Mar 27

GM: Chevy Volt Price Depends on Cost of Gas and Will be Set in May 2010

 

[ad#post_ad]For a long time, the MSRP of the Chevy Volt remained a mystery. Despite the concept being unveiled in 2007, and the thousands of articles, comments, and interviews about it, the exact price of the car remained unknown up until July 27, 2010.

In the past GM claimed for a long time they didn’t know how much they would charge either. It was said it would depend on the price of gas in November 2010 when the car is launched.

“We’re not wishing for higher petroleum costs, but the economic viability of what we’re doing only gets greater with higher fuel prices,” said Bob Kruse, GM’s director of EVs and HEVs, “$1.50 gallon gas is not helping our business case.”

GM also debated whether the battery packs would be sold or leased to the customer.

The Volt is profoundly important to GM’s future viability. Speaking to how critical fuel cost is in the Volt equation, GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner had gone on record stating that a mandatory federal gas tax to keep gasoline at $4.00 per gallon minimum is “worthy of consideration.”

In early 2009 GM VP John Lauckner announced when we would finally know what the Chevy Volt’s MSRP will be. He said “we won’t set the price of the Volt until 6 months prior to start of production.”

At that time best estimates place it in the mid to upper 30s range before a $7500 tax credit.
Finally on July 27th 2010, and two CEOs later, GM announced the official price of the Chevy Volt.

It is $41,000 before the $7500 federal tax credit, which makes the effective price $33,500. As a more inexpensie option GM also announced it would leas the car for $350 per month, for three years and 36,000 miles with a $2500 down payment.

To read more details about pricing and purchasing the Volt GO HERE
[ad#postbottom]

This entry was posted on Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 11:01 am and is filed under Financial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 251


  1. 1
    Keith

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:06 am)

    Oh great I can really plan ahead with that information .
    No wonder GM is in so much trouble .


  2. 2
    N Riley

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:08 am)

    Why based on the price of gas? Well, I guess I understand their reasoning. We have been discussing it for years. The higher the price of gas, the easier to justify a higher price for the Volt. Most of us would like the Volt for reasons other than saving a few dollars on gas. We want to remove gas as a method of fueling our cars and trucks. The Volt is one way to do that. There will be other choices.


  3. 3
    StevePA

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:10 am)

    Can understand the business case aspect, but can imagine the critics decrying a vehicle price that moves with the cost of fuel. Ouch.

    Will be interesting to see where the world oil market is in 13 months or so. I’ll order one regardless of the fuel price, but understand the position of those for whom total cost of ownership may not allow for that (have been there).

    Volt team – you folks surely are working under some extraordinary pressures. Hats off…


  4. 4
    unni

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:11 am)

    Price depending on gas price ?? means cheaper volt means less gas price. Thatz good.

    Anybody knows on the Armour plate used in volt ? I read some news on the Armour plate which covers the battery, helps in case of a battery explosion.

    Another Q is on T shape of the battery, why its T because it reduces 1 seat from car config and has more surface area than other shapes.


  5. 5
    AutoElectric

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:12 am)

    I’m a huge Volt fan, of course, but this is a PR failure.

    Open mouth…insert foot.


  6. 6
    Randy C.

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:14 am)

    The US economy has a big hole in it, oil! Or economy runs on petroleum, without it we can’t commute to work, our goods cant be shipped to market, many goods simply can not be manufactured etc. Over 60% of the oil we use comes from foreign sources. Whatever the price of the oil is we have to pay it.

    Remember those high gas prices during the summer of 2008? Just 6 months later our economy was in a big down slide. If the oil prices didn’t cause the collapse they sure as heck intensified it! As any money manager knows you can’t keep throwing large amounts of money out the door. Eventually something has to give.

    We have to make the “Clean Tech Revolution” work. So the US can be better insulated from the whims of the oil producers. At any time an oil exporter could decide not to sell the US any oil, Saudi Arabia did it in 1972, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened it last year. And yes, the “Clean Tech Revolution” will save the economy by plugging that big oil hole.

    The Volt is a step in the right direction. But it is a small step. Unless the electric range is boosted to at least 60 the car wont do much for me. This would also raise the number of people the car would be practical for.


  7. 7
    Glen

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:14 am)

    This will only make people look at other cars.
    And not to trust Chevy and there cars.


  8. 8
    ROBERT M. SPERRY

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:16 am)

    I have always said I exoected the Volt’s prive to be in the mid to upper 30′s. with the $7500 rebate, that will bring the price down to about $30,000, which is high, but not prohibitive, especially for something as new as the Volt. It looks to me like things are still on track and moving in the right direction.
    I don’t like the idea of a tax to artificially force the price of gas to around $4.00/gal. I think people already realize that gas prices are at the mercy of OPEC and that we need to get off petroleum dependency. However, I think that people would resent taxing to make the Volt more competitive and might refuse to buy the Volt in protest. I believe electric cars can outsell gasolene cars simply on their own merits – quietness, less maintenance, etc.


  9. 9
    Charlie

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    You are basing a car that runs on electricity on the price of gas?

    EPIC FAIL GM!


  10. 10
    DonC

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:26 am)

    The price of gas in 2010 is going to depend on the market not the government. A significant gas tax isn’t under serious consideration. The Cap & Trade proposal is playing second fiddle to health care and isn’t going to be pushed this budget cycle.

    Having said that, the production numbers they’re talking about are so low that the price of gas won’t matter terribly. There is a lot of interest ins EVs, so with the $7500 rebate GM should be able to sell these without breaking a sweat selling the first 10,000 units at $30K. The next 60K will be more difficult but still not a huge challenge.

    After that the price of gas will become critical to mass adoption, but even then I don’t see it as being as critical as some might imagine. The Prius was selling well enough when gas was cheap — let’s remember that Tesla was founded when it was noticed that houses with a fancy sports car also had a Prius parked in the driveway. There has been a change in the Zeitgeist.

    If GM can deliver on the promise of the EV driving experience — what they’ve said is similar to a very expensive luxury car — it should be able to sell 250K a year without any problem. If the car is nasty and falls short then the numbers will be lower. Maybe much lower. Of course if gas goes to five dollars per gallon they won’t be able to make enough of them even if the car doesn’t deliver on the promise. Let’s hope, however, that at this point GM understands the need to make outstanding product and not hope for government or gas prices to bail out below average product.


  11. 11
    N Riley

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:33 am)

    This topic will certainly bring out some people from the “wood work”. I suspect a healthy “debate” on this topic. I think I will just sit back and watch.


  12. 12
    DonC

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:33 am)

    OT but fun. A study shows that men in expensive cars look sexier!

    http://gmy.news.yahoo.com/v/12680141

    So GM, where is that Concept Volt!!!!


  13. 13
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:34 am)

    Personally I think the Volt will sell at whatever the gas price. People have been stung hard by the gas prices and will remember.
    They just need to get the Volt out at the scheduled release date.
    I’m waiting for the first affordable EREV or BEV. First one out gets my $$$. My range is $28,000 to $37500.00 BEFORE the tax rebate.


  14. 14
    vincent

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:34 am)

    Another Original General Motors idiot. Rick you must be real proud of this one buddy.
    GM never never stops producing fantastic jerks.
    A fine example of precisely why they are in the complete mess they are in.
    The future is efficiency and alternate energy. Period.
    Here is a clue…perhaps you should worry of the future residual value of your vehicles so you can lease them without loosing your proverbial shirt…or in GM’s case their borrowed socks…
    Dont forget the Converj if you want to make money and have the ability to pay back the debt. Sheeeesh….WTF
    Also remember to offer the body kits…front and rear fascia options for the volt instead of marketing your usual array of different brands with minor tweaks to style exercises…
    Should I slow down Rick…going to fast for you. Print it and read it over coffee later…..your still a huge cost buddy even a a dollar. We get more from a dollar store…


  15. 15
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:35 am)

    Just build it….


  16. 16
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:35 am)

    And I will buy!!!


  17. 17
    kent beuchert

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    $4 gas is killing the lower economic classes. They also often have to
    commute the longest distances, living well outside the higher cost neighborhoods.


  18. 18
    Dave K.

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:37 am)

    It doesn’t matter. The first year Volt (50,000 units) will be sold to high profile people. The real test of price will be November 2011.

    Competition, rather than OPEC gouging, will set the price. I still believe we’re looking at $38,000 + 3800 (fees ~ license ~ delivery) less $7500 year end tax credit = $34,300 total.

    Hey Static, we’re off to wagerland this week. I’m going with UCONN at the sports book. May have a look at The Masters as well. See you on the other side bud.

    =D~


  19. 19
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:42 am)

    @ Dave K 18
    “The first year Volt (50,000 units) will be sold to high profile people.”

    Man that’s a shltload of high profile peeps. I wonder who they are?


  20. 20
    SteveK

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:44 am)

    # 10 DonC

    Agree with everything you wrote.

    But, I would say that the way to reduce oil consumption has always been to raise the price, as was done in Europe where cars have been smaller, with better MPG for a long time.

    I think people tend to forget that taxation is as much an instrument of policy as it is a way to raise money (tax deduction for home mortgages—we may rethink that one at some point, etc. …). A rise in gas taxes does not mean more taxes (lower elsewhere), but it would mean less importation of oil. This would have been in our national interest for a long time (rising imports, oil cartel, etc.) but it just isn’t in our national character to do it.

    Now that technical alternatives are appearing (the Volt) that not only use less oil, but no oil, a tax on oil would be even more effective (over time), but I agree that it will probably never happen here, no matter how much sense it makes.


  21. 21
    nuclearboy

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:46 am)

    They are simply talking about issues of demand. If gas is low, the demand will be lower and they will have to reduce costs to make the car viable. Low gas prices will add more red ink for GM as far as the Volt goes.

    I want 1.50 gas until I get my volt and then the price can go up….


  22. 22
    Anderson

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:55 am)

    “We’re not wishing for higher petroleum costs, but the economic viability of what we’re doing only gets greater with higher fuel prices,” said Bob Kruse, GM’s director of EVs and HEVs.

    O ye of little faith. Toyota went ahead with the Prius several years ago and now it’s such a best seller that they can hardly keep up with the demand. When will GM get it????


  23. 23
    GLV

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:55 am)

    Sounds like no new news to me…


  24. 24
    tom

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:56 am)

    The gas tax pays for road repairs (as it should). In 5 years when a significant amount of electric cars are on the road the tax will have to be raised on gas just to cover the road maintenance. Then 5 years after that when EV technology has advanced far enough to replace all manufacturing of ICE engines, they will put the technology in the cars to track your driving across the roads, then when they maintain the roads, you’ll get billed for using those roads.

    Of course there will still be ICE engine on the road in 20 years, but they’ll be few and far between.


  25. 25
    Hawk

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    This just goes to say that…”If we can, we are going to stick it to you!”

    Hawk


  26. 26
    Chris

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    The more I read about this, the more I think that GM saw this financial downturn coming in January of 2007, and announced this “revolutionary” new idea called the Volt so that they could be begging us for bailout money under the false pretenses that this vehicle is the “Messiah” of vehicles. The idea behind how this car works is very impressive, but this car itself is just a let down.

    Chris – one who used to have faith.


  27. 27
    Zach

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:11 pm)

    #1, if you can’t plan ahead to something you can see over a year from now, you need to work on your planning skills, lol. We all know the roughly estimated price, so you have a clear marker to shoot for.


  28. 28
    Dave B

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:12 pm)

    Glen @ 7 says “This will only make people look at other cars.
    And not to trust Chevy and there cars.”

    ————–

    I agree completely…GM is so DUMB to link the cost of gas to the cost of this vehicle. It has NO relation. Dictating US policy on taxes has no capitalistic value whatsoever. If you are going to survive, you do it by the free market. THIS IS WRONG.


  29. 29
    Evil Conservative

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:13 pm)

    Did anyone notice the Government tax on fuel to keep gas at $4 a gallon? Talk about forcing everyone in the US to buy a Volt. This is what will happen if the Government takes over business. No competition, no options = socialism. God help us all.

    I like the Volt but at $30,000+ I can’t afford one. Maybe if Uncle Sam quits taking 40% of everything I earn I could buy one.


  30. 30
    Hawk

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:14 pm)

    Personally, I truly do believe that GM has a great chance at success here. This car is fascinating. And if it can do what they say it can do, then it will be a success as long as gas isn’t dirt cheap. Having said that, it is decisions like this thread suggests that GM has problems making a decision. GM should take this technology, perfect it, and become a global powerhouse again with the green theme.

    Hawk


  31. 31
    AlabamaEng

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:16 pm)

    #5 AutoElectric
    “I’m a huge Volt fan, of course, but this is a PR failure.
    Open mouth…insert foot.”

    I agree completely. I’m a HUGE fan of the free market and although I believe GM has every right to base the cars price on supply and demand (Which is directly linked to gas price), I don’t think I would have so blatantly admit it. The one redeeming quality is their honesty about it, but maybe they could have just been honest and vague….LOL ( We don’t know the price, we’re evaluating cost and market conditions)

    One thing to consider, what if in 2010 – 2012 we see a lot of car companies hit the market with EVs and/or Plug-In Hybrids and gas demand does not go up as expected? At some point gas will be a worthless commodity. I’m not saying this is just around the corner, but I bet it’s in my life time. Technology will eventually make a better mouse trap and electric motors are FAR superior to internal combustion engines so once the battery/energy storage issue is overcome a gasoline driven car will fade as the preferred source of transportation. I expect to see a “Tug of War” relative to gas price and consumer buying habits. Gas goes up we buy EV’s and Plug-Ins….then gas falls and we stick with our traditional cars. This may go on for a decade before finally EV’s give us a 400 mile plus range and the electric finally wins out right. But it will happen because it is the better engineering solution. Reliability, performance (electric motors vs. gas), quiety, maintenance, etc. The battery is the last hurdle….


  32. 32
    ziv

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:25 pm)

    Kruse is nearly Lutzian in his ability to make obtuse statements that do GM no favors. Did he really think that this would help GM? He must be an MBA, it takes years of training to focus so blindly on the bottom line that you ignore most of the truly relevant data points. It may be that GM will in fact increase the price a bit if gas is at $5 a gallon, but he hurts his own position by admitting that he will take advantage of high fuel prices to screw the buyers out of the maximum amount possible.


  33. 33
    BarryW

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:31 pm)

    Just another perfect example of why I will never buy another GM.

    Go Tesla!, Go America!


  34. 34
    ThombDbhomb

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:32 pm)

    The original concept was to make an affordable E-REV. Make it a Chevy – the car for the masses. I understand that the initial Volts will command a premuim. I hope that, as production volumes increase, GM will trend towards the original concept.

    It is said that greed caused the current economic situation. Waiting to know gas prices before fixing an MSRP seems greed-based. Gas prices have little or nothing to do with the costs of production, marketing, etc.

    GM; produce a good product at a fair price for the masses. Base the price on your costs plus a little return on investment. Don’t gouge us. With a smaller margin, you may have to sell a lot more Volts. But, wasn’t that the original plan? Make us feel like you are a business that cares about its customers. Then you will earn our loyalty. Loyalty will keep your business going.


  35. 35
    DonC

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    #20 Steve K — I agree with you completely. I’d also say that oil is something of a free rider because the price doesn’t capture the external costs it imposes on society (defense, health, CO2, etc.). Ultimately price signal are important, and while cap & trade is a free market solution, it isn’t going to happen this budget cycle.

    #31 AlabamaEng

    Two great points. I love your revision to “We don’t know the price, we’re evaluating cost and market conditions”. This is what we’ll probably hear going forward.

    Your point about oil demand destruction is valid but more in the medium or long run. In the short run there won’t be a sufficient number of EVs on the road to make a significant dent. But given the inelastic nature of the supply, small drops in demand can keep prices down to a seemingly disproportionate extent. Note that Cap & Trade is designed to effect demand destruction across a wise range on uses, not just transportation.

    As for the batteries, their price will probably keep BEVs from becoming cost effective solutions for many many years. The E-REVs make the best use of the batteries because there is little or no wasted overhead — the battery is constantly fully utilized. Essentially the E-REV design is one of those 80/20 solutions where you get 80% of the benefit for 20% of the cost.


  36. 36
    Jim I

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    My 700th post!

    35 posts on this thread and the most important part of the article has not been discussed……

    “Kruse noted the possibility of separately leasing the car’s battery still remains an option.”

    If GM truly wants to kill the Volt, then this is how they will do it!!!! I will not buy a car that has the possibility of not having a power supply to go with it!

    I guess we have to have a new acronym to go along with NPNS:

    NLBP – NO LEASED BATTERY PACK!!!

    NPNS – NLBP


  37. 37
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    Looks like Tesla is going to get some finacial backing from an unamed aut mfgr…

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/03/27/report-tesla-to-get-funding-from-an-unnamed-automaker/

    Bring on the EREV & BEV’s!!!


  38. 38
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    If they force me to lease the battery, that’s a deal breaker. I don’t do car payments. If I can’t buy it, you’ve lost my business.


  39. 39
    statik

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:12 pm)

    GM claims they don’t know how much they will charge yet either. They say it will depend on the price of gas in November 2010 when the car is launched.

    “We’re not wishing for higher petroleum costs, but the economic viability of what we’re doing only gets greater with higher fuel prices,” said Bob Kruse, GM’s director of EVs and HEVs, “$1.50 gallon gas is not helping our business case.”

    =============================

    Translation: The Volt is being built as a limited run…we are going to price it to get the maximum dollar per copy.

    Side note: $1.50 is not helping your business case? Which business case is that? The one that lets you sell the Volt at $45,000 when gas is at $6?

