May 16

Nissan Admits it Will Lose Money on the LEAF at First Too

 


[ad#post_ad]Nissan has been working hard to achieve positive publicity since they first began discussing the LEAF program.  By then the Volt had been in the spotlight for two years and they had a lot of catching up to do.

Nissan has repeatedly contended they would make a profit from selling the LEAF, which contrasted from GM’s admission that they wouldn’t profit from the first year or two of Volt sales. GM always said the Volt was an investment in the future where Gen 2 and beyond economies of scale and price reductions would make the car profitable. After all lithium-ion batteries are very expensive at today’s prices.

Nissan has now admitted they are in a similar position to GM.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Nissan US sales and marketing cheif Brian Carolin said the LEAF also would lose money in its first two years.

“Over the course of the vehicle life, it is profitable—in year three,” he said.

The intial supply of LEAFs  for the first two years will be built in Japan.  That plant has an annual capacity of 50,000 cars, 20,000 of which will be shipped to the US.

In late 2012, Nissan will open its US-government funded Smyrna Tennessee LEAF plant that can build 150,000 cars per year.

It is at that volume when the cars will first turn a profit said Carolin.

According to Nissan USA director Mark Perry, the 24 kwh, 600 pound battery pack will cost less than $18,000 ($750 per kwh).  The packs will eventually be made in the US at a plant in Tennessee that will have an annual capacity of 200,000.

Nissan has an internal target of $9000 ($370 per kwh) for the pack which it hopes to achieve when US high volume production starts.

The caveat here is Nissan can thus only turn a profit if the cars can sell at the projected volumes.  Despite its low cost of $25,780 after the tax credit, and assuming no major gouging, concerns about range anxiety may hamper sales, especially if prospective buyers directly compare the car to the Volt and the flexibility it provides.

Though some will adjust their lifestyles to avoid using any gas at all cost, and they are to be commended, a larger segment of the population are more likely to consider EREVs for now.

Source (WSJ)
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This entry was posted on Sunday, May 16th, 2010 at 6:03 am and is filed under BEV, Competitors, Financial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 108


  1. 1
    joe

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    May 16th, 2010 (6:13 am)

    Good Morning to all.

    Isn’t that called “dumping”?

    After reading the link below, I guess it not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumping_%28pricing_policy%29


  2. 2
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    May 16th, 2010 (6:19 am)

    The word gambling, comes to mind. Saving your potential profits until sales may have dried up because the market decided it liked EREVs better.


  3. 3
    John W

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    May 16th, 2010 (6:27 am)

    I think this car might put em outta business. I’m thinkin “Joe Isuzu”.


  4. 4
    Dave K.

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    May 16th, 2010 (6:28 am)

    The Leaf is a customer draw. We’ll never know how much the simple existence of the Leaf rakes in profits for Nissan. If the Leaf was never developed do you think anyone would even care what Nissan was building? The Koreans are beating Nissan at their own game. Nissan needs the Leaf to maintain the image of offering a desirable product.

    =D-Volt


  5. 5
    Tim Hart

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    May 16th, 2010 (6:37 am)

    Nissan is to be commended for taking a pretty big risk to get electric cars into the mainstream. Even though I prefer the Volt, I hope both GM and Nissan lead the way into our electric future.


  6. 6
    John W

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    May 16th, 2010 (6:37 am)

    So after 2 years 40k on the roads in the U.S. But because of the leash you’ll see them on the roads less and in the garage charging. Where as the Volt after 2 years will hopefully have up to 70,000 made hopefully most sold in the U.S. And on the roads all day and on interstates. Good news! And if I owned a company that made a car that really might not make any money untill Gen 2 and I had no real competition I think I’d have conservative production numbers as well. So I wish people would calm down about production numbers, sit back, relax, and be thankful that in 5 years we will all be using a whole lot less black stuff.


  7. 7
    pjkPA

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    May 16th, 2010 (6:41 am)

    “The intial supply of LEAFs for the first two years will be built in Japan. That plant has an annual capacity of 50,000 cars, 20,000 of which will be shipped to the US.

    In late 2012, Nissan will open its US-government funded Smyrna Tennessee LEAF plant that can build 150,000 cars per year.

    How stupid are we!!

    The American taxpayer will give Nissan $7500 per vehicle to ship Japanese products to the US while the Japanese will put a $20,000 TARIFF ON EVERY VEHICLE WE TRY TO SELL IN THE NO. 2 AUTO MARKET JAPAN. And to be totally stupid we will fund this Japanese company to build a plant right in our back yard!! If building a foreign auto plant in the US is a good idea you would see GM and FORD plants in JAPAN … and we all know the Japanese would never let this happen let alone fund the US plant.

    THEN WE SAY WE ARE “BAILING OUT AMERICAN COMPANIES. We would not have to “BAIL OUT” American companies if our government would SUPPORT AMERICAN COMPANIES RATHER THAN SUPPORTING OUR COMPETITION!!!

    I don’t think anyone is surprised that Nissan will be losing money on the Leaf…. and I do think a lot of Americans are totally disgusted that our government is “giving away the store” buy supporting foreign companies and putting American companies at a disadvantage while they are KEPT OUT of foreign markets like JAPAN.


  8. 8
    carcus2

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    May 16th, 2010 (7:28 am)

    WSJ says: “Nissan Says Leaf Electric Will Be Profitable With U.S. Plant”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704635204575242382820806878.html?mod=WSJ_auto_IndustryCollection


  9. 9
    ziv

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    May 16th, 2010 (7:43 am)

    Well, on the glass is half full note, if even Nissan’s pack, with all their years of development, costs $750 per kWh, and Patil & Weber says that the Volt’s pack will be around $600-$700 per kWh, for a more robust pack, it would appear GM took the right path to getting the best pack for the price. It also indicates that BEV’s are even further from being accessible for most people than we thought. If it takes 48 kWh to get a range of 150-160 miles, which is about the minimum most Americans will probably accept, that pack is simply cost prohibitive for most people at more than $30k for the pack alone. Whereas GM’s EREV idea means that the Volt will have drive all day potential while using a pack that costs less than $10,000 and saves most drivers more than $1000 per year on gas.
    So in the next 8 to 10 years, if GM will build them, EREV’s will take the lions share of the market because we simply won’t be able to afford a BEV with decent range. Driving a Leaf is like driving a car with a 3 gallon gas tank, it would suck for most of us. But the good thing is that there is a significant minority of Americans that want off oil badly enough to put up with a 40 mile leash. And they will build the true economies of scale that will bring down the price of batteries to the point where a BEV is reasonable.
    So GM wins in a big way, if they choose to build the Volt in larger numbers. The sad part is that I don’t know if GM has the vision to see what is coming. I am afraid that they will build the Volt in penny packets and lose the market to the competition after leading early on.


  10. 10
    Nelson

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    May 16th, 2010 (8:05 am)

    I’m a three car family right now. My wife, son and I each have a car. We have a junk filled garage that’s not used to house a car. Because the price of the Leaf is so manageable I’m considering it. I have a wait and see attitude regarding the purchase. I would prefer a Volt, BUT if the price is not competitive or the availability is not there, I’ll buy the Leaf. I’m not as loyal to GM because of their bankruptcy scam. I have lots of friends whose retirement accounts had a lot of GM common stock, now worthless. GM showed no loyalty to their stock holders, why should anyone show them loyalty. I’m more loyal to the cause, cleaner air, and less commitment on foreign oil.

    NPNS!


  11. 11
    Tom

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    May 16th, 2010 (8:16 am)

    I am also appalled about tax money being used to help damage the US auto industry.
    as well stated by

    pjkPA

    May 16th, 2010 (6:41 am)
    It is not odd for a new model of auto to loose money the chevy corvette lost money for the first 5 years of it’s production.
    Tom


  12. 12
    koz

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    May 16th, 2010 (8:21 am)

    Factory exposed costs should be taken with a grain of salt. It is all a marketing game when factories starting “disclosing” their cost. They no more do this than any business exposes it’s costs to it’s customers.

    All we know is Nissan chose to offer the Leaf with a base MSRP of $32,780. They will come from Japan initially and Nissan has plans to build a plant here to produce them later. They have more than 9,000 pre-orders with $100 deposit. This is all we know. 9,000 deposits at this point is impressive no matter how you slice it.


  13. 13
    George S. Bower

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    May 16th, 2010 (8:47 am)

    All the people that bought the Rav4 EV had to pay a whole lot more a long time ago so they should be sufficiently jealous. They are a dedicated bunch you know. They love their cars which by the way have excellent resale value.

    Here’s your chance guys. You can buy a car whose BATTERY ALONE cost $18K for $25K.

    PS- None of the Rav4EV owners have—Oh my God –”RANGE ANXIETY”.


  14. 14
    nasaman

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    May 16th, 2010 (8:54 am)

    ziv, post #9: Well, on the glass is half full note, if even Nissan’s pack, with all their years of development, costs $750 per kWh, and Patil & Weber says that the Volt’s pack will be around $600-$700 per kWh, for a more robust pack, it would appear GM took the right path to getting the best pack for the price. It also indicates that BEV’s are even further from being accessible for most people than we thought. If it takes 48 kWh to get a range of 150-160 miles, which is about the minimum most Americans will probably accept, that pack is simply cost prohibitive for most people at more than $30k for the pack alone. Whereas GM’s EREV idea means that the Volt will have drive all day potential while using a pack that costs less than $10,000 and saves most drivers more than $1000 per year on gas.
    So in the next 8 to 10 years, if GM will build them, EREV’s will take the lions share of the market because we simply won’t be able to afford a BEV with decent range. Driving a Leaf is like driving a car with a 3 gallon gas tank, it would suck for most of us. But the good thing is that there is a significant minority of Americans that want off oil badly enough to put up with a 40 mile leash. And they will build the true economies of scale that will bring down the price of batteries to the point where a BEV is reasonable.
    So GM wins in a big way, if they choose to build the Volt in larger numbers. The sad part is that I don’t know if GM has the vision to see what is coming. I am afraid that they will build the Volt in penny packets and lose the market to the competition after leading early on.
      

    Good thinking & well said, ziv! And what you say is so obvious that I continue to believe Nissan is secretly hard at work designing an EREV version of the Leaf. And if they’re not doing so, they’re destined to fail because a “pure” EV can’t compete either in performance or price!

