May 20

Official: Chevy Volt Will be Available both for Sale and for Lease

 

[ad#post_ad]As we move closer to the Volt’s launch date, besides pricing, people are beginning to wonder whether the Volt will be sold only, leased only, or both. Nissan has announced pricing for the electric LEAF and has also announced the lease price.

Recently a GM-Volt commentator wrote about he following observation he had made, calling it “breaking news” that GM would only be leasing the Volt:

I just received my GM Card bill, and it included a notice that we WILL NOT BE ABLE TO APPLY GM CARD EARNINGS TO LEASE A VOLT for the first year, i.e., until November 2011. Then they go on to say that “as of November 2011, you will be able to apply your GM Card earnings to the Chevy Volt.” What caught my attention was the use of the word LEASE in the first year (no mention of BUY), then ambiguous reference to the second year and beyond (no distinction whether LEASE or BUY).

I pointed this out to GM Volt strategic marking manger John Hughes.

“I wouldn’t read to much into the note from the card,” replied Hughes.  ”There will be both purchase and lease options to acquire a Volt when it goes on sale.”

GM has said it wasn’t expecting the car to compete with the LEAF, considering the two entities as occupying completely different segments.  Pricing thus should’nt be compared either.

“I (am) excited about other EV entries joining us in the vehicle electrification movement,” said Hughes.  ”It will take different types of EV’s at different price points to serve the varied needs of consumers just as there are SUV’s at various sizes and price points.”

GM will apparently not be releasing pricing in May as was first expected.  Rather Hughes says, “we’ll have quite a bit more to talk about later this summer.”

I aksed Hughes if he thought becasue Nissan has already released its pricing scheme and pre-order process that it puts them in some way ahead.

“I don’t agree that Nissan is out in front,” he said.  ”Think about it, there is little for a consumer to do but continue to wait.”

“Its very important that we deliver a quality experience and that we, our dealers, field teams digital systems,…. are prepared,” he added.
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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 6:24 am and is filed under Financial, Launch, Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 186


  1. 1
    Rashiid Amul

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    May 20th, 2010 (6:27 am)

    This makes sense actually.
    Leases are back at other dealerships.
    Why not offer both?

    I wouldn’t want to lease just the batteries though.


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:39 am)

    I hope having more ways to drive a Volt means, there will be more Volts to drive. 8-)


  3. 3
    Roy H

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    May 20th, 2010 (6:41 am)

    Yawn. NNN. OT Deloitte has ad on this page. After just releasing a report riddled with flaws and predictions already proven to be wildly off base, they think they will find customers here???


  4. 4
    Xiaowei1

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    May 20th, 2010 (6:43 am)

    Honestly, there is such a limited amount set for production, for most of the people in this forum they will be lucky enough just to touch one in a dealership let alone rent it for the first few years! for me, i’m in Australia so I wont even see one until 2012…


  5. 5
    FME III

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    May 20th, 2010 (6:43 am)

    “GM has said it wasn’t expecting the car to compete with the LEAF, considering the two entities as occupying completely different segments. Pricing thus should’nt be compared either.”

    Yeah, right….. NOT!

    “I don’t agree that Nissan is out in front,” he said. ”Think about it, there is little for a consumer to do but continue to wait.”

    Hughes may say so, but the public perception is otherwise….

    “Its very important that we deliver a quality experience and that we, our dealers, field teams digital systems,…. are prepared,” he added.

    Finally, something I think we can all agree with.

    Also: Lyle, it’s great that you have established a trustworthy rapport with the Volt execs so that you can chase down these sorts of items and set the record straight.


  6. 6
    Rashiid Amul

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    May 20th, 2010 (6:55 am)

    Xiaowei1: Honestly, there is such a limited amount set for production, for most of the people in this forum they will be lucky enough just to touch one in a dealership let alone rent it for the first few years! for me, i’m in Australia so I wont even see one until 2012…  

    Heck, I live in Connecticut, and I won’t see one till then.
    Shoot Xiaowei1, you might see one before I do!!


  7. 7
    Jim I

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    May 20th, 2010 (6:57 am)

    I will agree with one thing:

    If you are only building 500 cars per month, they better “…deliver a quality experience…”

    The non-release of the pricing really worries me. There are several reasons I can think of this early in the morning:

    1. The actual pricing is very high, and they are afraid to release it, knowing there will be screams of protest.

    2. The actual pricing is really good, and they want to shock all the other manufacturers close to introduction.

    3. There is internal fighting going on at GM, and they can’t make a decision. The fuel cell team wants it priced high. The Voltec team wants it priced low. Management and the bean counters want to make a profit. The sales teams know it has to be priced right to maximize sales.

    4. All the outside vendors based their pricing to GM on a higher volume. Now that the volume for the first year has been reduced to only 8K units, pricing is being adjusted, so they truly don’t know what the car costs yet.

    5. They are just playing with all of us, to keep us guessing.

    What do you all think?????

    Have Outlet – Ready For EREV

    NPNS

    OT: Is it just me or is this site running really slowly lately?


  8. 8
    Dave G

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:08 am)

    Good news.

    I would never lease. I hate monthly payments.


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    Tom

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:12 am)

    I believe they have not yet set pricing just look at all the variables we are talking about no doubt there a lot more .
    GM will spent a lot of cash after they arrive at a price just on printing so they must get it correct.
    Tom


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    Michael

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:14 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Xiaowei1: Honestly, there is such a limited amount set for production, for most of the people in this forum they will be lucky enough just to touch one in a dealership let alone rent it for the first few years! for me, i’m in Australia so I wont even see one until 2012…

    Heck, I live in Connecticut, and I won’t see one till then.
    Shoot Xiaowei1, you might see one before I do!!

    Rashiid, I’m just curious, what are you basing the 2012 date for Volts to Connecticut? Have you asked your designated Chevy dealer when they think they will be able to place their first orders?

    Michael


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    koz

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:14 am)

    Rashiid Amul: This makes sense actually.Leases are back at other dealerships.Why not offer both?I wouldn’t want to lease just the batteries though.  (Quote)

    What if a battery lease made the Volt $27.5K and the battery lease was $20/mo because the leasing company got the $7500 tax credit and could make volume deals for the used bat packs reducing the bat pack residual value risk to them?


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    garrytman

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:18 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    Heck, I live in Connecticut, and I won’t see one till then.
    Shoot Xiaowei1, you might see one before I do!!  

    I in the same boat Rashiid so I got my place in line for the Leaf, because of possibly having to wait a couple of years to get a Volt. With the low production numbers that are being talked about, we might have a very long wait. I’m keeping my 98 Intrepid going until I can replace it with (preferably) a Volt, but a Leaf will work for me as well.


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    Van

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:20 am)

    Ok, I have “thought about it.” Can we assume that the Volt price will be released before September 23, 2010, because “this summer” will be over? Not based on this statement, because “quite a bit more to say” does not commit to making public the MSRP for the Volt and its options.

    Is there really “little to do but wait” between now and when the Volt or Leaf are put on sale? How about making the case for the car of choice on forums like this, all things considered, such as price and performance. The reason we are given “little to do” is GM has decided to not allow independent evaluation of Volt performance, not provide the MSRP as we were told about six months before it goes on sale, and pretending they cannot reveal the size of the fuel tank because the size has not been determined.


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:23 am)

    koz said:

    What if a battery lease made the Volt $27.5K and the battery lease was $20/mo because the leasing company got the $7500 tax credit and could make volume deals for the used bat packs reducing the bat pack residual value risk to them?

    Sounds good, but where’s the volume ?


  15. 15
    Dan Petit

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:24 am)

    I really liked the distinctive statements Mr. Hughes made.
    Getting closer and closer to the necessary benchmarks for everything to be known, Mr. Hughes actually has helped us to become very much more clearly aware that anticipated progress has been achieved on schedule for the time that has passed.

    Out here, we see these as small incremental steps. But within GM, each small step of validation becomes a huge leap ahead in fact. This is because the economy of scale that each small apparent (to us) step brings, is inferred across the board for this complete historical changeover.

    So, there will be three kinds of automotive products.
    Internal Combustion,
    Electric only motoring, and, of course,
    GM’s very highly refined new process.

    Our patient wait will be very well worth it.

    Our sharing with each other right here is actually part of the historical treasure we are very fortunate to experience. Finding the value in every deeply-considered second makes this the journey of a lifetime on this site. So we should look to always somehow enjoy this deliberate and careful process here. That careful deliberateness is a lesson for us all, for what it takes for true sustainable value to be built. We will all look back to these days on GM-Volt.com with respectful retrospect.


  16. 16
    koz

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:26 am)

    “GM has said it wasn’t expecting the car to compete with the LEAF, considering the two entities as occupying completely different segments. Pricing thus should’nt be compared either.

    “I (am) excited about other EV entries joining us in the vehicle electrification movement,” said Hughes. ”It will take different types of EV’s at different price points to serve the varied needs of consumers just as there are SUV’s at various sizes and price points.””

    This must be from the other side of GM’s corporate mouth from the one that has been beating the drum bashing BEV’s. Oh…perhaps they justify those messages as being general and not aimed at any specific vehicle because their Jedi mind tricks will keep us from realizing what BEV’s that might really be referring to.

    I do commend the thinking above. They just need to lose the other messages. 17+K Leaf pre-orders and counting that could have GM’s, but there is hardly a market for BEVs, right? These people must be out of there minds and not realize how moronic they will be in the future, costantly trying to drive beyond their range. Woe is them for this disaster in the making.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:28 am)

    I really liked the distinctive statements Mr. Hughes made.
    Getting closer and closer to the necessary benchmarks for everything to be known, Mr. Hughes actually has factually-indirectly helped us to become very much more clearly aware that anticipated progress has been achieved on schedule for the time that has passed.

    Out here, we see these as small incremental steps. But within GM, each small step of validation becomes a huge leap ahead in fact. This is because the economy of scale that each small apparent (to us) step brings, is inferred across the board ultimately toward millions of vehicles, for this necessary historical changeover.

    So, there will be three kinds of automotive products.
    Internal Combustion,
    Electric only motoring, and, of course,
    GM’s very highly refined new process.

    Our patient wait will be very well worth it, because electric propulsion is incredible. It is like flying forward silently.

    Our sharing with each other right here is actually part of the historical treasure we are very fortunate to experience. Finding the value in every deeply-considered second makes this the journey of a lifetime on this site. So we should look to always somehow enjoy this deliberate and careful process here. That careful GM deliberateness is a lesson for us all, for what it takes for true sustainable value to be built. We will all look back to these days on GM-Volt.com with respectful retrospect.


  18. 18
    Eco_Turbo

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:33 am)

    Reminds me of….

    Wheres_the_beef.jpg


  19. 19
    JohnK

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:38 am)

    I think that the biggest single factor is the current price of gasoline. I suspect that GM expected it to show signs of moving to $4.00 a gallon, but we seem to be hearing that it is going to move down, even in the face of the Gulf disaster.


  20. 20
    JonP.

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:43 am)

    When will the MSRP be announced? Or what is the date it will be annouced?

    GM has been so transparent up to this point….. Why are they getting all Apple on us now? To the point perception is starting to swing to Nissan being out in front. I mean jesus the car will be available for sale in 6 months?

    Why can’t they just tell us we will be revealing the full specs (inc MPG in CS mode, and gas tank size, etc..) and price on July 4th….. Or whenever but that seems like an appropriate date.


