Consumers are demanding cars get more miles per gallon. The government is demanding lower CO2 emissions. Each additional mile-per-gallon starts costing more and more. GM realized there had to be a better way to do this. They realized it’s time to get away from the “oily bits” of an engine. They are placing their future in mild hybrids, strong hybrids, plug-in hybrids, extended-range electric vehicles like the Volt, and fuel cells. Being the realist that he is, Bob believes that there is a segment of the Environmental Movement that is against personal mobility.
Bob’s theory is that you can have a car that eats CO2, gets 200 miles per gallon and sprouts fresh daisies out of the tailpipe… and it will still be criticized for insects that are killed on the windshield. Basically, someone somewhere will find something to complain about. The question was asked why there is no concentration on creating a hybrid type of vehicle that would be considered “luxury”. The feeling is that many more people would buy an energy-efficient vehicle if only it were more “stylish”, and met their quality standards. Sadly, many people could care less about the emissions, nor the fuel economy of a car. They simply drive what they feels looks the best, or makes THEM look the best. There is a huge untapped market of people who have money to spend, and are going Green. However, they don’t want to trade in their Benz for say… a Prius.
Bob stated that even Mercedes is looking at Lithium Ion technology. Even though they may not be on the market, nor talked much about… these types of cars ARE in development. Mercedes is saying that they may be charging around $80,000 for these cars, but Lutz feels it will be more along the lines of $100,000 and up. These will then become the sort of ethically pure rich person’s car. One example of these cars is the Tesla Roadster. It is a sleek looking little car, and is being touted as getting the equivalent of 256 miles per gallon. If you decide to reserve one now, you’ll lock in the $109,000 price tag with a $5000.00 reservation fee. For another $55,000.00, you can lock in a production slot and delivery time. You must then make your color and interior selections… AND pay the final balance due… three months prior to delivery.
No matter the price tag on something like these, they will sell out. There are two types of people who buy hybrid cars: those who truly care about the environment and/or save money, and those who are “going Green” in order to impress their friends or fans. Face it, it’s hip to be Green. So the question is: should Cadillac (a subsidiary of GM) be making an equivalent of the new Chevy Volt? The answer is, of course, absolutely.
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