    ATTN GM: The global auto industry will be hot on Volt’s heels in a few years!!!
    —GET READY FOR A VIRTUAL “TSUNAMI” OF COMPETITVE EREVS WORLD-WIDE!!!


  15. 15
    George S. Bower

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    May 16th, 2010 (8:58 am)

    For any of those interested, This is the Rav4EV owners web site with lots of pictures. Note that many of them have solar panels to charge their cars.

    http://www.evnut.com/rav_owner_gallery.htm


  16. 16
    John W

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:14 am)

    The guy up top is off base with his 20,000 dollar import number. There are ways around this. I’m not saying they are as friendly to us as we are them but let’s get down to the bottom of this. Here is an old article from 95 that I found interesting in the NY times. If anyone else can find reputable articles on japans import fees please post them. Thanks. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/02/20/news/20iht-autocon.html


  17. 17
    Herm

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:14 am)

    pjkPA: the Japanese will put a $20,000 TARIFF ON EVERY VEHICLE WE TRY TO SELL IN THE NO. 2 AUTO MARKET JAPAN.

    This is not true, the opposite is true. look up chicken tax:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax


  18. 18
    LRGVProVolt

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:16 am)

    #1 joe: Good Morning to all.Isn’t that called “dumping”?After reading the link below, I guess it not.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumping_%28pricing_policy%29  

    Joe, for there to be dumping action taken against Nissan on it sale of the Leaf here in the U.S., there would have to be a comparable vehicle manufactured by an American company, and the U.S. company would have to show proof of sale’s loss that led to its demise, and a petition of dumping filed against Nissan which the cost of the petition would be very high because of the documentation that is required. Usually, the dumping petition comes after several companies have died and those remaining in that industry take action jointly.

    There are importation laws that determine the valuation of a product for calculation of duty that is paid. Usually, sales at less than fair market value are not acceptable and require that the value be determined based of costs of manufacture, general expenses and a profit; this is all laid out in Chapter 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Automotive manufacturers often sell models which are know as “loss leaders”. These cars are sold to create a presence, to establish the company name in a given market. In that case, usually, the transaction price at the time of importation would be used to calculate duty although some other factor might throw out the price. U.S. Law covering Importation of goods is based on fair trade. Predator trading such as Dumping, Countervailing where the foreign government subsidizes the industry, and prison labour are a few of those practices covered under those laws.

    Hope this helps your understanding. :)

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  19. 19
    Noel Park

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:18 am)

    Dave K.: The Leaf is a customer draw. We’ll never know how much the simple existence of the Leaf rakes in profits for Nissan. If the Leaf was never developed do you think anyone would even care what Nissan was building? The Koreans are beating Nissan at their own game. Nissan needs the Leaf to maintain the image of offering a desirable product.

    #4

    I agree. +1

    Nissan will get a “halo effect” and burnishing of their brand out of this that will be worth whatever it costs them in the short term. JMHO.


  20. 20
    Herm

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:24 am)

    koz: Factory exposed costs should be taken with a grain of salt. It is all a marketing game when factories starting “disclosing” their cost. They no more do this than any business exposes it’s costs to it’s customers.All we know is Nissan chose to offer the Leaf with a base MSRP of $32,780. They will come from Japan initially and Nissan has plans to build a plant here to produce them later. They have more than 9,000 pre-orders with $100 deposit. This is all we know. 9,000 deposits at this point is impressive no matter how you slice it.  

    Very well said Koz, NO Nissan executive is going to release the cost of the key item in a BEV.. meanwhile another conflicting report about the cost of the battery, this time from Bloomberg via reporters in Japan:

    “The lithium-ion battery, which stores 24 kilowatt-hours of energy, is the most expensive component of the Leaf, which will sell for $32,780 in the U.S. and 3.76 million yen in Japan before government incentives for consumers. Nissan is introducing the Leaf in response to government emissions rules and potentially higher oil prices.
    Nissan’s battery currently costs about 1.05 million yen, or $472 per kilowatt-hour, according to Takeshi Miyao, an analyst in Tokyo at auto consulting company Carnorama. Other components cost about 1.4 million yen, and labor and other indirect costs must be contained to 35 percent of the sticker price to secure a profit, he said.”

    So a report of $475/kwh now with the cost dropping below $370 as a target.

    Meanwhile you can buy Thundersky modules for $350/kwh in the US.


  21. 21
    Eco_Turbo

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:30 am)

    George S. Bower said:

    PS- None of the Rav4EV owners have—Oh my God –”RANGE ANXIETY”.

    I propose that range anxiety is something that a Rav4Ev owner would never have. Range anxiety is suffered by prospective EV purchasers. After purchasing a Rav4Ev or similar vehicle, the owner has range limitation.


  22. 22
    stuart22

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:39 am)

    Finally, truth and reality is coming out of the Nissan camp on the LEAF. I’ve been critical of their hucksterism to this point and frankly felt that Nissan would sooner or later come clean with things. I think I predicted a while back that when D-Day got close, Nissan would pull back from all their pie-in-the-sky promises of big production numbers with the LEAF. I was never convinced Nissan management fully believed all they said about the LEAF; I figured they were using it as a PR tool with the purpose of grabbing some of the spotlight GM and Toyota were basking in with the Volt and Prius – that they feared the nascent green market would take off and get away from them as their attempts with hybrids never gained traction with buyers.

    Well, Nissan has been successful with grabbing some of the spotlight. It will be interesting to see what they do with the LEAF, now that the days of promises are ending and the reality of sales numbers will begin — numbers which I expect will settle out to a level well short of their hopes and promises.


  23. 23
    Van

     

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    Hi Turbo @ 21, Spot on. :)


  24. 24
    Herm

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:44 am)

    ziv: If it takes 48 kWh to get a range of 150-160 miles, which is about the minimum most Americans will probably accept, that pack is simply cost prohibitive for most people at more than $30k for the pack alone. Whereas GM’s EREV idea means that the Volt will have drive all day potential while using a pack that costs less than $10,000 and saves most drivers more than $1000 per year on gas.

    If it takes GM 8kwh to go 40 miles then it will take Nissan 30kwh to do 150 miles, after you account for 80% DOD then they need a total pack size of 37.5kwh, at $370/kwh that works out to $13,875. Nissan promises 200 mile range by 2015, with the second generation of their battery, at presumably the same cost or cheaper. Presently you can buy chinese lithium cells for $300 to $350/kwh.

    BTW, Coda plans to use a 33.8kwh pack, chinese cells and car. All the specs are here, very interesting:

    http://www.codaautomotive.com/tech_specs.html


  25. 25
    Dave G

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:47 am)

    koz: Factory exposed costs should be taken with a grain of salt. It is all a marketing game when factories starting “disclosing” their cost. They no more do this than any business exposes it’s costs to it’s customers.

    Excellent point!

    Right now, GM has very little incentive to release their actual battery costs.

    Remember when GM first started saying the Volt would cost over $40K to build? That was right when Congress was debating the tax credit. Then right after they passed the $7500 tax credit, GM found out the cost wouldn’t be that high after all. Coincidence?

    Then the head of the company that built all the prototype packs essentially quoted a cost of $8000 for the Volt’s battery pack:
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/02/profile-li-ion.html
    Specifically, he said:
    “• First, … the ratio of end-of-life to beginning-of-life is 75%.
    • Second, … application is sized for a 70% depth of discharge…
    • Third, … more stringent requirements on the validation of the individual cells.
    • Fourth, a vehicle pack battery pack has non-cell costs such as a monitoring system.
    All four of these items together justify … approximately $1000/available kWh…”

    The first 2 bullets together say that only 50% of the battery is available for use (75% of 70% is essentially 50%). This lines up exactly with the Volt’s battery design, which has 50% of total capacity available for use. The fourth bullet makes it clear he’s talking about the cost of the battery pack, not just the cells. Then he gives a figure of $1000/available kWh. Taken together with the first 2 bullets, this makes it clear that he is not talking about total battery capacity here, but only the part that is available for use (50%). So it’s clear to me that he’s giving a cost of $8000 for the Volt’s pack. I’ll bet he got reprimanded for this, because he never talks about price in later interviews.

    Then some people started connecting the dots, and realized that the $7500 tax credit essentially covers the cost of the battery pack, so they started asking why the Volt costs so much. At that point, Bob Lutz gave an interview that basically verifies the $8000 cost of the Volt’s battery pack, but then says other component costs will keep the Volt’s price high:
    http://gm-volt.com/2009/08/04/why-the-volt-will-cost-40000/

    Then some state and local governments started chipping in Volt tax credits, and that’s right around the time GM started leaking higher battery prices. Another coincidence?

    Bottom line: I have a lot of respect for the integrity of the Volt’s development team, but I think GM’s spin doctors are padding the price at the moment.


  26. 26
    LRGVProVolt

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:50 am)

    #7 pjkPA: THEN WE SAY WE ARE “BAILING OUT AMERICAN COMPANIES. We would not have to “BAIL OUT” American companies if our government would SUPPORT AMERICAN COMPANIES RATHER THAN SUPPORTING OUR COMPETITION!!!

    Based on this statement, you appear to be myopic; the government has given substantial support to American automotive companies, plus the purpose of their funding of the Tennessee Nissan plant is to create jobs for Americans. Judging from the high positive score your comment is getting (in just this short time while composing my reply your score has jumped up to +10), there are many viewers that are upset with this governments action.

    pjkPA: “I do think a lot of Americans are totally disgusted that our government is “giving away the store” by supporting foreign companies and putting American companies at a disadvantage while they are KEPT OUT of foreign markets like JAPAN”.

    I will agree with your anger over the Japanese keeping American automotive sales out of their country but that anger should be directed at the Japanese not our government who is working hard to keep us out of a depression and put Americans back to work in what would have otherwise been a catastrophic demise of the American Automotive Industry, and the beginning of the end of U.S. as a world power.

    I wonder how many of those who gave you +1 own a Japanese vehicle or have seriously considered buying one?

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again


  27. 27
    LRGVProVolt

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:57 am)

    #9 ziv: So GM wins in a big way, if they choose to build the Volt in larger numbers. The sad part is that I don’t know if GM has the vision to see what is coming. I am afraid that they will build the Volt in penny packets and lose the market to the competition after leading early on.

