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http://www.greencarreports.com/news...olt-evs-to-be-sold-than-needed-for-compliance

We'll define "compliance car" to mean any ZEV sold in volumes to solely meet minimum ZEV requirements.

The Fiat 500e? Pure compliance car, as it's only sold in California and in volumes to meet CARB ZEV requirements.
Toyota Rav4 EV? Pure compliance car as well.

The Spark EV? People can argue it was another "pure compliance car", but it really wasn't, as there was no need for GM to sell it in Maryland. Still not sure why they did end up selling it in MD, but they could have met ZEV requirements solely by selling it in CA. The Spark EV was also a guinea pig for the Gen 2 Volt and Bolt in addition to netting ZEV credits for GM.

The Bolt EV? According to the article, GM would only need to sell about 400 2017 Bolts in Cali to attain the minimum ZEV credits needed (about 1,600).....the rest of the credits could be satisfied with Volt sales.
In fact, they calculated GM is pretty much set for ZEV credits through next year, so technically they don't need to sell any 2017 Bolts at all!

Anyone claiming the Bolt is nothing but a CARB minimum ZEV credit grab play is plain wrong. Not only will the Bolt be sold in numbers waaaaay exceeding what's needed to cover ZEV requirements, by next summer it'll be sold in 38 states where GM gets *0* ZEV credits!
 

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What if we define "compliance car" to mean any ZEV sold in volumes MAINLY to meet minimum ZEV requirements?

What if a manufacturer offers greater incentives in CARB states than in non-CARB states?

Is "compliance car" a purely binary thing?
 

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In my mind, compliance car comes down to selling the car in two states to meet a government quota. The implication of calling it a compliance car is that it was only manufactured for that narrow and limited purpose. It is not and was never intended for sale across the country.

A car like the Bolt EV is not a compliance car. The ZEV credits are an intended bonus, sure. But they are not the goal.
 

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What if we define "compliance car" to mean any ZEV sold in volumes MAINLY to meet minimum ZEV requirements?

What if a manufacturer offers greater incentives in CARB states than in non-CARB states?

Is "compliance car" a purely binary thing?
A compliance car is intended to Maximize ZEV credits at minimum cost. Why would you produce more than necessary if each additional one would increase profit loss?

In the case of the Chevy Bolt, even if GM is losing out on each vehicle, it is justifiable to make more because it is being used as a loss leader to become the leader in the new industry. In this case, it isn't a compliance car. It's a long term bet. The Toyota Prius when it first came out was a loss leader for 3 years in a row.
 

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http://www.greencarreports.com/news...olt-evs-to-be-sold-than-needed-for-compliance


Anyone claiming the Bolt is nothing but a CARB minimum ZEV credit grab play is plain wrong. Not only will the Bolt be sold in numbers waaaaay exceeding what's needed to cover ZEV requirements, by next summer it'll be sold in 38 states where GM gets *0* ZEV credits!
You answered your own question about the Spark EV's true intent. When you read the SAE research paper on the Bolt's drive-train development, you learn just how vital the Spark EV was as a learning tool for GM's engineers. If GM only sold the Spark EV in California, then GM's engineers would only have had real-world data on Sparks driving in CA's relatively benign climate and with CA drivers. They needed MD drivers like you to give the Spark EV a REAL test;)

GM sees vehicle electrification as where they are going - the EV1, Volt and Spark EV were the technical pioneers for new generations of BEV and PHEV mainstream vehicle product lines. The Bolt is that first "mainstream" product.
 

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I don't believe the term "compliance car" even has meaning. Electrification is being driven by government regulation so ALL electrified cars are "compliance vehicles". Volts, Model S, Leafs, they're all compliance cars. Within that universe come cars are sold more widely than others, but that's due to a number of production factors.

If you want to define a "compliance vehicle" as one sold in one or more ZEV states (note that before the 2018 MY all ZEV states can "travel" between ZEV states), I believe that manufacturers limit the sale of vehicles to one or more ZEV states when they believe they cannot sell the vehicle above factory variable costs. A fuller explanation of this follows below:

A compliance car is intended to Maximize ZEV credits at minimum cost. Why would you produce more than necessary if each additional one would increase profit loss?

In the case of the Chevy Bolt, even if GM is losing out on each vehicle, it is justifiable to make more because it is being used as a loss leader to become the leader in the new industry. In this case, it isn't a compliance car. It's a long term bet.
This is a very good point. There is, however, another way to look at this. When people claim that GM will lose money on the Bolt EV, they are talking not about Factory Variable Costs -- the direct costs of making the vehicle -- but about total costs. In economics FVC would be considered to be variable costs and all other costs fixed or sunk costs. This follows since, while In the long run all costs are variable, once you have expended money on tooling and research and so forth the ONLY way to recover the money you've spent is to sell the vehicle above FCV. Consequently, so long as GM can sell the Bolt EV above FCV every sale makes it better off than it would otherwise be, from a financial point of view.

The big twist is that when you sell a BEV in a ZEV state you get ZEV credits. When you sell one in a non-ZEV state you don't. If every ZEV credit is worth $3500, actual revenue is higher in ZEV states. What you might expect to see, and what I think we have seen, is that some of this extra revenue gets passed on to consumers in ZEV states through increased lease cash or discounts. And the decision to sell a car in a non-ZEV state or not simply comes down to whether the manufacturer believes it can recover its FVC.
 

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The issue the true definition of compliance car, there isn't one...Everything is subjective...

I'll put it like this, the first on here who gets a Bolt EV could make a VIRAL youtube review video where you get a ton of ad revenue but just posting this very subjective title..."The first super long range, very affordable, non-compliance, true CUV Bolt EV vs the Tesla Model 3"

Oh man, those would be fun comments to read...
 

