BMWSportTouring

Hybrid Hatred (Volt related)

Posted By: moshe_levy

Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 03:05 AM

All-

I consider this forum to be chock-full of relatively well educated people, and so perhaps the opinions I seek to uncover won’t be as prevalent here. Yet, I am searching in earnest for the root cause of what I perceive to be an honest, deep seated hatred of the move towards efficient automobiles.

I am closesly watching as GM unrolls the Volt, and all the promise it holds to finally put an American car company in a technological leadership position in the Hybrid / EV wars, and yet in looking at various comments on YouTube, or to online blogs, you would think that this is anathema to where the industry is so clearly headed – whether by consumer demand, by force of regulation, or more likely both.

Even here in this very forum, I have once in awhile mentioned my own Prius as we discuss the pure economics of riding vs. driving, and I’m surprised at the sometimes outright anger the car provokes in some people.

Now, naturally, I am well aware that driving an economical car is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I know people with large families or the need to haul cannot scale down. I too hate the sanctimoneous types who try to lecture others about how their car can travel a little further per gallon. I too love the sound and fury of a rip-snortin’ V8-powered sports car as much as any red blooded male does, and I don’t envision a future of bland, wimpy weeny-mobiles as any sort of automotive eutopia.

BUT, I do believe they have their place. I drive mine as part of a larger plan of a way to live my life, to pay as little as I can to King Abdullah even if it means I have to pay a little more for some products. I do it out of a heatfelt political belief that affecting change requires starting with yourself towards the end you’d like to see – in my case, I’d like to see this country become more efficient and less dependent on foreign petroleum, for very obvious reasons. To that end, I put my money where my mouth is, whenever possible.

Finally, after decades of absolutely horrid mismanagement (read Steven Rattner’s “Overhaul” if interested), pilfering by the UAW, and all the other ails which have plagued our Detroit, they seem to be catching onto the undeniable fact that product actually matters. In this case, a product like the Volt helps demonstrate that we CAN leapfrog the competition if we put our minds to it, and put our goal beyond the next quarterly statement - In other words, if we give a damn about the future.

It really, really baffles me why there seems to be cheerleading for it to fail – from Americans, no less, who have nothing to gain from seeing Detroit sink even further into irrelevance. Given the above contraints – what something like the Volt can and cannot do – why are otherwise intelligent people gleefully predicting its demise before the thing even has a chance?

-MKL
Posted By: Killer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 03:29 AM

PRIUS! mad

Actually I think the problem lies not so much with the car, though its performance hinders it, but with the general type of person that drives them. All too often they are to be found clogging the HOV lanes with a single person in them at 55mph, no matter what the speed limit is.
Posted By: mbelectric

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 03:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Killer
PRIUS! mad

All too often they are to be found clogging the HOV lanes with a single person in them at 55mph, no matter what the speed limit is.


Actually, here where I live that's usually the exception and not the rule.

And Moshe, you might want to check out the movie " Who killed the electric car"...

MB>
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 03:59 AM

I don't think there is hatred for hybrids. But, there is a resistance to hybrid technology being forced upon us and the use of public money to support an industry which isn't mature enough to stand on its own. That may account for your perceptions of anomosity towards them.

That said, a lot of people haven't wrapped their minds around the eventual benefits of electric cars - power, performance and control beyond our wildest imagination. Imagine a performance sports car with independant four-wheel linear-electric drive capable of producing 150 horsepower per wheel with an almost flat torque curve. Once the technology arrives, there won't be anything on the planet today which it won't out perform. Same for motorcycles.

And, there is the rub. While the possiblities are tantilizing, the technology simply isn't here yet. Nor is the economics of it. The evolution of electric cars should be allowed to develop on a timeline which fulfills actual market demand. Trust me, when people want them, someone will manufacture them.
Posted By: EddyQ

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 04:24 AM

Moshe, I cannot get excited about any product unless it hits the public for a while. Anything else is marketing BS. So, anyone that tries to convince me that this Volt will lead the industry is just waisting there time. But that is me...

As for GM and Detroit in general. I feel bad for the many folks that are struggling to keep it alive and bring up families in the area. But Detroit being the "car" capitol and efforts to keep it that way doesn't make sense. I'm not saying I'd like to see them sink. I would not. But I'd really like to see some inovation that works coming from the US and it doesn't have to be a company in Detroit. I think there are US companies doing great inovative things and they are ending up in imported and domestic vehicles. Nothing wrong with that.

I really can't see GM overtaking the hybrid field. Look at the track record of many GM "technologies". How can folks get that excited? In the past six weeks I had a rental GM truck while my Toyota frame was getting replaced due to rust. I haven't owned a GM product since early 80's. I just couldn't believe that many of the same annoying things were still pressent with the new truck plus a bunch more. The engine was fine. It drove ok. But I couldn't wait to get my 9 year old Toyota back.

BTW, this Toyota has been the worst Toyota I ever had (I've had three). IMO Toyota has gradually worsened over the years with a loss of innovative things and increase of irritating things (as with the GM). Donno what my next vehicle will be.

I think it is great you have a hybrid. I'd like a more efficient vehicle for the same reasons as you. Back in my college days I had cars that got 35mpg. Loved them. Less gas, less oil, 4 spark plugs, simple to work on and simple to drive. BUT, I use a truck often. Hybrids have been out for quite a while now. It is time to hear about the long term impacts of the technology. Perhaps issues of disposing or replacing batteries. Maybe issues of environmental impacts of manufacturing. So far, I haven't seen earth shattering issues with hybrids. But, just like all the types of batteries, there are good ones and bad ones. Which ones will be in your next hybrid? You will never know for years after you've had it. Still an environmental risk to some extent.
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 04:29 AM

I dont hate the technology of the Prius. My issue with most prius owners and hybrid owners in general is if you ask them the question of why they bought it? The typical uninformed hybrid driver will almost always give the stand-by reason that its for the environment. I dont find hybrids the poster children for a clean environment. The reliance of batteries which by nature have a low efficiency rate and are quite possibly the worst element in a car, isnt what I consider green energy. Most prius owners wouldnt know what nickel foam is if you asked them. The typical reply is, "well it gets 60 mpg". Most have no idea what goes into the making of a hybrid, nor do they undersatand the process of recycling one. People dont look at the manufacturing process or the total energy spent from it svery beggining in manufacturing to the waste it produces on earth. People also tend to think that plugging into a wall outlet is free energy but have no idea where the electricity comes from. The majority of electricity in the US comes from coal, natural gas and nuclear....all really green sources..huh? To me the hybrid is just so hypocritical in nature. If people were really interested in saving the world, cars like the corolla and civic are much better choices. I understand that Hybrids are in their early phases of technology but dont preach to me about how your saving the earth with a hybrid. Its just more propoganda put forth by treehuggers. I am in no way protesting using technology to increase fuel economy and lower emmisions, but I am in protest of smoke and mirrors that spending more money on a hybrid is going to save the world.
Posted By: pbbeck

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 04:39 AM

My distaste for the Prius rests with those misinformed, "Greener-Than-Thou" owners who actually believe that their Priuses (Prii?) are saving the environment. I'm thinking about the ignorant Prius owner who asked me why I ride a gas guzzling motorcycle after I parked next to him in a parking lot.

Do Prius owners really think that their choice of vehicle is saving the environment? Do they know what it takes to produce the batteries in their cars? How about the disposal of said batteries after they've outlived their usefulness? And just where and how do they think electric energy is produced? With respect to pollution, hybrid cars only shift the source of pollution away from the driver. That helps the Greener-Than-Thous to sleep better at night.

EDIT: In two weeks, hybrid cars will no longer be able to use the HOV lanes here in CA. Those exemption stickers expire at the end of 2010.
Posted By: FlyingFinn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 04:59 AM

Originally Posted By: pbbeck
Do Prius owners.... And just where and how do they think electric energy is produced? With respect to pollution, hybrid cars only shift the source of pollution away from the driver.


I don't know what "they" think but I think in a HYBRID car the electricity is produced right there under the hood of the car.
No polution being produced enywhere else.
Plug-in electrics are obviously a different deal but you were talking aobut hybrids.

Originally Posted By: pbbeck
In two weeks, hybrid cars will no longer be able to use the HOV lanes here in CA. Those exemption stickers expire at the end of 2010.

Wrong again. Unfortunately the exception to allow single-ocupant hybrids on the HOV lane has already been extended.

--
Mikko
Posted By: Groanup

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 05:08 AM

Personally, I don't "hate" hybrids...

I'm just holding out for something like this...

Honda FCX Clarity
Posted By: pbbeck

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 05:25 AM

Originally Posted By: FlyingFinn
Originally Posted By: pbbeck
Do Prius owners.... And just where and how do they think electric energy is produced? With respect to pollution, hybrid cars only shift the source of pollution away from the driver.


I don't know what "they" think but I think in a HYBRID car the electricity is produced right there under the hood of the car.
No polution being produced enywhere else.
Plug-in electrics are obviously a different deal but you were talking aobut hybrids.

Originally Posted By: pbbeck
In two weeks, hybrid cars will no longer be able to use the HOV lanes here in CA. Those exemption stickers expire at the end of 2010.

Wrong again. Unfortunately the exception to allow single-ocupant hybrids on the HOV lane has already been extended.

--
Mikko



Actually, the extension of CA SB 535, signed by the governor on 07/07/2010 specifically applies to full electric vehicles and those that run on natural gas. Hybrids are excluded. I'm wrong sometimes, but not this time.

In term of shifting the pollution source, I was thinking about battery production which admittedly I did not articulate well. Prius batteries contain nickel which is mined in Ontario, Canada. It is then shipped by good ol' fashioned dirty diesel-powered ships to China to be processed. It is then shipped again by (you guessed it) diesel-powered ship to Japan for battery production. Talk about a big "environmental footprint."

With respect to my electricity comment, I was referring to plug-in hybrids - which appear to be the direction this segment of the green vehicle market is moving.

Quoted from this article:

--
A study by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found plug-ins also could result in more sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. SO2 is toxic in large amounts and is a component of corrosive acid rain.

The Minnesota study found that use of PHEVs would lower most emissions compared with other vehicles, but that resulting SO2 emissions would be more than double those from gasoline vehicles and about three or four times greater than from driving a regular hybrid. Exactly how much depends on how far the PHEV can run on battery power alone.

The Minnesota study also found that PHEVs would emit more carbon dioxide (CO2) than driving a conventional hybrid. CO2 is a greenhouse gas thought to contribute to global warming.

The Minnesota numbers are striking because they predict the big jump in SO2 even if 40% of the state's electricity were generated by wind power, not coal or other polluting fuels. About 4% of the state's electricity now is from wind, according to state officials.

As for your first counterpoint, one could argue that the pollution generated by the production and disposal of hybrid cars outweighs the benefits of reduced fuel usage during the service life of the car.
--
Posted By: Twisties

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 05:49 AM

For us in the West, where inversion in valleys traps air pollution locally, creating severe impacts, use of a plug in electric offers a means to export pollution from population centers, reducing local air pollution. Similarly high mpg vehicles also provide an air quality benefit.

It's true that coal has got to go, and cleaner sources of electricity, especially non-greenhouse renewables, have to be phased in, but I think that change is coming and demand from plug in's will only push it. With vehicles having a ten plus year lifetime, I wouldn't assume today's electric generation profile will apply over the life of the vehicle.

We bought our present fleet of cages in the 2002-2003 time frame with the idea that they would be our last traditionally fueled cages. We are pleased to see that alternatives are beginning to arrive, but we're targeting out a few more years before we do any looking. So I'm only generally familiar with the current line-up.

Prius' 50 mpg is nice, not earth shattering, but nice. On the down side I think the batteries issues (maintenance costs and disposal), and some of the other materials issues are questionable. I might rather have an EU style high efficiency diesel (now that they run clean) with comparable mpgs. I haven't looked at the Volt.

I applaud these early adopters. Their investment will drive the future of more efficient transportation in the US.

I'd really like to see the compressed air car, and a few more alternatives show up in the US.

Why do some love to deride these vehicles or their owners? Makes no sense at all to me.
Posted By: pbharvey

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 06:06 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

It really, really baffles me why there seems to be cheerleading for it to fail – from Americans, no less, who have nothing to gain from seeing Detroit sink even further into irrelevance. Given the above contraints – what something like the Volt can and cannot do – why are otherwise intelligent people gleefully predicting its demise before the thing even has a chance?

-MKL


I don't think people want the car to fail because they hate the car. I think people hate the idea of the government telling us what kind of car we want. Somehow, to me anyway, the Volt seems like its being shoved down our throat. The Tesla, however, seems more like a free enterprise deal. I could be way off but that's how I feel.

The Tesla is sweet looking

Posted By: Deadboy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 06:38 AM

This little piece of info really impressed me, I mean the buyers of these cars aren't exactly in need of a subsidy:

The car costs about $35,000, but state and federal incentives have cut what he paid to about $22,500.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/dec/13/nissan-turns-over-a-new-leaf-to-its-owner/

And apparently a lot of Leaf buyers are switching over from a Prius, so that it isn't exactly a big increase in the over all fleet average.

http://www.plugincars.com/nissan-expects-prius-owners-trade-leaf.html


Hate em? No really, just not as impressed as many of em seem to think I should be.

Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 01:24 PM

Hybrids cause smug.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzQBz3h5gnc&feature=related
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 02:13 PM

Originally Posted By: upflying


LOL, Southpark has a fabulous way of exposing the truth's of society. Parker and Stone should be Time Magazine's Men of the Year.
Posted By: Mike

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 02:35 PM

I don't hate hybrids, but I do have a handful of personal objections. First, given the added cost, when compared to the benefit of improved gas mileage, it just doesn't add up for me. I know it might for some, particularly when tax incentives are factored in, but not for me.

I'm also more than a bit peeved when I hear talk of preferred parking places, HOV access for single-rider hybrids, and the like. Again, it seems to me that it's more a matter of bending to fashion than really rewarding energy conservation. Should the guy driving a 22 mpg Escalade hybrid really be treated as an environmental hero above the gal who drives a 36 mpg Honda Civic?

And, in all of this, where is the consideration of the overall environmental impact, cradle-to-grave?

These considerations also apply, I think, to the electric-only vehicles, like the Volt. It's really stunning technology, but does it make sense for me? Or, more broadly, is the environmental impact really as positive as is touted by GM? As far as I can tell, the electrics all impose some significant cost/performance penalty. Yes, the Tesla is a rip-snorting road machine, but I've read multiple accounts of owners running out of juice in less than 100 miles. For me, that's a major failure.

It's great that the car companies are exploring these technologies. However, I'm not convinced that any of them really make sense for me. I'd opine that if most buyers actually examined the facts they'd come to the same conclusion.

The era of fossil fuel-powered vehicles will come to an end, but I am far from convinced that electric/hybrid technology is the answer. For me, at this point, it definitely is not.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 03:17 PM

All-

Thank you for the feedback. I can see at first glance that a good deal of feelings both pro and con are based on an enormous amount of incorrect assumptions. To this end, some of the blame must fall to the manufacturers for failing to educate the public about the technical aspects of some of these vehicles – on the other hand, the more you advertise and treat it “like a regular car,” the less intimidating it is for consumers other than “early adopters” to consider one. I’m going to touch on a few of these, in an attempt to play devil’s advocate and keep this discussion going:

>>>you might want to check out the movie " Who killed the electric car"...<<<<

I have, and to the extent that some aspects of the movie are true, it highlights most of what is wrong with GM. However, the lead acid technology used in the EV1 doesn’t hold a candle to the newer Lithium Ion packs now being utilized.

>>>The evolution of electric cars should be allowed to develop on a timeline which fulfills actual market demand. Trust me, when people want them, someone will manufacture them.<<<<
There are several serious fallacies to this argument, chief among them the assumption that market timeline and product development are in synch. They are most definitely not. When gas spiked in 2007-2008, Detroit found itself with nothing to offer beyond the huge, heavy SUVs that up until then were all the market rage for nearly a decade. Overnight an external factor (fuel prices) moved consumers to fuel efficient cars which the Japanese were all too happy to provide. (Incidentally, for awhile as the spike first hit used Prii were fetching more than new ones since there was a waiting list as the gas prices spiked – supply fell well short of demand until production in Japan caught up). It takes 4-6 years to bring a new product to market, while market conditions can change dramatically in a few days. Once your customers try another brand, they may never return. That was the lesson of the last fuel crunch to Detroit, and they paid attention, thankfully.

>>>It is time to hear about the long term impacts of the technology.<<<

The info is out there for those who seek it. The first Prius went on sale in 1997 model year, so it is now a full 14 model years old. It went on sale in the US circa 2001. I’m not sure about other manufacturers, but Toyota *claims* to have a program in place with Panasonic (traction battery manufacturer) to recycle all batteries which are brought in for replacement. By the way, the traction battery carries with it an 8 year / 100k warranty. I believe in CA, it’s even more coverage by state law, something like 10 years / 150k miles – way more than the usual 3/36k powertrain warranty, so I would think the battery is the last thing you’d worry about. Beyond the recent sticking pedal recall, the car has consistently ranked on the high side of Consumer Reports and other reliability surveys, and here they’re used as Taxis in New York City, some with 200-300k on the clock in NYC no less. This, again, is a failure of the manufacturers to adequately explain the real risk of using batteries in the technology.

>>>People also tend to think that plugging into a wall outlet is free energy but have no idea where the electricity comes from. The majority of electricity in the US comes from coal, natural gas and nuclear....all really green sources..huh?<<<<

This is aimed more toward a plug in like the Volt or Leaf, less to a Prius which as of now is not a mass-produced plug in (the gas engine is used to recharge the on board traction battery seamlessly). Here we can agree and disagree together. Is coal, natural gas, or nuclear “green”? Certainly not. Going beyond environmental concerns and delving into political ones, is using homegrown energy sources like coal, natural gas, or nuclear preferable to being reliant on Middle Eastern nations for petroleum? I think there the answer is quite obvious – my main reason for supporting this technology is political, not environmental, though I can tout some environmental benefits as well.

>>>I think people hate the idea of the government telling us what kind of car we want.<<<<

Some may hate it. But some applaud the idea that as a nation, we need to change some of our habits because they have long term implications which affect all of us. I ask the crowd who is hostile towards the subsidies hybrids receive to explain exactly why keeping the status quo reliance on oil addiction from the likes of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Venezuela, and other such “friends” of ours is a defensible position. To me, it simply is not – rather, weaning us off of this is literally a matter of national security. There are good points to be made on both sides of this argument, but a sound bite type answer of “excess government involvement” is not a solution and definitely does not address the complexities of the issue.

>>>As far as I can tell, the electrics all impose some significant cost/performance penalty. Yes, the Tesla is a rip-snorting road machine, but I've read multiple accounts of owners running out of juice in less than 100 miles. For me, that's a major failure.<<<<

We are witnessing the automotive equivalent of BETAMAX / VHS wars now. Do pure Electric Vehicles (EV) like Tesla and Leaf make sense? Their range is limited, but they are more efficient than a Volt or Prius, the latter group having to lug around a 400 pound gas engine which isn’t always used. Does the Volt concept make sense, which in effect gives one range to drive on battery for about 2x the average American’s commute to work? Does the original parallel / series hybrid Prius concept make more sense than either? The market is determining that as we speak.

The impacts are everywhere, including that “MPG” may already be an obsolete term, replaced with “CPM” or Cents Per Mile. Driving on gas in a typical car is about 12-15 cents per mile. On pure electric given average national rates is closer to 3-5 cents per mile. Going further, even if the payoff is years in the making, I’d rather give that payoff to Chevy or Toyota or Nissan as a reward for the technology than to King Abdullah for funding more of his “activities.” Economics isn’t everything unless you’re living in a vacuum.

It’s a long and fascinating argument, fraught with politics, but it’s one worth having, that’s for sure!

-MKL
Posted By: plext

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 03:22 PM

Always having been one to break continuity I'll happily say that I do hate hybrids.

They fail at what they are supposed to do insomuch as they are not any better than any other vehicle from an ecomental point of view as pointed out many times already. As far as I am concerned they are nothing better than a great marketing exercise which on the whole amounts to a confidence trick.

The batteries have a short lifecycle and replacement costs are getting up there with replacement of the whole vehicle.

Why are they nearly always so damned ugly? If we're going to drive slowly in inprobably heavy vehicles with loss inducing power transmission methods, why can't we at least look stylish while doing so?

To continue with this type of powertrain is to my mind foolish and self deluding at best. Hydrogen cells and perhaps even reciprocating engines for those of us that don't really want to give them up are clearly the way forward.

I decry hybrids and repudiate any planet saving claims made about them.

Yes, yes. I'll go away and take my tablets now.
Posted By: Harry_Wilshusen

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 03:23 PM

My beef with Hybrids is the subsidies they receive. The direct taxpayer subsidy to both the manufacturer and the buyer. Since our roads are built and maintained primarily by the gas tax they receive an indirect subsidy for road usage.

My Beef with Hybrid OWNERS is that many of them watch the MPG display instead of the MPH display. Many times when riding with my sister I wanted to push her foot down on to the gas pedal especially when starting from a stop light. I wanted to put a "VOTE --------" bumper sticker on her car thinking that she might p--- off enough undecided voters to swing an election.

Harry
Posted By: Quinn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 04:05 PM

Okay, so whatever happened to trolleys? Looks like they should be making a comeback. Maybe not the ubiquitous overhead wires, but what about in-route charging stations or charging lanes on some streets?

I remember the first gas crisis in the 70's with gas lines and even and odd fillup days. I remember a Black leader getting attention because he said the gas crisis was a White conspiresy because only rich White people could afford to go buy new fuel efficient cars. Poor Blacks were stuck with the old guzzlers and that was keeping them down. Guess he'd be even more upset now with the White Congress using his people's tax money to subsidize designing, building, and buying the hybrids and electrics.

----
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 04:40 PM



More goodness in the form of a hybrid. Linky for drooling.
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

>>>People also tend to think that plugging into a wall outlet is free energy but have no idea where the electricity comes from. The majority of electricity in the US comes from coal, natural gas and nuclear....all really green sources..huh?<<<<

This is aimed more toward a plug in like the Volt or Leaf, less to a Prius which as of now is not a mass-produced plug in (the gas engine is used to recharge the on board traction battery seamlessly). Here we can agree and disagree together. Is coal, natural gas, or nuclear “green”? Certainly not. Going beyond environmental concerns and delving into political ones, is using homegrown energy sources like coal, natural gas, or nuclear preferable to being reliant on Middle Eastern nations for petroleum? I think there the answer is quite obvious – my main reason for supporting this technology is political, not environmental, though I can tout some environmental benefits as well.


Cars like the Honda fit, Toyota corolla, Ford Fiesta and civic HX all do virtually the same thing, "politically" as most hybrids without the need to exploite low efficent batteries, and are cheaper to produce with less overall footprint on the evironment. Again, your objection simply refers to the fuel economy of a hybrid to justify it, which is a pretty standard defense mechanism by hybrid owners. As noted by others and myself, the envoronmental footprint is just a shift in pollution. You fail to look at the large picture. You state the higher fuel economy of a hybrid reduces the need for foreign oil, yet you fail to mention the transportation in the making of a NiMH battery? What does the transportation of that nickel use? Oil.....smoke and mirrors!

The Li-ion batteries are a huge step in hybrids but even a 2010 prius didnt fully convert to Li-ion, it still uses a main battery pack of NiMH. The technology in a hybrid is incredible, and as a mechanical engineer, I cant disclaim that. However, the way its being marketed is completely false, and the treehuggers cling to this false information and preach it as if driving a hybrid will really save the earth. I realize hybrids are an emerging technology and it has to start somewhere. Just dont try selling me a pack of lies about it being better for the environment in its current state. IMO, the false advertisement is what has really brought down the image of hybrids. Well....that and the treehugging hippies with mass amounts of liberal based bumper stickers all over them. I would post an image I have of a prius, but I am affraid it might get me banned again becasue of its political stickers.
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 04:58 PM

How about electric motorcycles. Are they any for a reasonable price that can actually maintain 70 MPH on a moderate hill 6% grade (or face certain death from the cages) and still have an effective range of 50 miles, so my 25 mile round trip commute does not deep cycle the battery and shorten it's life. They need a bit of wind protection, I am not talking barn door, but at least like my RS. ABS brakes and some extra power to run heated gear is really nice, since I am an abs lover.

Rod
Posted By: Albert

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 05:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Killer
PRIUS! mad

Actually I think the problem lies not so much with the car, though its performance hinders it, but with the general type of person that drives them. All too often they are to be found clogging the HOV lanes with a single person in them at 55mph, no matter what the speed limit is.


So Bob, what's the rule on Torrey's HOV lanes? Does, for instance, a person and a goat count or do all the occupants have to be human? dopeslap rofl
Posted By: Killer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 05:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Albert
Originally Posted By: Killer
PRIUS! mad

Actually I think the problem lies not so much with the car, though its performance hinders it, but with the general type of person that drives them. All too often they are to be found clogging the HOV lanes with a single person in them at 55mph, no matter what the speed limit is.


So Bob, what's the rule on Torrey's HOV lanes? Does, for instance, a person and a goat count or do all the occupants have to be human? dopeslap rofl
Must have two occupants, but they can both be goats...
Posted By: azkaisr

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 05:53 PM

My company (though not the area I work in) is probably one of the main players in the turbo charger marketplace and while I hate Prius' mostly for the same reason as Bob does, it also is interesting to see that there is technology out there that is more in tune with our lifestyle.

A press release from our company from 12/2/2010...

Quote:
Honeywell Gasoline Turbocharger Technology Challenging Many Top Hybrids For Better Fuel Economy

Turbocharged Chevrolet Cruze Eco Beats Several Hybrids and Smaller Vehicles with 42 MPG Highway


PLYMOUTH, MI – December 2, 2010 – Honeywell’s (NYSE: HON) turbocharged Chevrolet Cruze Eco engine is putting pricier—and less efficient—hybrids and other compact vehicles on notice with a best-in-class 42 mpg highway rating from the U.S. EPA. With the benefits of the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, the fuel economy in the Cruze Eco will significantly outpace several midsized hybrid sedans in highway fuel economy ratings.

“Small gasoline turbocharged vehicles will play a huge role in the future of the US auto industry as automakers develop cars that meet drivers’ needs for better fuel economy, without compromising performance or price,” said Alex Ismail, President and CEO of Honeywell Transportation Systems. “The Cruze is a great example of a vehicle that refuses to compromise on fuel efficiency, affordability and fun-to-drive responsiveness.”

Honeywell expects penetration of turbocharged gasoline vehicles to reach up to 20 percent of all vehicles sold in the US by 2015, and expects the US market for all turbocharged vehicles to grow from nearly one million vehicles sold today to more than four million in five years. Honeywell currently provides turbocharger technology on twenty gas and diesel vehicles in the U.S. including the Ford Flex and Taurus SHO, Lincoln MKS and MKT, and a number of Audi, Mercedes and BMW models in addition to the Chevy Cruze Eco.

Honeywell Turbo Technologies is the leading automotive turbocharger developer in the world, and is a business unit of Honeywell Transportation Systems. As a leading automotive supplier, Honeywell Transportation Systems enhances vehicle performance, efficiency and appearance through state-of-the-art technologies.

Honeywell International (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.

This release contains forward-looking statements as defined in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements about future business operations, financial performance and market conditions. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties inherent in business forecasts as further described in our filings under the Securities Exchange Act.




Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 06:22 PM

“Hate” would be too strong of a word for my option, but I can tell you why I have some trepidations about the whole hybrid and/or electric car subject, some of which have already been touched on. There are several areas:

1) From the environmental perspective I think they are a false profit. The energy consumption pollution perspective, that is the pollution caused by generating the electricity they ultimately consume (I’m talking about plug ins like the Volt or Leaf) is at least as damaging as direct consumption of gas/diesel.
2) Also from the environmental perspective, I have some concerns about the total life cycle contribution to pollution of the vehicle. Battery production up front is intensely polluting and battery disposal at end of life is a real question mark if battery equipped vehicles ever reach a majority position.
3) I also cringe at the efforts to use the technology to enhance so called ‘performance’ i.e. go faster faster, rather than true efficiency of transporting people. Do we really need a 180hp electric assisted sedan to get groceries when 85ph would do? Just think if most of these vehicles trumped as energy efficient hybrids were truly designed with energy efficiency being the primary design consideration.

4) But most importantly, I also have serious concerns that the movement (to hybrids and electrics) fosters a perception that the ongoing phenomenon of personal transportation is long-term sustainable on the planet. In IMHO it’s the wrong message. We should be paying more attention to methods to move humans around more efficient and effectively than one or two at a time. Or better still, ways to reduce the need for people to move around so much (e.g. daily) to accomplish things.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.

Do we really need a 180hp electric assisted sedan to get groceries when 85ph would do?


By the way...how fast does your GS go?
Posted By: CoarsegoldKid

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 06:43 PM

This thread has gotten a bit off target as it was "Volt related". Prius shouldn't be in the conversation. If I understand the Volt hybrid the vehicle runs on electricity and charges the battery with a gasoline engine for an extended range. Plug-in is still required so it would take you two days to drive the 425 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco. A stop at the Madonna Inn perhaps is in order. Not my cup of tea. It would make a fine daily commuter however. I don't understand why people hate them or their owners or Toyota(there I did it) hybrids for that matter. For the record my vehicles including my riding mower are gas powered. I believe electric cars have a place in today's commuter car market. They will only get better. Are they good for the environment is a common question? No doubt batteries will have to be recycled as they are on all vehicles. On the fuel side I think they are economical but maybe not in all cases. We shouldn't condemn everyone. The energy needs for producing a gas burning vehicle vs. the Volt needs to be addressed to weight the overall benefit. For instance if an owner has PV on his roof that exceeds his home's needs his vehicle is at least partially powered by the sun not by fossil fuel. The more PV the more sun powered it becomes. Is that economical? No, not now, maybe many years later it will be but it's clean energy non-the-less. You can't spend other peoples money. If it's the right thing to do for them why call them hippy tree huggers. Maybe they don't like the smell of gas stations or stepping in fuel. Maybe they don't like the looks of diesel VWs. Is owning a 40K dollar pick-up truck with a 20K camper on the bed economical when motels are nearly everywhere? No, they're not, but campers are convenient. Do you make fun of them for it? Probably you just dislike that they are impeding your passage up the two lane mountain road.

These Volt owners have something you don't. So what. Let them be.
Posted By: lawnchairboy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 06:53 PM

beat me to it.
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 07:13 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Originally Posted By: Ken H.

Do we really need a 180hp electric assisted sedan to get groceries when 85ph would do?


By the way...how fast does your GS go?


+1...why do we have liter plus BMW's when there are 50cc scooters out there? Its a matter of want. Why do people have 2000+sqft houses when a 500 sqft apartment will suffice? When someone asks me why I dont drive a prius, I simply respond that when they make a 4x4 prius that can tow my boat and haul 2000+lbs, then let me know. The majority of hybrid applications in full size vehicles have been a miserable failure IMO. Ford has supposidly been working on a hydraulic hybrid that seems interesting. It forgoes the need for mass amounts of batteries and uses hydraulic accumulators to store energy which is by far more efficient than batteries. Its similar to the current workings of UPS and Fed Ex hybrids. It was scheduled to be released in 2011, but my last discussion with a Ford employee was that its being shelfed due to the economy becasue their research shows that consumers arent willing to pay more for a hybrid truck. At this point, the cost of the high pressure fittings put the cost of the system beyond a standard F-150.

Personally, I am bit suprised we arent seeing more diesels, or hybrid diesels.
Posted By: tobyzusa

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 07:41 PM

Last year, when I shared my sad story that I was getting a divorce after 22 years of marriage, a prominent board member here empathetically said, " Just tell me one thing, did she get the Prius"? When I answered, "Yep", he then said, "Well, it's all good then"! ....and you know who you are rofl!
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 08:18 PM

Originally Posted By: azkaisr
Turbocharged Chevrolet Cruze Eco Beats Several Hybrids and Smaller Vehicles with 42 MPG Highway.

Including the Chevy Volt. tongue

I think the big selling/hating point with the Prius is that it has a distinctive look -- drive one, and you are making a statement. Drive a Ford Fusion or a Honda Civic hybrid, and nobody knows unless they look closely at the badges. At least in the urban area in which I live, most people who choose to drive a SUV also do so to make a statement, and there are many who feel hostility toward them on sight, even though a Corvette or Rolls may actually get worse gas mileage. Annoying drivers can be found in all sorts of vehicles; they're just easier to spot in a Prius or an SUV.

At this time, hybrids make more sense to me than plug-ins (although I would love to take a Leaf for a test drive when they are available in my area) for the same reasons others have pointed out -- the energy to move a plug-in has to come from somewhere. Electricity is not an energy source; it's a transport mechanism, as is hydrogen. What interests me most is the overall efficiency of a vehicle, where it's turbo-diesel, pure electric, or pedal powered, and that can be very difficult to calculate.
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 08:30 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
>>>The evolution of electric cars should be allowed to develop on a timeline which fulfills actual market demand. Trust me, when people want them, someone will manufacture them.<<<<
There are several serious fallacies to this argument, chief among them the assumption that market timeline and product development are in synch. They are most definitely not. When gas spiked in 2007-2008, Detroit found itself with nothing to offer beyond the huge, heavy SUVs that up until then were all the market rage for nearly a decade. Overnight an external factor (fuel prices) moved consumers to fuel efficient cars which the Japanese were all too happy to provide. (Incidentally, for awhile as the spike first hit used Prii were fetching more than new ones since there was a waiting list as the gas prices spiked – supply fell well short of demand until production in Japan caught up). It takes 4-6 years to bring a new product to market, while market conditions can change dramatically in a few days. Once your customers try another brand, they may never return. That was the lesson of the last fuel crunch to Detroit, and they paid attention, thankfully.


It's curious that you would use a temporary condition to illustrate why we need a permanent solution. Fossil (solar actually) fuel has returned to normalized prices since that bubble. The fears of shortages and spiraling prices never materialized beyond the initial bubble. One could argue that had we acted so rashly in response to that event we might have done great damage to an economy which was close to a large recession.

Nope, I stand by my comments. The market will lead the way to hybrid and electric cars (or whatever else comes along) when they eventually become in demand due to innovations in engineering and performance.
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 08:38 PM

Originally Posted By: ragtoplvr
How about electric motorcycles. Are they any for a reasonable price that can actually maintain 70 MPH on a moderate hill 6% grade (or face certain death from the cages) and still have an effective range of 50 miles, so my 25 mile round trip commute does not deep cycle the battery and shorten it's life. They need a bit of wind protection, I am not talking barn door, but at least like my RS. ABS brakes and some extra power to run heated gear is really nice, since I am an abs lover.

Rod


Check out what KTM is doing with electric bikes. Link Link

These guys have a whole lineup. Zero Motorcycles

And, a bunch of others. Link
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 08:51 PM

Originally Posted By: tobyzusa
Last year, when I shared my sad story that I was getting a divorce after 22 years of marriage, a prominent board member here empathetically said, " Just tell me one thing, did she get the Prius"? When I answered, "Yep", he then said, "Well, it's all good then"! ....and you know who you are rofl!


That is not exactly true.

I have the text message right here.

"I sure hope you made her take the Prius"

...and it made you laugh and that was my intent.

BTW....Merry Christmas my good man.
Posted By: Twisties

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 08:59 PM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
>>>The evolution of electric cars should be allowed to develop on a timeline which fulfills actual market demand. Trust me, when people want them, someone will manufacture them.<<<<
There are several serious fallacies to this argument, chief among them the assumption that market timeline and product development are in synch. They are most definitely not. When gas spiked in 2007-2008, Detroit found itself with nothing to offer beyond the huge, heavy SUVs that up until then were all the market rage for nearly a decade. Overnight an external factor (fuel prices) moved consumers to fuel efficient cars which the Japanese were all too happy to provide. (Incidentally, for awhile as the spike first hit used Prii were fetching more than new ones since there was a waiting list as the gas prices spiked – supply fell well short of demand until production in Japan caught up). It takes 4-6 years to bring a new product to market, while market conditions can change dramatically in a few days. Once your customers try another brand, they may never return. That was the lesson of the last fuel crunch to Detroit, and they paid attention, thankfully.


It's curious that you would use a temporary condition to illustrate why we need a permanent solution. Fossil (solar actually) fuel has returned to normalized prices since that bubble. The fears of shortages and spiraling prices never materialized beyond the initial bubble. One could argue that had we acted so rashly in response to that event we might have done great damage to an economy which was close to a large recession.

Nope, I stand by my comments. The market will lead the way to hybrid and electric cars (or whatever else comes along) when they eventually become in demand due to innovations in engineering and performance.


The market can not account for social values. Incentives are appropriate as they value the advantages to society of these developments.
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 09:00 PM



Check out what KTM is doing with electric bikes. Link Link

These guys have a whole lineup. Zero Motorcycles

Zero only goes to 50ish level ground KTM freeride only goes 47ish. Same for the motorcycle com shootout. Low top speeds. Heck down town Joplin with the 30 MPH limit, a 45MPH peak would barely be enough. On my commute on 55 MPH roads, I would be a grill ornament unless I could do 70MPH, uphill. And that may not be enough. People here are so aggressive, and it is a small town, no reason for it. Must be the lead in the environment or small d&$@ syndrome.

Rod


And, a bunch of others. Link [/quote]
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 09:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip
I have the text message right here.

"I sure hope you made her take the Prius"




I have officially had my laugh for the day.....That there's funny...I dont care who you are!
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 09:54 PM

Originally Posted By: CoarsegoldKid
If I understand the Volt hybrid the vehicle runs on electricity and charges the battery with a gasoline engine for an extended range.


Not quite. GM mostly says the volt is a plug-in electric with a gasoline generator which will charge the onboard batteries. So...you can plug it in at home to charge the batteries just like a pure battery electric vehicle like the Leaf, Tesla, the old Rav4 EV, etc. Then when you drive it, as the batteries are depleted,the gasoline engine kicks on and charges the batteries. This is different than the other Hybrids on the market where the gas motor and the batteries can both drive the wheels depending on the situation.

As it turns out, that's not how the Volt works. The Volt's gas motor can (and does, depending on the situation) drive the wheels through a planetary gear system in addition to the electric motor....pretty much exactly like the Prius and all other existing Hybrid vehicles.

So, really...the Volt is just another plug-in Hybrid. I don't think that's how GM intended it to be, but that's how it turned out.

GM's Volt FAQ site is quite interesting if you pay attention as you read it.
Posted By: tobyzusa

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 10:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip
Originally Posted By: tobyzusa
Last year, when I shared my sad story that I was getting a divorce after 22 years of marriage, a prominent board member here empathetically said, " Just tell me one thing, did she get the Prius"? When I answered, "Yep", he then said, "Well, it's all good then"! ....and you know who you are rofl!


That is not exactly true.

I have the text message right here.

"I sure hope you made her take the Prius"

...and it made you laugh and that was my intent.

BTW....Merry Christmas my good man.



It made me laugh then and again now! Dang, can't one get away with a little embellishment now and then? Merry Christmas to you and Louise too, Mr. Anonymous Board Member!
Posted By: CoarsegoldKid

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 10:27 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum


GM's Volt FAQ site is quite interesting if you pay attention as you read it.


The dealer should have read the FAQ before going on TV news last night.
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 10:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Twisties
The market can not account for social values. Incentives are appropriate as they value the advantages to society of these developments.


Ummm, there really is no way to respond to that without a kitchen pass from the legal department.
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 10:51 PM

Originally Posted By: ragtoplvr


Check out what KTM is doing with electric bikes. Link Link

These guys have a whole lineup. Zero Motorcycles

Zero only goes to 50ish level ground KTM freeride only goes 47ish. Same for the motorcycle com shootout. Low top speeds. Heck down town Joplin with the 30 MPH limit, a 45MPH peak would barely be enough. On my commute on 55 MPH roads, I would be a grill ornament unless I could do 70MPH, uphill. And that may not be enough. People here are so aggressive, and it is a small town, no reason for it. Must be the lead in the environment or small d&$@ syndrome.

Rod


And, a bunch of others. Link

Don't misunderstand me, these are not ready for primetime. A poster above asked where the electric MC's were.

That said, the KTM is the most intersting. Keep in mind, this is all 1.0 stuff. It will take several model generations before they work the kinks out. And, there is still a lot of technology to overcome. Batteries, fuel cells, ???. I keep looking for hub-drive electric's as a sign of maturity (2-wheel drive dirt bikes?). It's been done before with drive chains, but could be very practical with motors in the wheel hubs.

Porsche has been experiementing with them in their 911 GT3 R Hybrid front wheels to gain more power/traction in cornering. Pretty cool stuff.
Posted By: ghaverkamp

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/15/10 10:53 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
As it turns out, that's not how the Volt works. The Volt's gas motor can (and does, depending on the situation) drive the wheels through a planetary gear system in addition to the electric motor....pretty much exactly like the Prius and all other existing Hybrid vehicles.

So, really...the Volt is just another plug-in Hybrid. I don't think that's how GM intended it to be, but that's how it turned out.


When the truth came out about that, I found that rather disappointing. What GM had been touting, and what I found most interesting about the Volt, was the notion that the fuel source would essentially be pluggable -- drive everything electrically, and it doesn't matter how you get the electricity to the car. Then, come to find out, they gave up on that. (Or never were doing that, but simply led people to believe they were.)

I don't think we can look at the current wave of hybrids as much more than large-scale experiments. However, I'd proffer that these experiments are incredibly useful to move us away from a transportation system that is largely dependent upon a dwindling, foreign-controlled resource. As I keep repeating, we (i.e., the U.S.) would be wise to look askance at oil not only in efforts to be cleaner, but more importantly, to remain sovereign.

Enviro-fundies would hate it, but I'd rather we all ran coal-charged, plug-in electrics than continue our dependence on foreign oil.
Posted By: leikam

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 12:15 AM

I was pretty enthusiastic about the Volt from early reports. I rented a Prius last year for a few days and found it just fine for around town. Assuming a competitive TCO and adequate comfort, a pure electric car would work well for my daily commute. It sounds like the car GM is delivering isn't quite the one I'd imagined but there's no reason I need a gasoline engine to get to work and back.

tl/dr: I like the concept, unsure about the execution.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 12:42 AM

More good stuff, more devil’s advocate:

>>> Cars like the Honda fit, Toyota corolla, Ford Fiesta and civic HX all do virtually the same thing, "politically" as most hybrids without the need to exploite low efficent batteries, and are cheaper to produce with less overall footprint on the evironment. Again, your objection simply refers to the fuel economy of a hybrid to justify it, which is a pretty standard defense mechanism by hybrid owners. As noted by others and myself, the envoronmental footprint is just a shift in pollution. You fail to look at the large picture. You state the higher fuel economy of a hybrid reduces the need for foreign oil, yet you fail to mention the transportation in the making of a NiMH battery? What does the transportation of that nickel use?<<<<

You bring up an interesting point, which may have merit but which, as presented, is still flawed. Firstly, saying that the Fit, Civic, Fiesta, et. al. do “virtually the same thing” as a hybrid Prius or Plug in is like saying an apartment is “virtually the same thing” as a house. Those cars are getting mid-30s to low-40s on the highway, and the Prius is over 50mpg combined, while the Volt is in the triple digits on the EPA’s MPG scale. This is a substantial difference of 20-30% depending on the car, not something to gloss over. Second, the Prius is a legit midsize, not a tiny subcompact econobox that cannot fit 4 adults comfortably.

Third, and most importantly, some of the standard cars you listed (Fiesta especially) are sourced from multiple plants worldwide – engine from this country, suspension from that, interior from there, and so on – the very definition of a “global” car, as Ford calls it. Thus, oil is used to transport those various components to final assembly location – just like the battery in the Prius, rendering the idea of singling out hybrids for the same crime moot. Overall environmental footprint would be great to measure, but I haven’t seen any credible study that says because the nickel battery is transported, that it offsets the Prius’ stellar fuel economy – especially when similar “globally sourced” cars as you listed above are just as guilty. It would take a good deal of effort to quantify this, but on the surface, your argument doesn’t translate into something which compares one car to another, but rather one car to an ideal which doesn’t exist (all components sourced locally). Note I mention Prius here, and Volt’s EPA rating is 2.5x the Prius’, so it is even more difficult to make the case there.

>>> it also is interesting to see that there is technology out there that is more in tune with our lifestyle. <<<

Turbos certainly are taking off! I welcome any technology that increases efficiency and allows cars to stay fun. Hell, if I can drive a fast car with hybrid efficiency, I’m game! I think most others would agree.

>>> If I understand the Volt hybrid the vehicle runs on electricity and charges the battery with a gasoline engine for an extended range. Plug-in is still required so it would take you two days to drive the 425 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco.<<<

Incorrect. The Volt runs on battery for ~40 miles and then the gas engine (generator) kicks in to allow for battery charge and DC, as well as a small amount of propulsion. Total range is well over 300 miles, just like any other car, and you can always buy more gas before plugging in next time – or, as in the case with many, never buy gas for your commute again if it’s under 40 miles.

>>> It's curious that you would use a temporary condition to illustrate why we need a permanent solution. Fossil (solar actually) fuel has returned to normalized prices since that bubble. The fears of shortages and spiraling prices never materialized beyond the initial bubble. One could argue that had we acted so rashly in response to that event we might have done great damage to an economy which was close to a large recession. Nope, I stand by my comments. The market will lead the way to hybrid and electric cars (or whatever else comes along) when they eventually become in demand due to innovations in engineering and performance.<<<<

Steve, there is no executive in any car company, including the most right wing of them, Bob Lutz himself (whom I adore, by the way) who would agree with this statement – in fact publicly, they all say the opposite. Because, as I said before, you cannot produce product on a dime. It takes years to develop, test, and launch. The only permanent solution I advocated, which every manufacturer is following, is a relentless pursuit of higher economy using new technologies. The market leads the way, correct. The writing’s on the wall that if manufacturers do not offer at least some efficient vehicles, they will be out in the cold if another spike hits, not to mention unable to comply with regulations which are growing ever more strict re economy. This means if we want to survive, we see the market 10 years down the line, like Toyota did 15 years ago, not quarter to quarter, like Detroit did (and, to a large extent, still does). In other words, you follow the market as you advocate, and lose (as Detroit has), or you Lead / MAKE the market, and are prepared for the future. The Volt, to me, is a glimmer of hope that Detroit is "getting it."

>>> So, really...the Volt is just another plug-in Hybrid. I don't think that's how GM intended it to be, but that's how it turned out.<<<<

Russ, this is a very oversimplified statement which is sort of out of context and can give the wrong impression. The Volt’s engine can provide propulsion, true, but it is nowhere near as active as, say, the series /parallel gas engine setup in the Prius. They went to extra expense to allow the gas engine to provide propulsion to the extent that it increases the efficiency of the DC drive, mostly at highway speeds. It is not nearly as active across the range, and there is really nothing like it right now in terms of range / tradeoffs. The forthcoming Prius plug-in has a range of ~13 miles, pathetic next to the Volt's claimed 40 miles.

I'm becoming a Volt fan, because it balances the tradeoffs of a traditional hybrid and a true EV - much higher efficiency than any existing hybrid, without the limited range of an electric - and it's American!

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 01:19 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Russ, this is a very oversimplified statement which is sort of out of context and can give the wrong impression. The Volt’s engine can provide propulsion, true, but it is nowhere near as active as, say, the series /parallel gas engine setup in the Prius. They went to extra expense to allow the gas engine to provide propulsion to the extent that it increases the efficiency of the DC drive, mostly at highway speeds. It is not nearly as active across the range, and there is really nothing like it right now in terms of range / tradeoffs. The forthcoming Prius plug-in has a range of ~13 miles, pathetic next to the Volt's claimed 40 miles.


Prius and other existing Hybrids: electric motor to power the wheels. Gas motor to power the wheels and charge the batteries.
Volt: electric motor to power the wheels. Gas motor to power the wheels and charge the batteries.

That's pretty much the same.

I agree the Volt does it better (or...is supposed to do it better...hopefully the real world will validate the manufacturer claims. I know that most Prius owners I've talked to don't get anywhere near the mpg that Toyota was saying they'd get. For example: I don't know a single one that is averaging 50mpg as you claimed.) but it's still pretty much the same thing.

Don't get me wrong...It's an interesting car and I've got a friend who will be getting his fairly soon (he's got his VIN already) and I'll be very interested to see how it does relative to the marketing claims.

But I was pretty disappointed that the real Volt doesn't do what they've been saying it will do for all of these years. If they're willing to lie about something really basic like that, what else are they being dishonest about?
Posted By: lawnchairboy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 01:51 AM

Steve, you can't get the hall pass for what you want to say, but I bet I would have enjoyed reading it.


Enviro-fundies would hate it, but I'd rather we all ran coal-charged, plug-in electrics than continue our dependence on foreign oil.

I agree.
Posted By: mbelectric

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 02:03 AM

Predictable responses from all the usual suspects... grin

For the sake of argument, can we all agree we have to start somewhere? Small steps, maybe a stumble here and there..

Don't worry folks, Uncle Sam doesn't want you out of your dino-cage yet. Big oil still has some money to make.

What's great is that your kids will look at this thread in 50 years and laugh their asses off...

MB>
Posted By: David13

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 02:05 AM

I like Prius.
What I think to be a pathetic waste of 4 cylinders, is a v8.
Power? To race? Where, up to the next stoplight, then stomp on the brakes?
Here the Prius drive way too fast. It would be nice if any of them ever did just 55. I have never seen it here.
I think I would have to be an idiot to stereotype the "Prius driver".
They probably are as different as any other group. Just a little more intelligent.
And less wasteful.
What about all the monster pick ups, and suvs with lousy gas mileage, and one person in them, clogging up the roads, and polluting the air.
That's the smart way to go?
I disagree.
dc
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 02:36 AM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
But I was pretty disappointed that the real Volt doesn't do what they've been saying it will do for all of these years. If they're willing to lie about something really basic like that, what else are they being dishonest about?