  21. 21
    ziv

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    GM refusing to release the MSRP is irritating, but understandable, perhaps. Everyone knew the price of gasoline was going up, well, it hasn’t. And one of the foundations of BEV’s and EREV’s is that they remove the gas pump irritation that we all feel when our $60 fillup becomes an $80 fillup. But it is irritating that my two most eagerly awaited events, the release of the Volt MSRP and the launch of the Spacex Falcon 9 are running in lockstep, “Soon!”…. “Not that soon!” …. “Well, maybe later then…”


  22. 22
    Eco_Turbo

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:48 am)

    Leasing the battery is like Topps saying “you can chew the bubblegum, but you have to bring the baseball cards back.


  23. 23
    Tim Hart

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:56 am)

    Thanks Lyle for getting some news on pricing options. The wait on getting actual numbers is getting really hard for us impatient types but I’m glad to hear there will be both a lease and buy option. I feel lilke a kid waiting for Christmas morning praying that Santa will bring him that shiny new bike he’s been wanting for a very long time.


  24. 24
    Constantin

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:59 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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    LeoK

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:05 am)

    Choices are always better than not…

    Purchase or Lease?
    VOLT or Leaf?
    ICE or EV or EREV?
    Viridian Joule Tricoat or Silver Ice Metallic or Black or Crystal Red Metallic or Cyber Gray Metallic or White Diamond Tricoat?
    Dark Titanium Cloth or Jet Black/Cut Grass Leather or Jet Black Leather or Light Neutral Leather?

    Choices are good!

    I think the one choice most of us would like to make is to drive a VOLT home today or tomorrow. Sadly, this last choice is not one we will be able to make until there are VOLT’s available for sale in our market area.

    When it comes to the question of the day – purchase or lease – I suspect most early VOLT customers will choose to purchase. I would only counter that you might want to consider a lease due to these simple factors: First, it is likely that battery cost will drop over time, thus future models will likely cost less. Second, it is likely that Gen2 and Gen3 VOLT’s will incorporate new technology that may not be retro-fitted to Gen1 models. However, it will always be ‘cool’ to be driving a Gen1 VOLT – there just won’t be that many built!

    Go GM. Go VOLT. Bring it on!!!


  26. 26
    James

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:06 am)

    ~ Not all Leafs are a good choice:

    leaf_cropped1.jpg

    Back in the 1998 NFL Draft – sports analysts were abuzz with the question of the day – Who would be the best number one draft pick, Peyton Manning or RYAN LEAF! That’s right, there was mondo speculation in the air – and yet, many said both would find their way, their sufficient market share, and football was big enough for both. Well, we know how THAT worked out… Leaf was arrogant, rude and insisted he start right out of the box.

    Sound familiar? You arrogant Nissan Leaf. Strutting your lithium batteries and that pretty face — ok, not that part….but, your face…capturing people’s imaginations – promising them you’re potential is worth the risk. But what about your obvious drawbacks? Will your lease and loose – hope for a higher battery saviour approach just be another promising premise with just too many personality flaws to perform like a starter? Will you just fade away only to become a small footnote in autodom?

    Or will that jersey say Volt?

    Stay tuned.

    RECHARGE! James

    IF YOU BUILD THEM THEY WILL COME


  27. 27
    Grouch

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:10 am)

    JohnK: I think that the biggest single factor is the current price of gasoline.I suspect that GM expected it to show signs of moving to $4.00 a gallon, but we seem to be hearing that it is going to move down, even in the face of the Gulf disaster.  

    Why would the price of oil be going down over the next few months? I’ve seen some normal fluctuations at the pump, but is some new megaproject coming on line or ramping up production?


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    Tom M

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:12 am)

    Sherry Boschert of Plug in America is reporting that GM will sell an all electric Volt six months after the first Volt is sold. So sometime in 2011 there will be both an EREV and an EV Volt! This is huge news! The EV version will have a bigger battery but be lighter because there is no ICE engine, exhaust, etc.
    GM better ramp up production, now they will be satisfying the desires of everybody with the two versions


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    LeoK

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:14 am)

    JonP.: When will the MSRP be announced? Or what is the date it will be annouced?GM has been so transparent up to this point….. Why are they getting all Apple on us now? To the point perception is starting to swing to Nissan being out in front. I mean jesus the car will be available for sale in 6 months?Why can’t they just tell us we will be revealing the full specs (inc MPG in CS mode, and gas tank size, etc..) and price on July 4th….. Or whenever but that seems like an appropriate date.  (Quote)

    I simply ask everyone to consider this question: If you wanted to sell your car on November 15, 2010, (and you COULD NOT sell it sooner), would you post your selling price today or wait until closer to November 15th? What advantage would you gain by posting a price today?

    Others will disagree, but I see no advantage for GM to give up the one major trump card they continue to hold on the VOLT. They will not sell one more VOLT by holding off on making pricing announcements now vs. later. Yet they do succeed by keeping some amount of suspense active surrounding the VOLT. GM will sell every Gen1 VOLT they can produce. PERIOD.

    Let’s be real …. if most of us were making the call I suspect the decision to wait would be the same.

    Go GM. Go VOLT. Bring it on!!!


  30. 30
    Dave K.

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:17 am)

    People who follow gm volt dot com know the price and CS mpg of the Volt within 5%. We don’t know the cost of options. We know the delivery date. We know the fuel tank size by doing the math on minimum CS mpg into 300 miles. Date of pre-order taking is unknown. Although a local GM dealer named a month for expected pre-ordering to begin.

    =D-Volt


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:26 am)

    James: ~ Not all Leafs are a good choice  

    Side note: Ryan Leaf left one day and just couldn’t make it back to his Chargers. :)

    bkg_nfl_chargers2.gif

    ~ Official team of the EV and EREV ~

    RECHARGE! James


  32. 32
    statik

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:28 am)

    Grouch: Why would the price of oil be going down over the next few months? I’ve seen some normal fluctuations at the pump, but is some new megaproject coming on line or ramping up production?  (Quote)

    /global recession


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:29 am)

    I already spent $99 to reserve my place with the Leaf. Hopefully GM will give me the same choice and I can get my $99 back from Nissan.

    I prefer to lease for 3 years for the simple reason I expect 3 years later for there to be much better vehicles available. How can a 2015 Volt or Leaf not be far superior to the 2012 model?

    And with a lease, you can always buy it if you have to.

    Scenario 1 – I lease my Volt or Leaf in 2011/2012. 3 years later an oil crisis means fuel rationing and the demand for EVs far exceeds supply, so dealers are adding 10K to msrp. So I’ll just exercise my option to buy my car when lease expires.

    Scenario 2 – I lease my Volt or Leaf in 2011/2012. 3 years later there are better cars available with better cheap batteries, so i return my first EV and I get my second EV.


  34. 34
    Rashiid Amul

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:31 am)

    Michael:
    Rashiid, I’m just curious, what are you basing the 2012 date for Volts to Connecticut?Have you asked your designated Chevy dealer when they think they will be able to place their first orders?Michael  

    Michael, the initial roll out schedule didn’t include Connecticut. So I might see one in 2012.

    Edit: I’m an idiot. It is only 2010 now. I should see one in 2011. I am having a miserable day so far. :(


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    DonC

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:32 am)

    LeoK: I simply ask everyone to consider this question: If you wanted to sell your car on November 15, 2010, (and you COULD NOT sell it sooner), would you post your selling price today or wait until closer to November 15th? What advantage would you gain by posting a price today?

    I know production will be limited but hopefully GM will have more than one car to sell. The number does matter because the answer is different if you have one car to sell or thousands to sell.


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    nasaman

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    LeoK, post #25:
    Choices are always better than not…Purchase or Lease?

    …When it comes to the question of the day – purchase or lease – I suspect most early VOLT customers will choose to purchase. I would only counter that you might want to consider a lease due to these simple factors: First, it is likely that battery cost will drop over time, thus future models will likely cost less. Second, it is likely that Gen2 and Gen3 VOLT’s will incorporate new technology that may not be retro-fitted to Gen1 models. However, it will always be ‘cool’ to be driving a Gen1 VOLT – there just won’t be that many built!
    Go GM. Go VOLT. Bring it on!!!  

    I leased a new car once through GMAC and liked it so much I later converted the lease to a purchase (I still own and still really like that car and have always thought that lease/purchase deal was the right way to go.) A lease/purchase deal for my Volt may also make good sense!


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    Loboc

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:35 am)

    Grouch:
    Why would the price of oil be going down over the next few months?I’ve seen some normal fluctuations at the pump, but is some new megaproject coming on line or ramping up production?  

    As the dollar increases in value relative to other currencies, oil looks like a bad investment since oil is priced in dollars. If investors leave for other places to put their cash, oil decreases in value as well.

    This is why China is moving to make the dollar *not* the currency of record for these commodities. They just can’t rock the boat right now because if the dollar decreases in value their investments in US debt also decrease.

    It’s all a shell game.


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    Nelson

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:36 am)

    Jim I: I will agree with one thing:If you are only building 500 cars per month, they better “…deliver a quality experience…”The non-release of the pricing really worries me. There are several reasons I can think of this early in the morning:1. The actual pricing is very high, and they are afraid to release it, knowing there will be screams of protest.2. The actual pricing is really good, and they want to shock all the other manufacturers close to introduction.3. There is internal fighting going on at GM, and they can’t make a decision. The fuel cell team wants it priced high. The Voltec team wants it priced low. Management and the bean counters want to make a profit. The sales teams know it has to be priced right to maximize sales. 4. All the outside vendors based their pricing to GM on a higher volume. Now that the volume for the first year has been reduced to only 8K units, pricing is being adjusted, so they truly don’t know what the car costs yet.5. They are just playing with all of us, to keep us guessing.What do you all think?????Have Outlet – Ready For EREVNPNSOT: Is it just me or is this site running really slowly lately?  (Quote)

    I’m leaning to #3 but hoping it’s #2. Yes, the site is slow because of all the Flash advertising going on. Lyle should not allow more than one flash ad per page. We don’t all have I7 CPU’s with 4GIG of RAM. :)

    NPNS!


  39. 39
    tom w

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:39 am)

    Grouch: Why would the price of oil be going down over the next few months?

    Lower oil prices are a bad thing, not just because it lowers demand for EV’s but because it makes oil companies slow down and put off investments in oil exploration/developmnet. The events in the Gulf will only add to this (this was not a production well, it was a test well for future production, hence no impact on current supply).

    We can’t count on global economic contraction to keep Oil demand down forever, and even if the global economy NEVER recovers, there still is not enough investment happening now to meet demand past 2012.

    Unfortunately this coming crisis will be just another excuse for Obama to use government intervention. The crisis could come with a mideast war or by 2012 when Oil Shortages will be clear. It will be too late to ramp up oil production so rationing will be Obama’s only play along with mandating EVs/EREVs by a certain date.

    So by 2012 will have government rationing of gasoline, health care, and who knows what else.


  40. 40
    Eco_Turbo

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:42 am)

    Nelson said:

    We don’t all have I7 CPU’s with 4GIG of RAM. :)

    Does that mean we should have waited ’til next year to buy our PCs?


  41. 41
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    May 20th, 2010 (8:44 am)

    Grouch:
    Why would the price of oil be going down over the next few months?I’ve seen some normal fluctuations at the pump, but is some new megaproject coming on line or ramping up production?  

    O.P.E.C. and Big Oil read this site.
    Low oil prices could potentially – – – Kill The Electric Car. At least until peak oil realities hit a decade from now.

    If I were a marketing exec. at Nissan, Fisker, Tesla or GM I would simply skip all the millions they’re pouring into brainstorming future ad campaigns for their EVs and simply post pictures of the BP oil spill devastation on one side, and a gleaming picture of their car on the other, replete with a plug.

