The Value of a Volt

posted at 10:50 am on August 1, 2010 by Doctor Zero

How much is a new Chevy Volt electric car worth?

The sticker price is $41,000.  However, with federal subsidies, you could pay as little as $33,500.  Additional subsidies provided by the state of California could knock it down even lower, for residents of the Golden State.  So what’s the price?

$41,000, of course.  The subsidies just mean you don’t pay all of it.  The utterly bankrupt federal government takes money from other taxpayers, and uses it to discount your purchase.  Since California is teetering on the edge of total collapse, and may well require federal bailouts in the near future, taxpayers across the country could end up paying additional sums to support Volt purchases that happen to occur within the state of California.  These transfer payments are mixed into the thickening concrete surrounding the American economy, making it just a few inches deeper.

But wait, there’s more.  Almost four hundred million dollars in federal subsidies were pumped directly into the design and production of the Volt.  The initial production run consists of just ten thousand units, with 45,000 more planned for 2012 if sales are good.  This would add just over $7200 more in taxpayer subsidies to each Volt produced over the next two years.  Since 2012 production will be scaled back if early sales are disappointing, it might be more logical to add the subsidies to the first 10,000 units only, which would leave early adopters outside of California paying $33,500 for a car which actually costs $81,000 per unit, with taxpayers picking up the remainder.  It’s actually even worse than that, because GM expects to lose money on every Volt sale.  Those losses will be spread among other GM products, or perhaps wiped out with further taxpayer subsidies.

The Volt would not exist at all, if the government had not performed an elaborate voodoo ritual which involved burning $50 billion in taxpayer cash and sprinkling the ashes over the United Auto Workers union.  This raised General Motors from its free-market grave, and placed it at the service of those who killed it.   How much of this fifty billion should be divided among the Volt production run to calculate its true, final value?

There was no great consumer demand for the Volt.  Toyota has been doing quite well selling the Prius, and Nissan has its own electric car, the Leaf, on the way.  The purpose of seizing money from taxpayers to finance the Volt was preserving the jobs of union members politically connected to the Democrat Party, a point President Obama underlined in a recent speech in Detroit:

“If some folks had their way, none of this would be happening,” Obama said, as Chrysler workers booed his reference to Republicans who voted against the bailout. “Just want to point that out. Right? This plant and your jobs might not exist. There were leaders of the ‘just say no’ crowd in Washington. They were saying, ‘Oh, standing by the auto industry would guarantee failure.’ One of them called it ‘the worst investment you could possibly make.’”

The folks who would have prevented this glorious moment in State engineering would be you, the taxpayers, who would never have agreed to pay almost fifty grand apiece to underwrite the production and sale of a little fleet of tiny cars with laughable battery cruise ranges… and overall fuel efficiency that would take decades to equal the cost of purchasing and fueling a more attractive, existing vehicle that didn’t require massive government subsidies.

Obama is lying through his teeth when he refers to the GM bailout as an “investment”  Politicians love to throw that word around, because they think it makes them sound like savvy businessmen.  Investments are voluntaryacts, conducted with the expectation of return.  You were compelled to pay for the development of the Volt, and unless you’re one of the tiny percentage of the public who purchase one, you will receive nothing in return for these payments.  You paid to preserve the jobs of rich and powerful labor unions, and provide a handsome discount to the few buyers who find the emotional satisfaction of saluting Green dogma to be worth $33,500.  Virtually no onewould be willing to pay the true price of $81,000 for that satisfaction.

Subsidies and mandates based on ideology hopelessly distort the value of products, confusing the marketplace in the same manner as consumer fraud and theft.  It’s as if car dealers were in the practice of routinely stealing automobiles from other states, and reselling them at steep discounts.  The ability of the consumer to assess value and make rational purchases, expressing their demands and allowing the distributed intelligence of the markets to allocate resources efficiently in response, is destroyed.

Worst of all, consumers never see the opportunity costs of enforcing political mandates on the economy.  They never see what could have been done with all the money taken from them to provide subsidies to the politically connected.  They’ll never know what other auto manufacturers would have done to win over the market share released by the richly-deserved death of General Motors, or how many jobs would have been created by the production of goods the free people of the United States actually want.

The number of Chevy Volts desired by those free people is zero.  By government decree, there will be up to 55,000 of them gathering dust in the far corners of three-car garages by 2012.  The government didn’t subsidize this boondoggle.  The “government” doesn’t subsidize anything.  You do.Imagine what  the taxpayers of America might have done with the billions taken away from them to produce those cars, divide that lost value by 55,000, and you will begin to comprehend the true cost of a Chevy Volt.

Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.

Doctor Zero: Year One now available from Amazon.com!


This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

The batteries are being made in Michigan, in a plant owned by the Korean company, LG. No American battery manufacturer currently could supply GM. I suspect that with the second gen Volt that’s being designed now (with substantial changes rumored), GM will have a larger choice of battery vendors, including American owned companies.
rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 3:00 PM

-
Are they being ‘made’ here… or assembled here? Do you know the name of the company? I am in that biz… and did not think any large cell maker for Lith-ion cells had US lithium manufacture capacity to do this scale from raw mats.

RalphyBoy on August 1, 2010 at 3:08 PM

A few things no one has mentioned:

1) The cost to insure this car. Everyone will have to have both collision and liability insurance when they first buy this car. Chances are, the cost of insurance is going to go up as more and more of these cars end up in wrecks – many of them fatal.

And how is the Volt different in this regard from any other newly introduced car? There’s no reason why the Volt should have any more fatal accidents than any other modern design. In many ways a tank of gasoline is more dangerous than a 300+V battery pack. We haven’t seen any disproportionate problems with hybrids so far.

2) The cost to repair this car. Since the components are unique to this vehicle, the parts won’t be cheap. The expertise to fix one of these cars is going to be different from other, more conventional cars. And since there aren’t that many of them on the market, there will be a limited number of places – all of them dealerships, no doubt – to have them worked on.

Again, you can say this about any new car. Plenty of new cars have engines and transmissions and other components that are unique to those specific vehicles. As for expertise, that too must be constantly upgraded even with conventional cars.