    This car is $35,000-$40,000 at either $1 a gallon or at $4.00.

    With the starting MSRP being so high to begin with, the ‘cost of fuel’ is very low on the checklist of a potential customer’s reason to buy…unless your potential customers are grade school drop outs and didn’t learn any math after grade 4. At $6+, you are looking at $80 fills in regular sedans…that might be enough of a stinger to get a extra 5K.


  40. 40
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:20 pm)

    Does this mean we get to blame Bush for the price of the Volt? People still blame him for the price of gas, right?


  41. 41
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    #10 DonC Says: A significant gas tax isn’t under serious consideration.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Don’t be too sure. If / when the economy picks up, Obama will probably push for it, and if the car companies back him up, it may get done.

    A minimum price / floor tax is a great idea. $4 / gallon may be a bit high, but we need something to stabilize the market. With gas prices bouncing around between $4.25 and $1.50 within 6 months, people have no idea what to expect next, so they just sit back and wait to see what’s going to happen. Which means people put off buying cars, and companies put off buying fleet vehicles.

    Also, a minimum price would bring in huge amounts of new investments into batteries, bio-fuels, etc.. If investors know there is a minimum price on gas, they will know OPEC can’t pull the rug out from under them.


  42. 42
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:22 pm)

    #37 DaveG said:

    If they force me to lease the battery, that’s a deal breaker. I don’t do car payments. If I can’t buy it, you’ve lost my business.
    =================================

    Dave my friend, we are so totally in agreement here! (which is not that common).

    My criteria for buying a EV are simple: “I will BUY any PHEV, with any range, from any manufacturer, that I can get also get serviced inside that electric range”

    I want to also be clear here. I’m not going to lease the car or the battery! No way…no deal! I wouldn’t do this from ANY car manufacturer…but especially GM. I’m guessing I’m not alone. (Well I might if the lease was at a significant discount that forced me to do it…like $400/month for the car AND the battery (with nothing down), but I’m guessing that is not the number GM is looking for)

    /I wonder how that kind of sentiment fits into Mr. Kruze’s economic viabilty plan? If DaveG is out…thats got to represent a pretty large demographic, lol.


  43. 43
    k-dawg

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:23 pm)

    Gas prices are relevant.
    And don’t think its about gouging.. i think its about minimizing losses per car. The Volt ver 1.0 is not a money maker….. (yet).


  44. 44
    Jim I

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:26 pm)

    If we set a minimuim price for gas at $4.00 per gallon, then OPEC will just say thank you and raise the worldwide price of oil so that it works out to $4.00 per gallon……….. They are not going to let the government take “their” money!

    Are they really that stupid in Washington, D.C.??????


  45. 45
    loser

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:28 pm)

    It makes sense that 1.00 a year Rick would make the statement about 4.00 per gallon gas (TAXED!). He gets FREE FUEL from GM… along with a FREE CAR. What does he care if we have to pay for it. He has enough money to work for a dollar a year. There’s no way a ‘normal’ American could do that. Once again proven..”Wealthy people are out of touch with average people!”


  46. 46
    k-dawg

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:30 pm)

    @41 Statik

    Weren’t you trying to get on the lease program for the Mini-E?


  47. 47
    k-dawg

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    Michigan gasoline taxes are already ~55cents. Just make it $2 even. That would put gas at about $4 right now.

    My string would be that the $ has to go towards ways of producing more & cheaper electricity.


  48. 48
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:45 pm)

    #40 Dave G said:

    A minimum price / floor tax is a great idea. $4 / gallon may be a bit high, but we need something to stabilize the market. With gas prices bouncing around between $4.25 and $1.50 within 6 months, people have no idea what to expect next, so they just sit back and wait to see what’s going to happen. Which means people put off buying cars, and companies put off buying fleet vehicles.

    Also, a minimum price would bring in huge amounts of new investments into batteries, bio-fuels, etc.. If investors know there is a minimum price on gas, they will know OPEC can’t pull the rug out from under them.
    ===========================

    Dang…really? Two in a row? Has to be some kind of record.

    I’m behind a hefty hike in gas tax myself. My reason wouldn’t be so much about stabilization, as it would still bounce around quite abit…unless you were talking about adding a flat tax (like $2+) in which case prices would be bad, bad or really bad, lol. I like some kind of scaling base tax + a percentage (to allow people to adjust/modify their driving habits and vehicles), something like:

    2009 20 cents +2%
    2010 40 cents +4%
    2011 60 cents +6%
    2012 80 cents +10%

    I’m all for ‘sin tax’ (gas, alcohol, cigarettes, etc). The US infrastructer/road fund is in really bad shape and could use a hefty/sustained infusion (provided it is not raided like it has been for other projects), and some direct investment in alternative fuels is a bonus.

    The main benefit beside all that of course is the indirect economic pressure at the pump encouraging adoption of other alternatives, or at least the more conservative use of the gas.


  49. 49
    Anderson

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:49 pm)

    Evil Conservative (#29),

    Like you, I consider myself a big time conservative. As such, I also hate taxes, but if there is a “good” tax out there, I think the gas tax is it. As I see it, the best tool the government has to promote Electric Vehicles and the like is to double the price of gasoline through taxes. This, of course, could have negative economical consecuences, which can be ameliorated by automatically adjusting the tax so gas prices will remain steady even as oil goes up in price. I don’t make a lot of money, but (as, I assume, most of the followers of this site) I have always owned fuel efficient vehicles. A true conservative should (by definition) also be an environmentalist. Sure, we’d like to conserve our collective values, ideals, language, culture, standard of living, economic, political, and military dominance, but (just as importantly) we should also want (and actively seek) to conserve our environment. If it takes a hefty gas tax to help in achieving that, so be it.


  50. 50
    Jeremy

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:54 pm)

    the hole in the economy is partially oil, but mostly china.


  51. 51
    loser

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    I think you have all lost it. Four dollar a gallon fuel will destroy the lower and most likely the middle class. It drove down the value of the admittedly large, overkill size vehicles they drove so they could not, even if they wanted to, trade in for smaller more efficent vehicles. Bad idea, very bad idea.


  52. 52
    omnimoeish

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (2:01 pm)

    I agree. GM needs to set the price of the Volt according to the market value. They can charge whatever the market will bare for all I care. If they can charge $100,000 for the first 10,000, that’s what they ought to do. That’s what Tesla is doing and no one seems to have a problem with it. Anyone who takes an Economics 101 class knows that you don’t sell your product at whatever price you think is “fair”, you sell it for it’s market VALUE.

    Continuing in our Econ 101 class…The red flag for any innovative company who thinks they can charge customers whatever they want? Over charging people for an EREV will only create more dollar signs in the eyes of competing companies to go all out on creating their own Volt competitor (if they don’t have one already).

    Anyone who has been paying attention in the forums knows that there are dozens of EV and EREVs already well underway at auto makers worldwide. Any market gouging GM could do will be very short lived. They might as well enjoy while they can. They earned it for being first. Let’s face it, GM just invested well over a billion $$ already, deciding how much each copy actually cost them would be moot.

    Besides that, if they set the price too high, people just won’t be able buy them when they can’t get a loan for a car so expensive.

    For the record, in case anyone at GM is listening. Not that you probably don’t already know this, but there are A LOT more factors that go into the VALUE of the Volt than just gas prices. Living in Oregon, I know many many people who are willing to pay extra to buy organic food, that are willing to pay extra for vegan food. These same people are willing to pay a lot more to have a car that they feel is more environmentally friendly (there just aren’t any to choose from in showrooms yet). Plus, there are a lot of people that are afraid of peak oil (myself included). Whether or not we are paying $2/gallon right now or in November 2010, anyone who reads what the DOE has been saying, what Chevron and Philips-Conoco have been saying, is afraid that their $30,000 gas powered car will be practically worthless to them in 5 years if gas were to skyrocket again. Global production peaked in 2005, and now we have China and India are getting millions of cars a year.

    Go ahead and charge whatever you want GM!

    By the way, those who want to talk about $4/gallon gas floors right now are seriously putting the cart before the horse. Right now there is no alternative to gas. Go to any show room in America. It’s either gas, gas, or diesel. Even when the Volt comes in, the average Joe wont be able to get their hands on one for a few years. Even then, the lower class making minimum wage trying to put themselves through school, or starting a family, or whatever will have no incentive to work. Who wants to work a minimum wage job that you make $1,000 before taxes, but then 1/3rd of your paycheck goes to income taxes, and 1/3rd goes to paying for gas, car insurance, and maintenance (as well as about $500 a year for tags now in California). It would be so much easier just to stay at home and collect welfare.

    Maybe in 2020 we can talk about doing that. In the mean time, I think gas will get back up to $4/gallon anyway very shortly, probably more. Let’s let the economy recover.


  53. 53
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (2:08 pm)

    #45 k-dawg said:

    @41 Statik
    Weren’t you trying to get on the lease program for the Mini-E?
    ==========================

    Nope, wasn’t me. It was always limited to NY, NJ, California…which cancels me out from the start.

    However, I did say that I didn’t have a problem their lease, under their scenario (I think…it has been awhile, lol)….basically because Mini was making no issue about it, they were up front…they were not selling you a car.

    They were clearly saying you are paying them to be a test driver for their electric car – it is not yours, you only get it for 12 months, then they get it back and your never seeing it again.

    Mini did not want to sell you the car, there was no hook, no angle…they want all the cars back, they were just offsetting some of their costs in exchange for you getting to have a cool EV long before anyone else did.

    If GM wants to lease a non-production, test car to me before the gen-pop gets it, with the same understanding as Mini…cool beans, there is added value there. I’d do that for 12 months for a hoot…but after thant (when EVs are in production) I’m owning,not leasing.


  54. 54
    solo2500nt

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (2:28 pm)

    #18 Dave

    You said a mouthful. The first year Volt production will be sold exclusively to West Coast Hollywood types that will park it in their 10000 sq/ft garages next to the Bently, Viper, Escelade (if it’s a rap star), etc. They will need a green wash buggy to show off at the next awards ceremony. The rest of us who really need a car like this, possibly just to survive the next rise in gas prices, will have to wait till 2011 before the fly-over state dealers can even get their hands on one.


  55. 55
    Anderson

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    Regardless of the price of gas, it is always smarter to buy the most fuel efficient vehicle you can buy. Likewise, it’s a good government policy to encourage car makers to build fuel-efficient vehicles. CAFE is not doing it.; get rid of it. Tax gas instead. Poor people would be affected, for sure, as would businesses of all sizes. However, public transportation and bicycles are an option for those that can’t afford to own a vehicle, and if Diesel is exempt from any additional taxes, semi drivers (and groceries and other goods delivered that way) will not be affected. Middle class people, like me, will be affected, and it won’t be easy to take. But it will make it a lot easier to justify spending 30K+ for a Chevy Volt.
    On the other hand, I do believe that GM should make the Volt as affordable as they can make it, regardless of gas prices. They will have a hit, and they will make money; although they may need to wait a little longer to see a profit.

    GM, have some faith. Build it, and we will buy it.


  56. 56
    noel park

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (2:35 pm)

    The price is a result of the demand. Whatever price GM sets, if gas goes up to $4, or whatever the magic number is, and people start to line up to buy Volts, the dealers will trot out the extra stickers for the “dealer markup”, or whatever we call it these days. If the price of gas falls, and they can’t sell them, out will come the “rebates” and “0% financing”. That’s how it’s always worked. Why should the Volt be different? The guy may be guilty of an unfortunate choice of words, but supply and demand is what it is.

    #19 Capt JackSparrow:

    They’re us, of course, the GM-Volt.com waiting list!

    #22 Anderson:

    Prius sales have tanked as gas has fallen from $4 to $2.

    #41 statik:

    Did you see the post on allcarselectric.com about the Insight leases Honda is offering? $229/mo with something like 3K up front. I’m not going to be driving a Honda at any price, but it does seem like a pretty good deal. If you read the fine print, it looks like you have to have about a 799.9 FICO score though, LOL.

    BTW, did anyone see the AP story on the Yahoo page about the President’s remarks about GM/Chrysler at his “on-line town meeting” yesterday?


  57. 57
    alf

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (2:56 pm)

    To Anderson @ 22 who says:
    Toyota went ahead with the Prius several years ago and now it’s such a best seller that they can hardly keep up with the demand. When will GM get it????

    —————————————————————————–
    Prius sales are WAY down. Gotta have current data to think staight.

    http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2008/12/toyota-reeling-from-slump-in-sales-scuttles-plan-to-make-priuses-in-us-in-2010.html


  58. 58
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:07 pm)

    #48 Anderson Says: Like you, I consider myself a big time conservative. As such, I also hate taxes, but if there is a “good” tax out there, I think the gas tax is it.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Like Ronald Regan said: “It’s not a tax, it’s a user fee”.


  59. 59
    Van

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    The price of gas will have absolutely nothing to do with the price of the Volt. It will be the price of other plug-ins. If Toyota puts a PHEV-20 on the market for $27,000 before $3000 rebate, that will drive down the price of the Volt whether gas is $4.00 or $2.00. :)


  60. 60
    k-dawg

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:12 pm)

    Its not a tax… its an opportunity.


  61. 61
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:12 pm)

    Prius sales are WAY down.
    _____________________________

    That’s called good inventory planning and consumer awareness.

    Sales of the new model are expected to begin mid-May.

    So it makes perfect sense that sales are down, even without taking the economy and gas prices into account.


  62. 62
    Paul

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:14 pm)

    If you don’t like what you are hearing about pricing,…..

    #2:
    N Riley Said it best…..
    “There will be other choices.”


  63. 63
    Doof

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:16 pm)

    # 55 Noel

    The guy may be guilty of an unfortunate choice of words, but supply and demand is what it is.
    ___________________________________________

    Couldn’t agree with you more. looking at some of the other threads,
    who would be incentivized to buy a volt for 37.5k when they can buy a cobalt for 19k with gas being 2 dollars a gallon. so does GM undercut them selves and make it a PR campaign if they can only sell 10k or so volts, or do they market the car as a real product with a real market price. It was a PR gaffe for sure, but it sounds like that just a gaffe.


  64. 64
    jeffhre

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow #19

    Good point. There are 300 million folks in US, 33 million in Canada and hundreds of thousands of Mexico’s 110 million population that look to the US market for buying choices. For the last six months it seems like most of those folks have held off on buying what they want. There may be a few ready in 2010 for something new.


  65. 65
    Eliezer

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:18 pm)

    This is great! Now, the next time I hear about OPEC cutting production, pirates hijacking oil tankers off the coast of Africa or rebels seizing oil platforms in Nigeria, I know who’s responsible…

    I think GM may need to put a gag order on the Volt pricing issue until the car actually debuts.


  66. 66
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:19 pm)

    #43 Jim I Says: If we set a minimuim price for gas at $4.00 per gallon, then OPEC will just say thank you and raise the worldwide price of oil so that it works out to $4.00 per gallon
    ————————————————————————————–
    It doesn’t work like that.

    Yes, OPEC can lower the price of oil by flooding the market, but to raise the price, they have to cut back world oil production, and that involves more than OPEC. For example, if OPEC cuts back and Russia increases output, then the price of oil stays the same, and Russia gets a bigger slice of the pie. With this in mind, it’s much harder for OPEC to raise prices than to lower them.


  67. 67
    Gas Electric Volt

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:21 pm)

    Limited supply, high fuel prices, higher demand, higher MSRP.

    Not sure why this is news…


  68. 68
    ccombs

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    Undoubtedly, the price of fuel is important to Volt sales and thus price. However, GM should set the price soon and bite the bullet if gas is still low. It will certainly go up again in the near future, patience is needed.


  69. 69
    mitch

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    #60 John1701a

    “That’s called good inventory planning and consumer awareness”

    So why did Hummer sales go up? Nah..couldn’t be the cost of gas dropping and consumer short sightedness..

    Also BTW Toyota is going to offer both the old and new Priuses, they are not discontinuing the old one

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20090327/AUTO01/903270340/1148/rss25/Auto+briefs

    and the the market is so bad even the mighty T needs a bail out..after they made over a TRILLION yen LAST YEAR alone!! (yep good planning and foresight there…)

    Sorry John…with every post you still prove you are pro Toyota anti GM troll.. I think Toyota is a fine company, just not the great glorious manufacturing god that you worship…The way they do business there is NOT the same as here, same with accounting.


  70. 70
    Steve

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:37 pm)

    When I buy a car, I buy the whole car. What is this crap about leasing the batteries. I won’t buy half the car and lease the other half at any price. This is on top of the retarded statements about the price of the car depending on the price of gas and the imposition of a tax that keeps gas above $4.00/gallon. Either the car is economically viable or it isn’t. GM is wrong on this one. No wonder GM is going down.


  71. 71
    Mark Z

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:46 pm)

    The word “lease” sounds like something you can’t afford. However if you can swap out the old leased battery for a battery that can be recharged in seconds, then I might be interested.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,508988,00.html


  72. 72
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    #45 noel park said:

    #41 statik: Did you see the post on allcarselectric.com about the Insight leases Honda is offering? $229/mo with something like 3K up front. I’m not going to be driving a Honda at any price, but it does seem like a pretty good deal. If you read the fine print, it looks like you have to have about a 799.9 FICO score though, LOL
    ===================

    Thanks for the heads up..I just checked it out, the details are:

    The price is low per month I suppose, but I can’t understand the math…I confess that I just buy cars outright as I don’t have to worry about all the red tape and strings (and it is easier to haggle)

    Here is the details from the website:
    $229/36 months +2,799 down (Excludes taxes, titles and fees. For well-qualified buyers). Thats about $11,000 total committment for 3 years. Option to purchase at lease end $13,919.60. (Lessee responsible for maintenance, excessive wear/tear and 15 cents/mi. over 12,000 miles/year for vehicles with MSRP less than $30,000).

