Dec 27

Nine new plug-in cars to look forward to in 2014

 

As noted on HybridCars.com, its monthly Dashboard tracks all clean-tech car sales including plug-ins, hybrids, clean diesels, and even Honda’s lone CNG car – all told around 75 models give or take.

This year alone there are going to be somewhere around 25 new clean-tech cars added to the roster, including these plug-in cars.

IMG_3196
A next-gen Volt is not confirmed so it does not make the list for new releases pending in calendar year 2014.

 

As the song says, “these are the good old days,” for – call them what you wish: clean tech, alternative tech, advanced tech, green cars – anything but straight gas burners.

In case anyone is wondering, Toyota is not on the list because its new Prii will come along in 2015, but said no new electrified models are pending for 2014. McLaren P1 is not here because while a 2014 model, it was released in October and sold out in November 2013. Mitsu Outlander is not here because the company said it’s not launching U.S. models until 2015.

So without further ado, here are some plug-in cars expected in 2014 with links to each for your perusal.

Cadillac ELR

 

This being GM-Volt.com we confess: This model gets pushed to the top of the list in a blatant act of editorial bias.

Is it the most important plug-in car in America? Probbaly not, but perhaps a case could be made, and ultimately this does remain to be seen.

585x329xJay_Leno_ELR.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ECw9uX68Yi
 

And actually, we hear the 2014 ELR has been already received at dealers since Cadillac began shipping last week, but its official launch date is January.

What needs to be said about the ELR? It’s one of the more publicized and anticipated plug-in vehicles – and is a bit of a lightning rod as well – with some questioning the rationale for a Volt-based Cadillac that costs more than double the Volt without much more performance.

Nonetheless, General Motors is being credited for having the chutzpah to produce the ELR, as some have questioned whether the company that once canceled the EV1 would even continue the Volt.

Sales volume – or competitiveness against Tesla Model S – is not expected to be so high, not even by GM’s own forecast, but who knows, it could surprise us.

The ELR is just as effective as the Volt, and more opulently appointed. It promises a nice ride as a coupe with kid-sized back seat and all-electric range high enough to stay in the e-zone for most daily driving needs.

BMW i3

 

The BMW i3 will first introduced in west and east coast markets as well as Austin, Texas this spring, and it is significant as a frontrunner for BMW’s new i brand, having already launched in European markets.

BMW_i3_8317_668
 

BMW has trademarked the names i1 through i9 and the first sustainable solution from this lineup is positioned as a city car.

The all-electric car will be made optionally available with a small scooter-derived range extender that essentially gives enough extra range to get home, but is not meant for long-range travel like a Chevy Volt.

Automotive analyst Alan Baum noted demand appears strong for the innovative ground-up developed EV that makes extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic.

However, the i3 has received mixed reviews by the automotive press. Some praise it, others say it does OK for what it is, and others have said it falls short of the cars that gave birth to the bragging rights of the maker of Ultimate Driving Machines.

Tesla’s executives have been among those who’ve questioned what BMW was thinking, but to its credit, the i3 is a first step, built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, and promises quality, innovation, and attention to detail throughout.

Tesla Model X

 

This is probably a more important car than the i3, but because Elon Musk has laughed at the i3, we gave the underdog award with a place above the vaunted but delayed Tesla.

The encore to the amazingly well-received Model S will come replete with “falcon-wing” doors and even more family friendly design, and is due late in 2014.

Model_X
 

In March this year Tesla pushed back the Model X’s projected production date from what would have been right about now for early 2014 deliveries. Its reason? Tesla said it needed to focus on the global Model S launch now still underway, and just taking root in Europe, Asia, and including China.

On ths latter score, Tesla is trying to overcome a trademark issue over the “Tesla” name, so it’s calling it Tuosule for now.

Back in the U.S., Tesla’s Web site says “estimated delivery in 2015 for new reservations” implying it has a long list of intenders who’ve plunked down either $5,000 or $40,000 reservations and should be getting their electric SUVs at the end of 2014 with production ramping up into 2015.

Based on the same “skateboard chassis” design used by the Model S, the Model X ought to be one sleek and quick SUV – blended with the “benefits of a minivan.”

“The Model X is critical in Tesla’s development by expanding its range to the popular utility segment – and it will therefore bring in new customers – while providing additional revenue to Tesla,” said Baum. “This will enable the development of the entry level Model E and provide growth as the demand for the Model S matures slightly.”

Battery sizes for the Model X are the same as Model S – 60 and 85 kwh – and the vehicle promises 0-60 times of under 5 seconds for the most powerful versions.

Going a step beyond the Model S, the Model X will utilize dual-motor all-wheel-drive, a sure improvement for snow belt drivers. Originally AWD was to be optional, but in November Tesla said all models will be so equipped.

http://www.hybridcars.com/tesla-model-x-to-be-awd-only/

VIA VTRUX

 

Actually, VIA has been selling limited numbers of the extended-range VTRUX pickups and full sized vans to early fleet adopters, began production in November, but the ball really gets rolling in 2014.

Via_Lutz_LA-668
 

VIA trucks are based on converted full-sized GM models. The pickup and van are first, and a Suburban based SUV is to follow.

On a a 100-mile drive, it should get 30 mpg, and on a typical 50-mile day with full battery charge, the trucks should average around 100 mpg. This is an astonishing achievement for a 402 horsepower work vehicle, and helps to offset the $79,000 per-unit starting price for volume orders.

A terrific use for the real estate afforded by a full-size bed is a solar tonneau cover that uses the same kind of solar cells as a house would.

We – and Jay Leno – think the trucks are great because we see long-term potential. Americans have a love affair with big vehicles, and this company is pioneering with more audacity than the maker of the donor trucks – though who knows whether they’ll be bought out in time?

