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Meanwhile, Nissan's electric Leaf is doing well

Chevrolet's Volt hasn't had a very strong start to the year, as sales of the plug-in hybrid are down for the third month in a row. 

General Motors (GM) said that Volt sales dropped 4.3 percent to 1,607 in May; fell 10.7 percent to 1,306 in April, and tumbled 35 percent in March (compared to 2012).

But Volt sales are up 1.4 percent (or about 100 vehicles) in the first five months of the year to 7,157 compared to the first five months of 2012. GM said Volt sales on a retail basis have been up month-over-month. 


On the other hand, the Volt's main rival -- Nissan's electric Leaf -- has had a better year so far. Leaf sales passed those of the Volt with a total of 7,614 for the first five months of the year. Nissan sold 2,138 Leafs alone in May -- a 300 percent increase over May 2012. 

A large reason for Nissan's success this year is its price drop. It slashed the entry-level price of the Leaf back in January 18 percent to $28,800. 

The rise in sales is likely a huge relief for Nissan, since 2012 wasn't too kind to the automaker. Nissan had to admit that it wasn’t going to hit its sales mark for 2012, which was 20,000 Leafs. Nissan only sold 9,819 Leafs for the whole year -- less than half of its goal, and only 1.5 percent higher than the number it sold in 2011.

Other electric vehicle makers are cutting prices as well, such as Honda (Fit EV lease dropped from $389 to $259 per month) and Ford (Focus EV lease dropped from $350 to $285 per month and base price was cut $2,000 to $37,995). 

However, there's no word on a drop in price for the Volt. 

“Right now, we’re going to keep an eye on the segment," said Don Johnson, vice president of sales and service for Chevrolet brand.

Last month, GM announced that it expected the next-generation Volt to be profitable and cost $10,000 less to build. 

"This car, on a technology scale, is off the charts vs. what you [have] seen," said GM CEO Dan Akerson. "We've sold about 26,500 of them [and] we're losing money on every one."

Source: The Detroit News



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Owell
By BillyBatson on 6/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Owell
By theapparition on 6/4/2013 11:21:32 AM , Rating: 5
No, you'll get rated up because people here hate GM and the Volt.

I'm not sure why there is so much hate for the Volt. Drive one and your opinion will change (other than it's average looks). But make no mistake there's a reason why it was car of the year and has won several awards.

Price is still too high, GM's association with government intervention and rehashed decades old non-existent quality problems all accumulate for the hate.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/4/2013 11:39:42 AM , Rating: 1
I'll view EVs favorably when we have a new trillion-dollar nationwide smart grid and a bunch more nuclear reactors, and when their range has been extended to maybe about 300 miles, and the recharge time has been reduced to maybe 15 minutes.

We need the grid anyway. We'll always be needing more power - and will definitely be needing more power to feed significant numbers of EVs. The range and recharge time is on the EV manufacturers though.


RE: Owell
By BRB29 on 6/4/2013 12:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla Model S can get almost 300 mile so that's already possible right now with few modifications.

We have no way of charging a high capacity battery that quick. At least nothing we have now or in the near future. I think 1-2 hr charge time is very achievable in the near future.

I don't think there needs to be significant changes made to the grid if EV is mainstream. It will be a significant amount of additional power. Overall, it is not a large % change.


RE: Owell
By V-Money on 6/4/2013 12:32:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
We have no way of charging a high capacity battery that quick. At least nothing we have now or in the near future. I think 1-2 hr charge time is very achievable in the near future.


We could always move in a completely different direction...instead of trying to create batteries that charge instantly or very fast we can instead try for a battery technology that lasts longer and is more reliable.

Then we could make standardized battery packs (different models for different applications) and design cars so that the battery packs can be easily changed out.

This way instead of going to a gas station you would go to a charging station and just have the pack switched. The stations can charge the extra packs and we wouldn't have to wait to "refuel" our cars. This would also ensure that every pack would be used up until its EOL.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/4/2013 12:58:02 PM , Rating: 2
The problem there is you buy a brand-new EV with a 100% battery, then go to the "Battery Station" when it's "empty" and you get swapped for a battery that's at like 33%, and so on and so forth. You'd basically be saying no one owns the batteries that they pay for with their cars, and if they get a sh1tty battery along the way, too bad so sad sorry you got stranded on the highway.


