Re: GM to build and sell hybrid cars in Canada ... cheaper!



Or better yet, move closer to your job, that is what a lot of people do and it works pretty well. It even helps to save the planet since your driving less.

But you see that won't ever really happen, not for a long long time. The reason is that if the price goes up, it makes stuff like oil shale become economically viable to recover oil from. And we have gobs more oil tied up in reserves that are a bit more expensive to recover oil from than just drill and hold out a bucket.
So yes, the price could go up another 100%. But if it went up something really significant, like 1000%, then the other uneconomically viable reserves would suddenly become viable and go into production, and the price increase would halt.

Try a motorcycle or a bicycle.

They only have high resale value now because most owners are still under the original, long, factory warranty so a buyer knows that if something major is wrong with it when they buy it, they can get it fixed for free.

That is not how an increasing number of people buy new cars these days. Gone are the days that most car buyers would go down to the local dealership and just spend the day being sold to. More and more of them are doing their homework on the Internet first and have a clear idea of exactly what they want before walking in the dealership's door.

Maybe they have done some analysis of their newspaper ad buys and found out that those ads don't generate enough sales to make them worthwhile. If I was a car dealer I'd probably be putting most of my ad dollars into tv ads and radio, not newspapers.

So much for wanting to own something different. Isn't it amazing that a Prius proponent such as yourself can say on one hand the Prius is great because everyone is buying them, and on the other hand say the Prius is great because hardly anyone is buying them?

You see this is the problem, "you bet" You frankly don't know, and you don't know because the Prius hasn't been out that long.
once we see a lot of these Priuses hitting 200K miles we will have enough data to make a judgement as to whether the operating cost of the Prius is lower over the lifespan of the car, than the operating cost of the regular car..
Ted
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Absolutely. I would not recommend we rely on hybrids alone to cut greenhouse gases, reduce oil consumption, etc. They're just one element.

While there are reserves that are incrementally more expensive, there are other reasons gas prices could spike - and spike hard. Look at the recent refinery attack in Saudi Arabia, or consider the situation in Nigeria. A big chunk of the world's production can be removed from the market overnight. Adding new production takes time.

I have a bike. I do a fair chunk of my commute by bike or on foot every year.

That may be true. And, as more hybrids come on the market, more will be available for resale. The early adopters may well do far better than later buyers.
Consumer Reports mentioned that, so far, the Toyota hybrids seem to have no worse repair records than other Toyotas. That's pretty good and in the long haul will probably help acceptance of hybrids. I would hope Ford and GM do as well.

The internet does not offer the driving experience. If you go drive the car and don't like it, then what do you do? Why does auto racing attract car manufacturers? Because you buy a NASCAR vehicle when you go into the showroom? No. It's marketing. Having an exciting product line helps pull in buyers.

They've made a unque decision, then, as the other auto dealers do advertise. There's a whole section of auto ads. Half the space is classifieds and the other half is big dealer ads.

I offered that as one possible reason. For some, it will be different enough.

True. But I don't mind betting on Toyota reliability, economy and resale. Right now, I've got three bets on Toyota in my driveway.

One thing that does last longer is the brakes. Anectdogal evidence suggest that the regenerative braking on the Toyota means the conventional brakes are lasting much longer. Stands to reason.
We'll see.
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Spike is usually temporary but there's lots of ways that it might not be. Violence could take out a lot of production in a hurry and it could be difficult to repair the damage. Look at Iraq. I don't believe they're pumping as much oil now as they did in 2000.
I'd question your assertion that a "lot of people" can go without driving for a short time. Price hikes produce pissing and moaning but little change in habits. During the last round of price hikes, nobody in my neighborhood asked if I'd like to car-pool.
I saw something authoritative on this and can't find it. I'll keep looking. You would find it interesting.

The source I'm searching for described gas consumption as "inelastic." After all, if it was very elastic (as economists would use the term), could prices suddenly rise, due to small disruptions? I don't think so.
If gas suddenly fell to $1/gallon, do you really think people would drive much more? I doubt it. You're describing a situation where people would suddenly start taking pleasure drives just because gas was cheap or shopping further away because gas was cheap. I don't see that happening. Among other things, driving takes too much time to be done entirely casually. Now, if gas prices fell far enough, people might have enough extra money in their pockets to do more things and more miles might be driven in support of these activities but I think we're looking at something marginal.

OK, I won't get too hot'n'bothered. But, one of the values of the current hybrids is that they test these things in the real world. And one of the advantages to Toyota is that in 2008 (or so) when GM brings out their hybrid, Toyota has mindshare and experience. First-year GM hybrid vs 4th Generation Toyota?

An incremental improvement in battery technology (llike merely doubling the storage in the existing space) would mean that just adding a plug to the front-end of the hybrid for overnight charging would allow me to do my commute and maybe all my daily errands without running the hybrid engine at all. No gas at all until you have driven more than X miles without an overnight charge. This could almost be a field upgrade (swap in new, higher-density battery pack and implant add-on charger for house current input). (**)
If I understand correctly, one of the problems with electric cars is the charging rate. With gasoline, it's easy to pour enough ergs(*) into the car in 5 minutes to drive for 4 to 6 hours. With house-current charging, putting enough ergs into the car to drive 6 hours takes a lot longer. If the new tech vehicle is your only vehicle, you're going to want something with long-range capability that can be "refueled" quickly, so that you don't find yourself taking an hour to recharge every few hours on a long trip. Gasoline (or ethanol or diesel) makes this relatively easy.
(*) Perhaps I really mean joules... it's been a long time since physics and chemistry. (**) a little extra product feature might be a slightly smarter control system that senses when you're on the way home and lets the traction battery drain almost completely, on the assumption you'll plug in at the end of the trip.
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