Electric cars, hybrids, and related vehicles


#401

That’s too bad. Seemed like a really nice car. I talked to a few owners who loved it.


#402

The Volt is/was a great car. It has an electric range that covers the vast majority of commutes and around-town driving, and a gas engine for extra performance, safety, range. It had a great interior and was quiet.

I think GM screwed it up from the beginning by calling it a Chevrolet when it could have been called a Cadillac. As a Chevrolet people refused to consider it anything but a fancy Cruze for upwards of $30-40K. It was a no-go from day one. The marketing fell from that too, they insisted it was an “everyman’s car, an EV with a range extender for joe shmoe”, but that argument fell flat at a $40K price which can get you a basic Lexus SUV.

But as a Cadillac it would have had the mental separation from the Chevrolet brand, and it would be easier to argue that it’s a technology-driven higher-end platform for a select demographic. In my mind they should have marketed it as a platform without limitations, EV or gas, say as an executive car with a conscience, and technology that you can’t get in any other brand.

Trying to compete with the Honda Civic won’t go anywhere, because it’s an ultra refined product in its own. Tesla is taking a much more logical approach of trying to price, and market, from the top down instead of the bottom up.

I could write a paper :).


#403

These changes are gonna kill GM. As soon as gas skyrockets, which it will do as soon as the Arabs feel they’ve totally destroyed any competition, people will be dumping gas guzzlers and wanting small vehicles or electrics. Wiping out entire divisions within the company with no thought for the actual future is stupid. But then again, GM has been in the stupid boat more times than I can count.


#404

They have factories in China and Korea that can produce American-spec Cruze and Spark as a backup plan.

These plants are unprofitable. Car sales of all brands are down, down down. Everyone is buying SUVs. They basically don’t have much choice.


#405

They still have the Chevy Bolt, which is an electric car. They’re not giving up on electric cars, just the Volt, which had both.


#406

Yeah, the Impala, CT6, and the LaCrosse they are axing are large (by today’s standards) and fading in popularity. The Volt isn’t as good as the Bolt, from what I can tell. The Cruze is a decent car, but simply can’t compete in a market where quality small cars abound and most of the competition is more attractive to consumers. Like other manufacturers, GM is focusing on vehicle styles people actually buy, and working to either electrify them or continue to increase their efficiency. They are doing fairly well in both areas, I think, though it’s not easy to see sometimes.

The people wanting traditional sedans are upscale buyers paying fifty large and up for luxury models. In that market, the sedans are selling pretty well, though of course SUVs/CUVs are dominant now there, too. No one really wants a mid-level large sedan any more.


#407

The problem is the Volt fills a need that isn’t met by either gas or EVs – the ability to do both. It’s comforting to know you can go on a 600 mile trip in a Volt and not worry about running out of charge. If I was driving a Tesla 600 miles I’d really have to research the route to make sure I’d have charging stations. And then I’d still have the worry of pulling into a charging station and finding it needing repair.

The Volt was nice because you could do most of your urban driving as an EV and not even burn the gas. Until EVs are more prevalent and gas stations start offering charging options, we need gas cars and hybrids. The US is just too big. I am sorry to see the Volt go.


#408

Jack of all trades, master of none problem, it sounds like. I suspect that most buyers of EVs have access to some other vehicle for the rare long-range drives (and/or are willing to deal with charging along the way). Why compromise the 90-95% that is local driving for the rare occasion? Heck, rent as needed. Now, if you’re talking about some sort of EV buyer who does a higher percentage of long range driving, why are they buying an EV?


#409

Yeah, I didn’t mean the Volt wasn’t objectively a good vehicle, but it wasn’t as good a product as the Bolt in terms of selling stuff. I tend to agree with Stepsongrapes here. There are established hybrids out there already, and I’m not sure hybrids really are a good niche in the long run. Either gas or electric fill very specific needs, while the hybrid is essentially a compromise destined to fall short somewhere.


#410

For me, from an environment perspective, a hybrid is the best choice. My area still gets too much electricity from coal although that’s changing rapidly. Switching from a gas auto to fully EV would have a negative impact on the environment.

So instead I got a hybrid. Better fuel economy than a regular car and CO2 emissions that suck less than coal.