RE: Owell
By BRB29 on 6/4/2013 1:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
You probably pay a monthly fee for use of the stations. Batteries are recycled after its capacity reaches 80% of capacity. That is the plan.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/4/2013 1:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
Think of the storage space and manpower you're talking about at these battery swap stations. And consider how heavy the battery packs are.
And are you going to be pushing massive amounts of power to those swap stations to do the re-charging on site, or are you going to be transporting used batteries elsewhere for large scale recharging?

I think the entire concept of having battery swap stations is entirely unfeasible simply for those reasons. Think of the number of cars that hit a gas station in LA in a given day - now think about having to store, swap, and recharge that many batteries at that location in a given day. I see no way that's going to happen.


RE: Owell
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/4/2013 1:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Think
I think that's a bit of a challenge for him.


RE: Owell
By BRB29 on 6/4/2013 2:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
Battery technology is advancing at a fast pace right now because there is high demand for it. In a few years we can make a battery with half the size and weight but store more energy.

The whole swapping battery thing is not hard. It may be big and heavy but if it is engineered to be removed by a machine then it would be easy. I'm sure they wouldn't actually have humans trying to carry 300 lbs of batteries lol.

You drive into the station. a man pushed a machine underneath your EV that detaches and carry the battery. He push another one underneath and the machine reinstall it. We can make rocket ships and send spacecrafts into interstellar space, we can easily engineer a battery swap system.

The problem they're focusing on is the high level of logistics, infrastructure and resource to create a nationwide network of maintenance and swapping stations.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/4/2013 2:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Battery technology is advancing at a fast pace right now because there is high demand for it. In a few years we can make a battery with half the size and weight but store more energy.


I'll believe that when I see it. It's not like we're suddenly just now getting into batteries - battery development has been going on for decades. I do not hold any such optimism like that...I don't think there's any reason to predict such a thing.

Granted we can redesign cars to make batter swaps easier...but now you're talking about vast underground bunkers with massive amounts of storage and heavy equipment to move around and manage the batteries. Don't see it happening.


RE: Owell
By BRB29 on 6/4/2013 2:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
It's been developing but at a snail's pace. Even NiCD batteries were pushed and subsidized by the federal government. Now there's a huge incentive because the entire vehicle industry is about to do a massive change to EV. Whoever makes the most reliable, highest capacity, lowest cost and safest battery will make billions. Battery capacity is one of the 3 main things holding EVs back.

Investors, entrepreneurs and businesses feel safer when the government backs something. In this case, the government is fully behind EV. Whenever something like that happens, everyone will jump in and invest in massive R&D because the potential for biblical profits are there. The market in the future is real, they just got to beat the competition to it or do it better. If you take business management and market analysis in school, this is one of those things they drill in your head.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/4/2013 6:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
Nah. Don't buy it. The global market for battery tech has been astronomical since, what, WWII? I don't believe for a second that there's any fundamental new push now that there wasn't 10, 20, or 30 years ago.

You're not starting from a clean slate in a net-new technology that suddenly the goverment has provided backing for. Battery tech is already sophisticated and mature. The quantum leap stuff happened a while ago.


RE: Owell
By chripuck on 6/5/2013 10:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
Come on moto, I'm usually with you on most things but no increase in demand for battery tech? Name 5 things that used batteries that weren't used as an ignition source for an ICE 30 years ago. With the internet I'm sure you'll come up with something, but compare it to today: Tablets, smartphones, laptops, hospital equipment, cars, segways, scooters etc. etc. Battery demand is orders of magnitude higher now than it was in the late 90's, much less in the 80's or 70's.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/5/2013 12:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
I said nothing about "demand." I said we have been heavily invested in battery R&D for decades. Even if fewer consumer devices were using batteries in 1983, the usage level was still intense as was the need and desire to improve them. Maybe there's more things now needing batteries than there were Walkmans in 1983, but the incentive for development has always been there.