Russ, I think that's harsh. History proves you right - GM has traditionally been dishonest, cheap, and short sighted. I have hated them all of my life. However, I don't think I'd characterize the drivetrain as it exists in the Volt production vs. concept as a "lie." They had been VERY vague leading up to launch about several aspects of the car's design, in my opinion rightly so, to thwart the competition from having a heads up for one reason, and because it was a work in progress with a very tight deadline for another. I WANT to believe GM didn't "lie" and I hope I'm right. I don't care either way, because the undeniable fact is, there is nothing out on the market right now which comes close to balancing the tradeoffs, including the upcoming plug-in Prius which will not have 1/3 of the Volt's range. Looks like GM may have, at last, for once, leapfrogged the competition.

Like your friend, I've talked my dad into getting a Volt, as soon as they're available here (within 2 weeks I'm told). It will work for him because the only place he drives is work, 18 miles round trip each day. For him, the Volt means never buying gas again unless a longer trip is involved, and thus doing what is within his power as a citizen to stop supporting Middle Eastern regimes, in addition to supporting American industry as we sputter towards recovery.

I would get one too, but it only seats 4, and my family is (soon to be) 5.

-MKL
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 03:05 AM

Here is an interesting thought. The alcohol laced crap they sell for gasoline is not stable for long times. We fill moms van once a month or so, and have had bad gas problems.

How is a Volt or other plug in hybrid going to deal with some of the owners only needing the gas engine once or twice a year. How will they get the jellied stinking mass in the fuel tank to burn, or will you be stranded. Maybe there will be more alcohol free stations? Or will the alcohol lobby kill that. Will the repair of the fuel system make a battery replacement seem cheap?

Rod
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 03:47 AM

Rod-

They thought of that as well. There is a function for the engine to run through a tank at least once every year (could be 6 months - I forgot) and that's covered in every magazine's road tests over the past few months.

They've thought of alot, not just the obvious. It's been a long time since I was able to think that about an American car. Hope it lives up to the hype.

-MKL
Posted By: Twisties

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 04:12 AM

Quote:
I know that most Prius owners I've talked to don't get anywhere near the mpg that Toyota was saying they'd get. For example: I don't know a single one that is averaging 50mpg as you claimed.) but it's still pretty much the same thing.


Edmunds says a solid 47-48 mpg. The EPA combined rating is 50.

Edmunds - Fuel Sippers Review.

Edmunds also says that it beats out the alternatives for 2010... 2011 may be a whole new ball game.



Posted By: CoarsegoldKid

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 04:20 AM

Now that we have really gone off on a tangent there was an episode of Top Gear where I believe the Stig drove a Prius as fast as he could and Jeremy drove a BMW M something. Jeremy didn't have any difficulty following closely behind. Fuel was measured. The BMW got better fuel mileage. Okay so the Prius wasn't meant to be flogged. Jeremy hates Prius' except for when beautiful actresses drive them. That's all for now. Back to your regularly scheduled program.
Posted By: markgoodrich

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 04:56 AM

I like the Prius, drove one for week. Quiet, comfortable, plenty of storage room. My wife couldn't get comfortable with the seat, though. So I still have my 4 1/2 year old Camry HYBRID. I like it too, and it gets great mileage for a large car. I bought it to save money on gas, but also, and I'm sure this will generate catcalls, because I think those of us who can afford to should step up and be beta testers for the various technologies which we've seen and will be seeing, as we as a nation, and world, begin to wean ourselves from oil. The Camry has been flawless from day one, it's just bigger than I now need, (I bought it before I retired).

The animosity towards owners of abstemious vehicles is a total mystery to me; if I say I'm driving a Fit, there's no disgust, no comments about me being "holier than thou." Yet I'd buy the Fit for the same reason I'd buy a hybrid, to save money on gas...but, as I said, I see an obligation to beta test, to get the vehicles out there, see how they work, let others see they work...and look, here we are 4 1/2 years later and there are hybrids out the wazoo, not at all looking like a 1958 Popular Science cover drawing for the "Car of the Future." The technology is proving worthy. So is the new cleaner diesel technology...any Jetta haters out there?

And, I have photographic evidence of Whip actually riding in a hybrid. He refused to put on his seat belt, though.


Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 05:17 AM

Originally Posted By: markgoodrich
I like the Prius, drove one for week. Quiet, comfortable, plenty of storage room.


I have been in a Prius and I came away with just the oppisite, lots of road noise, uncomfortable and all around a very cheap vehicle. It was a second gen and I understand that they have tried to address this on the 3rd gen. I know I am not the only person to make that claim and the other guy in the prius with me made the same comments. Removing the whole hybrid, like or dislike factor, I felt it was one of the cheapest build quality vehicles I had been it. It reminded me of a basic work fleet vehicle. Although I find Toyotas quality to be poor at best, and before I get flamed for that statement, I am on my second new Toyota with the current one being the worst. Overpriced and underbuilt! My current Toyota is my last.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 07:35 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
But I was pretty disappointed that the real Volt doesn't do what they've been saying it will do for all of these years. If they're willing to lie about something really basic like that, what else are they being dishonest about?


Russ, I think that's harsh.


Probably. I call it the way I see it.

I will say that, even with the lies, the Volt is probably the most interesting car that GM has made in a very long time. I'm very interested to see how the technology plays out. I commute 120 miles/day so fuel efficiency is an important thing to me (as long as the car isn't so boring that it makes me want to kill myself every time I drive it.)


Quote:
They had been VERY vague leading up to launch about several aspects of the car's design, in my opinion rightly so, to thwart the competition from having a heads up for one reason, and because it was a work in progress with a very tight deadline for another.


Yes and no. The details have been vague. But they've been saying all along that the gas motor is just for charging the batteries and that simply isn't true.


Quote:
I WANT to believe GM didn't "lie" and I hope I'm right.


I don't have a dog in the fight, so I don't "want" to believe one thing or another. I just call it like I see it.


Quote:
For him, the Volt means never buying gas again unless a longer trip is involved, and thus doing what is within his power as a citizen to stop supporting Middle Eastern regimes, in addition to supporting American industry as we sputter towards recovery.


I can get behind that.

Quote:
I would get one too, but it only seats 4, and my family is (soon to be) 5.

-MKL


Yup...damn batteries. wink
Posted By: IT_Mike

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 10:13 AM

Quick thoughts....

  • Chevy Volt gets 37mpg after the first 25-50 miles (http://gm-volt.com/chevy-volt-faqs/)
  • Prius, at best, gets 51mpg
  • Volvo S40 Turbo Diesel with DRIVe system gets just over 67mpg with no additional (read batteries and electricity generation) environmental impact.


Greenies are forcing us down the battery-driven road (through government restrictions and subsidies) rather than letting the best solutions rise to the top.

Besides which, they're ugly, uncomfortable, poorly performing vehicles generally driven by 'holier than thou' elitists.

That's why I hate hybrids.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 12:34 PM

Mike-

Here's a softball - is the Volvo S40 even available here in the US? Because all I see is a gas version rated 21MPG city - less than half of a Prius, less than 1/6 of a Volt. That's not a solution. The rest about being ugly, uncomfortable, and poorly performing is opinion, which you're certainly entitled to.

Jeremy's flip-flop on the Prius to impress Cameron Diaz was one of the greatest moments of the show, and truly shows that the Prius can be made to appeal to nearly anyone, even if the reasons aren't directly related to the car!

-MKL
Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: markgoodrich
...I think those of us who can afford to should step up and be beta testers for the various technologies which we've seen and will be seeing...
...but, as I said, I see an obligation to beta test, to get the vehicles out there, see how they work, let others see they work...


I suspect you would have felt very differently if your Camry or Prius had turned out to be a total POS.

Around thirty years ago, American manufacturers and drivers were beta testing diesel engines for passenger cars. Did you happen to beta-test one of those?
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 01:42 PM

Have they redesigned the Prius for the driver?
I tried to get behind the wheel a couple of years ago and could not, literally, get behind the wheel without crawling on seats laying down bending legs and being pulled behind the wheel.
tongue
I'm lucky I didn't actually go there because I might still be stuck.
smirk

Small, clean, turbo diesels.
thumbsup
I am concerned about the batteries and the whole life cycle disposal issue.

Sort of like the ubiquitous CFL's now that traditional light bulbs are heading towards the ban date.
They have mercury issues wrt disposal.
On a thread years ago I linked the EPA's page about the clean up involved for a broken CFL.
It will boggle your mind, did mine.
So, those types of concerns related to batteries are my first objection.
Second, subsidies for a vehicle that discriminates against tall people, no way.
lurk

I think Greg has a very excellent point, and Ken's too.
I'd love to see high speed rail come to fruition.
LA to San Fran in 3 hours.
I don't know that as a Society we're ready for a dramatic shift just yet.
Gas is available, relatively inexpensive.

So, when I see a Prius, I think the driver is vertically challenged.
smile
Looking forward to seeing how the Volt stacks up and what the next big thing in transportation mpg/cpm actually turns out to be...
Posted By: Twisties

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 03:39 PM

Anyone got the details of these subsidies? Are they for high mpg or do they target specific technologies. I know the last administration was big on hydrogen fuel cells, but I don't see them big in the market.

To what extent are the subsidies for fuel efficient vehicles offset by the reduced use of the subsidies for fuel?
Posted By: leikam

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 06:09 PM

Originally Posted By: IT_Mike
Besides which, they're ugly, uncomfortable, poorly performing vehicles generally driven by 'holier than thou' elitists.


I tend to agree but talking about BMW motorcycles like that on this board isn't going to get a lot of sympathy.
Posted By: chrisolson

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 06:22 PM

Originally Posted By: leikam
Originally Posted By: IT_Mike
Besides which, they're ugly, uncomfortable, poorly performing vehicles generally driven by 'holier than thou' elitists.


I tend to agree but talking about BMW motorcycles like that on this board isn't going to get a lot of sympathy.


rofl rofl rofl
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 08:13 PM

Originally Posted By: David13
I like Prius.
What I think to be a pathetic waste of 4 cylinders, is a v8.
Power? To race? Where, up to the next stoplight, then stomp on the brakes?
Here the Prius drive way too fast. It would be nice if any of them ever did just 55. I have never seen it here.
I think I would have to be an idiot to stereotype the "Prius driver".
They probably are as different as any other group. Just a little more intelligent.
And less wasteful.
What about all the monster pick ups, and suvs with lousy gas mileage, and one person in them, clogging up the roads, and polluting the air.
That's the smart way to go?
I disagree.
dc



rofl rofl rofl I have no idea why Jeremy Clarkson call's them 'smugmobiles.' grin
Posted By: yabadabapal

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 08:19 PM

Moshe I think its an admirable thing you did in buying the Prius if for no other reason than to make a statement in regard to our dependence on oil from the middle east. The significance of similarly designed vehicles is not and will not be a long term solution. The greater significance is that we and industry realize we have a problem to solve. I don't believe that the auto industry is going to be the big answer to this problem. I believe the answer is going to be public transportation of some sort.
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 08:25 PM

Originally Posted By: lawnchairboy
Steve, you can't get the hall pass for what you want to say, but I bet I would have enjoyed reading it.


Chris, it would have been a masterpiece suitable for framing. But, alas, that work of art shall forever remain hidden from view. grin
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: David13
I like Prius.
What I think to be a pathetic waste of 4 cylinders, is a v8.
Power? To race? Where, up to the next stoplight, then stomp on the brakes?


I will make a deal with you. Let me hook my boat up to your Prius and we can see how far your prius gets. Then we will check your opinion on that statement again. My guess is when you realize the shocks have ruptured from their mounts and in turn shot through the body work and that the resistance of your frame sitting on the asphalt prohibits any movement, you may see the ignornorance in your previous comment. Even if that chassis were to handle the weight, you may start to see the benfits of a V-8 when the 4 cylinder cant get up a hill and in turn, rolls backward down the hill. And to think, people wonder why there is a stereotype of un-informed treehuggers that drive a prius.....
Posted By: AviP

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 08:43 PM

Not everybody has a boat. That's why you have vehicles with different specs.

I personally have a "monster" pickup. I use it for hauling the trash to the dump, clearing tree debris from my yard, DIY home maintenance and my home improvement business. I also use it as a grocery getter but I always combine as many tasks as possible into 1 trip.

I am also a treehugger. How many trees have you planted?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 11:06 PM

Originally Posted By: cali_beemer
And to think, people wonder why there is a stereotype of un-informed treehuggers that drive a prius.....


Judging by sales numbers, for every tree hugger who buys a Prius, there's about 20 housewives who buy 8 passenger SUVs. They have 1.2 kids on average, and the only thing they're hauling or towing is their own fat asses to the mall and back. King Abdullah, however, is hauling boatloads of cash into his bank accounts, thanks to them. That cash then funds people who shoot at young American troops, who come back maimed or killed from duty.

My point is twofold: First, sterotypes have a way of boomeranging on you if you're not careful - the one I gave you above is no less simplistic and stupid than the one you offered, and in fact, can be proven quite easily. Second, they solve absolutely nothing. One of my original questions was why there is such venom directed at "uninformed" hybrid owners, but no such attack on clearly gluttonous automotive choices of others. Obviously you cannot tow a boat with a Prius, any more than you would buy an RT to race a Hayabusa.

Best for the sanctimonous hybrid owners to realize they are not saving the world. Best for the average driver of a gas swilling beast to ask herself, "Is this really necessary?"

Best for all of us, I think, to put our heads together and develop a momentum towards a solution instead of stereotyping each other, don't you think? Alot of talk and very little action in the 9+ years since we learned where our petro-dollars are going. Best not to stick our heads in the sand.

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 11:15 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Best for all of us, I think, to put our heads together and develop a momentum towards a solution instead of stereotyping each other, don't you think? Alot of talk and very little action in the 9+ years since we learned where our petro-dollars are going. Best not to stick our heads in the sand.


Are you open to ideas other than your own?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 11:25 PM

Any and all, Steve, and I mean that literally. Personally, I don't just drive a hybrid, but I also engage in other "green" activities as part of an overall agenda for myself - some of these cost much more than a hybrid car and the payback is years long. I put my money where my mouth is on this issue.

I started this thread to find out why this specific idea has met with some resistance, and I've learned a good deal about that, such as the overall carbon footprint argument, which I think is valid to look into. That said, I like a good argument I can learn something from, and am less enthusiastic about stereotyping and shouting at each other. In this case I'm clearly playing devil's advocate for the pro hybrid position.

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 11:35 PM

Good, for a minute there, I thought you were simply promoting a one sided view. smile

Tell you what, I'll play devil's advocate for the free market, capitalist arguement, just for the sake of balance. wink
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 11:46 PM

thumbsup Sounds good!

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/16/10 11:57 PM

Cool! Ok, I'll start this off. In order to accelerate the development of hybrid and electric vehicles, I'm going to advocate for a system which has produced more innovations which have improved the the lives of more people than any other development system ever conceived. The free market.

As demand for hybrid and electric vehicles ramps up, supply will automatically step in and fill the need. This system will not cost anyone money they don't want to invest in this technology and will ultimately produce the best product. That is, of course, if there is a demand for them. Naturally, if demand doesn't materialize, then the product will likely experience the same fate as Betamax and HD-DVD.

It sounds like a good plan to me. It's worked so well in so many other areas, we would be crazy not to try it in this case.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 12:16 AM

Steve-

Before we start discussing economics, which I look forward to, I do need your agreement that this issue is most definitely not purely economic. That is, there are many considerations, chief among them political (which is where my stance is based,) environmental, and industrial, to name a few. So as we debate this, is it fair for us to agree that even if a free market argument trumps an interventionist one, that this is but one of many factors which are at play here?

I'm making an issue out of it because I am not a higher efficiency advocate for economic reasons, so I don't want my point to be lost amongst an purely economic argument.

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 12:43 AM

Oh, my bad, I see. I thought you were trying to figure out a way of getting the best product to the most people. Are you saying that this really isn't about the hatred of hybrids at all, but more about promoting a political agenda?

What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
Posted By: mbelectric

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 02:16 AM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
but more about promoting a political agenda?


Knew we'd end up here. Always does. Can't have a discussion without it. It's the world we live in now.

Just can't take it as far as we want to HERE.

MB>
Posted By: markgoodrich

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 02:36 AM

Yeah, I knew we'd end up at politics too, this is one of those subjects which inflame passions, although Moshe doesn't seem to be too inflamed But so far we've seen "sanctimonious," "holier than thou," etc, all clear indicators that this going to end badly. The hybrid hater faction, if I may call it that, reminds me of the section of the motorcycling community which looks at BMW riders with disgust and derision, pigeonholing all of us with preconceptions, not having any idea why we bought the bikes we ride.

I admit to bias, and preconceptions, too, only instead of getting worked up when I see a Prius, I do when I see a Hummer or a jacked-up super-diesel pickup, although the words "sanctimonious" and "holier than thou" don't come to mind. wave
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 02:56 AM

Steve-
Yes, you are partially correct, my main thrust here is political, not economic. Essentially, I don’t think arguing this topic from a purely economic perspective is worthwhile for either of us. We can of course debate in the abstract, about a theoretical laissez-faire market whereby perfect competition results in the best possible product for the consumer at the lowest possible price.

Yet in reality, we have a market where our domestic products are relatively lightly subsidized, as is the gas they use. The industry’s MPG average is regulated, many parts of the hardware content are regulated, and there are sliding incentives and loopholes not just for hybrids, but for light trucks (accelerated depreciation, a farm subsidy which anyone with a Hummer can take advantage of).

Complicating matters, we are competing with imported products which are relatively heavily subsidized – battery development and fuel cell development from Japan, cleaner diesel and hydrogen power from Europe, and so on. Economic policy as you know is enacted by politicians whose job it is to get reelected, and they are lobbied by companies such as GM, Ford, and Chrysler for money and favors to help them compete with companies that are far more heavily subsidized. All of this, then, throws the “invisible hand” and pure free market out the window as short term thinking and political considerations trump economics. That’s not going to change. Cars aren’t widgets from Economics 101 – the industry is the center of American manufacturing prowess and is drowning in politics - and as you know, will not be “allowed” to fail. So there IS no free market here, and there isn’t going to be one, so why debate it?

Rather, my argument here always has been almost purely political in nature, as in:

Problem: America’s addicition to petroleum directly funds nations which overwhelmingly are our political enemies, embroil us in wars, and cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars (all defecit spending) in the process.

Solution: Find ways to reduce this dependence as a matter of national economic policy and national security, and enact them.

Meaning, to me, that getting off oil is #1. Yes, burning our coal for electricity for plug-in recharging is dirty. "Clean coal" is an oxymoron. But I’d rather burn our coal than use oil – that’s my politics over my environment. Yes, a hybrid or a diesel costs more. But I’d rather pay more for the car and start saving MPGs immediately than use more oil (that an example of personal politics trumping personal economics). I don’t care about a “payoff period” within reason. And so on…

I’m not taking the stand that hybrids per se are the be-all-end-all and that I’m driving one to save the whales. I am saying they are one way to immediately reduce consumption of a commodity which funds our sworn enemies who are blowing up our kids, and should not be lambasted to the extent that they are. When you said "are you interested in other ideas," I most certainly am. Anything that gets me and my family - and my country - off of oil, I'm interested in, I'm willing to pay extra for, I'm willing to have my taxes raised to fund. I would rather see my disposable income shrink than see those kids come back in caskets and see King Abdullah has purchased one more golden toilet to sit on.

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 04:19 AM

Ok,I understand your feelings about foreign oil. So, let's stop buying theirs and use our own. After all, we have plenty right here in our own backyard. That way, we kill two birds with one stone. We stop subsidising our enemies and we can continue to enjoy the vehicles of our choice.

Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 04:21 AM

Originally Posted By: mbelectric
Originally Posted By: RightSpin
but more about promoting a political agenda?


Knew we'd end up here. Always does. Can't have a discussion without it. It's the world we live in now.

Just can't take it as far as we want to HERE.

MB>


Have you been reading the thread?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 04:33 AM

Steve-

It's better to use ours than theirs, for sure. However (and now we're veering off topic) I think it would be quite short sighted to consider that in and of itself as a long term solution. By all estimates we can supply nowhere near our current demand (at current prices, of course). Not even half, actually. And as the BP oil spill recently taught us - there's got to be a better way. Oil is in finite supply - how responsibile is it to keep the addicition going? We have to prioritize finding better ways, not prioritize ways to cling to the status quo.

The most frustrating core aspect of this particular argument, to me, is that some people view things solely as a function of supply, or solely of demand. Supply being, we'll find another place to keep our fix going, but the addicition stays intact. Demand being, we all need to eat granola bars and ride mopeds. Beyond blind devotion to whatever ideology, for the life of me I don't understand why it has to be one, or the other, but not both.

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 05:02 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Steve-

It's better to use ours than theirs, for sure. However (and now we're veering off topic) I think it would be quite short sighted to consider that in and of itself as a long term solution. By all estimates we can supply nowhere near our current demand (at current prices, of course). Not even half, actually. And as the BP oil spill recently taught us - there's got to be a better way. Oil is in finite supply - how responsibile is it to keep the addicition going? We have to prioritize finding better ways, not prioritize ways to cling to the status quo.


But, that is not at all true, on any account. If we wanted to, we could easily produce as much crude as we need. And, this notion that we have a finite supply is also not true. We're years past the point experts advised that we would run out. Yet we keep finding more of it. Oil is a natural product of the earth, is quite plentiful and economical. I'm sure something will eventually eclipse it's usefulness, but for now it's the bee's knee's.

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
The most frustrating core aspect of this particular argument, to me, is that some people view things solely as a function of supply, or solely of demand. Supply being, we'll find another place to keep our fix going, but the addicition stays intact. Demand being, we all need to eat granola bars and ride mopeds. Beyond blind devotion to whatever ideology, for the life of me I don't understand why it has to be one, or the other, but not both.

-MKL


So, again, what is your point? Was it all along to simply lament the hatred some people have for hybrid cars? If that is the case, you ought to get over it - some people are simply not going to warm up to them. It's a choice they make and there really isn't anything you can do to change it. People are going to drive the cars they want to, just like they ride the motorcycles they choose. Some will be big, some will be small.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 05:19 AM

Steve-

Our domestic production supply vs. demand is, as you say, always varying. This is because when experts predict our remaining supply, it is almost always based on *current market pricing.* So when barrel pricing is low, so is expected remaining supply, since the expense of reaching the harder-to-find taps is not cost effective. The converse is also true.

I think this http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07283.pdf would make good reading for you. It was prepared by the non-partisan GAO under George W. Bush's white house, back in 2007. It's titled "Uncertainty about Future Oil Supply Makes It Important to Develop a Strategy for Addressing a Peak and Decline in Oil Production." That's about the closest I could come to finding any non-partisan government issue scientific report about this issue, and I made sure it was a Bush-era document so there aren't any charges of Obama's liberalism being at fault somehow.

I could not find any whatsoever that say anything remotely close to (paraphrased) "the US can produce as much oil as it currently consumes." And if it does, definitely not at current prices.

We currently import more than half to feed the need. Does it make sense to continue this? Can we at least agree on that?

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 05:55 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Steve-

Our domestic production supply vs. demand is, as you say, always varying. This is because when experts predict our remaining supply, it is almost always based on *current market pricing.* So when barrel pricing is low, so is expected remaining supply, since the expense of reaching the harder-to-find taps is not cost effective. The converse is also true.

I think this http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07283.pdf would make good reading for you. It was prepared by the non-partisan GAO under George W. Bush's white house, back in 2007. It's titled "Uncertainty about Future Oil Supply Makes It Important to Develop a Strategy for Addressing a Peak and Decline in Oil Production." That's about the closest I could come to finding any non-partisan government issue scientific report about this issue, and I made sure it was a Bush-era document so there aren't any charges of Obama's liberalism being at fault somehow.

I could not find any whatsoever that say anything remotely close to (paraphrased) "the US can produce as much oil as it currently consumes." And if it does, definitely not at current prices.

We currently import more than half to feed the need. Does it make sense to continue this? Can we at least agree on that?

-MKL


We can play the tit-for-tat game all night, but I'm running out of interest. So, let's cut to the chase. In your original post, you lamented the resistance of some people to hybrid/economicical vehicles. Many posted their reasons why, and many (including myself) carried the discussion on to how we can make hybrids more attractive for a larger audience of consumers.

I understand that you would like to see everyone get as excited about economical cars as you are, but that's just not going to happen. For example, I have a keen interest in a 4-wheel independant electric drive vehicle because I believe that it will outperform currently manufactured vehicles on a multitude of levels. In other words, I think they will be better cars then we have now and that turns me on. But, I have absolutely no interest in driving a small, poorly performing vehicle for the sake of economy.

This isn't a my-way-or-the-highway arguement. There a many viewpoints. Your point is no more or less valid than anyone elses and you should respect the opinions of others as much as you would like them to respect yours. It's OK to agree to disagree.
Posted By: IT_Mike

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 10:20 AM

moshe,

Let me lob that one back at you. Is your question one of honest query?

You asked why many people dislike hybrids (Prius/Volt). I answered that question. Is the S40 diesel available in the US? No. Curious how you never asked why? Why aren't we using the most economical, fuel efficient, and environmentally friendly form of internal combustion?

Internal combustion engines are still the most economical, reliable, and efficient method of portable power generation. Until you find an better way, we're going to continue to need them.
Posted By: Mike

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 11:18 AM

Mike, I think you hit the proverbial nail . . . .

The fact is, that internal combustion technology is well advanced. Hybrids and electrics, while interesting, currently impose compromises that many are unwilling to accept. And, while direct costs to the owner, to varying extents subsidized the the government or the manufacturers, can be lower, there's at least an argument to be made that the overall environmental benefit hasn't been proven. If these technologies are to take hold, they will have to prove themselves in the marketplace, rather than on the fashion show runway.

It may happen, but most people are apparently not convinced.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 12:26 PM

Mike-

Although I know why some of Europe's best diesels aren't allowed here (a complex patchwork of state regulations on the formulation of diesel fuel which makes it deathly expensive for manufacturers to comply) I definitely agree with you and Mike the Administrator in that we are shooting ourselves in the foot not allowing ourselves access to ALL the best technologies that exist to wean ourselves off oil.

Perhaps customers who do not like the idea of hybrids but would accept diesels are out there, unable to trade in a gas guzzler for something more efficient because no suitable small diesel exists for them. That's definitely a problem. If I find for example that such a tiny diesel has a higher MPG than another technology, I would favor it. Whatever works best wins.

Ultimately, though, my prediction is that at the rate things are going, overall MPGs of even the best diesels will be overtaken by concepts like hybrid, not to mention EV, fuel cell, or hydrogen - not to mention the pollution angle, which we didn't address yet. And obviously, a small 1.6L diesel powering a car we're used to seeing here with 220HP is going to introduce a lower level of performance - exactly what some lament in hybrids. (Don't forget mandatory pitstops at the dealer for all the extra diesel add-ons, like the urea injection solution, etc. that nobody else has to deal with). Everything's a compromise.

We'll see how it plays out. I do respect everyone's opinion and thank you for sharing it. If I argued with it, it's because I started this whole thing to see if what I thought could stand up to criticism, not to fight per se.

PS - An interesting fact: Did you know that Ford is the highest volume producer of diesel engines in the world? Makes you wonder why they don't offer any right here other than in the full size pickups. If VW can do it....


-MKL
Posted By: markgoodrich

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 12:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike
Mike, I think you hit the proverbial nail . . . .

The fact is, that internal combustion technology is well advanced. Hybrids and electrics, while interesting, currently impose compromises that many are unwilling to accept. And, while direct costs to the owner, to varying extents subsidized the the government or the manufacturers, can be lower, there's at least an argument to be made that the overall environmental benefit hasn't been proven. If these technologies are to take hold, they will have to prove themselves in the marketplace, rather than on the fashion show runway.

It may happen, but most people are apparently not convinced.


I agree. And disagree. I agree the technologies have to take hold in the marketplace [and as I said earlier, I was willing to be a beta tester for the technology]...and sales trends for most hybrids, from most manufacturers, are surprisingly steep upward curves...not to say they're taking over. My personal experience (sample of one) is that over 4.5 years and counting, the technology is flawless, indistinguishable from the conventional model of the same Camry, operating costs have been lower...about 25% better fuel economy, no repairs whatsoever. Power is more than adequate, equivalent to a V-6.

It appears, from a quick googie, that worldwide hybrid sales are about 3% of the total market. Sales as a percentage of vehicles sold are substantially higher in Japan...not surprising given fuel cost.

I am concerned about the total 'carbon footprint' issue with hybrids...meaning it should be taken into account when considering the advantages of hybrids, but the "compromises many are unwilling to accept" escape me. With gas currently at around $2.71 in my area, my better fuel economy is relatively insignificant, financially, but if it spikes to over $4, I'll be looking more intelligent.

I don't see myself as one of those sanctimonious hybridians which people seem to see everywhere; I bought the car out of enlightened self-interest...the market at work...to save fuel costs, to reduce emissions (yes, I think climate change is real, but perhaps that has something to do with my scientific education) which, climate change or no, is a good idea.
Posted By: Killer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 02:38 PM

Quote:
I have a keen interest in a 4-wheel independant electric drive vehicle
I saw some numbers on a Cadillac like that - they were amazing. Not sure how public they were though obviously not very secret (FOAF), so I won't say more but they should be available online if they are public. (And anyway my memory of the actual numbers is not reliable)
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 03:40 PM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
For example, I have a keen interest in a 4-wheel independant electric drive vehicle because I believe that it will outperform currently manufactured vehicles on a multitude of levels. In other words, I think they will be better cars then we have now and that turns me on. But, I have absolutely no interest in driving a small, poorly performing vehicle for the sake of economy.


I was too tired to remember last night, but I've seen quite a few concepts like this over the years at the NYC auto show, including this Mini Cooper - check out the specs! How does 0-60 in 4.5s sound?

http://www.minicarparts.net/News/Archive/electricminiQED.cfm

-MKL
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 04:03 PM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
But, that is not at all true, on any account. If we wanted to, we could easily produce as much crude as we need. And, this notion that we have a finite supply is also not true. We're years past the point experts advised that we would run out. Yet we keep finding more of it.

rofl

World Crude Oil Production, 1960-2009

Quote:
...Peak oil is often confused with oil depletion; peak oil is the point of maximum production while depletion refers to a period of falling reserves and supply.

M. King Hubbert created and first used the models behind peak oil in 1956 to accurately predict that United States oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970.

The actual U.S. peak was 1972, which is pretty close to Hubbert's prediction; Saudi Arabia peaked in 1980 (at a rate that was arguably damaging to their reservoirs). World oil production peaked in 2008 at 73.69 million bbl/day, although the decline in 2009 is more likely reflective of the economic slump, rather than a peak constrained by capacity, and I expect worldwide production to resume increasing for a a few more years, as new discoveries (e.g., Brazil) come on line, compensating for declining output from the super giant oil fields in the Middle East, but I will be amazed if production ever breaks 100 million bbl/day; a plateau between 75-85 million bbl/day for several years seems reasonable.

When demand starts exceeding supply, the price will start going up, and alternatives will become more attractive. The interesting question is whether they can come on line faster than worldwide production drops.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 04:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Selden
The interesting question is whether they can come on line faster than worldwide production drops.


thumbsup That just summarized my long-winded argument to Steve's purely free market proposition in one sentence....

-MKL
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 04:48 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: Selden
The interesting question is whether they can come on line faster than worldwide production drops.


thumbsup That just summarized my long-winded argument to Steve's purely free market proposition in one sentence....

-MKL


It's all up to which special interest those who make the rules are beholden. I'll bet my bottom dollar that it is NOT "We the People" though.

Enjoy Utopia lads...
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 05:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Killer
Quote:
I have a keen interest in a 4-wheel independant electric drive vehicle
I saw some numbers on a Cadillac like that - they were amazing. Not sure how public they were though obviously not very secret (FOAF), so I won't say more but they should be available online if they are public. (And anyway my memory of the actual numbers is not reliable)


Some of the most promising technology I've seen so far is the work being done at Porsche. They are solving the weight issues associated with engineering the drive motors within the wheels themselves. Once this challenge is unlocked, it can spill over to virtually any kind of torque-driven drive mechanism. The ability to instantly and precisely control the amount of torque being supplied to each wheel will create a quantum leap in performance over today's technology. That, in turn, will automatically lead to better efficiency. Again, a win-win scenerio.
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 07:50 PM

Seems to me that while putting it in a small platform like the Cooper is useful, it would be more practical to work it into larger vehicles to gain a toehold. City buses or gargage trucks aren't that necessarily concerned about excess weight or bulk and lots of reliability testing, proving, and data collection could be done with technology in early phases given the relative size of the vehicles and the opportunities to hide pieces of sub-optimally sized equipment.
Posted By: chrisolson

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 08:49 PM

In-wheel electric motors with pretty sophisticated software control has already been in use in these bad boys for quite a while
LINKY



Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 09:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Matts_VSTROM
Seems to me that while putting it in a small platform like the Cooper is useful, it would be more practical to work it into larger vehicles to gain a toehold. City buses or gargage trucks aren't that necessarily concerned about excess weight or bulk and lots of reliability testing, proving, and data collection could be done with technology in early phases given the relative size of the vehicles and the opportunities to hide pieces of sub-optimally sized equipment.


Moreover, city vehicles (particularly buses, garbage trucks and delivery vehicles, all of which do lots of stopping, starting, and driving at low speeds) have a driving cycle ideally suited to the regenerative braking enabled by a hybrid drivetrain.

Lots of work being done on hybrid-hydraulic drivetrains for these vehicles. Hydraulic systems have good power density and reasonable cost, but it's not clear whether they'll scale down nicely to a passenger vehicle.
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/17/10 11:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Matts_VSTROM
Seems to me that while putting it in a small platform like the Cooper is useful, it would be more practical to work it into larger vehicles to gain a toehold. City buses or gargage trucks aren't that necessarily concerned about excess weight or bulk and lots of reliability testing, proving, and data collection could be done with technology in early phases given the relative size of the vehicles and the opportunities to hide pieces of sub-optimally sized equipment.

Something like these?

Posted By: markgoodrich

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 06:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday
Originally Posted By: markgoodrich
...I think those of us who can afford to should step up and be beta testers for the various technologies which we've seen and will be seeing...
...but, as I said, I see an obligation to beta test, to get the vehicles out there, see how they work, let others see they work...


I suspect you would have felt very differently if your Camry or Prius had turned out to be a total POS.

Around thirty years ago, American manufacturers and drivers were beta testing diesel engines for passenger cars. Did you happen to beta-test one of those?


Probably would've been bummed if it had turned out to be a "total POS," but it isn't; works like a car.

I have a good friend who is 'beta testing' one of the VW blutec diesels. It seems to be good, too, although I think it's been to the shop a couple times for glitchings. It's not very comfortable...a Jetta wagon.
Posted By: markgoodrich

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 06:15 PM

I have a question for those participating in this thread who rail against "sanctimonious" and "holier than thou" hybridians. How did you arrive at that information? And the corollary is, why do you care so much about what other people drive, and why?
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 07:03 PM

Originally Posted By: markgoodrich
I have a question for those participating in this thread who rail against "sanctimonious" and "holier than thou" hybridians. How did you arrive at that information? And the corollary is, why do you care so much about what other people drive, and why?



I could care less what other people drive. I'm just sick of people jabbering about it and thinking that driving a Prius makes them Jesus Christ, and I'm sick of the pieces of crap clogging up the carpool lane. Any time we're in the carpool lane (as a legitimate carpool, not a government-subsidized feel-good kumbayafest) and it's going way too slow for no apparent reason, we play the "What color?" game. As in "What color Prius is causing this slowdown?"
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 07:09 PM

Originally Posted By: markgoodrich
I have a question for those participating in this thread who rail against "sanctimonious" and "holier than thou" hybridians. How did you arrive at that information? And the corollary is, why do you care so much about what other people drive, and why?



...and why do you care what others think about you or what you drive?

I don't care about what you think of me for owning a Suburban and a F150.

Who cares, we ride motorcycles. Most of the world thinks we are risking our lives unnecessarily.
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 07:09 PM

I don't hate or critisize hybrids and hybrid users, but I agree that simply what works best and is the most economical will prosper. With extremely few exceptions (Ken H. and Moshe Levy comes to mind) nobody cares about saving the planet, and there are doubts whether we are saving it and does it really need saving. Now flame proof shirt on: Everybody cares about their wallet. The only way to increase the use of less energy consuming vehicles is increasing the price of the fuel. The USA federal gas tax is 18.4c/gal. and has increased at a much lower rate than the petrol industry's increase of the fuel price. The reason Europe developed economical cars and people use it, is the price of gas.Their gas is more expensive because of taxes - the price of the gas itself is the same. Also I find it odd that the tax is a fixed amount per volume, not a percentage of price. So the industry raises the price, people use less, and tax revenue goes down. Also I find it strange that tax on diesel fuel is higher than on gas. It reduces the advantage of economical diesel cars and increases the price of everything transported.
Public transport in the USA: The so dispersed population here makes it impractical except in very few places. You cannot justify it when you have 20 passengers on a 50 mile ride.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 07:28 PM

Quote:
The only way to increase the use of less energy consuming vehicles is increasing the price of the fuel.


Well, that's one way to do it, but we've seen what an increase in fuel price does to our economy.

The right way to do it is to reduce the cost of more efficient vehicles. (And not by making me pay for my neighbor's Chevy Volt...by the manufacturers getting better at making more efficient vehicles cheaper in response to market demand.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 07:33 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Any time we're in the carpool lane (as a legitimate carpool, not a government-subsidized feel-good kumbayafest) and it's going way too slow for no apparent reason, we play the "What color?" game. As in "What color Prius is causing this slowdown?"


Hmmmm.... Guess that's a California thing. Here in NJ, any hybrid in the HOV lane is movin'. I commute about 105 miles per day most days, and I've got the points and fines to prove I for one ain't holding anybody up!

But if these drivers are moving slowly, that's more a reason to hate the drivers than the cars themselves, or the technology they represent. Here in NJ we generally play "what color" with the Volvo crowd. They seem to relish in setting their cruise control to 5mph under the limit in the left lane, regardless of the mayhem they cause behind and around them.

Come to think of it, a lifetime exposure to these drivers has made me hate Volvos, simply because Volvos remind me of these drivers. I can see how, if Prius drivers by you are this way, you'd hate Prii!

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 07:37 PM

Incidentally, Russ, federally funded HOV lanes allow motorcycles (1 rider) to partake, in addition to hybrids. Is that too a "government-subsidized feel-good kumbayafest?" wink

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 07:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Paul Mihalka
I don't hate or critisize hybrids and hybrid users, but I agree that simply what works best and is the most economical will prosper. With extremely few exceptions (Ken H. and Moshe Levy comes to mind) nobody cares about saving the planet, and there are doubts whether we are saving it and does it really need saving. Now flame proof shirt on: Everybody cares about their wallet. The only way to increase the use of less energy consuming vehicles is increasing the price of the fuel. The USA federal gas tax is 18.4c/gal. and has increased at a much lower rate than the petrol industry's increase of the fuel price. The reason Europe developed economical cars and people use it, is the price of gas.Their gas is more expensive because of taxes - the price of the gas itself is the same. Also I find it odd that the tax is a fixed amount per volume, not a percentage of price. So the industry raises the price, people use less, and tax revenue goes down. Also I find it strange that tax on diesel fuel is higher than on gas. It reduces the advantage of economical diesel cars and increases the price of everything transported.
Public transport in the USA: The so dispersed population here makes it impractical except in very few places. You cannot justify it when you have 20 passengers on a 50 mile ride.



Artificially inflating/deflating the price of anything just screws things up. Just look around.


It will all work out in time.

Gasoline/diesel has been the fuel of freedom.

Electricity by way of coal maybe the next step, it seems kinda wasteful to me at this time, but who knows.

Right now the world needs cheaper energy not more expensive.

...but we are stupid.





Posted By: Killer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 08:24 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
But if these drivers are moving slowly, that's more a reason to hate the drivers than the cars themselves, or the technology they represent.
Which is what I said in the very first reply on this thread, out here in the west Prii (Priusi?) are hugely over-represented at the front of slow moving trains in the HOV lanes.

(Apart from in Lodi apparently)
Posted By: Quinn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 10:00 PM

Is it possible hybrid hatred is really Government Social Engineering hatred?

----
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 10:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Quinn
Is it possible hybrid hatred is really Government Social Engineering hatred?

----




10-4
Posted By: CoarsegoldKid

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 11:02 PM

So I guess those business owners working hard and hiring peps to make e-cars a reality are socialists.

Not sure that petroleum products enjoying the feast off the government tet is what I call freedom. But it is cheaper at the pump.
Posted By: markgoodrich

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/18/10 11:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip
Originally Posted By: markgoodrich
I have a question for those participating in this thread who rail against "sanctimonious" and "holier than thou" hybridians. How did you arrive at that information? And the corollary is, why do you care so much about what other people drive, and why?



...and why do you care what others think about you or what you drive?

I don't care about what you think of me for owning a Suburban and a F150.

Who cares, we ride motorcycles. Most of the world thinks we are risking our lives unnecessarily.






You're, right, my comments about Hummers, etc, were really no different than Bynum's. I'm ashamed of myself, thank you for tactfully pointing out my error. Whip, I don't care that you drive a Burban/pickup.

Moshe's point of view is exactly mine; therefore, I'll let him speak without interference from me on this issue from this point forward.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 12:03 AM

Originally Posted By: Quinn
Is it possible hybrid hatred is really Government Social Engineering hatred?


Only if you look at it with your eyes half closed. There is no aspect to transportation - from conception to production, from the fuel used to the roads we drive on - that isn't regulated. Foaming at the mouth about manufacturers producing hybrids because of government involvement (and again, US subsidies are NOTHING compared to Japanese and European) without acknowledging that every other aspect is far more heavily regulated - the enormous subsidies for ethanol (when we know it doesn't work), which state gets road repair money, and let's not forget bailing out GM and Chrysler - the list is literally endless.

For example, Mr. Whip with the Suburban... I respectfully ask: Are you just as upset about the tens of billions of taxpayer dollars used to bail out GM (exponentially more than the amount used by the US government to subsidize hybrids over the past 10 years)? Are you upset that your Suburban is exempt from meeting the standard auto-fleet MPG figures without incurring a tax (that's a subsidy, too - originally written into law decades ago when light trucks were primarily used for work - a giant freebie now for all non-commercial light trucks drivers that the rest of us car drivers pay for.) This subsidy, too, is vastly larger (last year's alone was more than the US government has spent on hybrid subsidies in the past decade). I could go on...

Just want to be clear, that if you throw the rock of being on the government teet, be sure not to live in a glass house.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 12:06 AM

I should say, as well, that I did not intend that for Mr. Whip specifically (whose posts I enjoy and whose opinion I respect). I'm just pointing out that, obviously, this is not a "self reliant car guys vs. freeloading hybrid guys." That latter have received far less in subsidy than the former in most cases.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 12:19 AM

One more thing, which I neglected to address in my own posts and others'. We have now repeatedly said electricity is produced by burning coal, which obviously has a negative environmental impact. We have taken that as a given, but should not have.

For example here in my deregulated state of NJ (clap) we are free to choose from a variety of energy suppliers. When this announcement was made, about 15 minutes on Google was all it took me to find a variety of companies which derive the electricity from renewable sources. I settled on this one: http://www.viridian.com/lowcostenergy/default.aspx My yearly bill is now within 3% of what it used to be from 100% dirty sources like coal, and my electricity is now 100% derived from renewable sources like wind and solar.

All it took was 15 minutes, from starting the search to singing up - you might check your local utility to find these options may be available to you, too. My bill's the same, and my electricity doesn't pollute. As Steve said before, a true "win-win."

-MKL
Posted By: Heck

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 12:59 AM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
Originally Posted By: lawnchairboy
Steve, you can't get the hall pass for what you want to say, but I bet I would have enjoyed reading it.


Chris, it would have been a masterpiece suitable for framing. But, alas, that work of art shall forever remain hidden from view. grin


Aw just go stick it on Facebook, where everybody vents !! rofl
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 01:06 AM

Originally Posted By: CoarsegoldKid
So I guess those business owners working hard and hiring peps to make e-cars a reality are socialists.

Not sure that petroleum products enjoying the feast off the government tet is what I call freedom. But it is cheaper at the pump.


Not socialist at all, they are recipients of corporate welfare and government intervention. Which usually end up fubar. Kinda like what you see all around you in the real estate world.

..but it really only sucks when you don't agree with it.

LOL
Posted By: Quinn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 01:48 AM

I think there's a difference between Social Engineering attempts and porkbarrel or subsidy legislation. Although I also think that the line is plenty vague at times.

Was the government's goal of home ownership driven by a social vision or by the mortgage industry? 401k's for society or banking industry? Other examples will probably get me censored.

----
Posted By: roadscholar

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 02:32 AM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
Originally Posted By: Killer
Quote:
I have a keen interest in a 4-wheel independant electric drive vehicle
I saw some numbers on a Cadillac like that - they were amazing. Not sure how public they were though obviously not very secret (FOAF), so I won't say more but they should be available online if they are public. (And anyway my memory of the actual numbers is not reliable)


Some of the most promising technology I've seen so far is the work being done at Porsche. They are solving the weight issues associated with engineering the drive motors within the wheels themselves. Once this challenge is unlocked, it can spill over to virtually any kind of torque-driven drive mechanism. The ability to instantly and precisely control the amount of torque being supplied to each wheel will create a quantum leap in performance over today's technology. That, in turn, will automatically lead to better efficiency. Again, a win-win scenerio.


Yes, but nothing really that new. The market must not've been quite ready for it. smile

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lohner-Porsche_Mixte_Hybrid
Posted By: Fubar

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 03:25 AM

I've been drooling over the 918 concept since I saw it 2 months ago in Automobile magazine. Rip your lips off and nearly 80 MPG? Hell yeah!
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 08:51 AM

Originally Posted By: markgoodrich
Originally Posted By: Whip
Originally Posted By: markgoodrich
I have a question for those participating in this thread who rail against "sanctimonious" and "holier than thou" hybridians. How did you arrive at that information? And the corollary is, why do you care so much about what other people drive, and why?



...and why do you care what others think about you or what you drive?

I don't care about what you think of me for owning a Suburban and a F150.

Who cares, we ride motorcycles. Most of the world thinks we are risking our lives unnecessarily.






You're, right, my comments about Hummers, etc, were really no different than Bynum's. I'm ashamed of myself, thank you for tactfully pointing out my error. Whip, I don't care that you drive a Burban/pickup.

Moshe's point of view is exactly mine; therefore, I'll let him speak without interference from me on this issue from this point forward.


Huh? What did I say?

I thought I was pretty clear that it was the sanctimonious douchebags who often drive Priuses (Prii?) that I have a problem with.
Posted By: Twisties

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 02:09 PM

Quote:
...a system which has produced more innovations which have improved the the lives of more people than any other development system ever conceived. The free market.


Ok, now that's funny! rofl

And, as Moshe points out, utterly ridiculous when applied to the transportation sector, in any event.

But in any event, this oft repeated myth has no evidence to back it up. I'm not even sure where you could find an example of a free market to study.
Posted By: Twisties

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: IT_Mike
moshe,

Let me lob that one back at you. Is your question one of honest query?

You asked why many people dislike hybrids (Prius/Volt). I answered that question. Is the S40 diesel available in the US? No. Curious how you never asked why? Why aren't we using the most economical, fuel efficient, and environmentally friendly form of internal combustion?

Internal combustion engines are still the most economical, reliable, and efficient method of portable power generation. Until you find an better way, we're going to continue to need them.


You said because subsidies were controlling technology, or some such, and I asked for the details of the subsidies and how they worked. So far nothing. I find your point hard to accept without evidence.
Posted By: Twisties

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 02:13 PM

Quote:
Not socialist at all, they are recipients of corporate welfare and government intervention. Which usually end up fubar. Kinda like what you see all around you in the real estate world.


The myth parade continues....
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 03:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Twisties
Quote:
Not socialist at all, they are recipients of corporate welfare and government intervention. Which usually end up fubar. Kinda like what you see all around you in the real estate world.


The myth parade continues....



Unless of course you can read, think for yourself, remember history....or in the very least visited the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

rofl




Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 03:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Twisties
Originally Posted By: IT_Mike
Internal combustion engines are still the most economical, reliable, and efficient method of portable power generation. Until you find an better way, we're going to continue to need them.


You said because subsidies were controlling technology, or some such, and I asked for the details of the subsidies and how they worked. So far nothing. I find your point hard to accept without evidence.


Jan, I believe IT Mike's quote falls out of the realm of opinion and into refutable fact. Certainly there is no case to make that pure I/C engines are more economical than hybrids, since every hybrid version of a standard car gets better MPG, and every EV vehicle is about 5x less costly to run per mile than pure gas or diesel, even with amortization of the battery factored in. Certainly there is no case that I/C is more reliable than hybrid, either (check Consumer Reports reliability ratings or JD Power for proof). Definitely, IC is not more efficient than hybrid or electric - efficiency of even the best IC engines is quite poor, actually - around 20%.

But I think beneath all this is a core argument of "hybrid is NOT the be-all, end-all answer." To this, I wholeheartedly agree. We can do better, and many people like Shai Agassi are showing the way. Entire countries like Australia, Denmark, Israel, and even some states like California and Hawaii are involved in a serious effort to cut down on the cost, pollution, and (to me most importantly) political consequences of our addiction to oil.

I encourage anyone interested to watch Agassi's recent talk, as shown here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcoJt2KLC9k See if what he's saying makes sense to you, and decide for yourself.

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: Twisties
Originally Posted By: IT_Mike
Internal combustion engines are still the most economical, reliable, and efficient method of portable power generation. Until you find an better way, we're going to continue to need them.


You said because subsidies were controlling technology, or some such, and I asked for the details of the subsidies and how they worked. So far nothing. I find your point hard to accept without evidence.


Jan, I believe IT Mike's quote falls out of the realm of opinion and into refutable fact. Certainly there is no case to make that pure I/C engines are more economical than hybrids, since every hybrid version of a standard car gets better MPG, and every EV vehicle is about 5x less costly to run per mile than pure gas or diesel, even with amortization of the battery factored in. Certainly there is no case that I/C is more reliable than hybrid, either (check Consumer Reports reliability ratings or JD Power for proof). Definitely, IC is not more efficient than hybrid or electric - efficiency of even the best IC engines is quite poor, actually - around 20%.