    RECHARGE! James

    IF YOU BUILD THEM THEY WILL COME


  42. 42
    Leon

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:46 am)

    Some techies got their hands on the mobile Volt Android application Here is a link to a video:

    http://www.androidcentral.com/hands-chevy-volt-onstar-android-app-io2010


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    BLDude

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:55 am)

    Quote: “I don’t agree that Nissan is out in front,” he said. ”Think about it, there is little for a consumer to do but continue to wait.”

    And wait, and wait and wait some more….


  44. 44
    Loboc

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    May 20th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Tom M: Sherry Boschert

    “I got a much more concrete answer when I asked when GM would sell an all-electric car — a mere 6 months after the launch of the Volt! That would put it somewhere in mid-2011, perhaps. It will have a bit more battery and lose the gas generator, so will be a lighter car overall, they said. What a one-two package that will be — the first company to sell both an EV and a PHEV! ”

    http://blogs.pluginamerica.org/outreach/2010/05/visiting-the-volt-and-an-ev-tease-from-gm.html

    Took some digging to find that link :) .

    It also doesn’t say that the EV will be Volt-based. Cruze-based would work as well. With this little scrap of information, there’s not much that’s spelled out.

    Also, this little quote:
    “GM plans to announce the car’s price in early October, with the first Volts to be delivered near the end of the year. “


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    BLDude

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    May 20th, 2010 (9:01 am)

    Jim I: I will agree with one thing:If you are only building 500 cars per month, they better “…deliver a quality experience…”The non-release of the pricing really worries me.There are several reasons I can think of this early in the morning:1.The actual pricing is very high, and they are afraid to release it, knowing there will be screams of protest.2.The actual pricing is really good, and they want to shock all the other manufacturers close to introduction.3.There is internal fighting going on at GM, and they can’t make a decision.The fuel cell team wants it priced high.The Voltec team wants it priced low.Management and the bean counters want to make a profit.The sales teams know it has to be priced right to maximize sales.
    4.All the outside vendors based their pricing to GM on a higher volume.Now that the volume for the first year has been reduced to only 8K units, pricing is being adjusted, so they truly don’t know what the car costs yet.5.They are just playing with all of us, to keep us guessing.What do you all think?????Have Outlet – Ready For EREVNPNSOT:Is it just me or is this site running really slowly lately?  

    I think timing is everything in the marketing effort for this product. Chevy is better off message-wise by making a big splash all at once with pricing, features, colors, packages, leasing, how to order, etc. as close as possible to the launch date. It’s good they are controlling their messaging.


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    May 20th, 2010 (9:27 am)

    Leon: Some techies got their hands on the mobile Volt Android application Here is a link to a video:http://www.androidcentral.com/hands-chevy-volt-onstar-android-app-io2010  

    That is a cool video of the Volt – Google maps – android – Onstar connectivity.


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    May 20th, 2010 (9:44 am)

    Eco_Turbo: koz said:What if a battery lease made the Volt $27.5K and the battery lease was $20/mo because the leasing company got the $7500 tax credit and could make volume deals for the used bat packs reducing the bat pack residual value risk to them? Sounds good, but where’s the volume ?  (Quote)

    I understand what you’re getting at and agree GM needs the nudge, but Volume is relative. If 20% are leased this is still 2000 battery packs/yr at GM’s initial Volt production of 10K/yr. 2000 used battery packs with a combined 24MWh and 300MW capability is substantial.


  48. 48
    DonC

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    May 20th, 2010 (9:44 am)

    tom w: Lower oil prices are a bad thing, not just because it lowers demand for EV’s but because it makes oil companies slow down and put off investments in oil exploration/developmnet. The events in the Gulf will only add to this (this was not a production well, it was a test well for future production, hence no impact on current supply).
    We can’t count on global economic contraction to keep Oil demand down forever, and even if the global economy NEVER recovers, there still is not enough investment happening now to meet demand past 2012.
    Unfortunately this coming crisis will be just another excuse for Obama to use government intervention. The crisis could come with a mideast war or by 2012 when Oil Shortages will be clear. It will be too late to ramp up oil production so rationing will be Obama’s only play along with mandating EVs/EREVs by a certain date.
    So by 2012 will have government rationing of gasoline, health care, and who knows what else.  

    So ends the contribution of GM-Volt’s own Nostradamus for the day. Ba ha ha ha ha ha!


  49. 49
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    Completely Off Topic:

    Today is World Metrology Day. If you see a measurement scientist on the street today, shake his hand and say thanks!

    Back to topic………..


  50. 50
    srschrier

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    May 20th, 2010 (10:07 am)

    Off Topic: Volt “Hold Mode” introduced in San Francisco:

    http://www.hybridcars.com/news/top-five-insights-our-first-drive-chevy-volt-27966.html


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    May 20th, 2010 (10:16 am)

    Xiaowei1: i’m in Australia

    #4

    Nice to hear from you. Best regards. +1


  52. 52
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    May 20th, 2010 (10:19 am)

    Jim I: 5. They are just playing with all of us, to keep us guessing.

    #7

    That would be my thought, LOL. Oh, I almost typed “stay tuned”, but I stopped myself just in time!

    OT: It sure does seem to take awhile for the comments to post after you click “submit”. Somewhat irritating, actually.


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    kdawg

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    May 20th, 2010 (10:22 am)

    I’ve never leased, but with the technology changing so much, so quick, I’m almost tempted to lease for 3 years and then upgrade to Volt Gen 2, then 3 .. etc.

    ahh decisions…


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    May 20th, 2010 (10:24 am)

    Van: The reason we are given “little to do” is GM has decided to not allow independent evaluation of Volt performance, not provide the MSRP as we were told about six months before it goes on sale, and pretending they cannot reveal the size of the fuel tank because the size has not been determined.

    #13

    Yeah, and what’s the gas mileage on the “range extender”, LOL?


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    May 20th, 2010 (10:24 am)

    I wonder why they think Americans would not want a hold mode? I hope GM makes the entire European software available over here with miles odometer. I liked the look of the dash display on the Opel video.

    …Americans don’t need or want hold mode? Is somebody becoming dictatorial? What if my drive will take me through a section of Montana where I know the police are especially lenient, and want to use my grid power to cruise at 100mph for a 10 mile stretch?


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    May 20th, 2010 (10:32 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Edit: I’m an idiot. It is only 2010 now. I should see one in 2011. I am having a miserable day so far.

    #34

    I hate to say it, but I think that you were right the first time. You might “see” one. Buy one? Not so likely, IMHO.


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    May 20th, 2010 (10:36 am)

    James: If I were a marketing exec. at Nissan, Fisker, Tesla or GM I would simply skip all the millions they’re pouring into brainstorming future ad campaigns for their EVs and simply post pictures of the BP oil spill devastation on one side, and a gleaming picture of their car on the other, replete with a plug.

    #41

    I’ve got to put in with you there. +1


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    May 20th, 2010 (10:38 am)

    srschrier: Off Topic:Volt “Hold Mode” introduced in San Francisco:http://www.hybridcars.com/news/top-five-insights-our-first-drive-chevy-volt-27966.html  

    Very interesting.

    Hold mode allows you to set the lower-end SOC so that you have EV range saved. Say you drive to the city from the burbs and you want more EV range for driving around in town.

    Thanks for the link!


  59. 59
    West Coast Driver

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (10:44 am)

    Great News! What is the final price on the VOLT??

    180 days & counting… What’s the purchase & lease price, or is GM waiting until release day to announce pricing??

    GO EV !!!


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    May 20th, 2010 (10:49 am)

    srschrier: Off Topic: Volt “Hold Mode” introduced in San Francisco:
    http://www.hybridcars.com/news/top-five-insights-our-first-drive-chevy-volt-27966.html

    That’s a pretty good idea. I like it.


  61. 61
    CaptJackSparrow

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    May 20th, 2010 (10:51 am)

    West Coast Driver: What’s the purchase & lease price,

    Hey….wait, huh??????

    There’s going to be 2 prices?
    I don’t getit….


  62. 62
    LRGVProVolt

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (10:59 am)

    #42 Leon: Some techies got their hands on the mobile Volt Android application Here is a link to a video:http://www.androidcentral.com/hands-chevy-volt-onstar-android-app-io2010  

    Thanks for the link, Leon. That is one cool application that Volt owners will have with their Android.
    I especially like the way OnStar features are integrated.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  63. 63
    Tall Pete

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (11:02 am)

    statik:
    /global recession  

    Are we not going out of it ?


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    Streetlight

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    May 20th, 2010 (11:10 am)

    Hi #49 MetrologyFirst. World Metrology Day (May 20, 1875) – so thanks for the heads up. I’m in Alameda Cal. – a solo design EE specializing in DC metrology. It sounds as if your a NIST or nat’l lab guy. Anyways, to finish this off-topic post, the Administration should have assigned NIST and Corps of Eng on day one to measure and close the oil mess.


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    tom w

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (11:15 am)

    Tall Pete: Are we not going out of it ?

    Haven’t you been reading the news? Europe is in Panic as their years of deficit spending is starting to catch up to them. Our future unless we transform our economy, and the easisest way to do that is to rebuild our energy and transportation system (Nuclear, Wind power and EV/EREVs).


  66. 66
    Herm

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    May 20th, 2010 (11:16 am)

    Eco_Turbo: I wonder why they think Americans would not want a hold mode? I hope GM makes the entire European software available over here with miles odometer. I liked the look of the dash display on the Opel video.

    The EPA and/or CARB wont allow it, it essentially turns on the genset most of the time.. to preserve the charge in the battery, increasing emissions.

    The other news in that article:

    “In the coming months, don’t expect any news flashes about how the Volt works or drives. GM has move on to the sales process. ”

    and the thing about the ICE turning on when you open up the hood.. perhaps they should put in a button under the hood to do that.


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    Timaaayyy!!!

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (11:23 am)

    Loboc: “I got a much more concrete answer when I asked when GM would sell an all- — a mere 6 months after the launch of the Volt! That would put it somewhere in mid-2011, perhaps. It will have a bit more battery and lose the gas generator, so will be a lighter car overall, they said. What a one-two package that will be — the first company to sell both an EV and a PHEV! ”http://blogs.pluginamerica.org/outreach/2010/05/visiting-the-volt-and-an-ev-tease-from-gm.htmlTook some digging to find that link .It also doesn’t say that the EV will be Volt-based. Cruze-based would work as well. With this little scrap of information, there’s not much that’s spelled out.Also, this little quote:“GM plans to announce the car’s price in early October, with the first Volts to be delivered near the end of the year. “  (Quote)

    1) Thanks for the info–excellent work, guys!

    Other posts:

    2) Whether to OFFER the choice of buy or lease. Duh! This board is scary ignorant sometimes.

    3) Oil prices–obviously would help mass adoption of EV’s to have a floor on gasoline prices. Maybe GM can use derivatives to create such an outcome for their EV purchasers.


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    May 20th, 2010 (11:35 am)

    koz: What if a battery lease made the Volt $27.5K and the battery lease was $20/mo because the leasing company got the $7500 tax credit and could make volume deals for the used bat packs reducing the bat pack residual value risk to them?  

    I was reading (in another web site) that the reason Nissan dropped the idea of leasing the batteries separately is that “Lemon Laws” in many states would not allow it. Basically if your battery gets repossessed then your car becomes inoperative and the lemon law comes into effect. Car manufacturers have to sell you a car that runs.


  69. 69
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    May 20th, 2010 (11:39 am)

    tom w: the easisest way to do that is to rebuild our energy and transportation system

    The *only* way to improve the economy long term is to stop spending like there’s no tomorrow! We will be in the same boat as EU in a few years otherwise.


  70. 70
    CorvetteGuy

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    May 20th, 2010 (11:48 am)

    Eco_Turbo: koz said:What if a battery lease made the Volt $27.5K and the battery lease was $20/mo because the leasing company got the $7500 tax credit and could make volume deals for the used bat packs reducing the bat pack residual value risk to them?Sounds good, but where’s the volume ?  

