Jan 18

Acknowledging setbacks, Reuss says electric vehicles are on their way up

 

By Pete Brissette

At the Automotive News World Congress event in Detroit on Wednesday, General Motor’s North American operations, Mark Reuss made a staunch case in favor of the future of electric automobiles.

Reuss took considerable time to praise not only the new Corvette, which is GM’s star this week at the also on-going Detroit Auto Show, but also to throw down a gauntlet of continuing support for technologies that this star may in time have to give way to.
 

2014-Cadillac-ELR-019
 

Attempting to dispel a modern day myth about alternative fuels vehicles, Reuss said flatly, “The electric car is not dead.”

Citing criticisms of slow electric vehicles (EV) sales and a pulling back on incentives for EV infrastructure by local governments, and state governments like that in Washington saying that EV drivers seemingly haven’t paid their fair share to maintain state roadways, Reuss says that these actions aren’t not harbingers of doom for the EV.

“Funny thing about the authorities… when they think they’re missing out on lost fees and revenues from one place, they find ‘em in another place,” Reuss said. “Or you hear pundits criticizing slow sales of electric vehicles and you might think, ‘See? The electric car is a failure… it’s dead on arrival.’ You might think that, but you’d be wrong. “We’re talking about a transformation here. “And transformation takes time.”

Mark_Reuss

As evidence of the strength of his and GM’s convictions of a positive future for the electrified vehicle, Reuss highlighted tripling of annual sales in 2012 over 2011 for the Chevy Volt, and that the new Cadillac ELR, an extended-range EV, represents a combination of recognizable luxury and GM’s “commitment to electric vehicles.”

“People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design,” said Reuss.

The GM executive’s commentary effectively says that he, and the company, expects that not only will technology need to continue to advance, but also a paradigm shift is yet to happen in consumers’ minds.

“It takes a long time to change an industry, to change habits, and to change a way of life. I believe, and we at GM believe that the public will accept and embrace electric vehicles; some people already have. And the rest of them will come around when technology advances electric vehicles to the point where they offer comparable performance at comparable prices,” Reuss said.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 18th, 2013 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 64


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (7:38 am)

    To me, the important phrase from the above intro is, “Reuss highlighted tripling of annual sales in 2012 over 2011 for the Chevy Volt…”

    Perhaps I’m overly optimistic, but it immediately strikes me that Nissan’s announcement that they’ll knock $6400 off the 2013 entry-level Leaf sticker price (to $28,800 before rebates) could very likely mean GM is also planning meaningful cuts in 2013 Volt pricing! If not, Volt could easily loose its 2012 sales momentum. I sincerely hope GM recognizes the ELR introduction, together with 2013 Leaf price reductions, represent a unique opportunity for huge gains in 2013 Volt sales!


  2. 2
    Loboc

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (8:05 am)

    “.. will come around when technology advances electric vehicles to the point where they offer comparable performance at comparable prices..”

    The performance factor is very important to us gearheads. We accept that new tech is initially expensive. ‘Better’ is more of a deciding consideration.

    It is very important, as Volt, that EVs are not strange and fit the normalcy expected in an automobile.


  3. 3
    James McQuaid

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (8:10 am)

    “We couldn’t be happier with that or with the Volt itself, and what it means to this company, despite the unprecedented political beatdown it took over and over and over again.” – Mark Reuss

    Mark Reuss is a strong leader, and is committed to the Volt and vehicle electrification. General Motors, and all electric car fans, are indeed fortunate that he and Akerson are at the helm. Lesser men would have scurried at the first hint of controversy.


  4. 4
    Tim Hart

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (8:21 am)

    It is indeed great to hear that support for EVs from GM’s leadership!


  5. 5
    joe

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (8:25 am)

    I would asked Reuss, when will GM get aggressive with their ads like Ford is doing? It seems to be working for Ford. GM has many things they could brag about, but does not. Ford grabbed the thunder from GM at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday with their new concept Atlas truck. For example, take the Ecoboost thing, that technology first came out many years ago by VW and GM quickly followed, then Ford 3years after GM. Ford gave it a name (Ecoboost) whereas the others didn’t. Ford has been bragging ever since and has been laughing all the way to the bank.

    For those who don’t know what EcoBoost is. It’s an engine that has direct fuel injection with a turbo charger.


  6. 6
    Roy_H

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (8:39 am)

    Nissan continues to be the aggressor, with steep price reduction. GM is acknowledging that the Volt price will have to come down to remain competitive. The Cadillac ELR is very nice, but is being marketed as a limited production halo vehicle. I am very disappointed that the Volt price hasn’t been reduced already and I had really hoped that there would be an announcement for more EREVs especially a small SUV. I believe that GM will continue to support EREVs and BEVs, but the focus is clearly on profits, not leading the market. GM will fall behind in this market as they wait for other companies to drive the cost of batteries down through higher sales.


