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Author Topic: Is the Volt dead? Back to Topics
Shockjock1961
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Message Posted: Jul 6, 2013 3:49:40 PM

As the Volt sales number drops below both the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf while continuing to loose even money for GM, is it proving itself to be a dead end product?
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Tucsonhomes
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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2015 4:19:12 PM

As far as I'm concerned
E-Squirrel
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2015 3:06:41 PM

Here in Orange County, CA., the most numerous by far are Prius`. Of course, they have been offered for sale for quite a few years now, although I almost never see one more than a couple of years old.

Next are Teslas. There are quite a few of these around, despite the very high price. Orange County is often regarded as a "wealthy" area, but from the number of beggars on street corners here, it can't be that wealthy.

I see a few Volts, more recently, but the Prius is at least as numerous around here as Toyota Corollas, Honda Civics and Toyota Camrys. Being on the coast, foreign makes are generally more popular here than domestic brands.

I see more Cruze`s than Volts, but they are still a slow seller here compared to foreign makes such as Totyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Hyundai, Mazda and Kia. The most popular domestic vehicles around here are pickup trucks.
reb4
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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2015 7:48:44 PM

still haven't seen a volt this year... this week only say a tesla... and it was on Michigan avenue... I was somewhat surprised... was quite dirty...

Charlie_H
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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 11:44:05 PM

E-Squirrel: "After that is achieved, the next technical hurdle will probably be the electric utility infrastructure needed to charge a significant number of vehicles."

As of right now, we could charge quite a few EVs at night without significant build-out. There's not as much capacity available during the day but the grid, in most locales, is only seriously stressed from about 3-8pm in the Summer. We could get quite a lot of EV miles out of BEVs and PHEVs just as things are.

I think Chu is a little over-optimistic. I don't think we're seeing battery prices falling that fast. And cost isn't the only problem; 16KWH of battery takes up a great deal of space and weighs a bit. It restricts the capacity and utility of the car. Using better manufacturing techniques and more scale, they can push down the cost of Li-ion cells but that doesn't shrink or lighten them.
E-Squirrel
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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 8:26:42 PM

Charlie_H shares:

"I don't know about that. I read an interview with Geithner; he said that the government was dubious, the thing wouldn't make any money and their focus was on getting GM back in financial shape so they could unload it. But it was GM's management that insisted to Treasury that the car was strategically important and needed to be done."

It makes some sense that Timothy Geithner would say something like that, but he was Secretary of the Treasury, rather than the DOE. DOE secretary Steven Chu was much more taken with the idea of battery-electric cars. For example, see:

...$25,000, 140-mile electric car...

Like many other battery-EV enthusiasts, Chu expected/expects that battery costs would/will drop enough to make them more practical in ordinary use

After that is achieved, the next technical hurdle will probably be the electric utility infrastructure needed to charge a significant number of vehicles.
E-Squirrel
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 7:58:04 PM

Charlie_H muses again:

"And he would have laughed at the Volt, with it's primitive cast-iron engine, lead balloon engineering, also-ran aerodynamics and crappy RE fuel economy and then scoffed at the idea that it was worth $7500 in tax credits."

Always in interesting "turn" on this thread. I have always liked Twain; he is one of America`s best literary figures. I suppose that could history be turned on its head, Twain might have mentioned the Volt, or GM in one of his novels. I would guess that "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur`s Court" might have been his choice. I would also point out that Twain was a demon investor who lost several fortunes investing in things that didn't pan out including projects by the famed Nikola Tesla.

But then speculating like this is such fun, isn`t it?
Charlie_H
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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 4:00:32 PM

SoylentGrain: "blah-blah-blah... So, the car manufacturers have been developing cars that use less gasoline... blah-blah-blah..."

Charlie_H: This doesn't seem to have goaded Mazda, Honda, Ford or Toyota into building cars on which "We'll lose money for years" or "There's only one problem, we lose money on every one."

