Sep 02

New GM Marketing Boss Says Chevy Volt is Aimed at Average Consumer, GM Trying to Trademark Range Anxiety

 

[ad#post_ad]Joel Ewanick is the relatively new Vice President of GM Marketing, and from what little I’ve dealt with him, a terrific guy.

He is charged with improving and advancing GM’s brands in consumers’ eyes and bringing in new sales.  The launch of the Volt (and Cruze) later this year is extremely important for GM, Chevrolet makes up 75% of sales.

Edmunds Inside Line had the chance to speak with Ewanick about the Volt launch.

It is apparently his overarching plan to present the Volt to the public as more “car” than “electric.”  Though we here love the Volt, there is a fear it could fail with the larger population who may be wary of new technology, and further put off by the high sticker price.

Insuring an “auspicuous” launch for the Volt and Cruze are Ewanick’s top marketing priorities.

“We’ve got a lot of education to do with Volt because it’s a whole new category of vehicle,” Ewanick told Edmund’s. “We want to show that it’s more ‘car’ than ‘electric.’ And that we’ve got everything, in an electric vehicle, that you require for the average human being.”

He also expects to heavily promote the Volt’s ability to eliminate range anxiety found in pure electric cars, and in fact a report by Jalopnik shows GM is actually trying to trademark the term.  The USPTO record shows GM submitted this application on July 6th under the heading promoting public awareness of electric vehicle capabilities. “It’s something we call ‘range anxiety,’ and it’s real,” said Ewanick. “That’s something we need to be very aware of when we market this car… people do not want to be stranded on the way home from work.”

He feels GM is in a unique postion to understand the importance of range anxiety in the marketplace because of its past experience with the all-electric EV-1.  ”We’ve been here before,” he says. “We have first-hand experience with what the issues are.”

Ewanick expects it’s possible some early adopters may prefer a pure electric car, but that the Volt is best positioned for the mainstream.

“Until there’s a robust infrastructure” for  pure electric cars, Ewanick told Edmunds, the Volt will rule as it “won’t ask the average person to make huge compromises in their lifestyle.”  He admits “there is a hard-core group that will be first buyers” of pure electrics that will put up with inconvenincnes.

Ewanick beleives as economies of scale drive down the cost of the Volt in the future, demand could skyrocket in turn further driving down cost.

“Once consumers begin to understand and as we build that awareness, demand will be greater than we now imagine,” Ewanick believes. “Once that happens, it’ll bring costs down.”

Source (Edmunds)


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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 at 12:01 am and is filed under Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 291


  1. 1
    carcus3

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:22 am)

    If Ewanick understands “range anxiety” to be so confidently real, shouldn’t he advise GM to it lay in wait while the competition makes a costly example — allowing for an heroic surge by the volt?

    /no trademarks required


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    Dave K.

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:35 am)

    It’s best to present a positive image on the Volt and on future plug-in vehicles produced at GM. Rather than state the Volt doesn’t have range anxiety. Simply state the car can be driven all day.

    On the topic of education. Keep it simple and basic.
    1>Yes you can plug the car into the same outlet you have in your home.
    2>First 40 miles uses no gasoline.
    3>Drives under smooth, quiet, electric power all of the time.
    4>This car can go 300 miles between gas station stops.

    =D-Volt


  3. 3
    Gary

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:54 am)

    This may be off topic, but it’s almost 11 PM Pacific Time Wednesday night and the text above says that “This post has been viewed 0 times”, but there are two comments before me.

    Huh?


  4. 4
    flmark

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:12 am)

    Whoa, what were they thinking? :(

    I own a business and have researched registered trade marks, service marks, etc. From the article, “GM has applied to trademark “range anxiety” in order to promote “public awareness of electric vehicle capabilities”. A trade mark is used so that people cannot invade your territory and perhaps confuse your product with a competing product. You are granted a trade mark for one business application. In other words, it is expected that no one will be confused by the same phrasing if used in tires as in baked goods. If you coin a phrase that you want to use exclusively, you apply for a trade mark. You can do it with a font style or an image. THE POINT OF A TRADEMARK IS SO THAT A CONSUMER IS NOT FOOLED INTO BUYING THE WRONG ITEM. If GM is expecting to ‘educate’ via the trademark system, they are not going to get very far.

    However, once granted a trademark, you gain COMPLETE rights to it in many different venues. GM is applying to be the ONLY ONE allowed to use the phrase ‘range anxiety’ in ANY article related to selling automobiles? It is like Tylenol trying to preserve ‘head ache’ for itself. To be granted a trademark, the phrase needs to be unique enough that it is not an everyday statement, but still not be a single universally understood concept. Gillette- “The best a man can get”. Avis- “We try harder”. Bounty- “The Quicker Picker Upper”. Tylenol could try, “Headaches Begone”, but they would never get away with “Headache” alone.

    As stated, I believe ‘Range Anxiety’ alone would never cut it or be approved. GM could try “Range Anxiety Begone”. I am ALL for that. It would be approved and I like the Volt because of this reason. But if GM is really trying to trade mark the phrase ‘Range Anxiety’ by itself, they are out to lunch and we (as GM fans) should tell them they are NOT helping themselves in the public eye (as the news article is indeed focusing on). GM did NOT originate (?? see next paragraph) this phrase and it is already in public lexicon. It is no different than ’sprained ankle’ or ‘God bless you’. Let’s hope GM’s lawyers and marketing folks didn’t smoke something funny (like DonC alluded to) and if they did, we here should speak up about it before they go too far.

    According to WSJ http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2010/09/01/general-motors-wants-trademark-for-range-anxiety/
    GM may claim they did originate phrase ‘range anxiety’ and it started with EV-1. WHY ON EARTH would they want to keep reminding people ‘who killed the electric car?’ Back to DonC’s comment, what are they smokin’?

    I do think it smart to capitalize on the Volt’s advantage via ‘range anxiety’. However, its exclusive claim on the phrase via trade mark is a PR nightmare and on the flipside, what do they do when THEY want to market a pure BEV a few years from now?

    I have a GM credit card and have been a GM supporter, but I see nothing but bad things coming from this move to make a legal claim to this phrase.

    Of course, there is ONE positive thing you can note. For anyone who thought this vehicle was purely for ‘halo’ effect, boy were they wrong. GM is DEFINITELY behind the success of this vehicle, even if they have chosen a horrible way to show it.

    [And for those who commented to me on the previous thread, copyrights, patents and trademarks are all different animals. The terms cannot be used interchangably]


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    flmark

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:31 am)

    My last addition about copyright, patent and trademark was put in with edit and I ran out of time for extrapolation.

    As mentioned, a trademark is to help consumers distinguish products from each other.

    Copyrights protect intellectual property, including software and songs. Note that you CANNOT COPYRIGHT A TITLE, only the lyrics. So Lyle’s mythical ‘Range Anxiety’ movie poster title wouldn’t gain any protection from copyrights. GM’s ‘range anxiety’ argument wouldn’t work if they tried a copyright concept to gain exclusivity.

    A patent is for protection on the workings of a device or a method of operation. The garbage behind the patent process is a whole ‘nother topic and way beyond the topic at hand.


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    EVNow

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:45 am)

    If GM is planning to play dirty – shame on them. A fledgling industry doesn’t need this FUD campaign …


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    WopOnTour

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:12 am)

    Oh great. Now were gonna get ALL of the crazies in here spoutin off on this thread.
    Kortoff will be here tomorrow a preachin’ about the Great Volt-Hoax mark my words.

    Who cares why GM wants to copyright the term?
    If they find a way to use it in their advertising so what?
    Saying it doesnt exist is just plain rediculous.
    Its spectre remains THE strategic advantage the Volt has over cars like the Leaf, and other upcoming EVs.So what’s so wrong with exploiting it?
    NOTHING I say, as it certainly won’t quell the tide of change that’s already well underway.

    If people who purchase a 100-mile BEV find that RA doesnt affect them, then GREAT!
    All’s well that ends well.
    It’s a non-issue IMHO.
    WopOnTour


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    DonC

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:18 am)

    Uh-oh. Flmark, EVNow, and I are in complete agreement. Has that ever happened before? :-) Probably. Anyhow, just looking around to see whether the term “range anxiety” is generic or suggestive of GM, I found this Wikipedia entry. It features a a quote by Toyota’s Bill Reinert but nothing specific about GM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_anxiety GM probably needs a Plan B. Ba ha ha ha ha ha!

    For those interested here’s a cite to the AOL case. IMO AOL’s claims to trademark protection for the terms “Buddy List” and “You’ve Got Mail” were about 100X stronger than GM’s claim to the term “Range Anxiety”, but maybe that’s just me. http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F3/243/243.F3d.812.99-2138.html

    I think this says it all: The court concluded that “when the common word or phrase is used as a mark for its ordinary meaning, the mark is generic.” Accordingly, it ruled that AOL could not enforce “You Have Mail” as a trademark.


  9. 9
    DonC

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:33 am)

    WopOnTour: Who cares why GM wants to copyright the term?
    If they find a way to use it in their advertising so what?
    Saying it doesnt exist is just plain rediculous.
    Its spectre remains THE strategic advantage the Volt has over cars like the Leaf, and other upcoming EVs.So what’s so wrong with exploiting it?

    Since we normally agree:

    1. GM is not trying to copyright the term. It’s trying to trademark it. A trademark is uniquely associated with a product or company — like Pepsi or Cadillac. The problem is that “range anxiety” is a term like “candy bar” or “detoxification”. It isn’t really associated with GM or the Volt. Plus the weird thing is that “range anxiety” is what you shouldn’t think of when you think of the Volt. So in a sense the term “range anxiety” would be an anti-trademark.

    E-REV would be a different story.

    2. GM can use the term all day and all night in advertising without trademarking it.

    3. No one is saying it doesn’t exist. It’s that no one company should be the only ones able to use the term.

    4. Nothing wrong with exploiting it, though I don’t think a negative fear message is a good way to sell a product like the Volt. Alarm systems maybe, or even Onstar, but not the Volt. CorvetteGuy mocked up an ad that had a picture of a Volt with the text: “Because Grandmother lives over the river and through the woods.” Clever way to get the point across.

    My personal view is that marketing would be a whole lot easier if the Volt was $37K rather than $41K. That extra $4K means you’ve got lots of extra “splainin” to do, as Ricky Ricardo would say.

    But you guys are gonna sell all you make so no big deal. Just MAKE MORE!


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    WopOnTour

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:59 am)

    DonC: Since we normally agree:1. GM is not trying to copyright the term. It’s trying to trademark it. A trademark is uniquely associated with a product or company — like Pepsi or Cadillac. The problem is that “range anxiety” is a term like “candy bar” or “detoxification”. It isn’t really associated with GM or the Volt. Plus the weird thing is that “range anxiety” is what you shouldn’t think of when you think of the Volt. So in a sense the term “range anxiety” would be an anti-trademark. E-REV would be a different story.2. GM can use the term all day and all night in advertising without trademarking it. 3. No one is saying it doesn’t exist. It’s that no one company should be the only ones able to use the term.4. Nothing wrong with exploiting it, though I don’t think a negative fear message is a good way to sell a product like the Volt. Alarm systems maybe, or even Onstar, but not the Volt. CorvetteGuy mocked up an ad that had a picture of a Volt with the text: “Because Grandmother lives over the river and through the woods.” Clever way to get the point across. My personal view is that marketing would be a whole lot easier if the Volt was $37K rather than $41K. That extra $4K means you’ve got lots of extra “splainin” to do, as Ricky Ricardo would say. But you guys are gonna sell all you make so no big deal. Just MAKE MORE!  (Quote)

    No , I hear ya.
    I for one would be VERY surprised if they were successful in copyrighting/trademarking the term. Common EV language and all. I actually think they are more concerned with preventing the term being used AGAINST them than exploiting it themselves (and they obviously already use the term in various marketing)

    Funny I still think they have priced the car right. $40K certainly (and unfortunately) puts the college kids out of the prospect (unless thy have a loaded daddy) but considering what you are getting it certainly isn’t out of line IMO. Lot’s of value added content in things like the 5-years D&C Onstar (a $1500 value) knee-bolster airbags, deluxe audio with hard-drive. automatic climate control, all the bells and whistles PLUS all the connectivity, and all that BESIDES the innovative powertrain of course.

    BTW I still consider the price $40K as destination charges of $750-$1500 are NEVER included in MSRP. The Leaf’s price is certainly + destination but you never hear those numbers.
    Not sure why they decided to lump them into the Volt’s base price.
    That was a huge mistake IMO.

    But I agree it will probably be academic. They will sell out 11-12 MY but will need to bring more to the table for Gen 2 should the car take off as expected.
    But they know that and are already makin’ hay! ;)
    Gnite All
    WopOnTour


  11. 11
    John W (Tampa)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:03 am)

    I can totally understand wanting to trademark the term “Range Anxiety”

    GM will put millions of dollars into marketing this car. I’m sure what they would like is for when people think electric car they think “range anxiety! range anxiety!” Having this in their heads, the majority of Americans will decide to go with the Volt over an all electric car. If range anxiety is a real thing, and I think it is if one can only afford or have space for one car such as myself, then why would GM want any other company to use the term that they have marketed and firmly placed in the psyche of the majority of Americans.

    Makes perfect sense to me.


  12. 12
    Mark Z

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (4:26 am)

    No question that low range EV’s will cause anxiety. I hope the VOLT buyers will relax about using gasoline and not have “oil anxiety” worrying about how to get maximum distance from a kWh! Enjoy the drive knowing you have saved a couple of gallons of fuel for each charge no matter how fast you travel.

    When Tesla advertises their 300 mile range Model S, they might try to woo the VOLT driver to a BEV (battery electric vehicle) by saying they have the EV with zero tail pipe emissions and range to equal a tank full of gas. However, the BEV will most likely always be a city car while the VOLT is a country car, perfect for vacations and huge metropolitan areas where range is important.


  13. 13
    Dave K.

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (4:48 am)

    John W (Tampa): GM will put millions of dollars into marketing this car.

    GM will easily sell 45,000 Volts per year with no marketing at all. Let the car magazines and special interest web sites do this for free. Look at the 2011 Volt. Nearly all are sold on pre-order @ $4000 above the expected MSRP.

    GM should either lay low with advertising and run lean. Or manufacture more Volts per year, with advertising, for volume profit.

    =D-Volt


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    mark ysmith

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:02 am)

    I’d also mention that fueling the car on electricity is 4x cheaper than petrol(gasoline as you americans call it).
    Have a slogan – “imagine going 40 miles a day for less than $1 a gallon – imagine no longer!”


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    Dave K.

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:20 am)

    A good example of free advertising is the 2009 MSN UK Ampera test mule review.

    http://cars.uk.msn.com/reviews/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=149972479

    =D-Volt


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    nasaman

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:26 am)

    Rx for Electric Vehicle ‘Range Anxiety’ …The eREV*olutionary, all-electric Chevrolet Volt:

    red-volt-rear.jpg

    *eREV = Full-Time Electric Extended Range Electric Vehicle


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    Tex-Arl

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:26 am)

    How many millions of dollars of free advertising does GM get as everyone debates what range anxiety really is and who does or doesn’t have it?

    I think it’s brilliant!!!!


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    RB

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:07 am)

    It seems to me that gm is basically trying to use fud marketing to keep people from buying the Leaf in the many places where Leaf will be available well before Volt. It might work for some possible customers, but a more effective strategy would be to get Volts to market in those places.

    It also seems to me to be a distraction to focus on Leaf when the vast majority of potential customers who might be converted to Volt now drive ICE cars.


  19. 19
    Raymondjram

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:12 am)

    I don’t see why GM needs to use “range anxiety” to sell any auto. Almost all good drivers check their fuel gauges before driving off. The only moment I had such a worry was when the fuel level in my 1975 Chevy Vega Kammback wagon went bad and I didn’t have a visual means to know how much fuel was in the tank. So as most other would do, I estimated the time I could drive before refueling, and remided myself to fill up before I reached the calculated period. In a few words, if my Vega could travel seven days on a full tank, I would always fill up every Sunday, unless I had to travel more miles on a certain day, then I would fill up ealier that same week. A month later, I took out the fuel tank and replaced the fuel level by myself.

    Getting back to the Volt, I read from people who don’t know about electric autos is the common question “do I have to plug it in?” Yes you do! Then they say that is a problem and a bother, and I reply that they “plug” in their autos every time they visit a gas station, so I ask” would you prefer to fuel up in your own home instead of visiting a gas station?”. That wakes them up. The easiest way to manage an electric auto (BEV or EREV) is to consider it as the largest electric appliance that anyone may own, and it is rechargeable, like a giant cellphone. This changes their perspective and eases their mind. I also proved that there are more electrical outlets than homes and even gas stations where they can plug in. And to close it off, I tell them that electric power is cheaper per kW than gasoline, and if they had to refuel, would they go out under bad weather (BTW, Hurricane Earl missed my home in Puerto Rico this Monday but we did get plenty of rain and wind) or would they prefer to let the auto refuel itself in a safe carport/garage while you rest at home? That question closed the argument and convinced them. You can use the same logic with the Volt, if anyone askes you the same questions.

    Raymond


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    Dav eK.

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:14 am)

    nasaman: (post 16)…The eREV*olutionary, all-electric Chevrolet Volt:

    Nice. A first look at the rear of the Volt in Metallic Red.

    eREV*olutionary ch EV y

    =D-Volt


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    FME III

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:21 am)

    As most readers of this blog know, I am loathe to be cynical about GM when it comes to the Volt, but I don’t see how it can honestly hope to get this phrase trademarked given the precedents that Don C cited in post #8.

    This leads me to wonder if it’s a case of guerilla marketing: File the paperwork, and reap tremendous exposure and publicity — at no additional cost — from the resulting PR flap.

    If it’s not a cynical attempt at such, then it ranks right up there with such other PR missteps as the 230 mpg claim and the Volt dance/song.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:24 am)

    Raymondjram: …and I reply that they “plug” in their autos every time they visit a gas station, so I ask” would you prefer to fuel up in your own home instead of visiting a gas station?”. Raymond  (Quote)

    That’s a little disingenuously simplistic, though. You don’t have to plug in at the gas station for four hours at a time, or more.

    The whole point of ER-EVs is the flexibility you get to drive gas free around town from day to day and then hit the road for a weekend in the mountains or the beach or (shudder) to the in-laws….


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:31 am)

    GM is in no position to do any negative advertizing. STAY POSITIVE!! If they do come out with a pure EV vehicle, using “Range Anxiety” may come back to haunt them. To eliminate this anxiety, we’ll need a widespread electrical infrastructure to supply the electrons and a battery system to handle a fast charge. I doubt we’ll see this anytime in the near future. Perhaps an EREV power source like the Bloom Box is possible.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:39 am)

    I think we should all give Lyle a big “thumbs up” (Is that trademarked?) for his movie poster graphic!!! He has come a long way since he started this site, and I for one really appreciated the humor!

    Good job Lyle!

    As far as the trademark? Who cares, as long as GM does not expect me to pay them for the use if I mention it here or anywhere else…..

    It would be a much more interesting day if GM would tell us the plans for rolling out the Volt for the rest of the USA and the world.

    JMHO


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    Roy H

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:45 am)

    John W (Tampa): I can totally understand wanting to trademark the term “Range Anxiety”GM will put millions of dollars into marketing this car.I’m sure what they would like is for when people think electric car they think “range anxiety! range anxiety!” Having this in their heads, the majority of Americans will decide to go with the Volt over an all electric car.If range anxiety is a real thing, and I think it is if one can only afford or have space for one car such as myself, then why would GM want any other company to use the term that they have marketed and firmly placed in the psyche of the majority of Americans.Makes perfect sense to me.  

    This is exactly what GM should try to avoid. If GM is planning to use this phrase in ads to dissuade people from buying EVs then they definitely deserve all the flack I am sure they will ge for it. And if they do this they will look doubly foolish when they bring out a pure BEV version of the Volt.

    However, it has occurred to me that they might have different motives. First, let me digress, I have never seen the trademarking of common phrases as anything more than a way for advertisers to lie without fear of being sued for false advertising. But what about trademarking a phrase, just so someone else can’t? This is a two-edged sword. The Volt has a gas generator to avoid “range anxiety” and if this phrase is used carefully with discretion, it hopefully will be directed at potential customers who already have range anxiety, such as “If you have range anxiety, then the Volt can be a cure for you”, and not be used to try to promote range anxiety for people considering purchase of a BEV. By owning the trademark, GM may prevent competitors from using the phrase against them when they start bringing out BEVs.

    Join thE REVolution


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    Nelson

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:49 am)

    If they (GM) keep talking about Volt cost coming down, no one will want to buy the early Volts at $41k.

    They haven’t learned their lesson yet. “Loose lips sink ships”

    NPNS!


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    nasaman

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:51 am)

    Roy H, #25: …“If you have range anxiety, then the Volt can be a cure for you”…

    Or in other words, as I suggested in #16, a simple, effective one-liner might be…

    Rx for ‘Range Anxiety’ …The eREVolutionary, all-electric Chevrolet Volt!

    / eREV = Extended Range Electric Vehicle


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:01 am)

    Reminds me of when Harley Davidson tried to trademark the “sound” of a Sportster, back in the 90s. Maybe they should have tried “Sound Anxiety” instead. That could apply to people driving mopeds as well as people trying to talk at sidewalk cafes. “Range Anxiety” could refer to a legitimate problem, or laziness about dealing with a problem. I tend to be lazy, myself. 8-)


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:01 am)

    Waiting for CorvetteGuy to jump in with one of his “Thought of the Day” posters, entitled:
    Chevy Volt: The Prescription for Range Anxiety

    I think the TM thing is worth a try for GM. Controlling how the term is used, is potentially more powerful than actually using it.


