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
The bottom line is that there are three choices. Revert back to doing without modern conveniences in order to use less energy, accept that nuclear power is currently the only way to eliminate fossil fuel usage, or whine loudly while hoping for science to come up with a viable non-nuclear alternative. Most in the "green movement" dismiss nuclear power out of hand, so I guess that puts them in the whine and hope category.

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By autoboy on 5/2/2012 7:24:07 PM , Rating: 1
Don't forget the opportunity cost of $10000 now vs later. Plus, as you see I didn't base my entire argument on financial considerations, as the government subsidies on the Volt plus the GM subsidies add to the societal cost of the car and the GM subsidy isn't public knowledge.

The ride is better? Who cares? That's just chassis tuning. It has more features? Sure, but they aren't worth $10K plus all the subsidies. None of your arguments change the fact that you save a measly 1 gallon of gas a day. It's not all about the money. It's the fact that cars like this are touted as saving the world from the deadly CO2 lurking under our beds and you only saved me 1 gallon of gas a day for a total of $50K or more a car.

Take a look at the Fisker. It's a complete piece of crap. Slow, heavy, poorly built, huge on the outside and tiny on the inside, and hugely expensive. That saves 2 gallons a day based on similar size cars. Though, if you count internal volume it's a compact even smaller than the Cruze / Volt. 2 Gallons a day for $100 grand. Nice work. Pat yourself on the back for that one...

RE: I'm only saving 1 gallon of gas
By Mint on 5/3/2012 10:29:44 AM , Rating: 2
Opportunity cost is worth almost nothing with 0% interest rates.

If you want to talk about societal cost, then talk about the $20k gasoline saved over the lifetime of an EV, all the pollution from burning that (no, I'm not talking about CO2), reduced imports from the middle east, longer engine life (it's running 80% less), etc.

Just chassis tuning? BMWs are lauded for their ride, but was it merely a chassis tuning to improve them over a Cruze? How much more do they get to charge for that ride quality?

Fisker's a piece of crap? It's won numerous awards, like Top Gear Magazine's luxury COTY. It's a stylish luxury sports sedan, so what are you complaining about interior volume for? Is that how you evaluate a Maserati or Aston Martin? Do they cost less? The Karma is heavy, but the weight is in the middle. That's why it's praised for steering feel and handling, and went around Motor Trend's figure-eight faster than almost every 4-door except the Panamera (including the Quattroporte).
Americans love big cars, and always have, due to their presence. Boo-frickin-hoo, it's a few tenths of a second slower than a Panamera hybrid to 60.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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