Volt Sales Simmer in November 2012, LEAF Stays Steady

By · December 03, 2012

Volt LEAF

Sales of the Chevy Volt dropped off in November 2012, with General Motors reporting it sold 1,519 units. That's roughly half the 2,961 units GM sold in October 2012—and more than 1,300 units shy of the 2,851 Volts sold in September 2012.

Volt sales have been relatively high most of the year with GM selling 2,831 units in August; 1,849 units in July; and 1,760 units in June. The upward trend was not sustained in November, but if we flip the calendar back to a year ago, we discover that sales are better than a year ago when General Motors sold only 1,139 Chevy Volts.

Nissan reported that sales of its electric LEAF checked in at a solid 1,539 units in November, nearly identical to October's 1,579 sales. Sales of the LEAF have continued to rebound—at least compared to the 984 units sold in September and 685 in August. In fact, last month's sales represent a 129 percent increase over the 672 LEAFs Nissan sold in November 2011.

In terms of 2012 year-to-date numbers, the tally for the Nissan LEAF now checks in at 8,330 units. Meanwhile, the 2012 YTD results for the Chevy Volt ring in at 20,828 units. Last year at this time, General Motors' year-to-date Volt sales stood at 6,142 units—so 2012 has proven a growth year for the Volt. However, this year's LEAF sales have failed to keep pace with last year, when Nissan sold 8,720 units.

Comments

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

Government and companies like GE/Lockheed purchased thousands of chevy Volt between July and October, which explained the high number of Chevy Volt in the later summer and fall.
It is unfair for government to ask us to make cars that lose lot of money. The management were coerced by the new fuel economy standard and California Zero-Emission requirement to make Volt and spark EV. We employees here at GM would be the victim when GM lose billions on green initiative!

Angry GM Employee!

· · 1 year ago

@Anonymous,
You naive, self-entitled fools at GM should pay more attention to what your customers want to buy rather than trying to shove the same garbage down our throats making us weak and vulnerable to those who control our limited oil supplies.
If you don't make them, Tesla or foreign companies will make them and we will buy from them.
Quit whining and get back to work. You're behind already and bringing the USA down with you.

Angry GM customer!

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

Government and Obama administration put their boot on our neck, do you know that no GM engineers want to build plug-in or electric vehicles, because we can't sell them at a price where we can break even. The component cost of the Spark EV will be around $25K, plus labor, marketing, R&D, we have to sell it at >$40K just to break even.
We all love America and want to get rid of oil independence, everyone can pitch in and drive less and buy small cars, but American people are not willing to do so, at the same time, not willing to pay fair price for plug-in and EV, Chevy Volt cost a lot of than $40K and will always be expensive to make.

There is no technology down the road that is fuel efficient (>50 mpg), big enough for fat America and still reasonably priced. SORRY!!!

All these green initiatives are utterly disgraceful and will detroy our auto business!

Talk to a trust-worthy GM employee and hear the real story! No one think Chevy Volt can ever make profit!

· Spec (not verified) · 1 year ago

"Government and companies like GE/Lockheed purchased thousands of chevy Volt between July and October,"

Do you have ANY evidence to support this claim?

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

@ex-EV1 driver

Customers want a V8 engine that deliver 60 mpg, and the car cost $17000 and last 300,000 miles, the problem is no one can make it!

Even Toyota does not wsnt to make PHEV and EV, their RAV4 EV is made by Tesla because California dictate every maker to sell ZERO emission vehicles, but it can't be manufactured at a cost that appeals to you! I don't know what is your profession, say if you are in spaceshuttle proram, it is like asking you guys to make spaceshuttle at $1,000,000 each with ZERO failure over 10 years, can you realistic think that can be done?

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

@spec:

Can you tell me if there is any method that certain documents can be shared on the internet w/o getting me into trouble? I have the documents of purchases by large customers!

· bigbill (not verified) · 1 year ago

I bought a Volt. It's a fantastic car. The engineering is outstanding and it's a joy to drive. The rest of you troll can say what you will. The facts be damned.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

@ex-EV1 driver

If you think Tesla can solve the oil independence problem by selling expensive cars to the mass market, you need to have your brain removed!!!! No one can make extremely fuel efficient car that is very cheap and reliable! Even a Prius is not a good deal because the fuel saving can't pay for the price premium!!!
You are an idiot!

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

@bigbill

With a thug like you, everyone at GM will lose their job in 5 years, you should be ashamed to STEAL our product because you did not pay fair price.
I was responsible for the cooling system of the battery and I can attest that we did everything we can to make it reliable. Now I am workinn on the EV program and the spark EV will be even more reliable, but it cost us twice the retail price to make these vehicles!
You are a thief!!!!

· Objective (not verified) · 1 year ago

LOL

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

You tree huggers don't know how much people (in the auto industry) really hate you guys, it does not make difference whether GM employee, Ford or Honda/Toyota. We call tree huggers poisonous muppets!

· hybrid driver (not verified) · 1 year ago

@Anonymous
It is considered savvy consumerism when a customer negotiates a good deal on a car or takes advantage of manufacturer incentives, but it is robbery to take advantage of a tax credit? You are shouting in the wrong direction.
Why is it so hard for people to accept that there are customers out there who will to pay a premium to reduce oil consumption, but it is perfectly acceptable to spend $10,000s on leather seats, wood interiors, 200W entertainment systems and excessively powerful engines.

