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« Polls

Would you consider buying the new electric Chevrolet Volt, expected to cost about $40,000 with a $7,500 tax credit?

ChoicePercentVisualVotes
Yes 15%
126
No 84%
685
811 total votes

Comments

1 valleyred (1095 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

No. If I ever get an electric car, it will be a Honda Clarity. It certainly looks nicer than the Volt: http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clar...

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2 mstng_sally (13 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I went to the website. EASY refueling at your local Hydrogen refueling center. Going to be a while before anyone in Youngstown gets one, since the closest refueling facility is in Columbus! Now, if you were in California or Canada, you're in good shape!

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3 Erplane (476 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Paulydel - they are testing this car in so many intense ways, and I will bet you the warranty will be substantial.

At $33k (with tax credit), and with $1500 savings on gas per year (up to $2500 WHEN gas returns to $4/gl), in six years the cost of the car is effectively lowered to $24k. That is competitive. And your money stays in the U.S, and doesnt go to Saudi Arabia.

Good luck GM!

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4 apollo (1227 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

There is no way I'm paying 40,000 even with a 7,000 tax credit for a GM product when I can get a Lexus hybrid for that much and guarantee that I have a top quality vehicle. They won't sell enough to make it profitable and GM already has enough no profit cars including the Cobalt.

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5 redvert (2048 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Erplane, the problem with your numbers are that you have not figured in the cost of charging the batteries after a few 20 mile trips. Now the gas engine did not start but that doesn't mean it was a free ride. Also, how long will the batteries last. Will they need replaced after those 6 years you mentioned? How many thousands of dollars will it cost to replace the batteries when they give out. Last but not least, where will the Volt be produced? In the US hopefully but no guarantee of that just yet.

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6 Erplane (476 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Redvert - Produced in Michigan. GM is already working to have final battery assembly there, so its a lock that it will go there (plus politically it would ridiculous to make it somewhere else for the US market). As for the battery charge, my numbers are based on current electricity rates, which equates to $.80/gallon. So my savings is after you charge it.

And your point on the battery life is valid. I wonder if GM is studying a buy the car / lease the battery possibility. This way you can change the battery after 3-6 years (you may want to change it anyways b/c the next gen of battery will be that much better).

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7 tnmartin (203 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

A 20-mile trip? Under what conditions?
Summer? OK. What about in one of our winters? Let's see, running the headlights eats some of that. So does running a defroster. What does that do to your range?
How about a drive from, say, Boardman to downtown Y-town, in a February 'freezing fog', leaving out around 6:00am and coming back, with a stop at the grocery, getting in around 6:00pm. Let alone Canfield to Niles. These are not long trips, they are part of 'normal' commutes, and they happen at all hours and in all conditions of weather. Even windshield wiper motors require electricity to operate. You really expect to run all of these things off the battery and have no expectation that it will reduce your travel range?

Now let's talk about charging. Anyone familiar with the term ''demand meter''? Bet there are a few. Want to see the meter spike, and stay there all month? Betcha it will affect your power bill.

Oh, and by the way, there is not sufficient additional capacity on the power grid to service very many of these. If we were allowed to build power plants ..... but of course the sleazy liars of Greenpeace and other propagandists will never permit that.

This vehicle is the answer to a question no one asked. VERY few people will find it to serve their needs.

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8 redvert (2048 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

tnmartin,

you certainly expanded the basic point I was trying to make. Generating that additional power is going to cost in resources as you alluded to.

We need to expand our drilling for natural gas etc. I understand that there is not a nationwide network of natural gas refueling stations but just as we did in the early 1900's we build the stations in and around the cities and then expand as the need grows. Besides, the cleaner burn of natural gas is what we need in the cities anyways.

I think our future needs a variety of energy sources, fossil fuel, natural gas, solar, wind, bio-diesel.

Of course before that happens we must deal with the dirtbags you mentioned!

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9 Erplane (476 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Do you guys think GM is testing this car only in North Carolina when its 62 degrees and partly cloudy?! All cars, hybrids or not, go through extreme condition testing in 100+ heat and sub-zero testing. And guess what, they actually turn the defogger on too!

As for Demand meter, when would you charge it, at 2 pm in August? The whole concept is to charge the car overnight while you sleep. And there is sufficient power on the grid (when was the last time Ohio had a brownout? Seriously, tell me when). There are 5 nuclear power plants that are near green-lighted for construction in the US. And there are significant plans for clean coal and renewable energy generation. Check the Dept of Energy's website for verification or go to CERA's website.

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10 tnmartin (203 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh, there are ''five nuclear plants green-lighted''? Hmm. What are the chances that ANY of them will actually be built and put on-line in the next 5 years?? Since I worked up at Grinnell in Warren MANY years ago when the usual gang of screaming idiots shut down nuclear power plant construction, many built using components built right here in the Valley by us, and saw the plant shut down back around 1984, you'll forgive my skepticism. I know about construction projects, some near completion, that were shut down by screaming idiots, shyster lawyers, and judges with delusions of adequacy. Look up the history of WPPS some time. So you'll forgive my skepticism on that score.
And having worked in engineering roles with several of the automotive companies, both the OEM's and the parts suppliers, I am far less trusting of the thoroughness of their testing. I've seen test reports within the last month that add to the skepticism.

