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Electric cars off to a big start in the wrong direction. IMHO

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Seasoned Oak, Nov 6, 2010.

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  1. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    The ford escape hybrid is the closest vehicle that meets my needs so when they come out with the plug-in version in 2012 ill take a look at it,after that i may look into a conversion of a silverado or hummer from razer ind.

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  2. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    In some ways I like the leaf, with it's all electric 100 mile range, but I think I am going to go for the volt, eventualy they will likely upgrade the batteries for a longer range, and if you do need to run off to the city on short notice, you have the versitility. Additionaly the volt ICE should easily run on pure alcohol or compressed natural gas with minor mods.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Haven't driven the Volt yet, but so far I like it a bit better, except for the 4 passenger configuration. Rumor is that they are working on making a less expensive version.
  4. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    The volt has some serious flaws for a car to be considered a "luxury" version and I know given the consumer reports review I wouldn't buy one. You'd be better off with a Prius and a plug-in conversion.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I've found CR to sometimes miss the point with car tests. And sometimes, like their Chrysler Corp minivan recommendations back in the late 80s were dead wrong wrt reliability and quality, so I take their reviews with a grain of salt, same as with most reviews. There was just too much opinion in their review for it to be the only criteria. For example, the winter testing battery mileage is about what I would expect in the worst case scenario they tested in. Missing was testing in warmer climate conditions.

    I'll wait for a year and see how it does. So far the chat in Volt user forums is pretty positive, but let's wait for some mileage to accrue. CR may be right, or they may change their mind in longer term driving tests. We'll see.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Leaf drivers are already getting stuck along the road when their state of charge runs out prematurely. Pretty much need a tow when that happens.
  7. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    The late 80's were when Chrysler started making minivans and CR only had to go on previous reliability and based their recommendations on that. They also recommended the 1999 to 2004 Honda vans that had some serious transmission issues, but that doesn't make their recommendations wrong given the information they had.

    Granted the volt just came out and long term reliability is not known, but given there are some very glaring problems with the volt for the price and they're claiming it's a luxury car just doesn't cut it. Like I said you'd be better off buying a new Prius and getting a battery conversion.

    Couple that with many of Chevy's past reliability problems, I'm very skeptical of the volt.

    Where's the 56 and 65 MPG cars they have in europe? Why hasn't the government concentrated on allowing those over here instead of spending billions propping up GM and the volt?
  8. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    The prius wasnt so great the first year out and your still burning gas ALL THE TIME. The volt is pretty unique in the car world right now as theres nothing out there to compare. Most of the new owners are thrilled with it and some have racked up quite a few gas free miles already.
  9. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Yes but at what cost? Even at $5.00 a gallon you could drive a Corrola or other compact more than 180,000 miles for the cost differential of a volt. I don't know about you but that's about 18 years of driving for me.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I don't disagree that the Volt's price is too steep. Though an equivalently equipped $30K Prius with a $10K dealer installed HyMotion battery pack added comes out at almost the price of a Volt. The difference is not that great. However, driving tests seem to show the Volt handling better, so again, I'll wait a year and see. I want to rent a Volt and try it out. The Prius dropped in price and I think the Volt will too. There are other things that may make a large difference that you have to drive the car to tell how well they did with the Volt. Things like seating comfort, ergonomics, etc. don't always show up in engineering specs. The Prius is a good car, but it's not perfect in several areas. My wife is still uncomfortable highway driving in the Prius due to restricted rear visibility.
  11. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps they are like me and would not drive a prius or corrola if it were free. Gas could be $10 a gallon and i would not consider stuffing my family in a phone booth on wheels to save a few dollars on gas. Im not interested in either one of these cars. Electric hummer or silverado perhaps.Even then i could probably save more money just paying for the extra gas. Every decision is not made as a cost benefit analysis.If it were Yugo would be the worlds best selling car cuz its the cheapest.
  12. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    I've had serious problems with all of my GM vehicles. The final straw was the 1999 Corvette. It was a blast to drive, but had significant flaws that GM was aware of and failed to correct through the run of the C-5 generation.