    I doubt the battery lease would be that small since it represents half of the total price of a VOLT.


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    May 20th, 2010 (11:52 am)

    Streetlight: Anyways, to finish this off-topic post, the Administration should have assigned NIST and Corps of Eng on day one to measure and close the oil mess.

    #64

    Amen +1

    They are taking some real heat on this issue today, from the National Academy of Sciences I believe. Check out the article up right now on the MSN news page.


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    May 20th, 2010 (11:55 am)

    Loboc: We will be in the same boat as EU in a few years otherwise.

    #69

    Don’t look now, but I think we are. And have been since about 2007, if not earlier, IMHO.


  73. 73
    Jscott1000

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    May 20th, 2010 (12:06 pm)

    I amazed that anyone still has a GM Card. When they reduced my credit limit from $14K to $300 I told HSBC where they could stick their GM Card. And that was after I had used the points to buy three vehicle. They didn’t care.


  74. 74
    RB

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    May 20th, 2010 (12:20 pm)

    GM has said it wasn’t expecting the car to compete with the LEAF, considering the two entities as occupying completely different segments. Pricing thus should’nt be compared either.

    In my family they are occupying the same segment.
    Mr Hughes lives in a different universe.


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    ziv

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    May 20th, 2010 (12:49 pm)

    Half? I thought the pack price was around $8,000 which is 1/5 of the $40,000 MSRP. Although with the volatility of the pack prices quotes coming out of Nissan, maybe I shouldn’t be that confident that Patil and Weber won’t walk back their earlier comments on pack pricing.

    CorvetteGuy: I doubt the battery lease would be that small since it represents half of the total price of a VOLT.  (Quote)


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    May 20th, 2010 (1:01 pm)

    RB: In my family they are occupying the same segment.
    Mr Hughes lives in a different universe.

    Exactly…. +1


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    May 20th, 2010 (1:16 pm)

    ziv: Half? I thought the pack price was around $8,000 which is 1/5 of the $40,000 MSRP. Although with the volatility of the pack prices quotes coming out of Nissan, maybe I shouldn’t be that confident that Patil and Weber won’t walk back their earlier comments on pack pricing.

    Mannnn……some quotes on pricing of the pack are all over the place. Some will quote the usable pack capacity and other the entire pack capacity. For any price comparisons the entire pack capacity should always be used, matter of fact it should ALWAYS be used.
    As far as Patil and GM, well, GM kind of put themselves in a bad position. They contracted and have a set price for a specific quantity of cells from LG. This means LG really has no reason to drop the prices….period. All other cell mfgrs can sell their LiMn cells at much lower prices but GM will have to fulfill the contract purchase of the quantity stated in the contract. Batt tech has already started to improve. Lyle had a post some time back on this: http://gm-volt.com/2010/05/08/hi-lg-chem-its-me-gm-about-those-battery-prices-you-quoted-me/
    At this point, they aren’t even close to making a dent in the quantity of cell purchase. Probably not till 3-4 years.
    IMHO, I think in 2 yrs a higher capacity chem of Li will be available to the commodity market. One is already available as you read this and it’s the Yttrium Lithium Iron Phosphate from Thundersky. It increased the cycle count from 3000 @70% DOD to 5000 and upped the power delivery to 20C. Now it’s a higher power and longer life. Now what we need is more dense capacity and I think the ICE is dead.

    Does anyone know what the quantity of cells GM is in contract to buy from LG?


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    LauraM

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    May 20th, 2010 (1:19 pm)

    RB: In my family they are occupying the same segment.
    Mr Hughes lives in a different universe.

    Not for me. I’m not even remotely interested in a LEAF. But I want a Volt.

    Absolutely, the LEAF will reduce the demand for the Volt. But there’s plenty of room for both to be successful. And between the two, I think the Volt has much more potential to move mainstream.


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    Streetlight

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    May 20th, 2010 (1:23 pm)

    #71 Noel Park Yes, I think you mean msnbc.com news “Scientists accuse Obama over oil spill”. It should have measured ASAP. And that’s what is at the heart of a consensus Obama Administration is derelict in its duties to act.

    NOAA does natural stuff, weather, earthquakes, volcanoes and so forth. NIST does metrology (measurements). These three agencies (NIST, NOAA, Corps of Eng) work together ALL the time. Obama couldn’t find the back end of a turnip truck.


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    sparks

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (1:33 pm)

    Wow, this is about as close to fame as I’ll ever come (yep, it was my post quoted by Lyle and presented to John Hughes for comment)! BTW, I wasn’t sure if it qualified as breaking news, so I included a question mark in the title, as “BREAKING NEWS?”.

    I might be interested in a lease if I get a Gen 1 Volt. That would allow an easy out to a Gen 2 if problems crop up with Gen 1. It all depends on the specific terms, of course.

    Oops, gotta go. My newly hired publicity agent is booking some prime time guest appearances!


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    May 20th, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    Jim I: 3. There is internal fighting going on at GM, and they can’t make a decision. The fuel cell team wants it priced high. The Voltec team wants it priced low. Management and the bean counters want to make a profit. The sales teams know it has to be priced right to maximize sales.

    Got to be 3.

    GM is it’s own greatest competitor, greatest asset and worst enemy. God help us all.

    Option 5 has an outside chance, with 2 bringing up the distant rear:

    Jim I: 5. They are just playing with all of us, to keep us guessing.

    Jim I: 2. The actual pricing is really good, and they want to shock all the other manufacturers close to introduction.


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    May 20th, 2010 (1:46 pm)

    JohnK: I think that the biggest single factor is the current price of gasoline.I suspect that GM expected it to show signs of moving to $4.00 a gallon, but we seem to be hearing that it is going to move down, even in the face of the Gulf disaster.  

    Grouch: Why would the price of oil be going down over the next few months? I’ve seen some normal fluctuations at the pump, but is some new megaproject coming on line or ramping up production?

    statik:
    /global recession  

    Tall Pete: Are we not going out of it ?

    tom w: Haven’t you been reading the news? Europe is in Panic as their years of deficit spending is starting to catch up to them.

    The EU has slipped and fallen into the Greece pit (they’ve announced their own version of TARP to bail the bankrupt country out). And by the way, the chilling effect on investment is spreading to this country: a drop in the DOW today has been laid to uncertainty because of the EU situation and disappointing US jobless numbers from last week.

    If you’re seeking good news for the Volt, look somewhere other than the oil markets …


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    May 20th, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    tom w: Haven’t you been reading the news? Europe is in Panic as their years of deficit spending is starting to catch up to them. Our future unless we transform our economy, and the easisest way to do that is to rebuild our energy and transportation system (Nuclear, Wind power and EV/EREVs).

    Actually, IMHO, the current crisis is is more about the EU’s internal imbalances and the sustainability of the euro than it is about deficits.


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    May 20th, 2010 (1:51 pm)

    LauraM: Not for me. I’m not even remotely interested in a LEAF. But I want a Volt.

    Hey, welcome back from vacation Miss LauraM!


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): If you’re seeking good news for the Volt, look somewhere other than the oil markets …

    If I can swing it, I’ll buy 2 Gen 1 Volts. One to store as a mint collectible and one to drive!

    GM will have zero problems getting these things off the showroom floor with no advertising (other than natural viral) whatsoever.


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:09 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: Hey, welcome back from vacation Miss LauraM!

    Thank you.


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:16 pm)

    sparks: Oops, gotta go. My newly hired publicity agent is booking some prime time guest appearances!

    Your wanted on the View……AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

    /just yankin your chain dude…. :-P


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: Now what we need is more dense capacity and I think the ICE is dead.

    Internal combustion will live for 100 years more. It’s just too damn convenient. Now, we may be running on pig stuff (ala Thunderdome), but, IC just won’t die.


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:21 pm)

    Loboc:
    If I can swing it, I’ll buy 2 Gen 1 Volts. One to store as a mint collectible and one to drive!GM will have zero problems getting these things off the showroom floor with no advertising (other than natural viral) whatsoever.  

    If you manage to get one, you’ll earn my kudos.

    Don’t misunderstand me. Even if gas gets down to $1.97 a gallon they’ll sell all the initial Volts due to limited production. Per everyone at GM from Lutz down, the longer outlook for Voltec would begin to suffer with low fuel costs, once the early-adopter demand is satisfied.

    Inasmuch as the best use of an early Volt is to get it out to be seen, I cannot really approve of your “mint condition Volt up on blocks” idea.


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:26 pm)

    OT…
    Check this out…

    “Breaking: First Nissan Leaf going to Lance Armstrong in September”

    On ABG. Dude get’s the first LEAF…….in September? Sup wit dat? Is Nissan gonna do a surprise earlier roll out or just PR crapola?


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:29 pm)

    Loboc:
    Internal combustion will live for 100 years more. It’s just too damn convenient. Now, we may be running on pig stuff (ala Thunderdome)   

    Only if we have the knowin’ of a lot of things.

    :-)


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:31 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: “Breaking: First Nissan Leaf going to Lance Armstrong in September”

    … the special version LEAF will have backup pedal power!


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:36 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: I doubt the battery lease would be that small since it represents half of the total price of a VOLT.  (Quote)

    We don’t know the battery is 1/2 the price and we don’t even know the price. My numbers were based on the “common” assumption of @$10K for the battery pack as well as 5yr lease, and @$2000 residual value. My point wasn’t that it would be exactly $20/mo, but rather that it could be a very affordable option and people should keep an open mind. The same issues that work to the Leaf’s advantage with their lease may hold true for a battery only Volt lease.

    The bonus is that CJS can’t claim the tax credit doesn’t exist and can’t be factored into a cost analysis if it is already embedded in the price, HA!


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:37 pm)

    Confession Time:

    When the site is slow, Jackson becomes Almighty: I juiced up Streetlight’s anti-Obama comment to help compensate for inevitable negs from the Obama-bots (So far, this has proven unnecessary!). +5.


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): … the special version LEAF will have backup pedal power!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!!

    U funny guy U!

    /wouldn’t mind getting one them generator bikes. need to get my fat butt exercising.


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:40 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: OT…Check this out…“Breaking: First Nissan Leaf going to Lance Armstrong in September”On ABG. Dude get’s the first LEAF…….in September? Sup wit dat? Is Nissan gonna do a surprise earlier roll out or just PR crapola?  (Quote)

    Is it coming with a performance enhancing range extender? :)


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    May 20th, 2010 (2:46 pm)

    koz: Is it coming with a performance enhancing range extender?

    With 100cc of Deca Dura Bolin Injection to go 800 miles…..lol :-P


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:07 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): Confession Time:

    Me too….

    I didn’t give my wife’s change back after running to the grocery store yesterday so I used it today to get some Kahlua!!!
    Yeeeeehaw!!!


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:15 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: Hey, welcome back from vacation Miss LauraM!

    #84

    Second the motion!


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:19 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: “Breaking: First Nissan Leaf going to Lance Armstrong in September”

    #90

    Just as the doping controversy ramps up again. LOL. Great timing Carlos.


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:19 pm)

    Loboc: Internal combustion will live for 100 years more. It’s just too damn convenient. Now, we may be running on pig stuff (ala Thunderdome), but, IC just won’t die.

    Agree totally. +1. It’s oil that’s the problem, not the ICE.

    The United States imports around 2/3 of the oil we consume. Oil consumption breaks down roughly as follows:
    • 44% gasoline (mostly for passenger vehicles)
    • 17% diesel (mostly for heavy duty long distance travel)
    • 5% jet fuel
    • 15% fuel oil (home heating and industrial)
    • 19% other (petro-chemical, plastics, fertilizer, etc.)

