Absolutely. No matter how much we want to "Save the planet", we probably aren't going to pay a bunch more for a car that is lacking in one of the most important features of transportation (distance).
These latest versions have been impressive in their ability to rival gas powered vehicles for daily use, but many people still have a bad taste in their mouth and visions of 30 mile maximum distances in their head.
... are motivated by pride, not reality. Pride in the need to be right.
GM over estimated the size of the early adopter market and the premium that people would be willing to pay. At issue as well, is they were asking a significant premium for a car that is a compact and lacking the status of "Status Symbol". If this had been first to market before the Prius was cool, they probably could have gotten away with it, but in some ways it shows some maturity in the tech that it had to sell exclusively on its merits.
Any customer doing an ROI analysis would realize unless they did 30 miles each way to work and charged at each end, then they would not achieve the savings required to justify the car. Take $5000 off and that starts to make sense a lot earlier.
I am tempted ... can almost justify it and if gas keeps going up well ....
The price drop, no doubt, will create a great incentive to consumers to own an EV. To me, the price drop is not an indicator to the failure of the movement. Rather, it is a pre-emptive move to gain market share ahead of Tesla Model X which is scheduled to release in early 2014. In addition, there have been evaluation of government incentive program to EV. Who knows when the subsidiary is taken away. In investors' point of view, to ensure long term success of EV push, they'd better get enough hens to lay eggs. Hopefully, the price cut will give enough reason for infrastructure development, i.e more charging stations.
Last month, the Energy Department launched the eGallon to let consumers compare the cost of fueling with electricity vs. gasoline. Since electricity prices vary from state to state, the page allows consumers to get information specific to their own state. For example, an eGallon is $1.53 in California (compared to $3.98 for gasoline) and $1.13 in Texas (compared to $3.33 for gasoline). eGallon prices are available for all 50 states and the District of Columbia onEnergy.gov/eGallon.
I do not live in the U.S. so I cannot make direct use of this tool, however, I have done the comparisons and looked at the ROI.
With the price drop and the lowest cost model of the Volt, the breakeven is very very close for me and my driving patterns. If gas prices go up over the expected 6-8 years I will have this vehicle I will likely come out ahead. More northern climate, so my battery life will be extended, but not so cold that I will have my capacity impacted that much after a bit of battery self warming.
My real complaint about this car is that the mileage on gas alone is only so-so. I wish that was class leading as well. Ideally I would have liked to have seen a small displacement diesel or better optimization but we can't have everything. Maybe gen-3?
We can't forget that it is a great real world learning platform for GM and the experience they are gathering is invaluable. Costly yes, but what in automotive is not.
The e-gallon I do not believe is an accurate measurement though as it assumes an equal comparison in efficiency between both fuels for all vehicles. In theory that "works" when ratings are taken into account, but the reality is +/- 20% which in ROI terms is HUGE!
With the "surge" of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids (it is 2x that of last year), it would be interesting to revisit the energy footprint of personal vehicles versus certain forms of public transportation when viewed in energy/person mile and carbon foot print/person mile.
Public transit is just assumed to be more environmentally friendly, but diesel powered buses and even diesel hybrid buses and diesel powered trains start to lose their shine when compared to pure electric personal vehicle especially when you have more than one person in those vehicles.
It is likely a good time to revisit this topic and would be a good discussion point.