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I don't believe the term "compliance car" even has meaning. Electrification is being driven by government regulation so ALL electrified cars are "compliance vehicles".
I think there's a qualitative difference between government regulations that require certain actions in order to be in "compliance" and government incentives which motivate people to choose electric. "Compliance" vehicles are built to satisfy the former.
 

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GM had a program to study Tesla. After that, they produced Bolt ahead of Tesla's down-market offering (Model 3). Coincidence? Compliance? I'm thinking more forward-looking than that.

Volt/Bolt are gaining customers that were NEVER GM customers in the past. I believe this is the main corporate goal of these somewhat-halo cars. (Two of the three first Bolt buyers traded a Toyota and a BMW.)

I bought an ELR over an equivalent priced (and much more socially acceptable in truck country) HEMI Challenger. I traded in the prior HEMI Magnum for the prior Volt as well.

In my case, GM ate FCA's lunch. Twice.

AND ELR is the best car I have ever owned or driven. Period.
 

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I think there's a qualitative difference between government regulations that require certain actions in order to be in "compliance" and government incentives which motivate people to choose electric. "Compliance" vehicles are built to satisfy the former.
I dunno. Pull, push, carrots, sticks, carrots/sticks. I see the various regulations and requirements as being variations on a theme rather than distinctively different. I understand your point about absolute requirements and regulations that encourage certain outcomes. However, note that none of the programs aimed at increasing the adoption of zero emissions vehicles are absolute requirements in the sense that safety equipment like seatbelts or emissions controls are. For ZEV you can always just pay the fine or buy credits. So these actually would fall into your category of "government incentives" or perhaps "government disincentives". Yes?
 

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I see the Bolt as a Defiance Car. :D
 

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"Compliance" could also mean something that helps GM meet CAFE requirements. GM is focusing on ZEV credits right now, but the other motivation for the Bolt EV is to get their MPG average up to meet CAFE numbers. The fact that the Bolt EV is for sale, allows GM to make cheaper and lower MPG gas cars.

"Look at all the compliance we give!" -General Motors
 

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GM had a program to study Tesla. After that, they produced Bolt ahead of Tesla's down-market offering (Model 3). Coincidence? Compliance? I'm thinking more forward-looking than that.

Volt/Bolt are gaining customers that were NEVER GM customers in the past. I believe this is the main corporate goal of these somewhat-halo cars. (Two of the three first Bolt buyers traded a Toyota and a BMW.)
Exactly, I bought the Volt as my first ever GM product for similar reasons. However, these buyers are buying because it is a certain type of product, in this case a technologically innovative car. This means you better have something else for them to buy when they go to replace it as the group is not particularly brand loyal and will be happy to buy something that they like from another company.

They caught them, now they have to fight to keep them. In otherwords they need to move to electrify more vehicles in their product lineup and keep highly competitive vehicles.
 

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The term "compliance car" is made up to imply that electric vehicles aren't worth building, buying, or owning. It is used to dupe low-information consumers into continuing to buy dead-end, obsolete technology.

If a manufacturer can make money building something, they will build it. If they can't, they won't. GM couldn't make money on the EV1, so they canceled the program. GM could make money on the Volt, Spark EV, and Bolt EV, so they pushed those programs forward. Compliance has nothing to do with it.
 

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Exactly, I bought the Volt as my first ever GM product for similar reasons. However, these buyers are buying because it is a certain type of product, in this case a technologically innovative car. This means you better have something else for them to buy when they go to replace it as the group is not particularly brand loyal and will be happy to buy something that they like from another company.

They caught them, now they have to fight to keep them. In otherwords they need to move to electrify more vehicles in their product lineup and keep highly competitive vehicles.
Same here. I never owned an American car brand until the Volt. Now I'm looking at the Bolt EV as a stablemate. One of the considerations was the Volt experience I have had.
 

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*ehem*

The Bolt EV is a compliance car. This is straight from the GM CFO's mouth:

https://electrek.co/2016/12/20/chev...ze-gas-guzzling-cars-tesla-model-3-jp-morgan/

It makes a bunch of financial sense for GM to make this, but you can see where their true priorities lie. Snatch one up, while you can!
Straight from an analyst's mouth you mean.

"JP Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman released a note to clients claiming that the Bolt EV is part of an “improving array of electric vehicles from automakers which are pricing such vehicles with the aim not to turn a profit but rather to sell in sufficient volume to subsidize the rest of their more lucrative portfolios of internal combustion engine vehicles from a regulatory compliance perspective.” Brinkman hasn’t released any particular information shared by GM’s Chief Financial Officer.

So an unsubstantiated opinion by an analyst is the same as "Straight from the GM CFO's mouth", lol
 

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Straight from an analyst's mouth you mean.

"JP Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman released a note to clients claiming that the Bolt EV is part of an “improving array of electric vehicles from automakers which are pricing such vehicles with the aim not to turn a profit but rather to sell in sufficient volume to subsidize the rest of their more lucrative portfolios of internal combustion engine vehicles from a regulatory compliance perspective.” Brinkman hasn’t released any particular information shared by GM’s Chief Financial Officer.

So an unsubstantiated opinion by an analyst is the same as "Straight from the GM CFO's mouth", lol
Well then, it's an analyst's analysis of the CFO's statements. I wouldn't call it "unsubstantiated" by any means. Once the findings are complete and JPMC makes an official statement, it's going to have quotes from the CFO. It's probably against protocol for the analyst to quote directly.
 

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I'll say that all Tesla's are compliance cars because the ZEV credits are used to subsidize gas guzzlers. :)

At the end of the day, if buyers across the country can buy a Bolt EV, I doubt anyone but those who have found the one true path will care that some analyst farted an opinion. I think of the Bolt EV as a strategic car.
 
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