    Looking at this list, it’s obvious to me that any realistic solution for energy independence involves bio-fuels. So I see a long and prosperous future for internal combustion engines.


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    Econ101

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    May 20th, 2010 (3:22 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): The EU has slipped and fallen into the Greece pit (they’ve announced their own version of TARP to bail the bankrupt country out). And by the way, the chilling effect on investment is spreading to this country:

    Sorry Zach,

    this is just more of the “woe is me” claptrap we’ve been hearing for years now. Gloom and doom was once the staple of the media, government and politicos. Fortunately with the advent of the internet, intelligent people have found many news and information alternatives. These alternatives are driven by pragmatic minds looking at long term trends and not overnight headlines. While markets go up and down naturally it is the longer term issues such as rising standards of living in densely populated areas like China and India – that spell the future for markets. These new middle classes want homes and TVs and cars. Someone is going to make them – meaning vast new markets populated with new consumers are created. That’s not even the long term. That’s happening daily.


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:22 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): If you’re seeking good news for the Volt, look somewhere other than the oil markets …

    #82

    I heard a minute ago on the news that oil closed at $65/barrel today, the lowest in some time.


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    RB: “GM has said it wasn’t expecting the car to compete with the LEAF, considering the two entities as occupying completely different segments. Pricing thus should’nt be compared either.”

    In my family they are occupying the same segment.
    Mr Hughes lives in a different universe.

    You’re both right.

    Early adopters will compare the Leaf and Volt directly, but as the market matures with more models to choose from, the Leaf and Volt will be 2 different market segments.


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:30 pm)

    Streetlight: #71 Noel Park Yes, I think you mean msnbc.com news “Scientists accuse Obama over oil spill”.

    #79

    Yeah, that was it. I wasn’t looking to set off any anti-Obama s**t however, so -1 for that. Spare me the politics, I beg of you.

    On the other hand, BP just announced that they are now recovering 5000 bpd through their “soda straw”, and yet a large amount of oil continues to spill. Huh?

    There is also a story from the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting that BP had Schlumberger on the rig to do a wireline study of the integrity of the cement job, but changed their minds and sent the crew back to the mainland on a helicopter 11 hours before the well blew out.


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:37 pm)

    Noel Park: they are now recovering 5000 bpd

    What’s “bpd”?

    Borderline Personality Disorder?

    Bongs Per Dummy?

    Buttheads Per Democrat?

    Bidirectional Pot Dispensery!


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:44 pm)

    Loboc: Took some digging to find that link

    But thanks for finding it, and thanks to Tom M for pointing it out. Nice read and most interesting info.


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:46 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    What’s “bpd”?Borderline Personality Disorder?Bongs Per Dummy?Buttheads Per Democrat?  

    Barrels per day. Nah! Bongs Per Dummy.


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:51 pm)

    DonC: Barrels per day. Nah! Bongs Per Dummy.

    #108

    In this case, I guess either one would work. “Borderline Personality Disorder” seems to fit in pretty well somehow too. As to the last one, God forbid that I should get into a political dispute with my good friend CaptJack, LOL.


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:54 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): I juiced up Streetlight’s anti-Obama comment to help compensate for inevitable negs from the Obama-bots

    #94

    I guess that would be me. -1 to both. Alas, it’s the best I can do.


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    Me too….I didn’t give my wife’s change back after running to the grocery store yesterday so I used it today to get some Kahlua!!!
    Yeeeeehaw!!!  

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

    Are you crazy? Never confess to the wife!!!!!!!!

    Always go for plausible deniability dude…………..


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    May 20th, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    Noel Park: Don’t look now, but I think we are. And have been since about 2007, if not earlier, IMHO.  

    Actually it’s not remotely possible for the simple reason that the EU is a collection of individual countries which share little other than a currency and a central bank. Keep in mind that that Greece’s debt load was about the same as the US debt load during the Reagan Administration, and those years were supposedly “Morning in America”. The problem for Greece and Spain is that the Germans control the money supply and they can’t devalue.

    Many economist predicted that the EU would not work out because it was an economic and monetary union lacking real political integration, and it is turning out that they were exactly right. The UK is looking like geniuses at this point. Despite the fact they have a heavy debt load their currency and monetary policy isn’t being dictated by Frankfurt. (Note the Germans are benefiting from the decline of the Euro since that makes their exports more competitive.)


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:03 pm)

    Tom M: Sherry Boschert of Plug in America is reporting that GM will sell an all electric Volt six months after the first Volt is sold. So sometime in 2011 there will be both an EREV and an EV Volt! This is huge news! The EV version will have a bigger battery but be lighter because there is no ICE engine, exhaust, etc.
    GM better ramp up production, now they will be satisfying the desires of everybody with the two versions  

    Thanks for the tip. from pluginamerica.org:
    “I asked Rob Peterson how many Volts will be made, and whether GM could keep up with Nissan’s planned production of 100,000 of its all-electric Leafs by 2012, starting with deliveries late this year. “We’re going to put out as many as we can sell,” he said. Does that mean GM will produce more than the 60,000 or so Volts by 2012 that I’ve read so far? We’ll see. Either way, demand will outstrip supply for years to come.

    I got a much more concrete answer when I asked when GM would sell an all-electric car — a mere 6 months after the launch of the Volt! That would put it somewhere in mid-2011, perhaps. It will have a bit more battery and lose the gas generator, so will be a lighter car overall, they said. What a one-two package that will be — the first company to sell both an EV and a PHEV!

    –Sherry Boschert (@sherryboschert on Twitter)

    This is by far the most encouraging news yet!


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:06 pm)

    DonC:
    But thanks for finding it, and thanks to Tom M for pointing it out. Nice read and most interesting info.  

    Thanks Don. This is potentially tremendous news if it is indeed correct. Sherry from Plug in America is standing by her story that she was directly told by GM’s Shad Balch that an all EV Volt will be available roughly 6 months after the initial Volt release, so we’re talking next spring/summer. It’s crazy that they were able to keep this a secret this long if it is true.


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:07 pm)

    Noel Park:
    #79Yeah, that was it.I wasn’t looking to set off any anti-Obama s**t however, so -1 for that.Spare me the politics, I beg of you.On the other hand, BP just announced that they are now recovering 5000 bpd through their “soda straw”, and yet a large amount of oil continues to spill.Huh?There is also a story from the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting that BP had Schlumberger on the rig to do a wireline study of the integrity of the cement job, but changed their minds and sent the crew back to the mainland on a helicopter 11 hours before the well blew out.  

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

    I thought it was LEAKING 5000 barrels per day (bpd – for CJS!! :-) ) and that they were only collecting 20% of that, which would be 1000.

    I don’t really think that anyone really has a clue as to how much oil is pouring out into the ocean. There are too many “experts” with too many different stories.

    And you all know what an “expert” is, don’t you? An “EX” is a has-been, an a “SPURT” is a little drip……………..

    My joke for the day!! ;-)

    I am going home to mow the grass now.


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:08 pm)

    LauraM: Actually, IMHO, the current crisis is is more about the EU’s internal imbalances and the sustainability of the euro than it is about deficits.  

    Welcome back! Not really and opinion BTW. More like a fact.


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:13 pm)

    Roy H: I got a much more concrete answer when I asked when GM would sell an all-electric car — a mere 6 months after the launch of the Volt! That would put it somewhere in mid-2011, perhaps. It will have a bit more battery and lose the gas generator, so will be a lighter car overall, they said. What a one-two package that will be — the first company to sell both an EV and a PHEV!

    I dunno bro. Didn’t they say we were to get a price 6 months before rollout as well as the CS mode MPG? Or am I off by a month? If i’m i’m off I claim being a bpd. :-P


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:24 pm)

    OT…

    Tesla & Toyota?
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/20/BA8E1DI074.DTL&tsp=1

    /if NUMMI is too big of a place for Tesla, then small output numbers are to be expected….way small numbers……niche numbers.
    //but what’s Toy to bring into the mix?


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:25 pm)

    >> he [sic] following observation he had made, calling it “breaking news” that GM would only be leasing the Volt:

    I’m a bit surprised that there were no comments on this person’s major leap of logic. But I suppose some are always on the lookout for controversy or conspiracy theories.

    If McDonald’s said, “Our Big Mac is not on sale this week”, would the same guy take it to mean that everything else *is* on sale?

    In any case for myself it all comes down to needing 1) good CS mode mileage 2) no dealer markup 3) being able to use my GM Card earnings. We’ll see.


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:34 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: Tesla & Toyota?
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/20/BA8E1DI074.DTL&tsp=1

    VERY interesting…

    Tesla originally embraced the idea of an EREV (they called it REEV) for their third “Bluestar” model that was supposed to cost $30K. Then they changed their minds and said all-electric or bust. I suspect Tesla realized they could never compete head-on with the Volt, so that’s why they dropped the EREV/REEV option for the Bluestar. But if Toyota joins in with all their manufacturing might…

    Let the games begin!


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:45 pm)

    Jim I: An “EX” is a has-been, an a “SPURT” is a little drip……………..My joke for the day!!
    I am going home to mow the grass now.  

    expert: has been drip under pressure


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    May 20th, 2010 (4:47 pm)

    Lyle is on the BEV Volt story. So far from what he has gathered he thinks it’s a misunderstanding. Personally, I would love to see both versions (and maybe a discount if you bought one of each!) but something tells me that this would be too good to be true. GM would be satisfying the needs & wants of all electric car enthusiasts. However by now I think Lyle would have gotten wind of this if it were really going to happen. I do think there will eventually be a BEV Volt, but not as soon as six months after the initial release, more like two or three years.


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    May 20th, 2010 (5:40 pm)

    Looks like the only insertion tube that is actually working is the one that BP has had up our collective b#tts for the past few days!

    Jim I:
    ==========================================I thought it was LEAKING 5000 barrels per day (bpd – for CJS!!) and that they were only collecting 20% of that, which would be 1000.I don’t really think that anyone really has a clue as to how much oil is pouring out into the ocean.There are too many “experts” with too many different stories.And you all know what an “expert” is, don’t you?An “EX” is a has-been, an a “SPURT” is a little drip……………..My joke for the day!!
    I am going home to mow the grass now.  


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    May 20th, 2010 (5:42 pm)

    Tom M: …something tells me that this would be too good to be true. GM would be satisfying the needs & wants of all electric car enthusiasts.

    Electric car enthusiasts are a small portion of the market. The real issue is what type of alternative fueled vehicle will go mainstream.


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    May 20th, 2010 (5:43 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: /if NUMMI is too big of a place for Tesla, then small output numbers are to be expected….way small numbers……niche numbers.

    #118

    Yeah, thanks for the highly informative link. +1 I think that Tesla has always been a niche player, at least for the foreseeable future. If they survive at all, which is highly doubtful IMHO. Although, if Toyota is really getting involved, who knows?

    Our business is in the next little city next to Downey, so any new business here is welcome. Having said that, I have to acept that it makes total sense for them to go to an existing facility in Fremont, which is also much closer to their base. I mean, they don’t have to use the whole thing if they don’t need it. We see plenty of that here, with several small businesses dividing up a defunct car dealership, for example.


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    May 20th, 2010 (5:49 pm)

    Noel Park: Our business is in the next little city next to Downey, so any new business here is welcome. Having said that, I have to acept that it makes total sense for them to go to an existing facility in Fremont, which is also much closer to their base. I mean, they don’t have to use the whole thing if they don’t need it. We see plenty of that here, with several small businesses dividing up a defunct car dealership, for example.

    Word on the grapevine from a friend that works in DWR downtown SAC that was talking to his buddy in the Capitol chambers is that NUMMI is going to be the place.

