Mar 14

Will US Consumers Benefit From Strong MPG Regulations?

 

As the Trump administration threatens to soften strict mpg rules through to 2025, in question is whether consumers will be winners or losers in the process.

Clear in any case is money is on the line: big money. Carmakers have said federal rules intended to drive average window sticker values up from 25.1 mpg today to the high 30s in the next eight years will cost them over $200 billion, sap profits from high-tech cars they cannot sell, and drive up costs.

That, plus the fact political winds have shifted in an opposite direction from the Obama administration’s stance, has led them to push hard saying their customers will also come out losers if rules are not relaxed.

But not so fast, say consumer watchdogs including the Consumer Federation of America, and Consumers Union. The latter says automaker and oil company lobbyists are sticking to the typical modus operandi of crying foul in the name of the public good. Per usual negotiation practice, it’s implied, big industry interests are actually just throwing what they can on the wall to see what sticks.

SEE ALSO: 5 Takeaway Points From the EPA’s TAR leading to CAFE Midterm Evaluation

As such, the advocates for those with the weakest voices and shallowest pockets in America – consumers, including those with low incomes – have beaten the band that consumers will come out winners if mpg rules for 2022-2025 are left in place.

This they are doing without even touching on whether greenhouse emissions cause global warming. Instead, parsing facts as they see them, consumer advocates say they are championing American consumer interests which automakers have asserted they also defend.

A Regulated Industry

It is true that automakers have to comply with a lot regulations. As those responsible for products that carry human beings around while emitting gases into the air everyone breathes, legislators have held them to very strict account.

The prospect therefore of a yet-higher bar for carmakers to jump over is really nothing new. To date, the U.S. EPA has said carmakers are making the grade with Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules – even staying ahead of the curve in most cases – while simultaneously reporting record sales and profits. For this reason, the Obama EPA said they can stay the course to further reduce pollution and petroleum use.

But with the Obama administration’s move to lock in 2022-2025 rules in January ahead of an April 2018 deadline, Trump and his new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt may lend an ear to carmakers’ arguments and reopen these to review. It’s believed they also may try to legally overturn California’s waiver to set its own strict rules which also make carmakers jump through hoops, and thus cost them money.

Consumer Interests

In a report by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc prepared for Consumers Union, further data was parsed to make the case that consumers stand to save significant money if carmakers continue with ever-tightening rules.

“The price of entry-level vehicles has remained approximately the same over the past 10 years,” says Consumers Union. “The most affordable vehicle among the top 30 sold in 2015 cost the same (in real terms) as the most affordable top 30 vehicle sold in 2005.”

Since 1997, the report found average new car and light truck sales prices have been relatively flat and used car prices have slightly fallen.

This plus unexpected declines in fuel prices have keep money in consumers’ pockets, say the authors of the report, Tyler Comings and Avi Allison.

“If fuel economy had not improved from 2005 through 2015 (i.e. if it had stayed at 20 mpg),” say the authors, “households would have spent 25 percent more on fuel in 2015 than they actually did. By 2015, the average household saved $523 in fuel annually, based on fleet-wide efficiency gains since 2005.”

This in turn, said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union, meant stimulation to the U.S. economy in direct contradiction to the Auto Alliance’s picture that jobs and economic gain will be forfeited.

“Multiplied by millions of new cars each year, that’s billions of dollars going back into our economy, and supporting thousands of jobs. Fuel economy standards are a win-win for everyone,” said Baker-Branstetter.

It’s been said there are three kinds of lies: lies, darned lies, and statistics. Who has the ultimate truth will surely be debated further, but for its part the Auto Alliance, representing 77 percent of U.S. car sellers, begs to differ.

“Over the past 23 years, automakers have added new emission control and fuel-efficient technologies, safety features, connectivity and infotainment technologies and other features drivers increasingly demand,” said the Auto Alliance in a report of its own that has since been removed from its place on its website. “These new features, combined with the growing demand for SUVs and light trucks, caused average new car prices to increase by more than 60 percent since the early 90s.”

At the same time, says the Auto Alliance, average new car prices have indeed gone up.

Source: Auto Alliance.

