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Discussion Starter #1
Not that I think that it is going to need any help initially, but as the PHEV's become more mainstream how is this idea.

Have a custom GPS system that dealers could provide to prospective customers. They would keep it in there current cars over a period of time (1 week?). It would track their daily driving (distance, speed, etc.). Upon returning the device to the dealer they could use the collected data to provide an individualized report to the prospective consumer. It could show the amount of gas needed (if any), savings, minimum charge times needed, etc.

Thoughts?
 

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I think this is an excellent idea. Actually one that should be implemented as soon as possible and not just for helping the consumer choose a vehicle but more for helping the manufacturers design more relevent vehicles. The study of 650 LA drivers that GM often cites in their Volt shpeel seems a little dinky to me. Not to say that it is useless, but I would expect GM to have a more exhaustive study to base their E-REV designs on.

I would like to see Lyle post a questionaire of driving habits that asks:
How many annual miles do you drive on average?
How many miles do you drive on average per workday?
Of your workday driving, how many miles are highway and how many city?

It could calculate the estimated annual number of AER miles and generator assited miles based on the curent know Volt specs.
 

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Use On Star

Actually, they could ask current GM vehicle owners who have OnStar if they would be interested in an analysis of their driving habits to see if a Volt would fit their driving style and destinations. Then GM could track them for a few months with a computer program and tell them how much money they would have saved in fuel costs by the purchase of a Volt vs the same trips in a Tahoe.

Paul
 

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GPS feedback

They could also have GPS/traffic/weather fed into the engine control software of the Volt to make optimal decisions about driving modes for highest efficiency. If the car knows your location, destination, weather forecast, and traffic info it could change the operation of the vehicle to optimize energy efficiency for those particular conditions. That would be cool.
 

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I like this idea. It would probably be better for an independent company to provide however. Why? Because in most cases if you are just talking about the costs involved the Volt would lose that argument. Sorry but most of you know that will be the case for a while. The technology is brand new and expensive. Early adopters are going to need other reasons to buy this car (save the planet, tell OPEC to..., be the coolest green person on your block, etc.) As I have said before if you want to save money buy a small used car. If you want to put the world on the right path of change buy a Volt.

That being said you can provide the report and let the informed driver make the decision. Also, at some point even the hefty price tag that the Volt is likely to command will make pure financial sense. At what price-per-gallon gas needs to be will depend on... Heck, I need that cool GPS device to tell you for sure. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The idea is to provide a report on the consumable portion of the expense. Not a cost of ownership one.
 

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As I recall, Lyle did a poll on this a long time ago.

The 40 mile AER seemed to fit a large majority of the daily usage.

I will see if I can find it..........
 

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The idea is to provide a report on the consumable portion of the expense. Not a cost of ownership one.
So basically tell the good without mentioning the bad? I say why hide it! Once you start talking expenses you might as well do it right. I'm not the least bit embarrassed that I will be paying a premium to drive the Volt. Others are not embarrassed about driving their SUVs and BMWs so why should I be. At least I'm not polluting as much and it's putting our transportation fleet in the right direction. We pay so other's may play. Hiding things just gives fuel (pun intended) to the critics.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So basically tell the good without mentioning the bad? I say why hide it! Once you start talking expenses you might as well do it right. I'm not the least bit embarrassed that I will be paying a premium to drive the Volt. Others are not embarrassed about driving their SUVs and BMWs so why should I be. At least I'm not polluting as much and it's putting our transportation fleet in the right direction. We pay so other's may play. Hiding things just gives fuel (pun intended) to the critics.
I respectfully disagree.

The Volt is not about bringing the lowest cost of ownership. It is the beginning of a paradigm shift in mass consumer transportation. A cutting of the cord, if you will. Marketing should be about putting your best foot forward, as such total cost of ownership should not figure as part of the equation. Furthermore I seriously doubt that such a price sensitive consumer is the demographic the Volt is targeted at.

IMO, the potential Volt purchaser would be interested in petrol, not money, savings.
 

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I respectfully disagree.

The Volt is not about bringing the lowest cost of ownership. It is the beginning of a paradigm shift in mass consumer transportation. A cutting of the cord, if you will. Marketing should be about putting your best foot forward, as such total cost of ownership should not figure as part of the equation. Furthermore I seriously doubt that such a price sensitive consumer is the demographic the Volt is targeted at.

IMO, the potential Volt purchaser would be interested in petrol, not money, savings.
Yep....100% agree. It's a battle we Prius owners have been fighting for years now. The press insists on calculating 'payoff times' and how long it'll cost to 'break even' with a conventional vehicle, etc. While it can be done depending upon gas prices and electricity cost and the amount you drive the point is it's pointless.
It's about using less gas, and importing less oil, and producing fewer emissions. People who can afford this car and find those qualities desireable will buy it...those who can't afford it shouldn't be buying it anyway.

If the Volt ends up priced closer to $40k the "math" will never work out even in comparison to a Prius II. It must be marketed in a 'do the right thing' and 'oil independence' manner.
 

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I agree that GM should be marketing as a "do the right thing" choice first, a la "gas freindly to gas free", and a style/performance car second. They should be positioning it against cars like the Lexus IS250, Audi A4, etc more than the Prius or an econobox.

But, I don't think they should completey bail on the cost issue, otherwise that will leave the door open for the critics to imprint first cost and day 1 costs into the consumer mindset. A lot of hybrids purchased since 1997 didn't fair well in these comparisions, but the purchasers in most cases have done fine. They absolute should market AER's gas independence and minimized reliance of running costs on gas prices (hedge against future gas price increases and possibly restricted availability). These are legitimate concerns that consumers should be aware of and factor into their purchase decision.
 
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