But I think beneath all this is a core argument of "hybrid is NOT the be-all, end-all answer." To this, I wholeheartedly agree. We can do better, and many people like Shai Agassi are showing the way. Entire countries like Australia, Denmark, Israel, and even some states like California and Hawaii are involved in a serious effort to cut down on the cost, pollution, and (to me most importantly) political consequences of our addiction to oil.

I encourage anyone interested to watch Agassi's recent talk, as shown here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcoJt2KLC9k See if what he's saying makes sense to you, and decide for yourself.

-MKL


Help me out here. Your not talking about the Volt....right.

Cause at it's current price and gas mileage it is not economical.

Or did I miss somethin.

L
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 04:38 PM

Whip-

We can, if you wish, use the Volt as an example. The math is not difficult, but we must (since electricity is involved) use an "average" type rate and then you can tweak based on the rates in your area. It won't make much difference, since the Volt and vehicles like it are indeed so much more economical for some buyers.

My father, for example, has a 20 mile round trip commute to work, but does not want a purely electric car that limits his range should he need to take the occasional long trip. So let's use a Volt and compare it to your average 25-30k sedan, like Camry.

Volt Price (after the evil subsidies - $7500 fed and state programs vary) - about $30,000.00
Camry price similarly equipped - about $30,000.00

Camry Price to run per mile (not factoring depreciation) - about 15 cents

Volt Price to run on electric: about 5 cents.

Remember, comparing the cost per mile of a gasoline car with a battery-powered vehicle is complicated by the fact that many regions here have different rates that depend on usage and time of day. Still, you will find something like 3x less cost per mile on a Volt vs typical gas sedan, and that benefit will only go up if you charge "smartly," meaning overnight when rates are low. The Volt lets you control this with your smart phone. Nifty!

Now, on gas, the Volt is reported at 37MPG. Pretty good, not as good as Prius but better than most gas cars.

Overall, the Volt is officially EPA rated at 93MPGe (electric mode) and 37 MPG (gas mode) for an EPA "combined composite" rating of 60MPG relative to all other cars (including compact cars). Meaning, for all intents and purposes, the EPA is telling you to use 60MPG in making your calculations to other more standard cars, like said Camry. If purchase price is similar, it's not difficult now to see that indeed it is more economical.

For people like my dad, he'll likely buy gas once or twice a year now, and so his operating cost per mile will fall significantly. For people who commute long distances on the highway each day, the "payoff" will be longer.

But that's only if you look at it from a purely economic view, which as I told Steve is not a valid view unless you live in a vacuum. To quote paraphrase Mastercard, it is "priceless" to me to be able to consider an American design that is clearly demonstrating a way to travel more economically, using more of our homegrown energy sources (clean, in my case as I described above) and much less of the foreign oil, while not limiting my range at all (the Volt can travel around 350 miles before it runs out of gas, same as any other car).

I should also mention here, GM is leasing the Volt for around $350-400 a month. This is actually less expensive than leasing most other comparable cars in its class.

-MKL
Posted By: David13

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 04:41 PM

[/quote] I have no idea why Jeremy Clarkson* call's them'smugmobiles.' [/quote]

You mean that pompous **s what galoots around on tv? I don't recall seeing very many on tv less smug than he.

And I guess what you really mean is that a good ole red blooded 'mercan is supposed to be smug about wasting as much as possible. Even if he's English.

*His show panders to the lowest common denominator. The latest episode they are touting, they obtain old gm cars ... and destroy them. As entertainment?

Maybe you are not religious. There are religious people what believe that waste is a sin. Not entertainment.
dc
Posted By: Flyer5

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 05:46 PM

My dislike with Hybrid vehicles maybe dislike is a little harsh. Mostly comes from the false sense that they are so green . The batteries cause a huge impact on the environment during manufacturing process from mining the lead to processing it . The subsidies and tax credits that come out of our pockets and probably our childrens pockets . The whole concept is just smoke and mirrors just like all the carbon credits that get passed back and forth . I drive an 04 VW Jetta diesel w 214,000 miles on it average 14gal fuel tank is between 650 -700 miles , best mileage I have driven was just over 54mpg .
What I like about the Hybrid vehicle is less foreign oil used . I am very against foreign oil which is how I entered into the business that I am in manufacturing Anthracite burning stoves . Everyone thinks coal oh how dirty . It was stated in this thread that clean coal is an oxymoron ,simply not true. There are different types of coal Anthracite being very clean.
Sorry got off subject, My opinion is if you want a Hybrid to not use foreign oil that is great. If tax credits are your deciding factor don't . It just gets tiring having my hard earned money get thrown around filling other peoples pockets . The whole Hybrid thing to me is just like another ethanol scam which dosen't really save anything it just moves things around like a shell game .I would rather see more fuel efficient diesel vehicles come to market preferably American Made.

Dave
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 05:53 PM

Volt pricing and review.

Camry pricing and review.

It seems to me that after you run out of battery power the Camry is actually more efficient.

And cost $15,000 less....not counting the home charging station.

Where are the economics on this?


Not to mention pulling a trailer or road trips.


Give another ten years and a couple billion tax dollars.

wink


What happen to those diesel VW Rabbits of the 70's? The ones that got 60 mpg and never broke down. They were far more efficient than these hybrids.



Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 06:11 PM

Whip-

Not sure how you're getting to the conclusion about any of this. The Camry is not $15k less - maybe if you buy a totally base Camry with a steering wheel and 4 wheels, but nothing else. Similarly equipped to the Volt, they're about $30k.

In the end with the Camry you get 22MPG city, 33MPG highway. The Volt is no gas for 40 miles, 37MPG with, so 60MPG "real world" per EPA. So that's triple or double the MPG of the Camry, depending on how you compare. They cost the same to buy, or to lease - so how on earth is the Camry more efficient?

There is no "home charging station" with a Volt. It plugs into 120VAC. If you want to cut the charge time in half, you install a 230VAC outlet which any electrician can do, if you want. Totally optional, not necessary. So that's not a factor either.

Re pulling a trailer, I don't see the tow numbers on a Camry, but I don't suspect they're all that great. No fuel efficient car, Camry or Volt, is a top choice for towing anything, and the vast majority of car buyers do not ever tow.

Again, nobody said this was a blanket solution. Do your best to make an apples to apples comparo based on your own lifestyle, and then see if it makes sense or not. I can't get a Volt myself, for example, because it only seats 4 and I have 2 kids with a third on the way. Nevertheless for many it is a sensible choice.

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 07:45 PM

Base price on the Camry is $19k

Base price on the Volt after big bro rebate is $33k

14k buys a lot of gas

Without electricity they get within 4 mpg of each other.

Read the links above.


Posted By: roadscholar

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 10:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip

What happen to those diesel VW Rabbits of the 70's? The ones that got 60 mpg and never broke down. They were far more efficient than these hybrids.


So true. And in decades past Mercedes built a couple cars that got 40 mpg, the 190D (stick) and the '95 E300 diesel, a normally aspirated 4-valve 3500lb. luxury car that in the real world got 40mpg on the highway (I owned one, don't believe everything you read on the spec sheet). Which is to say they could do it again, and better, if they wanted.

I must say though, Honda and Toyota are doing a brisk business off the feel-good BS. I won't repeat it but Bynum's last post on the subject had me ROFL. grin
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 10:29 PM

Originally Posted By: roadscholar
Originally Posted By: Whip

What happen to those diesel VW Rabbits of the 70's? The ones that got 60 mpg and never broke down. They were far more efficient than these hybrids.


So true. And in decades past Mercedes built a couple cars that got 40 mpg, the 190D (stick) and the '95 E300 diesel, a normally aspirated 4-valve 3500lb. luxury car that in the real world got 40mpg on the highway (I owned one, don't believe everything you read on the spec sheet). Which is to say they could do it again, and better, if they wanted.

I must say though, Honda and Toyota are doing a brisk business off the feel-good BS. I won't repeat it but Bynum's last post on the subject had me ROFL. grin



I would pay a lot of money for a Mercedes diesel SUV that got 30 MPG and could tow a trailer cross country.
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 10:39 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
I thought I was pretty clear that it was the sanctimonious douchebags who often drive Priuses (Prii?) that I have a problem with.

Now there’s a stereotype if I’ve ever seen one written.

Is it just even remotely possible Russell that at least some of those "douchebags" you so willingly disparage might be doing/driving the way they are because they believe it is the right thing to do?
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 10:45 PM

I think some people drive Prius etc. because for their use it makes sense. If I would have to commute into Washington DC from where I live (no closeby Metro) I would consider it. I think Moshe Levy wrote that his commute 105 miles daily. That in New Jersey. The Prius probably makes a lot of sense for his use, besides all the other reasons he has to own it.
Posted By: pbharvey

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 10:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip


I would pay a lot of money for a Mercedes diesel SUV that got 30 MPG and could tow a trailer cross country.



The ML350 with the BlueTEC diesel is rated at 18/25 mpg; tows 7200#.

(Oddly the ML450 Hybrid is only rated at 20/24 mpg and is only available for lease.)
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 10:50 PM

Originally Posted By: pbharvey
Originally Posted By: Whip


I would pay a lot of money for a Mercedes diesel SUV that got 30 MPG and could tow a trailer cross country.



The ML350 with the BlueTEC diesel is rated at 18/25 mpg; tows 7200#.

(Oddly the ML450 Hybrid is only rated at 20/24 mpg and is only available for lease.)



18 to 25 means about 21.5 combined.

Our 4 X 4 Suburban gets 18 combined on gas.

Not enough of a difference.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 10:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip
Base price on the Camry is $19k

Base price on the Volt after big bro rebate is $33k

14k buys a lot of gas

Without electricity they get within 4 mpg of each other.

Read the links above.



Whip, I think comparing the Volt "without electricity" sort of misses the point, don't you think? A little strange to compare the absolute best the Camry can do (33mpg) to the absolute worst the Volt can do (37MPG on gas) and totally just ignore the added efficiency of the DC drive?

And as I said before, you can't compare a base Camry to a Volt - ***comparably equipped*** they're about the same price (as you forgot to factor in state rebates, which are sometimes quite significant and can bring a Volt to well below $30k).

In the end, the math is pretty simple. The cars cost the same (unless we go round and round, and I tell you a moped and an RT are the same thing because both have an engine and two wheels) and one gets EPA 60MPG, the other EPA 22MPG city, EPA 33MPG highway. It does not take a math wiz to see where this goes. Is it really swallowing such a bitter pill to say, "Yeah, maybe this isn't so bad after all?"

-MKL
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 11:07 PM

That all works great if you live in a place where you get the feel good rebate. If you don't, it's a more expensive smugmobile.

Nice math Mr. Levy, please, show your work...
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 11:15 PM

What part of my work, Matt? Fed rebate ($7500) applies to everyone everywhere in the USA. State rebates vary - look up what (if any) rebate you can get in your state. CA for example plans to offer an additional $5k once its rebate program is in place. I haven't looked up NJ for my dad because we're leasing, not buying, so to us it doesn't apply.

-MKL
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 11:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
I thought I was pretty clear that it was the sanctimonious douchebags who often drive Priuses (Prii?) that I have a problem with.

Now there’s a stereotype if I’ve ever seen one written.

Is it just even remotely possible Russell that at least some of those "douchebags" you so willingly disparage might be doing/driving the way they are because they believe it is the right thing to do?

See there Ken, you just confirmed what most of us Prius haters suspected. Believing in the right thing to do is that pompous, conceited, smuginess, holier than thou attitude that makes Prius owners so repulsive. Stereotypically speaking of course, a Prius represents a rolling, in your face statement of political correctness. It represents all the reasons why I would never buy one even though I am otherwise devoted to owning high mpg vehicles.
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 11:21 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
What part of my work, Matt? Fed rebate ($7500) applies to everyone everywhere in the USA. State rebates vary - look up what (if any) rebate you can get in your state. CA for example plans to offer an additional $5k once its rebate program is in place. I haven't looked up NJ for my dad because we're leasing, not buying, so to us it doesn't apply.

-MKL
show me both car stickers as you compare them.
kwh prices for jersey
show me the basis for your HONEST comparison, not your agenda, it shouldn't be that hard
Posted By: roadscholar

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 11:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip
Originally Posted By: pbharvey
Originally Posted By: Whip


I would pay a lot of money for a Mercedes diesel SUV that got 30 MPG and could tow a trailer cross country.



The ML350 with the BlueTEC diesel is rated at 18/25 mpg; tows 7200#.

(Oddly the ML450 Hybrid is only rated at 20/24 mpg and is only available for lease.)



18 to 25 means about 21.5 combined.

Our 4 X 4 Suburban gets 18 combined on gas.

Not enough of a difference.



Just did some looking, people that own the '08 3.0 CDI are getting 29.5 on the highway in the real world.
If you get one I'll buy it from you in 7 or 8 years when it's got 200,000 miles on it. smile wave

I used to tow a race car with an 80's MB 5 cyl. turbodiesel wagon, great tow car (the wagons had self-leveling rear suspension up to 1000 lbs.). In 1983 myself and a buddy went from Jax to Monterrey and back in a little over 4 days, towing one racecar there and another back (on an open trailer), we shut the engine off once and stayed in a motel for about 6 hours outside L.A. It got over 20mpg while doing 80 most of the time.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 11:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Matts_VSTROM

show me both car stickers as you compare them.
kwh prices for jersey
show me the basis for your HONEST comparison, not your agenda, it shouldn't be that hard


You're right, it's not.

Re MSRP stickers just follow Whip's links to Edmunds. Pricing is there and you can add up a Camry XLE 4 cylinder to comparable levels to a Volt - $30k.

Re EPA MPG figures, again, right from Whip's links to Edmunds.

KWH prices here in NJ hover around 12 cents for most of the day, but going on that figure would be incorrect. I would imagine most people charge overnight when rates shrink to much lower levels. KWH prices vary by service provider so what goes for me may not go for my neighbor with a different service. (That, and my solar panels go up in 3 months, so soon my electricity will be practically free during the day!)

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 11:43 PM

Moshe, your a good man.

You have proven that to me over the years. I like reading your motorcycle articles.

I cannot get to your math and it doesn't matter to me.

I don't drive a 250 Ninja even though it would get me to work for less than my GSA.

I have worked hard in my life to be able to enjoy certain things. Among those things is so I can drive whatever I want. Which has included Corvettes, Chevelles, Suburbans, SS Impalas, and trucks with big blocks.

Maybe it is growing up in Detroit, maybe it's the capitalist in me.


Enjoy your Prius/Volt, just don't try to tell me how smart you are for driving it. The numbers don't work.



Happy Holidays!!!!








Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 11:46 PM

people that own the '08 3.0 CDI are getting 29.5 on the highway in the real world.


Is that an SUV?

It sounds great!!
Posted By: roadscholar

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/19/10 11:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip


Is that an SUV?

It sounds great!!


Yep, ML350 CDI. The '08 seems to get better mileage than other years, it's just a 3.0 with less power though (215 hp ?).
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 12:11 AM

Keep in mind the '08 ML320 CDI was not legal for sale in 11 states..
http://mercedesbuyersguide.theautochannel.com/news/2008/05/23/087924.html
List of those states is here..
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/11/california_sues_epa.php

Posted By: roadscholar

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 12:43 AM

Interesting. This sub-article proved somewhat enlightening also, thanks.

http://mercedesbuyersguide.theautochannel.com/news/2007/01/26/035157.html
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 12:59 AM

Originally Posted By: roadscholar
Interesting. This sub-article proved somewhat enlightening also, thanks.

http://mercedesbuyersguide.theautochannel.com/news/2007/01/26/035157.html



He was right, at the time (2007). Since then the EPA has greatly changed how they rank MPGs among hybrids. For example, my Gen 2 Prius used to have a 60MPG window sticker back then, and in 2008 when I bought it was scaled down to high 40s, which is in fact what it delivers.

His comparison of a heavy SUV with a midsize Mercedes sedan is ridiculous, however. In addition to weight there are enormous differences in aerodynamics, gearing, and other factors which lead to disparities. Apples to apples is missing from many of these types of articles.

I can see this little group in here is pretty far out from the mainstream sense of demand. Diesel is on the periphery of demand in this country, for some reason. There are barely any offerings and if there were such a demand, I would imagine as Steve said, the market would react...

-MKL
Posted By: roadscholar

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 01:39 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Diesel is on the periphery of demand in this country, for some reason. There are barely any offerings and if there were such a demand, I would imagine as Steve said, the market would react...

-MKL


There is some truth in that. I think there are several factors, the big two (Honda and especially Toyota) have created some very good marketing strategies for hybrids, in the 80's GM pretty much ruined the D-word forever in the minds of most Americans with their incredibly inept examples, and yes they get pretty decent mileage. OK, but how are your crumple zones? grin
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 08:03 AM

Originally Posted By: roadscholar
Originally Posted By: RightSpin
Some of the most promising technology I've seen so far is the work being done at Porsche. They are solving the weight issues associated with engineering the drive motors within the wheels themselves. Once this challenge is unlocked, it can spill over to virtually any kind of torque-driven drive mechanism. The ability to instantly and precisely control the amount of torque being supplied to each wheel will create a quantum leap in performance over today's technology. That, in turn, will automatically lead to better efficiency. Again, a win-win scenerio.


Yes, but nothing really that new. The market must not've been quite ready for it. smile

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lohner-Porsche_Mixte_Hybrid


Bill, that is awesome!!! I want one. thumbsup
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 08:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
I thought I was pretty clear that it was the sanctimonious douchebags who often drive Priuses (Prii?) that I have a problem with.

Now there’s a stereotype if I’ve ever seen one written.

Is it just even remotely possible Russell that at least some of those "douchebags" you so willingly disparage might be doing/driving the way they are because they believe it is the right thing to do?


Uuhhh....wasn't that implied in what I wrote?
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 08:28 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
I can see this little group in here is pretty far out from the mainstream sense of demand. Diesel is on the periphery of demand in this country, for some reason. There are barely any offerings and if there were such a demand, I would imagine as Steve said, the market would react...

-MKL


There is quite a bit of demand for diesel's here now. One of the obstacles for manufacturers has been diesel formulation. Traditional diesels weren't designed to run on ultra-low sulfur diesel which is now mandated here in the US. Until manufacturers redesign for the new standard, you won't see too much available.

Also, mandated higher emissions require quite a bit of extra pollution gear on the vehicle, which drives prices higher and performance lower. For example, comparing my 08 Chevrolet 2500HD diesel to my dad's 03, I get almost 5mpg less mileage. 22mpg to 17mpg is a big drop and can explain why some might not be as excited about the benefits of diesel vs. others.
Posted By: Boffin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 10:33 AM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
I can see this little group in here is pretty far out from the mainstream sense of demand. Diesel is on the periphery of demand in this country, for some reason. There are barely any offerings and if there were such a demand, I would imagine as Steve said, the market would react...

-MKL


There is quite a bit of demand for diesel's here now. One of the obstacles for manufacturers has been diesel formulation. Traditional diesels weren't designed to run on ultra-low sulfur diesel which is now mandated here in the US. Until manufacturers redesign for the new standard, you won't see too much available.

Also, mandated higher emissions require quite a bit of extra pollution gear on the vehicle, which drives prices higher and performance lower. For example, comparing my 08 Chevrolet 2500HD diesel to my dad's 03, I get almost 5mpg less mileage. 22mpg to 17mpg is a big drop and can explain why some might not be as excited about the benefits of diesel vs. others.


ULS diesel has been mandated in Europe for far longer than in the US. Over here about 30% of the cars on the road are diesel, though it is hard to tell from the driver's seat. Image is a big factor.

Oh, and the diesel fleet is dropping in Europe - because the particulate emission are seen as a major pollutant and have been directly linked to thousands of deaths every year. In Europe, environmentalists consider diesel vehicles to be on a par with coal-burning power stations.

Andy
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 01:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Boffin
because the particulate emission are seen as a major pollutant and have been directly linked to thousands of deaths every year.


Yeah, I realize people die and all, but, but, but, but... it's CHEAPER! confused

-MKL
Posted By: Harry_Wilshusen

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 01:50 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
What part of my work, Matt? Fed rebate ($7500) applies to everyone everywhere in the USA. State rebates vary - look up what (if any) rebate you can get in your state. CA for example plans to offer an additional $5k once its rebate program is in place. I haven't looked up NJ for my dad because we're leasing, not buying, so to us it doesn't apply.

-MKL


What's CA going to rebate it with? IOU's?

Harry
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Harry_Wilshusen
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
What part of my work, Matt? Fed rebate ($7500) applies to everyone everywhere in the USA. State rebates vary - look up what (if any) rebate you can get in your state. CA for example plans to offer an additional $5k once its rebate program is in place. I haven't looked up NJ for my dad because we're leasing, not buying, so to us it doesn't apply.

-MKL


What's CA going to rebate it with? IOU's?

Harry


I'll give you a hint. It starts with T and ends with "axes".

Bend over and grab your ankles.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 05:05 PM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
I can see this little group in here is pretty far out from the mainstream sense of demand. Diesel is on the periphery of demand in this country, for some reason. There are barely any offerings and if there were such a demand, I would imagine as Steve said, the market would react...

-MKL


There is quite a bit of demand for diesel's here now. One of the obstacles for manufacturers has been diesel formulation. Traditional diesels weren't designed to run on ultra-low sulfur diesel which is now mandated here in the US. Until manufacturers redesign for the new standard, you won't see too much available.


We have the ULS diesel here and my '03 Dodge/Cummins does just fine with it.

Quote:
Also, mandated higher emissions require quite a bit of extra pollution gear on the vehicle, which drives prices higher and performance lower. For example, comparing my 08 Chevrolet 2500HD diesel to my dad's 03, I get almost 5mpg less mileage. 22mph to 17mpg is a big drop and can explain why some might not be as excited about the benefits of diesel vs. others.


Yup.
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 07:15 PM

Soooo....Environmentalist hmmmmmmmmmmm?

They want us to get better gas mileage then they make it harder to get better gas mileage.

They want us to use less fuel then they make us use more fuel.

...sounds like the government got involved in bidness again.

L
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 08:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip
Soooo....Environmentalist hmmmmmmmmmmm?

They want us to get better gas mileage then they make it harder to get better gas mileage.

They want us to use less fuel then they make us use more fuel.

...sounds like the government got involved in bidness again.

L


There's two arguments going on. One wants better mpg. One wants lower emissions. The two are often somewhat mutually exclusive.

But yeah...both are cases of govt getting involved and screwing things up.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 09:20 PM

C'mon guys, really. Diesel engines get better MPGs than Petrol. The tradeoff is they have much higher noxious emissions from the tailpipe. That's true in a communist country, an anrachist country, and everything in between. The characteristics of the engines have nothing to do with government whatsover.

Answering everything with a knee-jerk response of "government's the answer" or "government's the problem" solves nothing but proving the analysis involved in formulating said response is shallow.

-MKL
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 09:25 PM

For all you math lovers. Appearantly the volt doesnt add up. There is alot to debate in here but you might like this article:

linky
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 09:45 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
C'mon guys, really. Diesel engines get better MPGs than Petrol. The tradeoff is they have much higher noxious emissions from the tailpipe. That's true in a communist country, an anrachist country, and everything in between. The characteristics of the engines have nothing to do with government whatsover.

Answering everything with a knee-jerk response of "government's the answer" or "government's the problem" solves nothing but proving the analysis involved in formulating said response is shallow.

-MKL


That may be true, but pushin CAFE standards at the same time restricting industry from higher MPGs is fun to talk about. Then putting consumption taxes on gas to raise money is all in a days work for Big Bro.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 10:15 PM

I trust CR on most issues, and they seem to have a fair handle on this. We'll see what they say in their full test, though I must repeat again that the Volt's price is lower than reported when state rebates are factored in, and the comparable cars' prices are higher ***when similarly equipped***. (My Prius was $32k in 2008, and it's only gone up for a top line model since then).

One line from the conclusion: "Of course, money-saving is not the Volt’s only raison-de-d’être. This is an electric-drive car that conserves energy in electric mode and does not come with range anxiety. As such, it advances the cause of reducing greenhouse gases and reducing our reliance on foreign oil. According to our recent green-car survey, saving money is not the number one goal for EV intenders, anyway."

This basically matches my argument, while diesel solves only half that mission.

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 10:34 PM

I get it now.

It's a religious thing.

rofl
Posted By: David

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 10:36 PM

An EV car is not for me (yet), but I admire how you've thought through it and made a decision that follows your own values.

I own a Honda Fit that I do most of my driving in. I also have a Dodge diesel RAM with 106k miles on it that I use for hauling/towing. Unloaded it gets 23 mpg on avg, and with a 10,000 lb towing vehicle towing another 10,000 lbs, it gets 16 mpg.

I'm happy with both choices.

My wife has an Acura MDX, which is a complete delight to drive and safe at the same time, but the mileage sucks.
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 10:52 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
I trust CR on most issues, and they seem to have a fair handle on this. We'll see what they say in their full test, though I must repeat again that the Volt's price is lower than reported when state rebates are factored in, and the comparable cars' prices are higher ***when similarly equipped***. (My Prius was $32k in 2008, and it's only gone up for a top line model since then).

One line from the conclusion: "Of course, money-saving is not the Volt’s only raison-de-d’être. This is an electric-drive car that conserves energy in electric mode and does not come with range anxiety. As such, it advances the cause of reducing greenhouse gases and reducing our reliance on foreign oil. According to our recent green-car survey, saving money is not the number one goal for EV intenders, anyway."

This basically matches my argument, while diesel solves only half that mission.

-MKL


I really dont understand you. One minute you use price for the justification, the next you use foreign oil. Either way it doesnt add up. You read the article and can see it just doesnt add up based on the fuel economy and intitial purchase price. If you base it off the reliance on foriegn oil, then you ignore transportation costs for the additional components. You dont factor in that a normal car doesnt have an electric motor, or mass amounts of battery packs. Your entire jsutification is completely flawed. They arent green cars, they dont really reduce the reliance on foreign oil, theres more to dispose of after it life, they cost more than a normal car.....I just dont see the reson why anyone would want to buy this over say...a toyota corrola or a Ford fusion....

On a side note, you were wondering why people dont like hybrids? Its defenses like yours that ignore the big picture that turn me off, and every hybrid driver tries the same line of defenses. smile Lets ignore where electricity comes from...lets ignore the additional parts for an electric motor come from....lets ignore batteries...lets ignore the nickel foam in batteries.....lets ignore non-recycleable body panels....
Posted By: cali_beemer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
(My Prius was $32k in 2008, and it's only gone up for a top line model since then).



OMG.......damn there getting expensive. My dodge ram 4x4 with a HEMI cost 6k dollars less. Based on my driving of 10k miles per year, and $3.00 per gallon for gas, it would over 3 years just to offset the difference in fuel saving. This is not to mention, you have to drive a Prius everyday.... rofl

If we looked at a Toyota Corolla.....vs the prius.....@10k miles per year....it would take over 48 years.....LOL

I hope you enjoy your prius. It makes absolutely no financial sense. Your not helping the environment and your paying alot of extra money for a car that has zero performance capability. ENJOY!
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 11:19 PM

Originally Posted By: cali_beemer
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
(My Prius was $32k in 2008, and it's only gone up for a top line model since then).



OMG.......damn there getting expensive. My dodge ram 4x4 with a HEMI cost 6k dollars less. Based on my driving of 10k miles per year, and $3.00 per gallon for gas, it would over 3 years just to offset the difference in fuel saving. This is not to mention, you have to drive a Prius everyday.... rofl

If we looked at a Toyota Corolla.....vs the prius.....@10k miles per year....it would take over 48 years.....LOL

I hope you enjoy your prius. It makes absolutely no financial sense. Your not helping the environment and your paying alot of extra money for a car that has zero performance capability. ENJOY!

True dat. I LIDAR stopped a 2010 Prius for 50 in a 35 this morning. First thing out of the drivers mouth, "my car doesn't go 50 mph".
Interestingly I noticed a detector sitting on the dash.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 11:23 PM

Originally Posted By: cali_beemer

On a side note, you were wondering why people dont like hybrids? Its defenses like yours that ignore the big picture that turn me off, and every hybrid driver tries the same line of defenses. smile Lets ignore where electricity comes from...lets ignore the additional parts for an electric motor come from....lets ignore batteries...lets ignore the nickel foam in batteries.....lets ignore non-recycleable body panels....


Yup. All while preaching at me that I'm destroying the planet.

Not all Hybrid drivers are like this, of course but it seems that it's fairly large percentage.

I'll also say that among hybrid drivers, the douche-factor seems substantially lower any time their car of choice is not a Prius, or is the Prius that looks like a normal sedan rather than the usual one that everyone else gets. My conclusion is that people buy the different-looking Prius as a statement. I also think that's one of the big reasons the Prius has sold so well despite being grossly overpriced and only moderately more fuel efficient than other cars in its class: Even though it looks like someone beat it with an ugly stick, it looks unique...so everyone knows that you're better than they are.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 11:32 PM

Originally Posted By: cali_beemer
Your entire jsutification is completely flawed. They arent green cars, they dont really reduce the reliance on foreign oil, theres more to dispose of after it life, they cost more than a normal car.....I just dont see the reson why anyone would want to buy this over say...a toyota corrola or a Ford fusion....

On a side note, you were wondering why people dont like hybrids? Its defenses like yours that ignore the big picture that turn me off, and every hybrid driver tries the same line of defenses. smile Lets ignore where electricity comes from...lets ignore the additional parts for an electric motor come from....lets ignore batteries...lets ignore the nickel foam in batteries.....lets ignore non-recycleable body panels....


We're now devolving to the point where we're just not not getting through to each other, and facts be damned we have our opinions that we're gonna stick to. That's fine. I think I've already addressed each of your various points earlier on if you want to go back and check, and provided proof where I could (unlike any of your posts, which are steeped in woefully incorrect statements, without a single bit of objective proof to anything).

In the end, we're all free to drive what we like and enjoy it to the extent that we can. I guess we can agree on that, hopefully.

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/20/10 11:52 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
(My Prius was $32k in 2008, and it's only gone up for a top line model since then).


That's interesting. I paid $37k in 08 for my 2500HD quad-cab turbo diesel 4X4 in LTZ trim. Maybe GM was more competitive than I thought.
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 02:25 AM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
(My Prius was $32k in 2008, and it's only gone up for a top line model since then).


That's interesting. I paid $37k in 08 for my 2500HD quad-cab turbo diesel 4X4 in LTZ trim. Maybe GM was more competitive than I thought.


And, getting hit by a pious won't likely hurt anyone in the truck dopeslap Unlike the converse.

Moshe, if you remove the state rebates, where does the breakeven come on the car?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 02:35 AM

Matt-

What does "breakeven" mean, in this case? Relative to what? Whatever it is, you can use a calculator and the EPA figures as well as I can.

-MKL
Posted By: RoadWolf

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 03:45 AM

I think what is lost in all this debate so far, or that someone hasn't brought up before is this:

The difference between the traditional internal combustion engine as is being advocated here for being more economical vs. the hybrid (series, parallel) or even full on electrical (Leaf) and that difference is mainly emissions.

True, a lot of our electricity is from coal fired plants, but some comes from other sources (nuclear, hydroelectric, and soon, wind and solar). I would imagine that taking off the road a portion of Carbon emitting cars and trucks would benefit the environment as a whole if they were reduced in the mix of transportation. I see the battery problem as an environmental issue, but are those not recycled at some level (not sure about that, so educate me here experts)? In urban areas (like Atlanta here in the South) or in LA where there are a lot of cars on the road in a concentrated area in terms of square miles... imagine what the air quality/smog/carbon released in the air would be like if more Priuses/Ford Fusion Hybrids/etc. were on the road, emitting less CO2. So, I probably am more inclined to look at the bigger picture of the local (and global) effect of this pollution as being subservient to paying a higher cost for said vehicle. That and with more people buying this technology, prices will come down.

This is the way I have seen this argument and would like to hear from you guys if there is any merit to my understanding of this or not...
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 05:03 AM

Chris-

You are precisely correct. The battery has been decried in this thread for a few reasons, all of which (so far) to me are not really valid:

1) That batteries are an environmental hazard: Yes, if not disposed of properly. I help run a business that manufactures UPS Systems, and we dispose of batteries every day, so I know a thing or two about it. Manufacturers like Honda and Toyota have recycling plans in place when old traction batteries are replaced. I would bet a good deal the other mfrs do as well, else face huge fines for improper disposal. See http://www.autoevolution.com/news/toyota-prius-battery-recycling-plan-8360.html for a short article about it. Also keep in mind the traditional lead acid battery has much less recyclable afterlife as the nickel or lithium based batteries in newer hybrids / EVs, making the claim even less worthy.

2) That batteries are a reliability problem: Let's get this straight. The traction battery in a typical hybrid is warranteed for 8 years / 100,000 miles. Powertrain typically for 3 years / 36,000 miles. Why people are worried about something which is covered for 2-3x the rest of the car is beyond me, especially if they scan Consumer Reports, or JD Power, or any other objective source of reliability data. Guess what? Hybrids like Prius, Camry, and others rank at or near the top - not of hybrids, but of EVERYTHING. So I guess batteries aren't an issue re reliability.

3) That the battery is mined here, shipped there, and assembled somewhere else, and therefor the carbon footprint of manufacturing is higher for hybrids: Only a valid concern when you find me a car with 100% local sourced parts. Otherwise, EVERY car has parts manufacturered where economies of scale for that manufacturer are achieved (or taxes or tariffs are leveraged). Engine from here, tranny from there, interior from somewhere else. That's practically EVERY car. So now because it's a battery it's different? If everybody's guilty, nobody's guilty.

4) That electricity is dirty: Sure, some of it is. Dirtier than petrol? I don't know, and nobody here so far has offered any evidence that it is. I DO know mine isn't, because I took the 15 minutes to find a supplier who offers sources from renewable like wind, solar, and refuse gas. I also know the electricity is produced by US, not by OPEC. That to me is #1.

5) Emissions: Any car mag now includes C02 grams per mile and it's obvious that hybrids emit far less - up to 2-3x less, than conventional. Just read Motor Trend, Car & Driver, Road & Track - enthusiast publications, not hybrid fans. Are they all lying too? Manufacturers are now putting hybridesque features like stopping the motor at idle on some conventional cars. This trend will continue because it makes sense.

Just use common sense on this issue: Tomorrow on the way to work, creeping along in around town or congested traffic, watch the tailpipes of every car around you, all emitting. The hybrids aren't. Period.

For some reason this subject is tainted with politics and otherwise reasonable people all of a sudden either feign or honestly lose all powers of reason and fall back to some sort of political defense based on what "capitalists" are supposed to drive (as though Eastern Bloc commies invented hybrid technology, not forward thinking Western industrial powerhouses).

Bottom line: We could kick around R-Series vs. K-Series all day on technical merits and nobody would be offended, but to suggest that a hybrid which gets 50MPG and produces half the grams of CO2 per mile is efficient, or economical, and a near riot can erupt. You will have people seriously try to argue about "payback" periods as though that's the only issue in the game. A one dimensional look at a multi-faceted problem to justify political ideology, is what it really is. Sanctimoneous? Try being called a "douchebag" because of your car.

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 06:11 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

Bottom line: We could kick around R-Series vs. K-Series all day on technical merits and nobody would be offended, but to suggest that a hybrid which gets 50MPG and produces half the grams of CO2 per mile is efficient, or economical, and a near riot can erupt.


More efficient: probably.
More economical: LOL! Not hardly.

Quote:
You will have people seriously try to argue about "payback" periods as though that's the only issue in the game.


Nobody has done that here. Payback period is important when you're talking about the personal economics of it, though.

Quote:
Sanctimoneous? Try being called a "douchebag" because of your car.


Nobody is being called a douchebag because of their car. People are being called douchebags because they're sanctimonious ABOUT their car. There's a difference.
Posted By: RoadWolf

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 07:39 AM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
[Nobody is being called a douchebag because of their car. People are being called douchebags because they're sanctimonious ABOUT their car. There's a difference.


Russell, you really need to re-read what YOU wrote before defending your position:

"Yup. All while preaching at me that I'm destroying the planet.

Not all Hybrid drivers are like this, of course but it seems that it's fairly large percentage.

I'll also say that among hybrid drivers, the douche-factor seems substantially lower any time their car of choice is not a Prius, or is the Prius that looks like a normal sedan rather than the usual one that everyone else gets. My conclusion is that people buy the different-looking Prius as a statement. I also think that's one of the big reasons the Prius has sold so well despite being grossly overpriced and only moderately more fuel efficient than other cars in its class: Even though it looks like someone beat it with an ugly stick, it looks unique...so everyone knows that you're better than they are."

I'd say you make a lot of very broad generalizations of hybrid owners. Don't you think?
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 02:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Matts_VSTROM
Originally Posted By: RightSpin
That's interesting. I paid $37k in 08 for my 2500HD quad-cab turbo diesel 4X4 in LTZ trim. Maybe GM was more competitive than I thought.


Moshe, if you remove the state rebates, where does the breakeven come on the car?


An interesting point considering the corporate welfare I got just for buying a vehicle over 6,000lbs for my company. I was able to deduct $20k of income (saving me about $7k in taxes) which brings the "real" cost to me down to $30k. Without the federal subsidies, I would have been better off having bought a basic 1/2 ton truck. But, it is what it is and that is how the game is played in this day and age.

[edit] Oh, and I want to thank all of you for kicking in a little extra to help make my truck not so costly to me. thumbsup [/edit]
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 04:05 PM

Steve-

I'm happy you mention this - especially you, since you touted the free market as the solution here. This tax writeoff is something I touched on earlier, that nobody commented on, which both disgusts and delights many who have disagreed with me on this thread. Disgust because it is a subsidy - delight because it clearly shows a government policy that contradicts itself terribly (subsidies for hybrids for high MPGs, and even higher subsidies for heavy trucks as a deduction).

As I mentioned earlier, this little loophole you mention cost Uncle Sam more last year than the past 10 years of hybrid subsidies combined (which run out per model as it reaches a certain sales figure). This is why I love when the good 'ole boys in the big pickups call hybrid drivers (paraphrased) "commies who are on the government dole," when in reality, as you pointed out, it's the big trucks that get the REAL subsidies. A couple of hundred bucks for buying a hybrid - IF any rebates are even left (none are on Prius, for example) vs. $7k on a pickup.

You do the math.... Who are the commies now? rofl

I'm sure I'll just hear lots of crickets now as this distressing news is swallowed by my "capitalist" brethren.......

-MKL
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 04:05 PM

"[edit] Oh, and I want to thank all of you for kicking in a little extra to help make my truck not so costly to me. thumbsup [/edit]"
Don't worry, I'll get it back from you sooner or later... smile
Posted By: Quinn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 04:06 PM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin[edit
Oh, and I want to thank all of you for kicking in a little extra to help make my truck not so costly to me. thumbsup [/edit]


Hey it's the least I could do since you're covering my Social Security.

----
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 04:30 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Matt-

What does "breakeven" mean, in this case? Relative to what? Whatever it is, you can use a calculator and the EPA figures as well as I can.-MKL



Sorry, that should have been cost per mile instead of break even.

I would have calculated but since this is your crusade I knew you'd have the figures handy already and I could go back to capitalistic pursuits like finding loopholes to not pay for Steve's truck! rofl
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 04:50 PM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
Originally Posted By: Matts_VSTROM
Originally Posted By: RightSpin
That's interesting. I paid $37k in 08 for my 2500HD quad-cab turbo diesel 4X4 in LTZ trim. Maybe GM was more competitive than I thought.


Moshe, if you remove the state rebates, where does the breakeven come on the car?


An interesting point considering the corporate welfare I got just for buying a vehicle over 6,000lbs for my company. I was able to deduct $20k of income (saving me about $7k in taxes) which brings the "real" cost to me down to $30k. Without the federal subsidies, I would have been better off having bought a basic 1/2 ton truck. But, it is what it is and that is how the game is played in this day and age.

[edit] Oh, and I want to thank all of you for kicking in a little extra to help make my truck not so costly to me. thumbsup [/edit]



...it all sounds good, but don'tcha really just take the right off up front......soooo ya can't take the mileage deduction.

?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 05:13 PM

Mileage deduction?? Pinko..... wink

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/21/10 05:47 PM

Originally Posted By: RoadWolf
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
[Nobody is being called a douchebag because of their car. People are being called douchebags because they're sanctimonious ABOUT their car. There's a difference.


Russell, you really need to re-read what YOU wrote before defending your position:

"Yup. All while preaching at me that I'm destroying the planet.

Not all Hybrid drivers are like this, of course but it seems that it's fairly large percentage.

I'll also say that among hybrid drivers, the douche-factor seems substantially lower any time their car of choice is not a Prius, or is the Prius that looks like a normal sedan rather than the usual one that everyone else gets. My conclusion is that people buy the different-looking Prius as a statement. I also think that's one of the big reasons the Prius has sold so well despite being grossly overpriced and only moderately more fuel efficient than other cars in its class: Even though it looks like someone beat it with an ugly stick, it looks unique...so everyone knows that you're better than they are."

I'd say you make a lot of very broad generalizations of hybrid owners. Don't you think?


Yup. Based on my observations.

Certainly not all Hybrid drivers are sanctimonious douchebags, but it does seem like a disproportionate number of sanctimonious douchebags drive Hybrids...particularly the hatchback version of the Prius.
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/22/10 12:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Paul Mihalka
"[edit] Oh, and I want to thank all of you for kicking in a little extra to help make my truck not so costly to me. thumbsup [/edit]"
Don't worry, I'll get it back from you sooner or later... smile


Paul, you're going to live like a thousand years, so I'm getting prepared. grin
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/22/10 12:49 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Steve-

I'm happy you mention this - especially you, since you touted the free market as the solution here. This tax writeoff is something I touched on earlier, that nobody commented on, which both disgusts and delights many who have disagreed with me on this thread. Disgust because it is a subsidy - delight because it clearly shows a government policy that contradicts itself terribly (subsidies for hybrids for high MPGs, and even higher subsidies for heavy trucks as a deduction).

As I mentioned earlier, this little loophole you mention cost Uncle Sam more last year than the past 10 years of hybrid subsidies combined (which run out per model as it reaches a certain sales figure). This is why I love when the good 'ole boys in the big pickups call hybrid drivers (paraphrased) "commies who are on the government dole," when in reality, as you pointed out, it's the big trucks that get the REAL subsidies. A couple of hundred bucks for buying a hybrid - IF any rebates are even left (none are on Prius, for example) vs. $7k on a pickup.

You do the math.... Who are the commies now? rofl

I'm sure I'll just hear lots of crickets now as this distressing news is swallowed by my "capitalist" brethren.......

-MKL


Oh, I seem to have struck a nerve. Sorry about that.

Subsidies are subsidies, regardless who gets them. And, welfare is welfare, no matter who gets it. In turn, the rules are the rules, and everyone has to play by them.

I didn't make the rule about prius subsidies, nor large truck tax breaks. In fact, I steadfastly oppose any form of wealth transfer from one individual to another. But, if such a hairbrained idea sees the light of day and ultimately becomes the law of the land, then that's it - game on. I will take every dollar this government gives me legally.

Another excellent example is the Georgia Lottery. I voted against it twice. It passed both times. So, what am I to do? Cry in my milk because it's wrong for my kids to get a free education payed for by people with poor math skills? Should I have unilaterally "disarmed" and refused the largess? Um, only if were a complete idiot. My kids went to college at very little cost to me because of a stupid law, voted for by stupid people thinking they were somehow going to beat the system and get rich winning a rigged game.

If the government is going to put a stack of cash on a street corner with a sign on it saying, "Take Some", then I'm their huckleberry. Maybe, as a collective, we ought to stop putting other peoples money out there to begin with. I'm just saying.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/22/10 02:30 AM

Steve-

Sometimes inflection gets lost in written word. I was only being tongue-in-cheek with you - although more literal with others. If you go back and scan some responses thus far, you will very clearly see some opinions which state (paraphrased) that hybrids are hated because they are propped up by government subsidies, while going on to laud the towing capacities of large pickups (e.g. "maybe it's the capitalist in me," etc.). I merely - and quite gleefully - point out the complete fallacy of that position. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

I respect your position on subsidies to a pretty large extent (you'd be surprised how much we likely agree upon over a beer) but obviously veer off in another direction in some regards. Not too many, but some.

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/25/10 03:02 AM

Whoops, I almost missed your response. I'm sure we'd agree on a whole range of things, depending upon the quantity and quality of the beer. But, no matter how much beer you got me to drink, I would never slip behind the wheel of a Prius. I take drinking and driving very serious.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/25/10 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
I take drinking and driving very serious.


Yet another thing we agree on.

I'll let you guys know my impressions of the Volt when it arrives (ASSuming my dad lets me borrow it to test it out).

-MKL
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/25/10 03:26 PM

LOL, I wasn't sure if you would get my little funny there. :-D

Merry Christmas, Moshe.
Posted By: IT_Mike

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/26/10 11:18 PM

I go away for a week and look what happens...

Let me clear things up...

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

Jan, I believe IT Mike's quote falls out of the realm of opinion and into refutable fact. Certainly there is no case to make that pure I/C engines are more economical than hybrids, since every hybrid version of a standard car gets better MPG, and every EV vehicle is about 5x less costly to run per mile than pure gas or diesel, even with amortization of the battery factored in.


Really? Even with your sudo-mileage of 60MPG for the Volt, the Volvo I pointed out early gets better fuel economy (67MPG) and will get that fuel economy mile after mile.


Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Certainly there is no case that I/C is more reliable than hybrid, either (check Consumer Reports reliability ratings or JD Power for proof).
Tell me that one again in another 150K miles. IC engines will outlast your batteries if nothing else. BTW, I routinely put over 200K miles on my vehicles. How many sets of batteries is that...?

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Definitely, IC is not more efficient than hybrid or electric - efficiency of even the best IC engines is quite poor, actually - around 20%.

Pure efficiency, in a contained, controlled environment? Sure.
Now take it off the grid...What's the efficiency when you include the typically IC power generation facilities to recharge your batteries?

Battery driven solutions require large numbers (or size) of batteries, generally with short life spans, and an alternate power source to charge them.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 12:04 AM

Originally Posted By: IT_Mike
I go away for a week and look what happens...

Let me clear things up...

>>>>Really? Even with your sudo-mileage of 60MPG for the Volt, the Volvo I pointed out early gets better fuel economy (67MPG) and will get that fuel economy mile after mile.<<<<

Mike, I have no issue with this Volvo you brought up, except for the fact that I can't get one here in the USA. As such, it's not a viable solution for an American consumer to consider until which time it's available. The Volvo has its own set of tradeoffs (diesel pollution among them).

>>>>>Tell me that one again in another 150K miles. IC engines will outlast your batteries if nothing else. BTW, I routinely put over 200K miles on my vehicles. How many sets of batteries is that...?<<<<

I am at a loss to explain why some have a newfound paranoia about the supposed lack of battery reliability. By all measures, the Prius at least is tremendously reliable:

#1 in JD Power - http://www.hybridautoreview.net/j-d-power-ranks-prius-as-most-reliable.html

Consistently Top Ranked Reliability in Consumer Reports - http://green.autoblog.com/2007/10/18/con...st-includes-tw/

I could go on, if you want. The battery is warrantied for 100k in most states, up to 150k in some other states like CA. So, after 100k or more, I may have to replace a battery, which will run me about $2k if I buy a new one, or under $750 if I buy an almost new one from a wreck on Ebay.... So what? After that many miles, are you really complaining? To answer your question, visit Prius forums like Priuschat.com. 200-300k vehicles are commonplace. Some used as taxis in cities like New York, so that's hard mileage. Some are still on original batteries, some on the second. So what?

How long with a Volt's batteries last? I dunno. I hope they're as good as the Prius' and other hybrid vehicles on the road, most of which have stellar relability records and no history of battery problems or recalls.

>>>>Pure efficiency, in a contained, controlled environment? Sure. Now take it off the grid...What's the efficiency when you include the typically IC power generation facilities to recharge your batteries?<<<<<

Let's call Steve in on this for defense of the market. If we use price as the determining factor of availability (and by extension efficiency) there is no contest. You can travel about 5x as far on $1 on electricity at prevailing market rates vs. $1 in gasoline at prevailing market rates.

>>>>Battery driven solutions require large numbers (or size) of batteries, generally with short life spans, and an alternate power source to charge them.
<<<<<

Where do you come up with this notion of batteries with short life spans? Please show us. The proof certainly is not in the hybrid vehicle market, which has proven over 14 years that the batteries are not a problem issue.

Why is it bad for batteries to require charging, whether on the grid (plug in) or off, as in the Prius? It's not a reason in and of itself to be anti-electric, any more than if I state that "IC engines are bad because they require you to fill the gas tank with petrol." Yeah, and?

The technology's improving. It's getting better all the time, and the Volt represents a new step forward, like the very first RT. Not a sport bike, not a tourer - both. The Volt is not a traditional hybrid, not an EV - both. Kudos to GM for thinking outside the box.

Pox on the industry for doing such a piss poor job of explaining the technologies to the public, which still carries all sort of misconceptions around regarding the issue.

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 02:13 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

It's getting better all the time, and the Volt represents a new step forward, like the very first RT. Not a sport bike, not a tourer - both. The Volt is not a traditional hybrid, not an EV - both.


I would have agreed with you if the Volt was what GM has been saying it would be...an EV with a gas generator. It isn't. It is just a plug-in Hybrid.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 02:25 AM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
I would have agreed with you if the Volt was what GM has been saying it would be...an EV with a gas generator. It isn't. It is just a plug-in Hybrid.


Russ, as I explained before, that's simply not true. Read up: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/cells/chevy-volt-hybrid-drive-system The Volt is not a *typical* Series / Parallel setup a'la Prius. Not even close.

-MKL
Posted By: ESokoloff

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 02:36 AM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

It's getting better all the time, and the Volt represents a new step forward, like the very first RT. Not a sport bike, not a tourer - both. The Volt is not a traditional hybrid, not an EV - both.


I would have agreed with you if the Volt was what GM has been saying it would be...an EV with a gas generator. It isn't. It is just a plug-in Hybrid.



In your particular sistuation (and many others) this car/concept makes no sense.
You are not GM's market but for many this & subsequent offerings will make sense now & more so in the future.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 04:50 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
I would have agreed with you if the Volt was what GM has been saying it would be...an EV with a gas generator. It isn't. It is just a plug-in Hybrid.