3) The cost to replace the batteries. Estimates that I have seen say that the batteries in these cars only last 2-3 years. A new battery will cost between $5000-$10,000. Who in their right mind would pay that much for a replacement battery when they haven’t even paid off the car?

So why is GM giving an 8 year 100,000 mile warranty on the Volt battery system? Where have you seen those “estimates”?

PLEASE let one of our next presidents have a working knowledge of math, science, economics, and engineering…..

TeresainFortWorth on August 1, 2010 at 3:01 PM

A legitimate desire indeed. OTOH, I’d settle for a president who knew that he didn’t know math, science and engineering and instead relied on those who do.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Are they being ‘made’ here… or assembled here? Do you know the name of the company? I am in that biz… and did not think any large cell maker for Lith-ion cells had US lithium manufacture capacity to do this scale from raw mats.

RalphyBoy on August 1, 2010 at 3:08 PM

I already said it was LG. If we’re talking batteries, then it’s fair to say that the batteries are being manufactured in Michigan, since a battery is a collection of more than one cell. While the raw cells may be made in Korea, there’s more to a battery than cells, particularly an EV battery that needs thermal and charge management in addition to just wiring up the cells in series or parallel.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 3:22 PM

Again: it’s obscene and naive to call Toyota free market, and then hate on GM for a subsidy to encourage a game changing, innovative product.

1) I didn’t call Toyota “free market,” I said it was a better deal. And it is.

2) GM is taking large amounts of taxpayer money to push an inferior product – it costs too much, it’s less utilitarian, it fails on just about every point. Just because it’s serial instead of parallel drive doesn’t justify MARKETING an inferior product. Maybe a testbed, but not a production model with inferior specs.

On this subject, I cheerfully say, “go to hell, everybody!”

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Well, I guess we can just say “right back at ya!”

Merovign on August 1, 2010 at 3:31 PM

GM should have died from its own stink.

fogw on August 1, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Brakes work by turning kinetic energy into heat. Since regenerative brakes recover energy that would normally become heat, the friction brakes in a hybrid or EV are more likely to stay cooler and have more effective mechanical braking.

Cooler, yes. More effective, not so much. The Prius, best known example, switches to mechanical brakes for hard braking. Systems vary in effectiveness but mechanical brakes are a highly-developed technology.

Typically, regenerative braking can’t exceed accelerative force, which is much less than needed braking force in almost all cases. Also, regenerative braking is less effective at low speeds because of motor efficiency, and unless your hybrid is AWD you won’t be using regenerative braking on all wheels.

Does it really matter to you if what slows your car down is mechanical friction or generating electricity?

It matters a lot of the system is software-controlled, like in the Prius. Personally, if I have a complete or partial electrical failure, I want my brakes to Just Work. If I don’t, I still want them to Just Work. They need to be available all the time, for maximum effort, instantly.

The fact is that in regenerative systems they usually end up with systems that recover less than maximum achievable energy recovery because when set to maximum regeneration the brakes tend to grab faster than what people usually expect.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Hybrid cars don’t have both regenerative and mechanical braking systems because regenerative systems are “too good.” And I don’t want a safety system compromised for the sake of fuel economy. I’ll gladly spend the extra gas for safety’s sake.

Regenerative braking also, I think I mentioned above, varies its “effort” over the deceleration curve – which can be fairly disastrous.

Now, I could probably get behind some sort of “coasting deceleration” regenerative system if it wasn’t attached to the braking system – i.e. like engine braking, it provides some electrical feedback into the system when you’re off the gas and brake.

But I won’t have my braking system compromised, period, whether it’s by unneeded complexity or by a computer trying to decide if I really need to stop quite as fast as all that.

Merovign on August 1, 2010 at 3:48 PM

I already said it was LG. If we’re talking batteries, then it’s fair to say that the batteries are being manufactured in Michigan, since a battery is a collection of more than one cell. While the raw cells may be made in Korea, there’s more to a battery than cells, particularly an EV battery that needs thermal and charge management in addition to just wiring up the cells in series or parallel.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 3:22 PM

-
Well, yes you did, but currently LG does not make cells in the US (so far as I can tell). And while the link below reports on future cell production, and other activity, much is yet to be done in that effort. So the current Volt has imported cells… And Billions have been given to fund this wish list union gift.
http://www.thegovmonitor.com/world_news/united_states/michigan-moves-to-become-center-for-advanced-battery-production-33475.html
-
Further, this is the type of statement that I’m concerned about when you talk about ‘made in the USA’…

In Midland, construction is underway on Dow Kokam’s new advanced battery plant where workers will produce the lithium-ion packs for electric vehicles.

http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168–241500–,00.html
-
Huge difference between ‘assembled here’… and “MADE IN THE USA”. In that sentence does produce the LI packs mean ‘assembled, or… manufacture the cells, and make packs from those cells? One is a high level tech job than the other.

RalphyBoy on August 1, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Thanks, rokemronnie (on August 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm), for your technical information.

The President said that if He [capping to reflect His own view] hadn’t “invested” in GM, then everyone would be on the streets. My recollection is that there were several protection-from-creditors-while-reorganizing proposals around: the only really big loser would have been the UAW, and maybe (probably) the stockholders, who at least wouldn’t have had to pay for the theft of their company with their own tax money. As it is, every non-UAW person has lost–and a lot.

Kevin K. on August 1, 2010 at 3:57 PM

The Volt is 0bama’s Volkswagen. The people’s car.

The main difference being that the Volkswagen was a commercial success.

UltimateBob on August 1, 2010

I was thinking earlier that they should call it Obama’s Voltswagon.
.
Good post Dr. Z. Glad to see you’re back on your game after your little brush with idiocy on the road signs post.
(end praising with faint damns)

Extrafishy on August 1, 2010 at 4:07 PM

since a battery is a collection of more than one cell.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 3:22 PM

-

I forgot… A single cell is a battery. Just go to Wal-Mart and check. They sell batteries of a wide range of types, but most, are single cell. This may not be the dictionary definition, but it is the common usage. You really needed to nit-pick to make that point?
-
How’s this… $34,000 for a $7,000 plus who knows how much stealth $ubsidized by our tax dollar$… $20,000 government burocrat endorsed car. Now that’s change I can’t laugh at. No nit-picking required.

