GM To Pull The Plug On Volt?

General Motors announced Friday the company is suspending production of its Chevy Volt for five weeks because of sluggish sales, USA Today reported. The Volt is primarily constructed at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Michigan.

* Before the suspension, Volt had enjoyed an increase in sales since the first of the year. It had beaten the Nissan Leaf, its nearest competitor, in sales from October to February, when twice as many Volts were sold than Leafs

Wouldn’t selling one vehicle count as an ‘increase in sales’?

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15 Responses to GM To Pull The Plug On Volt?

  1. notamobster says:

    Of course they won’t pull the plug. It’s a failed idea. The Marxist-in-Chief will ride it into the dirt and subsidize it for generations to come.

  2. Locke n Load says:

    didnt it enjoy better sales than the Leaf because GE just mandated their purchase by employees getting free vehicles?

    i’ve seen exactly TWO of then on all the roads in n. america, one in the Mi and the other in london ontario. i’m willing to bet over 90% of total sales went to corporatist dirtbags like GE

  3. John Cox says:

    Let me preface by saying that I would really like to see a practical, efficient electric vehicle in the future. I certainly would buy one because electricity is far cheaper than gasoline, not to mention the convenience of filling up at home. I have an electric golf cart that we drive all the time (weather permitting.) My wife uses it to run errands, pick up the kids from school, soccer practice, etc. I live in a small town in SC, so it’s all neighborhood driving (25mph speed limit). The weather is usually comfortable enough here for more 8 or 10 months a year for golf cart travel. I don’t see this as an option for somebody who lives in, say, Minnesota. At least for me, an efficient electric car makes sense.

    What doesn’t make sense is the government forcing these things on us. To give them the benefit of the doubt, their best intention is to accelerate the industry to maturity beyond normal market forces. I’d even go as far to say that there is a glint of logic to that if you fear an imminent disruption in the fuel supply or apocalypse.

    Does that mean they should offer $10K tax credits to people who buy these? Should they subsidize these companies with hundreds of millions? No.

    That is the job of risk takers not the government. The government shouldn’t be taking risks with my tax dollars.

  4. notamobster says:

    disruption in fuel supply/apocalypse? No fuel to transport coal to fire electric plants… just sayin…

  5. John Cox says:

    SC, where I live, gets over 50% of electricity from nuclear. There are other methods of producing electricity besides coal. A disruption in global production (Iran War, Peak Oil, w/e) could easily cause fuel to spike to $10/gal or more. In that event, it would be necessary for America to rethink its consumption sectors.

    Listen, if gas was $100 a gallon, people would be lining up to buy those Volts, even if half of them were on fire.

    I’m no liberal. I don’t believe in global warming. I don’t support government interference in the free market. I’m only saying that I can understand at least one [strategic] argument for accelerating the electric car industry.

    An equivalent “gallon” of electricity costs about 40 cents, based on current automobile efficiencies. You can bet when battery efficiency increases and costs decline, OR if fuel prices continue to rise, the electric car will do just fine all on its own in many parts of the country. It may never serve as a primary vehicle or work well in cold or mountainous regions. But it could easily become a lower cost option for some applications.

  6. Jim22 says:

    John,

    You are correct but your comparison is flawed.

    Gasoline cars can be had for substantially less than the $40,000 a Volt costs.

    Also, electric cars have batteries which have to be replaced periodically. Your golf cart may get five years from a set of batteries. Then you’ll have to buy new ones to the tune of $500 to $600.

    The batteries for the Volt or the Prius are much more expensive and you can’t change them at home.

    Then there’s the problem of disposing of the old battery.

    It seems to me that any savings in fuel will be mostly offset by other costs.

    Then too, the President has been pushing for electric rates to, “Necessarily skyrocket”.

  7. R.D. Walker says:

    John…

    Of course a public policy developing technology to prepare for an electric future does not require the creation of a production line, market strategy or sales quotas. Prototypes could be developed without hawking Volts at a loss.

    If we do actually hit peak oil and gasoline does crawl up to the double digits, electric cars will likely become more viable. That isn’t a sure thing, however. If cars can run on either gasoline or electricity, electricity will become a substitute good for gasoline.

