The hidden cost of the chevy volt

billc

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This article details the actual hidden costs to producing the chevy volt.

http://biggovernment.com/cstreet/2011/07/21/low-voltage-problems-at-government-motors/

From the article:

A signature example of that Presidential encouragement has been prioritizing production of the Chevrolet Volt electric car in the government bankruptcy restructuring of General Motors. But after six months and a $700 million to build the cars; only 2,745 Volts have been sold at the $39,995 price tag and 508 unsold vehicles are languishing in dealer inventories. Deficit spending to finance losses of $255,009 per unit doesnt sound like an investment that will encourage growth.

The Administration effectively fired the CEO; forced bondholders to take 75% loss; and invested $50 billion of tax payer money to gain 61% control of GMs stock. Since the restructuring, the independent Government Accountability Office has issued reports that cast substantial doubt on the likelihood taxpayers will fully recoup their investment. More troubling is the Administration, at the behest of the UAW, forced GM to withdraw from their profitable NUMMI joint- venture with Toyota in California.
GM reported the NUMMI plants production in 2008 of 149,000 Toyota Corollas, 122,000 Toyota Tacomas, and 71,000 Pontiac Vibes 2008. According to Motor Trend Magazine, Toyota stated: Our hope was for the 50/50 joint venture to continue, and indicated willingness to move production of their wildly successful Prius Hybrid from Japan to NUMMI. But under pressure from the Administration, General Motors opted out of the 25-year-old California venture with Toyota and spent hundreds of millions building Volt manufacturing in UAW friendly Michigan.
NUMMI ceased operations on April 1, 2010. The closure left 4,700 employees jobless at the Freemont plant and affected another 25,000 supplier jobs around the state, according to a study commissioned by California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.
Toyota continues to build all Prius hybrid cars at Toyota City in Japan. Bloomberg reports U.S. Toyota dealerships currently have less than one days inventory of Prius cars on their lots, after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster drastically interrupted deliveries of parts from Japanese manufacturers that service Prius production. Prior to the Japan quake, Toyota targeted Prius sales in 2011 that would top the cars 2007 peak of 181,221. While that level may be out of reach for now, Toyota can still exceed 2010s deliveries of 140,928, said Donald Esmond, Toyotas senior vice president for U.S. sales. Prius is the focus of Toyotas effort to gain market share in the next few years, said Jim Lentz, president of the U.S. sales unit. The Prius nameplate will be expanded to include a wagon, subcompact and plug-in. By the end of this decade, the Prius nameplate will be the number one passenger car nameplate in the industry.
 

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This article details the actual hidden costs to producing the chevy volt.

http://biggovernment.com/cstreet/2011/07/21/low-voltage-problems-at-government-motors/

From the article:

A signature example of that Presidential encouragement has been prioritizing production of the Chevrolet Volt electric car in the government bankruptcy restructuring of General Motors. But after six months and a $700 million to build the cars; only 2,745 Volts have been sold at the $39,995 price tag and 508 unsold vehicles are languishing in dealer inventories. Deficit spending to finance losses of $255,009 per unit doesn’t sound like an investment that will encourage growth.

The Administration effectively fired the CEO; forced bondholders to take 75% loss; and “invested” $50 billion of tax payer money to gain 61% control of GM’s stock. Since the restructuring, the independent Government Accountability Office has issued reports that cast “substantial doubt” on the likelihood taxpayers will fully recoup their investment. More troubling is the Administration, at the behest of the UAW, forced GM to withdraw from their profitable NUMMI joint- venture with Toyota in California.
GM reported the NUMMI plant’s production in 2008 of 149,000 Toyota Corollas, 122,000 Toyota Tacomas, and 71,000 Pontiac Vibes 2008. According to Motor Trend Magazine, Toyota stated: “Our hope was for the 50/50 joint venture to continue,” and indicated willingness to move production of their wildly successful Prius Hybrid from Japan to NUMMI. But under pressure from the Administration, General Motors opted out of the 25-year-old California venture with Toyota and spent hundreds of millions building Volt manufacturing in UAW friendly Michigan.
NUMMI ceased operations on April 1, 2010. The closure left 4,700 employees jobless at the Freemont plant and affected another 25,000 supplier jobs around the state, according to a study commissioned by California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.
Toyota continues to build all Prius hybrid cars at Toyota City in Japan. Bloomberg reports U.S. Toyota dealerships currently have less than one day’s inventory of Prius cars on their lots, after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster drastically interrupted deliveries of parts from Japanese manufacturers that service Prius production. Prior to the Japan quake, Toyota targeted Prius sales in 2011 that would top the car’s 2007 peak of 181,221. While that level may be out of reach for now, Toyota can still exceed 2010’s deliveries of 140,928, said Donald Esmond, Toyota’s senior vice president for U.S. sales. Prius is the focus of Toyota’s effort to gain market share in the next few years, said Jim Lentz, president of the U.S. sales unit. The Prius nameplate will be expanded to include a wagon, subcompact and plug-in. “By the end of this decade, the Prius nameplate will be the number one passenger car nameplate in the industry.”
The volt is a lesson in why the American market screws things up. Listening to whining about range anxiety and believing, mistakenly, that everyone in the country wants to drive an SUV, they created a car that is both ICE and EV, so diluting the advantages of the EV with gasoline that it makes owning a Prius more advantageous at a lower price tag.

