Dec 13

Edmunds: Volt’s 5-year ownership cost is much cheaper than Prius

 

As we enter the holiday season, you who chose a Volt may know it is like a gift that keeps on giving, whereas a Toyota Prius is an expense that ultimately costs more to own even though it sells for much less.

Volt_Christmas_trees
 

This synopsis is not our opinion but based upon data crunched by Edmunds.com’s proprietary “Total Cost of Ownership” (TCO) calculator.

Assuming a Volt bought in Long Beach, Calif. was purchased for $36,179, after five years of ownership and 15,000 miles driven annually, the Volt costs $30,080 – a payback of $6,099.

Volt_TCO
 

By comparison, a base-level Prius II selling for $24,799 costs $38,217 after five years, 15,000 miles per year – an expense of $13,418.

Without regard for selling price, total cost of ownership for the Prius is $38,217 and for the Volt it’s $30,080 – $8,137 cheaper. Even with no tax credit, the Volt comes out ahead by $637 dollars.

Prius_TCO
 

Of course as Edmunds says, your actual results may vary, but this is an apple-to-apple hypothetical scenario.

However, some qualifiers are in order. The TCO calculator numbers change somewhat depending on zip code, but the only differences are by how much the Volt beats the Prius, as it seems to always win.

The Volt in question is a 2013 model year, as Edmunds does not have data loaded in for the 2014, which now costs just under $35,000. It also assumes the full $7,500 tax credit, but no state or local credits.

Here is a synopsis Edmunds gives about the TCO calculator:

The components of TCO® are depreciation, interest on financing, taxes and fees, insurance premiums, fuel, maintenance, repairs and any federal tax credit that may be available. In order to estimate certain mileage-dependent costs, we assume that vehicles will be driven 15,000 miles per year …

Note that TCO® is a comparative tool, not a predictive tool — your actual five-year cost of owning a particular vehicle will vary depending on your personal circumstances, such as your driving history and the number of miles you drive.

 

You can read more details about the calculator here.

And while we’re at it, the Volt tops the Prius plug-in hybrid (though here too, no tax credits are deducted that might have been – and the Prius plug-in models just had prices cut).

The base Prius is now over $2,000 less than last year – which in turn was just a bit more than 2012. Also, the PiP qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to $2,500 plus the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) which offers a $1,500 rebate.

PiP_TCO
 

So we’ll take the Edmunds data for a 2012 with a grain of salt. In this case, the base PiP cost $27,584 and TCO is $39,222 – it would need to be adjusted, but then, so would the Volt which is $1,200 more than 2014 MSRP (including destination).

The 2013 Volt’s TCO is $30,080 – and without tax credit, it’s $37,580. In this case of previous-years’ models it beats the plug-in Prius by $1,642 – though again, comparing two 2014s would create a different spread still likely to see the Volt beating the PiP to some degree.

Leaf_in_the_grass
 

How did the Leaf do, you ask? Pretty well. The 2013 Leaf S costs $29,867 and TCO is $27,167 – this is also with federal but no state tax credit taken out.
 

Leaf_TCO
 

Note the Volt and Leaf pay back somewhat, but the Toyotas both cost beyond their selling price.

Oh also, since the Volt gets panned as an electrified Cruze, we thought we’d check that Chevy model too – in this case a 1.8-liter with six-speed automatic.

Cruze_TCO
 

Cruze price: $19,627. TCO: $39,019 – that’s just about double the price ($19.392) for true ownership cost. The “inexpensive” Cruze has hidden costs making it almost as expensive as an un-subsidized PiP, more than the regular Prius, and $8,939 more than the subsidized Volt.

Even if the Volt were not subsiduized, the Cruze cost $1,439 more than last year’s $1,200 more-expensiove Volt – and the Cruze’s selling price was $16,552 less than the 2013 Volt’s.

Pay me now, or pay me later

Obviously some wiggle room needs to be accounted here, and these numbers are anything but set in stone, but they are decent relative indicators.

So with that said, for all the Chevy salesman pushing people into the less-expensive Cruze, perhaps Edmunds.com ought to be required reading?

It should also be noted the Volt shows an advantage over the Toyotas in energy and some other costs, and resale on a percentage basis is about equal with the Toyotas.

These numbers can be sliced a number of ways besides, and of course, they are based on one company’s own algorithms, and representative of one region.

Bridge_technology
 

With all qualifiers considered, is it still safe to say that buying decisions may be made on surface impressions without deeper analysis?

Undoubtedly Toyota enjoys a strong reputation, having been around since before Bob Lutz called its Prius a “science project.”

The Cruze on the other hand is a relatively cheap car and when people focus on price – or worse, monthly payments – it appears to be a better value when they fail to look at all costs involved, but for people who match Edmunds’ criteria, it is anything but!

Feel free to plug in your own zip code to the TCO calculator, or share your own cost of ownership calculations.

It would be interesting to see if anywhere in the country the Prius plug-in or regular hatchback have a lower TCO than the Volt – or much higher.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 13th, 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: 96


  1. 1
    bobchr

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (6:45 am)

    I firmly believe that the Volt TCO will actually improve more in the next 2 years as more hard data from the first batch comes in and we see real costs. I think the maintenance and repair costs are a bit inflated on year 4 and 5 on the Volt. Also if you took a wear and tear comparison on the Volt as compared to a standard ICE car Volt components would show maybe the equivalent of 1.5 years wear on all overall components except tires. So I say depreciation should be less and it would be a great car for rental fleets used.


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    xiaowei1

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (6:46 am)

    I guess the only problem is coming up with the up-front capital to by the Volt.

    As provided in earlier posts, I will conservatively save about 6 to 7k on fuel alone each year I own my volt. I really dislike the argument that I could just buy a Honda I20 and save almost 40k on the price (remembering I had to pay 53k in OZ after a lot of haggling) and save on fuel. by that token though, why not just buy a scooter and save thousands over an i20? the volt is more comfortable and quite luxurious to drive that’s why – that is the same reason people by luxury cars…

    taking into account the graphs provided, I will save over the long run and enjoyed a great car whilst doing so. in the US, you no-longer have to be an early adaptor for this technology. electric cars should be becoming mainstream about now. we need more advertising and less media trying to put a political spin on a great concept.


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    Scott

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (6:53 am)

    This is why I bought mine. I could see the TCO being favorable. This is especially true compared the the TCO of the SUV it replaced.

    Again, too many focus on purchase price alone when deciding to buy and that will take a long time to change.


  4. 4
    bobchr

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (7:09 am)

    My 2 years fuel costs for both gasoline and electric is averaging $400 per year. My maintenance cost was $75 for the first 2 years because I had the oil changed early. My insurance for the first year was $1575 and the second year was $1820. Repairs (tires removed a screw and a nail for 2 tires $35 to fix 2 tires. I did have some body damage repaired due to super storm Sandy $875. There was also some warranty work and recalls on the charger $0. I drive 65% electric so I think I’m well under their tracked costs, oh year maybe $80 in car washes, which reminds me . After this cold spell it’s time for another wash. There is also no visible traction battery deterioration got my highest overall EV runs last summer.


