Aug 16

Miscellaneous Alternative Vehicle News Roundup

 

GM Says Chevy Spark EV Saves $150 Per Month In Fuel

 

In an ongoing effort to amp up interest in its 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV, General Motors has posted a whimsical infographic spelling out how $9,000 not spent for fuel in five years could be better utilized.

The figure of money saved is based on average driver patterns expected, and amounts to $150 per month in gas not purchased for the car that’s for now only being offered in California, Oregon, and to be later available in Canada, South Korea and Europe.

 

The small but peppy EV is EPA rated at 119 MPGe for combined city/highway fuel economy and its range is said to be 82 miles.

GM says it is “the most efficient EV in its class” not that there are exactly tons of contenders in said subcompact “class.”

“Spark EV is one of the most affordable EVs on the market, with one of the lowest costs of ownership of any new vehicle out there,” said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet small car and electrified vehicle marketing. “Spark EV is a great city car that rewards frequent use by being fun, efficient and affordable.”

Click on image to enlarge.
Click on image to enlarge.
 

To drive the point home on the advantages of driving a Spark EV home, GM says “the Spark EV makes it possible to afford a number of other big-ticket items, as well as some favorite everyday items,” including:

• Airfare for an around-the-world trip
• A Viking outdoor grill
• 6 pairs of Google Glasses
• 60 Nike+ FuelBands
• 6,425 Starbucks Tall Coffee of the Days

For those who were looking for the spare change to spring for these items, or other goodies, GM suggests the Spark EV which – with incentives subtracted – is priced under $25,000.
 

Five Hours Of QC Tests For Tesla Model S – Video

 

Before a Tesla Model S is released to its awaiting buyer, the car must undergo a virtual gauntlet of tests for five hours to ensure it meets the company’s quality control standards.

The car is test driven under strenuous conditions, immersed in a hurricane of a water shower, and must have 101 boxes positively marked on a 101-point checklist.

Recently Wired was allowed inside of the Fremont, Calif. factory and put together a video compilation of the procedures to which the Model S is subjected.

Presently, Tesla’s Web site pegs wait times at approximately one month for a new “P85″ Performance version with 85-kwh battery, two months for the mid-level 85-kwh version, and three months for the 60-kwh version.
 

Tesla Model S And Toyota Prius Recognized By Edmunds.com

 

By Phillippe Crowe
 

Some cars offer great value while others excel in particular features such as cargo space or in-cabin technology. But which cars are quite simply THE BEST?

Edmunds.com offers its subjective opinion for the top dog in each vehicle segment with “The 17 Best Cars You Can Buy” story.

Unfortunately the Volt was passed up. Is it a “hybrid?” If so, the Prius is the best among that category. Is it an “electric/alternative fuel” vehicle? Yes you say? Well Tesla won that category and it does not sound like Volt was in the running.

This list, comprised of 17 categories, includes one electric/alternative technology category and one hybrid category; the Tesla Model S and the Toyota Prius won these.

“This list answers a question that we get all the time: If you could pick any car in a given segment, and money wasn’t an issue, what car would you choose?” says Edmunds.com Automotive Editor James Riswick. “Sure, many of the cars on this list cost a pretty penny, but guess what? It usually costs more to get the best.”

A total of 14 brands appear on the list, led by Toyota with three vehicles and Honda with two.

The full story can be found here. The following is what Edmunds.com’s editors wrote for both the electric/alternative technology category and the hybrid category:
Tesla_Model_S
 

Best Electric/Alternative Fuel Vehicle: 2013 Tesla Model S

 

Gee, should we pick a compact hatchback with a compromised trunk that can go about 80 miles on a charge and from zero to 60 mph in 10 seconds? Or, should we perhaps choose a grand, sexy luxury sedan with two trunks that can go 265 miles on a charge and from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds? Decisions, decisions …

The latter, in case you’re unaware, is the Tesla Model S. Besides the generous range and truly incredible acceleration, the Model S is most impressive for feeling like a real car from a real auto manufacturer instead of a low-volume special haphazardly slapped together using bits and pieces from other carmakers. That doesn’t mean the Tesla is normal, however. An enormous central touchscreen controls almost everything, and for the most part does a good job of it. The trunk under the hatchback (versus the one up front where the engine would be) can be equipped with a pair of rear-facing jump seats. Perhaps most abnormal of all is the way it drives. The only thing that gets up to speed this quietly, effortlessly and rapidly is a magnetically launched roller coaster, while the Tesla’s incredibly wide stance and low center of gravity allow it to take corners with similar skill. It’s an astonishing vehicle that lives up to the hype and is without question the best electric car on the planet.

2013 Prius PHV
 

Best Hybrid: 2013 Toyota Prius

 

There are hybrids that are better to drive and/or have more richly appointed cabins, but the most important attribute of a gasoline-electric car is fuel economy, and no traditional hybrid achieves a better EPA mpg combined figure than the Toyota Prius. The subcompact Prius C matches it, but then it can’t match the original’s generous passenger and cargo space. Actually, no other hybrid car can, as competitors like the Ford C-Max and Honda Civic hybrids are just conventional vehicles filled with and consequently compromised by batteries. Not only is the Prius’ backseat big enough to comfortably accommodate two adults, but its hatchback trunk can fit their luggage, too. No wonder the Prius is becoming so popular with cab companies.
 

