Jan 09

GM CEO Rick Wagoner Now Says 2010 a “Stretch” for Chevy Volt Production but he is Optimistic

 

wag_volt2.jpg
picture from autoblog

In the year I’ve been writing this blog, never has there been quite so much word-mincing and media attention to production date as has occurred since I first asked GM CEO Rick Wagoner in an online chat how confident he was the Volt would be released in 2010. As you know, his answer at the time was that he could not guarantee it (post).

Prior to hearing it from Mr. Wagoner, most press about release dates came from vice-chairmen Bob Lutz and not direct from GM’s CEO.

After the initial negative press blitz, I was able to obtain direct statements from the E-Flex team on the front line, that there had been no change in production status, and that 2010 was still the internal target (post).

Today on the sidelines before his speech at CES, Rick Wagoner told reporters himself that his comments last week were indeed misinterpreted. He noted that there have been no “glitches” in Volt development, that initial battery tests are indeed favorable, and that the 2010 launch date has been a “stretch” from the start and remains so. He noted that there is still “plenty of work to do”, but believes the company can “stay on schedule”.

OK, I thinks it’s time we put this topic to bed for now, and check back in the spring when we test drive the mules. I am sure since Nov 2010 is a mere 2 years and 9 month away, and that GM only has two test prototype packs in hand, achieving the timeline goal will indeed be a challenge. But we are here, and numbering in the tens of thousands, to cheer them on.

Sources (AP) and (Wall Street Journal)

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 at 12:01 am and is filed under Release Date. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 52


  1. 1
    Brian M

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (12:03 am)

    I think Rick and Bob need to sit down and get on the same page.


  2. 2
    Ziv

     

    Ziv
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    Jan 9th, 2008 (12:18 am)

    If GM doesn’t build the Volt in 2010 or very early 2011 they will lose a lot of ground. This car could be a game changing event, and GM either has to get out in front of Toyota, or wave goodbye to their market share. Saturn, Dassault, BYD, Volvo, Toyota, even Cadilac has a form of PHEV scheduled to roll out soon, GM has to have a PHEV worth its salt, or better yet, a BEV or EREV in their show rooms within a few years.
    If you can’t plug it in, it isn’t really all that green. I would much rather buy electricity from a hydroelectric dam in Montana, or even from a coal fueled power plant in Alexandria VA than buy gas imported from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia or Iran.
    We don’t need to enrich and empower our enemies to fuel our cars.


  3. 3
    Brian M

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (1:22 am)

    Ziv,

    Saturn and Cadillac are both divisions within GM. You are spot on with everything else though.


  4. 4
    butters

     

    butters
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    Jan 9th, 2008 (5:27 am)

    I have an idea. Let’s do a tracking poll of GM employees to gauge any movement in release date confidence on a daily basis. Then we can get really excited about small changes, spread our expectations throughout the media, annoy the crap out of everyone involved in the project, and then act really stunned when the Volt isn’t released according to our predictions.

    The past several days have convinced me that the act of asking questions changes the answers. If we stop bothering GM about the release date and inadvertently manipulating the conventional wisdom, then maybe the Volt will be released sooner.

    The thing about new media is that reality cannot be accurately modeled by the rapid series of fresh narratives that vie for our ad-revenue-generating attention.


  5. 5
    Leon

     

    Leon
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    Jan 9th, 2008 (6:47 am)

    GM needs to be an open book on this. I’ve worked in the corporate world as a low-level worker (computer programmer) long enough to know that CEOs don’t know what’s going on in a project. Heck, most project managers don’t know what is going on.

    I want to hear from the guys who are actually handling the battery packs. The guys with white lab coats who are pushing the buttons on the test equipment. And more importantly, the guys who are waiting for those guys to finish up so they can install the batteries in an actual test car (referred to as mules, I guess).

    November of 2010 is pushing it for me, I may need to replace my 2003 Nissan before then. If so, the replacement will most likely come from Japan.


