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Chevy Volt To Resume Production One Week Early Following Record Sales 443

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-to-work dept.
surewouldoutlaw writes "On the heels of the news that the Chevy Volt had a record month, selling 2,289 units in March, the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where the car is made will be resuming production of the car one week early, reducing a five-week shutdown to just four weeks, the United Auto Workers union said Tuesday. The shutdown had been put in place to re-align supply with demand. Volt workers have also begun to lash out at Republican presidential candidates' criticisms of the car: 'They're attacking our car to get at the President...But our car is going to change the way America does business. It's a breath of fresh air.'"
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Chevy Volt To Resume Production One Week Early Following Record Sales

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  • by GT66 (2574287) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:06PM (#39577411)
    If GM can get the price of these things down below $30K, they will put ALL gas models out to pasture. Imagine, you can do up to 40 miles of your short hop driving on all electric but still have the range of gasoline (unlike cars like the Nissan Leaf).
  • Re:sure it is (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:09PM (#39577441)

    How does it cost more, other than the fact you get a charging station installed? This reminds me of all the naysaying about Priuses and how quickly their battery banks were supposed to fail. They are not failing.

    The problem is that it isn't the Volt, it is that having an American car maker on the label makes it not good enough. Had the same car had a "H" logo on it, or perhaps a three pointed star, people would be buying this vehicle left and right. However because it is from a US automaker, it is perceived as crap.

  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:11PM (#39577481) Journal

    It's a breath of fresh air, until all the electric plants burning coal have to ramp up production of electricity to meet the demand of all these tailpipe diversion cars.

    One big smokestack is easier to regulate (and replace with something cleaner eventually) than a million tailpipes.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:13PM (#39577519)

    Still much more efficient than all of those cars burning gasoline. The central plant is more efficient, and has the benefit of being able to transition away to alternative generation means (nuclear/wind/tidal/solar/solar thermal/....(gap).... fusion) as they become more viable. This also cuts down on refuelling infrastructure - fewer gasoline tankers on the roads etc.

    Baby steps, for a culture that is firmly entrenched in gasoline and other fossil fuels.

    Alternatively, those Volts may be charged off the grid entirely (or with minimal grid load) - I have seen house installations where the car is charged up from solar PV installed on the house (running to battery banks to provide overnight charging capability).

  • Re:sure it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:15PM (#39577555) Homepage Journal
    it's perceived as a poor value because it takes longer than the life of a normal car to gain back the premium price you paid.

    Well, as long as gas prices stay static during that same period...which I sure as shit wouldn't put any money on.
  • Re:sure it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsclient (112577) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:19PM (#39577643) Homepage

    MSRP: $31,645
    Source: http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car/ [chevrolet.com]

  • Re:sure it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fwarren (579763) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:21PM (#39577661) Homepage

    Exactly.

    My sister called me a few weeks ago. She works 3 days a week as a nurse working 12 hour shifts at a facility about 60 miles from her house. She has a vehicle that gets about 20mpg and is in great shape. More than that, it is 100% paid for. She wanted to know my opinion on getting a new car.

    So even if she had a car that was able to get 40mpg, her gas consumption would go from 9 gallons a week down to 4 gallons at best. 5 gallons at $5 a gallon is $25 a week or $100 a month. A new car payment would be better than $250 a month.

    I told her as long as her current car was safe and dependable, don't go buy a new car to "save money".

    Since electric cars are still more than $20,000 more than conventional vehicles, plus you are asking tax payers, many who make less money than you to subsidize an additional $10,000 or more of your auto purchase. that does not seem like much of a bargain to me. Batteries have to be replaced every 5 years. You are not really doing this to save money.

    All of the extra nasty non-green things that goes into manufacturing your lightweight car, motors and batteries PLUS using electrical current generated by coal burning plants. All you have done is moved WHERE the environment is polluted at from your exhaust pipe, to someplace else. You are not really saving the environment either.

  • Bad press... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:22PM (#39577677)

    I have a hard time understanding why people continually crap on GM about the Volt. It's a very novel approach to the hybrid, offering significantly more electric-only range than other hybrids without the range anxiety of something like a Nissan Leaf. As for pricing; yes, it's expensive, but it's also fledgling technology. Electric-only automakers like Fisker and Tesla talk big but have little to show for all the boasting. The practical issues facing electric-only vehicles are still quite daunting.

    I also don't understand the conservative backlash against this car. Here we have an American corporation trying to respond to market demand and a changing world by actually innovating. They didn't just slap together a half-assed Prius knockoff. They actually went for something new, but still practical.

    The nonsense I hear repeated time and again is that the US government somehow forced this on GM. Automakers don't just pull cars out of their asses. Years of planning go into a car before the public even knows they're in development. The Volt concept was unveiled in 2007, well before they turned to the government for a bailout.

    Interestingly enough, in my part of the country I've already seen a number of Volts, less than 10 but still more than the lone Nissan Leaf I encountered recently. I find it interesting given that I live in a region I'd say easily favors foreign automakers. So I found it surprising to hear that the Volt wasn't doing well. Of course it doesn't help you've got people on both sides of the aisle dumping on this car.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:36PM (#39577913) Homepage Journal

    Since this car will burn exactly ZERO gas for 80% of vehical use, it gtes FAR better gas mileage then your car.