  5. 5
    Jim Fallston Md.

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (7:24 am)

    The only problem I have with the Volt pricing is how do they come up with a purchase price of $36,179. for a 2013 when MSRP is $39,995. I do agree that the Volt is cheaper to own.


  6. 6
    nasaman

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (7:30 am)

    5-YR COST TO OWN A NEW CHEVROLET VOLT vs A NEW TOYOTA PRIUS (synopsis):

    Assuming a Volt was purchased for $36,179: After five years of ownership and 15,000 miles driven annually, the true Volt total cost is $30,080 – a SAVINGS of $6,099 over 5 years.*

    Assuming a Prius was purchased for $24,799: After five years of ownership and 15,000 miles driven annually, the true Prius total cost is $38,217** – a LOSS of $13,418 over 5 years.*

    *Above data is based on Edmunds.com’s proprietary “Total Cost of Ownership” (TCO) calculator and includes initial cost, depreciation, interest on financing, taxes and fees, insurance premiums, fuel, maintenance, repairs and any federal tax credit that may be available at the time of purchase.

    ** i.e., over 5 years of actual ownership, the Prius costs $8,137 more than the Volt!
    [I'm showing Edmund's data this way to illustrate dealers might easily get this crucial point across]


  7. 7
    Koz

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (7:34 am)

    The insurance numbers seem out of whack. Why would a lower cost car cost so much more in insurance? Does it have a much higher incidence of theft or is the safety rating that much different? I’m glad the Volt’s cost of ownership compares well but I want the comparisons to be accurate.


  8. 8
    Loboc

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (7:55 am)

    Be interesting to see what happens AFTER the 5 years:

    1. Insurance can go to minimum (liability only)
    2. Maintenance is still low. Do those brakes EVER need changing?
    3. Fuel consumption is near nothing. In my case 5gal of gas and $28 electricity/month.
    4. No car payments

    My expense for car washes is pretty high ($40/month for two). But I have that anyway.


  9. 9
    Raymondjram

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:06 am)

    This is information that many here did know before buying a Volt. I knew this, too, although not so much in detail, yet I cannot buy a Volt. My relatives complain about high gas prices, but when I explain that they will save money if they buy at least a hybrid, then they say that it costs too much. The funny part is that all have a BS in a technical field or science, yet cannot “see” how technology will save them money in the future.

    So as the saying goes (and expressed above): you pay now or pay later. I do my own servicing after the factory warranty expires, so I save some later. But after reading (from cover to cover) the owner manuals for the Chevy Volt and the Spark EV, I am sure that buying a BEV or an EREV I will be paying now only once. Then I will save later.

    Excellent post today, Jeff!

    Raymond

    Edit: The TCO calculator doesn’t work with my Zip Code (00961). Seems like Puerto Rico isn’t a valid market area for whoever designed that calculator.


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    Nelson

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:19 am)

    Total Cost of Ownership” (TCO) calculator ???

    Wonder what that calculator means by Leaf Maintenance? Year 1 = $234, Year 2 = $452, Year 3 = $304, Year 4 = $784, Year 5 = $659
    5 Years of Tire rotation, new brake pads in Year 4, and new tires in Year 3 should not cost more than $1,500 total.

    Calculator needs repair. :)

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  11. 11
    nasaman

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:19 am)

    Raymondjram: “…My relatives complain about high gas prices, but when I explain that they will save money if they buy at least a hybrid, then they say that it costs too much. The funny part is that all have a BS in a technical field or science, yet cannot “see” how technology will save them money in the future…”

    Ray, I suggest you show them my synopsis of the edmunds.com data as in post #6 (or briefly):

    5-YR COST TO OWN A NEW CHEVROLET VOLT vs A NEW TOYOTA PRIUS (synopsis):

    Assuming a Volt was purchased for $36,179: After five years of ownership and 15,000 miles driven annually, the true Volt total cost is $30,080* – a SAVINGS of $6,099 over 5 years.

    Assuming a Prius was purchased for $24,799: After five years of ownership and 15,000 miles driven annually, the true Prius total cost is $38,217* – a LOSS of $13,418 over 5 years.

    *i.e., after 5 yrs, an initially-cheaper Prius actually costs much more ($8,137) to own than a Volt!


  12. 12
    Tim Hart

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:23 am)

    More proof that, all things considered, the Volt is still the best car in the world!


  13. 13
    Raymondjram

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:28 am)

    Jeff, I cannot use the TCO calculator, but I wonder if you can plug in the values for a 2014 Chevy Spark EV against the 2014 Chevy Volt. I estimate it will have the lowest TCO of all GM vehicles.

    Raymond


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    Raymondjram

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:31 am)

    nasaman,

    Thanks for the suggestion, but the TCO calculator will not work for any of our Zip Codes, and probably doesn’t use our gas prices or insurance rates, which is higher than in the mainland. If it was in a “spread sheet” format so anyone with Excel or a compatible program can post their local numbers and get a valid result, then it will help.

    By the way, none of my relatives will consider a Prius. They all bought a M-B recently.

    Raymond


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    'georgeBower

     

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:33 am)

    Let’s slice and dice:
    Some things I see that could change the results:

    1) I am leasing and pay 500$/mo so in 3 years my depreciation is 18000$ not 3452$.

    2) I question the depreciation numbers on the Volt. No way you can sell the Volt after 3 years for only 3542$ less than purchase. The 2000$ depreciation for the Prius is also pretty optimistic. It would be interesting to see what KBB says.

    3) We should put a price on Carbon emissions. In this case the Leaf would win by even more.

    4) All said the Leaf is the winner because you eliminate the biggest cost of ownership: The gas part of the car. This is why Raymond leans in favor of a Spark instead of a Volt.


  16. 16
    'georgeBower

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:48 am)

    I am going to throw this out as food for thought as to why the Leaf is so low on maintenance. The arguement applies to other pure EV’s as well. Look at the simplicity of the design. Look how small the motor and gearbox are. Shoot, the inverter and power module are bigger than the motor and transmission.

    Leafdrivetrain_zps58d2118e.jpg


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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:50 am)

    Since tax-credit availability is temporary and the analysis purpose is long-term, we should consider the difference without. That leaves the difference with Volt at just $637. And since Prius clearly offers more seating room in back and a larger cargo area, that in itself is enough to make the difference a wash.

    What I find misleading though is the insurance premium. Why the heck is Prius an average of $706 more per year (for a total difference of $3,529) and who is paying such a high rate?

    Factoring in the price of gas really changes things. The expectation of it going up is very realistic, again, since this is long-term. Going up changes the equation… hence the need to consider the plug-in model. That raises the question of bringing region into the equation… since we all know how winter really impacts outcome.

    Then of course, how many owners will choose to purchase & install a L2 charger for their home. With a larger battery-pack, that’s more likely.


