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Thread: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    Its a new technology. Its still a little high but as with all new technology, it'll get cheaper with time. TBO, if I were in the car market right now, I'd hold off getting an electric car myself and I'm a supporter. The reason is that in just a few years a new battery that was just invented will get 10x the range of the present battery and it'll be just a few short years before it hits the streets. The fact is that horse is out of the gates and it's not coming back. Electric cars are out, going global as we speak and will only grow in popularity. Regardless of the anti-technological progress spin you see in the MSM, electric cars are strongly supported despite the higher cost.

    The Volt, through August, will have sales of 13,300, compared to 15,600 total sales of the Prius in 2001.

    From The Detroit News: GM: Aug. Volt sales best yet | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com

    The Prius, is one of the best selling cars in automotive history and the Volt is only a hair behind them.

    I don't know this to be true but I wouldn't be surprised if GM is suspending production to retrofit future models with the new 10x the range battery.


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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Do you realize how inconsistent those 2 statements are? On the one hand, you want an end to oil subsidies. To that I agree. I would like to see an end to all subsidies, including all energy and green subsidies. Let the chips fall where they may. I would also agree on the end to product subsidies. Again, let the market take care of the problem.

    That should also extend to removing the obstacles which favor one product over another. Placing obstacles in the way happens with government all the time, and not necessarily for economic reasons. If my information is correct, the Saudi oil problem would go away if we utilized our own resources, of which there are hundreds of years available.
    I guess I don't see how the two statements are inconsistent. In one I complain about oil subsidies, in the next, I encourage LMR to buy the car that suits him. Let me know how that's a self contradiction.

    I do agree that the government provides a lot of obstacles, sometimes necessary, sometimes foolish. We get a lot of that. I don't see that a $7500 break on some cars is an obstacle. I can understand you disliking it, but it is not an impediment. In fact it makes buying a car easier, right?

    And there may be hundreds of years of oil in the ground, but I see the price of oil steadily going up. The increasing affluence of the world's most populous countries (China and India) is creating a massive upswing in demand for oil. And this will climb even faster as the years go on. Keeping in mind that even domestically produced oil sells at the intl market price, I think even domestic oil will become too costly to be cost effective. And this will happen LONG before we get short of our hundred-year supply of oil. Stopping the import of OPEC oil will be great, but it won't be the final answer either. That's why it's important to work on electric technology now, and figure out all the bugs, now, so that when oil/gas get too expensive, we'll already have worked out the kinks and can produce a viable product exactly when we need it.
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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by EagleAye View Post
    I guess I don't see how the two statements are inconsistent. In one I complain about oil subsidies, in the next, I encourage LMR to buy the car that suits him. Let me know how that's a self contradiction.

    I do agree that the government provides a lot of obstacles, sometimes necessary, sometimes foolish. We get a lot of that. I don't see that a $7500 break on some cars is an obstacle. I can understand you disliking it, but it is not an impediment. In fact it makes buying a car easier, right?

    And there may be hundreds of years of oil in the ground, but I see the price of oil steadily going up. The increasing affluence of the world's most populous countries (China and India) is creating a massive upswing in demand for oil. And this will climb even faster as the years go on. Keeping in mind that even domestically produced oil sells at the intl market price, I think even domestic oil will become too costly to be cost effective. And this will happen LONG before we get short of our hundred-year supply of oil. Stopping the import of OPEC oil will be great, but it won't be the final answer either. That's why it's important to work on electric technology now, and figure out all the bugs, now, so that when oil/gas get too expensive, we'll already have worked out the kinks and can produce a viable product exactly when we need it.
    I may be misunderstanding you. You argue for ending oil subsidies. I agree. I see no mention of ending other energy subsidies. I agree, let anyone buy any car that suits their needs, but the subsidy for the Volt is intended to tilt the playing field. If the real cost, including development costs subsidized by government were factored in, not to mention the funds expended in just keeping GM afloat, even the government would not be a purchaser.

    The same goes for the subsidies for alternate energy. It is intended to make oil costs similar to other forms of energy. Alternate cannot stand on its own, much of it never will. In the meantime, cheap NG and less expensive oil is available if the government keeps out of it. Government presently has apparently eased up on nuclear construction permits, but I will wait to pass judgement until the first KW rolls out of the plant. Plenty of other ways to stall anything the government wants to.

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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Born Free View Post
    I like your post, except for two problems, you never once mentioned natural gas. Further if wind is so great why did T Boone a wind supporter and investor lost millions and is only supporting natural gas?

