Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
GM: EV1 vs. EPS
Old 07-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
GM: EV1 vs. EPS

Hindsight is always 20/20, but I have to wonder...GM cancelled its all-electric car, the EV1, back in 2003, after it had been in development for several years. Although the car still needed some improvements before it would viable in the mass-market (as opposed to its niche customers), imagine if they had continued working on it over the last five years. They could've released the 4th generation this year - the product would've been pretty solid. Think of the advantage they'd have had with that much experience dealing with the technology. I have no doubt that if a major car manufacturer offered an all-electric car for $30-$40k today, even with a limited range, you would have a waiting list a mile long.

Of course, the reality is that GM killed the project (seemed like they were in a hurry to put it away) and the company has continued to flounder since. GM's current earnings per share are NEGATIVE $74.28. That's right - for every share of stock outstanding, the company lost $74.28 last year (most of that due to tax accounting, but still). They have since announced that they will reincarnate the vehicle as the Volt, beginning production in 2010 (though I wouldn't be surprised if that slips). But in the 5 years between 2003 and 2008, how much institutional knowledge from the EV1 has been lost? Most, if not all, I'm sure. They will be reinventing the wheel. Additionally, most other car companies have also announced plans to release electric cars in the next few years. Had they kept the EV1 alive, they could've owned the market. But they didn't, and so they don't.

Maybe the lesson here is that "timing is everything"...
__________________

__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-15-2008, 04:32 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
saluki9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
Had they kept the EV1 alive, they could've owned the market. But they didn't, and so they don't.

Maybe the lesson here is that "timing is everything"...
Not likely

I'm sure that GM learned a lot from the EV1. They also learned that people weren't all that interested in electric cars when gas was $1.25 a gallon.

I also don't think they just "forgot" what they learned. The technology today is much different than when the EV1 was designed.
__________________

__________________
saluki9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
I agree with soupcxan. GM would have had a major lead at this point IF they had continued refining the EV1.
I agree also that GM must have learned a lot from the EV1. However, I question how much of that data they retained.
After all, they not only killed the program, they literally CRUSHED all the EV1s.
There were lists hundreds long to get the option to lease the EV1, just in California (as that was the only market it was leased in).
What GM should have done is to continue to produce a low quantity of the EV1s.
This would have been a PR dream for them. Also allowing them to continue to research newer technologies. With the new Lithium batteries GM would then be in a position to quickly ramp up production now, and steal Toyota's thunder.

Ah... what could have been:\
__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 05:38 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,968
I despise GM, but I can understand their decision from a business standpoint and this EV1 evangelizing is just dreaming. Sorry for attempting to introduce data to the discussion...

1. They built the car (as did a few manufacturers) not because they wanted to, but because of legislation in California (of course).
2. Although there were waiting lists, we're talking hundreds of people waiting most likely, at most a few thousand. Hardly a market that a major auto manufacturer could make a financial go of.
3. The range limitations and the costs would never have attracted significant demand. $80,000 each in the late 90's.
4. They were only leased/operated in very warm climates, an EV1 would be crippled by winter weather in most of the USA.
5. Even if they had continued production, at $80,000 (plus 10 years of inflation) each, even with today's high gas prices, there wouldn't be enough buyers to make it worthwhile.

And the Chevy Volt is just as likely to be first to market as any full featured, competitively priced electric car by any manufacturer. At $110K or more the Tesla is not competitively priced, nor is the $50K Cooper or any of the 'neighborhood vehicles.'