As volume from its Mexico assembly plant increases, and supply costs go down, the clock has started ticking for a paradigm change in bigger passenger vehicle mpg, even if these are primarily commercial for now.

Volkswagen e-Golf

 

VW_e-Golf-668
The 2015 e-Golf is an all-electric version of the venerable VW hatchback and one of many new electrified vehicle pending from the Volkswagen Group.

It will be the first EV from the automaker, and was announced in November as due in the U.S. at the end of 2014.

Since it launch a few decades ago, VW has sold more than 30 million Golfs globally, and the 115 horsepower e-version will be another shorter-range EV in the U.S. market, but with driving characteristics of the base car.

Range is estimated at 70-90 miles, VW says, top speed is 87 mph, so this will be a city car.

Some have said VW is late to the game, and this is arguably true, but really, the game has only just begun, and there is room for more to jump in and begin an evolutionary process toward improvements yet to come.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Full Electric

 

Just as Tesla did with Toyota’s limited-market RAV4 EV, it has collaborated on the powertrain development with the first EV to be launched in the U.S. by the brand with the silver star.

Based on a small SUV available with conventional powertrains in Europe, the B-Class will be only available as an all-electric in the U.S.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive in New York 2013 (Word Premiere at NYIAS 2013)

“This vehicle will be low-volume, but creates a new niche for small crossovers which are strong globally and may increase their presence in the U.S. with this product,” said Baum.

Range for the 134-horsepower EV is estimated at around 115 miles, and top speed is 100 mph. Mercedes-Benz promises the full M-B driving experience with gads of safety innovation and convenience features.

Like the BMW i3, this is a significant first from a premier German automaker, and a positive portent for more to follow.

BMW i8

 

The second of the BMW i-Series, this one being a plug-in hybrid with 1.5-liter, three-cylinder twin turbo, the i8 promises to be a high-zoot sports car when launched around summer, 2014.

It will be a showcase for technology and advanced design, and BMW says it is the “world’s most forward-looking sports car.”

For a starting price near double what a Tesla Model S 60-kwh base model costs, BMW promises a light 3,285 pound curb weight – more than 1,100 pounds lighter than Tesla – along with 362 horsepower, 420 pounds feet torque, and 0-62 in somewhere around 4.4 seconds.

BMW_i8
 

Cars like this are not measured with typical “total cost of ownership” mentalities however, as exclusivity and cool factor are hard to pin an exact price that Consumer Reports could approve of.

The car will be able to about match a Ford Fusion Hybrid in all-electric range, at 22 miles estimated, and promises 94 MPGe.

It makes the list because it is ostensibly chic enough for James Bond, being made available for closer to regular (albeit upper demographic) buyers, and is a first of more to come.

If there were any doubts about the i3, the i8 ought to live up to the moniker Ultimate Driving Machine alright.

And to that this holiday season, we raise our glass in a toast to “trickle down technology,” and raising the bar at the high end, which will inevitably improve ordinary cars in years to come.

Porsche Panamera Plug-in S E-Hybrid

 

The Porsche Panamera Plug-in S E-Hybrid comes as part of a mid-cycle refresh for the Panamera lineup, and replaces the non-plug-in hybrid.

Its claim to fame is significant all-electric range of up to 20 miles or so, assuming conservative driving.

2014-Panamera-E_Hybrid
 

“This vehicle is a statement for the brand, just as the brand is a statement within the auto industry,” said Baum.

Combining the first miles that consume zero fuel, average daily trips ought to average to pretty stellar mile per gallon figures.

Does this matter to consumers of 416 horsepower Porsche sedans that start at $99,000 and quickly go up from there with options?

Maybe psychologically, plus the car is a neat tech car for those who like that aspect, and it will flat-out attract buyers who simply want the Porsche crest on the hood.

The power and weight stats are rather close to a Tesla Model S P85+ but the Tesla is quicker with instant torque although the Porsche will hit a higher top speed.

More significant to the broader market it Porsche aims to make hybrid versions of all its cars, and this is the first pioneer of that effort.

Lessons learned here can be applied to other electrified Porsches, so squabbling aside over what makes sense or not, this plug-in tech is all going somewhere, and carving out room with yet one more elite German maker jumping into the waters.

Kia Soul EV

 

Kia’s limited-market Soul EV is actually a follow-up to another square box EV in the Korean automakers’ home market, the Ray EV.

668xNxSoul_EV.jpg.pagespeed.ic.C7RqxyLKM5
 

The automaker promises 27 kwh and more AER than the Leaf at 120 when it’s launched in 2014.

This it says as it is settling a class action law suit on conventional car’s EPA numbers being overstated, which apologized for and said was a mistake in its calculations.

Whether the EV based on the youth-friendly Soul gas car that’s calculated to go 35 miles farther than a Leaf can or not, its a positive thing for the plug-in car world.

Sooner or later these compliance cars will escape their CARB state borders, or they’ll be followed up by cars that do sell better for average Americans.

Rome was not built in a day.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 27th, 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: 67


  1. 1
    xiaowei1

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (6:14 am)

    Having seen a review on the Cadillac ELR, I’m turning into a bit of a supporter. I still think it lacks a little in range and the price should be reined in a little, but it seems like a genuine good attempt at a plug in Cadillac.

    The BMW i3 seems to have done a lot of things right. The electric range is increased significantly over the Volt, and they have toned down the generator yet it seem to have not compromised on performance. The only negative I can see, is the actual look of the thing… the I8 seems to fix that look problem and enhanced everything along the way (including the price)!

    Everyone is expecting really big things out of the Model X. Tesla had a major hit with the Model S and have been promising big on the X. I’m definitely not a fan of the door system it uses, but it surely is going to have to be something special to keep the momentum – if its not ready I say don’t release it – make it ready first as there are millions of eye on Musk waiting for him to fail. I do wish him even further success as he has done a lot for the electric car industry.