    SUre, if you tkae a trip to the full extent of 375 miles and average out the MPG for JUST THAT TRIP, it gets the same as your alleged 50MPG civic.

    But if you extend it to all the trips you will make, its a different number.

    If my wife had one of these, it would almost never burn gas because she generally doesn't go further the 12 miles during her dauily routine.

    The question is: How much gas will you burn in a year?
    Last year I drove about 5000 miles in 25 mile chucks(just over 12 miles each way to work). For those drives, I wouldn't have burned any gas.

    I drove 8000 total.
    So if I had a volt, I would have used gas for 3000 miles* Which would have been 85 gallons of gas at 35MPG**
    So I drove 8000 miles, and bought 85 gallons of gas.

    just under 100MPG by the end of the year.
    Obviously if you are driving 100 miles a day to work, your use would be different, but I am a pretty average driver as far as vehicle use.

    *actually less, because of a lot of other short trips besides work.
    ** Volt is 35/40 I really should use the 40 because all the extended driving would be highway.

  • by jpapon (1877296) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:36PM (#39577915) Journal
    I don't understand all these arguments against the Volt saying that standard gas cars are more economical.

    That may very well be true, but since when do we measure benefit to society by only looking at what's cheapest?

    Not educating our children would be cheaper too, should we close all schools to balance our budgets? Should we close all fire departments to save a few bucks in the short term?

    Why do intelligent people make the argument that trusting the market, and the "invisible hand" will always have the best outcome? It's as if people have replaced (or augmented) their trust in God with this idea of "the market is always right". Surely this is as far from a scientific argument as one could get?

  • Re:sure it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gavagai80 (1275204) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:43PM (#39578043) Homepage
    If you're paying sticker price for a car, you're getting ripped off regardless.
  • Re:sure it is (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scot4875 (542869) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:43PM (#39578049) Homepage

    Include sales tax

    Yes, because other vehicles are exempt from sales tax. /rolls eyes

    --Jeremy

  • Nihilism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by metrometro (1092237) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:50PM (#39578181)

    The ability of the GOP primary to generate bile is amazing. If you had told me a year ago that the GOP field would pile abuse on an American made car that is (fairly or not) a poster child for American innovation, and it turns out is also a success competing against imports, I would have told you that was crazy. But there it is. Not exactly the Party of Ideas.

  • by jrcamp (150032) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:52PM (#39578211)

    I wish Americans would stop using "gas" when they mean gasoline. Over here we have cars running on actual gas, as in, vapor hydrocarbon.

    I'm so sorry our language confuses you. Let me see if I can gather everybody up in the country and get them to change a fundamental word in their vocabulary just to make you happy.

  • Re:sure it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpryGuy (206254) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @06:05PM (#39578445)

    Look, first generations of new technology are never about "saving money". Do you really think people bought the first iPhone because they could "save money"? or the first laptops? Or the first computers?

    The people willing to pay the premium for a promising technology are the ones that help create the market that allows the price to eventually come down. To belittle those that live on the cutting edge, that are "first adopters", is really short-sighted and frankly stupid. Without them, we'd never get affordable tech for the rest of us.

    That said, your sister doesn't sound like a "first adopter" type person, nor does her situation sound like a good situation that can be helped by buying a first generation eletric car like the Volt.

    But for people who want to support these emerging technologies, put their money where their mouth is about being greener and more efficient, then it's a decent, even smart, purchase.

    (and for the record, the pollution created by a coal plant generating the energy required to charge an electric car is less than the pollution created by burning gas in a non-electric car. And batteries last longer than five years, and are getting better every year. And tax incentives for new technologies help them get off the ground, and are a smart investment for the future).

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @06:30PM (#39578813)
    Square hatch backs are not the style discussed for electric cars. Insight and Prius hatches are, and they are all "round" but with separation so the air doesn't stay attached. No sedan can beat that (and it holds more stuff, no downsides, other than people with irrational dislikes of hatches).
  • Re:sure it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfish (1653411) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @06:57PM (#39579111)

    plus you are asking tax payers, many who make less money than you to subsidize an additional $10,000 or more of your auto purchase. that does not seem like much of a bargain to me.

    The trillion dollars we spent in Iraq and Afghanistan doesn't seem like much of a bargain to me either. I know which one I'd prefer to my tax dollars being spent on..

  • Re:sure it is (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Confusador (1783468) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:09PM (#39579883)

    However, you neglect to factor in things like maintenance. Don't forget the fact that electric vehicles are typically lacking in things like air filters, oil filters, etc. Maintenance for the late EV-1 was "rotate the tires and top off the wiper fluid". How much would you save if you didn't have to do all of the maintenance related to combustion engines?

    That's a fair point, but since the general discussion here is about the Volt you do still have to account for maintenance of an ICE. Presumably it will require less maintenance than if it were the primary engine, but it's still there.

  • Re:Nihilism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by emaname (1014225) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:10PM (#39579887)
    I agree. Something has changed in the GOP and not in a good way. And I say that as one who has always voted Republican except for a recent state elections. This is not the Republican party of my father. I can find more and more quotes from past Republicans that refute and denigrate the current GOP mindset. There is something weirdly evil about the GOP now.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

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