Skip to comments.Why electric and hybrid cars won’t save Detroit
Posted on 11/30/2008 9:19:37 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Many members of Congress believe they know what the car company of the future should look like. A business model based on gas a gas-guzzling past is unacceptable, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said recently. We need a business model based on cars of the future, and we already know what that future is: the plug-in hybrid electric car.
But the car company Schumer and other lawmakers envision for the future could turn out to be a money-losing operation, not part of a sustainable U. S. auto industry that President-elect Barack Obama and most members of Congress say they want to create.
Thats because car manufacturers still havent figured out how to produce hybrid and plug-in vehicles cheaply enough to make money on them.
After a decade of relative success with its hybrid Prius, Toyota has sold about a million of the cars and is still widely believed by analysts to be losing money on each one sold. General_Motors has touted plans for a plug-in hybrid vehicle called the Volt, but the costly battery will prevent it from turning a profit on the vehicle for several years, at least.
In 10 years are they [GM] going to solve the technological problems with respect to the Volt? Sure, says Maryann Keller, an automotive analyst and author of a book on GM. But are they going to be able to stake their survival, which is really more of a now to five-year proposition, on it? Id say they cant. They have to stake their future on_Malibus, the Chevy Cruze, and much more conventional technologies.
U.S. automakers face demands that they provide evidence and assurance that they would use federal bailout money to transform their companies to produce automobiles of the future, using advanced technologies and featuring hybrid or plug-in vehicles.
(Excerpt) Read more at buffalonews.com ...
If anything - electric cars and hybrids might bankrupt them even faster. The Dems taking Congress in 2006 and their NO Energy Policy helped drive oil prices to the moon which was the last straw for Detroit. I love how O and the Dems keep blaming the auto industry execs.
They’ll make it up on volume.
Appropriate that car of the future, like the future in general, is one that makes no money.
Just how are we supposed to live out of a tiny tin car? HOw are we supposed to load our goods, pull food wagons, carry supplies with a car the size of a show-box?
These ijits just amaze me.
In engineering, we have a saying about managers and customers who sound like Schumer does here:
“Don’t confuse them with facts, he has his mind made up.”
After hearing my buddies Roadrunner gulping in the garage this weekend, an entire battery operated car makes me weep.
What advanced technologies? There are several available alternate fuel vehicles, they are all too expensive for the average consumer. No advanced technologies are a viable business without millions in subsidies.
The other issue is fuel taxes. Right now there are several states that are eliminating all savings realized from hybrid fuel vehicles by increasing the tax on fuels. Seems that the savings to the consumer on fuel consumption, the savings that were supposed to offset the high initial cost of the vehicle, has had an unintended consequence. State revenues are declining so instead of reducing spending they are, true to form, increasing taxes to cover it.
Congress needs to address the real issue here and stop with the nonsense, void the union agreements and let the Companies get out from under the huge liabilities and liquidity issues they impose. Everything else is just bull****.
That D*LDO needs to read "The Road To Serfdom".
Oh, sure. F you.
Get between me and my battery concrete mixer truck.
The auto industry, as currently structured, is a life support system for UAW pension and medical benefits.
And much of that will not matter unless Detroit steps up and apologizes for all the clunkers they’ve unloaded on customers over the years. What you mention is necessary, but they also have to figure out how to get customers to even consider a domestic product.
There are now two entire generations of people who have never bought a domestic car and will not even consider them because of the horror stories.
You can purchase a team of horses.
Heh ... Step Right Up
hrumph, very funny! It’ll take two weeks to get over the Skisykous!
Actually, I think hydraulic hybrids are more technologically realistic.
Absolutely it will. More people will flock to Japanese and other manufacturers to get the vehicles they want. You don’t market a car on the idea it will make you feel better about yourself. especially to people who don’t worship at the alter of global warming. This will be a repeat of the ‘70’s, but it will end in the demise of American auto manufacturers.
if you want an electric car then you need electricity. 50% of our electricity comes from coal. The global warmers hate coal so if you want to replace that then you need to build nuclear plants. Well, the price of oil is low and the upfront construction costs of building more nuke plants is very high so if we really want this to work then the govt will have to pitch in with the $ to pay for these plants. Then all the anti-nuke activists will complain.
So I wonder if chuckie really wants to go this route.
The entire industry needs to be rebuilt from the ground up: better products, more competitive labor agreements and less, not more, government interference.