Ok, so I also got a hybrid because my apartment has no charging options but my point still stands!


#411

Er? While admittedly don’t know the specific numbers for CO2 released per KWH for coal electric plants, I’ve never heard of it being even close to the emissions from gasoline, per mile driven equivalent of an EV versus a ICE car.

It’s true that the whole “zero emission” thing is fiction because the electricity has to be generated somewhere, my understanding is that an electric plant + EV vehicle combination is just a ton more efficient than a ICE car. I believe ICE cars are not very efficient at generating driving power (i.e., miles driven) from the energy of burning gas. They generate a ton of heat waste compared to an EV. So even if gasoline could generate less CO2 per unit of energy produced than coal, there’s a lot more factors there in determining how that turns into miles driven.

In addition, I think you need to consider the CO2 emitted in the production and transport of gasoline, as well.

Basically, I’d be very surprised if a mile driving in a EV, even supplied by a coal power plant generates anywhere near the amount of CO2 as a mile driving in an ICE car.


#412

It depends on what area of the country you live in and the power sources in that area. See the map here:

My region shows that driving an electric is equal to a car with 51 mpg. However, that’s for a multi-state region - I’m pretty sure my state has a higher percentage of coal power than the others. And, because I bought my car several years ago at that time the equivalent milage was about 10 lower - it’s improved mainly due to more Natural Gas and wind.

Also, the calculations on the linked map are only for greenhouse gas emissions. It doesn’t take into account that other pollutants from a coal fired plant will kill people as a part of normal operation.

It’s really hard to have a method of power generation that’s worse than coal.

See also:
https://content.sierraclub.org/evguide/myths-vs-reality

A caveat to consider is that when coal plants supply the majority of the power in a given area, electric vehicles may emit more CO2 and SO2 pollution than hybrid electric vehicles. Learn where your electricity comes from, what plans your state or community has for shifting to renewables, and whether you have options for switching to greener power.


#413

There was a cool map in Scientific American IIRC that showed which fuel/energy sources produced the least emissions in different parts of the country. In some it was coal, in others it was gas, or ethanol, etc. etc. I wish I could find the map again. It showed how, factoring everything together, EVs sometimes produced more emissions than gasoline powered cars depending on which part of the country you were in. (Though it’s probably much outdated.)


#414

The myth that lifecycle emissions are higher for EV has been debunked and now it is just another false excuse for Republicans not to endorse electric vehicles because “liberals want to take my guns and tell me what to drive!!!”.

Don’t open the door a crack for those people.

I’m not saying EVs are for everyone or should be forced on people. They’re still more expensive, to start. I don’t own one.

But global warming is real and EVs are a big part of the answer, so should be supported and subsidized (gas cars are extremely subsidized already).


#415

The Volt was awesome for someone who needs 300+ mile range, but i just wasn’t in the market for a new car. I still might look if they get heavily discounted.


#416

I would also like to point out, that building those EV’s isn’t super great for the environment either, and depending on your situation, it might make more sense to continue to drive your older car than buy a new one, especially if your car isn’t too much of a gas-guzzler.

I am hoping to get an EV or a Hybrid for my next vehicle, but we will see how long my car will last.


#417

The GF and I were talking last night and we are looking forward to the day when we no longer have any cars. We will use public transportation, walking or biking, and uber. Once we’re retired we don’t need a car for the daily commute. I really think we can get rid of the car if we live in an urban area. If we want to go on a driving vacation we’ll just rent a car for a week or two.


#418

I was hoping for this too, but it just didn’t work out for me. I live too far out of the urban centers, plus most public transportation is terrible in Michigan anyway. And I have enough friends that live 30+ mins drive away that I’m making those trips on a monthly basis or more.

Hope you guys can make it work out, @Mark_Asher! The bit about living urban makes a big difference, for sure. If you find that it may be workable.


#419

Still too busy and the rear end is a mess, but I don’t hate this electric Audi coupe that shares its platform with Porsche’s Taycan:


#420

Yeah, I prefer a style that looks more functional, too. I was recently admiring a Ford Transit (not electric but still very economical) cargo van with raised roof for instance. Also, its competitor the Volkswagen Crafter is nice.