Oct 29

GM CEO Says Help Needed to Achieve Mass Adoption of Electric Cars

 

[ad#post_ad]Fritz Henderson, the CEO of General Motors engaged in some Q&A with reporters and editors from the Washington Post while in the nation’s capital.

Some issues germane to us were discussed.

He was asked what he thought it would take for electric cars to truly gain a foothold in the marketplace.

He indicated cost to consumers was paramount.

“The three things you need are battery costs coming down, motor costs coming down, control costs coming down,” he said.

“The more companies that actually develop technologies around electric, the more the supply structure will develop, the better off we’ll be,” he said.  “We can’t carry the load ourselves. GM can’t. No way. We need to have more companies. We source most of these things. We don’t do them. We’re not in the chemistry business.”

He also believes range anxiety caused by driving pure EVs is a hindrance to mass adoption.

“Everybody is trying to solve the problem of range because we have range anxiety. The consumer doesn’t want to be strained,” he said. “We had the same problem with EV1, not enough range.”

Henderson said GM is hitting the brakes on hydrogen fuel cell car production.

“Are we putting resources into it? Not as much. We spent through the mid-part of this decade a reasonably high portion of our research and our development money on hydrogen fuel cells,” he said.

Henderson was asked yet again what the Volt’s MSRP will be.

“The price is still to be determined. I have a policy of pricing the vehicle when I get close to the market. I know the cost is close to 40 [thousand],” he said.

Finally, if anyone was wondering, he said GM would not go back to the government for more funding.

Under “any reasonable planning scenario,” he said.  “The amount of financing provided was sufficient.”  This is consistent with what he said when I interviewed him just days after GM declared bankruptcy.

“We’re not interested in doing this twice, we’re doing this once,” he had said.

Source (Washington Post

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 29th, 2009 at 5:59 am and is filed under Financial, Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 186


  1. 1
    Gsned57

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:21 am)

    1. They aren’t going to waste anymore money on hydrogen
    2. They aren’t going to look for another bailout any time soon
    3. The Volt will cost …..

    Almost had a trifecta! I like Fritz, I thought he was going to say fuel cells will eliminate range anxiety and then push them again. Sounds like he’s trying to steer GM in the right direction.


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:32 am)

    I’m glad they are not wasting resources on Hydrogen.

    I completely agree with Mr. Henderson. The cost must come down before wide adoption can be achieved. I say $20K – $25K.

    He also says, I know the cost is close to 40 [thousand].
    Ah, I sure do miss the old days when the cost was nicely under $30K.


  3. 3
    RB

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:54 am)

    Fritz says Everybody is trying to solve the problem of range because we have range anxiety.
    ———-
    I’m a little dense but finally I have understood that this statement is about marketing, not about customers. It is a pitch for EREV and the Volt, and why that’s the “correct” choice, instead of Nissan’s LEAF. It tells the customers that if you don’t feel anxious, you should.

    As with most marketing pitches, maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.


  4. 4
    nasaman

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:13 am)

    Henderson: “The price is still to be determined. I have a policy of pricing the vehicle when I get close to the market. I know the cost is close to 40 [thousand]“.

    Fritz knows a cardinal rule in sales is to “price to the market”, which is one reason he’s waiting. And we all need to note the distinction between cost and price, which are not necessarily even remotely related to each other. IOW, market factors a year from now will determine the Volt’s MSRP, not its cost.


  5. 5
    Randy

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:17 am)

    SO whats the 55 Billion Banner for,not mentioned in the article .


  6. 6
    Dan Petit

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:21 am)

    The other day when I asked that question about Volt’s size, what I was really driving at was that specifications numbers, camera angles, camera focal points, etc., just do not do much more additional justice to the Volt.

    Part of the difficulty at this point, it seems to me, is that there needs to be some sort of program where about 50 or so of the Volts are on a “one day per place tour” event in the Capitol Cities of each State firstly to privately show all the Honorable Legislators firstly, citizens secondly, then, onward to the citizens of, say, four of the largest cities in that State.

    Just so we can see in three dimensions, not just only camera angles, numbers, and facts.

    Perhaps we can be told several months in advance for our own planning purposes out of our busy schedules, where we can just see (not touch or drive, but just see in 3D) a Volt.

    I think such a campaign would go far to increase the purpose Mr. Henderson describes that more parallel program plans must be brought about for EREV (even if also by other OEM’s to help drive up a huge EV component supply industry).
    Tens of thousands of people seeing a Volt just once “in person” would be energizing for a great part of what Mr. Henderson needs to happen.


  7. 7
    dagwood55

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:21 am)

    GM secured a tax credit of $7500 per vehicle, there’s grants galore for things like “charging infrastructure” and GM itself got a gift of $60billion… How much more money do they need to get by?

    The article said, “Under “any reasonable planning scenario,” he said. “The amount of financing provided was sufficient.” This is consistent with what he said when I interviewed him just days after GM declared bankruptcy.”

    Remember the good old days when Wagoner swore they had enough cash to see them through 2009? And then needed loans at the end of 2008?


  8. 8
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:30 am)

    In order to create an economically feasible hydrogen vehicle, all GM has left to do is cost reduce the Chevy Volt’s propulsion system (including control system). Once that is accomplished, their 2nd gen fuel cell with 5th gen fuel cell stack is already where they need it to be viable, so BEV advocates shouldn’t celebrate. Every step in the development of an affordable BEV / EREV is a step in the development of the plugin hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

    I am relieved that GM feels they will be profitable with no more cash. GMAC, however, needs more liquidity, so that they can continue lending – different dynamic.

    GM should sell the first year’s Volts for whatever they can get for them. If they don’t, then the dealers will, and if all that cash is coming from the consumer anyway, I would prefer it went towards paying back government loans.


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    tom

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:30 am)

    I’m sorry Fritz, but your quote:

    “The more companies that actually develop technologies around electric, the more the supply structure will develop, the better off we’ll be,” he said. “We can’t carry the load ourselves.

    Thats the old, which came first, the Chicken or the Egg?

    If you want the costs to come down before you ramp up your production to high levels, and you wait for all your competitors to ramp up production so the cost of the new supply structure comes down, then you are guaranteeing failure.

    The key to the Voltec strategy to work is that you can get by with a 16kwh battery, where BEVs of the same size will need at least twice that Kwh to minimize range anxiety. Thats your cost advantage, you need to ramp up your own production to bring down the ‘cost of your supply structure’. You also need to push the government to make the $7500 credit go at time of purchase and to be for more like 500,000 GM cars. You also need to preach that companies providing the ability to charge at work can allow the voltec concept to displace a tremendous amount of imported oil.

    Thats the path to mass adoption of your cars and saving your company.


  10. 10
    old man

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:32 am)

    I think marketing against BEV will be easy IF THE COSTis not more than $8,000.00 between a Volt and and a BEV with an AER of 100 miles. For me the cost of a 100 mile BEV would need to be at least 50% less.

    Range anxiety is very real for many if not most of us. It is for me! And I certainly do not want to HAVE to take my old car when leaving town.


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    Herm

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:33 am)

    Interesting that he admitted the cost of the car is around $40k, thus if they sell it at that price there wont be much of a loss. Lutz implied that a while back…At $40k the Volt is $12k above the average price of a US car.. by coincidence that is also the cost of the battery.

    Soon GM should be able to make the Volt with a battery nearly half the size, that should save some money. Unfortunately the profit of the battery is going to another company, a shame that GM does not make batteries.

    By “control cost” coming down he is talking about the inverters or motor controllers used in the Volt. One inverter for the motor and perhaps another one for the generator. That is the component that keeps failing in Lyle’s Mini.


  12. 12
    Dan Petit

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:40 am)

    Mr. Henderson knows all this stuff better than anyone.

    This is a warning that the public must not be complacent about just being a potential customer in the future, but must also to a greater extent, be some kind of participant, it seems.

    But how do we do that?

    How does the Volt fan become a greater driving force?

    What mechanisms can we employ beyond just the commentary posted on this site, (as extremely helpful that it is and has been)?

    Ideas for promotion ought to be focused on and discussed here in today’s topic. I already posted mine in number 6 above.

    What’s yours?


  13. 13
    Carcus1

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:42 am)

    ” We’re not in the chemistry business”
    ___________________________________

    And yet, you’ve invested in two separate ethanol manufacturers. Isn’t that the chemistry business?

    At one time, didn’t you purchase a NiMH battery manufacturing business?


  14. 14
    Spin

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:46 am)

    “We’re not interested in doing this twice”

    We taxpayers are even less interested.


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    tom

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:47 am)

    As an add on to #9, I want to point out that where we need to have infrastructure to charge at work for 2 reasons. One is folks with longer commutes can charge at home and at work and double their AER.

    The other reason NEVER DISCUSSED HERE is there are lots of folks I’m sure interested in driving electric, but live in places where charging at home is difficult. Apartments, homes (often rented so no incentive to install charging infrastructure) with no garage. Millions of folks live where they park very close to their home or apartment but do not have a garage. Also many of these folks live in places where electricity is very cheap, such as TVA regions etc.

    These folks might consider buying a Volt if then knew they could charge at work 5 days a week, and they could do some additonal charging at home with extension cords etc., but when they have to they could use the ICE. These folks that believe in getting off of OIL could never get a BEV because they wouldn’t be running their extension cord outdoors in snowstorms or the rain. But the Volt would allow them to still do most of their driving electrically, but only if they have some place to charge conveniently.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:49 am)

    Randy: SO whats the 55Billion Banner for,not mentioned in the article .

    I assumed that’s how much money we’ve bailed them out thus far. I figured it was a Statikesque photoshop


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    SteveK9

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:50 am)

    Jason:

    ‘In order to create an economically feasible hydrogen vehicle….. ‘

    I’m very sure others will point this out, but there is no infrastructure for making or delivering hydrogen. There is an infrastructure for making and delivering electricity. That is why hydrogen makes little sense, and never did.


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    Dan Petit

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:54 am)

    Here’s my second idea for today.

    All you Honorable Legislators of all the States of the Union ought to get together in each of your State Chambers and formulate an invitation to GM to bring a Volt to your State. (The US Military can very easily and safely fly several Volts to Hawaii/Alaska and back for you). Possibly even to allow each Representative to drive it in the parking lot a very short distance. I think this would be the way to overwhelming energy to be motivated in the proper power circles.

    The Volt ought to be allowed to be its own Lobbyist.

    What’s your second idea?


  19. 19
    Herm

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:54 am)

    Carcus1: ” We’re not in the chemistry business”
    ___________________________________And yet, you’ve invested in two separate ethanol manufacturers.Isn’t that the chemistry business?

    GM is into ethanol for marketing reasons, they have to be otherwise they will lose a lot of market share to the younglings.. its all about image.

    That was a pretty artless way of saying they are not in the battery making business.. batteries are all about specialized know-how and coating plastic films with fancy processes.. they are commodity items like making nuts and bolts, where cost efficiency is king. That is not their core competency and GM should not be in the battery making business.

    Perhaps in a decade or two, when the battery recipes and manufacturing methods have settled down.


  20. 20
    RB

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:55 am)

    nasaman: And we all need to note the distinction between cost and price, which are not necessarily even remotely related to each other. IOW, market factors a year from now will determine the Volt’s MSRP, not its cost.

    Yes, exactly. They will “mark to market.”


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    RB

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:58 am)

    old man: I think marketing against BEV will be easy IF THE COSTis not more than $8,000.00 between a Volt and and a BEV with an AER of 100 miles.

    old man —> I agree, that’s about the highest cost difference people will go for. Once it goes beyond $8K, people will figure out some other way, for the most part.


  22. 22
    tom

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:59 am)

    #16 Jason

    As I pointed out in #15 above, there is an infrastructure requirement, and it is something the government could give businesses credits for, and that is creating charging infrastructure at work (with the abiilty to turn off on hot afternoons of course).

    2 huge reasons
    1) doubles AER for may drivers
    2) brings millions of potential customers into play who have difficulty charging at home (read extension cords).


  23. 23
    old man

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:59 am)

    To expand on Tom’s point at post #15.

    I think charging stations built at government expense that would be for sale to companys at cost [when there are enough E-REV and BEV vehicles] on the road to make such an investment profitable. In addition to these charging stations there needs to be a large tax advantage to appartment owners to invest in charging stations as their renters will need. Same tax advantages to employers who put in such charging stations.

    In time the need would allow the government to get out of the charging station business and turn it over to private business.


  24. 24
    Herm

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:06 am)

    old man: For me the cost of a 100 mile BEV would need to be at least 50% less.
    Range anxiety is very real for many if not most of us. It is for me! And I certainly do not want to HAVE to take my old car when leaving town.

    GM (or Nissan) could sell you a BEV for city driving and a 4 cyl Equinox for long distance travel.. most families have more than one car, some more than three cars.. no reason that all of them need to have 50kwh battery packs. For single vehicle families you have the Volt ..

    The genset in a Volt costs around $2k, you could use that money to increase the size of the battery, perhaps buying you an extra 4kwh of capacity, around 16 miles of extra range.


  25. 25
    Eco

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:08 am)

    I do not understand why so many regular readers on this site, are so anti hydrogen…I get the feeling you were once an advocate, and think you’ve been made into a sucker.