    I have faith that GM will be ready to up the Volt’s production as the demand truly appears after its roll-out.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  28. 28
    Roy H

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    Herm:
    Nissan’s battery currently costs about 1.05 million yen, or $472 per kilowatt-hour, according to Takeshi Miyao, an analyst in Tokyo at auto consulting company Carnorama.
    …Meanwhile you can buy Thundersky modules for $350/kwh in the US.  

    You are quoting battery price here and the article quotes pack price. There is a big difference when you include packaging, battery management, safety, and yes even though small, temperature control.
    Gave you a +1 for doing the research.


  29. 29
    Ted in Fort Myers

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:26 am)

    Good morning friends,

    I did not put money down on a leaf but know several who have. We are all basically electric vehile enthusiasts and want whichever electric vehicle we can get. I personnally want a Volt and if I cannot get one will comsider any electric make.

    It is not the money we send out of the USA for the car as it is the money we send out of the USA for gas and all the related department of defense costs and the lives of our young men that is what’s important. SO!!! Any and all electrci cars sold will be a benefit to that end. The more electrics we can make in-house the better of course.

    Take Care,

    TED


  30. 30
    Dave G

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:29 am)

    Roy H:
    Herm:
    “Nissan’s battery currently costs about 1.05 million yen, or $472 per kilowatt-hour, according to Takeshi Miyao, an analyst in Tokyo at auto consulting company Carnorama.”

    …Meanwhile you can buy Thundersky modules for $350/kwh in the US. You are quoting battery price here and the article quotes pack price. There is a big difference when you include packaging, battery management, safety, and yes even though small, temperature control.

    Note that this all lines up almost exactly with what the CEO of CPI said here:
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/02/profile-li-ion.html
    Car battery pack prices are around $500/total kWh, which corresponds to $1000/available kWh for the Volt, and prices for the cells alone are around $350/total kWh. See post #25 for details.

    In the same interview he also says:
    “In the next 5-10 years we should be able to come down by an incremental 2-4x and we will have to do that to accelerate the penetration of the technology.”

    So by 2020 expect to see Li/Ion battery packs costing around $125/total kWh.


  31. 31
    LRGVProVolt

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    <a href="#comment-195241"#15 George S. Bower: For any of those interested, This is the Rav4EV owners web site with lots of pictures. Note that many of them have solar panels to charge their cars.http://www.evnut.com/rav_owner_gallery.htm  

    Thanks for the link George!

    EV’s and Home Solar are the wave of the future. Note all the smiling faces in the gallery. :)

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  32. 32
    Roy H

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    stuart22:Well, Nissan has been successful with grabbing some of the spotlight.It will be interesting to see what they do with the LEAF, now that the days of promises are ending and the reality of sales numbers will begin — numbers which I expect will settle out to a level well short of their hopes and promises.  

    I agree that the EREV will be much more popular and practical until breakthroughs in battery range and price come about. But there is still a huge market for the next gen LEAF with it’s 150 mile (realistic) range and I think they will sell their 500k vehicles/yr world wide. Don’t forget that this is still a small fraction of the 70M vehicles built each year world wide.

    Many have criticized Nissan for taking government money offered to build their plant in Tennessee. First I believe most of it is a loan and not a grant. Secondly, blame the government for wanting to insure Americans are employed and reap some benefit, not Nissan for taking the money. I think you loose sight of the alternative, ALL production takes place in Japan and there is no benefit to any Americans.

    It must be very difficult for GM to make a major commitment to build Volts in the same quantity as Nissan claims they will. GM has just gone through bankruptcy and has a major up hill battle which I believe they are tackling properly, but success is not guaranteed.
    GM is now building high quality cars but still has to overcome their past reputation of low quality.
    When I go to other sites, I am shocked by the vehement hate from anti GM people. How did they get this way? Many cite GM’s bailout, and I can fully sympathize with the share holders that lost their money. Is there any way GM can make it up for them? I don’t think it is possible, but if GM could create a policy whereby people who could prove they lost money within the announced bankruptcy period, could get new shares at a special discounted price, that might help heal the wound. Another common reason for anti GM sentiment is bad experiences at dealerships. I sincerely hope that the “bad” dealers lost their dealership in the bankruptcy purge. GM needs to be acutely aware of customer treatment by their dealers and identify any bad dealers that tarnish their reputation. Show no mercy, cut those dealers off. I myself have felt all the dealerships I have dealt with were excellent, except one.


  33. 33
    Van

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:37 am)

    At $472 per kwh times 24 kwh capacity, we get the battery cost of $11,328. At $370 times 24, we get $8880. Based on this we are asked to believe if the Leaf price was $2448 more, or the costs, including battery costs were lowered by $2448, the Leaf would make a profit. And Nissan is saying that will happen in the 2013 model run year.

    I do hope the Model year 2013 includes the second generation battery option that provides 38 kwh of usable capacity (150 mile real world range) even if the option adds to the sticker price. With the California discount ($5000) on top of the Fed discount, the car will still be comfortably below $30,000.

    Note that a 50 kwh battery with 38 kwh available would cost about 14,000.


  34. 34
    DonC

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:38 am)

    The important point is not whether the first Leaf’s are profitable or not. The important point is that Ghosn and Nissan have a plan both to dominate the BEV space and to make that space profitable. The bones of the plan are fairly obvious. Nissan is pricing the Leaf to compete with the Prius. It wants to do to the Prius what the Priius has done to the Honda Insight, namely, make it more or less irrelevant. Then Nissan wants to sell 100,000+ Leafs a year, at which levels the car will be profitable on some basis, and, at the same time, expand its dominance by introducing other vehicles in the space. If you follow the logic of the “assault” whether the first Leafs are profitable or not is unimportant.

    A more important point, one missing from the discussion, is that in order to keep costs down you need to move battery production to the country in which the car will be assembled. One big reason why the Leaf is projected to be profitable in the “out” years is that battery production will be in the US near the assembly plant in Smyrna. (Also note that the LG Chem plant is being located in MI). Tesla taught this lesson earlier. Originally they planed to source their batteries from overseas but that proved uneconomic because of the high cost of shipping. In essence, score one for all those arguing that “green” technologies will create US jobs by making it uneconomic to outsource those jobs overseas.

    For Volt enthusiasts, the question becomes: Does GM have a plan? To make the Volt price competitive, GM, like Nissan, needs to find a way to ramp up volume. Originally the idea was that the drive train would be moved to other platforms like the Converj and the Orlando, and that by combining these platforms the needed volume would be realized. Those alternatives are no longer on the table, doubtless killed by GM’s dysfunctional and vision-less management. So at this point GM needs a Plan B. But all indications are that it doesn’t have one.


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    Rob

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:40 am)

    Back to sqare one – low volume because high prices, high prices because low volume…


  36. 36
    Crookieda

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:42 am)

    LRGVProVolt: I wonder how many of those who gave you +1 own a Japanese vehicle or have seriously considered buying one?

    I gave him a +1 and would have given him a +100 if the site would let me.
    Currently own a Chrysler made in Canada, a Saturn made in Austria, and a buell made in America.
    And I have worked fir the US federal government for the last 13 years. Believe it or not, US trade policies are not in the constitution and can be changed at any time by the elected politicians in charge. They just choose to allow injustices on the American people. And luckily we get to choose our politicans. If enough people say it is an issue then it is one. Take a look at thailand right now.


  37. 37
    Dave G

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:59 am)

    Van: At $472 per kwh times 24 kwh capacity, we get the battery cost of $11,328. At $370 times 24, we get $8880. Based on this we are asked to believe if the Leaf price was $2448 more, or the costs, including battery costs were lowered by $2448, the Leaf would make a profit. And Nissan is saying that will happen in the 2013 model run year.

    This all sounds about right for battery prices, but note that initial profitability will also be driven by other components. For example, see here:
    http://gm-volt.com/2009/08/04/why-the-volt-will-cost-40000/
    It was determined during development that the Volt would need many specialized and custom components including an expensive drivetrain, microprocessor controllers, and electrified AC compressor and brakes. Parts like these were not easy to find or cheap in the supplier market.

    “You have to go to suppliers that you think have the experience, the capability and the manufacturing scale to do this,” said GM VP Jon Lauckner, co-creator of the Volt. “In many cases, it’s less than the number of fingers on your hand, with some fingers to spare.”

    The same theme is reiterated here:
    http://gm-volt.com/2009/10/29/gm-ceo-says-help-needed-to-achieve-mass-adoption-of-electric-cars/

    Bottom line: The only real breakthrough we need here is competition and volume. Once they start start sellling in high numbers, manufacturing engineers will have the financial incentive to lower unit costs.


  38. 38
    Dave G

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    May 16th, 2010 (11:14 am)

    Crookieda: … I have worked for the US federal government for the last 13 years. Believe it or not, US trade policies are not in the constitution and can be changed at any time by the elected politicians in charge. They just choose to allow injustices on the American people.

    This sounds about right.

    Politicians need to finance their campaigns to get re-elected. TV time seems to matter more than issues or voting record. If they have a better chance of getting re-elected by taking campaign contributions from foreign based companies, then they’ll do it. Once they’re elected, they have to be sure reward their major contributors.

    Put yourself in thier shoes. Every 2 to 6 years, you have a 50/50 chance of losing your job. Would you take steps to improve the odds? How far would you go?

    Our current campaign finance system is essentially legalized corruption.


  39. 39
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    May 16th, 2010 (11:18 am)

    Rob: Back to sqare one – low volume because high prices, high prices because low volume…  

    Or alternatively stated: no eggs no chickens; no chickens no eggs.

    Dave G: Once they start start sellling in high numbers, manufacturing engineers will have the financial incentive to lower unit costs.  

    You don’t have to engineer much of anything. To a great extent more volume simply allocates fixed costs over a larger number of units, so each unit bears a smaller amount of costs. But how will GM get to higher volumes, exactly? Thousands of potential customers storming Chevy showrooms demanding Volts? Manufacturing higher volumes of EREVs will take a great deal of logistical support for battery manufacturing, and it takes years to get that support in place. Even assuming the LG Chem factory runs full out and only provides GM with battery packs for the Volt, GM will still not be able to achieve the volume it would need for serious cost reduction.