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    JeremyK

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:04 am)

    nasaman:
    Or in other words, as I suggested in #16, a simple, effective one-liner might be…
    Rx for ‘Range Anxiety’ …The eREVolutionary, all-electric Chevrolet Volt!/ eREV = Extended Range Electric Vehicle  

    Awwww…you beat me to it.


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    Roy H

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:06 am)

    “Ewanick beleives as economies of scale drive down the cost of the Volt in the future, demand could skyrocket in turn further driving down cost.
    “Once consumers begin to understand and as we build that awareness, demand will be greater than we now imagine,” Ewanick believes. “Once that happens, it’ll bring costs down.”

    Nelson: If they (GM) keep talking about Volt cost coming down, no one will want to buy the early Volts at $41k.They haven’t learned their lesson yet.“Loose lips sink ships”NPNS!  

    There are many anti-EV articles based on the fact that EVs and EREVs are not cost effective. We know that there is always a curve for new technology which is expensive to introduce and must ramp up to high volume to get prices down. Some people seem to expect that this should be instantaneous. Hopefully there are enough early adopters, willing to pay the premium price so the rest of us can reap the benefits later.

    join thE REVolution


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    Loboc

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:10 am)

    John W (Tampa): GM will put millions of dollars into marketing this car. I’m sure what they would like is for when people think electric car they think “range anxiety! range anxiety!”

    I hope not. I wouldn’t want people to think ‘range anxiety’ when looking at Volt or any other EV. It is negative. Look at the positive attributes instead.

    I think GM is trademarking this term (or attempting to. I don’t think it will happen.) so that others can’t use it in their marketing.

    GM better be marketing against other $40k cars, not lowly Prius or other lesser cars. They will lose big time in the marketplace if they pit a $40k car against a $29k car, for example. This car should be marketed as a BMW killer.

    GM is going to have a huge uphill battle explaining how a 40mile AER is ‘better’ than a 100mile AER as it is. Throwing ‘range anxiety’ into the mix will only confuse further.


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    kdawg

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:25 am)

    flmark: However, once granted a trademark, you gain COMPLETE rights to it in many different venues. GM is applying to be the ONLY ONE allowed to use the phrase ‘range anxiety’ in ANY article related to selling automobiles? It is like Tylenol trying to preserve ‘head ache’ for itself. To be granted a trademark, the phrase needs to be unique enough that it is not an everyday statement, but still not be a single universally understood concept. Gillette- “The best a man can get”. Avis- “We try harder”. Bounty- “The Quicker Picker Upper”. Tylenol could try, “Headaches Begone”, but they would never get away with “Headache” alone.

    Did Bud Light ever get a trademark for “Drinkability”?


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    Jimza Skeptic

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:38 am)

    EVNow: If GM is planning to play dirty – shame on them. A fledgling industry doesn’t need this FUD campaign …  

    FUD? As in Facts, Understanding, Differentiation? Some of you just don’t get it. GM is in the business to make money. That means they have to sell their product. To do that you differentiate your product from the other guy. You tell people why your product is better than the other guys product. Just watch all the ads for any product. Tylenol PM versus Advil PM is an example.

    GM is not in the business to promote the “EV industry.” That is the job of “Plugin America” and other groups like that.

    I have seen many posts from you and others which chip away at the VOLT technology as not being pure EV and keeping us addicted to oil. I would expect nothing less from the Leaf Blowers.

    Nissan’s job is to sell their technology and explain why they are better and GM’s job is to sell their technology and explain why they are better. Then the consumer decides. The problem is that you don’t think people are smart enough to sort through marketing. I on the other hand think to common person is very smart.

    BTW, I know Nissan tries to sell extended warranties. What is the marketing method? — FUD. The type of FUD you are referring to, Fear,Uncertainty, Doubt. ;-)


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:43 am)

    Nelson: If they (GM) keep talking about Volt cost coming down, no one will want to buy the early Volts at $41k.
    They haven’t learned their lesson yet. “Loose lips sink ships”
    NPNS!

    They will still buy them. Early adopters always pay more to be first.


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    Jimza Skeptic

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:45 am)

    kdawg:
    Did Bud Light ever get a trademark for “Drinkability”?  

    Yes they did. I am sure Nissan has plenty of Trademark catch phrases to promote their products as well.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:49 am)

    21 FME III: and the Volt dance/song.  

    .
    Personally I liked the Volt dance song, and the dancers. It was a fun and happy tune, eye catching dancers, and gave the image of a car that would be fun to own and drive.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:53 am)

    EVNow: If GM is planning to play dirty – shame on them. A fledgling industry doesn’t need this FUD campaign …

    So if a car offered free AAA for life, would that also be FUD? What about seat-belts? I see no problem marketing a backup generator for an EV. It is a (the?) key feature of the Volt. What about the people selling the trailers for the RAV4, where they just spreading FUD trying to destroy the EV industry? Oh wait, if they did that they wouldn’t have any customers. I think addressing range anxiety NOW will actually help the EV industry as a whole, and EVENTUALLY… get everyone driving BEV’s. (once cost/tech. catch up)


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:54 am)

    21 FME III:… I am loathe to be cynical…

    .
    That’s a nice phrase and a fun way to introduce what follows.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:56 am)

    38 kdawg:
    So if a car offered free AAA for life, would that also be FUD?What about seat-belts?I see no problem marketing a backup generator for an EV.It is a (the?) key feature of the Volt.What about the people selling the trailers for the RAV4, where they just spreading FUD trying to destroy the EV industry?Oh wait, if they did that they wouldn’t have any customers.I think addressing range anxiety NOW will actually help the EV industry as a whole, and EVENTUALLY… get everyone driving BEV’s. (once cost/tech. catch up)  

    .
    It’s more that the people who gm is trying to attract as customers are people who are at present driving ICE cars


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:59 am)

    RB: It seems to me that gm is basically trying to use fud marketing to keep people from buying the Leaf in the many places where Leaf will be available well before Volt. It might work for some possible customers, but a more effective strategy would be to get Volts to market in those places.
    It also seems to me to be a distraction to focus on Leaf when the vast majority of potential customers who might be converted to Volt now drive ICE cars.

    I look at it the other way. I see them addressing a concern people have with electric vehicles.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:28 am)

    Jim I: I think we should all give Lyle a big “thumbs up” (Is that trademarked?) for his movie poster graphic!!!He has come a long way since he started this site, and I for one really appreciated the humor!Good job Lyle!As far as the trademark?Who cares, as long as GM does not expect me to pay them for the use if I mention it here or anywhere else…..It would be a much more interesting day if GM would tell us the plans for rolling out the Volt for the rest of the USA and the world.JMHO  

    Sorry Jim, I can’t take credit for that image. Its from the Jalopnik post referenced in the article. Those guys are seriously sarcastic.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:28 am)

    If I recall correctly, wasn’t there an article on this site a few months ago where mini-cooper BEV leasers were interviewed and virtually none of them felt “range anxiety?” It seems that range anxiety exists mostly in the minds of people who don’t own or lease BEVs, which seems to me to be irrational fear. The fact that GM wants to copyright and use the range anxiety term sounds like propaganda to me – IMHO.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:30 am)

    kdawg:
    I look at it the other way.I see them addressing a concern people have with electric vehicles.  

    Yes and even though the Volt is not a BEV…there are MANY people out there that believe it IS. The average person on the street still does not understand that there is a gasoline engine that “keeps you going” after the battery is depleted. IMO, the average person has “range anxiety” about the Volt, even though it is unwarranted.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:33 am)

    Pardon my digression here, but am I the only one who thinks this Joel Ewanick looks suspiciously like Danny Bonaduce ?

    PS – Charlie H ….if you hadn’t worn out your welcome here many times over already, I think your command performance yesterday makes it official. Nobody seems to care what you think about anything … why keep saying it over and over and over ?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:37 am)

    JeremyK: Waiting for CorvetteGuy to jump in with one of his “Thought of the Day” posters, entitled:Chevy Volt: The Prescription for Range AnxietyI think the TM thing is worth a try for GM. Controlling how the term is used, is potentially more powerful than actually using it.  (Quote)

    Well, there you go! Thinking up a good slogan can be fun for everyone. Now I have you doing it! I think that’s great and Mr. Ewanick can save a lot of money if he just reads this blog daily.

    I think GM is trademarking the ‘range anxiety’ term in part so they can use it, but secondly so that Nissan can’t trademark it themselves and keep GM from ever using it against them. Even if they trademark it, that does not mean they will shout it from the mountaintops. That would be foolish. If they yell that long enough, people will just stick to gas engine cars.

    It is possible to make the range anxiety point with a whisper, not a shout…

    Thought for the day:

    slogan22.jpg


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:40 am)

    Guido: Pardon my digression here, but am I the only one who thinks this Joel Ewanick looks suspiciously like Danny Bonaduce ?

    I was thinking Timothy Busfield.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:43 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Well, there you go! Thinking up a good slogan can be fun for everyone. Now I have you doing it! I think that’s great and Mr. Ewanick can save a lot of money if he just reads this blog daily.

    Yup, my point to you yesterday.

    CorvetteGuy: It is possible to make the range anxiety point with a whisper, not a shout…

    Thought for the day:

    It’s possible to make a lot of points with a whisper, not a shout. 8-)


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:51 am)

    A trademark for “range anxiety” should not be awarded as a trademark only provides protection for the source of the term/image. The term has simply been used in colloquial speech for far too long/often for it to be protected (google the term and see how often it has been used by others), if indeed GM even came up with it. Whilst I would not be surprised if they actually get the mark (as the examiner will not find the term in the US trademarked data base, and may not have heard of the mark before), it should not be awarded.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:55 am)

    Guido: Pardon my digression here, but am I the only one who thinks this Joel Ewanick looks suspiciously like Danny Bonaduce ?

    Woody Allen?

    woody-allen.jpg

    =D-Volt


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Tomorrow’s headline: NISSAN TO TRADEMARK ‘ZERO EMISSIONS’!

    Anybody can play the game of hardball in business. While arguably more ‘softball’ than ‘hardball’, Nissan’s “zero emissions, zero tailpipe’ drumbeat helps fuel the anti-GM, anti-Volt troll crowd that exists within the EV community. Never has anyone called Nissan hypocritical with all the ICE vehicles they sell.

    It’s too early to judge GM on ‘range anxiety’ – we’ll just have to wait and see what they do with the term, if they do anything with it at all. Maybe this is a non-issue and there’s nothing to worry about – people have been saying range anxiety is not real, that a network of charging stations – thousands of stations – will be in place before the first LEAF is delivered.

    Well then, why the outcry? Let GM shoot themselves in the foot, if they are foolish enough to do so. The trolls should be happy.


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    Jerry Arzt

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Most of this discussion seems to be about the POSSIBLE effort to “trademark” the term “range anxiety.” Not going to happen- it makes no sense from so may different angles, the first one being that such a ‘trademark’ would never be approved.

    My attention was grabbed by the assertion that GM wants to make the Volt a ‘mainstream” car. That’s what I thought until I saw the price! It is about $5000 more than the upper edge of “mainstream”, even after the rebate, and about $2000 more than GM needed to charge to break even on each car. (Earlier many of us speculated that they would follow Toyota’s Prius strategy and lose money on each unit early to build a large customer base.) At the price level thay have chosen, it appears that they are not ready for the “mainstream”, and they must know that.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:06 am)

    stuart22: Tomorrow’s headline: NISSAN TO TRADEMARK ‘ZERO EMISSIONS’!

    You are right. This could get out of control. We might end up with Toyota trademarking, “We’re still relevant!”

    :)


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:11 am)

    flmark: Whoa, what were they thinking? what do they do when THEY want to market a pure BEV a few years from now?

    Why think short term at all with the trademark application? No doubt the GM BEV will be on the market and the marketing department will shelve the phrase. Not only that but no other company can use term against GM as well.

    I sincerely doubt that, for the GM BEV reason alone, GM will use the term much beyond a conversationally expressed concern to promote the Volt.

    As a marketing term, “range anxiety” has become pretty popular only in association with the Volt. No other car can claim the the benifits of driving electric without the major drawback GM has exploited. None. GM is protecting an investment in a technology and an automobile that quite a few people gave no chance of making into production just 5 years ago.

    If GM doesn’t secure rights to the term can someone else? I’d think not but no doubt other companies will try to secure the phrase in one iteration or another.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:11 am)

    RB: It seems to me that gm is basically trying to use fud marketing to keep people from buying the Leaf in the many places where Leaf will be available well before Volt.It might work for some possible customers, but a more effective strategy would be to get Volts to market in those places.It also seems to me to be a distraction to focus on Leaf when the vast majority of potential customers who might be converted to Volt now drive ICE cars.  

    I’m thinking GM is not so concerned about the LEAF as it is looking ahead to the day when EREVs and PHEVs from other manufacturers hit the pavement. I can see how GM would like to monopolize the term used for perhaps the strongest selling point EREVs have.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:13 am)

    Roy H: By owning the trademark, GM may prevent competitors from using the phrase against them when they start bringing out BEVs.Join thE REVolution  (Quote)

    But if you read DonC’s link about AOL and the phrases ‘Buddy List’ and ‘You’ve got Mail’, you see that the court listens to the competitor’s arguments and indeed, throws out claims of exclusivity based on what the competitor has to say. No way on earth GM can claim exclusivity solely so that a phrase cannot be used against them. Again, you trademark something so that YOUR potential customer is not fooled into buying the wrong thing. GM fails every aspect of the trademark argument.

    I have researched trademarks and the trademark office always provides a trademark with the disclaimer- the owner of the trademark is responsible for any legal fights if someone tries to use the trademark. If it ends up in court, like AOL did (against AT&T) the exclusivity battle is fought at that point. GM would surely lose the argument if they try to take the position you suggest.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:13 am)

    In my opinion, if GM markets the Volt as just another “car” with extra attributes, it will not sell as well as it would if it was sold as an “electric car” with range extending features. This is a new marketing problem that has to be approached from the proper attitude because at $41,000 plus dollars, the Volt is not just another car. Potential customers are going to have to understand the advantages of the Volt over other vehicles and weigh its cost against its advantages along with some of its disadvantages. It will be interesting to see how they do the marketing but what I have read here today does not lead me to believe it is going to be as good as I had hoped. IMO.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:18 am)

    crew: Why think short term at all with the trademark application? No doubt the GM BEV will be on the market and the marketing department will shelve the phrase. Not only that but no other company can use term against GM as well. I sincerely doubt that, for the GM BEV reason alone, GM will use the term much beyond a conversationally expressed concern to promote the Volt. As a marketing term, “range anxiety” has become pretty popular only in association with the Volt. No other car can claim the the benifits of driving electric without the major drawback GM has exploited. None. GM is protecting an investment in a technology and an automobile that quite a few people gave no chance of making into production just 5 years ago. If GM doesn’t secure rights to the term can someone else? I’d think not but no doubt other companies will try to secure the phrase in one iteration or another.  (Quote)

    1) If GM comes LATER to market with BEV, trying to use RA as their own at that point, they will surely lose.

    2) And no, if the term is too generic and already widely used, NO ONE will be able to trademark it.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:19 am)

    OK here’s my range anxiety story from 1989. The family and I were driving (Mercury, Villager) back home (NJ) from a week at Orlando FL. With a full tank of gas we left Orlando around 5:00am. We stopped for lunch and gas fill-up at Dillon, SC (South of the Border) a questionable decision to say the least. During lunch, we decided to drive non-stop from that point, only stopping for a quick dinner along the way. Somehow when we stopped for dinner I did not get gas, thinking there were plenty of opportunities to do so along the way. Long story short, I found myself in Maryland around 12:00am with the low gas warning chime ringing. My anxiety started when I learned all gas stations are not operated 24 x 7. So IMO “Range Anxiety” is not a BEV specific term.

    BTW, I did find an all night Gas Station after some tense driving.

    NPNS!


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:19 am)

    From the article:
    GM Trying to Trademark Range Anxiety

    I really think this is just silly and unnecessary.
    I would hope they have something more important to worry about.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:20 am)

    Sarcasm alert. Don’t read the following if you can’t handle sarcasm.

    This morning high in an ebony glass covered building overlooking the Detroit skyline a group of well dressed older men meet with their PR team, a group of 20-somethings wearing tight pants and shirts and hair in various states of dishevelment with and without mousse.

    The older man at the end of the table asks “So these words “range anxiety”, since we’re getting them trademarked, are we going to put a little R with a circle around it every time we use them in an ad?”

    The head of the PR team, a dark haired kid (compared to the suits) with black square-rimmed glasses replies: “No, like we won’t use the words at all dude. It’s like the unwritten taboo that you know exists but you don’t talk about it. The thing is the BEV people can’t use it either. When they get their cars up to 300 miles per charge and then charge in 15 minutes just about anywhere, they can’t run an ad that says ‘No more range anxiety!’ and then capture your market share. It’s the future man, you’re going to be protected.”

    “Interesting … I didn’t think young people thought about the future.”

    “Well dude, we’ve got a lot more of it than you, so yes we do think about it.”


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:26 am)

    Perhaps we’re looking into this whole issue of trademarking the term “Range Anxiety” too closely… Perhaps we’re guessing here like we were trying to extrapolate extended range fuel economy like we were doing a few weeks back.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:27 am)

    flmark:
    1) If GM comes LATER to market with BEV, trying to use RA as their own at that point, they will surely lose.2) And no, if the term is too generic and already widely used, NO ONE will be able to trademark it.

    1) GM will surely lose if they exploit the term is exactly my point. GM marketing isn’t stupid all of the time. No other company can use the term to call GM wafflers as well.

    2) I certainly appreciate your point of the lack of feasibility for GM to actually secure the trademark. I’m not really concerned about that aspect, I’m not a trademark, copyright attorney. I can only assume that it is possible and what will happen if GM is successful.

    But to expand the possibility further, there is also the worldwide application of the phrase. How much of an issue will be the US precedent of securing the term in other countries.

    Whether or not GM can secure the trademark really shouldn’t be the question. If GM doesn’t then it will certainly pass up a major opportunity for the marketing department pull a major coup.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:29 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    You are right. This could get out of control. We might end up with Toyota trademarking, “We’re still relevant!”   

    Should not have posted that one. It was too easy. Like Roy Scheider throwing chum off the back of the boat in JAWS.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:29 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    It is possible to make the range anxiety point with a whisper, not a shout…Thought for the day:  

    Corvette Guy, keep these coming, they’re all good.


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    statik

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:31 am)

    I can’t help myself, I have to comment on this one:

    I think what would be really interesting would be the story of what happened between Hyundai and GM for Joel Ewanick.

    What is little mentioned when GM got Joel (and I agree with Lyle about him being the right guy and a good guy). Ewanick did not come from Hyundai. Nissan actually got him from Hyundai first, and he was there for only 2 months (March to May)….but he had exactly the same job – VP of marketing at Nissan before he up and disappeared to GM.

    Joel was the head of marketing when Nissan annouced the price on the LEAF, and was on the inside, he clearly knows Nissan inside and out, and he knows their fears and what there biggest concerns are. Clearly range anxiety was near the top of that list, and he is using that knowledge he took from Nissan and bringing it to GM. So Joel basically brings all of Nissan thinking/plans in house.

    The other side of the coin is that Mr. Ewanick has some credibility issue when he is forced to now spin the Volt over the LEAF, when all of 3 months ago he was shilling for the LEAF. He has quotes all over the place, so you really can’t put faith in his words either for Nissan on the LEAF (because he left in the middle of the night) or in GM with the Volt (his LEAF quotes are still wet)

    “…the next big thing for me is to really make sure people understand the significance of Leaf”

    “It’s incredible that they (Nissan) would make that kind of decision. I want to be part of that. I think the Leaf can change the way people look at Nissan, and the kinds of cars they drive. They will look at Leaf like they look at cell phones and laptops.”

    Its kind of annoying there is all these interviews out there with him, but they never ask him about Nissan, his quotes there, or why he left.

    Personally, just from watching the whole head office shuffle that couple years, I figure it was because Mark Reuss (relatively new GM President -NA), to his credit, finally got enough leverage over Susan Docherty to push her out of the way to make room for Ewanick as VP of marketing, and that Reuss and Ewanick were already working on him coming to GM before he ever stepped foot at Nissan. Nissan had no clue he was going, he just walked in and quit.

    /just thought it was interesting

    Random curious thing: Ewanick never says GM or General Motors, he uses ‘us,’ ‘we’ or ‘the parent company’-he thinks it gets in the way of selling the brands that actually sell the cars cars. So you are not going to see ‘GM’ around anywhere anymore…and why you are always just seeing the four brand logos on all the press/print.

    You’d think he would want to start that mantra after the IPO though, as that is what his masters are focused on right now


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:34 am)

    kdawg: Did Bud Light ever get a trademark for “Drinkability”?  (Quote)

    Jimza said they did and I wouldn’t doubt it. ‘Drinkability’ is not a word we would think about or use as part of our common language. Think DQ and ‘Scrumpdillicious’. One can make sense of a word linguistically and understand ‘drinkability’, but who uses such a term as a common occurence? Range anxiety is not a play on linguistics, it is a noun describing something that we all (or most in the EV world anyway) understand.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:54 am)

    Joel, I like the way you think. Since it might take decades for the U.S. to have standardized charging, Voltech and similar drivetrains should rule, as long as the economy holds out.

    I feel the best way to get that “word of mouth” marketing going is to make sure each new Volt owner has a realistic expectation for what they can expect for mileage. Therefore, a good Internet application is needed. They enter their specific driving information and out pops a realistic number.