    /don’t quote me on that….lol


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    Streetlight

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    May 20th, 2010 (5:53 pm)

    Hi #105 Noel Park. You know oil reports are being posted by the minute. So we’re not too far off the beam. The Administration announced today (Google News) it would NOW act to measure the mess today. The Obama remark intends a bit of facetious levity over a disaster of biblical proportions. (But the pluses outnumber the minuses 5:1)

    CNN interviewed the doomed oil rig’s former exec (I think that’s his position) a couple days ago. He told a story of a much heated argument the day of the explosion between BP and both contractors over safety. BP prevailed. Hinting that the finger pointing isn’t all blather.

    Once a density coefficient is arrived at; size of the gush, speed… with the data collected at the containing vessel (the ‘straw’) which gives distribution of natural gas to oil and all that..we should start to see general agreement and realistic numbers reported.


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:00 pm)

    Loboc: The *only* way to improve the economy long term is to stop spending like there’s no tomorrow! We will be in the same boat as EU in a few years otherwise

    I agree, the government needs to stop spending. But we also need to guide private investment into things that will build our economy. And the easiest thing is to do is to build our transportation sector to NOT USE imported oil where our money leaves instead of being invested in out own economy. Many more things we need to do, but thats the thing relevant to the GM VOLT.


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:14 pm)

    Noel Park: Second the motion!

    DonC: Welcome back! Not really and opinion BTW. More like a fact.

    Thank you both!


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:15 pm)

    LauraM: Actually, IMHO, the current crisis is is more about the EU’s internal imbalances and the sustainability of the euro than it is about deficits

    former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said on Tuesday.
    “If we need any further illustration of the potential threats to our own economy from uncontrolled borrowing, we have only to look to the struggle to maintain the common European currency, to rebalance the European economy, and to sustain political cohesion of Europe,” Volcker said

    The U.S. budget deficit hit US$1.4 trillion in 2009, roughly 10 percent of the economy. The White House projects the deficit this year will reach US$1.6 trillion.

    The large deficits have evoked comparisons to Greece.

    Still, Volcker said there are lessons for the United States in Europe’s woes and he warned of the need to address long-term budget problems, such as the expected growth in social programs as the U.S. population ages


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:23 pm)

    Streetlight: Hi #105 Noel Park. You know oil reports are being posted by the minute. So we’re not too far off the beam. The Administration announced today (Google News) it would NOW act to measure the mess today. The Obama remark intends a bit of facetious levity over a disaster of biblical proportions. (But the pluses outnumber the minuses 5:1)

    #127

    Thank you. +1

    I have seen enough news interviews with PhD qualified university researchers from around the country to be convinced that something is profoundly wrong with that 5000 bpd number. So when MetrologyFirst, and then you, began to discuss this, it really struck a nerve. Sorry if I over reacted. I am just terrified that it will indeed be a disaster of biblical proportions.

    And one more powerful reason for:

    LJGTVWOTR!!


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:25 pm)

    tom w: I agree, the government needs to stop spending. But we also need to guide private investment into things that will build our economy. And the easiest thing is to do is to build our transportation sector to NOT USE imported oil where our money leaves instead of being invested in out own economy. Many more things we need to do, but thats the thing relevant to the GM VOLT.

    #128

    Amen +1


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:25 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: if NUMMI is too big of a place for Tesla, then small output numbers are to be expected….way small numbers……niche numbers.
    //but what’s Toy to bring into the mix?

    Mass production technology. Toyota knows how to build larger numbers. Tesla doesn’t. I thought Tesla already had a partner in Daimler, but given Daimler’s history with US partners…


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:37 pm)

    Found this online also, the plot thickens…

    “GM spokesman Shad Balch says that GM expects some of the Volt’s more fanatical customers to simply yank out the Volt’s gas engine and its supporting components, including the fuel tank and exhaust systems, while reprogramming the car’s computers so as to access most or all of the Volt’s 16 kWh of battery power. (The Volt currently allows the lithium-ion battery pack to operate only in its “sweet spot,” between a 30 and 80 percent state of charge, in order to prolong its life.) Even with the considerably lighter weight that would come with the engine-ectomy, the Volt’s 400-plus-mile range would be seriously curtailed. But there are people willing to live with such limitations, Balch says, and GM would like to have something to offer them. It would also give GM a credible (and far more attractive) BEV to go up against Nissan’s new Leaf. A GM-built version would add battery capacity in place of the engine in order to increase the range beyond the current car’s 40-mile electric-only barrier.”


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:50 pm)

    Dave G:
    VERY interesting…Tesla originally embraced the idea of an EREV (they called it REEV) for their third “Bluestar” model that was supposed to cost $30K.Then they changed their minds and said all-electric or bust.I suspect Tesla realized they could never compete head-on with the Volt, so that’s why they dropped the EREV/REEV option for the Bluestar.But if Toyota joins in with all their manufacturing might…
    Let the games begin!  

    I’m anything but a Japanese car company fan, but please tell me what Toyota could learn from Tesla, and what would Toyota possibly tell Tesla?


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    May 20th, 2010 (6:55 pm)

    “WILL NOT BE ABLE TO APPLY GM CARD EARNINGS TO LEASE A VOLT ”
    So we can use GM card earnings to BUY a Volt?

    Jscott1000: I amazed that anyone still has a GM Card.

    Yup, we do. Wife is getting big time pi$$ed that we can not use the thousands that we have accumulated on the card. She just signed up for a different card…

    I am hoping that if GM can make a profit at $32,500 that they offer the Volt at $37,500, and honer my GM card dollars. Then I hope my wife decides that we need a Volt!

    The Beauty of a Volt….
    /Just Dreaming


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:04 pm)

    statik:
    /global recession  

    Nope, that’s not it.
    All the folks that price oil…
    Fear the Volt


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:06 pm)

    tom w: former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said on Tuesday.
    “If we need any further illustration of the potential threats to our own economy from uncontrolled borrowing, we have only to look to the struggle to maintain the common European currency, to rebalance the European economy, and to sustain political cohesion of Europe,” Volcker said

    The U.S. budget deficit hit US$1.4 trillion in 2009, roughly 10 percent of the economy. The White House projects the deficit this year will reach US$1.6 trillion.

    The large deficits have evoked comparisons to Greece.

    Still, Volcker said there are lessons for the United States in Europe’s woes and he warned of the need to address long-term budget problems, such as the expected growth in social programs as the U.S. population ages

    I respect Volcker a lot. In fact, I wish he were treasury secretary. And he’s absolutely right that the larger your deficits, the more vulnerable you are to a crisis of confidence. Which is one of the major reasons we need to do something about our budget deficits, and our public debts.

    But Greece’s immediate crisis has much more to do with their trade deficit than their public debt. Or Spain wouldn’t be next in line. No one is worried about Germany, and Germany’s debt to GDP ratio is much higher than Spain’s. We also routinely run huge trade deficits. And that needs to stop. It’s much more urgent than our public debt problem, IMHO.

    But that’s where our similarity to Greece ends. We have our own currency. And it’s the world’s reserve currency. So all our debt is in dollars. That gives us a lot more flexibility than Greece has. We can inflate our way out of trouble. Or simply devalue the dollar to become more competitive. Of course that leads to a whole other set of problems. But at least we have the option. We also have a lot more options when it comes to raising taxes and cutting spending. And, we’re bigger than Greece. Which means we matter a lot more to the rest of the world. And we’re much better off demographically.

    By the way, Europe, as a whole, does not run trade deficits. At least, not ones that matter. The Eurozone, as a whole, has a current account surplus pretty close to zero.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:11 pm)

    Red HHR: Yup, we do. Wife is getting big time pi$$ed that we can not use the thousands that we have accumulated on the card. She just signed up for a different card…

    #136

    Yup, me too. I’ll just wait until I can use the credit on the card. GM either wants to sell cars or they don’t, I dunno. If I can’t use it through 2011, I really don’t see that as a problem. I don’t see having access to one until 2012, at the earliest, anyway.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:13 pm)

    Seems to be that Tesla is going to Nummi:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_15127946?source=rss


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:14 pm)

    The MSN news page now has an article up about the Tesla/Toyota/Fremont issue. They are basically confirming the information in the link provided by CaptJack, that the deal will be announced tomorrow. Sorry Downey.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:16 pm)

    #138 LauraM…

    What you say makes sense to me, considering we set up the World economy after WWII, stopped short of defeating North Korea and Vietnam, and invited China to join the World economy in the 70s.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:19 pm)

    Noel Park: Zachary Taylor (Jackson): If you’re seeking good news for the Volt, look somewhere other than the oil markets … #82
    I heard a minute ago on the news that oil closed at $65/barrel today, the lowest in some time.

    Well it’s free. If you have a boat and the equipment to seperate it from seawater. :( Unfortunately bad news all around.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:21 pm)

    DonC: Actually it’s not remotely possible for the simple reason that the EU is a collection of individual countries which share little other than a currency and a central bank. Keep in mind that that Greece’s debt load was about the same as the US debt load during the Reagan Administration, and those years were supposedly “Morning in America”. The problem for Greece and Spain is that the Germans control the money supply and they can’t devalue.

    Many economist predicted that the EU would not work out because it was an economic and monetary union lacking real political integration, and it is turning out that they were exactly right. The UK is looking like geniuses at this point. Despite the fact they have a heavy debt load their currency and monetary policy isn’t being dictated by Frankfurt. (Note the Germans are benefiting from the decline of the Euro since that makes their exports more competitive.)

    I believe Greece’s public debt to gdp level is about 124%? That’s much higher than the US under Reagan? (And, for the record, I completely disagree that that was “morning in America.”) Other than that ICAM.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:26 pm)

    LauraM: Which is one of the major reasons we need to do something about our budget deficits, and our public debts.

    What is hilarious about people who rant and rave about the deficit is that it’s really quite a simple fix. If you think deficits are the end of the world, just raise tax rates to the average of the rest of the developed countries on the planet. Viola, no more deficit. At least for a few years.

    I personally wouldn’t think that a good idea, but, for those who obsess about the deficit, the course of action is straightforward.

    Volker was doubtless talking about Medicare. Everything else matters quite little. Maybe SS or a bit of defense. But 90% of the deficit will be Medicare. The Recovery Act, TARP, even George Bush’s two trillion dollar escapade in Iraq is a rounding error compared to Medicare.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:31 pm)

    LauraM: I believe Greece’s public debt to gdp level is about 124%

    2007 debt. That’s when Greece did the Wall Street refi.

    But as you point out, debt level is not the issue. When the economy goes south the debt level will go up. The problem is a common currency and monetary policy without any corresponding political integration. Not working.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:33 pm)

    Red HHR: Nope, that’s not it.
    All the folks that price oil…
    Fear the Volt

    If these folks can a) create the US housing crisis, b) blow it up at the right time for the US to have 17% real unemployment when the Volt was introduced, and C)engineer a run on Greece’s debt so that Europe would unravel at the right time, well, I’m impressed.

    Who are these people, and do you think they would accept Dear Santa letters?


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:40 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: What you say makes sense to me, considering we set up the World economy after WWII, stopped short of defeating North Korea and Vietnam, and invited China to join the World economy in the 70s.

    Unfortunately, we set it up with the idea that the US would always be in the position it was right after WWII. Not a good idea in retrospect. We’ve been paying for it ever since.

    But what matters, IMHO, is right now. And where we go from here…


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:41 pm)

    LauraM: But that’s where our similarity to Greece ends. We have our own currency. And it’s the world’s reserve currency. So all our debt is in dollars. That gives us a lot more flexibility than Greece has. We can inflate our way out of trouble. Or simply devalue the dollar to become more competitive. Of course that leads to a whole other set of problems. But at least we have the option. We also have a lot more options when it comes to raising taxes and cutting spending. And, we’re bigger than Greece. Which means we matter a lot more to the rest of the world. And we’re much better off demographically.