From wiki:
The ZEV Mandate originally specified that by 1998, 2% of all new cars sold by the seven major auto manufacturers in the state of California were to meet 'zero emission' standards a s defined by the California Air Resources Board and 10% by 2003.
There were 5,000 people who expressed interest in an EV1, but when GM called them back and explained that the car cost $299-plus a month to lease (back in the late 90’s), went between 60 and 80 miles on a full charge, and took between 45 minutes and 15 hours to re-charge, very few would commit to leasing one.
660 Generation One EV1s were produced for the 1997 model year, using lead acid batteries; each found a lessee.
In December 1999, GM released approximately 200 of the new Generation Two 1999 EV1s with the new nickel metal hydride battery. Over the next 8 months, the remaining 257 Generation Two EV1s were released to certain selected lessees which initiated a lengthy waiting list. In mid 2000, GM closed the EV1 plant. A total of 457 Generation Two EV1s were produced and all were eventually leased.
Over the next two years, approximately 200 of the Generation One EV1s were re-issued to their original lessees on revised two-year leases including a new limited-mileage clause. The delays were due to design complications in retrofitting the NiMH battery. Due to the tenuous retrofitting process and limited number of recall replacement parts available, GM offered the waiting Generation One leasees the opportunity to terminate their lease at no charge, or the chance to transfer the lease to one of the few 150 Generation Two EV1s left - ahead of those already on the Generation Two waiting list.
In late 2003, GM officially canceled the EV1 program. Despite unfulfilled waiting lists and positive feedback from the lessees, GM stated that it could not sell enough of the cars to make the EV1 profitable. In fact, during the later stages of development for the car, GM officials claimed that they stood no chance of ever making a profit on the EV1 itself.
When canceling the program, GM also cited a lack of demand for the two-seater, particularly in light of its limited range and its suitability to "warm weather" states only. During the EV1's development phase, several Northeastern states moved to pass ZEV laws similar to those adopted in California. General Motors, along with many other prospective EV manufacturers, opposed this movement despite the likelihood that such legislation would have vastly increased the market for the vehicle. While this may seem a sinister position to have taken, GM's internal research showed that the EV1's range would be reduced by as much as 50% for use in cold-weather states. This was due chiefly to the effect of ambient temperature on both the batteries and the special low rolling resistance tires.
In 2001, the California Air Resources Board modified the ZEV mandate to allow manufacturers to claim partial ZEV credit for hybrid vehicles. General Motors and DaimlerChrysler then sued the state of California and CARB, alleging that the new ZEV rules violated a federal law barring states from regulating fuel economy. In response, CARB removed the requirement for electric vehicles from the ZEV mandate in 2003, and GM - having produced a product for a mandate and market that no longer existed - cancelled the EV1 program soon after.
Over 100 people offered to purchase the electric cars and waive such liability as they were able under American consumer product laws. GM consistently refused offers to purchase or re-lease any EV1s, stating that they would be subject to ongoing product liability from both the purchasers and any future owners, and that their internal customer support policies would require them to provide service and replacement parts for the EV1s for at least ten years.
GM's suppliers stopped making replacement parts because of low demand, making it impossible to repair the vehicles.
Of particular concern to the company was the likelihood that each leased car's battery packs would require replacement at 25-35,000 mile intervals, and that the very low volumes involved would necessitate the corporation's subsidy of spare parts to private owners, perhaps on an indefinite basis.
GM believes that the electric car venture was not a failure, and that the EV1 was doomed when the expected breakthrough in battery technology did not take place. In fact, the NiMH battery packs (or Ovonic Battery) that were expected to dramatically improve range came with their own set of problems; GM had to use a less-efficient charging algorithm (lengthening charge times) and waste power on air conditioning to prevent the battery packs from overheating. In addition, the elimination of the environmental mandate that led to the car's creation was, as previously mentioned, a huge factor in the program's cancellation. The EV1 could not have been created without the looming CARB 2% ZEV mandate in California.
The view of the EV1 as failure is a controversial one in itself. When viewed as an attempt to produce a commercially viable EV product, it was not a success. If one considers the vehicle from GM's perspective, as a technological showpiece—a production electric car that actually could replace a gasoline powered vehicle—the program's outcome is less clear. The EV1 was produced for the consumer market, and many lessees found driving an EV1 to be a favorable experience. On that basis, EV1 would qualify as the most successful electric car ever built.
The price for the car used to compute lease payments was US$33,995 to US$43,995, which made for lease payments of US$299 to over US$574 per month. One industry official said that each EV1 cost the company about US$80,000, including research, development and other associated costs. That itself is right if the technology is not posted to other areas. The vehicle's lease prices also depended on available state rebates. In 1999, the cost for the electricity used to power the car was computed to be one-third to half the cost of the equivalent amount of gasoline, and since that time, increases in gas prices may have made electricity relatively even less expensive (depending on customer location, recharging time and electricity billing variations — some utility companies have variable billing for peak vs. non-peak usage rates).
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 06:00 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
I certainly didn't mean to imply that GM would have sold 5 million of these things back in the late 90s early 2000s.
As I stated, they should have kept the project alive so once battery technology advanced enough (i.e. lithium) they could have pounced on it.
As for 80,000/car, well if you only build 1050 of them of course research cost is going to be a lot per car. How long was the Prius a losing sale for Toyota? As you build more, the research cost per car goes down.