    If this is not done, I’m afraid it will be too difficult to keep the message that a plug-in hybrid’s gas mileage will vary considerably depending on the driving conditions.

    Do we want to deal with people that are calling GM liars because they are only getting 30 mpg? No. If that driver plugged in his specifics he would have found out that because they lived very far from work, lived in very cold weather, went on long trips every weekend, etc., his mileage would not be much better than a normal car. Maybe even a bit less.

    So, transparency it king because the public does not have a great deal of trust in automakers and other large corporations right now. That trust must be built and the only way to do that is to be honest and open.

    Also, this type of system would show a huge amount of people that they will get amazing mileage. It will sell more cars than that averaged sticker ever could.

    So, the EPA sticker will make many disappointed and many disinterested but none ready to pull out their wallets.

    The truth is exciting! Go Volt!


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    LeoK

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:54 am)

    In honor of CorvetteGuy’s tremendous THOUGHT FOR THE DAY series…. I offer another one:2010.09.02%20No%20Compromise_0.jpg


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    DonC

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:09 am)

    WopOnTour: Funny I still think they have priced the car right. $40K certainly (and unfortunately) puts the college kids out of the prospect (unless thy have a loaded daddy) but considering what you are getting it certainly isn’t out of line IMO. Lot’s of value added content in things like the 5-years D&C Onstar (a $1500 value) knee-bolster airbags, deluxe audio with hard-drive. automatic climate control, all the bells and whistles PLUS all the connectivity, and all that BESIDES the innovative powertrain of course.

    First, I agree 120% with your observation that they should have announced the price sans destination charges. I would go further and suggest that they should have gone the Tesla route and talked up the price after the rebate. Put those two changes together and the message is: “Under $33K after rebates”. That just sounds a lot better than $41K.

    I also agree that the car has a lot of content.

    However, here is the problem as I see it. People looking to buy a Volt will be looking to buy an EV — I don’t think at this point there is a wider market for the car. Basically they have two choices, the Leaf and the Volt. I think most would agree that the Volt deserves a premium. But as it looks now the premium looks like $7K, which seems rich. A $4K “range anxiety” premium would be appealing, maybe even a $5K premium, but a $7K premium is pushing it. Now if it had a 0-60 time of 7 seconds or something that would be different.

    IMO bigger competitive problems for the Volt, at least in CA, is that it doesn’t qualify for the HOV lanes or the CARB rebates. The HOV lanes are a big deal for some people and $5K is a chunk of change.

    On the other hand, if GM has no problem selling every Volt they can make at or above MSRP it’s hard to argue the car is priced incorrectly, though keeping prices high by sharply limiting supply to 15K units a year is disappointing. GM really needs to get the volume up on this car before we see big price reductions.


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    Loboc

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:11 am)

    statik: and why you are always just seeing the four brand logos on all the press/print.

    They also used to have a little ‘GM’ logo on the side of their cars no matter what division. I think this is going away in favor of marketing each division. And has been happening for a while.

    /full disclosure. I’m no marketing guy. I’m in IT.


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    carcus3

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:12 am)

    statik: or why he left.

    Ewanick was quoted as saying the toughest part about the switch from Hyundai to Nissan –

    “My wife and kids are still in Southern California!”

    – So does he now get to work out of a two story building of undisclosed location in Thousand Oaks CA, (occasionally commuting to Detroit in the company jet)?

    Thousand Oaks the Nerve Center for GM Marketing West
    http://articles.latimes.com/1994-04-19/business/fi-47868_1_thousand-oaks


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:14 am)

    GM is trying to get the trademark to insure that no one else does. If that happened they would have a hard time even mentioning that the problem that BEV’s have wouldn’t be a problem for the Volt!

    Range Anxiety is one of the big differences between the Volt and other EV’s. That advantage will disappear down the road as batteries get better and better. Now is the time to use it as a selling point and they don’t need someone like Toyota or Nissan coming along and taking it as a trademark. So this is a means of GM protecting a major selling point.

    Happt trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:15 am)

    Guido: I think your command performance yesterday makes it official

    As you posted this, he is still on the other thread talking to air. lol.


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    Starcast

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:17 am)

    Of Topic to Corvetteguy

    From last thread

    Corevetteguy “Not at all. It might have done better if you hadn’t mentioned you are a vet (as far as voting goes).”

    I clearly stated “I AM ***NOT*** A Vet” I just thought it would be nice to give the vets first crack at buying the volt. Only a few others feel the same way.

    Starcast: “Since everyone seems to like the Veterans Day is a great day to start production. We all agree it makes a good statement.Why not let all Veterans have first crack at the first volts. No discount just first chance for the first year Vets are moved to the top of the list.Are you all willing to make that small sacrifice? For those who have sacrificed for us all? ***I am not a Vet.*** I say yes I would make this small sacrifice! If you would, give this post, not me a +1 ”

    Corvetteguy ” At our dealership, I do not have control over allocations, but I can control the order of priority for orders in the system. I took several orders for servicemen on the 2010 Camaro models when they first came out. I thought it was great that some of those orders came from guys still stationed in Iraq and other locations who had contacted me by email. I purposely ‘bumped’ other customer orders and moved the orders for our troops to the head of the line. (I didn’t tell the other customers.. hee hee)… I will do the same for any service man or woman who wants a VOLT.”

    Thank You for what you are doing for our vets!!!!


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    DonC

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:17 am)

    statik: I can’t help myself, I have to comment on this one:

    Really interesting statik. Glad you couldn’t help yourself.

    Speaking of messed up advertising, while this kerfuffle about a weird attempt to trademark part of the English language isn’t one of GM’s finest moments, I’m still thinking that Nissan’s plans to use a live trained polar bear in the Leaf ads will turn off not only the PETA people but probably 95% of the Leaf’s targeted demographic. So GM isn’t the only company where the marketing people need to get out more. In fact one is just dumb whereas the other is downright stupid.


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    stuart22

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:19 am)

    LeoK: In honor of CorvetteGuy’s tremendous THOUGHT FOR THE DAY series…. I offer another one:  

    -1 for saying Chevy…. :smile:


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    john1701a

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:20 am)

    LRGVProVolt: GM is trying to get the trademark to insure that no one else does.

    Remember when we were pointing out how gen-1 of Volt was becoming a niche and it would be gen-2 that ends up being the one intended for the mainstream?

    Trademarking a phrase to indentify a trait specific to Volt definitely puts it into a category of its own… a niche. Mainstream equates to becoming ubiquitous, which is not the direction we’re seeing from Volt at this phase.


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    omnimoeish

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:23 am)

    People think that all we need is more charging stations. Never mind the fact that even a fast charger by todays standards is going to require twiddling your thumbs for an hour to get a few more miles of range. Bottom line is that we need faster chargers and bigger batteries. Bigger batteries than what the Volt has are going to be seldom used which means you are paying a lot more for a bigger battery that’s just going to be dead weight 364 days of the year except that one time you decide to drive to grandma’s house. The Volt may be the way to go for a lot longer than people realize barring some order of magnitude drop in battery prices and lightening fast charging breakthrough, which is available at large mills and stuff, but I have no idea whether they can be installed in front of the GAP or Hollister to sit out all night with class clowns using them on their way to punking their principle.


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    EVNow

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:27 am)

    Jimza Skeptic: FUD? As in Facts, Understanding, Differentiation? Some of you just don’t get it.

    FUD – because only idiots will be left on the road without a charge.

    I’d suggest Nissan trade mark “sticker shock” …

    If GM doesn’t have a problem getting customers for its Volt, why are they trying to engage in scare tactics ? We all know who starts the negative campaign first ….

    ps : I thought we are all about reducing oil usage. If it is just about GM making money – country & environment be damned, then it is a different ball game.


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    DonC

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:29 am)

    LeoK: In honor of CorvetteGuy’s tremendous THOUGHT FOR THE DAY series…. I offer another one

    I mean this in the best possible way: Maybe you should leave the advertising to CorvetteGuy? LOL.

    I have no talent for copywriting whereas he’s pretty good at it. It will never happen but the ad agency with the Volt account should take a look at some of his suggestions. They get the point across in an oblique way which is what you’re normally trying to do. My personal favorite is the “because Grandmother’s house is over the river and through the woods”. But that’s my opinion. I’ll have to run that by my marketing people, who usually sort of listen to me while rolling their eyes!


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    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:34 am)

    RB: It seems to me that gm is basically trying to use fud marketing to keep people from buying the Leaf in the many places where Leaf will be available well before Volt. It might work for some possible customers, but a more effective strategy would be to get Volts to market in those places. It also seems to me to be a distraction to focus on Leaf when the vast majority of potential customers who might be converted to Volt now drive ICE cars.  (Quote)

    I agree whole heartedly. GM needs to be concentrating on the ICE drivers who have not yet been converted to Electric Vehicles. It certainly is a lot larger group of potential customers. The goal is and should be to convert as many to the new American Fuel. Electricity.

    Take Care,
    TED


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    @lternate Delegate

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:35 am)

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    @lternate Delegate

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:38 am)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:38 am)

    john1701a:
    Trademarking a phrase to indentify a trait specific to Volt definitely puts it into a category of its own… a niche.Mainstream equates to becoming ubiquitous, which is not the direction we’re seeing from Volt at this phase.  

    That’s bass-ackward logic in this case. The phrase you are referring to would be used to DISTANCE the Volt from the niche of electric vehicles with limited range.

    If the Volt is putting itself into a niche, then it’s a pretty damn desirable one to be in -


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    N Riley

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:39 am)

    #46 CorvettGuy: “I think GM is trademarking the ‘range anxiety’ term in part so they can use it, but secondly so that Nissan can’t trademark it themselves and keep GM from ever using it against them. Even if they trademark it, that does not mean they will shout it from the mountaintops. That would be foolish. If they yell that long enough, people will just stick to gas engine cars.

    It is possible to make the range anxiety point with a whisper, not a shout…”
    —————————————

    Possibly the best phrased thought I have read today. Great pics and slogans, by the way.


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    joe

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:41 am)

    Who are we to question Joel Ewanick reasoning as to why “range anxiety” should or should not be trademarked! Why worry about the small stuff! It sure won’t do any harm if GM get the patents rights to that trademark, so what’s all the fuss?


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    N Riley

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:47 am)

    Nelson: OK here’s my range anxiety story from 1989. The family and I were driving (Mercury, Villager) back home (NJ) from a week at Orlando FL.With a full tank of gas we left Orlando around 5:00am.We stopped for lunch and gas fill-up at Dillon, SC (South of the Border) a questionable decision to say the least.During lunch, we decided to drive non-stop from that point, only stopping for a quick dinner along the way.Somehow when we stopped for dinner I did not get gas, thinking there were plenty of opportunities to do so along the way.Long story short, I found myself in Maryland around 12:00am with the low gas warning chime ringing.My anxiety started when I learned all gas stations are not operated 24 x 7.So IMO “Range Anxiety” is not a BEV specific term.BTW, I did find an all night Gas Station after some tense driving.NPNS!  

    I know I have experienced “range anxiety” a number of times with ICE vehicles. Nothing new to many of us. I don’t have a problem with a BEV because you have to know what you are going to do with it each time you get behind the wheel. Not a real problem, in my opinion. It will just take some thinking and planning before hand. That is why the Volt is the best of both worlds. It is the car for the immediate future for most people. If it just did not cost as much.


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    kdawg

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:51 am)

    statik: Nissan had no clue he was going, he just walked in and quit.

    don’t these guys sign non-compete’s?


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    rhellie

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:53 am)

    Not sure range anxiety means the same thing everywhere. In Wyoming many of the highways are not fenced (usually marked with an “open range” sign) which means that cattle can wander into the road at any time. In addition to the trauma of 1200 pounds of beef coming through your windshield, the driver is liable for the value of the cow. Now that is range anxiety. Don’t know when the Volt will be sold in Wyoming.


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    joe

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:56 am)

    @lternate Delegate: New Volt Slogan….“After 40, Keep sucking oil…….”Leaf slogan….“It doesn’t suck…..”  

    Of the two cars, if one sucks it’s the Leaf. The looks, the range anxiety, the sucking of American tax credits (which the Japanese would never consider doing in Japan with any American car), and the battery pack not conditioned like the Volt. I could think of some more,but for now, that’s enough.
    Before you drive a Leaf, you’d better check the weather, because a fully charge battery might only take you only 37 miles. That sucks big time!


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:57 am)

    DonC: I mean this in the best possible way: Maybe you should leave the advertising to CorvetteGuy? LOL. I have no talent for copywriting whereas he’s pretty good at it. It will never happen but the ad agency with the Volt account should take a look at some of his suggestions. They get the point across in an oblique way which is what you’re normally trying to do. My personal favorite is the “because Grandmother’s house is over the river and through the woods”. But that’s my opinion. I’ll have to run that by my marketing people, who usually sort of listen to me while rolling their eyes!  (Quote)

    Thank you, kind sir. One of my heroes when I was a kid was “Darrin Stevens” on “Bewitched!”— as we all know, Darrin was always having problems with an ad campaign for ‘McMahon and Tate’ Ad Agency… and all he had to do to save that million-dollar-account was come up with a fantastic slogan! Of course, it was Samantha the hottie witch that always came up with the slogan at the end, but Darrin got credit for it. I always thought that would be a great career. So I got a degree in Marketing. Sad part is, all of the biggest agencies are in New York… I’m a California guy. Bummer.


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    kdawg

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:59 am)

    omnimoeish: The Volt may be the way to go for a lot longer than people realize barring some order of magnitude drop in battery prices and lightening fast charging breakthrough,

    I’ll add battery swap stations.


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    @lternate Delegate

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:02 am)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:03 am)

    EVNow: If GM doesn’t have a problem getting customers for its Volt, why are they trying to engage in scare tactics ?

    I think the scare is already there, and they are trying to explain to people who are clueless about EV’s that there is a backup system in the Volt. GM has past experience w/the EV1 and that’s why Lauckner wanted the range extender.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:08 am)

    DonC: I mean this in the best possible way: Maybe you should leave the advertising to CorvetteGuy? LOL.

    I actually liked Leo’s ad. I think it settles a lot of fears. You could do a whole line of “no compromise” ads.


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    Chris C.

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:09 am)

    statik: What is little mentioned when GM got Joel, Ewanick did not come from Hyundai. Nissan actually got him from Hyundai first, and he was there for only 2 months (March to May) …

    Very interesting post, Statik, thanks for taking the time to write it.


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    LandKurt

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:12 am)

    To me the range anxiety issue is just silly. Trademarking a negative concept is bizzare and hopefully it won’t fly.

    I’m more concerned with the quote, “We want to show that it’s more ‘car’ than ‘electric.’” It would be a bad move to de-emphasize the electric nature of the Volt, that’s a major selling point. 40 miles without using any gas is a big deal.

    It’s OK to stress that it’s a real car and not a golf cart toy. Go ahead and dispell any fears that an electric car must be wimpy. Touching on range issues is fair game, that’s what the range extender is about. I just wouldn’t want to see it beat into the ground.

    The Volt needs to be differentiated from both standard hybrids and from pure electrics. The best of both worlds rather than a compromise.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:14 am)

    @lternate Delegate: TRUTH:40 mile range – LameAfter 40 miles – Back to burning oil from the boys in the sand lands.CS mode MPG – Still TBD but a quote from a GM engineer “Comparable to a Corolla.” AKA less than 40MPG.Range Anxiety = Dependence on foreign oil = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle) = Volt  (Quote)

    REVISED TRUTH:
    VOLT & LEAF: Up to 40 – pure EV
    VOLT AFTER 40: Still EV, charged by on-board generator
    LEAF 40 to 100: pure EV
    LEAF AFTER 100: find a hotel room – you’re staying overnight
    VOLT AFTER 100: keep driving… still EV, charged by on-board generator

    There is not a right or wrong answer here – both cars are good and both will dramatically reduce our dependancy on foreign oil – they just operate differently in the real world – it will be up to consumers to choose which is best for them. Let’s all stick to the actual TRUTH and we’ll all be better off!


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:14 am)

    My take on this is simple: Let the problem appear first before offering a cure. That means being ready to snap up any video which may emerge on newscasts or YouTube of depleted BEVs on the side of the road. Sit on the video until there is sufficient Volt availability (sooner, if Hollywood Elites ™ are involved). If the problem is real, there is no reason to forecast it (much less own it) — and come off looking like jerks.

    CorvetteGuy: Thought for the day:

    My favorite so far.

    Kind of busy today, maybe I’ll check back in tonight.


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    The Grump

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:15 am)

    Well, GM could always trademark the phrase “Range Anxiety-Free”.

    GM might even get away with their Range Anxiety trademark. Remember, GM is partly owned by the government – the same government who will decide the trademark issue.

    C’mon, it’s not like Nissan is going to use it. That issue is like kryptonite to a BEV.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:18 am)

    bookdabook: Sarcasm alert. Don’t read the following if you can’t handle sarcasm.This morning high in an ebony glass covered building overlooking the Detroit skyline a group of well dressed older men meet with their PR team, a group of 20-somethings wearing tight pants and shirts and hair in various states of dishevelment with and without mousse.The older man at the end of the table asks “So these words “range anxiety”, since we’re getting them trademarked, are we going to put a little R with a circle around it every time we use them in an ad?”
    The head of the PR team, a dark haired kid (compared to the suits) with black square-rimmed glasses replies: “No, like we won’t use the words at all dude. It’s like the unwritten taboo that you know exists but you don’t talk about it.The thing is the BEV people can’t use it either. When they get their cars up to 300 miles per charge and then charge in 15 minutes just about anywhere, they can’t run an ad that says ‘No more range anxiety!’ and then capture your market share.It’s the future man, you’re going to be protected.”“Interesting … I didn’t think young people thought about the future.”“Well dude, we’ve got a lot more of it than you, so yes we do think about it.”  

    Cute! Very Cute.


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    Jimza Skeptic

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:19 am)

    flmark:
    Jimza said they did and I wouldn’t doubt it.‘Drinkability’ is not a word we would think about or use as part of our common language.Think DQ and ‘Scrumpdillicious’.One can make sense of a word linguistically and understand ‘drinkability’, but who uses such a term as a common occurence?Range anxiety is not a play on linguistics, it is a noun describing something that we all (or most in the EV world anyway) understand.  

    Go to USPTO and search for trade marks… And you can actually see that some phrases are trade marked multiple times / companies for different types of products, services, etc…

    I recommend basic search using the phrase.

    http://tess2.uspto.gov/


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:19 am)

    Here’s Joel’s LinkedIn for those interested

    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/joel-ewanick/5/42b/30a

    He doesn’t list his Nissan work.
    Here’s his website, which isn’t much
    http://m2tahoe.com/


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    EricLG

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:25 am)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:27 am)

    DonC:
    Here is the problem as I see it. People looking to buy a Volt will be looking to buy an EV — I don’t think at this point there is a wider market for the car.
      

    Good point made with supportive comments, but my sense is that the pool of potential buyers is wider than you feel. I think there are many people who have the money and who are curious and open minded to consider buying an EV, but who lack the hard-core mindset required to be comfortable with the lifestyle changes EV ownership would bring. I also think there are more of this kind of person than there is of the more hard-core person – kind of a ‘silent majority’ so to speak within the population of potential EV buyers.

    The hard core people are pretty visible, and I’d submit they’ll make up probably all the early adopters who’ll be buying LEAFs, and many if not all who will choose the Volt. I think in the long run however, the ‘silent majority’ will check in and be counted among those who buy, and I think when all things are considered with regard to owner committment, the Volt will be the preferred choice.

    I see the Volt catching on with the public after the early adopter phase peters out. I remain skeptical with the LEAF because I just don’t feel the mass market is willing to change their ownership habits as severely as an EV would have them do. This ‘ownership anxiety’ is minimal with the Volt – and GM’s task is to communicate this fact in the most effective way possible to the buying public. Make contact with that ‘silent majority’ and energize them into buying a Volt. I think Corvette Man has it right – it doesn’t have to be done in a ham-fisted fashion; rather, it can be done quite well in a very nuanced way.


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    nasaman

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:31 am)

    BREAKING NEWS (OT):
    Coast Guard: Offshore oil rig in Gulf of Mexico explodes September 2, 2010 11:47:29 AM

    WASHINGTON POST:

    An offshore oil rig has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, west of the site of the April blast of a BP oil rig that caused the massive oil spill, the Associated Press reports.

    Thirteen people were on the rig and have been accounted for. One person was injured, according to a U.S. Coast Guard spokeman.

    http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/5O5UA2/NSSZ36/TGVDV5/L810M2/VAP65/B7/h


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    Dan Petit

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:31 am)

    ********
    * THE *
    ********
    only place where Volt education is happening on the ‘net is right here!
    Lyle’s relentless work here, in addition to all the thoughtful posters are
    the educational infrastructure.
    More accurate thoughtfulness occurs here than anywhere.

    I just stopped into the dealership where I am listed for a Volt.
    I spent a half hour answering the questions of a very hard-working employee
    who had been obviously struggling to understand as much as he could about
    the Volt he is soon to sell.
    I explained that I had been very fortunate to get more information about the
    Volt here than anywhere else over the last three years. (As “wild and woolly” as it is).
    As well, I explained that as an automotive educator, complex concepts must
    be explained “person to person” most of the time for the rest of the 99% of the
    populace who now wish to understand more about Voltec.
    They need to hear the emotional depth of the speakers’ convictions, the instantaneous
    logical answers, the clear explanations of the technologies (so that they can begin to form “areas of learning” from competent and dedicated and trustworthy sources. (That’s why
    I like DonC’s depth.).
    (BTW, the employee thought somehow that I drove 200 miles a day, not the 60 miles a day that I in fact do. He possibly had so many emails, that he sent an email off to ask about what he thought was my “commercial use”, which is not what 60 miles a day driving is. 60 miles a day driving is right in there for what a Volt is best at.) (Besides, the OnStar would verify at all times my reasonable daily driving characteristics and normal to light usage pattern.)
    (The other reason I dislike email a lot, is it kills depth-of-communications due to the visual dilution of it within dozens of other emails, and can really bastardize the due-diligence that we are responsible for in business.