  6. 6
    Estero

     

    Estero
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    Jan 9th, 2008 (7:10 am)

    Rick Wagoner said:

    “…the 2010 launch date has been a “stretch” from the start and remains so. He noted that there is still “plenty of work to do”, but believes the company can “stay on schedule”.”

    Sorry guys, I really don’t see much difference between that statement and those of others.

    #5 Leon said:

    [quote comment="25536"]GM needs to be an open book on this.[/quote]

    Let’s give these guys a break! How much more open do you expect? The entire Volt project has been an open book; much more than any other car and a whole lot more than Toyota, Honda or any of the companies regarding their EREV plans!


  7. 7
    Ed

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (7:16 am)

    Double talk. It’s a stretch but we are on schedule. GM is hedging. Other car companies will not wait for them niether will potential customers. Who knows maybe 2011- 2012 will see the first plug in. GM can only hope. The technology is not there yet, be it cost or otherwise. Something is holding back these type of vehicles. There is always a delay from the production date.


  8. 8
    john1701a

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (7:31 am)

    [quote comment="25536"]I want to hear from the guys who are actually handling the battery packs.[/quote]

    Even with well tuned engineering and best of intentions, the challenges remaining are almost overwhelming.

    Study hybrid history. You’re in for quite a surprise. Certain decisions came about for very unexpected reasons.

    Concerns about whether or not Volt gets built at all is evidence that mainstream targeting isn’t being addressed. High-Volume sales, what truly supports an automaker’s well being, come from those so-called “boring” family vehicles. It’s a fundamental dilemma for Volt. Some ideals will need to be side aside for the technology to quickly penetrate beyond just a niche.

    Remember the competition. Hybrids are grossly outnumbered by traditional vehicles, which are well proven and less expensive.


  9. 9
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (7:33 am)

    I’m not so worried about the date. I just want the car to be built right. By “right”, I mean very reliable and long lasting.

    But, both of my cars are over 100,000 miles, with my Elantra at 155,000. But with my Elantra being as reliable as it is, I expect it to last to 2010. The Elantra cost $13,400 out the door and is better than the Honda, Nissan, and Subaru that I have owned. If Hyundai can build an amazingly reliable car, then GM can do the same. The Volt needs to be very well made.

    [quote comment="25529"] Butters, #4: I have an idea. Let’s do a tracking poll of GM employees to gauge any movement in release date confidence on a daily basis. Then we can get really excited about small changes, spread our expectations throughout the media, annoy the crap out of everyone involved in the project, and then act really stunned when the Volt isn’t released according to our predictions.
    [/quote]

    LOL. Good sarcasm. How about another idea?
    GM engineers can be us detailed daily briefings about their progress and setbacks.
    They can give us those briefings on this web site. That way we can encourage, praise, or slam them daily. Then the press and the stock market could react according to our rantings. Should be great fun. :)


  10. 10
    kert

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (7:36 am)

    anyone want to bet whether Subaru, Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi or even Pininfarina will beat GM to market with electric vehicles ?
    They all have announced 2009 or 2010 production plans.


  11. 11
    Leon

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (7:53 am)

    Estero (#6):

    You’re right, it seems they have been very open so far, especially with Lyle doing such a good job of tracking them down and getting statements.

    My point is that top management usually doesn’t have a clue (in my experience).

    But time is REALLY of the essence here. Yes, it has to be right; I don’t want to be left on the side of the road, which my 97 Pontiac Bonneville did (twice) but my Nissans (Datsuns) never have.

    Do we really need a brand new vehicle for this? I’m not an automotive engineer, so I do not know if it is more time-consuming to take an off the shelf car and swap out the drive-train and engine, or start from scratch. Plus there are marketing concerns, after all the car has to look good and distinctive.

    Maybe I’m driving myself crazy by keeping such a close eye on this website. But I’m afraid if we let up, GM will move on and forget about it. Perhaps I’ll just let the elections suck up some spare time for a while and check back here in a few months (OK, I won’t be able to stay away for more than a day or two).