· Leafer (not verified) · 1 year ago

I'm with @bigbill, but in my case I own a Leaf, and it has absolutely changed my life for the positive (example: I use 75% less gasoline than I did a year ago - my ICE van stays parked in the driveway unless it's use is absolutely essential.) The comment about "fat Amercans" is one to watch, though...why is it we seem to believe it is our right - nay, REQUIREMENT - to be able to take our living room out on the road? Buy what you *need*, not what you aspire to, and soon we would be much better off.

And Angry GM employee - if the rest of the GM lineup was engineered as well as the Volt, you might have a fighting chance, but as it sits now I can't think of *one* non-Volt GM car that I have even a passing interest in. GM doesn't measure up in quality, design or execution to foreign automakers, period.

· Spec (not verified) · 1 year ago

"You tree huggers don't know how much people (in the auto industry) really hate you guys, it does not make difference whether GM employee, Ford or Honda/Toyota. We call tree huggers poisonous muppets!"

Well you guys are not very bright then are you? When oil prices shot up the oil companies raked in record profits . . . larger profits than any company in all history. Meanwhile, the car companies when bankrupt and had to be propped up with government money. The people are not your enemy . . . oil is. If you think building gas guzzlers is your salvation then you haven't learned a thing and you will go bankrupt AGAIN.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

Your comment about the quality is well taken, but don't blame the engineers and the auto-worker, blame Wall street, the public and the management, here in the USA, we focus too much on short-term ballyhoo, less on quality/reliability!!!!
Look at Ford, they had lousy quality, and Mulally made a huge difference since 2007!! Congratulations to Ford!

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

@Spec

I drive tiny cars, so is my wife, we love our country so much we don't want to use a lot of oil for which our boys/girls were killed in Iraq, of course never forget Sep 11. But let me ask you this:

how many average americans are willing to pay $55K for a Chevy Volt? That is how much it cost GM, while it is coming down, but it is impossible to get below $30K. The ICE technology is limited because 70% energy is wasted, an intrinsic limitation of Internal Combustion Engine!
At the same time, the battery is expensive and always will be, so even GM can sell 20,000 Chevy Volt per month, it will still cost about $38K (according to other people), at that price, no Americans except tree huggers will buy them! Folks at GM would love to sell Chevy Volt for $27K and still make a profit, but we can't, neither can Toyota or anyone else! $7500 tax credit is not a long-term solution!

As for the quality, the management is to blame!!!

· James Poch (not verified) · 1 year ago

I think it is a waste of time getting into shouting matches with anonymous postings on the internet. The market has delivered some awesome vehicles. Quick, quiet, with a luxury drive. Albeit expensive but I have more confidence in innovation driving down costs than some anonymous critics holding whatever personal or political grudge. Management across the auto industry sees the natural progression toward electrification. Some are leading others are preparing. I trust these decision makers rather than bitter employees (if they are actually employees). So listen to insight on the challenges. There are many. But ignore the rest.

· · 1 year ago

@the anonymous GM folks commenting here.
First of all, I'm glad to have you as part of this discussion. It would be nice if you could give yourself some sort of unique handle with which to address you as we discus these issues you bring up. I can understand how you can't use your real names given your employers and the industry you work in.
Next, I'd like to remind you that all EV supporters are not tree hugging hippies as you have been led to believe. Some of us are conservative engineers and business people who understand costs and profit margins. Possibly some of us understand them a lot better than you do or you wouldn't be so quick to discount Tesla as you are.
A lot of us also are tied with the military and understand how vulnerable the USA is because of our dependence on foreign oil. Sure, we can "drill baby drill" for a few more years and let a few more Baby Boomers retire in luxury but this isn't going to last very long and someone will have to pay in significantly degraded lifestyle eventually. We might as well start now while there are a few Americans left who have some money and Detroit still has a few folks that remember how to make cars.
Moving on to Tesla: As you folks do understand, it takes a lot of money to produce an automobile and the customer's pockets are only so deep. Therefore, the initial startup money must come from somewhere. There are 2 good and one bad choice that I see. I'll get the bad on out of the way quickly - its the government. They are run by politicians who have no capability to determine a potato chip from a computer chip from a cow chip. They are also rewarded for not making mistakes so they can't do anything new.
The first good way to make the money is to start at the high end and work down. We've seen this with all industries including the automobile. For the automobile, however, this was over 100 years ago so few can remember it. More recently, however, you can look at the cellular phone, the flat-panel TV, telephone calls, airline travel, etc. These all initially milked the rich who were willing to pay more for their advantages while the industry reduce costs so that more people could afford them. This is the approach that Tesla is taking. It appears to be working so far.
The second good way is called Capitalism. People invest large sums of money, eating the losses initially until eventually the costs are reduced below the sale prices so they can start profiting. This is the approach that GM and Nissan appear to be taking. I figure it is a harder approach and is going to hurt these companies very badly in the short term as you point out.
I, personally figured GM should lead with the Volt as a Cadillac where they could leverage off of the great torque control that an electric motor provides to give them a world-class leader. They chose not to and I see this, not going with the inevitable EV, as being the biggest risk to your job and livelihood.
To end this Rant, I'll address the Anonymous that said that "Customers want a V8 engine that deliver 60 mpg, and the car cost $17000 and last 300,000 miles, the problem is no one can make it!"
Actually, you are partially right. Even today's car companies can't meet that $17,000 price for a powerful V8 engine car. It also won't deliver 60 mpg. It could last 300,000 miles though I'm not sure that would be particularly good for the car industry.
There is, however, something that will deliver better performance than any V8, will deliver better than 60 mpg (in fact it won't even use gallons of anything), will last 300,000 miles with some not-insignificant maintenance, but will cost more than $17K at least initially. To do this, however, you need to get a new technology. Just as vacuum tubes wouldn't enable large computers, because of the power consumption and other issues, ICE won't enable us to keep driving at 80 mph to keep our country moving along as it needs to after we've burned all of the cheap oil on the planet. Battery-electric vehicles, however, can do this. Their only problem today, just like the flat panel TVs in 1995, is that it will take time to get the battery manufacturing costs down.