Volt-related News

 

The only sliver of news I have on GM-Volt.com’s alternative vehicle of choice is that last month the LG Chem began pre-production of batteries for the Volt.

According to M-Live, the Holland, Mich. plant says LG Chem’s spokesman confirmed pre-production testing” is underway for the batteries produced in Holland, Mich.

volt-battery-660
 

“Once manufactured, lithium ion batteries require a settling period before use, so the company anticipates making its first shipments in late September or early October,” said LG Chem spokesman Randy Boileau on Thursday, Aug. 1.

The 600,000 square foot plant was built at a cost of $303 million and had been intended as the source for the Volt and Ford Focus Electric in mid-2012.

As we know, the plant got into some hot water in February this year, but it appears that is history now.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 16th, 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: 55


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (6:20 am)

    From the lead article: Edmunds.com offers its subjective opinion for the top dog in each vehicle segment with “The 17 Best Cars You Can Buy” story. Unfortunately the Volt was passed up. Is it a “hybrid?” If so, the Prius is the best among that category. Is it an “electric/alternative fuel” vehicle? Yes you say? Well Tesla won that category and it does not sound like Volt was in the running……

    Sounds to me like Edmund’s writing staff must have seen Dr Sanjay Gupta’s recent CNN show on “WEED” and threw a “pot party” while writing “The 17 Best Cars You Can Buy”!

    So… could we make more sense of Edmund’s opinions if we followed their “weed lead”?
    130130_marijuana_ap_605.jpg


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    GSP

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (6:26 am)

    If Edmunds truly believes that “the most important attribute of a gasoline-electric car is fuel economy,” then I don’t understand why the Volt’s *vastly superior* fuel economy does not win the prize. Not to mention that the Volt is much more fun-to-drive, and looks much nicer as well.

    My lifetime fuel economy is over 330 mpg, and when I take road trips I usually get over 100 mpg, sometimes “only” 80 mpg for the longer ones. Sure beats the Prius’ 50 mpg!

    GSP


  3. 3
    Mark Z

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (6:59 am)

    Maybe Edmunds is confused if the Volt is an electric car or a hybrid. What the DMV says should be the answer for their article. Volt should win in the hybrid category because it is the superior vehicle when compared with the Prius. Just ask the previous owners of Prius who had the intelligence to test drive the Volt and were willing to spend a little more to plug in and drive electrically. The Volt driver gets the fun of an full electric car and the practical range of a hybrid. The poor Prius driver is stuck using gasoline for the life of the car. With a 5 star rating for rollover, the Volt is a safer car to buy.


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    Mark

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (7:00 am)

    I think the real problem here and with American perception in general is that the Volt is truly a car in a class of it’s own. It’s not competing with the pure electric like the Tesla, nor is it really competing with the Prius, a traditional hybrid. They need to have a new category for the plug-in hybrid in which the Volt competes with the Prius Plug-in, the Ford C-Max Energi, and others. Then we would have a real comparison in which (in my opinion) the Volt would easily win. :)


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    JamesMcQuaid

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (7:08 am)

    The Spark graphic is fun, and does a nice job of illustrating TCO savings.

    I’m not surprised by Edmunds; once the Volt became a political football, milk toast outfits (and other invertebrates) became afraid to provide any positive coverage or express any approval.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (7:11 am)

    12 movies,….hmmm, 36 large tubs of popcorn. 8-)


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    Aug 16th, 2013 (7:59 am)

    IMHO the Edmonds’ report is c**p. When in the history of the automobile could you buy a car with no distance restrictions that was able to run without gasoline for as long as you decide?
    We are all worrying about getting 25-40 mpg when buying a new car and finally good old American Chevy comes out with a car that surpasses 90% of the rest and gets 150 to 1000 mpg for most owners.
    It’s a no-brainer……Edmonds is stu**id……or dumb…
    haroldC

    please GM…….more voltec models….


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    haroldC

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (8:17 am)

    l wonder how many P-cars have been traded for Volts……and vice-versa…hahahaha…
    haroldC


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    joe

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (8:22 am)

    The root of the problem is GM’s bankruptcy has caused a lot of hatred among the media. Many do not want GM to do well. This may sound harsh but is the truth. The media picks on GM for anything they can to the point of inventing stories…..I see this all the time on the Internet. The Volt fires is one example. It is getting better but it will take more time before they are treated like the other auto makers.


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    Tim Hart

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (8:38 am)

    It’s a sad fact that often the best things in life are the most maligned. That’s definitely the case with the Volt, when all things considered, is still the best car in the world. I liked the ad for the Spark EV. Hope GM starts to make it available everywhere ASAP.


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    Mark Z

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (8:52 am)

    GM needs to create a “The Economics of VOLT Ownership” poster for the 48 states without Spark EV. For those who drive 40 miles or less between plug-ins, the savings in fuel are similar.