    I used natural gas and coal as their is a thousand yrs of energy in those two natural resources. Further electricity does not save one drop of oil, which you further did not mention, nor did not respond to. Like I said I'm not against green but wind and solar is not the answer for a replacement to oil. This government spearheaded by Obama is subsidizing 30% of the cost to build and to buyers to support wind and solar and subsidizing electric cars, not because they are competitive, BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT.
    Natural gas is not a bad idea for the short run. It is by far the cleanest of all fossil fuels, and thanks to fracking, it's become a lot cheaper to extract. I have some serious concerns about some of the chemicals used for fracking, however; if they'd clean that up, I'd be a lot more for it.

    Coal is becoming a white elephant (or should I say, a black elephant). It was a superb resource that was singlehandedly responsible for the industrial revolution. However, coal carries a great number of unintended consequences, so we must wean ourselves off of coal if those unintended consequences are not to become more dire.

    And let's not forget that fossil fuels are receiving federal subsidies too, far more than renewable energy is.
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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." --Hillary Rodham Clinton
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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    Article makes my point, these things will not move without serious subsidies.

    ut Chintan Talati of sale tracker TrueCar says General Motors (GMPRB) is also offering dealers the best incentives it's ever had on the model to move the cars.

    Those deals have brought the price of a two-year lease down as low as $169 a month at some dealerships from the standard $279 lease price. Considering that the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $31,500 -- after a $7,500 federal tax credit -- is relatively pricy for a compact car, Talati said he'd expected sales to have been boosted even higher by GM's incentives.

    "With the lease specials and discounts on the Volt currently, I'm surprised there isn't a line out the door for Volt buyers," he said.

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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    2,500 is just a drop in the bucket, considering 31,402 Chevy Malibu's, 32,107 Toyota Camry’s, and 24,433 Ford Fusion's were sold in June of this year. Compared to the sales of the others, 2,500 just isn't enough to justify continued manufacture.
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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Again, why use electricity to manufacture a product we already have in abundance? Just store the NG. Eliminate the electricity phase.

    Hydrocarbons are already an energy storage mechanism. No need to manufacture hydrocarbons so we will have something to store.
    Yes we have plenty of hydrocarbons, but we have many other means of generating power, nuclear, photovoltaic, wind,...ect.
    All have poor methods of storage.
    A watt of electricity generated, must be used somewhere within a fraction of a second or becomes heat.
    The concept of synthetic hydrocarbons, is not about making hydrocarbons,
    but utilizing and elegant method of storage.
    We would not need a new infrastructure, to handle this new storage method, it's already in place.

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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    I may be misunderstanding you. You argue for ending oil subsidies. I agree. I see no mention of ending other energy subsidies. I agree, let anyone buy any car that suits their needs, but the subsidy for the Volt is intended to tilt the playing field. If the real cost, including development costs subsidized by government were factored in, not to mention the funds expended in just keeping GM afloat, even the government would not be a purchaser.

    The same goes for the subsidies for alternate energy. It is intended to make oil costs similar to other forms of energy. Alternate cannot stand on its own, much of it never will. In the meantime, cheap NG and less expensive oil is available if the government keeps out of it. Government presently has apparently eased up on nuclear construction permits, but I will wait to pass judgement until the first KW rolls out of the plant. Plenty of other ways to stall anything the government wants to.
    Well, I don't know how much of the GM bailout went in to developing the Volt, do you? The bailout was for the whole company, not just the Volt project.

    Alternative energies such as wind and solar need battery storage before they can stand on their own. But other solutions like industrial flywheel systems can hold energy for up to 3 days with little energy loss. Still, it's a good idea to have base energy systems like nuclear and NG plants that can run 24/7. Other alternative energies like wave, hydro-electric, and thermal-electric can also run 24/7 and need no such backup.

    Economically, it is ridiculous to think that wind and solar can never compete with fossil systems for price. The price for both is dropping like a stone. Already, wind is competitive with coal, and in some instances, is less expensive than coal. Solar is getting there. As more manufacturing facilities become available and larger orders are placed, the price will continue to drop. We've witnessed this with practically every new technology to ever appear on the market. I don't understand how people could be unaware of this.