· · 1 year ago

@the Volt and Leaf fanboys,
The Anonymous GM folks are partially right and you appear to be totally clueless as to how much subsidy you are getting today on the cars you're driving and loving. I think you should be a bit more appreciative that your car is probably costing GM or Nissan $30 or $40K more than you are paying, for your car. The subsidy is, of course going down and will continue but, for now, these folk's livelihoods are being gambled on your cars being sold for a long time, in much larger quantities than they are today.
You, of course, should be proud of yourselves for being visionary to also bear the higher costs of the Volt -vs- Cruse or the Leav -vs- Versa so, in reality, we're all sharing the pioneering risks together.
I can, however, see how the GM folks are scared since they are perhaps gambling a lot more than we, the buyers.

· Calvin Genereux (not verified) · 1 year ago

I bought a used 2012 Volt Saturday for $30,800. The car had 2,068 miles on it. I bought it, not because I'm a tree hugger (because I'm not), but because it was a car that fit my current needs and would help my country cut it's dependence on foreign oil. I despise giving money to people that hate us. Buying this car allowed me to strike a blow against several things; our trade deficit, oil companies and foreign oil dependence to name a few. Maybe it even helped someone at GM keep their job. I also bought it because it is a very nice car. The build quality seems very high. This from someone with three Mercedes, a Volkswagen and a Hyundai also parked in the driveway.

· · 1 year ago

@anonymous: Attaboy -- you go boy, with the America can't do it, can't do EVER attitude! That's exactly the attitude that put America on top globally -- NOT!

· Eileen Waldow (not verified) · 1 year ago

Being one of many tree huggers (or for that matter, earth huggers), I am happy to have some options. I believe technology will only get better and I am loving my Leaf. I live in the Colorado mountains and am the only full time EV owner in the county. It is amazing to hear all the misconceptions people have about EVs. They assume they have no power and my turbo ICE is such a disappointment to me now that I have driven my EV. I challenge people to do 0 to 60 but no one has taken this old grandma up on it.

· Gromm (not verified) · 1 year ago

Mmm. Angry GM Employee says this now, when a slight dip in gas prices has refreshed interest in large cars and SUVs. Meanwhile, when the next recession/gas shock (or is that gas shock->recession?) hits, and suddenly the sales of EVs explodes while gas guzzlers get dropped like a hot rock, he'll be saying "Oh geez, we sure dodged *that* bullet!"

And that next time, not only will you be prepared for a sudden change in the market with a product that will actually fit in said sudden change, but the quality and profitability of that product will be so much higher, due to the fact that they'll have been working on them for years. You can't adapt to an enormous shift in the car industry like that overnight.

It's called hedging your bets. It became abundantly clear in 2008 why that's a good thing, as opposed to specializing in building only the most profitable product with the hope that the market for that product will never go away.

Also, about the profitability of the Spark EV... that sounds remarkably like the argument against the EV1, not any newer EVs. Modern batteries cost far less for equivalent capacity than they did back when the EV1 came out - purely to appease the California Air Resource Board. CARB isn't driving the EV market anymore, just look at Nissan. They're not building the LEAF to appease any government. They're building it because they want to.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

Every single auto engineer/designer here at GM understand the importance of oil independence, and everybody is proud of how hard they have tried to bring this vehicle into reality and it is the best engineering piece GM ever done, but unfortunately, GM is losing lot of money and there is just no business sense in making this thing. Also I must say a company must have long-term vision: designing cars with high mpg and still make the cars commercialble viable, this is the correct strategy, it means the company is willing to lose money for maybe 5-10 years, BUT, as I want to stress, the company eventually MUST be able to make money!!! That is NOT the case for Chevy Volt.

Asking a company to make the product w/o zero hope of makig money is no difference than going to a bank branch and asking the cashier give you money because you need money, this is called bank robbery!!!