    Those considering a Spark EV should wait for the SAE Standard Fast Charging option. The vehicles currently on the dealer lot can only be charged with AC (in seven hours.) Vehicles with the SAE DC option will be manufactured very soon according to my local dealer.

    For the real shocker, open the Recargo app on the iPhone and select only “SAE Combo DC Fast Charging” under “Filters – Chargers.” How many are there? Two locations on the planet!


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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (9:15 am)

    see all those hundreds of “repeating frames” in the Volt battery:

    voltbatteryrepeatingframes1_zpse2336110.jpg

    Those are eliminated in the Spark battery and replaced with a simple “cooling mat” which results in a simpler, lower cost, high reliability design


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    emd

     

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (9:17 am)

    this should be 2 separate news stories.

    the spark one reminds me of the 1960s vw ad where the two neighbors both bought new cars. the dim neighbor bought an impala and for the same money the bright one bought a type1 beetle, new appliances, new living room set, and more.

    I can see why the volt wasn’t in the Edmunds review. it didn’t fit in any one category, but fit both. the volt is really the half breed king (now that fisker is seemingly gone). maybe the volt should have had a mention though.


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    Raymondjram

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (9:19 am)

    The Spark EV news this morning just covers the savings in time and money by not buying gas. But there are more savings. I have the Spark EV Owner Manual (bought at Helm, Inc) and I read it from cover to cover. And this vehicle can change our lives forever.

    The Spark EV is the vehicle with the LEAST COST in time and money for MAINTENANCE. The only items that the owner must check every week is tire pressures, washer fluid and coolant levels. The brake fluid is checked monthly. The only four replaceables are the cabin air cleaner (every 22,500 miles) and the three wiper blades (driver, passenger, and rear).

    After every 7,500 miles the tires are checked and rotated. After each 30,000 miles the brake fluid is replaced (if needed). After 97,500 miles, the electric drive fluid (equivalent to transmission fluid) is changed. After 150,000 miles or five years, the coolant is changed. The brake pads could last the life of the vehicle (probably over twenty years) since the regeneration will do most of the vehicle speed reduction.

    No other vehicle has so little maintenance cost, either paid by the owner or by the dealer. The owner will spend more time and money cleaning it than changing any fluids or filters. The Volt cannot compare with this savings because it still has an engine that needs some extra maintenance during its use. But hands down, the Spark EV, as GM’s first production BEV, will be the best vehicle to own. This is why I would risk buying one and shipping it to my home, even if the dealer cannot service its engine and battery (if it ever fails).

    The second generation Volt may still have a range extender engine, but GM must produce the third generation Volt as a pure BEV with a 200+ mile range. Then we will all save money and time. Goodbye, OPEC!

    Raymond


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    volt11

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (10:07 am)

    Edmunds has a long history of Volt hatred. Regardless, I think this is simply a matter of the Volt being beaten by the Tesla S, in the category it would naturally compete in. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise. I just hope GM is paying attention to the fact that Tesla is eating their green lunch.


  16. 16
    steve

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (10:08 am)

    So you can’t classify it and therefore you can’t rate it?


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    kdawg

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (10:17 am)

    OT: Does anyone know if the 2014 Volt & Spark EV have 4G LTE and more aps? (Skype for example)

    (edit: did some googlin’. looks like we won’t see this till mid 2014. darn i have so many ideas :) )


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    MotoEV

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (10:25 am)

    joe,

    If I was a stockholder, retiree, or relative of either one who was scr**d over by the bankruptcy, buying a GM product (no matter how good) would not be an option. The market is very competitive in almost every segment and GM is competitive but not dominant. Consumer have many good choices these days.


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    MotoEV

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (10:28 am)

    Raymondjram,

    ‘No other vehicle has so little maintenance cost, either paid by the owner or by the dealer. ‘

    Dramatically better than the much larger Nissan Leaf?


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    kdawg

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (10:34 am)

    MotoEV: If I was a stockholder, retiree, or relative of either one who was scr**d over by the bankruptcy, buying a GM product (no matter how good) would not be an option.

    Yet in spite of oil spills and their cost, we continue to buy the stuff.
    And in spite of the banks screwing over America, we still put our $ there as well.
    Should I not buy any product from any company that has ever declared bankruptcy?
    I guess I’ll boycott going to Detroit too, since they declared bankruptcy.


  21. 21
    Jackson

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (10:37 am)

    MotoEV:
    If I was a stockholder, retiree, or relative of either one who was scr**d over by the bankruptcy, buying a GM product (no matter how good) would not be an option.

    If GM had gone through existing bankruptcy law, instead of the “government brokered” fiasco (which shafted the bondholders in favor of the Unions), how different might this perception have been? For many, the Volt has become a poster child for everything bad which came out of this, a fate it never deserved.

    MotoEV:

    The market is very competitive in almost every segment and GM is competitive but not dominant.Consumer have many good choices these days.

    What is the alternative for the Chevy Volt? GM Voltec leads the world.


  22. 22
    Bobc

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (11:04 am)

    MotoEV:
    joe,

    If I was a stockholder, retiree, or relative of either one who was scr**d over by the bankruptcy, buying a GM product (no matter how good) would not be an option. The market is very competitive in almost every segment and GM is competitive but not dominant.Consumer have many good choices these days.