RE: Owell
By BRB29 on 6/5/2013 1:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
Battery usage has increased dramatically. We have more electronics than ever demanding more processing power and longer battery life. We are producing hybrids and EVs in mass quantities. We are using batteries for stationary use and grid storage as well.

I don't see how you can hold an argument that battery use hasn't increased dramatically when there's a huge push in mobile devices and EVs/hybrids. Green energy needs batteries as well.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/6/2013 12:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
I said nothing about battery demand...at all. I said that the research has been going on for decades, and there's not any reason to think that any huge quantum-leap kinds of discoveries are around the corner as you seem to think they are.

Battery tech is very mature and very sophisticated. Improvements from here on out are all but certainly going to be marginal as opposed to fundamental. The fact that we're now seeing some appreciable volume of EVs doesn't suddenly mean that the people who've invested untold mountains of money into battery R&D over the last several decades just kind of really weren't serious about it until now.


RE: Owell
By lelias2k on 6/7/2013 4:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
If you can't understand the relationship between demand and R&D investment, then it will be hard to get anywhere in this conversation.


RE: Owell
By Griffinhart on 6/4/2013 1:43:56 PM , Rating: 3
Not only that, it would require a total rethink of the design of these cars since the batteries would need to be easily accessible. Current configurations do not allow for easily swapping batteries so they would need to have some access panel on the outside of the vehicle.

In addition, batteries are heavy and big. The Chevy volt's batteries are 435 lbs. The Tesla-S has lot more capacity and it's batteries are much heavier than that. At a guess I would say well over 1000 lbs given the Volt is a 16 kW-h system vs the tesla's 60 to 80 (depending on the model) kW-h system. That means "battery stations" wouldn't be a self service affair. No one in their right mind would risk the liability of allowing customers to swap batteries of that weight. That means long waits while attendants remove, move and secure half ton slabs of batteries with heavy moving equipment. That's assuming you don't have a line ahead of you.

Battery stations just don't make much practical sense.


RE: Owell
By skildner on 6/4/2013 2:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
But.....they already exist. Guess your logic is a little off base.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/31/israel-gets-its...


RE: Owell
By Just Tom on 6/4/2013 4:17:11 PM , Rating: 3
One company in one nation in the entire world is hardly evidence of the ideas practicality. Even more so when the company that opened the swap shop is now bankrupt.

http://www.jta.org/2013/06/03/news-opinion/israel-...


RE: Owell
By Spuke on 6/4/2013 4:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even more so when the company that opened the swap shop is now bankrupt.
LMAO!!


RE: Owell
By lelias2k on 6/7/2013 5:04:00 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that any new technology in the EV field needs to get past Big Oil's powerful lobby.

Also, just because the company failed, it doesn't necessarily mean the idea is bad, just that they didn't have the right business people.

Betamax was a better product than VHS, but it was a commercial failure because of poor business decisions from Sony's part. But that has nothing to do with the technology per se.


RE: Owell
By Just Tom on 6/16/2013 6:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
No, just because a company failed does not mean the idea is bad but it certainly cannot be seen as evidence the idea is good.

BetaMax was NOT a better product than VHS for the simple reason that VHS offered the one thing the market really wanted: recording time.


RE: Owell
By Spuke on 6/4/2013 4:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But.....they already exist. Guess your logic is a little off base.
Neato!!! Now make that work here:
http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site20...


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/4/2013 4:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Find a way to make it work on a 1/4 acre lot that services 1,000 cars a day, and then we'll talk.

I won't hold my breath though.


RE: Owell
By lelias2k on 6/7/2013 4:59:29 PM , Rating: 2
In a situation like this the battery wouldn't be sold with the car, but you would have a contract with the company that provides the exchanges.

That was Better Place's business model.


RE: Owell
By BRB29 on 6/4/2013 12:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We could always move in a completely different direction...instead of trying to create batteries that charge instantly or very fast we can instead try for a battery technology that lasts longer and is more reliable.


Yes, we're already moving into that direction. The only electric storage that can charge that quickly are Superconductors. But it cannot store anywhere close to enough energy to replace batteries.


