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Post 22 Nov 2013, 4:35 pm

Yup, those government guys are good! They managed to only lose $167M of a $192M investment. I doubt I could do that. Then again, I would not "invest" for pure ideological reasons. And, certainly, I would not "invest" other people's money.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Obama administration. The Energy Department has sold off its $192 million loan guarantee to Fisker Automotive to Chinese billionaire Richard Li for $25 million — the biggest taxpayer loss on a green loan since the failure of Solyndra.

The Energy Department will announce the “selling of the promissory note” to Hybrid Tech, which is owned by Chinese billionaire Richard Li, according to sources familiar with the sale. The DOE sold the loan to Li for $25 million after lending the financially troubled green automaker a total of $192 million since 2009.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/22/taxpa ... z2lQ7HYIM0


Heckuva job, Mr. President!
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Post 09 Apr 2014, 10:50 am

Dude, the Volt is going to save . . . well, nothing.

The company couldn’t sell the car for reasons that are fairly obvious anywhere outside of Washington: it costs an arm and a leg. Washington tried to fix that in the usual ways, cash rebates and such. The government even bought some Volts. But the car never sold in the numbers that GM had confidently predicted it would and 18 months ago, as Reuters reported, the company was:

losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds … with cheap Volt lease offers ... some Americans [were] paying just $5,050 to drive around for two years in a vehicle that cost as much as $89,000 to produce.


Which is the sort of thing that leads one to believe that GM and the government are a perfect fit.

The company did not give up, however, and now:

Hoping to boost demand for its slow-selling Volt hybrid, Chevrolet is planning to sell two versions of the redesigned 2016 Volt, including a lower-priced model with a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range.


As Paul Lienert and Bernie Woodall of Reuters report:

Chevrolet has sold just 58,158 Volts since the car went on sale 39 months ago, despite price cuts and heavy discounting. In comparison, the best-selling Ford F-series pickup last month sold more than 70,000.


Given the economics, it is probably a good thing the Volt hasn’t sold. It might have driven the company into another bankruptcy.


Le sigh.
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Post 11 Aug 2014, 10:30 am

I'm in Michigan for a few weeks and I see a lot of different cars on the road than I do in NYC, including more than a few Volts. So I looked up how the electric vehicle sales are going and found this:

http://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

It shows that electric vehicle sales are growing fairly rapidly since their introduction in 2010. The Volt's sales YTD are down a little and it is no longer the best selling electric vehicle, but others are increasing. Probably the most interesting thing about the table is that in 2011 there were very few choices, but in 2014 there are 18 different models available in the US. That's pretty cool. Anybody drive one? I never have, but I'm told that the acceleration that comes from an electric engine is fantastic.
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Post 11 Aug 2014, 11:56 am

geojanes wrote:It shows that electric vehicle sales are growing fairly rapidly since their introduction in 2010. The Volt's sales YTD are down a little and it is no longer the best selling electric vehicle, but others are increasing. Probably the most interesting thing about the table is that in 2011 there were very few choices, but in 2014 there are 18 different models available in the US. That's pretty cool. Anybody drive one? I never have, but I'm told that the acceleration that comes from an electric engine is fantastic.
They have come on a long way in the past five years. Of course, some people still base their dismissal of modern energy-efficient methods on 5-10 year old data.

Interesting points from the sales data:

The Volt was the leading seller in the 'current generation of plug-ins' category for 18 months out of the three period 2011-2013. It was the leading seller for 2012 and 2013 overall.

As the market has proliferated, the Volt, Leaf, Tesla S and Prius PHV have been consistently in the top four each month, with the new Fords only recently breaking through.

Based on 2014 figures to date, in which about 38% of sales are in the first 6 months of a calendar year, the Volt would be projected to sell over 20,000 units this year.

It may not be setting the world afire (I don't think anyone claimed it would, other than the sarcastic), but it clearly is among the leaders in it's sector, and has been for over three years.

Who knows if it could have performed better without relentless propaganda from naysayers?
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 9:31 am

danivon
Who knows if it could have performed better without relentless propaganda from naysayers?

relentless nay saying like "get a horse" did not stop the horseless carriage becomng the modern auotomobile.
and few amongst those who saw the first airplanes could conceive of intercontinental flight for middle class passenger lists numbering hundreds.....
I think its pretty clear that the electric car is starting to become a viable segment. The 400 series of highways in Ontario have passive charging stations in all of their rest stops. Thats was stipulated design element when the series of stops (38 or so) were put out to tender 4 years ago. So, the people who plan our infrastructure seem to have seen the writing on the wall a few years ago.
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 9:43 am

rickyp wrote:danivon
Who knows if it could have performed better without relentless propaganda from naysayers?

relentless nay saying like "get a horse" did not stop the horseless carriage becomng the modern auotomobile.
and few amongst those who saw the first airplanes could conceive of intercontinental flight for middle class passenger lists numbering hundreds.....
I think its pretty clear that the electric car is starting to become a viable segment. The 400 series of highways in Ontario have passive charging stations in all of their rest stops. Thats was stipulated design element when the series of stops (38 or so) were put out to tender 4 years ago. So, the people who plan our infrastructure seem to have seen the writing on the wall a few years ago.


