Sep 20

Chevy Volt in 2011?! – Bob Lutz Releases More Critical Volt Details

 

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New York Times columnist David Pogue had more discussion with Bob Lutz about the Chevy Volt than was able to be aired on the CBS Sunday Morning segment. So like any good reporter, he reported it in today’s New York Times (link).

Bob let out some important new information for us to digest and ponder, here are his quotes, followed by comments of yours truly:

1. Volt performance:

“Our performance targets for the Volt are 0 to 60 in around five or six seconds. Top speed of 120 miles an hour for a limited time. A hundred miles an hour is sustainable.”

0 to 60 in 5-6 seconds is faster than the 8-8.5 seconds chief engineer Nick Zielinksi told us. Now thats performance! Lets look for this surprise.

[[[UPDATE:  GM has advised me that unfortunately, Bob misspoke, the 0 to 60 time will actually be 8.5-9.0 seconds]]]

2. First public test drives:

“I’m hoping that as early as spring of ’08, we will have the first rough prototypes running, which will permit members of the media to drive 30 or 40 miles purely on batteries and listen to the internal combustion engine kick in. ”

If they let me, I’ll be there!

3. Release date:

“It’ll either be late ’10 or early ’11, but we’re still holding everybody’s feet to the fire for 2010.”

Yikes!! We’re not backing off the promise already?

4. Arrival of first battery packs:

“We get the first experimental packs from our two developmental suppliers in October. And then we can start bench testing.”

Hey thats in 9 days!

5. Price:

“My personal target still is to bring this car into the market at, you know, nicely below $30,000. And if we achieve that, it will really become a viable solution.”

He says if.

6. Production Volt appearance:

“Obviously, it’s not going to have, like, 22- or 23-inch wheels. But you always do that with show cars. You have way bigger wheels than you put in production.

It’s going to be close enough to the show car to where, when people see one on the road for the first time, they’re going to say, “That’s the Chevrolet Volt.” And it’ll be totally different from any other General Motors car, which I think is part of the secret of the Prius. By driving a Prius, everybody knows, “Oh, that person is concerned with the environment.” Being noticed for what you’re driving is very powerful motivation for what you drive.”

That’s reassuring, we will being seeing the Volt.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2007 at 8:21 pm and is filed under Design, Engineering, Financial, Release Date, Test drive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 82


  1. 1
    voltman

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (8:33 pm)

    0-60 in under 6 is pretty damn good. My friend is so proud of his 200hp jetta gli. Cant wait to race him.


  2. 2
    AES

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (8:57 pm)

    0-60 of 5 or 6 seconds really isn’t that surprising, honestly. If the Killacycle develops over 400 horsepower using less than half of the batteries that the Volt is planned for, then the maximum discharge rate from a 16kWh pack would be absolutely colossal.

    “No replacement for displacement” seems equally applicable to PHEV’s and EVs as it is to ICE cars.

    side note – “No, you would not want to wipe your face. Although lithium… you know, if you’re bipolar, you can eat your battery.”

    Lutz is a real gem :)


  3. 3
    Brian

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (9:11 pm)

    dont care about too much about 0-60. dont care at all about 120 mph. dont care at all about 100 mph.

    do care about the 30,000. its too high.

    do care about the release date 2011, not soon enough.

    do care about the appearance. i thought the larger tires were going to be part of its cool look.

    sadly, most if not all of this news is disappointing.


  4. 4
    Ziv

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (9:14 pm)

    Nice 0-60 speed! Kind of disappointed in the ‘late 2010, early 2011′ part, not to mention the failure to state that the total price for the car and the battery would be ‘nicely below $30k’.
    I really want to buy this car in 2010. I bought an I4 RAV4 in February, big disappointment, I was prepared for the slow, but the bad gas mileage was a bit of a surprise. Traded in a V6 Taurus, thinking an I4 would be much better on the gas, it wasn’t, and then I turned on the AC…
    My mistake, but I am really hoping to get either a plug-in Volt or a plug-in Escape within 3 years. Ford has the SUV and if you add a bit stronger motor and LiIon batteries to match…
    One can dream…


  5. 5
    Keith Rogers

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (9:23 pm)

    I’m sold on the LARGE wheel wells for the big rims (deluxe package maybe?). I heard the Chrysler 300 sells well because of the room to add big rims! Large wheels give an aggressive, fast, powerful look… as opposed to the small GOLF-CART looking tires on that unique, but ugly Prius. I hope the wheels are at least the same size as my Mustang (not baby Prius size)!