RE: Owell
By lelias2k on 6/7/2013 4:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then we could make standardized battery packs (different models for different applications) and design cars so that the battery packs can be easily changed out.


I believe that was Better Place's business plan. Not sure they're doing so well nowadays. ;)


RE: Owell
By xprojected on 6/4/2013 12:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the Chevy Spark EV due out soon has an SAE combo charger for DC fast charging - 80 percent of charge in 20 minutes. Nowhere near a 300 mile range, of course.


RE: Owell
By Mint on 6/4/2013 12:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll view EVs favorably when we have a new trillion-dollar nationwide smart grid and a bunch more nuclear reactors, and when their range has been extended to maybe about 300 miles, and the recharge time has been reduced to maybe 15 minutes.
That's a pretty weird stance to have.

First of all, a PHEV like the Volt doesn't need much range to make a big impact on gas consumption. If a driver does 15k miles a year, he'll probably put 11k of that on electricity with a Volt's 16kWh battery. Is it really that much better to put all 15k on a pure EV with a 300-mile, 80kWh battery?

And why do you feel the grid and generation are problems that have to be addressed first? At night, there's lots of idle electricity generation and distribution capacity, and this is when EVs do most of their charging.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/4/2013 1:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
Firstly, yes I probably should have more directly addressed the Volt rather than EVs...hybrids are infinitely better than EVs at this point, because you can always run on gas after the laughably tiny range of the battery is used up.

As noted, we need a smart grid anyway. Our whole electrical distribution system teeters on the edge of failure on a daily basis as it is. I find it to be only prudent to fix that before we really start buying EVs in earnest...it makes no sense to me to do otherwise. Kind of like storing your new Bugatti in a 100-year old barn that's on the verge of collapse.


RE: Owell
By Mint on 6/5/2013 2:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrids seem like the future to me as well, but you never know how cheap pure EVs can get. I remember speaking with some profs at MIT, and he was talking about how awful LCD is fundamentally as a display tech vs alternatives, and was blown away with how industry just took it and ran with it.

There's no disputing the drivetrain simplicity of pure EVs. I think the US will eventually see the cellphone model approach applied to EVs, as Renault is doing in Europe: Buy the EV at a low price, but lease the battery with X miles per year. If the battery is reliable and this payment is cheaper than gas, it gives the automaker a long term revenue stream and the customer a lifetime warranty on the battery.

As for the aging grid, yes, we do need to upgrade it. However, EVs aren't going to strain it for a decade or two. We don't need to hold off on their sales before upgrading it.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/6/2013 12:55:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
EVs aren't going to strain it for a decade or two


Uh, how long do you think it would take to do a nation-wide upgrade of the electric distribution network to a real smart grid? I'm guessing a decade or two...or five.


RE: Owell
By lelias2k on 6/7/2013 5:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
laughably tiny range


You do know that 78% of commuters drive less than 40 miles a day, right?

http://gm-volt.com/2007/12/06/how-did-gm-determine...

I get the whole range anxiety, to a point. After that it becomes like people who buy trucks because they might need to move stuff once a year. Seriously? How about renting one when you need and saving money the rest of the year?


RE: Owell
By DFranch on 6/4/2013 12:51:32 PM , Rating: 3
And how do you expect production costs to come down if the car companies don't produce these expensive EVs? Look at any new tech, remember when a plasma TV cost $10,000? I certainly didn't buy one at that price, but somebody did. The price will come down as more people buy them. The people buying EVs right now are doing so because they believe in the tech not because it is the most cost effective solution.


RE: Owell
By Motoman on 6/4/2013 1:20:45 PM , Rating: 1
...where did you get any impression from my post that I said anything about what an EV costs?

Oh, that's right...I didn't.


RE: Owell
By chuckus on 6/4/2013 2:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
I tend to agree with this statement. I recently picked up the Focus EV knowing that there'd be some constraints or, dare I martyr, sacrifice to endure. All in all, I haven't experienced it yet. The Focus has so far been the best car I've owned, er, leased.

If you already have one (ICE) car, a shortish commute, and believe in the future of the technology then put your money where your mouth is.