Congress couldn't run its own post office and bank. The idea that they have a clue about running a car company and more so, what products to produce for the future, is laughable beyond imagination.
They will fail since I won’t buy any!
I was thinking the same thing. Pneumatics are another alternative — as Tata Motors of India has already shown.
Regardless, it's nuts for any government to believe that it can pick winners from amongst emerging technologies. With such misguided central planning, the cost of being wrong will be a lot greater, than if things were left to the marketplace.
“I need to go 400 miles in a day to get to the next spot.”
A team of horses isn’t going to get abigkahuna the 400 miles a day he needs. Try again.
I agree - but you should add “apologize to the buying public” to that list.
Chuckie "Putz" Schumer is so stupid even his own mother thought that his nickname was appropriate.
If Detroit wants to save itself two things must happen:
First, match the car quality already provided by Honda and Toyota. Prove it.
Second, bust the unions. Then pay workers prevailing wages, not outrageous wages, and allow maximum use of innovation regardless of the impact on jobs.
Do I think this will happen. No. The Big 3 automakers are doomed to failure.
Any business that accepts criticism of their ‘business model’ from the likes of schumer deserves to vanish.
LOL! My point exactly on the last thread. Wait till they try to throw a ladder rack and a unit of plywood on one of these roller-skates. Or haul a family of 6 and a 4 horse trailer 600 miles.
City folks live in an entirely different world, it seems. They must think this stuff just happens with fairy dust or something...
Went bankrupt and got bought out by AMC in 2002, I see. I'd forgotten all about them.The future's so bright ...
Many members of Congress believe they know what the wagon company of the future should look like. A business model based on horses alone a hay-guzzling past is unacceptable, Sen. Charles E. Shroomer, D-N.Y., said recently. We need a business model based on wagons of the future, and we already know what that future is: the hybrid horse/internal-combustion buggy.”
But the wagonmaker Shroomer and other lawmakers envision for the future could turn out to be a money-losing operation, not part of a sustainable U. S. carriage industry that President-elect Garfield and most members of Congress say they want to create.
Thats because wagon manufacturers still havent figured out how to produce horse-drawn/engine-driven vehicles cheaply enough to make money on them.
After a decade of relative success with its hybrid Nag-o-Sake, Japan’s Yoyota Wagon and Carriage Concern has sold about a million of the hybrids and is still widely believed by analysts to be losing money on each one sold. Studebaker has touted plans for a horse/motor hybrid vehicle called the Colt, but the costly two-stroke gasoline engine will prevent it from turning a profit on the vehicle for several years, at least.
In 10 years is Studebaker going to solve the technological problems with respect to the Colt? Sure, says Maryann Keller, an carriage-industry analyst and author of a book on Studebaker. But are they going to be able to stake their survival, which is really more of a now to five-year proposition, on it? Id say they cant. They have to stake their future on buckboards, sulkies, and much more conventional technologies.
U.S. carriagemakers face demands that they provide evidence and assurance that they would use federal bailout money to transform their companies to produce wagons of the future, using advanced technologies and featuring hybrid animal/motor draft vehicles.
Plug into what? We cannot build power plants so there will be no electricity to recharge the batteries.
What amazes me is these dingbats taht hate coal, which helps produce electricity are for electric cars.
Obama says he want to raise coal so it puts the out of business and so that electricity raises 3x it precent rate AND they want us us to use electric.
I swear these people can’t be this dumb can they ...
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the Sierra Club will become the new CEO’s of GM.
They’ll build Ford style Cooper Minis by Gubmint edict.
I won’t buy it. I want something that goes real fast and gets real shitty gas mileage.
They have ways of trying to make me change my behavior. Tax incentives to buy green cars, luxury tax on gas guzzlers.
They can lick my hairy beanbag. I promise to buy something to piss them off even if it costs more money.
You are correct, but you must also add that the senate could not run its own restaurant, it gave that up this year.
It's called bankrupcy
The say way they keep blaming the Republicans for the Banking Fiasco that they created under their "fair housing act". One day the bulk of America is going to wake up and realize the Change Obama promised was actually complete Mafia control of America.
My son is an auto technician whose specialty is fuel and engine effeciency.
He says hybrids are extremely dangerous and a fad. He says one of the most underreported stories now is how dangerous they are and how many mechanics get hurt on them.
