Obsession defined

Movie PosterIt’s a Sunday evening and I’m going through my iTunes movie library, looking for something fun, with which to wind down my day. I select The World’s End, a comedy/sci-fi romp in England and I kick back to enjoy it. It starts out as a comedy about old friends getting together to reenact a pub crawl, which they were unable to complete, in their younger days. It’s a really fun movie, so I’m going to try to not spoil it for you.

In an attempt to get in the spirit of the movie, I had a couple…okay three beers, as I watched. Not very long before the end of the film, two of the pub crawlers are lying among three identical, parked cars, when I yelled out, “Those are Amperas!!!” to my wife.

Imaging an eye roll here… Here’s what I spotted, in a split second:Charge Port & logo movieNotice the charg port on the right hand side of the images above and below…Charge Port movieThat’s when my wife really started to doubt my sanity…again. I started rewinding and replaying this short sequence in the film, to assure myself that I wasn’t crazy (while proving to my wife that I was). I noticed familiar tail lights…Tail lights movie

Tail lights website

from the Vauxhall Ampera website

…and wheels:Wheels movie

Wheels website

from the Motor Trend review

Finally, the conclusive piece of evidence came, during the film’s credits:VauxhallThen, of course, I ran to my study to write this blog post.

Perhaps I should buy my wife some perfume…obsession


Weighty matters

Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-powered vehicles is an abstract idea. We all know gases are very, very light. Hydrogen and helium are lighter than oxygen or nitrogen, but to most of us, they are just “air.” A column of air, as thick as the entire atmosphere, generates a pressure of about 14.7 pounds per square inch. But what’s it weigh? We don’t seem to notice it, bearing down on us, so we all think of it as being almost weightless.

Let’s quantify it a bit, to make it more ‘real.’

weight of co2 emissionsThe EPA has the equation shown above, posted on their website, to illustrate the weight of carbon dioxide generated by a theoretical average car that gets 21.6 miles per gallon (gasoline, not diesel, which generates even more CO2) by driving 11,400 miles.

4.7 metric tons. hmmmm…

One metric ton is 1.10231 US tons. (Don’t you love that we’re the only ones not using the metric system?) So, 4.7 metric tons is 5.18 US tons, or 10,360 pounds (5.18 X 2,000). How do we make that more real, in discussing air pollution? Well, what else out there weighs 5.18 tons?

Let’s use something we may be more familiar with than tons. The 2017 Chevy Suburban SUV has a curb weight of 5,704 pounds, or 2.85 tons. If an average car generates 5.18 tons of CO2 in a year that means the weight of the CO2 generated by this theoretical average car, driving an average number of miles is approximately 1.82 Chevy Suburbans!

Think about that, for a moment. Let it sink in.

For every single year that this average car is on the road, it puts out almost 2 Chevy Suburbans’ weight in CO2. Man, that’s heavy.

Enjoy your Sunday.scales of injustice

June 2017 Sales Numbers

June 2017 plug-in vehicle sales were evenly split, between those showing an increase in sales versus a decrease. June has always been a good month for me. Families have gotten through graduations, tax refunds have been received, vacations (when people would like a new, reliable vehicle) are coming up. So far this year has been very challenging, with regards to my sales. June was a huge success, with this June being the best June I’ve ever had. Hallelujah!!!

One exciting bit of news in June 2017 was Bolt EV and eAssist Silverado hybrid pickup arrivals began in Texas! This was a little over a month ahead of GM’s announced schedule for Bolt EV and none too early for those of us who transferred to the EV & Hybrid Sales Center at the dealership. Unfortunately, the luck of the draw failed me. Tim, another salesperson in Electric Avenue, had two of his Bolt EV orders arrive before any of my orders did. I was disappointed that one of my clients wasn’t the first one to receive a Bolt EV, but such is life. I ended up delivering my first two Bolt EVs on July 1st, in the pouring rain. We now have more Bolt EVs on site than any other dealer in Texas. In fact, more than twice as many!

Another June news item: The 2017 Volt model year, which lasted 1-1/2 calendar years, is coming to an end. I ordered a 2nd Volt for a client of mine (yes, they re-Volted), expecting it to be a 2017. Our Inventory Manager called me to let me know all Volt orders, starting with that one, will be for the 2018 model year (more on that, soon).

That particular Volt client is an interesting sales story. He and his family live in Midland, Texas, which is 320 miles away from my dealership. In March 2015, his daughter had called Chevy dealerships all around Texas, looking for a good deal on a Malibu. I won. She drove in, with her boyfriend, and we all had a GREAT time together. We had dinner, a few tequilas… Anyway, when she got home, she told her dad about me and said, “The next time you’re looking at new cars, you’ve got to go see Buzz!” In June of last year, her dad had become very interested in the Chevy Volt, after reading lots of articles about it. He mentioned this to his daughter and she told him, “You aren’t going to believe this, but that’s what Buzz and his wife both drive! He’s crazy about the Volt!” Her dad called me, ordered a Volt, in July, and picked it up in early September. He has been the only Volt client of mine to purchase the spare tire kit, because he didn’t want to have a potential blowout strand him on the long way home, in the West Texas heat. Recently, he and his wife ordered another Volt, which will be the first 2018, which I mentioned above.