    The EV-1 engineers covered the rear wheel wells for less wind drag, but that took a big toll on the sex appeal of the car. When “Who Killed the Electric Car” was filmed – most camera angles where low and from the front to hide the car’s frumpy wheel covers. :(

    To me the Volt concept looks like a smaller, sleeker, newer Chrysler 300… boy is it hot!


  6. 6
    kent beuchert

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (9:37 pm)

    No pun, but that’s a shocker from out of the blue. Why did it get around earlier that the car would take 8.5 seconds to get to 60? Is this claim accurate, or was the reporter mistaken? Can Lyle verify this?
    I thought the motor had around 160 HP. That
    won’t get you to 60 in any 5 or 6 seconds.
    Confirmation needed.


  7. 7
    AES

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (9:38 pm)

    One concern with making the car a “hot hatch” is that it’s front wheel drive. They may decide to electronically limit the power and torque to prevent spin outs and understeer, but I suspect there will always be people perfectly willing to void their warranties in return for an adrenaline boost.


  8. 8
    kent beuchert

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (9:41 pm)

    I’ll tell you. The way oil prices are bouncing up, Lutz better make plans for two or three factories to produce these E-Flex cars.
    I’m also intrigued by the possibility that the EnerDel batteries could be used for the VOLT. They claim they will be in cars in 2 years, plenty of time to make it into the VOLT. I wonder if that’s a possibility?


  9. 9
    AES

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (9:48 pm)

    “I thought the motor had around 160 HP”
    “Why did it get around earlier that the car would take 8.5 seconds to get to 60?”

    For comparison purposes, the EV1 had 137 horsepower, and got to 60 in 8-9 seconds. They may have estimated that 8.5 based on their past experiences. If it’s an official goal/estimate, the 5-6 second range probably takes into account not just the bigger motor but also the vastly larger power produced by Li-ion cells.

    Designing a more powerful motor to cope with the battery output may actually play in GM’s favor in terms of both image and efficiency. The acceleration would be a definite image advantage over a Prius, but also, if you design an electric motor (especially AC induction) for high peak output, you can actually increase the efficiency at lower speeds and loads.


  10. 10
    kent beuchert

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (9:51 pm)

    I think I may know understand the acceleration times more clearly – the 120 KW motor should have around 165 HP, but will have around 400 ft/lb of torque, so tons of HP at lower RPMs. 400 ft/lbs of torque should definitely get you into the 5 to 6 second range for the 3000 pound (or so)
    VOLT. Diesel locomotives actually use electric motors to drive the wheels, after all.


  11. 11
    Ron Erickson

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (10:27 pm)

    I emailed the link of the Bob Lutz release to my kids with the caption, “This is my next car – 2011″. Hope it comes true. It will be a perfect car for me. Fast, affordable and cool.


  12. 12
    Brian

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (10:37 pm)

    kent-

    you are absolutely right. most people see EVs as slow compared to throaty muscle cars, but that low-end torque can just blast you off the line. i can’t wait to smoke some fool in a riced out civic with my Volt.


  13. 13
    Judy

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (10:48 pm)

    I don’t think your buyer will care about speed just saving the world for his or her grandchildren. keep the car big and cheap. make your profit selling volume. go bold -first edition one million units. make em all bright green with a choice of personal color stripe on the side. Can you imagine a Big Chevy within the budget of most drivers hitting the highways by the hundreds of thousands? People would be ashamed not to buy one-What would be their excuse? don’t just think outside the box – take the damn box and turn it inside out.


  14. 14
    Steven B

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (11:00 pm)

    I love this! So GM! So Americana! Not exactly my way of being, I prefer to choose to have my cake or eat it, not both! But this is just like GM to come out with some amazing product that wows the market, is unnecessarily powerful, and is a marvel of modern engineering.

    Thing I don’t get though: why is it that people take hybrid and EV to mean slow and low-powered? Truth of the matter, the Prius and most, but not all, other hybrids are advanced economy cars. They are designed for efficiency, not power, that’s why a Prius seems like an extraterrestrial Corolla. But it’s just because it’s a high=tech economy car.

