Posts tagged “General Motors”
The thinking behind producing a car that is destined to be sold at such a loss is GM’s attempt to infiltrate what it obviously sees as a lucrative future market as the world transitions to the use of alternative fuel sources, according to analysts, but many doubt the automaker’s ability to ever make money with the Volt.
The following guest post is from Victor Sequeira. Mr. Sequeira is Principal of VerisNRG LLC, a Houston based energy consultancy. He can be reached at victorseq [at] comcast [dot] net —————————— Can GM’s Volt Provide a Jolt to the Electric Car Industry? I remember my first trip to Bentonville, Arkansas to visit the WalMart corporate headquarters. As I looked at the offices of all the vendors who sell to WalMart, I remember thinking “being the world’s biggest retailer has its advantages.” So it is with the development of the electric car (EV). We root for companies like Tesla but, to move the market in a substantive way, you need to be big. Most Americans have watched General Motors in recent… Continue»
The plant will be the first electric motor manufacturing facility in the U.S. operated by a major automaker.
Originally planned to be a Saturn Vue Green Line, GM will most likely produce the SUV hybrid through another name.
Remember my story Coskata: Dead Man Walking? As I wrote in that essay six months ago: I predict that Coskata’s suggestions that they will produce ethanol for less than $1/gal will look ridiculous in hindsight. The next few years will see a record amount of back-pedaling from most of the companies trying to establish a foothold in this space – and overpromising on their technology to do so. Well, at the Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics Conference last week, Coskata CEO Bill Roe indicated that the company is having (recession-induced) troubles. Marc Gunther has the story: GM’s woes: Bad news for clean energy Talk to a banker and “all you get is a smile and a pat on the head,” Roe… Continue»
In 2009 and 2010 we should see a lot of hybrids and fully electric cars hitting the roads. I spent a little time this weekend reviewing the potential offerings. Here is where some of the more frequently-mentioned offerings stand. 1. The Aptera 2e The Aptera 2e This is probably the most unusual offering. I first mentioned the Aptera in a story last year, and the roll-out is still on target for Q4 of this year. It is a 3-wheeled vehicle, made of light-weight composites. The shape is very aerodynamic to minimize wind resistance. The batteries recharge in 8 hours, and the car reportedly has a range of 100 miles. The cost is going to be in the range of $30,000,… Continue»
I reported on it last week in How Quickly We Forget, but the Houston Chronicle yesterday reiterated the point the people are reverting to bad habits: GM exec complains ‘nobody wants’ small cars now General Motors Corp. Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said lower fuel prices are discouraging U.S. sales of small cars and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles. Gasoline prices “are completely messing it up,” Lutz said today in a Bloomberg interview, referring to demand for small vehicles. “Nobody wants them.” Lutz endorses the same fix that I have proposed: Lutz drew parallels to government cigarette taxes that pushed the price of a carton to more than $20. “That’s the way the market mechanisms work,” he said. “Guess what, cigarettes are so… Continue»
Since the Coskata announcement that they were going to be able to produce ethanol for “under US $1.00 a gallon anywhere in the world” – documented here – I have gotten a number of requests for comments on the technology. After all, GM is on board! GM can’t be wrong, can they? Vinod Khosla’s enthusiasm couldn’t be misplaced either, could it? After crunching the numbers, my conclusion is that not only is this not the ‘slam dunk’ that is being projected, you probably have a better chance of hitting a blindfolded shot from mid-court than Coskata has of producing cost-competitive ethanol. What leads me to this conclusion? Earlier today I provided some extensive analysis for someone, so I thought I… Continue»
Some of the consequences of very high oil prices are pretty predictable. Homes way out in the suburbs are likely to lose value. Prices will rise across the board for goods and services. Airlines will struggle. And gas guzzlers will be much less attractive: Gas costs deflate prices on used SUVs High fuel prices are causing the value of used SUVs to plummet, often below what’s listed in the buying guides many shoppers use to negotiate with dealers. “The dealer is going to offer a price, and the customer is going to be ticked off,” says Tom Webb, chief economist for Manheim, operators of auctions where car dealers buy their used-vehicle inventories. “The guidebooks have not caught up to the… Continue»
Move over, Chevy Volt. You have some very serious competition: Toyota Will Offer a Plug-In Hybrid by 2010 DETROIT — The Toyota Motor Corporation, which leads the world’s automakers in sales of hybrid-electric vehicles, announced Sunday night that it would build its first plug-in hybrid by 2010. The move puts Toyota in direct competition with General Motors, which has announced plans to sell its own plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, sometime around 2010. Katsuaki Watanabe, the president of Toyota, announced the company’s plans at the Detroit auto show as part of a series of environmental steps. Mr. Watanabe said Toyota, best known for its Prius hybrid car, would develop a fleet of plug-in hybrids that run on lithium-ion batteries,… Continue»