    A substitute good is a good with a positive cross elasticity of demand. This means a good’s demand is increased when the price of another good is increased. If the price of gasoline skyrockets, so will the cost of electricity. This is especially true since the only new sources of electricity approved of by the administration are highly costly green types that are already skyrocket high.

    In other words, the only reason it is inexpensive to run a golf cart for your car today is because so few people are doing it. When the grid is taxed to the limit charging cars, the marginal cost of operating an electric car will likely be little different from the marginal cost of operating a gas car on increasing gas prices.

    So sure, develop prototypes of electric cars, but there is no reason to attempt to distort markets to sell what there is little demand for. Furthermore, bear in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Unless we commit to serious electric energy strategy involving something like nuclear – not likely right now – the advent of a viable electric car will only drive the cost of electricity into the stratosphere.

    Sorry to be Captain Buzz Kill, but those are the facts.

  8. John Cox says:

    Well certainly you have to compare the total cost of ownership including original purchase price, maintenance, fuel, etc. then divide that my the total lifetime mileage of the vehicle and see where you are. Today, electric cars lose (unless you factor in tax credits and other government influence).

    If you read my prior post, I said that when electric car (specifically energy storage) efficiencies improve and costs decline the comparison differs. In the future, batteries will be cheaper, last longer, waste less energy.

    Just to be clear again, I don’t support the tax credits or government loan guarantees to “level the playing field”. I simply stated that I understand their strategy (less the “green” part).

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t be entirely upset if some DARPA project yielded a break-through in battery, solar or jet-pack technology in the future.

  9. Lyun says:

    I like the idea of an electric car, BUT…..I don’t see the need to subsidise an industry that is going nowhere very fast or cheaply.

    Electric cars were very common before the turn of the last century, but the petrol engine just got further ahead because the enegy pack that drove it could be renewed in a few minutes.

    If you want to see a real concept car presently being developed in the electric car field, Google Jaguar C-X75…..the Tesla can’t compete with that.

  10. rj says:

    I saw a nissan leaf with an idiot vanity plate that said NoEMISNs, I rolled down my window and ask the guy how his coal powered car was, he looked puzzled, I had to explain to the idjit that electric aint zero emission…

    I passed a smart car in a twenty mph headwind on my bicycle, I asked the guy what’s so smart about it? He was puzzled, I pointed out that I was able to go faster due to my lower coefficiency rating….whatta maroon as bugs would say….

  11. Lyun says:

    Supposing he wasn’t coal powered but Nuclear, would that make a difference?

  12. Lyun says:

    I wonder what it’s like pedalling for mile after mile against a 20 MPH head wind.

    Anyone who can surpass an 80 HP power pack of an electric car has got to be Superman.

  13. RJ says:

    Lyun, are you living proof libs cant laugh?

    I didn’t say I passed a Nissan Leaf I said I saw a leaf…duh and ok if it was nuke powered ya still have to deal with the spent fuel…

    as to the Smart Car, I did say I passed it, the wind was blowing at 20 mph, the car was sitting still…

    as to peddling mile after mile in a 20 mph head wind, it sucks, I’ve done it, it still sucks.

    as to surpassing a 80 hp pack electric vehicle I promise you this, when the electric vehicle runs out of stored electric and stops by the side of the road eventually I’ll peddle by….

    and by the way, I can run a horse to death.

  14. Lyun says:

    Anyone can run a herbivore to death.

    Meat eaters can store more food energy than herbivores.

    Herbivores are not designed by Nature to run continouously without the digestive process acting up.

    BTW, the electric car came first, oil killed them off when the petrol became abundent as a fuel source.

    Pedal power will never surpass stored energy and mechanical intensifiers, except for short distances.

    On the subject of spent Nuclear fuel, it works because THEY say it works, Nuclear waste will be around for the future generations to worry about, that’s how inconsiderate the present generation is.

    You’re part of the system that demands energy at the flick of a switch, anything to the contrary means you get to reading with candles.

  15. rj says:

    Lyun, yea I want energy at the flick of a switch.
    It comes from growing up burning wood for heat, said wood being cut with an ax and cross cut saw, dragged home with a team of horses, as to reading by candle light, been there done that, have a t shirt to prove it, coal oil lamps work too.

    I only currently bike for pleasure and keep in shape.

    Truth be told the next stored energy fuel should be CNG not battery

    You took the post on the smart car and leaf way to serious… :-)

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