    And people impression of EVs: yes it’s like an electric golf cart. But ICE-powered cars are like gas-powered golf cars. I think that if we can get people to start thinking apples to apples about that fact, then we can turn a lot of people onto the Volt, E-flex, and other EV’s. Just like a full-function EV is like a big electric golf cart, point out that the Volt is like a Cobalt SS, except electric. Maybe then others will get the point. I love this car!


  15. 15
    Dave G

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (11:04 pm)

    Not that much news here. With the motor and battery specs we’ve seen, I expected them to lower their 0-60 times, but not by that much. We’ll see where the production car lands.

    As for making the car look unique so that people know you’re green – yes that worked for the Prius at first, but now Toyota is already branching out to other sized cars in the Prius line. So by the time the Volt comes out, I hope GM is well prepared to expand the E-Flex line quickly.

    For example, in 2011, if Toyota has 3 Prius PHEVs in different sizes and GM only has the Volt, I think most people will just buy the car that best fits their lifestyle, and never bother to understand the details of electric range or serial vs. parallel hybrids.

    Personally, I would like something a little taller than the Volt with a rear hatch and some room behind the rear seats. Something like a Subaru Outback, only less ugly. This would be a family car, so 0-60 in 5-6 seconds would actually be bad for this market. My point is that GM could probably build a somewhat larger car using the Volt platform (i.e. same chassis, electric motor, batteries, and gas engine) and the resulting decrease in acceleration would still be perfect for a family car. The electric range would be a little less, but still way better than anything else I can see on the horizon.

    Judy – What box? (humor)


  16. 16
    Brian

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (11:15 pm)

    Judy –

    GMs goal should be selling the Volt to the average American, not just the greenie American. That means a lot of power, not a weak motor and a green paintjob (no offense meant).


  17. 17
    Michael Gier

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (11:15 pm)

    Where will I put my bike rack?

    We all know BL was inspired by the Tesla Roadster, so he’s going to be pushing a “sports” car. And I’ll buy one, sub-$30k is a good price for a car with decent performance and super-high mileage.

    My hope is that the _concept_ takes off and I can trade my Volt in two years later on an Outback-like (utility) plug-in-electric vehicle with unlimited range. The first one of those will outsell the Volt 2-to-1, once the Volt opens the door.


  18. 18
    OhmExcited

     

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    Sep 20th, 2007 (11:30 pm)

    I’m pleased to see that Bob Lutz is energized in the twilight of his distinguished career and still open to big change. He made a strategic decision to make bold pursuits in design and technology. Smart move. Just ask Apple. Creative innovation is one thing Americans are good at, and we certainly aren’t good at everything. Motivation doesn’t always come easy or cheaply around here. Kudos for taking a chance, and if you have the energy, don’t let this lag until 2011.


  19. 19
    Alex, Tunbridge Wells

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (3:36 am)

    Looks good. Can they lower the performance and therefore the retail cost?

    I’d like this for a second car for doing school runs and short commutes. I really don’t need 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, or even 30-40 mile range, or even the expensive proposed 1.3 litre diesel for the European market (a 1 litre petrol would be cheaper). For a descoped version I’d like to pay closer to $20,000, rather than $30,000 for a “hot hatch”.

    Also, beyond 2011, GM oulght to concentrate on offering this drive as an option on some of its standard cards like the Focus and Fiesta.


  20. 20
    Ed

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (3:48 am)

    It seems to me that GM needs to build this in a more utilitarian format along the lines of a VW Golf or Honda fit. Don’t worry so much about the 0-60 time and top end (Tesla has done that already), work to reduce the weight and price. In other words, trade off performance for cost useability.


  21. 21
    Gary B.

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (4:57 am)

    Hmm! It seems to me that GM would use the VOLT as a flag ship car. Power yes. Flashy yes. Economy maybe. I see a lot of other EVs being spun off of this platform. How about “The AMP”. Or maybe “The WATT”. Maybe the KILOWATT or the KILOVOLT. I can see this going in a lot of different directions for a lot of different people. Did GM ever build another car from the Corvette platform? I don’t know.

    A side note. I think Cruise ships use this type of propulsion. They use turbines to run generators to power electric motors for the props. I think that has been around for a long time now. It appears to be a very efficient type of power system.


  22. 22
    Cris

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (5:27 am)

    I want the concept to be very true to the production. The 22 wheels got to stay.

