Jan 18

Exclusive: GM CEO Says Chevy Volt Will Sell in Low 30′s and For a Profit

 


[ad#post_ad]The Chevrolet Volt will be an expensive car to produce.   Cutting edge technology and large proprietary lithium-ion battery packs make up the lion’s share of cost.  Another speculated element of cost is factoring in the possibility of some degree of warranty-required battery replacements.

Long one of the most talked about Volt topics is what its price will be when it arrives later this year.

In the very early days of 2007, GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz had mentioned a goal of under $30,000.  Eventually that target appeared to be moved higher, though never official confirmed by GM.

Along the way, the federal government passed legislation that will give initial Volt buyers a $7500 tax credit, and more recent media speculation has put the price closer to $40,000.

However, there have been new reports that GM may surpise the world with a lower number.

Also, though GM has plans to take the cost out in coming generations, it is often reported that the automaker will have to take a loss on each car of the first generation.

Now in an exclusive interview with GM-Volt.com, CEO Ed Whitacre speaks frankly on how much the Volt will be priced at, and for the first time ever says GM will actually be able to make money selling them.

He was asked whether it was true that GM will lose money on every Volt they sell.

“We’re not in business to lose money,” he said. “We did enough of that already.”

The Volt “is going to sell in the low 30s,” said Whitacre. “We’ll get a margin on that.”

This entry was posted on Monday, January 18th, 2010 at 7:28 am and is filed under Financial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 244


  1. 1
    pdt

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:31 am)

    I wonder when the Volt will sell in the low 30′s?


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    Tom C

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:33 am)

    Sounds great!!!
    Low 30′s is that before or after the tax credit?
    The last few weeks have had a lot of GOOD news on the Volt
    Good work Lyle
    and 2nd


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:35 am)

    Will these numbers be right from the start, and whether that number is before or after the tax credit are my questions. I really, really want to believe that it is before the tax credit. $26,500 net, or less, after credit… That would be excellent!
    The talk that $40,000 MSRP was pricing in two packs just may have some validity, and now the packs are lasting longer than expected could explain the rise, then drop in price.
    Or the numbers could have gone up, then down, as GM found it necessary to bilk the US Government for as much money as possible. Now that they have the money, the price goes back to its original, true level.


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    NZDavid

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:37 am)

    Oh well that’s the end of the dream for me then.

    I mean, I mean, given ALL production for version one will be in the US there is NO chance of any being available for export to this end of the planet.

    OK time to reset my sights on version two. Sheesh, I am not sure I can wait that long. My car is already 13 years old. The NO plug, no sale mantré was easy in 2007, it sure is getting harder to stick to now.

    A good day for my friends in Ca and MI and NY though.
    I’m off to bed to cry into my pillow.

    LJGTVWOTR


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    carcus1

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:42 am)

    “…in the low 30′s” ………

    Is that before or after the tax credit?


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    mikeinatl.

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:44 am)

    Surprising. Encouraging. Needs some clarification.

    And now we must wait and see what this means and if Whitacre will even be around when Volt sales commence.

    But at least were talking about that the Volt will cost WHEN it is introduced and not what the Volt might cost IF it is introduced!

    And that is a much more exciting discussion.

    GO VOLT!


  7. 7
    koz

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    Just look at that suuweeet looking microphone! Oh yea…cheap Volts would be pretty sweet too. I’ll believe they are making a profit when they push production to the max in 2012 model if demand is there (like that’s even a question).


  8. 8
    RB

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:54 am)

    4 NZDavid: I mean, I mean, given ALL production for version one will be in the US there is NO chance of any being available for export to this end of the planet

    The opera isn’t finished until the fat lady sings :) and we aren’t there yet. Availability has become the great unknown with the Volt. It is easy to imagine the entire production going to a few dealers in a few places. Then again, maybe not. GM seems inclined to portray Volt as a global launch and has a person to organize that, so you may be in luck. If it is profitable — and no doubt Whitacre knows what he is saying on that point — there is all the more reason to produce numbers high enough to meet demand.

    I think we just have to wait a little longer and see what happens


  9. 9
    Gsned57

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:00 am)

    Lyle I’m sure you’ve asked this question to a bunch of other gm folksalong the way with no response. Thanks for continuing to ask and it speaks volumes that you’re the one who got the exclusive every other auto reporter would kill for. Like previous posts elude though I hope there is clarification without any ambiguity in the interview tha you just haven’t shared yet

    npns


  10. 10
    RB

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:01 am)

    3 ziv: The talk that $40,000 MSRP was pricing in two packs just may have some validity, and now the packs are lasting longer than expected could explain the rise, then drop in price.

    Keep in mind that the relationship between “cost” and “price” is flexible. A major factor in the linkage is “volume.” This week think of tickets to the Super Bowl as a good example of the loose nature of the relationships :) The actual selling price of Silverado trucks is another — all over the place.


  11. 11
    tom

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:06 am)

    At 26.5K after credit and with net fuel savings of at least 10K over lifetime of the car, they won’t be able to meet demand for years.

    They have no competition in the EREV Market. I do believe if leaf is cheaper it can capture its market (folks with 2 cars, use the Leaf for more AER per day than the Volt, but use the other car for longer trips), but the Volt will fly off the lots with zero competition.

    If GM can make them at GEN I for that price, imagine what they can do in 2013 with GEN II. Of course with the demand that would be there they would blow through the 250,000 government rebates.

    I sure wish they could lobby themselves (government motors) to expand their credit to one million with $7K Cash at purchase.

    Just doesn’t seem fair to limit this to folks that pay that many taxes.


  12. 12
    RB

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:06 am)

    Lyle quotes Whitacre as saying The Volt “is going to sell in the low 30s,” said Whitacre. “We’ll get a margin on that.”

    As a technicality, I understand that Whitacre said that the selling price will be higher than the costs of parts and assembly, producing a margin. That’s good. However, at least as quoted he didn’t actually say the Volt will be profitable, which requires taking other overhead costs into account. But his statement has a positive feel, and that’s nice. :)


  13. 13
    Dave K.

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:09 am)

    We have 9 months to wait and see. Latest news from Nissan is that the release of the Leaf will be delayed. Now expected to launch in September of 2010. Rumor has it that GM may launch the Volt a month or two early. September/October of 2010 in California, Michigan, D.C. and New York.

    Could we see the release of the Voltec Orlando in Florida, Texas, and Nevada in early 2011?

    =D~


  14. 14
    RB

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:12 am)

    5 carcus1: “…in the low 30’s” …Is that before or after the tax credit?  

    My guess is that he left that out on purpose. Likely he wants to leave some ambiguity for the competition until the last moments before cars are for sale.


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    Herm

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:14 am)

    pdt: I wonder when the Volt will sell in the low 30’s?  

    Yeah, thats the question.. he did not specify when and if that included the fed tax credit.

    I think it will sell in the low 30s starting on the first year, but watch out for demand and dealers.. GM will lose money the first couple of years as things get ironed out but will “profit” (on the average) during the 4 year run of the Volt 1.0

    The alternative is that the first year is $40k dropping down to low 30s by the end of the first generation.. but when is the last time you have seen this?, and it would not be good for resale value or the first adopters.. so I think the first year will be in the low 30s.

    The next marketing shoe that will drop is CS mode mileage, I’m staking a bet on 60mpg.

    Go Team USA!
    Congratulations Dr Lyle, we love ya!


  16. 16
    Neil

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:24 am)

    What I don’t get is the reluctance of GM to dive into the topic of nationwide rollout. I know it’s not wise for them to get into specifics but they can give us a general idea of when they expect to move beyond the initial 3 markets. I think they would be wise to get as many Volts as possible into early adopter hands. It serves several purposes:

    1. User base of early adopters is more forgiving and willing to cooperate on resolving issues.
    2. Gets the general public seeing more of the cars in actual use.
    3. Spreads goodwill which is always hard to measure.


  17. 17
    BillR

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:26 am)

    So here are the responses we can expect:

    1) It is still too expensive, the Prissy can be had for $22k, and gasoline savings won’t make up the difference
    2) GM knows Li_Ion batteries won’t work (just like Toymota told them 3 years ago), so they will sell them knowing they will fail
    3) You will still have to pay 40k with dealer markups
    4) GM can’t really make a profit at this price point.
    5) It’s all vaporware, GM will never make this car.
    6) Since this is still much more expensive than a 16k econobox, people will not buy the Volt and it will do nothing to reduce our oil consumption
    7) “The World is not Enough” (for finding Lithium supplies)
    8) Without Jay Leno, the Volt is doomed!
    9) Yeah, and how much more to lease the battery pack?
    10) Just get a BEV. ICE’s pollute too much.
    11) I can’t afford all the maintentance for the ICE.
    12) If GM sells too many, the grid won’t be able to handle to power.
    13) The Volt just gave me a sticker SHOCK.
    14) 32.5 kilobucks! 32.5 kilobucks! Ed, how can this be!! (Think “Back to the Future”)


  18. 18
    Schmeltz

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:26 am)

    Assuming he means “In the Low 30′s” before the $7500 tax credit, tha’t awesome news! After all of the speculation on price, I guess I still need to actually see the price carved in stone before I will get fully excited though. I am cautiously optimistic after hearing this.

    Excellent work as always Lyle!


  19. 19
    carcus1

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:31 am)

  20. 20
    tom

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    Herm: during the 4 year run of the Volt 1.0

    Herm;
    Did they say GEN 1 was 4 years? It may be but I’m just curious. I had sort of thought Gen 2 would be model year 2013. In a way it doesn’t matter because component costs will come down once GM is manufacturing key components themseles in large volumes.

    As long as each year sees large ramp up in production, the costs will come down GEN 1 or GEN 2. I just sort of figured the timeline would be that by 2 years from today there would be so many improvements in battery and other components that they would have to incorpoarte them into a GEN 2 for Model year 2013.

    I suppose they could stick with the current basic design for 4 years and just work on lowering those costs. I guess I’m stuck on the Moore’s Law transferring to the auto world which had a 100 year history of continuous improvements.

    No matter what they call it every year will see more EREV/BEV car for less money (inflation adjusted).


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:41 am)

    carcus1: Mitsubishi pushing up the iMiev production, looks to reduce the price to $22,000 (2 million yen) in several years.

    The way I run the numbers, the $22,000 iMiev starts to compete with the Prius at $4/g gas, even with a battery replacement after 6 years.


  22. 22
    Blind Guy

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:42 am)

    This interview with Mr. Whitacrae is encouraging. The price of the Volt does need to be affordable for most of Americans even after tax credits are used up. My concern is that with the demand for the Volt, the Dealers will get their mark ups and cause me to reconsider buying a car with a high Dealer price. I don’t anticipate hearing the firm price until at least Spring when actual production cost might be better known. I also think some companies want to price their cars below the price of their competition, thus delaying their firm price until their competition announces their firm price.


  23. 23
    nasaman

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:42 am)

    “Now in an exclusive interview with GM-Volt.com, CEO Ed Whitacre speaks frankly on how much the Volt will be priced at, and for the first time ever says GM will actually be able to make money selling them. He was asked whether it was true that GM will lose money on every Volt they sell.

    “We’re not in business to lose money,” he said. “We did enough of that already.” The Volt “is going to sell in the low 30s,” said Whitacre. “We’ll get a margin on that.”

    Those who’ve read my comments on the Volt battery costs over the past 12-18 months won’t be surprised that I’m not at all surprised at Whitacre’s answer. Pleased, yes ….but not surprised.

    I’ve NEVER believed GM’s battery cost claims, which I could never reconcile with published cost estimates by Argonne Lab’s and CPI’s Li-Ion experts ….both FAR lower than GM’s claims. So as Lyle suggested a few posts ago, I’ve always felt GM’s inflated battery costs were simply a decoy or red herring that they had justified as a way to initially lower expectations of the Volt’s affordability ….in part so those expectations could be later raised in accord with the cardinal marketing rule of “promising less & delivering more”.


  24. 24
    Herm

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:51 am)

    carcus1:
    The way I run the numbers, the $22,000 iMiev starts to compete with the Prius at $4/g gas, even with a battery replacement after 6 years.  

    The problem is that you cant compare a kei class iMiev with a midsized car like the Prius… such a small car is really only suitable for congested city driving and packed parking lots. Can you see a young family trying to strap a baby seat into one?.. you would need a shoe horn.

    I’m not even sure kei class cars are legal anywhere in the US.


  25. 25
    Jim in PA

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:53 am)

    Why do so many people think it is far-fetched for the Volt to cost, say, $33,000 before the tax credit? If Chevy can profitably sell a fully loaded Cruze for $20,000, then wouldn’t they be able to sell a Volt for $13,000 more than that? Especially if they were willing to incur a small loss per unit? But more logically, it would make sense to me if Chevy could sell this thing profitably for $37,000; which translates to $29,500 after rebate. Getting it just under $30K is all they need to do for Generation 1, since demand will likely outstrip supply at that price.

    Either way, despite my interest in the Volt, my next car will likely be a Cruze or a new US-built Aveo given my…. er…. financial constraints.


  26. 26
    Herm

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:54 am)

    tom: Herm;
    Did they say GEN 1 was 4 years? It may be but I’m just curious.

    Just guessing.. but complete redesigns take a minimum of 4-5 years. You will see many hardware changes and software rewrites during these first 4 years of Gen 1 Volt.


  27. 27
    Rooster

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    $40,000 – $7,500 = 32,500 = Lower $30s selling price

    Is there really any news here? His statement was ambiguous. He didn’t say, “The Volt will have a MSRP the lower $30s, before the tax credit.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d be thrilled if the MSRP is in the lower $30s and then I’d get a $7500 tax credit. I just didn’t read that.


  28. 28
    carcus1

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:00 am)

    carcus1: “…in the low 30’s” ………
    Is that before or after the tax credit?  

    …..and the answer is:

    Lyle has clearly discovered the secret ingredient for “thread style” internet journalism. ALWAYS raise more questions than answers. That way your thread participants have something to bat around for the rest of the day.

    /carcus1′s gonna step outta this game for a while


  29. 29
    RB

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:15 am)

    carcus1: /carcus1’s gonna step outta this game for a while 

    Don’t be gone long — I enjoy reading your posts. We can’t all be Tag :)


  30. 30
    CDAVIS

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:31 am)

    ____________________________________________________
    Excellent article & info Lyle!

    Battery cost is the primary challenge of containing EV cost. Mr. Whitacre’s comment that the Volt “is going to sell in the low 30s…We’ll get a margin on that” seems to confirm that GM has made good progress in lowering battery cost.

    Here is a related article (worth reading) from the Green Chip Stocks blog that both delve into the Volt battery cost and elegantly rebuttals the recent flawed National NAS Report:

    “…When we spoke with Denise Grey and Jon Lauckner from GM this week they both hinted that the Volt battery was actually in the $500-600/kWh range now and they expect this number to drop…”

    http://www.greenchipstocks.com/articles/battery-industry-challenge/722
    ______________________________________________________


  31. 31
    greg woulf

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Great news!

    I think in the low $30′s before the tax credit will mean that the Volt will sell a lot of cars. If gas prices spike once or twice in the next couple of years that’d spark that even more.

    I wonder if GM will give out the cost of a replacement battery. It’s a number I’d like to know if I was buying one.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:38 am)

    greg woulf: I wonder if GM will give out the cost of a replacement battery. It’s a number I’d like to know if I was buying one.

    thought the warranty on the battery was 150,000 miles? But my question is is it 150,000 miles AER or total for the car?

    And when you hit 150,001 miles and your battery dies, then what do you do. Even at $5,000 for a ‘NEW’ battery it wouldn’t be worth that much money for a 10 year old car.


  33. 33
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:51 am)

    koz: Just look at that suuweeet looking microphone!

    Yeah, I noticed that as well. Nice job Lyle!


  34. 34
    Van

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:52 am)

    Blind post – meaning I did not read the prior thirty-some posts.

    Does the statement that the Volt will sell in the low thirties include the tax rebate?

    Does the denial that GM will lose money on “every” Volt they sell mean they will have a profit margin if they sell, not including the tax rebate, the Volt for less than $35,000 which where the low thirties begins.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:52 am)

    Electric Cars, Shocking! People will worry about being shocked, but not worry about getting sprayed with gasoline and slow roasted. My personal biggest fear is the bad pun exposure. People walking up to the Volt, yelling OUCH — acting shocked…
    Hmm, the pack is at 250v? Hmm… door handle wired to +? Hmm…
    Might decrease range ‘tho.

    BillR: 13) The Volt just gave me a sticker SHOCK.

    Sorry, OT and joking…


  36. 36
    Loboc

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:55 am)

    Another GM statement with no real meaning.

    - We need to see a sticker with the true MSRP before we will know what the price will be.
    - Until I talk to the Chevy guy and he quotes me a price, this is still all speculation.
    - Post the ‘starting price’ on the web site with the other cars.

    - Same thing with the CS mode mileage. Show us the EPA sticker.

    Same questions. Still no answers.


  37. 37
    MuddyRoverRob

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:59 am)

    It sounds like congratulations are in order for the engineers hammering out the costs pre-production!

    Well done team! Keep up the good work.

    Thanks for keeping your eye on the ball Ed.


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    Van

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:03 am)

    I see I should not have posted blind (my post # 34) because several others also were concerned about whether the tax rebate was included.

    A big + 1 for BillR @ 17, I had not foreseen the possible difficulty of dealer mark-ups – his #3, nor the possibility that the price did not include a lease of the battery pack – his #9. His point of course was that no matter how wonderful the news seems, we always have nay-sayers that recycle the same old negative myths. This point also earned my + one.


  39. 39
    Neutron Flux

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:03 am)

    tom: thought the warranty on the battery was 150,000 miles? But my question is is it 150,000 miles AER or total for the car?And when you hit 150,001 miles and your battery dies, then what do you do. Even at $5,000 for a ‘NEW’ battery it wouldn’t be worth that much money for a 10 year old car.  (Quote)

    It think it will be worth it since in 10 years for 5K you’ll double the AER for half the original cost. That is provided the body is in good condition & the interior has not been trashed by kids or adults acting like same. Figure by then gas will be $4/gal on the cheap and new cars will be going for 20K for compacts and 25K for midsized. Also by then any new car will entitle you to the new per mile road tax. The new cars then will have GPS that feed mileage to the franchise tax board who will bill you monthly for road taxes you no longer pay at the pump. First edition Volts will be immune. I’ll take two please.


  40. 40
    nasaman

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:09 am)

    tom: ….And when you hit 150,001 miles and your battery dies, then what do you do. Even at $5,000 for a ‘NEW’ battery it wouldn’t be worth that much money for a 10 year old car.  (Quote)

    Automotive batteries employing hundreds (or like Tesla, thousands) of cells don’t “die”. They employ significant redundancies to prevent open or shorted cells from adversely affecting battery performance. So even after 150,000 miles, a Volt battery will have degraded somewhat but the car will still be fully driveable. IOW, the AER might have degraded to, say, 35 miles per charge …..but the battery will remain fully useable. And of course the car’s generator and other components will also be fully operational …..probably much longer than in non-electric cars.