    DOE just announced 10 million in research on h2 production going to three research teams, all affiliated with some commercial venture for the technology. If you have been watching the research on h2 “generation” and storage, you know that the task has been reduced to a simple question: material science. Solving the H2 puzzle is not nuclear fusion, it’s not the Hadron collider, it’s material science. And given that nanotech has changed the entire world of material science in less than a generation, I find it implausible that research won’t achieve price parity between h2 and gasoline. The same goes for alloys for the fuel cells themselves.

    And by the way, they also announced more millions going to battery tech research. Even though I think we are close to h2 being a better alternative, I don’t dismiss the research as a waste of money. Just because I want to buy a car with an h2 storage device and fuel cell does not make an EREV a bad idea.

    Remember that more members of the public have driven an h2 powered vehicle today, than an EREV.


  26. 26
    tom

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:13 am)

    #23 Old Man

    Agree on your points. But many millions of rentals are single homes, or duplexes, quads. These types of rentals as well as home owners without garages etc., don’t have incentives to put in charging infrastructure. These folks would be limited to extension cords. It is these millions of potential customers I’m saying need the infrastructure at work.

    I just think the payback to having charging available at the work place far exceeds Malls and Apartment complexes for 3 reasons.
    1) Employers have the incentive to provide this so they can say how ‘green’ and ‘patriotic they are, so they can eat some of the cost
    2) Doubles AER for many folks.
    3) Brings in the millons of folks I mention who would only have extension cords at home, and these can only be voltec customers not BEV.


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    old man

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:18 am)

    Eco

    I am not against hydrogen. But I strongly believe that E-REV and BEV will get us off oil sooner and that is my major reason for backing electric.

    I do want continuing research on H2 but to a smaller degree than battery research. In time H2 could be the way to power electric cars and I do not want our country to be behind the curve as we are now regarding battery Mfg.


  28. 28
    CDAVIS

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:36 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Excellent article Lyle…thanks! I’m glad to see that Henderson seems truly knowledgeable/engaged regarding the Voltec Program and what is required to make it successful long-term…that tells me that GM is not running the Voltec Program as only a pet Halo/PR stunt.

    Just back from vacation so only now noticing Lyle’s new “quote” response format…I like it!

    Regarding Statik’s $55 Billion graphic in Lyle’s article, is that the amount of the next round of taxpayer bailout (despite Henderson saying no more bailout needed) GM is requesting vis-à-vis GMAC? If so, then perhaps a decimal place is missing between the two fives. Or perhaps Statik is aware of additional “back door” taxpayer funding GM is reaching out for in addition to the $5.6B GMAC request.

    “GMAC in talks for 3rd loan from bailout fund…As talks continued over an additional loan of up to $5.6 billion to GMAC Financial Services Inc., the Obama administration’s involvement in the turnarounds at General Motors Co…”
    Source: Detroit Free Press / Online
    http://www.freep.com/article/20091029/BUSINESS01/910290545/1322/GMAC-in-talks-for-3rd-loan-from-bailout-fund
    ______________________________________________________


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    Starcast

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:39 am)

    old man: I think marketing against BEV will be easy IF THE COSTis not more than $8,000.00 between a Volt and and a BEV with an AER of 100 miles. For me the cost of a 100 mile BEV would need to be at least 50% less.Range anxiety is very real for many if not most of us. It is for me! And I certainly do not want to HAVE to take my old car when leaving town.

    Personaly I would not buy a 100 mile BEV for $10,000.


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    CDAVIS

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:40 am)

    CDAVIS: ______________________________________________________Regarding Statik’s Regarding $55 Billion graphic in Lyle’s article, is that the amount of the next round of taxpayer bailout (despite Henderson saying no more bailout needed) GM is requesting vis-à-vis GMAC? ______________________________________________________

    Looks like Lyle got the phone call from Henerson to take down Statik’s $55B graphic.


  31. 31
    Frank B

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:41 am)

    GM Could dominate and greatly expand the electric car market, IF:
    1. They get the price down.
    2. Have the government make the tax credit instant, allow the buyer to assign the tax credit to either the dealer or to GM instead of having to wait until tax time to get the tax credit. Remember that the customer at time of purchase is looking at a $40K car, $40K taxes and $40K financing.
    3. Gear up production, there’s much more interest in electric catrs than GM thinks.
    4. Advertise, advertise,advertise! The general public must be educated about the range extender system in the Volt. The more they know and understand the more they’ll love it and buy it. The Volt has the possibility of being the new Model T, changing the face of America.
    5. GM needs to expand the platform and make other electric models besides the Volt.

    The electric car IS the future of transportation in America. It’s vital to getting control of our future by getting off of our oil addiction and finally becoming self sufficient.


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    Loboc

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:46 am)

    Eco,

    It’s not just the production of h2 it’s the distribution. Would you rather go to a h2 station, or, be able to tank up in your own garage?

    I think electric will appeal to more people than h2 just from a convenience standpoint.

    I like the idea of h2, but the execution would be very expensive even if h2 was very cheap to produce. h2 is currently not cheap to produce and transport; electricity is.

    Long term, it would be better to roll out cng instead of h2 first. The resultant infrastructure (transport and compression of a gas) would be fairly easy to convert. Also, people would get used to using a gas rather than liquid for re-fueling.

    The great unknown here is can we make a battery that will revolutionize electrics? h2 and cng are known but difficult roll-outs. IF (and this is a big one) battery technology makes a huge technology leap, it’s game-over for anything else.


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    sudhaman

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:47 am)

    this is good. the hydrogen funding has been stopped. hydrogen will be the best tech probably before 2015 but not now. so we better spend our money on electric cars.


  34. 34
    tom

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:47 am)

    Below is article on Ford’s upcoming electric vehicles.

    Article starts out “We believe climate change is real, and we need to be part of the solution,” said Nancy Gioia, who was appointed earlier this month to the new position of Ford’s director of electrifications.

    I only care about not importing oil at this point, but whatever works.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/sns-200910221755mctnewsservbc-auto-ford-electric-m,0,4228767.story


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    hmmm

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:50 am)

    “He also believes range anxiety caused by driving pure EVs is a hindrance to mass adoption.”

    He’s right; I would never consider a pure BEV because I can’t drive it further than its pathetic range. Fast refuel (or recharge) is necessary for this, and along with that I only want to have to do it every 350 miles or so. Not only would a BEV have me worried on my daily commutes, it would be totally useless on longer trips.

    There are people out there who only want pure BEV but I am certain they are not as plentiful as those who share my viewpoint on range. GM needs to sell to the country as a whole, not to the idealists.

    With that said I believe GM has the right idea for today’s technology (the series plug-in hybrid) but I think they may have over-extended themselves going for the 40 mile all-electric range, simply because of cost. From a purely economic standpoint, even with the huge $7K tax credit the Volt still has quite a large lifetime premium over other cars at today’s gas prices. And that credit can’t last forever.


  36. 36
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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:51 am)

    #32 Eco;

    I hate to see CNG used in passenger vehicles. I’d like to see that saved for home heating and large 18 wheelers. We have lots of CNG, but that doesn’t mean we should use it for all purposes.

    That would just drive the cost of CNG up and deplete the resource.

    Electricity is best for personal mobility.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:53 am)

    If the economics don’t make sense yet, why didn’t they upgrade the vehicle’s architecture incrementally over the years rather than shoot for the moon right off the bat? And make money the whole time?

    It seems like Toyota’s slow approach is more likely to succeed on a large scale over time.


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    Todd

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:55 am)

    Maybe we need to start our own education/marketing campaign when we finally get our Volts. I can see a big banner across the side of the Volt much like what Lyle has on his Mini.

    Not a complex hybrid/half-breed like the Prius.
    No range anxiety like the Nissan Leaf.
    Just 40 pure electric miles of fun and no use of gasoline.

    Now don’t go nuts on this idea, I’m just joking. However, I do believe that the Volt is the correct path for future electric vehicles. Since the late 50’s when the last steam engine was retired, the use of diesel electric trains has been the norm. This is because of the efficiency of the use of fuel as well as the dependability and flexibility of the electric motor drive system. Compared to today’s hybrid’s that connect gasoline engines in conjunction with an electric motor, the Volt’s technology (though new to the auto industry) is a much simpler and more reliable design. BEV only designs I don’t believe will ever have an advantage over series or parallel hybrid designs and series hybrids like the Volt will always be less complex than the parallel design. As far as hydrogen is concerned, I have always been a believer in using this gas to propel vehicles, either electrically or through internal combustion engines. There are many obstacles to using hydrogen before it can ever be adopted as a primary source of energy for vehicles. Until these problems can be resolved, the Volt’s series hybrid design should be adopted as main stream. I like the idea that in future Volt’s (and hopefully other GM vehicles) the extending power source is all that needs to be replaced. All other components can remain the same. Some day it may be possible to pull the gasoline ICE out of a Volt and put in a diesel engine, a large battery or a hydrogen fuel cell. With a BEV the only alternative they have is to put in a more efficient battery. With parallel hybrids there’s not much choice there at all – a better battery is about it. I would also hate to be a Toyota mechanic and have to work on a Prius drive train or any parallel hybrid system. That must be a nightmare of complexity.

    There is one thing that is still up in the air about any type of hybrid or BEV – insurance. There still are not enough Prius’s on the road for the insurance industry to accurately determine the costs to repair a Prius. There just haven’t been that many accidents with them. Once hybrids become common on the road this’ll of course all change. My guess is that gasoline vehicles will remain the cheapest to insure, followed by BEV’s (two reasons – rather simple design and their limited range will keep them off the road more than alternatives), followed by the Volt and finally parallel hybrids will top the list as most expensive to insure just because of their complexity.

    The next 20 years of the auto industry should be really interesting to see who and what sinks or swims.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:01 am)

    I hope he doesn’t mean the cost to manufacture the Volt is $40K. If that’s the case they’re doing something seriously wrong. If the Volt MSRP is not in the 30’s the Leaf will have a great debut and seize the market share.

    NPNS!


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    N Riley

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:10 am)

    Interesting, but nothing really new.


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    Jim in PA

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:10 am)

    Jason M. Hendler: In order to create an economically feasible hydrogen vehicle, all GM has left to do is cost reduce the Chevy Volt’s propulsion system (including control system). Once that is accomplished, their 2nd gen fuel cell with 5th gen fuel cell stack is already where they need it to be viable, so BEV advocates shouldn’t celebrate. Every step in the development of an affordable BEV / EREV is a step in the development of the plugin hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

    Jason, the problem with marketing a plug-in hydrogen vehicle to the public is that the whole point of a range extender is to eliminate range anxiety. Ironically, the lack of a hydrogen infrastructure means that a hydrogen EREV would do nothing to eliminate range anxiety vs. driving a traditional BEV with a bigger battery.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:11 am)

    Finally, if anyone was wondering, he said GM would not go back to the government for more funding.

    Under “any reasonable planning scenario,” he said. “The amount of financing provided was sufficient.” This is consistent with what he said when I interviewed him just days after GM declared bankruptcy.

    “We’re not interested in doing this twice, we’re doing this once,” he had said.

    I take Mr. Henderson’s comments, especially the above, with a grain of salt. An example of the reality in this matter is that GMAC, GM’s former financing arm that is currently held in trust for GM by the government, is negotiating with the government for a third bailout:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aTWgCbcVsGzo

    In effect, GM is benefiting (albeit indirectly) from additional government funds being spent on its behalf. Healthy skepticism is called for in these circumstances.

    Respectfully,

    Dr. Ibringdoh


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    neutron Flux

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:17 am)

    If the incentive to employers was to put in only 220 V high amp charging stations that would allow recharging in 3 hours or less it would not create a problem during peak energy demand periods in summer, as those arriving to work by 8 AM would have their vehicles mostly charged by the time peak demand hits & their charging stations on Smart meters shut down. Using 115 VAC to charge at work is almost meaningless due to peak demand time considerations in the long run. I see states getting their greedy hands into this business to offset losses in fuel taxes. The government will provide incentives but tax the HEQQ out of the energy purchased through the at work charging stations. If not immediately it will be comming in the not to distant future. When it comes to State legislatures they will tax it to death if you let them. They are real good at killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, especially in Ca. They espouse green on one hand and will tax & regulate the infrastructure to the point of making it not cost effective. Do you know the true cost of putting solar farms in the desert after moving 12 tortoises and providing them with new homes & full time environmental monitoring and all the permitting costs and legal fees just to fight off the same environmentalist that espouse green energy but are more concerned with some “rare” plant or animal than they are in getting off coal & oil. As energy goes green, expect to pay more green to get it! I bought my own 5KW system for those reasons.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:17 am)

    Hey! I’ve been beating this drum for months.
    Maybe if enough people join in, and the drums are loud enough, someone at GM will hear….

    Frank B: GM Could dominate and greatly expand the electric car market, IF:
    4.Advertise, advertise,advertise!The general public must be educated about the range extender system in the Volt.The more they know and understand the more they’ll love it and buy it.


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    Dwayne

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:23 am)

    Is there any viable alternative to H2 for the trucking industry?


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:25 am)

    Adoption of electric cars by the masses will be dictated by the cost of the Electric Car. Everyone knows an EV is a car for a specific purpose. Big OEM companies need to just get them out already. Everyone has a socket in their homes.
    I am curious why GM is being so anal about this when their product, the Volt, does not have issues with range? Why spend money on this? Oh yeah, it’s not their money.