  7. 7
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (8:50 am)

    Not only did Nissan lower the price by a huge amount they INCREASED range at the same time.

    Take the hint GM.


  8. 8
    Mark Z

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (8:56 am)

    I returned to prime time viewing this week with Idol and the amount of ICE auto ads are overwhelming. If the style, luxury and performance of the Volt, Tesla and Fisker vehicles were shown nightly on the television networks, sales would be much higher.


  9. 9
    nasaman

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (9:08 am)

    George S. Bower:
    Not only did Nissan lower the price by a huge amount they INCREASED range at the same time.

    Take the hint GM.

    Nissan has also finally introduced a meaningful battery warranty (the first to cover capacity loss): http://green.autoblog.com/2012/12/27/nissan-leaf-battery-warranty-upgraded-first-capacity-loss/


  10. 10
    James

     

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (9:14 am)

    Roy_H:
    Nissan continues to be the aggressor, with steep price reduction. GM is acknowledging that the Volt price will have to come down to remain competitive. The Cadillac ELR is very nice, but is being marketed as a limited production halo vehicle. I am very disappointed that the Volt price hasn’t been reduced already and I had really hoped that there would be an announcement for more EREVs especially a small SUV. I believe that GM will continue to support EREVs and BEVs, but the focus is clearly on profits, not leading the market. GM will fall behind in this market as they wait for other companies to drive the cost of batteries down through higher sales.

    What Roy H said! +1

    ( Plug In, Tune In, Turn On ) ,

    James


  11. 11
    Bonaire

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (9:34 am)

    Gas prices should be stable or increasing this year.

    I saw two Leafs on the road today on my commute – 1 mile apart. In my neck of the woods, we have virtually no public charging infrastructure (west of Philadelphia). Must be starting to sell them more.

    GM is looking at some headwinds in the EV arena. Without a Leaf competitor (yet), there is a lot of Focus on Ford :) now – the Energi models may do quite well this year even if they don’t meet the EPA numbers. Nissan probably will shine with their planned cheaper version as well.

    I wish GM would stop all Volt commercials and drive that savings into the price of the vehicles. I see no Leaf commercials at all. Watch CNBC all day and you will see the same Volt commercial 10+ times. The commercial, being repetitive, is a turn-away for viewers and still doesn’t explain how the Volt actually works to those who don’t yet know.


  12. 12
    James

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (9:46 am)

    GM – STOP THE M.O.T.

    If anything, ELR will steal sales from Volt. Many who buy a Volt are the same folks who first bought the 2nd gen Prius even though they were of an income bracket that usually bought foreign luxury cars. These are the folks Toyota tried to tap into with the H – Series Lexus with disappointing results.

    Where GM has fallen flat is price. They figure folks will just go out and buy a Cruze Eco if they want good mileage, but a base Prius or even a Prius C is a much better buy – mileage bang for buck.

    ELR can’t sell on the merits of fine leather and a sexy body. It’s as if Cadillac just reincarnated the XLR fiasco. Anyone here remember the Allante? Who is leading the Cadillac division anyway?!

    I’m coining a term for GM’s choice for extending the Voltec platform to other vehicles: MisVoltimplentation Of Technology.

    RECHARGE!

    James


  13. 13
    kdawg

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (9:46 am)

    nasaman: Perhaps I’m overly optimistic, but it immediately strikes me that Nissan’s announcement that they’ll knock $6400 off the 2013 entry-level Leaf sticker price (to $28,800 before rebates) could very likely mean GM is also planning meaningful cuts in 2013 Volt pricing!

    Mark Reuss also said that there’s thousands of dollars that can come out of the price of the Volt. So i’m guessing we will keep seeing price reductions & sales increases.

    GM’s Reuss: Next-gen Chevy Volt will be “thousands of dollars” cheaper

    http://green.autoblog.com/2013/01/17/gms-reuss-next-gen-chevy-volt-will-be-thousands-of-dollars-c/


  14. 14
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (10:05 am)

    James: What Roy H said! +1

    ( Plug In, Tune In, Turn On ) ,

    James

    Boy when you said you were turning over a new leaf you were serious.

    +1 James!


  15. 15
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (10:14 am)

    If people want a cheap EV, then GM must speed up the marketing and sales for the Chevy Spark EV. The Nissan Leaf is an import and Americans should not but imports, even if they were assembled in Tennessee!