  41. 41
    Redeye

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:09 am)

    Low thirties sounds good before or after rebate.

    Not that it matters much for most of us as we won’t be able to buy one anyway for at least a couple years.


  42. 42
    Neutron Flux

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:13 am)

    lousloot: , Shocking! People will worry about being shocked, but not worry about getting sprayed with gasoline and slow roasted. My personal biggest fear is the bad pun exposure. People walking up to the Volt, yelling OUCH — acting shocked…Hmm, the pack is at 250v? Hmm… door handle wired to +? Hmm…Might decrease range ‘tho.Sorry, OT and joking…  (Quote)

    Not a bad security feature. Wire the doors to HV. Enhanced Volt with security feature would be called High Volt. Just don’t forget to deactivate unless you like the friz hair style. A 007 feature not quite as bad as the exploding car.


  43. 43
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:20 am)

    If Ed Whitacre says it, you can beileve it.

    This is another mile marker for all out production.

    If the only concern was “if people will buy it”, then, these new indications would clearly put the icing on the cake, because now, a price in the low $30′s is far more clearly manageable for the majority of car buyers who drive above 15,000 miles a year, simply because you are subtracting $150 to $250 a month from your gasoline budget to place into your Voltec budget!!

    If you have 20 percent down and finance, say, $27,000, then your payment net of gasoline costs will be manageable as if it were a vehicle costing around $22,000.

    This announcement allows for the next stage of our financial planning for those of us who have to work really hard to get our Voltec vehicles.

    And, thanks to Lyle, because many of us would not have as much wide-ranging access to all this incredible information. You rock Lyle!


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    Nelson

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    Oh Boy! GM better get ready to sell Billions of Volts.

    NPNS!


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    CDAVIS: Here is a related article (worth reading)

    That was a good article CDavis. Thanks for posting it. Nasaman made the same assertions before as well, (see his post no. 23). Here’s to hoping that they are correct and that these batteries can and will be cheaper to come.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    We’re not in business to lose money,” he said. “We did enough of that already.”

    This gets me all weepy and rubbery kneed, Go Volt!


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    Rob

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:34 am)

    Despite we Voltheads desire to snap up every tidbit of info regarding the car, I think its pricing remains firmly in the realm of speculation. Through the years the Volt’s MSRP has been bandied about a great deal, and, no matter what Bob Lutz, Ed Whitacre, or the Great Karnak say, it will be some time before we know what GM will sell it for. I speculate that GM might, in part, wait to see Nissan’s price for the Leaf before setting the Volt’s MSRP.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:38 am)

    I want someone to buy one in CA. Then, they can sell it to me after market for a couple grand profit the next day. I wonder if the warranty would still be valid.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:40 am)

    Neutron Flux: The new cars then will have GPS that feed mileage to the franchise tax board who will bill you monthly for road taxes you no longer pay at the pump.

    I am thinking that all electric cars will be immune from road taxes for the foreseeable future. Kind of like sales taxes on the Internet. In Texas, a lot of the roads are being funded by tolls instead of gas tax.

    Even with GPS, how do you prove the thing wasn’t on a truck? Or being towed behind your RV?


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:41 am)

    Nelson: to sell Billions of Volts

    A billion volts will be quite a ramp up. But hey there are 7 billion people in the world so I’ll believe it.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:43 am)

    carcus1: “…in the low 30’s” ………
    Is that before or after the tax credit?  

    You beat me to it.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:47 am)

    Dan Petit: you are subtracting $150 to $250 a month from your gasoline budget to place into your Voltec budget!!

    Good point, Dan. My gasoline usage right now is at the high end of your numbers. Of course, there is the cost of electricity which will reduce this somewhat (like 12% or so) depending on the cost of fuel vs electricity.

    Although gas savings are not the primary reason I am interested in a Volt, it’s a little icing on the cake!


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:48 am)

    Folks, not to rain on the parade, but at the Detroit auto show, the Volt spokesperson stated that a possible pricing option was to sell the Volt without a battery. If “low $30s” means without a battery, that is not quite such good news. Another interesting tidbit from the same source was that GM was considering selling the batteries separately for $5,000 or leasing them.
    So it is conceivable to buy a Volt minus battery for $34,000 and then with battery you are right back at $39,000.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:50 am)

    tom: At 26.5K after credit and with net fuel savings of at least 10K over lifetime of the car, they won’t be able to meet demand for years.

    My calculations show just over $5000 fuel savings over the Prius for the lifetime of the car:

    volt_fuel_savings.jpg

    Of course, this is all based on many assumptions. If you have different assumptions, you can modify the spread sheet here:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzenu6hr/ebay_pictures/volt_fuel_savings.xls


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:50 am)

    carcus1: “…in the low 30’s” ………
    Is that before or after the tax credit?  

    “Sell” in the low 30′s sounds like MSRP to me, because you don’t get the tax credit at the point of sale. But maybe I’m being too optimistic and reading too much into the wording. Great news nonetheless….


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    LeoK

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:50 am)

    OK, one, two, three, breathe…. one, two, three, breathe….

    Yes, we all want hard, factual answers. But for many of these questions, the reality is that it’s all still conjecture. The real positive takeaway from this is that the bread crumbs GM keeps leaving us are increasingly positive – when viewed through the prizm of a certified VOLTfanatic. Lyle, once again, great job at feeding us the latest bread crumbs!!!

    Before we all get carried away, let’s remember:
    1) While GM is still in the process of identifying the initial launch markets for VOLT, simply based on the activity on this site, we can say that first year demand will outstrip supply with a high degree of certainty.
    2) We are in a free-market economy. The laws of supply and demand will dictate ultimate selling prices. Unless GM does something drastically different with the VOLT, once GM sells each vehicle to an individual dealer the price that GM puts on the window sticker is relatively meaningless. Sure there are many reputable dealer’s who will sell the VOLT at MSRP, but many more will conduct local auctions and sell to the highest bidder (eBay anyone?). Look at any new, limited production product launch.
    3) GM’s margin is created by what it charges the dealer for the VOLT. What the end user pays the dealer is up to the free market – and the reality is there will be plenty of folks willing to pay to be the first on the block with a VOLT.

    Like CorvetteGuy, I am in the business. I am a Chevy Dealer in Connecticut – and I have been lobbying GM for several years to be an early VOLT dealer. No word yet. My dealership was opened in 1927 by my grandfather, and since that time, we have avoided the temptation to ‘auction off’ hot product. Instead, we have chosen to reward our loyal, local customers with the opportunity to buy hot new product at MSRP. Over the years, this has only increased our customer loyalty – and we plan to do the same with the VOLT – if and when we get the chance to sell them. Here is a link to a blog I wrote last September: http://blogs.karldirect.com/2009/09/19/what-will-dealers-charge-for-the-new-chevy-volt/

    Until GM formally announces distribution plans and actual pricing, all we can do is keep picking up the bread crumbs!


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:51 am)

    Rashiid Amul: carcus1: “…in the low 30’s” ………
    Is that before or after the tax credit?

    I think the best guess is still a car costing 40K – 7.5K = 32.5K (after rebate).

    It just does not make sense to sell the car for the same price as a loaded up Malibu (in the 20s) since the car offers much more and has an expensive battery pack. As a consumer, I think 40K is pushing it a little but after the rebate, the low 30s makes sense for this car and it should be a much easier sell at that price.

    I just hope that GM can get the price down quickly so as the rebates dry up, GM can offer the car at a more reasonable price.

    You beat me to it.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:57 am)

    tom:
    And when you hit 150,001 miles and your battery dies, then what do you do.Even at $5,000 for a ‘NEW’ battery it wouldn’t be worth that much money for a 10 year old car.  

    Same thing you would do if your conventional transmission or engine blew out at 150k miles.. You go to the junkyard and buy a used battery.

    These batteries will probably have a calendar life of 15 years, even if not used. You could also buy a reconditioned battery from a 3rd party, that is a common thing done today with hybrid batteries.. there are companies that specialize in doing that.

    How will a Volt die?

    The AER will deteriorate to 40 miles by the time the warranty expires, as time goes it will further deteriorate slowly until the AER drops to zero, the ICE will start to run all the time.. eventually the acceleration performance will start to drop as all the buffer ability of the battery goes away.. some time after that you will not have enough power in the battery to get the ICE started and you will be forced to fix it.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:00 am)

    JohnK: Volt spokesperson stated that a possible pricing option was to sell the Volt without a battery

    From what we know of Volt’s design, this would be quite improbable. How would you do regen braking, for example?

    Unless they mean that the battery would be leased. Which is a different can-o-worms all together.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:04 am)

    Dave G: My calculations show just over $5000 fuel savings over the Prius for the lifetime of the car:

    Why are you comparing the Volt to a PRIUS? I haven’t driven a volt yet but I thought it handled and drove like a much nicer car than a volt, comparable to an ICE with 30MPG.

    You use $4 A GALLON which is a little low for a 2012-2022 average cost unless you are saying in todays dollars which is reasonable.

    You are using 12,000 miles AER which is fine for an average, but I really think when folks have a volt, the vast majority will drive more than 12,000 AER, partly because they will fill the freedom TO GO Places.

    365 * 40 =14,600 miles. Not everyone will charge twice a day and not every day. But many people will be able to charge frequently if not regularly during the day and exceed 40 miles daily AER.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:05 am)

    In #53 I may have quoted the spokes person wrong. She may have stated that GM is considering lowering the price of the Volt by $5,000 if you buy it without the battery. Almost the same, but not quite – that would allow them to charge more than $5K for the battery. Kind of splitting hairs, but I wanted to be accurate.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:06 am)

    carcus1:
    …..and the answer is:Lyle has clearly discovered the secret ingredient for “thread style” internet journalism. ALWAYS raise more questions than answers.That way your thread participants have something to bat around for the rest of the day./carcus1’s gonna step outta this game for a while  

    Indeed, and it’s genius. Provides us all with a LOT of fun entertainment for free, too. +1 for you.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:08 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    You beat me to it.  

    I’m with Carcus1 on this. I suspect this price is after tax credits and before options like the navigation system. When Tesla quotes the price of the Model S it’s for the base model after credits. I suspect GM is doing the same thing here. Nasaman’s idea that the battery costs far less than all previous estimates from all previous sources is interesting but sometimes if you think something seems too good to be true it’s because it is.

    It would be great of course — wonderful actually — but so far all the information from all sources suggests a significant premium for EREV, even over hybrids. To believe GM can profitably sell the first generation Volt in the low 30′s before the tax credits suggests adding a 14 kWh pack to a third generation Prius will cost less than $4k. Doesn’t seem likely, especially given the ATF’s statements about costs and the fact that even GM’s mild hybrids have not exactly been known for their low premiums.

    Without clarification Whitacre’s statements are interesting but not very definitive. He’s either confirming the earlier rumored $40k price or announcing a much lower price. It’s impossible to say from the statements themselves, but I’d bet on the former.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:13 am)

    Dave G: My calculations show just over $5000 fuel savings over the Prius for the lifetime of the car:

    Thanks for that spreadsheet, my calculations resulted in almost $7k savings. I assumed since 120k miles over 10 years averages to 32 miles per day then the Volt would NEVER use any gas. Also adjusted the cost of electricity to $0.11 per kwh. Utilities may give you a good deal if you charge it at night.

    Compared to a Cruze that gets 40mpg, the Volt would save you $9300.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:13 am)

    Jason: I want someone to buy one in CA.Then, they can sell it to me after market for a couple grand profit the next day.I wonder if the warranty would still be valid.  

    The GM warranty always goes with the car. Unless they change that just before the VOLT comes out. I don’t see that happening.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:15 am)

    carcus1: The way I run the numbers, the $22,000 iMiev starts to compete with the Prius at $4/g gas, even with a battery replacement after 6 years.  (Quote)

    In case it is really necessary to point out what you (and most of us) know full well, $22K does not include the most expensive single component. For those of you who merely lurk and read, whenever you hear price talk for iMiev or Leaf it’s always a case of

    batteries not included.

    You also have to add the cost of a battery or lease at zero years …


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:20 am)

    Herm: The next marketing shoe that will drop is CS mode mileage, I’m staking a bet on 60mpg.

    15

    Good for you! I sure hope so. +1


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:21 am)

    tom: Why are you comparing the Volt to a PRIUS?

    Two reasons:

    1) Anyone who is concerned with fuel costs would consider the Prius. People who like fast cars generally aren’t as concerned with fuel costs.

    2) For people who care about energy independance or climate change, the Prius is the best car you can buy today. Obviously, the Volt will leapfrog that, but at a higher cost. The question is: How much higher?

    Think of it this way. The Prius costs $22,400, but fuel costs would be around $5100 more than the Volt. So to achieve effective cost parity with the Prius, the Volt would have to cost $27,500 after the tax credit, or $35K before the tax credit. This gives a reasonable idea of how much more you’re paying for a Volt.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:22 am)

    Herm: Also adjusted the cost of electricity to $0.11 per kwh

    Dave G used 12c kwh and $4 gallon. The gallon price would be ok if trying to say todays dollars, BUT THE ELECTRICITY is too high, national average is 8 cents, and the night rates should be 4-6 cents kwh in most areas


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:22 am)

    Dave G: My calculations show just over $5000 fuel savings over the Prius for the lifetime of the car:

    Really nice job Dave. Lays everything out super well. Thanks.

    If you add a BEV “X” car with unlimited EV range you could also calculate the maximum a pure BEV would save. ($2880 for the electricity but this doesn’t capture the service costs, or lack thereof). At the other end you could add the Up!Lite at 75 mpg. All sorts of possibilities can be scanned quickly in this table.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:24 am)

    Hopefully this is GM continuing to overdeliver on their promises. Maybe we’ll also hear good news on the range extender MPG in the coming months…


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:24 am)

    tom: BUT THE ELECTRICITY is too high, national average is 8 cents, and the night rates should be 4-6 cents kwh in most areas

    This is why he kindly lets you plug in your own values. Personally I think $4/gallon is too high for the gas price. The beauty of what he’s given us is the ability to use our own numbers.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:25 am)

    tom: national average is 8 cents

    I pay 6.5 cents a kwh in akron Oh for same basic rate all day, night rates are cheaper if you use enough elec


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:28 am)

    Dave G: gives a reasonable idea of how much more you’re paying for a Volt.

    except that I disagree with all of your number and if the volt is a nicer car than the prius you can’t say that doesn’t count.

    I personally will drive closer to 20,000 AER, and all that proves is everyones calculation is different.

    I think your gas cost is too conservative, and you aren’t factoring in what its worth to not have to worry about gas prices.

    You also are not factoring in that buying EVs will help keep gas prices down which has a huge value even to people who drive EVs (cost of goods sold etc., maybe less wars to fight , maybe more jobs means better economy and lower national and trade deficits, we all benefit etc. etc etc.)


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:32 am)

    Neutron Flux: Not a bad security feature. Wire the doors to HV. Enhanced Volt with security feature would be called High Volt. Just don’t forget to deactivate unless you like the friz hair style. A 007 feature not quite as bad as the exploding car.

    #42

    You beat me to it, LOL. Might be a pretty popular option in LA or NY. Detroit? With my memory though, I probably would forget to deactivate it and frizz myself.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:33 am)

    Herm: I assumed since 120k miles over 10 years averages to 32 miles per day then the Volt would NEVER use any gas. Also adjusted the cost of electricity to $0.11 per kwh. Utilities may give you a good deal if you charge it at night.

    Yes, all good points.

    I originally estimated 311 MPG yearly average for a typical driver, so it’s quite possible the EPA is being a bit conservative here.

    Also, the price of gas is unknown. If Peak Oil is real, we’ll probably see violent swings in gas prices. For example, after the economy gets going again, China and India start buying many cars, and oil demand will likely outstrip supply. As a result, gas prices may go up to $5 or $6 per gallon. At that point, we’ll certainly have another recession, so oil demand will fall, perhaps as low as $1.50 per gallon like we had a year ago. Hopefully, governments around the world will be able to figure out a way to avoid these huge boom/bust oil price swings like we’ve seen…


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:34 am)

    DonC: The beauty of what he’s given us is the ability to use our own numbers.

    Not disrespecting Dave G, he is a great contributer here.

    Just saying disagree with his numbers. Also Prius at 22,000 is not equipped well you have to use the Prius at 27,000 model which still isn’t equipped as well as the Volt.

    But as has also been pointed out the low 30′s number could be including the rebate.

    But also as I have often said doesnt matter first couple years anyways because they won’t possibly be able to make enough to meet demand.

    Question is what will be the cost and performance of the cars that are selling in 2012 or 2013 when it is possible that supply might catch up to demand.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:34 am)

    carcus1: “…in the low 30’s” ………
    Is that before or after the tax credit?  

    Is this before or after dealer price gouging?


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:36 am)

    Dan Petit: If Ed Whitacre says it, you can beileve it.

    #43

    Yeah, I have to admit that I’m pretty impressed with the guy’s willingness to speak out. I recently read the Fortune article by the guy who Treasury brought in to head up the GM/Chrysler “reorganization” process. He expressed grave doubts that GM could ever change its culture enough to survive. Maybe this guy Whitacre can actually do it. I sure hope so.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:39 am)

    RB: carcus1: /carcus1’s gonna step outta this game for a while

    Don’t be gone long — I enjoy reading your posts. We can’t all be Tag :)

    HEY! *I* enjoy reading carcus1′s posts too. Agreeing with them is a different thing :-) . I hope that it’s a very temporary break he’s taking.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:41 am)

    LeoK: Like CorvetteGuy, I am in the business. I am a Chevy Dealer in Connecticut

    #56

    Great to hear from somebody who is actually out there on the front lines. Thanks a lot. +1


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:45 am)

    tom: Dave G used 12c kwh and $4 gallon. The gallon price would be ok if trying to say todays dollars, BUT THE ELECTRICITY is too high, national average is 8 cents, and the night rates should be 4-6 cents kwh in most areas

    Wish I could get the 8cents pricing in Houston. Shopped around this weekend and 12-13cents with a 24 month contract was the best I could find with no night rate mentioned. That does include a “rider” indicating that a minium of 20% of the power will come from renewable sources (primarily wind). Upside is gas is ~$2.53/gal this morning.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:49 am)

    I sure wish they could lobby themselves (government motors) to expand their credit to one million with $7K Cash at purchase.
    Just doesn’t seem fair to limit this to folks that pay that many taxes.

    I’m with you Tom


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:52 am)

    DonC: If you add a BEV “X” car with unlimited EV range you could also calculate the maximum a pure BEV would save. ($2880 for the electricity but this doesn’t capture the service costs, or lack thereof). At the other end you could add the Up!Lite at 75 mpg. All sorts of possibilities can be scanned quickly in this table.