    As I understand it, you are putting down $2,800 + $8,300 (monthly payments) and if you want to buy it, another $14,000. To me that equals $25,000…or $5,200 more than MSRP.

    Why would you do this over just buying it for $19,800? The residual/resale after 3 years is probably like $16,000 lol. You only pay like $3,800 to drive it if you buy it outright, then flip it after 3 years. If you walk away from the lease you have lost $11,000…or if you buy it out, then flip it, you have lost $9,000.

    /sounds right…but am I wrong?


  73. 73
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:50 pm)

    #24 tom Says: The gas tax pays for road repairs (as it should). In 5 years when a significant amount of electric cars are on the road the tax will have to be raised on gas just to cover the road maintenance. Then 5 years after that when EV technology has advanced far enough to replace all manufacturing of ICE engines, they will put the technology in the cars to track your driving across the roads,…
    ————————————————————————————–
    First, they will be making internal combustion engines for at least the next 40 years, but they will run mostly on ethanol or bio-diesel, and most won’t turn on that often.

    Second, taxing by the mile and tracking your driving habits – that’s a really bad idea, for 2 reasons:
    1) Obvious privacy concerns
    2) It doesn’t encourage conservation. The way we drive has a huge effect on the amount of electricity we use.

    If there is going to be something inside the car that is used to collect taxes, just keep track of how much electricity the car consumes, and tax based on that. Simple.


  74. 74
    Vincent

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (3:57 pm)

    I dont like the idea of leasing batteries either.
    But lets see how the numbers play out over the life of the vehicle…in addition to how it should dramatically drop the price of the Volt like a prom dress.

    Also for those that speak of Economic 101 type examples… you may enjoy reading from this Gentleman.
    http://robertreich.blogspot.com/

    You will understand far more. This Man is fantastic.


  75. 75
    MikeD

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:01 pm)

    Lease the battery pack? And risk an EV-1 like fiasco all over again? Not a chance. If I can’t buy the entire car, I’ll look elsewhere.


  76. 76
    robb

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:07 pm)

    I don’t see the problem with leasing the battery. I guess if you think the battery pack will increase in price or stay the same it might be a good idea.
    As battery tech get’s better the previous generation battery cost goes down(price based on resources not counted). If I pay 8K for the Volt’s battery now it may only be worth 3K in 3 years(5K loss). If I had leased I might of only paid 4K in 3 years for the battery. I could also turn in the old tech battery for a new tech battery if the company does that. With a lease comes an unlimited warranty as long as you renew the contract.
    But as a company who needs mass amounts of money now and upfront leasing is not a good idea.


  77. 77
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    #60 John1701a
    #68 mitch

    Re: Prius Sales

    I don’t think there is a clear winner between you two, you both have valid points.

    I think yes there was some ‘Prius fatique’ after the price of gas came down and every was tired of hearing, “I’m just gonna buy a Prius”

    I think that yes, Toyota is also having a lot of difficulty navigating this market, they too are losing money, and have some ill-conceived products for this environment.

    There is also a very real (and expected) drop off when a model gets long in the tooth and a new, superior model is announced and is being flogged on the internet and at car shows. Who wants to buys yesterday’s newspaper today?

    If you disregard the significance of the next gen coming on the poor data in the months before the launch, you have to do the same for the numbers after the launch. I think most would agree there is going to be a significant swing in year over year numbers and demand when the next gen is available.

    You also have to take into consideration the wider market, Prius is off 31% this month, compared to about 41% for the market overall.

    Personally, I didn’t care for the look (or the drive/interior) of the last gen and would not buy one, but I do consider it to be a success…and I think the next gen has improved the brand in a lot of ways, and will only build on its predecessor legacy.


  78. 78
    Keith

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    I can see the headlines now.

    GM wants 4 dollar a gallon gas!


  79. 79
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:23 pm)

    @jeffhre 64

    “There may be a few ready in 2010 for something new.”

    So true. The goons here I work with are all ready to buy a new car but won’t till “Something Else” comes out. They already own Hybrids but they want sometnig off petrol. I’m the only broke one without a hybrid. The Tesla S brought up a stirr for them but after the smoke cleared, it was a general consensus that it was “Cost Prohibitve”. So far the Volt is something of their interest. For me, a low cost BEV will suffice.

    Like I said, first out with a freeway speed 4 seater BEV or EREV get’s my $$$.


  80. 80
    Ken Grubb

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    GM won’t risk another EV1 fiasco, at least not if they have any intention of surviving the 21st Century. I have, in the past, been very critical of GM for the handling of EV1. However, I believe they are serious about the Volt. It’s swim or die time, and the Volt is their life preserver.

    Of course the price of gas is going to affect the price of the Volt. Well duh. If gas is $10 a gallon in November 2010, the Volt can be priced at $40K, or more, and it will easily sell everything produced and the demand won’t be satiated.

    If gas is still hovering at $2 a gallon, $40K Volts likely ain’t gonna sell, and GM might well have to ask for another sip from the bailout well, or something else.


  81. 81
    dennis

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:32 pm)

    Mid to Upper 30′s??!!

    What happend to Lower to mid 40′s? Typo?

    If’ it’s mid 30′s, Somebody give the Prius a nice pat on the back and show them the door :)


  82. 82
    noel park

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:40 pm)

    #57 Dave G:

    That’s what our Governator says every time he wants to raise taxes (oops, sorry, “user fees”), LOL. It seldom plays however. There is always someone ready to go to court to challenge the euphemism, and 99% of the time he loses.

    #71 statik:

    I dunno. I’ve never leased a car, and I certainly don’t plan to start now. The blog seemed to think it was a heck of a deal, so I guess I just got carried away with the mood!

    Our local car radio show host John Retsek once famously said that “The car salesmen with the plaid jackets, red polyester pants and white shoes and belts never left the dealerships. They just moved to the leasing departments.”

    All:

    More importantly, I just this minute heard a report on “Marketplace” on NPR that GM has hired “advisors” to help it in the sale of Opel! I am not making this up. Did anyone else hear same? Do we know any more?


  83. 83
    MarkFLL

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:43 pm)

    Did someone say lease? Not an option for me. No car payments, no lease payments, and no mortgage payments. Even my credit card companies are paid off at the end of the month. No lease for me, thank you.


  84. 84
    Jim I

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:44 pm)

    Dave G #65: Re: Oil Pricing – I just think that if the US Government sets a minimum price, all the oil producing countries are going to jack up prices, What have they got to lose? Because the government is taking out the supply and demand dynamic.

    statik #52: Re: Mini Coper 1 year lease – Isn’t that what GM did with the EV-1, and they are still getting grief over it all these years later? At the end of the twelve month leases, the “owners” are going to say they want to keep them, and make offers to buy them, Then they call the TV stations to say how they are being treated unfairly. Then the next thing you know, there will be a movie called “Who killed the Mini”……..

    statik #71: Re: Math on the Insight lease – You math is correct, but people lease because they do not have $20K in cash to buy a car. I usually buy my cars and keep them long time, so the long term cost of ownership ends up being pretty low. But I know lots of people that just like to have a new car every three years, so they just turn it in, sign a new lease, and make a car payment forever. I guess it is all in how you decide to spend your money…

    Have a great weekend everyone!


  85. 85
    Ted in Fort Myers

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:47 pm)

    Very complex subject. Peak Oil is not about running out of oil; it’s about having reached maximum supply and production. There’s a big difference.
    Basically what Peak Oil does is that it puts a cap on GDP, where the only way GDP can grow any further is through efficiency gains. The practical effect of this is that we will see repeated cycles of rolling recessions (or worse, depressions) and recoveries, but without a longer term trendline of growth. The longer term trendline will be flat. This is exactly what we are seeing. Global oil extraction and production peaked in 2005 and has fallen slightly since then. We are now on a very slightly decreasing plateau and will likely not see larger declines in oil output for a few years, possibly until 2012-15, when the declines will get steeper. There can be, and will be, lots of oil price volatility within this paradigm, with price basically determined by demand. What we now have is a demand-destruction dynamic, where price will moderate demand and vice-versa, but where total supply is limited and capped by the global peak that is now clearly visible behind us in the rear-view mirror back in 2005. Peak Oil is only visible in hindsight, and we’ve now got that hindsight to clearly see it.

    There are mathematical models which explain the extreme price volatility we are seeing and will continue to see in the oil market. In the absence of any widely developed and available, competing substitute for oil and with the supply of oil constrained and limited to the peak we have already seen behind us and unable to expand any further, I see mathematical queueing models as a good proxy and theoretical construct for explaining this price volatility. In a queueing model, you have a demand rate and a supply rate,
    just as in the case of the oil market. Mathematical queueing models do not directly incorporate price into them, but this can be done by proxy, as the length of the queue — or equivalently, the waiting time in the queue (which is proportional to the length of the queue) — can be thought of as a proxy for price, since price will likely be directly proportional to the length of the queue (or equivalently, waiting time in the queue). This may be somewhat counter-intuitive to those without mathematical training, at least on first thought, but the length of the queue (and waiting time in it), and hence, by proxy, the price of oil, takes off exponentially and skyrockets as the demand rate approaches the limited, constrained, fixed supply rate. In fact, the length of the queue, and hence price of oil, actually goes to infinity (in the mathematical model) as slack capacity completely disappears and the demand rate reaches 100% of supply, bumping up against the fixed supply constraint. This can be seen mathematically, for the simplest M/M/1
    queue, with the formula:

    L(t) = 1/[mu(t)-lambda(t)]

    where

    L(t) = length of the queue (as a proxy for price) at time t

    lambda(t) = demand rate at time t

    mu(t) = supply rate at time t

    This mathematical model is a good proxy in explaining the demand-destruction dynamic in a supply-constrained environment, as we now have with the oil market having reached maximum global ouput, and the resulting repeated cycles of rolling recessions and recoveries that we are seeing and will continue to see, with a flat longer-term GDP trendline, where demand continues to bump up against this fixed ceiling at the height of each recovery, causing the price of oil to skyrocket, which then results in demand destruction, leading to another recession and then subsequent recovery, and so on and so on.

    As demand backs off of the fixed, constrained supply going into each
    recession, the mathematical model explains and demonstrates how the price of oil will drop precipitously with the more slack capacity that is freed up through demand destruction. Basically what will happen is that with sufficient slack capacity (of supply over demand) in the global oil market, the price of oil will start to drop back down towards its cost of extraction and production, which is exactly what we are now seeing.

    The only way we can get out of the vicious cycle of this paradigm (explained reasonably well by mathematical queueing models), which has stalled and flatlined long-term economic growth, is to develop a widely available competitive substitute for oil, which of course would be electrically-powered transportation, i.e. EVs. That would remove the constraint and ceiling on economic growth and allow the global economy to once again expand.
    I hope this fully explains to GM the price of gas and the value of their Volt. Now set a price we can plan on and we will plan to use no oil at all in our car.
    Take Care,
    TED


  86. 86
    Ted in Fort Myers

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:54 pm)

    AND NO BATTERY LEASE…


  87. 87
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (4:56 pm)

    with every post you still prove you are pro Toyota anti GM troll
    ____________________________

    How would you come to the conclusion that being against Volt only offered as a single configuration (40-mile range) as being against the automaker as a whole?

    It’s like the 7,232 sales of Prius last month being portrayed as bad even though though that resulting in an annual total of 86,784 would be good.

    Consider the big picture.

    The goal is to provide consumers with choices in large quantity, at affordable prices, soon. Volt is just a small piece of that effort, which Prius is helping with. So fighting Prius simply doesn’t make any sense. And of course, when incorrect/misleading information is posted, someone needs to keep the discussion honest & objective by correcting/clarifying it.


  88. 88
    Ausmartin

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (5:14 pm)

    If they lease batteries then I will NOT consider a VOLT in Australia,

    I will go with Nissan who at least with project better place offer battery swap stations and cars than can actually swap batteries.

    The battery in the Volt is not a universal swap or instant swapable.
    Are GM trying to reach official bankcrupcy faster with these insane ideas for the reasons above !
    Some people in GM managment need to bee laid off it seems…….


  89. 89
    old man

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (5:15 pm)

    Suggestion for G M

    The rule should be nobody other than marketing can talk price. This rule should apply to all regardless of their title.

    Bet the marketing dept. just sh+t when they heard that one.


  90. 90
    Jeff M

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (5:16 pm)

    fwiw, just read that Toyota hasn’t figured out pricing for their newest Prius model… they were “surprised” by Honda’s pricing of the new Insight and they said they might not be able to raise the base price of the new model like they wanted… they said they might unbundle some standard features into separate options to get a lower base price.

    I think GM is going to wait to see not only the price of gas but what the competition is like and charging at that point in time.


  91. 91
    DonC

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (5:27 pm)

    Looks like the Auto Task Force will make a decision and Obama will lay out a framework for moving forward on Monday. Appears it will be general with some but not alot of specifics.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090327/bs_nm/us_autos_timing


  92. 92
    Cashen

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (5:33 pm)

    MAN!!

    Some of you are hating on GM right now. I think it would be very hard to set a price this early, so much is still not set in stone. I think energy costs have a HUGE role. I think his comment was referring to the cost of building it, but it would make sense they can charge more (and actually break even…) if gas is higher.

    Just look at the price of the tesla s, likes like 50K AFTER rebate…….

    Please no battery lease.

    GO GM!


  93. 93
    carcus1

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (5:37 pm)

    On the gas tax:

    Sounds like an OK idea at first, except. . . . .

    Let’s say the federal gubment starts taxing an extra $2 per gallon on $2 gas for the total of $4. Do you think the feds will ever give up that revenue? No. They don’t give it up once they’ve got it. That’s the way the system works. So if oil goes back up to $135/barrel and we’re looking at $4 gas under the old system, the new gas price is going to go up to $6.

    It’s kind of like giving government loans to companies that are “too big to fail”. Once you’ve started, there’s just nowhere to stop.

    Central planning = BAD


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    john1701a

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (5:39 pm)

    Also, let’s not forget that GM is required to be very clear about intentions due to all the loan/bailout money they are receiving.

    Keeping goals concise is a win for everyone.

    When and how price is set is a good example of that… hence this thread.


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    Anderson

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (5:41 pm)

    MarkFLL Says:
    Did someone say lease? Not an option for me. No car payments, no lease payments, and no mortgage payments. Even my credit card companies are paid off at the end of the month. No lease for me, thank you.

    RIGHT ON! Recession or not, that’s the way to do it, and the way I’ve been conducting my affairs since I’ve had money to spend. If GM will not outright sell the vehicle (and its battery) for a reasonable price, I’ll take my business elsewhere. GM needs to understand that. AND I’M GLAD I’M NOT ALONE…READING THROUGH ALL THESE POSTING, I SEE THAT GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE!!


  96. 96
    Whistleteeth

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (5:42 pm)

    I gotta say that’s kind of disappointing. This whole time I’ve really been wishing for a car that goes from point A to point B as cheap as possible. At every corner GM kept upping the gimmicks and probably the price to, that’s poor planning. A car isn’t a 3G phone. A car is not a want in American society it’s a need. There are very few places in our country where you can get by without a car. Ever notice when a new car company starts it’s always at the low end of the price spectrum? Then when they get the good rep for reliability they move into higher end vehicles, not the other way around. Market share is always easiest to build at the bottom. My hope of finally buying American, aside from my pickup, is dimming by the second. It’s sad but I really think the CEO’s of American car companies are tarts. I want my bailout back… what a waste of a good idea.


  97. 97
    Crazytoy

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:00 pm)

    I think what Rick meant was No matter what the profit/loss on the Volt for GM, they know most average purchasers are going to do some math in their heads as to how much it will cost to drive a mile, as opposed to how much a mile in a gas only, like we covered in a previous thread. GM has to guestimate how much a gallon of gas will be when the Volt makes it to market, to even follow through on this project. A guarantee of gas prices would be nice but unrealistic. If it stays at $2 a gallon, and I think most agree that it will go up, (Greed happens!), then the Volt isn’t viable, but if gas were $4 a gallon, it maths out. Just a blunder to put it the way he did.
    I AM going to buy a car in 2010, as will a lot of folks. I may have to put it off until 2011 if I have to, based on availability of the Volt in my area. My decision will be balanced on: Initial Cost, Expense to operate, Value on resale, Safety, Reliability, and Looks (call me vain). So far the Volt fits my Bill, but I WILL shop it.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:00 pm)

    It’s likely that the first 3 production years already have buyers. As well, the die-hard number-crunchers and market-comparison folks (outside of GM) have to contribute their applied-professional experience toward (and against) the fact that the first 3 production years likely are already spoken for, it seems to me.
    Satisfying public expectations as to price for a larger segment of the populace which thinks that ANY Voltec sales will not happen as well due to, for example, the cost of gas, “competition”, or the cost of Voltec technologies, just doesn’t sufficiently add up for me.
    While discussions here on the large numbers of topics regarding Voltec vehicles have tremendous merit, it really seems to me that anything Voltec that GM produces has already been sold. It is almost ONLY a matter of how well production can be efficiently ramped up, and very little or nothing more whatsoever. (Excepting a possible market distribution toward purchase opportunities for the various economic/earning abilities category cross-sections of America. That’s what I’d really like to see.)
    This is why I strongly believe that Uncle Sugar would get a proper return on loan-investment with GM for Voltec vehicles.
    The spirit in America nowadays is to get back to local and American business financial well-being, (I hear much more frequently people saying “I want to buy it if it is made in America”) and, GM is right on top of that list for me and for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of other Americans, and, yes, citizens of other nations who want to buy GM Voltec technologies.
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


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    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:00 pm)

    #92 carcus1 Says: Let’s say the federal gubment starts taxing an extra $2 per gallon on $2 gas for the total of $4. Do you think the feds will ever give up that revenue?
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, if it’s structured that way. It’s not a $2 tax. It’s a $4 (I would prefer $3) minimum price tax. So whatever the current price is, they would add the necessary amount of tax to get it up to the minimum price.