    So, while the range-anxiety issue may or may not be as “strong a plus” for many who read these threads, it is most certainly an ever present and absolute marketing imperative for everyone else who is beginning to become fascinated with Voltec.

    Range-anxiety is “first base”.


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    @lternate Delegate

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:41 am)

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    Tim in SC

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:41 am)

    So GM wants to help educate the public on electric cars by making everyone fear them? Makes sense…


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:42 am)

    DonC: I’m still thinking that Nissan’s plans to use a live trained polar bear in the Leaf ads will turn off not only the PETA people but probably 95% of the Leaf’s targeted demographic. So GM isn’t the only company where the marketing people need to get out more. In fact one is just dumb whereas the other is downright stupid.

    Well, I guess they’re serious about only applying to the national security crowd…


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    Jimza Skeptic

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:42 am)

    EVNow:
    FUD – because only idiots will be left on the road without a charge.I’d suggest Nissan trade mark “sticker shock” …If GM doesn’t have a problem getting customers for its Volt, why are they trying to engage in scare tactics ? We all know who starts the negative campaign first ….ps : I thought we are all about reducing oil usage. If it is just about GM making money – country & environment be damned, then it is a different ball game.  

    LOLOLOL ;-) First I am about getting off foreign oil for energy independence. So the environment thing doesn’t cut it with me. That said, you need a technology that the mass consumer can use daily without interrupting their life style. VOLT allows you to reduce for your vehicles of oil/gas by about 75%. Once E85 comes on line for the VOLT, the used is reduced further. Eventually you will be using only about 10% oil versus normal ICE.

    And the last time I checked, the VOLT is 100% EV. How battery is charged is the fuel source.

    Nissan-Leaf EV Source
    Dirty Coal fired plants, Oil fired boilers (carbon), Nuclear plants (Oh oh!), Natural Gas plants (still emitting Carbon), Hydro (damn environmentalist stopped that in Wisconsin), with a small amount of wind & solar (then you have environmentalists against those too)

    Yes only an idiot would truly have range anxiety. Anyone that buys a Leaf will know that they for sure have 60-100 miles (better plan for 60). The VOLT has 320-340 miles. I will go for the VOLT.

    I am surprised you don’t give people more credit for seeing through ‘marketing” side GM’s sales campaign. I guess I just have more faith in the human race. ;-)

    If my older neighbor lady asked me, knowing her driving habits, I would tell her the VOLT is not for her, based on price and need. However, I would recommend the lowest cost BEV. Probably the Mitsubishi MiEV.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:43 am)

    kdawg: I look at it the other way. I see them addressing a concern people have with electric vehicles.  (Quote)

    I have to disagree. Their efforts to do along this line have to to “create” a concern in people’s minds regarding battery only vehicles like the Leaf. They seem to have zeroed in on the Leaf as the main competition and are focusing their marketing efforts to compbat it. IMO, this is misguided and a poorly conceived strategy for the long run for a multitude of reasons. GM has stated they plan to introduce BEVs in the future and perhaps even a BEV version of the Volt. Rising the tide of EVs will float ALL boats, BEV and EREV. I think touting the benefits of electric propulsion as their number one marketing goal does more for the Volt and GM in the long run. The goal is in reality to get people out of ICE vehicles. That is where high volume of Volt sales will come from. Not from the Leaf. GM can certainly tout the benefits of range extension but that is an easy sell, IMO. The hard part is raising the tribal knowledge of the driving public so that they understand what an EREV is.

    The other high point with EREVs that GM should focusing their marketing on, IMO, is the refined driving experience that electric drive offers. This is one of the virtues that can win over ICE drivers that don’t already have reducing their oil consumption as a highest priority.


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    joe

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:44 am)

    @lternate Delegate: Yes folks, the Volt will relieve you of the range anxiety that plagues those who can’t plan. Buy the Volt, it’s the only wannabe a EV that will revert your money flow directly back to the Oil Barons of the sand lands.
    The best feature of this GM product is the elimination of “range anxiety”. AKA BURN OIL!!!!
    Keep sucking their oil……
    Range Anxiety = Dependence on foreign oil = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle) = Volt
      

    Not many will venture on a 100 mile trip with a Leaf. If they do, they will be sorry. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out that the Leaf will be a very limited car!

    While the Volts are gone on long trips, the Leafs will be sitting idle at home.
    Which car will save more gas? Hey, just because the Leaf does not burn gas does not mean it will save more gas. In the real world the Volt will save a lot more gas. The Volt will be used a lot more and will have the opportunity of getting charged when you want it, not while when your on the road with 100′s of mile left on your trip.

    After a few Leaf run dead on the road, many will steer away from using it, except for around town.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:46 am)

    #81 DonC: “But that’s my opinion. I’ll have to run that by my marketing people, who usually sort of listen to me while rolling their eyes! ”
    ——————————————————-

    It’s not just you. All marketing people do that. It is like only they know how to put together a marketing program. Give me a break! I agree CorvetteGuy is doing a great job. Keep it coming and GM does need to take a serious look at his material. Plus, put some money in his pocket for using his ideas. Or maybe a really good deal on a Volt.


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    @lternate Delegate

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:51 am)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:51 am)

    LandKurt: To me the range anxiety issue is just silly. Trademarking a negative concept is bizzare and hopefully it won’t fly.

    I agree. I’ve never heard of a negative trademark. Admittedly, I’m hardly an expert. But I always thought trademarks were to distinguish your product.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:52 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    Thank you, kind sir. One of my heroes when I was a kid was “Darrin Stevens” on “Bewitched!”— as we all know, Darrin was always having problems with an ad campaign for ‘McMahon and Tate’ Ad Agency… and all he had to do to save that million-dollar-account was come up with a fantastic slogan! Of course, it was Samantha the hottie witch that always came up with the slogan at the end, but Darrin got credit for it. I always thought that would be a great career. So I got a degree in Marketing. Sad part is, all of the biggest agencies are in New York… I’m a California guy. Bummer.  

    The one thing I would agree with you about Darrin Stevens’ character is that he was lucky enough to be hugged and kissed by Elizabeth Montgomery. That is enough to put anyone into the history books, as far as I am concerned. Talk about a “hottie” when that program was on the air. I could not take my eyes off of that beauty.


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    Geo

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:54 am)

    What a short sighted and negative concept.

    I’ve found that companies who market products by inducing fear about the competition are very unappealing. Tell me what’s right about what you’re selling, not what’s wrong about everyone else.

    Also, when GM gets around to producing the BEV they’ve hinted at, it will be that much harder to market it against this fear-based message that they’ve created. Very short sighted.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:58 am)

    Well, I think if it’s for the average consumer they’re still a little off target on price. They’ve got to aim lower to get it more affordable.


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    Like_Budda

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    You guys are assming too much about what GM plans to do with the term if they are sucessful.
    I’ll bet they do nothing in terms of “negative advertising” but instead go after other companies that use the term in their own advertising.(or just to prevent that)

    It’s protection
    It’s a buzz-word that GM people coined many years ago have used for their own marketing
    It’s also a potential revenue generator!

    .LB


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    john1701a

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    steve: Well, I think if it’s for the average consumer they’re still a little off target on price. They’ve got to aim lower to get it more affordable.

    The original target of “nicely under $30,000” still looks like a good plan, especially with gas prices so darn low currently.

    It will be very interesting to see what changes are made in gen-2 to achieve that.


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    LauraM

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:09 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Thank you, kind sir. One of my heroes when I was a kid was “Darrin Stevens” on “Bewitched!”— as we all know, Darrin was always having problems with an ad campaign for ‘McMahon and Tate’ Ad Agency… and all he had to do to save that million-dollar-account was come up with a fantastic slogan! Of course, it was Samantha the hottie witch that always came up with the slogan at the end, but Darrin got credit for it. I always thought that would be a great career. So I got a degree in Marketing. Sad part is, all of the biggest agencies are in New York… I’m a California guy. Bummer.

    There are lots of California based firms with marketing departments. Have you tried applying to any of them? You’re really good.


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    GM Volt Fan

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    People are going to want the peace of mind of knowing that they CAN drive all day long on a Saturday shopping spree or whatever. Sometimes, you have to drive to a couple of regional malls to find exactly what you are looking for. Sometimes, that could end up requiring well over 100 miles round trip. That will be a problem for the people that buy Nissan Leafs. That “range anxiety” will probably turn into “range aggravation” because you have to go hunting for charging stations or you have to go home to recharge.

    Once the battery on the Leaf can handle 200 miles, THEN it will probably be plenty of range for most people … except for when you go on long trips on the interstate. However, if Nissan comes up with a 200 mile range battery that can be “quick charged” in 10 minutes THAT will be a “game changer”. That might be in 3 years or 10 years. Who knows? Until then, the EREV technology with the Volt will be the best electric car technology you can get. You can drive the Volt with peace of mind from coast to coast all you want just like all the cars on the road right now … driving electrically as much as you can.

    By the time “quick charging 200 mile batteries” become available, I’m sure GM will have a 100% electric car on the market with that technology. Actually, since GM is one of the world leaders in electric cars, they’ll probably have one of the best “100% electric” cars on the market. I hope GM doesn’t get complacent about developing their electric car technology. They need to STAY on the cutting edge like Apple does with their technology. GM needs to try to make their electric car powertrains better every year as well as making the exteriors and interiors look better every year. GM needs to have “constant and continuous improvement” or “kaizen” like the Japanese say.

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


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    @lternate Delegate

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:13 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:14 pm)

    stuart22: Good point made with supportive comments, but my sense is that the pool of potential buyers is wider than you feel. I think there are many people who have the money and who are curious and open minded to consider buying an EV, but who lack the hard-core mindset required to be comfortable with the lifestyle changes EV ownership would bring. I also think there are more of this kind of person than there is of the more hard-core person – kind of a ’silent majority’ so to speak within the population of potential EV buyers.

    I agree. I would be extremely uncomfortable with a BEV. I would certainly never buy a first generation one. Although I admire those who will.

    But I want a Volt. I cannot be the only one who feels this way.


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    Jimza Skeptic

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:16 pm)

    @lternate Delegate:
    Still, the same false dumb FUD. After 40 miles you’re still in EV? What a joke.Simple test if you THINK you are so correct…..
      

    … Pull Leaf up to Coal fired plant, take relief hose from exhaust stack and put in mounth, Pull leaf up to Oil fired generation plant, NG plant, etc…..


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    @lternate Delegate

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:22 pm)

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    LandKurt

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:24 pm)

    LauraM:
    I agree.I’ve never heard of a negative trademark.Admittedly, I’m hardly an expert.But I always thought trademarks were to distinguish your product.  

    May layman’s understanding would be that a trademark would have a positive association with your product. Corporate lawyers my disagree, of course.

    What GM is attempting to register could be called a tradeslur. But why register an insult, shouldn’t everyone be allowed to use it against your competitor?

    A quick check shows that the domain rangeanxiety.com is already registered, but not curerangeanxiety.com. Forget trademarks, today the battle is all about domain names.


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    Tagamet

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:28 pm)

    statik: I can’t help myself, I have to comment on this one:I think what would be really interesting would be the story of what happened between Hyundai and GM for Joel Ewanick.What is little mentioned when GM got Joel (and I agree with Lyle about him being the right guy and a good guy).Ewanick did not come from Hyundai.Nissan actually got him from Hyundai first, and he was there for only 2 months (March to May)….but he had exactly the same job – VP of marketing at Nissan before he up and disappeared to GM.Joel was the head of marketing when Nissan annouced the price on the LEAF, and was on the inside, he clearly knows Nissan inside and out, and he knows their fears and what there biggest concerns are.Clearly range anxiety was near the top of that list, and he is using that knowledge he took from Nissan and bringing it to GM.So Joel basically brings all of Nissan thinking/plans in house.The other side of the coin is that Mr. Ewanick has some credibility issue when he is forced to now spin the Volt over the LEAF, when all of 3 months ago he was shilling for the LEAF.He has quotes all over the place, so you really can’t put faith in his words either for Nissan on the LEAF (because he left in the middle of the night) or inGM with the Volt (his LEAF quotes are still wet)

    “…the next big thing for me is to really make sure people understand the significance of Leaf”
    “It’s incredible that they (Nissan) would make that kind of decision. I want to be part of that. I think the Leaf can change the way people look at Nissan, and the kinds of cars they drive. They will look at Leaf like they look at cell phones and laptops.”

    Its kind of annoying there is all these interviews out there with him, but they never ask him about Nissan, his quotes there, or why he left.Personally, just from watching the whole head office shuffle that couple years, I figure it was because Mark Reuss (relatively new GM President -NA), to his credit,finally got enough leverage over Susan Docherty to push her out of the way to make room for Ewanick as VP of marketing, and that Reuss and Ewanick were already working on him coming to GM before he ever stepped foot at Nissan.Nissan had no clue he was going, he just walked in and quit./just thought it was interestingRandom curious thing:Ewanick never says GM or General Motors, he uses ‘us,’ ‘we’ or ‘the parent company’-he thinks it gets in the way of selling the brands that actually sell the cars cars.So you are not going to see ‘GM’ around anywhere anymore…and why you are always just seeing the four brand logos on all the press/print.You’d think he would want to start that mantra after the IPO though, as that is what his masters are focused on right now  

    Hi Statik,
    Thanks for the peek behind the curtain! That must have been a real shock when he left Nissan! OUCH!
    I thought that the most interesting part of today’s article was the reference to “demand” and how *eventually* it could be huge. Does he not SEE the pent-up demand, or is he just setting the stage to take *credit* for it a year from now?? Jeepers, now I’m starting to think like you! (lol).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Loboc

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:29 pm)

    steve: Well, I think if it’s for the average consumer they’re still a little off target on price.

    There are lots of cars that sell for more than the Volt and offer less. A car can be well over $40k sticker and still be ‘mainstream’.

    My current car, for example, sticker was over $38,000 in 2006. And it’s just a Dodge.

    There’s even Honda’s and Subaru’s in this list:

    http://www.kbb.com/perfect-car-finder?p=7&vehicleclasses=newcar&pricemin=35000&pricemax=45000&hasincentives=false&selectedpcftab=basic


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:32 pm)

    @lternate Delegate: @lternate Delegate Says

    ________________________

    @lternate Delegate, you might not get all of those negatives if you went to the Prius site, but we like your spirit.


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    Tim in SC

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:32 pm)

    Trademarking “range anxiety” seems to say to me that GM has no ambitions to take the Volt or any other car it makes past 40 miles of electric. I was genuinely hoping that GM was planning on starting with 40 miles of electric range on the 1st Gen Volt, but as the technology developed they would increase the electric range till eventually gas became a non-issue. Guess we’ll always be gas-dependent now…


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    116
    @lternate Delegate -11

    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:51 am)

    HaHaHaHaHa!

    Click
    click click click

    click click click


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    DonC

     

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:42 pm)

    LeoK: There is not a right or wrong answer here – both cars are good and both will dramatically reduce our dependancy on foreign oil

    Once you open your mind to the idea that you aren’t limited to charging once a day, you understand that the Volt will more or less eliminate oil use 95% of the time. So will the Leaf. For the longer trip by car you’ll have to use oil regardless.

    One inconsistency that you see in those who say the Leaf is so much better than the Volt is that, if you ask how they’ll go further than the maximum distance on one charge, they’ll say: “We’ll just use a fast charger”. OK, but if they accept multiple charges in a day for the Leaf they have to accept them for a Volt, which they don’t do.

    Now the Volt doesn’t have a fast charger option but that option costs $700 for the Leaf, and, in the absence of a fast charger, both cars are limited to 3.3 kW charging. So the time needed to recharge will be quite close. If you assume a 40 mile drive to work in the Volt, and then a charge there for the return trip home, you won’t use any more gas than driving the same distance in a Leaf. Yes you need a charger at work, but, like I said, if you can assume DC charging for the Leaf then you have to assume a vastly more likely 110 V electrical outlet will be available for charging for the Volt. (How many 110 v outlets are in the US?).


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    RB

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:42 pm)

    41 kdawg: I look at it the other way. I see them addressing a concern people have with electric vehicles. 

    .
    Or maybe create a concern about other people’s electric vehicles (smile).
    .
    But either way to me it seems a waste of time. By far the largest number of people have a satisfactory ICE vehicle and want to know (or from gm’s perspective, need to want to know), “Why should I consider an electric vehicle the next time I buy a new car?”
    .
    The number who are at present committed to (or even seriously interested in) any kind of electric vehicle is tiny compared to that total, so that’s where the money is.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:43 pm)

    @lternate Delegate:
    If you’re going to apply a comparison or rule, apply to both cars. In this case the Leaf and the Volt. By your rule the Volt is 2 folds worse than the Leaf. Thanks for making that clear for everyone.
      

    nahhhh… First off @D (Attention Deficit?) ;-) , with me, as stated before, its not the environment, it’s all about reducing foreign oil ;-) The VOLT owners will reduce their gas purchases by 75-95%. So that achieves that goal. If you do not have a reliable technology (like the VOLT) to travel 300+ miles at times, the mass consumer will not buy it. So while the Leaf is acceptable for maybe 5% of the countries needs, the VOLT satisfies 100% of the needs. This is America where we like to have freedom on weekends and vacations to travel more than the 100 mile leash (I mean Leaf) allows.

    From the environmental stand-point, if that is what you believe in, you are off base too. What I am saying is that the Leaf and Volt will have the same overall carbon footprint in the end. Where do you want your carbon from?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    55 stuart22:
    I’m thinking GM is not so concerned about the LEAF as it is looking ahead to the day when EREVs and PHEVs from other manufacturers hit the pavement.I can see how GM would like to monopolize the term used for perhaps the strongest selling point EREVs have.  

    .
    That’s a good point, and especially so if gm has not by then introduced their own BEV.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    LauraM:
    I agree.I would be extremely uncomfortable with a BEV.I would certainly never buy a first generation one.Although I admire those who will.But I want a Volt.I cannot be the only one who feels this way.  

    Thanks for helping to illustrate my point. There’s an element of denial with being hard-core. I won’t get into whether that is good or bad, but the importance of sensual pleasures will often be ignored in favor of more ‘important’ things. Religion comes to mind as being a hotbed of denial. Hard-core EV fanatics at their worst are like religious demogogues.

    Is there any way you could be comfortable with a BEV? I guess what I’m asking is, what are your thresholds of acceptability when it comes to range? with recharging time? or anything else you might think of. Me – I’d need 300 miles of range in less than 30 minutes of recharging time to be out of denial.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:46 pm)

    LauraM: But I want a Volt. I cannot be the only one who feels this way.  

    I’ve said this before. Women express more range anxiety than men. Men are more confident of their abilities to avoid running out of juice, which is doubtless why they run out of gas much more frequently. LOL There must be reasons for this, but my choice is that we sleep in Holiday Inns more often.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    john1701a: “nicely under $30,000”

    Ahhh, I still miss those words. :(


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    GM Volt Fan

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:49 pm)

    Gotta admit, the Nissan Leaf SHOULD be successful in places like Hawaii. Places like Hawaii will be ideal for 100% electric cars. GM ought to be thinking about getting a 100% electric car on the market in limited areas like Hawaii.

    You will be able to buy a Nissan Leaf in Hawaii for only $20,280.

    http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2010/08/30/daily14.html

    I think the price alone will be very enticing for people in Hawaii. The question is … can they get chargers installed for all those condos and apartments. That will be the problem over there.

    Once the chargers are installed where they live though, Hawaiians will eliminate their gasoline bills … and gas prices are the highest of all the U.S. states there. I also think it could help Hawaii tourism if they advertised how “clean and green” their island paradise is. Just clean, fresh Hawaiian breezes like it was before automobiles arrived in the 1930s or whenever it was.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:51 pm)

    Tim in SC: Trademarking “range anxiety” seems to say to me that GM has no ambitions to take the Volt or any other car it makes past 40 miles of electric.   

    That’s a lot to infer from a single trademark. I could see suggesting that they are seriously behind range extension and don’t intend on bringing out a BEV. More likely they are just hedging their bet in some way. I could see them eventually coming out with EREV cars with different optional AER from 20 to 100 miles. A 100 mile AER could still benefit from a range extender. The exact point at which it becomes unnecessary is a matter of argument, for me it would be around two or three hundred miles.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:57 pm)

    70 DonC: However, here is the problem as I see it. People looking to buy a Volt will be looking to buy an EV — I don’t think at this point there is a wider market for the car.

    .
    Here you are likely right, and to me it seems to be Ewanick’s main job to change that. Volt is a nice car inside and out with some special performance features, including (but not limited to) its AER.

    There are a huge number of people who can come to understand that so that the Volt market expands. There are millions of people we here just don’t want to include, such as people who want a gas car backed up by electric, in case of another gas shortage. There are people uninterested in eco-anything but who live performance. There is of course the core group. But there are a lot of people who potentially are interested in the Volt who are not at present even thinking about EV EREV BEV or any other variation.

    If the issue remains Volt vs Leaf, maybe with some personal factors as statik suggest, we have a beetle-battle in a bottle, fierce perhaps but without much wider significance.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    Dave K.: A good example of free advertising is the 2009 MSN UK Ampera test mule review.
    http://cars.uk.msn.com/reviews/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=149972479=D-Volt  

    The production Ampera looks better than Volt, imho. I really love those lightening-bolt badges!