    Cris


  23. 23
    RB

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (5:56 am)

    Looks like the date and price are slip sliding. Now it is maybe a 2012 model year car, with a base model price of low 30s, real model price of around 40. These are still fine numbers for such an innovative vehicle, but the reality is losing some of the sharp edge of the announcement.


  24. 24
    Dave B

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (5:57 am)

    Brian, $30,000 for an EV that is practical and gets 40 miles of range? sign me up.


  25. 25
    Chris K

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (6:38 am)

    Speed and wheels aside…this is a car that will change the way we think about using fossil fuels…the price is a number, we’ll have to have a range to suit everyone…figure out what you WON’T spend on gas…For the time being…got rid of my 3/4 ton Silverado which was $400/ month in gas…got a Smart Car that will do me till the Volt…$40/ month in fuel…the cost, 10 TIMES LESS.
    Let’s look forward to the future…
    Chris


  26. 26
    Mike Treehugger

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (6:54 am)

    The Volt is a hotter looking car but if Toyota sells a plug-in for $10,000 less they will sell alot more cars alot faster. Keep the price down Chevy! Try to make inexpensive good looking quality cars and Americans will buy them. Looks like I will have to wait for the Volt price to come down.


  27. 27
    Ken

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (7:01 am)

    2011 may let other Toyota hit the market with a plug-in Prius- making GM a year or two too late. I’d like to wait – 2010? Altair Nanotechnologies has decent batteries now as do a few others. I plan to test those myself and see how much is hype and how much is reality. Go GM. Love to buy and under 30K is where they have to be.


  28. 28
    Dwayne Scott

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (7:44 am)

    Acceleration is cheap for an EV. Given the battery needed for the 40 mile range, they have more than enough power for any motor they chose to put in the car. The Aceleration will only be a function of the motor hosepower and the vehicle weight. I suppose that the Volt will weigh much less that the EC1 did due to the lighter batteries. I would figure around 1 pound extra motor for every extra housepower desired. One nice thing is that the extra hosepower is that it doesn’t inpact your mileage like it would for an ICE. The only penalty you pay is for a little more weight for the motor (and cost of cource). For an EV your mileage will mainly be determined by how you drive regardless of motor size. I would think that GM could offer a range of motor sizes without much design impact unless you want to do something crazy like 200 mph and you have to redsign the entire vehicle for performance.


  29. 29
    Mike Callihan

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (8:12 am)

    Isn’t it time to cut GM and Lutz some slack on this car? Nothing they do is going to please all of us 100%, but let’s all back off of the super negatives.

    Constructive criticism is good, but to hit them hard for not being able to firm up the price 30-36 months before launch is not fair. Who among us really knows what OUR products will exactly look like, function like and be priced at that far in advance.

    The General is trying, and trying hard. Let’s nudge them along, but not blast them for the effort. The real proof will be in the final product.

    I tried to give my local dealer a deposit on one and he’s still trying to figure out how to do that!

    I’m in!


  30. 30
    Alex, Tunbridge Wells

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (8:20 am)

    Mike C:

    Most of the criticism here is fairly constructive and saying if you reduce the price by reducing the capability, that would make sense. This seems fair enough.

    Also GM has a bad reputation when it comes to environmental matters – perhaps not always justified, but mud sticks.

    All that said, GM, like Tesla, will also want to change people’s attitudes. This is not a city car that can do only 40mph. Hence, they make a bold statement: Electric Cars have better performance than Gas cars.

    The European version should sell well with fuel at $8 per gallon.


  31. 31
    Pro-USA

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (8:29 am)

    I am in as well. 30K, no problem. I am planning on shoving this car right into the face of all those smug import drivers! Go GM!


  32. 32
    Jim

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (8:54 am)

    Despite whatever some have posted about what America wants, here are my reasons for really hoping that I will be able to buy this car.

    - I love the look of the Volt. The big wheels are a big factor. Scaling them down will make the car less appealing.
    - Helping the environment is nice, but my motivation is more about saving money on fuel.
    - A high-mileage car with decent performance (sub 7 seconds for 0-60) is a big selling point. I don’t care so much about top speed. 90 MPH would be plenty, so 100 is a good mark.
    - I have not bought a Prius because the looks and performance aren’t quite there. The Insight is just plain ugly.
    - The car is going to have to be priced sub $30k for a “well equipped” model. Over 30 and I would bite the bullet for a Prius. After all, I am looking to save money.
    - I would like to buy GM, so please get this car to market for 2010 MY.