  40. 40
    crew

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    May 16th, 2010 (11:20 am)

    Here’s a little monkey wrench that I can throw into the Volt vs. Leaf argument. A neat temperature map that can best outline the market for air cooled vs conditioned batteries. (http://planetariumweb.madison.k12.wi.us/files/planetarium/earth-global-temp.gif)

    earth-global-temp.gif
    Ambient temperature batteries are best sold in Mediterranean Europe, Japan, India, South America, Southern Australia, the Southern half of Africa and Los Angeles.
    Conditioned batteries have a greater range for the markets of Eastern Europe, Asia and North America.
    Refrigerated batteries (I don’t know the extent of the GM/Tesla conditioning range) may be needed in North Africa, Pacific Mexico and the Middle East.

    The Nissan/Renault and GM/Opel batteries are being developed best for their own domestic markets.
    Knowing your market will prove production numbers vs retail price/profitability.
    Cross demographic marketing of the two systems regarding climate may depend as much on the complexity vs the simplicity of the battery as it would the powertrain differences. BEV vs EREV is a separate argument for different demographics.

    Battery performance and longevity are determined by technique, terrain, and temperature. The Volt has you covered in a greater range for two of the three factors.


  41. 41
    Crookieda

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    May 16th, 2010 (11:25 am)

    Dave G: Put yourself in thier shoes. Every 2 to 6 years, you have a 50/50 chance of losing your job. Would you take steps to improve the odds? How far would you go?

    Therein lies one of the major problems with our current form of government. Professional politicians need to cease to exist. My personal belief is that there should be no elected official allowed to serve more than 8 years in any position excluding only the supreme court, which should be limited to 20 years or death. Combine that with real campaign finance reform an we have a country to be envied the world over for more than money.


  42. 42
    Eco_Turbo

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    May 16th, 2010 (11:26 am)

    It may be something that has been talked about before, but does anybody know if GM might have patents on any aspects of the Volt drive train which would enable them to profit from competition needing pay license fees due to there not being any other way to do some the things they do? Wouldn’t it be great if other companies producing EREVs that could compete with Volt, would in effect be helping GM to sell their Volts for less!


  43. 43
    Noel Park

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    May 16th, 2010 (11:27 am)

    LRGVProVolt: I wonder how many of those who gave you +1 own a Japanese vehicle or have seriously considered buying one?

    #26

    Not me, for sure.


  44. 44
    Herm

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    May 16th, 2010 (11:38 am)

    Van: I do hope the Model year 2013 includes the second generation battery option that provides 38 kwh of usable capacity (150 mile real world range) even if the option adds to the sticker price.

    There are reports that battery has been under test for a while, and I have read of time estimates ranging from 2013-2015. It will use a lithium nickel manganese chemistry

    BTW, the current Nec/Nissan battery has a very low energy density, only 92wh/kg, A123 has 109wh/kg, nimh 68wh/kg and Volt 150wh/kg.. Tesla could be in the 250-300 range..
    The new battery will double that to 185wh/kg, presumably at the same efective cost/durability/performance. Why is there a difference since both GM and NEC use the same chemistry?.. its the way the cells are made, NEC/Nissan is using thicker films (anode, cathode and separator) to end up with a more rugged cell (probably cheaper also) but you lose surface area and thus capacity when you do that. The NEC cell has been engineered from day one to be capable of fast charge, rugged and low cost.

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/11/nissan-nmc-20091129.html

    “The Nikkei reports that Nissan Motor Co. has nearly completed development of a lithium-ion battery using a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide cathode (NMC). The new system, which will reportedly offer almost double the capacity of Nissan/AESC’s current manganese spinel cell, is supposedly slated for deployment in electric vehicles in 2015…
    .
    .
    Nissan estimates that the battery will cost about the same as conventional lithium ion ones to produce, as it contains only a small amount of cobalt, a relatively expensive metal.”


  45. 45
    srschrier

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    May 16th, 2010 (11:41 am)

    For folks who can afford the luxury and maintenance of two or more cars the “Leaf”, as a city drive, might be ok. But even with rebates it still costs $25,000.+?

    The Chevy Volt is simply superior and more practical as a transportation investment, IMHO.


  46. 46
    Unni

     

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    May 16th, 2010 (11:49 am)

    mostly looks like PS3 : the media says sony didn’t make any money from PS3, but they sold a lot :-) .


  47. 47
    Dave G

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    May 16th, 2010 (11:55 am)

    Crookieda: My personal belief is that there should be no elected official allowed to serve more than 8 years in any position excluding only the supreme court, which should be limited to 20 years or death. Combine that with real campaign finance reform an we have a country to be envied the world over for more than money.

    There’s another possible solution: Get rid of the 2 party system. In spring/summer, have a general election where anyone can run, then in November hold a runoff of the two candidates with the most votes from the general. In many cases, you would be voting between two candidates of the same party in November. Without the advantage of Gerrymandering, incumbents would be a lot more vulnerable. It would also require people to actually vote for candidates instead of columns.

    And they proposed something like this in California a few years back, but powerful groups lobbied against it, so it was shot down.

    When you ask people to limit their own power, it’s usually a losing proposition…


  48. 48
    Herm

     

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    May 16th, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: It may be something that has been talked about before, but does anybody know if GM might have patents on any aspects of the Volt drive train which would enable them to profit from competition needing pay license fees due to there not being any other way to do some the things they do? Wouldn’t it be great if other companies producing EREVs that could compete with Volt, would in effect be helping GM to sell their Volts for less!  

    Probably few (relatively) patents.. Suzuki just blatantly copied the Volts serial hybrid architecture:

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/05/swift-20100514.html

    Serial hybrid is probably not patentable since it has been in use for 80 years, the motors and inverters may have certain portions patented but also have been in production for many years. The battery and motors are not made by GM anyways. The concept of combining the two traction motors into one housing is fairly new (one rotor, two windings) but there are huge generators that are built that way also.. I believe this will be the major EV patent that GM will profit from. We should be seeing these patents very soon, since they have to be filed.

    Here is an interesting article on Chinese patents:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/now-you-can-be-a-spy-short-paparazzo-no-prior-knowledge-required/

    “In China, the matter gets even trickier. Very much contrary to popular belief, there is a fully functioning patent system in China, patents are being enforced. If they have been filed. Filed in China, not elsewhere. A lot of whining about “intellectual property robbery” comes from a lack of understanding of the Chinese patent system.”

    Will we learn more about how the Volt is designed from patent applications?.. I would like to know more.


  49. 49
    DonC

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    May 16th, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    Herm: There are reports that battery has been under test for a while, and I have read of time estimates ranging from 2013-2015. It will use a lithium nickel manganese chemistry

    Nice find. It fits well with the rumors of an improved battery. +1

    Doubling the range of the Leaf would make it a very practical car for many people and families. This does not, however, eradicate the advantages of the EREV design since doubling the energy density would allow GM to half the battery size and cost. In fact, a related point is that had GM used batteries from A123 it would have been able to reduce the battery size since the A123 cells can tolerate more frequent and deeper discharges, allowing for the use of say a 12 kWh pack rather than 16 kWh pack.


  50. 50
    Eco_Turbo

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    May 16th, 2010 (12:09 pm)

    How about no one voting for an incumbent politician of either party for the next three elections? Wouldn’t that be as close as we can come to kicking them all out? I would also be in favor of paying elected officials enough money to make it unlikely they would be influenced by lobbyists. Politicians could start inviting the lobbyists the want info from out to dinner.


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    May 16th, 2010 (12:18 pm)

    The things about the Volt that we dont know about are probably the patentable ideas.. I write about a possible way of getting high CS mileage at the engineering forum:

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4582&page=2


  52. 52
    Dave G

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    May 16th, 2010 (12:20 pm)

    Ted in Fort Myers: It is not the money we send out of the USA for the car as it is the money we send out of the USA for gas and all the related department of defense costs and the lives of our young men that is what’s important.

    Yes, +1.

    Also, if you add in all of the hidden costs of oil, gasoline would be over $10 a gallon. See here for details:
    http://www.setamericafree.org/saf_hiddencostofoil010507.pdf

    In addition, most foreign cars come from thriving democracies, while most foreign oil does not:
    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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    May 16th, 2010 (12:26 pm)

    DonC: In fact, a related point is that had GM used batteries from A123 it would have been able to reduce the battery size since the A123 cells can tolerate more frequent and deeper discharges, allowing for the use of say a 12 kWh pack rather than 16 kWh pack.  

    Yes, very true.. A123 cells work very well even at 100% DOD.

    Thats why so many of us were sore when GM selected LG.. my guess is that LG could provide lots and lots of data going back to 2005 and most important a proven path to very high mass production.. It is bitter that the chinese are now selling A123 knockoff cells at $300/kwh.


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    Streetlight

     

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    May 16th, 2010 (12:32 pm)

    Statik May 5th article reported Nissan’s Andy Palmer saying LEAF will turn a profit from day 1. Today’s report clearly pours cold water all over that. At 18 grand an Li-ion copy LEAF must loose money. There are however immediate issues which demand GM’s immediate attention.

    “A Deloitte survey found that 17 percent of consumers would prefer to buy an electric car from Toyota, 15 percent from Honda and 12 percent from Ford. GM’s Chevrolet brand was fourth at 8 percent, and Nissan was ninth at 4 percent. Deloitte says that Nissan and Chevy will have to spend more on marketing to educate the public about their electric cars, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt.” Source: Electric Cars: Like Washing Machines or Cell Phones? May 14, 2010. Hybridcars.com

    For openers, VOLT is far more attractive, far more competitive to ICE, far more useful than any of the Toyota’s, Honda’s or Fords. As Deloitte notes GM must step up its educational processes. A couple days ago I advocated increasing tank size to accommodate VOLTS recently disclosed ‘Mountain Mode’ (which I strongly believe is a distinct step forward) which will add driver comfort and security. upgrading interior trim, and offering a full 10-year unconditional Battery warranty. The idea is to built buyer comfort perception that when its a GM an EV buyer expects and gets a really nice car. No need to carp about a $30,000+ price (Before tax credit)
    GM will not be accused of anything like planned obsolescence. Its as good a car 20 years from now as it is on day 1. Resale value stays above 80% over a five year period.

    And LEAF-fine. There’s a niche market segment for what … a hundred thousand … maybe … over 3-4 years. While VOLT surely will evolve as GM’s flagship EV for many years to come and many hundreds of thousands.


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    May 16th, 2010 (12:39 pm)

    Dave G: It would also require people to actually vote for candidates instead of columns.

    That may not be a good idea since most politicians will just tell you what you want to hear.. the advantage of voting a column ( a party I assume) is that the other party members will try to force the new member to stick somewhat to the party principles.