    Raymond


  16. 16
    Taser54

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (10:18 am)

    George S. Bower,

    Forgive me if I am incorrect, but I’ve read that the range increase is simply a cold weather increase due to a more efficient heater and perhaps minor tweaks to the exterior, As the base model (the $6000 price drop) uses the old heater design, I believe that the range increase will not apply to the base model leaf.

    In my opinion, the new base model (decontented) leaf is not really something to crow about. It’s not the same car. Slower charger, less efficient heater, lack of nav system, lack of a quick charge port, lack of “b” mode regenerative braking.

    Of course, this is my opinion and it may not be based on the correct facts. Anyone have additional information about the 2013 leaf?


  17. 17
    Kent

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (10:40 am)

    Taser54:

    Anyone have additional information aboutthe 2013 leaf?

    Here’s a fact about the 2013 Leaf….I’m still not buying one!


  18. 18
    DonC

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (10:54 am)

    I think the criticism of GM being voiced here is misguided. I wasn’t happy back in 2010 when GM announced pricing, because to me it shouted low volumes, but in retrospect they made the right call. GM does seem to have a plan. They’re going to sell Volts, learn about how to sell them and other EREVs, and then do a bigger push with Gen II on the D2XX platform. Basically it’s not a big deal to lose money on fairly small volumes. It’s something else to lose your shirt.

    GM is one of the two leaders in electrification of the auto. It’s not being as aggressive as Nissan, no question about that, but GM and Nissan operate in different universes. If a GM CEO made the bets on EVs that Ghosn has made, and had gotten the results that Ghosn is getting and will continue to get, the GM CEO would be a “former” CEO very quickly. Ghosn won’t suffer this fate because Japanese BODs are a joke. In this case that might be a good thing but in any event it’s the way things are. And if our EV supporting CEO became a former CEO, it’s likely GM would back out of EVs. We saw this movie before. It’s Waggoner replacing Stemple and leading GM into the wilderness — “Who Killed The Electric Car”.

    I also think the shots at the ELR on price are likewise misguided. The ELR is basically priced like a base Model S. It’s smaller but it’s also a nicer design with a vastly superior interior and a range extender. But somehow this makes Tesla great and GM a failure? I don’t get it.

    George S. Bower: Not only did Nissan lower the price by a huge amount they INCREASED range at the same time.

    GM actually did this first with the 2013 MY Volt. The range increases in the Volt and the Leaf are pretty incremental.


  19. 19
    kdawg

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (11:08 am)

    DonC: GM actually did this first with the 2013 MY Volt. The range increases in the Volt and the Leaf are pretty incremental.

    With the cold temps here in Michigan, i’m getting about 25miles per full charge. That is pushing the limit of my daily driving (can’t charge at work). I’d give up some more trunk space, pay some more $, for about 10 miles more range.

    I don’t know if GM could/would adopt the idea of different sized batteries, maybe 3 models, 20/40/60 mile range Volts. Then they could drop the *base* model Volt by quite a bit. (I’d never buy a 20 mile AER car, but I know others out there that seem to want one LOL).


  20. 20
    pjkPA

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (11:59 am)

    nasaman:
    To me, the important phrase from the above intro is, “Reuss highlighted tripling of annual sales in 2012 over 2011 for the Chevy Volt…”

    Perhaps I’m overly optimistic, but it immediately strikes me that Nissan’s announcement that they’ll knock $6400 off the 2013 entry-level Leaf sticker price (to $28,800 before rebates) could very likely mean GM is also planning meaningful cuts in 2013 Volt pricing! If not, Volt could easily loose its 2012 sales momentum. I sincerely hope GM recognizes the ELR introduction, together with 2013 Leaf price reductions, represent a unique opportunity for huge gains in 2013 Volt sales!

    Sure Nissan can cut it’s price in the US while they continue to put the $40,000 tariff on the Volt in Japan we continue to give Nissan $7500 for each car in the big dumb USA… but nobody wants to say anything about unfair trade.


  21. 21
    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (12:02 pm)

    Bonaire: I saw two Leafs on the road today on my commute – 1 mile apart.

    #11

    Me too. I was really surprised. A first for me.


  22. 22
    Noel Park

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (12:03 pm)

    James: It’s as if Cadillac just reincarnated the XLR fiasco. Anyone here remember the Allante? Who is leading the Cadillac division anyway?!

    #12

    Once again I’ve gotta put in with you. +1


  23. 23
    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (12:05 pm)

    Kent: Here’s a fact about the 2013 Leaf….I’m still not buying one!