  33. 33
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (9:39 am)

    GM, Please leave the Volt as is. The other EVs are very unattractive. If you make the Volt hot looking and make it reasonably priced, it will sell like hot cakes.


  34. 34
    Todd

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (9:53 am)

    That acceleration performance is incredibly important. As someone else mentioned, as long as you have batteries with sufficient power density (and GM does), acceleration is cheap. If you can tell an American car buyer that they can get a car that does 0-60 in less than six seconds and gets somewhere between 50-infinity miles per gallon, they will jump all over the Volt like flies on honey. Please GM, do WHATEVER you need to do to make those 0-60 times a reality.


  35. 35
    OptimisticMF

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (10:21 am)

    I’m in. Personally, I think the fuel efficiency is the selling point, but never underestimate the American appetite for cheap thrills. Blasting off the line to 60mph in under 6 seconds is just the sort of thing to cement broad acceptance of this vehicle in the American market. Cheap to operate and environmentally friendly? Check. Stylish? Check. Moderately priced? Check. Fast??? Check please!


  36. 36
    Dave G

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (11:02 am)

    Ziv, Judy, Michael Gier, Alex, Tunbridge Wells, Ed, Gary B. –
    describe the basic shape and size of the vehicle you want here:
    http://www.gm-volt.com/volt-discussion?forum=1&topic=73&page=1


  37. 37
    Lyle

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (11:21 am)

    To All-

    Please note that GM has advised me that Mr. Lutz misspoke and the 0 to 60 time is actually 8.5-9 seconds.

    It’s nice to know that GM is watching our site closely and hearing what we all have to say.

    I have added an update into the original post.


  38. 38
    OhmExcited

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (11:27 am)

    Well, that sucks and surprises me, given the power density of A123 batteries. 8.5-9 seconds is not even as good as the 1997 EV1.


  39. 39
    Vman

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (12:17 pm)

    lame about the accelleration. A more powerful electric motor cannot be that expensive. Jeez make it an option at least.


  40. 40
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (12:17 pm)

    This is an unfortunate development that it will be slow. Although I wasn’t buying this car for its speed, it still would have been nice to drive it 0-60 in under 6 seconds. Oh well, so be it. I will still purchase it. I want to be off of fossil fuels as quick as possible. I hate supporting the oil companies and Middle Eastern evilness more.


  41. 41
    Mike G.

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (12:20 pm)

    So it takes you another 2.5 seconds to get whereever you are going… big deal.

    In the future you will be able to get whatever you want once multiple cars are in production. Then you will see all the niches filled. Then you will be able to buy your 0-60 in 4 seconds car if you want.


  42. 42
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (12:25 pm)

    Oh one more thing. GM. Way to go! Screw up a good thing before you start selling it. Smaller tires, slower speeds. What is next? A fuel cell version ONLY? Or maybe a radical design that looks more like the Xebra? Why sell a cool looking, sporty looking, fast car? No one would want that……would they?


  43. 43
    SteveF

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (12:27 pm)

    Interesting that nobody mentioned the 0-60 in 8.5-9.0 secs an issue until we thought it would be faster and then found out that was wrong.

    The main issue is to get the car out in production. GM gets a strong foundation of the car built they will be selling multiple versions of the E-Flex and will not be able to keep up with the demand.


  44. 44
    Steven B

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (1:18 pm)

    I’ve never been interesting in racing a Volt anyway. 8.5-9 second for 0-60 is plenty for me. Personally, I intending to use my Volt for driving in the real world, not on a race track. The all-electric range and series hybrid design is what appeals to me. And unless you were sincerely intending on racing yours in the future, don’t complain that it will operate like a Cobalt and a not a Corvette. I’m sure that when E-flex is extended to all GM models, you can buy a Corvette that is as fast and impractical as you want.


  45. 45
    Paul R.

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (1:39 pm)

    The more we hear from GM about the Volt, the more likely they will bring it to market. But we won’t know for sure it will be a reality until they start print and TV ads for it.

    Sadly, I still see no final word on regenerative braking: will they incorporate it or not? If they do, that will stretch the mile range in stop-and-go driving in all-electric mode.


  46. 46
    OptimisticMF

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (1:41 pm)

    CorVolt? I see an opportunity here for a flagship EV!

    Lyle, tell them to put me in marketing!