  18. 18
    Jegund

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (8:54 am)

    When I ordered my Volt back in March 2011 the price was very intimidating. I just kept repeating,
    Gas savings per month $136, not stopping at the gas station twice per week, priceless.


  19. 19
    manitou820

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (9:09 am)

    Why would the Leaf have higher maintenance costs than the Volt or Prius for the first couple of years? That doesn’t seem to make any sense.


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    Raymondjram

     

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (9:14 am)

    ‘georgeBower,

    You are correct! For those who live in cities and travel less than 80 miles in a day, a BEV is the best vehicle. For those who travel over 80 miles in a day, the EREV is better, unless you buy a Model S.

    This is why I asked Jeff to put in the Chevy Spark EV numbers and get its TCO, too.

    Raymond


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    'georgeBower

     

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (9:21 am)

    Raymondjram:
    ‘georgeBower,

    unless you buy a Model S

    Raymond

    We should run the numbers on the Model S.


  22. 22
    Mark Z

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (9:28 am)

    ‘georgeBower: We should run the numbers on the Model S.

    Please, no. I don’t want to be reminded how much money was spent! ;-)

    (I did save $13,000 by purchasing before the price increase. Does that count?)


  23. 23
    Jeff Cobb

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (9:47 am)

    Raymondjram:
    Jeff, I cannot use the TCO calculator, but I wonder if you can plug in the values for a 2014 Chevy Spark EV against the 2014 Chevy Volt. I estimate it will have the lowest TCO of all GM vehicles.

    Raymond

    I think it would too, but they don’t have the Spark EV listed yet, Raymond. I wanted to include that in the article.

    If you want to make even a relative comparison, you can use a different zip code.


  24. 24
    ronr64

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (9:54 am)

    You all pay way too much for insurance. Our Volt is just over $800/year. That is full coverage with a $1000 deductible. So I guess there is some advantage to living in Minnesnowta… lol.

    I too am curious as to why the Prius has such a higher insurance premium according to the calculator.


  25. 25
    stuart22

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (10:22 am)

    Someone send this article to Consumers Reports to remind them how sloppy and irrelevant their valuation of cars has become. The ELR’s close relationship with the Volt has some pretty big pluses…


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    Todd

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (11:12 am)

    We could probably knock off the Volt financing charge because GM had been offering 0% financing over five years for the car.


  27. 27
    Dave - Phoenix

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (11:28 am)

    TCO was how I justified getting my Volt, especially when leasing.

    I calculated $125/month savings in electric/gas costs over a hybrid’s gas costs, and leased at $300. That is a “virtual lease payment” of $175. I would gladly pay $175/month to drive a vehicle as nice as a Volt. Name one other vehicle you can lease for $200/month that would be as nice…

    After 2 years, those calculations appear to be spot on…

    INSURANCE IN THIS ARTICLE WAS TOTALLY INACCURATE though. Volt owners are not seeing lower insurance prices compared to a Prius. I don’t know how Edmunds made this calculation…


  28. 28
    pjkPA

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (11:59 am)

    I just went to the gas station for the first time since I bought my Volt one year ago.
    The car told me the generator will run to use the remaining fuel so it does not go stale.
    I used only 5.8 gallons in a year to go over 8,000 city PA miles … my wattmeter told me I used 70 cents per day for electricity… add that to the total maintenance of $12 to rotate the tires once and my total for the year for fuel and maintenance is less than $275!
    I have owned a lot of good cars in the last 40 years .. none have cost so little.

    This is like my first car… still look forward to driving it.


  29. 29
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (12:06 pm)

    Plug in the numbers for the ELR too. :-)


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    nasaman

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (12:20 pm)

    Skeptical of the Edmunds.com insurance rates for Prius or overall conclusion that a base Volt 5-yr TOC is $8,137 cheaper than a base Prius 5-yr TOC? I used kbb.com’s 5-yr TOC calculator* for Long Beach, CA, which gave the Volt savings as $7,618, an Edmunds/KBB disparity of only $519.

    * http://www.kbb.com/new-cars/total-cost-of-ownership/
    **However, if the owner can NOT qualify for the Volt’s $7,500 rebate the Prius 5-yr TOC is $118 less than the Volt’s according to KBB —(personally, I’d gladly pay the few extra $ to own a Volt)!


  31. 31
    Evil Consertive

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (12:30 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    Plug in the numbers for the ELR too.

    How about the Via Truck? That is what I would buy if I found $80K in a ditch and was forced to spend it on a vehicle.


  32. 32
    ClarksonCote

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (12:32 pm)

    john1701a:
    Since tax-credit availability is temporary and the analysis purpose is long-term, we should consider the difference without.That leaves the difference with Volt at just $637.And since Prius clearly offers more seating room in back and a larger cargo area, that in itself is enough to make the difference a wash.

    The analysis period is over 5 years, over which the credit will still be in existence. Furthermore, the analysis is for a vehicle bought today, not one bought 10 years from now.

    Not sure I understand the validity of your other assumptions either. If, instead, a buyer values performance/acceleration, quiet ride, or all electric drive for most of their driving, the scales would tilt very much in favor of the Volt, just like the Total cost of ownership shows.

    Since everything we both stated is subjective (seating room, cargo area, performance, all electric drive, etc.), the objective total cost of ownership seems to still state the same thing.


  33. 33
    john1701a

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (12:56 pm)

    ClarksonCote: The analysis period is over 5 years, over which the credit will still be in existence. Furthermore, the analysis is for a vehicle bought today…

    It should be made very clear that this analysis is only for a consumer making a purchase now.

    The hope was the tax-credit would be used up long before reaching the 9th year of sales, which would mean the well-being of the business would be accounted for too. Sadly, it is not.


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    taser54

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (1:02 pm)

    The Leaf should factor in a battery pack replacement into that cost too, gvien that at 100k miles, the leaf pack has lost 17% capacity.


  35. 35
    john1701a

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (1:19 pm)

    We do need details on costs used too. Electricity varies. And gas prices obviously vary, but annual driving distance has a significant influence as well. Less or more really alters results of plug-in vehicles. Then there’s things like vacation travel to consider.


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    bobchr

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (1:32 pm)

    john1701a,

    Just drove 1100 miles to visit my sister for thanksgiving, spent $90 on gas, $75 on tolls. $90 represents less than 1/4 of my annual travel costs. Round trip air fare would have been about $500 by the way.


  37. 37
    DonC

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (1:37 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: I am going to throw this out as food for thought as to why the Leaf is so low on maintenance.

    It’s about the same as the Volt, more or less. With the Leaf the scheduled maintenance is a brake flush every couple of years. With the Volt it’s an oil change every couple of years. Tires on the Leaf are going faster but the average driver will put more miles on the Volt so that may be a wash as well.

    Neither car needs a lot of maintenance but in truth most cars today don’t need much either. The days of an oil change every 3000 miles are long gone.


  38. 38
    'georgeBower

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (1:58 pm)

    DonC: It’s about the same as the Volt, more or less. With the Leaf the scheduled maintenance is a brake flush every couple of years. With the Volt it’s an oil change every couple of years. Tires on the Leaf are going faster but the average driver will put more miles on the Volt so that may be a wash as well.