    If the taxpayer bailout isn't offensive enough, GM's pathetic appeals to patriotism and the utter dishonesty of their advertising should be. Thier entries in the major car mags have the appearance of being gushy 5-page acticles written by the magazine, when they are actually bought-and-paid-for advertisements written by GM marketing.

    As has been pointed out above, the Volt numbers simply don't work for a common car. They appeal only to someone willing to overpay to ease their Green conscience -- and who fails to understand that the Volt burns coal......or splits plutonium.

    General Electric is planning to buy a fleet of Chevy Volts -- many more than the public will buy. It will become another sub-standard GM product good only for fleet use, like their rental dross; Cavalier, Cobalt, Malibu, etc.

    GM has placed enormous credibility on the commercial success of this questionable, overpriced concept, when they could have simply made a competitive hybrid. It may sink them yet.
  13. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Sam, not all electricity is generated by coal or plutonium. Many of us are interested because we can generate electricity ourselves...have you tried making your own gasoline? Not exactly something readily scaled down to the backyard. As for G.M. quality, sorry about your negative experience. My first new G.M. truck lasted 350,000 miles. I presently drive a 1988 GM truck, with many original parts. My experience has been the polar oposite of yours.
  14. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    Dune, I've never owned a GM truck, but I follow the industry enough to know that they are durable and well regarded.

    But GM depended on truck sales through the last few decades, while import competition cleaned their clock in the heart of the market; small and midsize cars. While GM floundered in this market, import competition built reputations for quality, economy and value (though not without a few hiccups; Toyota sludge, etc). Hyundai came from nowhere and in 10 years is beating GM at their 100 year old game.

    GM still makes idiotic appeals to patriotism that only work with my father's generation, expecting people to settle for sub-standard family cars in order to support unproductive but American UAW workers, when many of these products are made outside the US anyway. Then there is the taxpayer bailout. We all own a Chevy Aveo (among the lowest regarded small cars) whether we want one or not.

    The Volt may be a pretty well built car, but it comes with the long history and well deserved public scorn that GM has built for itself. In my reading (auto, politics and green) public opinion runs 50 to 1 against the Volt.

    But I'm all in favor of residential electricity generation. This is definitely coming and I fully support your goal to home charge your electric car or truck. I just don't want to pay for it.
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Its a wonder any domestic car company can survive at all with our own Govt working against them. Case in point the $7500 taxpayer funded,china borrowed, rebate going directly to the competition. Yes the US Govt is paying its citizens to buy a 100% imported car(nissan leaf) From a govt (japan) that has all but outright banned foreign cars from its streets. (by doubling the price)
    It would be a cold day in hell when other countries would give their taxpayers money to buy a 100% american made car.
    When we all start collecting our Social Security it will be coming from US Govt collected payroll taxes, not from nissan of japan.
  16. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    If the Volt were made in japan and imported CR wold be fawning all over it,as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Im not aware of any "serious flaws". The volt is not being marketed to consumers looking to buy the cheapest car available or to the die hard import cheerleaders. Considering the waiting list and dealers marking up well over list price,(in one case $20000) why should they sell it a penny cheaper. They could have asked for thousands more for the first year run and sold every one.
  17. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Sam, in your research, read about the CAFE standards enacted by the Clintons, which Bush II canceled. This is one of the main reasons, combined with the BS write off for SUVs as work trucks.

    American companies built to the market at the time, when oil peaked, they were caught with there pants around their knees. You have to look at why though.
  18. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    American car companies have their share of faults, but its in our own best interest to fix them than it is to run out an buy a toyota.
    I dont blame americans for buying foreign cars though, they dont set trade policy the govt does, Same as i dont blame the japanese and the koreans for NOT buying foreign cars as their Govt makes them double in price to discourage foreign car purchases. Our Govt does not do things based on our best interest,if they did we would have an energy policy for the last 30 years which we do not.
  19. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    You might be somewhat right about CR. They have demonstrated a detectable bias over the years. They complained loudly about the central mounted speedometer in the Saturn Ion and then shrugged it off in the Toyota Yaris -- in the same issue, no less. But perhaps it's just years of conditioning by quality imports and junk domestic.