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    PeteVE

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:27 am)

    hydrogen fuel cells will never have a real future. i am a vehicle enthusiast and read many vehicle futures forums. i will not take over this thread start a new conversation as many do and post the reasons as to why hydrogen will fail, i will speak upon what i see the current trend of hydrogen fuel cell talks are….kill em…kill all projects.

    GM is backing out because they don’t see it as a true possible income path. in the past, it was a possible path. now with more knowledge and generations of their solution, they know the hard facts and are backing out. this act alone is enough to say forget about hydrogen fuel cells for now.


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    Peter M

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:49 am)

    AnonymousProxy: Adoption of electric cars by the masses will be dictatedby the cost of the Electric Car.

    I respectfully disagree, Adoption of electric cars is more likely to be dictated by the cost of Gasoline than any other variable.

    If gas is $2 per gallon, electric cars are dead, if gas is $4 per gallon electric cars have a good chance at success, if gas is $6 per gallon, electric cars will be a HUGE success. Just my 2 cents.


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    Herm

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:58 am)

    Dwayne: Is there any viable alternative to H2 for the trucking industry?

    Natural Gas.. it has the same storage issues as H2, namely the need for expensive, energy wasting and bulky high pressure tanks but it has several advantages:

    1. cheap and plentiful.. H2 is made from natural gas so that gives you a hint.

    2. there is existing infrastructure in place, no special pipelines needed and no issues with hydrogen enbrittleness of steel.

    3. its renewable, just like hydrogen. Also a very clean fuel.

    4. there is lots of experience using it in transportation.

    5. dual fuel usage.. most natural gas powered vehicles also have a gasoline tank to use in case NG is not available.. probably the same could be done with diesel engines.


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    Larry McFall

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:17 am)

    I think the GM CEO needs to get outside sometimes. The excitement is there for the taking however, you can’t just offer a carrot without producing the meal. Everybody showing interest would like to have a little taste!

    Get some copies of the VOLT EV out at the dealers and build an excitement (i.e., a market) in them. Here! The GM dealers say they know nothing more about the Volt than anyone else and that, GM is not doing anything to stimulate the market for “Electric Vehicle” demand.

    Come on Mr. CEO, you don’t get the BIG self imposed bonuses for this type of action or, Do You? Let us see more of VOLTEC in the real world and not on the damn internet or for that matter, not just on this site.

    I have been reading far to much about how the New GM is SO! concerned in the “Market Demand” that it sounds as if they need some executive guts for this job. The present administration is the big pusher of EV technology and regardless of what is said, you only exist because the public bailed you out and I imagine that most of the public would love to rely less on foriegn oil.


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:25 am)

    tom: The other reason NEVER DISCUSSED HERE is there are lots of folks I’m sure interested in driving electric, but live in places where charging at home is difficult. Apartments, homes (often rented so no incentive to install charging infrastructure) with no garage. (15)

    Tom,

    Go back and read all of the posts to all of the articles before you make another statement about anything discussed on this blog.

    The topic has been discussed many times with reference to news links, etc.

    Your ideas are acceptable. Don’t take this as criticism of your whole comments; just the part about it not being discussed here.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:26 am)

    After a lot of thought and soul searching I have come the the conclusion that a Volt is just too rich for me. I’m not going to spend over $30k for a car. There is just too many other things I could better use that kind of money for my family. I’ll continue to follow the developments, but as an interested observer.

    In the words of the tv show shark tank: I’m out.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:31 am)

    Peter M:
    I respectfully disagree, Adoption of electric cars is more likely to be dictated by the cost of Gasoline than any other variable.If gas is $2 per gallon, electric cars are dead, if gas is $4 per gallon electric cars have a good chance at success, if gas is $6 per gallon, electric cars will be a HUGE success.Just my 2 cents.

    I whole heartedly disagree. If gas is $2/gal and I can’t afford the $43,000.00 EV, then How the hell am I going to afford one when gas goes up to $6/gal? By then food prices and other products will have jumped because of fuel prices. Will my income magically increase to allow me to qualify for a $43,000.00 car? Will the cost of the car magically go down to $25,000.00? All gas prices will do is will bring the “desirability” for an EV up but you are still in the same if not worse position to afford one.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:37 am)

    RB: Fritz says Everybody is trying to solve the problem of range because we have range anxiety.———-I’m a little dense but finally I have understood that this statement is about marketing, not about customers. It is a pitch for EREV and the Volt, and why that’s the “correct” choice, instead of Nissan’s LEAF. It tells the customers that if you don’t feel anxious, you should.As with most marketing pitches, maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.

    Exactly


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    Streetlight

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    Fritz offered magic words. Range, range, range. I want those words to resonate with VOLT leaders to let engineering do its job. Whenever the VOLT is marketed it must be truly leading edge – not just adequate. That’s the problem I see. All this bulljoy about statistical reliance on polls showing an average 40 miles commute to justify a puny ER ICE and a puny gas tank. GM needs to move away from stat-controlled marketing, step back, and say ‘how do we compete with ICE’s?’ The answer notwithstanding cost is obvious. Fritz’s magic words, range, range and range.


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    Van

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    “Chevy needs to get the price down.” I would like to see a guest post from Static delving into why the price/cost was said to be around $40,000 under the Old GM with its embedded costs, yet the price/cost remained the same after the embedded costs were removed. There should have been a drop in production cost of about 25% (i.e. from 40K to 30K) but the subject has not been explored Why not??


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:54 am)

    old man: I think marketing against BEV will be easy IF THE COSTis not more than $8,000.00 between a Volt and and a BEV with an AER of 100 miles. For me the cost of a 100 mile BEV would need to be at least 50% less.Range anxiety is very real for many if not most of us. It is for me! And I certainly do not want to HAVE to take my old car when leaving town.

    I disagree. For most people it is a question of whether 100 miles range “works” for them or not. If it works then it only needs to be a couple thousand dollars cheaper than an EREV to be a better solution for that customer. I think it needs to be closer in price to HEVs and ICEs in order to “work” for more people.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    I whole heartedly disagree. If gas is $2/gal and I can’t afford the $43,000.00 EV, then How the hell am I going to afford one when gas goes up to $6/gal? By then food prices and other products will have jumped because of fuel prices. Will my income magically increase to allow me to qualify for a $43,000.00 car? Will the cost of the car magically go down to $25,000.00? All gas prices will do is will bring the “desirability” for an EV up but you are still in the same if not worse position to afford one.

    You better buy the Volt at $32k before gas goes up to $6/gallon, then. Plan ahead.

    If millions of people didn’t wait till the last minute, when such cars are desirable yet circumstances to afford them have worsened (Peak Oil causing $6 or $8 gasoline per gallon, for instance), then the price of the Volt would come way down before the gas crunch came.

    But hey, the average cost of gasoline in the U.S. is $2.69 today, and Americans don’t need to plan ahead, we’re #1. I think I’ll buy me a new Hummer H2 ’cause gas is so cheap again…

    homer-mod-eyes.jpg


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:59 am)

    Dan Petit: Part of the difficulty at this point, it seems to me, is that there needs to be some sort of program where about 50 or so of the Volts are on a “one day per place tour” event in the Capitol Cities of each State firstly to privately show all the Honorable Legislators firstly, citizens secondly, then, onward to the citizens of, say, four of the largest cities in that State.

    I saw somewhere, probably on allcarselectric.com, that Nissan is doing this now with the Leaf. I believe that they are scheduled to be in Sacramento on 12/1, and in several other CA cities around that time.

    Of course the Volt is scheduled to be at the LA Auto Show in December as well, right? We actually did see the sort of first pretty close to final configuration rolling chassis mockup in Santa Monica what, a year ago? So they are doing some of this. But I agree that a real “road show”, with actual running cars, would be really smart.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:02 am)

    Dan Petit: What’s your second idea?

    LJGTVWOTR!!

    Show me a car that I can actually buy, and then I’ll start to get excited.


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    RVD

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:07 am)

    While GM continue to pursue its miracle niche-mobil aka Volt, GMAC is borrowing more money from taxpayers, hoping to achieve “three time’s a charm” claim. Way to go!

    “GM would not go back to the government for more funding” – yeah, right…


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:12 am)

    Geronimo: All gas prices will do is will bring the “desirability” for an EV up

    Bingo, you made my point exactly. Gas prices bring up the desirability of the Volt up so more people will buy them. The more people that buy them, the cheaper they will get, and the cycle goes on. Mass Production will bring the cost down for everyone, but if the car is not desirable, then that will never happen. With Gas at $2.69 a gallon the car is not “desirable” to the general public, so per unit costs will be to high and the price will never come down. In other words yes, at $6 per gallon, the price does magically come down to $25,000 because suddenly you can sell 600,000 units instead of 60,000 units per year.

    So my point is, gas prices need to increase for the volt to be a success.


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:16 am)

    (36)

    tom: #32 Eco;I hate to see CNG used in passenger vehicles.I’d like to see that saved for home heating and large 18 wheelers.We have lots of CNG, but that doesn’t mean we should use it for all purposes.That would just drive the cost of CNG up and deplete the resource.Electricity is best for personal mobility.

    Eco, I agree. Use the CNG for large fleet transporters.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:32 am)

    RVD: While GM continue to pursue its miracle niche-mobil aka Volt, GMAC is borrowing more money from taxpayers, hoping to achieve “three time’s a charm” claim. Way to go!“GM would not go back to the government for more funding” – yeah, right…

    Maybe GMAC can borrow a few $billion from the Wall St. managers who gave themselves $32 billion in bonuses after a few hundred $billion bailout of Wall St firms.

    That way, Government bailout money is laundered through the personal accounts of Wall St. multimillionaires, so Americans won’t get angry about GMAC borrowing this money.

    Kind of like Ford borrowing money from banks that had to be bailed out a few months later… Americans prefer “private” money to “government” money. Direct loans from the government ? Bad. Outrageously overpriced government contracts during war time ? Entrepreneurship.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:33 am)

    A large part of buying interest in the Volt will be the “new” feeling of traveling via all-time electric drive. Sticker price will not be a huge factor to these customers.
    Why not just buy a BEV rather than the Volt? Because Joe Carbuyer wants to cling to using gasoline. It’s his security blanket.
    In spring of 2010 NGMCO needs to tour America and Canada with test drive demos. This will place the Volt firmly on Joe Carbuyers list of potentials. And will also reroute the momentum the Leaf has gained by being first off the blocks.
    As is has been said here many times. The best way to get positive word out for the Volt is to sell the Volt. When this happens the only advertising NGMCO will need to do is offer attractive financing options. The occasional 10 second ad will be good as well. This should be a quick montage of Volt R&D shots. Everything from the dunk tank test, to the shot of Bob Lutz taking his first test drive, to the snow covered summit of Pike’s Peak.

    =D~


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:37 am)

    Peter M:
    Bingo, you made my point exactly.Gas prices bring up the desirability of the Volt up so more people will buy them.The more people that buy them, the cheaper they will get, and the cycle goes on.Mass Production will bring the cost down for everyone, but if the car is not desirable, then that will never happen.With Gas at $2.69 a gallon the car is not “desirable” to the general public, so per unit costs will be to high and the price will never come down.In other words yes, at $6 per gallon, the price does magically come down to $25,000 because suddenly you can sell 600,000 units instead of 60,000 units per year.So my point is, gas prices need to increase for the volt to be a success.

    So, just curious. If gas prices go up and commodity prices go up like groceries, clothes household goods, will I magically be able to afford one? If I can’t afford one now at low gas prices will I magically get more money to be able to afford one when gas prices shoot up along with everything else?

    Help me understand this theory.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:39 am)

    I think he meant to say

    - We cannot afford to be in the chemistry business at this time, the company is not strong enough yet. We have to concentrate on the car business -

    As for your remarks about ethanol and NiMh batteries, we witnessed last spring the results of that ill business strategy.

    Carcus1: ” We’re not in the chemistry business”
    ___________________________________
    And yet, you’ve invested in two separate ethanol manufacturers.Isn’t that the chemistry business?At one time, didn’t you purchase a NiMH battery manufacturing business?


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    Paul Stoller

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:50 am)

    Eco: I do not understand why so many regular readers on this site, are so anti hydrogen…I get the feeling you were once an advocate, and think you’ve been made into a sucker.DOE just announced 10 million in research on h2 production going to three research teams, all affiliated with some commercial venture for the technology.If you have been watching the research on h2 “generation” and storage, you know that the task has been reduced to a simple question: material science.Solving the H2 puzzle is not nuclear fusion, it’s not the Hadron collider, it’s material science.And given that nanotech has changed the entire world of material science in less than a generation, I find it implausible that research won’t achieve price parity between h2 and gasoline.The same goes for alloys for the fuel cells themselves.And by the way, they also announced more millions going to battery tech research.Even though I think we are close to h2 being a better alternative, I don’t dismiss the research as a waste of money.Just because I want to buy a car with an h2 storage device and fuel cell does not make an EREV a bad idea.Remember that more members of the public have driven an h2 powered vehicle today, than an EREV.

    No it comes down to simple physics, there are inevitable losses when making the hydrogen, most hydrogen is made from electricity.

    There are fewer losses in electricity transmission and electric drivetrains than there would be for hydrogen distribution and a hydrogen drivetrain.

    It makes far more sense to me to modify our existing electric infrastructure to support electric vehicles than it does to pour trillions into a hydrogen infrastructure.