    Yes. The Prius is only 1 example for comparison.

    For pure BEVs, most people say they would use a rental or other car for longer trips. So you would need to factor in the fuel costs of that for a proper comparison.

    As for service costs, after 120,000 miles, the Volt’s ICE would typically only have 20,000 miles on it. So it’s quite possible EREVs won’t have any ICE servicing costs beyond the occasional oil change.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:53 am)

    LeoK: if and when we get the chance to sell them.Here is a link to a blog I wrote last September:http://blogs.karldirect.com/2009/09/19/what-will-dealers-charge-for-the-new-chevy-volt/Until GM formally announces distribution plans and actual pricing, all we can do is keep picking up the bread crumbs!  

    Nicely written blog, LeoK. You obviously understand the mistrust a regular consumer has for auto dealers. There are so many price gouging stories: (Mazda when the Miata first arrived, Volkswagen when the Beetle was reintroduced, etc). You are right. People remember. I’m glad you are one of the good guys.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:54 am)

    I think many who are crying about too much demand are failing to see the point here. Too little demand means the end of the Volt, Leaf and any electric/EREV vehicle in production! (Meaning, good luck in getting service in 5 years…)

    Lack of supply will mean future development will multiply for the Volt and it’s knockoffs!


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:02 pm)

    Demand will be extremely high for the Volt.
    10,000 the first year and over 50,000 here that wants one.
    Short demand will the least of GM’s worries.


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    GM Volt Fan

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:03 pm)

    If Whitacre is saying the Volt is priced in the low $30,000s BEFORE the federal tax credits this news is going to HUGE.

    GM would sell a TON of Chevy Volts if you could get one for around $22,500 or so … AFTER the federal tax credits. It would be competing head on with the Toyota Prius. Customers would be getting mad at GM because they can’t make enough of them. I’m sure GM would love to have that “good problem” these days.

    GM better have the design of their production plants optimized before 2011. That way they can rapidly ramp up other production facilities quickly if demand for the Volt takes off.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:08 pm)

    Noel Park:
    >> Dan Petit: If Ed Whitacre says it, you can beileve it.

    #43Yeah, I have to admit that I’m pretty impressed with the guy’s willingness to speak out.I recently read the Fortune article by the guy who Treasury brought in to head up the GM/Chrysler “reorganization” process.He expressed grave doubts that GM could ever change its culture enough to survive.Maybe this guy Whitacre can actually do it.I sure hope so.  

    Will the next guy behave the same? Whitacre only wants to be around for a short time.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:12 pm)

    tom: BUT THE ELECTRICITY is too high, national average is 8 cents, and the night rates should be 4-6 cents kwh in most areas

    As of September 2009, the national average residential price is 12.06 cents per kWh:
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html

    Night time rates could help dramatically, but like all infrastructure changes, this is taking a really long time to roll out, so many areas don’t have this yet.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:17 pm)

    nasaman: “(…)Those who’ve read my comments on the Volt battery costs over the past 12-18 months won’t be surprised that I’m not at all surprised at Whitacre’s answer. Pleased, yes ….but not surprised.I’ve NEVER believed GM’s battery cost claims, which I could never reconcile with published cost estimates by Argonne Lab’s and CPI’s Li-Ion experts ….both FAR lower than GM’s claims. So as Lyle suggested a few posts ago, I’ve always felt GM’s inflated battery costs were simply a decoy or red herring that they had justified as a way to initially lower expectations of the Volt’s affordability ….in part so those expectations could be later raised in accord with the cardinal marketing rule of “promising less & delivering more”.  

    Thanks Nasaman, your conclusion is mine too, the performances of batteries improve from month to month, I also think GM has anticipated that.

    Best regards,

    JC NPNS


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    LeoK: OK, one, two, three, breathe…. one, two, three, breathe….Yes, we all want hard, factual answers.But for many of these questions, the reality is that it’s all still conjecture.The real positive takeaway from this is that the bread crumbs GM keeps leaving us are increasingly positive – when viewed through the prizm of a certified VOLTfanatic.Lyle, once again, great job at feeding us the latest bread crumbs!!!Before we all get carried away, let’s remember:
    1)While GM is still in the process of identifying the initial launch markets for VOLT, simply based on the activity on this site, we can say that first year demand will outstrip supply with a high degree of certainty.
    2)We are in a free-market economy.The laws of supply and demand will dictate ultimate selling prices.Unless GM does something drastically different with the VOLT, once GM sells each vehicle to an individual dealer the price that GM puts on the window sticker is relatively meaningless.Sure there are many reputable dealer’s who will sell the VOLT at MSRP, but many more will conduct local auctions and sell to the highest bidder (eBay anyone?).Look at any new, limited production product launch.
    3)GM’s margin is created by what it charges the dealer for the VOLT.What the end user pays the dealer is up to the free market – and the reality is there will be plenty of folks willing to pay to be the first on the block with a VOLT.Like CorvetteGuy, I am in the business.I am a Chevy Dealer in Connecticut – and I have been lobbying GM for several years to be an early VOLT dealer.No word yet.My dealership was opened in 1927 by my grandfather, and since that time, we have avoided the temptation to ‘auction off’ hot product.Instead, we have chosen to reward our loyal, local customers with the opportunity to buy hot new product at MSRP.Over the years, this has only increased our customer loyalty – and we plan to do the same with the VOLT – if and when we get the chance to sell them.Here is a link to a blog I wrote last September:http://blogs.karldirect.com/2009/09/19/what-will-dealers-charge-for-the-new-chevy-volt/Until GM formally announces distribution plans and actual pricing, all we can do is keep picking up the bread crumbs!  

    It’s good to know that some dealers understand that customers have long memories.

    Dealers that price new models above the MSRP get on and stay on my “avoid like the plague” list.

    The rapist like service departments are another issue all together…


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:31 pm)

    Just viewed a statement in a blog that the Plug-in Prius will sell because it’s priced at $30K while the Volt is at $40K. I commented on ED Whitacre’s announcement that the Volt will be priced in the low 30′s and suggested viewers to visit this blog to get frequent updates on the Volt. Hope this increases the number of people coming here for correct information.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet agai.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    tom: You also are not factoring in … maybe less wars to fight , maybe more jobs means better economy and lower national and trade deficits, we all benefit etc. etc etc.)

    Yes. The hidden costs of gasoline are huge:
    http://www.setamericafree.org/saf_hiddencostofoil010507.pdf
    but none of us have direct control over this.

    tom: Also Prius at 22,000 is not equipped well you have to use the Prius at 27,000 model which still isn’t equipped as well as the Volt.

    To be clear, we are on the same side. I’d rather wait for the Volt than buy a Prius. But we won’t make our case any better by under estimating the competition. The $22,400 Prius Model II is fairly well equipped:
    http://www.toyota.com/prius-hybrid/features.html


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:38 pm)

    I am sure the 12 cents per KWh is based on Obama ‘encouraging ‘ the adoption of electric cars by passing his CAP and TAX bill which will have quadrupled electric rates.

    But that is probably not enough as he is also demanding we build more non-economic wind and solar. These have a cost per KWh of 18 cents for wind, to 25 cents for solar, per KWh . Now the price paid by a consumer is a blended price of the costs of all the various electric generation that a Utility possesses. But the more of this nonsensical but politically correct electric generation installed, the higher the effective price will be.

    Unfortunately these prices are for ‘nameplate rated’ power, which is modified by a utilzation or availability factor. This makes sense for most base load generation that runs 90+% of the time, but makes little sense for this generation. Actual historical Utility experience reveals a Utility is lucky to attain 8-12% availability, with these generation methods.

    Wind cannot generate if the wind is below 3mph, and will tear itself apart, if utilized in winds peaking over 8 mph, so it is restricted to a realatively narrow range of usage. Solar only works during the day and on non cloudy days. Its ‘full’ or ‘nameplate rated’ output is centered on noon time and thereabouts, and power production falls off from ‘nameplate rating’ in the mornings and afternoons and obviously at night.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (12:46 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: Just viewed a statement in a blog that the Plug-in Prius will sell because it’s priced at $30K while the Volt is at $40K. I commented on ED Whitacre’s announcement that the Volt will be priced in the low 30’s and suggested viewers to visit this blog to get frequent updates on the Volt. Hope this increases the number of people coming here for correct information.Happy trails to you ’til we meet agai.  

    The more the merrier! I “plug” this site often, but more and more the reply is “Oh yeah, I go there too!” Very cool.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:05 pm)

    #95 Tagamet:
    The more the merrier! I “plug” this site often, but more and more the reply is “Oh yeah, I go there too!” Very cool.
    Be well,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    As you would say, my friend, Amen!

    Be Well.
    Happy trails to you if we meet again.

    P.S. Did you see my comment the other day about DPF. I’m making a contribution to support their effort. There science is well beyond EEStor’s and DFS research is being done around the globe.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:11 pm)

    #23 nasaman: in part so those expectations could be later raised in accord with the cardinal marketing rule of “promising less & delivering more

    If you are right about “decoy or red herring”, and I believe you are totally right, then it isn’t a far stretch to believe they will be able to ramp production up to take advantage of the increased demand. It’s all part of the under promise and over deliver concept. I am hopeful that they will ramp up production nationwide in a short time.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:13 pm)

    pKIO3: Wish I could get the 8cents pricing in Houston

    i JUST Check 2 different sources, one was higher because it was based on average bill including all costs per kwh/ so it was not the incremental. Below is what I believe is incremental base rates. But what folks getting EVs need is to get the meter and night rate for the cheap night rates. then you can also save by running appliances at that time (don’t forget to charge you cell phones with the night rates).

    Average Rate per Kilowatthour by State
    (Lowest to Highest Rate as of August 2009)

    Rank State Average Electricity Rate for
    All Sectors
    (Cents per Kilowatthour)
    1 Wyoming 6.29
    2 West Virginia 6.63
    3 Idaho 6.80
    4 Washington 6.80
    5 Louisiana 6.99
    6 Kentucky 7.04
    7 North Dakota 7.25
    8 Montana 7.27
    9 Utah 7.43
    10 Oregon 7.45
    11 South Dakota 7.55
    12 Indiana 7.67
    13 Oklahoma 7.71
    14 Nebraska 7.83
    15 Arkansas 8.21
    16 Tennessee 8.46
    17 Iowa 8.51
    18 Missouri 8.51
    19 South Carolina 8.54
    20 Kansas 8.71
    21 North Carolina 8.73
    22 New Mexico 8.75
    23 Mississippi 8.79
    24 Minnesota 8.85
    25 Colorado 8.92
    26 Virginia 9.10
    27 Illinois 9.17
    28 Alabama 9.19
    29 Georgia 9.38
    30 Ohio 9.56
    31 Wisconsin 9.57
    32 Pennsylvania 9.93
    33 Texas 10.19

    34 Arizona 10.37
    National Average 10.40
    35 Michigan 10.43
    36 Florida 11.42
    37 Nevada 11.47
    38 Delaware 12.35
    39 Maine 12.76
    40 Vermont 12.85
    41 Rhode Island 13.16
    42 Maryland 13.45
    43 District of Columbia 13.76
    44 New Hampshire 14.65
    45 Alaska 14.70
    46 California 15.16
    47 Massachusetts 15.30
    48 New Jersey 15.76
    49 New York 16.97
    50 Connecticut 18.30
    51 Hawaii 22.19


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:16 pm)

    tom: Just saying disagree with his numbers. Also Prius at 22,000 is not equipped well you have to use the Prius at 27,000 model which still isn’t equipped as well as the Volt.

    Dave G: The $22,400 Prius Model II is fairly well equipped:

    Everyone I know who has bought a Prius has paid about $28. Not sure what the options are. Also, I don’t think you can actually buy the low base car. It’s only for fleets and even then it’s elusive.

    However, if you’re looking for apples to apples, the Volt base doesn’t include a nav system AFAIK, which to me would be pretty basic these days. (Yeah you can use your phone but it doesn’t work nearly as well).

    But not sure this really matters. A Yaris costs less and a Mercedes “S” class sedan costs way more. The Volt is a different beast so comparing it directly to a Prius seems somewhat misguided, IMHO. Comparing the gas savings is perfectly fine, but pricing is a different story.

    A somewhat better comparison would be between a Prius plug-in and a Volt, but that will have to wait until the Prius plug becomes a bit more real.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:17 pm)

    Whenever a fellow shows up and says ” I’m from the government and I’m here to help” a political leader advised to run for the hills.

    We are reading tea leaves and hoping the price of the VOLT will be with in the rang of realism. But unlike GM, we could do something to assure that. We could be applying pressure on the fools from the government that are artificially driving up the price of the Volt by $10,000 to $12,000 per copy.

    I refer of course to out friendly CARBite idiots in California. They are so eager to help us poor ignorant citizens that they have passed a regulatory measure that mandates that the batteries in hybrid vehicles are warranted for 150,000 miles, just like other emissions equipment.

    Interesting enough, they supposedly, want everyone to convert to and to drive Electric or Fuel Cell vehicles, so they have relaxed the regulation for pure BEVs and FCEVs to encourage them. But not for HEVs, PHEVs, or EREVs.

    So you can thank your local CARBite idiot government man for his ” help” in protecting your interests, you poor, dumb foolish citizen, too stupid to come in out of the rain, and demanding a battery be warranted, for that long. It has placed an extra cost on such vehicles that ICEs do not share. I

    do not know of a single car maker who warranties his ICE engines or transmissions for 150,000 miles, except for commercial truck makers. Tesla the BEV maker doesn’t have to meet this requirement ,either. But this is an additional hoop that automakers must jump through.

    You apparently are too stupid to decide whether you would prefer a Volt with a 100,000 mile battery warranty for $25,000-$30,000 dollars; or a Volt with a 150,000 mile battery warranty for $35,000-$40,000 dollars.

    Tom Stephens personally told me, that GM choose not to fight this absurd regulation; it would cost them too much bad publicity. GM chose to live with it. Instead they gave a VOLT 16KWh, but only allow use of 50% or 8KWh, to try to attain that 150,000 mile battery life, to meet the CARB warrantee. So instead of getting a 50 or 60 miles AER, we get 40 miles of AER, and at a high additional price.

    But all you would be VOLT buyers, in California especially, certainly could do something about it, by pounding on your California politicians to bring pressure on the CARBite fools to ,at least, treat every electric car technology the same. And thereby cut the VOLT price by up to $10,000. But VOLT consumers anywhere can bring this inequity to the attention of their politicians, and that would indirectly create pressure on the CARB.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    Stas Peterson: But that is probably not enough as he is also demanding we build more non-economic wind and solar. These have a cost per KWh of 18 cents for wind, to 25 cents for solar, per KWh

    Wow do you have old info. State-of-the-art wind power plants can generate electricity for less than 5 cents a KWH. But there are so many variables, tax credits, interest rates, how long to pay off the bonds.

    Wind is cheaper than coal if you have a 50 year horizon. The thing about Wind (and someday soon Solar costs) is that there is no Fuel Cost. Also there is no Pollution. With wind and solar and also Geothermal the costs are all up front. Which is why now is perfect time to up the credits because we have so much unemployment.

    It is a great investment in our future. Same thing with Nuclear, all those cost overruns building the nuclear plants in the 60s 70s. But those plants are now all paid off and they provide the cheapest cleanest electricity we have. So for all the folks that were so against it in the 60s 70s, we all benefit fro mthe cheap clean nuclear electricity now.

    Same thing 40 years from now our kids will benefit from investments in wind solar geothermal. I’m pretty sure the wind will blow and the sun shine in 40 years, at least I hope so.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:24 pm)

    #95 Stas Peterson: I am sure the 12 cents per KWh is based on Obama ‘encouraging ‘ the adoption of electric cars by passing his CAP and TAX bill which will have quadrupled electric rates.But that is probably not enough as he is also demanding we build more non-economic wind and solar.These have a cost per KWh of 18 cents for wind,to 25 cents for solar, per KWh .Now the price paid by a consumer is a blended price of the costs of all the various electric generation that a Utility possesses.But the more of this nonsensical but politically correct electric generation installed, the higher the effective price will be.Unfortunately these prices are for ‘nameplate rated’ power, which is modified by a utilzation or availability factor. This makes sense for most base load generation that runs 90+% of the time, but makes little sense for this generation.Actual historical Utility experience reveals a Utility is lucky to attain 8-12% availability, with these generation methods.Wind cannot generate if the wind is below 3mph, and will tear itself apart, if utilized in winds peaking over 8 mph, so it is restricted to a realatively narrow range of usage. Solar only works during the day and on non cloudy days.Its ‘full’ or ‘nameplate rated’ output is centered on noon time and thereabouts, and power production falls off from ‘nameplate rating’ in the mornings and afternoons and obviously at night.  

    Well if you are right, then solar PV panels on homes will become more affordable. Home construction companies building greener homes with better insulation materials and other green products are now offering solar panels as a construction option already. I believe that we will see a rapid expansion of home generated electric power. I wish I had installed them years ago!

    The statements you make about wind are inaccurate. Studies done here in Texas show that you need over 10 to 15 mph wind to begin generating a decent amount of wattage. Wind farms are the way to go. Although advancements in design are improving performance of small wind turbines, they aren’t really practical for the home yet.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    #101 DonC: Everyone I know who has bought a Prius has paid about $28. Not sure what the options are. Also, I don’t think you can actually buy the low base car. It’s only for fleets and even then it’s elusive.However, if you’re looking for apples to apples, the Volt base doesn’t include a nav system AFAIK, which to me would be pretty basic these days. (Yeah you can use your phone but it doesn’t work nearly as well).
    But not sure this really matters. A Yaris costs less and a Mercedes “S” class sedan costs way more. The Volt is a different beast so comparing it directly to a Prius seems somewhat misguided, IMHO. Comparing the gas savings is perfectly fine, but pricing is a different story.
    A somewhat better comparison would be between a Prius plug-in and a Volt, but that will have to wait until the Prius plug becomes a bit more real.  

    I saw reference to the Plus-in Prius being priced at around $30K and agree totally with you that a more accurate comparison would be between the plug-in vehicles. We’ll have to wait and see what Toyota does.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    Stas Peterson: I am sure the 12 cents per KWh is based on Obama ‘encouraging ‘ the adoption of electric cars by passing his CAP and TAX bill which will have quadrupled electric rates.But that is probably not enough as he is also demanding we build more non-economic wind and solar.These have a cost per KWh of 18 cents for wind,to 25 cents for solar, per KWh .Now the price paid by a consumer is a blended price of the costs of all the various electric generation that a Utility possesses.But the more of this nonsensical but politically correct electric generation installed, the higher the effective price will be.Unfortunately these prices are for ‘nameplate rated’ power, which is modified by a utilzation or availability factor. This makes sense for most base load generation that runs 90+% of the time, but makes little sense for this generation.Actual historical Utility experience reveals a Utility is lucky to attain 8-12% availability, with these generation methods.Wind cannot generate if the wind is below 3mph, and will tear itself apart, if utilized in winds peaking over 8 mph, so it is restricted to a realatively narrow range of usage. Solar only works during the day and on non cloudy days.Its ‘full’ or ‘nameplate rated’ output is centered on noon time and thereabouts, and power production falls off from ‘nameplate rating’ in the mornings and afternoons and obviously at night.  