Leasing appears the best way to go if you tend to think the advancements in battery technology are accelerating, which I believe they are. My next car will undoubtedly be a BEV as well, hopefully with 3x the range and 75% of the cost.


RE: Owell
By Manch on 6/4/2013 6:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
I remember them at that price. I also remember they were not subsidized by tax payers too.


RE: Owell
By StormyKnight on 6/5/2013 11:19:09 AM , Rating: 2
Not buying that argument, but I can counter the logic behind it. Not very many people buy the $10,000 plasma. The executives are stunned. Maybe they should drop the price, yes? Price drops, a few more people buy, but not many. You add in competition which in the TV area is huge, and you'll start seeing that $10K plasma price coming down drastically.


RE: Owell
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: Owell
By V-Money on 6/4/2013 12:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
Mostly number 1. I understand that there is more to a car than its looks, but lets be honest here. Most cars today perform well enough on most roads for normal driving (and I had a V-Series Cadillac...lots of power you just don't ever really get to use)so the looks are important. When I saw the prototype I actually wanted one. If it were released looking like it did then I would own one right now. Then this ugly monstrosity came out so I bought the Cadillac instead. What were they thinking.


RE: Owell
By Mint on 6/4/2013 12:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
The Cadillac ELR puts a much slicker body around the Voltec powertrain.

Unfortunately, it looks like GM is going to really jack the price on that one.


RE: Owell
By BRB29 on 6/4/2013 12:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just #1. If you drive past the range of the battery which is normal, then you are only getting ~36 mpg. Charging takes too long and the car is ugly for its price range.

The Model S looks and performs more like a luxury $60k car.
The leaf got the cheap part right.

It's just another GM blunder but the technology is promising. I hope the next iteration will be much better.


RE: Owell
By Spuke on 6/4/2013 4:23:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you drive past the range of the battery which is normal, then you are only getting ~36 mpg.
This is what murdered it for me. I almost could get around it's looks but my wife's BMW X1 gets 34 mpg, costs $10k less, AND it looks better. Hell no to the Volt.


RE: Owell
By xprojected on 6/4/2013 12:48:00 PM , Rating: 2
1. And the concept shape was incredibly impractical, especially for a (PH)EV car. It was like a Camaro with even smaller windows. They probably shouldn't have set such expectations.. any car with that design would've cost way more than the final Volt. And most people in love with the concept probably didn't care what powered it.

2. So goes any new/low-volume technology needing R&D. The Leaf costs a little less, at least. For now, leasing, or federal/state credits, will be the only cheap way into the technology.

3. And yet they are the top selling car company in the US.. go figure.


RE: Owell
By bobsmith1492 on 6/4/2013 12:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
#2 trumps all. The thing costs half as much as my house! That limits its market to ~1% of the population.


RE: Owell
By Spuke on 6/4/2013 4:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
#2 trumps all. The thing costs half as much as my house! That limits its market to ~1% of the population.
Except the average house costs $190,000 in the US. Definitely NOT 1% of the population.


RE: Owell
By 91TTZ on 6/4/2013 12:53:22 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But make no mistake there's a reason why it was car of the year and has won several awards.


That's mostly due to lobbying by the automaker. Car magazines are for-profit ventures, after all.


RE: Owell
By Arsynic on 6/4/2013 2:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But make no mistake there's a reason why it was car of the year and has won several awards.


Yeah. It's the same reason Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.


RE: Owell
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/2013 12:54:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Drive one and your opinion will change


What a joke. I'm so tired of hearing this trite weak-ass defense.

Do you claim driving a Volt, a freaking GM, is like going to be some amazing cathartic experience? I've driven high end BMW's, I've driven Porsche's, I mean come on, do you pretend the Volt holds a candle here? With it's wannabee Cadillac interior and anemic power??

quote:
But make no mistake there's a reason why it was car of the year and has won several awards.


LMAO

Popularity contests don't impress me. Especially when it's "awards" from known Detroit-based homers who routinely pick from the same lackluster domestic brands no matter what.

Remember the Saturn Aura? Probably not. NOBODY does! But it somehow made Detroit based (coincidence I'm sure...) Motor Trend's "Car of the Year". So has countless other flops. Face it, their credibility is shot.