    Even though the price for alternatives is coming down, it still needs time to develop. You suggest eliminating subsidies for both fossil fuels and alternative (and doing this right now) and seeing who wins. On the surface that may seem like a fair test. Well we all know that's a trap, don't we? Oil has 100 years advantage of development time and during that time it's only competition was the horse. No real competition, in other words. Manufacturers for the various oil equipment have been operating full swing for 100 years with a guaranteed market. Alternative energies are only gaining traction for the last ten years with severe competition (not just the horse in this case) from oil, and a market uncertain about changing over. So eliminating subsidies and then testing the market isn't a true test. A true test would have both developed simultaneously with no existing infrastructure and no supporting manufacturing facilities. In such an instance alternative energy costs would beat oil costs by several orders of magnitude. Consider the following...

    I want to make enough energy to power 100 cars for one year. Let's assume the cars for both gas and electric are already ready, but absolutely nothing else. We assume this because we're only interested in comparing the source energies, not the cars.

    To produce Gasoline from fossil fuel (oil), we must do the following:
    1. Spend millions of dollars looking for oil with satellites and highly trained geologists
    2. Having found the oil, spend millions of dollars drilling for the oil with highly trained and expensive specialists and expensive, unique equipment.
    3. Having successfully drilled the oil I need to build a pipeline or supertanker to move the oil to the refinery, and spend millions of dollars building these things
    4. Spend many millions of dollars building a refinery
    5. Spend millions of dollars building a fleet of trucks to ship the gasoline to various points where the cars can use them. This is my distribution phase. Note: that I do NOT add in the already existing highway system cost.
    6. Spend many millions of dollars making gas stations where the cars can get their energy
    Done.

    To produce Electricity from Alternatives, we must do the following
    1. Spend millions of dollars building a solar plant.
    2. Spend LESS than a million getting power lines from the plant to the already existing power lines (remember I didn't add for building highways either).
    3. I could build charging stations, but most cars are charged up at home using their own money, so I don't pay for it.
    Done.

    This is only an example so it's rather simple, but I think it clearly demonstrates that oil-based energy requires FAR more infrastructure and FAR more startup costs than solar or wind plants. Oil has operated for more than 100 years with HUGE subsidies every year, and alternatives have only operated for a decade or so with far smaller subsidies. To claim wind and solar are poor tech because they don't compete, this very instant, is like living with blinders on and failing to understand the whole picture.
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    Re: GM Suspending Chevy Volt Output Due To Slow Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by longview View Post
    Yes we have plenty of hydrocarbons, but we have many other means of generating power, nuclear, photovoltaic, wind,...ect.
    All have poor methods of storage.
    A watt of electricity generated, must be used somewhere within a fraction of a second or becomes heat.
    The concept of synthetic hydrocarbons, is not about making hydrocarbons,
    but utilizing and elegant method of storage.
    We would not need a new infrastructure, to handle this new storage method, it's already in place.
    Actually, hydrocarbons have the best storage of all,. You just leave it where it lays until you need it and then pump it out. It has been there for millions of years and is not going anywhere soon. It also stores more BTU's in a given volume and weight after refinement than electricity. Take the vehicle as an example. A typical battery can propel an automobile around 30 or so mile before it runs out of power. The fuel tank, around 400 miiles.

    The problem with electric has always been storage. Like refineries, it is unfeasible to shut the plant down during low need times and fire it up on hot days. Public Service of Colorado built some 60 years ago a system where a reservoir which was filled with pumps which utilized otherwise wasted electricity and the water used to turn generators when the power was needed. I don't know if that concept is still in use or not. It is my understanding that the proposed but never built Bay of Fundy concept operated on the same concept. Dam the bay, let the tides fill up the reservoir, and generate electricity when needed.

    Of all the currently available energy sources available in the US, natural gas makes the most sense. No real refining is needed, storage is natural and storage at the need location is less of a problem than other forms. As you stated, electricity is used or lost. We have lots of NG, it burns clean, and can be easily and safely usilixzed in a variety of ways.

    I would guess that the NG creation and storage system being proposed in Germany is simply using wind to provide electricity and using NG as a storage for the reasons outlined above. I don't know the resources in Germany, but they may have more wind and the problem is storage. Here it seems to me to be manufacturing something that already have in abundance. Methane is easy to manufacture. You just stick a pipe in a mass of organic waste and it flows out. Put a bucket under the spigot and you have a system. Turn off the spigot when the bucket is full and nothing is lost till you need another bucket. Simplified somewhat, but that is the basic principle. In the German system, the hydrocarbons must come from somewhere, most probably from waste.

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