Russ, as I explained before, that's simply not true. Read up: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/cells/chevy-volt-hybrid-drive-system The Volt is not a *typical* Series / Parallel setup a'la Prius. Not even close.

-MKL



As I said...a friend of mine has one on order and we've talked at great lengths about it...including the planetary gear system. I do agree that it does some things better than today's hybrids. But it's still just a plug-in hybrid and no amount of marketing bullshit is going to change that.

Doesn't mean it is a bad car...it seems to be better than the current crop. But let's not pretend it is something it isn't.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 04:51 AM

Originally Posted By: ESokoloff
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

It's getting better all the time, and the Volt represents a new step forward, like the very first RT. Not a sport bike, not a tourer - both. The Volt is not a traditional hybrid, not an EV - both.


I would have agreed with you if the Volt was what GM has been saying it would be...an EV with a gas generator. It isn't. It is just a plug-in Hybrid.



In your particular sistuation (and many others) this car/concept makes no sense.
You are not GM's market but for many this & subsequent offerings will make sense now & more so in the future.


I commute 120 miles/day. If anyone is a good market for a fuel efficient car, it's me.
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 02:20 PM

It won't matter Russell, I do 110/day and when "the" vehicle is built, tall folks won't fit as the design paramters seem to be 5' to 6'.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 03:08 PM

Russ-

The lengthy commute alone doesn't necessarily make you GM's target market, or a hybrid target in general. In fact, I would say a guy like my dad with a short commute is their target market, because to him it means he will run electric for 99% of the life of the car, yet will not have "range anxiety" if a longer trip ever comes up.

There is more as you know to a purchase decision than one factor. I've stated my political reasoning for what I drive. There is economics, environmental, and a whole host of other factors, and it doesn't seem from reading your posts like any of these tilts you towards this type of car, though it does for others like myself.

Tallman, the Prius isn't the only game in town. I haven't sat in a Volt yet so I cannot comment on that headroom, but I have coworkers in Camry and Ford Fusion hybrids, and each one of those gents is in excess of 6'4". They're comfy in those cars, but they're cramped in my Prius.

-MKL
Posted By: UberXY

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 05:09 PM

Whether the Volt is a winner or not remains to be seen, but as an old Chevy salesman told me on the lot the other day: "How the hell does GM expect me to sell a $22,000 car for $40k?" He liked the car and thought it was a good idea, just vastly overpriced. Personally, I don't see any groundbreaking technology in the Volt, but I suppose GM has to start somewhere.


BTW an acquaintance of mine was one of the recent winners of the X-prize. Nice guy, glad he won, but he gets quiet when I remind him that it would take 3 of his cars and 3 gallons of gas to take my family of five 100 miles, whereas it would take just one very conventional VW TDI and 2.5 gallons of diesel to make the same trip.

Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 09:04 PM

Originally Posted By: UberXY
"How the hell does GM expect me to sell a $22,000 car for $40k?"


He can start by doing a little homework and finding out that there's "just a little" more hardware and development behind the Volt than in a gussied up Civic, which is about what you can buy for $22k. He can then do a little light reading of his company's own brochures and note that no customer will ever pay $40k due to rebates, and he might even note that the Volt leases for less than most any car at that MSRP, even after the rebates. Some salesman he must be.....

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 09:25 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: UberXY
"How the hell does GM expect me to sell a $22,000 car for $40k?"


He can start by doing a little homework and finding out that there's "just a little" more hardware and development behind the Volt than in a gussied up Civic, which is about what you can buy for $22k.


Oh...well that makes it OK.

"Gee Bob...you paid $30K for a $15K car."
"That's true Dave, but way more development went into the $15K car that I paid $30K for than if I'd just bought a $15K car."
"Good point. It's quite a bargain when you put it that way."


LOL.

Sorry man. There's reasons to buy the Volt, but personal economics ain't one of them.

Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 09:44 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
"Gee Bob...you paid $30K for a $15K car."
"That's true Dave, but way more development went into the $15K car that I paid $30K for than if I'd just bought a $15K car."
"Good point. It's quite a bargain when you put it that way."


Right. Except for the underlying ASSumption to this little exchange, that the Volt is actually a $22k car. $22k buys you a gussied up Civic, not a car with over $1b in development cost, and one of the most complicated DC drive systems in production, which results in the highest MPGs short of an EV available in this country.

I find it a little disappointing that fans of one of the most expensive marques of motorcycle are now all of a sudden shocked that something which pushes the technological envelope of fuel efficient autos is not the same price as a bargain basement Japanese economy car.

Something doesn't jive - either you don't get that these cars are more expensive because they're obviously more complicated to design and produce, or you expect alot for nothing. Either way, it's as silly as me saying we should all sell our beloved Bavarians and ride some old mopeds instead. After all, both have two wheels and an engine, right? dopeslap

Personal economics IS a reason - not the only one, but one - to get a car like Volt.

-MKL
Posted By: Killer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 10:49 PM

Moshe - you are missing the point, what a car costs will almost always be related to how much it cost to design and build, but that's not necessarily related to what it's actually worth to the consumer.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/27/10 10:57 PM

Bob-

I certainly get that point. I do not however subscribe to the viewpoint that a consumer will view a state of the art hybrid capable of 60mpg as being equal in value to a run of the mill economy car that's capable of about half that. We will see if I'm correct or not.

-MKL
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/28/10 12:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Killer
Moshe - you are missing the point, what a car costs will almost always be related to how much it cost to design and build, but that's not necessarily related to what it's actually worth to the consumer.


+1
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/28/10 04:52 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Bob-

I certainly get that point. I do not however subscribe to the viewpoint that a consumer will view a state of the art hybrid capable of 60mpg as being equal in value to a run of the mill economy car that's capable of about half that. We will see if I'm correct or not.

-MKL


Yes, but the main reason most people would care what mpg a car gets is in how it impacts their cost of ownership. You would have to drive an awful lot of miles at 60mpg to make up the cost difference.

I'm also not sure why you keep referring to the Volt as if it is anything but a compact econobox, yes, it is loaded with technology, but at the end of the day, it is a small 4 seat car that I would put in the same class as cars like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Ford Focus, etc.

Edit: That's not to say that you might not be correct. The Prius has been a success despite being wildly overpriced and incredibly boring to drive. The Prius sold mostly because it was/is a fashion statement. The Volt is starting out a lap or so down because it doesn't look unique...nobody will be able to tell that you've got the same car as George Clooney and John Travolta because your car will look just like every other compact econobox on the market.

It may still succeed (and honestly I hope it does. Though I don't think it makes much sense today, I do think that it is another step in the right direction.) but I think it will have a bigger struggle ahead of it than the Prius did.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/28/10 01:24 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Yes, but the main reason most people would care what mpg a car gets is in how it impacts their cost of ownership. You would have to drive an awful lot of miles at 60mpg to make up the cost difference.


In studying market surveys about hybrids years ago in grad school, I would 100% disagree with that first statement, and this is what the "anti-hybrid" crowd usually "doesn't get." The average hybrid owner is not buying a hybrid car in the intersts of one day "breaking even" with the fuel savings and then ultimately saving money. It does happen, of course, but it's way down on the list of reasons - and this is referenced in the Consumer Reports article on the Volt previously mentioned in this thread.

Rather, they are buying the car mainly for political, environmental, and fashionable reasons. In my case, it's 100% political. This is VERY different from diesel owners, who DO make the personal economic reason #1 - e.g., when will the premium I paid for this diesel Golf pay off vs. just buying a plain gas Golf?

This is why earlier, when you said you were a hybrid's target market, I took exception. Based on the average responses of the average hybrid owner, a long commute and saving money on gas is not even in the top 5. You need want to do it for the other reasons as shown above.

Wildly overpriced, and boring to drive... Yet, in survery after survey, including Consumer Reports, the Prius retains one of the highest levels of customer satisfaction, and the all-important "would you buy one again" customer loyalty numbers. Other manufacturers would kill for those numbers. They must be doing something right, I would say....

It's a transportation appliance, not a Ferarri. If I want "fun" on the road, I take the bike anyway. I can't afford a car that would get my blood boiling, which in my experience is six figures minimum.

-MKL
Posted By: Mike

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/28/10 03:04 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
[quote=russell_bynum] The average hybrid owner is not buying a hybrid car in the interests of one day "breaking even" with the fuel savings and then ultimately saving money. It does happen, of course, but it's way down on the list of reasons - and this is referenced in the Consumer Reports article on the Volt previously mentioned in this thread.

Rather, they are buying the car mainly for political, environmental, and fashionable reasons. In my case, it's 100% political.


While I can't claim to be exempt from making purchase decisions based, at least in part, on emotional factors, this truly befuddles me, because it's not evident to me that hybrids--at least as currently implemented--are actually good for the environment. Granted, that's the marketing hype, but it requires a certain willingness to ignore present reality. Note that I say "present," because the concept of recapturing energy lost through braking makes perfectly good sense; it just seems to me that all of the electric automotive technologies are still in their infancy and exact significant penalties, in terms of cost and/or negative impacts other than gasoline consumption.

I know that urging taxation is not likely to win one a popularity contest in this crowd, but it occurs to me that the Europeans may have gotten this one right when they decided to tax vehicle fuels at a high rate years ago. Revenue issues aside, this (and other factors, including relatively old, narrow roads) encouraged a fuel-thrifty approach to design that was left up to those in the business of making cars.
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/28/10 03:37 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

In studying market surveys about hybrids years ago in grad school, I would 100% disagree with that first statement, and this is what the "anti-hybrid" crowd usually "doesn't get." The average hybrid owner is not buying a hybrid car in the intersts of one day "breaking even" with the fuel savings and then ultimately saving money. It does happen, of course, but it's way down on the list of reasons - and this is referenced in the Consumer Reports article on the Volt previously mentioned in this thread.

Rather, they are buying the car mainly for political, environmental, and fashionable reasons. In my case, it's 100% political. This is VERY different from diesel owners, who DO make the personal economic reason #1 - e.g., when will the premium I paid for this diesel Golf pay off vs. just buying a plain gas Golf?

This is why earlier, when you said you were a hybrid's target market, I took exception. Based on the average responses of the average hybrid owner, a long commute and saving money on gas is not even in the top 5. You need want to do it for the other reasons as shown above.


And finally we come to the point that it really is just a feel good thing? A reason to spend more on something because all my friends do it whether it makes a difference or not. That helps explain the large clouds of SMUG behind the pious prius owners of the world. You call it an appliance in one paragraph to make it seem just a tool but only after admitting that you bought it with emotional ties. Seems a bit conflicted, maybe there's an app you can get for that. rofl


Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

Wildly overpriced, and boring to drive... Yet, in survery after survey, including Consumer Reports, the Prius retains one of the highest levels of customer satisfaction, and the all-important "would you buy one again" customer loyalty numbers. Other manufacturers would kill for those numbers. They must be doing something right, I would say....


There's not doubt they are selling a good number of them, and in a culture that is so rapt about what their celebrity heroes are doing there's no doubt that giving a few prii away to the notable greenies out there will pay off as smart marketing. But then again, Prada sells a lot of really weird looking shoes that hurt women's feet. That doesn't mean that there isn't a need for a company Nike in the marketplace.
Posted By: UberXY

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/28/10 03:50 PM

If you want to sell a $40k car, it should look like a $40k car, like the original volt concept car. I thought it looked great.



The looks of the to-be-delivered volt put it in that vast group of style-free appliance cars whose names I never learn. Judging by this dudes clothes, I suspect he is the chief Volt stylist. smile



II'm passing on the Volt and waiting for BMWs electric Megacity car.

BMW MegaCity






Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/28/10 04:18 PM

"I know that urging taxation is not likely to win one a popularity contest in this crowd, but it occurs to me that the Europeans may have gotten this one right when they decided to tax vehicle fuels at a high rate years ago. Revenue issues aside, this (and other factors, including relatively old, narrow roads) encouraged a fuel-thrifty approach to design that was left up to those in the business of making cars."

+1
Exactly my opinion and I noted it before a couple of times.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/28/10 04:21 PM

>>>>Note that I say "present," because the concept of recapturing energy lost through braking makes perfectly good sense; it just seems to me that all of the electric automotive technologies are still in their infancy and exact significant penalties, in terms of cost and/or negative impacts other than gasoline consumption.<<<<<<

Is 14 model years of use still considered "infancy?" There are plenty of newer technologies which result in higher efficiency - direct injection, the latest variable valve timing, and so on - which also add cost to the car. For the added cost, you get added efficiency or performance. Same thing here. Hybrid powertrain improves with every new generation of vehicle, same as any other technology. It is not new and it is not unreliable. Why this is hard to swallow, I don't know.

>>>>>And finally we come to the point that it really is just a feel good thing? A reason to spend more on something because all my friends do it whether it makes a difference or not. That helps explain the large clouds of SMUG behind the pious prius owners of the world. You call it an appliance in one paragraph to make it seem just a tool but only after admitting that you bought it with emotional ties. <<<<<

If that's what you read in my post, either I wasn't clear or you are deriving whatever point you want regardless of what you actually read. I don't see a reason to keep going around in circles about why people actually buy these cars, except to correct Russ' point about personal economics being a prime factor, which it is not. If you believe people buy these so they can be more like some celebrity, that's your decision and it's rather futile to try to change it with reason or fact.

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 12:00 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike

I know that urging taxation is not likely to win one a popularity contest in this crowd, but it occurs to me that the Europeans may have gotten this one right when they decided to tax vehicle fuels at a high rate years ago. Revenue issues aside, this (and other factors, including relatively old, narrow roads) encouraged a fuel-thrifty approach to design that was left up to those in the business of making cars.


Remind me to give you a wedgie the next time I see you.

Govt trying to influence business through punitive taxation is never a good thing.

(And I say that as a guy who would happily drive a number of the small, very fuel efficient vehicles currently only offered in Europe.)

If you MUST have the govt drive this, couldn't you do it with higher CAFE standards rather than punitive taxation?
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 12:24 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
>>>>Note that I say "present," because the concept of recapturing energy lost through braking makes perfectly good sense; it just seems to me that all of the electric automotive technologies are still in their infancy and exact significant penalties, in terms of cost and/or negative impacts other than gasoline consumption.<<<<<<

Is 14 model years of use still considered "infancy?" There are plenty of newer technologies which result in higher efficiency - direct injection, the latest variable valve timing, and so on - which also add cost to the car. For the added cost, you get added efficiency or performance. Same thing here. Hybrid powertrain improves with every new generation of vehicle, same as any other technology. It is not new and it is not unreliable. Why this is hard to swallow, I don't know.

>>>>>And finally we come to the point that it really is just a feel good thing? A reason to spend more on something because all my friends do it whether it makes a difference or not. That helps explain the large clouds of SMUG behind the pious prius owners of the world. You call it an appliance in one paragraph to make it seem just a tool but only after admitting that you bought it with emotional ties. <<<<<

If that's what you read in my post, either I wasn't clear or you are deriving whatever point you want regardless of what you actually read. I don't see a reason to keep going around in circles about why people actually buy these cars, except to correct Russ' point about personal economics being a prime factor, which it is not. If you believe people buy these so they can be more like some celebrity, that's your decision and it's rather futile to try to change it with reason or fact.

-MKL


Appears to be some fact on this link that Hollywood celebrities embrace Prius' by the boatloads..
This drivel is exactly the reason why I will never own one. My decision has nothing to to do with MPG, purchase cost or concern for Global Warming.
http://www.allabouthybridcars.com/hollywood-hybrids.htm
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 12:26 AM

So what, Bob? What do I care what they drive? Many high profile celebs ride BMW motorcycles too. Is THAT why we all ride them here? C'mon, please.....

-MKL
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 12:28 AM

But I don't ride a BMW to make a political statement.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 12:38 AM

Again, so what? I don't care why you ride yours. I ride mine for my own reasons. Likewise I don't care who drives the same car as me, or what their reasons are. I have my own. I should think this is pretty elementary stuff anyone over 3rd grade can agree upon.

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 12:38 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Yes, but the main reason most people would care what mpg a car gets is in how it impacts their cost of ownership. You would have to drive an awful lot of miles at 60mpg to make up the cost difference.


In studying market surveys about hybrids years ago in grad school, I would 100% disagree with that first statement, and this is what the "anti-hybrid" crowd usually "doesn't get." The average hybrid owner is not buying a hybrid car in the intersts of one day "breaking even" with the fuel savings and then ultimately saving money.


We're having two different conversations. I'm talking about "Most people" and you're talking about "the average hybrid owner".

Most people don't give a crap what sort of powertrain their car has. They want it to meet certain requirements for a given price. (Note: Many times those requirements are not purely logical/financial.) i.e. Most people don't say "I'm going to buy a Hybrid...which one?" Most people say "I'm going to buy a new car. Which one?"

That's my point...I don't think the Volt is going to win over many people who haven't already decided to buy a hybrid for political/religious reasons because without those reasons, it is just a $15,000 car that costs $30,000 and uses a bunch of newish and unproven technology. And of the people who are already politically/religiously predisposed to buy a hybrid, the Volt has an uphill battle to fight because unlike the Prius, it doesn't look any different than any other compact sedan on the market.


Quote:
Rather, they are buying the car mainly for political, environmental, and fashionable reasons. In my case, it's 100% political.


That's been my point all along.


Quote:
Based on the average responses of the average hybrid owner, a long commute and saving money on gas is not even in the top 5. You need want to do it for the other reasons as shown above.


Yup. That's what I've been saying...they don't make any sense. The only reason to own one is for fashion/political/religious reasons.


Quote:
Wildly overpriced, and boring to drive... Yet, in survery after survey, including Consumer Reports, the Prius retains one of the highest levels of customer satisfaction, and the all-important "would you buy one again" customer loyalty numbers. Other manufacturers would kill for those numbers. They must be doing something right, I would say....


That's the power of BS, my friend. And yup...it's a wonderful thing for a manufacturer. We witnessed the same thing with Apple back in the late 80's/early 90's. Their products were dreadful. Hideous. Underperforming. Unstable. Grossly overpriced. (Since I have no religious ties to any particular manufacturer, this is when I switched from being a die-hard Apple guy for 10 years to Windows.) And yet most of the people who used them loved them and said they never have any problems. (Some of those people will now admit that OS X fixed a bunch of the problems which they always claimed never existed.) The thing is...They honestly believed what they said: All of the system crashes, the bad performance, the high price...it's like none of it ever happened. The power of BS.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 12:57 AM

>>>>Most people don't say "I'm going to buy a Hybrid...which one?" Most people say "I'm going to buy a new car. Which one?"<<<<

No, you're not right about that. Even most first-time hybrid owners, according to Toyota's marketing focus groups that I studied in grad school, considered a hybrid only against other hybrids. Makes both of our points in different ways - I get what you're trying to say here, just pointing out the actual consumer behavior behind it.


>>>>Yup. That's what I've been saying...they don't make any sense. The only reason to own one is for fashion/political/religious reasons.<<<<<

I know that's what you're saying. What I'm saying is that glossing over political or environmental factors as "not making sense" or not mattering, to put it bluntly, makes no sense. I think it makes one helluva lot of sense.

I'm with you 100% on the fashion crowd, but any first month student of marketing knows fashion matters to many people, even if they don't admit it. That's not under discussion here as it is not my prime mover for advocating higher fuel economy and thus I'm not qualified to defend it beyond a surface discussion of marketing 101.

>>>> That's the power of BS, my friend. And yup...it's a wonderful thing for a manufacturer. We witnessed the same thing with Apple back in the late 80's/early 90's. Their products were dreadful. Hideous. Underperforming. Unstable. Grossly overpriced. <<<<<

In marketing this is discussed as the buyer's desire to reduce "cognitive dissonance." In layman's terms, forming denial that what he purchased is in fact crap, so as to feel better about the purchase.

The key point is, you're discussing actual problems Apple products had, and why users continued to deny they existed. Your example doesn't translate one millimeter to cars like the Prius, which offer stellar reliability and perform extremely well at what they were designed to do (which for the sake of going in circles again is not to tow, or win to drag races, but to get high MPGs). Owners are extremely satisifed, period.

If your theory holds true, are all of us hybrid drivers total dolts who swallow the Kool-Aid whole, while everyone else (including all the "normal" cars in the top 10 customer satisfaction ratings) independent thinkers? I hardly think so.

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 01:35 AM

Quote:
I know that's what you're saying. What I'm saying is that glossing over political or environmental factors as "not making sense" or not mattering, to put it bluntly, makes no sense. I think it makes one helluva lot of sense.


No...it doesn't make sense.

That's OK, btw. I ride an Italian sportbike with basically no weather protection, a pathetic fuel range, almost no dealer support, etc. That doesn't make any sense. I'm OK with that.

What's different between me and the average Hybrid owner is I'm not going to try to rationalize my choice. My bike makes no logical sense. I ride it because it stirs my soul. Most of my friends who own Hybrids will go on and on about how they're saving money on gas, how they're saving the planet, etc. They try to rationalize the decision and make it look logical when it isn't.

That's OK...it's their money (well...and mine since these things are subsidized by tax dollars) but don't try to apply rational reasons to an irrational decision.

Quote:

The key point is, you're discussing actual problems Apple products had, and why users continued to deny they existed. Your example doesn't translate one millimeter to cars like the Prius, which offer stellar reliability and perform extremely well at what they were designed to do (which for the sake of going in circles again is not to tow, or win to drag races, but to get high MPGs). Owners are extremely satisifed, period.


Sure it is. They grossly overpaid for a small car which, in most cases (at least...in most of the cases that I know personally), doesn't get the sort of mpg they were hoping for. One of my friends swore up and down that he'd be getting 50+mpg. He's averaging somewhere around 40mpg. But if you ask him, it's great! If you're a rational person and you expected 50mpg and got 40mpg, you would not be satisfied. If you're a rational person and paid $28K for a Prius when you could have gotten a Corolla for #13K and not be that far off in terms of mpg vs. the Prius.

One friend of mine gave up a Corolla which was paid for and totally reliable for a first-gen Prius. And he swears up and down that he's saving a fortune due to the gas mileage...despite the fact that he's not getting the mpg that he was expecting. That's the power of BS.

Yes...he's very satisfied...but only because he's bullsh*tting himself.

Quote:
If your theory holds true, are all of us hybrid drivers total dolts who swallow the Kool-Aid whole, while everyone else (including all the "normal" cars in the top 10 customer satisfaction ratings) independent thinkers? I hardly think so.


I never said they were total dolts. Most of them just want to be part of the "in crowd" and make a statement about how they "Feel like they're making a difference."

That's no better/worse than any other selection criteria for cars.

As for being independent thinkers...very few people would qualify for that label.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 02:05 AM

We'll have to agree to disagree here, Russ. I consider myself a fairly rational guy, and I can wax poetic about the rational reasons I drive what I drive. There are many. I would wager I could make a fairly good case to an objective audience on a purely rational basis, too - and I say this in part because I've convinced no less than 5 people to buy this car. Some are artists, and some are stone cold analog electrical engineers (no emotions need apply there). Some drove Hyundais before, some came off of 15 years of BMW 7-Series (changing every few years, just because they could). One thing they all have in common - they're happy as all hell with their purchases, and apologize to nobody about them.

It's not for everyone, I know, but it's definitely not an irrational decision like a wild Italian sportbike or an underperforming Apple computer of years earlier. If you think it is, that's your take. To each his own.

Re MPGs in any sort of reasonable general discussion I would hope we agree on a single standard, say the EPA ratings. If your friend was "expecting" some figure and "getting" something else, we do not have a way to tell if his expectations were based on EPA rating, and what if anything he was doing to get different results - and taking that to the next logical step, that obviously his expectations and results might be similarly skewed with ANY car, not just a Prius. It proves nothing.

-MKL

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 04:01 AM

I know that urging taxation is not likely to win one a popularity contest in this crowd, but it occurs to me that the Europeans may have gotten this one right when they decided to tax vehicle fuels at a high rate years ago. Revenue issues aside, this (and other factors, including relatively old, narrow roads) encouraged a fuel-thrifty approach to design that was left up to those in the business of making cars.

Government messin with markets is what got us into this mess. Why would anyone want more???

Not to mention my house to Torrey is about the same distance as Paris to Moscow... dopeslap

Your math no worky..... wave
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 04:06 AM

Well, I for one, am glad that this is now settled. That said, I think it's time we shift into something more mainstream - SUV hatred. smirk
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 05:38 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
We'll have to agree to disagree here, Russ. I consider myself a fairly rational guy, and I can wax poetic about the rational reasons I drive what I drive. There are many. I would wager I could make a fairly good case to an objective audience on a purely rational basis, too - and I say this in part because I've convinced no less than 5 people to buy this car. Some are artists, and some are stone cold analog electrical engineers (no emotions need apply there). Some drove Hyundais before, some came off of 15 years of BMW 7-Series (changing every few years, just because they could). One thing they all have in common - they're happy as all hell with their purchases, and apologize to nobody about them.


You need to make up your mind, because earlier you said "In my case, it's 100% political."

Quote:

Re MPGs in any sort of reasonable general discussion I would hope we agree on a single standard, say the EPA ratings. If your friend was "expecting" some figure and "getting" something else, we do not have a way to tell if his expectations were based on EPA rating, and what if anything he was doing to get different results - and taking that to the next logical step, that obviously his expectations and results might be similarly skewed with ANY car, not just a Prius. It proves nothing.

-MKL

-MKL


It proves that my friend lets his emotions not only trump logic and facts (which is OK), but completely invalidate them in his own mind (which is not OK). He heard some interview with some celeb where they said they looked at the onboard computer and it showed that they were getting 60mpg....so that's what he expected. (Nevermind that I showed him, in my bigass 4x4 pickup, the OBC showing 99.9mpg while coasting down a hill. I tried to explain that snapshot mpg numbers are worthless, it is the average that matters. But that was a rational argument which had no place in his decision-making process. Gweneth Paltrow said she got 60mpg in her Prius, so that's what Priuses get in his mind.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 05:39 AM

Originally Posted By: RightSpin
Well, I for one, am glad that this is now settled. That said, I think it's time we shift into something more mainstream - SUV hatred. smirk


Has anyone other than me noticed that most SUV-hating Prius drivers are former SUV drivers?

It's all about what's in style, man.
Posted By: RoadWolf

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 07:25 AM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Has anyone other than me noticed that most SUV-hating Prius drivers are former SUV drivers?


No, it's just you.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 11:47 AM

>>>>You need to make up your mind, because earlier you said "In my case, it's 100% political."<<<<<

Russ, I did say that, because there is no law of logic or reason that says a political thought and a rational thought are mutually exclusive entities. *Some* political thoughts can be quite rational - such as "Getting off foreign oil sources is good for our country." It's political, and also rational - unless you think supporting King Abdullah is a good thing for us. I'd LOVE to hear some rational reasons for that one. You think he loves your "big ass 4x4" or my Prius? Which one funds his kingdom more?

>>>>It proves that my friend lets his emotions not only trump logic and facts (which is OK), but completely invalidate them in his own mind (which is not OK).<<<<<

It proves YOUR FRIEND (and he alone) was irrational, not that all hybrid drivers by extension are. Did you know that when Hummers first were sold, their JD Power customer satisfaction ratings were at the very bottom of the industry. Why? New customers reported "very poor fuel economy." Mind you, the Hummers were getting proper fuel economy as reported on the window sticker EPA Ratings. But these customers ignored what they knew was there, and then complained as if there was something wrong with the car on surveys. There was nothing wrong with their cars - there was something wrong with their minds.

By extension, if you are to be consistent, you would say all drivers of "big ass 4x4s" are irrational and stupid. This is not one friend mind you - this is most drivers of these vehicles, which GM had to work hard to overcome (and did by introducing tiny 5 cylinder engines in the next models, hoping to stem the tide). Rational, huh?

Once again: Generalizations work BOTH WAYS - they can make your case and one second later destroy it, as in this case. Your friend bases his choices on what celebs do. Doesn't mean everyone does it, and it's certainly not something that happens only with hybrid drivers - it happens across all products in all markets. OF COURSE nobody's EVER done that with, say, SUVs, right? (I mean, those product placement commercials with Arnold in his Hummers didn't motivate anyone, did they)?

These are softballs I'm throwing back at you, Russ. I don't see much meat in your suggestion that only the irrational would consider these vehicles.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 12:05 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Has anyone other than me noticed that most SUV-hating Prius drivers are former SUV drivers? It's all about what's in style, man.


Ever think it could be about something more **rational** than style? Especially in the midwest region, Toyota reports most Prius owners also have an SUV which used to be the owner's primary vehicle. The owner buys the Prius as the new primary vehicle, because he knows it can carry most of what he needs for every day transportation (it is a MIDSIZE, not a compact, as was incorrected stated in another post above - see http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ for official proof, and please remember that next time you yet again repeat incorrectly that it's like a Fit or a Yaris or whatever other sub or compact econobox).

He keeps the SUV for towing and other larger jobs a regular car can't handle, but now puts most of his mileage on the Prius.

It's doesn't mean Prius drivers *hate* SUV drivers or vice versa. Knowing a few former SUV drivers who now drive Prii, I can say they feel better knowing that, on a daily basis, they emit less pollution and use less fuel than they did before. Less "cognitive dissonance" in other words. They read the paper, and conclude less pollution and less gas consumption is a good thing. I know, I know, imagine how stupid they must be for thinking such irrational thoughts, when all news points to the fact that if only we used MORE gas and emitted more CO2, "the market" would take care of it.... dopeslap I love that one....

I ask the same question I did when we first started: There is a palpable hate directed at hybrids. We now see some of the "reasoning" behind it in this small group we have here. We saw before that otherwise intelligent people, presented with 60mpg vs. half of that, are incapable of accepting that one number is indeed larger than the other. (Rational?) And I ask again: Why are they not equally offended by the gluttonous waste of a housewife and her 1.2 kids in a 8-10 passenger vehicle which funds our enemies more than what she actually needs? One would think if hybrids are offensive for their "sanctimonious" drivers, that the gluttonous would also be offensive.
But for some reason, they are not. Why?

It reminds me of the argument early on, when people suggested solutions to the oil issue that were 100% supply based, 0% demand based, as though we could not consider both at the same time. I'd say it boils down to being quite "irrational."

-MKL
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 01:19 PM

In an effort to provide balance, I am equally offended by the gluttonous waste of the stereotypical soccer mom with 1.2 kids in a ginormous SUV. The link below provides an example of what I am referring to. The H2 and Prius represent opposing automotive extremes. Count me out of the group of Prius haters who allegedly loves humongous SUV's. I raised two kids and managed to never own a minivan or SUV while doing so. Sensible, middle ground sedans sufficed in that role.
http://www.fuh2.com/
Posted By: Harry_Wilshusen

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 01:35 PM

Originally Posted By: UberXY
If you want to sell a $40k car, it should look like a $40k car, like the original volt concept car. I thought it looked great.



The looks of the to-be-delivered volt put it in that vast group of style-free appliance cars whose names I never learn. Judging by this dudes clothes, I suspect he is the chief Volt stylist. smile



II'm passing on the Volt and waiting for BMWs electric Megacity car.

BMW MegaCity








This is what I'm waiting for




Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 01:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip
I know that urging taxation is not likely to win one a popularity contest in this crowd, but it occurs to me that the Europeans may have gotten this one right when they decided to tax vehicle fuels at a high rate years ago. Revenue issues aside, this (and other factors, including relatively old, narrow roads) encouraged a fuel-thrifty approach to design that was left up to those in the business of making cars.

Government messin with markets is what got us into this mess. Why would anyone want more???

Not to mention my house to Torrey is about the same distance as Paris to Moscow... dopeslap

Your math no worky..... wave


Sure it will.
All we need to do is dissolve the Union, create 20 or 30 independent nations, set up strict border control, institute a 100% tax on gasoline, build a network of connected local service railways, dismantle the Interstate Hwy system, and abolish all vehicles bigger than a breadbox.
Eventually local dialects will produce several distinct languages, the regions that have exploitable natural resources will compete with one another, education will become an elitist aspect of Society, and best of all, Islamic terrorism will end because the Great Satan will no longer exist.
Posted By: David

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 03:42 PM

Russia's entry into the market:

http://brow.se.com/russianelectriccar
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: David
Russia's entry into the market:

http://brow.se.com/russianelectriccar


Neat. 67mpg and a top speed of 80mph for less than $15K. And it appears to be what GM always lied about the Volt being...an electric car with a gas generator. Cool that it can also run the ICE on natural gas.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 05:20 PM

Yes, I'm sure this will be a real game changer, especially when you factor in the storied history of Russian automotive engineering! After all, they gave us the Lada and Volga - not much of a leap to make a state of the art hybrid.... rofl "Great Success!!"

-MKL

PS - There is a truly entertaining episode of Top Gear (the UK version of course, not the stupid bastardized American version) in which they test the best of the worst Russian cars. A must-see!
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 06:32 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

Ever think it could be about something more **rational** than style? Especially in the midwest region, Toyota reports most Prius owners also have an SUV which used to be the owner's primary vehicle. The owner buys the Prius as the new primary vehicle, because he knows it can carry most of what he needs for every day transportation (it is a MIDSIZE, not a compact, as was incorrected stated in another post above - see http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ for official proof, and please remember that next time you yet again repeat incorrectly that it's like a Fit or a Yaris or whatever other sub or compact econobox).


LOL. OK whatever. It's a small four-seat car. Call it a compact. Call it a midsize. Call it a bacon and cheddar omelet. Doesn't change what it is.

I dunno about the midwest, but here in SoCal, the Prius is very much a fashion thing. Used to be...everyone had a white SUV. No idea why, but there was a time when 80% of the houses on our street had white SUV's...and they all talked about how safe they felt. Then everyone got a black BMW 3-series. Then they all got Priuses and a fog of smug descended upon the neighborhood. It was so predictable that it was comical.


Quote:
I ask the same question I did when we first started: There is a palpable hate directed at hybrids. We now see some of the "reasoning" behind it in this small group we have here. We saw before that otherwise intelligent people, presented with 60mpg vs. half of that, are incapable of accepting that one number is indeed larger than the other. (Rational?)


LOL. For approximately the six millionth time, it isn't the cars that are the problem. They're overpriced and don't make any sense, but they're a step in the right direction and that's a good thing. It's the smug a-holes that you _often_ find behind the wheel that are the problem.

Quote:
And I ask again: Why are they not equally offended by the gluttonous waste of a housewife and her 1.2 kids in a 8-10 passenger vehicle which funds our enemies more than what she actually needs? One would think if hybrids are offensive for their "sanctimonious" drivers, that the gluttonous would also be offensive.
But for some reason, they are not. Why?


Is the housewife a smug a-hole about her choice of vehicles? Back when SUV's were the "in" thing and everyone pranced around talking about how "safe" they were, I thought that was pretty stupid and annoying as well.

As for an 8 passenger vehicle being a waste for a family of 3.2...well...yeah. But is it more or less wasteful to have another car for when they only need to haul 3.2 people vs. the family, friends, dog, etc? And given that most of us here have grossly overpowered and hideously wasteful motorcycles, I think you'll find that only the most hypocritical among us will put up a stink about other people being wasteful.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 06:33 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Yes, I'm sure this will be a real game changer, especially when you factor in the storied history of Russian automotive engineering! After all, they gave us the Lada and Volga - not much of a leap to make a state of the art hybrid.... rofl "Great Success!!"

-MKL

PS - There is a truly entertaining episode of Top Gear (the UK version of course, not the stupid bastardized American version) in which they test the best of the worst Russian cars. A must-see!


Japanese cars used to suck, too.

I dunno if this one will be any good or not, but it's certainly interesting.

That was a particularly hilarious episode....though I liked the one where they all bought BL cars better. "You've just been lapped, by Captain Slow, in a Princess, full of water."
Posted By: ESokoloff

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 06:37 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Originally Posted By: David
Russia's entry into the market:

http://brow.se.com/russianelectriccar


Neat. 67mpg and a top speed of 80mph for less than $15K.....


What part of that propaganda do you believe?

Call me a skeptic. I'll wait till I see independent evaluation.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 06:38 PM

Originally Posted By: ESokoloff
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Originally Posted By: David
Russia's entry into the market:

http://brow.se.com/russianelectriccar


Neat. 67mpg and a top speed of 80mph for less than $15K.....


What part of that propaganda do you believe?

Call me a skeptic. I'll wait till I see independent evaluation.


For sure. But it is interesting enough to get me to actually read an independent eval.
Posted By: chrisolson

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 08:27 PM

Another take ... this one says it uses natural gas or petrol to drive electric motors. No plug in or battery assist. Fuel motor runs all the time.

http://themoscownews.com/business/20101220/188294241.html?referfrommn
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 08:41 PM

We Californians have an electric car seller right here in Santa Rosa.
With a range of 25 miles/top speed of 40 mph and a bargain basement price of $12,500, who needs a Volt or a Prius? Sign me up!
http://www.zapworld.com/zap-xebra-electric-sedan
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/29/10 08:42 PM

Originally Posted By: chrisolson
Another take ... this one says it uses natural gas or petrol to drive electric motors. No plug in or battery assist. Fuel motor runs all the time.

http://themoscownews.com/business/20101220/188294241.html?referfrommn


Hm. That's not very promising.
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 12:48 AM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
And given that most of us here have grossly overpowered and hideously wasteful motorcycles, I think you'll find that only the most hypocritical among us will put up a stink about other people being wasteful.

Zing! At least I can say that my R1100RT gets about the same gas mileage as a Prius, and is a lot more fun to drive.

As to the Prius being a midsize car, rather than compact, with the rear seats folded, it has about 40 cubic feet of cargo capacity vs about 57 cubic feet for a Honda Fit.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 01:06 AM

Originally Posted By: Selden
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
And given that most of us here have grossly overpowered and hideously wasteful motorcycles, I think you'll find that only the most hypocritical among us will put up a stink about other people being wasteful.

Zing! At least I can say that my R1100RT gets about the same gas mileage as a Prius, and is a lot more fun to drive.

As to the Prius being a midsize car, rather than compact, with the rear seats folded, it has about 40 cubic feet of cargo capacity vs about 57 cubic feet for a Honda Fit.


grin


As far as I'm concerned, Honda must have used Time Lord technology on the Fit.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 01:11 AM

>>>>>Zing! At least I can say that my R1100RT gets about the same gas mileage as a Prius, and is a lot more fun to drive.<<<<

Hell, yeah it is more fun. But impressive for a car to be able to carry 5 people + luggage and get similar fuel economy to a 600 pound motorsickle.

>>>>>As to the Prius being a midsize car, rather than compact, with the rear seats folded, it has about 40 cubic feet of cargo capacity vs about 57 cubic feet for a Honda Fit.<<<<<<

Contrary to what Russ was saying above, size classification is not based on some flippant opinion, and you cannot call a car "whatever you want." It is factually, rationally based on quantifiable interior volume, measured in cubic feet. In terms of passenger space, the Prius is a MIDSIZE 5 Passenger vehicle with about 94 cu3 worth of passenger space and 22 cu3 of luggage space without the seats folded down.

For reference, Russ, a modern BMW 5-Series has about 99 cu3 worth of passenger space and 14 cu3 of luggage space. So a Prius' FIVE passengers can expect a little more room than a 3 Series, and a little less than a 5 Series. Hardly "small."

A Fit's figures are 91 passenger and 21 cargo, respectively.

Both the Fit and the Prius are examples of brilliant engineering of interior space, being deceptively small on the outside, but cavernous inside. I just bought home a Sony 55" HDTV a few weeks ago in my Prius, no problem, and laughed as they told me it wouldn't fit "in that tiny car." Yes, it does.....

-MKL
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 01:35 AM

Russell vs. Moshe lurk grin
Posted By: RoadWolf

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 01:55 AM

I'd put my money on Moshe any day as reason trumps a curmudgeon grin
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 02:02 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
>>>>>Zing! At least I can say that my R1100RT gets about the same gas mileage as a Prius, and is a lot more fun to drive.<<<<

Hell, yeah it is more fun. But impressive for a car to be able to carry 5 people + luggage and get similar fuel economy to a 600 pound motorsickle.

>>>>>As to the Prius being a midsize car, rather than compact, with the rear seats folded, it has about 40 cubic feet of cargo capacity vs about 57 cubic feet for a Honda Fit.<<<<<<

Contrary to what Russ was saying above, size classification is not based on some flippant opinion, and you cannot call a car "whatever you want." It is factually, rationally based on quantifiable interior volume, measured in cubic feet. In terms of passenger space, the Prius is a MIDSIZE 5 Passenger vehicle with about 94 cu3 worth of passenger space and 22 cu3 of luggage space without the seats folded down.

For reference, Russ, a modern BMW 5-Series has about 99 cu3 worth of passenger space and 14 cu3 of luggage space. So a Prius' FIVE passengers can expect a little more room than a 3 Series, and a little less than a 5 Series. Hardly "small."

A Fit's figures are 91 passenger and 21 cargo, respectively.

Both the Fit and the Prius are examples of brilliant engineering of interior space, being deceptively small on the outside, but cavernous inside. I just bought home a Sony 55" HDTV a few weeks ago in my Prius, no problem, and laughed as they told me it wouldn't fit "in that tiny car." Yes, it does.....

-MKL


LOL. Yup...I used to have a Saturn SC2 and always amazed people with the amount of stuff I could get in there.

Fit vs. Prius is a classic example of what I'm talking about. They are functionally very similar. The Fit gets high 30's and the Prius gets low 40's. The Prius costs $23K and the Fit costs $15K. And the Fit is actually fairly fun to drive vs. the Prius which follows in the proud tradition of the Corolla and the Camry of being so incredibly boring that I actually lose the will to live while driving them.

Which is why most people who buy the Prius do it because it is in style and/or because they want to make a political/religious statement rather than because it actually makes sense or is a good car for the money (which it clearly doesn't and isn't)

And that's fine...it is your money. If I get to pay too much to ride an uncomfortable motorcycle with crappy range and no dealerships because it makes my hair stand on end and my spine tingle every time I grab the loud handle, you get to buy an overpriced car to make a political/religious statement.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 02:33 AM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Fit vs. Prius is a classic example of what I'm talking about. They are functionally very similar. The Fit gets high 30's and the Prius gets low 40's. The Prius costs $23K and the Fit costs $15K. And the Fit is actually fairly fun to drive vs. the Prius which follows in the proud tradition of the Corolla and the Camry of being so incredibly boring that I actually lose the will to live while driving them.


Not exactly, Russ.

A Fit's EPA figures are 28 city, 35 highway, for EPA combined of 31 MPG. Based on the EPA's cycle of 45% highway, 55% city driving, 15,000 annual miles and a fuel price of $ 2.98 per gallon, the Fit will burn $1,444.00 per year in gas and emit 6 tons of CO2 doing so.

A Prius' figures are 51 city, 48 highway, for EPA combined of 50 MPG. What's that, a 62% improvement? Nothing to gloss over, that's for sure. Based on the EPA's cycle of 45% highway, 55% city driving, 15,000 annual miles and a fuel price of $ 2.98 per gallon, the Prius will burn $894.00 per year in gas and emit 3.8 tons of CO2 doing so. What's that, a nearly 40% reduction?

These are not small differences. These are HUGE differences in terms of efficiency. Not to mention, the car is available with a host of bells and whistles (voice nav, ipod interface, solar roof, heated seats, LED headlights, etc. etc. that an econobox like the Fit isn't available with), and again, it's a midsize, not a compact. It's in a different class of car. It costs more, yes. For those of us who are willing to pay to immediately reduce our reliance on foreign oil, and immediately reduce our car's carbon footprint - it is a viable, rational choice.

I will say, having driven both, that the Fit is certainly more fun to drive than the Prius, though that is like saying Rhea Perlman is hotter than Betty White. Fun is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind with either of these cars.

-MKL
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 03:06 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Fun is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind with either of these cars.

-MKL

Hey, I resemble that remark. The funnest car I have ever owned was a Honda N600, 2-cylinder, 600cc (or 0.6 liter) air cooled vertical twin, 122" bumper to bumper. I stuck a 6' tree in it one Christmas (after removing the rear seat). 33 mpg city, 43mpg highway -- 40 years ago. After modding the suspension, putting in a Japan-spec camshaft and carburetor, I still remember the grin on my face when I pulled away from a 230SL Mercedes on a (downhill) exit ramp from a California freeway.

In comparison, the Fit is a luxo-barge. The Fit, by the way, is available with satellite nav with voice navigation; iPod interface and paddle shifters are standard with the Sport model. Heated seats would be nice, though, especially with the weather we've had this December. I was very disappointed that the $30,000 2009 Prius I test drove did not have tilt and telescope steering wheel, which is essential when one driver is 6" taller than the other. For the record, I consistently get 38mpg on the highway, but only 27mpg in Atlanta stop and go traffic.

Don't forget to include the environmental costs of the Prius's batteries in its impact. Somebody has to smelt the lead and nickel for the batteries, and it's not good for their health.

Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a free lunch in transportation technology. The best way to save gas, rubber, oil, etc., is to drive less.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 03:29 AM

We are in complete accord, no pun intended!

-MKL
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 01:35 PM

Zealots...

Might as well be an oil thread.

But, me an my big ass pick up, my old ford crossover and my two dirt bikes are comfortable as we are, paid for with cash on the secondary market...
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 02:46 PM

What are people called when they are overly defensive of their possessions? Insecure maybe?
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 02:59 PM

A 55" tv fits in a Prius.

Too bad I'm not a 55" tv 'cause I don't Fit.
Midsize my asphalt.

Only person I know who measured mpg in a Fit was averaging 37mpg.
Fortunately I don't know anyone who owns a Prius.
smirk
JK Moshe.

We have 700,000 miles on a variety of GM vehicles in the past 15 years with no problems.
Put 120k on an '84 Camry w/no issues.
Throw in the BMW motorcycles and we have over a 1,000,000 miles in the past 20 years with no issues of significance.
A vehicle that got 50-60mpg and would allow me to get in and out of it plus carry some golf clubs and 4 people would be nice.
One of these days I'm gonna see if the PRIUS IS REDESIGNED AND i FIT IN ONE.
iF SO, i MAY HAVE TO GO VISIT rUSSELL.
wave
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 03:40 PM

Tim-

I don't know how tall you are, but really tall people (6'2"+) in my opinion would find Prius cramped. On my gen 2 model (2004-2009) there is no height adjustment on the seats. Not sure on the new models (gen 3).

As I mentioned earlier, I have tall coworkers in Camry and Ford Fusion hybrids, and they fit fine. They get low 40s EPA, not 50 like the Prius, but are a better fit for taller drivers and passengers. The Fusion especially is an impressive car and shows Americans can do it right if we try.

-MKL
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 03:46 PM

"A vehicle that got 50-60mpg and would allow me to get in and out of it plus carry some golf clubs and 4 people would be nice."

What you need is a golf cart... grin It perfectly fits your wish...
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 03:46 PM

6'2" if you take some inches off the top smirk
One day I'll stop and check it out again but 2x over the years I've tried and can't even access the driver seat in the Prius.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 04:40 PM

Originally Posted By: tallman
6'2" if you take some inches off the top smirk
One day I'll stop and check it out again but 2x over the years I've tried and can't even access the driver seat in the Prius.


At 6'4" I do fit in the Prius (in the front seats), but the back is really tight, (much tighter than in the last two generations of the BMW 3-series, FWIW) and if I sit in the front, the person behind me has to be a double-amputee.

I have no such problem with the Fit.

Naturally, YMMV.
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 06:24 PM

Originally Posted By: tallman
6'2" if you take some inches off the top smirk
One day I'll stop and check it out again but 2x over the years I've tried and can't even access the driver seat in the Prius.


Yeah, I was gonna say, I'm 6'4" and while I can sit in a prius ok up front, Tim you gotta be at least 3 inches taller than I am.
Posted By: BFish

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 06:49 PM

tim is 6' 9 1/2", 260 and lean. lurk


hey, my wife's boxster s averages 20 mph, but the back seat is tight.
Posted By: Mark K

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 06:56 PM

A little cutting and pasting here.....

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Fit vs. Prius is a classic example of what I'm talking about.....The Prius costs $23K and the Fit costs $15K.....


Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
.......the Fit will burn $1,444.00 per year in gas and emit 6 tons of CO2 doing so....

...the Prius will burn $894.00 per year in gas and emit 3.8 tons of CO2 doing so....




So the Prius will only save $550/year in fuel costs? At that rate, it would take over 14 years to recover the purchase premium of the Prius! eek
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 07:07 PM

Mark-

If you review this thread you will see Russ and I have covered the issue of personal economics (i.e., "breakeven point") extensively. It is not the major factor in the consideration of the purchase of a hybrid vehicle, as reported by most hybrid owners in company surveys.

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 07:27 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Mark-

If you review this thread you will see Russ and I have covered the issue of personal economics (i.e., "breakeven point") extensively. It is not the major factor in the consideration of the purchase of a hybrid vehicle, as reported by most hybrid owners in company surveys.

-MKL


What I find bizarre is that almost every Hybrid owner that I know states that "cost savings" was a big factor in their decision.

The survey results that you mentioned make sense to me. What I'm hearing from people who drive hybrids, doesn't. I dunno if maybe the only hybrid owners that I know are morons (maybe they're products of the public education system and can't do basic math? grin ) or what. Obviously my experience is not representative of a scientific study but I have a hard time believing that I only know the small fraction of Hybrid owners who think they're saving money. We're talking about several dozen people that I've had face-to-face conversations with and they all think they're saving money.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 07:48 PM

Russ-

We seem to be getting closer to full agreement on this. I would say to the "personal economics" argument that it really depends... Let's say they were comparing a $30k hybrid to a $28k standard. Within a few years, more or less, depending on a multitude of variables, one CAN save money - especially if he plans to keep the car a long time and drive many miles with it before retiring it. Let's say he was comparing a $30k hybrid to a $15k econobox - obviously, this makes no sense to buy from the sole perspective of "saving money."

The surveys routinely show that most hybrid owners think as I have been saying, from a political or environmental point of view, NOT from a personal economics point of view. We are not looking to "break even" if I may speak on behalf of us for a minute...