    I think the Golf is a bit late given the range expectancy. Surely by 2015 we can expect a bit more than 70-90 miles; we had the leaf already some years ago and the Kia seems to be built as non-aerodynamically as possible but gets 120miles… the Mercedes is going for 115mles too, so the Golf seems a bit late to me. Porches seems to be making a token effort of 20 miles but at least they are looking seriously at this sort of thing.

    I must say, thank you to GM. You have started the momentum. You did this with the EV1 (though bowed out very ungraciously) allowing the competition to step up their own game with the likes of the Prius. With the Volt, you have redeemed yourself fully as far as I am concerned. It’s spawned a string of new plug-ins and I commend America and GM for its innovations and pushing for this sort of technology.

    I hope Bob Lutz can help push for truck/pickup drivers to start seeing the light too.


  2. 2
    Chris C

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (6:17 am)

    Hopefully the model X from Tesla will get the creative juices flowing at GM and they will get an CUV/SUV Voltec going. I can’t believe it has not come out yet or at least been announced. So many people seem to be waiting for it.


  3. 3
    Jim Fallston Md.

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (7:39 am)

    GM was the first with the EREV’s and if they want to be the best they better hurry up with more models and configurations of this proven winner. Let’s also keep the price down to attract the masses.

    Happy New Year to all GM-Volt faithful.


  4. 4
    Loboc

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (7:45 am)

    That’s quite a list. Be very interesting to see the staying power and sales results in the coming months.


  5. 5
    Bonaire

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (8:49 am)

    Chris C:
    Hopefully the model X from Tesla will get the creative juices flowing at GM and they will get an CUV/SUV Voltec going.I can’t believe it has not come out yet or at least been announced.So many people seem to be waiting for it.

    There are close to 10,000 reservations for the Model X amounting to more than $90 Million of reservation monies.

    Are you saying you think GM is waiting for the MX to come out (early 2015) or that they haven’t seen it yet? What about if GM is already working on something but not yet on the showroom floor? I would enjoy a Voltec CUV sized about that of an Orlando or Equinox. With a larger frame, more room for batteries and as denser batteries come out – you get more AER from such a model. A 50-mile AER Equinox (20 kWh batt) with 37 mpg extender onboard would be great stuff. Where I live, all I see are CUV and SUV’s (at least 40-50% of all cars). Thing is, I think a lot are leased and people are looking for the lower “per month” costs. The Honda CR-V is a very popular car around here – monthly leases are still up there at $350+. Going electric would put them up at $450+ and getting into the same monthly price point of buying a gas CUV over 5-years+.

    The average consumers are just not ready for the cost-increase of going electric. But it is slowly happening.


  6. 6
    Dave G

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (8:53 am)

    Thanks Jeff for another great article. It’s nice to see all of the electric offerings for 2014 summarized in one place.

    It still baffles me why there is no direct competition with the Volt. By competition, I mean:
    • A gas/electric plug-in
    • with at least 30 EPA miles all-electric range
    • with a base price under $30K after the federal tax credit
    • from a major car maker, with dealers across the U.S.

    I’ve been saying this since 2007, when the Volt was announced, and still no direct competition.

    Competition validates the market. If the Volt had direct competition, more Volts would be sold, not less. You wouldn’t have to explain what an EREV is, or how plugging in is more convenient than trips to the gas station, or that once you drive electric, you’ll never want to go back. People would finally start to get it, and EREV sales would ramp sharply.

    Without competition, we see what can happen. Political pundits can make false accusations, and people believe them. False safety issues are raised, and people believe it. Without competition, you have a niche product, by definition.


  7. 7
    'georgeBower

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (8:56 am)

    First, it is kind of disappointing that CARB has ruined the i3 range extender. It has no mountain mode and is underpowered so why bother getting it. Second, the VIA truck keeps growing on me. It is very unique. They should go with an all aluminum body (that Ford has announced) and improved aero and drop the price by about 20K (ha-ha). Everyone is raving about Model X and I love the AWD aspect but I’m not wild about the styling or the price. I thought they would offer a 60 kwh FAST version but I don’t see it listed. The good thing about the ELR is that the traction motor is good for another 38% in power. If GM made this power available IN EV MODE by going with a proper battery and dropped it into the Volt and added the 3 liter turbo then that would make for an interesting offering. Here’s to hoping that Mary Barra has some forward thinking capability when it comes to GM’s EV product line.


  8. 8
    nasaman

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (9:09 am)

    I see the ELR as a very important plug-in because it will VALIDATE the EREV concept in the minds of many, many car enthusiasts (and non-enthusiasts), and I have to believe GM management agrees…


  9. 9
    nasaman

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (9:11 am)

    …however, I agree with Bob Lutz, Jay Leno and Jeff that VIA’s trucks are by far the MOST IMPORTANT plug-in introductions, because VIA could very well be acquired by GM* and explosively expand the Silverado & Suburban lineups!

    *VIA’s plant is co-located to GM’s truck plant in Mexico!


  10. 10
    Ziv

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (9:21 am)

    I am really happy to see another GM EREV, but the MPV5 or an EREV Orlando would have been a better choice for more people. But if GM can sell or lease a couple hundred ELR’s a month that would be a huge success, considering the initial MSRP. Whether it is a new EREV or the Gen II Volt, GM needs to announce a new EREV soon. Give the ELR the center stage for a couple months, then announce the next step.


  11. 11
    Raymondjram

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (9:50 am)

    Bonaire:
    Are you saying you think GM is waiting for the MX to come out (early 2015) or that they haven’t seen it yet?What about if GM is already working on something but not yet on the showroom floor?I would enjoy a Voltec CUV sized about that of an Orlando or Equinox.With a larger frame, more room for batteries and as denser batteries come out – you get more AER from such a model.A 50-mile AER Equinox (20 kWh batt) with 37 mpg extender onboard would be great stuff.Where I live, all I see are CUV and SUV’s (at least 40-50% of all cars).Thing is, I think a lot are leased and people are looking for the lower “per month” costs.The Honda CR-V is a very popular car around here – monthly leases are still up there at $350+.Going electric would put them up at $450+ and getting into the same monthly price point of buying a gas CUV over 5-years+.