RalphyBoy on August 1, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Great thread as always, Doc. Interestingly, when I post quotes from you on certain MSM blogs with comment monitors, they are removed. I find that curious.

Sadly, my own father falls into the trap of not realizing where subsidizing originates. Just yesterday we discussed some special footware he received for diabetics (he has high blood sugar but is not diabetic, btw) that was paid for through Medicare (I assume) and he did not like the way they fit. His comment was, “We’ll see if I like them or not. At least they didn’t cost me anything.” My father-in-law was the same way. When he wasn’t paying, money was no object. But he would fight to the death to get someone else to pay for the $20 cab ride to his $200,000 medical procedure.

Mr_Magoo on August 1, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I’m still waiting for someone to answer me on the important question. What about the total dork factor of being seen in this? People thru time have liked their cars to be a reflection of them, hence sports cars, muscle cars, convertibles, etc. What does driving this say about you? I paid too much for this cheaply made car that will fold up like a tissue in a major wreck, but I think I am doing something great for the environment, even though I have no real tangible proof?

PASS.

di butler on August 1, 2010 at 5:12 PM

It might be worth pointing out that there is no net energy savings in using an electric car over a gasoline powered car. The only difference is that the energy to propel the car was generated at an electric plant,transferred over power lines (with some resistance losses) probably hundreds of miles away, and in all likelihood is a coal fired plant producing considerably more pollution than the gasoline would.

So, to all of those out to save the world, electric cars are not the answer until the major portion of our electric energy is produced by non-fossil fuel resources. That’s probably more than 30 years away.

RUDYJ on August 1, 2010 at 5:14 PM

volt and ethonol about the same. Highly subsidized scams.

TomLawler on August 1, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Honestly, I don’t get the hatred towards this car.

This board is not down on electric cars, they are down on the massive bail-out of a company to produce a car that said company abandoned because it wasn’t going to work. The people on this board are against making a product for political reasons that is greatly and grandly flawed as even it’s proponents admit.

The people on this board are against subsidizing and encouraging an incomplete technology for general use on an infrastructure that is in some cases severely strained and in others completely absent and no plan on the books to correct this problem.

They are pushing a bad product and not ready for prime time tech.

This board is angry about massive debt and the devaluation of our own wealth to produce a product everyone knew was flawed going in and which only became worse on the way out.

Jason Coleman on August 1, 2010 at 5:17 PM

When you make a product for which the technology is not quite “there,”….well, Steve Jobs is a big Dem donor. Maybe he and 0bama can swap stories about the Newton.

Sekhmet on August 1, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Anything GM has touched in the past 30 years has been a complete failure.

Anything Obama has touched in the past 18 months has been a complete failure.

Now GM and Obama are building something together.

Only an idiot could predict success.

angryed on August 1, 2010 at 7:05 PM

But if they hadn’t subsidized it, 500 million people would have lost their jobs.

ColumbusConservative on August 1, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Hey knock it off with the misleading exaggerations!!!! EVERYBODY knows it was more like 50 million who would have lost their jobs! Quit trying to make Obama look even greater than he is already.

Fishoutofwater on August 1, 2010 at 7:24 PM

BTW, it sure is fun to keep clicking the Harry Reid ads that endlessly pollute my HA page loads.

Every time I do, it drains another couple bucks from his coffers in wasted advertising money. :^)

Fishoutofwater on August 1, 2010 at 7:28 PM

For me, the whole tragedy is that they made a car 10 years ago that had three times the range, on electric only. This is progress? Sheesh.

Scott P on August 1, 2010 at 7:32 PM

The Volt will go down in history.

On the same page as Edsel, DeLorean, Yugo.

reaganaut on August 1, 2010 at 7:42 PM

This is progress? Sheesh.

Indeed. It is a fine example of where the UAW has taken the US car industry.

Union, yes! We’ll do it in twice the time at twice the cost, for half the value and half the quality!

Progress.

reaganaut on August 1, 2010 at 7:44 PM

So, to all of those out to save the world, electric cars are not the answer until the major portion of our electric energy is produced by non-fossil fuel resources. That’s probably more than 30 years away.

Just think, we could already have enough nuclear energy at this point, if it wasn’t for some enviro-nuts and media scare mongering about 30+ years ago.

I’ll make a deal with them, get more nuke power going, drop my electric bill to peanuts (while allowing me to use electric heat) and I’ll buy the H4, Hummer with 4 of those rechargable batteries in a massive package.

reaganaut on August 1, 2010 at 7:51 PM

There was no great consumer demand for the Volt.  Toyota has been doing quite well selling the Prius, and Nissan has its own electric car, the Leaf, on the way.

Do you realize the Research and Development for the Prius was subsidized by the Japanese government?
Do you realize GM executive Bob Lutz ( helped bring about Ford Explorer, BMW 3 series, Dodge Viper; of off hand comment “man-caused global warming is a crock of sh!t” fame, which likely lost him a chance at GM chairmanship) and engineer sketched out the Volt concept on a napkin in 2006, in response to the success of Prius and the advent of Teslas performance roadster?
Did you realize the want list on GM-Volt .com grew to over 50,000 during this time? (GMs own current want list is over 70,000)
Did you realize that Carlos Ghosn, leader of Renault-Nissan, launched the crash program to develop LEAF (leading affordable electric family car, or something) as a reaction to GMs Volt innovation, and that it’s a much less sophisticated car destined to be a niche product?

Hating GM and holding it up to criteria that you refuse to apply to Japanese, European and other foreign OEMs is foolish and naive self-hatred, and it’s just plain ugly.

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM

” These transfer payments are mixed into the thickening concrete surrounding the American economy, making it just a few inches deeper.”

There is going to come a point, where the liberal Marxist/Socialist ideology is proven once and for all to be a failure…

… After that, Obowma will just print more money, schedule another vacation, then play another round of golf.