    #17

    That makes 2 of us, LOL. +1


  24. 24
    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (12:13 pm)

    DonC:

    I think the criticism of GM being voiced here is misguided. I wasn’t happy back in 2010 when GM announced pricing, because to me it shouted low volumes, but in retrospect they made the right call. GM does seem to have a plan. They’re going to sell Volts, learn about how to sell them and other EREVs, and then do a bigger push with Gen II on the D2XX platform. Basically it’s not a big deal to lose money on fairly small volumes. It’s something else to lose your shirt.

    #18

    Well I was as loud as anyone about GM’s then thought to be timid approach to Volt production, but history sure seems to prove you/them right. +1

    DonC: If a GM CEO made the bets on EVs that Ghosn has made, and had gotten the results that Ghosn is getting and will continue to get, the GM CEO would be a “former” CEO very quickly. Ghosn won’t suffer this fate because Japanese BODs are a joke. In this case that might be a good thing but in any event it’s the way things are.

    I think that the Japanese BOD has a lot of loyalty to Carlos because without him you could argue that Nissan would not now exist. Maybe we tend to forget, but his management performance with Nissan was nothing short of miraculous IMHO. So maybe they have a longer view and think that there is something to his plan down the road. And I don’t even like the guy, LOL.


  25. 25
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (12:17 pm)

    kdawg: maybe 3 models, 20/40/60 mile range

    I don’t know why they didn’t do that in the first place!


  26. 26
    Bonaire

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (12:29 pm)

    Raymondjram:
    If people want a cheap EV, then GM must speed up the marketing and sales for the Chevy Spark EV. The Nissan Leaf is an import and Americans should not but imports, even if they were assembled in Tennessee!

    Raymond

    Now that the Leaf is made in the USA – it has more American-sourced parts, it seems, than the Volt. Battery is built in TN next door to the auto plant. The Spark EV only has parts from Maryland (motor) and Michigan (Battery). The rest is Korean made. I do want to see the window sticker for the USA_Leaf for its parts content to be sure.

    I would love to see a 24 kWh battery inserted into a Cruze shell with the Spark EV motor and make it an 80-mile BEV. Spark EV is too small, IMO.


  27. 27
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (12:32 pm)

    Bonaire: and Michigan (Battery)

    I’m not sure what’s going on w/the battery now that A123 is kaput.


  28. 28
    Bonaire

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (12:33 pm)

    Noel Park: #11

    Me too.I was really surprised.A first for me.

    For a 40-mile rt commuter car, the Leaf seems fantastic at its $199/mo pricing now. It’s just those of us who drive farther that cannot go that route.

    Regarding A123 in the Spark EV – who knows. Someone is buying them out and either the JCI or Chinese buyer will keep it going, perhaps. AONE is a good example of a company that had great potentially fully self-cannibalizing itself in various ways.


  29. 29
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (12:55 pm)

    Taser54:

    Forgive me if I am incorrect, but I’ve read that the range increase is simply a cold weather increase due to a more efficient heater and perhaps minor tweaks to the exterior,

    Statik (insideEV’s) always has the scoop on the Leaf. Both he and DonC have one (although DonC rarely mentions it).

    Here is the article on the range increase: http://insideevs.com/nissan-leaf-to-getmore-range-cheaper-model/


  30. 30
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (1:00 pm)

    Bonaire: Regarding A123 in the Spark EV – who knows. Someone is buying them out and either the JCI or Chinese buyer will keep it going, perhaps. AONE is a good example of a company that had great potentially fully self-cannibalizing itself in various ways.

    If I was GM, i’d buy the batteries from LG in Korea and reduce the price (vs. double shipping the batteries). Or, move all operations to Michigan and buy the batteries from the LG plant in Holland, MI. Who knows how long Wanxiang, JCI, and the US Gov are going to battle it out. That’s why GM hate’s to single source stuff.

    The last option would be to make their own cells, but I don’t know if they want to get into that industry. They are making their own electric-motors now.


  31. 31
    DonC

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (1:22 pm)

    Noel Park: think that the Japanese BOD has a lot of loyalty to Carlos because without him you could argue that Nissan would not now exist.

    I understand why you say that but it’s more than that. The standards are just different in Japan. I don’t know if you followed the Olympus travesty, but there you had the CEO and Chairman of the Board conspiring to make phony acquisitions, the money for which was then used for operations. Couldn’t have been worse. In most places you’d worry about jail. In Japan the BOD fired the succeeding CEO who brought it to light on grounds he wasn’t a team player.