    The average consumers are just not ready for the cost-increase of going electric.But it is slowly happening.

    As an owner of a Chevy Equinox, I agree 100% with you, and I also want GM to produce an EREV or a BEV version of the Equinox. As for low monthly payments, you didn’t take into account that those import CUV owners just see the vehicle purchase or lease payments. We all know that an EREV or BEV CUV may be more expensive in those payments, but very low in “fuel” cost per month. A typical CUV may spend over $150 a month in fuel cost. An EREV or BEV using electricity for that same month may pay less than $50. So the savings in “fuel” compensates the higher purchase or lease payment.

    I haven’t taken into account the long term maintenance costs here, and that alone is another $1000 in yearly maintenance. GM knows this but doesn’t want to “spoil” their dealers which make money from those yearly maintenance costs.

    It is a two-edged sword for GM. Either they save cost for the consumers, or keep their dealers happy. I am a consumer and I will not make my dealer happy (BTW, my GM dealer closed shop last month). I want a new Equinox!

    Raymond


  12. 12
    Schmeltz

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (10:08 am)

    Dave G: I’ve been saying this since 2007, when the Volt was announced, and still no direct competition.

    I agree 100% Dave. Not one of the vehicles above are more than a niche play. Not one. And this 3+ years after the first Volts started rolling off the line in November of 2010. It’s great to see more and more companies getting into the plug-in business, but the sad truth is we will only be discussing electrified vehicles as novelties for years to come. Unless someone comes along with a surprise.


  13. 13
    DonC

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (10:25 am)

    nasaman:
    …however, I agree with Bob Lutz, Jay Leno and Jeff that VIA’s trucks are by far the MOST IMPORTANT plug-in introductions, because VIA could very well be acquired by GM* and explosively expand the & Suburban lineups!

    Good point. From the standpoint of wanting to reduce oil consumption for transportation, the Via trucks are far and away the most important. Going from 15 MPG to 150 MPG saves a whole lot more gas than going from 25 MPG to anything.

    In all honesty I think the Spark EV and the Fiat 500e were more interesting offerings than anything being offered next year. Even the flop that was the RAV4-EV seems to offer more than what we’ll see next year. The Model X, the i8, and the ELR are just too expensive to matter. The i3 could have been interesting but the combination of the styling, price, and BMW’s troubled repair history with EVs leaves me feeling “MEH”.

    Doesn’t seem like a vintage year to me.


  14. 14
    Evil Consertive

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (10:44 am)

    Jeff ….. I think you missed one …. The McLaren P1. Sure it is over a million but who cares.

    http://cars.mclaren.com/p1.html

    However, if I had the cash the Via Truck would be in my garage.


  15. 15
    Mark Z

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (10:55 am)

    I’d love to get a VIA, however it would only be used for short haul trips. Model S gets driven constantly now while the 12 volt ICE car batteries need plugging in after several months unused.

    When Model X is delivered, the SuperCharger buildout will be compelling. Model X may be my only vehicle driven. The sleek Model S will be missed, but practicality should take precedence.


  16. 16
    volt11

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (11:02 am)

    Rumor is the new F150 will hit 30mpg EPA highway in one configuration without any electrification. Will that take some wind out of VIA sails/sales? Either way I applaud them for bringing EREV to the largest selling segment in the U.S.

    GM has a lot to prove with where it next goes with Voltec, and also with how soon “next” really is. If they don’t have at least half a dozen Voltec models by the end of the decade, spread across various segments, I think they’ll have officially flubbed it. I remain cautiously optimistic.


  17. 17
    `Noel Park

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (11:25 am)

    xiaowei1: I must say, thank you to GM. You have started the momentum. You did this with the EV1 (though bowed out very ungraciously) allowing the competition to step up their own game with the likes of the Prius. With the Volt, you have redeemed yourself fully as far as I am concerned. It’s spawned a string of new plug-ins and I commend America and GM for its innovations and pushing for this sort of technology.

    #1

    Amen! +1


  18. 18
    `Noel Park

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (11:26 am)

    Jim Fallston Md.: Happy New Year to all GM-Volt faithful.

    #3

    Second the motion! +1


  19. 19
    `Noel Park

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (11:28 am)

    ‘georgeBower: First, it is kind of disappointing that CARB has ruined the i3 range extender. It has no mountain mode and is underpowered so why bother getting it.

    #7

    IMHO, BMW ruined its own range extender. They are trying to game the rules and have ended up with exactly what they deserve.


  20. 20
    steve

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (11:28 am)

    Like to look more into the Fusion, but it still looks like the Volt is the best deal for my needs. That’s the best others can do 3 years after the Volt came out?


  21. 21
    Jeff Cobb

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (12:03 pm)

    Evil Consertive:
    Jeff ….. I think you missed one …. The McLaren P1.Sure it is over a million but who cares.

    http://cars.mclaren.com/p1.html

    However, if I had the cash the Via Truck would be in my garage.

    Not so sure about that…

    P1 deliveries began in the UK in October 2013 and the entire P1 production of 375 units was sold out by November 2013.

    http://www.hybridcars.com/mclaren-p1-already-sold-out/


  22. 22
    Dave K.