Considering the history of the auto industry, it is more likely that the big three will just fail period. There are already electric car companies popping up all over. One is building a plant in my county. They can make the product much cheaper and more efficiently than Detroit, and since they can probably afford to exist on relatively low sales, Big Auto won’t be able to compete. Let’s face it, for alternative fuels to work, gas stations all need the equipment to fill or charge these new cars. Until that happens you won’t have massive sales without a mandate, and tax incentives for stations owners to upgrade.
The failure of the biggest and best funded of those startups, Tesla motors, says you’re wrong.
Well, yes, sorta.
As my life is presently configured, I could live entirely without a car, and once did so for about five years (aside from an occasional rental). I rode my bike a lot, and didn't have kids. I want a car now -- I like to roll around a bit on the weekends, cart the kids to soccer and skating, and wouldn't want to lug the groceries home on foot.
But even including those applications, I average probably 20-30 miles a week for "baseline" driving. That's mostly dropping off and picking up the kids at school; for my own part, I walk and take metro to work. (When the girls are older, they can walk too.) I have only one regular trip (kid's soccer) over 2 miles. With a plug-in hybrid, my gasoline usage would drop to near zero except for vacations and occasional weekend road trips, which account for the great bulk of my mileage.
70% of Americans live in major metro areas and a fair number have driving profiles not unlike mine. Even more could/would if people got more sensible about living closer to their work. Multiply me by several tens of millions of these folks, and we can kick OPEC where it hurts.
I agree that people who need big vehicles and/or who have to drive -- e.g. people in rural areas and people with serious hauling needs -- shouldn't be hamstrung by government edict. But we still shouldn't dismiss the enormous reduction in gasoline usage that hybrids will make possible once the price point is right.
“These ijits just amaze me.” ... I am real sure that I would say ‘amaze’ but it is appropriate. Most of the proponents of cars that have no power or range are pony-tailed metrosexuals that live in a hovel behind their candle store/factory. The sum total of their lives is layed out in a six mile circle around them ... free clinic, whole food store, coffee house, etc. They never venture out into the world taking instead the data from MSNBC as gospel. Their friends live as they do and believe as they do. They need nothing else and believe that anyone who desires more is the enemy. They preach tolerance but are anything but.
You see a lot of that attitude on Democrat Underachievers.
Yes, it will bankrupt them even faster. No matter what people say about how “green” they want to be, when push comes to shove, they’ll opt for the more convenient, powerful, and (yes) cheaper gas vehicles. Why? Because at the end of the day, they’re not insane.
Man, do I loathe these damn politicians.
Based on 2009 model year MSRP and MPG, a five year/75,000 mile economic life and 8% cost of money, I figure the break even point in the choice between a Corolla and Prius is when gasoline is above $6.00/gal. This analysis ignores maintenance and up keep which are assumed to about equal. We are a ways away from economical hybrids/electric cars.
If you really wanted to make a fuel efficient car, you'd be making diesel hybrids anyway. But the typical Prius buyer thinks that air passed through the alimentary canal of a Prius comes out with Pine Fresh aroma, sort of the way they view their own alimentary canal.
Don’t you have to plug these things in?? Where’s that electricity coming from if Oshamba is going to destroy our coal plants???
Actually, clean diesel technology is a cost-effective alternate fuel, and automakers are selling cars in Europe right now using this technology, cars which can get 60mpg combined in a full-size sedan.
But why isn't this available here in the US? Because of government regulations prohibiting it.
Government, once again, is a disease masquerading as its own cure.
But when push really comes to shove, Congress will effectively force them to buy the "green" vehicles through a system of taxes and mandates, whether they want them or not.
When your entire business model depends on how well you can suck up to Congress, things like "convenience," "power," and "cost" are virtually irrelevant tertiary considerations.
After years of being nickle and dimed fixing things that shouldn't have broken in 100,000 miles rather than the 40K to 50K that was the norm, I gave up on them as they have given up on quality and on the people who bought their cars.
I took a lot of grief from people who told me it was unpatriotic to buy a Toyota or a Honda, but the real lack of patriotism was from the Americans who built crap and stuck a "Made in the USA" label on it.
My Tacoma was made in Fremont, California and is the absolute best vehicles I've ever owned. Who needs crap from the Big 2.5 when I can get a competitively priced, fantastic, reliable car or truck made right here in my country by my fellow Americans?