    Neither car needs a lot of maintenance but in truth most cars today don’t need much either. The days of an oil change every 3000 miles are long gone.

    Where’s that article DonC.
    Remember?
    No excuses.


  39. 39
    Evil liberal

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (2:01 pm)

    Read this: A PHEV with 200 miles, plus generator, $30,000, is that too good to believe? I am starting to get a little suspicious of Akerson after his Envia systems fiasco,

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-12/exclusive-the-inside-story-of-gms-comeback-and-mary-barras-rise#p4

    quote: Report: Updated Chevrolet Volt, New EV Due In 2016?

    http://rumors.automobilemag.com/report-updated-chevrolet-volt-new-ev-due-in-2016-258937.html

    Although GM has hinted that it’s working on a next generation of electric vehicle, Akerson says it’s aiming for a compact car that can go 200 miles on a charge and carry a generator, too. While it will be similar to the Volt, engineers are working on generators that could run on gas, diesel, or natural gas. The increased electric range is coming, in part, from advances in battery chemistry. GM is planning to bring the model out in 2016, for about $30,000, according to a person familiar with the idea who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public. It’s a project that the company doesn’t want to say much about but signifies how it’s been trying to move past inventing things to putting inventions into showrooms. “We want it to be a moon shot so we can surprise the competition,” Akerson says


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    Jim Mbongo

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (2:27 pm)

    These are the same folks who not a long time ago – it was in 2011 if I am right – said that Volt’s ownership cost was much higher than Prius.
    What made them change their mind today?
    I believe with the time, they start understanding what really the Chevy Volt is? It is a shame that this took them that long!.


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (2:28 pm)

    bobchr: $75 on tolls

    Holy Sh1t BatMan!

    How many bridges did you cross?!?!?
    :-P


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    Dave - Phoenix

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (3:29 pm)

    john1701a: And since Prius clearly offers more seating room in back and a larger cargo area, that in itself is enough to make the difference a wash.

    I never analyze based upon a “single” feature.

    Although this is the marketing strategy of most tier 2 and tier 3 manufacturers…

    1. Find one feature that the Tier 1 product doesn’t have, and your tier 2 product does….
    2. Make it sound like “life would end as you know it” without that one feature

    If you ignore lower gas usage, lower carbon emissions, better styling, higher performance, better handling etc. etc. and simply analyze based only on whether the vehicle has a 5th seat? OK… It’s a wash…


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    Jackson

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (3:37 pm)

    Evil liberal:
    Read this: A PHEV with 200 miles, plus generator, $30,000, is that too good to believe? I am starting to get a little suspicious of Akerson after his Envia systems fiasco,

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-12/exclusive-the-inside-story-of-gms-comeback-and-mary-barras-rise#p4

    quote: Report: Updated Chevrolet Volt, New EV Due In 2016?

    http://rumors.automobilemag.com/report-updated-chevrolet-volt-new-ev-due-in-2016-258937.html

    Although GM has hinted that it’s working on a next generation of electric vehicle, Akerson says it’s aiming for a compact car that can go 200 miles on a charge and carry a generator, too. While it will be similar to the Volt, engineers are working on generators that could run on gas, diesel, or natural gas. The increased electric range is coming, in part, from advances in battery chemistry. GM is planning to bring the model out in 2016, for about $30,000, according to a person familiar with the idea who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public. It’s a project that the company doesn’t want to say much about but signifies how it’s been trying to move past inventing things to putting inventions into showrooms. “We want it to be a moon shot so we can surprise the competition,” Akerson says

    Stupendously good news, if true.

    I wonder how well the 1.0 liter turbo mill will run on all those different fuels, though? Most turbo-equipped cars I’ve heard details about (admittedly not many) spec premium gasoline only.

    This idea might be pretty far out there, but could GM be working on an engine design previously unknown in the market (like a nutating engine, T5 turbine or something equally exotic)? Some of these could theoretically burn a much wider range of fuel types than anything on sale today.

    A range extender need not match power output to vehicle speed either, so an EREV could be the ideal venue for something new which has a more limited rpm range.

    Also, carrying a conventional engine around for 200 miles would seem to be a severe weight penalty when compared to a BEV of similar range; unless it is much smaller and lighter than a conventional ICE. Many of the alternative designs are much smaller and lighter than anything with pistons and crankshafts. Many would have fewer moving parts, too; perhaps leading to lower costs when produced in sufficient quantity. Could this be any indication of much greater EREV numbers by the end of the decade?

    Well, I said it was ‘out there.’


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    Dec 13th, 2013 (3:46 pm)

    You people sure have to pay a lot for your auto insurance.

    I just paid my car insurance for next year.

    2012 Chevrolet Volt – $574.75
    2009 Hyundai Tucson – $484.35

    10% discount for paying in full -$105.90

    Total paid $953.20

    Annual premium with $500.00 deductible. Auto Owners Insurance. I have my house, cars, and business insurance with them.

    C-5277


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    hvacman

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (3:48 pm)

    Edmunds’ TCO calculator assumes fuel costs escalate at 2%/year. Do any of you believe that? 10%/year would be more realistic, which would further improve the Volt/Leaf 5-year TCO value over any ICE-heavy vehicle. Also not included are state/local rebates or tax credits.


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    Dec 13th, 2013 (3:54 pm)

    Jim I:
    You people sure have to pay a lot for your auto insurance.

    I just paid my car insurance for next year.

    2012 Chevrolet Volt – $574.75
    2009 Hyundai Tucson – $484.35

    10% discount for paying in full -$105.90

    Total paid $953.20

    Annual premium with $500.00 deductible.Auto Owners Insurance.I have my house, cars, and business insurance with them.

    C-5277

    I tried going to their website for a quote and found out they don’t cover CA. Probably a big reason why their rates are so low. Too many scum-bag drivers in CA without insurance so the rest of us have to subsidize them.


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    Dec 13th, 2013 (4:13 pm)

    I guess it is one of the many benefits of living in Youngstown, Ohio!!!!

    :-)

    C-5277


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    Dec 13th, 2013 (4:34 pm)

    bobchr: My 2 years fuel costs for both gasoline and electric is averaging $400 per year. My maintenance cost was $75 for the first 2 years because I had the oil changed early. My insurance for the first year was $1575 and the second year was $1820. Repairs (tires removed a screw and a nail for 2 tires $35 to fix 2 tires. I did have some body damage repaired due to super storm Sandy $875. There was also some warranty work and recalls on the charger $0. I drive 65% electric so I think I’m well under their tracked costs, oh year maybe $80 in car washes, which reminds me . After this cold spell it’s time for another wash. There is also no visible traction battery deterioration got my highest overall EV runs last summer.

    Wow, we are very similar. My fuel cost is $395.27/year. My insurance is $1050/year. Repairs, just had a slow leak in a tire from a shard of plastic. Discount Tire charged nothing ($0) for doing the fix and rotating the tires (awesome company). Last winter I had to take my Volt to the dealer because the charging port froze shut ($0). I drive 86% electric. I still have 31% of my oil life after 1.5 years. Battery range has been consistent.