    People who live their lives like this are emotional investors, he market is never kind to them and doesn’t care worth one wit. You or I may feel sorry for them but that does not help their situation. Business is business and the world moves on. The wealthy of this country and the wealthy that built this country on the backs of the middle class and poor don’t have that attitude. Business don’t have compassion and lack empathy, this is the main reason that I feel corporations should not be treated as people legally. The people that were burned by bankruptcy of GM are looking at the situation through the lens of their of their own narrow self interest, but I certainly don’t blame them top for that. But to hold a grudge means that you will never experience the benefits of their rebuilding , their new products and their future profitability. Such people have a narrow view of investing and only subscribe to too broad a view of share holder value. Had GM gone through a normal bankruptcy neither they or Chrysler would have been in existence any more. People tend to forget that the credit markets were in disarray and had to get their own house in order banks were failing or going into shotgun marriages left and right. There would have been no efficient means via the market to bring GM or Chrysler back. And with no GM or Chrysler all the support industry business dries up and pretty much then Ford has to go also. Few people realize that Ford supported the rescue of GM and Chrysler because they knew what it would mean for them. The only difference between GM and Ford is the timing of their financial reorganization. Ford did it while the credit markets were still somewhat sound, hey divested themselves of all the British Auto companies and Volvo that the spent the nineties buying up. Rolls Royce went to Volkswagen, Volvo went a Swedish concern, jaguar went to Tata motors in India and so on. WhenGM tries to divest, the Chinese took the Hummer , they spun off Saab and they are still struggling , they killed off Oldsmobile , Pontiac and Saturn because they could not find buyers. So all those who are are holding a grudge are just jealous of the end results. No depression, a healthy automotive industry, no long soup lines or unemployment lines, and they absolutely deny the fact that the events went across two administrations. They so want anything Obamas touches to be a failure that they will cut off their noses to spite their faces. I think they should put on their big boy pants and do some true heartfelt introspection. Thus ends my rant.


  23. 23
    George S Bower

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (11:27 am)

    Bobc,

    thx bobc for reminding us what really happened. There was no Normal bankrupcy to be had.


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    Kent

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (11:28 am)

    Bobc,

    In addition, the “Oracle of Omaha” just upped his stake in GM.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/talking-numbers/forget-tesla-buffett-buying-automaker-095412244.html


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    Jim Mbongo

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (12:30 pm)

    Who really cares about Edmunds?
    They hate the Volt since the very first day GM launched they car. Because GM said sometimes the IC provides some sort of power to the wheels, they accused GM to be a liar. But when Ford admits to have misled all of us, Edmunds uses a different tone.
    No matter what do and say about it, the Volt remains a great car like no other. Just last week I think, Opel Ampera was voted the best electric car in Germany.
    With times, there is one thing I learned about the said auto critics: they all are human beings just like everybody else and like everybody else, they can love or hate someone or something; they can also be wrong and make mistake. So who really cares about Edmunds?


  26. 26
    Raymondjram

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (12:35 pm)

    MotoEV:
    Raymondjram,

    ‘No other vehicle has so little maintenance cost, either paid by the owner or by the dealer. ‘

    Dramatically better than the much larger Nissan Leaf?

    If you count the long life that the TMS adds to the battery, and that its coolant lasts 150,000 miles (about 15 years), yes. In less than 15 years the Nissan Leaf would already have dropped its capacity and require a change, while the Spark battery will still be usable. The Leaf tires are probably more expensive, and will be worn sooner, too.

    Let’s make a bet. Buy me a 2014 Spark EV and have it shipped to my home. Then I will list all my expenses for the next ten years, while you do the same for the Leaf. If I spent more, I pay you one dollar in August 2023. Okay?

    I can confirm that GM vehicles last longer and cost less to maintain than any import. My GM vehicles last very long (my present Buick Regal is 19 years old), and the ONLY item I spend more than the imports is gasoline.

    Raymond


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    Aug 16th, 2013 (12:48 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:
    12 movies,….hmmm, 36 large tubs of popcorn.

    Maybe you ought to make it 6 movies, 18 tubs of popcorn, and 12 – 13 one hour workouts. :-P


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    Sean

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (1:04 pm)

    I rather be driving a Volt if I could and I don’t get it that the Prius won out flat?

    If you can get 200 or more MPG on average while driving your Volt I would rather drive that.

    Still in my own opinion I rather drive in all electric mode as much as possible by not using the gas generator at all just to say.

    Last but not least if your not happy with the results here’s the Edmunds.com contact page if you want to argue with them and tell them why the Prius should have not won out flat and you can argue about your real world experience of why it’s such a great car over the Prius.

    Now everybody go and tell them why it’s one of the best cars on the market.

    https://help.edmunds.com/anonymous_requests/new

    The Future Is Electric!


  29. 29
    Bobc

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (1:06 pm)

    Jackson: If GM had gone through existing bankruptcy law, instead of the “government brokered” fiasco (which shafted the bondholders in favor of the Unions), how different might this perception have been?For many, the Volt hasbecome a poster child for everything bad which came out of this, a fate it never deserved.