Seven Percent Solution on August 1, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Cost??? But indeed, THIS IS NOT SO BAD IF COMPARED TO THE $170,000 TESLA ON A $70,000 LOTUS CHASSIS.

I wish GM had been allowed to sink. Your point about opportunity costs is spot on. Too big to fail is a specter on the capitalist system. The whole GM operation is poison at this point, in philosophical terms, at least. This was on the board before the gov’t takeover. However, so was a v12 and new Northstar powerplant. Or so I have been told.

This venture will probably end like the GM diesel, the V-8-6-4 engine and the unlamented Vega, but this time the taxpayers are more involved than ever.

However, GM can do great things and I laugh at the import lovers on the right threads. Nice if they knew some engineering. It is also sickening how they barely hide their hatred and racism.

IlikedAUH2O on August 1, 2010 at 8:02 PM

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Bob Lutz and engineer … Jon Laukner. History made.
Also, lead engineer Frank Weber, now back home in Germany at GM Opel. These men will be famous.

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 8:11 PM

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM

I’m not sure how most of that applies to the post?

The Volt is flawed on many levels, as was pointed out here. What does comparing it to Japanese or European carmakers have to do with anything at all?

Using the intervention of the Japanese government is a poor example, as they entered into their own massive, prolonged economic downturn (caused by many of the boneheaded moves we are doing ourselves) and they still have yet to recover.

From a business standpoint, the Volt is an epic disaster, and one that no sound company would ever make (unless they had billions of dollars scammed from the taxpayers).

And using a “dot com” list as an example – pretty poor.

reaganaut on August 1, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Considering that the car only went on sale a couple of days ago, you have no way of knowing what consumer demand actually will be. It’s impossible to accurately gauge demand for a product until it’s actually in production and for sale.

rokemronnie

While technically true, you could say that about anything. It’s tantamount to saying that all business plans are equally good before product launch. If that’s the case, then I’ll sell all my old vinyl albums for $1000 a piece. There’s no way of gauging demand until I give it a go, eh? Well, all signs point to the Volt being a stinker. The fact that subsidies are required to make the Volt “competitive” suggests that there’s not a lot of natural demand.

I live in the New York City metro area, a huge market for green automobiles for short haul commutes. There’s a problem though. Almost no one has a personal garage. People park in huge communal lots or on the street, neither of which have outlets for charging. I wouldn’t take a Volt if you gave it to me for free for that reason. I can’t charge it. What, am I going to run an orange extension cord out a fourth floor apartment window to the parking spot I found five blocks away? I’m not kidding. I wouldn’t take a Volt for free, because it sounds like a huge hassle. You have to have a suburban home even to consider it.

I don’t have to charge it, though, right? I could use its combustion power. Well, the fact that the drive train of the Volt pushes the energy of the combustion engine through the electrical system means that its drive train is less efficient than a pure combustion one. It has to be. It is an iron law of thermodynamics that the conversion will be lossy.

The Volt is not going to sell well to the general public. Outside of some mandatory fleet purchases, it’s not going anywhere. I suppose in theory I could be proved wrong about this, but I doubt it.

shazbat on August 1, 2010 at 8:17 PM

I’m currently in Texas, and it’s 101 degrees outside.

The Volt is rated at driving 40 miles before switching to gas power. Does anyone have a link to how far the electric power will go if the car’s A/C is fighting 100-degree heat?

DarthBrooks on August 1, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Did you realize the want list on GM-Volt.com grew to over 50,000 during this time? (GMs own current want list is over 70,000)…

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM

How many of them knew the price?

slickwillie2001 on August 1, 2010 at 8:38 PM

The Volt is a dolt?

I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

profitsbeard on August 1, 2010 at 8:46 PM

I’m currently in Texas, and it’s 101 degrees outside.

The Volt is rated at driving 40 miles before switching to gas power. Does anyone have a link to how far the electric power will go if the car’s A/C is fighting 100-degree heat?

DarthBrooks on August 1, 2010 at 8:34 PM

GM being evasive on an answer. Obviously it depends on speed you are driving. If you are able to drive that 40 miles at 60 mph average speed the A/C will drain less from the battery than if you are in bumper-to-bumper traffic for two hours at 20 mph. A good answer will have to wait for real life road tests by independent evaluators.

slickwillie2001 on August 1, 2010 at 8:48 PM

About half way through this video, Hot Air commenter Nancy Hogan confronts chief Volt engineer Frank Weber, exposing the fallacy and fraud of this project way back in 2007.

(No wonder why he moved back home to Germany to work for GM Opel!)

SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, SISTER!

Go gettem’ Conspiracy-istas !

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 8:49 PM

The only difference is that the energy to propel the car was generated at an electric plant,transferred over power lines (with some resistance losses) probably hundreds of miles away, and in all likelihood is a coal fired plant producing considerably more pollution than the gasoline would.

RUDYJ on August 1, 2010 at 5:14 PM

It’s easier to control emissions from a single point source like a coal fired power plant than from thousands of individual cars. In the pollution game, point source is preferable to multiple source.

From one report that I have seen (I haven’t been able to verify it) right now enough electricity to run our transportation needs is currently wasted just to keep the turbines spinning for nighttime electricity loads. Most of our electricity generation isn’t really scalable at the low end of demand, so we always make way more electricity at night than we use. Since most power plants have no storage capacity (via water towers or large scale electric cells) that excess electricity goes to ground unused.

I don’t think that EVs are a panacea. I just wrote a two part story on EcoMotors and their revolutionary new engine that’s significantly more efficient (in terms of fuel, size and weight) than conventional ICEs. The internal combustion engine will be around for a long, long time. However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t develop alternative technologies if they make economic sense.

I don’t think that GM ever intended the Volt to be a Hail Mary effort to save the company. It was originally intended to steal some green thunder from Toyota, not save GM. Since the political class knows nothing about actual technology, it’s natural that Obama and Pelosi would think the Volt is hot stuff so they gravitated to it.

I think the concept of an extended range EV is an intriguing one because the vast majority of people indeed drive less than 40 miles a day.