If GM put half as much effort into actually MAKING the great cars their gigantic publicity machine claims to, they wouldn't have gone bankrupt in the first place.


RE: Owell
By Samus on 6/5/2013 2:40:22 AM , Rating: 2
I remember Chrysler's mid-00's crap got Motor Trend top customer satisfaction and top "initial quality" awards.

I see those old 300m's driving around practically sideways because of broken suspension components, and independent publications like Consumers' Report rated Chrysler\Dodge 3rd from LAST place in their used car picks category, beaten only by Jaguar and Land Rover, of course.


RE: Owell
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/2013 8:49:02 AM , Rating: 2
LOL yeah. Well all "initial quality" means is that it hasn't fallen apart yet heheh. But it WILL!


RE: Owell
By Masospaghetti on 6/5/2013 9:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What a joke. I'm so tired of hearing this trite weak-ass defense.


And yet you haven't driven one!

The difference between the Volt and Porsches is this: The Volt is compared against bottom-dollar econoboxes and then viewed unfavorably because it isn't as cheap to operate. The Volt is a much better driving car than a Versa, or a Cruze, or a Civic. A Porsche or BMW is obviously not economical and isn't viewed that way.


RE: Owell
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/13, Rating: 0
RE: Owell
By Masospaghetti on 6/6/2013 11:26:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM passenger vehicles have that same boring handling with sloppy suspension setup tuned for grandparents


This alone tells me you haven't driven a GM vehicle made in the past 5 years.

quote:
LMAO no really? Compare the sticker price of the Volt to those cars, then add the subsidies to it.


The Volt is virtually always compared against other economy cars and then determined to be "too expensive". The fact that it drives better is rarely considered.


RE: Owell
By therealgras on 6/5/2013 1:42:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM's association with government intervention


Is exactly why I will never purchase a GM product, or Chrysler for that matter.


RE: Owell
By Samus on 6/5/2013 2:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'm in the market for an EV and have never owned a GM product, BUT, if the Volt were around the price of a Leaf, I'd buy one.

However, I'll probably end up in a Leaf.

The Focus EV is my overall choice but it costs as much as the Volt for some reason. Good luck selling those, Ford.


RE: Owell
By BillyBatson on 6/11/2013 12:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't seen much hate for the volt on DT but I have gotten down rated every time I've express see my hate for the car. Like now.


RE: Owell
By tayb on 6/4/2013 3:30:05 PM , Rating: 3
You'll get down voted for hoping the car fails. Why would you hope that it fails?


RE: Owell
By therealgras on 6/5/2013 1:46:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You'll get down voted for hoping the car fails. Why would you hope that it fails?


Number 1 reason, the bailout.


RE: Owell
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2013 11:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer was right again, all along, again :)


RE: Owell
By StormyKnight on 6/5/2013 11:10:11 AM , Rating: 2
I don't hate GM or the Volt. While I'm sure somebody thinks $40K is ok for a compact car, I'm not one of them no matter how "green" or cool it might be. Like Tesla cars, this is not an "everyman" car and the sales prove it.


By SublimeSimplicity on 6/4/2013 10:41:22 AM , Rating: 3
The Volt is insanely complex. I imagine a trained GM mechanic looks at a Volt like a soccer mom looks at here Tahoe when it breaks.




By theapparition on 6/4/2013 11:14:54 AM , Rating: 2
Nope.

GM certified mechanics go by "the book". And it's quite literal in this case.

There is a GM service manual that tells the mechanic in great detail what needs to be done, in order, and what tools to use. In fact, all dealer service departments (not just GM) does this.

Anyone with the slightest mechanical ability and half a brain can follow the steps. But that's also why dealer service costs more. Instead of just making sure you have a drain and pulling the drain plug to change oil, they have to go in and log each step as complete.


By Motoman on 6/4/2013 11:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anyone with the slightest mechanical ability and half a brain can follow the steps.


LOL. So why don't you just trot over to an ASE certification then and see how you do, if that's all it takes.