    Also, if you look at history, when gas spikes up really high and threatens the economy, the government does lower gas taxes temporarily, so there is precedence for this.


  100. 100
    carcus1

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:00 pm)

    This Wagoner guy is great.

    First, he runs his company into the ground. Then, he forces me to loan him money to keep his bankrupt company going. Then, he wants me to pay an extra $2/gallon so that I’ll buy a new car from his bankrupt company. Finally, he wants me to sign a lease on the battery so I keep the monthly payments coming.

    Am I getting this right?


  101. 101
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:11 pm)

    #84 Ted in Fort Myers Says: Very complex subject. Peak Oil is not about running out of oil; it’s about having reached maximum supply and production. There’s a big difference.
    Basically what Peak Oil does is that it puts a cap on GDP, where the only way GDP can grow any further is through efficiency gains.

    ————————————————————————————–
    It’s actually worse than this. After the peak, much of the oil that’s left in the ground is lower quality. It may be mixed with a lot of water. It may be thicker, more like tar but not that thick. In other words, it’s a lot harder to extract and refine. That means it takes increasing amounts of energy to get a usable product. At some point, it takes more energy to extract and process than the energy it yields. At this point, the well is abandoned, even thought there is still oil in the ground. So after the peak, oil supply declines, sometimes rather sharply.


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    carcus1

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:11 pm)

    #99 Add,

    Oh, I left out that once gas gets taxed up to $4, then wags can charge a HIGHER PRICE for a car from his bankrupt company which I’m supporting through government loans and then start paying a monthly lease on a battery.


  103. 103
    Doof

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:16 pm)

    Just to start speculation and scepticism. What about the reliability of the battery. If they are planning to lease it might it be for alterior motives. I’ve read a few of the threads over the years. so I know you guys put the battery choices through the ringer. Such as the use of the battery doesn’t quite stand up in practicality. just food for thought. that or maybe there holding out for better tech and want a way to get people to switch them out, and forcing options on them, because thats what Rick Wagner is suggesting the government do. ahh the possibilities are endless.


  104. 104
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:19 pm)

    #83 Jim I Says: Re: Oil Pricing – I just think that if the US Government sets a minimum price, all the oil producing countries are going to jack up prices, What have they got to lose? Because the government is taking out the supply and demand dynamic.
    ————————————————————————————–
    First, the U.S. is not the only country that imports oil, not by a long shot. So there would still be still supply and demand dynamic in the market.

    Second, in order to jack up prices, the oil producing countries would all have to cut output. I doubt that would happen. It only takes one country to get greedy and increase output to get a big slice of the now higher priced pie. Then other countries fall like dominoes.

    Third, if they could all coordinate reducing output, without someone getting greedy, then that might be a good thing, considering the realities of peak oil.


  105. 105
    WarrenPeace

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:21 pm)

    carcus1 Says:

    Am I getting this right?

    It seems you are the only one who got it right. I’ll be damned if I am going to buy a GM vehicle that the people are forced to fund. They don’t deserve my business. The fact that GM still keeps going back for more money just helps deteriorate public support for them. GM should be allowed to fail but most likely Obama will continue to feed the cancerous UAW but must do it by camouflage by the false perception of “Loaning to GM”.
    The market for their products are down/dead, why are they still manfacturing anything other than the “Volt”? Do we really need to stock up on the gas guzzling big SUV’s and Large Trucks? Typical GM business process. They don’t have a clue. Why do you think they have to go outside to help market the Ampera? This means the current team is crap but hey, they’re still getting paid by the massive loans that we the people are funding.

    Troll I am.


  106. 106
    carcus1

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:26 pm)

    Don’t be surprised if you see a mandatory battery lease pushed for “safety reasons” or some other B.S. when the real reason is money and power.

    i.e. We can’t have unregulated batteries out on the highway! People’s lives are at stake! The only way to insure safety on the roadways is to regulate these batteries through OEM ownership, where their inspection is guaranteed through OEM compliance along with government oversight.

    I’m joking, of course. (but then again, maybe not)


  107. 107
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:26 pm)

    #84 Ted

    Thanks for the read…I enjoyed it. I have have sussed out a very similar opinion from time to time myself about the realities of ‘peak’ oil (and they generally end up just a long, lol)

    I find once you get start modelling out what we are experiencing now…you always end up extrapolating a model of what will happen in the eventual reality of a sustained declining extraction environment.

    /lets just say, we’d all be a lot better off getting ahead of the curve…environmental concern or otherwise


  108. 108
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:31 pm)

    #101 carcus1 Says: Oh, I left out that once gas gets taxed up to $4, then wags can charge a HIGHER PRICE for a car from his bankrupt company which I’m supporting through government loans and then start paying a monthly lease on a battery.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right. I was thinking along the same lines.

    GM said the Volt would cost under $30K. I’m willing to throw in the tax credit to get there, but GM should keep this promise. And forcing a lease on the battery is a deal breaker.

    In any case, I agree with GM that it’s too soon for them to finalize the price.


  109. 109
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:33 pm)

    I love reading this blog everyday.

    One day it’s: “Go GM! Go VOLT!”

    Next day it’s: “Grab your pitchforks! Let’s hang the b@stards!”

    It keeps me chuckling during this recession. Thanks guys!


  110. 110
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:40 pm)

    Ok, it is late in the thread, so time for more cynical observations:

    First:
    No way GM gives out a hard price in May 2010…I take all bets on this one.

    Secondly:
    Lauckner didn’t say May, he said, “we won’t set the price of the Volt until 6 months prior to start of production.” Notice he doesn’t mention when the start of production is? This guy knows how to make a ‘loosey-goosey’ statement and let other draw conculsions for him,


  111. 111
    carcus1

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:43 pm)

    #108 CorvetteGuy,

    “One day it’s: “Go GM! Go VOLT!”
    Next day it’s: “Grab your pitchforks! Let’s hang the b@stards!”
    ______________________________________________________

    Electric cars . . . I like. GM upper management . . . not so much (but I keep hoping they’ll become somebody else — literally).


  112. 112
    Lawrence Wesson

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:46 pm)

    You are dead on Carcus! If this spokeshead is the best that GM can saddle up to the table, ( how much $ does he make??? ) if this is their arrogant take to say that the State must tax gas to make a 4 buck gallon then maybe this guy needs to be in a future unemployment soup line as GM folds and numerous NEW auto companies take it’s moldering foul place. Think the 1920′s. Even Durant would agree as he spins in the ground.

    Further, as the revenue falls from gasoline taxes via alternative and efficient autos rest assured that the ever “benevolent” State will be slamming electric cars with GPS 1984 devices that will track the mileage used and tax you accordingly to make up all the huge lost revenue. So keeping gas at $4 via a tax is a very naughty idea that will come back to bite the Volt and Tesla users!

    By the way, yes I know Big Nose Kate very well Carcus and I think she might just be the Anti-Christ.

    Regards!—Doc


  113. 113
    Cynic

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:47 pm)

    Sounds like more GM greed. Keep gas at $4 a gallon? So it’s either run out and buy an electric car or get screwed at the gas station. Nice. GM, Chrysler and Ford should have all been allowed to tank. It’ll be the people who can’t afford 30 to 40 grand on a car who get screwed with that plan.


  114. 114
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:48 pm)

    Did anyone actually read the Globe and Mail source article? To me there is one of the biggest and most important pieces of information in there we have gotten so far.

    There is a HUGE admission in there, which should be the main subject of this thread…if not the next one:

    Lauckner is asked this question in the Q&A: “At what temperature those promised 64 kilometres of electric-only driving were verified”

    Not only does he answer, but he adds to it, “… the figure achieved in the normal city cycle testing, said Kruse, which is done at 20 degrees Celsius”

    40 miles is CITY, @20 degrees celsius ie) no heat, no A/C–this means 40 miles is only achieved under the most optimistic of conditions

    DaveG, time to change you chart…because no way in heck you are getting a real world 40 miles if this is accurate. It will be significantly less on the highway, and even worse when it is cold or hot.


  115. 115
    omnimoeish

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:50 pm)

    GM, if you’re listening, I think most people would rather have a 10 year warranty on their Volt battery than pay a monthly lease. Besides that, it sounds like it would be a lot of extra paper work to keep track of all those leases (millions before too long I’m sure).


  116. 116
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:50 pm)

    /villian
    (wave to Rob Peterson)


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    carcus1

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (6:56 pm)

    111 Doc,

    Big Nose Kate was the antichrist?! holy crap. All those years of watching and I never picked up on that. I’ll be viewing the re-runs with renewed interest. (flash of red in the eyes, lack of mirrored reflections, etc . . )


  118. 118
    jes12

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:09 pm)

    I graduate with an engineering degree summer 2010. I will drive my fully paid off Kia POS til Jan 2011. At that time I will decide whether to pay $49K for a pure BET with Tesla or $39K for the Volt. The price of gas has NOTHING to do with my decision.

    And Detroit support for hiking gas prices will make me choose Tesla and resent GM even more.


  119. 119
    carcus1

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:15 pm)

    #113 Statik,

    “Turns out, it was the figure achieved in the normal city cycle testing, said Kruse, which is done at 20 degrees Celsius.”
    [you actually read the sources?]
    ____________________________________________________

    They almost had me convinced the 16 kwh battery would handle 40 miles under less than optimum conditions. Guess not.

    Ouch, that’s going to leave a mark.


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:17 pm)

  121. 121
    noel park

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:21 pm)

    #92 carcus1:

    When oil is $135/barrel, gas should be $6/gallon, IMHO. Otherwise, we will never get off of the !@#$% stuff. It’s been well over $6 in Europe for many years, and they have survived.

    They have all sorts of much more fuel efficient cars and light commercial vehicles, which we never see here. They have a much more viable public transportation system. Thus, their transportation system is much more sustainable than ours. It’s just good public policy.

    Plus, sombody, somewhere, is finally going to have to pay some more taxes, or the country is literally going to go broke.


  122. 122
    Starman

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:22 pm)

    This thought process shows exactly why GM is bankrupt and only surviving on government aid.

    Instead of thinking we should create demand by making a great product at a great value that people absolutely have to have. They think, maybe we can have the government manipulate the price of gas to create more demand for our product and let us charge a higher price.

    Why can’t they get it? This is basic business 101. Fail.


  123. 123
    noel park

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:27 pm)

    The latest on NPR news (about an hour ago) is that rumors abound that GM has reached agreements with the UAW and the bondholders. Has anybody heard any more about that? Anyway, the pot is boiling in anticipation of Tuesday.

    What’s the old saying about “War and rumors of war”?


  124. 124
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:35 pm)

    #110 carcus1 Says: Electric cars . . . I like. GM upper management . . . not so much (but I keep hoping they’ll become somebody else — literally).
    ————————————————————————————–
    You may get your wish. The fact that Wagoner went out on limb with the $4/gallon minimum price gas tax, that could be writing on the wall. Besides, they usually put in a new guy after a major reorganization, just the way it usually works. With a new guy at the helm, a few other top execs usually leave as well. So you may get your wish.


  125. 125
    akojim

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:38 pm)

    GM isn’t doing anything ‘new’. The price of wedding gowns has always fluctuated directly with the market price of latex.


  126. 126
    WarrenPeace

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:39 pm)

    Starman Says:

    They think, maybe we can have the government manipulate the price of gas to create more demand for our product and let us charge a higher price.

    They’ve already started that with the tax credit up to $7500. Big 2.5 spent a lot of money to lobby for some folks to push for big financial assistance to be able to sell their product. Why do you think there is almost only one car that qualifies for it? OK, Tesla can but way out of Joe the Plumbers ability, Toyota Hybrid doesn’t, Honda hybrids dont, not even the Ford hybrids. Just GM Volt. Now they are considering a push for raising taxes to help make their product more desireable/feasable? Why would anybody want to even support a company with such assnine business practices?

    jes12 Says:
    And Detroit support for hiking gas prices will make me choose Tesla and resent GM even more.

    That should be everyones conclusion, not specifically Tesla but something other than GM.


  127. 127
    carcus1

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:41 pm)

    #120 noel park,

    A lightweight, low to mid $20k- ish BEV that requires almost no maintenance and has 100 mile + range will sell to the masses and compete with $2 gas. That, IMHO, is what will get us off the stuff. The maintenance costs are the key that nobody talks about. (and GM doesn’t want to give up)

    Plug in hybrids will do their part as well.

    But I’m no central planner, and I don’t want one controlling me or my options.

    Freedom and taxes are a one way check valve. You give them up and they never come back.


  128. 128
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:45 pm)

    Couple points, and I know they go against most of the stalwarts of this site:

    1) Battery lease: Nearly everyone jumps on this like it is some evil, that must be avoided at all costs. How can anyone make the case against it until you know what the terms are? I for one, would entertain the lease option, but of course I need to know what the terms are. The battery, would replace my monthly petrol cost, and if it makes the Volt more attractive and makes sense, I say bring it on.

    2) Gas tax: So now GM would like people to pay more money in gas tax, so the govt can collect more taxes, so GM can borrow even more money. Also, of course the people who are least likely to be able to buy an electric car, will be the ones paying at the pump. These people now get to help pay for the wealthy’s new Volt (or equivalent, over priced EREV, BEV, etc).

    Read my lips, NO NEW TAXES! (This time I mean it, George!)


  129. 129
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:49 pm)

    117 jes12
    “I graduate with an engineering degree summer 2010. I will drive my fully paid off Kia POS til Jan 2011. At that time I will decide whether to pay $49K for a pure BET with Tesla or $39K for the Volt. The price of gas has NOTHING to do with my decision.”
    ———————————————————————————-
    jes, where are you expecting to find a job? Please let me know how you manage to graduate in 2010, and then in a years time, your able to afford, what I would consider a luxury priced car.

    I may want to send my resume to your future company.


  130. 130
    JEC

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:50 pm)

    jes,

    GM is not going to raise the price of gas. Don’t give GM more credit, than their due.


  131. 131
    DonC

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (7:50 pm)

    #113 statik says “There is a HUGE admission in there, which should be the main subject of this thread…if not the next one:”

    Welcome to the real world bro! I’ve been trying to tell you this for quite a long time. It’s why the Model S is never going to get built at the claimed price — a standard car just takes too much battery (energy) to go 50 miles.

    It’s why the only possible exception to the general rule that BEVs are not cost effective may be the Aptera. It weighs 1700 pounds and has a Cd of .15. When you start comparing it to the Volt or I-Miev at 3000 pounds and a Cd of over .2, or worse, the Model S at 4000 pounds and a Cd above .25, you start seeing why Toyota and Honda have been reluctant to bring out a BEV.

    However, the 40 mile city drive may not be as bad as you think. Highway might actually give you better rather than worse mileage. Highway is actually more a rural road cycle with a top speed of 45 mph, but even if you go faster, it only takes about 10 hp to drive a car like a Volt at a steady 60 mph. So if you lay off your normal rubber laying behavior you might actually get 50 or even 60 miles.


  132. 132
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:05 pm)

    35 DonC
    “As for the batteries, their price will probably keep BEVs from becoming cost effective solutions for many many years. The E-REVs make the best use of the batteries because there is little or no wasted overhead — the battery is constantly fully utilized. Essentially the E-REV design is one of those 80/20 solutions where you get 80% of the benefit for 20% of the cost.”
    —————————————————————————————
    Well, this is not quite correct. You cannot ignore the fact that an EREV still requires you to lug around an ICE, generator, radiator (even though you still may need some type of radiator, but likely downsized), catalytic converter, muffler, and various other mechanical components.

    So, first you eliminate the one time cost of having these added to the base vehicle. Then you need to factor in the savings over the life of the car, in eliminating much of the routine, and not so routine maintanence. Also, if your time is worth anything, you would want to work that into the equation, as you sit waiting for oil changes, mufflers, and more extensive engine servicing.

    In my opinion, this will be why you will eventually see the BEV take over as the front runner in the future. Battery prices and new technologies will emerge, making them cheaper and lighter, to the point where they will no longer be a range anxiety issue.

    I think we are still years away from the BEV taking over the ICE and hybrids, but it will happen, in my opinion, in the not so distant future.


  133. 133
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:09 pm)

    #130 DonC said:

    #113 statik says “There is a HUGE admission in there, which should be the main subject of this thread…if not the next one:”

    Welcome to the real world bro! I’ve been trying to tell you this for quite a long time. It’s why the Model S is never going to get built at the claimed price — a standard car just takes too much battery (energy) to go 50 miles.

    It’s why the only possible exception to the general rule that BEVs are not cost effective may be the Aptera. It weighs 1700 pounds and has a Cd of .15. When you start comparing it to the Volt or I-Miev at 3000 pounds and a Cd of over .2, or worse, the Model S at 4000 pounds and a Cd above .25, you start seeing why Toyota and Honda have been reluctant to bring out a BEV.

    ==============================

    Tell me this? Maybe you are getting me confused with someone else, lol. I have never said the Volt is going to pull 40 mile AER under anything but the most optimistic of conditions…hence the ‘up to 40 miles’ on all the commercials. I have been of the position that it is probably going to be more like 28 to 30 under stressed conditions…and mid 30s for your ‘average driver’

    /this is just the first time I have seen the admission from the horses mouth…so I thought it worthy of at least a mention (if not its own thread)


  134. 134
    Arch

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:11 pm)

    IMHO GM had better be careful. There are people who say the Williston Basin may well contain 6 to 10 times as much oil as all of the Middle East. Do a little research. Some of the wells have come in at 300 to 400 barrels a day.