I don’t like Gov’t Motors either, but I’m not going to be a Luddite and ignore promising technologies just because my political opponents like them.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 9:07 PM

From a heavy gauge bare wire drooping over a poorly lighted street in your town, the Volt with a long metal whip antenna on the back, a wind up clock on the dash and a bad lightning storm overhead.

Electrongod on August 1, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Don’t forget to connect the flux capacitor! ;-}

Dark-Star on August 1, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Cost??? But indeed, THIS IS NOT SO BAD IF COMPARED TO THE $170,000 TESLA ON A $70,000 LOTUS CHASSIS.

I don’t know who inbitially posted this but it is totally idiotic. The Tesla is based on the Lotus Elise, a vehicle which was initially introduced for about the current price of the volt9less subsidies). The only reason the Elise is now 70K is DEMAND. Something the volt does not have.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 9:36 PM

From a heavy gauge bare wire drooping over a poorly lighted street in your town, the Volt with a long metal whip antenna on the back, a wind up clock on the dash and a bad lightning storm overhead.

Electrongod on August 1, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Don’t forget to connect the flux capacitor! ;-}

Dark-Star on August 1, 2010 at 9:19 PM

good luck getting to 88 mph in a volt.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Doc Zero says the taxpayers will subsidize the car. Actually, it’s more likely we’ll borrow the money from the Chinese and then pay interest on the principle forever. So the real cost of the car won’t be 81 grand. It may cost millions.

NNtrancer on August 1, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Did you realize the want list on GM-Volt.com grew to over 50,000 during this time? (GMs own current want list is over 70,000)…

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM

so why are they only building 10K if they have 70,000 orders….or wait…those aren’t actual orders huh? It’s easy to say ‘I want’ it’s another matter to put money on the line.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Damn doc, you just gave me a MAJOR headache!

abobo on August 1, 2010 at 9:52 PM

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 9:45 PM

The people you’re trying to reason with are as deaf to reason as if they were shills to run up the thread count. Ignoring them is not as much fun as trouncing them but it’s faster.
GM’s Volt is too expensive for most Americans but the promise is that “the next one will be better and cheaper”. Thats the same promise that Tesla made before they went broke (Tesla is 200+ mil in debt and released an IPO recently).
For GM this is just the EV-1 debacle all over again.

mad scientist on August 1, 2010 at 10:10 PM

slickwillie2001 on August 1, 2010 at 8:48 PM

The same issues exist for cold weather; heating the car will drain the battery as well.

mad scientist on August 1, 2010 at 10:12 PM

mad scientist on August 1, 2010 at 10:10 PM

LOL….I know mad…but hey, I’m a fisherman :).

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 10:13 PM

I just wanna see Dear Reader the lyin Pinnochio get in that thing, buckle up, get a chic in the other side in case he guns it and looses control and then drive four feet to the ooohhhs and aaahhhs of the kneepad presstitutes, get out and proclaim “That Was Smooth.”

That right there was fffuuuuunnnnnny!

Dang Urkel course it was smooth ya went 4 feet at 1/2 mile per hour on a polished concrete floor!

Way ta go clean and articulate. If ya didn’t have the media bustin their knees and lips for ya you would be a laughingstock of the entire planet.
I bet the Chinese are bustin a gut!
SSMMMOOOOTH! Wow!

dhunter on August 1, 2010 at 10:26 PM

slickwillie2001 on August 1, 2010 at 8:38 PM

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 9:45 PM

Just refuting Doc’s assertion, quoted, that “there was no demand” for the Volt. 10,000 is the first mass build of the car. I believe GM is playing it safe. It’s easier to recall = 50,000 cars.
It’s a completely new drive train. If you were responsible for it wouldn’t you prefer to stick your toe in the water?
GM also promised the first ones would be on sale Nov 2010. And they delivered on said promise. But there was much ground breaking research going on and at some point they had to “close the garage door” on Gen I and get ready for a mass build. 10,000 reflects caution, the probable number of early adopters with deep enough pockets “to take a hit for the team,” and the probable reality that Gen II is going to bean even better car that incorporates what they’ve learned since they “closed the garage door.” That’s why when Chevy announced a 50% production increase, it was for the second year of production.
For those complaining about it only being a 4 seater, a 6-7 seat Voltec minivan concept was unveiled at the Shanghai auto show earlier this year.

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Correction: it’s easier to recall = 50,000 cars.

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Just refuting Doc’s assertion, quoted, that “there was no demand” for the Volt. 10,000 is the first mass build of the car.

a want list is demand eh? Then ask how many ‘want’ a ZR-1.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 10:32 PM

Wow let’s try this by spelling it out :

it’s easier to recall less than 10,000 cars than more than 50,000.

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 10:32 PM

Correction: it’s easier to recall = 50,000 cars.

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 10:30 PM

moving the goalposts already…..’well, it was a success because the didn’t recall as many as they might have had to.’

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Does more than 70,000 signer-uppers = zero demand?

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Does more than 70,000 signer-uppers = zero demand?

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Did they place a deposit?

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 10:35 PM

We’ll have to agree to disagree.
Time will tell.
( the “”, “less than” and “greater than” signs, messed up my comment. )

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Also: the first build of the now very successful Prius was much smaller than 10,000.

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 10:42 PM

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 10:39 PM

don’t sweat the typos silver, only tools and fools attack that (unless it makes for a humorous double entendre).

the point is that the volt is an 80K car without gov’t intervention. The prius beat it to market, and it is still doubtful that the vehicle makes a profit for Toyota. It is however a VERY successful Halo car for them. Honda removed the Accord hybrid, and the camry hybrid was on the order of 50K units. The volt is not deserving of the hype or attention and is frankly an uneconomical waste of time for most consumers. You may like it. Fine, buy it. But don’t try to convince the rest of us that it is the savior of modern transportation.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 10:46 PM

Anything GM has touched in the past 30 years has been a complete failure.

angryed on August 1, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Depends how you measure failure. Most car enthusiasts would say that the Corvette Z06 and ZR1 models are outstanding values in terms of performance for the dollar. To even get close to the ZR1′s performance, with the possible exception of the Nissan GT-R (which I believe is sold at a loss), you have to spend about twice the ZR1′s price.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 10:49 PM

good luck getting to 88 mph in a volt.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Just strap on some ‘booster packs’ of rocket engines if you need a little kick in the tail.