On further thought... GM had already discovered it didn't have a clue how to build an economical, saleable hybrid car. The Prius was selling like gangbusters and the Ford Escape was doing respectably well but the BAS and Two-Mode systems were on the market about 12-18 months into the Volt project and it was pretty obvious they were going to be dismal failures. The EV-1 had shown just how much money GM could lose on an EV of modest range, if they really put their minds to it (in quantity, it was expected this two-seater would cost $80K each to build), so maybe GM really didn't have any other options and, even though a car company with a clue would never build a car like the Volt, perhaps this combination of loss, laughter and overwhelming under-achievement really was GM's best shot and we should praise the dull child for the attempt.


[Edited by: Charlie_H at 2/8/2015 4:00:57 PM EST]
Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 3:07:05 PM

SoylentGrain: "blah-blah-blah... So, the car manufacturers have been developing cars that use less gasoline... blah-blah-blah..."

This doesn't seem to have goaded Mazda, Honda, Ford or Toyota into building cars on which "We'll lose money for years" or "There's only one problem, we lose money on every one."
Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 3:04:21 PM

gvan: "Implying the tax credit is only for the Volt when it applies to many other vehicles."

I didn't imply that. However, it's the only vehicle which has declining sales in spite of the tax credit, in spite of sufficient inventory to maintain robust sales. And it has also abandoned foreign markets. It's almost certainly the financially worst performing pluggable on the market.
gvan
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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 12:31:52 PM

"The US Government didn't pay to keep Twain on life support for 4 years."

There you go again......Ronald Reagan.

Implying the tax credit is only for the Volt when it applies to many other vehicles.
reb4
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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 12:11:34 PM

"I didn't speculate. My comments were a statement of fact about the current US tax code. It didn't exist during Mark Twains life. And again, if he were alive today, he would comply with US tax code or go to jail. "LOL, yet Mark Twain had some poignant quotes about Taxes...

I shall never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes. ~Mark Twain


What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1902


ray44512
Veteran Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 11:37:40 AM

I am starting to see lots of Volts on the road. Regardless of what is under the hood, people are starting to buy. I would have a little more faith in the Leaf personally.
SoylentGrain
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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 11:02:51 AM

"The tax credit deal was, in fact, locked in before the Bush administration left office. Would they have pressed on without it? I have my doubts."

The answer is yes. The EPA has mandated fuel standards for almost half a century now. The reason you now drive in small, lightweight cars that use less or no gasoline is because the EPA places a tax on companies that don't meet certain mileage requirements. That has nothing to do with end user tax credits.

So, the car manufacturers have been developing cars that use less gasoline to avoid paying tax and some end users buy cars to avoid paying tax. All to the citizens into small cars.
Charlie_H
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Message Posted: Feb 8, 2015 12:31:12 AM

And the US government still didn't pay to keep him on life support for 4 years, the way it has the Volt.

The tax credit deal was, in fact, locked in before the Bush administration left office. Would they have pressed on without it? I have my doubts.

In the Leaf's worst showing in recent memory, it still outsold the Volt 2:1 here and is selling around the rest of the globe, too. The Volt came running home from Europe with its tail between its legs.
SoylentGrain
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 7:19:28 PM

"Charlie's speculation is as valid as your soylentGrain... "

I didn't speculate. My comments were a statement of fact about the current US tax code. It didn't exist during Mark Twains life. And again, if he were alive today, he would comply with US tax code or go to jail.

I made no claims of what kind of car he would drive or what he would say if alive today.
Charlie_H
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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 3:26:09 PM

It's a pity Twain is no longer with us. I would have liked to see the man who wrote Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offense" take on the Volt.

He didn't seem to be a fan of things that were half-baked.
reb4
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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 2:41:26 PM

"That the entire segment was down 'significantly' - and usually is in January. But go ahead, keep that bubble of protection up around your own version of reality..."

Thanks for your less than insightful comments WeasleSpit...
reb4
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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 2:38:59 PM

Charlie's speculation is as valid as your soylentGrain...
SoylentGrain
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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 1:36:53 PM

Now he knows Mark Twain.
Charlie_H
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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 12:59:22 PM

SoylentGrain: "Mark Twain ... yadda yadda yadda ..."