USA must do the best it can to be energy independence, that means everyone sacrifice, maybe you should drive as little as possible, maybe you should ride a bicycle, maybe you should get rid of that energy-guzzling plasma TV, maybe you should pay the reasonable price for the EV you are buying, maybe you should NOT take the $7500 credit, maybe.....but anyone with a conscience should not ask auto companies to bare all the burden of energy independence. If you don't believe what I said, trying to talk to someone in the auto industry and see how bitter they are!!!

If the Chevy Volt is sold at a price so GM can start making money in 2020, the sales will evaporate because it is far higher than $26-$33K (depending on your state subsidy and the sometimes ridiculously low leasing rate, this range is about the prevailing market value for a brand-new volt), because most American are people who cry patriotism 24/7, yet they are VERY selfish and 98% people will not pay extra for EV/PHEV unless the price premium is recovered through less fuel consumption. Even you folks who bought Nissan leaf or Chevy Volt, you are partially free loader!!!! As far as I can say, I think GM and Nissan will go out of business before 2020, especially Nissan!

· Paul Scott (not verified) · 1 year ago

Boy, that's one very disgruntled GM employee!

To all of you who whine about government involvement in the car business, why weren't you complaining about that same government spending hundreds of billions of our tax dollars fighting a war over oil? Why aren't you complaining about that same government spending $80 billion every year in additional military protection for the world's oil?

Add to that the tens of billions in health and environmental costs you aren't paying when you buy gas and maybe you'll see why it's fair to subsidize plugin cars.

You either get the "stick" of internalized costs in the price of your gasoline and diesel, or you allow the "carrot" of tax incentives for the cars that don't run on oil. You can't have it both ways.

Specifically to you "GM Employee", are you willing to pay the full cost of gasoline for your car? Are you willing to pay back for some of the decades you've been enjoying that subsidized fuel? If not, then please STFU!

· Leafer (not verified) · 1 year ago

>"Even you folks who bought Nissan leaf or Chevy Volt, you are partially free loader!!!!"<

Dude, *everyone* gets something out of the tax code. Do you have kids? If so, you are a freeloader in comparison to your childless colleagues. I have no problem in taking the tax credits because I am going first - and SOMEONE has to go first, to pave the way for others. And so far I am loving the Leaf. You would too - if you actually bothered to drive one.

· Objective (not verified) · 1 year ago

What is sad is that these resources being wasted chasing the wrong solution are no longer available to help find the right solution.

· · 1 year ago

@Anonymous,
I still wish you'd coin some sort of handle. I'm not sure I'm talking to the correct Anonymous but I can see how you might be under pressure to be completely untraceable as well.
Anyway,
I realize the challenges involved with making EVs and not everyone is going to be happy with them. The transmission designers and builders will go the way of the buggy whip maker. The engine guys will have to slim down a lot since PHEVs don't need all of the improvements that have been made to the ICE to handle the tough dynamic driving environment. A lot of folks in Detroit will be rendered obsolete, just as Kodak's film chemists are now trying to reinvent themselves. I've survived technologies that I mastered becoming obsolete by newer technologies so I understand the problem personally. I have had to work hard to learn new tricks and move on.
EVs can and will drop in price just as any technology will. Don't believe all the propaganda from Detroit. Unfortunately, the Bill of Materials which today is dominantly built around the ICE will shift to the batteries. An electric motor will be cheap with little support equipment.
Unfortunately, despite all of their efforts to marginalize EV supporters (tree-huggers -- puhleeze) and prove that EVs won't work, if GM doesn't do it, someone else will and that won't help you guys much at all. If Detroit doesn't shift from speed metal to bateries (iron to lithium), they are going to die. The Feds through out some money to help but it appears that's been poorly spent and is about gone.
I paid nearly $100K for my 2nd EV (after you guys crushed "my" first one) to prove what my analysis had shown. I'm not a rich person. That's part of how I helped shoulder the burden of energy independence, even if it didn't help the current auto manufactures. I also regularly attempt to put pressure on folks who expect the $17K EV to get a bit more realistic. They won't be that cheap initially and the tree-huggers, as well as the rest of us will have to pay for what we know we need.
Don't worry though. The auto industry isn't the only bunch that hates changes in the status quo. The oil companies hate it even more. The electric companies in CA hate it as well since so many of us put solar on our roofs and don't buy electricity from them any more. Southern California Edison has owed me over $400 since last August and they are still trying to avoid paying me for it. They have it tougher than you do since some tree-hugging do-gooder idiots in CA managed to get a law passed forcing the power companies to buy electricity back from us at the retail price in addition to having our solar panels subsidized. They still have to store the electricity or keep reserves available too. They are the ones who really should be complaining, not the auto makers.
It doesn't really matter whether you say GM, Nissan (or Tesla) will go out of business. We'll just have to see what really happens. Are you ready to bet your job on it? Besides didn't GM already go out of business once this decade, before they'd invested much into EVs? Are you sure the EVs are the problem?

· Anonymous volt leasee (not verified) · 1 year ago

anonymous GM employee, if you are not just a poser, I don't understand you issue with the low priced leases. GM is not leasing the vehicles, they are leased by ALLY Bank and USBank, not GM. When a Volt customer leases a Volt ALLY or USBank are paying the dealer the full negotiated price for the Volt and GM is getting their full invoice price from the dealer.