“In December 2015, the Kelly Blue Book reported the estimated average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States had reached an all-time high of $34,428,” said the Auto Alliance. “As noted in the figure above, as new car prices increased, interest rates dropped dramatically and remained low, making it possible for consumers to continue buying new light-duty vehicles. As a result, the increased vehicle cost was offset by the low cost of capital. In addition, average loan terms have lengthened significantly, approaching seven year terms. While this trend allows consumers to keep their monthly payments affordable, the risk is that the vehicle could depreciate below the remaining loan amount before it is paid off, leaving the consumer ‘under water.’”

It sounds dire, but citing average transactions prices in the abstract can be misleading. Today there are numerous new vehicles priced from the teens to lower 20s, and the aforementioned used car market – representing 70 percent as much more sales in the U.S. – has become even more affordable for those who cannot swing a new vehicle purchase.

What’s more, the Consumers Union report found the the most affordable vehicles among the top 30 sold in 2015 cost the same (in real terms) as the most affordable top 30 vehicle sold in 2005. On the other hand, the most expensive of the top 30 vehicles increased in price by 40 percent over the same period. In short, transaction prices went up in part also because of consumer preferences including for luxury vehicles, but vehicles well below the $34,428 average cited by the Auto Alliance have been available for over a decade.

And, despite average transaction prices increasing, the U.S. car and light truck market saw an all-time high 17.5 million sales in 2016, and auto executives were paid handsomely in six- and seven-figure salaries as they booked all-time-high profits.

But what the automakers are also decrying is the need to splice in hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles to their product assortment. These, it’s asserted will be needed to meet CAFE, even though the Obama administration said only 1-3 percent of new cars by 2025 need be plug-in. That is, the existing CAFE rules were written with enough wiggle room to let automakers make the grade with ever-improving non-electrified technologies.

Otherwise, the Obama administration was very much on board with the electrified agenda being mirrored in Europe, China, Japan, and, well, the world including California, USA.

These vehicles say the carmakers, are the most expensive, least profitable, they nonetheless will still have to build them, and so something has to give.

The Auto Alliance has otherwise opposed the attempt by Obama to lock in rules, as expressed in a letter sent to the new head of Trump’s EPA:

Excerpt from a letter by the Auto Alliance to Scott Pruitt, Trump’s new EPA administrator who has a history of opposing the EPA in his prior career.

Plug-in vehicle advocates have meanwhile presented plenty of evidence that carmakers are at the same time talking a limp-wristed approach to actually marketing and selling advanced-tech cars. This decade some have been sold in limited markets, and advertising has been limited or non-existent. Further, independently franchised dealers are not always compensated enough to incentivize them to get on board with plug-ins – which thanks to subsidies and low operation costs – can make a solid economic proposition for more than the 0.9 percent of consumers that now buy them.

Meanwhile the authors of Consumers Union’s latest study and others have noted none of this has stopped carmakers from lining their pockets as they have, and unsaid, but implied is greed and political opportunity are the real motivators.

A chart by Consumer Union.

Whatever is the case, the car industry, while patting itself on the back for safer and cleaner cars, does have a history of resisting change with the argument that it would be too expensive or stall sales. Other innovations that have been resisted over the years include seatbelt anchor points, 5 mph bumpers, catalytic converters, airbags, and more.

It is the nature of the game for them to attempt to reduce expenses, and maximize profits, but in question is whether consumers will lose, or if has been argued for the above mentioned innovations before, they will benefit.

Advocates saying yes observe that even base model cars benefit from trickle-down tech. Regulations pushing to raise standards at the upper level, it has been argued, have led to a windfall for those buying average conventional vehicles.

For their part, the authors of the study said staying the course for 2022-2025 will benefit consumers yet again.

“While the prices of new and used cars have remained flat or have fallen in real terms, low-income households are under increasing financial pressure from higher prices of other household goods and stagnant wages,” said the authors. “The Consumer Price Index, which tracks inflation of consumer goods, finds that the average prices of all goods have increased by about 50 percent over the last 20 years. Education and gasoline prices have risen even faster. Higher prices have been accompanied by stagnant wages for the two lowest quintiles, a combination that leaves low-income households behind in an otherwise growing economy.”

War of Words

Going forward, many more points and counter points are expected to be brought to the table in a battle for the true spin on what is best for all interests.

The carmakers are saying they do have consumers’ best interests at heart, and that it is in their best interest to continue innovation under natural free market principles.

SEE ALSO: CAFE’s Midterm Evaluation For 2022-2025 Could Electrify Automakers One Way Or The Other

Advocates say regulations further stimulate all automakers to try even harder, and as they have to date, they will continue to do so as carmakers will ultimately find a way to make it work for them.

