Consumer Reports: GM's Volt 'doesn't really make a lot of sense'

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I can assure you that I will be still doing fillups at gas stations and changing motor oil in 20 years. The installed base is far too large to simply go away in that period of time. (You of course may elect to purchase some stoopid electic pregnant roller skate to run around if you desire. Just don't try to force me into one.)
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Roger Blake (Change "invalid" to "com" for email. Google Groups killfiled.)
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On 3/2/2011 3:16 AM, Roger Blake wrote:

For a guy that claims to be such a forward thinker, you seem to be stuck on this technology based on the steam engine.
There were guys like you that thought the automobile would never catch on but my guess is that the 20 years from the introduction of the Model T to the 1930s pretty much changed the entire nation. Of course, back then, the naysayers had a more legs to their argument - there were few roads and hardly any place to get gas.
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I see no reason to change it.

There were guys like you 40 years ago that though we would be out of oil in 20 years.
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start paying those prices, you might have a change of heart.
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That's because you permit your government to impose punitive taxes on gasoline. Americans may not be quite as complacent about such a move. In any event, even if gas prices rose to European socialist levels here I would still not purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle.
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On 3/3/2011 3:43 PM, Clive wrote:

No, if they tried charging prices that high here, we'd have a change of government. Most of that 9.91 is taxes, not fuel cost.
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news is full of 73 oil crisis doom at the moment and I just wondered how it would play over there if fuel went to the prices that we pay. Also remember that the duty we pay on fuel is fixed so when fuel goes up, like you we pay more, but much lower increase in proportion.
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Most of those taxes, though, go for maintaining road infrastructure that you use when you burn gasoline. Whereas in the US we can't seem to keep specific-use taxes segregated.
I don't mind high gas prices if it means roads are maintained better. I only mind paying a gas tax which gets used for something totally unrelated. --scott
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aemeijers wrote:

Are you aware that the US government is driving the cost of labor up by taxing it at the rate they do?
By not taxing workers wages heavily and by providing national health care European countries don't add as much to the cost of labor that means manufacturing jobs tend to not migrate away This is because of reduced labor costs and increased transportation costs
The US government drives the cost of fuel down by not taxing it heavily and using the tax from labor to finance expensive foreign policy to keep the price of fuel low
Some of the consequence of this is that jobs migrate to other countries and fuel is used wastefully
If instead of that taxation scheme fuel was heavily taxed for government revenue and labor was cheaper due to reduction in payroll taxes and health insurance costs
Then
More of the goods that people buy locally would be made by workers with local jobs instead of workers half-way around the world
-jim

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Yup. However, at the time, the exponential growth in computer power had been pretty well established.

The cheap ram and long-term storage was predicted. The cheap CPU was predicted. They all fell along the same growth curve that had been going on for some time.
But a lot of the actual applications weren't so easy to predict, and that is what makes the future fun.

I expect to be, and I expect to be driving the same 1974 car that I am driving today. It should be up around a million miles on the odometer by then. But then, I'll probably still be using film and listening to CDs as well, so I am clearly an outlier. --scott
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Sounds good to me (I drive a 1975 model), though I haven't gone to CDs yet, still on records and tapes.
Those of us who are old enough to have lived through the first iteration of this envirowacko rubbish 40 years ago are going to be an extremely tough sell this time around. (Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...) I can look through magazines from the 1970s and it's all the same crap; windmills, solar panels, alternative fuels, electric cars, etc., etc. Sorry, I'm not falling for it this time.
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I think it was a good idea back in the seventies and much of it is a good idea today. The stuff we saw in the seventies brought us the more efficient engines of today.
And yes, the emission controls systems when they first arrived in the seventies were horrible and sometimes did more harm than good, but they got better because they had to. I think you'll see the same thing happen with electric vehicles.
But I also think that the environmental impact of auto manufacturing is in many cases even more significant than the environmental impact of operating them. Build a car that lasts twice as long, you halve the effective impact of production. Unfortunately you also halve your sales.... --scott
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It was mostly garbage then and it is mostly garbage now.

You can make a car last almost indefinitely if you have a mind to. I've been driving the same vehicle for over 30 years now and it still runs just fine. Of course I have long since removed the crude 1970s-era emissions equipment and tuned the engine for best performance.
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Scott Dorsey wrote:

The first emission standards were designed to be horrible and ineffective. The regulations were designed during the Nixon administration by the oil cos and automakers. The intent of the regulations from the automakers point of view was to create obstacles for foreign competition. They did succeed in killing off the VW bug but for the most part the effort only slowed the competition a bit.     The real problem with new regulations was there are places like LA where important people live that really couldn't breath unless something effective was done about car exhaust. The new regulations meant that the new Cadillac was getting 6 mpg instead of the 13 mpg that the previous models did. And LA has more than its share of Cadillacs.
It was pretty clear that to make things better the regulations were going to have to actually work and could not be allowed to be just another football the politicians and big corporation kicked around, because the people who make movies were getting pissed off and that wasn't going to be pretty.

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On 3/2/2011 4:52 AM, Scott Dorsey wrote:

Us folks interested in such things were aware of the drop in RAM and storage space prices as well as the growth of processing power. Still, I'm stunned at all that has happened. I never really thought about what kind of impact all this would have on society. Who does?
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"dsi1" wrote in message wrote in message news:4d6d70be$0$8113>

Well I guess it's too late to find out now. The price of computer RAM was about $45 a MB so you'd probably have a hard time imagining regular folks owing a computer with $200,000 worth of ram and drives which would cost about $10,000,000 at the time. -------- I recall paying $100 MB at one point. 9 chips per meg.... -------
The only reason we're a digital world is that cheap RAM, data storage, and a method of moving info around at high speed exists. Without that, we'd probably still be using film, listening to CDs, going to Tower Records, and using computers with small sized OSes with limited memory. ------------ Who would ever need more than 640k? ----------
My guess is that 20 years from now, we won't be doing fill-ups at gas stations and changing motor oil. I could be wrong but I hope not, for our sake. ---------- We'll be plugging our all electric cars into an over extended analog electrical distribution system that still has 50% of power generated via burning coal, negating the "carbon" savings of burning fossil fuels. ----------

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Speak for yourself.
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On 3/2/2011 3:13 AM, Roger Blake wrote:

I thought it would have been obvious that I was.
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You said "our future."
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On 3/2/2011 11:09 AM, Roger Blake wrote:

That's right. Point taken. :-)
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