    Also, the text says it gets 176mpg

    “Economy
    176mpg, 40g/km CO2 – and those are official figures, as per the same tests that rate a Smart diesel at 88mpg and 89g/km CO2.”


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    Jimza Skeptic

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    EVNow: If GM is planning to play dirty – shame on them. A fledgling industry doesn’t need this FUD campaign …  

    Nissan can get dirty too… How about, “The Leaf comes with a 100 mile leash — FREE!”

    Tim in SC: Trademarking “range anxiety” seems to say to me that GM has no ambitions to take the Volt or any other car it makes past 40 miles of electric. I was genuinely hoping that GM was planning on starting with 40 miles of electric range on the 1st Gen Volt, but as the technology developed they would increase the electric range till eventually gas became a non-issue.Guess we’ll always be gas-dependent now…  

    No — GM is saying the current VOLT will not give you range anxiety.

    IF battery technology ( or capacitors *cough cough* EESTor) evolves to 300+ miles and there is true quick charge (20 minutes) then they can either drop the phrase. Or use it to say their technology is still better and won’t give you range anxiety.


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    Streetlight

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    Hi #5 flmark: You’re swimming uphill trying to explain IP (intellectual property) rights in 183 words. (See #87). Even IP creators; engineers, chemists, physicists, researchers, small businesses independent inventors and whomever are challenged. I can speak from some experience having wrote an internet bi-weekly IP column about four years mainly for electrical-electronic design engineers. (I’m a design EE/IE, not a lawyer nor patent agent.) Anyways, the cat’s out of the bag.

    Copyrights protect creators of publications of most kinds; music, books, plays, movies and whatever. Notably, copyright and patent laws are mandated under U.S. Constitution. Whereas trademark law protect the identity of a product or maker. For example, note the bottom line links below this poster box. Lyle claims copyrights for this site. To the left is a stylized mark GM-Volt-Lyle could apply (if he hasn’t) for a trademark for this. Note each category of IP rights has its own set of time limitations.

    On the other hand, patent application prosecution (what the patent attorney does) is a quasi-judicial process. (BTW: This latter statement is itself the topic of heated debate among IP people.) A patent once issued is for a fixed period of time. The inventor(s) property are the claims. USPTO.gov has all kinds of info for inventors. There are jillions of patent-help websites. Getting to an issued patent is expensive. And the USPTO (Patent Office) is playing catch-up right now – the backlog now in years. Recently I saw a piece about PTO hiring new examiners. If so, its a great opportunity for someone looking for a career-building job.

    I wish Joel Ewanick all the best.


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    WopOnTour

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:22 pm)

    DonC: Basically they have two choices, the Leaf and the Volt. I think most would agree that the Volt deserves a premium. But as it looks now the premium looks like $7K, which seems rich. A $4K “range anxiety” premium would be appealing, maybe even a $5K premium, but a $7K premium is pushing it. (SNIP)
    though keeping prices high by sharply limiting supply to 15K units a year is disappointing. GM really needs to get the volume up on this car before we see big price reductions.  (Quote)

    Well here’s where I differ in your opinion. (agreed- a rare occurrence) Saying $7K premium vs. the Leaf is pushing it is quite subjective and based on your current automotive experience and sight-unseen assumptions. I say $7K might not be ENOUGH!

    When you get the chance. Put the 2 cars side by side and drive them both for a day or at least 100 miles through a full range of city-highway.Play with the controls, roll the windows up & down, listen to the stereo, use the cruise control… Afterwards when you again park them side by side and do a walk-around it will be quite obvious to you that these are simply 2 different classes of vehicle. Unless you are a disciple of the Church of Minimalistic Existence, easily and visibly “worth” a significant premium.(despite the missing “mid-back” seating position that nobody wants to sit in)

    Then start looking at standard equipment. Advantage Volt. Then consider the utility of EREV. Advantage Volt.Then consider you are going to have to pay $3100 for a home charger for the Leaf. (~$2000 + $1100 installation apparently) .Advantage Volt. Yes the HOV lanes in California are unfortunate, but hardly a deal breaker IMO- talk to your Governor. LOL (well OK I’ll say it Advantage Leaf! when it comes to HOV)

    People who can afford 2 cars are dead set on not burning a single drop of oil ever during a large portion of their driving will likely be leaning towards the purchase a Leaf. But these same people will likely have a larger more expensive second car for longer trips and can likely easily afford that too.However these are the same people that can also afford a $40K Volt just as easily getting the same reductions in fuel consumed AND reduce their monthly license and insurance costs at the same time by letting the 2nd car go (or down-grading IT).
    So where are we at as far as the premium to this point?
    Again subjective.But I’m saying it’s no contest even at a $10K premium.

    As far as the 10-15K initial production, this was the plan all along and certainly a myriad of rationale exists to support it. Assuming everything goes as planned (especially the capacity of the new LG cell production facility) it wouldn’t surprise me to see announcements of expanded plant capacity to be able to produce 100,000 Volts or more for the 2013 model year. GM certainly has the ability to alter the ramp up rate should conditions warrant. Consider the recent DOUBLING of the sq footage of the battery assembly facility in Brownstown (3 months start to finish) as an example of their upward mobility.
    To put a slightly dyslexic slant on an old film adage “If the Come, They Will Build It”
    JMO
    WopOnTour


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    GM Volt Fan

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:22 pm)

    This sounds like good news for us future electric car owners. Plenty of competition in lithium-ion battery industry.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-25/panasonic-samsung-sdi-battery-price-war-to-escalate-on-glut-analysts-say.html

    “Lithium-ion battery prices may tumble 19 percent in 2010, the biggest drop in five years, said Hideo Takeshita, an analyst at the Institute of Information Technology Ltd. in Tokyo. Shiro Mikoshiba, an analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc., said the worsening oversupply may push prices down as much as 25 PERCENT.” :)

    “South Korean battery makers including Samsung and LG Chem Ltd. may better cope with lower prices than Japanese rivals because they purchase materials more cheaply from China and have faster production, Takeshita said. The won’s weakness against the yen also makes Korean products more competitive, he said.

    “We anticipate the harsh price competition with South Korean makers will continue,” said Akira Kadota, a spokesman at Osaka-based Panasonic. “We are reviewing our production process to strengthen our cost competitiveness so that we can win the battle.”

    The Japanese and South Koreans are going after each other fiercely on price. I hope the American battery manufacturers are designing their batteries and plants to compete with them. Let’s also hope that GM will PASS ON THE PRICE DECREASES to us Volt buyers as quickly as possible. If GM wants to sell LOTS of Volts in 2011, dropping that $33,500 price tag will certainly do it. I was hoping the Volt would be priced around $27,000 after the federal tax credit. GM would be able to open up another plant for production if they priced it at $27,000 or less.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:24 pm)

    RB:
    .
    That’s a good point, and especially so if gm has not by then introduced their own BEV.  

    But even if GM eventually has a BEV for sale, there are still going to be buyers receptive to ‘range anxiety’ who might prefer a GM EREV.

    Maybe not the same scenario, but close – Nissan right now is having no second thoughts about touting the LEAF as ‘Zero Emission, Zero tailpipe’ while at the same time selling gas hog SUV’s and large sedans.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:25 pm)

    *Rx written by Dr. L. Dennis. Side-effects include rapid pulse, excessive pleasure driving, low gasoline costs, and rare but potentially severe Volt addiction. Use with moderation. Refills available upon request.

    nasaman: Rx for Electric Vehicle ‘Range Anxiety’ …The eREV*olutionary, all-electric Chevrolet Volt:*eREV = Full-Time Electric Extended Range Electric Vehicle  


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:25 pm)

    stuart22: Is there any way you could be comfortable with a BEV? I guess what I’m asking is, what are your thresholds of acceptability when it comes to range? with recharging time? or anything else you might think of. Me – I’d need 300 miles of range in less than 30 minutes of recharging time to be out of denial.

    300 miles minimum. 20 minutes recharge (and that’s pushing it.) And I’d need a readily available network of quick charging stations everywhere within weekend driving distance of my home.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:29 pm)

    DonC: I’ve said this before. Women express more range anxiety than men. Men are more confident of their abilities to avoid running out of juice, which is doubtless why they run out of gas much more frequently. LOL There must be reasons for this, but my choice is that we sleep in Holiday Inns more often.

    I’ll buy that. Men, in general, are more risk tolerant than women, IMHO. But, that still provides a considerable opportunity for GM. Even if all the men go directly for the BEVs, women buy a LOT of cars.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    DonC: I’ve said this before. Women express more range anxiety than men. Men are more confident of their abilities to avoid running out of juice, which is doubtless why they run out of gas much more frequently. LOL There must be reasons for this, but my choice is that we sleep in Holiday Inns more often.  (Quote)

    I rather think that men are less concerned about what would happen if they do run out of juice (or gas for that matter).


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: So I got a degree in Marketing. Sad part is, all of the biggest agencies are in New York… I’m a California guy. Bummer.  

    I ran your “Because Grandmother’s house is over the river and through the woods” tagline past my marketing people. They thought it was very good. That’s extremely high praise because they are a pretty tough crowd.

    It definitely captured your idea that a whisper beats shouting. Nice.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    “Range Anxiety”

    nissanleaf.jpg

    Sorry GM.
    We own that phrase.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    stuart22: But even if GM eventually has a BEV for sale, there are still going to be buyers receptive to ‘range anxiety’ who might prefer a GM EREV.Maybe not the same scenario, but close – Nissan right now is having no second thoughts about touting the LEAF as ‘Zero Emission, Zero tailpipe’ while at the same time selling gas hog SUV’s and large sedans.  (Quote)

    True but those products are generally targeting different markets. EREVs and LEAFs will be targeting similar markets. Although, I think it could be argued effectively that the preferences are pretty unique. I don’t think many people now considering the Leaf will be swayed by GM’s “range anxiety” marketing nor do I think many consumers considering the Volt will care about Nissan’s “zero gas, zero emmissions” arguments. Seems like a waste of mud to me.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:42 pm)

    LauraM: I’ll buy that. Men, in general, are more risk tolerant than women, IMHO.

    Is “more risk tolerant” a euphemism for “overconfident idiots”? (only kidding).

    koz: I rather think that men are less concerned about what would happen if they do run out of juice

    I actually think men are more inclined to think it will never happen to them and to subscribe to the adage “No guts no glory”. Kinda a corollary to not wanting to ask directions.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:44 pm)

    koz Says

    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:43 am) kdawg: I look at it the other way. I see them addressing a concern people have with electric vehicles. (Quote)

    I have to disagree. Their efforts to do along this line have to to “create” a concern in people’s minds regarding battery only vehicles like the Leaf. They seem to have zeroed in on the Leaf as the main competition and are focusing their marketing efforts to compbat it. IMO, this is misguided and a poorly conceived strategy for the long run for a multitude of reasons. GM has stated they plan to introduce BEVs in the future and perhaps even a BEV version of the Volt. Rising the tide of EVs will float ALL boats, BEV and EREV. I think touting the benefits of electric propulsion as their number one marketing goal does more for the Volt and GM in the long run. The goal is in reality to get people out of ICE vehicles. That is where high volume of Volt sales will come from. Not from the Leaf. GM can certainly tout the benefits of range extension but that is an easy sell, IMO. The hard part is raising the tribal knowledge of the driving public so that they understand what an EREV is.
    The other high point with EREVs that GM should focusing their marketing on, IMO, is the refined driving experience that electric drive offers. This is one of the virtues that can win over ICE drivers that don’t already have reducing their oil consumption as a highest priority.
    ——————————

    I still think they ARE trying to get people to drive EV’s, instead of ICE’s by bringing up range anxiety, and dispelling any myths that the Volt will be a sub-par car. People already have range anxiety and a bunch of other hold-ups regarding electric cars. GM isn’t “creating” anything. I think if the LEAF never existed GM would still be talking about range anxiety. Once people drive EREV’s and get comfortable with them, bring on the BEV’s (for those that they make sense for). Some of us will not be able to use a BEV until the technology improves.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:48 pm)

    Tim in SC: Trademarking “range anxiety” seems to say to me that GM has no ambitions to take the Volt or any other car it makes past 40 miles of electric. I was genuinely hoping that GM was planning on starting with 40 miles of electric range on the 1st Gen Volt, but as the technology developed they would increase the electric range till eventually gas became a non-issue. Guess we’ll always be gas-dependent now

    GM said that they were going to stick w/the 40mile range on all future EREV designs and instead work on bringing costs down. When 78% of drivers go less than 40miles/day, that is their sweet spot.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:53 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: Ahhh, I still miss those words.   (Quote)

    That, and: “The Gulf War won’t cost that much…”


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    WopOnTour: Well here’s where I differ in your opinion. (agreed- a rare occurrence) Saying $7K premium vs. the Leaf is pushing it is quite subjective and based on your current automotive experience and sight-unseen assumptions. I say $7K might not be ENOUGH!When you get the chance. Put the 2 cars side by side and drive them both for a day or at least 100 miles through a full range of city-highway.Play with the controls, roll the windows up & down, listen to the stereo, use the cruise control… Afterwards when you again park them side by side and do a walk-around it will be quite obvious to you that these are simply 2 different classes of vehicle. Unless you are a disciple of the Church of Minimalistic Existence, easily and visibly “worth” a significant premium.(despite the missing “mid-back” seating position that nobody wants to sit in)Then start looking at standard equipment. Advantage Volt. Then consider the utility of EREV. Advantage Volt.Then consider you are going to have to pay $3100 for a home charger for the Leaf. (~$2000 + $1100 installation apparently) .Advantage Volt. Yes the HOV lanes in California are unfortunate, but hardly a deal breaker IMO- talk to your Governor. LOL (well OK I’ll say it Advantage Leaf! when it comes to HOV)People who can afford 2 cars are dead set on not burning a single drop of oil ever during a large portion of their driving will likely be leaning towards the purchase a Leaf. But these same people will likely have a larger more expensive second car for longer trips and can likely easily afford that too.However these are the same people that can also afford a $40K Volt just as easily getting the same reductions in fuel consumed AND reduce their monthly license and insurance costs at the same time by letting the 2nd car go (or down-grading IT).So where are we at as far as the premium to this point?Again subjective.But I’m saying it’s no contest even at a $10K premium.As far as the 10-15K initial production, this was the plan all along and certainly a myriad of rationale exists to support it. Assuming everything goes as planned (especially the capacity of the new LG cell production facility) it wouldn’t surprise me to see announcements of expanded plant capacity to be able to produce 100,000 Volts or more for the 2013 model year. GM certainly has the ability to alter the ramp up rate should conditions warrant. Consider the recent DOUBLING of the sq footage of the battery assembly facility in Brownstown (3 months start to finish) as an example of their upward mobility.To put a slightly dyslexic slant on an old film adage “If the Come, They Will Build It”JMOWopOnTour  (Quote)

    I think you guys are referring to different aspects of the difference. I believe DonC’s point is that the range extender, alone, can be reasonably justified to a premium of about $4-$5K above a BEV. WOT, if I’m reading correctly, believes the larger premium for the Volt over the Leaf is justified for other additional options and features that the Volt has that the Leaf doesn’t. Both of your points are complimentary and not exclusive. As to the onboard generator premium, I would contend that it depends on the CD range and BEV range. In the case the Volt vs Leaf, I think the premium acceptance start to fade considerably closer to the $4K mark, all other things being equal. To WOT’s point, there are other advantages and options included in the Volt price. The question is, how will the interested consumers value these differences?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (1:56 pm)

    RB: Or maybe create a concern about other people’s electric vehicles (smile).
    .
    But either way to me it seems a waste of time. By far the largest number of people have a satisfactory ICE vehicle and want to know (or from gm’s perspective, need to want to know), “Why should I consider an electric vehicle the next time I buy a new car?”
    .
    The number who are at present committed to (or even seriously interested in) any kind of electric vehicle is tiny compared to that total, so that’s where the money is.

    I don’t think they are creating it. It already exists.
    http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2010/08/interest-in-evs-strong-but-range-anxiety-may-be-barrier-to-many-study-finds.html

    I think GM also needs to work hard to debunk the myths:

    – the AER range wont be 40 miles after 8 years.
    – the batteries wont last 5 years
    – EV’s ride like golf carts
    – EV’s are dangerous
    – EV’s can’t accelerate
    – and basically any other compromise people think they will be making


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:00 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    140 DonC: Women express more range anxiety than me

    .
    With greatest respect, I don’t think this issue divides male and female. My wife is more a supporter of a BEV than I am, perhaps because most of my trips are less than 50mi/day, while all of hers are. She likes the thought of no more gas station ever. :) I think people, all of them, divide mainly according to how they think a choice will affect them personally, and the task they need to do, rather than abstract fears.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:04 pm)

    DonC: Men are more confident of their abilities to avoid running out of juice, which is doubtless why they run out of gas much more frequently.

    My experience is that my daughters and sisters run out of gas more often than me! I just get to be the one bringing the gas can.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:05 pm)

    150 stuart22: Maybe not the same scenario, but close – Nissan right now is having no second thoughts about touting the LEAF as ‘Zero Emission, Zero tailpipe’ while at the same time selling gas hog SUV’s and large sedans.

    .
    Again a very good point. It seems that you are right that automakers sell car by car, not particularly worrying about conflicts across ad lines.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:06 pm)

    DonC: s “more risk tolerant” a euphemism for “overconfident idiots”? (only kidding).

    LOL. I think it’s actually a good thing in the aggregate. It’s one of the common explanations why men earn more than women.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:07 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    That, and: “The Gulf War won’t cost that much…”  

    Yup. Along with Mission Accomplished.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:10 pm)

    LauraM: Even if all the men go directly for the BEVs, women buy a LOT of cars.

    And a lot of the cars men buy, their wife still has to give the stamp of approval.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:11 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:14 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:25 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:26 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:29 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:29 pm)

    To me and probably every other person out there might agree… the volt is a better choice right now with no mass EV infrastucture in place. But at $41,000 in this economy I don’t see the average american forking out this kind of money. It’s going to be interesting to see how many they sell.
    I heard the generator the volt has barely passed smog requirements.
    EV’s will be the play it’s just a matter of time.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:34 pm)

    WopOnTour: Afterwards when you again park them side by side and do a walk-around it will be quite obvious to you that these are simply 2 different classes of vehicle.

    Without seeing either of them in person, I already think this way.

    If I’m buying a $40k car, it better feel like a BMW or any other $40k car. Even with the $7500 tax credit (which I still got to finance or lease and buy insurance for a $40k car) it’s still not competing with a sub-compact. EV or not.

    Speaking of insurance, my agent just quoted me $80/month for full coverage on a Chevrolet Volt! (She didn’t know at first if it was a car or a truck. lol.) This is in addition to my other three vehicles and home. (I get a lot of discounts.)

    In other words, Volt is in Allstate’s system!


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    Schmeltz

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    kdawg: And a lot of the cars men buy, their wife still has to give the stamp of approval.

    Oh so true my friend. :)


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    Liken_R_Cr0tch

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:39 pm)

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    Liken_R_Cr0tch

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:49 pm)

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    Loboc

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (2:55 pm)

    ricco: at $41,000 in this economy I don’t see the average american forking out this kind of money.

    Don’t forget about the $7500 tax credit. After the dust settles to the bottom line, 33k is pretty close to what the average new car goes for.

    If GM can pull off their $350/month lease, it’s a no-brainer for a lot of regular folks.

    Personally, I will wait for a demo/off-lease Volt, or, I will buy new if I can get an SS. I’m either a cheap bastard or a high roller. Haven’t figured that one out yet.

    As far as the economy, 90% are employed and are probably pretty stable in their job at this point. People that can afford a new car won’t be having a problem.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:01 pm)

    LauraM:
    300 miles minimum.20 minutes recharge (and that’s pushing it.)And I’d need a readily available network of quick charging stations everywhere within weekend driving distance of my home.  

    I completely agree. And 20 minutes is really pushing it. ;)


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    LeoK

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:02 pm)

    ricco: To me and probably every other person out there might agree… the volt is a better choice right now with no mass EV infrastucture in place. But at $41,000 in this economy I don’t see the average american forking out this kind of money. It’s going to be interesting to see how many they sell.I heard the generator the volt has barely passed smog requirements.EV’s will be the play it’s just a matter of time.  (Quote)

    You have a valid point… however I’ll challenge you to think about this:

    While pure EV’s will surely improve over the coming years, both longer range + shorter charge times, so will GM’s EREV design. The base range will improve, the generator will improve – and as we’ve seen on this site has a virtually unlimited number of options.

    By the time the Nissan LEAF’s range has improved to 300 miles, the GM EREV range will have improved by the same magnatude – 120 miles – and the generator efficiency will have also greatly improved –

    The bottom line remains: GM’s EREV powertrain concept has the potential to set the standard for future automotive powertrains. Yes, it may cost more to add a generator, but it is the only concept that contains a self-sustaining on-board power source – so any consumer, any place, can travel any distance they need to at any time.

    I’m a VOLT believer…. are you?


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    Greg Simpson

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:05 pm)

    Jim I: “thumbs up” (Is that trademarked?)

    No, but “two thumbs up” is for movie reviews.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:05 pm)

    Meanwhile, other news on the green car front:

    HYBRID SALES IN USA TAKE AUGUST PLUNGE
    Prius sales dropped like a lead balloon; Ford Fusion hybrid sales continue to climb; Nissan virtually invisible as they bring up the rear:
    http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2010/09/hybrid-market-not-so-august-as-sales-plunge-in-continued-weak-economy.html

    FORD FOCUS ELECTRIC HAS ACTIVE BATTERY COOLING/HEATING
    Article mentions Ford has other hybrid/electrics to come including a plug-in hybrid in 2012:
    http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2010/09/ford-focus-electric-will-use-liquid-cooled-battery-system-to-help-maximize-range.html


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    Liken_R_Cr0tch

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:10 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:13 pm)

    Ladies and Gentlemen, stepping up to the GM Volt.com microphones is the one and only Mel Brooks…..