Time will tell how this goes.

HybridCars.com

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

COMMENTS: 28


  1. 1
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (8:18 am)

    All those years ago, in the early stages of Volt development, there was a statement made about price. Specifically, it was a target for delivery was set at: “nicely under $30,000”. When the literal interpretation of that was not fulfilled, we saw a wide variety explanations attempting to justify having missed it. The spirit of such a goal remained though… to offer something competitively affordable.

    Today’s topic makes the reason for that overwhelmingly clear. Worth of hybrids was always measured based upon purchase price, with efficiency gain the means of offsetting the upfront premium paid for the better technology. Worth of plug-in vehicles will be measured the same way. 15 years of history taught us that. It also taught us how difficult diminishing returns based upon MPG increase would be to show.

    This is why concern for the heavy dependence on tax-credit subsidies has been a forefront issue. It’s proving an extreme challenge to grow the market, even with that $7,500 discount. Watching it be phased out, then disappear prior to the current product-cycle of Volt ended, is a major problem in the making…. which brings us back to initial price.

    I am not sorry to point out that Prius Prime achieved target, since I saw this coming years ago and pushed for a second model of Volt to deliver the same. Instead, there was an intense effort to silence that concern. Now, I ask what should be done.

    What next step do we expect GM to take?

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  2. 2
    Nelson

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (8:43 am)

    “If fuel economy had not improved from 2005 through 2015 (i.e. if it had stayed at 20 mpg),” say the authors, “households would have spent 25 percent more on fuel in 2015 than they actually did. By 2015, the average household saved $523 in fuel annually, based on fleet-wide efficiency gains since 2005.”

    This in turn, said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union, meant stimulation to the U.S. economy in direct contradiction to the Auto Alliance’s picture that jobs and economic gain will be forfeited.

    “Multiplied by millions of new cars each year, that’s billions of dollars going back into our economy, and supporting thousands of jobs. Fuel economy standards are a win-win for everyone,” said Baker-Branstetter.

    I tend to agree.
    I can’t speak for all “US Consumers” but my family is benefitting from a larger discretionary fund attained by saving on gas driving a Volt powered by SolarCity. This has allowed us to travel and dine out more often.

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671

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  3. 3
    Loboc

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (8:49 am)

    john1701a,

    Yet another vague rollup of straw arguments, half remembered history and meaningless queries. Meanwhile, GenII Volt easily out-performs GenII PiP in all but extreme edge driving scenarios.

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  4. 4
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (9:12 am)

    Loboc:
    john1701a,

    Yet another vague rollup of straw arguments, half remembered history and meaningless queries.Meanwhile, GenII Volt easily out-performs GenII PiP in all but extreme edge driving scenarios.

    That attempt to downplay & evade doesn’t change the intent of the “nicely under $30,000” target.

    As for performance, that claim is a clear indication of misunderstanding purchase priorities for ordinary consumers… which is a big reason why Volt isn’t competitive with traditional choices.

    The claim of “all but extreme” just plain isn’t true either. Prius Prime is more efficient with both electricity (kWh/mi) and gas (MPG). Those are very important performance measures for everyday driving.

    Again, the question of next step for GM… What should it be?

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  5. 5
    Loboc

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (9:33 am)

    john1701a,

    MPG only matters if “everyday driving” goes beyond 53 miles. Oops, PiP can’t go that far on a charge.

    john1701a: next step for GM… What should it be?

    GM is already doing what they need to do.

    Silverado vs Tundra
    Volt vs Prime
    Bolt vs non-existent

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  6. 6
    Len Reinhart

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (10:04 am)

    Even though I plunked down 1K for reserving a Tesla Model 3, I was going to look at the Bolt, liking the form factor. With GM at the head of the pack crying to hold back the mileage requirements, I will vote with my pocketbook and not even look at the Bolt. Consumers only have one way to get the car manufacturers attention, buy or don’t buy the product.

    Yesterday my solar system was finished, now for the inspection and meter change out and I can actually use it. 🙂

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  7. 7
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (10:04 am)

    Loboc: MPG only matters if “everyday driving” goes beyond 53 miles. Oops, PiP can’t go that far on a charge.

    KWH/MI rating tells the real story, a fact clearly being evaded.

    31 kWh/100 mi for Volt
    25 kWh/100 mi for Prime

    In other words, you expect people to pay for extra capacity, even if they don’t need it. Then when they consume electricity, use more than the other would.