(don’t ask)

Dark-Star on August 1, 2010 at 10:50 PM

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 10:49 PM

The current model without a doubt, previous versions, not so much. Heck, a 2008 C6 with the sport package can make 500HP at the crank (disable the exhaust valves, and a low restriction/cold air intake).

Definitely the winner on a smiles per dollar level…except for the Elise. Sorry I’ve driven both..HARD…and the Lotus is just so danged much fun.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 10:55 PM

Just strap on some ‘booster packs’ of rocket engines if you need a little kick in the tail.

(don’t ask)

Dark-Star on August 1, 2010 at 10:50 PM

not lookin to star in any Darwin awards, thank you.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Some stuff from a site called gm-volt.com… Looks like a pro Volt site, but with a questioning tone.
-
http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/30/why-the-volt-requires-premium-gasoline/

Earlier this week GM released the 2011 Chevrolet Volt ordering guide for dealers to use. Included in the description about the gasoline generator were the words “requires premium fuel.”

I did not know that…

Based on our calculations the fuel economy and efficiency gains you get will effectively compensate for the extra cost of premium fuel,” he said

I suspect we’ll be hearing that bolded part a lot on this car…

“There will be a few that will have their gas go bad,” he added. “We have ways to address that as well.”

So don’t forget to run the tank down to about a 1/4 and refill every couple months.
-
http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/29/chevy-volt-may-launch-without-official-epa-efficiency-label/

When GM announced last Summer that the Volt could get 230 mpg on average over time, they took into account nightly recharging and typical driving patterns. It was an illustration but not fact.

It’s called lying by omission, or stretching the truth, or mis-leading the public, or… Because they did it with no disclaimer.

“Its possible the EPA still won’t have a label when the Volt goes into production,” said GM spokesperson Rob Peterson. “They’re just trying to do what’s right.”

I thought all cars sold in America, especially California had to have all the EPA stuff spelled out in the window. Special treatment for Obama Motors? Oh… What’s right for Obama.

The eventual EPA label “will have a lot of info including a fuel efficiency number if you never charge your VOLT,” he said.

Well I can get you that info in a week or so; give me 6 cars, I’ll get the 18 average drivers, we’ll keep them on the road 24 hrs a day, unless charging, do a matrix of full electric, gas only, 50/50… 2 cars in the heat, 2 in the moderate, and 2 in the cold… Close enough for a start. Plus that’s 18 folks off the unemployment roles for a couple weeks (counting training and a trip to DC to meet the boss). But we get… nothing? What are they hiding?
-
Doing the math based on 340 mile max range, and a smallish gas tank (I heard no more than 10g?)… about 30mpg or so. Sad… So much fuss over such a small thing.

RalphyBoy on August 1, 2010 at 11:04 PM

Well, the fact that the drive train of the Volt pushes the energy of the combustion engine through the electrical system means that its drive train is less efficient than a pure combustion one. It has to be. It is an iron law of thermodynamics that the conversion will be lossy.

That loss is offset by the fact that the combustion engine is running at its most efficient RPM level, at a steady state. That’s pretty much ideal in terms of fuel efficiency. Also, the range extender will be primarily used at highway speeds, when the horsepower load is relatively light.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Way ta go clean and articulate. If ya didn’t have the media bustin their knees and lips for ya you would be a laughingstock of the entire planet.
I bet the Chinese are bustin a gut!

dhunter on August 1, 2010 at 10:26 PM

-
An instant classic!

RalphyBoy on August 1, 2010 at 11:10 PM

not lookin to star in any Darwin awards, thank you.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Hee. I’m not talking about JATO-size engines. (Although there actually was a ‘rocket car’, it was an unmanned derelict, and they shot it down an abandoned old mine)

Dark-Star on August 1, 2010 at 11:10 PM

Hating GM and holding it up to criteria that you refuse to apply to Japanese, European and other foreign OEMs is foolish and naive self-hatred, and it’s just plain ugly.

silverfox on August 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM

I earn only a fraction of what the union goons who “built” my crappy Buick. It has cost me more in repairs than I paid for it. It has left me on the side of the road countless times. Instead of bailing out the union that destroyed GM, the taxpayers wanted to let the scum suffer the consequences of their laziness and greed.

Next car…back to Honda, Mazda or Toyota.

Laura in Maryland on August 1, 2010 at 11:15 PM

The same issues exist for cold weather; heating the car will drain the battery as well.

mad scientist on August 1, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Actually, that’s less of an issue since one problem faced by electric cars is controlling battery temperature. They have to come up to temperature before you can charge them, and once in use they generate a significant amount of heat. If that heat isn’t controlled there can be thermal runaway and resulting fires, as experienced by laptop owners a few years ago.

Under normal use, some of that heat, just like waste heat in a combustion engine, can be used to heat passengers. Also, in very cold weather, the combustion engine will have to run to provide heat to condition the batteries for optimum performance and service life, so heat from the ICE’s coolant will also be available.

I’m convinced that regardless of the Volt’s merits and drawbacks, had it been developed by a company other than GM it would have been cited by GM and Detroit bashers as an example of how GM is behind the times.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Does anyone know the mpg for the Volt with an oversized, Crazed Sex Poodle on board.

Laura in Maryland on August 1, 2010 at 11:17 PM

I’m convinced that regardless of the Volt’s merits and drawbacks, had it been developed by a company other than GM it would have been cited by GM and Detroit bashers as an example of how GM is behind the times.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 11:16 PM

It was…the car was called the Insight…then the Prius. Hence much of this boards disdain for the hype surrounding a corporateunion welfare project.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Does anyone know the mpg for the Volt with an oversized, Crazed Sex Poodle on board.

