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Discussion Starter #1
I hate writing this. :(

Analysis tells me that the price of the Volt will not go down much with time. Most of the premium in Volt price comes from the battery. Historically, the average improvement in batteries is only about 6%/year. GM and Electric Power Research Institute, EPRI, have a major collaborative effort going http://gm-volt.com/2008/07/21/gm-lau...-for-the-volt/. They are close development partners with GM, so they have credibility with regard to reporting on Volt related technology.

EPRI (http://my.epri.com/portal/server.pt?), recently published an analysis on the projected cost of Li ion batteries. Using this data and the DeJong learning curve gives the learning curve below. We note that the curve flattens out at volumes of 100,000 and greater, which corresponds to the Volt's third year production and beyond volumes. The Volt (16KWHr) battery cost for the third year and beyond is projected to level out at about $5000. To put it another way, the price of the battery is only expected to drop by about $5000 over the next five years. The price of the Volt will be out of my pocketbook for a long time. What are my options?

At this point in history, my best bet is a FFV Prius. For $25,000 it gets great gas mileage and when flex fuels become available it will accommodate a gasoline substitute. This is a cost effective solution for Oil Independence. Somebody tell me I'm wrong.
 

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Well, we really need to get down to how GM actually builds their 'this is how much is costs for us to build one of these'. If they are ammortorizing RESEARCH costs into the initial model, its no wonder they cant turn a profit. Its going to be a low volume car to started with. It will have a ton of R&D to pay for that something like a Corvette does not have. This makes the cost really high.

Once the R&D is paid for, or the volume goes up, I think they could end up lowering the price of the car substancially. It probably wont come in the form of a reduced price Volt. It will come in the form of a new car model. They cant simply reduce the price of the volt substancially from one year to another or they risk lawsuits/etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Another pretty face gets steals my love.

CarZin,

Takes for the words of encouragement. :) I was in a Volt funk when I wrote the post. The first Volts will be MY 2011. With the first year as breakeven and a 5% profit after that, it will take at least four years ($500M investment, 200K cumulative volume) for profits to payoff investment. That's MY 2014. Let's be realistic, by then another pretty face will probably steal my love. ;)
 

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Pay attention GM

Just because I CAN afford to buy a Volt at $50k doesn't mean I WILL. Like many enthusiasts on this site, I'd like to have a vehicle that uses little or no gasoline. I can buy a top-of-the-line Prius and a LOT of gasoline for that amount of money. I might even buy a Prius AND an electric motorcycle, and STILL have money left over. Of course, I'd rather buy an American product, but it has to be much closer to parity than almost 2x. Sharpen your pencils!
 

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Li-ion battery cost can only go up

Initially, they may drop a bit. However, Li is expensive and limited in quantities. Its price doubled in recent years. You can imagine how much it will multiple once manufacturers will start making Li-ion batteries for cars. Battery is not a high tech device and can not be scaled down like CPU. Here is the report which I believe is more realistic:
http://www.meridian-int-res.com/Projects/Lithium_Problem_2.pdf
 

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Sadly, I don't think this car is really intended to be direct competition to the Prius. It may never be cost competitive. It is a new, better technology intended to bridge the gap towards full BEVs. For example; which is a better cell phone value today? A Motorola Razer or an Apple G3 iPhone? Which one would you rather have? (AT&T issues aside.) So if your pocketbook directs you purchasing decisions, I'd say cozy up to the Toyota dealer right now and start saving fuel today.

What I'd really like to see GM do is create a version of their 2 mode hybrid or maybe even an improved BAS for the next gen Cobalt and go head to head with the Prius. I guess they only have so much R&D money though these days.:(
 

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Not a big deal, I bought a prius for my wife and I to share, when the volt comes out I will buy one. In fact the prius will hold its value so if you want to sell the prius to buy the volt you might even get all your money back, in fact the prius used is selling for more than a new one.

The prius is nice but all I can say about it is "almost" but not there yet. The volt is where I want vehicles to go.
 

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Follow your heart Tom.

-Alternate fuels will most likely trend with gasoline in price.
-Charts and theories may say one thing but mass production generally brings prices to a multiple of raw material costs. A123 or LG Chem's raw materials aren't that expensive. Contrary to some propaganda, Lithium is an abundant element and production will ramp up with demand. Prices for it will probably continue to rise but in similar percentages to other raw materials with similar metrics.
-There are other potential components to cost reduce with mass production and innovation besides just the battery. The most obvious are charger, power electronics, and motors. A little less obvious possible reduction will come from the ICE. GM is customizing an off the shelf ICE for the first generation of Volts. Expect them to purpose design and build an ICE for the second or third generation E-Flex vehicles.
-Uncle Sam will come to the rescue with a tax incentive. $5,000-$7,500 in all likelihood.
-Depending on how you are "costing" the vehicle, residule value could be a help too.

You'll might have to want to be an early adopter to justify a first generation Volt, unless you drive 30+ miles to work and can plug in there. I expect the second generation of E-Flex vehicles to offer a lot more value.

Obviously this is an optimistic viewpoint, but I think it is reasonable. Time will tell, and as DaV8or suugests you could buy a Prius to hedge your bets in the meantime.
 