    Take Care
    Arch


  135. 135
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:16 pm)

    JEC Says:

    Well, this is not quite correct.

    He’s missing one thing. When the battery has been depleted, you are now carrying a 400lb piece of crap while the same time trying to maintain the charge of the battery that is only utilized 55%. This means there’s approx 200lbs of dead weight you will be slugging around and for what? Just in case? You’ll never be able to use the rest of the REAL SOC. That is engineered poor efficiency of the product. I can understand using 85% of the REAL SOC but they just basically said, nope, you don’t get it.


  136. 136
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:21 pm)

    134 WarrenPeace

    Good point. I forgot about that little caveat.

    Also, I am not anti-EREV, just want to be sure we all understand whole story. Kind of like Mulligan stew.


  137. 137
    JEC

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:23 pm)

    Statik,

    Why do you end your posts with the /?

    Does this imply something, that I am missing. Just one of the things, that I probably should know.


  138. 138
    Arch

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:23 pm)

  139. 139
    Arch

     

    Arch
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:30 pm)

  140. 140
    DNC local 289

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:39 pm)

    :)


  141. 141
    Hercule

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:43 pm)

    Does anyone know if the tax credit is affected by the alternative minimum tax (AMT)?


  142. 142
    The Grump

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:44 pm)

    + Sorry I’m so late to post, I’ve been busy. But Rick’s just begging for this one. +
    —————————————————
    This is why Rick Wagoner, and everyone else foaming at the mouth to raise gas prices, should die. But especially Rick Wagoner. His death must be as slow as the dark arts can make it, and all of it should be televised.

    Why am I so angry? Because it cost me $500.00 a month for gas last year, and I am still repaying the credit card I charged it to. Exactly how the hell are poor people supposed to get to work? Are the Eco-Nazi’s here (Dave G, Noel Park, and K-Dawg I knew about, but Statik too? Et tu, Brute) so greenwashed that they would make the lives of millions of poor people even worse? Do they want the poor to live in shanty-towns like in Africa? It doesn’t matter – permanent 4.00 a gallon gas would do just that.

    Just look at the damage the oil speculators caused last year – a burst housing bubble, banks in bankruptcy, and a world economy so close to disaster, even China is worried. Permanent 4.00 a gallon gas would be a million times worse – we’re talking worldwide depression here, folks.

    If we had a way to charge gas prices according to income, maybe that would work. But pricing gas taxes at a flat rate makes about as much sense as a flat, fixed price tax on everyone, regardless of income. (Imagine if Bill Gates paid the same flat federal tax as a McDonalds worker.) Please don’t be in such a rush to throw the poor under the bus, just because that azzhole Rick Wagoner is making veiled threats not to produce the Volt if gas isn’t taxed.

    All Rick needs is a healthy dose of lead between the eyes. His replacement, I believe, would not be as stupid as he was. The only person with less intelligence is Pee-Wee Herman, who I believe was jailed for popcorn-fondling in a theatre

    In short, Mr Wagoner, you are NOT good with words. Use spokespeople, and for God’s sake, just shut up and make the Volt.

    And NEVER, EVER threaten me with 4.00 a gallon gas again.


  143. 143
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:49 pm)

    141 Grump
    I think Pee-Wee had his shoe mirrors on, and was looking up little girls dresses. Now serving “hard” time.


  144. 144
    The Grump

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:56 pm)

    142# – LOL’ing. Rick’s such a nice guy.

    “Do as I say, or the Volt gets it.”


  145. 145
    statik

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    #136 JEC said:

    Statik,

    Why do you end your posts with the /?

    Does this imply something, that I am missing. Just one of the things, that I probably should know.
    ===============================
    Not really sure why i still do it.

    It is a holdover from playing MMORPGs in the past (which yes I was too old for really…had to stop playing a few years ago when my son was born–ate up too much of my time)

    It is just a short form that generally expresses a emotion, action or is a aside.

    /wave


  146. 146
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (9:04 pm)

    #144 Statik,

    Thanks! Just one of those things, and I felt I had to know. You complimented someone else on the use of it recently, and it stuck in my head.

    Back to more serious things like the Volt, taxes, and Pee-Wee Herman….

    /waving back lol.


  147. 147
    ziggy

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (9:13 pm)

    ziggy is now changing his name to “zipdrive.”

    thank you.


  148. 148
    BestTimesNow

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (10:03 pm)

    My post from June 2008 when gas was $4.00:

    Although I hate taxes, I think the government will give subsidies to lower the cost of electric cars in the form of tax credits or rebates. Like it or not, taxes are used for social engineering. If you want to discourage buying gas, tax it and use that money to provide funding for the electric car rebates. Do we want energy independence or not?

    During the oil crisis and embargo in the 70’s gas was rationed by odd and even days, everyone was aware of our dependence of foreign oil. There was a scramble to find new oil fields, and big money was spent on starting oil shale projects. OPEC was concerned about loosing control of the oil market and increased production. Within a year or two, things were back to normal and most of the projects that were in development were canceled. We went back to our gas guzzling ways.

    2008
    If OPEC opens up production and drives the cost of gas down below $2.00, nobody will want an electric car and we will repeat the same mistake we made 35 years ago, by doing nothing. Since $4 appears to be the price that got everybody’s attention, I would say have a variable tax on gas, so the price at the pump is not less that $4 and use the tax money collected to lower the cost of the electric cars. Although this favors the new car buyer, the used car buyer will benefit, when many new electric cars are sold. The successful launch of the electric car will create a good used market of electric vehicles in 5 years.

    This type tax is much easier to administer and should get positive results. I think the electric hybrid will revolutionize the way we live and will create a much cleaner planet.

    The bureaucracy that will be created with a cap and trade carbon tax will have little or no benefits.


  149. 149
    DonC

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (10:06 pm)

    #131 JEC says “You cannot ignore the fact that an EREV still requires you to lug around an ICE”

    Actually this cuts equally the other way. With a BEV you have to lug around a much heavier battery which you won’t use 80% of the time. Same issue just slightly different, though you might notice that the battery pack for the Model S gives it a curb weight of 4000 pounds. And you’re worried about an ICE?

    But weight is hardly the point. It’s a complete canard. The cost of the battery is what matters.

    #134 WarrenPeace says “When the battery has been depleted, you are now carrying a 400lb piece of crap”

    Er, how is this any different than a BEV? Let’s say you have a battery pack that weighs 1000 pounds. It’s 80% depleted. That means you’re carrying around, in your words, 800 pounds of crap. Or say you only use 10% of the pack in a day. That means you’ve carried around 900 pounds of whatever. Really, the argument makes no sense. (FWIW your argument suggests always keeping your fuel tank empty, no reason to carry around all that extra weight).

    As far as using only 50% of the pack, it’s a great technique not a bad one. Doubling the pack halves the charge and discharge rates, which in turn quadruples the life of the pack. For a small pack that only gives 40 miles it’s a most reasonable solution.

    #141 The Grump — You probably don’t need to get so excited. The idea for the gas tax is usually paired with a cut in the payroll tax so the impact is revenue neutral. You pay more for the gas but your larger take home pay cancels it out. (Otherwise the tax is far too regressive). But like I’ve said, even Cap & Trade is not happening this budget cycle, and if recent trends keep up the free market may dish out your $500/month bill before even Cap & Trade comes up for serious consideration.


  150. 150
    LB

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (10:29 pm)

    Of course the price of oil/gas will figure into the price of the car. It will take a lot of gallons of the stuff to transport piles of parts from subcontractors to the factory to build the cars.

    Lease is a bad idea. What if GM decided not to continue building batteries for this car after a few years.

    Consider this – the lease runs out, GM takes thier batteries back, there are no new ones in production for some goofy unknown reason and you’re stuck with a car that has no battery/power/drivetrain… sounds too much like the EV1 to me – send them to the junk yards.


  151. 151
    Dave G

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (10:49 pm)

    #148 DonC Says: Actually this cuts equally the other way. With a BEV you have to lug around a much heavier battery which you won’t use 80% of the time. Same issue just slightly different, though you might notice that the battery pack for the Model S gives it a curb weight of 4000 pounds. And you’re worried about an ICE?
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes. Not only does an ICE weigh less than a larger battery, it also costs less – a lot less.


  152. 152
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (10:56 pm)

    #140 Hercule Says: Does anyone know if the tax credit is affected by the alternative minimum tax (AMT)?
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, the credit is affected by AMT, so higher earners may not get the full credit.

    Also, retired people with nice savings but low income will not get the credit.

    And for those that do get the tax credit, it will make financing more difficult.

    They should just make it a federate instant rebate when you buy the car.


  153. 153
    The Grump

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:06 pm)

    148 DonC says “You probably don’t need to get so excited. The idea for the gas tax is usually paired with a cut in the payroll tax so the impact is revenue neutral. You pay more for the gas but your larger take home pay cancels it out. (Otherwise the tax is far too regressive).”
    —————————————————————–
    Yeah, I’ve seen how that works. The gas tax gets passed, then the payroll tax cut dies in committee (never brought to the floor for a vote), or is tabled (put on the side, and then forgotten) in Congress because it is too expensive.

    NO. No new gas taxes. It stops here. We’ve seen how well the Omaba administration handled AIG (Oops, but hey, it’s just 165 million dollars). I don’t need my government making me even poorer and more miserable. What part of “it cost me $500.00 a month for gas last year, and I am still repaying the credit card I charged it to” do the gas taxers not understand?

    Look what $4.00 a gallon gas did to the world economy in 2008 – the economy went to hell, almost a worldwide depression. And now, Dave G and his gas taxing friends want to make it worse – much worse. In the name of what? The Volt? Being Green?

    Rick Wagoner is the bad guy here, forcing you to say such things, under threat of not producing the Volt. He is the biggest threat to GM there is, and he needs to be “retired” immediately, no matter what it takes. Rick has completely lost it, threatening production of the ONLY vehicle GM has which keeps it out of bankruptcy court. He may have cracked under the stress of running GM into the maw of bankruptcy, and barely escaping. Rick Wagoner must go, or GM will die.

    PS: If you gas taxers want to pay extra for gas, be my guest. But if you try it with me, you’ll get the same reception as someone trying to steal out of my wallet. It’s pretty much the same thing in my book.


  154. 154
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:10 pm)

    #134 WarrenPeace Says: When the battery has been depleted, you are now carrying a 400lb piece of crap while the same time trying to maintain the charge of the battery that is only utilized 55%.
    ————————————————————————————–
    This is not quite right. When the gas engine turns on, the battery is still used to supply peak horsepower. That’s how you get 150 horsepower out of a 75 horsepower gas engine. The gas engine only supplies average horsepower. The following diagrams try to show this:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzenu6hr/ebay_pictures/Volt_Electrical_Block_Diagram.jpg

    Also, there are good reasons why only 1/2 of the battery is used initially:

    1) At end of life, the total capacity degrades to 70%. As the battery ages, the control code uses an increasingly higher percentage of the battery to maintain the 40 mile range. If the control code used a higher percentage initially, the initial range would be higher, the battery would age faster.

    2) When the ICE comes on, the battery still supplies peak horsepower, so you need some charge in th battery to sustain that peak power for long uphill grades.

    3) If the battery charged to 100% and discharged to near zero, the battery would wear out very fast, so you need some margins for this.

    Bottom line: If you want the battery to last 10 years and you want the battery to supply peak power when the ICE is running, then you can only use 1/2 of the battery’s capacity initially.


  155. 155
    Dan Petit

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:16 pm)

    Gas taxation isn’t financially-sustainable for anyone.
    Battery leasing just makes one more “banker” in your lives, one more bill to pay, one more possible set of hassles, one more possible set of battery “scams” it seems to me after reading concerns of some excellent posts above.
    #141 is right that the $4.19 a gallon of gas has hurt the poorest of the poor the very most, because when it was time to get them to prevent highly-expensive consequential damages to their vehicles (by fixing relatively less-expensive servicing needs) , they did not have any money to do it. So $4.19 gas cost them even more, to the point where their vehicles were not economically-repairable at all.
    Of course, the speculators usually did their “thing” just before presidential election times, but maybe next time, they might be countered by a large release of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and teach them a true lesson in “losses”.
    The Volt is just the only way that so many of our transportation problems are going to be solved. (Future BEV’s too).
    Hybrids just are not good enough, nor is anything else at all. Non-GM OEM’s really need to get going on closely-comparable technologies to Voltec.
    Headline “brand x to have Voltec comparable technologies”, and I’ll read it carefully. But please, no more silly
    “Ford-marketer-fabricates-Volt-bs”
    types of interviews from other OEM’s. It’ll get shot down just like the last time. Have respectable technicians explain your developments, and they will receive due respect in return.
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


  156. 156
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:30 pm)

    #152 The Grump,

    I’m not advocating $4/gas minimum. I would set the minimum somewhere between $2.50 and $3 a gallon. That’s what gas was costing before the speculators started driving up prices. That’s also the point at which alternate fuels become competitive.

    Most experts are expecting gas prices to rise to those levels anyway, so there would be little, if any, tax collected.

    In fact, my real concern is not raising gas prices through taxes, but rather preventing gas prices from falling once they’ve risen naturally. In particular, it was OPEC flooding the market with oil that killed the electric car 10 years ago. Remember 90 cents a gallon? They can do that again with the Volt. We should have some floor price to prevent them from doing that again.

    If investors know that OPEC can’t pull the rug out from under them, there will be a lot more money flowing into alternative transportation.


  157. 157
    stopcrazypp

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:43 pm)

    I can kind of see the business case for this. If the price of gas was higher then they can charge a higher price and get better margins (or at least recoup the money they spent on development earlier). However it’s not that good an idea to say it out loud since customers will assume you are trying to squeeze the most money out of them as possible.

    On the point of whether BEVs will be cost effective. Right now obviously compared to EREVs they are not. However you have to realize the second part of the EREV pretty much can’t get too much cheaper. You can go with a turbo 3 cylinder, but that’s about as cheap as you can go for a generator without being underpowered. On the other hand, we all know the battery packs are far from cost optimized. As mentioned in some articles, the second gen pack for the Volt is likely to be much cheaper. The same would go for battery packs for BEVs. BEVs might not meet cost parity with EREVs for 300 miles of range until quite a bit farther in the future, but it’s not a stretch to say it might reach cost parity in the near future for 100 miles of range. I think we’ll know fairly soon in 2011 (when Ford plans to release their Focus EV).


  158. 158
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:45 pm)

    By the way, last summer, when gas was over $4 a gallon, I was advocating setting a minimum price between $2.50 and $3 a gallon. At that time, most people here said gas would never get that low again, so why bother.

    Now that gas prices are under $2 a gallon, I’m still advocating setting a minimum price between $2.50 and $3 a gallon, but now I’m a Nazi.


  159. 159
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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:55 pm)

    #156 stopcrazypp Says: BEVs might not meet cost parity with EREVs for 300 miles of range until quite a bit farther in the future, but it’s not a stretch to say it might reach cost parity in the near future for 100 miles of range.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right.

    I would guess that by 2014, a BEV-100 and an EREV-40 would cost about the same to build.

    Today, I would say a BEV-100 would cost around $3000 more to build than an EREV-40.

    Note that this assumes the same size car, so don’t compare a tiny iMiev to a Volt.


  160. 160
    The Grump

     

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (11:58 pm)

    155 Dave G “In fact, my real concern is not raising gas prices through taxes, but rather preventing gas prices from falling once they’ve risen naturally.”
    ————————————————————————-
    So the net result is still 4.00 a gallon gas, no matter if you use taxes to jack up the price, or keep the price from coming down, the difference being purely academic. Nice use of double-talk, but a thief is a thief, no matter how he gets into your wallet.

    The falling gas prices in latter 2008 is the ONLY thing that saved us from a far worse economic depression. Here’s the simple version of what happened in 2008
    :
    1) If you take more of my money, I have less.
    2) Having less money, I spend less.
    3) The businesses where I used to spend the money you took? It now has to close – they cannot sell to me because you took the money I would have spent there.
    4) If I am poor, I have already cut back to the bare necessities. The money you took would have gone to pay my morgage, but you took it. I fall behind on my payments, and receive a forclosure notice.

    Now multiply this times millions of people (and there are far more poor ones than rich ones), and you have, basically, what has already happened to our economy. We were saved by falling gas prices this time. Dave G says “Falling gas prices? Never again”, and I say “Get your hand out of my wallet, you (expletive deleted)”. I never liked thieves.

    2008 showed us what a short exposure to $4.00 a gallon gas can do to our economy. Dave G and the gas taxers want to lead us there – permanently. I wouldn’t let them, if I was you. Make it quite clear to your Congressperson that any gas tax increase is political suicide.

    PS 157 Dave G – About you being a Nazi? Some might call you an Eco-nazi, but to me, you’re just a wannabe thief, who wants to steal my money. If I steal from your wallet, but donate the money to Goodwill, I would still be a thief, no matter how good my intent was.


  161. 161
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    Mar 28th, 2009 (12:09 am)

    Also note that by the time a BEV-300 becomes cost competitive (probably around 2025), an EREV-100 will be equally cost competitive. Given that batteries need to be warmed up on cold days before use, an EREV-100 would probably make a lot more sense.