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  8. 8
    Dan Petit/Petit Technical College

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (10:09 am)

    Great detailing, Jeff.
    There is a lot we can work with here!
    Lots of great workable angles!

    Financing a Volt at a very low annual percentage of 1 or two percent over 7 years actually has merit, because the engine really doesn’t begin to get very significant wear until the ten year battery range specification begins to diminish, then it still runs as an extremely superior hybrid of 25 to 30 miles.

    Buying a new truck?
    You still have to put lots of gasoline into it, of course.
    ($250 to $400 a month usually). Why not have 90% of that back into your pocket?
    That is what happened with our 2014 Volt, AND, we go 26,600 miles a year in it, not just 16,700 miles a year.
    (“90% of success is showing up!” (at more places).)

    OEM’s are going to be crying into their soup when Workhorse begins to gear up for production, (and should they determine that Ford (especially) truck buyers will drop Ford like a hot, rotten potato, the whining in the board rooms will begin.). (Now Mr. Ford is promoting autonomous micro bus ride sharing to push his stock sale. Sorry, but who wants to be sitting inches away from someone you don’t know, in a vehicle that has no driver to chaperone or enforce any safety standard whatsoever.)
    Ford builds its trucks in such a way for compliance, that all systems are tightly reliant on each next related system, which makes all Ford trucks a nightmare “dominos effect” of collapsing engine systemic failures.

    **************************************************
    People will most CERTAINLY want to buy WORKHORSE STOCK in massive quantities, (I’d buy at least a little stock just to be part of it) however, and
    pull that trigger with both shot gun barrels fired simultaneously!
    ********************************************************************************

    You just watch this happen!

    When it does, GM shareholders will be screaming night and day to get Maximum Bob back!

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  9. 9
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (10:56 am)

    Dan Petit/Petit Technical College: Buying a new truck?

    The majority of GM customers are, which is why unsold car inventory is piling up… hence the concern for fleet efficiency.

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  10. 10
    Mark Z

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (11:27 am)

    The automobile industry needs a new standard. No plug = no sale. Require a minimum electric range so every car and truck can plug-in and not need a constant fill of gasoline. Then encourage charging at night with special rates using a smart metered EVSE. Put the savings in the pocket of the driver.

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  11. 11
    Randy

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (11:32 am)

    Higher gas prices may be coming in the form of taxes. That will push some to electrify. Has me thinking about it.

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    MotoBCT

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (11:41 am)

    Whenever any industry becomes quite large, their financial INTERESTS will begin to overcrowd the benefit to society. Very few people ask is there societal harm for 10 million cars being built and sold each year?

    What obligation do these manufacturers have to produce vehicles safe to use over their lifetime?

    Industry has been very good at offloading the long-term environmental costs to the general public but monetizing the initial profit. Strong MPG and emission standards benefit society and generally reduce complacency.

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  13. 13
    Loboc

     

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (1:01 pm)

    john1701a,

    I see moot is the watchword for this dialog.

    How about these numbers: 3431 vs 2728.

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  14. 14
    !arry4pyro

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (1:28 pm)

    Will U.S. Consumers benefit from strong MPG regulations? I say yes, here are some additional reasons.

    – Higher MPG requirements dictate greater efficiency. This greater efficiency has led to much better reliability and longer lifespan. One example, going from carburetor to fuel injection has dramatically increased efficiency and at the same time increased performance and reliability. Thus, higher MPG requirements has resulted in lower life cycle costs.

    – Higher MPG requirements mean lesser use of petroleum based fuels and this means lower emissions of stuff that hurt the environment and hurt our health. Lowering these has been up to recently the main goal of the EPA and CARB. Not sure how to quantify cleaner environment and better health but it’s got to be significant.

    – Many of the major industrial nations are in the process of adopting much more stringent emissions requirements. The new EPA requirements better reflect this trend. Thus, U.S. cars manufactures would be better prepared to sell their vehicles worldwide if built to these more stringent standards, and this would lead to more jobs in this country.

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  15. 15
    MnVikes

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (2:00 pm)

    john1701a: KWH/MI rating tells the real story, a fact clearly being evaded.

    31 kWh/100 mi for Volt
    25 kWh/100 mi for Prime

    In other words, you expect people to pay for extra capacity, even if they don’t need it.Then when they consume electricity, use more than the other would.