The volt could work, if they could increase the range on the EV and make it so that it holds more than 4 adults. And get the price down. :)
 

Rich Parsons

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The volt is a lesson in why the American market screws things up. Listening to whining about range anxiety and believing, mistakenly, that everyone in the country wants to drive an SUV, they created a car that is both ICE and EV, so diluting the advantages of the EV with gasoline that it makes owning a Prius more advantageous at a lower price tag.

The volt could work, if they could increase the range on the EV and make it so that it holds more than 4 adults. And get the price down. :)

Steve, I have not seen the numbers on the EV's for the Leaf, but the numbers for other older programs do not support a real demand. It is something we need to do and should do, but not something that everyone will go out and buy.
 

Rich Parsons

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This article details the actual hidden costs to producing the chevy volt.

http://biggovernment.com/cstreet/2011/07/21/low-voltage-problems-at-government-motors/

From the article:

A signature example of that Presidential encouragement has been prioritizing production of the Chevrolet Volt electric car in the government bankruptcy restructuring of General Motors. But after six months and a $700 million to build the cars; only 2,745 Volts have been sold at the $39,995 price tag and 508 unsold vehicles are languishing in dealer inventories. Deficit spending to finance losses of $255,009 per unit doesnt sound like an investment that will encourage growth.

The Administration effectively fired the CEO; forced bondholders to take 75% loss; and invested $50 billion of tax payer money to gain 61% control of GMs stock. Since the restructuring, the independent Government Accountability Office has issued reports that cast substantial doubt on the likelihood taxpayers will fully recoup their investment. More troubling is the Administration, at the behest of the UAW, forced GM to withdraw from their profitable NUMMI joint- venture with Toyota in California.
GM reported the NUMMI plants production in 2008 of 149,000 Toyota Corollas, 122,000 Toyota Tacomas, and 71,000 Pontiac Vibes 2008. According to Motor Trend Magazine, Toyota stated: Our hope was for the 50/50 joint venture to continue, and indicated willingness to move production of their wildly successful Prius Hybrid from Japan to NUMMI. But under pressure from the Administration, General Motors opted out of the 25-year-old California venture with Toyota and spent hundreds of millions building Volt manufacturing in UAW friendly Michigan.
NUMMI ceased operations on April 1, 2010. The closure left 4,700 employees jobless at the Freemont plant and affected another 25,000 supplier jobs around the state, according to a study commissioned by California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.
Toyota continues to build all Prius hybrid cars at Toyota City in Japan. Bloomberg reports U.S. Toyota dealerships currently have less than one days inventory of Prius cars on their lots, after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster drastically interrupted deliveries of parts from Japanese manufacturers that service Prius production. Prior to the Japan quake, Toyota targeted Prius sales in 2011 that would top the cars 2007 peak of 181,221. While that level may be out of reach for now, Toyota can still exceed 2010s deliveries of 140,928, said Donald Esmond, Toyotas senior vice president for U.S. sales. Prius is the focus of Toyotas effort to gain market share in the next few years, said Jim Lentz, president of the U.S. sales unit. The Prius nameplate will be expanded to include a wagon, subcompact and plug-in. By the end of this decade, the Prius nameplate will be the number one passenger car nameplate in the industry.


I have a problem with this article not because I work for GM, but because the data is wrong.

Volt MY 2011 - 4488 built as of the data run at the beginning of the week. This article is not dated but has not comments over a day old. Of the 4488, 3188 have been sold. Yes this means 1300 are at dealerships or in transport to dealers. (* MY = Model Year *)

Volt MY 2012 - 86 built with no sales as they have not been shipped to any dealerships.

As to the NUMMI Plant, Toyota could have continued operation their as GM walked away (* per direction as some claim, but I have no data or personal information to make such a claim *) from any claim to it. Instead Toyota CHOOSE to walk away as well.