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    Dave - Phoenix

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (4:35 pm)

    Jim I:
    I guess it is one of the many benefits of living in Youngstown, Ohio!!!!

    C-5277

    There weren’t enough other benefits to keep me in Youngstown, which is why I left for Arizona 25 years ago.

    We have a phrase here. “Last person out of Ohio. please turn out the lights!!!” :-)


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    Dec 13th, 2013 (4:42 pm)

    Neither car needs a lot of maintenance but in truth most cars today don’t need much either. The days of an oil change every 3000 miles are long gone.

    That was long gone for me since 1981 when I began using Mobil 1 synthetic oil in my vehicles. I change it once every 10,000 miles or one year. It cost me $35 plus $5 for the PF-47 filter, so I spend only $40 a YEAR on oil+filter, and dir it for over ten years on each of my GM vehicles.

    Raymond


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    Dec 13th, 2013 (4:49 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: I question the depreciation numbers on the Volt. No way you can sell the Volt after 3 years for only 3542$ less than purchase. The 2000$ depreciation for the Prius is also pretty optimistic. It would be interesting to see what KBB says.

    George the figures are per year, so you have to add them up.


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    Dec 13th, 2013 (5:06 pm)

    Jegund:
    When I ordered my Volt back in March 2011 the price was very intimidating.I just kept repeating,
    Gas savings per month $136, not stopping at the gas station twice per week, priceless.

    #18

    My sentiments exactly. +1

    The TOC was not something I really worried about. As I’ve said so many times, if people bought their cars strictly on the basis of TOC, Benz, BMW, Lexus, Porsche, et al, would not exist. It’s about emotions and perceived coolness for many if not most car buyers. And I think that the Volt is the coolest car on the road today.


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    Dec 13th, 2013 (5:16 pm)

    Evil liberal,

    Interesting tidbit:

    “Winding down his almost 70 minutes with engineers and designers in November at the Tech Center, Akerson became reflective. “I have tried to put my heart and soul into this thing to make a difference,” he says. “But I’m 65. For those of you that are 35, 45, and 55 out there—I’m sure there are some 25s, I can’t remember when I was 25—you are the inheritors of this resurgent, transformed GM. It’s a precious thing that has to be grown,” he says. “It’s up to you.”


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    `Noel Park

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (6:50 pm)

    Evil liberal: GM is planning to bring the model out in 2016, for about $30,000, according to a person familiar with the idea who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public. It’s a project that the company doesn’t want to say much about but signifies how it’s been trying to move past inventing things to putting inventions into showrooms.

    #39

    “God send that it shall be true” +1


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    `Noel Park

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (7:02 pm)

    kdawg: “I have tried to put my heart and soul into this thing to make a difference,” he says. “But I’m 65.

    #53

    65? BFD, LOL. It always amazes me how many business and government leaders continue to be productive well into their 70s, if not beyond. How old is Warren Buffett, just for a start? And how old was Ronald Reagan when he left office? Hillary Clinton is over 65 and until recently has been jetting all over the world, keeping up a schedule that would kill plenty of 45 year olds. And she is thinking about running for President, which has to be the toughest job in the world. I think that once they get a taste of that power and success there is nothing in retirement to compare. I’m over 65, and I will show up at my business every day until I can’t pass the racing physical any more for sure.

    On the other hand, if Mr. Akerson’s wife is a Stage 4 cancer victim, I would applaud his decision to spend more time with her. If I had it to do over I would have stayed home more over those last painful months too. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. My heart truly goes out to them.

    All I’m saying is that I may be prejudiced from my vantage point, but many people have a lot of productive years left after 65.

    EDIT: I looked it up, Warren Buffett was born August 30, 1930


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    Steverino

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    Dec 13th, 2013 (7:34 pm)

    Looking at the TCO calulator I am way, way, ahead of the game. The estimated $1650 in maintenance and repairs for my Volt. To date, it’s been $0. Their insurance is $400 more per year than what I have.

    By the way, why would they include ANY Maintenance and Repair costs under the warranty period?


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (1:56 am)

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    Dec 14th, 2013 (1:58 am)

    Steverino: By the way, why would they include ANY Maintenance and Repair costs under the warranty period?

    Oil changes, tire rotations, wiper fluid, etc.. are not covered by warranty.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (10:09 am)

    A natural gas range extender on a 200 mile AER car would completely eliminate trips to a filling station, except for long trips. Both could be topped up in your garage. To me that just might be the best bridge technology to all electric. Long trips would be a hassle, but not impossible.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (10:12 am)

    CaptJackSparrow,

    I have EZ Pass and my account is replenished in $25 chunks. Point of fact I only spent $56 in tolls I crossed 4 bridges 2 tunnel and twice on the Jersey Turnpike at $13 each way. I only paid tolls on 2 of the bridges Goethels in NJ/NY $10.25 and the $4 each way on the Delaware Memorial bridge. Add $12 for toll roads around DC and Maryland and we have a little over $56 or 3 replenishments at $25 a pop for $75 out of my bank account.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (10:15 am)

    Raymondjram: That was long gone for me since 1981 when I began using Mobil 1 synthetic oil in my vehicles. I change it once every 10,000 miles or one year.

    Here’s an interesting question: Since the Volt uses synthetic oil, and most Volts put way less than 10,000 miles a year on the range extender, how often do you have to change the oil? My Volt is over a year old and the display shows plenty of oil life. Is there any type of time limit? Does synthetic oil go stale?


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (10:22 am)

    By the way, comparing total cost of ownership, the Prius is already very good.

    I would be interested to compare total cost of ownership with a regular car, like a Honda Accord. I imagine the Volt and Prius are both better, but I wonder how much.

    I choose the Accord because Consumer Reports often uses this as sort of a standard when comparing TCO.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (10:26 am)

    `Noel Park: The TOC was not something I really worried about. As I’ve said so many times, if people bought their cars strictly on the basis of TOC, Benz, BMW, Lexus, Porsche, et al, would not exist.

    Not me. I don’t buy expensive cars.

    If I were very wealthy, I don’t think this would change. Sure, expensive cars are nicer, but not that much. It ends up being mostly a status symbol. I remember seeing a rap video where the guy wore a diamond studded dollar sign shaped necklace. That’s sort of how I view expensive cars.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (11:20 am)

    kdawg: George the figures are per year, so you have to add them up.

    Dahh, thx for pointing that out. That means 11000$ dep in 3 years vs 8300$ for the Prius. Sounds reasonable but I still doubt one could actually sell it for that.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (11:22 am)

    Dave G: Here’s an interesting question: Since the Volt uses synthetic oil, and most Volts put way less than 10,000 miles a year on the range extender, how often do you have to change the oil?My Volt is over a year old and the display shows plenty of oil life.Is there any type of time limit?Does synthetic oil go stale?