    I like the two party system.. it forces your thinking into two clearcut answers for the problems that face us.. a mutliparty system (parliamentary for example) has too many options and is too confusing.. allowing the politicians to get away with more stuff.

    The two party system is good, just get rid of progressive taxation, the IRS and lawyers.


  56. 56
    Herm

     

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    May 16th, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    Dave G: Note that this all lines up almost exactly with what the CEO of CPI said here:
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/02/profile-li-ion.html
    Car battery pack prices are around $500/total kWh, which corresponds to $1000/available kWh for the Volt, and prices for the cells alone are around $350/total kWh. See post #25 for details.

    Good point Dave..


  57. 57
    CDAVIS

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    May 16th, 2010 (12:52 pm)

    __________________________________________________________

    “Hertz is adding the Nissan Leaf battery electric-vehicle to its rental fleets in the United States and Europe beginning early next year…”

    Source – New York Times:
    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/hertz-plugs-into-the-nissan-leaf/
    ___________________________________________________________


  58. 58
    LRGVProVolt

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    May 16th, 2010 (1:04 pm)

    #36 Crookieda: LRGVProVolt: I wonder how many of those who gave you +1 own a Japanese vehicle or have seriously considered buying one?

    I gave him a +1 and would have given him a +100 if the site would let me.
    Currently own a Chrysler made in Canada, a Saturn made in Austria, and a buell made in America.
    And I have worked fir the US federal government for the last 13 years. Believe it or not, US trade policies are not in the constitution and can be changed at any time by the elected politicians in charge. They just choose to allow injustices on the American people. And luckily we get to choose our politicans. If enough people say it is an issue then it is one. Take a look at thailand right now

    So you would have given him 100 votes if possible even though you are only one voter! I’m sure your just using rhetoric to emphasize how strongly you support his statement.

    You are right about U.S. trade policies not being in the Constitution. The Constitution protects freedom of speech so we can express our opinion as you have just done. The segment of my post that you highlighted, was meant to say that we can all express our opinion by electing to not buy a Japanese vehicle. However, as an earlier poster mentioned and gave a link citing a change taking place in Japan among its people with regard to buying foreign vehicles. It’s engineering excellence and quality that determines to the larger degree what vehicle a buyer purchases. I am all for buying Made in America. If the scales were balanced (i.e. trade deficits), I wouldn’t be so concerned but we buy far to many foreign products that worsen the U.S. position overall; we would save a few pennies doing so but end up losing jobs to overseas competitors.

    Knowledge is power only if you use it and use it wisely. The Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and our right to elect representation. Electing new representatives to Congress is only part of the solution; we can and should elect the best candidates to office but we should also realize that we can very strongly express our opinion by deciding to buy a quality American product. GM should realize this and plan to meet the huge demand for the Volt that the numbers by Want Lists and surveys indicate.

    The global situation is changing and new vehicle owners in China and India will strongly increase the demand for petroleum as supplies diminish and technical problems appear as in the case of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which all indicate that demand for EV’s could be grossly underestimated.

    I just looked at the original post (#7) that started this thread. pjkPA said “…WE TRY TO SELL IN THE NO. 2 AUTO MARKET JAPAN”. China is now the number ONE market having just recently passed the U.S. in sales, while the U.S. is Second and most likely will loss that position to India in the future. The Japanese market will be insignificant considering China and India. Who will care so much how many vehicle we do sell to Japan with these huge new markets.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    statik

     

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    May 16th, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    Streetlight: Statik May 5th article reported Nissan’s Andy Palmer saying LEAF will turn a profit from day 1. Today’s report clearly pours cold water all over that. At 18 grand an Li-ion copy LEAF must loose money. There are however immediate issues which demand GM’s immediate attention. And LEAF-fine. There’s a niche market segment for what … a hundred thousand … maybe … over 3-4 years. While VOLT surely will evolve as GM’s flagship EV for many years to come and many hundreds of thousands.  (Quote)

    Just random info:

    Andy Palmer (my piece) is a Nissan senior vice president, and is responsible for the company’s global EV strategy, and who says the project will be profitable from the beginning. He reports directly to Ghosn.

    Brian Carolin (the quote today) is the US sales and marketing chief and Carlos Tavares, is the Americas boss, and are quoted as saying that the Leaf will not be profitable until 2012 when it is mass produced where it is sold.

    It is both possible to lose money on the 20,000 they sell here, but make a profit on the 30,000 that are sold at home in Japan. The future US facility and production volumes out of there have very little to do with the profitability of the car in Japan (where it is sold at ¥3.76M) or internationally (which will be picked up out of the UK/Sunderland for 2012)

    So both can be accurate. Not saying that another comment can’t come out tomorrow and ‘throw cold water’ on my piece last week, or Lyle’s today. That is just the nature of the beast.

    As GM found out trying to ship a car (G8) from Australia and sell in the US, it is pretty hard to do that and turn a buck, that is why they originally where moving production to the Zeta line on Ontario before deciding to cancel it (before Pontiac died). However, GM is not having any trouble sticking with the Holden Commodore (that the G8 was rebadged off) of since 2006 to today. It has been a great seller in Australia, has killed everything in its segment since it came out, and even was the best selling car for a time.


  60. 60
    omnimoeish

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    May 16th, 2010 (1:42 pm)

    pjkPA: “The intial supply of LEAFsfor the first two years will be built in Japan.That plant has an annual capacity of 50,000 cars, 20,000 of which will be shipped to the US.In late 2012, Nissan will open its US-government funded Smyrna Tennessee LEAF plant that can build 150,000 cars per year.How stupid are we!!The American taxpayer will give Nissan $7500 per vehicle to ship Japanese products to the US while the Japanese will put a $20,000 TARIFF ON EVERY VEHICLE WE TRY TO SELL IN THE NO. 2 AUTO MARKET JAPAN.And to be totally stupid we will fund this Japanese company to build a plant right in our back yard!! If building a foreign auto plant in the US is a good idea you would see GM and FORD plants in JAPAN … and we all know the Japanese would never let this happen let alone fund the US plant. THEN WE SAY WE ARE “BAILING OUT AMERICAN COMPANIES. We would not have to “BAIL OUT” American companies if our government would SUPPORT AMERICAN COMPANIES RATHER THAN SUPPORTING OUR COMPETITION!!! I don’t think anyone is surprised that Nissan will be losing money on the Leaf…. and I do think a lot of Americans are totally disgusted that our government is “giving away the store” buy supporting foreign companies and putting American companies at a disadvantage while they are KEPT OUT of foreign markets like JAPAN.  

    It is very sad, but the fact is that our oil dependance is much sadder than virtually opening up the treasury to a small Japanese auto maker. The other even sadder thing than that is that the Japanese are the only ones with the stones to try to get us off oil at any significant rate, even at the insane subsidies being offered, GM is still wringing their hands about if people will buy the Volt.


  61. 61
    John Es

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    May 16th, 2010 (2:46 pm)

    CDAVIS: “Hertz is adding the Nissan Leaf battery electric-vehicle to its rental fleets in the United States and Europe beginning early next year…”Source – New York Times:

    I read that news a couple of days ago, and thought it was silly. Although I think the range anxiety issue is overblown, I put a lot of miles on rentals. Am I going to rent a Leaf in an unfamiliar city? Maybe they think this will grease the wheels on their acquisition attempts.


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    May 16th, 2010 (3:06 pm)

    pjkPA: “The intial supply of LEAFsfor the first two years will be built in Japan.That plant has an annual capacity of 50,000 cars, 20,000 of which will be shipped to the US.In late 2012, Nissan will open its US-government funded Smyrna Tennessee LEAF plant that can build 150,000 cars per year.How stupid are we!!The American taxpayer will give Nissan $7500 per vehicle to ship Japanese products to the US while the Japanese will put a $20,000 TARIFF ON EVERY VEHICLE WE TRY TO SELL IN THE NO. 2 AUTO MARKET JAPAN.And to be totally stupid we will fund this Japanese company to build a plant right in our back yard!! If building a foreign auto plant in the US is a good idea you would see GM and FORD plants in JAPAN … and we all know the Japanese would never let this happen let alone fund the US plant. THEN WE SAY WE ARE “BAILING OUT AMERICAN COMPANIES. We would not have to “BAIL OUT” American companies if our government would SUPPORT AMERICAN COMPANIES RATHER THAN SUPPORTING OUR COMPETITION!!! I don’t think anyone is surprised that Nissan will be losing money on the Leaf…. and I do think a lot of Americans are totally disgusted that our government is “giving away the store” buy supporting foreign companies and putting American companies at a disadvantage while they are KEPT OUT of foreign markets like JAPAN.  

    THis is the first really intelligent post about IMPORTS i have read in this forum.
    THe US GOVT should get a STUPID award for this and also the CASH FOR IMPORTS PRogram that just ended.


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    Dog Food

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    May 16th, 2010 (3:14 pm)

    At least the U.S. Gubmint decided to give them a couple billion dollars to get it done in Tennesse !

    This will turn out to be a much better investment of U.S. Taxpayer dollars than giving a failed corporation $80 billion and watching them pour it down a rat hole and still losing million$ per day everyday still today !!

    Much better return on investment if they would have given the whole $80 billion to companies like Nissan etc. No doubt about it. We got screwed big time.

    I love how GM says they paid the Gubmint back some of the borrowed money when in fact the money is coming from the Gubmint themselves. LIARS LIARS !! WE ARE NOT THAT STUPID YOU MORONS.


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    May 16th, 2010 (3:20 pm)

    John Es:
    I read that news a couple of days ago, and thought it was silly. Although I think the range anxiety issue is overblown, I put a lot of miles on rentals. Am I going to rent a Leaf in an unfamiliar city? Maybe they think this will grease the wheels on their acquisition attempts.  

    That’s great news. Contrary to the FUD spread on this site about Range Anxiety most consumers will have no problems with 100 mile range. Also remember the next gen LEAF battery promises 200 mile range (possibly close to 300) so anyone using range anxiety argument at that point will look like a total moron.


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    May 16th, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    May 16th, 2010 (3:33 pm)

    Thanks, crew, for the helpful dynamic temperature map and your comment about it’s influence on batteries.

    Just got in from the trip down town to see the Volt again.

    Although driving last March 13th was a whole universe of difference from just seeing it.