     

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (12:07 pm)

    Electric Soul + A colorful advertizing campaign = Success

    GM has put little effort into advertizing the Volt. We now see, after 3 years, that the pay off is a much lower sticker price. One must wonder if GM had their doubts about the advanced technology systems in the Volt and chose to limit sales in the event of a major recall.
    The ELR should go over well with the Hollywood crowd. The car is very cool by anyone’s standard and at $80k welcome at finer hotel valet stations and red carpet events.
    The BMW and Porche cars are exercises in staying competitive. I expect very low volume sales on these with the benefit of laying the foundation for much more public friendly designs in the future. Car companies waiting until 2016 to provide an electric model will fall off the “cool” radar and be woefully tagged as your dad’s car companies. What ever happened to that little electric Dodge sports car mentioned in 2010?

    http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4965271161275701&pid=15.1


  23. 23
    ziv

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (12:18 pm)

    Dave, I have pondered that very question myself for the past several years, and I have come to the conclusion that the profit margin on the Volt was non-existent to start with and has only improved slightly over the past 3 years. Given how increasing the inventory and having the nice lease deals spurred record sales this year, and given the fact that GM immediately allowed the inventory to drop and ended the lease deals, I have come to the conclusion that for now, the Volt simply costs nearly as much to build as GM is getting for them.
    There are other factors, such as the fact that the very popular, (probably very profitable) new Impala is built on the same line as the Volt and the ELR has taken up a good bit of Hamtramcks capacity late this year, but the bottom line seems to be that the Volt isn’t making GM enough money to get any respect, or advertizing, either.
    Obviously the 2014MY Volts cost a good deal less to build than the 2011MY Volts did, and here is hoping that in January and February we see GM start to build enough Volts to get a few more of them on every Chevy lot out there.

    Dave K.:
    Electric Soul + A colorful advertizing campaign = Success

    One must wonder if GM had their doubts about the advanced technology systems in the Volt and chose to limit sales in the event of a major recall.

    http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4965271161275701&pid=15.1


  24. 24
    `Noel Park

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (12:38 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: P1 deliveries began in the UK in October 2013 and the entire P1 production of 375 units was sold out by November 2013.

    #21

    Where did I go wrong in my life, LOL? They probably all went to the United Arab Emirates. Well, maybe a couple to Saudi. China?


  25. 25
    `Noel Park

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (12:41 pm)

    Dave K.: The ELR should go over well with the Hollywood crowd. The car is very cool by anyone’s standard and at $80k welcome at finer hotel valet stations and red carpet events.

    #22

    Yeah, see #21. $80K is chicken feed, LOL. +1


  26. 26
    `Noel Park

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (12:45 pm)

    ziv: Given how increasing the inventory and having the nice lease deals spurred record sales this year, and given the fact that GM immediately allowed the inventory to drop and ended the lease deals

    #23

    Our local Penske outlet has an ad in today’s paper for 2014 Volts for $31,995. So $22,995 after the tax credit and the CA rebate. Cheap car!

    And BTW $199/mo leases. I am not making this up.

    I sometimes feel like a real idiot for paying the full sticker $44K for mine in 2011, but I actually don’t regret it for a second.


  27. 27
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (12:46 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: Everyone is raving about Model X and I love the AWD aspect but I’m not wild about the styling or the price.

    Yeah, me too. But I like the styling less than the price. But that’s just me.

    I would buy the VIA truck (crew cab of course) before the X.


  28. 28
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (12:51 pm)

    `Noel Park: And BTW $199/mo leases. I am not making this up.

    I have never lased. I always buy because I run my hoopties down till dead.


  29. 29
    'georgeBower

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (1:30 pm)

    ziv:
    Dave, I have pondered that very question myself for the past several years, and I have come to the conclusion that the profit margin on the Volt was non-existent to start with and has only improved slightly over the past 3 years.

    I agree. GM has been trying very hard to make the company profitable again. That is where the emphasis is. They can do best profit wise on the Volt by just leaving it as is and not changing it, not adverising it, and selling only sufficient amounts. Let’s face it. The Volt is a very reliable product. Pretty amazing that it works so well for all the new tech in it (well yeh I know the 2 mode has been around and GM used off the shelf parts but it still amazes me how well it turned out). There is an old mechanics saying: If it works don’t *uck with it and I think that is true. How many times I saw in aerospace gas turbines that you change (fix) one thing and all you do is create a whole new set of problems.


  30. 30
    Kent

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (1:41 pm)

    `Noel Park: #23

    Our local Penske outlet has an ad in today’s paper for 2014 Volts for $31,995.So $22,995 after the tax credit and the CA rebate.Cheap car!

    And BTW $199/mo leases.I am not making this up.

    I sometimes feel like a real idiot for paying the full sticker $44K for mine in 2011, but I actually don’t regret it for a second.

    My local dealer here in San Jose advertised $5K off MSRP on 2014 Volts last week. Another $9K off for Fed and CA credits and that’s $14K off of $35K base price for $21K. The Volt can practically pay for itself!


  31. 31
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (1:52 pm)

    Kent: The Volt can practically pay for itself!

    IMHO, I think what’s really stopping the mega masses is the lack of 5 seats. There’s no way we could go without the 5th seat especially on long trips. Luggage space is lacking as well for the fam.
    when it comes to the kids sports, it makes the Volt impractical.


  32. 32
    Jeff Cobb

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (1:59 pm)

    `Noel Park,

    Yeah, you and me both! I wonder if they’d still loan me a demo for a couple weeks to do efficiency testing, and what not? :)

    If needed, I could promise to keep it under 200.


  33. 33
    Evil Consertive

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (2:05 pm)

    `Noel Park: #21

    Where did I go wrong in my life, LOL?They probably all went to the United Arab Emirates.Well, maybe a couple to Saudi.China?

    All but at least one ….. Jay Leno ordered one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddU4tcGIF6k


  34. 34
    Evil Consertive

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (2:07 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: Not so sure about that…

    P1 deliveries began in the UK in October 2013 and the entire P1 production of 375 units was sold out by November 2013.

    http://www.hybridcars.com/mclaren-p1-already-sold-out/

    That may be true but they still are considered a 2014 model year car.