    I don’t know what the auto industry would do without you.

    You determine how many vehicles must sell to be mainstream
    You determine the ideal price
    You determine the ideal battery size

    GM has sold what, ~120,000 Volts? (Don’t correct me I’m just guessing a ballpark)
    What PHEV is next on the list?

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  16. 16
    TruthBTrolled

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (2:27 pm)

    The Alliance doesn’t want clean air for you!
    Vote with your wallet people!
    https://autoalliance.org/connected-cars/automotive-privacy-2/participating-members/

    The cars you buy from them supports all their efforts against CAFE, CARB, clean air and the Tesla Sales model. They have interest in any of that.

    http://gm-volt.com/2016/03/02/gm-has-lobbied-against-teslas-direct-sales-model-in-at-least-five-states/

    http://insideevs.com/ceos-of-gm-ford-and-fca-call-again-to-review-emission-regulations/

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  17. 17
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (3:13 pm)

    MnVikes: You determine how many vehicles must sell to be mainstream
    You determine the ideal price
    You determine the ideal battery size

    GM pushed the 60,000 count.

    GM set the < $30,000 target.

    GM marketed the 40-mile need.

    MnVikes: GM has sold what, ~120,000 Volts?

    A large chunk of those were lease dumps… very unprofitable …very short-term. All were subsidized with the $7,500 tax-credit too.

    It’s time to finally get realistic about the fleet. The illusion of 120,000 being a lot requires ignoring sales for the rest of the product-line.

    Changing that starts with delivery of something actually able to compete. And with cars like Malibu & Cruze seeing a growing unsold inventory, that isn’t going to be easy.

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  18. 18
    dakster

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (3:29 pm)

    I’m all for EREVs and BEVS. The figures never lie, but liars always figure is another expression I like.

    How does Tesla play into the average MPG? What is Tesla’s CAFE?

    Tomorrow, the dark side, I mean Auto Alliance members, could beat 2025 CAFE standards if the “fleet” was all hybrid and plug in. You can still have a luxury land yatchs/SUVs that’s are hybrid/plug in. If anything those particular vehicles have a lot to gain with a battery pack…

    There is a certain price to pay for “dirty air” that isn’t factored into just the cost to fill up with electrons vs. fossil fuels. So even if the payback on gas savings doesn’t “pencil out” directly there is a health cost benefit to clean/er air.

    Missing our Volt right now, darn near got frost bite filling up this morning at the gas station. Wind was ripping right through my jacket. Never got cold plugging the car into the outlet in the heated garage.

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  19. 19
    MnVikes

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (3:31 pm)

    GM pushed the 60,000 count.

    GM set the < $30,000 target.

    GM marketed the 40-mile need

    If you meet all your goals your not trying hard enough 🙂
    40 mile AER is the minimum for me, the Prime is a non-starter, not even a consideration

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  20. 20
    Loboc

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (3:58 pm)

    john1701a:
    A. GM pushed the 60,000 count.
    B. GM set the < $30,000 target.
    C. GM marketed the 40-mile need.

    Moot historical points that are ignoring historical context.

    A. This is a max production number not a sales goal.
    B. An offhand remark by Max Bob before Volt was even a prototype. GM never set this target.
    C. GM barely marketed the Volt at all. This goal was based on gov’t statistics for a US commuter-miles bell curve. It is dead center of the sweet spot. GM later increased the AER to 53 miles based on customer feedback.

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  21. 21
    MnVikes

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (4:36 pm)

    Loboc: Moot historical points that are ignoring historical context.

    A. This is a max production number not a sales goal.
    B. An offhand remark by Max Bob before Volt was even a prototype. GM never set this target.
    C. GM barely marketed the Volt at all. This goal was based on gov’t statistics for a US commuter-miles bell curve. It is dead center of the sweet spot. GM later increased the AER to 53 miles based on customer feedback.

    Not to mention that cars in general are more efficient and with what gas prices have done…..

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  22. 22
    john1701a

     

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (4:47 pm)

    Spin history any way you want. It won’t change current sales shortcomings. Fleet MPG remains a serious issue.

    The 60,000 came about because it was a profit & sustainability milestone, which depended upon the $30,000 price to achieve.

    As for the based on “customer feedback”, that was a huge mistake. You don’t ask enthusiast owners; instead, you ask ordinary people who chose to purchase something else what it would have taken for Volt to appeal to them.