  32. 32
    DonC

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (1:59 pm)

    kdawg: If I was GM, i’d buy the batteries from LG in Korea and reduce the price (vs. double shipping the batteries).

    The chemistries are too different for that to work. The A123 cells can take deeper and more frequent cycling and they tolerate fast charging better.


  33. 33
    Sean

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (3:14 pm)

    Now this is what I want to hear about go for it GM!

    We need price reductions the lower the price the more likely consumers will look at EVS, PHEVS, and Erevs now start slashing those prices GM so we can have a better foreseeable future when it comes to the electric auto industry and don’t forget to increase your choices of vehicles so everybody has a choice of what they want!

    Small, medium, and even large size vehicles like the van mentioned earlier from VIA motors.


  34. 34
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (4:04 pm)

    DonC: The chemistries are too different for that to work. The A123 cells can take deeper and more frequent cycling and they tolerate fast charging better.

    My hypothetical involved LG engineering a BEV battery (if they don’t have one in their basement already. Actually if they do, I’m sure GM is already testing it at their battery research center.)


  35. 35
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    Jan 18th, 2013 (4:58 pm)

    Bonaire: For a 40-mile rt commuter car, the Leaf seems fantastic at its $199/mo pricing now. It’s just those of us who drive farther that cannot go that route.Regarding A123 in the Spark EV – who knows. Someone is buying them out and either the JCI or Chinese buyer will keep it going, perhaps. AONE is a good example of a company that had great potentially fully self-cannibalizing itself in various ways.

    The problem with that 40 mile rt commute is if that person fails to plug in, or has any kind of charger issue, he’s stranded the very next day unless he has destination charging.

    I applaud both Chevrolet and Tesla for, more or less, being on the mark in their respective offerings of EREV and BEV. I don’t think I’m interested in less than about 125 miles of real world BEV range. With the new battery warranty, any more slow sales will tell the tale about others who still feel the same way. Price is apt to distort any inference, anyway.


  36. 36
    Noel Park

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (5:29 pm)

    Bonaire: For a 40-mile rt commuter car, the Leaf seems fantastic at its $199/mo pricing now. It’s just those of us who drive farther that cannot go that route.

    pjwood: The problem with that 40 mile rt commute is if that person fails to plug in, or has any kind of charger issue, he’s stranded the very next day unless he has destination charging.

    #28 & #35,

    Isn’t the Leaf supposed to have an EPA rated range of 80+ miles? If “rt” means round trip why should that be a problem?


  37. 37
    Dave G

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (10:34 pm)

    Noel Park: Isn’t the Leaf supposed to have an EPA rated range of 80+ miles?

    EPA rates at 70°F. At 20°F, range goes way down.

    What if a blizzard gets you stuck in traffic for 5 hours, and you need to stay warm? What if there’s a power outage? What if it’s late at night and you just found out your brother is in the emergency room, and he lives 200 miles away?

    I can probably come up with 100 more “what ifs”. Life doesn’t allways go according to plan.

    I’ll never buy a pure BEV, period.


  38. 38
    kdawg

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    Jan 18th, 2013 (11:24 pm)

    Dave G: I’ll never buy a pure BEV, period.

    Even if you already own a Volt and need a 2nd car? They seem like great cars for 2 car households.


  39. 39
    pat

     

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (8:02 am)

    My sense is that Joe/Dane in US will not be much attracted to leaf as a commuter car with limited range … With leaf a family needs 2 cars ..Volt a better design and reasonable range fits the need of a small family. Just the savings on gas plus factor in the 2nd car price /insurance etc Leaf is meant for 2 cars family.
    The way Joe/dane operate in US..forget plugging in or not keeping track of mileage driven will get them stranded and just that thought will keep Leaf being a day to day car for a household.
    Same thing will apply to Spark but it will depend on the price point compared to Leaf.


  40. 40
    Dave G

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (8:58 am)

    kdawg: Even if you already own a Volt and need a 2nd car? They seem like great cars for 2 car households.

    If a household has 2 cars, that usually means at least 2 people need to be able to drive places separately.

    What if your wife took the EREV on a fairly long trip, and now you have a power outage at home?

    What if you’re already driven your BEV an hour from home, and you get a call that changes your plans, requiring you to drive beyond your range? You would have to drive an hour back home, switch cars, then drive an hour back to where you were when you got the call. You’re not SOL, but you’ve lost 2 hours, and driven a lot of extra miles.

    I’m sure there are dozens more “what ifs” like this for 2-car households.

    Bottom line: Life doesn’t always go according to plan.

    For a 2-car household, I would buy 2 EREVs.

    I’ll never buy a pure BEV, period.