  47. 47
    Nick D

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (1:42 pm)

    Hey 0-60 in 8.5 seconds is still faster than my old 2001 S10 with a 4 banger that only got 17MPG. Its also faster tham my 06 XB that gets 30MPG


  48. 48
    Michel

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (2:07 pm)

    I got so excited when I had heard that the performance would be under 6 seconds. I seriously hope that there is a performance version of the Volt that does get closer to this than the 8.5-9 seconds. I’ve tried test driving a couple of vehicles that had this slow performance and find that I feel very uncomfortable trying to merge into traffic or considering trying to pass.


  49. 49
    Brian

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (2:33 pm)

    Paul R.:

    Of course it will have regenerative braking. That was never in question; it would not make sense to build a car like this and not have regen.


  50. 50
    Nick D

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (2:34 pm)

    [quote comment="8329"]The more we hear from GM about the Volt, the more likely they will bring it to market. But we won’t know for sure it will be a reality until they start print and TV ads for it.quote]

    Look at previous articles and video clips on this site – There already is TV ads and print ads for this car…

    Also I am pretty sure that I have read that there will be regenerative braking – but dont quote me on that


  51. 51
    Hoang

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (3:07 pm)

    Vman,

    It is not about the motor. I think it is about how you draw and manage the battery energy. You can put a big motor and do 0-60 in 4 sec or do 150 mph. But that will cook your battery.

    My 2 cents


  52. 52
    Don

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (3:09 pm)

    As interested as I am in this vehicle, I cannot get too excited over these kind of remarks. 8.5 0-60 seems not likely. As has been pointed out A123 batteries are notable for their power density and while INAengineer I gotta say that getting acceleration up to be at least competitive with the V6 Camry cannot be too hard with the torque available to an electric motor with a 16kWh A123 set.

    They are selling America on, as Lutz noted, a transformational concept. We are creatures of inertia. To get America to accept transformation you have to offer something better.

    This car will have to be price (including the battery) competitive and performance competitive with the Camry hybrid and the to-be-released diesel Accord. If it fails on either count then it will fail. Meet one and blow them away on another and you have the real game changer.

    As far as timing goes … they’ve got to beat others to the punch but otherwise they are best served by taking their time to get it right and let gas prices rise some more.


  53. 53
    Alter

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (3:37 pm)

    All the cheap people who want a car that is cutting edge but don’t want to pay for it should just leave now.

    You will NOT find any “stripper models” with no AC for $19,999.

    Nonsense.

    Get ready to pay $25,000 to $27,000 on AVERAGE for a decent car.

    If your main concern is price, you might as well go buy a used car. It will be cheaper int he long run than a brand new car. Everybody who is price conscious (paranoid?) knows that.

    You cannot get everything for free–even though your politics (or fantasies) tell you otherwise.


  54. 54
    Estero

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (4:27 pm)

    All these good things will come with time; 0-60 in under 6 secs., 22″ wheels, AWD, etc. Who knows we might even see a Volt DeVille/Volt DTS. Sign me up!

    In the mean time, let’s give GM some slack and our support!


  55. 55
    Mike G.

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (5:00 pm)

    Some people will be willing to buy it for 100K! Every one need to thank GM for selling this car below cost initially until prices on the batteries and some of the overhead in development and production come down. The volt is going to be sold out, so those of you inline for one need to thank your lucky stars that GM isn’t going to stick you on the price when they certainly could initially.

    The volt is ONE car. ONE!!! It is NOT and can not fit the wants and desires of even a quarter of the car buying public. I am wanting a truck that can pull my boat. I am a realist and realize that is going to be a few years down the road. Be realistic people the volt is only one car and should not be expected to be all things to all people.


  56. 56
    OhmExcited

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (5:10 pm)

    The slower acceleration is not that big of a deal, but still a bit disappointing after hearing the previous numbers. One way to ramp up volume of electric vehicles is to appeal to the non-altruistic motives of people as well. That is, tout the benefits of high torque at zero rpm and effortless acceleration. Not everyone is a tree hugger. Not everyone cares about fuel prices. Lots of people buy cars simply because they are fun to drive.

    While 8.5-9 seconds does not make it a punishment car, many many people would be attracted to a sub 6 second performance. That’s what the next gen of Tesla vehicles will offer. It’ll be an interesting race to watch.


  57. 57
    Mike Hanlon

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (7:03 pm)

    You people stuck on the price below $30,000 are a bunch of whiners!