If your argument was based on a point that the personal economic argument alone often doesn't play - you're right. Depends on the circumstances case by case, but there is certainly lots of room there to say in many cases, that a pro-hybrid or pro diesel or pro any added cost technological upgrade personal economics argument *alone* is weak.

If you want to understand the rational reasons for hybrid ownership, stop thinking of the wallet alone and start thinking "I want to get off foreign oil to the highest extent I can, from the moment I start driving my new car." Or, "I want to emit the least pollution I can as I drive, from day 1." In both cases, note there is no "breakeven" there, nor even comparison there with a standard vehicle, nor diesel for that matter since it fails miserably from a pollution standpoint as our European brethren have pointed out earlier. These are areas where undoubtedly, hybrids make a great deal of sense.

-MKL
Posted By: Mark K

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 07:58 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Mark-

If you review this thread you will see Russ and I have covered the issue of personal economics (i.e., "breakeven point") extensively. It is not the major factor in the consideration of the purchase of a hybrid vehicle, as reported by most hybrid owners in company surveys.

-MKL


I spent a good part of my morning reviewing the thread, and what I took away was that economy was indeed THE most important factor in the purchasing decision. I haven't gone back through the thread again, but I don't recall reading about the customer surveys you mention.
Posted By: Killer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 08:06 PM

Quote:
I want to get off foreign oil to the highest extent I can, from the moment I start driving my new car.
I want to use up all the foreign oil, I bet it's more economical financially, environmentally and esthetically than shredding our own lands to find enough. When all theirs is gone we'll move on to whatever is next, probably electric as it will be cheaper or more desirable than digging up our oil for transportation use.
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 09:27 PM

Moshe,
Perhaps that is true with "owners" and perhaps it was the/a reason that non-owners didn't buy one.

I sold my '96 Impala (a car I loved to drive) for several reasons.
One being personal economy.
With my girlie Malibu I'm running regular versus premium and getting 12 mpg better overall in my usage.

In a couple of years I've "saved" $4,000 in fuel costs.
So my investment in the Malibu is reduced by that amount doing my personal math computationals.
In 2 more years I'll have 120k on it and probably pass it on to a daughter who drives 10 miles/day and we'll "save" the cost of her buying a car.

So the $8,000 gas savings, and then 5-10 years of use for a family member factored greatly in my "personal economics".

When time comes to get "new" wheels I may do something similar or buy a preowned model for whatever reason (fun/convertible/sport/mpg) and use it a year or so and then reload.
The initial cost of the hybrid versions (could be wrong as I've certainly not looked closely at all options) is a factor that makes it unlikely to go that route.
The extra $10-20,000 for purchase rights to a hybrid are enough to give me pause.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/30/10 09:52 PM

Tim-

Everyone's decision factors are different, and I certainly respect yours. I will only tell you that there is nowhere near $10-20k "purchase rights" for a hybrid car. This is the apples to oranges comparisons (e.g., loaded Prius vs. some generic econobox) that are not really realistic and that are not actually cross-shopped in reality.

The actual premium is much, much less. The most "apples to apples" comparison is simply comparing a standard car with a hybrid version of the same model. Camry, Fusion, et. al. are all available in standard and hybrid guise. Sometimes it's a very small difference - under $2k, sometimes much less - especially when any available rebates are factored in.

You can then make your decisions and see if it works for you, but do not be discouraged by the anti-hybrid doom-and-gloom crowd which is usually very long on incorrect hype and woefully short on actual facts.

-MKL
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/31/10 12:00 AM

Actually if I was looking for a hybrid, the Accord(no longer made I think), Fusion, Camry, Altima models would be far more attractive than the Prius. None of those previously mentioned models have the Prius political stigma. It could also explain why the Prius outsells those other hybrid models. A Prius is instantly recognizable as a car that is "down for the struggle" and the Camry Hybrid simply blends in and disappears with it's non-hybrid cousins. No fun in that for the Green zealots.
How much is that $30,000 Prius going to be worth in 8 years when it needs to have its $4,000 battery replaced?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/31/10 12:53 AM

>>>>>Actually if I was looking for a hybrid, the Accord(no longer made I think), Fusion, Camry, Altima models would be far more attractive than the Prius. None of those previously mentioned models have the Prius political stigma. It could also explain why the Prius outsells those other hybrid models. A Prius is instantly recognizable as a car that is "down for the struggle" and the Camry Hybrid simply blends in and disappears with it's non-hybrid cousins. No fun in that for the Green zealots.<<<<<

True, we're all Kool-Aid drinking, moronic, sanctimonous zealots.... Or maybe, just MAYBE, there are functional reasons. Try fitting my 17 month old's baby stroller in a hybrid sedan's trunk (many of which are smaller than the standard models' versions). How about MPGs? None of the cars you mention come within 10MPGs of a Prius. I could go on if you wish about why people pick the Prius over others.

What about being "down with the struggle?" How freakin' awful, to want to conserve resources, stop enriching terrorist nations, and breathe cleaner air. I realize these are just ridiculous, "irrational" positions - meaning I'd love to see a defense of how the converse is "good" or rational. Show us the way, if you can.

>>>>>How much is that $30,000 Prius going to be worth in 8 years when it needs to have its $4,000 battery replaced?<<<<<

The question has been answered already in this thread more than once. Russ may be right - saving gas for economics is truly a waste. Instead, I'd like a nickel for every time we have to repeatedly answer the same question based on pointless premises and stupid assumptions. Once again: A brand new factory battery is less than $2500 installed. Near new ones from wrecks can be had for $500. The idea that 8 years is a magic mark where replacement is required it without any merit whatsoever - none.

I've repeatedly asked - and NOT ONE has responded - to those of you fretting over the complication of the drivetrain, and the batteries, to show us concrete proof of poor reliability. No takers, because there's nothing to offer... By contrast I've offered you plenty of objective proof (CR, JD Power, etc. etc.). A slam dunk case, if I ever saw one. Prove me wrong.

-MKL
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/31/10 01:18 AM

Moshe, I believe I made it clear I was comparing the cost of a Malibu, to me, with GM discount (not that it matters because I made the model clear), to a hybrid.
Then added the cost savings, to me, over my previous (also identified claerly) car.
I said it was about MY personal economics, not "apples to apples".
Others have pointed out cost difs between models as it pertained to them.

Falling on the apples to apples doesn't work.
If I want to vacation in Cleveland and it costs me $400 to fly there it doesn't matter if I can fly to San Francisco for $X.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/31/10 02:11 AM

Tim-

Sorry, I misunderstood. In your case the Malibu works.... I was merely suggesting, next time if there's interest in any model with a standard and hybrid powertrain available, to see if the hybrid makes sense then.

Re the new Malibu, which by the way is doing well and is a far better car than its predecessors, GM weakly pushed its "mild hybrid" version, and severely limited supply of it - perhaps in part so as not to cannibalize upcoming Volt sales? It is almost impossible to find a Malibu hybrid and its mileage is nothing to write home about.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 12/31/10 02:04 PM

All--

A happy new year to everyone! We're heading up to Canada for a little New Year's road trip, and if there's still interest we can pick this up next year. Everyone have fun and be safe!

-MKL
Posted By: chrisolson

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/01/11 09:59 PM

Had to chuckle when I saw this ... #1 on the list

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2010/12/29/fox-car-reports-favorite/
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/02/11 01:37 PM

good thing we all know they are a bunch of co-opted media hacks isn't it?
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/03/11 07:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Matts_VSTROM
good thing we all know they are a bunch of co-opted media hacks isn't it?


You gotta love it when a car that doesn't exist (at least...not in any practical sense) gets number one on their list of favorites.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/03/11 09:40 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
You gotta love it when a car that doesn't exist (at least...not in any practical sense) gets number one on their list of favorites.


It's common practice for the media to obtain and test vehicles months before they're rolled out to the general public. This is the case with each and every major motorcycle or automotive media publication. The cars and bikes tested cetainly "exist" in every sense, and publication usually coincides with production release to the public.

I will certainly agree with Matt, though, that Fox are "media hacks."

-MKL
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/03/11 09:46 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
I will certainly agree with Matt, though, that Fox are "media hacks."-MKL


As they all are... but that's a different thread...
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/03/11 09:56 PM

All-

2 more interesting little tidbits just came across my desk as I sort through my weekend's mail.

First, the new Consumer Reports (Feb 2011) has a short blurb on page 8 called "9 Year Old Prius Retains Its Youth." Basically, they bought and tested a 2001 first gen model with 206k on its clock, and found in conclusion "...the Prius that traveled 206,000 miles still acts like a youngster. Its expensive battery has not worn out, and its performance (MKL note: and MPGs) was similar to that of a new Prius tested 10 years ago." They then publish "acceleration" and MPG numbers then and now showing minimal changes. No squeeks, no rattles, no problems.

Second, the Prius just received the very prestigious TUV Gold Badge for quality from Germany's TUV agency. The Prius has the lowest defects reported from TÜV in their inspections, in the category "2-3 years old cars". That's not vs. other hybrids, but vs. ALL other cars. See

http://www.vdtuev.de/presse/tuevnachrichten/tuv-report-2011-die-zukunft-gewinnt/dok_view?

Where are all my friends who were posting here, biting their nails about "overly complicated" and impending doom due to "short lived" batteries? lurk

-MKL
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/03/11 10:49 PM

Yeah, but, they only drove it to church on Sundays.
grin
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/03/11 11:43 PM

Last month, my son bought a new Camaro SS at my local Chevy dealer. While I was at the dealer, I axed if they had any Volts. Nope..and they won't get any until they have techs who are trained to work on them.
Guess they are a bit more complicated to work on.
Posted By: John Ranalletta

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/03/11 11:53 PM

Quote:
Guess they are a bit more complicated to work on.



Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/04/11 12:02 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
All-

2 more interesting little tidbits just came across my desk as I sort through my weekend's mail.

First, the new Consumer Reports (Feb 2011) has a short blurb on page 8 called "9 Year Old Prius Retains Its Youth." Basically, they bought and tested a 2001 first gen model with 206k on its clock, and found in conclusion "...the Prius that traveled 206,000 miles still acts like a youngster. Its expensive battery has not worn out, and its performance (MKL note: and MPGs) was similar to that of a new Prius tested 10 years ago." They then publish "acceleration" and MPG numbers then and now showing minimal changes. No squeeks, no rattles, no problems.

Second, the Prius just received the very prestigious TUV Gold Badge for quality from Germany's TUV agency. The Prius has the lowest defects reported from TÜV in their inspections, in the category "2-3 years old cars". That's not vs. other hybrids, but vs. ALL other cars. See

http://www.vdtuev.de/presse/tuevnachrichten/tuv-report-2011-die-zukunft-gewinnt/dok_view?

Where are all my friends who were posting here, biting their nails about "overly complicated" and impending doom due to "short lived" batteries? lurk

-MKL


Thank you Moshe for providing such an accurate rendition of where the Prius owner stereotype comes from rofl

Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/04/11 12:03 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
All-

2 more interesting little tidbits just came across my desk as I sort through my weekend's mail.

First, the new Consumer Reports (Feb 2011) has a short blurb on page 8 called "9 Year Old Prius Retains Its Youth." Basically, they bought and tested a 2001 first gen model with 206k on its clock, and found in conclusion "...the Prius that traveled 206,000 miles still acts like a youngster. Its expensive battery has not worn out, and its performance (MKL note: and MPGs) was similar to that of a new Prius tested 10 years ago." They then publish "acceleration" and MPG numbers then and now showing minimal changes. No squeeks, no rattles, no problems.

Second, the Prius just received the very prestigious TUV Gold Badge for quality from Germany's TUV agency. The Prius has the lowest defects reported from TÜV in their inspections, in the category "2-3 years old cars". That's not vs. other hybrids, but vs. ALL other cars. See

http://www.vdtuev.de/presse/tuevnachrichten/tuv-report-2011-die-zukunft-gewinnt/dok_view?

Where are all my friends who were posting here, biting their nails about "overly complicated" and impending doom due to "short lived" batteries? lurk

-MKL


That's very good to hear. Toyota has become very good at making really reliable cars and it's good to hear that the Prius seems to be in that category as well.

I still say they're vastly over complicated. (But I'm the guy who doesn't like power steering and automatic transmissions.)

I'd be interested to learn more about battery failure. i.e. How often, when, and why are they failing....Including a description of the conditions of use. i.e. Is it better for the batteries to get lots of use like in a Taxi situation, or more average use like a generic family car? Does that impact the battery life? What other factors seem to impact battery life?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/04/11 12:38 AM

Matt, what's the matter? Facts too much to swallow? When you get one, let me know.

Russ, I'm with you, but I think studying the Prius' nickel-metal hydride battery is yesterday's endeavor. We need now to find out how Lithium Ion type batteries will hold up, because their *immediate* performance is far better than the current Prius' nickel in terms of capacity. The only reason Toyota stubbornly sticks to nickel is they bought into the PT Inco plant where the nickel is mined and have millions tied up there. Nickel will fade into the past as Lithium takes over into the future. There is nobody except Toyota using anything else, and even Toyota is slowly abandoning nickel (Prius EV concept uses Lithium).

Just to give you an idea of how far battery technology has come, I will summarize here an application note I wrote for my company about how Lithium Ion batteries compare to sealed maintenance free lead acid (think the 12VDC battery in your bike or car). We offer both in my company's UPS systems for military use, and the new technology is quite exciting (just think of how it applies to vehicles):

ADVANTAGES OF OPTIONAL LITHIUM ION PHOSPHATE BATTERIES IN NOVA UPS SYSTEMS


Unless otherwise noted, Nova Electric UPSs utilize sealed, maintenance-free lead acid batteries. For many years, these batteries have offered the only field proven, safe, and readily available technology suitable for the harsh environments our products are routinely exposed to. Such batteries are offered in both standard and premium versions, the latter featuring extended operation / storage temperature ranges, longer expected life, and increased resistance to high shock and vibration.

However, with the advent of exciting new battery technologies in recent times, Nova Electric is now offering Lithium Ion Phosphate batteries optionally on select models, bearing the “LiFe” suffix on the model designations. After thousands of hours of research and development, as well as extensive field trials, our customers can now benefit from a battery that combines the safety of traditional sealed lead-acid technology with the power of Lithium Ion.

Some advantages of the Lithium Ion Phosphate batteries are listed below for reference:

4X higher energy density than lead-acid battery: The gravimetric energy density of the LiFePO4 battery is ~130 Wh/kg, almost four times higher than that of a typical Lead-acid battery, at 35Wh/kg. For the UPS user, this means far greater run times while running on battery, without any space penalty.

Light Weight: Despite the vastly higher energy density, the LiFePO4 battery packs are, in most cases, only 1/3 the weight of conventional lead acid packs. So for applications where weight savings are critical, the use of LiFePO4 batteries can result in significant reductions in overall system weight.

Long Life: LiFePO4 battery packs typically achieve a minimum of 2000 cycles with 70% capacity remaining, with up to 5000 cycle potential. This is equivalent to the 8-12 year expected life the very best sealed, lead acid batteries offer. Further, LiFePO4 batteries do not suffer from the “memory effect” of some conventional lead acid batteries.

Better Voltage Regulation: Unlike the Lead acid battery, the LiFePO4 battery terminal voltage remains relatively constant during high rate discharge. This equates to much better performance during high rate (short time period) discharges, yielding a much better AH performance during this type of application, typical in UPS systems.

Wide Temp Range: LiFePO4 battery packs are typically sold for operation between -20°C to +60°C, charging between -10°C to +60°C, and storage between -40°C to +70°C. This is equivalent to the ranges that only premium sealed, lead acid batteries offer.

Safety with power: Safety is equivalent to or better than the traditional lead acid type, without the risk of explosion or fire outbreak associated with some other new battery technologies. The LiFePO4 battery has hybrid characteristics: it is as safe as the lead-acid battery and as powerful as the lithium ion battery.

A Greener Battery: The eco-friendly LiFePO4 battery packs are recyclable and non-toxic.

I think in the next few years, thanks in part to market and in part to subsidies, the US will become a market leader in battery technology that will be used to power many aspects of our lives.

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/04/11 12:48 AM

I use LiPo batteries in my RC Aircraft. Definitely impressive compared to the old NiCd batteries.

And of course...our laptops, cell phones, etc are all using LiPo batteries as well.
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/04/11 12:55 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Matt, what's the matter? Facts too much to swallow? When you get one, let me know.


Hold your breath I'll get right on it...
I just don't like them. Besides, I haven't bought a new vehicle in almost 20 years... Goes against my grain.
Posted By: RightSpin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/04/11 04:48 AM

Originally Posted By: JohnRan
Quote:
Guess they are a bit more complicated to work on.





Posted By: ESokoloff

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/06/11 03:09 AM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum


I commute 120 miles/day. If anyone is a good market for a fuel efficient car, it's me.


You need one of these.
With 25+ years in the making I would not hold my breath for it anytime soon tongue
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/06/11 03:24 AM

Or maybe an Aptera...


Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 01/06/11 05:09 AM

Today for kicks I drove the Hyundai Sonata hybrid. They're taking a very aggressive "anti-Prius" ad campaign out, touting the Sonata's styling and power. It looks much like a garden variety Sonata (which is certainly more stylish than a Prius / Volt / Insight "Kammback" shape) although its aerodynamics are just as good. It has some 206 combined HP on tap, so it's not much slower than a regular Sonata and faster than the usual hybrids by a little. It does not achieve Prius-level economy, but by marketing the car as the anti-Prius hybrid, I think they will be successful selling the car to people who may have not otherwise considered a hybrid before. Hyundai has some smart people working over there.....

-MKL
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 02/18/11 04:43 PM

The Nissan Leaf Drive Electric Tour is in Atlanta this weekend, and I just came back from a test drive. WOW! This is worth checking out if you live near the tour route: next stops are Knoxville, TN, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC, finishing up in DC (March 18-20).

My primary point of reference is a Honda Fit, although I have also done test drives of a 2009 Honda Insight and Prius. Leaf visibility is very similar to the Fit, and much better than either the Insight or Prius (both of which have horrible rear corner visibility). The Leaf doesn't have the magic rear seats, so it doesn't have as much cargo capacity as a Fit, but the interior, especially the seats, is less spartan than the Fit. Exterior looks are another matter entirely, with "fugly" probably being a charitable description (although not nearly as weird as the Nissan Cube)

While I love the Fit's cargo capacity and handling, its ride and noise leave something to be desired. Without the sounds of a small gasoline engine, the Leaf was as silent as I would expect a luxury car to be inside, and road noise also seemed very low (not that I got much chance to experience different road surfaces on a 2-mile loop). 0-60 acceleration is probably about the same as the Fit, but without the Sturm und Drang of shifting gears and revving the engine to 6000 rpm; 0-30 acceleration is around 3.5 seconds, and when I floored it, I was pushed back in the seat, and broke traction when crossing a bit of gravel (207 pound-feet of torque for the Leaf, vs 106 for the Fit). Ride and handling through an obstacle course felt pretty good (the 600 pound battery pack is very low), although the steering was a little slower than I am accustomed to.

When I test drove a Prius, I couldn't wait for the drive to end; the Insight was a little more fun/responsive to drive, but didn't thrill me. If I were looking for a second car for commuting right now, the Leaf would be very high on my list. Range is ~100 miles, which is enough to get to almost everywhere I travel regularly, but of course rules out long highway trips.
Posted By: Quinn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 02/18/11 08:32 PM

Wonder how long a total electric car takes to charge.
Also wonder how the batteries die of old age. Like my cellphone that lasted for days when new and now must be recharged every night? Or like my motorcycle battery that starts the bike one day and won't turn it over the next? Guess I'll ask when the Leaf tour gets to Raleigh.

---
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 02/19/11 12:54 AM

Quinn-

Much of this charging info is answered on the Leaf's website. Re batteries the fear of death is not founded. These are not lead acid batteries that last 3-5 years. These are Lithium based (or in the Prius Nickel based) and so far we are seeing double-digit years out of them without issue. See previous post from Consumer Reports retesting an old Prius with no appreciable loss in battery performance.

-MKL
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 02/20/11 06:29 PM

Nissan claims 21 hours for a full charge from a completely depleted battery pack on 110V AC; 7 hours on the 220V charger; less than an hour if you can find a 440V charging station. Re life, someone (Consumer Reports?) recently said they are getting the same performance out of a serveral year old Prius at a quarter million miles as when new.

The Leaf comes with a 3G radio (and 3-year data plan) that connects to a web site, and allows you to monitor its state of being with an iPhone app (Blackberry and Android versions coming). Also 2 years free towing service, and they claim they are working with AAA to add recharging to their motorist rescue services. The built-in SatNav system includes a charging station locator, and will calculate the best route from your current location to the nearest charging station. Obviously, there are very few at the moment, and they are selling on a great deal of hope/hype for future, but at this time almost nonexistent infrastructure.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 02/21/11 02:10 AM

Selden, Google Shai Agassi or watch his speeches on You Tube. His infastructure idea is a novel one - manufacturers standardize on battery packs and stations replace them as you would fill a tank. Take out the old, swap in the new, within 2 minutes or so. I linked to a particular speech earlier in this thread. Several countries (and some states in the US) are undergoing such pilot programs based on Agassi's idea as we speak.

-MKL

PS - Yes, that was Consumer Reports, testing a decade+ old Prius with 200k on it, and no loss of battery performance whatsoever. So much for the doom and gloom crowd's dire predictions....
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 02/23/11 04:03 AM

Today's Headline: "OIL PRICE JUMPS 8.5% IN A DAY". I'm not touching the politics but "unrest" generally equals higher prices per barrel. Maybe some of the "hybrid hatred" will start subsiding.... Nah! rofl

-MKL
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 02/23/11 05:01 AM

smells like SMUG in here....

I guess stereotypes DO come from someplace...
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/04/11 05:22 PM

http://green.autoblog.com/2011/03/01/gm-sells-281-chevy-volts-february-nissan-67-leafs/
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/04/11 05:53 PM

Whip-

This was covered by Johnran in the High HP Thread. In short, it don't mean squat. One of the aspects that I think is causing confusion here is "deliveries" vs. "sales." Two VERY different things. GM calls 281 Volts in February the number of "deliveries," meaning produced finished goods sold from GM to dealers. The Autoblog link calls them "sales" meaning, presumably, sales from GM to its dealers.

To confuse the two paints a very flawed picture, which doesn't jive with reality. Reality is production is just now slowly ramping up on both Volt and Leaf. I can speak better of Volt since I have experience shopping for one. Production is limited to 15k for the year, and if you try to buy or lease one, you're going to pay a hefty premium, or wait 4-6 months, or both. Call around, and check what I'm saying, and let us know if the same is true in your area. It certainly is here. A waiting list and price gouging over MSRP speaks to consumer demand FAR more than the actual deliveries GM made, which speaks to constraints in SUPPLY due to production just ramping up.

What you want to look at to gauge demand is the number of sales from DEALERS to CUSTOMERS (actual cars or deposits on them) not from GM to dealers. The former shows you customer demand. The latter shows you company supply. Let's not lose sight of that critical distinction.

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/11 02:32 PM

Bundle up..

http://www.wheels.ca/News%20and%20Features/article/794286
Posted By: philbytx

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/11 04:23 PM

Simple, Pimple! Anyone wanting to drive a Volt, just move South thumbsup. Energy savings all around eh? rofl


Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/11 04:56 PM

After the winter we've had, believe me, it's tempting!

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/11 07:28 PM

One more note on the so-called "slow sales" of the "chilly" Volt: Right now, it's only on sale in seven territories: California, New York, Michigan, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area. GM sold ~40 Volts in February in each state. That sales pace in 50 states would equate to 2,000 Volts a month. The roll out plans full availablility by year's end in all states. There is a cap of 15,000 cars for 2011. You can now see way more demand (24k at this rate) than supply (15k fixed).....

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/11 07:50 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
One more note on the so-called "slow sales" of the "chilly" Volt: Right now, it's only on sale in seven territories: California, New York, Michigan, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area. GM sold ~40 Volts in February in each state. That sales pace in 50 states would equate to 2,000 Volts a month. The roll out plans full availablility by year's end in all states. There is a cap of 15,000 cars for 2011. You can now see way more demand (24k at this rate) than supply (15k fixed).....

-MKL


Thanks for the info.

I want the Volt to be the best selling vehicle in the history of the world.

I also want a diesel 2 door Tahoe....


thumbsup
Posted By: John Ranalletta

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 04:54 PM

here
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 07:01 PM

Good link, John. The end price comparo glosses over the fed and state rebates which bring the Volt in line with other comparable hybrids and allow those with average or shorter commutes to be not just gas efficient, but gas free entirely. THEREIN lies the main attraction to the "early adopter" Volt consumer, though this seems to escape most journalists for some reason.

Dad's Volt will be here in 7 more weeks. It's loaded to the hilt with every available option. When it gets here I'll give my thoughts vs. a traditional hybrid like my Prius which I have 70k experience with. As I write this my new 7.5KW solar system is being installed, which will enable me to charge dad's Volt during daylight hours for free.

-MKL
Posted By: Killer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 07:27 PM

Not charging for free - how much does a 7.5kw solar unit cost? Not cheap I'm thinking.
Posted By: Twisties

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 08:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Killer
Not charging for free - how much does a 7.5kw solar unit cost? Not cheap I'm thinking.


Capital costs/expected years of service - any amounts sold to the electric co. + any repairs or maintenance.

If you are charging the Volt at night, then you must have some sort of storage system with your 7.5 kW system. Batteries are high maintenance.
Posted By: RonStewart

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 08:36 PM

To be fair, Moshe did say he could charge for free "during daylight hours."
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 09:23 PM

Indeed, "free" electricity during daylight hours.

No batteries on my system. This is an "on the grid" system which sells back to utility. Here in NJ if you buy a system that goes "off grid" (i.e. with batteries for storage such that you're self sufficient) you give up all state and federal rebates, which can be substantial.

So in my case, the system raw cost is about $40,000.00. State rebate is $0 because that ran out this year (my lousy luck for procrastinating) and fed rebate is 30% or about $12,000.00. So total cost is about $28k total. There are some other misc rebates but they don't amount to much, so I won't count them here.

In return I get free electricity (doesn't amount to much) and, far more importantly, SREC coupons which are sold on the open market. SRECs are "Solar Renewable Energy Credits" - basically credits bought by utility companies so they can comply with minimum generation via renewable sources, such as produced by my system. These coupons are currently priced around $600 (low end) in NJ.

My system will produce at around 8-9 SRECs per year (generation is based on production, irrespective of my consumption - nice!) This is 100% tax free income, by the way. So at today's prices which are not expected to fall anytime soon - quite the contrary, actually - the system will generate around $4800-5400 per year in SRECs, and eliminate my electric bill which is likely around $2800 per year. As such, the system will pay for itself in about 4 years at the outside, and afterwards will generate a nice, tax free income for the next 20 years (under warranty) while simultanously reducing emissions since I'm not reliant on the utility which (for the most part) is a dirty source. In other words, everybody wins.

I realize we're veering off topic here, but this was an investment decision I planned on a few years ago, when the market bottomed out. I figured my house is a safe bet, and the sun is definitely coming up each day. Safer than the stock market, I figured. We'll see if this plays out, but so far all the references I spoke to before pulling the trigger all said the same thing: "I wish I did it earlier!!"

By the way, I'm taking the full tilt program here, where I pay all the bills. There are various options available, including leasing where you don't own the system, but in effect "rent" the space on your roof to investors, who own and maintain the system. They make a killing on the SRECs and depreciation, and sell you electricity for next to nothing. So your outlay is small and your reward is small, a low or no electricity bill. My system on a lease would cost about $1000.00 out of pocket instead of $28,000.00, but that's the "small risk / small reward" tradeoff. I wanted to make some money out of this, and I think I will.

-MKL
Posted By: Twisties

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 09:57 PM

Originally Posted By: RonStewart
To be fair, Moshe did say he could charge for free "during daylight hours."


Now where is that reading teacher again? Don't think I've seen her since 4th grade. I must need a refresher. <<Munching on a crow emoticon>>
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 10:00 PM

Besides, if Moshe can sell electricity to the power company in daytime and charge the car at night buying back the power, it is like free charging.
Posted By: Killer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 11:21 PM

Sounds excellent if it works out, big initial investment though.
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/06/11 11:56 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Dad's Volt will be here in 7 more weeks. It's loaded to the hilt with every available option. When it gets here I'll give my thoughts vs. a traditional hybrid like my Prius which I have 70k experience with....

-MKL

I'm sure you will post a review soon after it arrives. I'll be very interested in how the Volt and Prius compare with city acceleration. One of the things that blew me away with the Nissan Leaf was the full torque at 0 mph, which made it a very responsive car to drive in traffic. Plus, no engine noise.
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) Moshe...Volt Review - 04/07/11 12:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Killer
Sounds excellent if it works out, big initial investment though.


I have opened/bought a few bidnesses for less than that and made a lot of money with em.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/07/11 01:44 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
One more note on the so-called "slow sales" of the "chilly" Volt: Right now, it's only on sale in seven territories: California, New York, Michigan, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area. GM sold ~40 Volts in February in each state. That sales pace in 50 states would equate to 2,000 Volts a month. The roll out plans full availablility by year's end in all states. There is a cap of 15,000 cars for 2011. You can now see way more demand (24k at this rate) than supply (15k fixed).....

-MKL

Could the intentional scarcity of Volt's be directly correlated to dealer markup over MSRP? I have not seen a Volt in a dealer showroom but I am willing to bet $5k or $10k over MSRP is normal. Dealer greed is taking advantage of consumer demand for a scarce product.
Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/07/11 04:34 PM

Originally Posted By: upflying
Could the intentional scarcity of Volt's be directly correlated to dealer markup over MSRP? I have not seen a Volt in a dealer showroom but I am willing to bet $5k or $10k over MSRP is normal. Dealer greed is taking advantage of consumer demand for a scarce product.


confused

That's how you make money.

If you were a dealer selling Volts, what would you charge for one?
Posted By: Smoky

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/07/11 05:58 PM

Moshe, that rooftop solar system needs it's own thread.

What an interesting system.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/07/11 11:46 PM

A few issues have been raised:

1) Paul, the Volt will run away from my Prius with no problem whatsoever. I drove a test model, albeit only in full electric mode, and it was substantially faster. 0-60 is usually quoted in the mid-8s while a Prius is in the high 9s, so there is indeed a noticeable difference. Neither one will run with a 911, so it's important to stay with the purpose of the car, which is economy above all else.

2) Volt gouging is indeed commonplace. Every dealer around here is charging $3-5k over list. Every dealer except the one I convinced not to, that is! wink Convicing was easy. I showed him 14 straight years of my parents leasing BMWs, mostly the higher end ones, and asked him if he was interested in short term gouging or a long term relationship. A manager came out from the back and agreed with my argument. I must say, one is not really treated like a human being at these "low line" brand dealerships. After you're used to BMW level treatment, Chevy and Toyota are hard to swallow sometimes. At least around here. But that's for another thread.

3) Perhaps we should move the solar discussion to another thread. Installation continued today and now I have the skeleton on my roof and the meters and breaker boxes in. The panels are next. Remember there is no storage here, it's completely "on grid." So when the sun goes down I pay for my electricity again. The Volt allows one to set automatic charging times remotely (via my I-phone for example) set for when utility rates are lowest, so it will be quite a bit cheaper per mile to run than any gas equivalent, even if we pay for electricity at night.

Whip, I do realize I could buy a franchise and start a business for my $28k, but the experiment here is to prove that the environment, "doing the right thing," and profit are not mutually exclusive entities. It's also quite a bit less risky than a business per se because it is a capital improvement to my single most valuable asset, my house. It also requires exactly 0 effort and exactly 0 time for me to make a profit, unlike any business. And the sun is, for lack of a better term, a "sure thing." Can't say that about ANY startup. As such, I don't think a business and a solar array are an apples to apples comparison, for these and a host of other reasons.

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/08/11 12:40 AM

I was just having fun with ya.

More power to ya.

thumbsup
Posted By: ESokoloff

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/08/11 03:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Whip

More power to ya.


rofl Larry, your a punny guy grin
Posted By: Mark K

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/09/11 12:12 AM

I wish you luck with your solar project. Sounds good on paper.

Are your SRECs marketable only in NJ? It looks like this thing is barely off the ground there -- not even a year old. What does your worse-case-scenario look like if these coupons have no market in ten years? Five years? Next year? What is the new payback period?

It was nice that you get a huge chunk of it back immediately in the form of a tax credit. Much easier to swallow.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/09/11 02:56 PM

NJ is quite aggressive in how much it demands utilities buy from RE sources. As such, the coupons are worth a good deal more here than elsewhere, so yes, I would obviously sell here. I am not sure if I can sell SRECs elsewhere, but it's a moot point anyway so long as my home state pays the most by far, which has been the case forever as far as I know. The program is hardly new, but it changes year to year as the market evolves and budgets change.

10 years ago, rebates from state and fed were so high, one could install a PV Array practically for free. Balancing this out is that an older system is nowhere near as efficient as a new, hence its output lower and its revenue generation compromised....

Are there risks? Of course. Many variables, including the fluctuating price of energy. Nobody knows where it will be in 5 years, nevermind 10. The gov't could always reduce its minimum buy backs, which would slash the value of the coupons. Not likely, but it can happen. More and more people can install arrays, increasing supply, which would also depress SRECs. Like any other investment, these risks have to be weighed and considered carefully before taking any action.

Based on my research, talking to dozens of users, and looking at the meager returns at the bank, it came down to this or a market type investment. I chose this for the reasons I outlined earlier. We shall see how it works out. I'm wondering if anyone else in here has an Array and some experience. Perhaps a new thread will reveal this, and allow those with more experience than I to chime in.

-MKL
Posted By: John Ranalletta

GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/10/11 11:55 AM

Volt report
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/10/11 12:41 PM

My dad will be one of these people. His work round trip is 20 miles, and he rarely drives anywhere else. So he'll be one of these guys that rarely fills up anymore. The article itself is constructed in a pretty stupid way, "dropping the other shoe" to the obvious only later on, and likewise most of the reader comments are extremely stupid as well. To comment on something, one should first understand its point, or purpose. Without that, it's just gums flapping. Lots of that going on with the Volt.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/15/11 08:25 PM

I'll beat the haters to it:

http://www.wfsb.com/news/27541598/detail.html Headline: "Hybrid Car May Have Sparked Garage Blaze"

The proof? The only mention in the article? "Officials said they can't rule out that the couple's brand new Chevy Volt hybrid had something to do with the blaze." Well, duh! They can't rule ANYTHING out until the investigation's complete, can they?

Wow.... Responsible journalism, once again.

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/15/11 08:32 PM

I saw the article, but I didn't see the connection so I didn't post it.

BTW...I am looking at a hybrid to replace Mrs Whip's Surburban.



Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/15/11 08:51 PM

Deep discounts on those large hybrids here in NJ, Whip. You should be able to swing a sweet deal - and don't forget to ax the salesman about any incentives coming your way on top of any other discounts you can get!

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/29/11 04:31 AM

What a week. On Tuesay, the new solar array was finally turned on, AND the Volt arrived. I somehow convinced my dad to let me "borrow" the Volt for its first two days, to test it out and get a feel for it. I got it home and immediately charged it (using my solar array for as long as daylight was out) and then put some miles on it after studying the manual.

I must say, I was blown away by how good they got the "hard stuff." Driveline integration is completely seemless, NVH is non existent, ergonomics are fairly good for an American effort, fit and finish quite good, an excellent Bose stereo system with integrated 30GB hard drive is worthy of praise, and the sheer complexity of it is fairly well hidden for those that want to use it as a transportation appliance. Pans are few - the Playskool level plastic in some of the less traveled areas like the cargo bay (an expected American trademark, sadly,) watt-swilling halogen headlights on a vehicle that is supposed to be about efficiency, and a rubber front air dam that seemingly has about the same ground clearance as a Murcielago. I'm sure all of these will be fixed in time once we Guinea Pig first adopters start providing feedback.

Set up the Onstar app through the I-phone so I can now remote control and charge the car, as well as view diagnostics and other info. Pretty neat how technology is working out. It's addictive to play with all the bells and whistles for now.

The big test was my commute to work, 110 miles round and mostly highway. No babying here - hard acceleration and the cruise set to 80mph most of the way up, like usual. The 2-day old fully charged Volt managed a respectable 89.8MPGs, with a partial charge at work during the day before I left for home. Twice as good as my Prius and more than twice as good as my RT. Battery range was not affected by my relatively high speed driving - and the AC was on low, too. Not bad!

Reaction from the commuters at work was quite positive as well. At least one employee expressed serious interest for an immediate purchase and another about a year out when his lease is up. It got a crowd going in the parking lot. Lots of interest and plenty of misconceptions about what it is and what is can and can't do. Hopefully GM will do a better job than Toyota in educating consumers.

I'll post more feedback once I get some real experience with it, and it's not my car so it may be awhile. But I did feel obligated to do something I haven't done in 25 years of being a car nut, and that is to congratulate GM on a job well done. To me it has the makings of a winner.

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/29/11 05:31 AM

That's pretty much in line with my thoughts on the Volt that my friend has. I think they did really well with it. I haven't driven it yet (he offered, but I just haven't taken him up on it yet.) but it doesn't exhibit any unfavorable handling tendencies that I could feel as a passenger.

I think it's a pretty good looking car, too. (unlike the Prius.)

Longevity and reliability are yet to be seen so far, but if those factors turn out well, if it is nice to drive, and if the price comes down out of the "Are you f***ing kidding me?" range, I'd give it fairly serious consideration as a replacement for my old 3-series, once it finally goes to that big junkyard in the sky.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/29/11 10:54 AM

Russ-

Oddly, I was approached by various Prius owners at stoplights, who all commented how ugly the car was. They were jealous of the MPGs though. I think the Volt is OK looking - a Kammback shape for sure, and really from a distance the Prius and Volt could be twins. The handling, ride, and overall performance (what it's like to drive, the instant torque from the DC drive, directional stability and handling, etc.) all leave my Gen 2 Prius sucking smoke big time. I would say vastly superior to the current Gen 3 Prius as well - feels more like a "real car" and has similar tendencies to any American attempts at "sporty sedan" type of feel - you know that overdamped type of feel. Try it and let us know what you think.

I too am hoping reliability turns out well. I was heartened to see GM is really paying attention - in two days, we've gotten follow up calls from the dealer (sales AND service) as well as Onstar and even a factory rep. They are watching and tracking every mile, through the Onstar system which reports diagnostics to the factory and the dealer itself in real time. Usually on any low or mid level brand car you're lucky to have a mediocre sales experience, and that definitely includes Toyota. So I was happy they're trying hard. Too new to know but let's hope for the best. It certainly feels like the quality in the driveline is there, that's for sure.

Re price if you study close, and compare it to apples and apples (as close as one can, anyway) you will see it is not expensive. With the federal rebate and any applicable state rebates factored in, it's actually CHEAPER than a top of the line Prius Five, which gets half the MPGs on my commute (and roughly that same proportion on the EPA scale). Not "cheap" relatively speaking since we're still in the low to mid $30s, but definitely in the ballpark since these days a Prius can run you that much and more when loaded up, and it can only be compared loaded up since the Volt has all the bells and whistles in it from the get go.

The downside for me is the 4 passenger limit (4 buckets inside with the battery pack running straight through the cabin where the "driveshaft tunnel" would be in a standard traditional RWD car.) I've got 2 kiddies and one more on the way, so I need a 5 passenger car. However, as the technology matures, like Prius, I expect Volt will spawn a family including a microvan (like the upcoming Prius V which will get 40mpg, down from the current Prius' 50mpg, but will boast 50+% more cargo space) and then, based on my experiences thus far, I will be in line for one.

Try your friend's - I'm genuinely curious as to your thoughts.

-MKL
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/29/11 06:49 PM

Quote:
has similar tendencies to any American attempts at "sporty sedan" type of feel - you know that overdamped type of feel.


Hmm. That's discouraging. I'll save judgement until I actually get to drive it, I really like a car to be fun to drive. I don't need a thousand horsepower...my old 3-series is a hoot to drive and is slower than even a 1st generation Prius. But for me...a car has to be fun to drive and have some character and spirit to it.

Quote:
"Re price if you study close, and compare it to apples and apples (as close as one can, anyway) you will see it is not expensive. With the federal rebate and any applicable state rebates factored in, it's actually CHEAPER than a top of the line Prius Five, which gets half the MPGs on my commute (and roughly that same proportion on the EPA scale). Not "cheap" relatively speaking since we're still in the low to mid $30s, but definitely in the ballpark since these days a Prius can run you that much and more when loaded up, and it can only be compared loaded up since the Volt has all the bells and whistles in it from the get go."


$30K for a $16K car is "Are you F***ing kidding me?" territory.

Yes yes...I know...there's lots of tech in the Volt that you don't get in conventional cars in it's size class. I don't pay for technology, I pay for "A vehicle that meets my requirements." If it does that with a magneto-hydrodynamic-plasma drive system...fine. If it does it with rubber bands....fine. I'm looking for a product that meets my requirements and I really don't care how it gets there. Therefore...I'm not willing to pay more if it gets there via a more expensive route. Likewise with all the bells and whistles. I don't need that stuff and mostly don't want it...therefore I'm not willing to pay extra for it.

So...I'd pay more for a Volt than..say...a Cruze because the Volt gets better mpg. But I'm not paying $15K more. Even I don't drive enough to make that worthwhile.

Get it down into the low-mid 20's and then it starts to become more interesting. I think it'll get there, too. Sheeple were paying mid $30's for the Prius when they first became popular and now a base model is in the low $20's.

One thing I don't like about the interior...I do fit in the back seat behind a normal-sized adult in the front (I'm 6'4".) Legroom is fine, especially for a car that size. But...my hair brushes the headliner unless I sit all the way back. If I sit all the way back, my head is actually under the rear window glass and the extra couple of inches of headroom make the difference. That's not the end of the world. I'm definitely not uncomfortable in the back seat, but it wouldn't be my first choice to ride back there on a cross-country trip.

Quote:
Oddly, I was approached by various Prius owners at stoplights, who all commented how ugly the car was


It's all subjective, of course. There are certainly similarities in the shape of the Volt vs. the Prius. I can't put my finger on it, but I just know that my initial (and subsequent) reactions when I saw the Prius were strongly unfavorable, and I actually kinda like the way the Volt looks.

I'll post back when I drive the car. It's only got 2300 miles on it, and it is my boss's car, so I'm a little hesitant about borrowing it and putting it through it's paces when it still smells like a new car. I don't think it would bode well for me if I returned it to him scalding hot and with the tires reduced to a molten mess. "Here's yer keys, boss...she's all broke in now." grin
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 04/29/11 09:08 PM

6'4" and you fit into the back seat?? Wow, that's a feat! Used to be that the Prius had lousy rear headroom too - a downside of the aerodynamic Kammback shape. But, Toyota moved the roof's apex way back on Gen 3 (2010+), and now it's quite roomy back there headroom wise. A tremendous improvement over my Gen 2. Perhaps the same trick will work for GM on the next gen Volt.

Re price yes, I agree, it will come down in time of course. Not to mid-20s equipped as it is anytime soon, but it will come down. Study Prius sales and you'll see, nearly nobody buys the base model. Honda's Insight costs far less than a Prius, and nobody buys that either. In general they're bought pretty well equipped in the high 20s to low 30s - not far from where a Volt would be, and the Volt offers a FAR more lively driving experience. It really was fun to drive that car - not 3-Series fun, but fun in its own way. I'm looking forward to hearing what your thoughts are when you finally get a chance to drive it.

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 05/27/11 05:13 PM

I test drove a Volt on Thursday. It was much bigger than I thought it would be. It handled great. The interior was very nice. It had plenty of power. Mrs Whip loved it.
Mine is scheduled for delivery on Oct 15th. 43,500 before the $7K Big Bro incentive.
wink

I was picking up my Duramax when I saw the Volt.

$25K Big Bro incentive on it.
rofl



Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 05/31/11 11:01 PM

Dad has filled the Volt's tiny 9g tank once in the past 1,500 miles of use, so he's quite happy with it. GM is in constant contact with him by e-mail and check up by phone - they're really rolling out the red carpet for the beta-tester crowd... As an engineer he's already ordered and dismantled several "chargers" (they're not really, but that's another story) for the car and has set up a car charger port at work where his and other EVs can charge on 120 or 240VAC. He's like a kid again with this car. Anyway, after 20 years away, he's back in an American car, and his Prius is for sale. I guess that says something.

I've tried to find a Nissan Leaf, but there are none around here and won't be for months. NJ is not on the short list of first roll-outs for that car. I was curious how it compares.

Glad you liked the Volt, Whip.

-MKL
Posted By: EddyQ

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 03/04/12 07:23 PM

GM Shutting Down Volt plant

Just a FYI and interested in your thoughts.
(Not that I am for or against hybrids or the Volt)
Posted By: Smoky

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 03/04/12 07:35 PM

Too bad, GM needs to hit one out of the park. I was rooting for the Volt.

You would think that with gas as high as it is, they would be ramping up production.
Posted By: enfoman

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 03/04/12 08:41 PM

Not offering a discount and "refused to do what it does with every other slow-selling vehicle and offer rebates or other incentives to motivate fence-sitters" plus the gov't taking away tax incentives to buy may just put this car in line with the Edsel.

Perhaps Chevy was missing their market and not offering a basic commuter car with little frills but it seems as if Nissan isn't doing much better on that front either. My personal lament with these cars are simply the long term cost involved. If I am hanging on to it after 3 years and with that there would be the major cost of a new battery pack. People will seldom budget for that with life's other daily expenses being pressed so hard these days.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/04/12 09:42 PM

Eddy-

We touched on this in another thread here http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=740781&page=7 . Essentially this is a very poor market for all vehicles, not just the Volt. It is a halo car that is right now being marketed to early adopters - much like the original Prius from 1997 which certainly didn't set any sales records out of the gate, either - it was a good 7 years before that concept caught on. Toyota had the foresight to "stick with it" - a very un-American concept when it comes to the auto industry.

The good news is we're forecasting 14m cars sold this year, which should lift the tide everywhere. The average American's car is now almost 11 years old, so demand is going to kick in soon out of pure necessity. I am very much in favor of GM's decision not to discount the price - first because it should not sell them at a loss (development costs for this car are astronomical,) and second because we don't want to go back to the bad old days of Rick Wagoner's asinine policy of discounting every vehicle GM built and only achieving volume through a "low or no profit" model. This is a halo car - like a Corvette (when do you see those discounted?) - not something you want to be shown on firesale TV commercials.

The car has been battered by (incorrect) media hype concerning fires (completely exonerated in all cases, but the hype still hurts). It is also being used as a political football by certain politicans who

a) are overtly rooting for an American designed, American manufactured car with cutting edge technology to fail - what does that tell you about their ideas?
b) are tying the car to the current administration, woefully ignorant of the fact that the concept debuted well before 2007 (nevermind the current administration).

The media hype and political grandstanding are usually the same outfits, not surprisingly.

Sales have been on an uptick recently, though. Last month the Volt outsold the Leaf 2 to 1. Hopefully this will continue. Part of the problem is GM's lackluster PR - they let these faulty news "reports" go unanswered and scare off new customers. They should be aggressive as hell, like Suzuki was in countering CR's attacks on the Samurai, not passive as Audi was in dealing with 60 Minutes.

What will the future hold? We'll see. If GM follows the Toyota model of looking out long term, and continues to refine the product, I am confident it will catch on because the concept is truly great and the execution is also stellar. They need an ad campaign which highlights what this car can do, and why people should buy it (national security, energy independence, etc. not just environmentalism). They got all the hard parts right. If however GM takes the stereotypical Wall Street "only look as far as next quarter" view of things, the car may suffer a premature death. In that case as consumers, and as Americans, we will have lost a valuable benchmark product.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/04/12 09:47 PM

PS - don't forget the fickle and irrational American consumer, either. If gas spikes, as everyone is predicting it will, we may see a replay of 2008 when Detroit racked up 120 days of inventory on its SUVs while Toyota was charging $3k over MSRP on its Priuses. Except this time, consumers may go further, and look at Volt, or Leaf, or other much more efficient offerings. The more people drive them, the more people see them, the more people try them, and the more people buy them. A slow process, but one which is inevitable when consumers discover they don't really have to sacrifice anything on their commuter mobile in order to reduce or eliminate their dependency on oil.

Dad's Volt is now around 10,000 miles - and he's still under $100 spent in gas, total. He's still happy as a clam with the car.

-MKL
Posted By: Selden

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 03/04/12 10:36 PM

Originally Posted By: enfoman
My personal lament with these cars are simply the long term cost involved. If I am hanging on to it after 3 years and with that there would be the major cost of a new battery pack. People will seldom budget for that with life's other daily expenses being pressed so hard these days.

IF the Volt and Leaf battery systems are as reliable as those of Prius, that shouldn't be an issue, as there are Priuses (Prii?) out there with 10 years and a quarter million miles on the original battery pack.

GM had an assembly plant in Delaware, which they shuttered a few years ago as part of the great restructuring. Fisker bought the plant to build their "Nina" plug-in hybrid (although when I used that term with one of their executives, he was offended, and said the Fiskers are "Extended Range Electric Eehicles = EREV -- I'll take "plug-in hybrid" which has the benefit of not requiring explanation).

After the lawsuits between Fisker and Tesla, I was somewhat skeptical, because Fisker seemed more like a pyramid marketing scheme than a real manufacturer. So far, they have only imported a few of their $100,000 Karma (which is assembled in Finland), and the Nina remains vaporware. There's not an awfully big market (but Justin Bieber got one!) for a $100,000 hybrid sedan that gets crappy gas mileage. Fisker closed the Delaware assembly plant last month, due to schedule slippage (which meant they didn't receive any more government loan money, since they hadn't met production milestones).

I've always been skeptical of the total energy chain efficiency claims of hybrids and all-electric vehicles. On the other hand, I suspect that the author of the Forbes article, "The EPA's Electric Vehicle Mileage Fraud" did not calculate the total energy/carbon cost for gasoline vehicles from well head through transport. The biggest advantage of the electric vehicles is that, for the most part, non-US petroleum isn't required to produce the electricity they ultimately consume. Natural gas is rapidly changing the economics of energy production and consumption.