  41. 41
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (9:41 am)

    Dave G: If a household has 2 cars, that usually means at least 2 people need to be able to drive places separately.

    What if your wife took the EREV on a fairly long trip, and now you have a power outage at home?

    What if you’re already driven your BEV an hour from home?

    Well. I guess I would take either my Van or my motorcycle or one of the quads or my ebike.


  42. 42
    Dave G

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (11:22 am)

    George S. Bower: Well. I guess I would take either my Van or my motorcycle or one of the quads or my ebike.

    What if take your BEV, but your plans change? You have to drive home again and switch vehicles. If you’re not close to home when your plans change, this can waste hours of time, perhaps critical time. For example, let’s say you find out a relative was just injured badly. Or let’s say you have an emergency meeting to deal with a customer issue. Wasting hours switching vehicles can be a real problem.

    It seems most of the people pushing pure BEVs are engineers. They love the simplicity of design. Limitations and infrastructure issues don’t bother them much.

    That’s bass ackwards. Look at it from a typical consumer’s point of view. They won’t buy a car with more limitations than their old car, and they’re not going to wait decades for a new fueling infrastructure.

    I believe the solution with the best chance of success is a combination of EREVs and bio-fuels.

    Over time EREVs will advance significantly. The Volt is just the beginning. Today’s internal combustion engines are all designed to connect with the wheels, so low-end torque is an absolute necessity. For EREV range extenders, low-end torque is not required. That’s a huge difference in design parameters. This means we’ll see many different types of combustion engines for future range extenders. In fact, the best range extender may be an external combustion engine. Future range extenders will be smaller, lighter, less noisy, and less expensive. They’ll probably move to the back of the vehicle.

    In any case, as EREVs progress with more electric range, cellulosic ethanol and other sustainable bio-fuels will easily fill in the gap that EREVs don’t cover. In other words, we don’t need a new infrastructure of extreme fast chargers. There will be some Level 2 chargers at shopping malls, restaurants, and some places of work, but for longer trips, I believe our current infrastructure of liquid fuel filling stations is here to stay. The only difference will be the absence of petroleum.


  43. 43
    Koz

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (12:24 pm)

    Dave G: EPA rates at 70°F.At 20°F, range goes way down.

    What if a blizzard gets you stuck in traffic for 5 hours, and you need to stay warm?What if there’s a power outage?What if it’s late at night and you just found out your brother is in the emergency room, and he lives 200 miles away?

    I can probably come up with 100 more “what ifs”.Life doesn’t allways go according to plan.

    I’ll never buy a pure BEV, period.

    Not only that but it is day one and with a full range charge which is not recommended for daily use. The EPA has failed to set the EV ratings standard properly. The rated range should be based on recommended daily charging capacity after 3 years of “EPA” rated use, which would be about 55 miles for the Leaf. The should then have some sort of temperature scale showing what the rated range is at different temperatures, e.g. about 40 miles at 20 degrees. You would get more range the first year but that is more or less what could be expected for years 3-5.


  44. 44
    Dick The Bruiser

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (12:34 pm)

    We should get some payback for “the unprecedented political beatdown it took over and over and over again”.

    If I got said individuals in the ring, I’d apply shime-waza before tossing them over the ropes.


  45. 45
    Noel Park

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (1:04 pm)

    Dave G: I can probably come up with 100 more “what ifs”. Life doesn’t allways go according to plan.

    I’ll never buy a pure BEV, period.

    #37

    Well I wouldn’t buy one either, which is why I own a Volt. And maybe living in SoCal makes me forget the cold weather factor sometimes. But here it would work for a 40 mile “rt”. I am seeing quite a few more lately. I think that a lot of 2 car families buy one to get the HOV sticker for a commuter. A BIG advantage to many in SoCal.

    Also, they have a white sticker as opposed to the green one or whatever it is that the Volt gets. So I’m thinking that means that it’s perpetual and doesn’t sunset as the Volt’s does. Does anybody know if that’s right? If so, it’s a good selling point for the Spark as well.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (2:50 pm)

    I totally disagree with this “I’ll never buy a pure EV” discussion. My round trip to Payson is 78 miles (total). On this trip I take the Volt.

    When I have to go to Phoenix, It’s at least 120- 150 miles. So I take the Prius. This is especially true if it is cold outside.

    So really, If I had a base model S, I could get to Payson and back, not burn any fuel at all, and have the ability to push the pedal down when I want. As it stands now, when I go to Payson in the Volt, I have to keep my foot out of it so I can get some decent MPG numbers.

    I find myself wanting more EV range and the only way I can get it is w/ a pure EV.