And he would have laughed at the Volt, with it's primitive cast-iron engine, lead balloon engineering, also-ran aerodynamics and crappy RE fuel economy and then scoffed at the idea that it was worth $7500 in tax credits.

SoylentGrain
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 11:24:49 AM

"The US Government didn't pay to keep Twain on life support for 4 years. "

Mark Twain never owned a car and the 16th amendment did not exist when he was alive. If Mark Twain were alive today, he would pay taxes; he would take allowable deductions; and he would apply tax credits where dictated by law.
Charlie_H
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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 11:07:26 AM

gvan Can't help but think of the Mark Twain quote: "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

The US Government didn't pay to keep Twain on life support for 4 years.
Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 11:06:06 AM

E-Squirrel: "As part of the government "assistance" to GM in its bankruptcy, the DOE underscored its opinion of the merits of EVs. Enter the EV-2, whih was named the Volt and developed from that prototype."

I don't know about that. I read an interview with Geithner; he said that the government was dubious, the thing wouldn't make any money and their focus was on getting GM back in financial shape so they could unload it. But it was GM's management that insisted to Treasury that the car was strategically important and needed to be done. So, the government allowed it. After that, the Administration had no choice but to say nice things about it.

I'll see if I can dig up a link.

gvan
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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 10:21:32 AM

Can't help but think of the Mark Twain quote:

"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
Shockjock1961
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Message Posted: Feb 7, 2015 9:35:41 AM

" The whole plug-in hybrid idea is flawed, compromising the strengths of the hybrid design with extra cost and weight, all for a largely irrelevant capability."

Exactly...
E-Squirrel
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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2015 9:47:41 PM

Charlie_H muses:

"he got focused on something Toyota didn't have (EV range)"

I have always suspected that GM's history with EV was primarily responsible. Someone at GM has an infatuation with battery EVs, witness the EV-1. Despite GM's enthusiasm and promotion of this model, it was distinctly, a failure in the market place. Opinions of both owners and non-takers was that the range limitation was a "deal killer". Before completely abandoning the EV-1, they built several prototypes, including at least one with a small (I believe 2 cylinder, like the BMW i3) ICE running a generator. Although they never put this prototype into production, when the whole project was shelved, this was considered the "best" idea.

As part of the government "assistance" to GM in its bankruptcy, the DOE underscored its opinion of the merits of EVs. Enter the EV-2, which was named the Volt and developed from that prototype.

While GM insists on calling it an "Electric Car", we all know that technically, its a plug-in hybrid, not really comparable to the Tesla, nor the Leaf; or any of the other unpopular battery-EVs. I am sure that that insistence upon nomenclature results in the misplaced pride in the "electric range". Given that the Volt has the ICE and is really a hybrid, the electric range is truly irrelevant, unlike true battery-EVs. The whole plug-in hybrid idea is flawed, compromising the strengths of the hybrid design with extra cost and weight, all for a largely irrelevant capability.
Weaslespit
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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2015 9:37:09 AM

"Apparently I failed to make that clear enough."

It was clear to all, save one...
Weaslespit
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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2015 9:29:54 AM

"Yea, the trend is the leaf seems to sell more vehicles than any of the other plug-ins regardless of selling 3L or only 1K.

What's your observation WeasleSpit?"

That the entire segment was down 'significantly' - and usually is in January. But go ahead, keep that bubble of protection up around your own version of reality...
Charlie_H
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 7:44:30 PM

rjhenn,

GM has always been a big believer in halo cars. El Lutzbo was convinced that the Prius gave Toyota some sort of green aura and he wanted a piece of that action.

He failed to notice that the Prius sold well because it was solid, practical, efficient transportation and not priced through the roof.

So, he got focused on something Toyota didn't have (EV range) and failed to deliver a car that actually matched the Prius' values.