Even though the article I cite mentions the EPA in an unfavorable light, I do not consider this overtly political, so I hope my post doesn't get flagged. The Forbes article is the first that I have seen that tries to do a total energy cost calculation for electric powered vehicles, so I'm much more interested in the science/engineering/economics, rather than the politics.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 03/04/12 11:16 PM

Selden, note the age of that article is now over a year old. Since then, you see several very scientific attempts to put "real world" consumption figures on EVs, extended range EVs, and such. Consumer Reports has a very comprehensive formula which they explain in this month's Auto Issue (and I've found their estimates of "real world" consumption more accurate than anyone else's. Motor Trend did a fantastic article as well, showing state-by-state consumption based on that state's primary source of electrical production. As expected, whether an EV makes sense economically or even from an environmental perspective is a complication question depending on personal factors such as driving habits and location.

I do resent the Forbes article's continual focus on politics, as though these vehicles haven't been in planning since well before the current administration, and as though the Leaf has no politics behind it (considering the amount that the state of TN poured into subsidizing Nissan to build Leafs there). The constant drumbeat of anti-EV politics is usually built upon a horribly inaccurate picture of selective subsidies on behalf of the few when in fact the entire industry is on the dole in one form or another.

Finally I caution you not to compare the Prius Nickel battery pack with the new gen Li-Ion packs in Volt, Leaf, Tesla, etc. Nobody really knows how Li-Ion will hold up. They have a HUGE advantage over Nickel in terms of capacity per size / mass, but there is no real reliability data - yet. We have to start somewhere.

And for the record, the figure of 250k miles on a Prius pack is nothing to brag about. Several taxi companies with Prius fleets are getting close to 500-600k miles per pack, still going strong. Canadian fleets have units with over 1 million KMs, still going. They trade maintenance tips on my Prius forum and all agree they are the most reliable vehicles they have ever used for commercial fleet duty. No mean feat.

-MKL
Posted By: Selden

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 03/05/12 12:51 AM

Moshe, Can you provide some links to other articles on this? It's obviously a very controversial and complex subject. I could do my own searching, but I suspect that you have the information at your fingertips.

I agree that durability of the newer battery systems is unknown at this time. Toyota is also using Li ion batteries, and one would hope that with their experience in hybrid drive train engineering, they wouldn't go with a system that didn't at least equal what they've been building for the past decade, but we really won't have any answers until around 2020. Who knows what technology will be "hot" by then.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 03/05/12 01:09 AM

Selden, you mean articles on MPGe or the Prius' reliability? Let me know.

Yes, Toyota is now using Li-Ion in the Prius plug-ins. Basically just copying what owners have done for years. On older models some owners shelled out some $10-15k i the early years to retrofit the Nickel batteries with Li-Ion in order to achieve plug in capability. Now you can get it straight from the factory, though there are still aftermarket companies that sell the cells for retrofit to older models.

-MKL
Posted By: AviP

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 03:16 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Sales have been on an uptick recently, though. Last month the Volt outsold the Leaf 2 to 1. Hopefully this will continue.

This just in: GM Will Stop Making Volt Plug-in for 5 Weeks. Read the section titled "Insufficient Demand".
Posted By: lawnchairboy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 03:26 AM

from the linky:

"The fact that GM is now facing an oversupply of Volts suggests that consumer demand is just not that strong for these vehicles,” said Lacey Plache, chief economist for auto-research website Edmunds.com."

that about covers it.
Posted By: Selden

Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up - 03/05/12 03:36 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Selden, you mean articles on MPGe or the Prius' reliability? Let me know.

MPGe
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 03:46 AM

OK. For MPGe, even the basic Wiki page is quite informative - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_per_gallon_gasoline_equivalent and note the May 2011 rule (joint per NHTSA and EPA) which the Forbes article precedes. I do not know of a Consumer Reports link to cover their calculations so it' sbest to subscribe to that magazine unless someone else knows of a link.

Re "real world" testing nobody I have read holds a candle to the Motor Trend report which IS online here http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alte...on/viewall.html This is a superb, comprehensive article. Note the state-by-state charting of emissions based on energy supply:



The text should list state-by-state energy supply and assume local supply (so coal for electric in midwestern states, more renewable supply on the east coast, etc.). It does in the magazine test, anyway.

Kudos to Motor Trend. They went from the crappiest to the best car mag under Australian editor Angus MacKensie's leadership. In depth reporting like this is why.

-MKL
Posted By: philbytx

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 02:40 PM

Regarding the Volt lack of salability.

Why on earth the government didn't push for CNG I just can't fathom. Establish a larger infrastructure and concurrently have Government Motors build CNG vehicles!

Also, a Government mandate for CNG use in all public vehicles (a lot of municipalities have CNG buses now) plus tax incentives for existing diesel to CNG conversions.

We have CNG "up the wazoo" here and it is an established technology with clearly recognizable cost savings.



Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 02:57 PM

CNG? What is that, natural gas?

-MKL
Posted By: AviP

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 04:24 PM

CNG = Compressed Natural Gas
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 04:39 PM

Oh, OK. Just wanted to make sure.

Yes, CNG is another alternative to oil, and many are working on it. So far it has NOT been accepted into mainstream commuter cars - mostly due to safety concerns, packaging concerns (the tanks take up much trunk space,) and the fact that efficiency is often not all that much better than a straight gas powered car. Influential customers like Fedex have stated outight they want electric as opposed to natural gas vehicles, and that's a big blow to CNG because right now acceptance is only at the fleet and commercial level. As it stands today, only the Honda Civic GX http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-sedan/civic-natural-gas.aspx is available to consumers, and even then only in 4 states.

However, GM is working on it http://www.hybridcars.com/news/gm-exploring-natural-gas-engines-consumer-vehicles-30344.html and we know that FIAT sells a variety of CNG products in Europe, so it is a safe bet they will transfer that technology over to Chrysler soon, especially if T. Boone Pickens has any say over it!

It is also likely that in fact NG will be used as a cleaner burning alternative to coal in electrical generation, so in a effect may be helping the case for EVs indirectly as well.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 04:41 PM

BTW - note the Civic GX's trunk is a paltry 6 cubic feet. Maybe two shopping bags worth of space. Hence the packaging downside. That's why this is used in larger trucks and fleet vehicles, and not yet a viable alternative to battery technology, which is far easier to package. Note also that economy is not all that much better than the standard Civic gas powered version.

-MKL
Posted By: philbytx

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 05:44 PM

Yup! Compressed Natural Gas.....would buy one in a heartbeat smile !
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 06:12 PM

You might be able to. I mistakenly said it's only for sale in 4 states above. I now read that changed as of last October, when it rolled out for sale in 35 states. Perhaps Texas is one of them.

This is a very localized decision but for someone like me in NJ, it would not be a competitive choice. For the same money I can have a Prius which has an enormous advantage in practicality (more than double the cargo capacity, and that's without the rear seats folded down) and economy (50+ mpg combined vs. Civic GX's 31mpg). The Prius would actually cost less and not have any logistical issues as I'm not sure where I would get CNG around here.

That said, it is a FULLY viable alternative from my main standpoint of national security / energy independence / politics, since it does not make use of crude oil. From that perspective it is a total winner, better than anything out there that uses any gas, period.

In other states, this analysis would not carry any weight whatsoever. Depends on many factors. It doesn't present a compelling alternative to an efficient subcompact, nevermind hybrid or EV, from a purely economical perspective. What it DOES offer is a clean emissions sheet, but if we dig deeper as to how the CNG was extracted (fracking, anyone?) that picture too might change. I would say then that its biggest advantage is the use of no gas at all to appeal to energy hawks like myself.

-MKL
Posted By: philbytx

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 06:24 PM

As in my earlier post, the government should mandate (or seriously encourage ;)) trucks and buses to use CNG, suppliers to ensure a good supply chain and mandate/encourage auto manufacturers to concentrate on designing cars AROUND CNG engines thumbsup .
Posted By: Fubar

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 07:16 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
All-

I am closely watching as GM unrolls the Volt, and all the promise it holds to finally put an American car company in a technological leadership position in the Hybrid / EV wars, and yet in looking at various comments on YouTube, or to online blogs, you would think that this is anathema to where the industry is so clearly headed – whether by consumer demand, by force of regulation, or more likely both.

Even here in this very forum, I have once in awhile mentioned my own Prius as we discuss the pure economics of riding vs. driving, and I’m surprised at the sometimes outright anger the car provokes in some people.

Now, naturally, I am well aware that driving an economical car is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I know people with large families or the need to haul cannot scale down. I too hate the sanctimoneous types who try to lecture others about how their car can travel a little further per gallon. I too love the sound and fury of a rip-snortin’ V8-powered sports car as much as any red blooded male does, and I don’t envision a future of bland, wimpy weeny-mobiles as any sort of automotive eutopia.

BUT, I do believe they have their place. I drive mine as part of a larger plan of a way to live my life, to pay as little as I can to King Abdullah even if it means I have to pay a little more for some products. I do it out of a heatfelt political belief that affecting change requires starting with yourself towards the end you’d like to see – in my case, I’d like to see this country become more efficient and less dependent on foreign petroleum, for very obvious reasons. To that end, I put my money where my mouth is, whenever possible.

Finally, after decades of absolutely horrid mismanagement (read Steven Rattner’s “Overhaul” if interested), pilfering by the UAW, and all the other ails which have plagued our Detroit, they seem to be catching onto the undeniable fact that product actually matters. In this case, a product like the Volt helps demonstrate that we CAN leapfrog the competition if we put our minds to it, and put our goal beyond the next quarterly statement - In other words, if we give a damn about the future.

It really, really baffles me why there seems to be cheerleading for it to fail – from Americans, no less, who have nothing to gain from seeing Detroit sink even further into irrelevance. Given the above contraints – what something like the Volt can and cannot do – why are otherwise intelligent people gleefully predicting its demise before the thing even has a chance?

-MKL

Gotta count myself in the minority here. The first thing I look at anymore when considering cages is the city mpg. Since 99% of my driving is around town, highway mpg is of no concern. Anything good in town will be good on the slab.
My requirements, beyond the obvious MPG: will my 6'5" body fit in/get in comfortably, does it cost less than $25K, cruise control, an upgradeable stereo system (factory boxes suck!) and can it tow the RT. That's it. I will go slushbox if manual isn't available. Hybrid or diesel, "foreign" or "domestic" doesn't matter a rat's ass to me. I want 40 MPG in town (or damned close) over any other concern. Pure electric is fine for a 2nd car, but I don't need one of those.
The car is for grocery runs, picking up the kid from school and taking a couple of friends to the hockey game, not much else. For fun I've got the Voot.
So, my current car choices would start with the VW Golf or Jetta diesel, Hyundai Elantra (wife's new car) or Accent hatchback (if it can tow 1K #), a Prius C, Camry or Sonata hybrid. The Toyota iQ that is sold everywhere else with a diesel and gets 60+ mpg would fit my needs great. The gas versions elsewhere get over 50+ but here just 36.
As for the Volt, $45K for what I can get from a Prius for $25K. Why? Only time will tell if GM can manage to pull a good car out of its butt. I've seen one Volt so far, but tons of Prius and Insights.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 07:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Fubar
As for the Volt, $45K for what I can get from a Prius for $25K. Why? Only time will tell if GM can manage to pull a good car out of its butt. I've seen one Volt so far, but tons of Prius and Insights.


Again, as I told Bob above, this is simply not a valid comparison to make. Out of pocket and equipped similarly, the Volt will cost LESS than a Prius ("5" model, which is over $35k, which is the ONLY apples to apples here as lower Prius models simply don't have the standard equipment that a Volt does) and will deliver exponentially better fuel economy. The Volt fails vs. the Prius in that it can only carry 4 people, and its cargo space is less.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 07:54 PM

Originally Posted By: philbytx
As in my earlier post, the government should mandate (or seriously encourage ;)) trucks and buses to use CNG, suppliers to ensure a good supply chain and mandate/encourage auto manufacturers to concentrate on designing cars AROUND CNG engines thumbsup .


+1 thumbsup I am for anything and everything that minimizes our use of foreign oil sources, balanced against the obvious competing interests of our environment, policies, energy planning, economic factors, etc. etc. CNG surely has a role to play. I'd just like to make sure that extraction doesn't cause the sort of mess highlighted in "Gasland" http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/ and other documentaries. There is no point in getting off of foreign oil only to destroy our own environment in the process. So this needs to be managed carefully and precisely. I do not yet know enough to comment on whether the sort of horrendous environmental violations discussed as a side effect of "fracking" are actually true or not.

-MKL
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/05/12 08:49 PM

From MSN Money page:

Automakers unveil natural-gas pickups
The fuel is a cheaper alternative to gasoline, and there's plenty of it. Now if only there were more fill-up stations.
By Kim Peterson 2 hours ago

Image: Truck drivers (© Exactostock / SuperStock/SuperStock)The price of gas has climbed to an average of $3.77 a gallon nationwide -- a tough break for an economy just starting to recover.

But there's another gas in the United States that's awfully cheap and in abundance: natural gas. In fact, new drilling technologies have made this country the largest natural-gas producer in the world. Why aren't automakers looking at more ways to use it?

As it turns out, some are. General Motors (GM -1.63%) says it will start taking orders next month for pickups that can run on gasoline and natural gas. It will sell the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra 2500 HD with a natural-gas option. One executive said that because natural gas is so much cheaper than gasoline, the new trucks could save drivers as much as $10,000 over three years, Bloomberg reports.

Natural-gas trucks are more suited for fleets. There are only about 500 natural-gas fueling stations in the U.S. open to the public, Bloomberg reports, so at this point it's tough for consumers to jump on the technology.

But as demand for alternative fuels increases, automakers and fueling stations are starting to respond.

Chrysler is expected to announce Tuesday its first from-the-factory pickup that runs on natural gas and gasoline. It will build at least 2,000 specialized Ram trucks starting in June, The Wall Street Journal reports.

People have been able to get trucks retrofitted to handle natural gas, but that's complex and requires additional costs, the Journal reports. Building in the natural-gas option at the factory reduces the friction and the expense.

"If the opportunity presents itself, we wouldn't turn our back on a CNG-powered passenger car," Chrysler executive Peter Grady told the Journal. "We aren't working on it now, but we do have it in the back of our minds."

Honda Motor (HMC -1.53%) sells a passenger car that can run on natural gas, the Civic NG, at about 200 dealers starting at $26,200, the Journal reports.
Posted By: Fubar

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/07/12 05:21 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: Fubar
As for the Volt, $45K for what I can get from a Prius for $25K. Why?

Out of pocket and equipped similarly, the Volt will cost LESS than a Prius ("5" model, which is over $35k, which is the ONLY apples to apples here as lower Prius models simply don't have the standard equipment that a Volt does)

Well, then you are getting into options.
If you need fog lamps, auto-leveling headlights with headlight washers and 17" wheels, you need the Five. If you can forgo those 4 things, a Two will do fine.

The Prius II (base model) comes standard with everything I need (no options) in a four-wheeled appliance, gets 50 mpg and travels 600 miles/tank and lists for just under $25K.

The Volt requires leather (which I hate sitting on) with the colors I like or when upgrading the stereo and needs to have an low-emissions package added to make it a 50-state car(!). A brand-new hybrid that doesn't meet emission standards in all states. Additionally, it only gets 40 mpg and gets 400 miles/tank. And with no options selected, the Volt lists for $40,000. Can anybody else see why GM is having trouble?

Me, I would get the new Prius C Two (53 mpg and only pay $20,600), take the $20,000 "left over" and buy another bike and farkle it, then ride it a bunch.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/07/12 06:39 PM

There you go. A very individual decision, for sure. Either way if you're getting into something efficient, you're doing the right thing.

-MKL
Posted By: RTJohn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/07/12 06:55 PM

No thanks. I'll stick to my RT. I get 50 mpg and my soul recharged everytime I ride it. No comparison. wave
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/07/12 09:25 PM

Another enlightening view of the Volt from the American Spectator.
Sounds like they are costing all of us quite a bit more than $40,000 each.
http://spectator.org/archives/2012/03/05/volt-sleeps-with-the-fishes
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/07/12 10:54 PM

Bob, I've read that article. I am still sort of stunned at the level of hatred this car arouses from publications which are supposed to be about politics, specifically right-wing ideological politics. I was a Spectator subscriber myself, by the way, for full disclosure.

Now let's examine why the main thrust of the article is exactly backwards. The thrust is: "....the concept itself was misaligned. Electric (and hybrid-electric) cars exist for one reason: To do an end-run around gasoline. The whole point of the exercise, as a practical matter, is to lower the cost of driving by cutting the driver loose from $4 a gallon fuel. But when it takes $40,000 to do that, it becomes pointless as a practical matter." The article then explains that the average Volt owner has a median household income of $170,000.00.

Obviously there is a mismatch here - one so big even an organization as traditionally stupid as GM wouldn't miss it. Wealthier people are hurt less by expensive gas. And so, as I have repeated now maybe 10,000 times, these cars DO NOT exist for "one reason." The "one reason" cited by naysayers is personal economics. I.e., buying X car which is economical and costs more to eventually save money based on higher fuel economy.

No, no, and no. There is NO data to support this as being a primary or even important reason for Volt buyers especially or hybrid buyers in general. It is like me writing article after article saying "the primary reason BMW riders ride BMW motorcycles is because they have pinstripes." What? To an outsider who knows nothing, maybe they could buy that. To a rider, they know such an author has his head up his ass, very far, and shouldn't be writing about motorcycles in the first place because he's proven he doesn't know the first thing about what riders really think.

One more time: The EVs that are out now are for early adopters. They are buying the car to get off gas primarily for political reasons. National energy security, energy independence, environmentalism, etc. etc. "Saving money" on gas doesn't factor in too much. Think about it - they make $170k on average. Common sense tells you the article's whole premise is therefor absurd.

As for the "subsidy" argument, it, too, is grossly flawed. First of all, the car just rolled out. So the numbers sold are extemely low. So that makes the cost per car extremely high. Want to know what Japan subsidized the Prius in its first year of sales of a few thousand - or now, after 14 years and many millions sold? Think they made their money back in spades? Yes, they did! Do economies of scale kick in after production ramps up and lower price? Of course it does. Prius proved this years ago. This is business 101 stuff that the study ignores.

Second, the author of that study "double dips" into suppliers as "Volt subsidies." Not really. Battery suppliers supply batteries to more than just GM, obviously. And to more than one GM model, obviously. So let's use a BMW example again - it's like me writing an article stating that Bosch (which DOES receive subsidy from the German government) is on the dole for BMW motorcycles. All the subsidies Bosch receives, divided only over BMW motorcycles! As if Bosch isn't also used in BMW, Mercedes, and nearly every other car under the sun. A VERY stupid point to make, because it's not realistic, at all.

The bottom line is this: The car is being used as a political football for some reason. It's an American designed, American manufactured car that is at the cutting edge of technology, being continually attacked by American politicans looking to score points with people who are ignorant of the fact that in the automotive industry, every manufacturer is subsidized in some form or another. Whether it's GM's bailout, Chrysler's bailout (on which Uncle made out very well, mind you), Ford's taxpayer-subsidized $5.9b "low / no interest loan" - yes, Ford too - they're all on the lamb. Please don't kid yourself otherwise, and please don't lose sight of the fact that this class of "leaders" on TV are making hay by dragging down an American product designed and built by us. Think about what that says about their mindset and priorities. They are rooting for our auto industry to fail. What does that say???

The larger question is not one of philosophy or ideology. It's a real question! Japan HEAVILY subsizides its auto industry. So does Korea. So does China, Germany, France, South America, Australia, and everybody else. All of them, as a percentage of GDP, far more than we do. FAR more. So if you're GM, or Ford, how do you compete with that level of financing of your R&D and operations? Explain that in a realistic way - not bumper sticker ideological nonsense - a real, concrete answer. And then maybe you will have a grasp of the problem at hand. It's not an easy problem.

-MKL
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/08/12 08:32 PM

How about a $10,000 instant rebate from your friendly taxpayers to buy a slow selling Volt?
I am guessing the 5-week shutdown was mean to tighten supply of Volts so dealers can charge top-dollar when the flood of bargain hunters show up at dealers for that $10,000 check.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/15/electric-car-rebate-obama-budget_n_1279852.html
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/08/12 10:47 PM

Bob,

How about that? Well, at least this article didn't rely on the flawed personal economics argument of the Spectator. This article got that part right:

"The people who are buying these vehicles today are demographically very well off," said Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of consumer web site Edmunds.com. "They're buying these vehicles because they're passionate about them … They would buy these vehicles whether there was a rebate or not."

Correct. Give that man a cigar!

We can indeed have an argument over whether these tax breaks are the right thing to do, or not the right thing to do. From my perspective as an energy hawk, it is the right thing to do. I see a Volt or Leaf as a passive defense machine, like a new tank or fighter jet or defense system. Except instead of being deployed to fight like the latter, the former reduces our need to fight in the first place, by getting us untangled from the mess of Middle Eastern petroleum and all the mess which accompanies that addiction. Don't forget where it comes from, Bob. Canada and Mexico, sure. And also here....



Anyone who reads the papers likely recognizes some of these countries like Syria, like Saudi Arabia, like Congo, like Pakistan, etc. and what they respesent to American values and interests. So here comes that circle James Woolsey talked about. Pay to enrich them, so that they can use that wealth we just gave them to fight us, so we can pay to fight them. It's stupid. Plain and simple. I have yet to hear an intelligent argument in favor of this cycle, which is exactly what we're engaged in. If you have an argument in favor, I'm all ears....

I can and do respect a principled stand against such subsidies, but only from people who are consistent. If you're outraged over a few million in EV subsidies but are dead silent when it comes to the $4 billion (likely much more, depending on which study you read) in annual oil subsidies, I cannot and do not respect that. A true budget hawk is a hawk across the board, not just when politically convenient.

If you're going to rail against pennies and ignore the Benjamins thrown around to the usual suspects who are already drowning in record profits, your argument will fall apart in the first 5 seconds. If you've been reading the paper, you know what a fight the so-called "deficit hawks" are putting up against ending subsidies for big oil.



Wonder why? Does it look like THEY need taxpayer funded help? Are you angry in proportion to the HUGE windfall thrown their way, as you are at the Volt? Hmmmmmm???


-MKL
Posted By: MT Wallet

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 04:52 PM

I understand your concerns about importing oil from unstable and unfriendly countries. As I've mentioned before I'm in favor of drilling here to exploit our resources. I really have to question the 2008 map and stats you posted. We imported a whole 1000 barrels a day of oil from Congo, 6000 from Syria, 1000 from Pakistan and a whopping 3000 barrels per day from Mauritania. Hardly seems worth the effort. I get the point-we're dealing with bad guys. But, battery technology forces us to deal with bad guys too. Think China. Within the last couple of months the Chinese goverment declared that they were going to curtail the export of rare earth elements which are used in electronics and yes, batteries. They are a major souce of these elements. So what stops them from blackmailing us over batteries? They are buying up oil options now so for geopolitical purposes is there anything that stops them from cornering the rare earth market? They are smart enough to look out for their own strategic interests which will trump our interests. And I know you're going to tell me they aren't the only source of these elements but they are a major player. My point is simple: There ain't no free lunch.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 06:33 PM

>>> understand your concerns about importing oil from unstable and unfriendly countries. As I've mentioned before I'm in favor of drilling here to exploit our resources. I really have to question the 2008 map and stats you posted. We imported a whole 1000 barrels a day of oil from Congo, 6000 from Syria, 1000 from Pakistan and a whopping 3000 barrels per day from Mauritania. Hardly seems worth the effort. I get the point-we're dealing with bad guys. But, battery technology forces us to deal with bad guys too. Think China. Within the last couple of months the Chinese goverment declared that they were going to curtail the export of rare earth elements which are used in electronics and yes, batteries. They are a major souce of these elements. So what stops them from blackmailing us over batteries? They are buying up oil options now so for geopolitical purposes is there anything that stops them from cornering the rare earth market? They are smart enough to look out for their own strategic interests which will trump our interests. And I know you're going to tell me they aren't the only source of these elements but they are a major player. My point is simple: There ain't no free lunch.<<<<


Richard-

You raise some valid and fair points - all ones we've touched on before in this thread and in others. Ms. Rand was right - there ain't no free lunch. But some lunches do cost more than others. Let me respond at the risk of being repetitous for those who have seen this before:

Re where we import from, yes, these are low amount from some of these countries. To me, even one dollar to Syria, to Congo, to Pakistan, etc. is too much. You know what the state is doing with that money, in all of those countries. There is no doubt about it. I don't want my money going there. HUGE amounts are imported from Saudi Arabia. I'm sure I don't need to remind you where 15 of our 19 "friendly flyers" came from. I live next to NYC and lost two classmates at New York University in our first month of graduate school classes 11 years ago. I have not forgotten them or why they perished. So, I don't want my money going there, either.

Re China's reserves of rare earth metals, yes, they are a player. But a major one? I don't see it that way. I refer you to our old thread here http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=740781&page=3 as Admin Mike raised this point on that old thread. Here's a new report from Frost & Sullivan showing worldwide lithium reserves:



You will notice the stronghold is in Latin America, not China. Not by a longshot. And further still, though Latin America and China have their own issues - not to be discounted lightly - my classmates were not killed by agents of either country in 2001. Neither were any of the thousands of troops who were maimed and killed since 2003. Bad guys in China and Bolivia? Sure, of course! But are all bad guys created equal? I don't think so. There's a big difference in my mind between IP theft, currency manipulation, crooked politics and so on - and the slaughter of American citizens, slaughter of American troops, slaughter of citizens of those countries themselves, sheltering OBL, and so on. I have a very difficult time understanding people who see a moral equivalence between these two areas. Last thread it almost got shut down because I typed what I thought of people with that equivalence mindset before I could censor myself, so this time I'll let that issue lie.

Further still, the ASSUmption is that Lithium is the basis for any advancement. In fact, thanks in NO small part to private and public investment, the USA is on the cutting edge of battery technology now. Companies like A123 in MASS are working on next-gen batteries which rely less on rare earth metals and more on advanced technology. Preliminary tests show amazing improvements in capacity, size, weight, and life. Those American designed and hopefully American built cells can be used by American car companies as well, moving us further and further away from the Middle East. You know where the oil comes from. It ain't helping us any to stay on that track. (The Armed Forces certainly recognize that and are mobilizing rapidly to increase efficiencies across the board - a wonderful thing, as the US Armed Forces is the world's single largest consumer of energy).

Finally to the point of drill, baby, drill! I am one of those "all of the above" guys. Drill so long as it's done right, with appropriate safeguards in place so we don't wind up with yet another in the long line of environmental disasters ruining our land. But - and this is a BIG but - there has to be emphasis on other sources of supply, and on other ways to curb demand. No solution which doesn't include supply AND demand is viable.

Even the MOST optimistic elements on sensationalistic Fox News style reports where drilling is everything and anything else is discounted show the USA has about 2% of the world's proven oil reserves. That is wildly optimistic and disputed by many major scientific publication on the subject, but let's assume it's true. We've got 2% here. And we consume about 20% of the world's supply. So you see, there's a major shortfall that is not going to be addressed by drilling here. It will help, in a very small way, if it's done right and the public isn't on the hook - again - to pay for the externalities like when the state has to go in and clean up the mess oil companies make of the environment. Drilling alone? It's like claiming you will put out the proverbial fire with a medicine dropper. Not even close.

There ain't no free lunch. On this we agree. But some cost more than others. Eating my lunch from the Middle East costs TOO MUCH. Too much blood, too much treasure, too much waste. There are no end to the shortfalls. I want to eat my lunch elsewhere. Sure, it will cost me something - but not as much. Not nearly. It's a matter of national security - That's how I see it.

-MKL
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 06:57 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
I have yet to hear an intelligent argument in favor of this cycle, which is exactly what we're engaged in. If you have an argument in favor, I'm all ears....

The value of cheaper fuel is more important to me that the value of my social moral beliefs.

Now I’m not saying that’s my argument, but that is the true argument underlying the cycle.
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 07:11 PM

Stupid title on MSN Money article:

"GM buyers snub 'Obamamobile' Volt"
Posted By: MT Wallet

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 07:11 PM

I'm sorry if I appear to be redundant but there's only 38 pages to this post alone! Not being familiar with the Frost and Sullivan report of reserves worldwide of Li I had to rely on the Wall Street Journal. I'll ask the question: Are reserves the same as "supplied and on the market". Missing from this report is the mention of Afghanistan which supposedly has rich abundant Li deposits. The point is that if there are reserves it isn't the same thing as availability. We have as much oil in reserve as Saudi Arabia but we aren't doing anything about it.
I'm not saying anything one way or the other as a porponent or opponent. I'm just saying beware of which devil you crawl into bed with.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 07:16 PM

Another black eye report about the hybrid market.
This isn't going to help Fisker repay the $529 million Department of Energy loan. Another Solyndra?
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/03/consumer-reports-fisker-karma-breaks/1
Posted By: MT Wallet

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 07:50 PM

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/96d95eee-6a09-11e1-a26e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1oeNXyNbX

Moshe-quick new article on China's rare earth use status. I don't know how to activate a link if this doesn't open.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 08:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Paul Mihalka
Stupid title on MSN Money article:

"GM buyers snub 'Obamamobile' Volt"


Beyond stupid. The work started on the concept in 2006. Concept debuted in 2007. It's stupid politics for stupid people.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 08:17 PM

Originally Posted By: MT Wallet
The point is that if there are reserves it isn't the same thing as availability. We have as much oil in reserve as Saudi Arabia but we aren't doing anything about it.
I'm not saying anything one way or the other as a porponent or opponent. I'm just saying beware of which devil you crawl into bed with.


"Known reserves" and availability are two different things. I could use your Afghan example and say theoretically, that they have known reserves of X material. Availability means the ability of a party to go and get that material in a cost effective way. Going into a wild warzone certainly limits availability, but not known reserves.

Now, what on earth gives you the idea that we have as much oil in reserve as Saudi Arabia? What gives you the idea that we have even a fraction, of a fraction, of a fraction of that amount?

Richard, this is politics. Pure and simple. Here is a compilation of Fox News reports from 2008, when oil was $130 per barrel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzEnKdBAb_o

Please take careful note two things:

1) Experts cited in said reports based on known US reserves at the time estimated that if we drilled Anwar and it produced as expected, price per barrel would drop by anywhere between 40 cents and $1.40. That's out of $130.00 per barrel, at the time. That is the sum total effect expected from drilling, from the proponents of it! Not even 1%. And this is not from the naysayers - from the people in favor of drilling, and drilling alone as the panacea. Their words, not mine.

2) Watch those commentators. Perhaps some of them are your favorites, or at least closer to your viewpoint than you would expect given what they are saying in these clips. Ask yourself why they are not applying the same logic, reasoning, and talking points now when a different party is in power?

The evidence is clear, and the answer is simple... People blinded by ideology? A common occurance. But why are they setting their wrath on these automotive products? That is the mystery I do not understand and why I started this thread to begin with.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 08:33 PM

Originally Posted By: upflying
Another black eye report about the hybrid market.


What do you mean "another black eye?" Can I, for example, use the biggest piece of crap gasoline car on the market, and then use it alone as an example to paint its shoddy record as a "black eye" on all other gas vehicles? Obviously not. But that is your line here.

Can I point out that some hybrids win the highest ratings in terms of reliability, out of ALL cars in their class, not just hybrids? Like the Prius just winning JD Power's "2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study?" Or Consumer Reports' highest reliability ratings, year after year? Or the prestigious German TUV's award for lowest defects per 100 of any car on the market? ANY car, not just hybrids. Or the fact that they are used as taxis all over North America? Hell, the Volt itself - the star of this thread - has stellar reliability ratings in Consumer Reports. For a first-year American car of this level of complexity? Why not be proud that we did it right, instead of rooting for the bad news wherever you can find it. What exactly do you have to gain by attacking our homegrown effort? That is what I seek to find in this thread.

Even the question itself as you ask it is loaded. "Another Solyndra," painting any company that gets a loan as Solyndra. Why? Why not A123 which got a loan, and is paying it back handsomely, and is now a world leader in battery technology which have waiting lists for various industries from military to medical to try out. A123 in Massachussetts, employing Americans. Not South Korea, not Germany, not Japan - Mass, USA. Why not Ford, which currently is reporting record profits after its $5.9b taxpayer-funded loan? There are many more examples.

But your point is revealed in your question. What is not revealed is the flip side of your ASSumptions. First, that hybrids are unreliable, for which you present one example from one brand new startup company (big surprise?) and ignore the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The second is that Solyndra is yet another example of a failing company that took a loan - go over to your friendly bank, or read the Wall Street Journal sometime, Bob. Companies that take loans go bust all the time, no matter the source of that loan. Solyndra is small potatoes compared to the companies which are flourishing right now in the energy sector.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 08:39 PM

Originally Posted By: MT Wallet
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/96d95eee-6a09-11e1-a26e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1oeNXyNbX

Moshe-quick new article on China's rare earth use status. I don't know how to activate a link if this doesn't open.


Mike, FT is very frustrating this way in that their links do not open easily and usually redirect you to generic front page. That is what is happening here.

You may recall, a few weeks ago we had been discussing the price of oil, and I linked to an FT interview with the Saudi Finance Minister, who said outright that SA was fixing the price of oil at $100 per barrel in order to fund increased social spending to keep the so-called "Arab Spring" from blowing into Riyadh. The link didn't work, but I found a similar article elsewhere and used that. (My point there applies here as well - there is no free market reasoning of supply and demand determining oil prices. The supplier is telling you, outright, that they're fixing the price on issues that have nothing to do with supply, or demand. Yet more reasons to stop getting gouged by these crooks).

Anyway, perhaps share the tag line of the article and we can find other sources reporting on the story so we can comment further on it.

-MKL
Posted By: MT Wallet

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 08:51 PM

I'd love to open a youtube video at work but big brother has blocking software. So whatever reference you're citing is off limits for comment.
"Experts cited in said reports based on known US reserves at the time estimated that if we drilled Anwar and it produced as expected, price per barrel would drop by anywhere between 40 cents and $1.40. That's out of $130.00 per barrel, at the time. That is the sum total effect expected from drilling, from the proponents of it! Not even 1%. And this is not from the naysayers - from the people in favor of drilling, and drilling alone as the panacea. Their words, not mine." This statment on it's face is the usual stuff I expect from the greenies (not necessarily aiming at you) and those with a no drill agenda. I just heard a prominent congress woman Sunday giving an interview tell the interviewer that "It would take 20 years for drilling to have any impact on the price of gas." She cited some, now defunct, government mining and minerals board statistic. 20 years really? I'm supposed to buy that as a reason to do nothing? Every journey starts with the 1st step. Sitting on one's arse will not a step take.
People who are green will of course tell us not to drill because it will do no good. We don't have enough oil. We use 25% of the worlds oil(feel guilty-very guilty) and it isn't fair. It's old technology, It's dirty. We can't contruct a pipeline we might pollute something or other. We might____________(insert irrational fear here) We don't have enough etc. etc. So let's do nothing(and be victims) Others, like yourself, get indignant if we find fault with your rational

"Ask yourself why they are not applying the same logic, reasoning, and talking points now when a different party is in power?"
WE've been having this exact same arguement for 40 stinking years! Everyone (politicians)seems to angle for the ONE PERFECT solution with no in between. If it isn't perfect enough they walk away from the idea all together. Result: No progres like today with the gas price rising.
"The evidence is clear, and the answer is simple... People blinded by ideology" Absolutely! And a total lack of common sense. Best Regards.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 09:11 PM

Rich-

When you get a chance, please review the vid. It's not "greenies" talking. It's all Fox News analysts and commentators. That's exactly why I posted it. It will not be possible to dismiss on an ideological basis because in fact it's all coming from the same side of the fence.


It is true that every journey starts with the first step. But this jouney has many facets. Supply. Demand. Drilling AND conservation. All of the above. America doesn't have the capacity to meet her demand. Not even close. Step 1 is facing that fact. Step 2 is exploring what options we have to increase supply AND reduce demand. Step 3 is taking action.

-MKL
Posted By: FlyingFinn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 09:18 PM

At the time of the beginning of this thread I probably would have had to count myself as one of them "hybrid haters". Maybe not a hater but "disliker" for sure.

After seeing the DATA provided in this thread I pretty much want to go and get a Prius. If they just made them with leather seats...

--
Mikko
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 09:20 PM

They do, Mikko, they do. Mine has leather. Dad's Volt is leather too. Heated seats, even.

-MKL
Posted By: MT Wallet

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 09:43 PM

I'll look at the video when I get home. Clairvoyance strikes! This wouldn't happen to be a bunch of business types prattling on about "market forces", "supply and demand" and "world oil markets"? LOL I'm guessing, but that seems to be the standard fare there.
"...Supply. Demand. Drilling AND conservation. All of the above. America doesn't have the capacity to meet her demand. Not even close. Step 1 is facing that fact. Step 2 is exploring what options we have to increase supply AND reduce demand. Step 3 is taking action."
I agree with step 1 in as much as one needs to face facts--problem becomes who's facts. Step 2 is incomplete-we are driving the least amount of miles in 8-10 years. How can we reduce demand any further? You all out East heat with oil and had an exceedingly mild winter-again decreased demand. We saw a significant increase in supply as a result. I guess to do more we could all stay home smile So what happened to the oil? It got exported!!! The overall benefit went to the oil companies. Step 3 take action- darn right-restrict oil exports until our demand is met. If India can declare no export of cotton and China can limit exports of rare earth metals we sure can withold oil for our own use. There are other steps that would solve the problem in the near term as well.
I posted a link in the thread earlier regarding China. About 6 paragrphs in it noted that China accounts for 95% of rare earth production. 13 paragraphs in the article reminds us that processing of these are potentially polluting for the producer. So as I mentioned a couple of pages back, for our "feel good about ourselves" moment is tempered by the fact we just shifted the pollution to someone else's back yard. "Stil ain't no free lunch"
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/09/12 10:09 PM

Rich-

"Whose facts" applies to subjective issues like economics and such.

It doesn't apply to my Step 2. There is no fact, no study, no paper, no article, and no knowledgeable person any place on earth who would argue that the United States has anything beyond a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the amount of reserves (supply) to meet its own demand. We cannot be self sufficient, or anywhere near it, given current demand. In fact we will never be self sufficient re oil if we all drove bicycles around all day. We are too big, our industry too large, and our own supply too small. We are not blessed with oil under our feet like Saudi Arabia.

This is why demand must be addressed, not just supply. How do we reduce demand? You listed some items that are naturally occurring.

There are many others which we can do as a country. Like raising MPG fleet averages for cars. And trucks. And planes. And trains. And boats. Like raising minimum efficiency ratings for furnaces, and for air conditioners. Like improving the energy efficiency of our appliances. And of our homes, and of our offices. And so on, and so forth.

Don't feel like waiting endlessly for the state to raise these averages? Fine, me neither! Next time you buy a car, buy an efficient one if it meets your lifestyle needs. Same with your fridge, your dishwasher, your furnace, and so on. When these things go, replacements are readily available to enable you to reduce your demand. (My current kitchen of Energy Star microwave, dishwasher, stove, toaster, and fridge appliances consumes less TOTAL COMBINED than my 15 year old Maytag fridge does - I measured it myself). You can do that - it's under your DIRECT and personal control!

This isn't a very complicated analogy to make. We have a big, fat, gluttonous pig swilling away in a restaurant. The pig knows he has to get healthy, but he cannot bring himself to accept diet AND exercise. His brain is wired such that he either thinks he must starve himself and stay stationary, or that he can keep swilling so long as he works out more. All the arguments in his head are "either / or," like what sadly passes for political discourse today re energy. Anybody with half a brain knows: It's both. It's all of the above. You want to look like a fitness model? You diet. AND you exercise. It's not one, or the other.

You want energy independence? Make more of your own. And suck down less from other places.

Watch that vid. Speaks for itself.

-MKL
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 02:36 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: Paul Mihalka
Stupid title on MSN Money article:

"GM buyers snub 'Obamamobile' Volt"


Beyond stupid. The work started on the concept in 2006. Concept debuted in 2007. It's stupid politics for stupid people.

-MKL


Do you really believe your petty insults make you look any smarter? Or your argument any more valid?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 02:52 AM

Danny,

Yes, I am definitely stupid, and surely my argument is invalid. Paul is stupid as well since you quoted him saying "Stupid title," with which I wholeheartedly agree. So obviously, we're both really dumb guys. I readily admit it.

However, tying a vehicle to the current POTUS (which began concept design several years before the current POTUS was POTUS to begin with) is smart, and valid. Attacking American industry and ingenuity is also smart for American politicians to do, and those who mere voters support such efforts are bordering on Einstein.

You've got the whole thing figured out! rofl

-MKL
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 03:14 AM

Yet another lame attempt at your own spin. The more you talk, the faster you go down your own drain.
But you just can't see it, can you? And you can't be convinced. Because, you see, you're just too smart.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 03:30 AM

Tell you what, Danny. You yourself convince easily me - and Paul - and everyone else who thinks that nickname for the car is stupid. Just tell us why it's NOT stupid. What's the intelligent or factual reasoning behind that name? Please explain.

-MKL
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 04:23 AM

Quote:

Old Fart
Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 11163
Loc: Sykesville, MD Stupid title on MSN Money article:

"GM buyers snub 'Obamamobile' Volt"


As I read it, Paul was posting an opinion. As I see it, that's what we all do. You, however, stoop to name calling in an attempt to elevate yourself above all that disaggree with you. You still refuse to see how that tears you down. My words here here can't change that, only your own mind can.

As for the "Obamamobile" moniker, that's not mine. You think you're very clever in trying to geode me into responding to political inuindo, but it's not happening..
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 11:57 AM

OK, so we just went in a little circle and accomplished nothing. We'll have to agree to disagree then. I think the moniker is stupid, and by extension the ideas behind it are stupid, and so by extension the people themselves behind it are stupid. I don't respect the thinking behind that moniker, or what it represents, and I don't have to pretend to.

-MKL
Posted By: majrosebud

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 01:27 PM

The Volt got an outstanding report card from the magazine Consumer Reports. Why not buy one? I am going to check it out soon, even though I am not in the market currently.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 07:13 PM

Originally Posted By: majrosebud
The Volt got an outstanding report card from the magazine Consumer Reports. Why not buy one? I am going to check it out soon, even though I am not in the market currently.

Wait until the $10,000 instant rebate starts.
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
...There is no fact, no study, no paper, no article, and no knowledgeable person any place on earth who would argue that the United States has anything beyond a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the amount of reserves (supply) to meet its own demand. We cannot be self sufficient, or anywhere near it, given current demand. In fact we will never be self sufficient re oil if we all drove bicycles around all day. We are too big, our industry too large, and our own supply too small. We are not blessed with oil under our feet like Saudi Arabia....


Moderator Edit for political commentary

rofl
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 09:13 PM

Selden-

No side is free from sin on this. The current POTUS (as candidate) criticized the previous POTUS during the last gas crunch. No politican can do much about the price of gas, which also has very little to do with market forces, supply and demand, or any of the other usual excuses.

-MKL
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 09:37 PM

Exactly so, but that doesn't stop them from speechifying and running ads.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 10:05 PM

Oh, of course not. The public is duped every time this comes up, and as usual the can is kicked down the road.

Where this season is different is on top of advertising some magic bullet solution that anyone with 1/2 a brain knows is BS, the politicians of that stripe you mentioned are actually insulting the Volt by name! I started this thread before election season. I asked why a car incites such hatred. And here we are months later, with candidates for the highest office in the American hierarchy using this car as a political football.

So here is the irony of a non-solution being presented as a solution, and a solution being panned as a non-solution. It's icing on the cake this time 'round. Will the public buy it? We'll see.....

-MKL
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 10:38 PM

Can one insult a car?

The real issue isn't which side is right.
They both are.

The real issue is why we haven't already developed
high speed mass transit designed for use in a country like the USA.
The real issue is why we postpone developing (not merely looking into) alternate sources of energy becasue they are out there.
Many interdependent variables, of course.
But we've thrown a lot of time and money at maintaining
the status quo for the benefit of ?? (certainly not the american citizen).

Back when we could discuss politics I linked sources that showed the true cost to the american consumer for a gallon of gas after the first gulf war.
True cost was @$10/gal back then.

We have been compromised for so long we allow the distraction
(circus circus) of global warming to do what it was designed to do.

Viable mass transit (such as 250mph trains for those wide open spaces).
A more eurocentric vehicle approach. (diesels/smaller/higher mpg)
User taxes for road use.
Viable/affordable solar producing home units.

Of course the why/why not crosses into politics and Beeg Biznuss, PACs et al, and human nature.

Love the Volt idea, can't afford one, need more range too.

YMMV
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 11:08 PM

Originally Posted By: tallman


Love the Volt idea, can't afford one, need more range too.

YMMV

Volt has unlimited range, just fill it with gas.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 11:23 PM

Originally Posted By: tallman

The real issue is why we haven't already developed
high speed mass transit designed for use in a country like the USA.
YMMV

Ca is trying to plan high speed rail but the $100 billion price tag (up from voter approved funding of $9 billion) means this concept is circling the drain and on life support.
Just dealing with the lawsuits would eat up half of the funding for this pork project.
We already have high speed mass transit...airlines.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bullet-debt-20120307,0,4656422.story
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/12/12 11:48 PM

Originally Posted By: tallman
Back when we could discuss politics I linked sources that showed the true cost to the american consumer for a gallon of gas after the first gulf war.
True cost was @$10/gal back then.


Yes, this issue was one I brought up somewhere way back in this thread. Negative externalities. In this case, a cost borne by the public for oil that is not reflected in the transaction price. Like the public's having to clean up the various environmental messes left behind by the oil companies. Billions. Like the price to secure and stabilize oil sources (aka "war"). Billions more. And so on.

I brought this up to counter the very laughable notion that the market is at play here, and that supply and demand determine the price of oil. (Even as the Saudi Finance Minister explicitly tells us price of $100 per barrel is now required to break even on increased social spending there to prevent the so-called "Arab Spring" from blowing into Riyadh.).

Supply and demand, indeed! I always picture the hysterical circle of people in this country putting down the Volt because of "subsidies," as they swill gas at artifically inflated prices to pay for Saudi subsidies and social spending over there.

"...it is estimated that to balance its national budget Saudi requires an oil price of $90 a barrel." http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/16/us-saudi-oil-naimi-idUSTRE80F0SD20120116 THAT'S where your money is going. No free market here to speak of, my friends. And these jokers and clowns run around putting down the Volt because of subsidies EVs receive? Send my money to Chevy or to King Abdullah? Oh, gee, let me think hard about that one....

-MKL
Posted By: AviP

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 12:45 AM

Anytime I click on the "Active Topics" link, this thread is always on page 1. grin Is there such a thing as Hybrid OCD! rofl Or maybe it's just called Moshe Syndrome. wink
Posted By: beemerman2k

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 01:20 AM

*****************************************
*****************************************
Time to tone things down a bit.
*****************************************
*****************************************

Holy smokes, folks, this thread has crossed the line so many places I don't know where to begin grading this paper dopeslap

But we need to dispense with the Obama referenced vehicles and the veiled references to presidential candidates and so on. I realize that in a vigorous debate about our nations energy policy that it's virtually impossible not to call attention to these things, but in reality: 1) we are not deciding our nations energy policy, and 2) we all have legitimate differences of opinion based upon the different ways we all read the same evidences. So we're not going to all come together here and now, so let's tone things down a bit...OK, way down smirk
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 03:36 PM

B2K-

Sorry if I or others have crossed the line. I started this thread not to discuss politics, but to find out why the Chevrolet Volt inspires such an outpouring of hatred from a certain segment of the population.

After 21 pages, I think we can safely conclude two things:

1) The animosity expressed here, if we can take this group as a sample, is almost 100% political in nature. Ideological opposition to the car itself, or perhaps because of what it represents in some people's minds.

2) That in fact this political opposition is strongly held, often irrespective of facts on the ground (e.g., subsidies granted to other "approved" types of vehicles being OK, subsidies granted to oil companies being OK, political opportunism as a motive for using a product as a football in election season being OK, no apologies or retractions from the usual sources who rained down on the car for "starting fires" which was total BS, etc.).

This has depressed me somewhat as I was more hoping for people to give more viable, even technical reasons for their dislike. The styling. Maybe the fact that it only seats 4. Skepticism about a first year American product's reliability. An opposing view to the automotive press' generally positive reception of the car. A technical discussion of why the Volt onboard generator concept is worse than, say, Toyota's series-parallel setup or inferior to pure EV like Nissan Leaf. That sort of thing. But for the most part, that didn't come.

What came instead is what came instead. I am not less confused than I was at the outset as to why Americans would root for the failure of a state-of-the-art American designed, American built automobile - at the very time American manufacturing needs support the most. I suppose it's #1 above, but if that's all there is to it, it's a very sad thing in my opinion. A very sad thing, indeed.

-MKL
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 04:03 PM

Moshe,
Too expensive for my daily commute distance and cost to buy.
I can buy 2 vehicles over 400,000 miles and probably break even
with the cost of one new Volt.
Not politics, not diatribe, economics.
I can't invest that much in a commuter when other options are out there for 1/2 the price.
Price it comparable to a VW Jetta TDI, maybe, but still need
a much longer range.
I have bought 8 new GM products since 2000 and one used Ford.
(2 BMW mc and sold a BMW car)
Posted By: MT Wallet

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 04:09 PM

If you didn't expect the political backlash why did you select the Volt instead of say the Hyundai or the Ford Fusion or the Escape? I notice it's the only American car/vehicle you cite. So what did you expect?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 05:52 PM

Originally Posted By: MT Wallet
If you didn't expect the political backlash why did you select the Volt instead of say the Hyundai or the Ford Fusion or the Escape? I notice it's the only American car/vehicle you cite. So what did you expect?


I'm not entirely clear yet on what you're asking. I cited the Volt because it has alot of buzz around it due to its technology and configuration. And yes, because it's American. The Hyundai, Escape, et. al. are not groundbreaking in any way. They are standard hybrids (and mediocre ones, at that, which cannot compete with better standard hybrids in their respective classes). They are also not mentioned in any extraordinary way, good or bad. The Volt is a game-changing design, if it succeeds. That is why it drew my interest. The Volt is love/hate. I was trying to uncover the reasons for the hate.