Laura in Maryland on August 1, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Al still drives escalades.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Definitely the winner on a smiles per dollar level…except for the Elise. Sorry I’ve driven both..HARD…and the Lotus is just so danged much fun.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 10:55 PM

I’ve owned a Lotus for 35 years and you won’t get me to badmouth any of their products, but it’s an interesting toss up between the base Vette coupe and the Elise in terms of bang for the buck. Certainly nothing, nothing, nothing, handles like a Lotus, but the Elise is getting kind of pricey and the base Vette has 400+ HP now. Also, while the Elise’s drivetrain is bulletproof Toyota, it’d be a safe bet that that Corvette’s chassis and suspension is built to take more abuse and wear than anything out of Hethel.

Lotus has made it clear that they are moving up market to compete directly with the Italian exotics. I think it’s a mistake and an abandonment of a lot of what Lotus has stood for over the years, but I’m sure that Ferrari makes more profit on a California than Lotus does on the Evora or Elise.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 11:24 PM

Does anyone know the mpg for the Volt with an oversized, Crazed Sex Poodle on board.

Laura in Maryland on August 1, 2010 at 11:17 PM

I can give you the mpg of a van with a kennel-crazed cat…

Dark-Star on August 1, 2010 at 11:29 PM

Al still drives escalades.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Best argument against the Volt!

I can give you the mpg of a van with a kennel-crazed cat…

Dark-Star on August 1, 2010 at 11:29 PM

If you’ll cram Al in the kennel WITH the crazed cat, I’ll give you gas money for the month ;)

Laura in Maryland on August 1, 2010 at 11:33 PM

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 11:24 PM

I hear you on the price thing. To bad they fired the NA pres. However if you’ve owned a Lotus for 35 yrs, it’s probably spent 25 yrs of it in the shop :), at least that’s the way it is for my buddies Esprit (of course he’s boosting the little 2.2 to 1.5 bar and driving it at Laguna Seca).

I think the vette was a better overall sports/performance car. Still, that Elise is the only car to make me grey out during braking into a corner, and when it comes to handling it laughs at you. “Is this all you got?” Kept running through my head when I had one for a track day.

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 11:34 PM

If you’ll cram Al in the kennel WITH the crazed cat, I’ll give you gas money for the month ;)

Laura in Maryland on August 1, 2010 at 11:33 PM

OMG…..new keyboard needed! THAT was a thread winner!

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 11:35 PM

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 11:35 PM

:D

Laura in Maryland on August 1, 2010 at 11:39 PM

Laura in Maryland on August 1, 2010 at 11:39 PM

dangit I’m STILL laughing!

Fighton03 on August 1, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Adolph had his Volkswagon and The One has his Volt-wagon.

Is there a pattern here?

Dhuka on August 1, 2010 at 11:51 PM

The same issues exist for cold weather; heating the car will drain the battery as well.

mad scientist on August 1, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Actually, that’s less of an issue since one problem faced by electric cars is controlling battery temperature. They have to come up to temperature before you can charge them, and once in use they generate a significant amount of heat. If that heat isn’t controlled there can be thermal runaway and resulting fires, as experienced by laptop owners a few years ago.

Under normal use, some of that heat, just like waste heat in a combustion engine, can be used to heat passengers. Also, in very cold weather, the combustion engine will have to run to provide heat to condition the batteries for optimum performance and service life, so heat from the ICE’s coolant will also be available.

I’m convinced that regardless of the Volt’s merits and drawbacks, had it been developed by a company other than GM it would have been cited by GM and Detroit bashers as an example of how GM is behind the times.

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Apparently the Volt’s battery is liquid cooled and heated. Haven’t found what the liquid is, probably water/standard antifreeze. GM states that the system heats the battery in very cold conditions, and cools it in hot climate or when the battery naturally gets hot through rapid discharge.

Using a battery to heat itself up in extreme cold in order to increase its output seems like chasing your tail. Perhaps in extreme cold the gasoline engine section starts no matter what the charge level and is used to heat the interior and the battery initially?

It’s quite possible that they use waste heat to heat the interior in the winter. I think you would still need electric boost heat though so you have instant warming.

I believe the Leaf and Prius use air-cooled batteries???

slickwillie2001 on August 2, 2010 at 12:40 AM

The Value of a Volt

Under Obamanomics, about a gazillion times less than a Re-Volt.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on August 2, 2010 at 6:47 AM

I’m sure Obama Motors will have a new accounting method to promote the success of the Volt- Something like “Cars sold or salvaged”. Or something like that..

gatorfanatic on August 2, 2010 at 7:19 AM

I really find it disingenuous that critics of GM/Volt subsidies never offer to pay the true price of their subsidized gasoline. The subsidies given to oil companies for exploration and production; the military costs to keep the middle east oil pipelines flowing; and, the environmental costs of things like the gulf oil disaster. Trillions of dollars spent.

Would a Volt subsidy be needed if gasoline was $5.00+ a gallon? I state that it would not.

Taser on August 2, 2010 at 7:44 AM

The sticker price is $41,000. However, with federal subsidies, you could pay as little as $33,500.

Still, we paid less than this for our van and has all the bells and whistles.

$81,000 per unit

That’s what a brand new Ferrari cost in the 80s and I don’t wanna think of what can I get for $80K. BTW, what about Pittsburgh and the fact that coal “won’t” power up these puppies? Not to mention that I HATE that the batteries are Li-Ion (cell phone batteries). We all know they’re reliable for about a year and a half, if we dutifully plug in the cell phones overnight.

These people better pray and pray HARD that the vehicle’s computer system do not come out with problems (example: iPhone4 and signal “misinformation”). At least it’ll work touching it anywhere/sarc-I own an iP4.

ProudPalinFan on August 2, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Taxpayer Initiative:
Sell GM and CHRYSLER (to Ford?)

/Impeach Obama and rescind all bail-outs including ObamaCare feeding the mother of all whores, “insurance” guaranteed to ruin your life before taking it.

maverick muse on August 2, 2010 at 9:01 AM

with federal subsidies, you could pay as little as $33,500.

Still, we paid less than this for our van and has all the bells and whistles.

$81,000 per unit

That’s what a brand new Ferrari cost in the 80s and I don’t wanna think of what can I get for $80K.

AS IF the federal government doesn’t make every taxpayer pay for those “free” government subsidies.