Thus, they ended up with a car that hardly sells in spite of a 20% discount courtesy of the taxpayer. Some halo.

I think they keep pushing it for hat green halo. Maybe they think they're making Toyota look bad by offering a car with more EV range, even if it doesn't sell.

Frankly, I think they look stooopid to be doing it.

At least Volt 2 looks like an improvement. We shall see.

rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 7:18:45 PM

reb4 - "hope that helps you understand Charlies... Point..."

The whole point of adding "(as in score)" was to attempt to make clear that my answer to Charlie's question was the idea that "the point of volume when 'We lose money on every one'" was to score points. Apparently I failed to make that clear enough.

Who they might be scoring those points with is another question.
Shockjock1961
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 2:45:26 PM

"Expect that he seemed to indicate that he has seen more Tesla's and Leafs - and you should know that Tesla's haven't sold nearly as many as the Volt has... Total Leaf volume at this point is pretty even."

That would explain why I haven't seen many of those either. Like I said, you can't see what's not there...
reb4
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 2:01:59 PM

If anyone would like to put up their hard earned money, I would be happy to take a lie detector test.

I actually used to see a Volt in parking lot on my commute in the morning to downtown. Have not seen it for several months. And Not speculating if the person moved / no longer work there."They really move product. Almost every salesman knows, if not owns, the volt and move enough volts that the terms of sale can be good."SoylentGrain, they obviously did not move much product last month... As the numbers show... 542 for the nation... down from 1,490.

of course a big advantage to get that new car in December for the tax writeoff . That would be when I would make the move ...Most of the Plug-ins are downtown...

"Then you don't live in Chicago. Or are one of those people who only see what they are looking for..."Well, I live in suburb near O'Hare. So technically I don't live in Chicago. But then neither does GVan or Solyient Grain... I work a block from Michigan Avenue and Dearborn St. and commute via train. Though why that would be relevant is hard to understand.

Will admit Tesla is more noticeable of either the Leaf or Volt, and likely more relative to the clients that drive a vehicle that costs that much.


A"fter selling over 3K in December - you might also want to note that the 1,070 sold was the Leaf's lowest total monthly in nearly two years. See a trend?"Yea, the trend is the leaf seems to sell more vehicles than any of the other plug-ins regardless of selling 3L or only 1K.

What's your observation WeasleSpit?
Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 1:20:13 PM

"After all, you can't spot what isn't there..."

Expect that he seemed to indicate that he has seen more Tesla's and Leafs - and you should know that Tesla's haven't sold nearly as many as the Volt has... Total Leaf volume at this point is pretty even.

Keep spinnin' fallacies.

"None of that means anything; the sample for what one personally observes is not useful and subject to confirmation bias."

Bingo. I finally agree with you on something...
Charlie_H
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 12:33:07 PM

gvan: "That's mighty odd since I live in the western suburbs of Chicago and see several Volts every week. However, the Leaf is almost non-existent. I see more Tesla's than Leafs."

Much will depend on your commute and the places you regularly visit. Illinois also had more generous incentives than some other states, at least for a time.

There was a Volt which I used to see with some regularity but I shifted my hours a bit and haven't seen it for months. I now fairly regularly notice a Leaf. There's also a Tesla that I spot from time to time, the owner works nearby.

None of that means anything; the sample for what one personally observes is not useful and subject to confirmation bias.
luvmyburgi
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 10:59:08 AM

No
Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 10:50:49 AM

"Is your assertion really that because the Volt came in at 4th on the pluggable sales list for one month that they are now 'harder' to spot on the roads?"

I think the fact that the Volts sales have been and continue to be miniscule AND declining is the reason they are hard to spot.

After all, you can't spot what isn't there...
SoylentGrain
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 9:56:37 AM

"That's mighty odd since I live in the western suburbs of Chicago and see several Volts every week."

We leased our Volt from one of those western suburb dealers. They really move product. Almost every salesman knows, if not owns, the volt and move enough volts that the terms of sale can be good.

gvan
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 9:47:55 AM

"Haven't seen a volt for over 2 months on the road... Actually seeing more Tessla's and Leaf's..."