-MKL
Posted By: Selden

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 05:59 PM

I haven't driven one, but the Ford Fusion has gotten generally excellent road test reviews.
Quote:
According to the EPA, the Fusion Hybrid earns a rating of 41/36 mpg. You'd have to shop a Honda Insight or Toyota Prius to find numbers like those, but even in that set, Ford's integration of hybrid hardware is superior. Transitions between electric and gas power are very smooth, and the steering and transmission don't have as much of the lifeless feel we've experienced in the Prius and Insight. There's an EV mode that lets the Fusion be driven at speeds of up to 47 mph on battery power alone--and with a frugal right foot, you can coax almost 700 miles of driving out of a single tank of gas.

I have driven a Prius, and I couldn't wait for the test drive to be over.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 06:21 PM

The Fusion is a far superior driving experience than a Prius, no doubt. But it's not game-changing technology. It's series-parellel redux. It's nothing new. Volt and Leaf are new and will fight like VHS and Betamax as to what configuration works best for Americans.

-MKL
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 07:21 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Sorry if I or others have crossed the line. I started this thread not to discuss politics, but to find out why the Chevrolet Volt inspires such an outpouring of hatred from a certain segment of the population.

To be honest with you Moshe, and believe me it pains me to type this, I don’t think the Volt is ground breaking technology. I’ve read every review, praise and criticism, from the very stogy practical minded Consumer Reports, to all the over-hyped automotive journals, to everything in between, and overwhelmingly, overall, the Volt is a disappointment.

Its battery only range is almost a joke, its non-battery range economy doesn't raise the bar, its performance as a car irrespective of the new technology is nothing particularly ground breaking, and the price point is pff the chart for the segment it’s in.

Bottom line - the car’s a miss. And it’s a damn shame. If GM had knocked one out of the park this thread would have had quite a different flavour. The deniers wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on. But they didn't and they do.

Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 07:22 PM

The all electric, Chinese made Coda was introduced to the press yesterday with all the splashy fanfare to go with it.
I was shocked when I saw video of it. To me it looks like a 15 year old Civic or Corolla. If consumers are supposed to be weaned away from fossil-fuel vehicles, why produce something you would be embarrassed to be seen in?
For $37,000, I rather choose a far more attractive used Volt or a new Prius with cash left over.
Go on down to your neighborhood Coda dealer to check one out. Oh, wait there is no dealer network.
http://www.codaautomotive.com/
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/12/BUP01NJNS4.DTL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 03/13/12 08:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
To be honest with you Moshe, and believe me it pains me to type this, I don&#146;t think the Volt is ground breaking technology. I&#146;ve read every review, praise and criticism, from the very stogy practical minded Consumer Reports, to all the over-hyped automotive journals, to everything in between, and overwhelmingly, overall, the Volt is a disappointment. Its battery only range is almost a joke, its non-battery range economy doesn't raise the bar, its performance as a car irrespective of the new technology is nothing particularly ground breaking, and the price point is pff the chart for the segment it&#146;s in.


Ken, as you may guess I disagree. The configuration of on-board generator with DC primary drive, combining far superior efficiency vs. hybrid WITHOUT the range anxiety of pure electric is indeed unique, and is indeed groundbreaking. Indeed, the Volt IS ground breaking technology, because it's the only car of its type in the world.

I also disagree the the press has been unkind to the car. It has won almost every single major award there is to win, and even won over Consumer Reports.

+2011 North American Car of the Year at the 2011 North American International Auto Show.

+Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year

+Automobile Magazine 2011 Automobile of the Year

+MotorWeek 2011 Driver’s Choice Best of the Year

+Car and Driver 10 Best for 2011

+2011 Edison Award

+Highest-rated compact for 2011 J.D. Powers and Associates APEAL Study

+2012 European Car of the Year

+Consumer Reports rates Volt #1 in Owner Satisfaction


So, again, not much I would term "disappointment" there. If anything it's hyped to death.

It is not an ideal candidate for everyone. It is expensive for now (you remember $10,000.00 32" plasma TVs, don't you?) and it is limited in terms of storage capacity. But for people like my dad, who commutes mainly to work under 40 miles per day, it's perfect. He no longer buys guys, but isn't afraid of the occasional long trip where even on generator, his Volt is pushing 38mpg on gas-only.

I can sing the car's praises all day, but that's not what this is about. You may object to some aspects of the car, and even be disappointed as you are. THAT'S also not what this is about. It doesn't work for you or Tim - for reasons you cite. And that's not what this is about. Neither of you express what I would term "hate." You just don't like it.

What it IS about for me is why there are people who HATE the car. They hate it. Like Neil Cavuto (Google "Neil Cavuto Volt Hate" and watch any video that pops up). I'm staying away from politicians, but you know who they are. People who seem to relish in tearing down this product of American ingenuity and engineering prowess. It is them I hope to understand, to see if there is a shred of reason, or fact, or logic to their opinions.

-MKL
Posted By: pbharvey

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/10/12 06:47 PM

Not Hybrid hatred, but not enough Hybrid Love to trade in their hybrid for another hybrid: hybrid owners unlikely to buy another one
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/10/12 06:58 PM

I think that can be explained. Today's popular hybrids are all the same type: small family sedans. If you want to trade, it probably is because you want/need something different. If you want to stay with the same type of car, you keep what you got. Hybrid owners are economy minded, they are not looking for the latest/greatest, current hybrids are proven long-lived and reliable. One upgrade that would make sense, is going from a Prius to a Ford Fusion hybrid.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/10/12 10:21 PM

The article is extremely flawed, and not just for the reason Paul states. Paul is correct. A growing family may not be able to fit into a midsize like Prius or Fusion, and may not want a huge SUV or truck hybrid. There are not many offerings there.

Second, the article flies in the face of numerous other studies, especially Consumer Reports which has repeatedly shown Prius owners are more likely than any other car (except one) to buy another Prius. The "except one" is Volt owners, which are more likely to get another Volt than any other car CR tested and reported on. Several other studies including JD Power and of course sales data back this up.

Further, and most obvious, they are citing trading from one "gas/electric" hybrid to another "gas/electric." But, in fact, many gas/electric trade-ins are to pure electric. #1 trade-in for Nissan Leaf? The Prius. And so on.

This past Thursday, I attended a brunch with GM brass (including Marketing Exec Chris Perry) to discuss the Volt and its future. I am happy to say, the company seems to be taking a long range view of the technology, and plans to leverage it into other models. We saw a sneak peek of a small Volt-based SUV which will solve some of the complaints over a family-sized but efficient vehicle.

I also spoke to a reporter there from the New York Times named Joe Nocera. His article about the event - an excellent one - is here http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/07/opinion/nocera-the-right-flames-the-volt.html You can guess which of the sentiments he writes about was the one I was most vocal about. In March, the Volt attained its highest monthly sales to date (way higher than Prius this early in Prius' life) and the plant which was shut down is being reopened early to supply the increased demand.

Read Nocera's column. Sums it up well.

-MKL
Posted By: racer7

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 12:57 AM

Count me as one who does hate the Volt and more specifically what it represents- failed govt meddling in the car bus.
If GM had been allowed to go bankrupt the taxpayers wouldn't be subsidizng this pathetic excuse for a car that really only makes sense for folks who live close enough to their job to use a bicycle. 25 miles on a charge isn't even remotely impressive and $40K is nuts- it will never get paid back. And what you get for it is basically an econobox with "groundbreaking" technology.
Nothing against fuel economy- I just bought a 2012 Passat turbodiesel becasue I don't do city or much suburban driving- if I did I might own a hybrid. But what's basically an overpriced gasoline fueled vehicle that gets only 38 mpg and costs $40K- no chance.
GM deserves the flop this will become. Overpriced technology addressd to some miniscule part of the country's auto users is not a business plan. This is just one more in their unending list of strategic and stupid choices going back to the 1960s...
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 01:26 AM

Originally Posted By: racer7
Count me as one who does hate the Volt and more specifically what it represents- failed govt meddling in the car bus. If GM had been allowed to go bankrupt the taxpayers wouldn't be subsidizng this pathetic excuse for a car that really only makes sense for folks who live close enough to their job to use a bicycle. 25 miles on a charge isn't even remotely impressive and $40K is nuts- it will never get paid back...


Well, my friend, my answer is "we'll see." Talk to me in a few years. You might be right - you might be wrong. Your take on things to me is off kilter in nearly every aspect when measured against facts.

As if allowing GM to close and take with it all of Detroit's suppliers (including Ford's and Chrysler's) and having 1,000,000 more people suddenly on unemployment is a cheaper option than taking that company through managed bankruptcy? Really? On what planet?

Further to the Volt, your figures are off. Way off. Actually I borrowed dad's 2011 Volt today as he's out of town. Took it home at a steady cruise on the NJTP @ 70mph (not in rush hour so I could get away with it) and managed a full 43 miles before depleting the charge. Not 25 - 43. Out of my 52 mile trip, my total average MPG for the trip was 94MPG. My Prius gets less than half of that, and your Passat gets less still. My dad, who lives 10 miles from work, hasn't bought gas in months. Breakthrough? You bet. American designed, American engineered, American built breakthrough. Just won European Car of the Year - the ONLY American car, EVER, to do that. As an American who works in manufacturing, I'm damn proud of it.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 01:45 AM

Oh, I almost forgot. You are one of those guys who is offended by subsidies. Yet you drive a 2012 Passat. The same Passat built in Chattanooga, TN? Didn't you know that plant received $577 million in state subsidies? http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/14907/foreign-owned-auto-plants-netted-$36b-in-subsidies Offended still?

Let this be known to anyone who comes up with that "subsidy" line against the Volt. Tell me what you drive, and I will show you it's subsidized. Some way, somehow, to some extent. It's not a good argument to make - it's the pot calling the kettle black.

-MKL
Posted By: lawnchairboy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 01:52 AM

this thread has fantastic mileage
Posted By: RoadWolf

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 02:07 AM

ding... ding... we have a winner.
Posted By: mbelectric

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 02:08 AM

Originally Posted By: racer7
Count me as one who does hate the Volt and more specifically what it represents- failed govt meddling in the car bus.


C'mon man, provide some facts or solutions, not just the same old rhetoric...Hate is a big word, and how did it impact you directly?

Count me in as one who wouldn't have liked the result of the failed auto industry here in the USA. Glad we meddled. I'm all for holding up jobs here in the states. Love the idea of new technology being pursued, no matter how it appears in it's infancy. Gotta start somewhere bubba.

While we are talking about meddling, have any other idea's where government meddling bothers you, and it's impact on the economy?

I'd be happy to hear your spin on it...

MB>
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 02:47 AM

Originally Posted By: mbelectric
While we are talking about meddling, have any other idea's where government meddling bothers you, and it's impact on the economy?I'd be happy to hear your spin on it...

MB>


No, don't go down that road. It's a sure way to get this thread closed down which would be a shame. Let's stick to the car. The politics are what they are and it's not going to change. It gotten to the point where Bob Lutz himself - about as far from liberal as humanly possible to get - has had enough trying to convince people with facts. He said as much himself, right here http://www.forbes.com/sites/boblutz/2012...-over-the-volt/ He's "given up." A sad thing, that this hero of any red blooded American car nut is now dealing with this nonsense as he nears the end of his storied career.

The story with subsidies is this: Whatever you drive - whatever brand, whenever it was made, by whoever you want - it was subsidized. Maybe alot, maybe a little. But it's silly for the pot to call the kettle black, or to even bring it up, because in the end the facts will embarrass that argument into submission, as you can see re the Passat. The Volt was conceived in 2005-2006. The subsidies that went into effect were circa 2007. The complaining about subsidies magically started well after those dates.

I told Chris Perry a nice commerical would mention these facts. A campaign to confront the stupid politics of people who root for the death of their own country's manufacturing base with plain fact. Ideology doesn't stand a chance against fact, and time WILL bear that out. In the meanwhile, if we can focus on the car itself, we will be better off.

-MKL
Posted By: mbelectric

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 03:03 AM

Yeah, you're right Moshe...Didn't mean to shut down a potentially
informative/educational thread... grin

I'll take the idea's via PM. dopeslap

And I'll shut the door behind me. wave

MB>
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 03:13 AM

I'm thinking one of these days this week, I'll take a picture of the dashboard so you can see the total miles and amount of gas used. You can see my specific commute which does use gas, and how much effect that has on overall MPGs. It's all right there at a glance. Should hopefully persuade those who choose to slant the numbers to ridiculously low or outright incorrect levels in order to prove some "point" about the Volt's supposed deficiencies.

-MKL
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 10:02 AM

"Ideology doesn't stand a chance against fact"

Moshe, I'm sorry but this is the only sentence from you I disagree with. We know from very different subjects that the priests of any ideology don't really accept any facts that are contrary to their beliefs.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 10:21 AM

Paul,

Because politics is unfortunately involved, this is true for a certain segment, sure. Absolutely, it's not a blanket statement. But for the independent middle which actually engages its brain before accepting a belief and drinking the Kool Aid, I would say it holds true. I would hope it does, at least.

In time, as more of these are on the road, and as friends, neighbors, and family members tell other friends, neighbors, and family members about the benefits, myths will be dispelled. That is exactly what happened with the Prius, which sold about half of what the Volt did in its first year out 12 years ago, but which today is a mainstream success, accounting for almost half of all hybrid sales total. That is exactly what has happened in my own family, and in my own neighborhood. I can see it with my own eyes.

Certainly, Toyota's lousy marketing didn't help a bit. 13 years into it, many people still have no idea how Series / Parallel hybrid drive it works or why it works - a function of crappy marketing - but word of mouth spread slowly, over time, and was allowed to because Toyota took a long term view of the technology they created. The opposite of the Wall Street view of no farther than next quarter. The opposite view of the dolts who look at a brand new technology, in its infancy, and kick it just as it's developing baby legs and early adopter acceptance. The opposite of the Drudges of the world where headlines say "VOLT SOLD ONY 345 UNITS" in its first month, without ever mentioning they only MADE 345 units that month. (345 is just an example, not the real number).

Same here, although to its credit GM is being just a little more aggressive than Toyota was (on its FB page, for example).

It's not for everyone, of course. But when I say that I say it based on function, or on price, style, or on some other "real" factor. I do not say it based on a three ring political circus which takes place during election year and has nothing to do with reality, a circus which comes at the expense of American jobs and disparages American ingenuity, engineering, and design. A circus that roots for American industry to fail - a "self" hatred, if you will. That is the irrational hatred I'm talking about. In 22 pages of this thread, we have seen time and again what that hatred is REALLY based on. There's an example right above. What does it tell you?

-MKL
Posted By: taylor1

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 12:00 PM

I just wonder if the Gov. will ever subsidies me for the $32,000. that I lost in G.M stock
Posted By: pbharvey

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 12:33 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

Out of my 52 mile trip, my total average MPG for the trip was 94MPG.


How much coal did you burn? wave







grin
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 01:50 PM

None. Our electricity to charge at work, and at home, is via solar. Whatever solar cannot provide is provided by Viridian, which is 100% renewable (at the same price as old coal suppliers). Deregulation is, in this case, a great thing!

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/11/12 01:53 PM

Sorry, forgot the link. Here it is http://www.viridian.com/ If Viridian supplies electricity in your state, you too can stop burning coal. No hit in your pocketbook, and your utility company still provides all the maintenance and billing as usual. Nothing changes, except where your supply comes from. Worth a look.

-MKL
Posted By: ESokoloff

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/14/12 12:50 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Sorry, forgot the link. Here it is http://www.viridian.com/ If Viridian supplies electricity in your state, you too can stop burning coal. No hit in your pocketbook, and your utility company still provides all the maintenance and billing as usual. Nothing changes, except where your supply comes from. Worth a look.

-MKL


Looks to be limited at this time.
Perhaps their coverage will expand the future.
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/14/12 01:39 AM

I MUST relate this experience. Last week I was entering Target. As I'm going through the doors, a young teenager bolts past me towards the parking lot. Just as he's behind me he stops & turns. Then he announces at the top of his voice... "Don't worry Mom, no one around here would steal a Prius!" rofl

She laughed even harder than I. grin
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/14/12 03:32 AM

Originally Posted By: ESokoloff
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Sorry, forgot the link. Here it is http://www.viridian.com/ If Viridian supplies electricity in your state, you too can stop burning coal. No hit in your pocketbook, and your utility company still provides all the maintenance and billing as usual. Nothing changes, except where your supply comes from. Worth a look.

-MKL


Looks to be limited at this time.
Perhaps their coverage will expand the future.


It is, unfortunately. If you scan back a few pages you will see we went over a comprehensive Motor Trend test which measured, state by state, primary energy production and just how polluting an EV would be state by state. Obviously here in NJ, where we can get 100% of our power from renewables for no extra cost, it's a no brainer. Elsewhere that is definitely not the case.

Wait a minute... Did I just say something positive about NJ? Oh my God, the world must be ending....

-MKL
Posted By: racer7

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/17/12 11:29 PM

The way I understand RECs is that they're essentially devices that facilitate paper- based and grid supply location shifting. Using Viridian might save a little CO2 someplace else- not necessarily any where near the power user. Mostly its a govt device to promote greener power by facilitating forcing the major generators who use coal or whatever to buy from potential competitors, presumably justified by a societal benefit of better air or similar. I'd venture that the logical endpoint of this type of thinking is cap and trade- not overwhelmingly popular...

I wonder what sort of renewables in NC fall in the REC-able category. For example, we've got dams to which metal companies own power rights before WWII when they were needed to make aluminum. Today, many of these small facilities are considered environmentally undesirable in their own right for the river ecosystem damage they do but the metal companies still want them just so they can sell power- not to use it themselves for any type of production or job creation.

Did we ever talk about how many new power plants need to be built if everyone bought an electric car? And what would run them? As you're demonstrating, going off the grid or mostly off the grid by generating owns own power to sell if you don't want to build a battery bank is possible for those with enough skill and $ to invest, if they own the right property, but its also not very practical for about 99% of everyone. Builders in most of the country can't even sell energy efficient houses that use in ground thermal exchangers for HVAC and that's no where near as pricey. Where I live, my electric bill is about 60% of my cable TV/ISP bill- not very much economic incentive for investment with a long term ROI.

The 25 miles electric range figure for the Volt I used earlier comes from 2 different automotive reviewers - 1 each at 25 and 26 miles. I have no idea why it differs from yours unless the did more stop and go- wlling to accept yours as also valid of course.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 01:26 AM

Racer-

There are many reasons people consider more efficient cars. Some do it for environmental reasons, some for moral, some for conservation, etc. I have maintained my position in this thread from the outset as 90% political. I understand your concerns re energy production, but in my view these problems are ours to deal with, and to solve. As I've been in manufacturing all my life, I have GREAT faith in American ingenuity and brainpower to solve such problems if we put our minds to it. And shifting these problems to us to solve, in my political view, is far preferrable to sending our hard earned money to unstable Middle Eastern theocracies who use the wealth we provide to them to fund the same forces which we then pay to fight on the double. (Google James Woolsey interview in Motor Trend circa 2007 - this interview singlehandedly built my position on this matter).

So it is a shifty conversation to have. If you read back in this thread you will see this tactic used over and over. I present my view from a political angle, and someone comes back from an environmental one, or some other perspective. That's fine with me as I am prepared to defend these cars from ANY perspective you can name. But personally my main thrust is political, namely that any and all of the technical challenges you outline above are far easier to deal with long term than enriching the Saudis and the rest of the OPEC cartel, which is busy gouging us all right now as you read this. Self sufficiency is always a good thing, especially when you're enslaved to an enemy, not even a friend, as is the case with oil.

-MKL

PS - Level with me, honestly: When you lashed out at the Volt for being government subsidized, did you know that your own Passat received (what is to my knowledge) the largest state subsidy to any foreign-owned car manufacturer (the TN plant?). I'm guessing no, but I'm curious if you knew this and lashed out anyway, in which case I'd want to ask why. As I said earlier - WHATEVER you drive, it's subsidized. Someway, somehow.

PPS - Another STUPID headline today on Drudge. "Ford sells ZERO electric cars in March." Ummm, that's because they're not for retail sales yet, Matt. If only his readership had the brains to read past the headlines....
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 01:45 AM

You know, Moshe, you are easily the most condescending member of this board.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 01:51 AM

I do love you too, Danny. wave

-MKL
Posted By: pbharvey

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 01:57 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy

PPS - Another STUPID headline today on Drudge. "Ford sells ZERO electric cars in March." Ummm, that's because they're not for retail sales yet, Matt. If only his readership had the brains to read past the headlines....


Some of us do wave
Quote:
Ford Motor Co. sold about 12 Focus Electrics in December and January to fleet customers — and none in February and March, said Erich Merkle, a Ford spokesman. The Dearborn automaker plans a slow ramp-up as it begins production this spring for retail sales; the New York area and California are the first markets.


Its sounds like they did, in fact, sell zero (to their fleet customers) in February & March even though they sold a dozen in the previous two months.

It hope they sell a million of them and they run off of solar power; seriously I do. I would love to see solar technology get to where its affordable and efficient. There's an incredible amount of solar energy that goes unharnessed every day.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 02:31 AM

Re the Drudge thing obviously I read him as well. I just don't like the misleading nature of the lines. He did the same thing with Volt when it first rolled out. "Volt sells only 347 units in March 2011!" Then you read the article and see they only MADE 347 units in March 2011. When you sell everything you make, that's not failure. (That number and Month are not accurate - just for the sake of conversation).

Ford's fleet and retail sales are different. Totally different option packages, and outfitted with different trim levels. My understanding was they were ramping down fleet and ramping up retail during this two month period.

I am very happy to read your last sentence. I do not expect us all to agree on everything, and I do not expect everyone to like or want efficient cars. The thread was started to understand HATRED. Drudge is guilty of this. So is Cavuto, and the rest of that ilk. They root for American manufacturers to fail, blaring false headlines to create a false impression. It is this hate which I seek to better understand.

I believe if the facts are presented - and that includes the politics (ALL of these cars were designed staring 5-6 years ago. ALL of the federal and most state subsidies in place were enacted into law during the PRIOR administration, etc.) that the hatred will not be able to stand. I aim to chip away at this hatred however I can with facts and reason.

-MKL
Posted By: mbelectric

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 02:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Huzband
You know, Moshe, you are easily the most condescending member of this board.


Thanks Danny, I thought that was my exclusive title. grin

MB>
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 02:39 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
I do love you too, Danny. wave

-MKL


Not the response I expected. Thanks for making me laugh out loud. thumbsup
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 02:40 AM

Originally Posted By: mbelectric
Originally Posted By: Huzband
You know, Moshe, you are easily the most condescending member of this board.


Thanks Danny, I thought that was my exclusive title. grin

MB>


Didn't mean to steal your thunder. cool
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 02:44 AM

Oh, one more thing. Where do batteries get their power?





lurk





Couldn't help myself.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 03:03 AM

Oh, that's a long one. 212 years, actually. Read all about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_(electricity)

-MKL
Posted By: racer7

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 08:40 PM

Moshe,
I suspect you and I agree on many things and also that our differences come primarily from the fact that I'd guess I've got about 25 years of extra observing experience. I'd bet our educational backgrounds aren't all that different- I hold a tchnical Ph.D. from a world class university and have run everything from product R&D functions to multi-hundred million dollar manufacturing plants. There is little in the way of technical stuff I don't understand at least the basics of in fields all the way from biochemistry to physics to computers and other widgies and I took my first auto mechanics classes in high school in the era of musclecars.

So why do I hate Volt? Simple- I see it as govt prodded gadget that is worthless to most people. Various govt agencies have a piece of the prodding from CARB to the feds and without that it wouldn't exist. When govt tries to create something the marketplace doesn't demand it is usually a poor and overly expensive effort. And I wouldn't be at all surprisd to see next steps being the govt giving more tax dollars to municipalites to buy this piece of (admittedly novelly integrated) "junk" given the govt intervention to provide yet another temporary reprieve to an auto industry that is dying a slow death mostly due to lack of leadership and creativity. After all, just exactly how much improvment has occured in electric cars in the past century- almost nothing compared to the improvements in most technology. The improvement in the Volt is all in the integration with a very ordinary gas powerplant.

All forms of energy are fine by me as long as environmental concerns are accounted for in choices. Spent way too much of life appreciating nature to want to destroy it and I probably understand a lot better than many how human existence is impacted by other life on this planet. Coal plants need to get best current technology and keep improving beyond that. Nukes need better management in some cases and physical upgrades to best current. Solar and wind need to be facilitated- yes even with bits of govt cash for some of it but $500 million for Solyndra was lunacy as any private sector guy could have told them). But ultimately everything needs to fit into a reasonably free market situation to truly grow and be permanently useful in our society. I see no way for an electric car to fit in except as a bit of an oddity unless forced by circumstances not likely to occur any time soon- they're not good enough and there are no known battery technologies to allow the needed improvments for most potential users.

Re manufacturing subsidies- although I've spent a lot of my life in same, never at a plant directly subsidized by govt tax dollars except for a minor (and we didn't use it anyway) training subsidy at the last one (the training programs in many cases are simply welfare for local community colleges- we do better with on site training by own staff). I wish all manufacturing subsidies for plants, the movie industry, etc would disappear.
I had not looked up exactly how many $ VW got from TN but I would have been shocked if they hadn't gotten any - its been the way of the world for the past 15-20 years. I like my current 4 wheel stuff sanely priced, readily understood and serviced by multiple shops, and efficient and my driving style simply said diesel rather than hybrid (maybe I just like intercoolers). A few days ago I saw diesel for less than premium grade gasoline- something I never thought to see again in my lifetime.

I also don't put VWs plant subsidy this in the same category as govt bailing out a failed company be it a bank or auto maker. Bankruptcy can be a good thing- it can save what is of value while shredding the worthless. It would have allowed a more thorough and yes more painful restructuring than what has happened- which I predict will allow only temporary relief so is basically an illusion of a fix. Like Xerox and Kodak, the US auto industry is not capable of surviving natural business selection over the long haul as its history over the past half century makes very clear (I got to meet some senior guys at Kodak in the mid 90s and after that nothing ineffective they did surprsed me but that's another topic). It will eventually go the way of the Brit car manufacturing business- relegated to foreign-owned firms and boutique makers. I'm figuring another 25 years or so though.

A couple other attempts at electrics are even more laughable given their target price points. And for many potential uses where a Volt could go an electric golf cart might get it done at a fraction of the cost (obviously not including short 80 mph commutes). We've got a joint nearby, Bald Head Island, that is a few miles across with no cars allowed- golf carts only- and it works OK for the folks there. Granted its leisure and residential, not industrial.

The same govt that helped bring the Volt into being is also subsidizing farmers to waste food crops to make ethanol to burn.
Do you do any of your own food shopping and have you noticed that food prices for many common items are up 20% in the past year? Are you aware that corn inventories are at a historic low and that's going to continue? Yet the process of making ethanol from corn saves almost no petroleum - it takes way too much energy to grow and harvest corn compared the energy yield of the distilled ethanol result. That fact was first published in the mid 1970s (David Pimentel at Cornell among others) so its no secret to anyone who has followed the topic. I'll bet some folks think ethanol is renewable enery when its actaully only a lousy conversion of petroleum to another form.

Yeah, govt does a great job..I think the law of unintended consequences was invented to descibe what happens when govt do-gooders meddle in stuff. So how many new coal burners will we build to fuel electric cars? Or do we just do everything with the now abundant natural gas and hope that we don't lose so much methane to the atmosphere that we make global warming worse (given that it is by far worse than CO2). Or do we just push everone into cities and tell them to ride public transport.


Renewable enery and using it to do anything requiring energy can be a good thing but its moving slowly and is likely to stay that way partly due to inept and ineffective govt policies. Its going to have taken the better part of a decade from the first serious discussions to the time the first windpower rig appears in my vision off the NC coast. Even you will be long dead before renewables make much of a dent at current rate of progress because it is so much faster and cheaper to get stuff done when it can happen without direct govt involvement.

In todays's biz news - a possible deal between Russians and Exxon to spend up to $500 BILLION to drill in the Arctic. Gee, we can't pull a bit more out of ANWR using a miniscule bit of our own land but we can spend a bunch helping the Russians profit too. Makes sense to me..NOT. The caribou didn't mind the last time we built there according to the folks tracking them.







Posted By: lawnchairboy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/18/12 08:51 PM

"Even you will be long dead before renewables make much of a dent at current rate of progress because it is so much faster and cheaper to get stuff done when it can happen without direct govt involvement."

no argument here.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 02:03 AM

Racer-

I appreciate your post and obviously you have strong feelings about this issue. If your post is accurate you certainly have more professional experience than I do and a higher degree to boot. Some of your points are certainly valid in my view, though specific to the Volt it has become a poster child for something it is just member one of, the budding EV / Hybrid field. Why the Volt? I don't exactly know but it IS an election year, which explains most of it.

I appreciate your environmental perspective but to me, energy independence trumps that, because figuring out those environmental issues falls to Americans while continuing the status quo leaves us addicted to OPEC, a greater evil. Getting off of OPEC's tit becomes a grand American scheme to make America less dependent on unstable foreign oil sources. I know we can do it, because we have done so many great things in the past when it was demanded of us. History is a good guide and in the area of ingenuity, America's history is second to none. We can do it. And we will do it. It is already in motion.

The rest about gov't is hit and miss. We've been through this at length in this thread and while the overall theme of gov't incompetence is replete with many true examples, there are many others where it has been a success. "Free market" has very little to do with the car industry, where the products are amongst the most regulated on earth in any first world country like ours. Not only the product, but what it runs on (gas) and what it drives on too (roads). So it is in that context which we must discuss automobiles, not some abstract laissez-faire fantasyland that doesn't exist.

My family has a Volt. We have lived with it for a year, and have direct experience for what it is good for, and what it isn't good for. For my father, who spends 90% of the miles commuting to work, it is perfect. He doesn't buy gas anymore, and that is exactly what he wanted to accomplish. For a host of other reasons, he loves the car, like most other Volt owners do, which is why they have the highest rating in Consumer Reports for customer satisfaction. That says something, as does the fact that I'm actually feeling something good about an American car, which hasn't happened in forever.

The issue of energy is a political one and in such cases it is very easy to argue against pure free market economics. For example, I can easily show you that China can build our warships, tanks, and subs cheaper than we do. Pure free market economics would say to just buy these items from China then. For obvious national security reasons, we do not do that. Same here with energy. Enough people are waking to the fact that market corrections, when they come, are swift and brutal, and that relying on our "friends" in OPEC to set stable prices for a limited resource is not a smart long term strategy. We've got to get off of it. We have to start somewhere.

And where you're most wrong is in the government's ability to make that happen. In fact, ONLY the government can make it happen in a meaningful way. You see, the single largest consumer of oil in the world, is the US Armed Forces. And the US Armed Forces have decided, for national security, to make energy efficiency a top priority. The thinking is, there is no point in having all of this machinery if some tin pot dictators can get together and starve us of the fuel needed to make it work. So they are spending HUGE amounts of money to find ways to make the entire apparatus from buildings to shelters to ships to subs to vehicles more efficient. To paraphrase Navy Sec Ray Mabus, they are such a huge consumer, that if the technology doesn't exist on the market to make it happen, they can MAKE a market. They have the money, the size, the influence, and the need. And it's happening. Navy's USS Main Island, its first hybrid ship, saved some 900,000 gallons of fuel on her maiden voyage. That's about $2m less in fuel on just that voyage. I see the RFQs every single day in my business, from little solar-powered shelters to retrofitting warships. It IS happening.

And to borrow a fiscally conservative idea, this technology will "trickle down," will get cheaper over time, and will be implemented in our cars, our planes, our houses, and our offices. And we will ALL be better off for it. Like the internet we're on right now. And GPS. And miniturization of components. And a thousand other inventions that came as a DIRECT RESULT of military (read: government funded) R&D. Which now permeates every facet of our lives, in a good way. Gov't as the answer to everything? Certainly not. Gov't as ALWAYS the problem? Usually not, too. Either extreme gets blown out of the water easily with real-life examples of success and failure, just like the free market itself. The truth lies in between and is far more complicated.

No matter your objections, the alternative of the status quo where we enrich unstable theocracies and tin pot dictatorships who then use that wealth against us is not something that anyone has mounted a serious defense of. We're going to get off that tit!

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 03:04 AM

Ooops. That's USS MAKIN Island. Sorry 'bout that.

-MKL
Posted By: racer7

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 04:40 AM

Moshe,
I've got no issues with govt R&D whwther its in energy or at NIH.. Where it runs amok is when it tries to transition to manufacture of something especially for non-govt use. The success of GPS is due to firms like Garmin, the internet to software and other computer industry firms that make cheap tools to use it. They DO NOT exist for the average person because of govt making them available. The spinoffs from the moon efforts of years ago were also made available by private organizations. Govt needs to stay out of direct commercialization in most cases.

I'm glad your Dad likes his Volt and it meets his needs. At his age (likely similar to mine) he (we) are entitled to spend our $ and time driving as he (we) see(s) fit having used most of it for the needs of others from employers to family. But the price delta for Volt would buy a whole lot fuel and if he's never buying gas, he's basically not going far so his true needs are minimal. The fact remains that the Volt is more than most can afford to spend and won't do what most want from a mixed energy vehicle. I'd love to see the GM internal memos arguing to make this thing- surely they can't believe its saleable in any numbers so what did they hope to accomplish? Hyundai/KIA folks look like geniuses compared to GM and a lot of their stuff traces to old generation stuff originally purchased from Mitsubishi and others, then modernized..

Apparently no one in govt can do even simple arithmetic- paying off a $500 million investment like Solyndra takes a solid and serious plan, time, and a whole lot of luck. Just getting a plant like that to run well AFTER you've spent the money to build it will take at least a couple years in a new industry. What in the heck were they thinking and is there even a single person who passed his first MBA finance class involved with this in the govt? Without enough customers you're screwed before you start- building a business takes more than field of dreams stuff. Jobs saved Apple by understanding what consumers wanted even though they didn't know it yet- NOT by making a widgie and going out to pedal it. Apple continues to make money mostly by taking profits from slow thinking industries that don't want to adapt to reality- from its about to happen pillaging of the publishing industry to its swiping of music distribution profits and the slaughter of RIM.

Re cars being regulated- that's a yes and no. Its useful to understand the difference between "performance std" regs that say what has to be achieved vs those that say exactly how it has to be done. Most industries have some aspects where performance stds exist in regs (and many of those actually came from industry practice or prodding) and although industries often grouse about the costs and the govt always (and deliberately) underestimates them, typically meeting them doesn't cause much disruption. One type of job I've had a couple times is head of quality for drug firms- a legally required position with powers confered by law and regulation that not even my CEO would try to mess with given the criminal penalties in the Food and Drug Act. Lots and lots of performance regs and many other things incorporated into the law and regs by reference like all the requirments in the USP (several thousand pages of fine print) that is published by a private organization. The job makes one part teacher/coach and part cop. Despite all that, mostly the regs aren't a hindrance to doing whatever needs to be done. The few that are typically are antique and obsolete stuff that say exactly how something has to be done and in many cases one can substitute a better, more modern approach with no consequences. Eventually those regs get updated to reflect reality. I don't personally see most regulation as a huge barrier except the type the keeps productive work from getting started expeditiously and in the energy field there is way too much of that. For the auto industry there are mostly performance stds and smart folks ought to be able to cope with minimal problems- other industries do.

I've got no arguments with you about energy independence mostly because it is easily doable WITH MINIMAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES in my opinion- and could in fact be achieved in a fairly short timespan with focussed effort. Govt isn't doing much to lead, defense dept or not. Imagine what a very clear national govt policy of 100% independence would say to the rest of the world. (Oil producers would suddenly become our best friends and we could save trillions and 10,000 or so lives, many unfortuneately likely wasted trying to make places like Afghanistan into something they are not) Although my hobbies include a lot of time spent in nature (eg technical level diving, astronomy, bird watching, hunting, fishing, boating in many locations) I don't side with the rabid greenies living in metro areas who think meat is born in plastic wrappers and energy from wind or the sun will magically appear. The pathetic state of American's technical knowledge and ability to do basic quantitative estimates of anything guarantees that many of these folks are somewhere between being zealots and idiots, not realists. I'll bet most of them think native Americans were great conservationists taking only what they needed when in fact they were pretty destructive folks who radically altered what was here before them. I'll bet the average New Yorker knows almost nothing about where his drinking water comes from and how it gets there yet at its core its based on one of the great civil engineering triumphs of a century ago, not sticking straws in the Hudson.

Politics or more accurately, political self interest warfare stoked by media reporting, is the most pressing problem of the country. NOT the deficit, not who gets elected next and not even energy. Nothing useful is happening in DC except obstructionism from all sides which is not in keeping with American values- how long now since there was a budget? - and is why the govt is now held in utter contempt by most citizens. With only a tiny bit of my tongue in cheek, I'd suggest that simply picking the legislature, president and judges by random drawings from lists of registered voters would likely produce a major improvement. If I were a senator or representative these days I'd be paying a lot of attention to my personal security- given the number of armed folks in this country and the extreme divisiveness the political class is fueling, I'd expect it to boomerang on a few of them eventually just like it has in earlier times. I'm a little surprised we haven't seen a few repeats of 1960s era riots yet- maybe the media serves as a venting mechanism for the violence-prone and is why none of this has happened yet??

IMO, one of the biggest mistakes we ever made was doing away with a draftee military- sure our pros are a great military organization BUT their very existence has made in possible for us to fritter away trillions on wars that couldn't be fought with a draftee army any more than Vietnam was. I remember watching Colin Powell show those aerial photos "proving" Irag had WMDs at the UN and noting the the photos proved nothing at all and he didn't sound convinced himself. It didn't surprise me when he parted ways with Cheney and Bush- even a good soldier can only stomach so much BS.

It was more fun to listen to DC news when Wilbur Mills and the strippers were skinny dipping in the fountains. Then, govt at least had entertainment value....

Thanks for the hybrid ship info. I'm a naval histtory buff with a fair library covering US and foreign from the 1860s onward so I need to get more current of that stuff.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 11:23 AM

Racer-

Again, we're likely closer than you think, and all of this has been covered before in this thread, but:

1) EV buyers these days are obviously early adopters. They are NOT buying these cars primarily for personal economics (i.e., I will eventually save enough gas to pay off the price premium on this car). They are buying them for other reasons - energy security is one of them, and my major reason. Like all early adopters, they can afford to spend more to buy something they believe is the right product for them. It is foolhardy to apply a purchase standard to a product which the actual buyers themselves are not using. If you are stuck on personal economics as the end-all-be-all and quantifying payoff periods, this isn't for you, yet. It may be if we have another gas crunch which throws all your numbers off. It may be as prices of these vehicles drop. And so on.

In time as economies of scale leverage, prices come down and mass acceptance is easier. Just wait - next year LG Chem moves their battery plant from overseas to Michigan and the price of Volt's battery will drop significantly, which will help bring down MSRP more than anything else would.

2) When you say "Imagine what a very clear national govt policy of 100% independence would say to the rest of the world." My friend, I could not have said it better or agree with you more. That, by definition, is only possible through government! So why buy a fuel efficient car? Because as you correctly say gov't is stuck arguing and not deciding on these issues. It's been that way for decades, since the Dept. of Energy itself was created. So we can sit around and wait for them, which may or may not happen. Or we can aim our individual behavior to accomplish that goal right now, as best we can. That is EXACTLY the reasoning behind many purchases of EVs and hybrids, because that's a family's largest user of oil, far and away. We're not sitting around and waiting for government - but taking matters into our own hands, and reducing our personal dependence on oil to the largest extent we can. Notice: No personal economics in there. We pay more, happily, because we believe in this cause. We pay more, because that extra money goes towards manufacturers in exchange for the technology which increases efficiency, not to King Abdullah for more gas. I would have thought that would be quite the conservative, hawkish position, based on what that ideology purports to believe in. But I don't care what you call it - I call it "the right thing to do."

You see the political irony here is that many hybrid / EV buyers are buying their cars specifically because they don't want to sit around and wait for Uncle Sam to do something about energy independence, and meanwhile the cars are depicted as "government mobiles." Funny how the labels don't fit.

Finally you said private firms bought GPS, internet, miniturization, etc. to market to the masses. Of course they did. The government certainly isn't adept at bringing product to mass market at low cost and high quality. Never has been, never will be. Its organizational structure is far from suitable. But gov't R&D did CREATE those important technologies, and many others. To discount the creation of a new technology entirely and only focus on the mass marketability of it is pure folly. Free market theory dictates that if there were profit potential behind said technologies, private industry would have been the one to invest the R&D and get the creation done. But they didn't, did they? Sometimes, like miniturization, these technologies are created solely for a purpose government has. Sometimes that purpose, as with NASA, cannot be shared or publicized for security reasons. So again, it WAS government that did the R&D - and make no mistake, that's the heavy lifting. You know that if you're in technology, period. Hell, Americans invented half the consumer electronics in use today, but we don't make them here, do we? Does that mean we don't deserve any credit for said products existence?

In my view if someone cannot find one good thing to say about this role of government, they're as insane as those people who think every solution lies with government. It just isn't true, either way. Successes (A123), and failures (Solyndra) - plenty of examples on both sides, just like the free market itself.

In the case of true energy independence it simply cannot - will not - happen without government, because obviously it is a matter of policy. As I said the military is leading the way, as usual. And if the past is any indicator, which I am always a believer in, we will see tremendous benefit out of this on many levels of life. Meanwhile, many of us do not want to wait, and do whatever we can (within our needs and lifestyles) to accomplish energy independence on our own, within our own lives.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 01:31 PM

Update as of this AM - for anyone interested, I am quoted by Motor Trend as part of Detroit Editor Todd Lassa's blog posted today.

See Will Chevrolet Volt Politics Disappear After November?

lurk

-MKL
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 02:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Huzband
Oh, one more thing. Where do batteries get their power?

It’s very rare that I agree with Danny on much of anything here, but actually I think he makes the key point to the whole subject. When economic, political and environmental impact of generating the electricity (yes even when discussing solar panels made of rare-earths in or from some of our ‘enemies’) is amortized over the vehicles themselves, it’s a tough argument to win. Or at least I’ve never seen any hard cradle-to-grave numbers that support it. Somewhere/day there may be a critical mass number where electric vehicles cross over into a net positive, but again, where’s the data?

I think there are some parallels to be made to the whole ethanol debacle. At least how it’s executed in North America. At first it seemed like a good ‘get off of foreign oil’ strategy. (Including by me BTW, I bought one of the first flex-fuel vehicles.) But as the total life cycle cost became better understood, it became clear it was, and still is, a net-loss. Now days it only continues because of the strong political lobby to boost farm prices. Irrespective of the value of or its impact on society.

Eclectic cars will prove to be much the same I suspect. When/as we start to better understand the full picture of them, the support arguments fall apart. All your really doing with them is shifting uptream the conversion point of fuel (usually fossil fuel) to energy to create motion. Instead of doing it within the vehicle, you’re doing it at the electricity creation point. And with the introduction of additional transient losses in between to boot.

I’ve said before, I think the whole idea of trying to create energy efficient (which by extension means political and environmental efficient/effective) personal transportation is a fools errand. Because basically, regardless of the incremental gains made, a couple of percentage points gains made here or there – it’s all just nibbling around the edges.

What’s needed is a massive re-think of both the how and the need to be moving people (and to a lesser extent things) around in huge numbers on a continuous basis. Improving the effective mileage of a personal transportation device from 30 mpg to 50, or 70 or even 200 mpg isn’t going to get the problem solved. When we reduce the need to move people and created better ways to mass do so when unavoidable, such that we’ve created a net equivalent savings of 10,000 mpg; then we’ll be taking about being able to make a real impact. Until then, we’re still in a have your cake and eat it to wishful thinking mindset.
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 03:30 PM

OH well. We are running out of oil and it comes from bad countries. Drilling in the ocean is dangerous. Fracking for gas is costly and bad for the environment. Nuclear power? Oh no! Coal, while we have some, is terrible polluting. Solar power? For the panels we need materials from bad countries (this is the first time I read something bad about solar). Wind power? Not in my backyard, kills birds. Well, the human race developed a unstoppable demand for energy - and we can't get something from nothing.
Posted By: racer7

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 05:41 PM

Moshe,
The MT article was interesting and I got a chance to do a quick look at the basic design of Makin Island. Hopefully, it won't get a head to head combat test of whether the high voltage elctrical bits and software dsigns are truly combat worthy. Certianly the isn't much all that novel about the diesel or gas turbine bits but the way electrics are employed and combined is interesting.

I understand and respect those who vote their beliefs with their wallet. So no issue with folks wanting to buy a Volt if they can afford one and believe it a useful contribution to energy self sufficiency. But those folks sure don't need the tax break. Just one more example of the govt feeding the relatively well off who don't need it.
Only now is the Prius becoming less of a politcal statement by its owners and an almost practical choice.

I don't connect the Volt to any political party- not relevant to me. Only to govt meddling which is.

But that's only part of the reason I hate the Volt. The other is that as a total package of price and performance I think its a mediocre effort at best without any real impact in its current form. If a $20-25K pricepoint had been met and electric range about doubled this could have been a home run and instead it will simply be the pilot project that will be forgotten after other makers do or don't do something to make or not a better version. Just one more time in my lifetime I'd like to see a smashing commercial success from an American car maker- the last I saw was the Ford Mustang whose market justifications and target couldn't have been more different than the Volt..

I don't call the Volt an electric extended range vehicle like the MT guys. Maybe for urban folks that applies but out here its just an electric boosted gas powered car that comes with a tax subsidy. Too many miles at a pop. It would do about half of my usual one way run before going to gas. And though it would deliver better mpg per gallon of petrol it burned than my Passsat, to me that bit of difference isn't worth the extra cost. I'll do somethings useful to reduce my carbon footprint (I use only modest electric plus my vehciles) but I'm not going to invest $50K in panels on a roof plus extra $ in my vehicle in hopes of some possible 5-10 year ROI that might never happen. Neither are most others.

Not obvious to me why onshoring a Volt battery should allow for a big price drop. Generally onshoring choices are about improved logistics more than reduced costs. And I don't know that the battery represents the biggest part of the price.
Generally, price reductions are driven most by competition and secondarily by economy of scale.

So the success of the Volt will be easily judged by seeing if it draws some serious competition (not the Leaf....). Won't take long if it looks like a good bet to other makers. Even the best "use" and "design" patents are easily bypassed with a bit of time and effort or might even be licensed. To the extent that anyone at GM thinks the Volt is a way out of some of the hard core competition in the mainstream car biz they're suffering from delusions,
The only way to avoid competition in a desirable market space is to manipulate govt to protect it for your benefit.Which is why Exxon makes so many contributions to Republicans compared to what other largefirms do, as the MT guys noted (Disclosure- my father worked for Esso/Humble/Exxon for most of his career and I got a scholarship funded by a foundation created by Standard Oil's second president that paid my undergrad bills. Got no personal gripes with Exxon other than the fact that their PR is often heavy handed and clumsy. Big oil is also a rough game..)

The current economy is imposing other restraints on the Volt.
The unreliability of any kind of steady employment in American industry given the way Wall Street folks trade companies is causing many to decide where they want to live and then finding work in a commuting distance, knowing that work will be a few years at best and then a different commute will take its place. So commute distances are going up for many. It is nothing at all to find folks doing 150 miles per day around here- which would equate to a day of farting around in NJ traffic.

For most buyers though obviously not Volt purchasers, its the size of the monthly payment that matters. Doesn't appear that the Volt has much to offer there though if the design is any good and and the electric bits can be serviced or replaced, residuals should be quite high so lease costs should be low- unless the industry sees it as a throwaway prototype. After all, the gas motor ought to never need much attention or wear out given how little use it will see by typical buyers so one ought to be able to run it until the body dissolves from sun and water...
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 05:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.




What’s needed is a massive re-think of both the how and the need to be moving people (and to a lesser extent things) around in huge numbers on a continuous basis. Improving the effective mileage of a personal transportation device from 30 mpg to 50, or 70 or even 200 mpg isn’t going to get the problem solved. When we reduce the need to move people and created better ways to mass do so when unavoidable, such that we’ve created a net equivalent savings of 10,000 mpg; then we’ll be taking about being able to make a real impact. Until then, we’re still in a have your cake and eat it to wishful thinking mindset.


To some extent, that's happening today.
Telecommuting means you don't have to drive to work
Home schooling means you don't have to drive the kids to school.
A few computer clicks and you can have anything in including groceries delivered to your home.
Visiting relatives can be done with Skype, texting, Twitter and Facebook.
Motorcycle riding and flying can all be done with simulators.
Doctor consultations can be done with email.
Taking kids to soccer practice and Little League games can now be done on a Wii.
Going to church can be done on Webcam.
If you need to go somewhere, mass transit is cheap, fast, safe, clean and convenient.
No need for a car, no need to leave the house, energy problem solved.
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 06:02 PM

Originally Posted By: racer7
The other is that as a total package of price and performance I think its a mediocre effort at best without any real impact in its current form. If a $20-25K pricepoint had been met and electric range about doubled this could have been a home run and instead it will simply be the pilot project that will be forgotten after other makers do or don't do something to make or not a better version. Just one more time in my lifetime I'd like to see a smashing commercial success from an American car maker.

I agree, that’s what it boils down to in a nutshell. If you look back at the original design concepts and target specs, vs. what we got, it’s a quite a let down. Sure it’s a nice enough car, with some novel features, but that’s about it. I’m glad Moshe’s dad likes his, and I’m sure there are other owners that feel the same. But if GM had really hit one out of the park, created something really unique and new, we’d be applauding all the direct subsidies as a smart move on the part of the gov’t instead of lambasting/lamenting it.

I think it’s kind of a sad commentary on the state of engineering education & expertise and the state of companies & manufacturing in North America today that given all those dollars, and all those years, the car as we see it today is the best we could come up with. How are we going to regain a global leadership position ever again if the Chervolet Volt represents our best effort?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 07:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Eclectic cars will prove to be much the same I suspect. When/as we start to better understand the full picture of them, the support arguments fall apart. All your really doing with them is shifting uptream the conversion point of fuel (usually fossil fuel) to energy to create motion. Instead of doing it within the vehicle, you&#146;re doing it at the electricity creation point. And with the introduction of additional transient losses in between to boot.