    Yes by orders of magnitude, which the Greek people will suffer for.

    When China’s lending to the US Treasury seemed extreme to observers on both continents, there was worry in each nation, but from entirely different perspectives. Many in the US felt it would be dangerous to be beholden to China. Many Chinese invoked a popular proverb. When you borrow a million dollars you bow to the banker. When you borrow a hundred million the banker bows to you. Wonder if it will be updated to a trillion dollars now?

    Many Chinese citizens were worried that the US may not pay the money back, not from the inability to pay, but from a position strong enough to say, no we just don’t want to pay you back.

    Greece is not in a similar position with the EU. In fact while the US and China employed stimulus programs, Greece is forced to excacerbate the shrinking of their economy with an austerity plan that pleases Germany and it’s central bankers. And creates rioting in the streets of Greece.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:44 pm)

    DonC: What is hilarious about people who rant and rave about the deficit is that it’s really quite a simple fix. If you think deficits are the end of the world, just raise tax rates to the average of the rest of the developed countries on the planet. Viola, no more deficit. At least for a few years.

    I personally wouldn’t think that a good idea, but, for those who obsess about the deficit, the course of action is straightforward.

    Why isn’t it a good idea? Maybe not right now, but eventually. Countries cannot live beyond their means forever. That means taxes have to go up.

    That said, I agree about Medicare. That’s our biggest fiscal problem. If we paid the same amount for health care as every other developed nation, we’d be fine. I understand that the drug companies need to make profits. But enough already. It’s not the US consumer’s job to foot the bill for innovation for the entire world.


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    May 20th, 2010 (7:51 pm)

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    May 20th, 2010 (7:57 pm)

    LauraM:
    If these folks can a) create the US housing crisis, b) blow it up at the right time for the US to have 17% real unemployment when the Volt was introduced, and C)engineer a run on Greece’s debt so that Europe would unravel at the right time, well, I’m impressed.Who are these people, and do you think they would accept Dear Santa letters?  

    I am impressed also, though I do not think they would take “Dear Santa” letters. A dear Santa might give them some entertainment, as they live in a different world.


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:02 pm)

    LauraM: That means taxes have to go up.

    Gas Tax?


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:04 pm)

    jeffhree: Yes by orders of magnitude, which the Greek people will suffer for.

    When China’s lending to the US Treasury seemed extreme to observers on both continents, there was worry in each nation, but from entirely different perspectives. Many in the US felt it would be dangerous to be beholden to China. Many Chinese invoked a popular proverb. When you borrow a million dollars you bow to the banker. When you borrow a hundred million the banker bows to you. Wonder if it will be updated to a trillion dollars now?

    Many Chinese citizens were worried that the US may not pay the money back, not from the inability to pay, but from a position strong enough to say, no we just don’t want to pay you back.

    Greece is not in a similar position with the EU. In fact while the US and China employed stimulus programs, Greece is forced to excacerbate the shrinking of their economy with an austerity plan that pleases Germany and it’s central bankers. And creates rioting in the streets of Greece.

    The US is not going to default on China. Will the Chinese government lose money on their investment? Absolutely. The renmimbi is worth a great deal more than its current price in dollars. And the Chinese government continues to lose money the more they exchange Yuan for dollars. That’s the nature of a dollar peg. They got extra growth in exchange. Not a bad investment except for the resultant imbalances…

    That said, as an American, I think we’d be a lot better off in the long run if we had to go through an IMF style restructuring. It’s painful at the time. But, at end of it, we’d be much healthier with a more sustainable economy.


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:07 pm)

    Red HHR: Gas Tax?

    Works for me…


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:07 pm)

    LauraM: Eco_Turbo: What you say makes sense to me, considering we set up the World economy after WWII, stopped short of defeating North Korea and Vietnam, and invited China to join the World economy in the 70s. Unfortunately, we set it up with the idea that the US would always be in the position it was right after WWII. Not a good idea in retrospect. We’ve been paying for it ever since.
    But what matters, IMHO, is right now. And where we go from here…

    And we have been fortunate enough to pay for this with the largest most dynamic economy in world history. Not an accident. Bretton Woods did away with the economic inequalities of WWI which lead to WWII so that there would be no WWWIII. And we did this all under the idea that an excellent education in a complex technology oriented economy is a priveledge only to be meted out to the elites.

    If we could figure out how to pay for a transition to electricity to usher in more Volts and Leafs, instead of subsidizing fossil fuels we’d be a lot better off economically. More US jobs lower trade imbalance. Hope the Volt is a huge success and helps lower the deficit and need for taxes even before the recovery starts to lower the deficit. Maybe we will even be smart enough to work on the debt with the benefit of US produced power and a rising economy.


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:12 pm)

    Noel Park: I have seen enough news interviews with PhD qualified university researchers from around the country to be convinced that something is profoundly wrong with that 5000 bpd number. So when MetrologyFirst, and then you, began to discuss this, it really struck a nerve. Sorry if I over reacted. I am just terrified that it will indeed be a disaster of biblical proportions.

    I don’t know if it reaches biblical proportions, but I’m pretty sure it’s the biggest ecological disaster of the decade.

    So much for the unrealized potential of our off-shore oil reserves….


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:13 pm)

    LauraM: Why isn’t it a good idea? Maybe not right now, but eventually.

    I’m believe lower tax rates fuel economic growth so I’m not in favor or higher taxes. Within reason the lower the better. However, I recognize the Laffer Curve is a flight of fantasy as well as the value of counter cyclical fiscal policy — which means that I understand why, rather than taking the biggest surplus in the nation’s history and turning it into the biggest deficit, the Bush Administration should have skipped the tax cuts, forgotten the prescription drug handout, and continued to run surpluses which could have drained some of the excess liquidity out of the system. This might have even prevented the housing bubble though I rather doubt that.

    But tax increases won’t solve the Medicare problem. You can’t tax enough to provide enough “free” health care for everyone.


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:19 pm)

    Roy H:
    Thanks for the tip. from pluginamerica.org:
    “I asked Rob Peterson how many Volts will be made, and whether GM could keep up with Nissan’s planned production of 100,000 of its all-electric Leafs by 2012, starting with deliveries late this year. “We’re going to put out as many as we can sell,” he said. Does that mean GM will produce more than the 60,000 or so Volts by 2012 that I’ve read so far? We’ll see. Either way, demand will outstrip supply for years to come.I got a much more concrete answer when I asked when GM would sell an all-electric car — a mere 6 months after the launch of the Volt! That would put it somewhere in mid-2011, perhaps. It will have a bit more battery and lose the gas generator, so will be a lighter car overall, they said. What a one-two package that will be — the first company to sell both an EV and a PHEV!–Sherry Boschert (@sherryboschert on Twitter)
    ”This is by far the most encouraging news yet!  

    This is amazing, according to this, the low production numbers we have been given for 2012 was a red herring. Full production starting some time in the second half of 2011. Another thing GM has said is that if you buy your Volt out of state, you can get it warranty serviced at any GM dealership. I think this suggests that by summer 2011 the Volt will be available everywhere.

    Good news about the pure BEV version of the Volt. Easy to do just pull out the ICE and add some extra batteries in the empty spot. Probably won’t be much more range though possibly only 60 miles, can’t see how they would get over 80 miles unless they have new better battery technology.


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:22 pm)

    jeffhree: And we have been fortunate enough to pay for this with the largest most dynamic economy in world history. Not an accident.

    We already had that. Basically, we bound ourselves to free trade under the idea that we would always have a competitive economy. And we bound ourselves to a too high value for the dollar that led to a decreasing trade surplus (which was necessary) that swung to a trade deficit. That have now gotten completely out of control.

    We also made ourselves the permanent major military power. And that’s very expensive. And its robbed resources from other things. Like roads. And bridges. And sewer systems. And trains…

    jeffhree: And we did this all under the idea that an excellent education in a complex technology oriented economy is a priveledge only to be meted out to the elites.

    For all our educational system’s faults, at that time it was one of the best in the world. And, right now, most teachers I talk to say the biggest problem with the US educational system is that we penalize the best students by throwing the majority of our resources at the worst students.

    jeffhree: If we could figure out how to pay for a transition to electricity to usher in more Volts and Leafs, instead of subsidizing fossil fuels we’d be a lot better off economically. More US jobs lower trade imbalance. Hope the Volt is a huge success and helps lower the deficit and need for taxes even before the recovery starts to lower the deficit. Maybe we will even be smart enough to work on the debt with the benefit of US produced power and a rising economy.

    True.


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    jeffhree: If we could figure out how to pay for a transition to electricity to usher in more Volts and Leafs, instead of subsidizing fossil fuels we’d be a lot better off economically. More US jobs lower trade imbalance. Hope the Volt is a huge success and helps lower the deficit and need for taxes even before the recovery starts to lower the deficit. Maybe we will even be smart enough to work on the debt with the benefit of US produced power and a rising economy.

    Ideally the transition should pay for itself. The Volt would help with the balance of trade X 2. Jobs here and no importation of oil. We all here know that.

    Now how do we increase revenue for all those wonderful things we want?


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:28 pm)

    jeffhree:
    If we could figure out how to pay for a transition to electricity to usher in more Volts and Leafs, instead of subsidizing fossil fuels we’d be a lot better off economically.  

    We need to build LFTRs! Non-polluting, safe, low cost, on-demand energy with no long term radio-active waste. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWUeBSoEnRk


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:36 pm)

    LauraM: We also made ourselves the permanent major military power. And that’s very expensive.

    Now that China imports more oil from Saudi Arabia than we do, does that make them more responsible for the security of the House of Saud? By the mere fact that we import less oil, may we be off the hook for “security” in the region.


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    May 20th, 2010 (8:53 pm)

    Rashiid Amul:
    Michael, the initial roll out schedule didn’t include Connecticut.So I might see one in 2012.Edit:I’m an idiot.It is only 2010 now.I should see one in 2011.I am having a miserable day so far.   

    I’ve been gone all day. Just got back to the computer.

    I would suggest the cars that start coming out at the end of calendar year 2010, go to the “initial” markets. Sometime next summer (2011), dealers in many other markets should be able to start placing orders. My suggestions are worth what you pay for them. ;-)


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    May 20th, 2010 (9:04 pm)

    Roy H: jeffhree:
    If we could figure out how to pay for a transition to electricity to usher in more Volts and Leafs, instead of subsidizing fossil fuels we’d be a lot better off economically.

    We need to build LFTRs! Non-polluting, safe, low cost, on-demand energy with no long term radio-active waste. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWUeBSoEnRk

    Yes, I made the same claim here a few months ago, but we know the industry has invested billions in the cold war technology extant right now. No one in the US is investing today in LFTR. What is the path to it’s use?

    Though the largest increase in (plated) transmission was wind for the past year, which will require no fuel to spin for 20 years. If the wind techs can be provided with EV, biofuel or EREV trucks no gasoline for maintenance either.


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    May 20th, 2010 (9:16 pm)

    LauraM: jeffhree: And we did this all under the idea that an excellent education in a complex technology oriented economy is a priveledge only to be meted out to the elites.

    For all our educational system’s faults, at that time it was one of the best in the world. And, right now, most teachers I talk to say the biggest problem with the US educational system is that we penalize the best students by throwing the majority of our resources at the worst students.

    The GI Bill and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka transformed some of our “worst students” into some of our greatest leaders.

    It wasn’t our decision to value the yuan at it’s current rate, nor to close off Japan to free trade.