    I know it’s a cliche, but come on, if we can put a man on the moon in less than 10 years, GM can put out (ANOTHER!) electric car in less than 3!! I’d like to see some plants re-tooling for the Volt by this fall. This is America, if it was an emergency they could do it; and looking at the decline in Detroit, it IS an emergency.

    If Japan (or Korea) beats GM to the punch on this, I probably won’t be buying another american car in my lifetime.


  12. 12
    Jim I

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (8:02 am)

    Sometimes I wonder if GM should have just kept quiet and worked on the Volt in secret. I only say that because if an engineering, software, or possibly battery production delay sets them back by a few months, they get slammed. If the car is on time, but is not “perfect”, they get slammed. If it doesn’t cost less than $20K, they get slammed. If it will not last for 10 years and one million miles they get slammed.

    People, there are many different models of vehicles produced, because there are many different needs by the purchasers. The Volt is by definition a niche vehicle and will not satisfy everyone. Seating capacity, body style, interior design, battery only range, range extender engine type, and a thousand other things are going to make this first vehicle a go or no-go decision for each of us when it is time to make the purchase.

    The real problem is that we are all so excited, and are used to having our desires satisfied immediately. We think this car should be available fast. But in the real world of car development, three or four years is fast!


  13. 13
    Jim I

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (8:09 am)

    As far as the other manufacturers beating GM to delivery, unless there are some secret battery manufacturing plants that exist somewhere, don’t you all think it would slip out somewhere that another vehicle ready battery pack is already being produced for some 2009 model? There are only a handful of companies that can even possibly produce those packs, and it would be really difficult to keep that news quiet.


  14. 14
    Leon

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (8:22 am)

    Hey Jim,

    You’re right, patience is needed. But it’s not easy.

    And yes, everyone has different needs (and wants) at different times in their lives. One single offering is not likely to satisfy. And we’ll never get any other choices if the first one does not succeed. You also have some good points regarding the idea of keeping the Volt a secret, but that would have made it all too easy to scrap the whole thing if gas prices fall again.

    You said we’ll slam them if the car is not perfect. But I’d be happy with a shorter battery life if it is possible to replace it later. Replacing an engine in today’s cars is prohibitively expensive. How difficult (and expensive) will it be to replace the batteries in the Volt? The whole leasing topic makes me think that maybe it won’t be too difficult.

    I’d be happy with a 30,000 mile battery if I could easily (and cheaply) swap it out; if it was as easy as replacing the tires (or almost as easy – I’d be happy to drop it off overnight).


  15. 15
    O.Jeff

     

    O.Jeff
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    Jan 9th, 2008 (8:35 am)

    I saw a cute blog comment on gmblogs. It said, simply:

    I VOLT YES!

    Did someone recommend that as a bumber sticker here? It is a good one!


  16. 16
    Tom M

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (8:46 am)

    Lyle:
    I am planning on leaving San Antonio to go to the Detroit North American Auto Show. Will you be going, and if so I would like to meet you in person to thank you for all your hard work on this site. You have done an amazing job.


  17. 17
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (9:18 am)

    [quote comment="25548"]Sometimes I wonder if GM should have just kept quiet and worked on the Volt in secret.[/quote]

    When you are ahead, you work in secret. When you are behind, you let everyone know what you’re working on. This is common industry practice.

    The Toyota Prius is the best green car out there right now. GM is behind on the green front.


  18. 18
    Dave G

     

    Dave G
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    Jan 9th, 2008 (9:24 am)

    I think what Rick Wagoner is saying is that they have never worked with this type of car before, so he’s taking a CYA position on the date.