    Stas, I mostly agree with you with the exception of one detail.

    Wind generators DO vary in their operating ranges but 25 m/s (55.9 mph) is a common cut out point, most ‘furl’ at that point to protect themselves with many newer systems continuing to generate their maximum rated power even in their furled state.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (1:58 pm)

    Dave G: Of course, this is all based on many assumptions.

    EV range (miles EPA) = 40

    We know that’s not realistic, we need real-world data to demonstrate the true randomness of actual driving.

    Heater, A/C, and Speed all need to be factored in too.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    tom: [...snip...] Nuclear, all those cost overruns building the nuclear plants in the 60s 70s.But those plants are now all paid off and they provide the cheapest cleanest electricity we have. [...snip...]

    I agree, and this despite those designs being 30+ years old, being based upon the Uranium cycle (ie. not all fuel consumed, creates waste and the attendant storage problems, etc.).

    Just imagine if we had small, distributed, safe pebble bed reactors… or incredibly-safe and fuel-abundant Thorium-cycle liquid fluoride reactors that consume our old Uranium waste in the process… or (someday soon I hope) inertial electrostatic confinement fusion reactors, or focus-fusion reactors… or … [insert your favorite "very cool, but as-yet unexploited" nuclear technology here!]. Now imagine we’ve converted personal transportation to all-electric-drive solutions.

    *sigh*… I regret that I probably won’t be around long enough to see this happen (and I’m only 40!). But we owe it to our progeny to start NOW. We need to stop being fearful of the word “nuclear.”

    BTW none of this means that I don’t support wind and solar! But without storage breakthroughs, nuclear is the best (IMO) baseline power technology.

    tom: [...snip...] I’m pretty sure the wind will blow and the sun shine in 40 years, at least I hope so. [...snip...]

    If not, we’ll have bigger problems to worry about, than just how we’re going to get around!

    Edit: Minor ninja edit in paragraph 3; added paragraph 4.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (2:13 pm)

    LeoK: My dealership was opened in 1927 by my grandfather, and since that time, we have avoided the temptation to ‘auction off’ hot product. Instead, we have chosen to reward our loyal, local customers with the opportunity to buy hot new product at MSRP. Over the years, this has only increased our customer loyalty – and we plan to do the same with the VOLT – if and when we get the chance to sell them.

    I read your blog entry. I like it. I am sad to report the the owner of my dealership has brought on a new General Manager. I have not had the opportunity yet to speak with him in detail about VOLT pricing and marketing plans, but so far, my impression is that he would not agree with your policy.

    I hope I am wrong too. Because big markups on a car like this is going to turn around and bite them so badly, they won’t know what hit them.

    So, I’m starting to feel like the past 2 years of effort, working with potential VOLT buyers is going to vaporize if he thinks there should be huge markups.

    This is not a Camaro. I hope he gets that.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (2:15 pm)

    #103 tom:
    Wow do you have old info.State-of-the-art wind power plants can generate electricity for less than 5 cents a KWH.But there are so many variables, tax credits, interest rates, how long to pay off the bonds.Wind is cheaper than coal if you have a 50 year horizon.The thing about Wind (and someday soon Solar costs) is that there is no Fuel Cost.Also there is no Pollution. With wind and solar and also Geothermal the costs are all up front.Which is why now is perfect time to up the credits because we have so much unemployment.It is a great investment in our future.Same thing with Nuclear, all those cost overruns building the nuclear plants in the 60s 70s.But those plants are now all paid off and they provide the cheapest cleanest electricity we have.So for all the folks that were so against it in the 60s 70s, we all benefit fro mthe cheap clean nuclear electricity now.Same thing 40 years from now our kids will benefit from investments in wind solar geothermal.I’m pretty sure the wind will blow and the sun shine in 40 years, at least I hope so.  

    Thanks for chiming in on this thread; Stas is misinformed on what he posted. He states that the wind doesn’t blow all time and the Sun doesn’t shine all day. These are obious but that doesn’t mean that the electricity that wind turbines and solar array collect can’t be saved for times when they are needed. Battery banks and super-capacitors are just to devices that solve that problem.

    However, I do disagree with you on one issue: that is your statement “they provide the cheapest cleanest electricity we have.” To put it bluntly, you leave out the most obvious negative of nuclear plants: the nuclear waste they produce as a byproduct is expensive to handle and we still have no definite national program to handle them. We will have to store them for long periods of time and that will be costly. There is a solution but it is still being researched. I believe that Dense Plasma Fusion may be the answer to affordable non-radio-active power source.

    http://focusfusion.org/

    Our government has supported other means of generating fusion power by funding of ITER and other fusion projects, but little has been given to help DPS research. They are closer than everyone else in achieving the goal. The science of DPF is nothing new; it is not based and on new science. They have already achieved what is needed to produce fusion: they only need to prove net energy. Then a prototype reactor can be built. The important factor is the fuel: pB11 fuel can produce power without radioactive waste. I urge everyone to visit this website and support there effort.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    LRGVProVolt, have you looked at IEC fusion or liquid Thorium-fluoride fission tech at all? I’m curious about your opinion of them.

    The latter fascinates me not only because of its simplicity, economy, and safety, but because it can be used to deal with the transuranide waste problem you cited. And you’re right about that. Let’s not just store the waste, let’s find ways to use and eliminate it!


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (2:33 pm)

    john1701a: EV range (miles EPA) = 40
    We know that’s not realistic, we need real-world data to demonstrate the true randomness of actual driving.

    The EPA cycles are the best approximation of real world driving we have. Sure, there are people who would get way less than 40 miles AER, but those people would probably only get 30 MPG in a Prius.

    Bottom line: We need a common yardstick to compare apples to apples, and the EPA cycles are the best we have.


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    Slave to OPEC

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    Either the “low 30′s” price is after the Federal Tax Credit or, GM has abandoned the additional battery warranty (which I find hard to believe).


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    merlin

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (2:37 pm)

    tom: i JUST Check 2 different sources, one was higher because it was based on average bill including all costs per kwh/ so it was not the incremental. Below is what I believe is incremental base rates. But what folks getting EVs need is to get the meter and night rate for the cheap night rates. then you can also save by running appliances at that time (don’t forget to charge you cell phones with the night rates).Average Rate per Kilowatthour by State(Lowest to Highest Rate as of August 2009)</P …National Average 10.40

    Tom, did you see Dave G’s link at #90? It included industrial sourcing as well as commercial and residential. The blending of these different price points drove the average down. Residential was the highest (which stands to reason due to our lack of leveraging ability compared to commercial and industrial enterprises). In any event I think the numbers linked by Dave G look about right to me. I live in Houston and I wish the numbers were better or that a night rate were offered. I can only hope that the utilities see the benefit in encouraging night time charging after this all gets rolled out and mass adopted.

    As for the earlier post about 8 cents per kwh average, I think there has been a steady increase in electric pricing over the last few years. A quick glance at Lyle’s national electricity pricing map (take a quick look at the Costs link at the top of the page) which was based in 2003 reveals a 35% increase in price in Texas in the last five or six years. Remarkably Texas has had an average 1 cent decrease in pricing over the last year. Well, perhaps it’s not that remarkable considering the hurricane issues in the last couple of years encouraged price gouging at most utilities while they were recovering costs for infrastructure repair. The price may be finding it’s way back to a truer value now.

    Using Dave G’s spreadsheet (and tweaking some numbers) I ended up with a $7520 savings in gas over a prius and a $4440 savings on overall fuel cost. I think the estimations on gas pricing are optimistic in the short term, but will probably average out correctly over the 10 years of ownership.

    Have a great day, guys. Stimulating conversations.


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (2:53 pm)

    #110 Mike-o-Matic: LRGVProVolt, have you looked at IEC fusion or liquid Thorium-fluoride fission tech at all?I’m curious about your opinion of them.The latter fascinates me not only because of its simplicity, economy, and safety, but because it can be used to deal with the transuranide waste problem you cited.And you’re right about that.Let’s not just store the waste, let’s find ways to use and eliminate it!  

    I haven’t yet but will soon. Thanks for the link. When I read your first post on it, I thought “I need to research this topic”

    However, I believe the DPF methodology will prove out in the end and provide a really clean and safe form of power. DPF eliminates the need for steam boilers, turbines, and generators, and will therefore be a more economical power machine.

    There will be a need for the type of reactors you suggest and burning nuclear fuels up so there are no radioactive wastes makes sense. However, the reactors themselves will become radioactive and those materials will need to be stored until they are no longer at serious levels. I was involved in the project to replace the two original Westinghouse supplied steam generators in the Ginna nuclear plant outside of Rochester, New York. As I remember, they wieghed about 200 ton each and where barged across Lake Ontairio from Babcock & Wicox in Burlington, Ontario, in the middle of winter! The old steam generators were stored in substantial concrete bunkers! I will look into the link you have provided. Thanks again and do take a look at the DPF website.

    http://focusfusion.org/

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (2:55 pm)

    #107 Mike-o-Matic: BTW none of this means that I don’t support wind and solar! But without storage breakthroughs, nuclear is the best (IMO) baseline power technology.

    Hmmmmmmmmm! I wonder how Germany is effectively utilizing its Wind Turbine generation.

    I’m all for nuclear power if it is clean. At present, it isn’t! Interestingly, you mention DPF. IMHO, this looks like the way we should go

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.

    P.S. meant to get this out before #114. :)


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    nuclearboy

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:03 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: the nuclear waste they produce as a byproduct is expensive to handle and we still have no definite national program to handle them.

    Thousands of DOE scientists have worked on this issue and have concluded that Yucca mountain is a solution to part of the problem. This administration, who allegedly follows the science, disagrees on purely political grounds (unless somehow Harry Reid and O and their advisors are smarter than the many many PhDs in DOE who have researched this for years) and is halting the use of Yucca mountain (even though by law the Govt is obligated to take the waste).


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:04 pm)

    Germany is also on the forefront of Solar utilization.

    If you want to learn more about IEC Fusion and Thorium fusion (liquid, as opposed to what the Indians are doing), there are excellent Google TechTalk videos on YouTube for each.
    IEC / polywell fusion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhL5VO2NStU
    Liquid Thorium-Fluoride fission: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZR0UKxNPh8

    The IEC one is a bit outdated (Dr. Bussard is actually deceased now, but the work continues) although it gives a good overview. The site I like to read about ongoing work in that field, is this website:
    http://www.talk-polywell.org


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    Dave G

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:09 pm)

    DonC: Everyone I know who has bought a Prius has paid about $28(K). Not sure what the options are. Also, I don’t think you can actually buy the low base car. It’s only for fleets and even then it’s elusive.

    From what I can tell, the Prius has 5 trim levels (Prius I, Prius II, Prius III, Prius IV, Prius V). The Prius I is only available for fleet sales. The Prius II costs $22,400, and includes many features like:
    • Heated outside mirrors
    • AM/FM/MP3 CD player with six speakers
    • Power windows with auto up/down
    • Power automatic door locks with anti-lockout feature
    • Remote keyless entry system with Push Button Start
    • 6-way adjustable driver’s seat and 4-way adjustable passenger seat
    • Tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel with audio, climate control, etc.
    • Cruise control
    • Dual sun visors and illuminated vanity mirrors

    plus lots more. I was surprised. Check it out:
    http://www.toyota.com/prius-hybrid/features.html

    DonC: However, if you’re looking for apples to apples, the Volt base doesn’t include a nav system AFAIK, which to me would be pretty basic these days. (Yeah you can use your phone but it doesn’t work nearly as well).

    I use a TomTom nav unit I picked up for $100. Works great.

    DonC: But not sure this really matters. A Yaris costs less and a Mercedes “S” class sedan costs way more. The Volt is a different beast so comparing it directly to a Prius seems somewhat misguided, IMHO. Comparing the gas savings is perfectly fine, but pricing is a different story.

    My main point was to try and find out how much more you’re really paying for the Volt. For example, if you buy a base level Volt for $40K, that would be $5000 more than you would pay for a base level Prius, after accounting for fuel savings and tax credits. If the Volt only costs $35K before tax credits, then the total cost of ownership for the Volt and Prius are the same. If the Volt costs less than $35K before tax credits, then the Volt is cheaper to own than the Prius.

    DonC: A somewhat better comparison would be between a Prius plug-in and a Volt, but that will have to wait until the Prius plug becomes a bit more real.

    Toyota is predicting their plug-in sales will be very weak. I agree. With only 10 miles of electric boost, its not worth the hassle of plugging in for most people.

    The Volt was designed from the ground up to run primarily on electricity from the grid. The Prius plug-in is an after-thought option on a car that was designed to run on gasoline. That’s a big difference, and it will become much more obvious as these cars make their way into the marketplace.

    So while the Prius is a great car, I believe the plug-in option will be a flop, with sales similar to hybrid options on regular cars.


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    nuclearboy

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:22 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: I’m all for nuclear power if it is clean

    Nuclear plants are extremely clean and well regulated. The total amount of high level waste produced by these plants over the decades of operation is equivalent to about 2 -3 yards depth on a football field. Hardly a major waste issue for a country the size of ours. If politicians would get out of the way and allow engineers to deal with the waste, then the issue would disappear quickly. We have laws against re-processing and the congress is blocking yucca mountain on political grounds. The waste issue is simply the anti-nuclear groups boogieman to try and halt future developments in this area. Their goal is to drive up the cost of Nuclear with endless litigation in hopes of killing it off.

    The new light water plants have core damage frequencies 2 orders of magnitude below current operating plants. It is a shame we are not building these now. Our government should ensure that electric power is abundant and cheap for the U.S. In this environment, our businesses would be more competitive and cars like the Volt would thrive over their gasoline brothers.


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    Streetlight

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    Significantly less than $40k – now we’re talking! A giant step further VOLT stays relevant. Last night Foxnews on NAIAS. Ford stole the show. Much to green and Leaf. But little on VOLT. This is a case where GM”s CEO needs to stay mindful its Susan Docherty who speaks for GM. And no more poor-mouthing about how this or that can’t be included because VOLT’s a loss. There’s price space for upgrade. Make the 15 gal. tank a minimum standard. In the 1000+ miles I put on a rented HHR last month, its really solid range seemed to overshadow its tight driver space shortcomings.


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    Geronimo

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    We’re not in business to lose money,” he said. “We did enough of that already.
    The Volt “is going to sell in the low 30s,” said Whitacre. “We’ll get a margin on that.

    Sure, the “words” might be ambiguous, but you have to know Ed Whitacre’s body language. See that smile ? See that red “I’m on top of the world” tie ? See the eyes that are ready to laugh ?

    Clearly, he has seen the latest cost figures, and knows that the car will sell in the low 30′s before the tax credit. He knows GM has a winner on its hands. He’s seen the numbers on the other GM divisions, and realizes GM is out of the woods.
    Lose money for a few years ? We did enough of that already.

    Kremlinology skills never grow old…


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:36 pm)

    pKIO3: Wish I could get the 8cents pricing in Houston. Shopped around this weekend and 12-13cents with a 24 month contract was the best I could find with no night rate mentioned. That does include a “rider” indicating that a minium of 20% of the power will come from renewable sources (primarily wind). Upside is gas is ~$2.53/gal this morning.

    #82

    We are in the SoCal Edison area. Our average cost is $0.13/kwh, and our consumption is pretty low. The cheapest gas I see here today is $2.85, with most flirting with $3.


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    NZDavid

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:36 pm)

    What a load of rubbish Stas, I wonder if you are a troll? Still, as wind power IS my subject I will bite.

    Stas Peterson: Wind cannot generate if the wind is below 3mph,

    this is true.

    and will tear itself apart, if utilized in winds peaking over 8 mph,

    this is completely false, unless you “just” forgot to add the zero after the figure eight?

    so it is restricted to a realatively(sic) narrow range of usage.

    That’s like saying the Volt’s AER only picks up a small minority of consumers as sometimes they drive over 40 miles. the reality is, modern, wind turbines work in over 90% of wind conditions.

    Solar only works during the day and on non cloudy days.

    Ya think? If only we could get people to use their aircons during the day, instead of at night. No wait . . . .

    Its ‘full’ or ‘nameplate rated’ output is centered on noon time and thereabouts, and power production falls off from ‘nameplate rating’ in the mornings and afternoons and obviously at night.

    So what we are talking about is utilisation rates.
    In New Zealand, my local Coal plant has a utility factor of 48%, hydro about 70%, wind between 40- 45% depending upon location. I have done a study on a Concentrating Solar Plant which works out at about 21%, uneconomic so far.

    Also here no power plants are subsidised, so wind competes upon its own merits. The produced cost of power is below 5 cents (USD). If it wasn’t wind farms would simply not be built.

    While I am on my soapbox, I just want to address the reoccurring mentions I see here about the grid not being able to handle charging.
    The enemy of all transmission is HEAT. So at night we can transmit power with no problems, this coincides with reduced load on the grid, so NO EV charging over night will ever be a problem. Likewise, during winter transmission lines can usually run at nameplate ratings, so charging during the day should not be a problem.

    The big problem is during summer when the lines are downrated to cope with the heat. This is also the time of maximum demand of aircons etc. For this reason, point of use, Solar panels (PV) makes good economic sense. The cost of building transmission lines to cope with the ten (or so) maximum draw days per year is prohibitive for most regions, so we look to have some or the larger users on interruptable contracts.

    I think I will leave it here as this post is starting to get too long already lol.


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    banjoez

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:49 pm)

    This statement means nothing without clarification. $40k – $7500 = Low 30′s. Same as before…….


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    steel

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:50 pm)

    On Volt’s Pricing

    If we get the development cars we have seen at ~32.5K After Tax, they will be amount the TCO leaders in the C-segment car class.

    A 32.5K Volt is equivalent to a 20-24K 25 MPG Car, a 22-26K 30 MPG Car, or a 26-28K 50 MPG Car.

    Push Button Start, Fog Lights, Leather Seating, Hatchback Option/Coupe Styling, Heated Seats, Dual LCD Screen, 17″Alloy Wheels, Remote Engine Starter. These options typically run in the 22-24K range. A Civic EX-L with leather gains a sunroof over the Volt-Dev models, but is in the 23K range. Even the Cobalt’s MSRP is 22K when kited like the Volt-Dev Models.