The key is, IF GM had a little bit of planning, they would have been able to react quickly to this change in business conditions.
For what ever reason, they have shown that they can't react quickly. And if the Volt gets delayed or continues its increase in price, they will prove they can't react in time.
Also keep in mind, the California standards weren't just 'changed' out of the blue. They were SUED in order to get those restrictions removed. And guess who sued them (no, GM wasn't alone in the suit).

GM won the battle to defeat the California regulations, they won the battle to defeat CAFE standards. But in winning those battles they may have sealed their own loss of the war.
__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 06:29 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,968
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
I certainly didn't mean to imply that GM would have sold 5 million of these things back in the late 90s early 2000s.
As I stated, they should have kept the project alive so once battery technology advanced enough (i.e. lithium) they could have pounced on it.
As for 80,000/car, well if you only build 1050 of them of course research cost is going to be a lot per car. How long was the Prius a losing sale for Toyota? As you build more, the research cost per car goes down.
Don't get me wrong, I dislike GM and they've made lots of mistakes, but the EV1 isn't necessarily one of them. You're absolutely right about the economics of scale - but the demand would have been insignificant for more than 10 years at least (1997 thru 2007). Americans still wanted 'monster trucks' and 'muscle cars' until only months ago. Even if they had built them all along since 1997 and could ramp up production now - I doubt consumers would be willing to pay any premium to own one. Few people were willing to pay the premium for a hybrid until recently, and that premium ranged from $3-6K for many vehicles. The EV1 could have been less than $80K today if it stayed in production, but certainly not $20-30K.

Quote:
The key is, IF GM had a little bit of planning, they would have been able to react quickly to this change in business conditions. For what ever reason, they have shown that they can't react quickly. And if the Volt gets delayed or continues its increase in price, they will prove they can't react in time.
Time will tell, but what full featured competitively priced electric car is further in development than the Volt right now?
Quote:
Also keep in mind, the California standards weren't just 'changed' out of the blue. They were SUED in order to get those restrictions removed. And guess who sued them (no, GM wasn't alone in the suit).
Sad commentary, but unfortunately in their judgement it was literally cheaper to sue than to develop the EV1 with the miniscule demand and therefore impossible break even outlook. It's called cutting your losses, done in business all the time, we've all had to do it professionally or personally. As much as some people want to make this a moral issue, GM does not exist without earnings, that has to come first.

We seem to be in the midst of a radical change in transportation, and unfortunately it looks like it will be very painful for automakers and auto buyers.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 08:21 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
Patrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern, Florida
Posts: 925
The EV-1 was developed for GM by a company called AeroVironment. Its leader was Dr. Paul MacCready, who died in 2007.
__________________
Retired in 2006 at age 49.

"Who among us is smart enough to learn from the mistakes of others?" - Voltaire
Patrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 10:30 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
I agree with soupcxan.

...

After all, they not only killed the program, they literally CRUSHED all the EV1s.
...

Ah... what could have been:\
Zathrus (and soupcxan) we went through this a while ago. See related posts here:

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...&postcount=176

midpack has it right.

So let's just say GM 'blew it'. How come nobody else came to market with one? Maybe there was no market?

The EV-1 was not a technological wonder. It wasn't rocket science. It was batteries and a motor in a car (OK, oversimplification, but really - nothing esoteric at all). Other companies have as much or more expertise in the area.

The soon to be released electric cars will be here because of improvements in batteries (motors and controllers have not been the limiting factor). BAttery tech has been driven by laptop, cell phone and other portable technologies. I don't think that the lithium roadmap would have happened much faster if GM sold a few thousand electric cars a year.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 10:35 PM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 798
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Zathrus (and soupcxan) we went through this a while ago. See related posts here:

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...&postcount=176

midpack has it right.

So let's just say GM 'blew it'. How come nobody else came to market with one? Maybe there was no market?

The EV-1 was not a technological wonder. It wasn't rocket science. It was batteries and a motor in a car (OK, oversimplification, but really - nothing esoteric at all). Other companies have as much or more expertise in the area.

The soon to be released electric cars will be here because of improvements in batteries (motors and controllers have not been the limiting factor). BAttery tech has been driven by laptop, cell phone and other portable technologies. I don't think that the lithium roadmap would have happened much faster if GM sold a few thousand electric cars a year.