Because you don't seem to understand this, I don't think you are truly a GM engineer. I have worked with a few GM engineers in the past and for the most part they understand how their business works as well as how their work translates into long term returns if they design a quality product that can be dependably manufactured.

I believe that GM has been recruiting and employing the best talent they can attract and projects like the Volt are helping to recruit more top quality talent from American universities and restoring American manufacturing, leveraging innovation in the processes rather than outsourcing. It is a turn around story if there ever has been one and I am willing to participate by buying these products rather than buying another Toyota product.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

http://www.moranchevrolet.com/VehicleSearchResults?search=new
http://www.markchevrolet.com/VehicleDetails/new-2013-Chevrolet-Volt-5dr_...

Here are some Chevy Volts currently on sale, but unfortunately they don't sell well, the local dealer, Mark Chevrolet has this car (Lot No. J108137 ) on the lot since late August, the sales guy told me in September that no one was willing to buy these vehicles, all vehicles sold were leases, and I am sure you guys didn't buy your Volt either, am I right?

From July to early October, there are some leases, with 36 month total payments in the range of $10000 to $10500, and at that price, it is a good deal (if you usually lease vehicles), but for anyone vehicle with a real sale price of $40000, you can NEVER find such leases, it would be $15000 to $18000, so basically this means the market value of Chevy Volt sold in the summer&fall is around $27000, even at that low price, GM can only sell 2700-3000 per month, a number so low that some parts maker penalized GM and LG Chem is also bleeding heavily.

So before you criticize me, you must appreciate my hard work, and also let me remind you, you are driving this car at the half price of what GM spent to build it, so before you criticize me, I will call you THIEF unless you are willing to spend $19000 (total payment) for 36 month lease! Read this report from your Demagogue in Chief.
http://www.altenergystocks.com/archives/2009/04/white_house_report_gm_vo...
http://www.futurecars.com/blog/general-car-blogs/white-house-chevy-volt-...

· · 1 year ago

@anonymous,
". . . you are driving this car at the half price of what GM spent to build it. . . "
I agree. Its too bad GM sabotaged the Volt to appease the fiefdoms within the corporation with its rube-goldberg power train instead of going for the cheapest EV option that would meet the needs of the customers.
They wouldn't have to lose nearly as much money on each car as they are.
You may still lose your job but it isn't my fault. I'm planning on a Tesla, or Ford for my next EV since I'd rather reward better judgement with my money.

· Bret (not verified) · 1 year ago

There are a lot of very strong opinions and some unfortunate name-calling. I wish people would be more tolerant and understanding of the opinions of others, whether they be "Tree Hugging EV Lovers" or "Government Subsidized GM Employees".

Since I'm neither of these, here is my opinion. Electrification of automobiles is the future, because it makes the most practical sense. Right now, ICE is cheaper than Hybrids, PHEVs / EREVs and more versatile than pure EVs. That is going to change in the next few years as batteries become considerably cheaper and more energy dense. (see Envia Systems or the 5-5-5 Project). Companies and employees who understand this are going to have a prosperous future. GM, Ford, Nissan, Toyota and Tesla seem to have a great start.

Here is another opinion that won't be so popular. If it really does cost GM $55K to produce a Volt and $40K for a Spark, they are in serious trouble. You can buy a C-Max Energi for $32K and a Tesla Model S for $59K. Tesla will release a base model EV in a few years that should start in the $30s. The plug-in Accord and Fusion cost the same as a Volt and are in a higher category. BMW will release amazing carbon-fiber EVs next year, starting at $45K. GM has their work cut out for them.

· Callajero (not verified) · 1 year ago

The true free loaders are the ones who got huge tax deductions (up to $100,000), for buying gas guzzling SUVs, under Bush's tax cuts! How come you don't bring that up?

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

>>>Here is another opinion that won't be so popular. If it really does cost GM $55K to produce a Volt and $40K for a Spark, they are in serious trouble. You can buy a C-Max Energi for $32K and a Tesla Model S for $59K. Tesla will release a base model EV in a few years that should start in the $30s. The plug-in Accord and Fusion cost the same as a Volt and are in a higher category. BMW will release amazing carbon-fiber EVs next year, starting at $45K. GM has their work cut out for them.
>>

But do you know that every maker lose a lot of money on EV/PHEV? it is stupid to believe Ford can make C-Max energi for $32K. They priced their Fusion Energi so high, with one intention: subdue the demand so they lose less money!!!
the real solution is to get government out of the way and let the market work!!!

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

@Bret:

Battery cost will come down and there will be better battery down the road, blablah, I heard that a million times. I suggest you do this:
1). I suggest you contact Dr. Kumar at skumar@enviasystems.com and ask him how that battery would last in a real vehicle? maybe 3 years? hmmmm,
2). SONY is getting out of battery business, because they lose money, Panasonic is bleeding heavily (superior quality though), so I use 18650 cell as example, after 20 years, the cost of these mass produced cells is about $500-$100 per kwh, and these cells only last 2-3 years, yet EV battery supposed to last 10y and the quality standard is FAR MORE stringent than 18650, but the commercially viable price point for EV/PHEV is probably $200-300 per kwh. As Jeff Dahn (world top battery scientist) has pointed out, the manufacturing of EV battery is unique and more expensive than 18650, so expecting it to be cheaper is just utterly insane! As of today, LG Chem, Primearth EV Energy, AESC are bleeding profusely!
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506881/how-improved-batteries-will-...