    As I read about it, it doesn’t. Synthetic oil has a very long life. But new GM vehicles use the engine run time to calculate oil life based on a GM standard for regular engine oil type and usage, then display a percentage of oil life on the DIC. So if you use a factor of three regular oil lives for one synthetic oil life, you could reset the oil life display twice after it reaches 100%, and change the synthetic oil on the third time (the owner manual shows how to do the reset). I plan to do this once my factory warranty runs out on my Equinox, and which will be using Mobil 1 from then on.

    Using Mobil 1, my GM vehicle engines last over twenty years. If the Chevy Volt used synthetic oil, its engine can last over forty years!

    Raymond


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (11:24 am)

    Eco_Turbo:
    A natural gas range extender on a 200 mile AER car would completely eliminate trips to a fillingstation, except for long trips. Both could be topped up in your garage. To me that just might be the best bridge technology to all electric. Long trips would be a hassle, but not impossible.

    I don’t think a RE is needed in an EV that has 200 mile range. As we have seen from today’s numbres, eliminating the gas part of the car lowers the TCO.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (1:05 pm)

    ^ +1 200AER, and what appears to be a much more rapid build of Nissan, rather than Tesla, L3 chargers is sealing the deal.

    MT did TCO analysis in its 5 car review of diesel vs. hybrid, and had no car outside of a fuel cost band of $5,000-8,000. They think like the public does, and exclude by up front costs. This is the same logic that makes nuclear, wind and solar a tough sell.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (1:15 pm)

    kdawg:
    `Noel Park,

    +1

    #57

    HEY, where the !@#$% did you find my picture? +1

    Amazing what shows up on the Internet these days, isn’t it. I just hope that you didn’t find any of those photos of me with Miley Cyrus that got me in so much trouble yesterday, LOL.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (1:22 pm)

    `Noel Park: #18
    The TOC was not something I really worried about.As I’ve said so many times, if people bought their cars strictly on the basis of TOC, Benz, BMW, Lexus, Porsche, et al, would not exist.It’s about emotions and perceived coolness for many if not most car buyers.And I think that the Volt is the coolest car on the road today.

    Depreciation on the Volt, at 16.8k in 5 years, is too low. They took it before the tax credit, which said another way looks like depreciation of $9,300 in 5 years. Owning exactly this car, I can already say that’s unrealistic. If I go to a lot and offer cash, tomorrow, not so much ;)


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (1:28 pm)

    Dave G: Here’s an interesting question: Since the Volt uses synthetic oil, and most Volts put way less than 10,000 miles a year on the range extender, how often do you have to change the oil?My Volt is over a year old and the display shows plenty of oil life.Is there any type of time limit?Does synthetic oil go stale?

    #61

    The Volt will tell you to change the oil after 2 years. I’m sure that it’s in the owner’s manual. Mine had about 48K miles on it and was showing something like 70% oil life remaining, but I did it anyway. 3K mile oil changes may be history, but 2 years is long enough for this admittedly old school guy.

    Interestingly, the first GM car to come with Mobil 1 was the Corvette. They did it more for oil temperature reasons that for oil life. Synthetic will tolerate MUCH higher oil temps than conventional oil. So they could get rid of the engine oil cooler on the Z51. We used to run BIG oil coolers on our race cars. We switched to synthetic and got rid of them, with all of the related hoses and plumbing. That got rid of about 20 pounds and plenty of potential oil leak locations. I even threw out the oil temp gauge, LOL.

    “Simplicate and add lightness”

    “Keep It Simple Stupid”

    “What ain’t there don’t give you no trouble”

    Words to live by, Cratchit.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (1:31 pm)

    Dave G: Not me.I don’t buy expensive cars.

    If I were very wealthy, I don’t think this would change.Sure, expensive cars are nicer, but not that much.It ends up being mostly a status symbol.I remember seeing a rap video where the guy wore a diamond studded dollar sign shaped necklace.That’s sort of how I view expensive cars.

    #63

    No, but plenty of people do. You know what they say:

    “In California, you are what you drive”


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (1:39 pm)

    ‘georgeBower:
    I am going to throw this out as food for thought as to why the Leaf is so low on maintenance. The arguement applies to other pure EV’s as well. Look at the simplicity of the design. Look how small the motor and gearbox are. Shoot, the inverter and power module are bigger than the motor and transmission.

    +1 How many here have done an engine, timed the cams, held the pistons, crank and all that inertial mass? The mechanical elegance of electric is obvious to those answering “yes”. Tesla’s showrooms often feature the copper wired electric motor cut-out, and you can actually spin it. Maybe if they had an ICE next to it, and a breaker bar for people to see the reciprocating symphony of parts, they’d begin to get the picture.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (1:56 pm)

    `Noel Park: #63

    No, but plenty of people do.You know what they say:

    “In California, you are what you drive”

    Yeh,
    Same in Tonto Basin.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (4:08 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: Yeh,
    Same in Tonto Basin.

    #73

    Yeah, jacked up F250 or C2500 diesels without a doubt, LOL. Or great big touring Harleys, maybe?

    BTW, I was just thinking of you because I started another Elmore Leonard novel, “Gunsight”. It is set in “Sweetmary” AZ, as are many of his stories actually. So I got to wondering if there actually such a place and, if so, where it was. An Internet search only reveals references to his various books set there, but nothing about an actual town. A Google map search turned up nothing. Have you ever heard of such a place, or is it just a fiction that he invented?

    It’s obvious that Elmore had a serious love affair with AZ. Not unlike you I guess.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (5:25 pm)

    `Noel Park: #73

    Yeah, jacked up F250 or C2500 diesels without a doubt, LOL.Or great big touring Harleys, maybe?

    BTW, I was just thinking of you because I started another Elmore Leonard novel, “Gunsight”.It is set in “Sweetmary” AZ, as are many of his stories actually.So I got to wondering if there actually such a place and, if so, where it was.An Internet search only reveals references to his various books set there, but nothing about an actual town.A Google map search turned up nothing.Have you ever heard of such a place, or is it just a fiction that he invented?

    It’s obvious that Elmore had a serious love affair with AZ.Not unlike you I guess.

    Yeh you pegged it pretty close Noel (about what they drive). ..but AFAIK there is no Sweetmary, AZ. My wife has lived in AZ her whole life, but I didn’t come here till ’67. That was the year I started college at ASU in engineering (I think I told you I graduated from Davis high in Ca. I chose ASU because my parents et all moved here cuz my dad got a job as the superintendant of the Arizona State Hospital. My father was a shrink (which maybe explains alot as most kids of shrinks are kind of screwed up). …Well and people become shrinks cuz they are kind of screwed up so it’s genetic I guess. Luckily I turned out pretty normal (bahahaha) and all the defective genes went to my brother and sister. Sorry to hear about your wife. Till you mentioned it I was somewhat confused as it looked like your Biz is named after the two of you but you mentioned a lady friend going to the races w/ you. Peace Bro’. Keep on Chublin’ till you can’t Choob no ‘mo.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (7:17 pm)

    pjwood: +1 How many here have done an engine, timed the cams, held the pistons

    I have.
    I was into hot VW motors and ordered a Crower Cam. and timed the cam in like I always do. Well this one Crower was off by a lot so we had to rotate the cam gear to get it right but it ran great after it was done.