    My personal opinion is that it will probably slip into early 2011, but probably not because of the battery. With all the attention on the battery, they’ll probably get that working well before 2010. One of the other very new systems will probably take some extra time to iron out. As Frank Weber said here:
    http://www.gm-volt.com/2007/12/17/interview-with-frank-weber-e-flexchevy-volt-vehicle-line-executive-part-i/
    “All the system that have to be electrified are new and specific for this vehicle. Brakes, HVAC systems, steering systems, and so on.”

    As an analogy, the Tesla Roadster always had people worrying about the Li/Ion batteries and the 250hp AC induction motor, but what delays it in the end? The transmission. A special type of 2-speed transmission designed specifically for the Roadster.


  19. 19
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (9:51 am)

    [quote comment="25548"]…there are many different models of vehicles produced, because there are many different needs by the purchasers…[/quote]
    Yes, I agree. In fact, I believe that GM should start working on the next type of gas/E85 E-REV now (if they aren’t already). Development usually works like a pipeline. First marketing, then concept, then body/interior design, systems, modules, etc., etc.. Each of these phases uses different developers. For example, the Volt concept car is done, so it probably wouldn’t hurt the Volt schedule to develop other gas/E85 E-REV concept cars.

    [quote comment="25548"] The Volt is by definition a niche vehicle and will not satisfy everyone.[/quote]
    While the Volt isn’t for everyone, I wouldn’t not call it niche. It’s a 4-seat sedan. It runs on gasoline. You don’t have to plug-in. The interior space of the production Volt will be significantly larger than the concept.

    As more people mentally “connect the dots” between the terrorist funding sources and skyrocketing oil prices, the Volt should gain mass appeal.


  20. 20
    Mark in WI

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (9:56 am)

    Like many I check this site daily. I think that we are all looking for information, because we all see the Volt as a hope for something (pick your issue). But the truth is that there is just not going to be something significant to say about the Volt every single day, so we get caught up in this practice of reading tea leaves every time someone at GM speaks. Maybe we could quit reacting to non-substantive news.


  21. 21
    Lyle

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (9:57 am)

    Hi Tom -
    I will be at the Detroit Auto Show – expect as much new information as I can find from there!

    Ill be there on press days.

    We are planning a massive Chevy Volt meet and greet with GM execs exclusive for our readers in March in NYC – I will keep everyone posted.


  22. 22
    john1701a

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (10:27 am)

    [quote comment="25577"]While the Volt isn’t for everyone, I wouldn’t not call it niche. It’s a 4-seat sedan. It runs on gasoline. You don’t have to plug-in. The interior space…[/quote]

    The status of “niche” is based on sales, not design.


  23. 23
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (10:28 am)

    Lyle,

    I will be there in March. I’m looking forward to it.


  24. 24
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (10:31 am)

    [quote comment="25582"][quote comment="25577"]While the Volt isn’t for everyone, I wouldn’t not call it niche. It’s a 4-seat sedan. It runs on gasoline. You don’t have to plug-in. The interior space…[/quote]

    The status of “niche” is based on sales, not design.[/quote]

    Maybe I’m nuts, but I don’t see the Volt as a “niche” either. Most people who own one will never (or very seldom) have to buy gas. I think there is a HUGE market for that. Or like I said, I’m nuts.


  25. 25
    Jim I

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (10:37 am)

    [quote comment="25577"]While the Volt isn’t for everyone, I wouldn’t not call it niche. It’s a 4-seat sedan. It runs on gasoline. You don’t have to plug-in. The interior space of the production Volt will be significantly larger than the concept.[/quote]

    I disageee completely with this statement. This is not just another 4 door / 4 seat sedan. It is an entirely new type of production motor vehicle. The initial buyers of the Gen-1 vehicle are aware of this and are buying it for specifically that reason. That makes it a niche, and we are the people that will make or break this design. If we are not happy with this car, and GM can’t fix what we are unhappy about, then you can rest assured that GM will not be producing the SUV or truck model E-REV anytime soon….