  35. 35
    MrEnergyCzar

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (2:44 pm)

    Great list Jeff. Happy new year. What happened to the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in SUV?….

    MrEnergyCzar


  36. 36
    kdawg

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (2:56 pm)

    When will we see the Leaf gen 2?

    Hey George, I’m in your neck of the woods. Just landed in Phoenix, I looked for your solar roof but no luck. :)


  37. 37
    kdawg

     

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (3:12 pm)

    MrEnergyCzar:
    Great list Jeff. Happy new year.What happened to the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in SUV?….

    MrEnergyCzar

    You beat me to it. I think this car is on a lot of people’s radar.


  38. 38
    'georgeBower

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (3:24 pm)

    Kent: My local dealer here in San Jose advertised $5K off MSRP on 2014 Volts last week.Another $9K off for Fed and CA credits and that’s $14K off of $35K base price for $21K.The Volt can practically pay for itself!

    That’s incredible. Screaming deal.


  39. 39
    Jeff Cobb

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (3:25 pm)

    Evil Consertive: That may be true but they still are considered a 2014 model year car.

    The title was cars to look forward to in 2014. I will go in and edit the piece to reflect the 2014 MY P1 at your insistence, but by definition, we cannot look forward to a car that came and went in 2013, no matter what they call it.

    If you want to say the P1 is an amazing car, that goes without question.

    My criteria was cars to be launched CY2014, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, and noted the ELR was a sort of exception, as was VIA.

    I put this together for everyone at midnight so you could have something worth reading. Could I have mentioned the P1 anyway? Sure. Could have justified the Outlander too.

    This is a decent list anyway. By all means feel free to discuss the P1 if you wish! I’ve already started to.
    :)

    Have a nice weekend!


  40. 40
    'georgeBower

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (3:26 pm)

    kdawg:
    When will we see the Leaf gen 2?

    Hey George, I’m in your neck of the woods.Just landed in Phoenix, I looked for your solar roof but no luck.

    I am in Tonto Basin about 1 hr north east of Phx. Feel free to drop in. Send me a PM if you want to come up my way.
    What brings you to Phx?


  41. 41
    Jeff Cobb

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (3:31 pm)

    MrEnergyCzar:
    Great list Jeff. Happy new year.What happened to the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in SUV?….

    MrEnergyCzar

    kdawg: You beat me to it.I think this car is on a lot of people’s radar.

    Mitsu says we won’t see it till 2015.

    http://www.hybridcars.com/us-market-mitsubishi-outlander-phev-delayed-until-2015/


  42. 42
    `Noel Park

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (4:13 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: If needed, I could promise to keep it under 200.

    #32

    I wonder if they’re all driving down the freeway 63 mph like me trying to stretch out the AER? Probably not, LOL.

    I wonder if they can drive into the London city center without having to pay the “congestion fee”? Maybe tht would be a motivator. Although I guess they’re not too worried about that either, come to think about it.


  43. 43
    kdawg

     

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (4:14 pm)

    ‘georgeBower,

    Just passing through. Boarding a flight to LA in 10 min. If I don’t see some EV’s in LA, then I’ll lose all hope :)


  44. 44
    `Noel Park

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (4:15 pm)

    kdawg:
    When will we see the Leaf gen 2?

    Hey George, I’m in your neck of the woods.Just landed in Phoenix, I looked for your solar roof but no luck.

    #36

    Anything to stay out of MI in this weather, eh? I heard a woman from the power company interviewed on NPR this AM about the power outages. She said that the ice isn’t melting off of the lines because the high today is -5.

    I hope your pipes are OK.


  45. 45
    `Noel Park

     

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (4:18 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: What brings you to Phx?

    #40

    See #44, LOL.


  46. 46
    kdawg

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (4:21 pm)

    `Noel Park,

    Yeah me too. I’ll find out Thursday. I guess the neighbors across the street got power so hopefully my house did too, and the furnace pilot stayed lit. I may invest in one of those inverters for my Volt.


  47. 47
    kdawg

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (4:23 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,

    Crap I seem to remember that now. Well, more time for GM to come up with something to compete.


  48. 48
    kdawg

     

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (6:56 pm)

    IMG_20131227_160448_912_zpsgs2wb2e0.jpg


  49. 49
    `Noel Park

     

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (7:19 pm)

    kdawg:
    `Noel Park,

    Yeah me too.I’ll find out Thursday.I guess the neighbors across the street got power so hopefully my house did too, and the furnace pilot stayed lit.I may invest in one of those inverters for my Volt.

    #46

    82 degrees here today. Humidity 6 percent. Pretty nice, but the brush fires will surely follow.


  50. 50
    kdawg

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (7:45 pm)

    I managed to snap a shot of the Tesla design center when I was landing at LAX. Not the best quality, but you can make out Tesla on the roof. I also saw a black Volt as soon as we left the airport.

    IMG_20131227_160448_912_zpsfvhzhgyo.jpg


  51. 51
    `Noel Park

     

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (8:27 pm)

    kdawg:
    I managed to snap a shot of the Tesla design center when I was landing at LAX.Not the best quality, but you can make out Tesla on the roof.I also saw a black Volt as soon as we left the airport.

    #50

    Awesome +1!

    If you really squinted you might see my house over on the right shoulder of that hill in the background.


  52. 52
    Chris B

     

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    Dec 27th, 2013 (11:55 pm)

    I’d probably take the Audi A3 E-tron (plug-in Hybrid) over either the VW or the Mercedes…the first drives look pretty good and the 30 mile EV range is tolerable.


  53. 53
    Tim Shevlin

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    Dec 28th, 2013 (3:07 am)

    The. media are now calling for rising gas prices in ’14. Things could get really interesting, what with early Volt leases expiring. I think Volt sales will be UP.