· Tinapolis (not verified) · 1 year ago

Hello all you misinformed Volt and EV haters! Ever wonder what it was like when the horseless carriage first appeared? Well, let's just say you'd be the ones riding the horse while listing all the reasons the horseless carriage was a failure.

I love my Volt, and will be looking closely at the Chevy Spark EV when it comes out. Once you experience a 21st century car like the Volt, going back to a car powered by caveman tech (fire) is a non-starter.

The Volt is the first American made car I have bought in over 30 years. And now I'll be buying another (maybe a Spark, maybe another Volt). Yes, the Volt is so bad that every car manufacturer is rushing to copy it, haha.

While the Volt bashers whine, I'm banking $2000/year is gas savings. That's AFTER paying for the $330 in electricity. Fantastic car. Want to be a slave to big oil? Be my guest. Me? I'm driving 80% on cheap US electricity fueled by natural gas, hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, coal, nukes.

· Bret (not verified) · 1 year ago

@Anonymous

Ford isn't subsidized by the government. They are selling PHEVs because it makes sense. The Fusion Energi costs the same as a Volt and it's a much bigger car, although it does have less EV range. In fact, the Fusion Energi only costs about $2K more than the Fusion hybrid, after incentives. With $4-5 gas, people will recover that $2k in a pretty short time. I predict the Ford Energi models will sell very well.

EV critics amortize billions in development costs across a few thousand cars, to make it look like each car costs a fortune. Musk, Ghosn and Mullaly have already said many times this is inacurate. They have all said publicly their EVs/PHEVs will be profitable. But, that doesn't stop people from spreading false information.

· Objective (not verified) · 1 year ago

Ford isn't subsidized by the government. The government just pays Ford's EV customers to buy Ford EV's. That's not subsidy.

Oh, and the moon doesn't exist.

· · 1 year ago

@Anonymous,
I'm not going to "contact Dr. Kumar at skumar@enviasystems.com and ask him how that battery would last in a real vehicle? maybe 3 years?".
I don't have to because I currently have a Tesla Roadster that is nearly 4 years old and the batteries are doing fine. I know they will last at least 4 years. Envia may or may not work at all.
There's no sense in asking a scientist what something costs. If you know anything about car companies, they haven't seen a scientist for nearly a century. It takes engineers to make things affordable, scientists just get things started.
Please quit predicting doom about that which you know nothing.
I fully agree that we should quit subsidizing all of this junk. This includes oil to fuel the cars our lazy brethren in Detroit want us to drive, wars to keep that oil cheap enough for our cheap citizens to "afford", loser companies like GM that proclaim to know what they are doing when they proved they can't even make it in the business they dominate.
I'll be happy to throw out the subsidies to EV manufacturers and purchasers as well and truly see the market work.
GM also isn't building EVs because of the CA mandate (note that GM actually requested the mandate. Read The Car that Could by Schnayerson). They could afford to pay the fines for many years for less than the Volt cost to develop. They're building EVs because they found themselves opening the LA Auto Show behind a prototype car built by Tesla that could destroy their flagship Corvette and realized they had to get modern or they would die.

· · 1 year ago

Anonymous,

I've worked in the automotive industry and I'm proud that Detroit is building a world class high tech car. According to Consumer Reports the Chevy Volt has the highest customer satisfaction two years in a row.

· grumpy (not verified) · 1 year ago

The Trolls are out in force today!

· · 1 year ago

People on Internet say:
1,218 C-Max Energi and 1,766 PiP were sold in Nov.

· · 1 year ago

Kudos to Nissan!
I guess that Nissan will double that with 2013 LEAF.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 1 year ago

If not because of the franchise rule, automaker would just pack and leave California, it is better to lose 10% sale than incur a loss of $500 million every year because of stupid rule of California!
As of today, if automakers starve California dealers by not supplying them with any vehicles, they would be sued for tens of billions!!!

· Anonymous Hater (not verified) · 1 year ago

Anonymous is a lying sack of petroleum bi products. Given his eloquence either everyone at GM was lucky to graduate the third grade or his job is janitor. Most likely he is a schizophrenic who can't separate facts from his delusions. Other people might say he is just a liar who knows how to figure. But go ahead, encourage him, his mental health worker is on vacation.

· · 1 year ago

I used to be a climate change skeptic so I can identify with anonymous very much.

I retired a few years ago and I have lots of free time. One of the things I spent a lot of time on was researching the evidence of climate change. I became the convinced the problem is real and quite serious. I began to debate skeptics but it became exhausting and I realized three things. 1. It took a lot of evidence to convince me and I'm an engineer with a pretty good understanding of physics. It's difficult to convince climate change skeptic. 2. There are a lot of people who don't need any convincing but they don't know what to do about it. 3. I'm not a professional debater, I'm an engineer, a problem solver.