    Building a hydrogen distribution network may not even be economically doable as any pipes used to transport it long distances would be in need of constant repair due to the fact the the hydrogen molecule is so small that it causes any metal to be come brittle as the hydrogen slowly leaks from the pipes.

    If you can show me how we can fix these problems with hydrogen I’m willing to listen, but I have not heard credible solutions to these problems.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:50 am)

    Geronimo:
    Maybe GMAC can borrow a few $billion from the Wall St. managers who gave themselves $32 billion in bonuses after a few hundred $billion bailout of Wall St firms.That way, Government bailout money is laundered through the personal accounts of Wall St. multimillionaires, so Americans won’t get angry about GMAC borrowing this money.Kind of like Ford borrowing money from banks that had to be bailed out a few months later… Americans prefer “private” money to “government” money.Direct loans from the government ?Bad.Outrageously overpriced government contracts during war time ?Entrepreneurship.

    Speaking of Banks…
    How in the hell does a job/position include a contract for “Bonuses”?!?!?!?
    WTF?

    IMHO, a bonus is extra for something you did WELL where the corporation benefited, not just because you have the job.
    Sheeesh.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:53 am)

    I’d like to see a CNG option on my Volt. That way I can fill up the CNG tank from home, charge the battery from home, drive clean electricy, then clean CNG, and finally have the gas tank as a last resort.

    CNG can be produced renewably, even though most of the CNG used today is not. It’s relatively easy and cheap to produce renewably as well.

    Range anxiety, and the debate about batteries vs. fuel cells comes down to one thing: how long it takes to refuel/recharge. Modern society is accustomed to, and demands, and effectively unlimited range. Anything less will produce anxiety, and will not supplant the ICE in all applications (i.e.: trucking or road trips). If battery chemistry and charging tech does not advance to the point where a full charge can be taken on in less than 5 mins for the average personal vehicle, then a liquid or gas fuel will continue to dominate.

    If that’s the case, I can see bio-methane (bio-CNG) rising as a fuel alternative. Since internal combusion is excedingly dirty, from a local air quality perspective, I can see fuel cells replacing the ICE as a range extender. Since hydrogen is a very problematic energy carrier, I can also see methane fuel cells being a viable option. Less problems than hydrogen, and just as clean when bio-CNG is used. The CO2 emitted is not as big a local air quality problem as the particulates, NOx and SOx pollution from ICEs idling is city traffic, poisioning all who are unlucky enough to be walking by.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:54 am)

    OT…

    I heard the Cruze got held back a few months.
    It’s on ABG.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:57 am)

    LRGVProVolt:
    Eco, I agree. Use the CNG for large fleet transporters.Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.

    I agree too.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:57 am)

    #53

    CaptJackSparrow: Will the cost of the car magically go down to $25,000.00?

    In time, depending of course on world events influencing petroleum pricing, the price of gasoline will go up. And the price of the Volt will come down, and It will become economical for the masses. IMHO, GM came out with the Volt just in time to save this country. Hopefully, the other manufacturers including Ford will also be selling EV,s in near future otherwise the rising cost of petroleum will cripple the World economy.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (11:59 am)

    Geronimo: Direct loans from the government ? Bad. Outrageously overpriced government contracts during war time ? Entrepreneurship.

    Amen! +1


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:00 pm)

    GM backing away from hydrogen and going more towards plug-ins. Kind of tells you the situation for hydrogen.

    From the article, the hydrogen car is an upwards of $400k vs $40k for the Volt. So 10x the cost at least.

    We only need a 2x cost drop to get to $20k for the Volt. $400k to $20k needs a 20x cost drop. Of course to be fair, $400k is likely low volume and $40k has the help of reatively higher volume. But given this difference, it’s obvious hydrogen is a lot further off esp given there hasn’t been a huge expansion of hydrogen infrastructure to make the cars useful. So right now investing too much into hydrogen is a waste of money. You want research to continue so you don’t fall behind, but the chances of mass production are slim in the near term.

    Koz: If it works then it only needs to be a couple thousand dollars cheaper than an EREV to be a better solution for that customer.

    Yes, I don’t think there will be an automatic choice of the Volt even if the BEV isn’t that much less than the Volt. Heck it doesn’t even have to be cheaper than the Volt. Some people might want the ~100 mile range and they have a second car. Then there isn’t really that much more reason to get the Volt. I do agree that both should aim for more affordable prices. I think both BEVs and EREVs like the Volt are working toward coming in under $30k.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:04 pm)

    #14 Spin said:

    “We’re not interested in doing this twice”

    We taxpayers are even less interested.

    I wish someone would tell that to the UAW at Ford…


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:04 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: OT…I heard the Cruze got held back a few months.It’s on ABG.

    If so, that’s really bad news. While I really admire your brief and to the point style here, would you care to elaborate?


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    Noel Park:
    If so, that’s really bad news.While I really admire your brief and to the point style here, would you care to elaborate?

    Here ya go…
    ——————————————————————-
    General Motors is desperate to avoid the recall stigma that plagued the first year of North American production of the original Ford Focus a decade ago. That car was recalled five times in the first year to fix early production glitches. The new Chevrolet Cruze had been scheduled to launch production at the company’s Lordstown, Ohio factory in April of next year, but that has now been pushed back to July.

    Although earlier launches of the Cruze in China and Europe have not had any serious problems, as the first major new product since GM was re-born out of bankruptcy this summer, and the company wants to make sure nothing goes wrong in the U.S. as well. The Cruze is expected to hit 40 mpg in highway driving with its new 1.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder. According to reports, the delay will also give GM time to have every variant of Cruze ready for customers on day one. Often, production launches are staggered with some versions held back. This can frequently cause problems for an automaker if they don’t build enough of the version people actually want to buy.
    ——————————————————————-

    BTW, 40mpg sounds like a good “bridge” car for me till I can afford a Volt. Looks nice too.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Hey! I’ve been beating this drum for months.
    Maybe if enough people join in, and the drums are loud enough, someone at GM will hear….

    You clearly have forgotten more about selling cars than I’m ever gonna know, so maybe you can help me out here. If you won’t actually have any Volts to sell for at least 2 years, how does it do any good to spend a bunch of money on advertising now?

    I was going to say that it would seem better to me to promote the !@#$ out of the Cruze, which is supposed to arrive in some kind of volume next year. If it’s as good as it sounds, maybe it would give you something to really sell against the Civic, et al.

    Although CaptJack just commented that he saw somewhere that the Cruze is being “held back a few months”, God forbid. So maybe that doesn’t work either. Alas my beloved Chevy, whither art thou bound?


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:18 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: So, just curious. If gas prices go up and commodity prices go up like groceries, clothes household goods, will I magically be able to afford one? If I can’t afford one now at low gas prices will I magically get more money to be able to afford one when gas prices shoot up along with everything else?Help me understand this theory.

    You won’t be able to afford one, but there are people who will be able to. And they will be more likely to do so if gasoline is higher. There are also people who will stretch to be able to even if they shouldn’t once they see the price of gasoline.

    Once the wealthy buy enough Volts, the economics of mass production will kick in, and GM will be able to sell them for a lower price. And, ultimately, everyone will be able to afford them.

    As much as I’d like to believe that people will atruistically buy the Volts because it’s better for society, I think that for mainstream adoption, you have to save money with one. And that won’t happen for the first few years. Unless, of course, gas gets significantly more expensive.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:19 pm)

    “The Volt is a farce”

    This was a quote from a co-worker that I talked to yesterday. This person is highly educated and he is every bit as interested in new technologies as I am…the whole reason the conversation shifted towards the Volt was that he was showing me a video from http://www.ted.com (cool site) about wireless electricity and I told him that I first heard about that over a year ago right here on GM-Volt.com…wireless charging in the garage for your Volt

    The wireless electricity demo link here:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/eric_giler_demos_wireless_electricity.html

    So when I mentioned the Volt he said its a farce because it is NOT an electric car if you need gas to run it…. so I did my best to explain the whole Voltec concept to him and how it really is an electrically driven vehicle and that it doesnt really NEED gas to run and blah, blah, blah….

    In the end I am confident that he actually learned something from our conversation and … for that I am proud to have helped the cause. I think it is going to be an interesting battle to attain mass adoption… albeit an uphill one.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:20 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: The new Chevrolet Cruze had been scheduled to launch production at the company’s Lordstown, Ohio factory in April of next year, but that has now been pushed back to July.

    Thanks for the info Captain. As a good pirate might
    say, “Aaaarrrrggggghhhh!!”

    How about “Let’s Just Get The Cruze’s Wheels On The Road”!!. LJGTCWOTR!!


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:23 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: BTW, 40mpg sounds like a good “bridge” car for me till I can afford a Volt. Looks nice too.

    Absolutely. Plus a really good product to sell to folks who don’t want to/can’t step up for the Volt. Again, something that CorvetteGuy can really effectively sell against the Civic, et al. I sincerely hope.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:25 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: Speaking of Banks…How in the hell does a job/position include a contract for “Bonuses”?!?!?!?WTF? IMHO, a bonus is extra for something you did WELL where the corporation benefited, not just because you have the job.Sheeesh.

    I believe there was some kind of tax advantage involved in paying out portions of the salaries as bonuses. .


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:30 pm)

    LauraM: As much as I’d like to believe that people will atruistically buy the Volts because it’s better for society, I think that for mainstream adoption, you have to save money with one. And that won’t happen for the first few years. Unless, of course, gas gets significantly more expensive.

    While your bigger picture analysis is undeniably true, a LOT of Priuses have been sold to people who will never actually save any money with them, based upon a cold hearted analysis of initial cost vs. gas savings. Whether they do this for altruistic reasons or because they don’t do the math, I dunno. Either way, I feel that it bodes well for the first few years of Volt sales.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:37 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: So, just curious. If gas prices go up and commodity prices go up like groceries, clothes household goods, will I magically be able to afford one? If I can’t afford one now at low gas prices will I magically get more money to be able to afford one when gas prices shoot up along with everything else?

    And just to add to what Laura M said, Nobody said the $6 gallon gas would be good for the economy, or the pocket book of of the average american. However it would be good for the Volt. I think the original comment was that for the Volt to be succesfull the price of batteries would need to drop, and I argued that an increase in the price of gasoline would be more beneficial to the volt success. Your responses have nothing to do with the success of the Volt, but are more generally aimed at your personal wellbeing.

    I don’t disagree with your conclusions, they are just irrelevant to the original argument.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:39 pm)

    The Prius isn’t mainstream. Sure, lots have been sold, but compared to the overall market, it’s still a drop in the ocean. LauraM’s point stands, and I agree.

    The mainstream buyer has a different set of priorities, and EVs will have to address those if they are to ever compete with the ICE on a scale that will actually make a difference. The EREV goes a long way to addressing mainstream priorities, however the price will need to drop to achieve real mass adoption.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:42 pm)

    SteveK9: Jason:‘In order to create an economically feasible hydrogen vehicle….. ‘I’m very sure others will point this out, but there is no infrastructure for making or delivering hydrogen. There is an infrastructure for making and delivering electricity. That is why hydrogen makes little sense, and never did.

    SteveK9, whereever there is water and electricity, you have the essentials for a hydrogen infrastructure. The equipment to make hydrogen from water is now more efficient and no bigger than a large refridgerator.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:46 pm)

    Jim in PA: Jason, the problem with marketing a plug-in hydrogen vehicle to the public is that the whole point of a range extender is to eliminate range anxiety. Ironically, the lack of a hydrogen infrastructure means that a hydrogen EREV would do nothing to eliminate range anxiety vs. driving a traditional BEV with a bigger battery.

    The hydrogen infrastructure is being rolled out, and those who live in those areas may opt for a hydrogen fuel cell range extender in place of the internal combustion engine, so that they have a zero emissions vehicle. I could see Los Angeles and New York government entities selecting these vehicles initially, with private citizens buying in later.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    LauraM:
    I believe there was some kind of tax advantage involved in paying out portions of the salaries as bonuses..

    Ah….OK, so they circumvented their salary through a loophole for tax purposes/evasion.
    Or did I misunderstand?


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:53 pm)

    This is getting a lot of attention on the front page of Digg today.

    Tesla roadster sets new world record 313 miles on a single charge!

    http://green.autoblog.com/2009/10/27/tesla-roadster-runs-313-miles-on-a-charge-in-global-green-challe/


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    I did some research and found that 5 out of 10 commuters drive less than 16 miles each way to work. And 78% drive less than 40 miles round trip. So in effect 80% of American drivers will use ZERO gas, driving a VOLT, except to stir the gas, or for HVAC.

    The average American drives 12,000 miles per year . For them that is 231 miles /per week, or 33 miles per day. Their ANNUAL gasoline consumption is under ten gallons a year, and that yields an ANNUAL gas mileage figure of 1,200 miles per gallon. VOLT is indeed a game changer.

    The ICEAge is ending. Embrace the VOLTAge.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:56 pm)

    Here ya go…
    ——————————————————————-
    General Motors is desperate to avoid the recall stigma that plagued the first year of North American production of the original Ford Focus a decade ago. That car was recalled five times in the first year to fix early production glitches. The new Chevrolet Cruze had been scheduled to launch production at the company’s Lordstown, Ohio factory in April of next year, but that has now been pushed back to July.