WE ARE PAYING FOR THE VOLT etc. whether or not we buy them.

maverick muse on August 2, 2010 at 9:02 AM

I bet if the general public had one iota of input in the design of a car they would not wrap the doors up to the roof so 6 inches of snow fall into the seats when you open the doors.

Now that is one big issue I got with the car. I don’t hate the car, is the process that went through, got it? Anybody near or on a snow belt? I see it as a “summer car” just like the ones I see around here that have to sit it out all winter.

ProudPalinFan on August 2, 2010 at 9:06 AM

/Impeach Obama and rescind all bail-outs including ObamaCare feeding the mother of all whores, “insurance” guaranteed to ruin your life before taking it.

maverick muse on August 2, 2010 at 9:01 AM

That is a slap on the wrist (IMHO) and won’t null anything that he has signed. I know that we are paying for it. ACORNers sure will look kewl riding these presents from O.

ProudPalinFan on August 2, 2010 at 9:09 AM

The batteries are being made in Michigan, in a plant owned by the Korean company, LG. No American battery manufacturer currently could supply GM. I suspect that with the second gen Volt that’s being designed now (with substantial changes rumored), GM will have a larger choice of battery vendors, including American owned companies.
rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 3:00 PM

From: Wired.com

The packs in the Volt are being manufactured at the Brownstown Battery Pack Assembly Plant in Brownstown Township outside Detroit. General Motors spent $43 million and five months retooling the plant. It sits on a 375-acre site in an industrial park near two airports, where the lithium-ion cells would arrive from Korea. The cells will be assembled into the 400-pound T-shaped pack that will power the Volt, then sent up Interstate 75 to the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant where the range-extended electric car will be built.

Wade on August 2, 2010 at 9:27 AM

rokemronnie on August 1, 2010 at 10:49 PM

And the profit on this car is?

Wade on August 2, 2010 at 9:29 AM

With the Government involved, it couldn’t end any other way!

Profit? The government don’t need any stinkin’ profit!

GFW on August 2, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Save the Planet ?

J_Crater on August 2, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Like I said in the other thread, you want high efficiency buy a diesel Jetta or Audi. Better mileage than a Prius and more power to boot. And diesel can be cheaper than premium gas depending on where you are.

I’d like to know if they ever solved the cold weather issues with these batteries. I think 2 years ago NYC had a pilot program with electric cabs, and when winter hit, these cars started to die really quick.

But it won’t matter how much they subsidize these cars, there isn’t going to be any electricity generated to power them, because President “Teh One” won’t build nuclear plants, and wants to shut down all the coal plants.

I really hope when the Republicans take over Congress this fall, we get some leaders willing to face the tough long-term decisions regarding our energy future.

Iblis on August 2, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Ford (which has a European market, which prefers small cars) were building small cars IN THE UNITED STATES using non-union workers, mostly in Southern states, and some Americans were buying them. So when the price of gasoline went sky-high in 2007 and 2008, people bought small cars from companies who knew how to make them at a profit, and left GM’s dinosaurs and mastodonts gathering dust in showrooms.

Venezuela is huge on Ford’s. They have models that are not seen here in the US, nor Puerto Rico (which is the same). I know, I was a passenger in one of them! They have HQ offices there-I cannot confirm if these Fords are assembled there, or if they are imported from Europe. But Venezuela sure does have lots of Fords.

ProudPalinFan on August 2, 2010 at 10:49 AM

So what’s the value of this Volt once you drive it off the lot?
betsyz on August 1, 2010 at 2:48 PM

I’m wondering who’s going to “adopt” the used Prius’s out there. The Smug market is pretty much saturated already.

Their market research says seven hundred thousand people may want to own a car like this. That’s 0.4% of car owners. Think about it: If those 700,000 people all owned Accords or Camry’s, they’d get re-absorbed by the real car owners instantly.

But how can this insular (albeit self-satisfied) market possibly sustain itself? Is this tiny group of people going to keep trading these cars back and forth among themselves?

logis on August 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Silverfox pontificates: “But there was much ground breaking research going on and at some point they had to “close the garage door” on Gen I and get ready for a mass build. 10,000 reflects caution, the probable number of early adopters with deep enough pockets “to take a hit for the team,” and the probable reality that Gen II is going to bean even better car that incorporates what they’ve learned since they “closed the garage door.”

Q.#1 Silverfox, are you going to “take a hit for the team” and purchase one of these dogs????

Q.#2 Will you post a photo of your ‘dog’ on this site when purchased?

alwyr on August 2, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I’m still waiting for someone to answer me on the important question. What about the total dork factor of being seen in this? People thru time have liked their cars to be a reflection of them, hence sports cars, muscle cars, convertibles, etc.

di butler on August 1, 2010 at 5:12 PM

As Charles Krauthammer said, people with money to throw away will buy a Volt and park it in their driveway as proof of their eco-consciousness. But they’ll still drive their H2s and Escalades.

hawksruleva on August 2, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Volt – hood ornament for SUV

Wade on August 2, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Gen II and cheaper batteries are both predicated on the commercial success of Gen I.
Ask Tesla about that.

mad scientist on August 2, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Perhaps in extreme cold the gasoline engine section starts no matter what the charge level and is used to heat the interior and the battery initially?

That’s how I understand the system to work.

I don’t understand all the hate for the Volt. The government’s involvement in GM notwithstanding, the Volt is a pretty nifty concept with some fairly sophisticated engineering to make it feel like a normal car. It was never meant to save GM any more than the Prius was meant to save Toyota. A lot of critics of GM have invested the Volt with a lot of baggage that Bob Lutz et al weren’t considering back when the concept was introduced.

Toyota sells a lot more Camrys and Corollas then Priuses. Chevy will sell a lot more Malibus, Impalas (still a big seller, confounding a lot of Detroit bashers) and the new Cruze than the Volt. That’s by design. The first year, the car will only be on sale in a limited number of markets so GM can gather real world data. Even if they sell out the second year projection of 50-60,000 units, that’s still a niche vehicle. Toyota sells about 400,000 Camrys a year here. GM & Ford both sell about 3/4 million full size pickups a year.

Still, there’s nothing wrong with trying out new technology.

rokemronnie on August 2, 2010 at 6:42 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3