    This is precisely what is driving anti Volt sentiment. Like it or not, GM is the "peoples" car company now -- we all own it -- and the Volt is the standard bearer for our new Obaman utopia. Meanwhile, utterly public-relations tone deaf GM is allowing the Volt to be percieved not as an answer for average Americans, but as a dealer gouging tool and play-thing for the guilty well-off.

    What kind of "income redistribution" is this $7500 tax credit? We are taking from the middle-class so some liberal can be seen driving his oh-so-correct Volt past the gates of his energy-guzzling big house.
  20. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    No disagreement -- the government was a co-dependant for the Detroit Three, and the SUV write-off was a gift to the UAW (although it was limited to to a few 6000+ lb vehicles and they did have to keep a work mileage log.)

    But the Asian imports weren't lulled or deterred. Using what we used to call American perserverance and ingenuity, they continued to engineer products that advanced the state of the art: in quality, durability and environmental responsibility. They won fiercely loyal customers, who to this day disregard the moderate improvements from Detroit.
  21. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Or his 100% imported nissan leaf. The govt is paying the $7500 on the LEAF as well as the volt,That is sheer madness subsidizing the competition.
    The japanese Govt pretty much paid for all the R&D on the prius hybrid system ,so GM is not the first car company helped out by their home Govt. From what iv read the US govt would have paid out more money if they would have let GM and chrysler fail so it was a case of saving millions of jobs while spending billions either way. What did we get for saving AIG,which cost 4 times the GM tab.
  22. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I may be a little bias toward GM because my family has driven and owned GM products for 45 years with excellent service.
    I personally have been driving GM for 35 years with hundreds of thousands of trouble free miles, my daily driver truck is a 1995 silverado just under 200,000 miles still runs and looks like a new truck. Iv had excellent service from GM cars as well but the last one was a 2002
    pontiac firebird,loved it but was just too small for a growing family.
    It would be quite a feat if GM was building only "junk" and somehow i keep getting great service from my cars and trucks for 35 years.
  23. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    In our own best interest collectively? Or in our own best interest as individual heads of households with budgets?

    Let's fix American car companies by forcing them to be honest. I was a made-in-America loyalist and my GM cars were continuous trouble.

    I had an Oldsmobile that simply had no wiring to turn the radiator fans on with the AC -- it just wasn't there -- they overlooked it on assembly. At a stop, the AC condenser would predicably overheat and blow out the freon line. There was no normal repair possible. The terminals and wiring were completely missing.

    The C-5 Corvette has no servicable clutch bleeder -- it can't be reached up on top of the housing. C-5 clutches go bad and owners don't know why. The C-5 differential leaks on the left side, due to a design fault and GM has never redesigned it. They know it leaks and they issue TSBs with temporary fixes.

    By comparison, my wife's Acura is pushing 4 years and 100,000 miles with zero problems. Best car I've ever owned.

    My son's 2 Mitsubishi sports cars have been excellent performers. No problems unrelated to wear or age. My own Mitsubishi Ralliart is trouble free.

    Even my VWs (yes, loving VWs is an illness) have been more reliable than GMs. When my wife said one sports car had to go, it was easy to dump the problematic Vette and keep the GTI. (The GTI is my hot but whiny girlfriend.)

    My responsibility is to my family first. I would not willingly lift a finger to aid GM or Chrysler. But I'm rooting for Ford.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Actually, the US govt. paid a very large sum to the big 3, Toyota and Honda in the late 90's to develop the hybrid. The big 3 took the money and eventually said, not practical. Toyota and Honda developed the technology. It's Toyota technology that is licensed by Ford.
  25. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Surely the country with the stealth fighter jets and all the aircraft carriers and the space shuttle is capable of excellence in automotive achievements,its not exactly rocket science. Im not ready to turn the 20% of the ecomomy that is directly and indirectly related to the auto industry over to honda and toyota just yet.
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