    Although earlier launches of the Cruze in China and Europe have not had any serious problems, as the first major new product since GM was re-born out of bankruptcy this summer, and the company wants to make sure nothing goes wrong in the U.S. as well. The Cruze is expected to hit 40 mpg in highway driving with its new 1.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder. According to reports, the delay will also give GM time to have every variant of Cruze ready for customers on day one. Often, production launches are staggered with some versions held back. This can frequently cause problems for an automaker if they don’t build enough of the version people actually want to buy.
    ——————————————————————-

    CJS:
    This 40 mpg for the Cruze, makes a nice comparison to what we can expect, related to the Volt operating with range extender.
    I have predicted the Volt to get about 40 mpg hwy, and I know some will/have disagreed with my estimate.

    While the Volt will be able to operate the motor at more optimum rpm, the Volt also has to lug along all they extras that come with the Volt. The argument that the Volt can use average power and tap into the battery when necessary, is not valid for the majority of hwy miles. The Volt will be running its 1.4L (non-turbo), to propel it, and does not need extra HP for normal hwy speeds.

    So yes you gain some efficiency running the engine at optimum rpm, but, when any vehicle is running hwy speeds, the transmission is geared to get you near that optimum anyway. So, maybe you gain 5-10% efficiency at hwy speeds, but then you lose some percent, carrying that big battery and all its supporting items (motors, inverter, generator, cabling).

    So, I stand by my 38-40 mpg hwy estimate with the range extender. Lets go to Vegas and lay down some real cash, and see where we end up.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    Peter M:
    And just to add to what Laura M said, Nobody said the $6 gallon gas would be good for the economy, or the pocket book of of the average american.However it would be good for the Volt.I think the original comment was that for the Volt to be succesfull the price of batteries would need to drop, and I argued that an increase in the price of gasoline would be more beneficial to the volt success.Your responses have nothing to do with the success of the Volt, but are more generally aimed at your personal wellbeing.I don’t disagree with your conclusions, they are just irrelevant to the original argument.

    OK, I obviously dipped my hand in someone els’s Koolaid (argument) without being in it….
    My bad dude. :-P

    Sheesh, gotta cut back on the Kahlua and use more coffee…..


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    @JEC 92

    Yeah, I have always said that I am perfectly fine with the Volt getting 40-45MPG in CS mode. But Ultimately people who don’t know the tech will judge it by the CS mode MPG against the Prius.

    Vegas sounds great. Do they have slot machines at the Cherry Patch Ranch there?
    :-P


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (1:12 pm)

    Curious. Why so many “reporters and editors” from the same newspaper? Is Mr. Henderson not interesting to the rest of the media? And just how many reporters and photogs does it take to do a business story on a car company??

    It was a lot more interesting with Lutz and Waggoner.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (1:28 pm)

    Noel Park: While your bigger picture analysis is undeniably true, a LOT of Priuses have been sold to people who will never actually save any money with them, based upon a cold hearted analysis of initial cost vs. gas savings. Whether they do this for altruistic reasons or because they don’t do the math, I dunno. Either way, I feel that it bodes well for the first few years of Volt sales.

    I absolutely agree that the first year’s production of Volt’s will sell out–with a waiting list. In fact, I’ll be surprised if there aren’t still waiting lists three years into production given the projected production numbers.

    But GM really needs to sell 200,000 a year. And for that to happen, they’ve got to reach the mainstream buyer.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (1:30 pm)

    Is it just me, or does Mr. Henderson look a lot like “The Joker” of Batman fame in this photo? He takes about as good of a photo as I do, LOL.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    LauraM: But GM really needs to sell 200,000 a year. And for that to happen, they’ve got to reach the mainstream buyer.

    God send that it shalll be true.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (1:32 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: Ah….OK, so they circumvented their salary through a loophole for tax purposes/evasion.
    Or did I misunderstand?

    Something like that. Not only did they manage to shift their losses onto the US taxpayer, but they found ways around being the US taxpayer when they were making profits.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (1:38 pm)

    Noel Park: Is it just me, or does Mr. Henderson look a lot like “The Joker” of Batman fame in this photo?He takes about as good of a photo as I do, LOL.

    Naw…
    Looks more like an elderly Vulcan!!!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    RB: Fritz says Everybody is trying to solve the problem of range because we have range anxiety.
    ———-
    I’m a little dense but finally I have understood that this statement is about marketing, not about customers.It is a pitch for EREV and the Volt, and why that’s the “correct” choice, instead of Nissan’s LEAF.It tells the customers that if you don’t feel anxious, you should. As with most marketing pitches, maybe so, maybe not.We’ll see.

    No, what he is saying, is: “If you don’t feel anxious, you aren’t driving a BEV.” Buy, beg, borrow, but don’t steal one, even an e-bike. Try to use it for a real, non-recreational purpose for a while. You will learn what range anxiety is. Will you need medication? No. But you may find yourself spending as much time watching the charge meter as the speedo. And you will find yourself carefully planning your trips and rigidly sticking to your plan. No carefree midstream course changes.
    Just think how different your opinion of your current car would be if it could only travel about 15 miles and the ONLY place you could get more gas was back at home in your own garage. That is the basic idea. Been doing it for several years now, this is not a theory.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:00 pm)

    Dwayne: Is there any viable alternative to H2 for the trucking industry?

    Herm: Natural Gas.. it has the same storage issues as H2, namely the need for expensive, energy wasting and bulky high pressure tanks but it has several advantages:1. cheap and plentiful.. H2 is made from natural gas so that gives you a hint.2. there is existing infrastructure in place, no special pipelines needed and no issues with hydrogen enbrittleness of steel.3. its renewable, just like hydrogen. Also a very clean fuel.4. there is lots of experience using it in transportation.5. dual fuel usage.. most natural gas powered vehicles also have a gasoline tank to use in case NG is not available.. probably the same could be done with diesel engines.

    Don’t forget the possibility of biodiesel.

    If they can work out the kinks in that algae-to-biodiesel idea, there will be enough not only for trucks but airliners.

    (This probably won’t become economic reality for a decade, if it can be done; but we should know before then whether it would really pay to convert long-haul trucks to CNG, vs waiting for biodiesel).


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:04 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: Tom,Go back and read all of the posts to all of the articles before you make another statement about anything discussed on this blog.The topic has been discussed many times with reference to news links, etc.Your ideas are acceptable. Don’t take this as criticism of your whole comments; just the part about it not being discussed here.Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.

    Hi Happy Trails;

    I’m not going to win a pulitzer prize on this site, so you missed my point. My point about it not being discussed wasn’t saying we never discussed folks living in apartments or homes without garages. My point was that charging at the workplace has the additional value of including giving many of these folks a place to charge that would lead to more sales. Charging at the work place also can double AER for many folks and companies would likely subsidize this if they were given brownie points for being Green Corporate citizens.

    So my point was all about the value of focusing on charging at the workplace, not that no one ever figured out electric cars are hard to charge at home if you live in an apartment building.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler: SteveK9, whereever there is water and electricity, you have the essentials for a hydrogen infrastructure. The equipment to make hydrogen from water is now more efficient and no bigger than a large refridgerator.

    Unless your conversion method is 100% efficient, you would be better off putting the electricity into a battery without conversion (or expensive, regrigerator-sized machines).

    Assuming that you could make hydrogen economically at home, how would you store it on board the vehicle? There is much more holding back wide-scale H2 vehicle adoption than the source of hydrogen, or even, the cost of the fuel cell.

    Hydrogen is NOT ready at this time, and won’t be any time soon. GM should have “stepped on the brakes” a couple or more years ago, IMHO.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    tom: Hi Happy Trails;I’m not going to win a pulitzer prize on this site. My original point about it not being discussed wasn’t saying we never discussed folks living in apartments or homes without garages. My point was that charging at the workplace has the additional value of including many giving many of these folks a place to charge that would lead to more sales. Charging at the work place also can double AER for many folks and companies would likely subsidize this if they were given brownie points for being Green Corporate citizens. So my point was all about the value of focusing on charging at the workplace, not that no one ever figured out electric cars are hard to charge at home if you live in an apartment building.

    If there was a way to tie in an incentive to employers for charging EVs with one for putting photovoltaic arrays on their roofs, this would be a win-win for everyone. The cells would be in sunlight at the very time that grid load is highest, and employee EVs are charging.

    What form might an incentive take? Businesses are going to be hurting for any kind of tax relief an a couple of years. Just sayin’.

    Oh, and yeah, sometimes it would be cloudy. We’re looking at overall percentages, surely (there would also be less A/C load on a cloudy day for another thing).


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:18 pm)

    Jackson: Unless your conversion method is 100% efficient, you would be better off putting the electricity into a battery without conversion (or expensive, regrigerator-sized machines).Assuming that you could make hydrogen economically at home, how would you store it on board the vehicle? There is much more holding back wide-scale H2 vehicle adoption than the source of hydrogen, or even, the cost of the fuel cell.Hydrogen is NOT ready at this time, and won’t be any time soon. GM should have “stepped on the brakes” a couple or more years ago, IMHO.

    Customers would pay more for hydrogen for the convenience of rapid recharge, so it isn’t a simple arguement over comparitive efficiencies. Well heeled customers will happily pay 4 cents per mile versus 2 cents per mile for convenience, especially when compared to 10 cents per mile for gasoline.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:25 pm)

    Paul Stoller: most hydrogen is made from electricity.

    I agree with the thrust of your comment, but at the present time most hydrogen is made using a high-temperature process that combines methane and water vapor, releasing CO2. You could think of this as using chemical energy instead of electrical energy, and your argument still holds. CNG could theoretically be used directly in a fuel cell without the many costly storage and delivery problems of hydrogen.

    The problem, of course, is that you can’t play pretend along with the green faithful while releasing the EVIL POLLUTANT; which is why all we ever hear about is the more expensive electrolysis method creating more expensive-to-use hydrogen (never mind the fact that most electricity in this country comes from burning coal — a seperate problem affecting EVs and H2Vs alike).


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:37 pm)

    I have to agree that efficiency is not the only piece of the puzzle. It is important, but not the one exclusive consideration when choosing an energy carrier.

    The main challenge to the EV revolution is adoption by the masses. In order to do that, the priorities that the masses place on thier vehicles need to be met or exceeded. The masses require more than just efficiency, otherwise we would all be driving around in tiny Honda Insights (the previous model). One thing the masses require, is an effectively unlimited range. That is, the freedom to travel as far and as wide as one might wish. This is the same issue that range anxiety stems from.

    If fast charging does not become a reality, then a liquid or gas fuel will contimue to dominate. Hydrogen is a possibility in this scenario, despite the shortcomings percieved by the eco-intellgencia (that would be us). CNG is another option that has promise. It can be combusted efficiently with few air pollution byproducts, or it can be used more efficiently in a fuel cell. The problem with bio diesel is that it requires combustion, which does not solve local air pollution problems.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:39 pm)

    GM will not mass produce the Volt until they can make a reasonable profit at it. Right now the cost of the batteries, electric motors and power electronics – that they have to buy – prohibits much if any profit. Until these costs come down GM will only make as many Volts as they can sell at $40K plus to the early adopters.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    stas peterson: I did some research and found that 5 out of 10 commuters drive less than 16 miles each way to work. And 78% drive less than 40 miles round trip. So in effect 80% of American drivers will use ZERO gas, driving a VOLT, except to stir the gas, or for HVAC.The average American drives 12,000 miles per year . For them that is 231 miles /per week, or 33 miles per day. Their ANNUAL gasoline consumption is under ten gallons a year, and that yields an ANNUAL gas mileage figure of 1,200 miles per gallon. VOLT is indeed a game changer.The ICEAge is ending. Embrace the VOLTAge.

    Hey Stas;

    I think the vast majority of people that buy a volt (or a BEV for that matter) on average will drive much more than 12,000 miles a year. Many will charge at work and achieve greater AER.

    When there are currently 2 cars in the driveway that each average 12,000 miles, folks will opt to take the Volt and that will increase the average. Folks will commonly plug in more than overnight. Whether at work, or when they get home for work, and aren’t going back out for an hour or two, they’ll plug it in at 220.

    I wonder if Lyle does that now in his Mini, come home from work, plug it in and go back out later. Of course in the Volt that is more important because the electric range is less and there is no range anxiety. So it makes more sense with the Volt to come home, plug it in if you know you are going back out, then go back out without any range anxiety.


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    Jackson

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:46 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler: Customers would pay more for hydrogen for the convenience of rapid recharge, so it isn’t a simple arguement over comparitive efficiencies. Well heeled customers will happily pay 4 cents per mile versus 2 cents per mile for convenience, especially when compared to 10 cents per mile for gasoline.

    This does not address the overall difficulty of how to store the hydrogen on board the car in the first place, and the added expense of even expected, less-expensive catalyst fuel cells brings the extra cost for this quick-fuel ‘benefit’ far above the figure you give. If we’re talking hydrogen used as a range extender, then these added costs have to be added to the cost of a battery, making your H2 ‘quick refuel’ car a plaything of the uber-rich: for whom no one is going to invest in an extensive infrastructure.

    The insistence on rapid refueling is based on the current paradigm of liquid fuels, for which relatively infrequent (though rapid) refueling is possible. If you have a paradigm of recharging more often in more places (even at home), where the vehicle is parked anyway, you may find that rapid refueling is less of a necessity than you seem to think.