    It would be insane to offer the Volt-Dev Models at after rebate price less than ~30-32K. Thats leaving alot of money on the table. If they have decide to make a stipper Volt, I could see it priced at ~26-27K after rebates (Equal to the Prius II or the base Civic LX feature set)


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:51 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic: I agree, and this despite those designs being 30+ years old, being based upon the Uranium cycle (ie. not all fuel consumed, creates waste and the attendant storage problems, etc.).
    Just imagine if we had small, distributed, safe pebble bed reactors… or incredibly-safe and fuel-abundant Thorium-cycle liquid fluoride reactors that consume our old Uranium waste in the process… or (someday soon I hope) inertial electrostatic confinement fusion reactors, or focus-fusion reactors… or … [insert your favorite "very cool, but as-yet unexploited" nuclear technology here!]. Now imagine we’ve converted personal transportation to all-electric-drive solutions.
    *sigh*… I regret that I probably won’t be around long enough to see this happen (and I’m only 40!). But we owe it to our progeny to start NOW. We need to stop being fearful of the word “nuclear.”
    BTW none of this means that I don’t support wind and solar! But without storage breakthroughs, nuclear is the best (IMO) baseline power technology.

    Good Stuff!

    I too would like to see lots of Nuclear, but I’d also like to see wind, geothermal and solar. Mostly b/c I think they are all good and i like diversity (because of the law of unintended consequences and the general unpredictability of the future).

    I just want to see us invest in cheap, clean energy for the future. For the present I want us to concentrate on eliminating imported oil.


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    Boris Badenuf

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:52 pm)

    Bad bad capitalist bummering! I’ve following official Dis-Information Field Manual to demoralize Volt happiness enthusiasts. But this dam GM company outsmart us comrades. They keeps doing everything right. It’s bigs truoble with marxist boss who tells me “Must to destroy GM Volt to spread beloved marxism around world!”

    If Volt makes rubles for GM because they sell hundred of millions – we are doom comrades! Doom I tell you! Please to not get Siberia as signment. Please.

    Мы должны убить лося и глупо белка!


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (3:52 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic: Will the next guy behave the same? Whitacre only wants to be around for a short time.

    #89

    I think I saw a quote here from Whitacre about the $500K salary cap actually being helpful in creating places for younger people in the management ranks. Some people criticized him for it, but I loved it. I guarantee you that there are people in the GM organization somewhere who are capable of doing the job. Maybe in the Volt team, which is doing a great job, IMHO. What about the guy who was the leader of the Volt team who got sent back to Opel? Sorry to admit that I can’t remember the name offhand. Frank something?

    If Mr. Whitacre is the manager I hope he is, one of the most important things he can do is to search through the organization to find this talent. Maybe he can then stay on the Board as a coach, mentor, and backup provider of the toughness necessary to reinvent the culture and go forward.

    I am really encouraged by Dr. Dennis’ recent reports. I agree with so many of you who feel so optimistic that GM is poised to take a great step forward in technological leadership and business credibility.

    LJGTVWOTR!!


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    level67

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (4:01 pm)

    carcus1: “…in the low 30’s” ………
    Is that before or after the tax credit?  

    I would say AFTER!!


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (4:02 pm)

    Dave G: So while the Prius is a great car, I believe the plug-in option will be a flop, with sales similar to hybrid options on regular cars.

    It all depends on how much it costs and the prices of gas.

    There are lots of people that usually drive 12 miles or so a day, so if the plug i prius were to be significantly cheaper than the volt, it might work out. But as you pointed out, then you’d be paying all that money for an expensive hybrid tech you never use.

    I think until batteries get really cheap, there are certainly markets for cars with different AER, but they need to be purpose built for their market. A 12 mile AER does not neet good gas mileage beyond the 12 miles because those buyers must rarely drive that far.

    The volt setup with 40 mile AER MAKES most sense for people who drive 30-40 miles a day and have only one car.

    The leave BEV with 100 miles AER probably makes sense for folks that drive 60-75 miles a day, but have another car (Volt) that can be used for longer trips.

    I hear EESTOR has a new invention called ‘the Star Trek Transporter’ that will leapfrog all this technology we’re talking about today.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (4:02 pm)

    Boris Badenuf: I’ve following official Dis-Information Field Manual to demoralize Volt happiness enthusiasts. But this dam GM company outsmart us comrades. They keeps doing everything right… If Volt makes rubles for GM because they sell hundred of millions – we are doom comrades! Doom I tell you! Please to not get Siberia as signment. Please.

    LOL!

    To put it into context:
    Worlds largest oil exporters:
    Country ………………….. millions of barrels per day
    Saudi Arabia …………….. 8.65
    Russia …………………… 6.57
    Norway …………………… 2.54
    Iran ……………………….. 2.52
    United Arab Emirates …… 2.52
    Venezuela ……………….. 2.2


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (4:05 pm)

    >> What about the guy who was the leader of the Volt team
    >> who got sent back to Opel?

    Noel, you’re thinking of Frank Weber. I agree that he would be a stupendous C-level exec. Looks like he’s on the fast-track, too.


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    Ricard

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    Stas peterson:

    “Instead they gave a VOLT 16KWh, but only allow use of 50% or 8KWh, to try to attain that 150,000 mile battery life, to meet the CARB warrantee. So instead of getting a 50 or 60 miles AER, we get 40 miles of AER, and at a high additional price.”

    If this is true – and breakthrough EREVs are getting penalized by CARB – the members here should write to Congress. Especially California residents.


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (4:35 pm)

    tom: The volt setup with 40 mile AER MAKES most sense for people who drive 30-40 miles a day and have only one car.

    Yes. GM really nailed this one. Roughly 80% of the population drives less than 40 miles per day. Classic 80/20 marketing. This is how marketing is supposed to work.

    tom: The Leaf BEV with 100 miles AER probably makes sense for folks that drive 60-75 miles a day, but have another car (Volt) that can be used for longer trips.

    A relatively small percentage of the population drives this much per day. If only these people were allowed to charge at work, the strain on the grid would probably be minimal, even when plug-ins go mainstream. In fact, it would make sense if workplaces had power companies come in and install charging stations that you have to pay to use. The electrical rates for these stations would be a little higher than the residential rate. So only the people that need it would use it.

    Anyway, if you can charge the Volt at work, that gives you 80 miles total AER per day.

    Also, the Volt is a lot nicer car than the Leaf. The Leaf is much smaller.

    In addition, the Leaf cycles its battery much deeper, so that 100-mile range will probably be down to 60 miles in 5 years. Again, you many not own the car for that long, but someone will buy your used car, and short battery life would kill resale/trade-in value. By contrast, the Volt maintains 8kWh of usable battery throughout the life of the vehicle, using something like this:

    VOLT BATTERY AGING … New … 5 years … 10 years … End of life
    Total capacity (kWh) ……… 16 …… 14.5 ……… 13 ………… 12
    Charger shuts off at ……… 80% ….. 82% ……… 85% ……… 87%
    ICE turns on at ……………. 30% ….. 27% ……… 23% ……… 20%
    Available kWh ……………….. 8 …….. 8 …………. 8 …………. 8


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    Whistleteeth

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (4:44 pm)

    My guess the tax credit will get us under $30,000. If so this car will sell like hot cakes in CA. STOKED!!!


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    Geronimo

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (4:45 pm)

    Ricard: Stas peterson:“Instead they gave a VOLT 16KWh, but only allow use of 50% or 8KWh, to try to attain that 150,000 mile battery life, to meet the CARB warrantee. So instead of getting a 50 or 60 miles AER, we get 40 miles of AER, and at a high additional price.”

    If this is true – and breakthrough EREVs are getting penalized by CARB – the members here should write to Congress.Especially California residents.  

    Sure, plenty of people would like to pay less now, get more now, and have the battery die in 4 years.

    This is America.

    There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey.
    – Baskin-Robbins, the ice-cream company, displays this as a motto in its shops.

    BTW, the Prius does constant charging/discharging within a 40% band of its tiny 1.3 kWh, NiMH battery. Using just a band of charge within a large battery is a standard way to greatly extend it’s life. There’s a reason laptop batteries die in 3 years…


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    DonC

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    john1701a: We know that’s not realistic, we need real-world data to demonstrate the true randomness of actual driving.

    My guess would be that the biggest unweighted factor will be the opportunity charging — meaning charging more than once a day — which will significantly increase the number of EV miles driven in relation to CS mode miles. If I were driving a Volt, 100% of the miles, or darn close to it, would be EV miles, mostly because of charging more than once a day.

    As for needing real world data, the EPA 40 mile range is as valid (or invalid) as the MPG the EPA tests have assigned to the Prius. If I remember correctly, people have complained that they don’t get near the MPG as the EPA numbers suggest. Doubtless we’ll see the same type of complaints with the Volt.

    The good thing is that unlike a BEV where getting unexpected numbers strand you, the only bad thing that happens with the Volt or the Prius is that you use a bit more gas. Not the end of the world.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:17 pm)

    DonC: However, if you’re looking for apples to apples, the Volt base doesn’t include a nav system AFAIK, which to me would be pretty basic these days.

    #100

    I think I remember nasaman commenting about the excellent nav system which is part of the OnStar system. I know that some don’t want to pay the monthly fee, but he really did seem to think it was excellent, if memory serves.


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    DonC

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:17 pm)

    Dave G: Also, the Volt is a lot nicer car than the Leaf. The Leaf is much smaller.

    Seeing them next-to-next, and sitting in them, they seemed about the same size. Neither one looked that small.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:30 pm)

    NZDavid: What a load of rubbish Stas, I wonder if you are a troll?

    #123

    Gee, do you think? Either that or professional FUD. Which is sort of the same thing, when you come to think of it.


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    JeffB

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:33 pm)

    Low $30K’s and profit for GM…sounds good. Priced nicely under $30K and profit for GM…sounds like a winner for GM and consumers.


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    john1701a

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:35 pm)

    Dave G: With only 10 miles of electric boost, its not worth the hassle of plugging in for most people.

    Since your spreadsheet doesn’t even take the plug-in model of Prius into account and continue to understate the 14.5 mile range listed in the press-release, what’s the point?

    Of course, the concept of “hassle” makes no sense anyway. Plugging in each night takes the same effort for any plug-in vehicle, regardless of battery capacity.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:38 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic: Noel, you’re thinking of Frank Weber. I agree that he would be a stupendous C-level exec. Looks like he’s on the fast-track, too.

    #132

    Right. Thanks. +1 I’m sure that there are others as well, but he has certainly made a name for himself, even if I can’t remember it, LOL. The fact that I can’t remember it is no discredit to him. H**l, some days I have a tough time with “Noel”.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:48 pm)

    2 ways : :-)

    1) 24k + 9k = 33k

    2) Another way is a proved one: They did for azek : Build cheap, use cheap stuff and let people escape from it ( the old GM way )


  145. 145
    Noel Park

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:49 pm)

    Ricard: If this is true – and breakthrough EREVs are getting penalized by CARB – the members here should write to Congress. Especially California residents.

    #133

    I live in CA and, IMHO, CARB got it right. When the Prius came out, a new battery supposedly was going to cost $7K. People were not about to buy an untested technology which might stick them with a $7K battery replacement in who knows how long. Toyota/CARB killed that issue with a 100K mile warranty. That’s what made the car salable, again IMHO. In the end, they have replaced very few, AFAIK.

    Now comes the Volt, with a brand new technology battery which has been rumored here to cost $15K. Same story.

    Maybe down the road this all can change with experience. But right now, for Gen. 1, it seems like a really smart strategy.

    And thank you Geronimo at #136. +1


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:55 pm)

    Rob: Despite we Voltheads desire to snap up every tidbit of info regarding the car, I think its pricing remains firmly in the realm of speculation. Through the years the Volt’s MSRP has been bandied about a great deal, and, no matter what Bob Lutz, Ed Whitacre, or the Great Karnak say, it will be some time before we know what GM will sell it for. I speculate that GM might, in part, wait to see Nissan’s price for the Leaf before setting the Volt’s MSRP.  (Quote)

    The Leaf pricing will not change (at least not immediately anyway) the Prius’ price. If GM is concerned about competitive prices, they should be most concerned about the Prius’.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (5:55 pm)

    NZDavid: this is completely false, unless you “just” forgot to add the zero after the figure eight?

    We had some major failures with turbines last month. Fixing those puppies has to be difficult. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jan/13/damaging-blow/

    I understand that the major issue, if you want to call it that, with wind is that the turbines are just about at maximum theoretical efficiency and you can’t make the turbine blades any larger because you can’t transport them. So what you have is just about what you can get.


  148. [...] a sticker price of about $40,000. However, General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre spoke to Lyle Dennis at GM-Volt.com the other day and reportedly told him the Volt would be priced “in the low 30s” and be [...]


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:03 pm)

    Noel Park: #133I live in CA and, IMHO, CARB got it right. When the Prius came out, a new battery supposedly was going to cost $7K. People were not about to buy an untested technology which might stick them with a $7K battery replacement in who knows how long. Toyota/CARB killed that issue with a 100K mile warranty. That’s what made the car salable, again IMHO. In the end, they have replaced very few, AFAIK.Now comes the Volt, with a brand new technology battery which has been rumored here to cost $15K. Same story.Maybe down the road this all can change with experience. But right now, for Gen. 1, it seems like a really smart strategy.And thank you Geronimo at #136. +1  (Quote)

    That is contrary to CARB’s own documentation as far as the “reasoning” behind the 10yr warranty. They do not require it for a BEV and the battery is even more money. The reasons buried in the ZEV calssifications is to insure the emissions level (ZEV, PZEV, etc) is met by the car. With a Hybrid, the battery must be functioning properly for the emissions to meet their classification. This is not applicable for BEV’s and thus no warranty requirement. EREVs are a little more complicated but the fact is that they can still operate within their ZEV criteria with a significantly reduced capacity battery. All the warranty requirement does is guarantee added cost to the consumer and not really insure better emissions. It uneeded and unwanted IMO. If there is a market for the 10yr warranty, then GM can offer it as an option and those consumers that want that blanket of security can choose to pay for it.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:21 pm)

    ziv: Will these numbers be right from the start, and whether that number is before or after the tax credit are my questions.

    What numbers? There are questions yes – but those numbers are …opaque.

    tom: BTW none of this means that I don’t support wind and solar! But without storage breakthroughs, nuclear is the best (IMO) baseline power technology.

    That’s true for baseline generation – and at a regional scale or smaller. But at a national or international scale, wind is phenomenally consisitent. It’s like insurance actuarials, we may not know who or where but we can be certain of how many,for any categorical occurrence

    Herm: Just guessing.. but complete redesigns take a minimum of 4-5 years. You will see many hardware changes and software rewrites during these first 4 years of Gen 1 Volt.

    Most of the Volt production should be frozen by now. GMers have already spoken of getting to deploy some of their wsih list for the Volt, which their engineers have been working on, for Gen II.

    Stas Peterson: Solar only works during the day and on non cloudy days. Its ‘full’ or ‘nameplate rated’ output is centered on noon time and thereabouts, and power production falls off from ‘nameplate rating’ in the mornings and afternoons and obviously at night.

    Stas you are right about the plated rates for solar not matching average production. But because efficiency drops off at higher temps, noon during the summer is often not when they will reach peak output.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:26 pm)

    Mr. Whitacre said – “The Volt “is going to sell in the low 30s. We’ll get a margin on that.”

    I hope Mr. Whitacre chose his words carefully. The word “sell” suggests the price before rebate.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:27 pm)

    nuclearboy: Thousands of DOE scientists have worked on this issue and have concluded that Yucca mountain is a solution to part of the problem. This administration, who allegedly follows the science, disagrees on purely political grounds (unless somehow Harry Reid and O and their advisors are smarter than the many many PhDs in DOE who have researched this for years) and is halting the use of Yucca mountain (even though by law the Govt is obligated to take the waste).  (Quote)

    So…if the government takes it does that make disposal past that point $0 in the cost analysis?


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    Tagamet

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:32 pm)

    nuclearboy:
    Nuclear plants are extremely clean and well regulated.The total amount of high level waste produced by these plants over the decades of operation is equivalent to about 2 -3 yards depth on a football field.Hardly a major waste issue for a country the size of ours.If politicians would get out of the way and allow engineers to deal with the waste, then the issue would disappear quickly.We have laws against re-processing and the congress is blocking yucca mountain on political grounds. The waste issue is simply the anti-nuclear groups boogieman to try and halt future developments in this area.Their goal is to drive up the cost of Nuclear with endless litigation in hopes of killing it off.The new light water plants have core damage frequencies 2 orders of magnitude below current operating plants.It is a shame we are not building these now.Our government should ensure that electric power is abundant and cheap for the U.S.In this environment, our businesses would be more competitive and cars like the Volt would thrive over their gasoline brothers.  

    Overall, I support the “do everything” approach to clean energy. I think that the thorium nuclear reactor technology should be given priority and needs to be implemented *nationally* ASAP. It provides safe, efficient nuclear generated electricity and the technology is available NOW! Its only “real” negative is that we’ve waited so long to implement it. JMO. (I’ve read all the posts, so no need to repeat “favorites”. This just happens to be mine).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:34 pm)

    Noel Park: I live in CA and, IMHO, CARB got it right.

    The issue would be that large batteries for EVs can’t be equated with smaller batteries used by hybrids. Sometimes you can make a mistake by applying the same logic to different cases just as you can make the mistake of applying different logic to similar cases. The argument for saying CARB got it wrong when requiring the ten year battery warranty for batteries used by vehicles which can operate entirely in EV mode has been made by Plug-In America and Chelsea Sexton. http://action.pluginamerica.org/pressRelease.jsp?key=492

    Their main point is that setting the bar so high — requiring the battery to last twice as long as any previous plug-in battery — unnecessarily increases costs and provides disincentives to the car manufacturers. They make a compelling case for letting the market work, IHMO.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    Koz:
    So…if the government takes it does that make disposal past that point $0 in the cost analysis?  

    The new reactor tech EATS past nuclear waste, so they actually help solve the storage issue.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:39 pm)

    DonC:
    The issue would be that large batteries for EVs can’t be equated with smaller batteries used by hybrids. Sometimes you can make a mistake by applying the same logic to different cases just as you can make the mistake of applying different logic to similar cases. The argument for saying CARB got it wrong when requiring the ten year battery warranty for batteries used by vehicles which can operate entirely in EV mode has been made by Plug-In America and Chelsea Sexton. http://action.pluginamerica.org/pressRelease.jsp?key=492Their main point is that setting the bar so high — requiring the battery to last twice as long as any previous plug-in battery — unnecessarily increases costs and provides disincentives to the car manufacturers. They make a compelling case for letting the market work, IHMO.  

    +1!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:39 pm)

    Do they do this on purpose!!!!!! Low $30s with or without. To me, ‘sells for’ indicates this is pre-credit pricing.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:42 pm)

    The low thirties number is consistent with what Mr. Statik told us long ago. Prior to the bankruptcy, GM lost about 20% on each vehicle it sold. And at that time, Mr. Lutz suggested the Volt would need to be priced around $40,000. But the hinted price was not adjusted down subsequent to the “quick rinse. If we remove 20% from the 40K, we end up with 32K. Now if the 40K was the break even point, then a price above 32 K would provide profit margin. So a MSRP of 33,500 for a nicely equipped Volt seems like perfect pricing to me. With the Tax rebate, the cost would be around $26,000 and that should be about the same price as the Prius PHV, which probably will offer greater mileage in charge sustaining mode, but less range in charge depleting mode. If GM can actually bring the Volt to market with a MSRP of less than $35,000, I think it will blow the doors of the Prius PHV. Go Volt.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (6:45 pm)

    Tagamet: ts only “real” negative is that we’ve waited so long to implement it. JMO.