    I know what I want this car to be. I want and I am willing to pay for, the fully loaded, electronic displays and voice activated, gadgets out the wazoo model. Does this mean I will not buy it if it is not my vision of supercar? Of course not.

    But on the other hand, I will not by an electric motor apple crate with four wheels for under $12K either, as some others here have requested. If that is where GM goes with this, then I will wait for something else.

    Time will tell for all of us…………


  26. 26
    Jim I

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (10:51 am)

    The HUGE market for this vehicle will not happen until the technology is proven. The majority of the first year’s production will be sold to “bleeding edge” new technology types that will not be afraid to put down the dollars to try something new.

    I doubt seriously that the average camry or civic owner will be in the Chevy showroom on day one of the Volt’s introduction….

    Or am I mistaken?


  27. 27
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (10:57 am)

    Jim I, as you said, “Time will tell for all of us…………”. But I think the first model year, especially if gas is over $4.00 a gallon, they won’t be able to keep this car in the showroom for very long.


  28. 28
    Leon

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (11:09 am)

    Jim (#26)
    I am most decidedly NOT an early technology adopter. I just got my first mp3 player (so I can download and listen to my favorite radio programs on the way to and from work), and it was just the cheapo $40 Sansa.

    So generally I would wait until the 2nd or 3rd iteration to buy; or more accurately, until I had a use for it. But the Volt is different. I will be an early adopter on the volt (or the first plug-in hybrid) where I am otherwise NOT an early adopter.

    And I don’t think I’m the only one…


  29. 29
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (11:17 am)

    [quote comment="25566"][quote comment="25548"]Sometimes I wonder if GM should have just kept quiet and worked on the Volt in secret.[/quote]

    The Toyota Prius is the best green car out there right now. GM is behind on the green front.[/quote]

    To Dave G, look at : http://www.clean-auto.com/IMG/pdf/Prius_plug_EDF.pdf
    and see a true workable plug-in Toyota Prius made by Toyota, …


  30. 30
    GXT

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (11:44 am)

    The Volt is definitely niche product because of the size/cost of the battery. As we have seen from the commute length numbers, the Volt’s range may cover a lot of people but it covers few of them well. As more battery really does cost more money this will make the Volt a poor choice for the vast majority of people (until the get a modular battery).

    Lutz has been shooting his mouth off in a very irresponsible way. Take note that GM has sanctioned it as they have not stopped him. That, and GM’s other actions such as making the Volt public way too early, making commercials, etc. seem to point to the PR aspect of the Volt being more important than the product itself.

    When you have an important, game-changing product that you can beat your competitors to market with then you shut up and do it. When you have a poor product lineup as the result of a commitment AWAY from hybrids and you are simply not competitive then you get what we have with the Volt project.


  31. 31
    kent beuchert

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (12:11 pm)

    Wagoner : just don’t say anything about the VOLT. Period.


  32. 32
    bill

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (2:23 pm)

    “When you have an important, game-changing product that you can beat your competitors to market with then you shut up and do it.”

    I have been coming to this blog for several months now and I can’t tell you how many posts I have read that say I’m holding off buying a new car until the volt comes out or I only hope my old 19** cutlas or nissan whatever lasts for 3 more years. So really they might just be able to sell 8-10,000 more Volts on day one by letting us all in on the Volt a little early and letting us create some free grassroots type of hype.


  33. 33
    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (4:04 pm)

    GXT said: “the Volt’s range may cover a lot of people but it covers few of them well.”

    I thought that 78% of people drove 40 miles or less per day. How would they not be covered WELL?
    WHEN (not if) GM brings this game changer to market, they won’t be able to keep up with demand. Like Tesla, it’d be nice to have the option to plunk down a deposit to assure an order from the V1.0 model (LYLE?)

    I’m really looking forward to the NYC meeting in March. It’ll be nice to put some faces to the names read here daily. I don’t imagine that there will be many of the “it’s all smoke and mirrors” crowd there though. Maybe we can get a group picture of all the potential Early Adopters (with our checkbooks in hand) !
    T


  34. 34
    kert

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (4:12 pm)

    ::don’t you all think it would slip out somewhere that another vehicle ready battery pack is already being produced for some 2009 model?