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  23. 23
    MnVikes

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (5:07 pm)

    john1701a:
    Spin history any way you want.It won’t change current sales shortcomings.

    Sales which are still higher than any other PHEV on the market.
    Does anyone here claim GM hasn’t made errors and that we dont want more EREV options?
    NO

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    Dave G

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (5:32 pm)

    dakster: How does Tesla play into the average MPG? What is Tesla’s CAFE?

    I find myself in this strange middle place, and I feel a little alone here.

    On the one-hand, I’ll never buy a pure BEV. Maybe they work for others, but not for our lifestyle.
    So all this emphasis on public charging and >200 mile range – it’s all totally meaningless to me. In fact, I think it distracts people from the real issues.

    On the other hand, PHEV owners emphasis on efficiency is equally meaningless. MPG, MPGe, kWh/100 miles – if you’re driving on clean power from your solar system, these figures are meaningless. As dakster asks: What’s Tesla’s average MPG? And who cares?

    With cars like the Volt, you can drive over 20,000 miles on a single gallon of gas. This is a fact. Many Volt owners have done this. The gas engine just isn’t something most people use on a daily basis.

    Call me a staunch centrist.

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  25. 25
    Tommy

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (6:11 pm)

    I would be interested in why Toyota doesn’t like autonomous cars.

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    john1701a

     

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (6:14 pm)

    MnVikes: Sales which are still higher than any other PHEV on the market.

    The effort to divert attention away from GM’s own product-line isn’t going well. I’m calling out the attempt to mislead… Prius Prime is not “on the market” yet. Only the select coastal states have received shipments so far, and that inventory has been very limited. The center of the country hasn’t taken delivery yet. So, demand most certainly cannot be determined yet.

    Dave G: With cars like the Volt, you can drive over 20,000 miles on a single gallon of gas. This is a fact. Many Volt owners have done this. The gas engine just isn’t something most people use on a daily basis.

    It simply makes no sense to pay for full performance hybrid system if you almost never use it. The true “only for backup” system you describe is what BMW delivered. What we got from GM is clearly overkill for that use. It isn’t even competitive either. Here’s a Prius Prime first fill-up report:

    2,928 miles
    6.176 gals at pump, 1st cutoff, 43 f ambient temp, level ground
    474.09 mpg at pump
    23 mph avg speed while system up
    93% EV driving ratio
    5.2 mi/kwh avg

    Tommy:
    I would be interested in why Toyota doesn’t like autonomous cars.

    Their focus is on making the safety aspects of that technology standard right away… Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function, Full speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Auto High Beams, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function.

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    Mar 14th, 2017 (8:30 pm)

    Loboc: Yet another vague rollup of straw arguments, half remembered history and meaningless queries. Meanwhile, GenII Volt easily out-performs GenII PiP in all but extreme edge driving scenarios.

    Hope was the situation would finally be taken seriously. Cards about being stacked against plug-in vehicles. But rather than consider the market as a whole, it was just more of the same old “vastly superior” nonsense. I remember that history quite well… and really enjoyed your ironically vague reply today.

    In what categories does it easily out-perform?

    Volt = 0-60 acceleration

    Prime = electric efficiency
    Prime = hybrid efficiency
    Prime = heater efficiency
    Prime = emission rating
    Prime = safety rating
    Prime = turning radius
    Prime = recharge rate

    Keep in mind that 25 miles covers more than 50% of commuters, so calling it an extreme would be a bit of a stretch. There will be some, like me, who can recharge at work too.

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    john1701a

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    Mar 15th, 2017 (1:38 am)

    See the reason for MPG regulations?

    Investment in battery production and charging infrastructure is a whole lot easier when you know the entire industry is working toward delivery of efficiency improvements.

    GM’s rollout of Bolt is surprisingly slow. By the time nationwide availability is reached, Tesla will be in a position to shoot past. The hope was that being early meant opportunity would be capitalized upon. We’re not seeing that. We’re not seeing anything in terms of high-speed charger availability from GM either.

    This brings up back to asking about Volt. More of the same is clearly not going to achieve needed growth. Not hearing anything whatsoever about next steps leaves us only with that, which is really unfortunate… and give good reason to push.

    Watching GM turn to diesel for higher MPG, because their plug-in sales growth continues to remain a challenge and unsold inventory of traditional cars builds up, is not what anyone hoped for. There’s definitely reason for concern at this point.

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