Instead of wasting my energy debating skeptics I focused my research on finding solutions. I put together a 20 minute Powerpoint presentation that focuses on climate change solutions. The most important slide in the presentation is one that breaks down household greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by percentage. The presentation focuses household GHG emissions because that's what individuals have the power to change. The distribution of household GHG emissions are:

51% Vehicles
20% HVAC
12% Water heating
6% Refrigerators
5% Lighting
2% Clothes dryer
5% Oven, TVs, computers, dishwasher, clothes washer (in that order)
1% Everything else.

Vehicles are by far the biggest contributor to GHG emission for the average household so it has the most room for improvement. The smartest way to reduce emissions and save money is through energy efficiency. An EV is three times as efficient as an ICE vehicle. I'm not an EV owner yet but I've done the calculations.

I purchase wind energy at 9.5 cents per kiloWatt-hour. My cost per mile USING WIND ENERGY in a Nissan Leaf would be about 3 cents. This is the same cost per mile of a 108 mile per gallon ICE car if gas is $3.50 per gallon. An electric vehicle will save tens of thousands of dollars over it's lifetime running on clean energy.

The greenhouse gas emissions of an EV running on renewable energy is somewhere between 1/20th and 1/100th of the emission of gasoline powered car.

Anonymous,

I will not debate you on climate change. I'm done with that exercise in futility but don't let anyone tell you we can't save the planet AND save money.

· look toward the future (not verified) · 1 year ago

It is true that Ford never received a bailout, and they are building Hybrids and EV's. Then we look at Nissan, who is very committed to their Leaf, believing it is the way of the future. Tesla is also looking like they will begin to take off, their long term strategy is to start with the higher priced 'luxury' models, models that can support the company and make a profit for them, and then begin to introduce more affordable models of electric cars, a wise strategy. Fisker is building a 'luxury' car too with the Karma. All of these companies are not planning to go out of business, they are planning to be hugely successful, and they are doing it with electric cars. Elon Musk leading Tesla is a bright guy, I don't think he is planning to just go bankrupt, he has made millions before with PayPal, and now with SpaceX and Tesla he is likely to do it again. My point is, the free market is alive and well with the car industry and electric and hybrid cars. Some companies will be ahead in this race and they will be the ones to survive and prosper, some will lag behind and have to really struggle to catch up. I think GM with it's Volt has been brilliant in coming up with a platform, all electric with a generator for distance, and with most people driving an average of less than 40 miles per day, GM's Volt is just the right equation, and I expect the Volt to do amazingly well. If it was priced lower, it would take over the roads no doubt. Congratulations to GM and their hard working people for this technologically leading edge car!

· igh (not verified) · 1 year ago

@smithjim1961

A concur with all your findings. I did my research and found a similar distribution
for my household here in Silicon Valley. So I proceeded in the following way:

1. Used energy efficiency to cut down electricity use - host of techniques but the
most important is cutting down phantom loads - reduced electricity use by 30% overall
2. Converted house to all electric from gas - induction cooktop, air heat pump HVAC and heat pump water heater - the house now consumes 9800 kwH per year (50% of average US house)
3. Electrify the automobiles - one Volt (currently at 550 mpg) and one Focus Electric
- total for the year 14500 Kwh
4. Put it in a 11.8 KW solar system on roof that generated 16,300 kwH last year

So zero greenhouse gas and zero energy bills - PG&E paid $122 last year for extra generation.

Total cost of project after rebates - $50K, 11 year payback (cost not my primary concern).

As you might guess I am an electrical engineer too.

Trying to publicize my efforts with little success - most people still don't think this
is important.

· · 1 year ago

@smithjim1961, I enjoyed reading about your skeptical journey and willingness to accept a new position based on facts. It reminds me of something the economist John Maynard Keynes is attibuted to have said after changing his mind on depression era fiscal policy:

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

I think we all ought to have this kind of humility.

And for me, I must admit that when I first learned about some of the Volt technical details, I was kind of disappointed. It also seemed too fancy (the Leaf too, in this regard, the iMiev, that I now own is perfect in this regard), too expensive, and had too complicated a drive-train. It just felt like a bad compromise vehicle. But I've since seen the value for many people who can't always charge up, can't afford a "back-up ICE", or really do have range requirements beyond current EVs. I also have a friend at work who really loves his Volt, and he's not a tree-hugger. So, I've really come to appreciate that the niche it fills is quite a good one - and may pave the way for many to eventually get an EV instead. Could it be simpler and cheaper to build - yes. But, we are talking about having done this within the Detroit automobile culture, and to have done it now, especially with so few other players doing it as well, I think it will continue to be a sucess for GM - and eventually their costs will go down and their profits up.

As far as battery prices coming down, I'm quite skeptical of that. If you read some old posts on EV sites (like evdl.org) you'll see such hopes about lithium prices going back to 2007 and earlier. Prices really haven't gotten much better in the meantime. Maybe we'll have some reductions, but I'm not betting on it.