"Just follow the steps." You could say the same thing about heart surgery. Modern vehicle maintenance and repair isn't exactly the same thing as cooking muffins from a box.


By ipay on 6/4/2013 2:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Modern vehicle maintenance and repair isn't exactly the same thing as cooking muffins from a box.
Agreed. Muffins are way harder. Starting batter temp. Humidity. Oven temp variations. Even batter distribution. Give me a lift and a tool box over that any day!


By Manch on 6/4/2013 6:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
by "the book" LMFAO. You obviously dont know any mechanics


By 1prophet on 6/5/2013 9:04:35 AM , Rating: 2
You obviously have never worked as a mechanic at a garage let alone a dealership yet have all the answers like upper management or overpriced consultants,

and any dealer that puts this mentality of yours in practice by hiring the cheapest help since in your words,

"Anyone with the slightest mechanical ability and half a brain can follow the steps."

ends up with multiple comebacks and a very low CSI (customer satisfaction index)which results in poor customer retention.


Volt Owner, Probably Cost Issue
By foxalopex on 6/4/2013 3:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
I own the 2013 Volt and so far it's been a really nice car. Unlike most hybrid drivers you don't need to hypermill at all. In fact the car gives you good fuel mileage even if you jackrabbit off every red light. You never really worry about running out of battery since you have a gas engine to back you up and it's a surprisingly good car for passing people on uphills on the highway. (Massive electric torque assist on uphill.)

Being in Canada, the Leaf probably wouldn't work so well in our winters seeing as the battery would freeze. I know the Leaf runs into problems in Arizona where the heat destroys the battery. I've even had a friend comment as to how well the hatchback system was designed because apparently on his import, the hatch can't stay up in the extreme cold in Canada. Can't say I've seen that problem on the Volt.

My lifetime fuel milage after a brutal winter was 80 mpg. I took it on a 3,168 mile cross country trip which took 4 days round trip. I was charging at motels and it dropped to 55 mpg but I expect that to rise since now that I'm back home in the summer and I'm using no gas at all.

A lot of folks claim the Volt is too expensive. I admit it is expensive but remember that's because it wasn't built with any real compromises. The leaf for example doesn't have a water cooling system which results in the battery dying if you ever drive into desert climates. The Telsa probably can't withstand our winters up here either and good luck finding a supercharger in Canada which means it won't be a cross country car.

Would I make the same choice if I had to do it again. Yes. It's an EV with virtually no compromises except for price.




RE: Volt Owner, Probably Cost Issue
By cyberguyz on 6/4/2013 6:22:26 PM , Rating: 1
The volt is just fine as long as you stay within that electric (60 stretched) battery range. The electric motor is good for 148 hp and 273 ft/lb torque which is quite respectable.

Fall off of that 60 mile battery range though and you are stuck with a teensy, anemic 1.4L 4-banger with 84hp and so little torque that GM is too embarrassed to disclose it. Seriously the engine you have left is more suitable to the Chevy's micro car - the Spark. When you have that tiny 1.4l 'range extender' (Chevy refuses to call it an engine) lugging around the electric drive train, a gas tank, all those batteries and you, the last thing anybody would call that car is peppy. It is a good thing the gas tank is not too big (350 mile range EV+'Extender') as the car would have a tough time moving it. Do all your passing when you have some battery power left.


RE: Volt Owner, Probably Cost Issue
By foxalopex on 6/5/2013 9:31:18 AM , Rating: 4
Good point but since you've never driven a Volt, you are probably unaware of how the Volt gets around this issue. A car cruising at steady speed on the highway uses only 20 hp (about 15 kilowatts) of power according to the power meter in the Volt. It is only when passing and climbing hills that requires more than that.

What you don't understand is that this means when riding on level ground the engine has 60 hp more than it needs. Even more when going downhill. This power gets dumped back into the battery to be used when passing or when going up hills. The Volt in its normal settings is designed to reserve a portion of its battery for passing and hills. If you plan on going up a mountain range for example, there's a special setting which reserves about half the battery for hill climbing. On my entire cross country +3000 mile trip through hills, plains and into the rocky mountains I kept the battery at half charge to avoid any problems.