    What is the alternative for the Chevy Volt?GM Voltec leads the world.

    You know it has always occurred to me that stock trading and Bond holding has been a risk. That risk is taken in the hope of reaping future reward. Now I focus on the word hope in that last statement because that is all the investor or bond holder has HOPE, no guarantees. So you claim the GM situation was a government brokered fiasco that favored the unions. Did you forget that as part of the agreement the unions had to trim ranks and assume a hefty share of the new GM stock. Bond holders may have lost capital but that capital was in no way guaranteed, the union had to trim ranks, take pay cuts, and assume the financial risk of an ordinary investors as a function of saving the livelyhood of a good portion of their ranks and they had to accept modification of work rules fairly bargained for in their collective bargaining agreements. In Germany most if not all automobile manufacturers have union representatives on their board of directors, a situation unheard of in he US. The problem is that we have too many people in the US that think the capital markets are the most efficient ways to get things done. If those markets were not rigged by lobbyist with congressmen in their pockets gaming the system that would be true. But unfortunately we do have people gaming the system so deregulation causes pain for the masses most often and the the criminals that game the system get not only bailed out but get to complain about it when the government put a cap on their salaries and bonuses. Banking institutions lost trillions during the 2008 recession, I haven’t heard of one Banker or trader going to jail for their mismanagement, have you? Wagoner lost his job as head of GM but I’m sure he still got a nice payout because he had a legal contract, I did hear of a lot of them getting bonuses while their lower ranks were getting let go. For those of you whomthoughtmOccupy WallStreet WS a hipster joke , it is time to wake up. It was a protest at the narrow view of those in the privalidged one percent that are always focused on getting theirs at the expense of the rest of society and failing to make a bigger pie. imagine if early human society was run by MBA’s… i shudder. Wagoner might have been an old car guy but he had a bad legacy of contentious era of labor relations and I guess he was not willing to part with the old ways of doing things. I don’t think Akerson is doing such a bad job but at lest he was able to do some out of box thinking when it to GM’s survival and moving forward, we shall see. The first rule of investing is also the first rule of gambling, if you can’t afford to lose it put it in a bank.


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    Jackson

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (1:17 pm)

    Bobc,

    “Government Sponsored Bankruptcy” bypassed the system altogether, which is much worse that merely “gaming” it (which is not the norm, as you imply).

    According to bankruptcy law, the bondholders are always first in line to get any monies which might be available. Bonds are not stocks. They represent more promise than risk. How could it be that the Unions were favored over these investors in “government sponsored bankruptcy,” even to the point of gaining ownership?

    Under existing law, GM would have been able to ditch increasingly unreasonable Union contracts which negatively affected their competitiveness for decades, and start over fresh. This would have accomplished some of the Union austerity you cite, but would have been considered unacceptable by certain forces in our government. I cannot help but wonder if the “government sponsored bankruptcy” had anything to do with how Unions traditionally vote? Whether it did or didn’t, I submit that telling the bondholders to take a hike has only chilled all investment, by showing how easily the accepted rules can be dispensed with. This has placed a further burden on the weakened economy.

    Would sticking with the law have overcome unstable markets to save the company? (It would certainly have improved public perception). I don’t know. But I don’t think the lawful alternative should be glossed over either.

    I was going to leave you be and avoid further politics, but you keep pulling me back in …


  31. 31
    Bobc

     

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (2:22 pm)

    Ok Jackson you may have a point in what you imply, but I would say there was another incentive for the government to do it the way they did. How about 30% unemployment not just 12% and for 3 years not just 18 months. Remember capital markets were nonexistent private capital would have decimated the auto industry and completely taken it out of the US leaving us with a depression and as far as bondholders go there is a reason they have ratings. When you buy stock in a corporation you are issued a note that gives you a small piece of that company, you reward is an increase in stock price and or a dividend if offered. With a bond you are lending that corporation money whether it be for expansion, equipment or to meet payroll. As a function of that loan the company assets are pledged as collateral. By a bond is just different way of investing and there is always risk of default. Bond holders don’t care about unions or middl management , they don’t care about your suppliers and in a tight fix they would not extend more money to you form you to make payroll. They were made an offer to recoup some of heir losses but instead with their view of efficient capital markets, the auto industry would have been out of the US and the Government and all the states would have been running huge deficits and . This is not politics this is just the way it would have been. Check history and the depression of 1929. We were lucky we did not repeat that mistake of their monetary policies.


  32. 32
    Streetlight

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (2:34 pm)

    Mark Z: Those considering a Spark EV should wait for the SAE Standard Fast Charging option. The vehicles currently on the dealer lot can only be charged with AC (in seven hours.) Vehicles with the SAE DC option will be manufactured very soon according to my local dealer.
    For the real shocker, open the Recargo app on the iPhone and select only “SAE Combo DC Fast Charging” under “Filters – Chargers.” How many are there? Two locations on the planet!