Again, this mess is ''the answer to the question no one asked''. What may be appropriate for someone whose whole life exists within a relatively small area, may be utterly insufficient to others. Want to have three vehicles just to handle the different needs, or just one that adequately handles all of them? Most people have answered that question already.
This entire thing is not a response to real customer demand, it is a bow to the self-appointed 'elites' with large mouths and small foreheads. And you know it.

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11 XBROWNSX (35 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I can assure you, many of us in northern California do not want, nor are interested in any type of electric car.

The first time you go to replace it's expensive battery, you'll think about putting that money toward something newer.

No, car companies now are already producing small, fuel efficient cars, Unless we live in downtown New York City or Los Angeles, it's not worth it.

I am a lifelong "car guy" and I am not interested in the Volt or any electric car, frankly.

Even Hybrids, the extra 1 1.5 extra MPG it gets over a similar conventional model, it's not worth the added $.

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12 Erplane (476 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I am a lifelong car guy, I love Detroit steel and big V8s. And I can assure you in the next 20 years 1/2 of cars sold will be electric.

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13 redvert (2048 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

We tend to agree to disagree but it is nice to see a civilized discussion!

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14 JeffLebowski (953 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Give the tax credit as described to domestic products and tax the foreign products at a rate 4x higher than the current number. As a primary investor the fed government should have every right to do what they can to ensure success of companies they support financially. Things turn around quickly at that point.

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15 Erplane (476 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Jeff - the only problem is economies that have such protectionist policies end up being bloated, and more inefficient than they are now. GM and Ford started to reform their products way later than they should have, but at least they were going down that road. Putting up barriers costs the taxpayers substantially more than it saves them.

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16 scrooge (563 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Erplane, you also fail to add to your argument the fact that Obama has stated many times that we pay too little for electricity. His goal is to drastically increase rates will change the scope of your calculations. So even with increased gas $$ the same will hold true for electricity.
As for the power plants, most of those "near green lighted projects" have been in limbo for years. Obama will make it nearly impossible to build one with emision standards strict enough to keep the wackos happy.
As much as I'd like to see the Volt survive, I don't think we currently have the infrastructure to support it in mass. This vehicle is designed more for large metropolitain transportation (New York, Chicago, LA, San Fran, Huston, etc) outside of those metropolitan areas the gas guzzler is still the best option.

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17 cambridge (2974 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree with the posters who say that today's electric and hybrid cars are not for everyone. If you need a new car today and you drive a hundred miles a week those cars don't make much sense. A four cylinder car would serve you well. If you commute 2-3 hours a day hybrid is your car.

This technology is going to take off and these cars will be the future as they become more efficient and less expensive. The motto in "High Tech" is "every 18 months, twice as fast for half as much". The most optimistic forecasters predict that the WORLD will be out of oil in 40 years. This technology is our future and and is well worth the investment.

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18 city_dweller (193 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I like the idea of people having options in the kind of car they drive, but even with tax credits and gas savings, $40,000 for a car s a lot to shell out. My house wasn't all that much more than that, and my current 2005 Vibe was about 1/3 the price. And with car loans usually only being for 60 to 72 months, you're talking about a bigger car payment than most people in the Mahoning Valley make in a month.

So as high as my hopes are, I realistically can't say I expect to see a lot of Volts cruising down 224. As long as energy-saving products from organic food to electric cars continue to be restricted to the upper-middle class, going green will never catch on because most people simply can't afford it.

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19 Erplane (476 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Scrooge - your point re electricity prices is really a good one. From what I understand, Obama's cap and trade system could introduce higher electricity prices pretty fast. The only thing I could think of is if there is a substantial increase in wind power generation over the next 10 years. One of the current downsides to wind is that the electricity is only generated when the wind blows, and that tends to be much higher at night. So that electricity needs to go somewhere. I would think we have the tech to use that excess generation for EVs. I know, its a stretch, but we should be creative and cost efficient when possible.

City Dweller - $40k is alot, agreed. But many EV makers are going for a different approach, where they will come to market with $10-$15k cars for your commuter car. It will have only a 50 mile range or so. This way it becomes affordable. And it takes a $40k car to first come out so that the tech can eventually drive down costs to effectively a $20k car.

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20 penguinswin (21 comments) posted 5 years, 4 months ago

The "Volt" is the car that will bring GM back to solvency. Are you kidding? I haven't bought a 40K car ever! Check the latest conumer guide on dependability for all cars currently on the market. GM has serious problems with those models it now produces; would it be any different with the new "Volt"?

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21 valleypoboy (75 comments) posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Amen to the $40K price tag not appealing to very many people no matter what the "tax credit" You still have to spend the money and have enough taxable income to make a tax credit worth anything. And as pwin above notes, GM has serious quality issues.
For all the build-build-build comments on power plants and such - I just gloss over your ranting. Move to a cabin in Idaho where you'll fit in.

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22 irishfan91 (97 comments) posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Heck NO!!! What about a family with 3 teenage kids (or more for that matter)? That is what these liberals in NY riding the subway and the dual income no kid liberals forget as well. Furthermore, I have to drive to work in whatever weather (not warm, sunny, Southern California) at whatever hours and be able to get there in my job. Finally, the cost does not work out, but don't worry, after Obama taxes the heck out of gasoline, it might. So much for not taxing the middle class. The sad thing is how many of you believed him.

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