    As a realistic matter only governments can build nuclear power plants since those plants require both large subsidies and huge financial guarantees. I don’t reflexively think government always gets it wrong, but so far they haven’t been able to handle large and complex projects like this very well.

    When we get ONE nuclear plant built anywhere near on time and with modest cost overruns anywhere in the world then I’m ready to sign on. Until then I’m skeptical that these things will just turn into money pits.


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    Eliezer

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:07 pm)

    Whitacre must have been referring to the price before the gov’t rebate. Why? because he said “We’ll get a margin on” the low $30k price. The profit magin has to be based on the MSRP — the amount the consumer will be giving to the seller before any third party discount — so the low $30k price range has to be before the rebate kicks in. I really hope I’m right…


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:15 pm)

    DonC: As a realistic matter only governments can build nuclear power plants since those plants require both large subsidies and huge financial guarantees.

    Gotta disagree on this! The U.S. government has not built a single nuclear power plant, to the best of my knowledge, but has stood in the way of building many.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:20 pm)

    tom:
    i JUST Check 2 different sources, one was higher because it was based on average bill including all costs per kwh/ so it was not the incremental.Below is what I believe is incremental base rates.But what folks getting EVs need is to get the meter and night rate for the cheap night rates.then you can also save by running appliances at that time (don’t forget to charge you cell phones with the night rates).Average Rate per Kilowatthour by State
    (Lowest to Highest Rate as of August 2009)Rank State Average Electricity Rate for
    All Sectors
    (Cents per Kilowatthour)

    50 Connecticut 18.30
    51 Hawaii 22.19  

    Nice to see go ol’ friggin Connecticut as the second highest cost.
    This damn State is really no place to live.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:21 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic:
    Will the next guy behave the same?Whitacre only wants to be around for a short time.  

    Once the final cost of the deal is done, then the rest of the details are routine. Ed is doing a great job here.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:43 pm)

    Koz: That is contrary to CARB’s own documentation as far as the “reasoning” behind the 10yr warranty.

    #149

    Well you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but that’s my sense of the effect of the thing, whether it was CARB’s actual motivation or not.

    GM has never hesitated to sue and/or lobby CARB in the past when it didn’t like their rulings. Hence the demise of the ZEV mandate and the EVI,


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:46 pm)

    DonC: When we get ONE nuclear plant built anywhere near on time and with modest cost overruns anywhere in the world then I’m ready to sign on. Until then I’m skeptical that these things will just turn into money pits.

    #158

    I with you there. +1


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:51 pm)

    Estero: Gotta disagree on this! The U.S. government has not built a single nuclear power plant, to the best of my knowledge, but has stood in the way of building many.

    #160

    It has also massively subsidized many through sweetheart tax structures and by taking upon the taxpayers the liability for the results on the public of catastrophic failures, which is uninsurable at any realistic price through the insurance markets. If not for that, there would be no nuclear power industry.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (7:54 pm)

    ______________________________________________________
    #157 Van said:
    “The low thirties number is consistent with what Mr. Statik told us long ago…”
    —–

    Statik…MIA…
    ____________________________________________________


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:04 pm)

    DonC:
    The issue would be that large batteries for EVs can’t be equated with smaller batteries used by hybrids. Sometimes you can make a mistake by applying the same logic to different cases just as you can make the mistake of applying different logic to similar cases. The argument for saying CARB got it wrong when requiring the ten year battery warranty for batteries used by vehicles which can operate entirely in EV mode has been made by Plug-In America and Chelsea Sexton. http://action.pluginamerica.org/pressRelease.jsp?key=492Their main point is that setting the bar so high — requiring the battery to last twice as long as any previous plug-in battery — unnecessarily increases costs and provides disincentives to the car manufacturers. They make a compelling case for letting the market work, IHMO.  

    Sure, Caveat Emptor is a time tested strategy in the marketplace.
    I’m sure BYD will be happy to accommodate buyers with this approach.
    Personally, I like expecting that my hamburger won’t give me Creutzfeldt-Jakob (mad cow) disease.

    The California Air Resources Board is now followed by 17 states (40% of the US auto market):
    New Jersey, California, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont,
    Maine, Oregon. Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Florida, Colorado. Arizona, Utah, Washington (and one more, I forget)

    These states follow California’s car rules instead of Washington’s.

    I bet it would be pretty easy (change a software setting) to allow the Volt to use 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% or 100% of its 16kWh battery for All Electric Range.

    They probably wouldn’t have a precise graph of lifetime vs. usage-band for many years, so you wouldn’t know exactly how much you are cutting the life of the battery short. It could be like people that overclock their CPU’s in expensive PC’s – on the up side, you get more performance. On the down side, you smoke the CPU, and no computer for you.
    Maybe GM would sell it for a few thousand less if they provided no battery warranty, for people that wanted to violate the terms…
    5 to 10 years from now, everybody will better know what to expect from this battery family.

    If GM chooses to sell high quality, tested battery packs at a certain price, that’s a business decision. If BYD or Nissan wants to rush out untested battery packs in non-CARB states, with iffy manufacturing quality, and use them at 80% usage-bands, hey, I’m sure some people will buy these.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:12 pm)

    Koz: if the government takes it does that make disposal past that point $0 in the cost analysis?

    The sad thing is for us as taxpayers is that we have already paid, over and over for Yucca mountain. Study after study. There are hundreds of Nuclear Regulatory Staff devoted to this place, many more hundreds of DOE staff working for years. Tunnels, tracks, etc. etc. Cask designs, transport cask testing (hit with a train, a plane, a truck, a pool fire). The list of money spent is endless. Amount of storage (zero).

    The cost is not zero for storage but much of it has already been paid. It is smart to have a large storage area like Yucca. Its good for security and nuclear is good for the country. At least that was the plan decades ago.

    Now that Yucca is off the table, the country is spending billions (yes b) on other on-site storage units. Basically, the utilities are storing the waste in concrete containers on a parking lot near the plants. This process is still going through licensing and re-designs and essentially doubled the storage cost. These costs are all tied up in our electric rates. One goal of the anti-nuclear crowd has been to drive up costs and they have succeeded.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:16 pm)

    DonC: As a realistic matter only governments can build nuclear power plants since those plants require both large subsidies and huge financial guarantees.

    Nuclear plants are built by the utilities. Exelon, Constellation, etc. These are the people who order plants. The plants are designed by industry (GE – Nuclear, Toshiba, Westinghouse), and they are built by industrial A&E firms.

    The Govt regulates every step and provides some tax incentives (sometimes) and some guarantees. They definitely don’t build them however.

    They do this for the good of the country. Just like all of the govt dollars to large dam projects, wind and solar. Its part of an energy policy hopefully giving us reliable and cheap energy.


  171. 171
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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:18 pm)

    john1701a: Since your spreadsheet doesn’t even take the plug-in model of Prius into account and continue to understate the 14.5 mile range listed in the press-release, what’s the point?

    We have to compare apples to apples.

    If I remember correctly, the 14.5 mile range claim uses a very optimistic Japanese test cycle. For example, I believe the Prius got 70 MPG using that test, versus 50 MPG EPA. So the plug-in Prius will probably be closer to 10 miles range EPA.

    john1701a:
    Of course, the concept of “hassle” makes no sense anyway. Plugging in each night takes the same effort for any plug-in vehicle, regardless of battery capacity.

    Let me make it as simple as possible:

    • Volt: 7 minutes per week to plug/unplug. Trips to the gas station every 3 months.
    • Regular car: 15 minutes per week to go to the gas station.
    • Plug-in Prius: 22 minutes per week to plug/unplug and go to the gas station.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:22 pm)

    Tagamet: I think that the thorium nuclear reactor technology should be given priority and needs to be implemented *nationally* ASAP. It provides safe, efficient nuclear generated electricity and the technology is available NOW! Its only “real” negative is that we’ve waited so long to implement it.

    I can tell you from the US regulatory perspective that anything other than a light water reactor will be tough to license. Of all of the new plants that have submitted license applications to the Nuc Reg Commission, all of them are light water reactors.

    http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col.html


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:42 pm)

    NZDavid: What a load of rubbish Stas, I wonder if you are a troll? Still, as wind power IS my subject I will bite.this is true.this is completely false, unless you “just” forgot to add the zero after the figure eight?That’s like saying the Volt’s AER only picks up a small minority of consumers as sometimes they drive over 40 miles. the reality is, modern, wind turbines work in over 90% of wind conditions.Ya think? If only we could get people to use their aircons during the day, instead of at night. No wait . . . .So what we are talking about is utilisation rates.In New Zealand, my local Coal plant has a utility factor of 48%, hydro about 70%, wind between 40- 45% depending upon location. I have done a study on a Concentrating Solar Plant which works out at about 21%, uneconomic so far.Also here no power plants are subsidised, so wind competes upon its own merits. The produced cost of power is below 5 cents (USD). If it wasn’t wind farms would simply not be built.While I am on my soapbox, I just want to address the reoccurring mentions I see here about the grid not being able to handle charging.The enemy of all transmission is HEAT. So at night we can transmit power with no problems, this coincides with reduced load on the grid, so NO EV charging over night will ever be a problem. Likewise, during winter transmission lines can usually run at nameplate ratings, so charging during the day should not be a problem.The big problem is during summer when the lines are downrated to cope with the heat. This is also the time of maximum demand of aircons etc. For this reason, point of use, Solar panels (PV) makes good economic sense. The cost of building transmission lines to cope with the ten (or so) maximum draw days per year is prohibitive for most regions, so we look to have some or the larger users on interruptable contracts.I think I will leave it here as this post is starting to get too long already lol.  (Quote)

    Well put !!!


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Jan 18th, 2010 (8:58 pm)

    #165 Noel Park:
    #158I with you there.+1  

    -2 to you! The TVA was responsiblle for the building of many nuclear plants.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_Valley_Authority#Nuclear_power_plants.

    I was involved in the importation of nuclear valves for the plants.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:23 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: Nicely written blog, LeoK. You obviously understand the mistrust a regular consumer has for auto dealers. There are so many price gouging stories: (Mazda when the Miata first arrived, when the Beetle was reintroduced, etc). You are right. People remember. I’m glad you are one of the good guys.  (Quote)

    Thanks. +1:-)


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:26 pm)

    #159 DonC:
    As a realistic matter only governments can build nuclear power plants since those plants require both large subsidies and huge financial guarantees. I don’t reflexively think government always gets it wrong, but so far they haven’t been able to handle large and complex projects like this very well.
    When we get ONE nuclear plant built anywhere near on time and with modest cost overruns anywhere in the world then I’m ready to sign on. Until then I’m skeptical that these things will just turn into money pits.  

    Don,

    I think you will find the information found in Wikipedia on the Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear power plants very interesting. Of the three plants built; plant 1 – Browns Ferry is licensed to operate through December 20, 2033; plant 2 – a BWR is licensed to operate through June 28, 2034; plant 3 – another BWR is licensed to operate through July 2, 2036.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:26 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: I read your blog entry. I like it. I am sad to report the the owner of my dealership has brought on a new General Manager. I have not had the opportunity yet to speak with him in detail about VOLT pricing and marketing plans, but so far, my impression is that he would not agree with your policy. I hope I am wrong too. Because big markups on a car like this is going to turn around and bite them so badly, they won’t know what hit them. So, I’m starting to feel like the past 2 years of effort, working with potential VOLT buyers is going to vaporize if he thinks there should be huge markups. This is not a Camaro. I hope he gets that.  (Quote)

    Good luck … I hope your new GM sees the long-term light!


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:34 pm)

    Absolutely, positively, maybe, this is news. Sorry, I don’t think we’re sure we’ve learned anything here. Only Whitacre knows what he means, and maybe he’s not so sure and allowing some room for interpretation.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (9:52 pm)

    Estero: The U.S. government has not built a single nuclear power plant, to the best of my knowledge

    That’s why the last plant to start commercial operation , Watts Bar, was started 40 years ago. It took something like 24 years to build that plant. What happens when a construction project takes that long? Just look at the Big Dig in Boston. When it started the estimated cost was $2.8B. It actually cost $22B.

    You can’t finance a nuclear reactor without both government subsidies AND government financial guarantees. After Whoops the private capital markets won’t touch a nuclear project with a ten foot pole.

    It’s hard to blame them. Would you buy a bond secured by one of these things? The cost overruns the last time around averaged 400%. Recently the nuclear industry claimed that these were the bad old days and that now they can build on time and on budget. Finland bought the claims and tried it with Olkiluoto 3. Guess what? Cost overruns of at least 50% and increasing every day, and the reactor, scheduled for activation last summer, no longer even has a target operating date. Not surprisingly, the utility may default.

    Government is hardly standing in the way of nuclear power. They subsidize it. What stands in the way of nuclear power is the industry’s ability to build them in a cost effective way, a failure which effectively prevents utilities from accessing the private capital market.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:06 pm)

    Geronimo: If GM chooses to sell high quality, tested battery packs at a certain price, that’s a business decision. If BYD or Nissan wants to rush out untested battery packs in non-CARB states, with iffy manufacturing quality, and use them at 80% usage-bands, hey, I’m sure some people will buy these.

    The pertinent question would be: Why is GM required to offer the Volt with a 10 year warranty in CA but BYD and Nissan don’t have to offer the Leaf and Whatever with the same warranty? I can’t find a rationale. Do you have one?

    The bottom line is that the Volt is an EV and should be treated like all the other EVs.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:12 pm)

    Lots of discussion of the relative merits and weaknesses of various alternative electric generating methods, today.

    In my opinion, if we concentrated on developing technology and infrastructure for storing electricity (on a scale far greater than using old EV batteries; I’m talking specialty large-format batteries intended for meaningful Utility-scale storage), there would be immediate benefits regardless of electricity source. Off-peak power would be stored for use during high-peak demand, making the larger baseline plants capable of meeting our electrical requirements without the smaller, peak-demand-only generators which are fueled by oil and natural gas.

    Oh, and it would also make intermittent wind and solar into ‘plug-and-play’ baseline contenders.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:17 pm)

    nuclearboy: The Govt regulates every step and provides some tax incentives (sometimes) and some guarantees. They definitely don’t build them however.

    What I was trying to say is that government has to financially guarantee the plants in order for the utility to access the private financial markets. In my mind once you’re issuing the financial guarantee you’re effectively the builder. But yes, you’re absolutely right, there will be an actual construction company that builds it, and that company will contract with the utility.

    I have two problem with this arrangement though. One is that I’d like to see one plant, just one, anywhere in the world, come in sort of on time and just a bit over budget before the taxpayer gets put on the hook. Second is that if the government financially guarantees the utility, the utility is effectively playing with other people’s money, and that’s invariably not a good thing.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:17 pm)

    Just got back from the Auto Show in Detroit… I think GM made another strong showing there and they showed a production Volt that is just another well done step in the process. (Although I was disappointed they didn’t allow us to sit in the car).

    GM has a great product in the Volt, and they appear to be managing it’s development, transition to production, and access to information and positive news perfectly!!! (Of course the access to information and interest is greatly boosted by Lyle’s website.)


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:20 pm)

    Noel Park:
    #160It has also massively subsidized many through sweetheart tax structures and by taking upon the taxpayers the liability for the results on the public of catastrophic failures, which is uninsurable at any realistic price through the insurance markets.If not for that, there would be no nuclear power industry.  

    How is this different than the govt paying tax credits for the Volt?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:23 pm)

    Jackson: Off-peak power would be stored for use during high-peak demand, making the larger baseline plants capable of meeting our electrical requirements without the smaller, peak-demand-only generators which are fueled by oil and natural gas.

    Let’s assume we get battery costs down to $250/kWh. A kWh of electricity costs on average about $.08. It’s hard to justify the cost of the storage compared to the cost of providing the electricity, even at peak.

    Personally I’d go with time of day pricing. Then John and Mary would wash their clothes at night rather than in the afternoon, and viola, demand would be smoothed out.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:29 pm)

    Tagamet: How is this different than the govt paying tax credits for the Volt?

    The big difference would be that one is capped and the other isn’t. Sort of the difference in going long versus short in the stock market. When you go long your losses are limited to your investment. When you go short there is theoretically no limit on the losses. In the case of the guarantees there is no cap to the losses.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:32 pm)

    Geronimo: I bet it would be pretty easy (change a software setting) to allow the Volt to use 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% or 100% of its 16kWh battery for All Electric Range.
    They probably wouldn’t have a precise graph of lifetime vs. usage-band for many years, so you wouldn’t know exactly how much you are cutting the life of the battery short.

    If battery life were simply a function of usage window and prices stay constant, then your argument would be complete. Calendar life is another variable to consider. The 50% restriction will insure more calendar loss. Ultimately, it is $/(kwh liftime) that matters not 10 years of life or 50% utilization window. Perhaps it turns out that those parameters are ideal but that would be quite a coincedence.

    A 5 year warranty is adequate for many customer’s piece of mind, IMO. The rest is like paying for an extended warranty that check clerks are coached to sell you or paying for insurance when the dealer is showing an ace. They aren’t doing this for your benefit.

    Did Florida adopt CARB’s standards recently?


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:37 pm)

    DonC: The pertinent question would be: Why is GM required to offer the Volt with a 10 year warranty in CA but BYD and Nissan don’t have to offer the Leaf and Whatever with the same warranty? I can’t find a rationale. Do you have one?
    The bottom line is that the Volt is an EV and should be treated like all the other EVs.  

    A requirement of CARB, since the Volts emissions will increase when the battery goes bad.. other BEVs just dont have ANY emissions. The battery warranty will be shorter in non-CARB states.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:37 pm)

    DonC: Let’s assume we get battery costs down to $250/kWh. A kWh of electricity costs on average about $.08. It’s hard to justify the cost of the storage compared to the cost of providing the electricity, even at peak.Personally I’d go with time of day pricing. Then John and Mary would wash their clothes at night rather than in the afternoon, and viola, demand would be smoothed out.  (Quote)

    Your absolutely right. Time of day billing is the only “preparation” the utilities need for EVs for a long time to come. This is easier said than done. It will require a lot of smart metering upgrading and expenses but needs to be done regardless of EV adoption.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:39 pm)

    DonC:
    The big difference would be that one is capped and the other isn’t. Sort of the difference in going long versus short in the stock market. When you go long your losses are limited to your investment. When you go short there is theoretically no limit on the losses. In the case of the guarantees there is no cap to the losses.  