I guess you've never owned any hybrid in your life so you're unaware that in a typical drive the power use spikes in ways which are shocking. The 2013 Volt has a power meter so it shows that in idle it's using a mere 0.5 kw of power, cruising in the city 5kw power, highway ~15 kw, floored 109 kw. The beauty of a battery is that it acts like a gigantic flywheel. It smooths out the power flow so when you do use a gas engine, it doesn't need to work as hard.


RE: Volt Owner, Probably Cost Issue
By Mint on 6/5/2013 2:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
Very well said.

It's a shame that people spread lies about the Volt without knowing how it really works.


The world is just not ready
By cyberguyz on 6/4/2013 5:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
And neither is the tech.

Electric cars have a lot going for them but they have some very serious downsides.

When fossil fuel car runs out of fuel, you can refill it in about 10 minutes and be on your way. When an electric car runs out of fuel, the refill takes several hours - you had better have made some overnight plans near the filling station plug.

The other huge downside is of course... range. The best electric car range I know of is the Tesla S using its extended battery - about 300 miles which is not bad, but nowhere near the 600-900 mile range of some cars and diesel cars. And remember - the more range on your battery, the longer it will take to charge it up.

Until the industry resolves these, plug-in hybrids will be nothing but heavy, underpowered gas driven cars. And full electric cars like the Tesla S or the Leaf will be relegated to being toys for folks with way too much money burning holes in their pockets.

Hybrids are a good compromise, but the gas engines are normally pretty weak. When your battery goes flat, you are usually stuck with a really underpowered, really heavy car. That little gas motor is gonna burn a lot of gas to move it.




By Cheesew1z69 on 6/4/2013 6:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
nowhere near the 600-900 mile range of some cars and diesel cars.
Enlighten us as to which fossil cars get even close to this range?


RE: The world is just not ready
By foxalopex on 6/5/2013 10:01:35 AM , Rating: 3
As in my previous post, you don't really understand how hybrids work. You can't judge a hybrid by the HP rating on the gas engine portion. Read a detailed review about how a hybrid drives when using gas (this applies to plug in electrics) and you'll find them saying that what makes them odd is that the engine will humm sometimes with no relation to your trottle. This is because a battery acts like a flywheel. When a gas engine in a car isn't working hard to push the car, it can use that power to charge the battery. Since crusing at highway speeds only uses 20 hp, it leaves a lot for leeway.


Cant sell these turds
By superflex on 6/4/2013 12:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
Mike Castrucci Chevrolet has over 15 on the lot looking for a home.
And we were told these were still on backorder by the lib DT fools.




Osborne'd
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 6/4/2013 1:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
Akerson pulled an Osborne when he commented about large price cuts coming up relatively shortly, and I'm sure there's folks waiting on the i3, maybe the ELR as well.

Price cuts and reduced lease costs for various compliance EVs and the Leaf are also likely affecting Volt sales as well.

Me, I can't wait to test drive the i3, it could be a better fit than the Volt for my use case..




Lease
By btc909 on 6/5/2013 12:10:35 AM , Rating: 2
Drop the lease price to $199 a month with $0 down.




By Fling Under The Radar on 6/7/2013 7:51:10 AM , Rating: 2
I bought one exactly a year ago and now have 15,000 trouble-free miles on it, running it for pennies on electricity as opposed to my previous vehicle that was costing me a fortune to drive.

Next time you see someone driving a Volt, roll down your window and ask the how they like it... typically the reply will have a "four letter word" in the reply...

This is what I think of my Volt
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcnVC6eKeeA




I like the technology
By Dorkyman on 6/4/2013 11:15:19 AM , Rating: 1
As an engineer I like the idea of the Volt. Complexity is not an issue if it's designed right--after all, an internal combustion engine is pretty complex, too, and yet they are remarkably trouble-free for billions of crankshaft revolutions.

But I would never buy a Volt, simply because it's part of GM. I dislike Messiah and how he constantly crows about "saving" GM. No thanks. GM's future would have been much better served by reorganizing without the handouts to the unions. I think a lot of people think this way. So the question is whether Volt would have been a runaway success if under, say, the Honda label. I think so.




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