    You hit the head right on the nail. (So to speak) To be able to charge in 20 minutes is a game changer. For 2014 we can think in terms of plausible ICE on-the-go recharge while its driving traction motors. You don’t think EU makers were thrilled about having to work with GM on the J1771 DC Combo standard…(Pacific Rim makers abstained.) They know GM at some point will make the DC COMBO standard equipment on all its EV models.

    Indeed, GM could well make the DC COMBO immediately standard on SPARK & ELR (and of course for ELR use its world class 2.0 turbo.) Imagine…an internal DC 20-minute 80% charge in 20 minutes (Actually a 50% charge would approximate the time to pump gas) Would that ever set Cadillac apart even from its $100k competitors.


  33. 33
    Jackson

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (3:33 pm)

    Streetlight: Indeed, GM could well make the DC COMBO immediately standard on SPARK & ELR (and of course for ELR use its world class 2.0 turbo.) Imagine…an internal DC 20-minute 80% charge in 20 minutes (Actually a 50% charge would approximate the time to pump gas) Would that ever set Cadillac apart even from its $100k competitors.

    I suspect that DC charging will be offered at a fee additional to the cost of the power, while J1772 will be the norm for destination / business-incentive charging. DC will have to struggle with the belated adoption of a new standard, higher power requirements, and what-the-market-will-bear for the initially few locations. Consider that destinations such as parking garages could provide a 60 – 70% charge via J1772 for most BEV commuters who park all day while at work or commuting via train. This is the kind of thing DC-for-a-fee could be up against.

    Once EVs become common enough, the J1772 chargers put up by businesses appear without extra cost to the driver (then again, EV owners may only pick up a few miles at a time). This is what’s happening here in the North Metro Atlanta area, and J1772 chargers will likely proliferate enough in enough places to discourage any higher-cost alternative when it finally comes (at least for the foreseeable future).


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    stuart22

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (3:53 pm)

    Edmunds has never warmed up to the Volt; as I recall at the time the Volt arrived in dealer showrooms, Edmunds was among the more prominent knucklehead sources of media misinformation on the Volt which, all put together, delayed public appreciation and acceptance in the form of good sales.


  35. 35
    joe

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (4:47 pm)

    MotoEV:
    joe,

    If I was a stockholder, retiree, or relative of either one who was scr**d over by the bankruptcy, buying a GM product (no matter how good) would not be an option. The market is very competitive in almost every segment and GM is competitive but not dominant.Consumer have many good choices these days.

    MotoEV,
    ————————
    to MotoEV, from Joe
    For your information, I’m a GM retiree and was a GM stock holder during the bankruptcy and I lost nearly $100,000.00. But as you can see I don’t hold it against GM. Today I still own some GM stocks and am on my way in making up my lost.

    The GM bashers are not smart enough to figure out what the Government did was the right thing to do for all people in the USA. GM needed cash and could not get any loans. I hope for those who are reading this can figure out what would have happened if GM had not gotten that cash.

    BTW GM paid up it’s loan a long time ago. Our Government owns, as we all know, GM stocks and is gradually selling them at a lost, but in end the method used was far better then letting GM go out of business. Amen


  36. 36
    kdawg

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (6:41 pm)

    Did anyone else notice this about the Spark EV?

    Battery manufacturing location: A123, Livonia, Mich., USA

    Does this mean the batteries are still made in Michigan? I thought once the Chinese bought them, operations were going overseas (or already were).

    http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/chevrolet/vehicles/spark-ev/2014.tab1.html


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    kdawg

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (6:48 pm)

    From the article “For those who were looking for the spare change to spring for these items, or other goodies, GM suggests the Spark EV which – with incentives subtracted – is priced under $25,000.”

    Which incentives? The MSRP is $26,685. After federal tax incentives, the cost is $19,185.


  38. 38
    Eco_Turbo

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    Aug 16th, 2013 (8:07 pm)

    kdawg,

    It probably did for the gazillion or so batteries they’ll make for the Chinese market, and they didn’t even have to listen to anybody complaining about having to tell them how to make them.


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    Raymondjram

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (8:13 am)

    joe: MotoEV,
    ————————
    to MotoEV, from Joe
    For your information, I’m a GM retiree and was a GM stock holder during the bankruptcy and I lost nearly $100,000.00. But as you can see I don’t hold it against GM. Today I still own some GM stocks and am on my way in making up my lost.

    The GM bashers are not smart enough to figure out what the Government did was the right thing to do for all people in the USA. GM needed cash and could not get any loans. I hope for those who are reading this can figure out what would have happened if GM had not gotten that cash.

    BTW GM paid up it’s loan a long time ago. Our Government owns, as we all know, GM stocks and is gradually selling them at a lost, but in end the method used wasfar better then letting GM go out of business. Amen

    Very nice reply. Most of us know that it was GM’s old administrators who caused the bankruptcy, not the employees, workers, or the company in general. They are all gone now, but we like the new GM and what it is giving back to America.

    Raymond


  40. 40
    steve

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (10:58 am)

    joe: MotoEV,
    ————————
    to MotoEV, from Joe
    For your information, I’m a GM retiree and was a GM stock holder during the bankruptcy and I lost nearly $100,000.00. But as you can see I don’t hold it against GM. Today I still own some GM stocks and am on my way in making up my lost.