    Micheal arrived from Dallas with his wife Susan, and, we went in to the Austin Convention
    Center to see the Volt.

    I also went yesterday, and, when I was there, there was quite a bit
    of interest from passersby who stopped over to see it. The Volt was within a divided-off area.

    It seemed that the public is just beginning to understand about the Volt. Usually, one person in each group started talking about it as “the electric car that goes 40 miles, then the gas engine turns on”. I introduced myself to about 8 different small groups of people over the course of an hour who stopped by, and struck up some interesting conversations with more details which every single person appreciated with a

    “Thanks!!” or a “Thanks for that information!”.

    One person actually started a conversation from the other side of the divided-off area, and mentioned that it would be pricey. I replied that
    “the combined MPG average of all vehicles is 20.5 mpg. My current vehicle gets exactly that”. I said.
    “I drive 19,500 miles a year. I expect that if I got a Volt, and the range extender/generator gets it 50 MPG at it’s steady-state RPM efficiency, then I would save about $15,000 on gas over the 5 year term of the note, not including all the compound interest on that monthly savings, which might put it up around $18,000 at today’s cost of gasoline.”

    He responded: “WOW” as his eyes popped open widely while looking again at the Volt.

    Public education is slow, but it is certainly worth it.


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    May 16th, 2010 (3:49 pm)

    I’m fed up with hearing so much about the Leaf. WTF? I live in the SF Bay area and the local papers and press are filled with stories about the Leaf as it were something significant. It isn’t and most of the posters here know it. It’s a BEV for crying out loud. So many in the liberal MSM press love to trash American Cars and American Products (except for Apple) that it makes me sick. These people at Yahoo have put out many articles aout the Nissan Leaf and not a word about the Volt. Disgusting. They don’t even give you an ability to make comment.


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:03 pm)

    Well, juscurious,

    At least there might stem from that a better chance of your being able to buy a Volt if you want one, if others are sidetracked into buying a Leaf. (I hope so in that sense, for the availability of more Volts for more of us.)

    Besides, other sites aren’t as deep-thinking, intelligent, lively and all that significant as compared to this one if I may say so. Posters really contribute excellent and exceptional content. I find all other internet sites pretty uninteresting (except Science Daily).

    Lyle does an unmatched job of bringing some very powerful content out to the public, and, ought also to get some medal, perhaps the John F. Kennedy “Profiles in Courage” Medal, for his deep values for the freedom of expression and freedom of speech.
    I don’t think there is any other site on the planet that does this like Lyle’s site. Phenomenal.


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:04 pm)

    Dan Petit: “I drive 19,500 miles a year. I expect that if I got a Volt, and the range extender/generator gets it 50 MPG at it’s steady-state RPM efficiency, then I would save about $15,000 on gas over the 5 year term of the note, not including all the compound interest on that monthly savings, which might put it up around $18,000 at today’s cost of gasoline.”

    At $3 per gallon, $15,000 of gas comes to 5,000 gallons.

    At 50 MPG, without ever plugging in, that much gas would take you 250,000 miles.

    What in the world are you claiming?


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:08 pm)

    statik: Andy Palmer (my piece) is a Nissan senior vice president, and is responsible for the company’s global EV strategy, and who says the project will be profitable from the beginning. He reports directly to Ghosn.
    Brian Carolin (the quote today) is the US sales and marketing chief and Carlos Tavares, is the Americas boss, and are quoted as saying that the Leaf will not be profitable until 2012 when it is mass produced where it is sold.
    It is both possible to lose money on the 20,000 they sell here, but make a profit on the 30,000 that are sold at home in Japan.

    It’s possible to make a profit in Japan but generate a loss in NA — but given VAT most likely what we have are different views based on different interests. Andy Palmer wants BEVs to be a success. Brian Carolin and Carlos Tavares want to be a success, and given that they have sales and P&L responsibility that means making a buck. Just like you can use a longer period of time and more miles to make a Volt look like a better financial deal, so you can use more units and fewer costs to make a BEV look like it’s profitable. The actual costs are probably not knowable exactly since it’s very subjective what costs are included and which are not (For example, Nissan says they’ve been working on an electric car for ten years. IOW they’ve been incurring costs for a decade. Should ALL those costs be allocated to the Leaf? Some? None? Obviously it’s a hard question with no obvious right or wrong answers.)

    FWIW the battery costs cited in the Times article weren’t ever that believable. Way too low. The costs cited by the WSJ seems a little high and may represent some lowballing. But they’re at least consistent with most other information that’s known.


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:15 pm)

    Juscurious: I’m fed up with hearing so much about the Leaf. WTF? I live in the SF Bay area and the local papers and press are filled with stories about the Leaf as it were something significant. It isn’t and most of the posters here know it. It’s a BEV for crying out loud. So many in the liberal MSM press love to trash American Cars and American Products (except for Apple) that it makes me sick. These people at Yahoo have put out many articles aout the Nissan Leaf and not a word about the Volt. Disgusting. They don’t even give you an ability to make comment.

    Personally, I think the Volt looks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the Leaf. The Leaf looks like a shrunk station wagon.

    And you’re right; the MSM bias is definitely in the Leaf’s favor. I don’t understand it at all. Why don’t we support AMERICAN products from AMERICAN companies? Yes, the Leaf will eventually be manufactured in Tennessee, but the Volt is being built in America from day one.

    Putting politics and the UAW aside, I am glad that the Volt is being made in America and is being built by American workers.

    As others have mentioned here, GM needs to get the volumes up and I mean WAAAAAAY up. It is crucial that they keep manufacturing costs down and take advantage of economies of scale.

    Dog Food: I love how GM says they paid the Gubmint back some of the borrowed money when in fact the money is coming from the Gubmint themselves. LIARS LIARS !! WE ARE NOT THAT STUPID YOU MORONS.

    Look, I disagreed with the bailout and was quite upset with what the government did to GM. But we need to put that behind us. One of the things I have come to realize is that we can’t get so politically polarized in this country that we fail to enjoy the good that comes out of these situations. There’s always a good and a bad side to everything, and we can choose to focus on the good or the bad. Look at it this way: we still get an awesome car like the Volt! We’ve just gotta convince GM to get the volumes up.

    I wanna see the Volt succeed and I wanna see GM cranking out hundreds of thousands of Volt per year! The car has huge potential and it needs to go mainstream!

    I just hope GM blows the Leaf out of the water on the price…..


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:17 pm)

    john1701a:
    At $3 per gallon, $15,000 of gas comes to 5,000 gallons.At 50 MPG, without ever plugging in, that much gas would take you 250,000 miles.What in the world are you claiming?  

    Over the 5 year term of the note.

    I spend $275 a month to drive the vehicle I have, net of what I would pay for higher maintenance against the cost of electricity, and $25 a month on gas, is $250 a month saved, times twelve times five.
    That’s at $2.60 a gallon, so, for your introduction of the $3.00 a gallon (thank you very much), it is closer to $17,000 over 5 years, and, if you add some interest savings compounded over those 5 years, you could total up to the $18,800 saved over the term of the 5 year note that I paid for the 05 Element in the first place.
    Why would you forget to plug in a Volt as that’s why you’d have bought it in the first place. LOL.


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    john1701a: What in the world are you claiming?  

    So he’s exaggerating. He could have said “over ten years I’ll save almost $25,000″. Just extend the miles and years and an EV looks better all the time. Of course even this statement isn’t literally true unless his electric power from pixie dust, but it makes a valid point.


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:27 pm)

    omnimoeish: The other even sadder thing than that is that the Japanese are the only ones with the stones to try to get us off oil at any significant rate, even at the insane subsidies being offered, GM is still wringing their hands about if people will buy the Volt.  

    True that. +1 When you say “if people will buy the Volt” I’m assuming you mean the one Volt is committed to building. LOL


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:37 pm)

    Saving $250 a month on gas and higher maintenance prevented (at that high annual mileage requirement) from the high odometer mileage Element is $3,000 a year. (Excluding standard maintenance items if you like).
    Saving maintenance on a Volt from 4 synthetic oil changes to one annually, plus, two brake jobs, filters, belts, an alternator in that 5 years, and, also, several batteries) offsets most, if not all of the cost of the electricity.
    Five years times $3,000 is $15,000 at only $2.60 a gallon. (And, the way things are going in the Gulf, it might quickly get to that $3.00 figure around here as John said.)
    Cut $15,000 in half to calculate interest even without compounding at $7,500.
    No exaggeration if you think about it in more depth.
    Comparing to your own situation in financial detail is the valid thing to do.


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    joe

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    May 16th, 2010 (4:38 pm)

    pjkPA: “The intial supply of LEAFsfor the first two years will be built in Japan.That plant has an annual capacity of 50,000 cars, 20,000 of which will be shipped to the US.In late 2012, Nissan will open its US-government funded Smyrna Tennessee LEAF plant that can build 150,000 cars per year.How stupid are we!!The American taxpayer will give Nissan $7500 per vehicle to ship Japanese products to the US while the Japanese will put a $20,000 TARIFF ON EVERY VEHICLE WE TRY TO SELL IN THE NO. 2 AUTO MARKET JAPAN.And to be totally stupid we will fund this Japanese company to build a plant right in our back yard!! If building a foreign auto plant in the US is a good idea you would see GM and FORD plants in JAPAN … and we all know the Japanese would never let this happen let alone fund the US plant. THEN WE SAY WE ARE “BAILING OUT AMERICAN COMPANIES. We would not have to “BAIL OUT” American companies if our government would SUPPORT AMERICAN COMPANIES RATHER THAN SUPPORTING OUR COMPETITION!!! I don’t think anyone is surprised that Nissan will be losing money on the Leaf…. and I do think a lot of Americans are totally disgusted that our government is “giving away the store” buy supporting foreign companies and putting American companies at a disadvantage while they are KEPT OUT of foreign markets like JAPAN.  

    I agree 1000% with you. Isn’t hard to believe that’s happening? I would like to see a US president that would give the same treatment to the Japanese. You would see them change in a hurry.

    Nissan is in a rush to sell the Leaf so they can grab that $7500 incentive. By the time GM sells the Volt by a large quantity, the incentive will have run out. I find that disgusting!


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:42 pm)

    Dan Petit: . (And, the way things are going in the Gulf, it might quickly get to that $3.00 figure

    True. We’re already around $2.75 here in southwest Missouri and someone told me that we may hit $5.00 by the height of the summer.