  54. 54
    bobchr

     

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    Dec 28th, 2013 (1:35 pm)

    ‘georgeBower,

    George while I like the way you’re thinking, all Aluminium bodies do not equate with price reductions. Aluminium is 7 times the price of steel. A better approach would be what GM did with the Saturn line and the Pontiac Fiero. Thermoplastic body panels and generic flat carbon fiber undercarriages, thin 18ga sheets wrapped around thick mesh twisted frame like you are making a papier mache element. You could reduce the truck body mass by 50% while maintaining strength and keeping cost down.

    Fiberglass fascias have been on Corvettes since the late 50′s and on Semi’s since the Mid 70′s judicious use of plastics from recycled material , non-complicated carbon fiber panels and mesh frames formed around mandrils that can be skinned by thin sheet steel and coated in epoxy to prevent rust through,(need a good ground for electrical operation) and a flat box like battery case made of carbon fiber that is cheap and easily mass produced with the proper adhesives for assembly you can take 1500 lbs – 2000 lbs of mass out of your base truck and frame body while still maintaining strength and keeping costs down. Everybody likes to point to Tesla’s high cost and rat out the batteries, All Aluminium frames and body panels are not cheap and I don’t see how Tesla will sell a BEV with a 200 mile range at a $30,000 or even a $40,000 price point using the materials it does now.

    Swap out an 850lb transmission plus a 600lb motor plus 350lbs of transfercase and drive lines with differential for 300lbs of electric motor with gear reduction and 400 lbs of high power density batteries and about 100lb of power electronics to control the whole shebang. An 5500 lb ICE powered heavy duty pick or SUV could come in at a svelt weigh in of 3500lbs. AER would probably be around 50-70 miles add another 250lbs for a turbo 3 range extender and even with poor aerodynamics you could probably get 38mpg CS at 70mph. Now that would be a huge score.


  55. 55
    'georgeBower

     

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    Dec 28th, 2013 (2:30 pm)

    bobchr:
    ‘georgeBower,

    George while I like the way you’re thinking, all Aluminium bodies do not equate with price reductions.

    Well Ford is going that direction. And what better vehicle to do it on since they have the highest profit in pick’ em up trucks.

    This is kind of OT. but since we are talking aluminum bodies check out Jay Leno’s Custom Turbine car. It has an aluminum frame, a carbon composite body and a Lycoming LT101 gas turbine engine. Hard to get much lighter than that.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10q9_pB6unU


  56. 56
    `Noel Park

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    Dec 28th, 2013 (3:01 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: Well Ford is going that direction. And what better vehicle to do it on since they have the highest profit in pick’ em up trucks.

    #55

    On a somewhat related subject, I just stumbled upon an article about the BMW i8 in the November Road & Track. I’m not a big BMW fan, but their ingenuity in creating the car is actually pretty impressive. The motor assembly from the i3 is used to drive the front axle and a sort of “mild hybrid” package based on the turbo 3 cyl. (!) from the upcoming new Mini drives the back and charges a 7.1 kwh battery. I LOVE parts bin engineering, LOL.

    As we know, BMW has gone with CF instead of aluminum for the unibody tub and, I believe, plastic body panels as suggested by bobchr at #54. And the CF fabrication is really different, consisting of a sort of injection molding process where the resin is injected into heated molds already packed with the CF matrix. Alas, the lovely CF pattern seen in race car tubs and so forth is gone, but the process is supposedly almost 100% robotic.

    To me the most interesting part was the best explanation I have seen of how CAFE in the U.S. and GHG emissions standards in the EU are driving this innovation. The biggest take away for me is that those who predict the demise of the Volt totally don’t get it. GM has NO CHOICE but to continue to pursue and develop this technology if it wants to do business in 2025, if not 2017.

    I really feel like we are sort of the early adopter/quasi beta testers for the spectacular technology which must inevitably appear in the next few years.

    “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!”


  57. 57
    'georgeBower

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    Dec 28th, 2013 (3:21 pm)

    `Noel Park: #55
    .The biggest take away for me is that those who predict the demise of the Volt totally don’t get it.GM has NO CHOICE but to continue to pursue and develop this technology if it wants to do business in 2025, if not 2017.

    “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!”

    Speaking of light weight and leading the way.

    Could the next Volt engine be smaller than a suitcase?

    suitcase3cyl_zps2a972080.jpg

    I ran across a great article on GM’s new “Small Gas Engine” (SGE) family of engines. Some highlights:

    -20% lower fuel consumption
    -30% lower weight
    -Low inertia water cooled turbo that bolts directly to the head.
    -Exhaust manifold directly integrated into the head
    -Aluminum Block
    -Aluminum Head
    -Balance shaft
    -Lower NHV than any of GM’s existing 4 cylinder engines

    My best guess on the current Volt ICE weight is around 280 pounds so this means almost 100 pounds lighter than the current 1.4.

    20% in fuel would bump CS MPG to 46 MPG.

    great GM article:
    http://media.gm.com/content/media/gb/en/vauxhall/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/gb/en/2013/vauxhall/08-07-vauxhall-adam-a-triple-punch.html


  58. 58
    `Noel Park

     

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    Dec 28th, 2013 (3:50 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: great GM article:

    #57

    Really. Thanks for the link. +1

    ‘georgeBower: -Exhaust manifold directly integrated into the head

    There’s nothing new under the sun, LOL. Our 1917 Chevy 4 cyl engine has the exhaust manifold in the head. Only one exhaust port out the side of the head.

    20% in fuel would bump CS MPG to 46 MPG.

    We look to the day!


  59. 59
    'georgeBower

     

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    Dec 28th, 2013 (4:17 pm)

    `Noel Park: #57

    There’s nothing new under the sun, LOL.Our 1917 Chevy 4 cyl engine has the exhaust manifold in the head.Only one exhaust port out the side of the head.