-ERD50
I see a great investment opportunity in battery technologies. Does anyone have the insight to tell us where it will be?
__________________
RockOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 10:39 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
Also keep in mind, the California standards weren't just 'changed' out of the blue. They were SUED in order to get those restrictions removed. And guess who sued them (no, GM wasn't alone in the suit).
Good. It was *stupid* legislation.

That legislation demanded that 2% of the cars be 'zero pollution', even though the technology just was not there. A lie anyhow, they just push the pollution elsewhere - heck, they could even pollute *more* as long as it didn't come out of the tail pipe!

If they would have simply made overall pollution standards 2% stricter, or even better, taken action to reduce miles driven by 2% (guess what - a gas tax can do that!), they could have actually *achieved* something at a reasonable cost. But no, these politicians spend years futzing around with complex rules, make the automakers waste millions trying to comply, and then have nothing to show for it. Wonderful.

-ERD50

edit/add Hmmmm, politician...saving us.... something familiar about that? Is it déjà vu all over again?
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 10:54 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockOn View Post
I see a great investment opportunity in battery technologies. Does anyone have the insight to tell us where it will be?
I see a great investment opportunity in time travel. Go 20 years into the future, then come back and tell us which company today has the most profitable battery technologies in the future.

There are a ton of battery companies - how you gonna pick the winner?

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 10:57 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 798
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
There are a ton of battery companies - how you gonna pick the winner?

-ERD50
I don't know, I was hoping you could help me out. That is likely to be the big winner in the green age.
__________________
RockOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 11:46 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 926
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockOn View Post
I see a great investment opportunity in battery technologies. Does anyone have the insight to tell us where it will be?
My bet is for advances in lithium cell technology to take the lead in the electric vehicle market. On the other hand if even 10% of Americans have a plug in electric vehicle we will not have enough electrical generation in many areas to recharge all the electric vehicles. Anyone remember the brownouts of a few years back? Plug in rechargeable vehicle advances need to be accompanied by an increase in electrical generation. Nuclear would likely be the best answer but we are years behind where we need to be in building nuclear power plants. Several companies do have nuclear power plants in the planning stages.
__________________
jclarksnakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 05:57 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,968
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarksnakes View Post
On the other hand if even 10% of Americans have a plug in electric vehicle we will not have enough electrical generation in many areas to recharge all the electric vehicles. Anyone remember the brownouts of a few years back? Plug in rechargeable vehicle advances need to be accompanied by an increase in electrical generation.
I have not researched the subject but are you sure? What I had read was that generation has trouble with demand during the day but they already have a problem with excess generation at night especially during the wee hours - which stands to reason. And you would naturally expect most people to be charging while they were sleeping. Chargers could have simple programmable features to kick on a midnight and run 6 hours or whatever. I thought there was a natural, symbiotic fit to the whole scheme?
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 08:06 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 265
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
What I had read was that generation has trouble with demand during the day but they already have a problem with excess generation at night especially during the wee hours - which stands to reason. And you would naturally expect most people to be charging while they were sleeping. Chargers could have simple programmable features to kick on a midnight and run 6 hours or whatever. I thought there was a natural, symbiotic fit to the whole scheme?
I made some back of the envelope calculations (hopefully, someone will check) that indicate that in the US, vehicles (if replaced by electric drivetrains) would use about 700 terra-watt hours of electricity per year. Current US consumption is about 4000 terra-watt hours. If we have 20% excess capacity in the off hours, and a way to store any excess capacity, then you might be right. It would be nice to have some extra capacity to cover for maintenance and outages.
__________________
rgarling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 08:12 AM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
CitricAcid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I have not researched the subject but are you sure? What I had read was that generation has trouble with demand during the day but they already have a problem with excess generation at night especially during the wee hours - which stands to reason. And you would naturally expect most people to be charging while they were sleeping. Chargers could have simple programmable features to kick on a midnight and run 6 hours or whatever. I thought there was a natural, symbiotic fit to the whole scheme?
If I am not mistaken, a lot of electric companies charge less overnight as well, and the electric cars try to take advantage of this, so that peak power time (4-9pm) isn't when the most energy is used, and that the batteries can be timed so that they go on at a certain time.

Also, with a publicly traded company such as GM facing low gas prices, I think it would be almost irersposnible to the shareholders if they continued to pump out the EV1, without any profit potential or any significant market. Most of the battery technology developments, as stated before, has come from Laptops and Cell Phones, from which the lithium battery's developments have occured.