  162. 162
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    Mar 28th, 2009 (12:15 am)

    #159 The Grump Says: 2008 showed us what a short exposure to $4.00 a gallon gas can do to our economy. Dave G and the gas taxers want to lead us there – permanently.
    ————————————————————————————–
    At $4 a gallon, there would be no tax. At $3 a gallon there would be no tax. Are you reading my posts?


  163. 163
    koz

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (12:49 am)

    Perhaps the Tesla Model S is a little further along than some think.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvzOdYVw6Pw


  164. 164
    Gary

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (1:28 am)

    The argument for $4 per gallon gas isn’t just to punish the average driver.

    Think about it: how can the government with its CAFE standards expect all car manufacturers to increase sales of fuel-efficient cars if few people want to buy them cars when gas is cheap? Since gas prices have fallen in the past 6 months or so, small car sales have slipped, and larger vehicles are growing in popularity again.

    Having a set floor price on gas makes it easier for car manufacturers to plan their vehicle line up, rather than trying to hit a moving target.


  165. 165
    Open-Mind

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (1:43 am)

    I prefer to look at the bright side … after President Obama institutes his carbon tax, the price of gasoline will matter less.
    ————–
    “Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Businesses would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that cost onto consumers.”

    Senator Barack Obama
    Speaking on his energy policies
    San Francisco Chronicle
    January 17, 2008
    ————–


  166. 166
    jeffhre

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (3:01 am)

    Starman 121 “Why can’t they get it? This is basic business 101. Fail.”

    There are a lot of characters operating in the real world of business. There are embezzlers, cheats, looters, goldbricks and slackers. There are regulators with silver lined pockets, lawmakers who don’t care about the American public and executives that enrich themselves at the shareholders expense. They have to survive in this muck, while they are essentially bankrupt, as liars and posers do everything they can to knock down their support.

    WarrenPeace 125 / Starman
    “Why would anybody want to even support a company with such assnine business practices? ”

    You should see how entire sectors collude with companies with the support of the Government in Japan, totally against the benefit of Japanese consumers in comparison. Business as usual by American companies on a global scale will lead to bankruptcy in today’s business environment going forward (Take a look at all of the industries that the US started and are now dominated by foreign firms-can’t say it’s because of lower wages since Japan and Europe have some of the worlds highest wages) .

    Business 101 says take your better mousetrap and exercise management controls and you’ll win. In this environment, the real world, you have to finance whatever mousetrap you have on hand and bring in high enough returns to sustain your business.

    To get what the vehicle is worth to the people buying cars when gas prices are high, and to compete on even terms against foreign companies that get massive government support, is not an attempt to annoy your personal sensibilities, but to recognize the business environment as it is, and to cut the best deal for GM operations. So far they have announced nothing more, but that doesn’t mean they have announced all that they are trying to get from the Gov’t., whether that will be good bad or ugly, we can only hope the process is transparent enough to find out.


  167. 167
    jeffhre

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (3:14 am)

    Dave G “Now that gas prices are under $2 a gallon, I’m still advocating setting a minimum price between $2.50 and $3 a gallon, but now I’m a Nazi.”

    I’m sorry to hear that, I don’t really like gas tax Nazis! The Europeans have very high gas taxes, did the poor folks there end up extinct or something, how do they handle high gas taxes?


  168. 168
    Randy

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (7:33 am)

    IF wagoner gets his wish 75% of GM trucks and SUVs will never leave the lot. ALL their money makers will not sell ,only their break even Volt.


  169. 169
    The Grump

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (7:37 am)

    161 Dave G – Yes I read your posts – all of them. And your half-truth “At $4 a gallon, there would be no tax. At $3 a gallon there would be no tax” doesn’t fly.
    ———————————————————————————-
    If your proposal had been law in 2008, gas prices would never have come down in the latter half of 2008. Our economy (and the poor in particular) would still be burdened with the crushing weight of sky high gas prices, Gas would have been under $2.00 a gallon, but your so-called “no tax” would have kept prices artifically high through 2008, right up to today. Sounds like a tax to me.

    Stop twisting the truth. You want higher gas taxes. Why are you afraid to say so? Come out, and say it loudly, proudly, for all the world to hear, Dave G. Yell it to the rooftops “I’M DAVE G, I WANT TO RAISE GAS TAXES, AND I’M PROUD OF THAT”.

    You don’t need to hide your viewpoints behind half-truths. You won. Obama is president. You own the Congress. Me? I’m just trying to protect what little I have left in my wallet after 2008. That’s why I want a Volt. Not to be green, not because it’s cutting edge tech – I want a Volt because I’ve had enough of Arabs getting in my wallet. Now, it seems, everyone wants in my wallet. Et tu, Brute?


  170. 170
    MarkyMark

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (7:57 am)

    I am going to buy a nice used Hummer for 15k then take it to Riser and let them “electrifie” it for me.I will use my otherwise VOLTEC money to pay for this and it will be all good.I end up driving something very cool that gets 100mpg.Scene 2-I take my Caprice wagon and do the same thing and save 15k and still drive good tech stuff.This is so easy,why does GM make it seem like rocket science.It would serve Rick right if he is reincarnated a TaTa factory worker bee.


  171. 171
    RamZ

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (8:02 am)

    NLBP – NO LEASED BATTERY PACK!

    I agree. I want to own my battery pack. I want to be able to use it when it’s too old and tired for my Volt, for solar PV system.

    This would be a deal breaker.


  172. 172
    DonC

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (8:18 am)

    #140 Hercule
    #151 Dave G

    The tax credit is a personal tax which CAN be applied against the AMT, which essentially means you get the credit even if you are subject to the AMT. The older program, for example the one people used when buying the Prius, didn’t allow the credit to be applied against the AMT. The original $7500 credit passed last year had the same basic form but this was changed in the recent American Recovery Act.


  173. 173
    DonC

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (8:30 am)

    #159 The Grump says “Some might call you an Eco-nazi, but to me, you’re just a wannabe thief, who wants to steal my money.”

    That’s a skewed way to look at it. The more realistic view is that you’re a free loader who wants everyone to pay for your bad habits. Your use of gas imposes huge costs on everyone else, both on the health and national security fronts. You want to use cheap gas and then have us taxpayers shell out for the resulting health costs and pay to defend your precious oil supplies. Heck, you’ve had us spend $2T in Iraq in the last few years alone, not to mention all the lives of the young men and women you’ve sacrificed so you’ve been able to fill your tank more cheaply.

    Realistically if there is a thief here it’s you and not Dave G. If you want to use gas then pay for it. Don’t expect subsidies from hardworking taxpayers or for young men and women to give their lives so you can indulge your addiction to cheap gasoline.


  174. 174
    Van

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (8:44 am)

    Off Topic

    A Observation

    Ask yourself how does government “conserve” water and electricity?
    The price varies with consumption, the more you use, the higher you pay on a per unit basis. The first allotment costs a “baseline” amount on a per unit basis, then if over a 30 day or so period, you consume more, you pay a higher price for the “overage” or what you consume above the baseline allotment.

    So the question becomes, why do we not use this same system for conserving vehicle fuel. Lets say every licensed driver had to swipe their drivers license to obtain pump authorization. The price would be market price, be it $2.00 or $4.00 or whatever, for the first 60 gallons purchased during the previous 30 days. If more that 60 gallons had been purchased, then a 25% surcharge up and above the market price would be added to the price of each additional gallon, a “gas guzzler” tax if you will. Thus the tax would encourage avoidance through driving less, sharing rides, and using more fuel efficient vehicles like the Volt and Plug-in Prius.

    Bottom line, the observation is that the solution to the problem is obvious, but is never discussed.


  175. 175
    DonC

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (8:46 am)

    #172 Cautious Fan

    Nice to hear from you. The plan to split up the bad assets from the good is reasonable but that’s what normally happens in a bankruptcy.

    The best line was about how bankruptcy is like war in that you think you understand it until you go through it. If you can restructure outside bankruptcy that’s the way to go. Some people think that bankruptcy would give GM more clout with the UAW but that’s not really true. The process for voiding a union contract is quite involved and lengthy, so GM would probably get the same or more concessions outside bankruptcy. The bondholders are easier to wipe up but that can take some time as well. The biggest advantage would be with the dealers since bankruptcy law supersedes state laws that protect them.

    At heart a bankruptcy simply imposes another level of government involvement and oversight. And as a legal process, it’s quite slow and cumbersome, unsuited for making quick business decisions. As a result DIP financing would probably cost taxpayers 3X what loans outside bankruptcy would cost. To alleviate this another possibility would be to get special enabling legislation that created a sui generis bankruptcy but that would involve Congress, which invariably creates a political circus.


  176. 176
    Tom Harwick

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (8:47 am)

    #96
    Crazytoy Says:
    March 27th, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I think what Rick meant was No matter what the profit/loss on the Volt for GM, they know most average purchasers are going to do some math in their heads as to how much it will cost to drive a mile, as opposed to how much a mile in a gas only…
    ————————————————————————–

    I doubt that as a long time CEO of a company that sells consumer products, Rick Wagoner believes that “average purchasers are going to do some math in their heads”. While many posters on this board are highly quantitatively oriented, the average American doesn’t do math. Not on paper, not in their heads. The vast majority could not do the suggested calculations using any method.

    They will choose a car based on how it makes them feel.


  177. 177
    DonC

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (8:58 am)

    #173 Van

    I don’t see how a tiered pricing structure encourages conservation any more than flat pricing. In fact it would be less effective. It would also involve a lot of bureaucracy to administer, create a black market, and raise a lot of political bickering about tiers and fairness (should the baseline tier for residents of Montana who need to drive 50 miles to get to the grocery store be set higher than the baseline tier for residents of NY City, etc.).

    I’ve always thought that tiered pricing plans were the result of too many state regulatory commissions employing too many workers who had too much time on their hands.


  178. 178
    DonC

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (9:06 am)

    #175 Tom Harwick says “I doubt … Rick Wagoner believes that “average purchasers are going to do some math in their heads”.”

    He know empirically what they will do: They won’t buy into the gas savings idea unless they see a six month payback, or unless gas prices change suddenly and dramatically, at which point they’ll demand high mileage vehicles without particular regard to the payback.

    Rewind and repeat as gas prices move up and down.


  179. 179
    Tom Harwick

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (9:06 am)

    Heck, you’ve had us spend $2T in Iraq in the last few years alone, not to mention all the lives of the young men and women you’ve sacrificed so you’ve been able to fill your tank more cheaply.
    —————————————————————————
    Constantly repeating the statement that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan does not make it true.

    Afghanistan has no oil. The war there has been to destroy the Taliban, who supported the 9/11 murders. Have your forgotten that, or do you think what happened was OK?

    Iraq was about weapons of mass destruction. Bush offered Sadam a halt to our planned invasion if he would open his bunkers and palaces, and prove he had no WMD. Sadam refused to allow inspections , bush invaded.

    Country Oil WMDs US policy
    Saudia Arabia Y N peace
    Kuwait Y N peace
    UAE Y N peace
    Venezuela Y N peace
    Iraq Y refused WAR
    inspections


  180. 180
    old man

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (9:21 am)

    Gas, tax to maintain $4.00 a gallon.

    If we can protect the working poor from this tax. The working poor are who will be still driving the old gas hogs when we start getting our E-REV or BEV cars. They may want a Volt but can’t even afford to dream about one.

    How do we keep Opec from using this good intent program as a base for their product. If I were in charge I have to admit I would sure try to.

    I still like the idea of taxing only imported oil and using that money to help the poor afford gas and heat for their homes. If any moneys are left over then it should be used to fund renewable energy projects.


  181. 181
    James E

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (9:40 am)

    High $30′s is out of the competitive price range.

    The Volt twin – BYD’s F3DM electric car will go on sale in late 2010 priced in the $20′s.

    NPNS


  182. 182
    Tom

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (9:41 am)

    Talking about the $7,500 tax credit, I recently heard on the news that a $6,000 tax credit for trading in a car that was more than 10 years old for a fuel efficient model was in the works in Congress. Any word on that? Would the two tax credits be additive? I ask only because I’m driving a classic 1984 Camaro Berlinetta, but $6,000 toward my new Volt would change my feelings about my beloved gas guzzler.
    –Tom


  183. 183
    statik

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    #141 The Grump says:

    Why am I so angry? Because it cost me $500.00 a month for gas last year, and I am still repaying the credit card I charged it to. Exactly how the hell are poor people supposed to get to work? Are the Eco-Nazi’s here (Dave G, Noel Park, and K-Dawg I knew about, but Statik too? Et tu, Brute) so greenwashed that they would make the lives of millions of poor people even worse? Do they want the poor to live in shanty-towns like in Africa? It doesn’t matter – permanent 4.00 a gallon gas would do just that.

    Just look at the damage the oil speculators caused last year – a burst housing bubble, banks in bankruptcy, and a world economy so close to disaster, even China is worried. Permanent 4.00 a gallon gas would be a million times worse – we’re talking worldwide depression here, folks.

    If we had a way to charge gas prices according to income, maybe that would work. But pricing gas taxes at a flat rate makes about as much sense as a flat, fixed price tax on everyone, regardless of income
    ===================================

    Dang, I’m racking up the titles this week…eco-nazi is a new one. I realize this one obviously hits close to home… so I will tread lightly.

    I am a ‘eco’ type guy, but I really don’t shove it down peoples throats, I figure the best way to lead is my example. You’ll notice in my post about raising the tax on gas…that my main concern is the US infrastructe/road fund…with the side benefit being environmental.

    The fact is that it is currently a flat tax, and does not keep up with inflation or the growing populus or amount of infrastructure being laid out.

    The Federal Highway Trust Fund was underfunded in the 80s (Reagan was eventually forced to double it in the early 80s to keep pace), and then things really started to go bad in the 90s, things started to get ignored, scheduled maintenances were pushed out.

    Now in 2009, it is ridiculous, because of not scaling the tax in the name of ‘tax cuts’ or ‘stimulus’….America is in for a painfull jump. The HTF tax was 18.4 cents in 1993…do you know what it is today? 18.4 cents. That is crazy, I would wager America has never laid out more road than in the last 10 years, never seen such expansion.

    It is so bad, that the fund completely ran out of money in september and needed $8 billion from the gov’t….and it is going to be broke again in 6 months. On top of that, they are not even close to maintaining the status quo….according to TRIP you got a third of the roads in “poor or mediocre condition” and 26% of the bridges are “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.” Maybe it will take more bridges falling to convince people to pony up…but it is going to happen, they aren’t going to fix themselves…and those roads are just going to keep getting worse.

    I’m sorry if you are paying $500 month in gas and can’t afford it, but you are the one using and beating up this road while also hideously underpaying to maintain it…that is your burden to bare. I don’t know what you do, or what you need $500/month in gas for…but that was your choice, your career, you are the one driving all over the place.

    Guys like me didn’t cause this problem, I chose to be mindful of gas, chose to live close to work and not drive…guys who use $500 worth of gas a month and then demand to not pay the fair market price to drive are the problem. You want your price subsidized by the gov’t, your neighbour, anyone with money, as long as its not you.

    I believe in rights for the poor, a base standard of living for any able bodied and willing to work citizen, but blowing $500 just on gas and waving the poor flag doesn’t hold water to me. Poor is having to move to close to any crappy job, making $10/hour, riding the bus, paying $700 rent and trying to also live your life and be content at the same time.

    The only way to stop the trend is to make the abusers pay, if you can’t afford it, then you have to reset your life (which sucks, but it has to be done)…if you can pay it, then your pulling your fair share.

    Your only delaying the inevitable anyway. The tax portion is so representationally low that you feel the pinch of the oil moves more fully with each year. Now with demand surging, and oil production levelling off the price is going up. Only the recession right now is giving you a ‘break’…but hurts you elsewhere.

    My suggestion would be to desperately try to get off (or reduce) your oil budget any way you can…I don’t know if that is possible (or how you would do it), but saying you can’t is not going to change reality.

    /ok, so I got a little animated (you did call me a Nazi, lol)…but I wish you well just the same


  184. 184
    Evil Conservative

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (10:17 am)

    Anderson (#48)

    Don’t know if you will see this but I thought I would give you my point of view and definition of conservative. I look for a conservative government. One that does not dictate what I do day in and day out. This country was founded on the principals “by the people, for the people” and “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” just to name a couple. Big government does not do anything but hurt our economy, drive inflation, cost jobs and kill the American way. I find it hard to believe that the government can spend my money better then I can spend it myself. If the Government ends up “buying” GM and then forces a $4 gas tax so we all HAVE to buy an electric car where is the competition to keep prices low? Right now I would bet only about 10 – 20% of Americans could afford a $45,000 car …. I could but forget about doing anything but working and sleeping to pay for it (not in my budget). What will the rest do? A $4 gas tax would KILL this country. No tourism, inflation would be in the teens (cost to have goods shipped) and that is not to mention what it would do to all the related jobs that would be lost. OPEC would raise prices the next day to $4 a gallon and that minimum tax would be gone in a week. Then the Govt would say hey we are not making any tax so lets just place a $3 a gallon flat tax on fuel. That original $4 tax would turn into $6 – $7 dollar a gallon at the pump.

    Conservative ….yes, but not an environmentalist. Not bashing tree huggers here just my opinion. I love solar, hydro and wind energy but nuclear is the only way to go to get off coal and oil. If fact I would love to have a solar and wind generators at my house if they did not cost $40k each to install. Not to save the environment but to save money. If saving the environment is a bonus then fine. I don’t believe we as a human race can effect global warming anyway. (Al Gore is a nut but at least he invented the internet so at least he has that going for him. :-) )

    In a perfect world we would all not be driving a VOLT (or any car with a gas generator) it would be a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. THAT is the only way to call yourself a true environmentalist and really mean it. (not that you called yourself one.)