    Another time on a 427 Chevy big block the BRAND NEW hydraulic valve lifters were stuck and so I had to just put 4 thou lash in the valves to get them to free up, then adjusted per std hydrl. and it ran great. I had Brodix aluminum heads and Crower roller everything valve train. The short stroke 427 is used in K boat circle racing . it is a kick to watch.


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    Dec 14th, 2013 (11:52 pm)

    I have a 2011 Volt (#900) and my total maint. cost so far has been repairing a punctured tire. I have over 42000 miles on it. I agree that the Volt wins… I just think it is more of a blowout ;-) .

    Harrier


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    Raymondjram

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (9:00 am)

    ‘georgeBower: Yeh,
    Same in Tonto Basin.

    “Tonto” means “fool” in Spanish. Excellent name for those who believe that foolish statement!

    Raymond


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    Raymondjram

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (9:26 am)

    pjwood: +1 How many here have done an engine, timed the cams, held the pistons, crank and all that inertial mass?

    I have and it was in 1974 for a 1965 Rambler American (my first car) with a 200 CI I6 engine. That is how I really learned about engines, although I knew the theory when I built the Renwal Visible V8 in 1963. I worked with my family mechanic a week (a few hours a day) to rebuild the engine. We didn’t touch the valve head, so I took it to a specialized shop which did the job in three days. I really enjoyed that work, and drove the Rambler until 1977 when I replaced it with my 1975 Chevy Vega. I didn’t touch its engine because it never had problems.

    The next time I worked with an engine was rebuilding the two valve trains and rocker arms on my 1984 Old Ciera 3.0 L (187 CI) V6. I also removed the oil pan to fix the dents, and I did touch and examined the V6 piston rods and crankshaft, all without removing the engine. My present 1995 Buick Regal 3.8L (231 CI) V6 engine hasn’t given me any problems, either after 160,000 miles of service.

    I can do it again, but why? The electric motor is so simple that I built a tiny version with three paper clips and some copper wire! I have repaired several DC electric motors, and a few AC motors, especially one in my mother’s Oster blender reattaching the wires to the brush contacts. I can splice open wires in a field coil or a rotor, which is much simpler that replacing a broken piston ring!

    Raymond


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    Kenstl

     

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (10:21 am)

    I can share a current cost analysis with my current ICE vehicle, a 2010 subaru outback, 4 cyl 6sp mt. I have owned the veh 4 years, 105,000 miles, avg 28 mpg, I drive a lot of hey miles. It has been as maintenance free of any veh I have owned but you will see the gas costs add up over time.

    Purchase. $25,500
    Oil change. 525
    Tires. 700
    Maint other. 650
    Gas $11,250. Avg $3 gal

    Total $38,625
    Current acv. 12,000

    $26,625 / $0.25 per mile / $6,494 a year.

    Can someone show a volt? I know there are more variable depending on fuel use but I am considering one for my next veh


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    bobchr

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (12:27 pm)

    Kenstl:
    I can share a current cost analysis with my current ICE vehicle, a 2010 subaru outback, 4 cyl 6sp mt.I have owned the veh 4 years, 105,000 miles, avg 28 mpg, I drive a lot of hey miles. It has been as maintenance free of any veh I have owned but you will see the gas costs add up over time.

    Purchase.$25,500
    Oil change.525
    Tires.700
    Maint other. 650
    Gas $11,250. Avg $3 gal

    Total$38,625
    Current acv. 12,000

    $26,625 / $0.25 per mile / $6,494 a year.

    Can someone show a volt?I know there are more variable depending on fuel use but I am considering one for my next veh

    Here’s some info copied from Voltstats.net

    Last Updated: 12/14/2013 12:58:22 AM CST
    EV Miles: 26368.33 #102 / 95.1%
    Total Miles: 106426.77 #3 / 99.9%
    EV %: 24.8% #2040 / 0.4%
    MPG: 50.16 #2017 / 1.5%
    MPGe: 44.25 #1992 / 2.7%
    MPGCS: 37.73 #272 / 86.8%

    This volt has 106426 miles on the odometer and only 26368 of those miles were electric. figure 1 tire change at $700, 2 oil changes and tire rotations figure $75, $8487 for 2,121 gallons of gas at $4. Figure 14 cents per mile with the cost of electric thrown in otherwise 12.5 cents per mile for just gas. You can get a Volt now for about $27,000 after tax credits so I think you will come out way ahead with the Volt. Of course I chose a worst case scenario you may be able to run many more electric miles than the sample I chose but I chose that example to demonstrate that even if you never charge the Volt and run exclusively on gasoline your total cost of ownership will still be lower than a comparable ICE equipped car. Not many ICE cars get 40 mpg city, the Volt will. I myself have gotten up to 50 mpg in 20 mile spurts.


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    Dec 15th, 2013 (1:15 pm)

    Raymondjram: I…. drove the Rambler until 1977 when I replaced it with my 1975 Chevy Vega. I didn’t touch its engine because it never had problems.

    Raymond

    You never had problems with your Vega engine???

    The Vega engine….. let’s discuss how this dreadful sin of an engine relates to the Volt’s range extender, a recent topic of discussion here.

    The original Vega engine which eventually doomed the car would never have existed had Chevrolet not built the Corvair. In the late 1950′s, GM dropped a mint on a huge aluminum foundry operation to build the Corvair engine, which was radically different from any other GM engine built at the time. However, close to a decade later in 1969 – a time when the Vega was well into its planning stages – the Corvair died.

    During the Vega’s development period, there was a conventional small cast-iron four cylinder engine already on the drawing table when some higher ups decided to exploit the unique corporate manufacturing resources used to make the Corvair engine, resources which were on their way to becoming idle.

    So the infamous Vega engine was born. Long story short, the brains running the show at GM took way too many money-saving shortcuts with the engine design – a cast-iron head atop the aluminum block; cheap, self-destructing valve guides; undersized cooling system; a small oil pan, etc. etc.

    It wasn’t too long before the engines started blowing up – overheating and increased oil consumption from the bad valve guides stemming from the inadequate cooling system and oil capacity took their toll on the fragile block.

    As to what this has to do with a range extender in future Volts, it is only to remind us that GM has tooled up for radically new engine designs in the past with the Corvair and subsequent Vega engines, so there is a precedent for doing such a thing with a purpose-built range extender such as the opposed free-piston motor/generator (link attached). The big lesson they should have learned from the past is – don’t be cheap, do it right.

    http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10122/333_read-6318//year-all/#gallery/8873


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    Dec 15th, 2013 (3:16 pm)

    stuart22: You never had problems with your Vega engine???