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    Noel Park

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (3:44 pm)

    George S. Bower: So really, If I had a base model S, I could get to Payson and back, not burn any fuel at all, and have the ability to push the pedal down when I want.

    #47

    Interestingly, I just got around to finishing up the January 7 issue of Autoweek this morning. They have a pretty long article on the Model S and the lead column by Dutch Mandel is about it as well. Let’s just say that they don’t quite agree with Motor Trend’s selection of same as “Car of the Year”, LOL. I’m sure that you could find the stuff at autoweek.com pretty easily.

    They also have a short report on Fisker seeking partnerships. They quote Tony Posawatz as saying that Fisker is “not going to go it alone”.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (4:01 pm)

    Noel Park,

    Nope can’t find it unfortunately.


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    Taylor

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (5:30 pm)

    The comparison of Volts and Leafs keeps coming up. Not sure how a Leaf can be compared to a Volt. The Leaf is ugly, in my opinion, and it is pure electric without the range extender. I wouldn’t buy a Leak if it was $10,000.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (9:41 pm)

    Taylor: I wouldn’t buy a Leak if it was $10,000.

    And even that would make it an expensive golf cart!


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (10:19 pm)

    Taylor: Not sure how a Leaf can be compared to a Volt. The Leaf is ugly, in my opinion, …

    Yes, the Leaf is fugly, but if it had a range extender, at least 35 EPA miles all-electric range, and cost less than the Volt, I would probably buy it.


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 19th, 2013 (10:44 pm)

    Noel Park: Also, they have a white sticker as opposed to the green one or whatever it is that the Volt gets. So I’m thinking that means that it’s perpetual and doesn’t sunset as the Volt’s does. Does anybody know if that’s right? If so, it’s a good selling point for the Spark as well.

    http://www.plugincars.com/slow-uptake-green-carpool-stickers-plug-hybrids-123901.html
    “White Clean Air Vehicle Stickers are available to an unlimited number of qualifying pure zero emissions vehicles, like the Nissan LEAF and Ford Focus Electric. But only 40,000 green stickers for plug-in hybrids will be issued. The expiration date for both stickers is January 1, 2015.”


  53. 53
    haroldC

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (5:21 am)

    Taylor: The comparison of Volts and Leafs keeps coming up. Not sure how a Leaf can be compared to a Volt. The Leaf is ugly, in my opinion, and it is pure electric without the range extender. I wouldn’t buy a Leak if it was $10,000.

    Gee…for $10,000 l’d sure buy one……where, where ?
    haroldC


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    America1st

     

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (9:04 am)

    The Volt continues to amaze me with how it reads temperatures and kicks on gas for me, then switches, keeps me from putting the car in gear if still plugged in (yep, would have sped off a time or two), and MUCH more. Glad I purchased. Best car and most fun of any I’ve owned, and I’ve had very good, very fun cars.


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    Jan 20th, 2013 (9:24 am)

    America1st:
    The Volt continues to amaze me with how it reads temperatures and kicks on gas for me, then switches, keeps me from putting the car in gear if still plugged in (yep, would have sped off a time or two), and MUCH more.Glad I purchased.Best car andmost fun of any I’ve owned, and I’ve had very good, very fun cars.

    I was negatively suprised ELR not having wireless charging. That shall be must for luxure EREV.


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    Dave G

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (10:39 am)

    Darius: I was negatively suprised ELR not having wireless charging. That shall be must for luxure EREV.

    I don’t think so. With the plug, fueling an EREV is already more convenient than a regular gas engine car.

    It takes about 30 seconds to plug or unplug the car. That’s about a minute per day, or about 7 minutes per week. With the gas station, it usually takes around 15 minutes to get there, fuel, and pay, not to mention any waitng in line. With a gas engine car, most people gas up once a week. With the Volt, most people gas up once a month, or perhaps even less often. Measuring convenience by time spent fueling, the EREV plug already beats regular gas engine cars.

    So I see wireless charging as icing on the cake, not a must-have feature for a luxury EREV.


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    kdawg

     

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (3:45 pm)

    Dave G: If a household has 2 cars, that usually means at least 2 people need to be able to drive places separately.
    What if your wife took the EREV on a fairly long trip, and now you have a power outage at home?
    What if you’re already driven your BEV an hour from home, and you get a call that changes your plans, requiring you to drive beyond your range? You would have to drive an hour back home, switch cars, then drive an hour back to where you were when you got the call. You’re not SOL, but you’ve lost 2 hours, and driven a lot of extra miles.
    I’m sure there are dozens more “what ifs” like this for 2-car households.
    Bottom line: Life doesn’t always go according to plan.
    For a 2-car household, I would buy 2 EREVs.
    I’ll never buy a pure BEV, period.