    Range Anxiety – Whenever you’re not near
    Ooh, ’Xiety – It’s that that I fear
    My heart’s afraid to drive
    It’s been stranded before
    But then you take my hand
    My heart wants to soar
    once more. (key change!)

    … Range Anxiety, you win.


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    Loboc

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:13 pm)

    November is going to be very busy.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11546023


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:17 pm)

    Rashiid Amul:
    I completely agree.And 20 minutes is really pushing it.   

    Note to Lyle…..

    Why not poll all of us here at GM-Volt as to what our personal thresholds of acceptability are if we were to purchase an EV? Minimum range & max. recharge time would be the two main parameters, and then on a scale of 1 to 10, ask how important would a network of recharging stations be to their decision.

    I wonder if Ghosn ever had Nissan take a similar poll, or if his forecasts of hundreds of thousands of LEAF sales happening within a few years just came out of his a$$? At any rate, the responses would certainly be interesting….


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    Liken_R_Cr0tch

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:20 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:22 pm)

    @lternate Delegate: Which car makes it more convenient to keep sucking juice from your boys from the sand lands? A Volt driver can “just keep driving…..”……keep sucking juice.
    It’s the great marriage of GM and big OIL. The Volt IS THE only EV product designed and built to make it easy for YOU to stay dependent on foreign oil.
    GM is just pimping out the addiction of Oil to you and you’re the crack whore.

    You talk as if every other car in the world isn’t using oil except the Volt. Why is using any oil at all a bad thing? The Volt will use far less oil than any other car with an engine and that’s a bad thing? In fact it’s true what joe said, overall Volt owners will probably use even less oil than Leaf owners because they will have to either own a second car which uses – you guessed it – “juice from the sand lands” or use some other form of transportation based on even more “juice from the sand lands”. Anyway this argument is rather silly, all forms of reducing oil consumption are good, be them EREVs, BEVs, whatever. Pitting them against each other doesn’t help the cause any.

    Also don’t you know addictions have to be curbed gradually? You can’t just quit cold turkey.


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    Liken_R_Cr0tch

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:28 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:40 pm)

    L.R.C., if you had a less adolescent username, I might be more willing to read your posts.


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    Liken_R_Cr0tch

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:45 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:49 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:52 pm)

    Liken_R_Cr0tch: To go 100 miiles the BEV needs 1 charge. To go 100 miles in the Volt all EV 3 charges. Now if the convenience of going further in the Volt is the selling point, then isn’t the convenience of having to charge less the selling point for the BEV? It’s more inconvenient to charge more times in the Volt.

    Not really no. I don’t see much of a convenience to charge 3 times less often but have it take 3 times longer, but you “conveniently” forgot to mention that. It won’t cut it as a selling point for the Leaf. On the other hand it is more convenient to have a way to “charge” the Volt 100 times faster if time is critical. I think that’s the bigger selling point of the Volt over the Leaf, even more so than the range. 100 mile range would have been great if you could recharge in 3 minutes.


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    The Grump: Well, GM could always trademark the phrase “Range Anxiety-Free”.
    GM might even get away with their Range Anxiety trademark. Remember, GM is partly owned by the government – the same government who will decide the trademark issue.C’mon, it’s not like Nissan is going to use it. That issue is like kryptonite to a BEV.  

    No but they could stop anyone else from using it.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (4:03 pm)

    Wow, Statik, thanks for the insight!

    Ewanick may be the “right guy” for GM right now being that he is so slick.

    Slick is great for a company.

    Slick is great for an ad agency or marketing department.

    Slick is slick.

    Slick is not necessarily good for the consumer though, as a marketing director’s job is to put a positive spin on a product, service or company’s direction. Since you’ve aptly shown how all over the map this guy is with his recent quotes – I’d have to say he’s just a yes-man like most marketing types. Weeks ago he was schmoozing the public with the incredible significance of the LEAF and today, like some sports star, he’s been offered a better deal by GM to schmooze Volt to the public.

    All-in-all it’s PR and hearing bullsh*&^t from a trumped-up car salesman. Not exactly what we want to hear in the months leading up to Volt’s introduction. I, for one, would like to hear more about how GM will change the world with innovation and performance.

    I agree with others who just believe plain-speak to the public about how Volt works, it’s advantages over traditional hybrids and EVs is what’s required – and that’s it. Slick doesn’t impress me, or strategies to trademark terms or ….the Volt Dance, for that matter.

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    john1701a

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (4:16 pm)

    stuart22: Prius sales dropped like a lead balloon

    Don’t fall for the spin.

    11,799 is still a solid month sales quantity.

    In fact, that’s almost enough to meet the projected 150,000 annual total.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (4:20 pm)

    Liken_R_Cr0tch:
    lol….
      

    Yeah…. LOL. Must be a slow day over at your LEAF site- :smile:


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (4:36 pm)

    Toyota has a gigantic PR disaster on it’s hands with Prius if they do not stop trying to bury the Prius HID headlight debacle.

    Toyota? Just do right by your faithful customers and recall the *&^% headlights! I think Toyota is in for some seriously bad media bashing if they continue to ignore the thousands upon thousands of Prius customers who love their car, but hate that it has flawed headlights that will go out and cause danger to the driver – and fail right after the warranty expires. If that isn’t a safety issue, NHTSA, what is?!!!. So far, Toyota has taken the hide-and-seek strategy and not chosen to do right by making a recall. For more on this issue – Google “Prius Headlights” – a class action suit had gotten legs recently and it’s soon to explode all over again at Toyota.

    in 2004 Toyota reps I spoke to were trying ever hard to convey a message to the public at large – that you don’t have to plug it in ( like this is a bad thing! ). Their ad campaigns and salespeak all centered upon assuring the public Prius was self-contained and didn’t need to be plugged into the wall outlet. After all the fuss, it was word of mouth, word of web and just plain time that cured Toyota’s percieved Prius PR problem. They did’nt really accomplish much with all the hand-holding they did to calm percieved consumer fears that owning one would be a hassle.

    GM should save some money on PR and take this lesson learned from Toyota. Instead, place that money on getting Volt out to all 50 states and offering a five or six seat sedan or SUV option.

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (4:41 pm)

    Liken_R_Cr0tch:
    More FUD.
    A leaf owner has to plug in all the time. A Volt owner does not because “they can keep driving and burn gas…”
    If a leaf and a Volt use uo 40 miles of charge, which car will use more gas? Which driver is more apt toburn gas? Which driver has the instantaneous ability to keep their dependency on oil?Why anyone would even think they will not forgo a nightly charge and just keep burning gas means the Volt will use less gas than the leaf is beyond stupid.Here, lets put it in terms of money which we most understand. The Volt is the guy with an ATMcard. The leaf is the guy without one. Which guy will most likely spend money?Yet Voltards here still claim the Leaf owner will burn more gas?  

    Oh I see, so the Leaf is supposed to save gas by preventing people from using it, by forcing people to charge religiously, not allowing them to give in to the temptations of using gas. I don’t disagree that there will be Volt owners out there who will get lazy and start using it in CS mode all the time (especially after the novelty of charging has worn out), it’s human nature after all. But to suggest that flocks and flocks of people will buy themselves a Leaf just to control their urges is what’s actually beyond stupid. If you think that people will intentionally put themselves into situations where they can’t go where they want to go when they want to in order to be “emissions free” you are sorely mistaken. All it would take is a few times for them to need a charge to run an unexpected errand or misjudge the range by even a couple of miles, and out with the BEV it will be, and back in with a gas guzzling SUV. (hey, that even rimes!)

    But anyway, why am I here trying to prove this, hasn’t over 100 years of the electric vehicle already proven this beyond the shadow of the doubt?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think BEVs are no good, there’s plenty of people out there who can use them and will use them, and won’t mind their drawbacks, but a dent in the world’s oil consumption they will not make, and neither will the Volt by the way, not for a while anyway. But I for one I think it’s far better to have a bunch of people who won’t bother charging their Volt while at the same opening up the possibility for many others to charge rather than having a very small percentage of the population charge their BEV all the time. Anyway, having both cars on the road is a good thing, better than having just one. More options is always better than fewer options.


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    LandKurt

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (4:44 pm)

    kForceZero:
    On the other hand it is more convenient to have a way to “charge” the Volt 100 times faster if time is critical.I think that’s the bigger selling point of the Volt over the Leaf, even more so than the range.100 mile range would have been great if you could recharge in 3 minutes.   

    Definitely the advantage of the Volt: Burn no petroleum for 40 miles and then proceed as normal on power from ICE. The best of both worlds.

    Whether you agree this is an advantage depends on your viewpoint:

    Do you want to get mostly off oil with little impact on your lifestyle? Get a Volt.

    Do you insist everyone completely stop using oil irregardless of what limits this imposes? Then apparently you come to GM-Volt.com and be a troll.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (4:54 pm)

    john1701a:
    Don’t fall for the spin.11,799 is still a solid month sales quantity.In fact, that’s almost enough to meet the projected 150,000 annual total.  

    Sorry John for saying ‘Prius sales dropped like a lead balloon’- the article really said ‘Prius sales dropped like a rock’. Despite a variety of sales incentives like slashing prices and interest rates on loans….

    Yet Ford Fusion hybrid sales continue to grow…..

    I think Toyota’s lofty image has been damaged by all the recalls. Coupled with the ascendancy of Ford and GM (and in recent months Chrysler) it looks like your foreign god has been knocked off its pedestal.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:03 pm)

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    Jackson

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:17 pm)

    bookdabook: Sarcasm alert. Don’t read the following if you can’t handle sarcasm.

    What sarcasm?

    I only hope you get to post more transcripts before they find your hidden microphone …

    ;-)


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:18 pm)

    As I perused through the article, I can’t help but make a few obvious remarks.

    GM is stating this is aimed at the “average consumer”, as the title (and design of the car) indicates. It certainly is no Lexus or Cadillac.

    Unfortunately, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I know, will no longer be considering a Chevy Volt. About 6-8 of my friends who have been ineterested in this thing, and make about the same salary as I do, are all waving it good-bye.

    Why?……. PRICE IS TOO HIGH!!!

    Well, I make $65,000. This is the average consumer salary in well-to-do areas of the country. I own a home that has an average mortgage which is about half my net monthly salary. They other half pays basic monthly bills, and food for my wife and kids. I own both my cars, a Corolla and an old Suburban. Both purchased for under $20,000.

    As it is right now, I could not afford a car payment beyond anything costing over $20,000, if I had to purchase a new car.

    All I can say is that the 6-8 people I know who were excited about this car, are now shaking their heads in disgust. Even if the price was below $30,000, it still would not be a consideration. The Volt needs to be BELOW $25,000 including taxes, credits, and licensing for anyone AVERAGE to consider owning one.

    Even if the price comes down over the next few years, it still won’t be cheap enough for average Joes to consider buying. Especially when I can buy a similar car in luxury and with high gas mileage for half the price. There’s no way one can make up $15,000 worth of gas with average driving. It would take about 10 years to break even, if you used NO GAS at all in this car. And we all know it does use some gas.

    I’m starting to think the idea of government trying to force this technology into existence by dumping $billions into GM was once again a huge waste of our tax dollars. The technology and our markets will eventually get there, but this may be about 10 years too early.

    I have a bad feeling this car will run for 2-3 years, and go away, until battery prices are low enough to directly compete with existing ICE production.

    Exactly how is it GM feels this is aimed at the AVERAGE consumer?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:23 pm)

    DonC: Is “more risk tolerant” a euphemism for “overconfident idiots”? (only kidding).I actually think men are more inclined to think it will never happen to them and to subscribe to the adage “No guts no glory”. Kinda a corollary to not wanting to ask directions.  (Quote)

    I think it is a sum of all of the above but bravery and fearlessness are two different things. A typical woman’s (don’t shoot) fear of being stranded in an unknown location at an unknown time is not the same as a typical man’s by a longshot. While, I agree men tend to be more “risk tolerant” on average, this isn’t as relevent an influence if there isn’t much perceived risk in the first place.

    tomato…tomaato


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:24 pm)

    LauraM: LOL. I think it’s actually a good thing in the aggregate. It’s one of the common explanations why men earn more than women.  (Quote)

    Hmmm…I thought it was reflected in the shorter lifespan


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    Jackson

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:32 pm)

    Aaron: The technology and our markets will eventually get there, but this may be about 10 years too early.

    Confucius Say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

    Is GM putting the EV before the batteries? Maybe. Are they jumping the gun on marketing to “Average Joes?” Definitely.

    It would be a shame, though, if the metaphorical foot was withdrawn from that first step over ill-will. The Volt hasn’t hit the showroom at any price, yet look at all it has changed with regards to Lithium Ion battery chemistry in automobiles. No less an automotive power than Toyota famously reversed it’s judgment concerning the technology, once they were convinced that the Volt wasn’t vaporware.

    It rings hollow in the ears of many watchers, but the Volt story isn’t over; it’s scarcely begun. However much we may wish for auto electrification to instantly become a significant force in the land, the reality is much closer to 5 – 10 years. What will a Volt cost in 5 years? We don’t know, but intelligent guesses have been made by those who know the car best. $34K is not forever, whatever the trolls may say.

    Let the Volt fail, and the wait for meaningful EV penetration becomes much longer. The Volt and LEAF are the caged canaries that the rest of the automobile industry are watching … carefully.

    Never forget that the Volt program pre-dates Bankruptcy … that government support for GM has spanned two administrations … that we only get our money back if GM succeeds.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:37 pm)

    Aaron: Even if the price comes down over the next few years, it still won’t be cheap enough for average Joes to consider buying. Especially when I can buy a similar car in luxury and with high gas mileage for half the price. There’s no way one can make up $15,000 worth of gas with average driving.

    Yes there is a fairly obvious way. You say you’re average. That means as a male you drive 15k a year and use 750 gallons of gas. At $3/gallon that $2250 a year. Over ten years that’s $22,250.

    First generation technology is always very expensive. The first digital SLRs cost over $10K and used sensors with very few pixels. Now they cost $1000 for 5x the pixels. Probably hard to do, but why not just be thankful some people have the means or the will to purchase the first waves so you’ll be able to buy later on?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:42 pm)

    Aaron: All I can say is that the 6-8 people I know who were excited about this car, are now shaking their heads in disgust. Even if the price was below $30,000, it still would not be a consideration. The Volt needs to be BELOW $25,000 including taxes, credits, and licensing for anyone AVERAGE to consider owning one.
    Even if the price comes down over the next few years, it still won’t be cheap enough for average Joes to consider buying. Especially when I can buy a similar car in luxury and with high gas mileage for half the price. There’s no way one can make up $15,000 worth of gas with average driving. It would take about 10 years to break even, if you used NO GAS at all in this car. And we all know it does use some gas.

    That’s one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that you pay most of the cost of ownership of the car up-front (including fuel, service, etc.) Once people realize that then the MSRP won’t seem so high anymore. Given that most people finance their cars, the up-front cost won’t be a big deterrent.

    It’s often pointed out here that the Volt is too expensive, that similar cars cost half as much, etc. but it’s always a direct MSRP comparison. Somebody should do a thorough estimate of the total cost of ownership for a Volt and compare that with the cost of ownership of similar cars, only then we can decide how much, or even if a Volt is more expensive (and that’s even without the tax rebate). Factor in a high resale value, and I tend to think that a Volt could be cheaper in most cases than similarly powered/featured alternatives.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:46 pm)

    john1701a:
    So when GM achieves the sales goal for Volt, can we spin the same way?In other words, cherry-picking monthly ups & downs with complete disregard for overall annual results is greenwashing.Step back and look at the big picture.How does 11,799 stack up to other vehicles?  

    It’s all relative. The trend is showing a drop. I predict this downward trend will continue due to a couple of factors….

    - Toyota’s image has cracked. The Prius is no longer something to be proud of owning.

    - Better alternatives are around the corner. More and more would-be Prius buyers are holding off to wait for the new claimants to the Green Mantle, the Volt, LEAF and Focus EV.

    I predict the 11,800 number will be halved by this time next year. Maybe that is even being too generous….


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:50 pm)

    koz: While, I agree men tend to be more “risk tolerant” on average, this isn’t as relevent an influence if there isn’t much perceived risk in the first place.
    tomato…tomaato  

    Actually this was my not-so-serious point — men just don’t get the risks. But in all seriousness men generally do undervalue risk. Here is an article from the WSJ on why women are better investors than men. A few choice tidbits:

    Women, by contrast, put safety first. Even after controlling for age, income and marital status, women are more inclined than men to wear seat belts, avoid cigarette smoking, floss and brush their teeth and get their blood pressure checked. They even have been shown to be 40% less prone than men to run yellow traffic lights.

    Women are less afflicted than men by overconfidence, or the delusion that they know more than they really do. And they’re more likely than men to attribute success to factors outside themselves, like luck or fate.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124181915279001967.html

    IOW women on the whole (we’re not dealing with bi-furcated populations here) will be more sensitive to potential problems like being stranded with a flat battery. However, there is another factor here which is that people are abnormally sensitive to new risks. As time goes on, and people don’t end up with flat batteries, which they won’t, then the range anxiety card will become less valuable.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:52 pm)

    Jackson:
    Confucius Say, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”Is GM putting the EV before the batteries?Maybe.Are they jumping the gun on marketing to “Average Joes?” Definitely.It would be a shame, though, if the metaphorical foot was withdrawn from that first step over ill-will.The Volt hasn’t hit the showroom at any price, yet look at all it has changed with regards to Lithium Ion battery chemistry in automobiles.No less an automotive power than Toyota famously reversed it’s judgment concerning the technology, once they were convinced that the Volt wasn’t vaporware.It rings hollow in the ears of many watchers, but the Volt story isn’t over; it’s scarcely begun.However much we may wish for auto electrification to instantly become a significant force in the land, the reality is much closer to 5 – 10 years.What will a Volt cost in 5 years?We don’t know, but intelligent guesses have been made by those who know the car best.$34K is not forever, whatever the trolls may say.Let the Volt fail, and the wait for meaningful EV penetration becomes much longer.The Volt and LEAF are the caged canaries that the rest of the automobile industry are watching … carefully.Never forget that the Volt program pre-dates Bankruptcy … that government support for GM has spanned two administrations … that we only get our money back if GM succeeds.  

    Very nice post Jackson.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:54 pm)

    I understand how one pays up front for the cost of ownership. I sure hope this car succeeds. As a part owner of the company, along with 300,000,000 other people (taxpayers), it would be nice to get something back on our investment.

    Unfortunately, for someone who just can’t afford a $34,000 car payment, it will be a good 7-8 years before my salary can afford one. I say this pending completion of the mortgage on my house and increases in salary over the next several years.

    Personally, my enthusiasm may have me to say… “I can’t wait to own an EV.”

    Reality… It will have to wait. :(


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    DonC

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:56 pm)

    stuart22: Better alternatives are around the corner. More and more would-be Prius buyers are holding off to wait for the new claimants to the Green Mantle, the Volt, LEAF and Focus EV.
    I predict the 11,800 number will be halved by this time next year. Maybe that is even being too generous….  

    Well there are 13K Leaf pre-orders and probably at least 5K Volt orders. You to think a decent percentage of those sales are coming out of Prius sales. However, sales in August were generally down so a lot of this may be cyclical. There is some thought that people are waiting for Labor Day weekend sales. We’ll see. (Fusion hybrid sales were up but the numbers aren’t that large — love to see what would happen if the hybrid had the same price as the standard Fusion).

    On the timing I think you’re too far ahead of yourself. My guess on time is three years or more. But when it happens Prius sales won’t decrease along a nice curve, they’ll fall off a cliff. So later but more dramatic. Kinda like SUV sales in 2008. LOL


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    DonC

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:04 pm)

    Aaron: Personally, my enthusiasm may have me to say… “I can’t wait to own an EV.”
    Reality… It will have to wait.

    Unfortunately some long time posters on this site are having to wait longer than they’d like. It’s a bummer. Big bummer. But I’d expect that in not that long a time you’ll be able to pick up a lightly used EV for less than $15K. Half the value of a car disappears in the first few years and I don’t think EVs are going to be the exception to that rule. Just like it is with the iPhone, there will be improvements and new features that some people, perhaps with more money than brains, just have to have.

    The rational thing is to wait, which would be great if it weren’t so hard to do!


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    Palm Springs Mazda

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:24 pm)

    For the people lamenting that they can’t afford it, simply buy it used in a few years. Many people have six figure incomes still buy used cars, it’s really no big deal. Its actually smarter since cars depreciate. Only problem with the GM Volt is that its brand new so there aren’t any used ones at the moment, but in general, buying used is a good idea. No one “needs” a brand new car.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:34 pm)

    Jackson: …It rings hollow in the ears of many watchers, but the Volt story isn’t over; it’s scarcely begun. However much we may wish for auto electrification to instantly become a significant force in the land, the reality is much closer to 5 – 10 years. What will a Volt cost in 5 years? We don’t know, but intelligent guesses have been made by those who know the car best. $34K is not forever, whatever the trolls may say….