    The GM bashers are not smart enough to figure out what the Government did was the right thing to do for all people in the USA. GM needed cash and could not get any loans. I hope for those who are reading this can figure out what would have happened if GM had not gotten that cash.

    BTW GM paid up it’s loan a long time ago. Our Government owns, as we all know, GM stocks and is gradually selling them at a lost, but in end the method used wasfar better then letting GM go out of business. Amen

    Why is the government selling at a loss? Wouldn’t it be in the taxpayer’s interest to at least break even?


  41. 41
    kdawg

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (12:42 pm)

    steve: Why is the government selling at a loss? Wouldn’t it be in the taxpayer’s interest to at least break even?

    I think people don’t want their government in the business of, well, business. Meaning they don’t want the Fed invested in a car company. So even if they have to sell at a loss, it will give these people peace of mind that the government is not involved in the private sector. Yeah, silly I know, since it is already involved so many other places, but if it will stop the “Government Motors” mantra, I’m for it.


  42. 42
    Jackson

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (1:39 pm)

    Where is the “Economics of EV Ownership” poster for the Volt?

    … just askin’ …


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    Bonaire

     

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (2:05 pm)

    kdawg: I think people don’t want their government in the business of, well, business.Meaning they don’t want the Fed invested in a car company.So even if they have to sell at a loss, it will give these people peace of mind that the government is not involved in the private sector.Yeah, silly I know, since it is already involved so many other places, but if it will stop the “Government Motors” mantra, I’m for it.

    Heh. If they don’t want government involved in business then kill off business tax deductions and depreciations and go with a flat tax. No profit, no tax. Using deductions to lower profits causes more waste and other junk. It would also slow the economy to a more reliable level. Our government structure surely is not what the founding fathers wanted to see happen.


  44. 44
    Thomas J. Thias ~ Selling Volts At Sundance

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (3:43 pm)

    Jackson,

    “If GM had gone through existing bankruptcy law, instead of the “government brokered” fiasco (which shafted the bondholders in favor of the Unions), how different might this perception have been?For many, the Volt hasbecome a poster child for everything bad which came out of this, a fate it never deserved.”

    LIQUIDATION- Game Over!

    “Both companies have said they don’t see bankruptcy as a viable option for any auto maker. They believe customers would stop buying cars and the company would be forced to liquidate.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122823078705672467.html

    The reality of the past-

    Best-

    Thomas J. Thias


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    Thomas J. Thias ~ Selling Volts At Sundance

     

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (3:56 pm)

    Our Good Friend Jeff Cobb Says-

    “GM says it is “the most efficient EV in its class” not that there are exactly tons of contenders in said subcompact “class.”

    WHAT?

    Chevy Spark EV -
    Fiat 500e -
    Ford Focus EV -
    Honda Fit EV -
    Mitsubushi Mi EV
    Nissan Leaf EV -
    Smart EV -
    Coming BMW i3

    The Coming Swarms of BEV’s

    http://www.plugincars.com/cars

    Best-

    Thomas J. Thias

    Sundance Chevrolet Inc

    517-622-6081

    Twitter- @AmazingChevVolt


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    Aug 17th, 2013 (4:22 pm)

    Thomas J. Thias ~ Selling Volts At Sundance,

    Thomas, not sure if you saw my post the other day, but curious if the recent Volt price drop has produced any more inquiries?

    (whatever happened to the car salesman from California? drawing a blank on his name right now)


  47. 47
    Jeff Cobb

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (5:07 pm)

    Thomas J. Thias ~ Selling Volts At Sundance:
    Our Good Friend Jeff Cobb Says-

    “GM says it is “the most efficient EV in its class” not that there are exactly tons of contenders in said subcompact “class.”

    WHAT?

    Chevy Spark EV -
    Fiat 500e -
    Ford Focus EV -
    Honda Fit EV -
    Mitsubushi Mi EV
    Nissan Leaf EV -
    Smart EV -
    Coming BMW i3

    The Coming Swarms of BEV’s

    http://www.plugincars.com/cars

    Best-

    Thomas J. Thias

    Sundance Chevrolet Inc

    517-622-6081

    Twitter- @AmazingChevVolt

    Your occasional comments to me nearly always are characterized by surface congeniality and an undertone tantamount to contentiousness and proud one-upmanship.

    Rather than just screaming your advocacy and using this blog as a platform to advertise yourself, understand a few things …

    My statement is true. I said: “…not that there are exactly tons of contenders in said subcompact ‘class.’”

    Spark MPGe 119 combined. This is in the SUBCOMPACT class, as I wrote.

    Your WHAT? rebuttal listed a bunch of EVs that are either not for sale, hardly for sale, and not in the SUBCOMPACT class.

    My response to your list:

    The Fiat – classified by EPA as “minicompact,” technically not “subcompact.” (It is rated at 116 MPGe combined – very close).
    The 105 MPGe Ford is a larger (compact class) car – not in the Spark’s class, as I said.
    The Honda is classified as a “small station wagon” – also not in the Spark’s subcompact class – and it’s rated at 118 MPGe, knocking on the 119 MPGe Spark EV’s back door.