    We’ve got to reduce our oil usage and get off of foreign oil!

    The higher the gas prices rise, the stronger the case for the Volt becomes.

    A question: to further increase fuel efficiency, would it be possible for GM to replace the gas generator with a diesel generator? Diesel has proven to be more efficient (an example being the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which gets like 42 mpg on the hwy), so why not use a diesel generator on the Volt?


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    May 16th, 2010 (4:45 pm)

    joe: Nissan is in a rush to sell the Leaf so they can grab that $7500 incentive. By the time GM sells the Volt by a large quantity, the incentive will have run out. I find that disgusting!

    I find that disgusting as well. But wasn’t that $7,500 credit per each individual manufacturer’s vehicle? Shouldn’t the Volt be allowed to go to the maximum limit also?

    IMO, that tax credit should have only applied to U.S.-based manufacturers who also manufacture the vehicles on American soil.


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    May 16th, 2010 (5:00 pm)

    William:
    True.We’re already around $2.75 here in southwest Missouri and someone told me that we may hit $5.00 by the height of the summer.We’ve got to reduce our oil usage and get off of foreign oil!The higher the gas prices rise, the stronger the case for the Volt becomes.A question: to further increase fuel efficiency, would it be possible for GM to replace the gas generator with a diesel generator?Diesel has proven to be more efficient (an example being the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which gets like 42 mpg on the hwy), so why not use a diesel generator on the Volt?  

    The duty cycle of the 1.4L gasoline engine might only be about 20% of the time average at most (and if hardly ever any runtime for 78% of the motoring public) . That means that it could conceivably last 400,000 odometer miles or more. So, for such limited comparative usage, to keep the initial release costs down, and, economy of scale begun to be brought to bear against costs, the gasoline engine is the way to go for now. (Although the quietness of refined accelerated power is the biggest deal with Voltec from my personal experience in driving it on March 13th, diesel might not be able to get there for what Volt test drivers would immediately demand upon driving the very first twenty feet of driving Volt. It’s like moving forward powerfully in a dream. You feel nothing but inertia and hear nothing whatsoever.

    Have you ever had a dream when you excitedly moved forward as if you were flying? That is what you will experience the first twenty feet of driving the Volt, and from then after.

    But it would not at all surprise me to see three to four variations of engines in 5 years after initial release, I think Voltec is clearly that important to GM. But easiest things first to keep initial release costs as low as possible. Voltec in Buick will be stunningly pleasing to the Buick customer, and, they will never go back to anything but Voltec.

    I knew a year ago that if I ever got a chance to drive the Volt, (as I said here), I said that “it would be all over” for me to be interested in any other kind of motoring.
    When I drove the Volt around that parking lot course, “it was all over” for me to even be able to compare anything else to it. That’s why I would like for everyone here to be able to have a drive in it. Hopefully in not too much longer of a time frame, you’ll all know what I experienced on March 13th.


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    May 16th, 2010 (5:08 pm)

    Dan Petit: The duty cycle of the 1.4L gasoline engine might only be about 20% of the time average at most (and if hardly ever any runtime for 78% of the motoring public) . That means that it could conceivably last 400,000 odometer miles or more. So, for such limited comparative usage, to keep the initial release costs down, and, economy of scale begun to be brought to bear against costs, the gasoline engine is the way to go for now. (Although the quietness of refined accelerated power is the biggest deal with Voltec from my personal experience in driving it on March 13th, diesel might not be able to get there for what Volt test drivers would immediately demand upon driving the very first twenty feet of driving Volt. It’s like moving forward powerfully in a dream. You feel nothing but inertia and hear nothing whatsoever.

    Have you ever had a dream when you excitedly moved forward as if you were flying? That is what you will experience the first twenty feet of driving the Volt, and from then after.

    But it would not at all surprise me to see three to four variations of engines in 5 years after initial release, I think Voltec is clearly that important to GM. But easiest things first to keep initial release costs as low as possible. Voltec in Buick will be stunningly pleasing to the Buick customer, and, they will never go back to anything but Voltec.

    That makes sense. They’ve got to keep the costs down and get what they’ve already got out into the market. The economies of scale is the most important thing right now.

    I really wanna see the Volt as a mainstream car. As I’ve been saying: if the price is right, it will sell like hotcakes.


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    nasaman

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    May 16th, 2010 (6:06 pm)

    Dan Petit, post # 79:

    …When I drove the Volt around that parking lot course, “it was all over” for me to even be able to compare anything else to it. That’s why I would like for everyone here to be able to have a drive in it. Hopefully in not too much longer of a time frame, you’ll all know what I experienced on March 13th.  

    Based on my own Volt test drive in NYC on March 29, I heartily and without reservation endorse your comments here, Dan! I’ll admit I was tempted to “water down” my enthusiasm after my test drive —but I tried not too, and yet at the same time make my test drive description credible (although it was in fact INCREDIBLE to me)! Thanks for having the courage to say what I could have, that “it was all over” for me too!!!*

    *For those who didn’t see it, my test drive in NYC on March 29 is described here at…
    http://gm-volt.com/2010/04/02/gm-volt-reader-test-drives-the-nasaman-report/


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    May 16th, 2010 (6:10 pm)

    I’m drunk.


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    May 16th, 2010 (6:47 pm)

    joe: Nissan is in a rush to sell the Leaf so they can grab that $7500 incentive. By the time GM sells the Volt by a large quantity, the incentive will have run out. I find that disgusting!

    The credit is per manufacturer. The first 200,000 vehicles get the full credit and then the credit starts tapering off.


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    May 16th, 2010 (7:04 pm)

    Dan Petit: But it would not at all surprise me to see three to four variations of engines in 5 years after initial release, I think Voltec is clearly that important to GM.

    I dont think they need much more.. a 2.4L 4 cylinder would be more than enough for a 3/4 ton pick up truck or large SUV.. a Voltec ICE is only sized to counteract air drag at top speed, and deal with pikes peak of course.


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    May 16th, 2010 (7:35 pm)

    nasaman:
    Based on my own Volt test drive in NYC on March 29, I heartily and without reservation endorse your comments here, Dan! I’ll admit I was tempted to “water down” my enthusiasm after my test drive —but I tried not too, and yet at the same time make my test drive description credible (although it was in fact INCREDIBLE to me)! Thanks for having the courage to say what I could have, that “it was all over” for me too!!!**For those who didn’t see it, my test drive in NYC on March 29 is described here at…
    http://gm-volt.com/2010/04/02/gm-volt-reader-test-drives-the-nasaman-report/  

    When you are astonished, it takes a few days to begin to place the experience into a set of believable perspectives that others can identify with. That was not at all easy for me to do. I had originally thought before driving, that I would have long posts, twice as long as my longest ever post (gasp!!). But, the opposite happened. It was humbling in that the only way for people to understand how good it is beyond their finest dreams (literally), is to have an opportunity to drive it. For that opportunity, I am extremely thankful to GM management (and to Austin EV for assigning one of the driving opportunities to me.)

    Above, DonC (and certainly John), do not believe my *individual* economics regarding the monthly savings of gasoline and maintenance compared to what I am driving now. These are numbers that are unique to my 19,500 miles a year at 20.5 mpg, but, the idea is for others to think in more *detailed terms* of what their entire automotive situation is now, compared to what Voltec can do if the CS does work out to ~50mpg. (I do have an unfair advantage in knowing what everything automotive repair-wise costs, compared to other posters here, which requires care in my explaining these things. No exaggerations guys.)

    For the various technical reasons I’ve posted before, for me, a Prius is not in the comparison category, because what I am diagnosing out here on a regular basis regarding Synergy Drive does indicate all kinds of cost problems that are so big and so sudden, that I would never tolerate owning a Toyota, nor would I recommend them anymore.

    The published retention of values does not yet take into account the big and sudden things that go wrong with these designs, but I expect that to change in the next 16 months (the end of the next two Summers.) Our purgatory heat here accelerates all these big and sudden problems a lot sooner than in the cooler areas of the country.

    Indeed, where we are on a site that allows freedom of expression like at no other, I often wondered if truly the same astonishment was able to be perceived by others. Thanks for sharing that nasaman. Tag might not think I’m exaggerating as much after all. lol

    I was talking with Micheal and Susan today, and, Micheal said something like “If only you could be cloned!” “There’s so much you know”. (I don’t think the planet could put up with two of me! lol. (At least the far ended conservatives, anyway.) There are many moderate conservative shop owners that I like a lot though, because they are deeply honest and strenuously-hard working people as well.)

    Susan mentioned I ought to learn grant writing, which would be easy to write, and, I could very easily do that, but, my best friend (a CPA) says the resulting ongoing paperwork for them is pretty involving.

    So here we are, the only place I know where I can share a little bit of what I can outside of my 12 to 16 enjoyable-hour workdays, so, I’m content with that.


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    May 16th, 2010 (7:45 pm)

    Dan Petit: I spend $275 a month to drive the vehicle I have, net of what I would pay for higher maintenance against the cost of electricity, and $25 a month on gas, is $250 a month saved, times twelve times five.
    That’s at $2.60 a gallon, so, for your introduction of the $3.00 a gallon (thank you very much), it is closer to $17,000 over 5 years…

    Oh! It’s that fancy “saving” math, rather than just using less in the first place.

    Anyone can compare to a vehicle of the past. That’s not how new vehicle purchases work though. It’s what you choose to buy next that makes a difference.


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    May 16th, 2010 (7:50 pm)

    Watch out for those “speed traps”.


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    May 16th, 2010 (8:07 pm)

    John W: But because of the leash you’ll see them on the roads less and in the garage charging.

    How is that a bad thing? Most people drive because they need to get somewhere, not for fun.

    Suppose that I already have a minivan that’s in use during the day and available on weekends. I just need a commuter-car to drive 30 miles to work and 30 miles home again. The Leaf is perfect for the job, even if it spends most of its time parked and charging.

    Yes, I understand driving for fun, and many people do — but us boring people need transportation appliances.


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    May 16th, 2010 (8:36 pm)

    Matthew B: The credit is per manufacturer. The first 200,000 vehicles get the full credit and then the credit starts tapering off.  (Quote)

    Unfortunately, the credits are per manufacturer. IMO, there should be one pool of credits for all manufacturers. Say there were 1M total credits, $7.5B up for grabs. Don’t you think all manufacturers would be busting their azz to get their share instead of most of them sitting on their azz.