    The statistics on which the Volt idea is based says that most people drive 40 miles a day, which can be made available by plugging in at home, and maybe other places too, for far less than the cost to society of establishing a hydrogen infrastructure. Since we are actually talking about 27% of daily driving to provide for, we have to ask what level of economic commitment is appropriate to make. Given the potential displacement of gasoline offered for 78% of driving, liquid fuel will be capable of stepping in immediately and inexpensively for many years to come.

    Let the basic, university-level research into hydrogen’s many specific difficulties be done, and perhaps, be dealt with; before insisting that actual application be taken off of the back burner by businesses out to make a dollar. I think you will find that EREV with liquid fuel will have done very nicely for the economy, environment and everyone after the decades that hydrogen research will take.


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    GM CEO Fritz Henderson

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:46 pm)

    We need help to achieve mass adoption of Electric Cars.


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    Guy Incognito

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:51 pm)

    GM CEO Fritz Henderson: We need help to achieve mass adoption of Electric Cars.

    What’s that Fritz? You guys need help?
    Have you tried ADVERTISING?
    Because I’m not seeing ANY ADVERTISING for the Volt.

    Maybe, if you ADVERTISE, you might be able to bring about the adoption of electric cars en masse?

    Think about it Fritz…just a suggestion

    396 days and counting

    =D~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (2:59 pm)

    I am still discombooberated on why they need help “to Achieve Mass Adoption of Electric Cars”
    It’s back to the “push for more Charge stations for the Volt” when the Volt does not necessarily need one. Why do they keep doing this?
    Just get the friggin car out already, sheeesh.

    People will adopt what they can afford.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:08 pm)

    kgurnsey: The problem with bio diesel is that it requires combustion, which does not solve local air pollution problems.

    Biodiesel won’t solve local air pollution problems, but it will lessen them. Biodiesel burns significantly cleaner than diesel fuel made from petroleum.

    Since we are talking about over-the-road truckers, “local” has a somewhat limited meaning; mainly interstate highways and trucking depots. CNG has already replaced diesel for many city busses, hopefully this trend will continue for vehicles whose range is “local” as well as concentrated, within urban areas where most people live.


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    Vincent

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    Fritz “we are not in the chemistry business” What an a hole.
    You better get in it pal….
    I can not believe these so called managers. no wonder GM failed with this type of old school management.
    I really want this company to make a comeback and kick some serious butt….I think management needs a real turnover here…


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:11 pm)

    i keep saying it, put charging infrastructure in the parking lots of the work places and that will do more than anything to help adoption of EVs (other than $10,000 cash credits, that would help but costs more).

    When people walk out in their work place parking lots and see a row of VOLTS in the front row there charging, thats a lot of advertising.

    1) Employers have the incentive to provide this so they can say how ‘green’ and ‘patriotic they are, so they can eat some of the cost of setting up the charge stations (in the front row EV Charging only of course).
    2) Doubles AER for many folks.
    3) Makes it feasible for millons of folks who would only have extension cords at home.

    GM, I think this is a big point for you.


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    kgurnsey

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    Jackson:

    What happens when you don’t park for 300 miles? Many people take thier vehicles on extended trips often enough to require a fast way of extending the range of the vehicle. Having an infinte effective range is not a paradigm, it’s a design requirement.

    I am not talking about Evs as a city vehicle, second toy car, or a blip in the auto market. In order to gain mass global acceptance to the point where the ICE is completely supplanted in all applications (which is the ultimate end game of electrification), the needs of the masses must be met. Range is a mass market requirement.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:24 pm)

    Jackson: Biodiesel won’t solve local air pollution problems, but it will lessen them. Biodiesel burns significantly cleaner than diesel fuel made from petroleum. Since we are talking about over-the-road truckers, “local” has a somewhat limited meaning; mainly interstate highways and trucking depots. CNG has already replaced diesel for many city busses, hopefully this trend will continue for vehicles whose range is “local” as well as concentrated, within urban areas where most people live.

    Good point, however bio-methane is easier and cheaper to produce, especially since it’s a by product of things we do already, like landfills. The fact that also burns cleaner, and can be used in fuel cells, gives more options than biodiesel.


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    Jackson

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:25 pm)

    kgurnsey: Jackson:What happens when you don’t park for 300 miles? Many people take thier vehicles on extended trips often enough to require a fast way of extending the range of the vehicle. Having an infinte effective range is not a paradigm, it’s a design requirement.I am not talking about Evs as a city vehicle, second toy car, or a blip in the auto market. In order to gain mass global acceptance to the point where the ICE is completely supplanted in all applications (which is the ultimate end game of electrification), the needs of the masses must be met. Range is a mass market requirement.

    Perhaps you missed this portion of my comment (I guess I could have been clearer, here):

    Jackson: Since we are actually talking about 27% of daily driving to provide for, we have to ask what level of economic commitment is appropriate to make. Given the potential displacement of gasoline offered for 78% of driving, liquid fuel will be capable of stepping in immediately and inexpensively for many years to come.

    The issue on the table was whether or not we establish a complete infrastructure for an unproven technology with problems, as Jason would have us do, or use the infrastructure for liquid fuel we already have for that mass requirement where we don’t park every 300 miles … or 40.

    In other words, the Volt conception of EREV is the best solution to wide-EV adoption given the technology and infrastructure we already have — today.


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    old man

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:28 pm)

    GM CEO Fritz Henderson

    Dang! Now I am confused. I thought you were the CEO of NGMCO rather than the old GM.


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    Ed M

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:34 pm)

    “We don’t do them. We’re not in the chemistry business.” Fritz Henderson.

    Well Fritz maybe you should be. Or at least a very active hands on partnership.

    The old axiom, if we all wait for someone else to do it, it will never get done.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:35 pm)

    Edit ran out (and hey, Lyle; what happened to the count-down timer?):

    I meant 22%, not 27%; my apologies for bad math.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:35 pm)

    Jackson: Perhaps you missed this portion of my comment:

    I didn’t miss it at all, I am just looking more long term. I think that the EREV as it stands is a great option for the short and perhaps medium term. It has the chance to succeed in the mass market where BEVs have and will continue to fail, assuming the price comes down as volume ramps up. The reason why is because it allows for refueling in the instances where it is neccesary, while at the same time displacing the majority of petroleum currently used.

    My argument is that eventually that won’t be good enough either. In order to move to petroleum free transportation, either a quick charge infrastructure or a renewable and clean liquid or gaseous fuel will be necessary.


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    GM CEO Fritz Henderson

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:38 pm)

    old man: GM CEO Fritz HendersonDang! Now I am confused. I thought you were the CEO of NGMCO rather than the old GM.

    I am CEO of ALL GM ‘old man’.
    Don’t mess with me, I can shoot energy beams from my eyes.


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    Genfixer

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:38 pm)

    #66

    So, just curious. If gas prices go up and commodity prices go up like groceries, clothes household goods, will I magically be able to afford one? If I can’t afford one now at low gas prices will I magically get more money to be able to afford one when gas prices shoot up along with everything else?

    Help me understand this theory.

    ————————————————————————————–

    If you cannot afford to buy a Volt now with low gas proces you will still not buy one when gas prices are high. There are, however plenty of people who can afford to buy a Volt whether gas prices are low or high. These people will gravitate toward the Volt (or similar cars) when gas prices increase to the point where it becomes excessively costly to operate a conventional ICE vehicle.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:38 pm)

    Ed M:if we all wait for someone else to do it, it will never get done.

    That is soooo damn true!


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:41 pm)

    Genfixer: #66So, just curious. If gas prices go up and commodity prices go up like groceries, clothes household goods, will I magically be able to afford one? If I can’t afford one now at low gas prices will I magically get more money to be able to afford one when gas prices shoot up along with everything else?Help me understand this theory.————————————————————————————–If you cannot afford to buy a Volt now with low gas proces you will still not buy one when gas prices are high.There are, however plenty of people who can afford to buy a Volt whether gas prices are low or high.These people will gravitate toward the Volt (or similar cars) when gas prices increase to the point where it becomes excessively costly to operate a conventional ICE vehicle.

    Well…
    That rules out “The Masses” and narrows it down to the “Niche”.
    OK maybe a jus a wee bit larger than a “Niche”.
    :-P


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    User Name

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:41 pm)

    GM CEO Fritz Henderson: Don’t mess with me, I can shoot energy beams from my eyes.

    Oh this is just to fun ;)


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    Ed M

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:42 pm)

    Nasaman: “And we all need to note the distinction between cost and price, which are not necessarily even remotely related to each other. IOW, market factors a year from now will determine the Volt’s MSRP, not its cost.”

    In an uncompetive market I would tend to agree. The housing market comes to mind. But in the world of transportation, the highly competitive auto markets I don’t think your statement applies. GM will have to carefully manage costs and profits or they will be out of business. BTW what is IOW ?


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:43 pm)

    Hey, I haven’t heard much about the “Jelleybean car”. What’s going on with the iMiev?


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:45 pm)

    Ed M: BTW what is IOW ?

    IOW

    (i)n
    (O)ther
    (W)ords


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    old man

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:48 pm)

    GM CEO Fritz Henderewson

    You can shoot energy beams out of your eyes? THEN START A CHAIN OF QUICK CHARGE STATIONS AND OUR PROBLEM IS SOLVED!!

    User Name

    Got to hand it to you it is fun


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    Ed M

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow ty


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    David K (CT)

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:52 pm)

    This is definitely the best and most fun blog out there. :)


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    Ed M

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:56 pm)

    David K, Not for me, they put my belly at the top of the page banner.(that would be the left one).


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    Loboc

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (3:58 pm)

    Guy Incognito: Maybe, if you ADVERTISE, you might be able to bring about the adoption of electric cars en masse?

    GM is advertising. Check out their Chevrolet home page. Volt is the third from the left.

    It’d be pretty early to advertise (TV, newspaper, magazines) in the traditional way until there are actual Volts in the showrooms. Since they are targeting certain limited markets, they need to do targeted advertising at the appropriate time.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:06 pm)

    Ed M: In an uncompetive market I would tend to agree. The housing market comes to mind. But in the world of transportation, the highly competitive auto markets I don’t think your statement applies. GM will have to carefully manage costs and profits or they will be out of business. BTW what is IOW ?

    What’s an uncompetitive market? I tend to agree with Nasaman on this one. The Volt is like starting a new company, division, product line etc. At first there will be some disconnect between pricing and costs. Naurally, they’re spending investor money until the project is self sustaining. And of course as you said, carefully managing costs (although many are still unknown going forward) to make the venture eventually profitable. Or not, which could be defined as a business failure, or maybe a monopoly.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:24 pm)

    Noel Park: LJGTVWOTR!!Show me a car that I can actually buy, and then I’ll start to get excited.

    I read all 139 posts so far, and Noel said most of it…..

    But here is my addition:

    If you want to gauge demand, then junk the “limited release rollout” idea and start taking deposits from people that are really ready to step up to the plate in advance and purchase your vehicle!!! Then maybe you could rethink the “only 10K units the first year” plan….


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:37 pm)

    kgurnsey: I didn’t miss it at all, I am just looking more long term. I think that the EREV as it stands is a great option for the short and perhaps medium term. It has the chance to succeed in the mass market where BEVs have and will continue to fail, assuming the price comes down as volume ramps up. The reason why is because it allows for refueling in the instances where it is neccesary, while at the same time displacing the majority of petroleum currently used.My argument is that eventually that won’t be good enough either. In order to move to petroleum free transportation, either a quick charge infrastructure or a renewable and clean liquid or gaseous fuel will be necessary.

    What “mass marketed” BEVs have failed? That’s not to say they wouldn’t or couldn’t but they have never been tried, at least to the extent that I interpret mass market.


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    Geronimo

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:38 pm)

    kgurnsey: The Prius isn’t mainstream.Sure, lots have been sold, but compared to the overall market, it’s still a drop in the ocean.LauraM’s point stands, and I agree.The mainstream buyer has a different set of priorities, and EVs will have to address those if they are to ever compete with the ICE on a scale that will actually make a difference.The EREV goes a long way to addressing mainstream priorities, however the price will need to drop to achieve real mass adoption.

    You can argue that hybrids are not mainstream (being a small percentage of total vehicles sold), but the Prius, as a car model, yes, it is very mainstream. Every bestseller vehicle is just a “drop in the ocean” of total cars sold that year.

    In 2007, Toyota sold 281,300 Prius’s, worldwide (I don’t have figures for 2008).
    Meanwhile, the top ten cars sold in the U.S. that year range from 690,589 units sold (Ford F-series) to 219,160 units sold (Honda CR-V).
    The Ford F-series ranges from the light duty F-150 and continues to the ‘Super Duty’ F-350, and also includes commercial trucks like the F-450 up through the F-750. If Toyota had called all of their hybrids “H-series” (Prius, Camry, Highlander, Lexus hybrids) , they would be on the top ten best seller list in the U.S.

    The “mainstream” is made up of many smaller sub-streams. Mid-size sedans, trucks, small crossovers, compact cars, luxury cars, sports cars, vans, etc… Getting a “hit” in any niche market can be very profitable.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:43 pm)

    Jackson: In other words, the Volt conception of EREV is the best solution to wide-EV adoption given the technology and infrastructure we already have — today.

    …and it gets us 80% of where we need to be so let’s quite farten around and get ‘er done!


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:49 pm)

    Jim I: If you want to gauge demand, then junk the “limited release rollout” idea and start taking deposits from people that are really ready to step up to the plate in advance and purchase your vehicle!!! Then maybe you could rethink the “only 10K units the first year” plan….