    This car will help America eliminate our thirst of foreign oil, reduce auto emissions to almost zero & be uniquely cool.

    Get with the program… The Volt Rocks!


  58. 58
    Marty McFly

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (7:14 pm)

    Who needs a Tesla…

    Nobodys told you about the Volt SS (with 22″ wheels and 0-60 times of 5 seconds) ?


  59. 59
    Mike756

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (8:33 pm)

    The 0-60 in 8.5 sec is fine with me.

    I don’t think I would pay more than 30,000.

    Why are they now saying “early 2011″? What is the critical path?


  60. 60
    Muskrat

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (8:43 pm)

    How good are these batteries? Will they last for the life of the car?


  61. 61
    Jeff M

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (10:21 pm)

    Under $30k (including battery) is a great price for the Volt.

    Looks like Volvo and Nissan could both also have plug-in series hybrid electrics around 2011, both with a longer battery only range. My guess is those will be priced higher than the Volt.

    I’m not too concerned with Toyota… while they may have changed their tune very recently saying they will now have a “plug-in”… it sounds like it will still be parallel hybrid design, and with only a 10, possibly 20 mile battery only range. I’m sure they are shaking with everyone else announcing plug-ins with series hybrid designs.


  62. 62
    Tom Crowley

     

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    Sep 21st, 2007 (11:48 pm)

    Ok
    A lot of yelling and screaming going on!
    Some of you have NOT work in a design team!
    You start out with the pie in the sky and a small bag of money to do it.
    IF GM is smart they would release the Volt with a run of 40 to 50 miles off battery life.
    Gasoline generator .(NOT E85 or stuff)
    Keep it simple and at $30K
    Then let the Tech and Eng work out the problems and add the high end options latter
    Tom
    OFF SOAP BOX MODE


  63. 63
    Matt986

     

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    Sep 22nd, 2007 (12:02 am)

    Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good!


  64. 64
    Jeff M

     

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    Sep 22nd, 2007 (12:15 am)

    By the way, does anyone know what the drag coefficient is on the concept Volt?

    That’s one thing the EV1 had was it’s design was very aerodynamic which provides significant increase in range, especially at highway speeds.


  65. 65
    GXT

     

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    Sep 22nd, 2007 (2:47 am)

    Mike756,

    There is only one really difficult thing about this car and that is the battery. In spite of all the talk, PR and now commercials, the battery doesn’t exist. GM isn’t sure when it will be ready. The timeline was always a “hopefully 2010ish”.

    Expect more of these delays and watering down of requirements as GM moves from their current PR/fantasy world to reality as the project progresses.


  66. 66
    Dave G

     

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    Sep 22nd, 2007 (6:54 am)

    GXT – The battery does exist, and in high volume for power tools. What doesn’t exist yet is the battery pack.

    The difference is significant. The basic battery cells work well, but there may be problems with how the cells are integtated into the pack and managed by the pack electronics. These potential problems would generally be a lot easier to solve than basic battery cell issues.

    And then there is the obvious issue, battery price. Let’s hope this comes down fast.


  67. 67
    kent beuchert

     

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    Sep 22nd, 2007 (7:09 am)

    I believe that the relatively small size of the VOLT battery pack is the limiting factor for overall power and acceleration.
    When battery prices come down and battery pack sizes increase and range increases, then power output will increase also, and so will acceleration capabilities. Right now I’m betting they are also tuning the batteries for max mileage rather than output.


  68. 68
    good enough

     

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    Sep 22nd, 2007 (10:17 am)

    The 0-60 is fast enough considering this is the first of its kind, the mileage will be phenomenal, and there is nothing else like this available, and the price is great for a brand new revolutionary technology which isn’t yet mass-produced. There will be more than enough initial buyers; let the whiners whine and stick to their gas-guzzlers for now. I just hope the batteries last 12+ years. I’m willing to accept that risk for under $30k. On another note, was it actually clarified anywhere that the $30k figure includes the batteries?


  69. 69
    Mike G.

     

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    Sep 22nd, 2007 (10:23 am)

    [quote comment="8401"]I just hope the batteries last 12+ years.[/quote]

    My hope is that in ten years the batteriers still have 70% of their original capacity.

    My expectation is that instead of replacing engines every 10 to 15 years we will instead only have to replace the batteries, Which will hopefully be much less expensive than they are now.


