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Old 10-26-2008, 01:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Oh, and I think your fears are correct - gas prices will kill the volt, but Toyota won't be so nearsighted and we'll have a PHEV from them soon.

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Old 10-26-2008, 03:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I don't think gas prices will kill any of the planned PHEV or EV's. Alot of people travel alot of miles and despite dropping gas prices we are still in a severe financial crisis. Gas prices are nothing compared to Wall St./Main St. and what has happened to the average Joe over the past 18 months. If gas was $1/gal today people would still be in the same situation they are now financially...maybe they would just have an extra $100-200 in their pocket each month. Ask anyone that owns a 401k and planned on retiring in the next 3-5 years. The extra $1/gal they are paying a month is nothing compared to the 30-50% they lost with investments. If it's time to get a new car the PHEV's and EV's are now part of the decision process for a potential car buyer...it's great to have that option. The only thing that will kill the Volt...IS GM!

I saw my first Volt commercial on the tube this weekend...got me excited for the car but anyone not knowing you actually plug it in a standard outlet might not understand just how beneficial it is. They did explain the 40 miles on a single charge well but said nothing about how to charge it. The majority of the commercial was like a normal car ad showing how "cool" the car looked instead of the actual benefits of the car. After all, this is groundbreaking technology...shouldn't they focus on what the car actually does? IMO I think they are trying to play up the look of the car to make it more appealing vs. the prius and it's shape.

Personally, I have no interest in the Volt vs. the PHEV Prius. Toyota has clearly demonstrated the ability to produce a high-quality, reasonably priced EV and for my money I'll be picking up a Toyota Prius PHEV in 2010.

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Old 10-26-2008, 03:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
It's only be 50% higher at current estimates and, as you know, perception measures the failure or success of any car. If Tesla's Model S is out there kicking butt and everyone wants to drive it, they'll all be asking "if this volt is an electric car why isn't it like this?" and decide to wait for something better.
The lack of an extensive dealer and SERVICE network will relegate the Teslas to mere oddity status. Check their website. They HOPE to open 2 east coast "stores" by 2010. In the FAQs they state that, as of this moment, if you have a service issue and you don't live near the factory, you have to ship your car for service. Tesla makes expensive toys. It has as much impact on the average car buying public as the latest offerings from Maserati.

The Volt is far closer to reality than the Model S. The Volt will be well established as the American alternative to the plug-in Prius long before an S rolls out of the factory.

To re-ask my question from the Model S picture thread:

When was the last SUCCESSFUL car company startup without a major manufacturuer supporting them?
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Supertrooper -

I agree 100% that the Volt WILL be available in 2010 and will establish itself as the American alternative to the Prius (if it hasn't already...a few road miles under it's belt with no major flaws will help the line as nothing of this type has ever been mass-produced). Every once in awhile us Americans as a group jump on the "buy American" train in a specific class of products.

However, I will be SHOCKED if it proves itself to be equal or superior to the Prius or any other PHEV line of vehicles. If I had to purchase a PHEV today it would be the Prius. Much like candidates for an election, there's alot of time between now and Day 1 so hopefully the Volt can win my "vote" before I decide to make the purchase.

Here's some good news in the PHEV battery world...targeting September of 2009 for their technology to be available in 2010 line of PHEV vehicles to reduce consumer cost...also backed by US Government Grant funding...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9780680-7.html
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just did some digging to see how the Volt and PHEV Prius differ. The Prius will keep the current 1.5 L engine, but increase the electric motor hp so that it can reach 62 mph on electric alone provided you are easy on the throttle. Beyond that it's unclear if the engine would run to recharge the battery while providing propulsion, or just provide propulsion once the battery is expended. Current PHEV prototypes run a double Ni-mH battery pack and get about 7 miles to a charge. Like everybody else Toyota is waiting for Li-ion batteries to show their promise of increased range vs a similarly sized Ni-mH. Toyota is having huge concerns about heat management and quality control.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I am more worried about GM going into bancrupcy before launching the volt than the oil price killing it ...

anybody reading economic news these days?

the current crisis is hitting HARD, and GM was nearly in coma before the crisis started.

How hard the crisis is hitting?

Volvo Trucks (Euro-Division)

3Q 07: 42.000 units on order
3Q 08: 151 units on order

(no, there is no typo in the example ).

cheers
al
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:06 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Gm's volt if it ever makes it into production prior to GM's shutdown in a year or two due to its bankruptcy is just a smokescreen. Just like the EV1, GM's stated plans are to produce it in rather limited quanitities and siphon them in specific markets slowly. Which could well mean another EV1 fiasco, they even talk about only leasing vehicles.

Haven't we had enough of this BS? GM wouldn't have to worry about being bankrupt if it would have simply continued making high MPG vehicles and improving upon them instead of getting the bugs out then discontinuing the line. Ever hear of the 1st gen cititation? One of my friends owned one of the original year end models and was getting right around 40mpg. GM called him in on a recall and said the carburator was experimental and must be replaced. His mileage dropped 5mpg after the "Fix" GM discontinued the line after they finally got the physical problems worked out with the thing. He drove it 150000 miles and sold it in 92. Some were duds but others worked just fine.

GM could already have the EV1 in main production, the engineering staff estimated it could be built for as little as $19k in a lead acid format (more for NIMH) why not build something that was proven and you already have all the schematics made for? It would be simple to retrofit a small motor into the EV1 to make a series hybrid if thats what they figure we need.

My Rant of the Night...

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