    AMEN! 5-10 years is extremely optimistic, even if we’re “just” talking about a *meaningful* change in the make-up of the NA *new* car sales. Certainly anything is *possible*, but to hit even 1% of new cars sold would be fantastic! Now to gain a single percent of the NA cars on the road 10 years from now seems problematic – even with wide-open spigots of cheaper Volts being produced. And yes, I’m still optimistic and enthused about the Volt’s prospects! The next few years of baby steps will be another great ride.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Tagamet

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (6:39 pm)

    DonC: …why not just be thankful some people have the means or the will to purchase the first waves so you’ll be able to buy later on?

    Well, *I’m* definitely grateful that the wheels will meet the road (and go out the door) very soon! I’m admittedly disappointed that my butt won’t be in a Volt seat anytime soon, but I’m thrilled that those first steps are imminent!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:09 pm)

    #219
    DonC Said:

    But I’d expect that in not that long a time you’ll be able to pick up a lightly used EV for less than $15K.

    I suspect that you are talking about cars other than the Volt, with that comment. I’m sure many EVs will have a less than impressive death, with their batteries doing something useful, like powering pontoon boats, etc.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:39 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:46 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:50 pm)

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    Jackson

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (7:56 pm)

    Aaron:Unfortunately, for someone who just can’t afford a $34,000 car payment, it will be a good 7-8 years before my salary can afford one. I say this pending completion of the mortgage on my house and increases in salary over the next several years.

    Personally, my enthusiasm may have me to say… “I can’t wait to own an EV.”

    Reality… It will have to wait.

    Believe me, I hear you. I was laid off almost a year ago. The job prospects these days — well, let’s just say they aren’t “booming.” A lot of us here have been forced to moderate our initial enthusiasm.

    If it’s any consolation, consider that somewhere along that 7 – 8 years, the Volt may be available in quantities which will, as forecast, lower it’s purchase price. Hang in there, and the Volt just might meet you half-way.

    “Hanging in there” is about all many of us can do right now.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:02 pm)

    EricLG:
    People running 20 mpg cars per your calculation either 1)don’t care about fuel and fuel prices; 2) are idiots; or 3)are *really* poor, and a Volt is way out of their reach.A used Prius costs $10 -15k, and uses about 300 gallons/year. Opportunity cost on $40k over 10years at 5% apr is $25,000.
    Do the math, and remember: that Volt may be at the recycler in 10 years, unlike the Prius which is just entering middle age.The Volt is a toy. It will sell in Corvette quantities.  

    Or there are some, like me, who needed a vehicle when they bought it for a specific purpose, and have been using it ever since. I’m in a band and needed a vehicle to transport equipment, AND do my commute every day to work. So I got an 04 Trailblazer. It has served me well for the past 5 years. It is paid off now. It only gets 20 mpg on a good day, but it did the job. I’m moving on to the Volt and giving my mother the Trailblazer, as she never goes much out of town as it is. I’m 26 years old and pretty comfortable financially, working for an online game company. I see myself as one of the quintessential Volt early adopters – Replacing a gas guzzler with some green, techy, geeky, awesomeness…because I have the means to do it.


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    Red HHR

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:14 pm)

    Lyle: Sorry Jim, I can’t take credit for that image. Its from the Jalopnik post referenced in the article. Those guys are seriously sarcastic.

    Love that Site… Good Choice!

    nasaman: Rx for Electric Vehicle ‘Range Anxiety’ …The eREV*olutionary, all-electric Chevrolet Volt:*eREV = Full-Time Electric Extended Range Electric Vehicle  

    red-volt-rear.jpg
    Love the picture nasaman! However… I do not care about being on drugs(Rx) whilst driving.

    DonC:
    I ran your “Because Grandmother’s house is over the river and through the woods” tagline past my marketing people. They thought it was very good. That’s extremely high praise because they are a pretty tough crowd.
    It definitely captured your idea that a whisper beats shouting. Nice.  

    Yes agreed, a wee bit of innuendo is much better than a bludgeoning about the head.

    kdawg: And a lot of the cars men buy, their wife still has to give the stamp of approval.

    The Wife and I bought the Prius. So she could drive the Prius all the time, she bought me a Miata.

    Aaron: The Volt needs to be BELOW $25,000 including taxes, credits, and licensing for anyone AVERAGE to consider owning one.

    What is a guy with a Red HHR to do?


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    jeffhre

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    LandKurt: Do you insist everyone completely stop using oil irregardless of what limits this imposes? Then apparently you come to GM-Volt.com and be a troll. 

    Yes we must do this :) (Although you do have a good point about trolls, and wouldn’t you think people with troll potential could state their position and move on, instead of going on, and on and on…)

    Make an EREV that does 60 miles, and oil burning becomes a rarity for passenger car use. Even people constantly driving a hundred miles a day (36,500 miles a year) would see a vast difference in gas consumed. Or an EREV that does 75 miles per charge, wow.


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    Red HHR

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:25 pm)

    MikeD.: So I got an 04 Trailblazer. It has served me well for the past 5 years. It is paid off now. It only gets 20 mpg on a good day, but it did the job. I’m moving on to the Volt and giving my mother the Trailblazer, as she never goes much out of town as it is. I’m 26 years old and pretty comfortable financially, working for an online game company. I see myself as one of the quintessential Volt early adopters – Replacing a gas guzzler with some green, techy, geeky, awesomeness…because I have the means to do it.

    The world will be a better place because of it! So I am saying that a Volt sold to you would have a greater benefit than a Volt sold to me. (I am @ 30+mpg now) Good utilization of the limited quantities of Volts available.

    Cheers


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:39 pm)

    Jackson:
    Believe me, I hear you.I was laid off almost a year ago.The job prospects these days — well, let’s just say they aren’t “booming.”A lot of us here have been forced to moderate our initial enthusiasm.If it’s any consolation, consider that somewhere along that 7 – 8 years, the Volt may be available in quantities which will, as forecast, lower it’s purchase price.Hang in there, and the Volt just might meet you half-way.“Hanging in there” is about all many of us can do right now.  

    When you’re right, you’re right! Best of luck with the job search – we’re over-due for a turnaround in this economy, darn it! If it’s any consolation, it’s a very large and crowded boat that we’re both in. God willing, eventually, we’ll both get our Volts. I haven’t given up on my Bucket List’s “Buy a New Car” item, but at this point, I think I’d settle (lol).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    kForceZero

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:45 pm)

    EricLG:
    Here is most of the Calc; read and weep:Volt life: 10 years
    ICE or HV life: 20 years
    Opportunity Cost: 6%Volt: 2 cars over 20 years, + interest =
    $80000 + [(1.05)^20 + (1.05)^10]*40,000 = $251,287You read right, a quarter of a million dollars to buy a Volt for the next 20 years. Ongoing costs not included.  

    Wow, where do I even begin? Volt life 10 years? Where did you get that from? Why are you including the principal twice in the total value? Also, what bank lets you borrow 40k for 20 years without making a single payment, no less let you borrow another 40k 10 years into the first loan and continue to make no payments? No really, I’d like to know, I could use a loan like that. And this is also assuming that the Volt will still cost 40k 10 years from now. Anyway, what’s this got to do with anything, we all know it costs money to borrow money, this has nothing to do with the Volt specifically. But it’s the “ongoing costs not included” that really matter, that’s where the Volt will have the advantage which will tighten the gap between its initial price disadvantage. You omitted the most important part. Though I don’t have the hard data, I believe the Volt could break even in cost with similar alternatives, within its lifetime, and that’s nothing to shake a stick at. And that’s with the first-gen Volt, never mind the 2020 model year one. Who knows, it might be a pure BEV by then.

    I believe congratulations are in order though. You just proved the exponential function can rise quite dramatically!


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    Red HHR

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (8:45 pm)

    Jackson: Believe me, I hear you. I was laid off almost a year ago. The job prospects these days — well, let’s just say they aren’t “booming.” A lot of us here have been forced to moderate our initial enthusiasm.

    If it’s any consolation, consider that somewhere along that 7 – 8 years, the Volt may be available in quantities which will, as forecast, lower it’s purchase price. Hang in there, and the Volt just might meet you half-way.

    “Hanging in there” is about all many of us can do right now.

    In the last couple of years I have been laid off twice, and my wife once. I will not give out any numbers, however our fed tax is one third of what it was. We still pay enough for a Volt credit though! We are both working again, and on the same shift.

    Aaron: Personally, my enthusiasm may have me to say… “I can’t wait to own an EV.”

    Reality… It will have to wait. :(

    I contemplate an electric four wheeler or scooter, or play pulse and glide with the Prius when I get to drive it.

    Tagamet: Well, *I’m* definitely grateful that the wheels will meet the road (and go out the door) very soon! I’m admittedly disappointed that my butt won’t be in a Volt seat anytime soon, but I’m thrilled that those first steps are imminent!

    Thanks for the optimism Tag, someday will be our red letter day.


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    EVNow

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:00 pm)

    DonC: … I’m still thinking that Nissan’s plans to use a live trained polar bear in the Leaf ads will turn off not only the PETA people but probably 95% of the Leaf’s targeted demographic.

    Let me guess – you are neither in PETA, nor one of those “Leaf’s targeted demographic” ?

    I’ve not heard a single crib from anyone about the ad. Infact most of them seem to love the idea – and are eager to see the ad.

    ps : I’m guessing now-a-days companies don’t bring in major ads without some focus group testing anyway …


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    Aaron: Unfortunately, for someone who just can’t afford a $34,000 car payment, it will be a good 7-8 years before my salary can afford one.

    What about $350/month lease?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:05 pm)

    Red HHR: Thanks for the optimism Tag, someday will be our red letter day.

    “Someday” is good (lol). Our odds are a heck of a lot better than they were 3 years ago! If the progress stays on the same trend line (and it should actually get better), we’ll both have a Volt in the driveway ~3 years from now. (g)

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Red HHR

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:14 pm)

    Tagamet:
    “Someday” is good (lol). Our odds are a heck of a lot better than they were 3 years ago! If the progress stays on the same trend line (and it should actually get better), we’ll both have a Volt in the driveway ~3 years from now. (g)Be well,
    Tagamet  

    In the meantime we can live vicariously through others…

    Cheers


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    flmark

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:16 pm)

    Aaron: Unfortunately, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I know, will no longer be considering a Chevy Volt. About 6-8 of my friends who have been ineterested in this thing, and make about the same salary as I do, are all waving it good-bye. Why?……. PRICE IS TOO HIGH!!!; (Quote)

    Lemonade from Lemons?

    There is an upside to this, and honestly I am NOT trying to be smug. DonC has raised this point (indirectly). Someone else asked me this after learning of my (multiple) hybrids. [And the Prius die-hards should pay attention, too] The Volt has a large following amont CURRENT hybrid owners. Many might be selling their hybrids after the Volt shows up in the garage. While the Volt may be out of average buying ability, there may be a bunch of hybrids popping up on the used car market. Going plug in may not be a straight away option in the near future for many, but if the commitment to getting us off oil is there, look to Craigslist for hybrids for sale. Something tells me you’ll find some good deals on some good gas-saving cars in relatively short order.


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    Velma Dinkley

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:29 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:38 pm)

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    IQ130

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:38 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:42 pm)

    Red HHR:
    In the meantime we can live vicariously through others…Cheers  

    Absolutely! I’m really looking forward to this site once people start reporting their experiences with the Volt “out in the wild”! Lyle and I chatted a little about what may be in store for the site when we were at the Endependence Day fireworks in NYC. Rocket’s Red Glare, Bombs bursting in air, shiny new Volt on the rooftop with us – sometimes Life is really Good!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:50 pm)

    flmark: While the Volt may be out of average buying ability, there may be a bunch of hybrids popping up on the used car market. Going plug in may not be a straight away option in the near future for many, but if the commitment to getting us off oil is there, look to Craigslist for hybrids for sale. Something tells me you’ll find some good deals on some good gas-saving cars in relatively short order.

    From your lips to God’s ear!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    EricLG

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (9:50 pm)

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    Dave K.

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:06 pm)

    How about a BMW M6?
    BMW%20M6.jpg
    MSRP: From $102,350
    Fuel Economy 13 mpg

    Or a 2010 Lexus LS 460?
    2010.lexus.jpg
    MSRP: From $65,380
    Fuel Economy 18 – 19 mpg

    =D-Volt

    volt%20%20bmw%20comparison.jpg


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:11 pm)

    micmccon: I think some clever marketing which compares range anxiety to E.D. might be funny. ” Do you suffer from R.A.? Try the new Chevy Volt. For erectons lasting longer than 4 hours, drive the competition”  (Quote)


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:18 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:31 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:39 pm)

    Great job today the the volting today, Folks!
    I owe, I owe, so off to work I go – tomorrow. I’ll be here later though. Be good to each other!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:41 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Well, *I’m* definitely grateful that the wheels will meet the road (and go out the door) very soon! I’m admittedly disappointed that my butt won’t be in a Volt seat anytime soon, but I’m thrilled that those first steps are imminent!Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Hey TAG. Try taking the salesman out to lunch once in a while and get a drive of the dealers Volt in the process. ;)

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:44 pm)

    EricLG: And I believe in the tooth fairy. The difference between the two us, it seems, is that I don’t rely on fairies to sort out my personal finances. Google what opportunity cost is, and how to calculate it.

    Last time I looked, how other people choose to spend their money is absolutely none of your business. And, fyi, he didn’t say anything about going in debt. Therefore, how he prioritizes his money has nothing to do with money management skills. And everything to do with personal choice.

    As far as opportunity costs–have you looked at interest rates lately? Do you seriously think that you can make more than 1% (before inflation) without any risk?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:51 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:56 pm)

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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:57 pm)

    EricLG: Jackson is counting up his unemployment ObamaCare dollars, and is waiting to hear back from Americredit.

    Well, isn’t that just typical? In my experience, there are two kinds of high income earners. The classy ones who don’t tell people about it. And understand that they are successful because they live in a country like the United States that allows them to be successful.

    And then there are those who measure their self worth by their paycheck–and are convinced that they make money because they’re so inherently special that no one else could possibly do their job as well as they do. And it has nothing to do with the surrounding society. These people tend to judge their self worth by their paycheck. And boast about their money to anyone who will listen.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (10:59 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    Hey TAG. Try taking the salesman out to lunch once in a while and get a drive of the dealers Volt in the process.
    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  

    Excellent idea! Now I just need to be patient until the Volt is available locally (Penna). Although I forget *a lot*, I don’t think I’ll soon forget the test drive in NYC. With any luck, I’ll be able to rent one in the next few years. It’d be TOTALLY worth a rental to drive one again!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:02 pm)

    EricLG: No risk today — about 4%. Now you look at average returns over 20 years, on a rolling basis, for the past 100 years in a well diversified portfolio.

    I did read his post. But it’s a huge leap to go from from disagreeing about the total cost of a car to saying he relies on fairies to sort out his finances. You know nothing about the rest of his finances.

    If you don’t understand the difference between the past 100 years, and the next 100 years, well, I’m not going to enlighten you. Although you might want to google “survivorship bias.”

    Why are you still here?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:11 pm)

    EricLG: Regarding the Volt longevity: set aside your magical thinking for a moment, and look at the facts: 1, unproven battery with only a 100k mile warranty; 2, report from Nissan anticipating shortened battery life; and 3, unadorned straight up admission of short life by Tesla. None of the above *proves* short life for the Volt battery, but it sure is suggestive. More to the point, *nothing* at this time gives any degree of confidence of long battery life.

    The Volt has an 8year 100k-mile warranty. If (big if) anything fails, you’re covered. I assume you already know that Nissan’s & Telsa’s battery tech is different (including the conditioning), and that you are aware of all the testing and accelerated-testing that has been done on the Volt batteries, and that the batteries are expected to still be very useful after the life the car and there may be a potential market to sell them.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:14 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:19 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:20 pm)

    LauraM: Well, isn’t that just typical? In my experience, there are two kinds of high income earners. The classy ones who don’t tell people about it. And understand that they are successful because they live in a country like the United States that allows them to be successful.
    And then there are those who measure their self worth by their paycheck–and are convinced that they make money because they’re so inherently special that no one else could possibly do their job as well as they do. And it has nothing to do with the surrounding society. These people tend to judge their self worth by their paycheck. And boast about their money to anyone who will listen.

    Just because somebody types on the internet they make 250K/year doesn’t mean its true. (i’m a millionaire btw :) )


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:21 pm)

    “Range anxiety” targets the Leaf as the Volt’s primary competition. It’s not. GM will sell all its 2011 Volts with little need to market them or differentiate it from the Leaf, so focusing on range anxiety as a buzz phrase is pretty short sighted.

    GM’s marketing efforts will need to begin in earnest next year to convince consumers to buy the Volt instead of Ford’s Fusion PHEV, which will probably get about the same electric miles as the Volt.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:32 pm)

    Michael C. Robinson: The reality is, the battery over a certain size is impractically expensive and the Volt has the largest
    battery ever.

    Nissan’s & Tesla’s batteries are bigger.

    Just a hypothetical: If batteries weighed 100lbs and could deliver 400miles of range, would you still want a hydrogen powered car, or would you go for the battery one?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:45 pm)

    LauraM: In my experience, there are two kinds of high income earners. The classy ones who don’t tell people about it. And understand that they are successful because they live in a country like the United States that allows them to be successful.

    The USA is still the land of opportunity. Citizens can put forth a little effort and become reasonably successful.
    Of the group of people I employed in my first shop 80% were immigrant Asian (Chinese/Vietnamese). They ate rice and lived modest lives as they became established in America. A good number of these people are now heads of families and are homeowners. Some have gone on to start their own business.
    When one of these people takes a step up there will always be somebody asking why they are over spending. “Where do you get the money to do that?”.

    God bless America

    =D-Volt


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:49 pm)

    EricLG: And two kinds of low income earners. Those that live below their means, and save in order to be self-sufficient; and those who live on credit and expect society to look after them down the road.

    First of all, you have no idea how much Jackson made before he was laid off. Second, you have no idea why he was laid off. There are a lot of intelligent hard working people who have been laid off through no fault if their own. A lot of “success” has a lot more to do with luck than anything else. Try talking to someone working in IP for IBM. Or an engineer at Boeing. Third, you have no idea whether or not Jackson has savings. So stop assuming you know everything about other people.

    And, for the record, I know a lot of high income earners who make a lot more money than you do, and still have a lot of credit card. Income and money management skills are often two very different things.

    By the way, if you really believe someone who makes minimum wage can save money, you’ve clearly never had to live on minimum wage. At least not in the past twenty or so years. Unless, of course, you believe that one can sleep in the streets (to save money) and still keep that minimum wage job .

    EricLG: I suppose GM attracts customers like itself.

    How sure are you that your employer wasn’t bailed out by the US government?


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (11:51 pm)

    EricLG: I am familiar with survivor bias. Why do you think I picked 6%, and not 8% ?

    So then it’s inflation that you’ve never heard of.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (12:07 am)

    kdawg: Just because somebody types on the internet they make 250K/year doesn’t mean its true. (i’m a millionaire btw :) )

    True. But I believe him. He reminds me of certain people I’ve met in real life. And that most definitely is not a compliment. Although he might think it is. Since the people I have mind make considerably more than he does.

    (His salary isn’t exactly anything to boast about by New York standards.)


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (12:19 am)

    EricLG: And I believe in the tooth fairy. The difference between the two us, it seems, is that I don’t rely on fairies to sort out my personal finances. Google what opportunity cost is, and how to calculate it.You raise an interesting question, though: are people who are clueless about basic finance, able to afford the Volt ?Regarding the Volt longevity: set aside your magical thinking for a moment, and look at the facts: 1, unproven battery with only a 100k mile warranty; 2, report from Nissan anticipating shortened battery life; and 3, unadorned straight up admission of short life by Tesla. None of the above *proves* short life for the Volt battery, but it sure is suggestive. More to the point, *nothing* at this time gives any degree of confidence of long battery life.btw, I calculated 5% apr rather than the 6% I intended. The higher number calculates out to $280,000 over 20 years.  (Quote)

    Opportunity cost is used to compare mutually exclusive choices. You failed to calculate the opportunity cost of buying a similarly (or a close as you can come) Prius.
    In south central PA: 28,070 (Prius V MSRP) + 2,480 (nav. sys. with JBL, required per Toyota.com) + 760 (dest. charge) = $31,310.
    Estimated Volt gas savings per year vs. Prius = $600 = $3/gal x 10,000 mi / 50 mpg
    I use a more realistic 10 years for both cars and your 6% rate.
    Prius V Opportunity Cost
    (1.06)^10 x 31,310 + [(1.06)^9 + (1.06)^8 + … + 1.06] x 600 = $63,380
    Volt Opportunity Cost
    (1.06)^10 x (41,000 – 7500) = $59,993


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (12:19 am)

    Dave K.: The USA is still the land of opportunity. Citizens can put forth a little effort and become reasonably successful.
    Of the group of people I employed in my first shop 80% were immigrant Asian (Chinese/Vietnamese). They ate rice and lived modest lives as they became established in America. A good number of these people are now heads of families and are homeowners. Some have gone on to start their own business.
    When one of these people takes a step up there will always be somebody asking why they are over spending. “Where do you get the money to do that?”.

    God bless America

    =D-Volt

    That’s my point. They managed to get ahead because they live in the United States. That’s why people come here. They presumably wouldn’t have been as successful in Vietnam.

    That said, eating rice can only go so far. As immigrants, they have the support of the immigrant community. It’s harder for Americans to find roommates that will be willing to share with four people to a studio. And, without good health insurance, one expensive health crisis, and almost anyone will go bankrupt.

    I actually agree with Eric about living within your means. It’s his pompous judgmental attitude that I have a problem with. He doesn’t know anything about the other posters on this site, and yet he feels free to assume that all of us live beyond our means. And that we expect government bailouts to pay for us. Just because we are interested in a GM car.