    Damn right. I’m ready. +1, and I’d do better if I could.


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:50 pm)

    kgurnsey: The Prius isn’t mainstream.Sure, lots have been sold, but compared to the overall market, it’s still a drop in the ocean.LauraM’s point stands, and I agree.The mainstream buyer has a different set of priorities, and EVs will have to address those if they are to ever compete with the ICE on a scale that will actually make a difference.The EREV goes a long way to addressing mainstream priorities, however the price will need to drop to achieve real mass adoption.

    Geronimo:
    You can argue that hybrids are not mainstream (being a small percentage of total vehicles sold), but the Prius, as a car model, yes, it is very mainstream.Every bestseller vehicle is just a “drop in the ocean” of total cars sold that year.In 2007, Toyota sold 281,300 Prius’s, worldwide (I don’t have figures for 2008).
    Meanwhile, the top ten cars sold in the U.S. that year range from 690,589 units sold (Ford F-series) to 219,160 units sold (Honda CR-V).
    The Ford F-series ranges from the light duty F-150 and continues to the ‘Super Duty’ F-350, and also includes commercial trucks like the F-450 up through the F-750.If Toyota had called all of their hybrids “H-series” (Prius, Camry, Highlander, Lexus hybrids) , they would be on the top ten best seller list in the U.S.The “mainstream” is made up of many smaller sub-streams.Mid-size sedans, trucks, small crossovers, compact cars, luxury cars, sports cars, vans, etc…Getting a “hit” in any niche market can be very profitable.

    I don’t know what you guys consider “Mainstream” but in March 11, 2009 Toy/Lex topped the 1 million US Sales…
    http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota/toyota-and-lexus-hybrids-top-one-85047.aspx

    And in September 7, 2009 “Toyota Prius reaches 2 million sales milestone”…
    http://www.caradvice.com.au/40257/toyota-prius-reaches-2-million-sales-milestone/

    So if that’s not “Mainstream”, I dunno WTF is.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:53 pm)

    David K (CT): This is definitely the best and most fun blog out there.

    Well I do find myself typing LOL quire a bit, now that you mention it. +1. And +1 too, come to that.

    LOL


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:54 pm)

    Geronimo: The “mainstream” is made up of many smaller sub-streams. Mid-size sedans, trucks, small crossovers, compact cars, luxury cars, sports cars, vans, etc… Getting a “hit” in any niche market can be very profitable.

    Well said. +1


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:58 pm)

    Koz: Jackson: In other words, the Volt conception of EREV is the best solution to wide-EV adoption given the technology and infrastructure we already have — today.
    …and it gets us 80% of where we need to be so let’s quite farten around and get ‘er done!

    I agree with both of you. Well done. All of you guys and gals are all on a roll again today.

    As one of my TV favorites, Telly Savalas/Kojac always used to say:
    “Who loves ya. baby?’


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (4:59 pm)

    tom: So my point was all about the value of focusing on charging at the workplace, not that no one ever figured out electric cars are hard to charge at home if you live in an apartment building.

    That has been discussed too but can’t be brought up enough, IMO. Workplace charging is like doubling the battery capacity, with the added benefit of opening up the potential of EREV’s to multi-family dwellers.. This is huge. GM is spending a lot of effort and $ to add range via aero, low power accessories, high efficiency components, and low rolling resistance tires. If workplace installing changing outlets, then lower cost, lower AER EREVs will be even more practical for more people.

    Not that this is essential for the introduction of the Volt or the Volt’s initial success. I am of the strong opinion that Fritz, and GM as a whole, need to show more of a “can do” attitude here.


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:00 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: So if that’s not “Mainstream”, I dunno WTF is.

    Tell it like it is Captain! +1


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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:01 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler: Hendler

    What do you think GM has the cost down to now for the fuel cell system including the high-pressure tank and valves? Do you have a reference to support that? How does that cost compare to the cost of an ICE/generator? I still think if you’re only going to use a generator very infrequently the primary requirement will be low cost.


  152. 152
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:02 pm)

    Noel Park: You clearly have forgotten more about selling cars than I’m ever gonna know, so maybe you can help me out here. If you won’t actually have any Volts to sell for at least 2 years, how does it do any good to spend a bunch of money on advertising now?
    I was going to say that it would seem better to me to promote the !@#$ out of the Cruze, which is supposed to arrive in some kind of volume next year. If it’s as good as it sounds, maybe it would give you something to really sell against the Civic, et al.
    Although CaptJack just commented that he saw somewhere that the Cruze is being “held back a few months”, God forbid. So maybe that doesn’t work either. Alas my beloved Chevy, whither art thou bound?

    I do have to give GM a little bit of credit. They do have some pretty good commercials running right now. I just think they could somehow add a ‘tag line’ about “the future of GM” and show a 1.5 second image of the VOLT. Just enough for it to register in people’s minds that “electric cars are coming”.

    And, yes. I do agree they are waaayyyyy behind on promoting the Cruze. And I can report that we have received NO info on upcoming order proceedures. Bummer. It’s gonna be a great looking little car.


  153. 153
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:04 pm)

    Jim I:
    I read all 139 posts so far, and Noel said most of it…..But here is my addition:If you want to gauge demand, then junk the “limited release rollout” idea and start taking deposits from people that are really ready to step up to the plate in advance and purchase your vehicle!!!Then maybe you could rethink the “only 10K units the first year” plan….

    Noel Park:
    Damn right.I’m ready.+1, and I’d do better if I could.

    I third that!!!
    To hell with the pedly 10,000 rollout. They need to spit out at least 35,000 the first year and 3X the next year.

    Just curious, what was the projected rollout numbers for the Cruze?


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    john1701a

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:15 pm)

    Todd: Maybe we need to start our own education/marketing campaign when we finally get our Volts…

    I would also hate to be a Toyota mechanic and have to work on a Prius drive train or any parallel hybrid system. That must be a nightmare of complexity.

    Haven’t ever studied an automatic transmission, eh?

    Hybrids like Prius reduce the complexity, not increase it.

    As for sharing of info, I’ve been pointing out the need for a Tech-FAQ for over 2 years… still waiting… so, good luck.


  155. 155
    GM Volt Fan

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:17 pm)

    Out of all the people working on different chemistries for next generation batteries, I have no doubt that at least ONE of them is going to succeed and revolutionize the economics of BEVs and EREVs. Maybe the “uber battery chemistry” will be “zinc-air”. Who knows?

    http://www.technologyreview.com/business/23812/page1/

    http://www.technologyreview.com/business/23812/page2/

    “For electric vehicles, ReVolt is developing a novel battery structure that resembles that of a fuel cell. Its first batteries use two flat electrodes, which are comparable in size. In the new batteries, one electrode will be a liquid–a zinc slurry. The air electrodes will be in the form of tubes. To generate electricity, the zinc slurry, which is stored in one compartment in the battery, is pumped through the tubes where it’s oxidized, forming zinc oxide and releasing electrons. The zinc oxide then accumulates in another compartment in the battery. During recharging, the zinc oxide flows back through the air electrode, where it releases the oxygen, forming zinc again.”

    The question is, as always … WHEN? It IS coming. You just know it is. Hopefully the price for a 40 mile battery for a Volt will be $2,000 in 2013 or so. Sooner would be awesome.


  156. 156
    Koz

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:22 pm)

    Dwayne: Is there any viable alternative to H2 for the trucking industry?

    That depends. Do you mean more viable than something that isn’t viable or viable as apposed to the commonly understood definition of viable? While H2 is potentially viable for trucking, so is fusion.


  157. 157
    Wolfdoctor

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:22 pm)

    More range anxiety nonsense. There are 10s of millions of responsible people who would buy a BEV without feeling range anxiety. A BEV could be used as a family’s second car, for non-traveling seniors, for college student commutes, etc.

    Heaven help GM if they believe the Volt won’t sell without a range anxiety propaganda campaign.


  158. 158
    Dan Petit

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:29 pm)

    Noel Park:
    LJGTVWOTR!!Show me a car that I can actually buy, and then I’ll start to get excited.

    The first idea is to make it so **we** can see it.

    The second idea is to have all the Nation’s Statehouses
    invite GM for private showings (and possibly very short distance drives) for all the Nation’s **Legislators to see it**.

    Half of the populace needs to physically “see” something before granting credibility to the “idea” of it. More so, those in charge of the responsibilities of the Nation, ought to be given the chance to actually DRIVE the Volt a short distance each, so they will immediately know what to actually do for us.

    (Your turn for your Volt EREV promotion ideas.)


  159. 159
    Paul Stoller

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:34 pm)

    Jackson:
    I agree with the thrust of your comment, but at the present time most hydrogen is made using a high-temperature process that combines methane and water vapor, releasing CO2.You could think of this as using chemical energy instead of electrical energy, and your argument still holds.CNG could theoretically be used directly in a fuel cell without the many costly storage and delivery problems of hydrogen.The problem, of course, is that you can’t play pretend along with the green faithful while releasing the EVIL POLLUTANT; which is why all we ever hear about is the more expensive electrolysis method creating more expensive-to-use hydrogen (never mind the fact that most electricity in this country comes from burning coal — a seperate problem affecting EVs and H2Vs alike).

    Yeah I was aware of natural gas reforming, I actually tried to edit my initial comment to take that into account but for some reason the site wouldn’t let me.

    But if your going to use NG reforming why not just burn the NG in the vehicle, much cheaper that a hydrogen fuel cell.


  160. 160
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (5:50 pm)

    Loboc: GM is advertising. Check out their Chevrolet home page. Volt is the third from the left. It’d be pretty early to advertise (TV, newspaper, magazines) in the traditional way until there are actual Volts in the showrooms. Since they are targeting certain limited markets, they need to do targeted advertising at the appropriate time.

    According to the “NetLook®©™ Volt Count-Down Calendar”, the Volt is due to be released in 13 months. If now is to early to advertise the Volt in TV, newspaper, magazines etc, then when is the proper time Loboc?

    =D~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


  161. 161
    Pat

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:09 pm)

    yes buyers have range anxiety on electric cars ..but public need to be educated on this issue ..lot of morons in US …Electric car is not meant for long range driving but for commuting to office every day …most of commute miles are 20-50 miles ..so a 2 seater with some space for trunk wud suffice ..what we need is charging staions in malls, offices etc ..When one need to go on long distance driving Volt type will fill in the need ..or rent the car for a week …As usual morons in US will demand an electric car with 6 passengers, large trunk to carry lumber, & on on ..good luck that kind of elecetric car will not arrive for the next 50 years ..


  162. 162
    Pat

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:14 pm)

    someone mentioned about GM commercials ..yes GM need to make good commercials to attract buyers …that is what they are good at ..putting together good commercials NOT good quality cars ..Just look at their record ..
    Ever see acommercial from Honda, Toyota very rarely ..they dont waste their $$$$ on commercials they put in research to make better quality cars ..That is the difference between GM & Japanese cars ..


  163. 163
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:22 pm)

    LauraM: GM really needs to sell 200,000 a year. And for that to happen, they’ve got to reach the mainstream buyer.

    Many Honda and Ford owners are taking a close look at the Volt. For these people buying a Volt is more about 5 year cost of ownership than it is owning a status symbol.

    NGMCO needs only 5% of the BMW/Lexus buyers to hop on board to sustain a 100,000 Volt units per year manufacturing habit.

    BMW 3-Series
    Price Range: $32,850 – $50,700
    Looks similar to the Volt. 18 mpg / 26 mpg / 21 mpg w/ V6. 0-60 in 7.1 seconds.

    2010 Lexus HS250h (base sedan ~ hybrid)
    Price Range: $34,200
    Looks similar to the Volt. 187 HP @ 34 mpg combined. 0-60 in 8.4 seconds.

    2011 Volt
    Price Range: $40,000 (well equipped)
    All-time electric drive. First 40 miles @ $1 (electric). Extended range MPG 40+. 0-60 in 8.5 seconds.

    Add a few good reports from the major testing agencies. And a high consumer feedback initial quality rating. The government wants these cars on the road. Increased State and Federal incentives are a possibility.

    Diehard Chevy buyers will easily consume the first 10,000 Volt units.

    =D~


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:25 pm)

    Koz: While H2 is potentially viable for trucking, so is fusion.

    Now that’s what I’m talking about, a nuclear powered 18 wheeler. +1 Wait ’til one of those turns over on the I-5 during rush hour. Those old fuel spill Sigalerts are going to look like tea parties.

    This really is a fun site, LOL.


  165. 165
    Noel Park

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:33 pm)

    Guy Incognito: According to the “NetLook®©™ Volt Count-Down Calendar”, the Volt is due to be released in 13 months. If now is to early to advertise the Volt in TV, newspaper, magazines etc, then when is the proper time Loboc?

    If it’s released in 13 months, and they produce 12,500 in the subsequent 12 months, they colud sell all of those right here in a day, IMHO. If they are well over 2 years away from having enough cars to sell them in any meaningful quantity, what is the point of spending millions of $$$ on advertising to create a demand for a product which is not available. It would just create a bunch more frustrated consumers, IMHO.

    Why not spend the money next year to get a really strong launch of the Cruze, and turn the advertising budget to the Volt when they actually have some to sell? I mean, it’s our money they’re spending.