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in fact the prius used is selling for more than a new one.
What??! In what world does this make sense? Is this kind of like distressed furniture or pre-faded jeans or something? People will pay more for a car that's a little pre-messed up? Is this just the case with the earlier cars in California that have the car pool stickers on? I have heard that the car pool sticker do add about $4000 to the value of the car.

If what you say is true, than Prius buyers are even goofier than I thought.;)
 

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What??! In what world does this make sense? Is this kind of like distressed furniture or pre-faded jeans or something? People will pay more for a car that's a little pre-messed up? Is this just the case with the earlier cars in California that have the car pool stickers on? I have heard that the car pool sticker do add about $4000 to the value of the car.

If what you say is true, than Prius buyers are even goofier than I thought.;)
It's true. Don't hate, just take note of it. Some dealers are adding $4000 to the price of the new prius as well, though I got mine for MSRP which came out to $26,000 (total) for my package when the same package on a used prius on the lot was $30,000 with scratches and the car was a rental (I wouldn't ever buy a used rental car).

Al Gore's son drives a prius while Al burns several thousand gallons of jet fuel flying around like a king in his personal jet; yes there are some stupid people who buy priuses but overall most of them I would call smart esp when they pull up next to a complete moron in a huge SUV at a gas station with gasoline at 4 bucks.
 

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Yes, follow

Yes, Tom, Follow Your Heart.

Buy the Volt. The Prius is a fine automobile, but it is not for you. If you buy anything else, you will always be disappointed that you didn't get a Volt. Your interested in how it works, have invested time into thinking through its technical details, and you will really enjoy having an early one. Sometimes life is an adventure; just pay attention.
 

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Some dealers are adding $4000 to the price of the new prius as well, though I got mine for MSRP which came out to $26,000 (total) for my package when the same package on a used prius on the lot was $30,000 with scratches and the car was a rental (I wouldn't ever buy a used rental car).
Again, in what world does this make sense?? What kind of doofus would pay $4,000 more for a used car over a new car when there is little difference between the two and there is no real shortage of new cars?
 

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Again, in what world does this make sense?? What kind of doofus would pay $4,000 more for a used car over a new car when there is little difference between the two and there is no real shortage of new cars?
That kind of disparity sure seems crazy, but there is a shortage of new Priuses. I guess some people just can't wait the 6 months or so. Doesn't make sense to me.
 

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I rented a Prius in San Francisco in June

... RENTING THE PRIUS... geeze, was I impressed.
It was spunky, hauled me, my wife, my sister-in-law and my niece deep into wine country. When we got back from that trip and I fueled up before returning the Prius to the rent-car agency, I about fell over backwards. It took something like 5 gallons to top her off, and I was thinking in terms of driving our 2006 Jetta TDI (and paying for more expensive diesel) thinking our drive was going to beat-up-my wallet for about 8 gallons of diesel... (Sorry folks, but I forgot the exact miles we drove, I did the math did I computed the days worth of driving at 8 gallons for the TDI.)

I have an F-350 one ton Ford van that gets 11 MPG on the freeway, a 2004 Silverado 4 door that gets about 18 MPG and I cringe each time I gas these up BUT I also have a farm and these are necessary evils. :rolleyes:Try hauling hay in a Prius:rolleyes:

I DARNED NEAR came close to buying a Prius when I got back from San Francisco... then started doing the math to replace the batteries. Don't know if this is true or not, but I was told $5,000 to replace the batteries in the Prius after 4 to 5 years. At this juncture, our 2006 Jetta diesel is looking like a keeper AND the Volt (which I can charge at less than 10 cents per killowatt hour) the Volt looks like something I'll have in my garage in a couple of years. And, I might have an opportunity to install solar panels here on my farm... free electrons (well, minus the investment).

Also (in terms of leaning towards the GM Volt)... we Americans are exporting $700 billion per year to people who hate us (crude oil purchases from the middle east, Venezuela, Russia, etc) We are also exporting billions more to China and am sometimes I feel like I'm the only one paranoid about all this wealth going overseas.

I have no children, so I guess I don't have any good reason to worry about what is happening to the USA once all the jobs have gone overseas and all our greenbacks have left... But the GM Volt is a glimmer of hope on the horizon that somehow, we might be able to do something about the bloodletting of our wealth to our adversaries. (Japan is not an adversary and I have a Japanese aunt and my cousin is half Japanese) But that being said, American made cars that run on electricity than can be generated by wind turbines and solar farms here in the USA, make me excited...

I just want GM to hit a home-run out of the ballpark when they get this puppy on the highway. I'd like GM not to produce a dog like their Chevy Monza was, or the Chevy Chevette... I want GM to make a car that the rest of the world will want to buy, so we can get some of our money back, so guys and gals in Michigan can keep their jobs.
 

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That kind of disparity sure seems crazy, but there is a shortage of new Priuses. I guess some people just can't wait the 6 months or so. Doesn't make sense to me.
I guess it must just be the Bay Area. There is no shortage here. You want one, you go to the dealer, pick a color and drive home. Of coarse the biggest Prius dealer in the world is here in Berkeley.
 
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