Yes, it's amazing what government subsidies can do for sales.

Meanwhile, do electric cars reduce carbon emissions overall?

Have our overall supply of electricity and our grid efficiency made electric cars a worthwhile bet?
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Post 12 Aug 2014, 10:14 am

Doctor Fate wrote:Meanwhile, do electric cars reduce carbon emissions overall?


Since the absolute numbers are so tiny, probably not yet, but they do get much better fuel economy than gas cars. This article shows most have a MPGe of about 100:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_per_gallon_gasoline_equivalent

But I just like the fact that people have more choices, and more choices are almost always good.
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Post 18 Aug 2014, 6:39 am

Nice write-up of electric cars in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car

Regarding the question of greenhouse gas emissions, the savings varies considerably by how the electricity if generated. Unsurprising, I know, but the differences are huge.
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Post 18 Aug 2014, 10:09 am

geojanes wrote:Nice write-up of electric cars in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car

Regarding the question of greenhouse gas emissions, the savings varies considerably by how the electricity if generated. Unsurprising, I know, but the differences are huge.
Indeed. I was surprised however that transmission loss across the grid is not that big a factor - about 6.5% across the US grid on average - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_p ... ion#Losses and that can be lowered by moving to underground cabling.
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Post 19 Aug 2014, 10:14 am

fate
Have our overall supply of electricity and our grid efficiency made electric cars a worthwhile bet?


problems with aging grid are largely because of capacity limitations in peak periods. Strategies and technologies that shift usage are developing and being used that have lowered peak usages and have potential to greatly reduce peak usage periods.
Charging for cars is expected to largely be done in non-peak periods. (Over night.) So they aren't likely to have any sgnificant problem on transmission problems.
(Some of the strategies have included pricing by hour of consumption. This has moved many consumers and sme industries to shift consumption patterns to take advantage of pricing. Other things like capacitor usage of solar and wind energy generated by large buildings in peak periods is already being implemented in some sites. Capcitors like compressed air storage under lakes or oceans...)
As usual there won't be some large over arching solution to reducing peak usage. There will thousands of small solutions, by companies and individuals working to reduce their energy costs and become more enviromentally friendly.
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Post 26 Aug 2014, 2:32 pm

rickyp wrote:As usual there won't be some large over arching solution to reducing peak usage. There will thousands of small solutions, by companies and individuals working to reduce their energy costs and become more enviromentally friendly.


So funny. The market will solve the problem . . . but can't solve the void of electric cars without massive subsidies from the Federal government?

And, wind power is so brilliant. http://www.cfact.org/2014/08/21/parasit ... -the-wind/
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Post 27 Aug 2014, 3:44 pm

Wind power alone would not be much good, but luckily no-one is calling for it.

You ignore the other things ricky mentions, such as the really vital question of capacitance (which if we crack it means that we can decouple demand from immediate supply), and refer us to an op-ed by someone who appears to have a bit of an interest, on a website that has a clear bias, as if it's somehow authoritative? As obtuse as ricky can be, I reckon.

Hey, the market didn't solve the lack of an internet, or jet planes, or a whole load of things - sometimes government investment is a good thing for progress.
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Post 02 Sep 2014, 5:03 pm

danivon wrote:Wind power alone would not be much good, but luckily no-one is calling for it.

You ignore the other things ricky mentions, such as the really vital question of capacitance (which if we crack it means that we can decouple demand from immediate supply), and refer us to an op-ed by someone who appears to have a bit of an interest, on a website that has a clear bias, as if it's somehow authoritative? As obtuse as ricky can be, I reckon.

Hey, the market didn't solve the lack of an internet, or jet planes, or a whole load of things - sometimes government investment is a good thing for progress.


And, sometimes it's not. In this case, the actual evidence is not promising. How many years and how many billions of dollars has the government spent trying to develop these forms of energy, yet they are still not financially viable.
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Post 06 Sep 2014, 5:03 am

Doctor Fate wrote:And, sometimes it's not. In this case, the actual evidence is not promising. How many years and how many billions of dollars has the government spent trying to develop these forms of energy, yet they are still not financially viable.
I don't know how much has been spent. Do you?

And are you sure they are not financially viable?

(by the way, 'capacitance' is not a form of energy)
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Post 06 Sep 2014, 11:58 am

danivon wrote:
Doctor Fate wrote:And, sometimes it's not. In this case, the actual evidence is not promising. How many years and how many billions of dollars has the government spent trying to develop these forms of energy, yet they are still not financially viable.
I don't know how much has been spent. Do you?


In total or annually?

And are you sure they are not financially viable?


Yes. If they were, the government would not STILL have to subsidize them. They would be able to compete on their own.

(by the way, 'capacitance' is not a form of energy)


I didn't say it was. I didn't address it. You did and I didn't cut it out of your response.