Toyota Highlander is a Hybrid and does not show the numbers either. This is why Toyota has been looking into making all their hybrids a Prius. You would have the Prius Highlander and other models. They would hope that the Prius Name would help sales. With the excpetion of the one model Prius, there are no Hybrids or EV's that are putting up big numbers.

This tells me that even when the great and mighty Toyota cannot sell green vehicles, then people are not yet ready spend the money and buy the new technology.


That being said, I know people who own a Prius,

1) Could not get but a few gallons of gas into their tank in the winter as the sealed tank technology they used shrank and became stiff in the cold weather. Their response to him and others, is that you have to live with it is a Prius.

2) The number of times in a single weekend I saw someone have to re-engage the park to start or to "re-crank" after moving the joy-stick into the park field (* even thought it displayed park *) to get the vehicle to start is beyond me. Yet, people live with it and say it is ok.


As to Toyota and Japan, I wish we had the deal they had. Per National Law no vehicles over 5 years old. Just think how many vehicles we would sell locally if everyone could only buy a car that was new to 4.x years old. Also if all imports had at least a 100% import tariiff tax and you also declared the manufacuring to be critical the economy and you prohibited foriegn manufacturers to build a plant in your country.

BOY oh BOY, if we lived by the same rules, the amount of sales would sky rocket. Jobs for manufacturing and for all the support and secondary market for service industries where all these people would eat and clean and ... , .


But that is not the way it is.

Also remember I said here on MT as well, that the US governement should not give loans to the Car companies and should not take ownership. Those companies should be allowed to fail. So while I understand the tone of the article and the government influence, I would just prefer for someone with their political agenda to get the dang data right. Just once it would be nice.
 

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On a phone so can't say much. But when I get a chance, il l try to find some links to the extremely happy lessees kg evs... Mini ev, the rav4 ev, ev1,...there are many. I lookforward to reading your post more carefully when I get a chance,rich.
 

Rich Parsons

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On a phone so can't say much. But when I get a chance, il l try to find some links to the extremely happy lessees kg evs... Mini ev, the rav4 ev, ev1,...there are many. I lookforward to reading your post more carefully when I get a chance,rich.

Steve, Yes there are lots of people happy with their small cars and EV's and Hybrids. But the numbers are not the same numbers as those for conventional vehicles. So a lot is relative.
 

punisher73

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I thought you meant the hidden costs of your newly soaring electric bill. I have heard (have not researched it myself, haven't really cared to be honest) that you end paying almost as much or more in electricity than the average type car does in gas prices.
 

Rich Parsons

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I thought you meant the hidden costs of your newly soaring electric bill. I have heard (have not researched it myself, haven't really cared to be honest) that you end paying almost as much or more in electricity than the average type car does in gas prices.

The data I saw is that a full charge each night would cost less then $1.72 assuming you were not charging during a Afternoon Rolling Blackout where they can charge you more.

*** Edit - additional information ***
So if gas is $3.72 a gallon and $1.72 is less than half the cost of a gallon, (* 46.24% for those checking the math *) and if you have a car that gets 40 miles per gallon you could see that the first 40 miles on the Volt which is all electric is cheaper. Also with the efficiency of the electric motors and the IC engine used for charging, you miles per gallon for your gas is much higher than the 40 highway. And the numbers for the Volt are good for both highway and city.

Yes there is a cost to get into the product. You have to decide if that is worth it to you, for cost or for staying up with the latest technology or for just doing what you can to help get more out of less.
 
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Steve, Yes there are lots of people happy with their small cars and EV's and Hybrids. But the numbers are not the same numbers as those for conventional vehicles. So a lot is relative.
Rich, I have never owned a hybrid, but so far, the demand for 100% EV is really hypothetical, because the supply has never been sufficient. What I mean is, every EV that has been produced has been quickly snatched up by a consumer, and they've been reluctantly given back only upon demand by the manufacturer.

It's a niche, for sure. But it's a growing niche, and will continue to grow in proportion to gas prices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_RAV4_EV Toyota leased the RAV 4 EV for several years to businesses, and is (to my knowledge) the only major auto company made them available to purchase.
By November 2002, the 328 RAV4-EV’s Toyota had committed to were sold, yet demand was continuing to build. Toyota was caught off-guard by the extent of the demand because the vehicle's retail buyers had outsold the projections far faster than the vehicles could be supplied to market - despite very little advertising, and very little public awareness of the product.
There was certainly a market for these vehicles, because many GM EV1, Ford Ranger EV and Honda EV Plus drivers had been reluctantly forced to surrender their cars – in some cases to the crusher – and had become disillusioned with the carmakers. Potential buyers were encouraged by the perception that Toyota was finally playing fair.

