Thursday, April 9, 2015

First Generation Volt Comes To An End -- April 9, 2015

Idle chatter regarding the Shell story buying BG:

There is more than one story about Shell’s acquisition of a “natural gas” company; pundits see Shell’s transition from an “oil” company to a “natural gas” company as something of a surprise.

Tea leaves: with the news yesterday about a further assault on coal (Bloomberg, Sierra Club) and now this (Shell transitioning to be a “natural gas” company, or at least a different mix) suggests that the transition from coal to natural gas is a bigger story than a lot of us may realize.

Chariots On Fire Not So Hot

From the print edition of today's WSJ: GM Unplugs First Generation Volt Production
GM will halt production of the Chevrolet Volt electric car for the summer to whittle down about seven months of unsold inventory and smooth the way for the next generation of the plug-in hybrid sedan.
The first Volt went on sale in 2010 with high expectations, but sales have been lackluster amid low gasoline prices and the release of more capable electric models from competitors. GM has sold about 60,000 Volts to date, far below initial company forecasts.
New model (2016):
  • sleeker design (for going faster)
  • up to 50 miles range (wow)
Other data points:
  • GM sold 1,874 Volts during the latest three-month period, equivalent to the number of Silverado pickups sold in a day (and GM Silverado does not sell as many as Ford’s F-150) 
  • Volt stocks are enough to last 210 days 
Great news for folks who want to feel good about saving the environment: this is an opportunity to buy a Chevrolet Volt at cost — maybe less.

From Yahoo!Finance:
“The failure is five or six years after this car’s come out you didn’t know exactly what it was,” Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman notes. “GM, as it has done many times, over-hyped [the Volt] from the beginning, made it sound as if it was going to transform the automotive industry. It did nothing of the sort. It’s a niche vehicle at best."
The failure? Let's start with the range: 35 miles.

See also this post.

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