    The analogy would fit if there was even a tiny hint that govt can actually limit its spending. When was the last time that the govt “limited its investment”.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:39 pm)

    I went to the Detroit Auto Show this weekend and noticed that the Nissan Leaf was notably absent!!! Nissan had a space on the floor where the Leaf where they planned to show the Leaf (and I actually saw it on TV during media week at the same show), but it was not there for the public to see!


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:42 pm)

    DonC: Government is hardly standing in the way of nuclear power. They subsidize it. What stands in the way of nuclear power is the industry’s ability to build them in a cost effective way, a failure which effectively prevents utilities from accessing the private capital market.  

    Its the endless paperwork and legal obstacles to delay construction.. meanwhile China is busy building 20 nukes and more.. I bet most of those will be built on schedule and under budget.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf63.html

    >>>>
    Mainland China has 11 nuclear power reactors in commercial operation, 20 under construction, and more about to start construction soon.
    Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world’s most advanced, to give a sixfold increase in nuclear capacity to at least 60 GWe or possibly more by 2020, and then a further three to fourfold increase to 120-160 GWe by 2030.
    The country aims to become self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, as well as other aspects of the fuel cycle.
    .
    .
    Sanmen site works commenced in February 2008 and full construction on Sanmen 1 – the world’s first AP1000 unit – officially commenced on 19 April 2009. The reactor is expected to begin operation in August 2013 with the second about one year later. First concrete at Haiyang 1 was in September 2009. The Haiyang units are expected to commence operation in 2014 and 2015.

    >>>>>>>>


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:44 pm)

    Herm: A requirement of CARB, since the Volts emissions will increase when the battery goes bad.. other BEVs just dont have ANY emissions. The battery warranty will be shorter in non-CARB states.  (Quote)

    That is exactly right and proper for hybrids and full ICE power plug-ins like the Prius will be (unless control algorithms inhibit functioning with battery failure). The will not function with battery failure and GM could program to stop functioning once battery degradation reaches a certain point. Tesla and all BEVs have no excessive battery warranty requirement, as they shouldn’t and as EREVs shouldn’t.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:48 pm)

    DonC: Let’s assume we get battery costs down to $250/kWh. A kWh of electricity costs on average about $.08. It’s hard to justify the cost of the storage compared to the cost of providing the electricity, even at peak.Personally I’d go with time of day pricing. Then John and Mary would wash their clothes at night rather than in the afternoon, and viola, demand would be smoothed out.  (Quote)

    I am not talking about Lithium Ion (leave that for car batteries which have to store large amounts of energy and be portable too).

    Even with technologies which will be cheaper in larger formats, It would be initially hard to justify on a cost basis alone — just as the Volt and Prius are. Justification for the technology has much more to do with how the playing field will change in terms of what kinds of energy can be meaningfully used — even sustainable sources.

    Time of day pricing would merely force dedicated grid-storage into a different direction: house sized units such as those proposed by Ceramatec (or old EV batteries, come to that). In this scenario, the end user derives most of the (small) benefit directly, rather than the utility (which could reap more savings through economies of scale). Reading comments on this site concerning the Volt, I think there are many who would still be interested in a house storage module, for reasons other than base cost.

    It wouldn’t be my ideal scenario, but if the EREV is a step towards the BEV, the house storage module would be a step towards a true ‘storage grid.’


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:53 pm)

    Followup on Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear reactors.

    ” Operating History

    * Major construction on Browns Ferry began in 1967.
    * Unit 1 began commercial operation on August 1, 1974.
    * Unit 2 began commercial operation on March 1, 1975.
    * Unit 3 began commercial operation on March 1, 1977.
    * TVA shut down Browns Ferry and the rest of its nuclear fleet in 1985.
    * TVA restarted units 2 and 3 in 1991 and 1995 respectively.
    * TVA Board approved the restart of Unit 1 in May 2002.
    * After an extensive recovery effort, Unit 1 became the nation’s first nuclear unit to come online in the 21st century when it was restarted ON Time in May 2007.
    * Operating licenses for Browns Ferry Units 1, 2, and 3 were renewed in May 2006, which will allow continued operation of the units until 2033, 2034, and 2036.”


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:55 pm)

    DonC: Their main point is that setting the bar so high — requiring the battery to last twice as long as any previous plug-in battery — unnecessarily increases costs and provides disincentives to the car manufacturers. They make a compelling case for letting the market work, IHMO.  

    A battery lease would solve that problem nicely.. how much could they sell the Volt for if the battery was leased separately?


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (10:56 pm)

    Here in southern California we have two Utilities, SCE and SDG&E. SDG&E plans to complete the installation of smart (time of day) meters in about two years, and the much larger SCE plans to complete the installation of smart meters within the next 4 years. So by 2014, the infrastructure to facilitate time of day charging of PHV’s and EV’s will be in place. We are also the largest market for Hybrids, not NY and certainly not the Great Lakes region. If I will be able to buy a Volt with an actual AER over 30 miles for less than 27,000, I will buy one in 2012 and charge it at a low rate using my smart meter. Time will tell. Go Volt


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:04 pm)

    Noel Park: #149Well you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but that’s my sense of the effect of the thing, whether it was CARB’s actual motivation or not.GM has never hesitated to sue and/or lobby CARB in the past when it didn’t like their rulings. Hence the demise of the ZEV mandate and the EVI,  (Quote)

    I agree with you about GM’s efforts in the past and I’ve been trying to extoll them to “work with” CARB on this issue because it would be beneficial to all parties IMO. Perhaps they already are or perhaps they burned that bridge or maybe they see the 10yr warranty requirement as a competitive advantage based on their battery implementation. Who knows but either way it adds cost to the product and does nothing of consequence for emissions when it comes to EREVs like the Volt.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:19 pm)

    Van: Here in southern California we have two Utilities, SCE and SDG&E. SDG&E plans to complete the installation of smart (time of day) meters in about two years, and the much larger SCE plans to complete the installation of smart meters within the next 4 years. So by 2014, the infrastructure to facilitate time of day charging of PHV’s and EV’s will be in place. We are also the largest market for Hybrids, not NY and certainly not the Great Lakes region. If I will be able to buy a Volt with an actual AER over 30 miles for less than 27,000, I will buy one in 2012 and charge it at a low rate using my smart meter. Time will tell. Go Volt  (Quote)

    Azusa Light & Water, Glendale Public Service Department, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Riverside Public Utilities, Pasadena Water & Power, Burbank Water & Power, Anaheim Public utilities.

    There is a little more to this than SCE smart meters.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:19 pm)

    Tagamet: The new reactor tech EATS past nuclear waste, so they actually help solve the storage issue.Be well,TagametLet’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   (Quote)

    There is always waste at the end of the day, from low level to high level. I am fundamentaly leery of nuclear but not set against it. My biggest concern is the “all in” costs are very hard to tabulate and costs estimates never seem complete. We often see nuclear costs “x”. This is complete hogwash. There are far too many variables to arrive at a single number for future projects. I’ld feel better if the costs were given as ranges but they still need to be “all in”.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:20 pm)

    Jackson: In my opinion, if we concentrated on developing technology and infrastructure for storing electricity (on a scale far greater than using old EV batteries; I’m talking specialty large-format batteries intended for meaningful Utility-scale storage), there would be immediate benefits regardless of electricity source. Off-peak power would be stored for use during high-peak demand, making the larger baseline plants capable of meeting our electrical requirements without the smaller, peak-demand-only generators which are fueled by oil and natural gas.

    As always, this will come down to a bang-for-buck analysis. Even if we see significant progress with $/kWh, storage devices that big would be inherantly expensive. Were talking giga-watt-hours of storage here.

    For dealing with peak demand, solar power has huge potential. Remeber that most power is consumed on hot sunny summer days. That’s when solar power output is greatest. So solar power output naturally tends to follow peak electrical demand.

    And the cheapest form of solar power also allows for some cheap storage. Specifically, solar power towers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_tower
    These power stations focus light from many movable reflectors onto a single point in a tower above. The tower uses liquid sodium to store the heat, which can be piped through water to make steam immediately, or it can be stored in insulated tanks for later use. Solar thermal is also much cheaper than solar panels, and already cost competitive with coal.

    Here’s my point. If we forget about the “perfect solution” of tomorrow and just look around at what’s available right now, there are many solutions that could replace most of our coal and natural gas power stations.

    Electrial fuel sources break down roughly as follows:
    • 50% Coal
    • 20% Natural Gas
    • 20% Nuclear
    • 10% Renewables (including 7% Hydro-Electric)
    Only 1% of our electricity comes from oil, and this is mainly in Hawii and Alaska. The big fossil fuels for electricity are coal and natural gas.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:31 pm)

    nuclearboy: The sad thing is for us as taxpayers is that we have already paid, over and over for Yucca mountain. Study after study. There are hundreds of Nuclear Regulatory Staff devoted to this place, many more hundreds of DOE staff working for years. Tunnels, tracks, etc. etc. Cask designs, transport cask testing (hit with a train, a plane, a truck, a pool fire). The list of money spent is endless. Amount of storage (zero).

    As long as there isn’t a major safety issue (not that I’ve heard of one), we absoutely should use Yucca. We’ve spent a ton of time and money on it. This doesn’t mean it’s free though. That cost along with the handling and other operational costs should be included in any discussion of nuclear per kwh costs.


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    Jan 18th, 2010 (11:32 pm)

    #117Mike-o-Matic: Germany is also on the forefront of Solar utilization.If you want to learn more about IEC Fusion and Thorium fusion (liquid, as opposed to what the Indians are doing), there are excellent Google TechTalk videos on YouTube for each.
    IEC / polywell fusion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhL5VO2NStU
    Liquid Thorium-Fluoride fission: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZR0UKxNPh8The IEC one is a bit outdated (Dr. Bussard is actually deceased now, but the work continues) although it gives a good overview.The site I like to read about ongoing work in that field, is this website:
    http://www.talk-polywell.org  

    Got to watch that video presentation by Kirk Sorenson and I would concern with you about using this technology to burn up our nuclear waste. We need to get a public push by concerned citizens to get Congress to push our agencies in this direction as Sorneson says they all want to insure their jobs. This country was once the leader of new technology in the world but needs to get its priorities in order to maintain that technological lead. It seems we are giving everything away lately; one exception is evident on this website – GM and the Volt. We need to give financial backing to fusion projects like DPF, and the liquid Thorium-fluoride fission tech, as you suggest.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (12:02 am)

    Hi Jeffrhe @ 199, yes we have some government run electric utilities that do not plan to complete their smart meter installations by 2014, But each and every one does have a smart meter installation program and each will have installed a significant fraction of their total residential meters with smart meters by 2014.

    The fraction of southern California homes (residential meters) without smart meters by the end of 2014 will be small, because the vast majority will have the smart meters by then.


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (12:02 am)

    #200 koz:
    There is always waste at the end of the day, from low level to high level. I am fundamentaly leery of nuclear but not set against it. My biggest concern is the “all in” costs are very hard to tabulate and costs estimates never seem complete. We often see nuclear costs “x”. This is complete hogwash. There are far too many variables to arrive at a single number for future projects. I’ld feel better if the costs were given as ranges but they still need to be “all in”.  

    Koz,

    Your fear of nuclear is based upon radioactivity. If nuclear were safe and clean that fear wouldn’t exist. There are safe nuclear reactors but they are in the proof of net energy stage and need financial backing by investors or the government. Mike-o-matic and I have been discussing IEC and DPF nuclear fushion reactors which no not produce any significant radioactive wastes. I favor the DPF since it appears to have a technological lead over IEC. IEC has gotten much more funding than DPF but the later has achieve better results and is very close to proving net gain in energy. Plus its design has superior factors IMHO. It is a simple machine that eliminates the typical steam generator and turbine/generator necessary to produce electricity. I suggest you take a look at this wesite:

    http://focusfusion.org/

    I would appreciate your comments on what you think of DPF.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.

    P.S. Tagamet, did you see my previous comment regarding this and EEStor?


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (12:21 am)

    I’m not excited at all. I’m guessing that the Volt batteries cost $8k or more per car when it is mass produced. Consider, your typical engine is probably in the $3k range. For GM to say we will sell this for a profit when it is such an expensive vehicle is not credible. If
    it costs $8k to get the Volt battery made, realize to profit that you have to charge around $9-$10k for that part of the car alone. If the rest of the Volt including the small engine I might add costs $20k by the time it is priced to produce a modest profit, that’s $30k. What if the cost is closer to $30k though for everything but the battery? There are regenerative braking systems on these Volts, not exactly standard equipment. The wheel hub motors cost something too.
    Even if GM can cut the cost of the Volt enough to sell them profitably for $30k a piece, it still isn’t the way to go necessarily.

    Batteries still wear out even if you have a proprietary design and jack the price up so you can have specialized battery conditioning.
    I doubt very much that the batteries will last 10 years at full capacity and need I remind everyone on here that no Volt battery has undergone 10 years of testing. Everything GM says about the life expectancy of the batteries is at best an educated guess. At worst,
    what GM says is gross propaganda.

    It is a crying shame that GM isn’t embracing the technology it has already that could help nations achieve complete petroleum independence with respect to transportation. Fuel cell technology is maturing and hydrogen storage is NOT a problem anymore.

    The gas Volt cannot take you 300 miles a day without burning a drop of gasoline. A Toyota FCHV adv SUV on the other hand can. And the fuel cell version of the Volt probably can as well.

    It is a crime that we can talk about charging stations and act like there is a limitless supply of electricity, yet we can’t discuss hydrogen. Hydrogen stored in water could be pumped between states and shipped around the world.

    I hate to see GM push gas/battery Volts when it can do a natural gas/battery Volt or better yet a hydrogen fuel cell/battery Volt.

    If hydrogen charged water spills into the ocean because your tanker sinks, there is no environmental problem like there is with OIL. The Volt won’t end the demand for transportation fuel. It will
    not even reduce it much if it isn’t sold to millions of people. To date, hybrid vehicles have not replaced conventional ones and even if every gasoline powered car were a hybrid, there would still be an unsustainable demand for OIL.

    It Tesla isn’t proof that you can’t sell an affordable battery only replacement for the internal combustion engine, I don’t know what is. Tesla isn’t a profitable company. It is doubtful that they will be able to sell a battery only EV for a reasonable price with a reasonable range any time soon. I’m sorry, but $50k is not a reasonable price for a car and $100k is definitely not reasonable.

    These proprietary Volt batteries folks do not perform well in cold weather, keep that in mind those of you who live in cold climates.


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (12:22 am)

    LRGVProVolt:
    Koz,
    Your fear of nuclear is based upon radioactivity. If nuclear were safe and clean that fear wouldn’t exist. There are safe nuclear reactors but they are in the proof of net energy stage and need financial backing by investors or the government. Mike-o-matic and I have been discussing IEC and DPF nuclear fushion reactors which no not produce any significant radioactive wastes. I favor the DPF since it appears to have a technological lead over IEC. IEC has gotten much more funding than DPF but the later has achieve better results and is very close to proving net gain in energy. Plus its design has superior factors IMHO. It is a simple machine thateliminates the typical steam generator and turbine/generator necessary to produce electricity. I suggest you take a look at this wesite:http://focusfusion.org/I would appreciate your comments on what you think of DPF.Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.P.S. Tagamet, did you see my previous comment regarding this and EEStor?  

    I missed the EEStor comment, but a couple of days ago I commented on the DPF process. I know we disagree (and I’d rather that you were correct), but I think that this process has a long way to go before it’s close to net output. JMO, but I did read all of the info at the link posted. No one knows where the next big breakthrough will occur, so it’s good for all us to keep our minds open.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /night all.

    Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Jan 19th, 2010 (12:42 am)

    #207 Tagamet:
    I missed the EEStor comment, but a couple of days ago I commented on the DPF process. I know we disagree (and I’d rather that you were correct), but I think that this process has a long way to go before it’s close to net output. JMO, but I did read all of the info at the link posted. No one knows where the next big breakthrough will occur, so it’s good for all us to keep our minds open.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /night all.Let’s Just Get The ***VOLTS’*** Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Well Tag, IMHO from what I read they can prove net energy gain in one year with proper funding. My previous comment about EESTor had to do with your statement about DPF being another EEStor. Based on the pictures of the apparatus and all, you would admit it is a lot more realistic than EEStor’s claim. I really do think they are on the right tract. It doesn’t seem that IEC is going much of anywhere lately. Or so it seems: I may have missed something that was issued about its recent progress!?!

    I do agree that Lyle’s post today is good news. There still are a lot of negative thinkers out there. lol :)

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again. Thanks for the reply.


  209. [...] Source: gm-volt.com [...]


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    Jim I

     

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    Jan 19th, 2010 (1:00 am)

    OK, so GM seems to make announcements at each auto show that the area will be next on the list to receive the initial Volts.

    The Cleveland Auto Show starts at the end of February. Do you think there will be an announcement about Ohio being next on the list????? Hey! Hope springs eternal, you know….

    While checking out the Cleveland Auto Show, I came across this site.

    http://www.chevrolet.com/pages/open/default/future/volt.do?evar2=HP_Mast_Volt

    If you click on the “SEE INSIDE” button, there is a pretty cool video of the inside of the vehicle. I had not seen this one before. Take a look!

    I hope they have a Volt on display this year. I have yet to see one up close……


  211. [...] GM-Volt Share and [...]


  212. [...] Vía | GM-Volt [...]


  213. 213
    Geronimo

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    Jan 19th, 2010 (1:23 am)

    DonC:
    The pertinent question would be: Why is GM required to offer the Volt with a 10 year warranty in CA but BYD and Nissan don’t have to offer the Leaf and Whatever with the same warranty? I can’t find a rationale. Do you have one?The bottom line is that the Volt is an EV and should be treated like all the other EVs.  

    I was thinking of the BYD plug-in hybrid, the F3DM, but you’re right, the new e6, due in the US at the end of 2010 for an expected cost of $40K, is a pure electric (lithium ion phosphate battery). And the Leaf is a pure electric.

    Since the CARB is a regulatory agency “dealing with attaining and maintaining healthy air quality; protecting the public from exposure to toxic air contaminants; and providing innovative approaches for complying with air pollution rules and regulations” – I think they don’t have any power over pure EV’s, except to ask that some percentage of new vehicles be ZEV (zero emissions vehicles, such as EV’s). They later dropped this requirement after heavy lobbying, but still, it is within their power.

    Since the Volt has an ICE, they are allowed to weigh in about powertrain components and emissions standards. It is an EREV, not strictly an EV.

    I see your point about pure EV’s being able to offer shorter lifetime batteries, but I don’t really see that as a plus. While looking at solar photovoltaics panels, I didn’t want to hear what the salesman said about “expected lifetime” – I wanted to see what warranty was offered. That is the true measure of what the manufacturer thinks about their product.

    I don’t want a balloon payment for a car (buying a new battery in 5 years). I don’t want to lease the battery but buy the car. I don’t want a zero-resale value car after 6 years. If a company can’t tell me how long their new technology li-ion battery will live, I don’t have confidence that it won’t catch on fire as it ages (a problem with li-ion batteries).

