You might not think the current recession will have much effect on the production and sales of green hybrid electric cars, at least not any more than it affects sales of cars in general. Car sales are at a low right now with manufacturers like GM closing plants for a month to save money, forcing employees to take unpaid vacation time and implementing other drastic measures to try to cut costs without having to lay off more employees.
This affects car production overall, but is especially dangerous for the emerging popularity of green hybrid electric cars that are currently in production and scheduled to be released soon like the Chevrolet Volt. When car companies were lining up and begging Congress for a multi-billion dollar bailout to avoid bankruptcy, rumors swirled about Volt production coming to a halt thanks to the poor economy and car makers' troubles.
Considering that part of the condition for a Congress bailout was a plan put in place to show how the car makers planned to revamp their business plans to make themselves profitable again while providing quality products, one might think that the fast release of green hybrid electric cars that are good for the environment and consumers' pocket books might be part of those improvement plans. Since future product plans are such an important condition of the bailout, it seemed unlikely that they would abandon the project.
Now that the bailout has been approved and the government is loaning auto makers billions of dollars to be repaid at approximately 5% interest, it turns out that the green hybrid electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, has not been abandoned after all, but the talk of it being put on hold or halted was just a rumor. The plant where the drive train would have been manufactured is no longer going to be the plant to do so, but that task will fall to a different plant rather than being abandoned altogether. The green hybrid electric cars made by Chevrolet are still scheduled to hit the roads in the United States in late 2010, just as the company had planned before.
The Toyota Prius is an imported car, but there were plans to build a plant in Mississippi for American manufacture of the Prius. The current economy has put those plans on hold because Toyota is struggling with poor sales, like all car manufacturers. And Prius sales have dropped dramatically, probably due to the plunging price of gas. A green hybrid electric car seems less important when gas is under $2 a gallon, as opposed to how important it seemed when the national average price of gas was close to $5 a gallon. The plant will still be built, but plans to manufacture the Prius there have simply been postponed.
Like everything else, consumer interesting in green technology comes in waves that seem to follow the economy more than anything else. Recessions don't last forever, and the price of gas will rise again prompting renewed public interest in green hybrid electric cars.
Originally posted 2009-01-08 15:40:00. Republished by Blog Post PromoterIf you liked this article, vote for it on del.icio.us and stumbleupon.