  70. 70
    Mark Long

     

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    Sep 22nd, 2007 (12:24 pm)

    Try to leave it the way it looks that why people like it,Yes keeping it under 30k would be great. I would love to be the first to be a test driver,Driving it around the Napa Valley.


  71. 71
    voltman

     

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    Sep 23rd, 2007 (6:10 pm)

    How good are these batteries? Will they last for the life of the car?

    http://www.a123systems.com


  72. 72
    Kyle(Texas)

     

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    Sep 24th, 2007 (4:18 pm)

    DO NOT CHANGE THE LOOKS or you are going to loose lots of interest. I heard they are going to shorten the nose and now you are saying the tires will be smaller.

    Bob, don’t change a thing with the outside of the Volt. If you have to make some sacrifices on the engine for now, do that.

    I love that you are moving to electric, but I won’t be buying one if it LOOKS “like an electric”. The Prius is UGLY(no offense to those that drive one) and the EV1 was even uglier.


  73. 73
    The D

     

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    Sep 28th, 2007 (10:10 am)

    The idea of an electric car is fantastic, the attitude of Chevy, I must remember, is to still appeal to car dudes. I just want to reduce our dependence to oil. now, not in 2011. I am working on my own conversion, it is ugly though and I want a reliable car. Come on Chevy, do it right and good. Also, let’s charge batteries from renewables.


  74. 74
    Kevin Turek

     

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    Oct 18th, 2007 (1:17 am)

    I would not mind driving a Volt now.
    I currently have a 2007 Civic Hybrid
    after trading in my 2004 hybrid.

    The 0 to 60 mph time may be a bit slow for
    merging onto a 65 mph highway.

    Are prototypes available to drive now?
    Thank You,
    Kevin Turek


  75. 75
    John Sz

     

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    Nov 11th, 2007 (5:19 pm)

    I am wondering if they will have to do some engineering on the aircon and heating systems to lower their energy requirements. I live in Houston and aircon is a need most of the year.


  76. 76
    Scott

     

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    Jun 6th, 2008 (9:57 am)

    This is a dream come true. We can finally “give the finger” to the middle east and their oil prices. This is only the beginning! What I’d like to know is, how much my electric bill will increase. What is the cost per full charge up on the battery? I’m sure its far less than fueling up a gas guzzler, but would still like to see some numbers.


  77. 77
    Scott

     

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    Jun 6th, 2008 (10:02 am)

    Oh, and think about it, we would have very little, if any use for the oil producing nations if we eventually can get our useage down low enough to become self sufficient. That is the only way to beat terrorism. Starve them!


  78. 78
    Alex

     

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    Jun 6th, 2008 (10:18 am)

    The battery pack does exist. It’s in test mules. What GM are now doing is trying to give it 12 years of use in 1 year, and decide how it should be controlled, when the engine is force to run, what happens if you’ve no fuel and a 40% SOC, etc.


  79. 79
    Brad

     

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    Sep 8th, 2008 (1:39 pm)

    GM should take a cue from the Volvo that came out in the 90′s. It was a series hybrid car that used a gasoline powered turbine for the range-extending generator. You cannot beat the power-to-weight ratio of turbines. And as a generator, which is meant to run at a relatively constant speed, the turbine is a perfect match.

    I want this car, IF it’s in the sub-$30K price range. This is the first plausible attempt by a non-niche manufacturer at a REAL step forward in automotive drivetrain technology. I applaud GM for the effort and hope to see real progress soon.

    By the way, I think the Volt front end has lines that are strikingly similar to the new Camaro body style, very nice. But in a 4-door that the family can use, even better.

    GM, get this rolling into my driveway soon!


  80. 80
    Jerry

     

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    Sep 8th, 2008 (5:48 pm)

    Gas Mileage? Why aren’t they talking about that? If this thing only averages 45 mpg, then in 3 years GM will only be about 8 or 9 years behind the Japanese.


  81. 81
    GoAutoCraze

     

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    Oct 9th, 2008 (9:13 pm)

    The problem with setting expectations so high is that when they aren’t met, the ‘fall’ often ends up being just as big as the hype.


  82. [...] a top speed of 120mph (for a limited time) and will arrive at 60mph from a standstill in an achingly slow 8.5 to 9 seconds. That, my friends, is not exactly sprightly. I’m not sure what that [...]