    For a first generation li-ion car battery, I’ll go with tested quality, thank you. I’m not going to risk my kids lives to save a few $thousand.


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (2:02 am)

    koz:
    If battery life were simply a function of usage window and prices stay constant, then your argument would be complete. Calendar life is another variable to consider. The 50% restriction will insure more calendar loss. Ultimately, it is $/(kwh liftime) that matters not 10 years of life or 50% utilization window. Perhaps it turns out that those parameters are ideal but that would be quite a coincedence.

    A 5 year warranty is adequate for many customer’s piece of mind, IMO. The rest is like paying for an extended warranty that check clerks are coached to sell you or paying for insurance when the dealer is showing an ace. They aren’t doing this for your benefit.

    Did Florida adopt CARB’s standards recently?  

    Yes, I’m sure the battery ages just by “sitting on the shelf”. But you could still plot battery lifetime vs. usage-band: if 50% usage gave a 10 year lifetime, and 100% usage gave 4 years, then the 100% case would have 4 calendar years, and heavy usage degradation. 50% case would be 10 calendar years contributing to death, plus light usage degradation. Maybe 10% usage would give a 15 year lifetime – but less useful total kWh, at a high price.
    The lifetime plot would probably not be linear.

    I don’t know if the parameters are “ideal” in terms of absolute lowest cost per total useable kWh – but that’s not the goal, is it ? The car has certain driveability characteristics – AER, acceleration, MPG, braking, cornering, etc. Do people accept a “regular” car which has an engine that needs replacement in 5 years ? How about a transmission that goes in 4 to 6 years ?
    Maybe in the 60′s or 70′s car makers could get away with that… but customers expect a certain quality and durability in their cars these days.

    I guess non-CARB states could sell EREV’s or hybrids that have 5 year warranties – how is that going so far?

    line501-red1.jpg

    Florida adopted the CARB standards in 2007 – Republican Governor Crist signed the executive order:
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/07/florida-governo.html


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (3:18 am)

    I never read 100 post let a lone 200 !! So may I add some more BS to this already tired thread <<< Only a Fool and a friend of a fool would believe that GM would screw this one UP .. All you simpletons and mental midgets please put down your prozac and whip cream cans ,,,
    Facts….

    1. Obama is a flaming Communist
    2. Ted Kennedy seat will by won by a RNC member
    3. GM VOLT IS A GAME CHANGER !!
    4. Thank you US ARMY (91A) for keeping my family safe!!!
    5. If the Volt is in the low 30's GAME OVER!!!!
    6. 2015 gas is 94 cents a gallon .
    7.2030 are children giggle at us fool's for using oil to run are cars !!
    8. The revolution begins in 7 months


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (7:27 am)

    Geronimo: Yes, I’m sure the battery ages just by “sitting on the shelf”. But you could still plot battery lifetime vs. usage-band: if 50% usage gave a 10 year lifetime, and 100% usage gave 4 years, then the 100% case would have 4 calendar years, and heavy usage degradation. 50% case would be 10 calendar years contributing to death, plus light usage degradation. Maybe 10% usage would give a 15 year lifetime – but less useful total kWh, at a high price.

    The 50% SOC that the Volts uses is a result of the chemistry of the cells, but its not written in stone.. there are other chemistries that would have a longer or shorter life. There are other reasons that prevent you from going above 80-90% SOC.

    Apparently the LG cells have a cycle life of about 1200 cycles and 15 years calendar life. By the 1200th cycle the capacity will have dropped 20%.. thus if you start with a 16kwh pack, after 1200 cycles you will have a capacity of 12.8kwh, after the next 1200 cycles the capacity will further drop to 10.2kwh, then 8.2kwh by the end of the 3600th cycle.

    3600 cycles will take 9.86 years if you cycle the battery once a day, and will carry you 144k miles all electric.. if you only use half the daily 8kwh of capacity then that counts as half a cycle and it extends how many times you can cycle the battery.. but no matter how gently you treat the battery you will run into the calendar life limit of 15 years.

    BTW, 1200 cycles (probably more, only LG knows) is very good for lithium cells.


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (8:07 am)

    Michael C. Robinson: It is a crying shame that GM isn’t embracing the technology it has already that could help nations achieve complete petroleum independence with respect to transportation. Fuel cell technology is maturing and hydrogen storage is NOT a problem anymore.

    Michael, the fuel cell has been touted for twenty years as the ultimate solution…. but twenty years later there is still NO infrastructure here in the U.S. It is a classic which came first scenario – but GM doesn’t have time to worry about it – they need results and the VOLT is our current best solution to begin the process of getting off the foriegn oil addiction.


  218. [...] after the $7,500 tax credit for purchasing a Volt?  Only time will tell, for now, head on over to GM-Volt.com or [...]


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (9:31 am)

    LeoK: Michael, the fuel cell has been touted for twenty years as the ultimate solution…. but twenty years later there is still NO infrastructure here in the U.S.

    Fuel cells were invented in 1945, they were the power sources used in the spaceships that took man to the moon in the 60s..


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (10:04 am)

    Gotta love these articles on the price that don’t even let you know what the price is.


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (10:12 am)

    I’ve been visiting this site almost since it’s inception and I still never see this talked about, so here it is.

    A roomba like device designed so that once you pull into your garage robotically with a cord attached finds an under chasis charge port and connects itself. If you can make a roomba for 200 dollars that finds it’s way to a charging dock you can make this for the Volt. For a reasonable amount. Then you never have to worry about forgetting to plug it every time you come home.

    I think I’ll repeat this every day.

    John


  222. [...] But when Gener&#97&#108 Motors CEO Ed Wh&#105t&#97cre s&#112oke to L&#121&#108e Denn&#105s &#97t &#71M-Vo&#108t.com, Wh&#105t&#97cre s&#97&#105d th&#97t the Vo&#108t wou&#108d be pr&#105ced “&#105n the &#108ow [...]


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    If we’re talking low 30′s without the $7.5K fed credit ($33K – 7.5K = $25.5K), I would buy a 1st generation Volt. If we’re talking low 30′s after fed rebates, we will have to pass at this point in time and simply replace my vehicle when it dies with a used vehicle to get me through to the Volt 2.0.


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    Scott

     

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    Jan 19th, 2010 (12:14 pm)

    lh_newbie: If we’re talking low 30’s without the $7.5K fed credit ($33K – 7.5K = $25.5K), I would buy a 1st generation Volt. If we’re talking low 30’s after fed rebates, we will have to pass at this point in time and simply replace my vehicle when it dies with a used vehicle to get me through to the Volt 2.0.  (Quote)

    Agreed


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    DonC: The pertinent question would be: Why is GM required to offer the Volt with a 10 year warranty in CA but BYD and Nissan don’t have to offer the Leaf and Whatever with the same warranty? I can’t find a rationale. Do you have one?The bottom line is that the Volt is an EV and should be treated like all the other EVs.  (Quote)

    Didn’t see the Answer Here. But I think its straight forward.

    Volt will rely heavily on the # of Plug-in Miles to acchieve average emissions rating

    http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/warranty.pdf

    To be PZEV certified, a car must garantee that the emissions due not increase during the useful life of the car

    http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/detailedchart.pdf

    I think GM is either misreading the standards, or even higher ones are being placed on them. As I understand the charts a 10 Year/100,000 mile warranty would cover them. Although it maybe that CARB has decided the Battery counts also as a major emission device and thus needs the 150K mile warranty… in this case, they are actually giving GM a break by allowing them to have only 10 year and not 15.

    Overall its stupid. A BEV car will retain its emission performance at 10 Miles AER left out of 100 miles. Thus a manufactorer can lease or have a 10 year battery warranty with a sliding scale for replacement.

    .


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    GXT

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    Jan 19th, 2010 (1:48 pm)

    “UPDATE: Well, it sounded too good to be true, and perhaps it was. We asked GM spokesman Dave Darovitz for comments on CEO Whitacre’s “low-thirties” price for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

    Darovitz tells GreenCarReports.com that while Chevy “has not officially announced final Volt pricing, a price in the low 30′s after a $7,500 tax credit is in the range of possibilities.”"

    Source:
    http://www.greencarreports.com/blog/1041733_update-low-thirties-2011-chevrolet-volt-price-is-after-tax-credit


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (2:12 pm)

    “Michael C. Robinson: It is a crying shame that GM isn’t embracing the technology it has already that could help nations achieve complete petroleum independence with respect to transportation. Fuel cell technology is maturing and hydrogen storage is NOT a problem anymore. ”

    IF anyone in the world can demonstrate the economic viability of commercial FCV today – I would agree. No one has. The Voltec architecture is designed to allow for other power plant types such as FC, or NG, diesel, Sterling, etc.

    FCVs will come online only after methods of low temp electrolysis or catalytic separation of the water molecule become efficient.


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    If this car is priced in the low 30′s before the tax credit, I’m going to reserve one now. Assuming $32,500- after the tax incentive, we’re looking at a $25,000 EREV.

    However, if he means low 30′s after the tax credit (which he probably did), then he has said nothing new. The car will cost $40,000- exactly what we’ve been told for years. I won’t be getting one.


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (3:27 pm)

    GXT: Darovitz tells GreenCarReports.com that while Chevy “has not officially announced final Volt pricing, a price in the low 30’s after a $7,500 tax credit is in the range of possibilities.””

    #226

    Huh, why am I not surprised? Good clarification. Thanks (I think). +1


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    Ricardo: FCVs will come online only after methods of low temp electrolysis or catalytic separation of the water molecule become efficient.

    #227

    True that. +1


  231. [...] GM Volt var linkwithin_site_id = 35672; (function () { var elem = document.createElement('script'); [...]


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (5:34 pm)

    DonC:
    The pertinent question would be: Why is GM required to offer the Volt with a 10 year warranty in CA but BYD and Nissan don’t have to offer the Leaf and Whatever with the same warranty? I can’t find a rationale. Do you have one?The bottom line is that the Volt is an EV and should be treated like all the other EVs.  

    This is a downside to both serial and parallel hybrid designs. Since the Volt has a combustion engine, it is subject to emissions regulations. Since its ability to reach low emissions is dependent on the electrical half of the drivetrain maintaining some level of performance, it must be covered under the emissions-system warranty, which in many states is required by law to be substantially longer than normal drivetrain warranties.

    The Prius is subject to the same rules, but pure-electric vehicles would not be, since they don’t have a combustion engine in the first place.


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    Jan 19th, 2010 (9:49 pm)

    TESLA MODEL S – 49,000.00 Now, that is an amazing car in and out.
    Volt’s goal 40 miles… :) ))) LMAO :) )) they are bs-ing you for yrs :)

    You must be a child or average american joe to believe in gm. They f.u already several times, hooked you on gas guzzlers while they had the technology to build better cars than the japs. Made you use 3x more gas while taking pocket money from oil cartels and when average joe had no money to buy their crap anymore they declared banktruptcy and took your tax money too, while they were manufacturing tons of their cars abroad giving jobs to non americans while japanese cars are made here giving jobs to americans…. and all this time incompetent management pocketing millions after millions every year as bonus for their great work… and the workers and mid level guys who kept the boat floating are …. again…
    Thank you for your support. :)

    Now they throw this bone in front of you and you jump…
    1.it is not going to be 20 something… it is 30+, tax credit already applied.
    2. by the time it comes out there will be 4-5 other ones for less and w/more miles.
    3.they will require more ofyour tax money…. at the end you paid over 50k for 40 miles….


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    Jan 20th, 2010 (12:17 am)

    I had a feeling Lutz and Co. where misleading the competition.

    -Higher volume than expected
    -sooner than expected
    -$26,500.00 out the door
    -They are making a profit

    Now THATS a NEW GM!


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    buy carte memoire m2

     

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    Jan 20th, 2010 (2:50 am)

    At this stage in the development of the Chevrolet Volt, the two biggest unanswered questions for potential buyers are: What kind of mileage will it get while in charge-sustaining mode (when the range extender is running)? And how much will it cost?


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    Jan 20th, 2010 (5:56 am)

    hi kubel 228 …

    kubel: If this car is priced in the low 30’s before the tax credit, I’m going to reserve one now. Assuming $32,500- after the tax incentive, we’re looking at a $25,000 EREV.
    However, if he means low 30’s after the tax credit (which he probably did), then he has said nothing new. The car will cost $40,000- exactly what we’ve been told for years. I won’t be getting one.

    A loaded 2010 Honda Accord 6 cl (23mpg) for $31,300 or a Volt electric (100+ mpg) for $32,000. Would you choose the Honda?

    Maybe the 2010 Audi S4 6 cl (27mpg) for $50,000?

    =D


  237. 237
    Chevrolet Volt Price Tag Still Looks Like $40K « Coolbeans

     

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    Jan 20th, 2010 (7:47 am)

    [...] widely believed to be trying to keep it under 40 grand. Whitacre got some people in a lather when he told Lyle Dennis of GM-Volt.com the car “is going to sell in the low 30s” and “we’ll get a margin on that.” [...]


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    Jan 20th, 2010 (8:04 am)

    pinetree: This is a downside to both serial and parallel hybrid designs. Since the Volt has a combustion engine, it is subject to emissions regulations. Since its ability to reach low emissions is dependent on the electrical half of the drivetrain maintaining some level of performance, it must be covered under the emissions-system warranty, which in many states is required by law to be substantially longer than normal drivetrain warranties. The Prius is subject to the same rules, but pure-electric vehicles would not be, since they don’t have a combustion engine in the first place.  (Quote)

    Accurate up to the point that the Volt must include an “emission” length warranty just like a Prius. The Prius can function substantially unchanged with a greatly diminished battery.The Volt cannot. Alhough either can be programmed to mitigate the concern with control software and render the 10yr battery warranty unnecessary. The 10yr mandate adds unneeded extra expense that has and will continue to stunt the growth of the products CARB is trying to promote. There is a better way so let’s choose it.


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    venture

     

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    Jan 20th, 2010 (4:25 pm)

    I believe the Volt will sell for $34,999 after the tax credit. You heard it here first.


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    Jan 21st, 2010 (3:54 pm)

    I don’t even see the price as a major issue the first 2 or 3 years. I live in a middle-income neighborhood where all the people of a certain “foreign ethnicity” drive BMWs and Mercedes Benzes. People are willing to pay a lot to show off. I suppose this applies to myself as well. If I get a Volt I won’t bother running the numbers to see how much money I’d save, I’d be buying it purely for the geek coolness factor. I refuse to pay a dealer magic markup, however.

    >> The next marketing shoe that will drop is CS mode mileage, I’m staking a bet on 60mpg.

    Only if the Cruze gets 70 mpg. The Volt will always be worse than its cousin due to higher weight and 2 energy conversions (mechanical->electrical, then electrical->mechanical). Sorry. I predict 32 mpg, 36 tops, mark my words on this.

    Amazing the amount of misinformation on this topic. On another site I saw someone stating 150 mpg in CS mode as if it were a fact. I don’t see any way that can happen without some battery juice being involved (or a long hill).

    My #1 Volt concern is the lifetime of the batteries, regardless of cycles. Fifteen years sounds great, but my lithium-manganese batteries for r/c use which worked so well 3 years ago when new have definitely lost their punch for winter flying. I had to go back to newer regular lithium-cobalt batteries in their place. The good news (and I’m sure this played a part in GM’s selection) is that LiMn batteries can be punctured and won’t go up in flames like Lithium-cobalts will. They are quite safe, as batteries go.

    Do all the testing and simulation you want, but the only way to truly know if a battery will last 15 years is to, er, wait 15 years. If I get a Volt I will be checking Chevy’s battery warranty very closely.


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    RogerE333

     

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    Jan 26th, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    Wow my post (242) has really been the last one for this long??

    me> I predict 32 mpg, 36 tops, mark my words on this.

    Let me qualify this by stating I meant the highway mileage. The city mileage in CS mode should actually be quite high due to the regen stuff.

    Speaking of qualifying and regen, the latest Tech Center News rag (i.e. GM Tech Center) has an article about the Volt testing. I noticed this:

    “Although GM has not released gas mileage statistics for the gasoline engine yet, the Volt is expected to get gas mileage better than a vehicle of its weight if running only on conventional gasoline-engine-generated power.”

    Note the qualification “of its weight” however. I still predict it will be worse than the lighter Cruze on the open highway.

    The other interesting item in the article was that it said they purposely ran the test Volt out of gasoline at the top of Pikes Peak and then drove back down. The regen system recharged the battery enough to allow them to drive on electric to Manitou Springs for a gasoline refill. Perhaps this was already posted here, sorry if so.

    I personally hope they don’t advance the Volt launch (for sales) date. There is a lot of software involved, and software is notorious for strange bugs. A lot of examples come to mind but I won’t bore you. OK, remember the one about the F-22 fighter jets’ software crashing as they crossed the international date line in the Pacific.

    No matter how much “software engineering” you do, a crapload of testing is still a good idea.


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    JeremyK

     

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    Jan 26th, 2010 (2:28 pm)

    Michael C. Robinson: It is a crying shame that GM isn’t embracing the technology it has already that could help nations achieve complete petroleum independence with respect to transportation.Fuel cell technology is maturing and hydrogen storage is NOT a problem anymore.The gas Volt cannot take you 300 miles a day without burning a drop of gasoline.A Toyota FCHV adv SUV on the other hand can.And the fuel cell version of the Volt probably can as well.It is a crime that we can talk about charging stations and act like there is a limitless supply of electricity, yet we can’t discuss hydrogen.Hydrogen stored in water could be pumped between states and shipped around the world.I hate to see GM push gas/battery Volts when it can do a natural gas/battery Volt or better yet a hydrogen fuel cell/battery Volt.If hydrogen charged water spills into the ocean because your tanker sinks, there is no environmental problem like there is with OIL.

    And where is this “hydrogen” coming from? It’s either made from natural gas (or other fossil fuels) or electricity (hydrolysis of water). Hydrogen storage (the mechanics of it) is more of an engineering challenge, than a problem…though you still can’t get the energy density where it needs to be without expensive storage tanks and very high pressures. The problem is the energy that must be used/wasted pressurizing it, transferring it, etc. The losses are huge and there’s no national infrastructure for it. Nor would it be practical to create one (i.e. pumping losses are much greater than NG through a pipeline). The math just doesn’t add up for hydrogen.

    Electricity is a nice solution, because it can be made from many sources, some of the renewable. There is no future for hydrogen technology in automobiles, though it may be be viable in some niche applications.

    IMO of course.


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    Rob

     

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    Jan 26th, 2010 (6:33 pm)

    Volt is a great name for a battery powered car.


  244. 244
    Bruce

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Bruce
     Says

     

    Jan 29th, 2010 (6:08 pm)

    I’ll be happy to do my share of the crapload of software testing. Of course, if I find a bug that gives more performance than called for, I might not report it!