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    May 16th, 2010 (9:06 pm)

    koz: IMO, there should be one pool of credits for all manufacturers. Say there were 1M total credits, $7.5B up for grabs. Don’t you think all manufacturers would be busting their azz to get their share instead of most of them sitting on their azz.

    Good point. Perhaps it should be a bit of both. You might as well get one of the laggards going so having some sort of credit to kick them in gear would be useful, but as you note, the leaders should be rewarded more.


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    May 16th, 2010 (9:26 pm)

    Interesting report dating from 2000 by the Argonne Labs: Cost of Lithium Ion batteries

    http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/149.pdf

    They talk about the LIMN spinel chemistry that Nissan plans to use in their BEV, yes, Nissan has been working on this since the 90s.

    The part that was really interesting is that they estimate the cost of the batteries to be about $750/kwh, suspiciously similar to the quoted numbers by Mark Perry.. I find it hard to believe that Nissan has not lowered that cost in 10 years.. I think Mark Perry pulled than number out of his


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    srschrier

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    May 16th, 2010 (9:37 pm)

    Beau Regard:
    Sorry dude but that argument is weak and you seem to have the foul odor of GM sheep about your person. The Volt maintenance will be huge as you have two mechanical propulsion systems under one hood resulting in prohibitive repair and upkeep. On the other hand the simplicity and efficiency of the LEAF design will make it among the cheapest vehicles to own over its lifetime in this century. So I suggest you step outside your reality distortion field long enough to smell the roses of a LEAF and kindly step away from your expensive, ugly and stinky Volt.   

    Hi Beau,

    Interesting comments,

    In the next couple of years if a person can only afford to buy and maintain one new vehicle for all of their transportation needs what should they get? A vehicle powered only by a traditional internal combustion engine, a vehicle powered by a hybrid engine, an EREV plug-in capable vehicle, or a BEV 100% electric plug-in?


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    koz

     

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    May 16th, 2010 (10:13 pm)

    Matthew B: Good point. Perhaps it should be a bit of both. You might as well get one of the laggards going so having some sort of credit to kick them in gear would be useful, but as you note, the leaders should be rewarded more.  (Quote)

    I wouldn’t argue against this but I still don’t think there should be any unfettered gimmes. Perhaps something regressive such as the allotment of, say, 50k credits starts to reduce 2 years after the first credits from any manufacturer are used.


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    May 16th, 2010 (10:55 pm)

    Dan Petit: Above, DonC (and certainly John), do not believe my *individual* economics regarding the monthly savings of gasoline and maintenance compared to what I am driving now.

    Dan, not trying to give you a hard time at all. But I can’t get to your $3000/year in savings. If you drive 19.5K miles a year and you get on average 20.5 MPG you’ll use 951 gallons of gas. At $2.65/gallon that’s essentially $2500 per year. It’s hard to figure how you’d spend less than $500 for electricity and gas in the Volt, so my swag is that the savings is more like $2000 than $3000 per year.

    On the maintenance savings I’m skeptical about the big savings here for three reasons. One is that new ICE vehicles just don’t seem to need that much maintenance. Here’s what BMW says it found to be the four year cost on most vehicles. http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/content/owner/bmwultimateservice/default.aspx Most brands run under $1000 over four years, and of course the warranty would cover those items which are not considered to be maintenance. Second is that the repairs that show up after the warranty ends aren’t necessarily to the drive train — electrical problems or tires for instance — and these problems will show up in EVs as well. Third is that an EV is going to have a lot of sensors and new technology and I don’t think that all of these things will be 100% trouble free.

    But I’m with you on the drive!


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    Ben Folds

     

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    May 17th, 2010 (3:46 am)

    William:
    I find that disgusting as well.But wasn’t that $7,500 credit per each individual manufacturer’s vehicle?Shouldn’t the Volt be allowed to go to the maximum limit also?IMO, that tax credit should have only applied to U.S.-based manufacturers who also manufacture the vehicles on American soil.  

    They’ll extend the tax credit.. who knows maybe they’ll make it 8 grand.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    May 17th, 2010 (4:03 am)

    One thing that may affect maintenance is the fact that they’re using the drive train for basically double duty, accelerating and decelerating the car. And braking might actually put more load on the CV joints and gears than accelerating. I don’t think the dealers should be afraid of not having any after sale work to do. And of course the inevitable software upgrade packages, V2G adapter packages, V2H adapters, solar and wind storage adapter packages, etc, etc.


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    May 17th, 2010 (4:47 am)

    DonC: It’s hard to figure how you’d spend less than $500 (per year) for electricity and gas in the Volt

    This number could very well be $200 per year with opportunity charging factored in. My company pays $50 per month for employees who use alternative transportation. Looks like I’ll turn a decent profit.

    With a common 25 mpg gasoline vehicle it’s just pay and pay. Directly at the pump. And the sponsoring of war campaigns.

    =D-Volt


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    May 17th, 2010 (5:34 am)

    Herm: “In China, the matter gets even trickier. Very much contrary to popular belief, there is a fully functioning patent system in China, patents are being enforced.

    Nuclearboy is touring Beijing and Xian this week and the issue of patents came up with a Chinese Friend. Basically, many of their business people openly talk about buying lots of stuff in the US only one time because then they can make the same thing back in China.

    On another note, Lots of electric scooters in China and lots of luxuary cars. The Chinese seem to like bigger vehicles like the US population. Not uncommon to see a Rolse, Mercedes, or big BMWs over here. I think they are very open to electrics over here. They want ot clean up the air and many of them apparently have plenty of money for new cars.


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 17th, 2010 (6:15 am)

    I really wish them luck.
    I would be great if they can make a dent, however that range anxiety issue is very real and I think will be difficult to overcome.


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    tom

     

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    May 17th, 2010 (6:24 am)

    Dave G: the time GM started leaking higher battery

    DonC: At $2.65/gallon that’s essentially $2500 per year. It’s hard to figure how you’d spend less than $500 for electricity and gas in the Volt, so my swag is that the savings is more like $2000 than $3000 per year

    Why would you estimate savings using todays gas prices? You’d have to make a best guess of gas prices between 2012-2022. Assuming no middle east war, and no pickup in the world economy, gas prices can stay relatively low until 2012. After 2012 there simply is not enough new oil project developments in the pipeline to keep supply from dropping.


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    Dan Petit

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    May 17th, 2010 (7:48 am)

    DonC,

    Your omissions of all benefits of the individual economics gains from what they are currently driving, compared to Volt is too narrow a scope and factually-sterile.

    The standard for considering that individual economics matters (it’s absurd and bankrupting not to), was established clearly with the cash for clunkers program.

    The cash for clunkers program, while perceived by some as somewhat inefficient in the application of funds in one sense, was highly efficient in many other ways.
    This is because when removing from the roads the most ridiculously unfeasible vehicles from the roads, a side spin-off was that more fuel-efficient and more current models became instantly more available to people whom would otherwise have purchased those cleaned-up-only and extremely tired guzzler-clunkers. It ought to be improved with an assigned American-owned OEM availability factor for another repeat of it.

    The purposes of efficiencies are best met by aggressively reviewing in depth and thoroughly from time to time the best purpose for each various job that anything is being used for. Americans are not as good at that, because we have had tremendous access to fuel resources for fifty years at relatively low cost compared to, say, Europe and Asia. (ahem.)

    Individual facts collected and researched are not at all the same as wisdom. Wisdom is not the collection of preferred facts that someone happens to like the most, (eloquently or forcefully promote the most), and accept/limit selectively.
    There are several shop owners (of the 197 I know), who do this, and, they are the lousiest and most dysfunctional A-D-D self-sanctified goof-heads who, well, inflict pompous, self-righteous, forceful religious statements to unethically-control and brainwash their victims. Always young impressionable people, of course. These young people get their money taken from them for problems causes that can not be visually observed. Their pompousness is not wisdom either. Pompousness is too often is used for unmerited power acquisition. Exceptionally disgusting.

    Again, the advantage I have in what I see will be needed to properly service any vehicle, (in addition to what I see toward the unfortunate trends in many vehicles for misdiagnosis costs to the owners), puts the Volt in a far higher perspective than what most everyone else can see on internet raw-facts-only, raw-data-only situations.

    So, well, you’re wrong on the cost/benefit to the individual who has to do his/her own thorough calculations and not ditto-rely on others. The 230 MPG stays.


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    Loboc

     

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    May 17th, 2010 (10:25 am)

    Since the study is projecting current state of the data to some future it can be really, really wrong.

    - Are BluRay players mainstream yet? They were supposed to completely replace DVDs in a short time.
    - Could you have predicted that LCD screens would overtake plasma?
    - Would you have predicted that 4-door pickups would be so popular?
    - Could you have seen that oil would go to $114 and back down in a single year?
    - Could you predict that the Dow would go from $14k down to $7k and back up to $11k in such a short time?

    People that are good at guessing the future make a crap-load of money. The rest of us just trudge along and buy Volts when nobody is looking.


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    Noel Park

     

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    May 17th, 2010 (10:39 am)

    Regular gas has been over $3/gal. in SoCal for several weeks.

    Our local Toyota dealer advertised Priuses for $2500 off of MSRP yesterday.

    Just a couple of interesting (?) factoids FWIW.

    BTW, where’s CaptJack??

    LJGTVWOTR!! NMST!


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    Noel Park

     

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    May 17th, 2010 (10:42 am)

    Loboc: People that are good at guessing the future make a crap-load of money. The rest of us just trudge along and buy Volts when nobody is looking.

    Alas, too true. I feel like a charter member of the club, LOL +1


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    pjkPA

     

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    May 17th, 2010 (10:57 am)

    Herm: This is not true, the opposite is true. look up chicken tax:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax  (Quote)

    Hey Herm…
    I worked for international engineering company for 22 years that did business around the world including Japan… I know what a US auto costs in Japan and $20,000 is being VERY conservative.


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    Bruce

     

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    May 19th, 2010 (3:54 am)

    Loboc: People that are good at guessing the future make a crap-load of money. The rest of us just trudge along and buy Volts when nobody is looking.

    Alas, too true. I feel like a charter member of the club, LOL +1


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    Constantin

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:02 am)

    The production of electric vehicles peaked in 1912: during that time there were 30,000 EV’s on the road in the United States
    http://evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=23358


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    Mrs Tina

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