Tag Archives: Volt

Volt Needs High Gas Prices

Green News

Green News

The Chevy Volt and other electric, hybrid, or alternative fuel vehicles need high gas prices.  Without the threat looming of $4 per gallon gasoline it makes it difficult to stomach a $40,000 investment, in some cases.  Obviously the higher the fuel prices the shorter time it takes to break even and to have the electric car start actually saving you money.

Looking at it this way makes me look like I hate the environment, but that’s not the case.  I’m all for doing my part to keep the Earth green and blue, but not at the cost of being in debt up to my eye balls without any return.  There must be a breaking point, where investment shows return, even when talking about green technology.  So, I guess this idea only applies to those who aren’t independently wealthy green freaks.

No doubt if fuel prices remain relatively low it will devastate the huge investment companies like Chevrolet have made with the Volt.  Everyone was able to jump on board the research and development when gas prices were high, but what will happen financially to the company now that sales will be directly effected by the fuel prices?  Surely there will be more financial incentive to buy a new all electric car or at least lower the expected price all across the board.

I hope that we will see falling vehicle prices on all cars, trucks, suv’s, and not just the special niche green market.  The idea that a vehicle should cost 1/2 as much as most peoples homes is getting to be a little bit ridiculous.  Let’s start by slashing that all electric Chevy Volt price.

Volt To Cost $40,000?

There are lots of conflicting information about he upcoming Chevy Volt, that just doesn’t seem to add up.  Past news has presented the Volt in a light that makes the electric car look like GM’s savior.  But what can an expensive vehicle focused on a small niche market do for a failing monster like GM?

Furthermore GM has announced that the Volt will get 230 miles per gallon, which is true, if you don’t understand basic math.  This issue has been discussed at length with GM’s 100 mpg Hummer as well, electric cars and hybrids have limitations, which aren’t taken into consideration when figuring gas mileage.

All of this aside, from a strictly economic perspective, do you know how much gas I can buy for $40,000?  At a price of $3 per gallon I can purchase over 13,000 gallons.  Assuming I drive an average of 20,000 miles per year in a vehicle that gets an abysmal 16 mpg, I can purchase 10 YEARS worth of gasoline.  So, with a cost analyst of buying a Volt, the only people interested will be the rich hippies.

As far as I’m concerned, we still don’t have a viable option to the traditional internal combustion engine.  Count me out until the next big thing hits.

Chevy Volt Battery May Save GM

It’s been a little while since we’ve reported on the Chevy Volt and what it means to the domestic auto market.  Unfortunately, we haven’t heard a lot, because there have been some doubts about the battery.  Consider the impact on GM if this final push for innovation launches with a thud, plagued by it’s biggest technological advancement in decades, the Volt’s battery.

To meet expectations and guarantees, the Chevy Volt’s battery must be capable of at least 4,000 recharges and a 10 year life span.  Seems like a pretty tall order, considering that no technology exists amongst the li-ion type battery market.  Basically, it’s starting from scratch, and hoping that come 2010 we have a marketable product that everyone will want.  As of this posting it’s reported that the battery development has completed and we are only waiting on testing.

I just hope GM doesn’t blow it’s wad on a car that only delivers half of what was promised.  Already buyers remorse is setting in on the new car market, let’s not make it worse with an overhyped product.  Chevy hopes to release the Volt on November 2010.

P.S. European markets will be getting a much nicer and sportier Chevy Volt.

Opel Ampera Is A Volt

Believe it or not the Opel Ampera is a Chevy Volt for the European market.  Not just simply rebranded like the Australian version Holden Volt, the Opel simply looks like a car I would want to buy.  So why does the European version of the Volt look so much riskier than the American version?

Opel Ampera

Opel Ampera

Of course we are still probably 2 years away from it’s actual release and concept cars have been known for their extreme styling, but the idea is grand.  The lowered look, performance design, its possible out of an electric car…right?

Ford Is The Strongest Of The Big 3

Last week, once again, the big three automakers went to Washington to beg for money.  Actually, that’s not exactly true.  GM and Chrysler both went to Washington to beg for money, while Ford went to secure loan guarantees, which is a bit different.  You see Ford is a company that has realized in the last few years that they’re in trouble.  That is a stark difference from GM and Chrysler, which once the economy tanked, they realized that they were completely hosed.  Up until then, they thought everything was fine.

Ford has been in a restructuring cycle for the past two years.  They hired a new CEO from Boeing, who has a very simple goal.  Instead of overproducing to make the numbers look good, but being stuck with the financial mess later, he’s going to take Ford and make them a leaner, meaner, and more intelligent company.  He is going to do this by reducing their output to meet actual market demand.  It sounds almost too simple, but for various reasons, the old strategy in the automotive world is to overproduce to make your quarterly numbers look good.  Even if people aren’t actually buying your cars.  Then, tie up all the money in your financing operations and make it look like you’re making money.  When in fact, you’re really not.

It’s too bad that Ford is getting lumped in with the other two car companies as “one of the big three”. while they are one of the big three, they are two years into their restructuring.  And if it wasn’t for this recession, they would’ve hit profitability next year.  As it stands now, they are likely to make money in 2010.  That’s a big difference from General Motors and Chrysler threatening bankruptcy if they don’t get money yesterday.

The real sad thing is that even though Ford is the best, even if General Motors or Chrysler were to go out of business it would hurt Ford tremendously.  Ford relies on the same parts manufacturers that everyone else does.  If Chrysler or GM were to go under, that would take down the whole auto parts industry potentially as well.  The unintended consequences would be that Ford and other companies would have to find a way to rescue the auto parts companies.

It’s a pretty ugly time for American automakers, but one thing is clear: Ford has a plan.  You can’t say that about General Motors and Chrysler.  Sure, GM has their Chevy Volt that they’re preparing, but that won’t save Chevy.  At this point, I’m not sure if anything will.  They have too much junk on their books and need to be willing to cut.  Companies like Pontiac, Saturn, and maybe even Buick.  These are tough times, and if these automakers don’t act, they’ll go under and take all the jobs with them.