Why the Chevy Volt Will Fizzle

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eorange

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Good article. And the Volt will also slump because it's late to the party, i.e. the WAY less expensive, proven Prius, plus a few others.

I had to laugh when I first read the astronomical, un-normalized MPG claims of the Volt.

It's the same old GM.
 

57Bill

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Interesting piece, but obviously anti-GM (American) and pro-Japan. The early clue is "to offset the gas guzzlers of GM". Well, most GM passenger cars get 30 mpg (exclude specialty cars like Corvette and the new Camero). GM trucks are gas guzzlers. The article neglected to mention that the hybrid technology developed for the wonderful Prius was discovered in a joint venture between GM and Toyota.
As IEEE put it: "people who tilt their roofs with photovoltaic cells, (and) live underground in hobbit holes to conserve energy...make up a significant portion of IEEE readership". IEEE apparently writes what those kind of reader like to consume.
 
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N_Jay

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Interesting piece, but obviously anti-GM (American) and pro-Japan. The early clue is "to offset the gas guzzlers of GM". Well, most GM passenger cars get 30 mpg (exclude specialty cars like Corvette and the new Camero). GM trucks are gas guzzlers. The article neglected to mention that the hybrid technology developed for the wonderful Prius was discovered in a joint venture between GM and Toyota.
As IEEE put it: "people who tilt their roofs with photovoltaic cells, (and) live underground in hobbit holes to conserve energy...make up a significant portion of IEEE readership". IEEE apparently writes what those kind of reader like to consume.
Hu?

Oh yes the IEEE is just "so anti-American??

As for the offset, do you think maybe they were talking about CAFE ratings? Sure most of the car (models) get over 30 MPG, but not most of the SALES.

Where did you get that GM was involved in the Prius hybrid design? (May be true, but news to me.)

Maybe you need to include the who quote, instead of your edited version:

"Plenty of tech-minded people love the concept, hence the aftermarket for conversions of standard-issue hybrids to plug-ins (see ”Plugging Away in a Prius,” IEEE Spectrum, May 2008). But these are unusual folk: They don’t mind buying a standard hybrid for $25 000 and throwing in $30 000 to make it into something else. These are the people who tile their roofs with photovoltaic cells, harvest the energy they expend on their StairMasters, or live underground in hobbit holes to conserve heat. We love these people—they make up a significant portion of our readership—but they have little in common with the typical auto buyer, who is mainly concerned with overall costs."
 

RayAir

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I agree that the Chevy Volt will "fizzle out" also. First off, it costs too much for most people to want to buy it, and secondly, the cost of a replacement battery approaches $10,000. They claim the battery will last 10 years? I would imagine this car would have a very low resale value also- making it less appealing.

Also, here's some food for thought- if more people drove electrics then they (gov) would bring in less on the gas tax.
 
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N_Jay

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. . . .The article neglected to mention that the hybrid technology developed for the wonderful Prius was discovered in a joint venture between GM and Toyota. . . . . .
Found a few articles that pointed to the possibility of a GM badged Prius (and repeated denials) and some wording that talked about GM and Toyota working together on "technology" (no surprise with Te Nummi joint venture) but never said anything about the "Technology" being hybrids. Nummi has never produced any hybrids.
 

CrabbyMilton

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The market will determine such things. Someday perhaps not for one or two more decades, there will be 100% electric cars and trucks that are just as dependable and reasonably priced as their gasoline powered counterparts. Until someone can come up with a cordless vacuum cleaner that doesn't run out of juice after about 10 minutes, I'll be skeptical. You may see a few VOLTS dead along the interstate if the batteries go bad. But as it stands now, the small hybrids are just symbols of the environmental wackos that claim to be better people just because they drive them. However, that GMC YUKON hybrid looks like it may be the best of both worlds as it stands now since the system fits in the existing design.
 

zz0468

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But as it stands now, the small hybrids are just symbols of the environmental wackos that claim to be better people just because they drive them...
It's really more than just a "symbol". It's an actual effort to try something different. How is this wrong?

Where most people miss the boat with current hybrids is making the assumption that they're intended to save money, or burn less fuel. The REAL intention is that they produce less air pollutants. The Prius, for example, was intended by Toyota to be a "cleaner air" car. So, it really doesn't fit the economic models people try to force upon it. One pays more to produce less pollutants.

I own a Prius, and one really gets the point of the car when sitting in stalled traffic on the L.A. freeways while choking on other people's exhaust. My car sits there with the engine off, not turning gas into carbon monoxide, until it's time to get moving again.
 
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N_Jay

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What a lot of people don't get, is that trying something different that does not accomplish your goal is not much more than just a symbol.

The Prius pollutes less simply because it uses less fuel..

It doesn't really matter when it uses the fuel, idling or driving.

So, a lighter car with a traditional gas engine that gets the same or better overall gas mileage also pollutes less.
 

zz0468

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What a lot of people don't get, is that trying something different that does not accomplish your goal is not much more than just a symbol.
True. The goal in the case of the Prius being to operate cleaner than "conventional" cars. It's a relatively modest goal. Is it mere symbolism, or is it a baby step in the way of progress? Considering that it was intended to operate without support other than the existing infrastructure (no charging stations, use conventional auto fuel) one could argue that it's a step in the right direction.

The Prius pollutes less simply because it uses less fuel..
And it DOES use less fuel. We sometimes see a good honest 50 mpg. This is not intended to be an argument of, say, diesel vs gas. They all have their merits, they all have their drawbacks. It's just one of several possible choices.

It doesn't really matter when it uses the fuel, idling or driving.
Actually, it does. Take freeway conditions in California, for example. It can take 2 hours to drive 30 miles, and a lot of that time is spent just sitting there. One can burn fuel in an idle waiting, or one can shut down during that wait time. In most cars, your MPG mileage goes down in those conditions. In the Prius, MPG goes UP, until some plateau is reached.

So, a lighter car with a traditional gas engine that gets the same or better overall gas mileage also pollutes less.
True, if one is only measuring against actual miles driven, vs fuel consumed. But remember, a hybrid is merely built to not consume fuel when stopped. THAT'S ALL it's intended to do. It somewhat misses the boat for those who do lots of highway driving, although it still does better than conventional cars (40 mpg highway). But it was really intended as a metropolitan commuter car where there is lots of stop and go traffic.

Again, my point is, if one is looking to save money, look somewhere else. If one is looking to being a bit less of a contributor to the smog layer, it has merit.
 

kb2vxa

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If contributing to the smog layer saves money the choice is obvious. Trouble with that stagnation in the L. A. Basin is it's so thick they can't see much of anything let alone the obvious, like the governor wearing a green mask while driving a Hummer with an exhaust that smells like McDonald's.

The Great Fast One may have hit on an idea! With gas so plentiful and cheap in Australia most cars run on it rather than petrol while some are dual fueled. Since it's quite the opposite here one may consider going organic, green power means BEAN POWER! "Stop your stinking and start thinking, just blow and go."
 
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