    With an EREV (or gasser) in the household. I would take the above risks.

    Here’s another what if:

    What if you had 10 cars already and somehow won a BEV in a competition. You are not allowed to sell it. You work 20 miles from home. Do you take the BEV to work, or one of your other 10 cars?

    Or what if the same situation above, but your spouse doesn’t work any just needs something to get groceries and go to church on Sundays, etc.?


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    Charlie H

     

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (5:43 pm)

    Darius: I was negatively suprised ELR not having wireless charging. That shall be must for luxure EREV.

    It adds losses. I suppose with a Cadillac, it makes little difference to the owner but it erodes the potential fuel cost advantage of an xEV.

    Losses, though, mean additional GHG impact, unless you have much greater than the standard electriciy mix in nukes or renewables.


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    Charlie H

     

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (5:46 pm)

    Dave G: Yes, the Leaf is fugly, but if it had a range extender, at least 35 EPA miles all-electric range, and cost less than the Volt, I would probably buy it.

    It has been mentionied before; get a trailer-mounted genset for emergencies. Why not make them available as rentals? AAA could get into the business of bringing them to you in an emergency. This concept has been proven to work by owners of Rav4-EVs and Tau-Zeros.


  60. 60
    Charlie H

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (5:50 pm)

    Dick The Bruiser: We should get some payback for “the unprecedented political beatdown it took over and over and over again”.If I got said individuals in the ring, I’d apply shime-waza before tossing them over the ropes.

    Why? People making an average of $175K per year are getting a $7500 tax credit. Most people don’t make that much money. Even with that cash (more from many states), it has barely broken 20K/year. This was all engineered by GM, who begged for rebates when they knew they couldn’t build a car that would sell against the Prius on its merits. Why should you get any payback for GM’s mismanagement and marketing failures?


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (6:15 pm)

    Charlie H: Losses, though, mean additional GHG impact

    Would there be losses, or just less load on the line, if all power wasn’t transfered? I’m sure we have some experts out there.


  62. 62
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (8:10 pm)

    Charlie H: It has been mentionied before; get a trailer-mounted genset for emergencies.

    First of all, a BEV + trailer genset would be more expensive than an EREV. It would also be inconvenient.

    But most importantly, the main issue I mention above still remains: Life doesn’t always go according to plan. So unless you always drag around a trailer-mounted genset, the “what-ifs” above still apply.

    For example, what if your plans say you’ll have enough electric range, so you don’t take the trailer-mounted genset, but then during the trip your plans change?

    kdawg: What if you had 10 cars already and somehow won a BEV in a competition. You are not allowed to sell it. You work 20 miles from home. Do you take the BEV to work, or one of your other 10 cars?
    Or what if the same situation above, but your spouse doesn’t work any just needs something to get groceries and go to church on Sundays, etc.?

    This sounds like a scene from the movie “City Slickers”. I just watched it again, this time with my daughter, and it’s still good 22 years later. LOL.

    Anyway, to answer your question, if I won a Leaf in a competition, and wasn’t allowed to sell it, I’d probably just park it somewhere and drive the Volt to work, since that would only use around 1/2 cup of gas per day. My wife also dislikes pure BEVs, so she would probably buy another Volt.


  63. 63
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 20th, 2013 (8:31 pm)

    Charlie H: People making an average of $175K per year are getting a $7500 tax credit. Most people don’t make that much money. Even with that cash (more from many states), it has barely broken 20K/year.

    I believe the $175K per year figure was for 2011, so that’s probably inaccurate now. In other words, early adopters are usually more affluent. People with more normal incomes usually wait a year or two to let them work the kinks out, and for prices to come down. Now that dealers are willing to make deals on the Volt, sales are increasing. Back in 2011, most dealers were charging sticker price or higher.

    Also remember that, for a totally new type of vehicle, sales usually start slower and then ramp up. For example, if you compare with sales of the Prius when it first came out:

    Global sales …. Prius ….. Volt
    1st Year ………. 300 ……. 326
    2nd Year …….. 17,700 … 8,272
    3rd Year ……… 15,200 … 29,535

    Totals …………. 33,200 … 38,133


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    Darius

     

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    Jan 21st, 2013 (4:15 am)

    Dave G:

    So I see wireless charging as icing on the cake, not a must-have feature for a luxury EREV.

    The Cadilac ELR is luxury option of Chevy Volt therefore it is not so price sensitive and 5% more of el.losses are not so important. Convinience and safety would be benefit.