    The 112 MPGe Mitsu is a subcompact, so the Spark beats it. It also is not much competition as an outdated converted ICE car.

    The 115 MPGe Leaf is a midsized car, by classification, not a subcompact.

    The 107 MPGe Smart EV coupe is a “two seater” according to EPA, not a subcompact. (I’ll grant you that Spark does beat it in that it being smaller should have better efficiency, one would think).

    BMW is a subcompact, and is not for sale now. Its MPGe is not rated that I have seen, so we cannot say if Spark beats it or not.

    Bottom line: Only the Mitsu i-MiEV is in the same exact subcompact class. And it is not much competition.

    Your list is NOT in the same class. The class is “subcompact.”

    What’s more, GM was only bold enough to launch the Spark EV in California and Oregon, and the other competitor at least is not a compliance car. Mitsu, for all its faults, saw an accelerated roll out, and is now for sale in 50 states …

    In my review of the i-MiEV I noted the Spark would be offering it strong competition. And this is true (where it is available).

    http://www.hybridcars.com/2012-mitsubishi-i-miev-drive-review-video/

    Excerpt from February Mitsu review:

    Another one to consider – and closer in physical dimensions too – will be the pending 2013 Chevy Spark EV.

    This will be GM’s first all-electric car since the EV-1 of “Who Killed the Electric Car” fame and it will be priced in the i-MiEV’s neighborhood with a liquid heated/cooled battery exceeding 20-kwh. Odds are its battery will have a larger buffer compared to the i-MiEV to limit usable capacity. But the electric Spark looks good on paper, with promised competitive range, efficiency, and – as an extra added bonus – 400 pound-feet torque promising 0-60 mph in under 8 seconds. Of course if run hard, expect its range to suffer accordingly.

    ###

    I was giving Spark EV credit where due long before it was launched …


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (5:12 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:
    Thomas J. Thias ~ Selling Volts At Sundance,

    Many people then were spending all their money to make credit card payments so they could continue to drive to work. Faced with either making their credit card payment, or paying the mortgage, they chose the credit card because if they couldn’t drive to work, as a Korean I know used to always say…game over. You can blame greedy banks, but IMO, the cause of the financial meltdown was the fact that driving to work suddenly increased by 3 or 4 times. It takes a while for people to adjust to spending a major portion of their disposable income on a staple like driving to work.


  49. 49
    Jackson

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (5:48 pm)

    kdawg: (whatever happened to the car salesman from California? drawing a blank on his name right now)

    Corvette Guy?


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    Aug 17th, 2013 (5:57 pm)

    Thomas J. Thias ~ Selling Volts At Sundance,

    Both companies have said they don’t see bankruptcy as a viable option for any auto maker. They believe customers would stop buying cars and the company would be forced to liquidate.

    “[ ... ] they don’t see [ ... ] They believe [ ... ]“

    Doesn’t sound like ironclad proof of the assertion to me. So, they didn’t think the law would be best … lacking hindsight. And BTW, Liquidation isn’t always the result of bankruptcy, nor is there only one kind.

    Oh well, you have what they believed about customers vs what probably 50+% of customers in fact believe: That GM stands for “Government Motors,” and that the Volt is the carriage of the devil (if they know about it at all).

    Same difference?


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    Aug 17th, 2013 (7:01 pm)

    Jackson,

    Yeah, that was it. Haven’t heard from him in ages.


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    Raymondjram

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (9:14 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,

    Well answered. Now we must have GM decide to sell the Chevy Spark EV nationwide before Mitsubishi gets a head start. This is why I strongly recommend that Chevrolet change the assembly process order: GM Korea builds the Spark “gliders “, ships them to America (probably to the same Sonic plant), and locally installed the battery, motor and controller (which are built in America already), then sends them to all the dealers.

    Having a small stock of “gliders” allows GM to cover any political or labor issues that may occur in South Koreaand slow down the distribution. And it will give the Sonic plant the time and experience to learn how to assemble the electric components, then redesign the Sonic to accept them and become the next small EV, all built in America.

    BTW, the basic i-MiEV cost more than the Chevy Spark EV. Only the Mitsubishi loyal (or anti-GM) will buy the i-MiEV (a lesser EV for a greater cost).

    Raymond


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    Raymondjram

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    Aug 17th, 2013 (9:17 pm)

    kdawg:
    Jackson,

    Yeah, that was it.Haven’t heard from him in ages.

    Maybe he hasn’t stopped doing test runs in his 2014 Corvette Stingray (and enjoying it)!!

    Raymond


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    Aug 18th, 2013 (8:05 pm)

    OT: The beer you drink may someday enable you to get home, if you have a designated driver…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LTprRQTKAw#at=119


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    Aug 18th, 2013 (9:34 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:
    OT: The beer you drink may someday enable you to get home, if you have a designated driver…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LTprRQTKAw#at=119

    That seemed like a lot of work for very little energy. Maybe they can take all the pee from a large bar and power a G-Wiz ;)

    133883-004-190A9873.jpg