    I also think it’s really bad form to talk about how much money you make. Which seems to be his favorite topic of conversation.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (12:23 am)

    LauraM:
    True.But I believe him. He reminds me of certain people I’ve met in real life.And that most definitely is not a compliment.Although he might think it is.Since the people I have mind make considerably more than he does.
    (His salary isn’t exactly anything to boast about by New York standards.)

    More to the point, though:

    Tonight is solid proof that a bank account does not measure a man’s worth.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (12:51 am)

    EVNow: Let me guess – you are neither in PETA, nor one of those “Leaf’s targeted demographic” ?
    I’ve not heard a single crib from anyone about the ad. Infact most of them seem to love the idea – and are eager to see the ad.
    ps : I’m guessing now-a-days companies don’t bring in major ads without some focus group testing anyway …  

    Well you’re not guessing very well. The ad using a live polar bear is insane. If Nissan is dumb enough to run it you’ll find out. If you feel you need a polar bear just animate one for Pete’s sake. If you don’t understand this then I’m doubting you’re in the Leaf’s targeted demographic.

    Additionally, it’s probably not a very good idea for any company to run polar bear ads given the status of the iconic Coke ads. Being a distant second in advertising just doesn’t work out very well. Then again, using what had to be an athlete being seriously investigated for doping as your chief spokesperson wasn’t necessarily that smart either. Next to that the Volt dancers look inspired.

    You don’t have to wear blinders just cause you’ve ordered the product.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (1:07 am)

    EricLG: Google what opportunity cost is, and how to calculate it.

    Oh, I’m sorry, was opportunity cost what you were calculating there? Well, you could have fooled me, with a 5% yield (or 6% no less). I thought you were calculating financing interest – hence my confusion. Allow me to correct my comment then:

    What bank or investment gives you 6% yield consistently over 20 years? No really, I’d like to know, I could make good money with that. And this is also assuming that the Volt will still cost 40k 10 years from now. Also it’s assuming everyone will fork over the whole cost as cash instead of financing it. Anyway, what’s this got to do with anything, there’s an opportunity cost to everything, this has nothing to do with the Volt specifically.

    You could have at least calculated the opportunity cost difference between the Volt and a similar vehicle, but since you chose to calculate the opportunity cost vs. not having a car at all, then let’s see … there’s also an opportunity cost to not having a car which likely means not having a decent paying job earning say 60k/year * 20 years = $1.2 million! Oops! You didn’t think about that did ya, smart guy? Having a Volt costs less than not having a car. Are you still sure you want to use opportunity cost to show how expensive it is?

    Besides none of it really matters – if it turns out that the REAL total cost of ownership is the same as other similar cars then the opportunity cost will also be the same. Since you haven’t done anything to show the actual cost differences then your whole opportunity cost rant is completely irrelevant. You’re only doing it for the shock value.

    EricLG: Regarding the Volt longevity: set aside your magical thinking for a moment, and look at the facts: 1, unproven battery with only a 100k mile warranty; 2, report from Nissan anticipating shortened battery life; and 3, unadorned straight up admission of short life by Tesla. None of the above *proves* short life for the Volt battery, but it sure is suggestive. More to the point, *nothing* at this time gives any degree of confidence of long battery life.

    Here’s an equation for you (rather in this case an inequality) since you seem to be good with those:

    Volt life does not equal to battery life

    In fact the life of a Volt should be much higher than most other cars. The life of the battery may not be much more than the 8 years its warranted for but the cost of the battery is only a fraction of the cost of the car. It’s an extra cost yes, and that will have to factor in the calculation, but for some reason you think that once the battery is dead the car is good for the junk yard – not even close.

    EricLG: And I believe in the tooth fairy.

    Good for you.

    EricLG: The difference between the two us, it seems, is that I don’t rely on fairies to sort out my personal finances.

    Really? Your post would seem to suggest otherwise. What I was saying was that I have good reason to believe the cost of ownership of the Volt could be on par with other similar cars based on the reduction of fuel consumption and maintenance costs, not that I believe based on wishful thinking. But since the best you can do is criticize my wording rather than the actual point I was making, you apparently believe what the tooth fairy has told you.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (4:20 am)

    One small unscientific, but real, study on range anxiety, or maybe a new term “Range Convenience”…

    Fiat_Plug_In.jpg


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (6:34 am)

    kdawg: GM said that they were going to stick w/the 40mile range on all future EREV designs and instead work on bringing costs down. When 78% of drivers go less than 40miles/day, that is their sweet spot.  (Quote)

    Then why act like range anxiety is such a huge deal when the clear majority of Americans shouldn’t have range anxiety? That inconsistency is what I have seen repeated time and time again on this blog for the past few years and it drives me crazy. When speaking of the Leaf, everyone on here immediately jumps on the range anxiety bandwagon, but when someone argues that 40 miles of electric charge is a joke, the argument is always made that approximately 80% of all Americans drive less than 40 miles per day. Using that argument, then wouldn’t the Leaf be fine for that 80%? Now, you will probably tell me about the freedom of having that extra range just in case there is a day when you need to drive over 100 miles. To that, I say this: don’t most American households have more than one car? Can you just drive an electric car for the average work day and then use the ICE car for the occassional out of town roadtrip? Again, I don’t want to see five people say, “I drive over 100 miles every day, range anxiety, blah blah blah…” Again, look at your own statistics: 80% needs less than 40 miles per day. Our country has over 300 million people in it, you are but a few.

    The followers of this site have gotten ridiculous in that they have taken their eyes off the prize. Everyday it’s an asinine debate over whether the Leaf or Volt is better, but that is not the debate to have. We need to work together to get as many butts in the seats of Volts and Leafs (or Leaves?) and out of the seats of SUVs and other gas-guzzlers, but that’s not going to happen. Honestly, does anyone think that GM wants it to happen by trademarking “range anxiety?” The “Freedom Drive,” which should have been focused around the freedom from foreign oil, was instead twisted by many (even by some in GM based on their public statements) into a “freedom from the plug/charging station” drive. We need to get off oil, especially foreign oil. If GM cared about freeing us from oil more than making a quick buck or two, then they would rather see you buy a Leaf than a Yukon… don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. GM should take the money it’s spending on trademarking and advertising range anxiety and instead invest that in public charging stations in their initial roll-out markets… then, they could prove their genuine devotion to freeing us from oil.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (7:44 am)

    Tim in SC: Then why act like range anxiety is such a huge deal when the clear majority of Americans shouldn’t have range anxiety? That inconsistency is what I have seen repeated time and time again on this blog for the past few years and it drives me crazy. When speaking of the Leaf, everyone on here immediately jumps on the range anxiety bandwagon, but when someone argues that 40 miles of electric charge is a joke, the argument is always made that approximately 80% of all Americans drive less than 40 miles per day. Using that argument, then wouldn’t the Leaf be fine for that 80%? Now, you will probably tell me about the freedom of having that extra range just in case there is a day when you need to drive over 100 miles. To that, I say this: don’t most American households have more than one car? Can you just drive an electric car for the average work day and then use the ICE car for the occassional out of town roadtrip? Again, I don’t want to see five people say, “I drive over 100 miles every day, range anxiety, blah blah blah…” Again, look at your own statistics: 80% needs less than 40 miles per day. Our country has over 300 million people in it, you are but a few.
    The followers of this site have gotten ridiculous in that they have taken their eyes off the prize. Everyday it’s an asinine debate over whether the Leaf or Volt is better, but that is not the debate to have. We need to work together to get as many butts in the seats of Volts and Leafs (or Leaves?) and out of the seats of SUVs and other gas-guzzlers, but that’s not going to happen. Honestly, does anyone think that GM wants it to happen by trademarking “range anxiety?” The “Freedom Drive,” which should have been focused around the freedom from foreign oil, was instead twisted by many (even by some in GM based on their public statements) into a “freedom from the plug/charging station” drive. We need to get off oil, especially foreign oil. If GM cared about freeing us from oil more than making a quick buck or two, then they would rather see you buy a Leaf than a Yukon… don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. GM should take the money it’s spending on trademarking and advertising range anxiety and instead invest that in public charging stations in their initial roll-out markets… then, they could prove their genuine devotion to freeing us from oil.

    I agree w/most of your points. I think the LEAF will work for a lot of 2 car families. Its not a direct replacement though to a standard ICE car (like the Volt is). There are other types of range anxieties too, like not knowing how far your batteries will take you today. The range can be so variable, that that stress alone can cause anxiety. 40 miles/day is a sweet spot, and covers a majority of driving situations, but not all, and even with an estimated 100mile range, there will still need to be some planning by the driver, which could still result in hairy situations. I wont touch on recharge time. GM is not bringing up range anxiety to shoot down EV’s. Its more of an education on EV’s or at least a way to show their rationalizaton for putting in a range extender. GM was using the term range anxiety before the Nissan Leaf even existed. Its just something that everyone will have to think about, (because of EV’s nature), that we didn’t have to think about before.

    Regarding the trademarking… i have no idea.. i an engineer, and don’t know anything about trademarks, or their benefits. Regarding GM making a profit, i think they would rather you buy their products (Yukons included) so that they can use the profits to work on more cars like the Volt. If nobody bought Yukons they wouldnt make them. You can’t blame GM for making products people want to buy. Its not like customers don’t have options.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (9:57 am)

    LauraM: So then it’s inflation that you’ve never heard of.  

    Read my post again. See where it says 2010 dollars ? That’s right, you don’t. Do you think any part of this exchange changes the simple conclusion that the Volt carries a very high opportunity cost, or that it is moronic to buy one on credit ?

    I find it amusing that the *single* post I have written that included my salary has seared its way into the forum memory, while the *point* of the post, that car dealers pathetic attempt to insinuate that my disinterest in purchasing the Volt proved inability to afford it, is forgotten. If you want to harp at somebody for silly assumptions, you have much better fodder.

    You want to pigeon hole me into the in-your-face (relatively) affluent, but I don’t fit, sorry. I don’t drive a Hummer or any idiotic SUV for that matter, or in fact exhibit any sign of wealth other than my kids going to college without incurring debt, and living in a nice neighborhood. Other than my derision of people who keep up with the Jones with personal and public debt (which naturally causes angst in this forum,) I live more modestly than every joker here who intends to “buy” a Volt.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (10:14 am)

    kdawg: You can’t blame GM for making products people want to buy.

    I blame GM for existing as a weight around the taxpayers neck. I cannot stand GM spending taxpayer dollars to advertise “range anxiety” FUD. If Nissan was saying something asinine like “unlimited EV miles,” I would understand GM wanting to clarify distance per charge. As it is, they are just spending taxpayer money to manipulate the stupid.

    Did you know that Nissan itself has published a series of drives that demonstrate the EV ranges a customer can expect under different conditions ? Do you have any doubt that every EV site on the web has umpteen discussions on this very topic ? GM is not edumacating anybody.

    The “new” GM is the “old” GM, just as scummy as always.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (12:44 pm)

    EricLG: Read my post again. See where it says 2010 dollars ? That’s right, you don’t. Do you think any part of this exchange changes the simple conclusion that the Volt carries a very high opportunity cost, or that it is moronic to buy one on credit ?

    Define 2010 dollars. Oh, that’s right. You buy the official CPI numbers. And, of course, the Volt carries a high opportunity cost. So does everything expensive. That doesn’t mean no one should ever spend money. And, yes, buying a car on credit is usually a bad financial decision. So what? Who made you judge and jury?

    EricLG: You want to pigeon hole me into the in-your-face (relatively) affluent, but I don’t fit, sorry. I don’t drive a Hummer or any idiotic SUV for that matter, or in fact exhibit any sign of wealth other than my kids going to college without incurring debt, and living in a nice neighborhood. Other than my derision of people who keep up with the Jones with personal and public debt (which naturally causes angst in this forum,) I live more modestly than every joker here who intends to “buy” a Volt.

    No. You’re the guy who lectures everyone on how to spend their money. It’s the same thing. And, FYI, there have been numerous discussions on this board about the folly of credit card debt, and buying a car on credit, and living beyond one’s means. It’s your judgmental superior attitude when you know nothing about us that bothers everyone. Including me.

    For the record, I save almost a third of my salary. And I have never bought anything on credit in my life. Including a house. (I rent.) It was actually a problem when I realized a credit card was more fraud proof than the debit card I’d always used. And I didn’t have any credit history. Luckily for me, I made the switch before the credit crisis.

    What I do with the rest of my salary is my own business.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (1:47 pm)

    LauraM: Who made you judge and jury?

    You ask trivial questions. The same people who want taxpayer money to solve moronic personal finance choices, or to prop up a failed company.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (2:24 pm)

    EricLG: You ask trivial questions. The same people who want taxpayer money to solve moronic personal finance choices, or to prop up a failed company.

    You didn’t read the second part of my post. Did you?

    As far as propping up failed companies–someone’s watched too much fox news. You toss economic concepts around pretty easily, but it’s pretty clear to me that you don’t really understand them. You’re exhibit a that luck has more to do with income than brains.


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    Sep 3rd, 2010 (9:00 pm)

    tsk, tsk. More assumptions. I would no more read/watch Faux News than read Pravda. You are right about me and finances, it is not my field. Compared to others in this forum though, I am a giant.

    Pls, don’t try to sell the GM bailout as something for the good of the country. It doesn’t take a PhD in economics to realized that GM is a scourge, and the Volt is a toy. I think Obama is the best pres since Lincoln, but I recognize a political buyout when it happens. The dems wanted to sew up MI, and be competitive in the rust belt.

    I tire of lackluster insults. Do you have anything acute to say ?


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    Sep 4th, 2010 (11:51 pm)

    LauraM: Michael

    What does this have to do with range anxiety?


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    Sep 5th, 2010 (12:22 am)

    kdawg:
    Nissan’s & Tesla’s batteries are bigger.Just a hypothetical: If batteries weighed 100lbs and could deliver 400miles of range, would you still want a hydrogen powered car, or would you go for the battery one?  

    The hydrogen one. A combination of Everclear, sand, and a few other benign ingredients can contain a significant amount of hydrogen at low pressure. The fast charging high energy “battery” is not a battery at all but an MOF. Hydrogen can be packaged and used far more effectively than electricity can be. It is a matter of physics, batteries will never hold enough electrical potential to compete with hydrogen, gasoline, and diesel. The electric car in 100 years has not replaced the internal combustion engine and there is no reason to believe that it will in
    our lifetime. On the other hand, the Toyota FCHV adv can go 400-500 miles per fill where a fill takes at most 3 minutes. The Toyota FCHV adv will be available in 2015 for $50k or less. This is not out of line for a luxury SUV.
    One more halving of the fuel cell and fuel system cost and the Toyota FCHV adv might be sold for less than the Volt. Lithium ION is a rare earth material. There are 270 million vehicles in the US alone. It isn’t possible to build a million EVs based on Lithium ION technology let alone 270 million. I want a zero emissions hydrogen Volt. When fuel cell vehicle designs change so that low pressure fueling is the norm, not 5k or 10k PSI fueling,
    I think the choice will be very clear between battery EVs and Hydrogen EVs. The latter have been proven to
    have exceptional range over variable driving conditions, the former have not. Good engineers know,
    hydrogen has more potential than the current battery technology for replacing the ICE.

    It isn’t appropriate that Obama has picked batteries as the winner over hydrogen and natural gas. Very inappropriate. The amount of money being thrown at battery only electric cars could be used instead
    to plant the seeds for a robust hydrogen economy. The fuel efficiency champs are hydrogen fuel cell
    vehicles and better than that, every single mile is clean. Government motors is only pushing battery
    only electric cars because it is government motors and Chu is energy secretary. Get rid of GM’s
    chairman of the board Chu and our current president, a more reasonable leader won’t continue this
    folly.

    After I go 400 miles on a 100 lb battery, then what? What if I have 1100 more to cover? Batteries so far
    do not have the capacity nor do they recharge fast enough to be a practical replacement for liquid/gaseous
    fuels. Hydrogen isn’t a clear winner yet, but then hydrogen isn’t being given the chance that batteries are
    getting. In the long run when it becomes clear that battery only EVs are as bad an idea as corn ethanol,
    hydrogen will win out. The problem is, the current political leadership is standing in the way of hydrogen
    winning out and giving Americans a real solution to the foreign OIL problem.

    Study history. Many have said, if only a battery that can do X is invented… This has been going on for a
    hundred years. Battery based EVs are not a recent idea. The idea of an electric car is as old as the
    automobile.


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    Michael C. Robinson

     

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (4:20 am)

    Michael C. Robinson: Michael

    Go back and read my comments. Hydrogen fuel cell and storage technology is superior to battery technology
    and rapidly dropping in price. Nickel metal hydride batteries can be used in fuel cell cars which are cheaper
    and use less if any rare earth material. The battery in a fuel cell car is merely an assist where having a battery allows for regenerative braking. The battery in a fuel cell vehicle is not the primary source of electricity to power the motors that move the wheels. Because of this, the range of a fuel cell vehicle is between 200-500 miles, not 40. Some of the early fuel cell buses cost 10x what a diesel bus cost, but those were prototypes using old technology. $50k is only $10k more than what the Volt costs where Hyundai is saying set the price lower than that. The range anxiety problem is real with a battery only EV. Only a fuel cell vehicle has the range to compete with gasoline/diesel powered vehicles. The problem for hydrogen has been cost, but that problem is going away fast. The other problem plaguing hydrogen has been how do you store it, but that isn’t much of a problem either anymore.

    Fuel cell cars aren’t popular right now with so many people lining up for battery only EVs. Large Lithium ION batteries are expensive though and the cost is going to stay high. There is a limit to how big the battery can
    be before it becomes an anchor. As it is, the Volt can only comfortably seat four people. Typical sedans
    can handle 5-6 people. The gas/electric Volt battery is too big, too heavy, and too expensive. The range is unacceptable. GM is discounting people who live in rural areas that are 23+ miles from the nearest major city
    where parking garages typically don’t allow people to plug in. I could not drive a Chevy Volt to college and
    back without burning gasoline and I know I am not alone. I don’t believe that GM’s math is correct. My commute
    is fairly common and other people living in the California area have even longer commutes.


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    Anthroprogenic Man

     

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    Sep 8th, 2010 (12:46 pm)

    What is GM or the government doing to promote business’s to install charging stations in the parking lots? Extending the electrical range of the vehicle. Perhaps solar or wind generated charging stations in a business parking lot. Maybe allowing charging of electric vehicles for let me think ….. FREE. OMG! That would really help ‘The People’. That is what this is all about isn’t it? Besides being good stewards of the planet.
    Because we all know that energy from a power staion just concetrats all of that awful global climate changing carbon dioxide. Don’t we?
    Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone that you are using my idea of free electrical charging of electric vehicles in business parking lots as a promotional idea. But that’s what it would take for me to get into one of these. I actually like the original version of the volt much better. This version is mearly a ‘milk toast’ version.


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    Anthroprogenic Man

     

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    Sep 9th, 2010 (10:03 am)

    Lets try this again.
    The government is for the people by the people. So if higher taxes are to benifit the people why not improve the environment and double the electric range of the Volt by having the government in cooperation with GM (They need to show a profit) design and install solar and wind powered recharging stations in work place parking lots. Then give the energy, as an incentive, to go green for FREE!. This way the people get something back from the government and a cleaner environment. This is the type of ‘change’ we were promised. It’s very progressive. Plus I noticed there are no promotional charging stations slated for Minnesota… What’s up with that?
    GM gets paid for designing the GREEN charging stations and in turn gets a hugh promotional boost. (That’s what this article is about isn’t it?) The government provides for it’s people the way it should by funding these free GREEN recharging stations. This is the ‘Change’ he was referring to during his campaign, wasn’t it?
    The only ones loosing are big government which in reality is a win situation for the people. And for free enterprise. The only thing the Volt needs now is a side of vegtables like the new government controlled happy meal. ;-)


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    Anthroprogenic Man

     

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    Sep 10th, 2010 (12:18 pm)

    Mr. Ewanick when GM starts putting out commercials for the Volt PLEASE do not have the Volt aiming at or driving towards the left hand side of the TV screen (from the viewers perspective) like they do in the Prius commercials. (It is very condecending) In addition don’t use the same worn out depiction of flowers growing behind the Volt as it drives by. Be different, Be progressive, use change and market the Volt as “Owners of the Volt promote good stewardship of the planet.” Maybe a brief info on how the Volt batteries are recycled, showing a system is already in place to handle recycling of Lithium batteries. Don’t add to the carbon Dioxide myth and please don’t offer any carbon credit offsets as a bonus to owners. I would never be able to look at a Volt again. Here is a more clear way of explaining it. Use a politically neutral commercial. Make the environmentalists happy without alienating republicans to the Volt. I really did like the original Volt design back in 2007. I was ready to dump one of my 401K’s to get that original design. It was that good looking. I didn’t care how far it went on a single charge. But I think you know this already, most of america was waiting breathlessly for that car.


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    crew

     

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    Sep 11th, 2010 (11:59 pm)

    Chevrolet Volt
    Therapy for range anxiety.

    Just hop in and take a nice long drive.

    Call us in the morning…
    wherever you are!


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    Fred

     

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    Sep 23rd, 2010 (11:12 pm)

    BLUE LETTERS


  290. 290
    Fred

     

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    Sep 23rd, 2010 (11:15 pm)

  291. 291
    IQ130

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    Sep 25th, 2010 (9:05 pm)

    “It’s something we call ‘range anxiety,’ and it’s real,” said Ewanick. “That’s something we need to be very aware of when we market this car… people do not want to be stranded on the way home from work.”

    If people think the Volt could do 230 mpg and they could drive 230 miles with their last gallon a lot of Volt’s will get stranded, is this what they call range anxiety?

    Probably not.