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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 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.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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