There are very few orphaned LEAFs at dealers. The sales figures are a matter of lack of supply than lack of demand. Is it going to outsell a gas powered car? Probably not any time soon. That doesn't, however, mean there's no demand.

Regarding my original comment, it's that the Volt is priced too high for what it does. What I mean is, for value, you could get a prius that gets better gas mileage for several thousand dollars less. If the Volt were priced a little lower, had a longer range on the EV, and room for a third person in the back, it would be a much more practical car and would compete better as a hybrid, which is the market it's in. It's not an EV, and it's not going to compete with cars like the Focus EV, the Tesla Model S, the LEAF or other EVs in the works. My opinion is that it's trying to be a 'crossover,' but in trying to appeal to a broader market, it misses them all.


punisher73 said:
I thought you meant the hidden costs of your newly soaring electric bill. I have heard (have not researched it myself, haven't really cared to be honest) that you end paying almost as much or more in electricity than the average type car does in gas prices.
For what it's worth, "soaring" isn't the word I'd use. I've got 1000 miles on the EV so far, and it's cost me about $30 in electricity. That's my actual cost at $.11/kWh. I don't know how much 1000 miles in a car would cost you, but in my last car, that's about $160.

Below are my July stats so far from the readout. The gasoline estimates are based on some hypothetical mileage, but the kWh statistic and the dollar amount are accurate.

blink072411.gif
 
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no cars allowed more than 5 years old. pretty sure thats an illegal law.

upping import tariffs 100%? go for it, i like to see the japanese crap thier pants
 

Rich Parsons

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no cars allowed more than 5 years old. pretty sure thats an illegal law.

upping import tariffs 100%? go for it, i like to see the japanese crap thier pants


The first is legal in Japan because they made it legal. Hence my comments about if veicle manufacturers had the same deal the internationals had the game would be different.
 

Rich Parsons

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Rich, I have never owned a hybrid, but so far, the demand for 100% EV is really hypothetical, because the supply has never been sufficient. What I mean is, every EV that has been produced has been quickly snatched up by a consumer, and they've been reluctantly given back only upon demand by the manufacturer.

It's a niche, for sure. But it's a growing niche, and will continue to grow in proportion to gas prices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_RAV4_EV Toyota leased the RAV 4 EV for several years to businesses, and is (to my knowledge) the only major auto company made them available to purchase.

There are very few orphaned LEAFs at dealers. The sales figures are a matter of lack of supply than lack of demand. Is it going to outsell a gas powered car? Probably not any time soon. That doesn't, however, mean there's no demand.

Regarding my original comment, it's that the Volt is priced too high for what it does. What I mean is, for value, you could get a prius that gets better gas mileage for several thousand dollars less. If the Volt were priced a little lower, had a longer range on the EV, and room for a third person in the back, it would be a much more practical car and would compete better as a hybrid, which is the market it's in. It's not an EV, and it's not going to compete with cars like the Focus EV, the Tesla Model S, the LEAF or other EVs in the works. My opinion is that it's trying to be a 'crossover,' but in trying to appeal to a broader market, it misses them all.


For what it's worth, "soaring" isn't the word I'd use. I've got 1000 miles on the EV so far, and it's cost me about $30 in electricity. That's my actual cost at $.11/kWh. I don't know how much 1000 miles in a car would cost you, but in my last car, that's about $160.

Below are my July stats so far from the readout. The gasoline estimates are based on some hypothetical mileage, but the kWh statistic and the dollar amount are accurate.

blink072411.gif


Steve,

The issue with EV's is this. The RAV4 was a small run and made them availabel for purchase at end of lease with conditions I believe for disposal of the Lead Batteries.

The EV1 which was the only one at the time as the other companies all made electric golfd carts to meet the law in California that of 2 % of all sales had to Zero Emission at Tail Pipe. Yes Tail Pipe as we can argue the Coal being used can produce more emissions but not in the cities such as LA which are cleaning now and easier to breath.

For the EV1 GM leased 800 units. 800 Units over three years. They had more built but people did not line up to get them.

In Europe and Asia where EV's make sense for shorter commutes they still use deisel (Europe) and smaller engines (China - by law) for their vehicles. They are looking into the designs now, but they do not have them. They see a possible future but not right today, but hopefully in the near future. China and India have made claims of having new designs but they have not had a sucessful demo until this year. (* Here is the secret the Demo used the program I am working on just dropped it into one of their vehicles. *) EV's are the future and each region will have their own but right now there is limited demand.

1) It is the right thing to invest in for the future.
2) It is the right thing for long re-use and sustainability.
3) It is the right thing to do as the technology is better today.

As I said before, those who love them love them and cannot understand why everyone does not have one or want one.
 
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