    PS-My brother heats his home with a wood stove. He has spent $150 in heating costs in the past 3 years TOTAL. Not bad for cold OHIO. He burns dead or fallen trees and has a bumper sticker on his truck, “Some people hug trees, I cut them down and burn them.” My thoughts exactly.


  185. 185
    old man

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (10:21 am)

    static

    tax and the working poor

    Right now that would be a 100% tax in addition to the existing tax!

    A base price floor tax will not work due to basic greed. If you owned a filling station would you not raise you price as much as possible to increase your profit before sending any money to the Government? If you controled Opec would you not try to raise your prices to keep the money in your pocket?

    My suggestion regarding road and bridge upkeep would be two fold. First all taxes collected would be in a locked box. [no other use]
    Second raise the tax rate gradually and then tie it to inflation.

    We need to help our working poor keep working rather than to tax them out of business and then complain about having to support them.


  186. 186
    JEC

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (10:29 am)

    BTW

    I consider myself to be an “eco-guy” also. I go to great extents to conserve energy, use water collection, recycle, and heavily believe in the “Use it, till its dead theory” for all major appliances and purchases.

    But, I am still not keen on heavy gas taxes. I am also aware that gas taxes are required to pay for our ever expanding and deteriorating road system in the USA.

    If we want to tax to conserve energy and reduce our impact on the earth, I would rather we tax the gas guzzlers into extinction. People who chose to purchase the big SUV’s, should be the first in line. SUV’s not only guzzle gas, but the amount of natural resources required to build these are extensive. But, as always, every tax will cause hardship for some, but I believe you would have less of an impact, as a whole, with this type of tax.

    Some people are not able to move close to work for many reasons. So expecting that someone is going to uproot thier family, and then buy a new home, so they can be close to work is not always feasible. For example, my employee recently moved many people from one office to another. I previously drove about 20 miles each way to work, now I drive almost 40 each way. Should I uproot my family, move 30 miles, and then “hope” that the company decides not to move me again, or worse yet I get laid off.

    Moving closer to work is not always a good choice.


  187. 187
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (10:40 am)

    Right now I would bet only about 10 – 20% of Americans could afford a $45,000 car
    ___________________________________

    Bingo!

    Excessive risk taking contributed heavily to this financial disaster. The economy is collapsing now. How much people can afford really hurts the high-priced vehicle market.

    Argue all you want about whether or not Volt is worth it. The sticker-price once the short-term tax credit expires will be a very big deal.

    GM is attempting to remain transparent by stating intent to price the vehicle well in advance. The lack of transparency from the Volt enthusiasts is becoming a problem though. They continue to be vague and very little easy-to-find detail is available for newbies as a result.


  188. 188
    Evil Conservative

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (10:45 am)

    #181 Static

    I don’t know you from Adam but I think it is unfair to assume $500 for Gas in a month is high. What do you think truckers pay a month? Or should I say you pay a month with cost of goods and inflation? With the job situation a lot of people have to drive an hour or more to work. Not because they want to but because they have to. I live near Columbus Ohio and know many people that have to drive that far to work because the cost to live close to work is to high. (bad schools, expensive homes just to name a few). I guess walk a mile in “the grump’s” shoes.

    Have you noticed your food bill at the grocery store go up in the last 18 months? Mine as almost doubled and we have cut back and only buy stuff we need. For some strange reason when gas prices fell Cost Of Goods did not. We all better get ready for another jump in prices when fuel goes up again in a couple months so will everything else….. again.


  189. 189
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (10:48 am)

    So let me see if I can get a grip on this silliness….

    As far as advertising for the Volt goes, well that’s been trivial.
    The sticker price for the Volt will be based on the price of gasoline?

    As the price of gas rises and falls on a daily basis, would we expect the sticker price for the Volt to fluctuate equally?


  190. 190
    Van

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (10:53 am)

    A graduated pricing structure allows not penalizing those who conserve, thus minimizing the adverse effect of a one tax fits all program. It would be more effective, you can avoid the tax by doing this this and this, but with a tax supported floor price, the harm to the economy is unavoidable.

    The black market possibility is pure speculation. Every tax raises a lot of bickering, see this thread for example, so the observation is beside the point.

    The baseline be set at national or state level? The tax floor plan would be set nationally, so the baseline amount would be set nationally. The idea is the tax would be onerous to those who burn a lot of gas.

    Yes, the various pricing levels seen on the water and electric bills are needlessly complex, but the program outlined in post #173 is really quite simple.

    Lets say a person drives 15,000 miles a year. If they average 21 MPG, they pay no surcharge. Thus only those who drive vehicles that get less than average mileage or drive more than the average distance would be affected.

    Last example, say a Prius driver drives 30,000 miles per year. How much gas guzzler tax would he or she pay? Zip, nada, none.


  191. 191
    Evil Conservative

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (10:55 am)

    187.

    If gas falls to 1994 prices of $.89 a gallon we could get Volts for around $20K.

    I hope your theory holds true.


  192. 192
    Starman

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (11:12 am)

    “Right now I would bet only about 10 – 20% of Americans could afford a $45,000 car”

    Actually based on average wages, its about 3-4%.


  193. 193
    statik

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (11:12 am)

    #183 old man said:

    static

    tax and the working poor

    Right now that would be a 100% tax in addition to the existing tax!

    A base price floor tax will not work due to basic greed. If you owned a filling station would you not raise you price as much as possible to increase your profit before sending any money to the Government? If you controled Opec would you not try to raise your prices to keep the money in your pocket?

    My suggestion regarding road and bridge upkeep would be two fold. First all taxes collected would be in a locked box. [no other use]
    Second raise the tax rate gradually and then tie it to inflation.

    We need to help our working poor keep working rather than to tax them out of business and then complain about having to support them.
    ==================
    Actually, I don’t know that we disagree…there as been a lot of suggestions here. I was proposing a slow increase..and not a doubling. (although you probably need a doubling to get to a acceptable standard in the next few years…a slow increase will take longer, but at least the situation would improve year over year)

    Here is what I proposed in post #47:

    2009 20 cents +2%
    2010 40 cents +4%
    2011 60 cents +6%
    2012 80 cents +10%
    ———–
    So for this year you are only looking at a base increase from 18.4 cents to 20 cents…and 2% added on top (another 3-4 cents total)

    Then it scales up around a quarter a year for the next three. The important component is the percentage…that way it keeps pace with inflation….eventually the 10% is the more meaningful number and the base flat tax is not.

    If I was extrapolating it out, in 8-10 years I would have no flat component at all (or very little, like .25 cents) and 33% premium on the gas itself.

    In Ontario, as of July 2009 we have the following added to a gallon of gas: (I converted from litres)
    55 cent provincial (state) tax (14.7/litre)
    37.8 cent federal tax (10/liter)
    then 13% tax (GST/PST…up from 5%) on top

    So we pay 92.8 cents per gallon and 13% on top, it seems like a jump…but people adjust, and now we have a good infrastructure, clean/flat roads and stable bridges…of interest, we also did not also create legions of impoverished people.


  194. 194
    Anderson

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (11:21 am)

    Evil Conservative,

    I agree with you on almost everything you said, but I think you can certainly be a conservative and an environmentalist at the same time. (More on that later).
    It is unfortunately true that once a tax is in place, congress and the senate will eventually try to find a way to increase it (but that’s only if we let them). Moreover, the tax proposed is not a $4 dollar tax, but a tax that would increase gas prices up to $4 dollars and decrease to ZERO if gas prices (due to market fluctuations, OPEC meneuvering, war, Hugo Chavez conspiring with other oil producing despots,etc.) were to rise above that.
    Again, I call myself a conservative environmentalist because doing our best to ensure that our rivers are not polluted, our air is clean and breathable, and developers do not destroy all the trees in the name of the almighty dollar, is the best thing for our children and grandchildren, and all of the subsequent generations to come. THE TRICK, OF COURSE, IS CONSERVING OUR ENVIRONMENT WITHOUT WRECKING OUR ECONOMY EVEN MORE.
    Nuclear power is the solution. Dollar for dollar, it provides more energy than solar and wind, not to mention that its footprint is only a fraction of a fraction of the other two mentioned. For the life of me, I cannot understand LEFTIST ENVIRONMENTALISTS’ concerns (more like paranoid fears) about nuclear power. Don’t they know that for nearly a half a century we’ve had nuclear submarines that can go under water for 6 months at a time, without a need to refuel, AND have done so safely???!!!


  195. 195
    Anderson

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (11:38 am)

    One more thing…Even if our gas prices were to be double through taxation, gas in the US would still cost less than half than it costs in most European countries.

    Europeans reading this blog…please confirm or deny what I just stated.


  196. 196
    Evil Conservative

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (11:53 am)

    Anderson …. I think we are like minded in many ways. You will never agree with anyone 100% nor should you but I think we are pretty close in our beliefs and ideas.

    Nice talking to you.


  197. 197
    Anderson

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (12:02 pm)

    Evil Conservative…Likewise.

    As conservatives, though, we have to engage our liberal brothers on the things we have in common. The environment is certainly one of those things. The Chevy Volt is another. Sharing ideas and comparing points of view works better when people with diametrically opposed views read mine and your postings. A healthy debate, without name calling (eco-nazi) and accusations is necessary because–in the end–we’re all in the same boat, and we have to find the solution together…before we sink.


  198. 198
    JEC

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    192 Anderson
    “Don’t they know that for nearly a half a century we’ve had nuclear submarines that can go under water for 6 months at a time, without a need to refuel, AND have done so safely???!!!”
    ======================================================
    Accidents have occurred on nuclear subs.
    http://spb.org.ru/bellona/ehome/russia/nfl/nfl8.htm

    These are the ones we know about…I would guess most accidents are not common knowledge, especially the more severe.

    I am not against nuclear power, but I also do not want nuclear plants showing up on every corner. Accidents happen, and if it can, it will. With such a small number of nuclear facilities, it is much easier to control/regulate for safety. You need to be ever vigilent, and unfortunately, what usually occurs is as time passes, people become comfortable and take safety for granted. That’s when accident happen.


  199. 199
    User Name

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (12:38 pm)

    As to engaging your liberal brothers on the things you have in common, I’m afraid it won’t work.

    Its pretty simple really….
    Liberals: People & Planet come before profits.

    Conservatives: Profits come before People & Planet.

    Never-the-less, good luck #195 Anderson.


  200. 200
    Evil Conservative

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (12:59 pm)

    Anderson … so true, so true.

    Do conservative people want to see oil in the rivers and vast Forest cut? I don’t think so but RESPONSIBLE use of resources are always encouraged. Just don’t condemn me for driving a pickup truck and cutting my grass with a gas powered lawnmower. :-)

    Take care


  201. 201
    Anderson

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    #197 User Name ,

    I can see you are a liberal. Only a liberal would assume that conservatives put profits before people. The planet will be here after we’re all gone, but to suggest that just because I’m a conservative, I don’t care about people is precisely the kind of name-calling that needs to stop (from both sides), if we’re ever to work together on anything as pressing as our present economic crisis.

    #196 JEC,

    Yes. I’m aware of the fact that there have been some accidents involving russian submarines (and a few others), but they involved collisions and other human errors, not catastrophic failure of their Nuclear-powered propulsion.


  202. 202
    The Grump

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (1:26 pm)

    Hey Statik, sorry about the Eco-Nazi comment – It a rather strong term that others have applied here. I prefer the label “thief” for those who believe gasoline belongs to everyone (therefore, it belongs to no one), and more enlightened beings like Dave G and Don C should dictate how much gas I use. Hell, Don C called me a thief – and I’m still in debt from 2008 for gas charged on my card because I couldn’t afford it. The only one I stole from is Don C’s fantasy Communist government. Everyone wants to rule the world, I guess.

    As for Don C’s “troops overseas” – Obama is in charge. They could be home tomorrow, with just the stroke of Obama’s pen.

    - Liberals: No one can “own” anything. Everything is State property.
    - Conservatives: It’s your money. Buy what you want.

    It’s a little thing called fredom, which aggravates the hell out of liberals who love Communism, Socialism, or any system which says the government ownes everything. The antithesis of freedom.

    Again, if I steal from your wallet, and give the money to, say, Al Gore, it is still stealing, and I would be a thief. However, it seems every Communist party wannabe on this site wants to steal from my wallet.
    —————————————————————-
    Don’t let Rick Wagoner scare you into higher gas taxes. He’s the idiot who ran GM into the ground. And he’s the last person you should take tax advise from. Rick Wagoner should be fired. Today.


  203. 203
    JEC

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (1:28 pm)

    “Yes. I’m aware of the fact that there have been some accidents involving russian submarines (and a few others), but they involved collisions and other human errors, not catastrophic failure of their Nuclear-powered propulsion.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    If they did, do you think you would actually know about it?

    My college roommate spent several years on a nuke sub. I will not repeat anything, but lets say, we do not hear everything that happens in the armed forces.


  204. 204
    noel park

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (1:56 pm)

    #141 The Grump & #142 JEC:

    Actually, The Grump had it right. Not the best thing for one’s career as the host of kiddee shows, but arguably not as anti-social as the shoe mirror scam. Anyway, I think that it was just a misdemeanor, and he’s been out for quite awhile. I saw him on TV the other night. Just as funny as ever. What a waste of a considerable talent, but I guess he wasn’t the first, and probably won’t be the last.

    As to the rest of this thread, I wonder if Dr. Dennis ever shakes his head over what he has unleashed here. I have faithfully tried to read each and every comment here for months, but this one is almost too much for me.

    Even so, thank you Anderson at #195. Many (including me) have suggested the same thing in the past. I look to the day!


  205. 205
    Len

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (4:04 pm)

    - Grump

    Judging by what I have seen of “conservatives”. They basically say one thing and do another. They talk fisical conservatism, but start stupid senseless wars so they can channel the taxpayers money to their buddies. They remove regulations from the banking industry (that were put in place after the last great depression) to allow regular banks to join with investment banks so they can be “too big to allow to fail” and require billions of taxpayer money to bail out. They bail out monster insurance companies like AIG so their buddies in Goldman Sachs can get billions of taxpayer money not to speak of sending billions more to French and German banks. If it wasn’t for the “conservatives” we could have solved this countries problems and had money left over. Now they will live high off the hog in their villas in the Bahamas and laugh at the folks they conned into suporting them in their successful efforts to pillage the US treasury.


  206. 206
    statik

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (4:12 pm)

    RE: Gas prices

    Ok, this is obviously a hot button issue. I have a opinion, the grump has a opinion, DaveG, noel, DonC, (everyone) has a opinion…this is a good a place as any to discuss it.

    I’m not going to get too up in a twist about here. We are all going to attempt to sway the world according to our views (with varying degrees of success) and some homogenized middle ground will invariably come of it.

    …didn’t want to ruffle any feathers (on this subject, lol)…just a little discussion

    /have a good one


  207. 207
    Len

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (4:15 pm)

    Arch –

    read the answer in the first link you gave on the Williston Basin -

    “We’ve received this e-mail from our readers several dozen times, and a Google search for some of its claims turns up hundreds of results. Unfortunately, it is false. It combines and twists several different news stories and studies into a longer tale of sound and fury that ultimately signifies nothing (factually anyway). “


  208. 208
    klogd

     

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    Mar 28th, 2009 (6:02 pm)

    Although not a plug-in, I really like the new Honda CRZ. Did I mention it is coming out in, you guessed it, 2011!

    http://automobiles.honda.com/cr-z/


  209. 209
    Jackson

     

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    Mar 29th, 2009 (12:02 am)

    Old, dead thread; but I can’t let this one slip by.

    GM, a battery pack lease is a betrayal of this board, and all it’s members have hoped for.

    One can only explain such a suggestion in three ways: either the battery will be more expensive than claimed, or the battery doesn’t perform as claimed. The third way, simple greed, stupidity and arrogance, has been widely explored in earlier posts. I’ll assume that this explanation isn’t applicable, simply because if it’s true, all of us, we and you alike, are screwed.

    The only way I can see a lease being valid would be as a lower-cost option alongside an actual purchase option. Anything else would promote lack of confidence in the battery, and the Volt concept itself.

    Gas price doesn’t deserve our discussion here, or your comment, there. Anything which would raise the price of gas deliberately, such as a special ‘green’ tax, would mean political suicide for those who would actually implement it (whether or not it is a ‘good’ idea). You’re kidding yourselves if you think anything else.


  210. 210
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Mar 29th, 2009 (5:30 am)

    Anderson, #193

    Today, the price of one liter of gas at the gas station across the street here in Namur Belgium (60 kms south-east of Brussels) is 1.27 €.

    Let me do a little computation : 1 gallon is 4.5 liters thus 1 gallon costs 5.715 €, that is at the current exchange rate : (1 € = 1.32947 US $) = 7.6 US $.

    You are right. The price of gas comprises 63% of state taxes.

    Regards

    JC NPNS !!!


  211. 211
    Open-Mind

     

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    Mar 29th, 2009 (9:02 pm)

    Len (203), you seem to be confusing President Bush with a fiscal “conservative”. From a fiscal perspective for the last few elections, we’ve had to choose between a liberal candidate and a very liberal one.


  212. 212
    MuddyRoverRob

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (11:00 am)

    Late to the party…

    First of all although it was spoken in a terrible fashion I ‘think’ what they meant was that higher has prices would increase demand for a car like the Volt, increasing sales volumes and potenially allowing a LOWER selling price. Low gas prices would require a higher selling price to offset inevitable lower sales as people would buy conventional cars instead.

    As for Battery leasing, the option to buy the car and lease the battery might just bring the car into a lot more peoples budget range.