I would say as we get the full picture, the support argument gets stronger. Because in fact the true cost of oil is far higher than the cost at the pump. The cost in blood and treasure to secure these sources, the costs of being held hostage to speculation, to the OPEC cabal's price fixing, and so on - the externalities (environmental included). Obviously you are shifting the energy production upstream - that the whole point!!! Shifting it from sourced in unstable regions who are our enemies to right here at home. Is it perfect? No. Are there issues to overcome? Of course. Are these issues any reasonable argument for maintaining the status quo? I would say - no.

-MKL

PS - What do you mean by "transient" losses? The BEST internal combustion engines are barely 20% efficient. Diesel, maybe 23-25%, at best. Electric is exponentially higher than that. And no maintenance, either. What losses are you talking about?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 07:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
I think it&#146;s kind of a sad commentary on the state of engineering education & expertise and the state of companies & manufacturing in North America today that given all those dollars, and all those years, the car as we see it today is the best we could come up with. How are we going to regain a global leadership position ever again if the Chervolet Volt represents our best effort?


I'm entirely perplexed by all of this. When you say it is a sad state re North American engineering today, what exactly are you comparing us to? The Japanese? They don't have a better solution - the Leaf is their star player and it needs a flatbed truck after 75-100 miles. The Germans? Nope, nothing. The other Europeans? The Koreans? Nope, and nope. What real-life product are you comparing Volt to, that shows us as being second class engineers?

To me this whole discussion is like a quadriplegic stuck in a chair, miserable. You tell him you have a solution that will allow him to limp slowly, using a cane. Instead of hailing the progress, the guy who is now stuck in the chair with no hope looks at the cane solution and immediately complains bitterly that the solution won't allow him to run like Carl Lewis. Give me a break! The fleet average isn't even 25mpg, for God's sake! Of course we need to find ways to get 10,000 mpg. Of course we would all like a car with 10,000 mpg that looks like a Lamborghini and does 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and carries 10 people and never ever breaks, and costs $15,000.00 too. Maybe it even cooks and cleans as well. But that doesn't exist. What exists now IS, by definition, the state of the art. And someone who laments the Volt as anything but a technological state of the art in EVs / hybrids simply doesn't understand what is available today, either through ignorance of the technology or through ideological delusion. He is comparing what exists to some divine ideal - and compared to the divine ideal, doesn't EVERYTHNG fall short?

-MKL
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 09:30 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: Ken H.
I think it&#146;s kind of a sad commentary on the state of engineering education & expertise and the state of companies & manufacturing in North America today that given all those dollars, and all those years, the car as we see it today is the best we could come up with. How are we going to regain a global leadership position ever again if the Chervolet Volt represents our best effort?


I'm entirely perplexed by all of this. When you say it is a sad state re North American engineering today, what exactly are you comparing us to?

Obviously I’m comparing to, for all the time and money spent on the Volt, it should have been the breakthrough technology that the Prius was when it first came out.
In all fairness, can one say with a straight face that the Volt breaks any new ground in any way? Is it an incremental improvement? Yes? Is it ground breaking? Hardly. With all our woopy-ding-dong engineering talent working at the thing for 5+ years and millions of $$ and all we could come up with is that!?! A rather ordinary car that is a poseur for 45 miles then is just an overpriced compact sedan?

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Of course we would all like a car with 10,000 mpg that looks like a Lamborghini and does 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and carries 10 people and never ever breaks, and costs $15,000.00 too.

You miss my point about 10,000 mpg. I’m not talking about wanting a 10,000 mpg car. I’m talking about new and better ways to not move people around so much or do it more efficiently when needed. Such that the math compared to the current way we do things would be an equivalent as if we had a 10,000 mpg car.

Some of the things Bob touched on above are indeed a start. But it’s only a start.
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 10:27 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
And someone who laments the Volt as anything but a technological state of the art in EVs / hybrids simply doesn't understand what is available today, either through ignorance of the technology or through ideological delusion. He is comparing what exists to some divine ideal - and compared to the divine ideal, doesn't EVERYTHNG fall short?

-MKL


And here we are. Has the gasoline/diesel engine been perfected to their full & maximum possible mpg & emissions reduction? No. The technology of those platforms are still, after 100 plus years, still in progressive development. And it gets better every year.

Yet, the enviro crowd is all to anxious to throw it off the mountain for EV technology, which by all accounts, is not much further along than fossil fueled engines were some fifty years ago. They, too, have a long way to go before they are viable replacements to what has long been established as long term, reliable transportation. Develop them? Yes, by all means.

But that's where you lose me. I'm fine with progress, but don't insult my intelligence by triying to convince me that if I don't jump on the EV bus NOW, I'm dumber than a caveman. (Just an analogy, but I've read as much in posts here & elsewhere.)
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 10:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Obviously I&#146;m comparing to, for all the time and money spent on the Volt, it should have been the breakthrough technology that the Prius was when it first came out. In all fairness, can one say with a straight face that the Volt breaks any new ground in any way? Is it an incremental improvement? Yes? Is it ground breaking? Hardly. With all our woopy-ding-dong engineering talent working at the thing for 5+ years and millions of $$ and all we could come up with is that!?! A rather ordinary car that is a poseur for 45 miles then is just an overpriced compact sedan?


Ken, of course I agree with you fully and wholeheartedly on the aspect of developing alternative means of transportation and efficiency. But your take on the Volt is simply wrong unless your definition of "breakthrough" is something of biblical proportions. To whit, the average American's work commute is 26 miles - the magic number. The Volt allows that plus another 50% on top of it, gas free. So for my father, if you read the Motor Trend blog, an average of 440MPG (a strict definition of how much gas he's purchased into the total mileage he's put on in 11 months - obviously most of the energy came from electricity and is not factored into that figure which is pure gas use). On my commute, which is substantially longer - 105 miles per day give or take - as you see just a few posts ago, I averaged over 90MPG!

Now, the most efficient hybrid in existence - the Prius - averages less than HALF that on my commute. On MY commute - a long one. On my dad's annual tally, it uses NINE TIMES the gas.

Surely if you look at real world data and see the world's most efficient hybrid eclipsed by a factor of 2 on my long commute on a factor of 9 on my dad's shorter commute, that would be called a breakthrough. In fact it beats the Prius on my loop by more than the first Prius beat the average fleet MPG in its day (back circa 2000). So by your own standard of using the first Prius as a breakthrough, there is simply no way NOT to call Volt one too. It is the only extended range EV, in the world. And it is a breakthrough in terms of how it accomplishes its efficiency without the range anxiety of a pure EV like Nissan Leaf, which would never work for Americans like me with long commutes.

When you see efficiency jump by these sorts of numbers, it is something to laud.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/19/12 11:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Huzband
And here we are. Has the gasoline/diesel engine been perfected to their full & maximum possible mpg & emissions reduction? No. The technology of those platforms are still, after 100 plus years, still in progressive development. And it gets better every year.

Yet, the enviro crowd is all to anxious to throw it off the mountain for EV technology, which by all accounts, is not much further along than fossil fueled engines were some fifty years ago. They, too, have a long way to go before they are viable replacements to what has long been established as long term, reliable transportation. Develop them? Yes, by all means.

But that's where you lose me. I'm fine with progress, but don't insult my intelligence by triying to convince me that if I don't jump on the EV bus NOW, I'm dumber than a caveman. (Just an analogy, but I've read as much in posts here & elsewhere.)


Danny, this is pretty much wrong all the way around. First, speaking for myself, I do not believe anyone is dumb for not jumping on any bandwagon. The thread was started to try to understand HATRED directed at these cars. If you don't like them, that's your call. I don't see you on the level of active seething hatred like the Cavutos of the world. A joke at a Prius' expense once in awhile is not hatred - God knows I make enough of them myself, such as when I'm being overtaken by a moped. grin

Second you ought to do a little research on efficiency of internal combustion engines, and electric ones. Nobody is willing to "throw ICE off a cliff" but to claim as you did that electric vehicles are somehow 50 years behind in efficiency is preposterous. One more time - the BEST internal combustion engines, after over 100 years of development as you correctly stated, are around 18-20% efficient. Diesel, 23-25%, at absolute best. Most are far lower.

A lousy electric motor is 85% efficient. A good one is over 90%. Hence, people have been trying to develop EVs for a long time, to exploit that inherent advantage. Now there is some political will behind it because of energy independence, and the fact that fuel economy standards are finally rising and this is one way to make the fleet average go up. If you don't like them that's OK too. They do not work in every application and regionality plays a big part. But we've got to keep the facts about efficiency and development straight.

-MKL
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/20/12 12:07 AM

I made my argument, you made yours. We disagree, & I'm okay with that.
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/20/12 01:24 PM

Danny, Caveman smart, don't insult us, thanks.

FWIW sales of electric/hybrids soared in March.
Unit numbers, while still a small percentage (under 4% of total) have doubled in a year I think and projections are that will increase to 8-10% as ga$ price$ continue to rise.

The time for ROI, payback is here for hybrids
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/20/12 02:48 PM

You'd have more accuracy trying to predict the weather in 4-5 years than you do gas prices, which is why these ROI articles aren't worth the paper they're printed on. How the hell does anyone know where gas will be in 4-5 - if they did, they'd be speculating, beat crap out of the market, and get filthy rich. Instead they're columnists working for peanuts. Don't be fooled by these predictions. NONE of the past gas crunches were predicted with any accuracy, and as usual if history is your guide....

My stance on hybrids is as much for production (our country) as it is for consumption as a consumer. When I got my Prius in 2007, a gas crunch hit shortly thereafter I took delivery. You know what happened? People started trading in their big, heavy vehicles en masse for more efficient ones, and in this case, hybrids.

You know what we (USA) had to offer these consumers in 2007-2008? Nada. Zip. So our lots piled up with Durangos and Silverados and Explorers and Jeeps, and the Japanese couldn't keep a Civic or a Prius on the lot. Waiting lists formed at Japanese and Korean dealers. $3-5k over MSRP was charged. And they got away with it, of course. Supply and demand!

The key here is this: Once you lose a customer, you may lose him FOREVER. That former Durango customer may decide he loves his Civic. He may then stay loyal to Honda, and never come back to you. His influence on his family and friends, which used to work for you, now works for Honda. It was a MISTAKE to leave that segment wide open and not compete in it.

Incredibly, the Americans have learned from this mistake - not a common theme in Detroit - and of course, they now offer many good fuel efficient vehicles and hybrids, and of course the Volt. Our hybrids are as good as anyone else's. That is a FACT.

And it's starting to work for us now. You know where most Volt sales come from? The Japanese, specifically Prius owners. "Conquest sales," it's called. Customers who come to you from elsewhere, giving you a first shot at their dollars. And these customers, extremely happy with their Volts, are now buying other Chevies, including larger crossovers for family-sized outings where a Volt isn't appropriate. You see where this leads? You see why this is good for American engineers, designers, and workers?

So, again, it is NOT about ROI in and of itself. Not for producers, not for consumers. When the gas crunches come, they come brutally, and swiftly. Will we Americans have a product to offer our own people when this happens?

That is one of the questions a Volt is here to answer, and it answers it well.

-MKL
Posted By: lawnchairboy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/20/12 06:27 PM

http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/04/electric-cars
Posted By: tallman

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/20/12 06:39 PM

Moshe,
That is like saying no one knows if stocks will go up and down, if they did they would be speculating on them.

I can guarantee that the gas wars I saw as a kid/teenager where gas dropped under $0.20 threshold are gone.
I can pretty much anticipate gas costs will rise and go from there.
BUT, if I'm wrong, and they plummet, having a high mpg car will cost me even less to own.

Anyone have long term data on gasoline costs compared to electricity?
ROI is an important factor, Ford states they are moving in the direction they are (successfully) becasue their customers mention the cost of ownership and specifically in the truck segment a 1-2 mpg dif influenced consumers.
Ford is a leader in smaller/higher performance/better mpg technology, and I'm a GM guy.
My '08 Malibu is averaging 32mpg.
My commute is 94-110 miles/day.
My next car will get 40+mpg and allow me to sit in it comfortably.
Price point is @50% Leaf.
Right now Hyundai sure makes a nice compact.
Plus much more front leg room, actually an unbelievable amount compared to others I've looked at.
By the time I seriously consider replacing mine, I expect at least another 5-10 options out there that meet mpg/price point/room/warranty factors for me.
YMMV
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/20/12 07:18 PM

Lawn,

Good article in the economist, getting into some nitty gritty. A few faulty assumptions there, such as using a Prius' "real world" MPG of 44MPG, while glossing over 9 cars in the "40 MPG Club" which, as anyone who has read any testing of these cars knows, doesn't happen unless you're going downhill with a tailwind behind you. 40MPG is the absolute best case highway mileage, usually for manual versions of those cars (which is less than 10% of how any of them are actually purchased). "Real world" figures are typically in the low 30s. Kinda changes the picture when you do an apples to apples that way.

The Economist, again, spends much time on personal economics. And the average hybrid / EV buyer doesn't. The average Volt owner makes $175k at present, just as 10 years ago the first Prius owners were generally well off. Do you really think high gas prices are choking people with that kind of income? It's not personal economics, it's what he says at the end:

"He welcomes electric cars, whether pure plug-in or hybrid, for the way they can help curtail the country's appetite for foreign oil. "

And that is where I have been coming at this all along. From a political perspective. I pay more for a car, and I don't give a damn about payoff period. I would rather pay more for a car, and send that money to the manufacturer for technology, for the satisfaction of knowing less of my money goes to OPEC starting immediately. So, in this case, the Economist and I are on the same exact page.

Tim, your take on stocks is not a valid analogy. I am saying you cannot accurately predict ROI for hybrids 5 years out, because gas fluctuates wildly. MUCH more wildly than the stock market's traditional indexes, historically. So some ROI calculation done in 2007, 5 years ago, when gas was under $2 - how would it hold up today when gas is $4? The ROI calculated would be wrong by more than 2x if they figured gas would just creep up with inflation, and not that we would see massive unbridled speculation and politics used to manipulate pricing. Kinda proves my point that if people actually knew where gas was headed, they wouldn't be writing columns about ROI - they'd be filthy rich.

As for ICE cars getting more efficient and better, hell yes! It's great to see. If one of them floats your boat, do it. I'm happy just seeing a lower efficiency machine replaced with a higher efficiency one. Every little bit helps. It doesn't have to be electric or hybrid, but more efficienct in my view (political) is always a good thing.

-MKL
Posted By: Living the Dream

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/20/12 07:28 PM

Enjoy, real world mpg's.
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/20/12 08:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Living the Dream
Enjoy, real world mpg's.
Very interesting!
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/20/12 08:32 PM

Yes, Fuelly is a variation of the calculator on Uncle Sam's site - http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ - Amazingly, Uncle's site is actually pretty useful and easy to navigate. There is a TON of data on there and the fuel economy guide is apples to apples, unlike many articles on the subject, recent one in Economist included.

-MKL
Posted By: Boffin

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/21/12 09:35 AM

Interestingly the average mileage for the Honda Accord on that site is about 24mpg - I assume it uses US gallons, not real ones.
I bought my 2007 Honda Accord 2.2 i-DTEC EX in November 2011 and since then I have covered 4000 miles, split roughly 75/25 commuting and longer journeys. My real-world overall mileage for that period is 51.2mpg (imperial) - a tad over 40mpg US.

As my commute is 10 miles each-way, an affordable electric car would make a huge amount of sense to me, but I would also need to keep my diesel for the other trips I make. That means the cost-burden increases, the space for parking (a premium resource in the UK) is doubled and my insurance costs increases. The UK currently does not charge annual road-tax on electric vehicles (£130pa for my Diesel, £190pa for my son's higher CO output car) but once they become less niche-market, then that will change.

I would love to get an electric car - I am just unable to justify it on cost or practicality. The political argument makes sense - but I would face a choice of car or home at the moment, so I choose to blind to that.

Andy
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/21/12 10:57 AM

Which site, Andy? Fuelly or the gov't's site?

I must say to anyone interested, the gov't site http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ is truly worth a look. Not only do they give you MPG figures using the new EPA guidelines (which are stricter and therefore lower MPGs than previously reported using the old cycle) but they give you the old cycle too. Better yet - they show your specific car and based on its MPGs, show you how much domestic and how much foreign oil would be required to power it for a given year based on some constants (mileage per annum, etc.). It's really a cool site to play with. Lots of info there.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/07/12 12:48 AM

All-

The "Union of Concerned Scientists" has released an interesting new report which I learned about in this month's Car & Driver, comparing EV emissions to those of traditional cars by region (so that we can get a picture of the true pollution caused by an EV which charges using available utility power). The results are encouraging - much of the country is already well ahead of the curve, making an EV much less polluting than the best traditional hybrids and MUCH better than straight ICE cars. Here's the map:



As you all know I do not justify EVs based on environmentalism - my reasons are political. But for those who put the environment as reason #1, your case has just been bolstered a bit.

-MKL
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/07/12 07:28 PM

Looks like an EV battery maker is in financial trouble. Due to the DOE funding, could this be another Solyndra in the making?
http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/battery-maker-a123-systems-in-financial-trouble/
Posted By: Bill_Walker

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/07/12 09:53 PM

Originally Posted By: upflying
Looks like an EV battery maker is in financial trouble. Due to the DOE funding, could this be another Solyndra in the making?
http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/battery-maker-a123-systems-in-financial-trouble/


The thing that lots of people seem to forget about that DOE loan program is that, from the outset, it was expected that some of the companies would fail, and that fact was included in the program budget. If the companies were failure-proof, they wouldn't need government loan guarantees, now would they? They could easily borrow in the commercial market.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/07/12 09:58 PM

A123 is far from just an EV battery maker. I referred to them many times in this thread. They are THE state of the art in terms of battery technology development and R&D in this country. Their next-gen lithiums are being codeveloped for many uses with many manufacturers, including Boeing, for over 10x the already mind-blowing power density of today's lithium ion packs. Two things to keep in mind:

1) Having this technology homegrown will allow other homegrown products like OUR cars and OUR planes and OUR military vehicles to be self-sufficient. Are ALL the products they make perfect? Hell, no. (Are the European and Japanese and Chinese batteries all perfect? Hell, no. The nature of state of the art!) Is it worth it to keep such development and production here? Oh, HELL yes. It is nothing short of absolutely moronic to argue otherwise.

2) There is NO battery house with anywhere near a fraction of A123's R&D capability ANYWHERE in the world that hasn't been funded by government to an EXPONENTIALLY higher degree than A123's paltry loan here. Keep in mind what they have accomplished with so LITTLE public investment.

Next gen batteries are the future of clean tech, not just EVs. The potential is HUGE for the economy and national security as an extension, and we need to keep that capability in design and manufacture HERE if we expect to truly compete.

-MKL
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/07/12 10:15 PM

This seems like a great vehicle.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/08/12 01:05 AM

That is a great achievement. Somebody here has a Passat diesel - bought it after reading this thread, if I recall.

Jeremy on Top Gear did something similar with an Audi A8 diesel, not available here either. It's a great episode as he stretches the car for each available drop. I'd bet a 1.6L in a car the Passat's size would be kind of tepid, though. But still, very impressive range!!

-MKL
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/08/12 09:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill_Walker


The thing that lots of people seem to forget about that DOE loan program is that, from the outset, it was expected that some of the companies would fail, and that fact was included in the program budget. If the companies were failure-proof, they wouldn't need government loan guarantees, now would they? They could easily borrow in the commercial market.


This I just don't get. Maybe because it makes no sense. Failure is built in to the loan program? Huh? Granted, no company is failure proof. But to design a failure percentage into any loan program is insane. And that's why privately owned banks won't go for it, but politicians will. Campaign donations & all that.
Posted By: Killer

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/08/12 09:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Huzband
But to design a failure percentage into any loan program is insane. And that's why privately owned banks won't go for it, but politicians will. Campaign donations & all that.

I think you'll find every single loan program has a failure percentage built into it, it's part of the interest rate. Just like prices in stores include the cost of shoplifting, except in Whip's stores, where they include the cost of rewarding his staff for victimizing the poor underclass just trying to put a crumb in their kiddies mouths.
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/08/12 10:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Killer
Originally Posted By: Huzband
But to design a failure percentage into any loan program is insane. And that's why privately owned banks won't go for it, but politicians will. Campaign donations & all that.

I think you'll find every single loan program has a failure percentage built into it, it's part of the interest rate. Just like prices in stores include the cost of shoplifting, except in Whip's stores, where they include the cost of rewarding his staff for victimizing the poor underclass just trying to put a crumb in their kiddies mouths.


Point taken. rofl
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/08/12 10:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Killer
Originally Posted By: Huzband
But to design a failure percentage into any loan program is insane. And that's why privately owned banks won't go for it, but politicians will. Campaign donations & all that.

I think you'll find every single loan program has a failure percentage built into it, it's part of the interest rate. Just like prices in stores include the cost of shoplifting, except in Whip's stores, where they include the cost of rewarding his staff for victimizing the poor underclass just trying to put a crumb in their kiddies mouths.


I believe in positive reinforcement.

wave
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/08/12 11:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Killer
Originally Posted By: Huzband
But to design a failure percentage into any loan program is insane. And that's why privately owned banks won't go for it, but politicians will. Campaign donations & all that.

I think you'll find every single loan program has a failure percentage built into it, it's part of the interest rate.


Of course, Killer is correct here. (How many failed companies has Wall Street bet on recently?). More importantly re A123, there is an ENORMOUS amount of private capital invested in that company (makes the DOE loan look like peanuts). AND co-development going on with many companies (US car companies, Boeing, etc.) as well as some foreign firms as well. Imagine that - foreign firms (including BMW) coming to an American company for battery technology AND production? Let's all hope A123 survives this. The country needs a company that can make it in this field.

-MKL
Posted By: Huzband

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/09/12 01:27 AM

Moshe, this isn't about Wall Street betting. It's about government throwing tax payer money (i.e., your's & mine) at losing businesses. If you were a venture capitalist, would you put up your personal money into a number of companies, knowing that some would fail?

I know I wouldn't.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/09/12 03:46 AM

Originally Posted By: Huzband
Moshe, this isn't about Wall Street betting. It's about government throwing tax payer money (i.e., your's & mine) at losing businesses. If you were a venture capitalist, would you put up your personal money into a number of companies, knowing that some would fail?

I know I wouldn't.


Then you simply do not understand finance. Finance and especially high finance / venture capitalism is about quantifying the risks involved with investment in various businesses in order to maximize profit and minimize risk. The two have an inverse relationship - the higher the risk, the lower the chances of profit, and thus the higher the profit to reap should things go well. It is not an art (or science) for the faint of heart or for the conservative (I don't mean that politically). It is for people comfortable with risk, and the ones who do well long-term have a good track record of not losing too much.

It is absolutely unrealistic to expect captial investment to have a 100% successful track record. That goes for the small lemonade stand on the corner to a Fortune 500 corporation, from your local bank to Citi, from a completely private investment firm to government subsidy. Some WILL fail, period. (Wall Street shorted against its own bets, KNOWING they would fail, remember?)

The person who looks at this like a snapshot is seeing a very shallow and simplistic picture, painting an entire economy with the brush of one company (e.g., everything Uncle touches is Solyndra. Everything Wall Street touches is IAG.).

The person who looks deeper sees the complexity and that the reality is NEVER this simple. There is an overall record of millions of investments to look at, and see a track record, for one. Run of the mill profit and loss isn't sexy and doesn't grab headlines, but that's what happens 99% of the time. And second - and MOST importantly - many of these companies are amalgams of BOTH private AND public investments. A123 IS such a company.

So A123 satisfies and upsets both sides of the isle. If you think government is stupid for throwing money at it, then you can look to the dozens of private firms (biggest names in energy and transportation) that did the same, and realize that by extension, they are just as stupid, aren't they? Boeing is stupid. Ford is stupid. GM. MIT. All real dummies. OR, vice versa.

Vice-versa's right. You can't have transportation and energy without being in the game of homegrown R&D and production. There is ALOT of private money to be made in that game. There is ALOT of national security and politics at play. That's why private and public investment happened in this case of A123.

My prediction? A123 is "too important to fail," and will not be allowed to, primarily by the private firms who have so much tied into the company via co-development of new technology which is so vital to our national interests.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/09/12 04:15 AM

Back to the cars.

Larry, your post on FB got me looking for incremental improvements in range for 2013 vs. the 2011-2012 model years. Guess what - they're there! 2013 will have total battery storage capacity going up from 16KW to 16.5KW, and the usable window going up also from 10.3KW to 10.8KW. This will translate into ~2-3 more miles per charge, or about a 7% bump, over our 2011 Volt. This, as I described to you, is how it's going to happen. Incrementally, technology will be leveraged in order to increase range, increase MPG while on gas, and increase overall efficiency. A beautiful thing!

-MKL
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/09/12 02:10 PM

Hopefully the extended EV range in the Volt will be mileage taxed.
Wouldn't want Green cars riding on the road for free.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/09/12 07:29 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Originally Posted By: Killer
Originally Posted By: Huzband
But to design a failure percentage into any loan program is insane. And that's why privately owned banks won't go for it, but politicians will. Campaign donations & all that.

I think you'll find every single loan program has a failure percentage built into it, it's part of the interest rate.


Of course, Killer is correct here. (How many failed companies has Wall Street bet on recently?). More importantly re A123, there is an ENORMOUS amount of private capital invested in that company (makes the DOE loan look like peanuts). AND co-development going on with many companies (US car companies, Boeing, etc.) as well as some foreign firms as well. Imagine that - foreign firms (including BMW) coming to an American company for battery technology AND production? Let's all hope A123 survives this. The country needs a company that can make it in this field.

-MKL

Ener1 didn't survive and filed for bankruptcy.
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/ener1-pare...14#.T9OjgsV2M-0
Posted By: Whip

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/09/12 08:07 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Back to the cars.

Larry, your post on FB got me looking for incremental improvements in range for 2013 vs. the 2011-2012 model years. Guess what - they're there! 2013 will have total battery storage capacity going up from 16KW to 16.5KW, and the usable window going up also from 10.3KW to 10.8KW. This will translate into ~2-3 more miles per charge, or about a 7% bump, over our 2011 Volt. This, as I described to you, is how it's going to happen. Incrementally, technology will be leveraged in order to increase range, increase MPG while on gas, and increase overall efficiency. A beautiful thing!

-MKL


It seems to me the VOLT should be able to match the Leaf in Range and the Chevy Cruse in MPG.

Maybe I am just hoping.

L
Posted By: Bill_Walker

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/09/12 11:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Whip
It seems to me the VOLT should be able to match the Leaf in Range and the Chevy Cruse in MPG.

Maybe I am just hoping.

L


If you're talking about single-mode, you're hoping for a repeal of the laws of physics. The Volt has a smaller battery pack than the Leaf (24 kWh), but weighs 400 lbs more because it has an internal combustion powertrain to haul around (and is a slightly larger car). The Volt weighs 700 lbs more than a Chevy Cruze, because it has a battery-electric powertrain to haul around.

Of course the combined electric/gas range of the Volt is far better than the (electric-only) range of the Leaf, and the combined electric/gas MPG equivalent of the Volt is better than the MPG of the Cruze.
Posted By: Natche

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 06/12/12 03:36 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
That is a great achievement. Somebody here has a Passat diesel - bought it after reading this thread, if I recall.

Jeremy on Top Gear did something similar with an Audi A8 diesel, not available here either. It's a great episode as he stretches the car for each available drop. I'd bet a 1.6L in a car the Passat's size would be kind of tepid, though. But still, very impressive range!!

-MKL


That would be me, I think. Had it 6 months now and I'm still amazed. I average 45 MPG overall and have gotten as much as 56 MPG on a trip. I usually can go 725-750 miles on a tank and then it only takes a hair more than 16 gallons to refill it. I am sure I could get over 60 MPG if I wanted to drive like a twit. Although my wife says I already do.

Originally I toyed with the idea of the Volt but it just didn't meet my needs. Then I remembered the diesel rental I had over in Italy last year and so I started looking at the VW diesels. I am as thrilled now as I was when I got it.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/01/12 03:23 PM

No one is buying the Volt for some reason.
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/.../1#.UEIneKN2M-0
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 12:24 AM

Bob-

I am unsure why you would post a totally outdated article from USA Today from 6 months ago. If you want to stick to USA Today, please refer to the article from August 29, here http://content.usatoday.com/communities/...-sales-record/1 There you will find, that not only is "no one buying the Volt" untrue, but that in fact that August was the BEST EVER sales month, beating Prius (second year sales for reference) and absolutely destroying the Japanese Nissan Leaf and the Prius Plug In as well. The plant WILL go idle for a few weeks soon as Chevy's retooling to build Impalas there, not because Volt sales are slow. They have never been better!

I am happy to report to you all that in my own way, I have added to August's numbers myself. I picked up my own Volt in July, and so far 2 coworkers have purchased Volts (both in August) after tooling around in mine. A third coworker is looking to sign up for one this month. And I've convinced my employer to add more charging stations at work, which has happened. The more people see 'em, the more they drive 'em, the more they like them. Just like the Prius when it came out - except this car is far superior in my opinion. Certainly, its fuel economy is. I have started a small blog where I will track my numbers. Here's month 1:






This is 7/14 to 8/14. 969 Miles total. Lifetime of 150MPG. On strict commuting duty, I am getting between 115-120MPG, but smaller sub-40 mile trips are bringing the overall average up.My total gas bill for this month was $0. (I finally put my first tank of gas in on Aug 28). My best battery performance so far was 47 miles on a single charge. 38 miles is more typical with high speed highway commuting and air conditioning on full blast.

I am happy as can be, driving my American designed, American built Volt, and sending less of my dollars than ever to Saudi Arabia.

My blog: http://www.mklsportster.com/volt/voltchronicles.htm

-MKL
Posted By: DaveTheAffable

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 06:45 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Bob-

I am unsure why you would post a totally outdated article from USA Today from 6 months ago. If you want to stick to USA Today, please refer to the article from August 29, here http://content.usatoday.com/communities/...-sales-record/1 There you will find, that not only is "no one buying the Volt" untrue, but that in fact that August was the BEST EVER sales month, beating Prius (second year sales for reference) and absolutely destroying the Japanese Nissan Leaf and the Prius Plug In as well. The plant WILL go idle for a few weeks soon as Chevy's retooling to build Impalas there, not because Volt sales are slow. They have never been better!-MKL


Wall Street Journal - Volt Sales / Production interruption

So... maybe Bob just linked the wrong article. WSJ says sales are lack luster and GM has more than they need, which is unusual for specialty vehicles. GM says they are stopping production to "Re-tool". You don't stop building cars that are selling well, unless you're selling less than expected.

Yes... they are selling more. If my dealer sold 1 in June, 1 in July, and 2 in August... thats a 100% increase for August. No, they are not selling enough, and if each car was not subsidized by my tax dollars to the tune of $7500, no less the GM bailout, they'd be selling none. Don't take it personal. These are just the facts.
Posted By: DaveTheAffable

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 07:07 AM

I thought I should add regarding the Volt...

I think it is WAY COOL. Well designed. American Designed and (mostly) American built. So, I have no criticism of the car.

I do have issues with the subsidies, and other unanswered questions.

So yes... I believe the the reason GM can shut down for a while on the Volt is because they have "more than they need" on hand.

But I don't think it's a bad car.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 01:12 PM

Dave,

I'm sorry, but you're wrong on all counts.

Regarding the plant retool, currently, the Hamtramck, Mich plant is under utilized, and GM plans to add another car to the mix there (the new Impala). Volt inventory is about 84 days now (ref Wall Street Journal article) and ideally you really want about 60 days. So yes, they haven't been selling as well as GM dreamed of, but they are selling BETTER than Prius did (in its year two), and vastly outselling its main competition from Japan (Nissan Leaf and Prius Plug In). Perhaps GM was over-optimistic in how many they thought would sell in the early years, but compared to anything like it - say, second year Prius, which was breakthrough at the time - it's doing fantastic, and sales are on an uptick even in this poor economy, which is also saying something.

Second you mentioned "MY tax dollars subsidizing" the car to the tune of $7,500.00. That, too, is completely incorrect. A new Volt owner receives a TAX CREDIT of $7,500.00. To review, a tax credit is defined as "a sum deducted from the total amount a taxpayer owes to the state." In other words, the Volt buyer has amassed a tax bill - HIS money, not yours - and now has the choice to send that money to GM, or to Treasury. It's HIS money, not yours.

Very often we hear that tax dollars are OUR money. True enough. Same here. All my corworkers who bought Volts in August have amassed enough of a tax bill that they can take full advantage of the tax credit - 100% THEIR money - 100% NOT yours. The only taxpayer subsidizing a Volt purchase is the Volt owner himself.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 01:14 PM

By the way, Dave, your WSJ article is also not as recent as the WSJ's current headline "GM Expects Volt To Set Monthly Record" - http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2012/08/30/gm-expects-volt-sales-to-set-monthly-record/ - Bob's premise is "nobody is buying the Volt for some reason." Obviously that doesn't jive with the facts, whether it's WSJ, USA Today, or whatever. "Sales record" means just what it sounds like.

-MKL
Posted By: MT Wallet

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 01:56 PM

When I worked Auto years ago the big 3 shut down for 2 weeks every summer for model year change over. In the case there was an overwhelming demand for a car model we'd work overtime to support the product. Shutdown without change over meant we weren't selling cars!
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 02:10 PM

Richard-

There's no doubt that inventory of 84 days isn't ideal. But this is a RELATIVE situation. Compared to similar cars, the Volt is a best-seller, and sales are on an uptick. Compared to historically similar cars - 1st gen Prius for example, when it was new technology - it's outselling that as well.

I for one am happy that the US has churned out such a technologically impressive vehicle, and I am confident that in time, the cycle will move from early adopters to more mainstream acceptance as economies of scale are leveraged and prices come down.

-MKL
Posted By: MT Wallet

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 02:21 PM

My comment was a point of clarification not a for or against position. Incidently, Volt production was suspended for 2 weeks and the workers furloughed a few months back. Just fact-no position. Another point: Hamtramck used to produce the full sized Cadilac. I would guess that model line is less important than it used to be.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 02:28 PM

Richard-

That is correct. Bob's article from March was a furlough due to slow sales. That has obviously changed. A key factor there was CA's acceptance of the Volt for HOV use. Now I believe something like 1 in 3 of the surging Volt sales are taking place in CA.

-MKL
Posted By: DaveTheAffable

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 04:19 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Dave,

I'm sorry, but you're wrong on all counts.
Ouch. But... I wrote poorly late last night.

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
So yes, they haven't been selling as well as GM dreamed of,
That's what I meant...

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
..and sales are on an uptick even in this poor economy, which is also saying something.
Agreed

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Very often we hear that tax dollars are OUR money. True enough. Same here. All my corworkers who bought Volts in August have amassed enough of a tax bill that they can take full advantage of the tax credit - 100% THEIR money - 100% NOT yours. The only taxpayer subsidizing a Volt purchase is the Volt owner himself.
In general, I am opposed to ANY tax credits. Even mortgage credits, which I recieve. The couple that lives in apartment, with the same salary as my wife and I pays more taxes. Therefore, money that they have put in is dispersed to pay for things, compensate for, money that I did NOT put in. The same is true with your Volt. But that's not the cars fault. American tax code is WAY screwed up. LOL.
Posted By: DaveTheAffable

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 04:23 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Richard-

That is correct. Bob's article from March was a furlough due to slow sales. That has obviously changed. A key factor there was CA's acceptance of the Volt for HOV use. Now I believe something like 1 in 3 of the surging Volt sales are taking place in CA.

-MKL

Another incentive at the expense of others. If they decided to let Smart Cars, or Mini Coopers use they HOV lanes, their sales would go up too.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/03/12 04:35 PM

Originally Posted By: DaveTheAffable
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Richard-

That is correct. Bob's article from March was a furlough due to slow sales. That has obviously changed. A key factor there was CA's acceptance of the Volt for HOV use. Now I believe something like 1 in 3 of the surging Volt sales are taking place in CA.

-MKL

Another incentive at the expense of others. If they decided to let Smart Cars, or Mini Coopers use they HOV lanes, their sales would go up too.


There are minimum standards for efficiency to be met. If a car like Mini or Smart can meet them (they can't, but just for example) they too can have access.

You look at this in a one-sided way - i.e., incentive AT THE EXPENSE of others. The other side of the coin is called "positive externalities" in economics 101. The public in general benefits from cleaner air. From cleaner water. From reduced health care costs due to the former, and the latter. From reduced dependency on foreign oil. From reduced costs associated with reduced dependency on foreign oil. And so on. Yet you DON'T necessarily pay for it. The guy with the efficient car and efficient house and efficient appliances did. His purchases lead to net benefits which elevate the standard of living not just for himself, but for everyone as a whole.

That's why the idea of some "giveaway" here is bumper sticker sloganeering, and sounds great in election year, but it really has no basis in reality. That's also why you see such programs under ALL administrations, regardless of ideology. It is less expensive to incentivize early adopters (i.e., positive externalities) in many cases, than it is to pay for the negative eternalities. Either way, it's gonna get paid for.

-MKL
Posted By: Quinn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 12:03 AM

Why not consider subsidizing hybrids the say way we do buses. With buses, we are paying tax money to decrease the number of cars on the road. With them off the road, there's more room for the rest of us, less wear and tear on the roads, and less need to build or improve roads.

With electric and hybrid, the gas they save makes the gas we use a little cheaper.

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Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 01:00 AM

Quinn-

The subsidy for buses comes out of general taxation. Meaning we all pay for it, whether we use the buses or not (for the "positive externalities" you describe - a valid reason in my opinion). I think it's important to remember that hybrid "subsidies" are usually - almost always in fact - tax credits. Meaning the buyer of the car amasses a tax bill which can be offset at his choice, for buying that particular type of car. VERY different from the common erroneous misconception of some people who see a hybrid drive by and say "Oh, MY tax dollars funded THAT guy's car!" No, sorry, they didn't. Your tax dollars will subisize a hybrid (SOME, not all) when YOU buy a hybrid. That's what "tax credit" means.

I started this thread to try to find out why people hate the Volt. I have, in 26 pages, never seen a consistent reason yet. People who oppose subsidies are themselves driving subsidized cars (e.g., tell me what you drive, and I WILL show you a subsidy, either direct or indirect). People who oppose Volt are usually silent on its Japanese or German competition, which is even MORE subsidized (directly - as in, what did TN give to Nissan to open plant there for Leaf production? And what did they give to VW for Passat production?) And so on.

It is as though the car has come to represent some ideology in their mind, even though the car itself was developed starting in 2005. Even though any ideas for tax credits formed in 2007. For some reason, it has come to represent something else entirely.

In short, for some reason, the car is used as a political punching bag. I don't know why. I can't imagine why our own people beat up on our own product and turn a blind eye to other products which, if judged on the same "standards" would be even more offensive. I haven't been successful in uncovering a single coherent reason based on logic and fact that doesn't offer gross contradictions in kind. I can't wait until the election year circus is over and the car goes back to being judged for what it is technically, not what some politicans want to make it out to be.

-MKL
Posted By: Quinn

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 02:18 AM

Moshe--

I guess my point would only be valid if, by your using your tax credit, the government had to increase my tax burden to keep up the necessary level of revenue needed to run the government. Since they have never had a problem spending more than they take in, I don't see my point as rational and I'll get out of this topic without further embarrasssment.

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Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 02:33 AM

Quinn-

To your point, which some may take issue with but which is valid, I would refer you to my response to Dave above re negative and positive externalities. We pay for them, either way. The question is, what is better to pay for - what is more cost effective, and what ultimately leads to a better life? That is our choice.

-MKL
Posted By: DaveTheAffable

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 04:57 AM

I don't hate the Volt.

I don't like tax credits. Even for mortgages, and I have one.

Dis-agreement does not equal hate.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 11:33 AM

Dave-

Your point is well taken. I did not think YOU per se hate the Volt. I see the hate out there - guys like Neil Cavuto (watch this compliation http://gmauthority.com/blog/2011/08/neil-cavuto-really-hates-the-chevy-volt/ ) and other politicians (can't name them here, but you know who they are if you follow the news) who single this car out, for some reason. They NEVER mention the others (especially foreign cars) that receive the same tax credit (as though it is preferrable to give Americans a tax credit for buying a foreign car). They ALWAYS present a "tax credit" as a subsidy covered by all taxpayers (as though if the Volt didn't exist, your tax rate would drop tomorrow dopeslap ) The tax subsidies - direct and indirect - relied on by the oil companies are NEVER mentioned. Negative eternalities we all pay for through oil use are NEVER mentioned. They also willfully misrepresent the technological advancement of the car itself - Cavuto actually made the claim that the car "left him stuck" in a tunnel when it switched from battery to gas generator (when in fact, on gas, the range is about 300 miles).

It is THIS hate which I seek to understand. I seek to counter it with fact, as I did at work when I explained to curious coworkers how the car works. They don't commute far like I do, so for them, it means literally no more gas to buy. And they signed right up - 2 last month, and another one this month. Every time I stop at a parking lot, somebody asks me questions. GM has heard this so much, that they give owners a packet of "info cards" that they can pass to the curious, so you don't have to answer the same questions over and over again. So obviously the interest is there - the story of the car is muddied by those that have this bizzare hatred for it.

-MKL
Posted By: DaveTheAffable

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
It is THIS hate which I seek to understand. I seek to counter it with fact, as I did at work when I explained to curious coworkers how the car works. They don't commute far like I do, so for them, it means literally no more gas to buy. And they signed right up - 2 last month, and another one this month. Every time I stop at a parking lot, somebody asks me questions. GM has heard this so much, that they give owners a packet of "info cards" that they can pass to the curious, so you don't have to answer the same questions over and over again. So obviously the interest is there - the story of the car is muddied by those that have this bizzare hatred for it.

-MKL


You say you seek to understand? It's easy! Cavuto doesn't like cars you plug in! The fact that he doesn't discuss all the other tax credits he disagrees with every time they discuss the Volt, does not undermine anything. If each time I say I don't like BMW's new handle bar switches, I don't mention OTHER motorcycles with bad switches, does that invalidate my opinion? I DON'T LIKE THE BMW SWITCHES... LOL.

So much of discussion these days centers on, "How can I tear down how they said, or what the other person said..." rather than, "Let me think about what they are saying, what they are trying to convey, and if I disagree.... they are entitled to opinions other than mine."

Two questions -

1) Are people allowed to have a different opinion, or strong feelings about this car that are different than yours?

2) What are the indicators, or how would I know, that you are tolerant of someone elses opinion on this topic?



Posted By: Albert

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 02:58 PM

I personally have nothing against electric vehicles but I'm not convinced it's a long term energy solution. What bothers me (and maybe it's been answered in the previous 53 pages of this thread, sorry), is how do we compare fossil fueled, hybrid and pure electric vehicles. We routinely refer to mpg for the former. Is there a similar measure in the other vehicle types and, if so, is there a conversion? What I'm getting at it that most marketing (especially Chevy's) would lead one to believe electricity is free. Customers are shown beaming about not visiting a gas station in months. None of them mention the impact on their electric bills.

Someone has probably already done the legwork but I'd like to see a comparison of energy per mile (or $/mile) for all types of power sources. I don't know how to quantify the difference between a 45 mpg internal combustion powered vehicle versus an all electric.

Another question would be, if we replaced every internal combustion automobile today with all electric ones, what would the effects on power plant generated pollutants be? Would an unintended consequence be the transfer of air pollutants in urban areas (no more dino cars) to more rural areas where the electricity must be generated?

As I said, I have no inherent objection to electric vehicles. It may be that there are good sources of information regarding all these issues and that I just haven't done the research (I'm not in the market right now). Having been an early adopter of technologies in the past (on the "bleeding edge") I'm not keen on shelling out big $$ only to find out I've got the automotive equivalent of the Betamax player.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 03:07 PM

Dave-

There is a difference between "I don't like the switches" and "the switches caused the BMW bike to FAIL!". That's what Cavuto is saying - not that he hates plug ins in a general sense, but in the specific focus on the Volt and a mantra of "the car left me stranded" when it did exactly what it was supposed to do.

Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion. Opinions are all well and good. Where they tread on fact is a different story. This is worse than someone coming in here and saying "I hate all BMW motorcycles because their final drives are complete crap and they all fail." Bad enough "opinion" and easy enough to dispute with facts (e.g., how many people have high mileage machines in here with no failures?).

But Cavuto and his ilk are singling out this vehicle for an agenda. An agenda that dispenses with fact, calls normal operation "failures," and outright makes stuff up. THAT is what I am trying to figure out. Not why normal run of the mill folk don't like hybrids or plug ins. They certainly don't work for everyone and nobody expects them to. There's a big difference between not caring for a product, and making it your life's work to tear it down. I have no issue with the former, but I take exception to the latter. (I think that answers your question #2).

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 03:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Albert
I personally have nothing against electric vehicles but I'm not convinced it's a long term energy solution. What bothers me (and maybe it's been answered in the previous 53 pages of this thread, sorry), is how do we compare fossil fueled, hybrid and pure electric vehicles. We routinely refer to mpg for the former. Is there a similar measure in the other vehicle types and, if so, is there a conversion? What I'm getting at it that most marketing (especially Chevy's) would lead one to believe electricity is free. Customers are shown beaming about not visiting a gas station in months. None of them mention the impact on their electric bills.


Hi Al-

Yes, in fact, all of this has been covered. We can review a little though. The first is, how much does a charge cost relative to gas for a given distance traveled? The answer is, about 1:5 given national average rates for electricity and gas. Meaning, in plain English: It costs me (were I paying for my electricity at prevailing rates) about $1.50 to charge my Volt, from which I will travel approximately 40 miles (worst case for me so far was 35, best case almost 50, so I err on the side of conservatism here). You know how far $1.50 in gas takes you in your vehicle, or any gas powered vehicle, for that matter. There's your comparo.

And it gets MUCH more complicated, obviously. I get my electricity from solar, so I don't pay anything for it, for example. And what about WHERE your electricity comes from? That's a state by state issue - in some states driving a gas hybrid like Prius is less polluting than a primary EV vehicle like Leaf, because electricity comes from burning coal there.







Absolutely the best article on all of this was from Motor Trend - you can link here http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alte...on/viewall.html

Bottom line: There are many issues here, and many reasons why people buy these cars. Some for environmental reasons. Some because they like the latest technology. Some, like me, for political reasons above all - namely, to me, reducing my dependence on foreign sources of oil is of paramount importance, and these types of cars help me (and the country at large) accomplish that.

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 03:35 PM

By the way, to clarify, all graphs above are linked from the Motor Trend article I referenced above. No other article I've ever seen covered all the bases of economy AND pollution in one article. As you can see, these vehicles are a highly regional solution. They make more sense in some areas than others. On the coasts they're a no-brainer which is why you see them everywhere here.

-MKL
Posted By: DaveTheAffable

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 04:10 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
...But Cavuto and his ilk are singling out this vehicle for an agenda. An agenda that dispenses with fact, calls normal operation "failures," and outright makes stuff up. THAT is what I am trying to figure out.


Well...nothing to figure out. You believe he has an agenda, and it's different then yours, and his facts are wrong. It sounds like you have the understanding you seek.

wave
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 04:14 PM

No, that's not enough for me Dave. It is not enough to say "he's wrong." I seek to understand what benefit there is to tearing down an American designed, American built EREV - why THIS model, above all others? What is the political gain (because clearly the agenda is political in nature). What sense does it make for this model above all others to become a poster child for said agenda - why not Nissan, or Fisker, or Tesla, or any of the others? I seek a deeper understanding of the motivation and premises underlying what the Cavutos of the world are trying to do.

-MKL
Posted By: Albert

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 04:16 PM

OK good stuff. Thanks.
Posted By: DaveTheAffable

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 04:37 PM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
No, that's not enough for me Dave. It is not enough to say "he's wrong." -MKL


Ok. smile
Posted By: taylor1

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 09:42 PM

I may be off topic, but as an investor that lost years of my retirement from the bomb of GM stocks, and my taxes bailing them out, I certainly hope that more than two sides have an agenda in this. I truly believe we need to work on the latest technologies, such as the Volt. And at the same time hope we are not roped into thinking that it is all for our best. To many people and government make fortunes on failed ergo economies.
Posted By: Matts_12GS

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/04/12 11:25 PM

Originally Posted By: DaveTheAffable
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
...But Cavuto and his ilk are singling out this vehicle for an agenda. An agenda that dispenses with fact, calls normal operation "failures," and outright makes stuff up. THAT is what I am trying to figure out.


Well...nothing to figure out. You believe he has an agenda, and it's different then yours, and his facts are wrong. It sounds like you have the understanding you seek.

wave


Go Dave Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/05/12 02:13 PM

Interesting stuff. I’d speculate that in Canada, from an emissions perspective, in the eastern part of the country where hydro generated electric is more predominate the hybrids & electrics win out, where as in the west where electricity is mostly still generated by burning various forms of fossil fuels, conventional internal combustion still would have the best carbon footprint.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 09/05/12 05:54 PM

Ken,

There are many aspects to this issue. In certain cases you have politics and environmentalism pulling in opposite directions. To me getting weaned off of foreign oil is priority one. In my situation, deriving my power 100% from solar both at home and at work, I don't pollute a fraction of a fraction of a traditional car. But my politics being what they are, even if I did, or even a little more, I would still drive what I'm driving. Luckily, I do not have to choose between the two - my politics are satisfied and I don't pollute relative to 99.9% of other drivers out there.

-MKL
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/07/13 02:34 AM

Is this another Solyndra in the making?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/05/us-autos-fisker-layoffs-idUSBRE9340U920130405

Or did Justin Bieber snuff out the lust for Fisker?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 04/08/13 12:40 AM

There is no question that Fisker is all but doomed. Jamie Kitman's column in this month's Automobile is a good one on the topic.

-MKL
Posted By: upflying

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 10/18/13 02:29 PM

Forget electric, hybrid and hydrogen. This is the ultimate Green car. I want! Behold the Buick Trek.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf9vY0HGWEI
Posted By: Kathy R

Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) - 10/18/13 02:51 PM

Originally Posted By: upflying
Forget electric, hybrid and hydrogen. This is the ultimate Green car. I want! Behold the Buick Trek.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf9vY0HGWEI


And then the guy smoking says, "I'll follow you guys in the car and be the support vehicle". laugh
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