    So the infamous Vega engine was born.Long story short, the brains running the show at GM took way too many money-saving shortcuts with the engine design –a cast-iron head atop the aluminum block;

    I remember the aluminum block which wasn’t necessarily bad but they used aluminum in the bore instead of using steel sleeves for the bore. Some manufacturers succeeded w/ aluminum bores (I think the 928 Porsche had silicone impregnated aluminum bores), but the Vega had problems especially if the engine overheated. Seems like the engine was OK if it didn’t overheat. Also I remember some people used to put steel liners in it.

    Raymondjram: “Tonto” means “fool” in Spanish. Excellent name for those who believe that foolish statement!

    Raymond

    What statement do you think is foolish Raymond?


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    Sean

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (3:29 pm)

    I’m glad we got some news like this today when it comes to price comparisons but it would also be great that if this type of info was shown to the general public so they know which car is the best and cheapest for them to own then maybe the Volt would sell better wouldn’t you guys agree?

    Also what kind of new alternative vehicles do you think will be at the Detroit Auto show in either January or February?

    But I’m not gonna be rooting for Toyota’s HFC vehicle at all boo!

    The Future Is Electric Not Hydrogen!


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    Dec 15th, 2013 (4:33 pm)

    OT: Voltstats is now tracking Spark EV’s

    http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV


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    'georgeBower

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (6:17 pm)

    kdawg:
    OT:Voltstats is now tracking Spark EV’s

    http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV

    wow are they boring or what!! Need more data like tire change interval. and what about windshield wipers or fluid. I know battery degradation. That would be good. and max charging rate in Kw. That Tesla SC was only putting out 94 kw.


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    Dec 15th, 2013 (9:18 pm)

    stuart22,

    No, I never had problems with it because, as an Engineer, I read all about it as soon as I bought it used for only $1500, and the secret to its care was the engine coolant. In the 1960s and early 1970s, most car drivers never cared about what was poured into their radiators, but I was ahead of the curve here, and began using Prestone at 66% (2/3 coolant, 1/3 water) immediately. I knew that the aluminum engine block and the iron valve head had a thermal mismatch, so the correct coolant and belt tension were vital. Around 1985, I did took some time to adjust the valve lash setting because the valves were noisy (it had an OHC). I did it myself with a Torx tool and the correct feeler gage in about one hour. The only other maintenance done was engine oil change every three months, and the yearly coolant changes.

    In 1989, I was offered $450 for my old Vega (a copper 1975 Kammback Wagon) by a Camaro owner/racer who smashed his 1980 camaro and was looking for a replacement body. I wasn’t driving it so I sold the Vega Kammback. He took my Kammback, swapped out the 2.3L OHC I4 engine, transmission, and rear end for the V8 and other parts from his Camaro. The last time I spoke to him was to complete the registration transfer to his name because he had the Kammback running. Later, a friend recognized my old Kammback at a local racetrack (because it had a working rear window wiper that I installed – the ONLY ONE in all of Puerto Rico), and he told me that it won a few races against larger race cars.

    It was a great ending for a car that was my second (after the Rambler American) but my favorite at the time.

    Raymond


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    Raymondjram

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (9:34 pm)

    ‘georgeBower:
    What statement do you think is foolish Raymond?

    The “foolish statement” is what Noel posted in post #71; “In California, you are what you drive”. You replied in #73 ” Same in Tonto Basin”. So I translated the “Tonto” to “fool”, and related that to the “foolish statement” in post #71.

    Only a fool would believe that he/she are what they drive. Look at Santa who drives a sled with nine reindeers. He is much more than that! How about those sanitation workers that drive those smelly collection trucks? And if my car was ugly, it is not what I am.

    Here in Puerto RIco, we have a saying for someone who spends all his/her money to buy a fancy car:
    “Que linda es la jaula, y que feo es el pichón!”
    Meaning:”What a pretty cage, and what an ugly birdie!”.

    Raymond


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    Dec 15th, 2013 (9:39 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: wow are they boring or what!! Need more data like tire change interval. and what about windshield wipers or fluid.I know battery degradation. That would be good. and max charging rate in Kw. That Tesla SC was only putting out 94 kw.

    I wish I had a Chevy Spark EV to post my numbers there. And if there is so little maintenance, that isn’t so boring. We can do more other work than spend weekends trying to keep our ICE vehicles in good shape by changing oil, air filters, or spark plugs, and filling the tank with gas.

    Raymond


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    Dec 15th, 2013 (9:59 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: I remember the aluminum block which wasn’t necessarily bad but they used aluminum in the bore instead of using steel sleeves for the bore. Some manufacturers succeeded w/ aluminum bores (I think the 928 Porsche had silicone impregnated aluminum bores), but the Vega had problems especially if the engine overheated. Seems like the engine was OK if it didn’t overheat. Also I remember some people used to put steel liners in it.

    I believe the Vega engine was the first one using silicone impregnated aluminum, the result of a collaboration between GM and Reynolds Aluminum. The new process was cheaper than cast iron sleeves, but lacked the durability to overcome the other shortcomings of the engine.

    Mercedes and Porsche eventually perfected the process.


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    Dec 15th, 2013 (10:06 pm)

    Raymondjram:
    stuart22,

    No, I never had problems with the Vega Kammback.

    Raymond

    Raymond, I think your Vega might have had the Iron Duke 4 engine which Chevy borrowed from Pontiac to replace the troubled original motor. Too bad the Vega didn’t have a decent powerplant from the get-go, because it had some real pluses that could have taken it far, such as decent handling.


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    kdawg

     

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (11:43 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: wow are they boring or what!! Need more data like tire change interval. and what about windshield wipers or fluid.I know battery degradation. That would be good. and max charging rate in Kw. That Tesla SC was only putting out 94 kw.

    I think it will be interesting to see the daily mileage data.


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    nasaman

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (11:46 pm)

    Re: our topic of total ownership cost, here’s a graphic from a very happy 3-yr Volt owner (Brett Circe) who just traded this car for a 2014 Volt this weekend…

    1521400_10202675505953375_153136406_n.jpg


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    nasaman

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    Dec 15th, 2013 (11:57 pm)

    PS: Happy Birthday Volt! On this day 3 years ago, the very first Chevy Volt was delivered.


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    `Noel Park

     

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    Dec 16th, 2013 (11:55 am)

    Raymondjram: Only a fool would believe that he/she are what they drive.

    #88

    There’s lots of us fools in CA, LOL.


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    Glenn

     

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    Jan 3rd, 2014 (6:16 pm)

    Kent: I tried going to their website for a quote and found out they don’t cover CA. Probably a big reason why their rates are so low. Too many scum-bag drivers in CA without insurance so the rest of us have to subsidize them.

    I am amused (and seriously ticked off) at the unintended irony of this comment – “scum-bag drivers… …rest of us have to subsidize” – being posted to a site about a car (& GM) subsidized by ALL taxpaying Americans. For the record, I drive an 82 Chevy Silverado and a 96 Buick Roadmaster wagon. I don’t expect this comment to stay up, if it even gets past the censors. But I feel better calling out the the blatant hypocrisy.