Instead, I would prefer (as a few other "tree-huggers" have mentioned) the other end of the ledger be adjusted to account for the "costs" not incurred in a gallon of gasoline. Costs for military protection of oil, costs for tax loopholes and incentives for fossil fuel companies, and costs that pollution puts on both our environment and our health. These are real, albeit hard to put a dollar number on, costs. A revenue neutral carbon tax could be a start to address the external costs of consuming fossil fuels and would create incentives for fuel efficiency and alternative sources of energy. See details here:

http://www.plugincars.com/call-carbon-tax-elon-muskand-many-others-12535...

and here:

http://www.carbontax.org

Nobody would like it, because then gasoline, home heating oil, coal fired electricity, and even natural gas would go up in price; but being revenue neutral, those costs would be returned to taxpayers as a payroll or income tax cut or even a tax dividend. Of course, the "government is bad" critics in our country will want to move to Luxemburg ... but there reeally isn't another way to manage a collective good like a clean environment, public health, or national energy security. We have to remind many of those critics that we already have "bad government" in many varied, complex, and obtrusive ways that skew our markets. So if we can replace some of those skewed subsidies/tax policies with a simpler carbon tax, we'll be much better off AND have better government.

· · 1 year ago

Oh, and incidentally, like ijh and smithjim1961, I've done a similar "low hanging fruits" analysis to guide our energy reduction plan. We ...

Filled in an inground swimming pool
Had an energy audit and made insulation improvements based on that
Installed new lighting (CFLs and LEDs, about 50/50 at the moment)
Installed 6.72kw of solar PV
Installed geothermal HVAC (removing propane heat)
Dry our clothes on the line most of the time
Purchased EVs (though I still commute on a bicycle roughly 2,500 miles/year)

Though we've added more load to our electric for the geothermal heat in winter and the EVs, we've actually stayed at about the same post pool usage (9Mwh/year). The pool added 4Mwh/year, and in PA, we didn't get to use it that much. That was the best decision ever (and my kids were young enough to not even remember it or care that it is now a vegetable garden).

Of course, I know people in small houses without all this fancy stuff with lower usage ... so, I still feel kind of wasteful knowing that we could be yet even more efficient.

· igh (not verified) · 1 year ago

@Dan
At least I get to talk with some people here who share similar concerns.

I had a question about your Ground Source Heat Pump:
Could you tell me the specs?

Tonnage - yearly energy consumption.
Does it also handle hot water?
Cost. Sq footage of your home
and number of users.

I considered it but the energy savings was not enough
over air heat pump plus the additional solar offset cost
and it was more disruptive as it required tearing up my backyard.

What EVs do you use? Are you getting approximately 30Kwh/100 miles.

I think the carbon tax is a good idea but I don't see any politician being elected
to office that proposes this currently. We have do our part and make other people
aware to build consensus before any such action can happen.

CA is more progressive on this, Recently they started the first cap and trade
system for carbon credits - multiple lawsuits are pending against it.

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 1 year ago

I know at least 3 current engineers working for GM. 1 in powertrain (transmission), 1 in SW (engine control), 1 in chassis. All of them are some of the smartest engineers there are. They all think Volt is cool. Yes, it is expensive and cost GM a lot of money. But they agree that they don't want a repeat of what happened with the old GM in terms of "missing" the opportunity of the next generation technology. Cars are heavily depending on the price of the oil.

Cars such as Volt allow you to "hedge" your bet. If gas is extremely cheap (doubt it), you can drive on gas, if electricity is cheap, drive on Electrons.

Volt's cost will be reduced as the sales number go up.

As far as this "angry" GM employee "troll" goes, he has posted the exact same message on just about every "green car, plugin, EV, hybrid" websites. Sounds like a troll to me.

· · 1 year ago

@Modern Marvel Fan

Your post has the ring of truth. Bob Lutz, the "Father of the Volt", stated he is satisfied with the profitability of the Volt and later vehicles based on the Voltec power train. I believe if Bob Lutz had stayed at GM, he would have ensured profitability, which is only endangered now by making meaningless costly changes for future models.

There have been few instances where I have seen Lutz disembling. He is very substantially a Straight Shooter. My kinda guy, therefore, if he says the Volt should be profitable, thats sufficient for me.

· · 1 year ago

@igh, though a bit off-topic (and I was looking to send a personal message - but didn't find a way). Anyway, here's the scoop on our geothermal:

It cost roughly 18k (13k after the 30% federal tax credit) for a 3ton 2stage Climate Master with 2x250ft ground wells, with heat exchanger for hot water (particularly good in summer). We have a 2200sq.ft home the four us us: me, my wife and two kids ages 10 and 6 (the kids don't consume a lot of hot water yet). Summer consumption is lower, I'd guess 20% just looking at our bills and in the winter we consume roughly 1-2Mwh here in PA, which would be at most $250, but much less if you consider a longer term accounting of our PV and net metering with our electric company. That compared to some winters with propane bills over $1000 is a nice change.

I suspect in California a ground loop geothermal system doesn't buy you as much, though you'd probably get by with a smaller ground loop and smaller heat pump since the loads are smaller. But, as you say, you've got to drill a well or dig to put in the ground loop, so that is kind of a pain.

We have a Mitsubishi iMiev and a Lectric Leopard (1980 LeCar that I recently updated to use lithium batteries). Both EVs consume about 25kwh/100 miles (battery to wheels), but with charging losses and heat or AC (or pre-conditioning while plugged in) your guess of 30kwh/100 miles is pretty close.

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