    “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”


  166. 166
    Ed M

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:50 pm)

    Noel Park: Now that’s what I’m talking about, a nuclear powered 18 wheeler. +1 Wait ’til one of those turns over on the I-5 during rush hour. Those old fuel spill Sigalerts are going to look like tea parties

    Accessorized with launching tubes and cruze missiles to overcome the long waits in traffic jams? This could replace texting on cell phones.


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    Jimbo

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (6:53 pm)

    Curiously, car manufacturers have always had a cozy relationship with BIG OIL. The hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were to initially have a gasoline reformer to extract the hydrogen out of the hydrocarbon. This meant that BIG OIL still gets paid! “H2″ cars still run on good ‘ole gasoline.
    Since the OIL dudes decided to bend over the car companies even after GM agrees to play nice and kill the EV1 in exchange for the Hummer, I believe this is their way of giving the OIL guys the finger.

    PeteVE: hydrogen fuel cells will never have a real future.i am a vehicle enthusiast and read many vehicle futures forums.i will not take over this thread start a new conversation as many do and post the reasons as to why hydrogen will fail, i will speak upon what i see the current trend of hydrogen fuel cell talks are….kill em…kill all projects.GM is backing out because they don’t see it as a true possible income path.in the past, it was a possible path.now with more knowledge and generations of their solution, they know the hard facts and are backing out.this act alone is enough to say forget about hydrogen fuel cells for now.


  168. 168
    Ed M

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:36 pm)

    jeffhre: What’s an uncompetitive market?

    I would call any market uncompetitive, if there’s strong demand for a product that’s only provided by one or two companies. In this market, the seller sets a price based mostly on strong demand (what the market will bear) but may have little to do with costs of supply(remember the Cabbage Patch doll craze of the 90′s). I realize this is oversimplified logic to a very complicated process but in the case of the Volt, pricing will have to consider demand carefully or there won’t be any.
    GM is about to launch an all out ad blitz to try and create a demand for the Volt. If there’s a strong demand then Volt prices could go up sharply.
    Presently there’s little demand for Chev trucks. Rather than deflate the MSRP, GM offers $8500 rebates on the Silverado.
    I think that Nasaman, you and I agree in principle but differ slightly in the details. Thanks for the question.


  169. 169
    Michael C. Robinson

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (7:48 pm)

    The no hydrogen infrastructure comment is a lie. There are plenty
    of hydrogen pipelines around the country already because hydrogen
    is need to remove sulfur from crude OIL.

    Hydrogen can come from wastewater using algae.

    A hydrogen refueling infrastructure can be built via hydrogen cooperatives, you pay a $2k premium for a fuel cell car and get
    a 1/2000th or something share in a hydrogen fueling station that
    is close to you.

    Mass production could bring the cost of hydrogen refueling infrastructure way down.

    Another thing to check out is Interstate Traveler which would
    make hydrogen more available.


  170. 170
    JEC

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:03 pm)

    MCR

    Long time no hear. Hows that hydrogen working for you?

    Have a nice day!

    Michael C. Robinson: The no hydrogen infrastructure comment is a lie.There are plenty
    of hydrogen pipelines around the country already because hydrogen
    is need to remove sulfur from crude OIL.Hydrogen can come from wastewater using algae.A hydrogen refueling infrastructure can be built via hydrogen cooperatives, you pay a $2k premium for a fuel cell car and get
    a 1/2000th or something share in a hydrogen fueling station that
    is close to you.Mass production could bring the cost of hydrogen refueling infrastructure way down.Another thing to check out is Interstate Traveler which would
    make hydrogen more available.  

    (Quote)


  171. 171
    stuart22

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (8:08 pm)

    Wolfdoctor: More range anxiety nonsense.There are 10s of millions of responsible people who would buy a BEV without feeling range anxiety.A BEV could be used as a family’s second car, for non-traveling seniors, for college student commutes, etc.  

    (Quote)

    What is nonsense is your belief that ’10s of millions’ would ignore the limited range of an EV and plunk down $20K-$40K of money that they’ve had to borrow. Money doesn’t grow on trees except for a very few of us, who can afford the luxury of being green because they can. Reasonable people don’t waste money – they’ll buy a Prius before an EV.


  172. 172
    Jackson

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:20 pm)

    Warning, Michael Robinson; danger.

    Michael C. Robinson: The no hydrogen infrastructure comment is a lie. There are plentyof hydrogen pipelines around the country already because hydrogenis need to remove sulfur from crude OIL.

    … so you can pull up to any point along these few pipes in Louisiana and refill your hydrogen car? Fabulous. Too bad most of us live hundreds of miles from the nearest refinery.

    Michael C. Robinson: Hydrogen can come from wastewater using algae.

    … in sufficient quantities to be meaningful? That’s good to know.

    Michael C. Robinson: A hydrogen refueling infrastructure can be built via hydrogen cooperatives, you pay a $2k premium for a fuel cell car and geta 1/2000th or something share in a hydrogen fueling station thatis close to you..

    $2000 is wildly optimistic. Not only are you buying the fuel cell, but the hydrogen fuel system to go with it. This is not just the storage medium itself, but the cost in engineering a car which can safely enclose it. Most of us grudgingly accept the remote possibility of hydrogen as the range extender in an EREV (no doubt you consider hydrogen adequate by itself), but this means the fuel cell premium is added to a 40 AER battery premium, along with vehicle engineering which can enclose both energy storage systems.

    So, say closer to $5000 – $8000 premium per car, realistically. So, I have to wait for 5000+ people within H2 vehicle range of me to buy before they’ll put in a hydrogen station? This way lies bankcruptcy.

    Michael C. Robinson: Mass production could bring the cost of hydrogen refueling infrastructure way down.

    This argument applies to everything equally. Mass production will bring down the cost of Lithium-Ion powered EVs. Mass production could bring down the cost of thorium powered cars, or unicorn-fart-turbine driven cars.

    There may be a time when hydrogen becomes viable. Now is not that time. If we wait for hydrogen, we lose the fuel displacement we might be getting in the meantime; with EREV and liquid fuel. Only massive and ill-advised government intervention could bring in hydrogen before it is economically ready; and even at that it would fail. Not ready means NOT READY.


  173. 173
    Jackson

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:40 pm)

    Pat: Ever see acommercial from Honda, Toyota very rarely ..they dont waste their $$$$ on commercials they put in research to make better quality cars ..That is the difference between GM & Japanese cars ..  (Quote)

    This is such an obvious and outright lie that it beggars the imagination how you could actually bring yourself to type it.

    Does the planet covered by babies dressed as green fields and waterfalls celebrating a Prius being driven across it ring any bells? Toyota has been banging the heck out of Green Cachet, since the Prius still does not make sense on a strict economic basis.

    And I seem to recall a blitz from “Mr. Opportunity” not long ago.


  174. 174
    Jimbo

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:42 pm)

    Pat: someone mentioned about GM commercials ..yes GM need to make good commercials to attract buyers …that is what they are good at ..putting together good commercials NOT good quality cars ..Just look at their record ..
    Ever see acommercial from Honda, Toyotavery rarely ..they dont waste their $$$$ on commercialsthey put in research to make better quality cars ..That is the difference between GM & Japanese cars ..

    Are you kidding?? People who hate American car companies really do live in a fantasy world. That is the craziest post I have ever read on this site.


  175. 175
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:44 pm)

    Loboc: GM is advertising. Check out their Chevrolet home page. Volt is the third from the left.
    It’d be pretty early to advertise (TV, newspaper, magazines) in the traditional way until there are actual Volts in the showrooms. Since they are targeting certain limited markets, they need to do targeted advertising at the appropriate time.

    I checked it out. Finally!!! Something that is impressive!


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    Pat

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (9:59 pm)

    jimbo it is you who is living in fantasy world ..It i sthe GM Chrysler & Ford who went begging for $$$ from Feds to bail them out ..Not Honda Toyota ..GM has been in buisness for 100 years & still they can’t put together a good quality car ..cuz the CEO in these companies look at the next 3 months not next 10 years …Japanese, Koreans & many europeans cos take a long range look at their operations ..Keep dreaming & Honda Toyota making $ selling their quality cars whereas GM beggibg for $ from Fed to bail them out ..Ofcourse the legacy costs of health Insurance in US …will undermine competitivness of US car manufacturers ..Other nations dont carry health costs of employees …No wonder CEO here send their operations overseas ..


  177. 177
    Jackson

     

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    Oct 29th, 2009 (10:46 pm)

    Closed-circuit for Dr. Dennis (feel free to delete):

    I think you’re online right now altering the web code. At this moment, it appears that voting history for the entire site has been cleared, and the new “Like or Dislike” buttons do not appear to work.

    (I used to test software, once upon a time, just trying to help).


  178. 178
    Frank B

     

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    Oct 30th, 2009 (3:34 am)

    PAT – #161
    “yes buyers have range anxiety on electric cars ..but public need to be educated on this issue ..lot of morons in US …Electric car is not meant for long range driving but for commuting to office every day …most of commute miles are 20-50 miles ..so a 2 seater with some space for trunk wud suffice ..what we need is charging staions in malls, offices etc ..When one need to go on long distance driving Volt type will fill in the need ..or rent the car for a week …As usual morons in US will demand an electric car with 6 passengers, large trunk to carry lumber, & on on ..good luck that kind of elecetric car will not arrive for the next 50 years”

    Why would us Morons in the US want to buy two cars (or rent one) when one will do everything we want it to do (like the Volt). And who the hell wants to drive a 2 seat EV. Yes we want a trunk, 4 or 5 passengers will do just fine. Yes we want the car to be comfortable, we enjoy luxury. The Chevy Volt gives us all of that! Yes we get all of the above in just One Car! We also consider safety as well, if you want to drive a pregnant roller skate around, good for you. So us morons in America will drive the electric Chevy Volt all the time, no matter how far we are going while you are trying to decide if your 2 seater will get you there, carefully planing where you have to stop and charge up, or should you rent a car instead. Well someone here is a moron, but I don’t think it’s us Americans.


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Oct 30th, 2009 (5:52 am)

    Noel Park: Is it just me, or does Mr. Henderson look a lot like “The Joker” of Batman fame in this photo? He takes about as good of a photo as I do, LOL.

    Totally right on, Noel.


  180. 180
    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 30th, 2009 (6:24 am)

    Loboc: GM is advertising. Check out their Chevrolet home page.

    Volt%20new%20blue.jpg

    =D~


  181. 181
    storm

     

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    Oct 30th, 2009 (11:13 am)

    Spend a lot of $ advertising a product that won’t be available for us common folks to buy for several years. If you are really successful you will stop folks from buying your current products while they wait for the “new, improved” one.

    The oft repeated “start taking deposits” mantra is sensible. GM won’t do it. Buddies at the ad agencies wouldn’t make any $.


  182. 182
    Richard Just

     

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    Oct 30th, 2009 (11:59 am)

    Noel Park Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    “Is it just me, or does Mr. Henderson look a lot like “The Joker” of Batman fame in this photo? He takes about as good of a photo as I do, LOL. ”

    Naw. I see Eddie G. Robinson. You dirty rat!


  183. 183
    Cal

     

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    Oct 30th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler: In order to create an economically feasible hydrogen vehicle, all GM has left to do is cost reduce the Chevy Volt’s propulsion system (including control system). Once that is accomplished, their 2nd gen fuel cell with 5th gen fuel cell stack is already where they need it to be viable, so BEV advocates shouldn’t celebrate. Every step in the development of an affordable BEV / EREV is a step in the development of the plugin hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.I am relieved that GM feels they will be profitable with no more cash. GMAC, however, needs more liquidity, so that they can continue lending – different dynamic.GM should sell the first year’s Volts for whatever they can get for them. If they don’t, then the dealers will, and if all that cash is coming from the consumer anyway, I would prefer it went towards paying back government loans.  (Quote)

    Jason:

    You have to let this hydrogen thing go. You’ve been pushing this for years. That dog won’t hunt!


  184. 184
    DaveP

     

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    Oct 30th, 2009 (2:14 pm)

    nasaman says:
    Henderson: “The price is still to be determined. I have a policy of pricing the vehicle when I get close to the market. I know the cost is close to 40 [thousand]“.

    Good catch, nasaman. I totally missed what he was actually saying with regard to price and cost. Still I can’t help but wonder what kind of ‘cost’ he’s talking about. How loaded is that cost? Parts? Parts plus manufacturing? Parts plus manufacturing plus minimum required profit? I suspect it’s Parts plus manufacturing plus minimum required profit minus R&D but I have no idea. :)


  185. 185
    Tom Harwick

     

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    Nov 3rd, 2009 (3:00 pm)

    <

    I find it implausible that research won’t achieve price parity between h2 and gasoline. The same goes for alloys for the fuel cells themselves.

    1. Just because you find it implausible, does not make it so or not so. The reality is H2 powered automobiles have reached a research dead end. They cost at least $250,000 per cell to build, because after decades of lab work, no one has found a way to make a practical cell without platinum. Also, there is no economical source of H2. H2 is not a natural resource, it is a manufactured product which requires a huge energy input.

    2. If your goal is parity with gasoline, your are setting the bar too low.

    My proof point is that even Toyota, Daimler and GM have given up on H2 powered cars. While using happy talk in the promotion of their H2 test fleets, none has announced any plans at all to build beyond the 200 car fleet.


  186. [...] said that “range anxiety” will be a hindrance to the adoption of electric cars, according to gm-volt.com.  The problem is, GM is the only one that keeps on abusing that motto over and over again.  [...]