    High fuel taxes in Europe have created a brilliant group of very fuel efficent and good performing diesel cars. A transision from our current fuel thirsty ways to less so diesel or electric or a mix of both will without a doubt be difficult, it likely is however necessary.


  213. 213
    boB

     

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    Mar 30th, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    According to the price of gas. And they FAVOR a government tax keeping gas at $4 a gallon. Never mind the working poor who can’t afford $4 a gallon. Never mind that the $4 a gallon impacts prices at the register. No, it’ll help them sell it at a high enough price. What a putz! I want this car, but with comments like this, I’ll by a 10 year old Toyota if they keep up with this. Face it, the government NEVER met a tax or fee it didn’t like and NEVER rescinds it once it implements it. And, they DEPEND on the revenue. So if they get $2 a gallon now, great! If the REAL price goes up to $4 a gallon, it’s only a matter of time before they say they can’t do without the revenue and bump it to $6 a gallon.


  214. [...] relatively poorly except between Pittsburgh and Boise. Even technological breakthroughs like the Chevy Volt electric car seem unlikely to change [...]


  215. 215
    The Slow Death of General Motors

     

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    Apr 16th, 2009 (10:11 am)

    [...] relatively poorly except between Pittsburgh and Boise. Even technological breakthroughs like the Chevy Volt electric car seem unlikely to change [...]


  216. 216
    Chevy Volt’s Price Will Depend on Gasoline | Zoomi Life

     

    Chevy Volt’s Price Will Depend on Gasoline | Zoomi Life
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    May 20th, 2009 (7:41 pm)

    [...] 1, 2 [...]


  217. 217
    Ted

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2009 (12:46 pm)

    I think I’m with you. Give me a $20k Tesla!


  218. 218
    Jay6

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2009 (2:06 pm)

    This is what is wrong, and has been wrong with GM and other manufacturers. If they would build the car, see what it takes to build dollar wise, and then sell at a modest profit, they could sell a crap-load of these cars. I don’t think anyone would object to GM making a profit but nobody wants to pay GM execs and union pogues entire house payments. Sell the cars at a little over production cost and sell a lot. Put out a good product (like toyota has for years) and get repeat customers when that one wears out. Base the cost on gasoline prices??? If this is the case, I hope gas is at $2.00 a gallon and they can’t sell 10 of them and this time, the government lets them go belly-up!


  219. 219
    Jay6

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2009 (2:10 pm)

    I think I’ll just get a horse. But then, Obama will decide that my feed and horseshoes needs to be taxed more.

    And whatever you do, don’t compare the US to Europe! Screw what they’ve been doing! Maybe they need to look at what WE’VE been doing…at least they will have a lesson on how to win a world war!


  220. 220
    tbev

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2009 (9:21 pm)

    Obama’s tax hikes are necessary, almost every president in history has raised taxes as far as i know. if everyone just stopped playing taxes then the country would collapse, that is obvious, and high taxes are even more necessary now with the current economic climate. we are now a nation of consumers, and the stimulus is their to jump-start american business so we can start producing again and start making money instead of spending it on foreign products.

    by the way jay6, we’ve only shown europe how outsourcing can ruin an economy, they are kicking our ass right now.


  221. 221
    Dave K.

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2009 (9:38 pm)

    September 2nd 2009, a last ditch effort for Big Oil to stop the growing EV movement.

    Last week there was a reported “5 billion barrel oil find” in Bolivia. This week it’s “4 billion barrels discovered” in the Gulf Of Mexico.

    OPEC manipulation at it’s best.

    =D~


  222. 222
    ED CASEY

     

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    Sep 6th, 2009 (2:49 am)

    LEAVE THE COST OF GAS OUT OF CALCULATING THE MSRP. FIGURE THE COST OF MANUFACTURE, CREATE A RESONABLE PROFIT MARGINE. SALES WILL GO THROUGH THE ROOF AND MAKE CHEVY NUMBER ONE WHERE THEY BELONG. THE BATTERY LEASE PROGRAM IS A SYSTEM THAT WILL WORK WELL. CHEVY NEEDS TO COME OUT FULL BORE AND MEANING ONLY ONE WORD BUSNESSS , BUSNESS AND EVEN MORE BUSINESS.


  223. 223
    Bill

     

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    Sep 13th, 2009 (8:34 am)

    Imagine a car like this priced at 15,000-20,000…there would be nothing else on the roads. We know they can build it , isn’t there something more important here than making a big pile of money?


  224. 224
    GM

     

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    Sep 14th, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    You’re an idiot!
    1. It runs on electricity for 40 miles, then it uses gas, so its not all electric.
    2. If gas prices are high, then people are going to be looking for a car with better mpg so they don’t have to spend as much. The Volt can go a long distance without using gas, and then gets great mpg when it does use it. So, if gas prices are high, then more people are going to want to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle, and will be willing to pay more for it.
    3. Therefore, high gas prices=higher Volt price. If there is no demand for fuel efficient cars, then they’ll have to sell it cheaper because people are not going to want to pay a lot for something they don’t find they need.
    4. Do the world a favor and kill yourself. YOU are an epic fail. I bet you drive a Toyota, fag.


  225. 225
    GM

     

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    Sep 14th, 2009 (4:29 pm)

    How?! You are a moron. No it won’t. It will make people pay more attention to it because they will continue to see the benefits while they keep looking it up to see if it has a price. This way people will pay attention to it more because they don’t know everything about it, which is a must when you’re making a purchase as big as a car.


  226. 226
    GM

     

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    Sep 14th, 2009 (4:32 pm)

    You’re retarted… They’re not going to go to “high profile people”. Did all the Camaro’s go to them? All the mustangs? NO! Anyone who can afford it can buy it, moron. Any middle class person can afford this car. You don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to buy something for $40,000.


  227. 227
    GM

     

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    Sep 14th, 2009 (4:38 pm)

    Let down?! How?! The average American commutes 28 miles round trip to work everyday… That means, for a car that can go 40 miles on a single charge, you won’t use a drop of gas. In fact, you have 12 miles leftover to go to the store or drop the kids off at practice…
    And the whole “saw it coming” thing… anybody could have seen it. People who were making $50,000-$60,000 a year were buying houses that cost $400,000. Uh, if you DON’T see how that could be a problem, you’re an idiot. And they’re not claiming this vehicle is the “Messiah”. They think it solves the problem of paying too much for gas, as well as helping keep their entire company afloat. They’re trying to help you out, as well as themselves. It’s not like they knew the economy was gonna suck so they decided to act like God and build everyone an Arc.
    Please, know what you’re talking about before you talk.


  228. 228
    GM

     

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    Sep 14th, 2009 (4:41 pm)

    Oh, we all know huh?
    Ok wise guy? How much is gas going to cost in 365 days? Go ahead and guess…
    And so you’re saying that you could have guessed gas would have been as high as it was a few years ago? (over $5.00 a gallon in multiple places).
    No, you can’t predict that. It changes on a daily basis, sometimes a gas station can raise their price 10+ cents in a single day! So who are you to say you know where it’ll be in 365 days?
    You don’t, so shut up.


  229. 229
    GM

     

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    Sep 14th, 2009 (4:45 pm)

    You are a moron!! The price of gas has everything to do with it!! If gas is only $1.50 a gallon, who in their right mind would go out and spend $40,000 on a car that will only save them less than $3,000 a year on gas? NOBODY!! But, if it’s $4.00 a gallon, don’t you think people are going to want to get rid of their car that gets 20 mpg for a car that, in theory (as long as you go under 40 miles a day) could get unlimited miles to the gallon? Hmmm, let’s think about this. UH, YES!!
    Shut up, you don’t know what you’re talking about.


  230. 230
    GM

     

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    Sep 14th, 2009 (4:46 pm)

    When did everyone start buying Prius’s? When gas was $4.00+ a gallon!!! DUH!! That’s what GM is saying. High gas prices = high demand for fuel efficiency!!!!


  231. 231
    GM

     

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    Sep 14th, 2009 (4:51 pm)

    A perfect example as to why you’ll never buy a GM again is because it’s a car that can save you 10′s of thousands of dollars on gas over its lifetime? Wow, that really makes sense…
    Lets do the math: $40,00 Volt – 10′s of thousands of dollars saved = virtually free.
    $20,000 Tesla + 10′s of thousand of dollars on gas = A rip off!!
    Go back to 3rd grade math, and while you’re at it, why don’t you pick up a dictionary and look up the definition of a good example, because this isn’t one of them.


  232. 232
    GM

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    Sep 14th, 2009 (4:52 pm)

    Why the hell would they do that?!?! Do you lease your gas tank on your car now?! NO! Jeez, please think about what you’re saying before you say it and sound like an idiot!


  233. 233
    Robert

     

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    Sep 28th, 2009 (10:04 am)

    no he’s not a moron. I became a fan and followed Volt for two years now and now, after reading this I am rooting for other companies to come up with their answers to Volt. I WILL/AM looking at other cars. This is the kind of attitude that got GM in trouble in a first place. Get your head out of your a**es GM. This company needs to just die and US auto industry needs room for newcomers.


  234. 234
    Robert

     

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    Sep 28th, 2009 (10:08 am)

    buy something for $40,000 or borrow to “buy” something for $40k? moron is you mister and your attitude is a prime example what’s wrong with America today. No you don’t have to be a multi -millionaire but most regular folks need to get into debt to achieve that price point.


  235. 235
    Robert

     

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    Sep 28th, 2009 (10:11 am)

    anyone who can throw $40k on a car not because they need one but because it just came out and its new and hip.


  236. 236
    Robert

     

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    Sep 28th, 2009 (10:14 am)

    yes, yes, GM the company will tell the average Joe schmoe what to think and how to feel. If they are saying this car makes sense than never mind what people have to say right? this car is quickly becoming dud “too little too late” car.


  237. 237
    Robert

     

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    Sep 28th, 2009 (10:16 am)

    you’re in the highest tax bracket and can’t afford $30+k car? hmmm..


  238. 238
    Robert

     

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    Sep 28th, 2009 (10:19 am)

    “Lets do the math: $40,00 Volt – 10’s of thousands of dollars saved = virtually free.”

    no, $$ not saved, $$ spent on $40k car which offers what a gas based $20K car does.

    “$20,000 Tesla + 10’s of thousand of dollars on gas = A rip off!!”

    familiarize yourself with subject matter first.


  239. 239
    Shredderofmass

     

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    Oct 2nd, 2009 (10:16 am)

    So the price of the car depends not on production costs but on the cost of gas, and the battery, the main component of the car will be leased seperately from the actual owndership of the car, and the car company who’s former CEO Wagoner famously said “Who could have predicted $2.50 gas? is now hoping for higher gas prices…….

    JRR Tolkein couldnt follow that. It sounds like the writers of the TV show ‘LOST’ came up with the marketing plan.


  240. 240
    alex

     

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    Oct 4th, 2009 (2:01 pm)

    with this price instead of putting GM on the map is only going to keep them in a hole.i would rather buy a car thats going to give me 32 mpg for about 16k and used the remaing 24k that im going to save on gas for the next 20 years


  241. 241
    Pete

     

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    Nov 2nd, 2009 (8:59 pm)

    Has anyone seen “Who killed the electric car?” GM is back peddling on the electric car like they did with the EV-1.

    Basing the price of a car on the price of gas is ludicrous.


  242. 242
    Eric

     

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    Nov 29th, 2009 (9:02 pm)

    This car is a step in the right direction regardless of price. Eventually the price will fall if more cars similar to it are produced, and Chevy has every right to hold the price from the public.

    If you were the first person to invent the toothebrush and no one else had the ability to make one, would you charge 10 cents per brush?


  243. 243
    skyczy

     

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    Mar 17th, 2010 (6:26 pm)

    AutoElectric: I’m a huge Volt fan, of course, but this is a PR failure.Open mouth…insert foot.  (Quote)

    completely agree, price that depends on gas prices? Why not just adjust the price to make it affordable for people, and serve its purpose…AS IF THe price of gas is going to affect Chev? BS!!!!!


  244. 244
    Mr Bowtie

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    Mar 23rd, 2010 (10:45 pm)

    As a consumer, Chevy’s business model is not the primary reason to consider when buying a car. We have all dealt with their business model as taxpayers.

    They need to get this 2 year project in their dealership showrooms- while they still have dealerships. The best car cannot win if it is not for sale.

    N Riley: Why based on the price of gas?Well, I guess I understand their reasoning.We have been discussing it for years.The higher the price of gas, the easier to justify a higher price for the Volt.Most of us would like the Volt for reasons other than saving a few dollars on gas.We want to remove gas as a method of fueling our cars and trucks. The Volt is one way to do that.There will be other choices.  


  245. 245
    chris

     

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    Mar 25th, 2010 (6:32 pm)

    Gas should be taxed to stay “at least” $4? That just makes you want to smack that moron. So we should pay $4 for gas so you can release 10000 cars. What about the rest of the country that has to keep paying $4. What a moron. Yea make us all pay more for gas so you can sell more cars. This guy clearly does not live in the real world! Oh and while I am ranting, $40,000? If you can afford a car that costs that much then you could probably care less about having to fill up and how much gas costs. Oh well, guess I will have to wait till it gets a bit more affordable.


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    GB

     

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    Mar 28th, 2010 (4:04 pm)

    $40,000 for a car the Japanese will do in a year for HALF the cost, you watch……. American/Canadian makers will screw themselves again
    I’ll buy a Toyota for half the price when it will produce a car like the Volt,……….. regardless if it will Stop…or not


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    Rikc

     

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    Apr 6th, 2010 (12:33 am)

    That’s just great, the government (the people) bail out Chevrolet from financial crisis only to have Chevrolet stick it to us. There playing the supply and demand game. Get the Feds to up the gas prices to make the car more valuable. Chevrolet is not out to help the economy or solve the oil issues or cleaner air. They are out to make a fast buck, and the government rebate is a joke, were is the money for the rebate coming from? It just gives Chevrolet room to raise the prices just that much higher causing a higher profit margin. Let’s get real, how many mid size non-luxery sedans out there are over $20,000. This car should start at no more then $18,000. I use to believe in Chevrolet but they can’t sell anything on merit anymore. You go to an event and everyone is selling a hotdog for $10.00, are you going to buy one, maybe, and they will not sell very many. But you go to another event and they are selling the hotdogs for $1.00, would you buy one? Heck yea and maybe one or two for everyone in the party. My point is that a hotdog with a bun only costs 10 cents, the first event may sell one or two and make a good profit margin but the second will make more money and employ more people helping everyone. Chevrolet has forgotten how to sell and has learned how to rip off the people.
    P.S. Fire the PR Rep., they suck.


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    Apr 6th, 2010 (12:42 am)

    By the way, if you buy a car over valued by $21,000, doing the math $3 a gallon is 7,000 gallons of gas, if my car is getting 20 miles to the gallon, I would get 140,000 miles free by buying a cheaper car. Chevrolet, you are screwing yourself again, except I don’t want to be a part of bailing you out again.


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    Apr 6th, 2010 (12:51 am)

    Eric: This car is a step in the right direction regardless of price. Eventually the price will fall if more cars similar to it are produced, and Chevy has every right to hold the price from the public.If you were the first person to invent the toothebrush and no one else had the ability to make one, would you charge 10 cents per brush?  (Quote)

    Depends on what kind of person you are. A dentist will give you a toothbush for free as you are leaving not to prevent cavities, but because they have a better profit margin on the check-ups and cleanings.


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    Lord Byron;

     

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    Apr 7th, 2010 (12:42 am)

    I REALLY REALLY want this car, but I am not willing to pay a penny more than what Nissan is offering with the Leaf. Anything in excess of $33000 takes it out of bounds for me and I will go with the Leaf. If GM has any ‘common sense’ left they will take the loss and compete with the Leaf.

    BTW this would be my first GM purchase. I currently own an Acura 3.2 TL 2005, and I am waiting anxiously to see what GM is going to do price wise before I commit to Nissan.

    Byron


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    Kurt

     

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    Apr 11th, 2010 (11:17 am)

    I think most people commenting on the price of the Volt are ignoring the fact that demand will drive the price of the vehicle and not simply the price of gas. If gas goes up then demand goes up therefore leading to higher prices. This happens with all cars. More demand = higher prices. Simple economics.

    GM is not “screwing” anyone with the price of the Volt that has new technology. Does anyone remember the price of LCD and plasma televisions even 5 years ago? The price will come down as the technology evolves and consumers start buying them.

    On that same note, GM is already taking a loss on ALL the Volts as stated on their website:

    http://gm-volt.com/2009/04/07/chevy-volt-wont-pay-its-rent-to-gm/

    Also, in comparison to the Nissan Leaf, they are two totally different vehicles. The Volt is a plug-in hybrid but the Leaf is fully electric. The Volt can go around 300 miles and then you can just fill it up at the gas station to keep going. With the Leaf, you can drive ONLY 100 miles and then you have to stop and plug it in, usually upwards of four to six hours to get a full charge.

    The chance of the Leaf becoming more popular than the Volt are slim because people want the convenience of filling up their tanks. The Leaf is a good second car for getting back and forth to work but the Volt can be a primary car.

    Lastly, the comment about the film, “Who killed the electric car” is ridiculous. GM didn’t back out of the EV1 because of some conspiracy. They stopped the EV1 program because of cost. The price of manufacturing the EV1 was around $80,000-$90,000 per vehicle.

    Most people on this thread are complaining about the price of the Volt in the mid to upper 30s but the cost to GM to manufacture the Volt is conservatively around double the sticker price. New technology is expensive and when gas becomes prohibitively expensive in fifteen years or so, everyone will have wished they reconsidered buying a hybrid such as the Volt instead of a much cheaper four door sedan.