That's mighty odd since I live in the western suburbs of Chicago and see several Volts every week. However, the Leaf is almost non-existent. I see more Tesla's than Leafs.
the1roadhog
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 9:37:12 AM

Seems alive and well.
Weaslespit
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 9:12:12 AM

"WeasleSpit... What is your POINT??"

I thought I spelled it out rather plainly;

"Looks like somebody didn't understand the 'point' of rj's post..."

SMH

"Haven't seen a volt for over 2 months on the road..."

Then you don't live in Chicago. Or are one of those people who only see what they are looking for...

"Actually seeing more Tessla's and Leaf's...

Since Volt has sold only 542."

Is your assertion really that because the Volt came in at 4th on the pluggable sales list for one month that they are now 'harder' to spot on the roads? Really, now...

"leaf had 1,070 reported."

After selling over 3K in December - you might also want to note that the 1,070 sold was the Leaf's lowest total monthly in nearly two years. See a trend?
rrtruck
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 9:09:55 AM

As the price of gasoline declines, so will the sales of EVs. The Volt was still the 4th best selling EV in Jan. and they were all way down. The Volt has never been a money maker for GM but they keep trying. Dead? Maybe not. Alive? Not so much either.
reb4
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 8:50:20 AM

WeasleSpit... What is your POINT?? or do you have something you wish to share on the Volt being Dead????




Haven't seen a volt for over 2 months on the road...

Actually seeing more Tessla's and Leaf's...


Since Volt has sold only 542.


Tesla has estimated sales of 1,300
leaf had 1,070 reported.

Sales goal for 2014 as outlined of OBAMA's state of the union speech missed...


[Edited by: reb4 at 2/5/2015 8:53:25 AM EST]
Weaslespit
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Message Posted: Feb 5, 2015 8:25:22 AM

"Try this definition... RJHenn... hope that helps you understand Charlies... Point..."

Looks like somebody didn't understand the 'point' of rj's post...
reb4
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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2015 7:11:21 PM

Try this definition... RJHenn... hope that helps you understand Charlies... Point...
rjhenn
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2015 6:49:24 PM

Charlie_H - "What's the point of volume when 'We lose money on every one?'"

Points (as in score)? Bragging rights?
Charlie_H
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2015 5:56:41 PM

More Givebacks...

If they can't sell them without massive chunks of cash, why did they bother to build more? The 2016s are due to arrive in September, anyway. If they simply let the existing inventory slide off into the sunset, that would have been about 600 units/month, which they could achieve without significant incentives.

What's the point of volume when "We lose money on every one?"
noblegiant
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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2015 5:48:38 PM

Think So
Weaslespit
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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2015 3:36:38 PM

"Thanks to weaslespit"

You're welcome.
Shockjock1961
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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2015 3:28:46 PM

My apologies for my earlier mistake. The meds I'm on make it difficult to remember what day it is, let alone what month we are in.. ;)

One of the reasons I haven't been posting much lately....

Thanks to weaslespit for ponting out that sales for the Volt were even more miniscule and declining even faster then what I had indicated...



[Edited by: Shockjock1961 at 2/4/2015 3:31:01 PM EST]
Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2015 3:22:36 PM

" If you really wanted to keep hating on the Volt out of context, you would simply post January's data - 542..."

Further proof that the Volt is on heavy life support if not dead...
gvan
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Message Posted: Feb 4, 2015 10:22:14 AM

"GM killed the electric car in the first place."

Who killed the electric car?

There was another flurry of EV development during the energy crisis of the 1970s, and again in the early '90s because of a series of regulatory guidelines governing emissions. But by the late '90s, California had defanged the electric-vehicle portion of its zero-emissions mandate and soon after, GM (GM, Fortune 500), Toyota (TM), Honda (HMC), and Ford (F, Fortune 500) all shut down their EV programs.
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