    Like this?

    NoelSpeedster_zps6f18594c.jpg


  60. 60
    Sean

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    Dec 28th, 2013 (5:49 pm)

    The car will be able to about match a Ford Fusion Hybrid in all-electric range, at 22 miles estimated, and promises 94 MPGe.

    This might be okay but still the Tesla Models S rules all Electric Vehicles except the Volt when it comes to range 160-300 miles.

    It makes the list because it is ostensibly chic enough for James Bond, being made available for closer to regular (albeit upper demographic) buyers, and is a first of more to come.

    Totally agree this car looks good enough to be put in a James Bond film with a hot babe while Mr. Bond is dressed in a tuxedo and of course we need some weapons such as machines guns popping out of the hood of the car and maybe something new unless it’s been done before in a Bond Film such as some rods in front of the car that are charged by the battery and when it touches the another vehicle it could take his foes out but besides just simply taking them out at first this weapon could be used as shooting the the electric current towards his foes or even better he could shoot the bolt into the tailpipe of a gas cars and as the electric bolt travels in the car it’ll cause an explosion or even more complex it could in someway travel through the tailpipe without reacting with the gasoline or diesel and as it travels to the battery the electric current could travel to the steering wheel and electrocute the driver either by knocking him out or by killing him to get rid of the bad guy.

    So what do you think of my ideas guys I’m not sure about the steering wheel one but if there’s another way to get an electric current into a gas or diesel car without causing an explosion and yes I know this can be done with special effects and CGI here but on the other hand I’m thinking in a very complex way about it because I’m trying to be more realistic about what could happen if you try to put an electric current into a gas or diesel car and the more you think about it the more it makes sense if you try to do it in a more realistic way.

    Still if only Hollywood directors had more freedom like foreign film and independent film directors we could be making some of the best films of all time and best of all our pictures could be more original and yes I know I wasn’t be original at the moment still I wish you could make your films the way you want to and how you want to where it all makes total sense including the storyline.

    But without sacrificing the entertainment value of the film.

    Guys I hope you have a nice day and I hope that we will have a great line up of new cars by February.

    The Future Is Electric Not Hydrogen!


  61. 61
    kickincanada

     

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    Dec 29th, 2013 (7:59 am)

    I have three kids with all in sports including hockey. Sure it can get tight, but it is doable. I used to drive a Ford Expedition.

    CaptJackSparrow: IMHO, I think what’s really stopping the mega masses is the lack of 5 seats. There’s no way we could go without the 5th seat especially on long trips. Luggage space is lacking as well for the fam.
    when it comes to the kids sports, it makes the Volt impractical.


  62. 62
    Raymondjram

     

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    Dec 29th, 2013 (10:15 am)

    ‘georgeBower: Well Ford is going that direction. And what better vehicle to do it on since they have the highest profit in pick’ em up trucks.

    This is kind of OT. but since we are talking aluminum bodies check out Jay Leno’s Custom Turbine car. It has an aluminum frame, a carbon composite body and a Lycoming LT101 gas turbine engine. Hard to get much lighter than that.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10q9_pB6unU

    You can make it much lighter, but safety is what makes all vehicles heavier.

    Raymond


  63. 63
    kdawg

     

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    Dec 29th, 2013 (1:26 pm)

    Wow, I actually heard a Chevy Volt ad on the radio this morning. Crazy. I asked my foreign taxi driver last night if he knew what the Chevy Volt was since he was driving a Prius. He had no clue and had it confused with Crown Vic for some reason.

    We have a long road ahead of us.


  64. 64
    bobchr

     

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    Dec 29th, 2013 (3:04 pm)

    Raymondjram,

    Doesn’t have to be that way polyurethane foam inside body and frame cavities with airbags and seat belts provide superior crash protection at very light weights. I think in the late 70′s a sculpted polyurethane car body provided 60mph crash protection with no metal reinforcement.


  65. 65
    Raymondjram

     

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    Dec 29th, 2013 (9:08 pm)

    bobchr:
    Raymondjram,

    Doesn’t have to be that way polyurethane foam inside body and frame cavities with airbags and seat belts provide superior crash protection at very light weights. I think in the late 70′s a sculpted polyurethane car body provided 60mph crash protection with no metal reinforcement.

    Yes, but can you do this for hundred of thousands of vehicles for the laypersons, comply with all Federal safety rules, crash test it with dummies, and sell them for a profit?

    Since we cannot predict what the other fellows on the road are driving and if they are driving carefully and below the speed limit, we must buy vehicles that can protect us mostly against other vehicles. Asian imports are so light to improve gas milage that they don’t survive major accidents here. Yet I have seen heavy American vehicles survive getting hit by others. I am one of those, as my present 1995 Buick Regal survived a crash from a old Ford Econoline van. I drove home after the impact, and the van had to be towed. My Regal gets 22 MPG on a good day but I know I will survive another accident. If I were in a Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Hyundai, or Kia that day, I would not be here now!

    So if we lived in an ideal world and had no threats from other vehicles hitting us, we could drive very light vehicles, get high MPG, and live longer lives. The Volt could get a much better electric range and use even less gas. The real world is dangerous.

    Raymond


  66. 66
    pjwood

     

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    Dec 30th, 2013 (9:37 am)

    The i3, Via and Merc, by order of import. Range and gains in “cents per mile”, are the story. It’ll take a good 5 years before the Germans otherwise discover that PHEV consumers hold range more dear than energy recovery and redeployment. Together with the Detroit press, they’ll keep selling the idea you’ll just love it when that V-8 burbles to life, even if for them it’s on the track while for you it’ll be in traffic.


  67. 67
    alterne

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2014 (7:14 pm)

    Whats up this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG
    editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.

    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be enormously appreciated!