RockOn, how about LG Chemical?
__________________
CitricAcid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 09:24 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
I agree that in 2003 there wasn't a mass market for this product, but I don't think they would've had to wait until 2008 to see increased demand - hybrids began selling well in 2006 and that ramped up even more in 2007. Surely an electric car would've been lifted by that rising tide. And from what I read, the people who had the EV1s really liked them and begged not to have to give them back (and this was when gas was still $1.25/gal). So clearly there was value in the product.

From a corporate point of view, the EV1 was a valuable real option. If gas prices had stayed low and the eco-movement never caught on, then the cost to run it was insignificant in comparison with the rest of the enterprise. It was cheap insurance against an oil price spike. No one back in 2003 may have thought it very likely that the price of oil would go to $146, but given that it happened in the 70's, you have to admit there was at least some small chance it would happen again. And increased regulation of greenhouse gases was another risk that the EV1 would've helped hedge against.

You could also view the EV1 as a disruptive technology - very different from the current product offering, and in many ways incompatible with how the company had traditionally done business. Similar to Xerox and the personal computer technology that became Apple.

In any case, I think it's easy to argue that GM should never have started the EV1 program in the first place, but if you're the CEO in 2003, those initial costs are already sunk. So why not spend a few more dollars to keep improving the product and reduce your risk down the road. If things hadn't changed, the profits they would've made from SUVs and trucks would've made the cost of the EV1 immaterial.

If GM had been smart/lucky enough to lead the pack in electric cars, it might have been enough to overcome their enormous legacy cost baggage. Instead I think they will continue to lose market share, restructure, and file for BK until they are completely irrelevant.
__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 10:56 AM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
Patrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern, Florida
Posts: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockOn View Post
I see a great investment opportunity in battery technologies. Does anyone have the insight to tell us where it will be?
A123 A123Systems :: Home
__________________
Retired in 2006 at age 49.

"Who among us is smart enough to learn from the mistakes of others?" - Voltaire
Patrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 11:11 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,543
if the electric car is such a good idea why hasn't toyota or anyone else sold it mass market? Hybrids are a lot better because they take in normal gasoline you can buy anywhere and turn it into electricity inside the car.

i can drive a Prius across the US and not worry about running out of energy for it. can't say the same thing about the EV1
__________________
al_bundy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 11:11 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post

... And from what I read, the people who had the EV1s really liked them and begged not to have to give them back (and this was when gas was still $1.25/gal). So clearly there was value in the product.

From a corporate point of view, the EV1 was a valuable real option.

....

In any case, I think it's easy to argue that GM should never have started the EV1 program in the first place

...
soupcxan, those statements do not hold water once you understand how the CARB regulations fit into all this. They totally warped the concept of 'value', to the point that it can't be discussed in true economic tterms.

Starting with the last comment - in order to sell *any* cars in California, GM *had* to deliver 2% of their vehicles as 'zero-pollution' models. These were the CARB regulations, GM could not give up the entire CA market, so their hands were forced by legislature.

So, some people 'really liked them'. Sure, because they were being offered a very expensive car at below market lease rates. GM could afford (or should we say couldn't afford not to) take a loss on every EV1, because they had to in order to sell other cars in CA.

That is why GM leased the cars, rather than sell them. If they sold them at a price that 2% of the CA population could afford, scrap dealers would be buying them and selling them for the components and making a nice profit. Would that help the air pollution in CA?

This is another glaring example of the problems that result from politicians trying to legislate technology. I'm not allowed to practice law, I don't think that legislators should be allowed to practice engineering.

And once again, to cut through the conspiracy theories - why did no other company come up with an all-electric that swept the market? Seems like Toyota and Honda are ahead of GM with this technology - where is the competitively priced all-electric from them, or Mercedes, or someone, anyone?

There's the $100,000 Tesla with no commit on price/delivery for a sedan, but even that is rumored to be ~ $70,000... sometime.

While I'm no fan of GM, everything I've read about the Volt seems spot on as far as the right approach towards a more affordable electric in the near future.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What ever happened to "Trailing 12 months EPS" vs "Next Year's EPS" MooreBonds FIRE and Money 1 07-17-2005 12:43 PM
Where Can You Find EPS Rankings? Tommy_Dolitte Young Dreamers 5 10-12-2004 01:40 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:54 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.