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    May 20th, 2010 (9:41 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: Heck, I live in Connecticut, and I won’t see one till then.Shoot Xiaowei1, you might see one before I do!!  (Quote)

    Then I feel your pain!


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    Storm

     

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    May 20th, 2010 (9:48 pm)

    I’m in CT also. At 70 I can’t afford to sit around while GM decides if there is a market. It is looking like I will have to get my deposit back from the dealer and go to plan B. Buy a Prius and an after market battery pack. 20 miles all electric if speed kept under 50 or so. Not as good as a volt, but available in my lifetime.

    NPNS


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    May 20th, 2010 (9:56 pm)

    Streetlight: Once a density coefficient is arrived at; size of the gush, speed… with the data collected at the containing vessel (the ’straw’) which gives distribution of natural gas to oil and all that..we should start to see general agreement and realistic numbers reported.

    If that leads to knowing how much is still leaking at least we’ll be sure, good news or bad. Did you see the NUMMI plant news?


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    May 20th, 2010 (10:44 pm)

    Grouch: Why would the price of oil be going down over the next few months?

    Lack of demand:

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=C100000001&f=M

    We’re running 4 million gallons a day below last year and 21 million gallons a day below 2007,

    The big question is why gasoline prices aren’t lower than they are.


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    May 21st, 2010 (12:30 am)

    LauraM: For all our educational system’s faults, at that time it was one of the best in the world. And, right now, most teachers I talk to say the biggest problem with the US educational system is that we penalize the best students by throwing the majority of our resources at the worst students.

    True to some extent but secondary to the fact that we punish all students by not recognizing that our most powerful and important educational resource is our teachers. We should be providing them with managable class sizes and less federal involvement. There is a lesser laundry list from there, but it starts with quality instruction and attentive classrooms.


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    May 21st, 2010 (1:09 am)

    CaptJackSparrow: LauraM: Not for me. I’m not even remotely interested in a LEAF. But I want a Volt.

    Hey, welcome back from vacation Miss LauraM!

    Yep, welcome back.

    I hope you had a restful and enjoyable vacation.


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    May 21st, 2010 (1:20 am)

    Dave G: • 44% gasoline (mostly for passenger vehicles)
    • 17% diesel (mostly for heavy duty long distance travel)
    • 5% jet fuel
    • 15% fuel oil (home heating and industrial)
    • 19% other (petro-chemical, plastics, fertilizer, etc.)

    It amazes me that diesel fuel use is so low. This includes trucking, trains, tug / barge shipping, construction, mining, and agriculture. These are all applications of high sustained power, yet they all sum up to under 1/5 of the total. I guess the good part of it being a small fraction is that these are all applications (except trains) that will be the hardest to convert to alternative fuel.

    The outrageous and inexcusable part is the fuel oil. These are all applications that could comparatively easily convert to non-petroleum alternatives. There is just no justifiable reason to burn oil for heat – it is far to valuable of a resource to waste that way.


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    May 21st, 2010 (1:29 am)

    Eco_Turbo: I’m anything but a Japanese car company fan, but please tell me what Toyota could learn from Tesla, and what would Toyota possibly tell Tesla?

    I’m not sure what Tesla is telling Toyota… but Tesla could learn a lot from Toyota.

    Of all of the things that I have designed, automotive was the hardest by far. The harshness of the environment and the longevity expected is beyond anything other than military.

    I respect the Toyota engineers who can produce such long lasting cars.


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    May 21st, 2010 (7:14 am)

    Matthew B said:

    I’m not sure what Tesla is telling Toyota… but Tesla could learn a lot from Toyota.

    Of all of the things that I have designed, automotive was the hardest by far. The harshness of the environment and the longevity expected is beyond anything other than military.

    I respect the Toyota engineers who can produce such long lasting cars.

    Notice I said what would Toyota tell Tesla.


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    May 21st, 2010 (8:13 am)

    jeffhree: The GI Bill and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka transformed some of our “worst students” into some of our greatest leaders.

    That was a totally different situation. Obviously, everyone should have an equal opportunity for a good education. That’s different than expecting equal outcomes.

    Right now, a student can disrupt the entire class on a regular basis, and the teachers can’t do anything about it. Because it’s all about “graduation rates.” The fact that it holds everyone else in the class back is beside the point. If a student fails, it’s the teacher’s fault. Which is ridiculous, IMHO. At some point the students involved needs to have some responsibility.

    And the situation with the yuan is hardly unique to China. The US dollar has been chronically overvalued in terms of most other currencies since the end of WWII. With numerous negative implications for our manufacturing base.


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    May 21st, 2010 (8:23 am)

    koz: True to some extent but secondary to the fact that we punish all students by not recognizing that our most powerful and important educational resource is our teachers. We should be providing them with managable class sizes and less federal involvement. There is a lesser laundry list from there, but it starts with quality instruction and attentive classrooms.

    I shouldn’t have said the most important problem. I should have said it’s one of the problems. There are definitely others.

    That said, numerous studies have shown that classroom size doesn’t affect outcome all that much. Students perform better with a good teacher in a larger class than in a smaller class with a worse teacher. Counter intuitive, but that’s what the research shows. We’d be much better off spending our resources on extending the class day, and the school year. And finding ways of making our teachers perform better. (Although I agree constant testing creates more problems than it solves.)


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    May 21st, 2010 (8:25 am)

    Matthew B: Yep, welcome back.

    I hope you had a restful and enjoyable vacation

    Thank you.


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    May 21st, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): Confession Time:When the site is slow, Jackson becomes Almighty:I juiced up Streetlight’s anti-Obama comment to help compensate for inevitable negs from the Obama-bots (So far, thishas proven unnecessary!). +5.  

    Oh Maaaaaaaan, do I have to start calling you “Jackson Almighty”?!! L :) L

    RECHARGE! James


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    May 21st, 2010 (10:34 am)

    Edmunds.com qoutes $40,000 for 2011 Chevy Volt as of this morning. A bit more than I was hoping for but not more than I had dreaded. It seems the car will be a bit higher priced with somewhat mediocre performance but at least it will not have the limited range of the EV-1. I could wish for a better price somewhere in the low 30′s but what can you do?

    I am also hoping China will allow enough raw material out to meet the production target. Toyota has experience with the export restrictions and limitations of the Chinese government on rare earth magnet material from making their Prius. Without the rare earth available from China to make the magnets for the low loss electric motors and no domestic suplier identified GM could find itself dead stopped with no notice at all. I wouldn’t wonder at that being part of the startup delay. Mightn’t GM be stockpiling enough rare-earth magnet material to complete most of the first production run before it kicks off to dodge any political export stoppages?


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    May 21st, 2010 (12:15 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): Confession Time:When the site is slow, Jackson becomes Almighty:I juiced up Streetlight’s anti-Obama comment to help compensate for inevitable negs from the Obama-bots (So far, thishas proven unnecessary!). +5.  

    So were the negs for being anti-Obama, or for the confession?


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    Roy H

     

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    May 21st, 2010 (2:55 pm)

    Chevy Man: Edmunds.com qoutes $40,000 for 2011 Chevy Volt as of this morning. A bit more than I was hoping for but not more than I had dreaded. It seems the car will be a bit higher priced with somewhat mediocre performance but at least it will not have the limited range of the EV-1. I could wish for a better price somewhere in the low 30’s but what can you do?I am also hoping China will allow enough raw material out to meet the production target. Toyota has experience with the export restrictions and limitations of the Chinese government on rare earth magnet material from making their Prius. Without the rare earth available from China to make the magnets for the low loss electric motors and no domestic suplier identified GM could find itself dead stopped with no notice at all. I wouldn’t wonder at that being part of the startup delay. Mightn’t GM be stockpiling enough rare-earth magnet material to complete most of the first production run before it kicks off to dodge any political export stoppages?  

    This is just Edmond’s WAG, they don’t know any more than we do.
    The volt motor does not use any rare earths. It is an induction motor, not a permanent magnet motor.


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    william

     

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    May 23rd, 2010 (3:35 am)

    We should thank you for giving such a wonderful blog. Your site
    happens to be not only informative but also very imaginative too. We
    find a limited number of experts who can think to write technical
    articles that creatively. All of us are on the lookout for information
    on something like this. I Myself have gone through several blogs to
    build up on knowledge about this.We look forward to the next posts !!


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    K Newman

     

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    May 24th, 2010 (5:35 am)

    Assuming the Volt will be perfect, let’s see if GM can “design” a favorable purchase/lease plan to obtain the Volt–if a Volt is available for sale at the Dealer. I can see everyone wanting the Volt of their dreams but Volt financing could be very difficult for the (average) individual to afford the payments, since the price of the financing includes the FULL COST of the Volt PRIOR to the $7,500 rebate. What is not indicated is how to obtain the credit (rebate) from the IRS on where to apply this deduction on the tax form following the purchase–NOT A EASY TASK (I have personal experience doing this).


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    May 24th, 2010 (10:27 am)

    As touched on by Red HHR and Noel Park above, did we ever ascertain whether or not your GM Card earnings can be used on a PURCHASE (not lease) of the Volt before Nov ’11? I noticed the Volt info card mentioned at the top while paying my GM Card bill this weekend, and it says nothing regarding purchase, only lease.

    The GM Card was a sweet deal when it came out 15+ years ago, but it’s been scaled back over and over since then. Of course now it’s not even owned by GM. I suppose I should just be happy that they haven’t thrown out my nearly $4000 in earnings, although I suspect doing that to everyone would cause a huge class action suit.

    And yes, I meant to yell PURCHASE. I have the $30+K ready to go.


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    May 26th, 2010 (4:13 am)

    LauraM: I shouldn’t have said the most important problem. I should have said it’s one of the problems. There are definitely others. That said, numerous studies have shown that classroom size doesn’t affect outcome all that much. Students perform better with a good teacher in a larger class than in a smaller class with a worse teacher. Counter intuitive, but that’s what the research shows. We’d be much better off spending our resources on extending the class day, and the school year. And finding ways of making our teachers perform better. (Although I agree constant testing creates more problems than it solves.)  (Quote)

    I’m not an educator nor do I study education, but like everyone else I’ve had enough life experience with both to doubt these conclusions. The issue for me isn’t that the concept of larger class sizes being unaffecting is counter intuitive but rather counter experience. This is the type of question that doesn’t lend itself to easy study with clear conclusions. While there are certainly some teachers capable of orchastrating effective study in a larger group, my own experience tells me this is a rare talent. The larger tge class size, the more homogenized the education becomes and the more it sinks to the lower level of class capability. Part of the problem is that the students change. Many teachers or former teachers complain that the vast majority of there effort is spent “controlling” their classes because of discipline and responsability issues. It would be hard for a study to convince me that class size is not relevant in this aspect. Discipline has a per student component. The average student has say certain “undiscipline content” and adding more students raises the total classroom “undisciplined” content. I know this is a bit of a silly way to describe it but think of your own educational experience. Their were certain individuals that had more discipline issues and caused more classroom disruption, not only with their direct behavior but also with indirect effects on other student’s behavior. Statistically, adding more students increases the likelihood of more of these students and disruptive behavioral incidents. The “average” student behavior over time isn’t fixed either. Students are changing and I’m guessing most if not all teachers will say it’s not changing for the better, at least not as far as attention and discipline are concerned.

    Good educators connect with their students onnsome level. Everyone thinks and learns differently and at a differing pace. Again, it would be very difficult for a study to convince me that less personnal attention is not relevant. This does not agree with my experience nor the experience of others that I’ve witnessed.

    Certainly there are diminishing returns to smaller class sizes but there must be a managable size range for each level (elementary, middle, and high school) that should not be exceeded for the average teacher. Perhaps with better educator training and methodology, these maximums could be effectively increased but the law of diminishing returns would apply here too.