June 2017 EV Sales Numbers

Here are the June 2017 sales figures, compared to the previous month:

  • Chevy Volt: DOWN 4% (1,745 vs. 1,817)
  • Chevy Bolt EV: UP 5% (1,642 vs. 1,566)
  • Nissan Leaf: UP 8% (1,506 vs. 1,392)
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: DOWN 15% (1,619 vs. 1,908)
  • Tesla Model S: UP 45% (2,350 vs. 1,620) **estimated
  • Tesla Model X: UP 27% (2,200 vs. 1,730) **estimated
  • BMW i3: UP 12% (567 vs. 506)
  • Ford Fusion Energi: DOWN 29% (707 vs. 1,000)
  • Ford C-Max Energy: DOWN 1% (936 vs. 950)
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric: DOWN 23% (58 vs. 75)

In June, the average price of gasoline was down 3% compared with the previous month, dropping steadily, throughout the month. It had dropped 2% during the month prior. This is not helpful for those of us selling plug-in vehicles!.

My Sales By WeekAs I mentioned earlier, June 2017 was my best June ever. In the graph above, the largest bar for June is red, representing June 2017. But notice its size, compared to all the other red bars for 2017. This shows exactly what kind of disaster 2017 has been for me, through May. I hope June is the start of business picking up…

My June sales were comprised of six Volts, three Malibus (no, not hybrids), a Tahoe and an Equinox. I did not sell a single Silverado pickup, so the Volt continues to be my most popular vehicle, pulling away from the pack.Buzz's Vehicle Sales By Model

Plug-in sales, compared to the same month a year ago, were also mixed evenly.

  • Chevy Volt: DOWN 10% (1,745 vs. 1,937)
  • Chevy Bolt EV: (was not available in June 2016)
  • Nissan Leaf: UP 37% (1,506 vs. 1,096)
  • Plug-in Toyota Prius: UP 14,618% (1,619 vs. 11) **previous generation Prius plug-in, dying out last June
  • Tesla Model S: DOWN 27% (2,350 vs. 3,700)
  • Tesla Model X: UP 3% (2,200 vs. 2,145)
  • BMW i3: DOWN 7% (567 vs. 608)
  • Ford Fusion Energi: DOWN 58% (707 vs. 1,700)
  • Ford C-Max Energi: UP 49% (936 vs. 630)
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric: (was not available in June 2016)

A full house! Everything’s wild!! (video)

Hybrids & EVs IN STOCK!I have been waiting a very long time for today. I changed careers to help inform the world about plug-in vehicles and see what I’m doing as a crusade to save the planet. I wasn’t surprised to see that most Chevrolet salespeople don’t care about Volt or Bolt EV. It didn’t take long, in this new field, to see how profit margins, commissions, etc, all combine to incentivize a salesperson to not sell one of these awesome vehicles.

I slogged along, in the beginning, with experienced car salespeople wondering what I was doing here. Slowly, I built a following. Not everyone bought from me, but almost anyone I spoke with, recognized my passion and knowledge for the Volt & Bolt EV. I’ve sold everything Chevrolet makes, in order to make a living, but my coworkers tell me I have a “certain glow” or smile, when I’m in a Volt/Bolt EV deal.

Roadsign Tom Buzz web

Tom Durant, the top dog at Classic Chevrolet & Buzz

I pitched the idea of installing chargers out where the inventory sits on display. I pitched the idea of an EV/Hybrid Sales & Education center, which became Electric Avenue. I used my experience at Apple to come up with a layout for the building and how educational sales could be made profitable by being quicker. Classic Chevrolet‘s owner, Tom Durant, has listened and spent an amazing amount of money, doing the things I needed to make our plug-in sales grow.

Now, although we opened the EV/Hybrid building back on February 4th, and we had found out, just 3 weeks before that we wouldn’t get the Bolt EV for another 6 months, I feel like we’re really opening for the first time.

The reason is, for the first time, we have every hybrid and EV that Chevy makes, in stock and ready to sell! Traditional hybrids, like the Silverado 1500 eAssist hybrid (which has a V8 engine as well as an electric motor) and the Malibu Hybrid, as well as the Volt plug-in, sequential hybrid and now, the Bolt EV. Adding to my joy, is the fact that the Bolt EV arrived a month earlier than GM had foretold, back in January, and that it is Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.

Thanks for being a part of the journey.

Chevrolet’s eAssist Silverados arrive in Texas

eAssist at Electric AveThe 2017 eAssist Silverados have begun arriving. They are all Crew Cab LT Silverados with V8 engines and a battery pack about 1/10 the size of the Volt’s Battery pack. eAssist is a “mild hybrid,” meaning it does not get plugged in, but rather works like a traditional hybrid, like the Hybrid Malibu. eAssist Silverados all come with a tonneau/bed cover and are available in both two wheel drive- and four wheel drive configurations. The transmission is a ten-speed automatic. The EPA mileage estimate is 18 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway, which represents about a 13% increase in efficiency, when compared to V8 Silverados without eAssist.eAssist at Electric Ave

First Bolt EVs at Classic Chevrolet (and possibly, the 1st sold in Texas!)

Bolt EV PrototypeAt long last, our first two Bolt EVs, ordered for clients, have arrived at Classic Chevrolet!

They were placed the first few days orders could be placed. Another five customer orders are in Mesquite, Texas, in a rail yard, awaiting delivery to us. Now that they are arriving, a mystery has been cleared up for me. I’ve been wondering how much charge new Bolt EV would have, upon arrival. These first two arrived with between 50-60 miles of charge. Needless to say, once we receive them, they have to be prepped and charged. We only have one DC fast charger, and it is not yet up and running, so these first Bolt EVs will have to stay overnight, to get fully charged on our Level 2 chargers. That will take approximately 9 hours, possibly more, as all the chargers we have now were configured for Volt. More on that as we experience the actual charge rate…

1st Bolt EV Sale

They traded a Silverado for a Bolt EV!

Hopefully, by Saturday, we can have all this first batch here, ready to deliver and fully charged. Stay tuned!