    Huh .. slip out ? Me thinks you are not keeping very keen eye on whats going on in electric vehicle developments.

    Its already well known that GS Yuasa ( currect big battery manufacturer, i had a Yuasa battery in my C Type-R ) is producing lithium batteries for Mitsubishi MiEV and Bollore is going full steam producing their lithium metal polymers for Pininfarina cooperation.


  35. 35
    kert

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (4:23 pm)

    Oh, and NEC and Fuji Heavy established a joint venture ( Lamilion Energy ) to produce lithium manganese batteries for Subaru. So the news “slipped out” quite some time ago.


  36. 36
    Jeff M

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (6:22 pm)

    #17 “The Toyota Prius is the best green car out there right now.”… the irony is that GM had one of the most green cars with their Geo Metro 20 years ago that got better milage than the Prius does now 20 years later.

    #18 “I think what Rick Wagoner is saying is that they have never worked with this type of car before…”… they had a range extended 4-seater EV-1 prototype (http://www.evworld.com/archives/testdrives/gmshev.html) in 1998, on top of their EV-1 work. This is not new for them. What’s new are the large format LiIon vs. NiMH batteries. For the Volt all along it’s been known it would be the batteries that determine when production cars can start rolling off the line. Remember, electric cars (some also getting 40 miles/charge) were the norm over 100 years ago before the internal combustion engine (and big oil) came along.

    I’m not writing off GM yet, even if they are 6-12 months later than Dec. 2010, others also have similiar hurdles for the battery pack. It’s also to be seen if others would be able to bring theirs in also below $30,000, and be able to be producing the volume GM plans to (at least 60,000, possibly 100,000 the 1st year I believe I last heard?)


  37. 37
    Jeff M

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (6:24 pm)

    Argh, this site doesn’t seem to like to make hyperlinks out of url’s enclosed in ()’s. That link is:

    http://www.evworld.com/archives/testdrives/gmshev.html


  38. 38
    jdowdle

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (7:21 pm)

    [quote comment="25536"]GM needs to be an open book on this. I’ve worked in the corporate world as a low-level worker (computer programmer) long enough to know that CEOs don’t know what’s going on in a project. Heck, most project managers don’t know what is going on.

    I want to hear from the guys who are actually handling the battery packs. The guys with white lab coats who are pushing the buttons on the test equipment. And more importantly, the guys who are waiting for those guys to finish up so they can install the batteries in an actual test car (referred to as mules, I guess).

    November of 2010 is pushing it for me, I may need to replace my 2003 Nissan before then. If so, the replacement will most likely come from Japan.[/quote]

    I think your problem is you should be buying Toyotas. I have a 1990 and a 1991, and plan to wait for electric. :) Seriously, they still run fine, but I want somthing that doesnt use gas.


  39. 39
    Van

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (7:32 pm)

    I have been a bit bewildered by the various dates. A model production date, when the first complete car rolls off the assembly line usually precedes the retail availability date, when you can buy a model off the showroom floor by 4 to six months. So if the production date is late 2010, then it would not be surprising to see an availability date of early 2011.

    In the mean time, late 2009, I expect PHEV’s will hit the showrooms of other car makers, including the GM Saturn Vue with a 10 mile AER. By early 2010 the next generation Prius will be available, but not a Plug-in model. And so we sit and wait and wait in Casablanca.


  40. 40
    wirenutjd

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (8:17 pm)

    GM has some competition in Santa Monica, California. Miles Automotive is saying there 4-door sedan electric vehicle will be released in 2008. I’m all for the “Volt” but if it doesn’t happen until 2011 I believe others will already be on-the-market and selling.


  41. 41
    bill

     

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    Jan 9th, 2008 (10:05 pm)

    The problem the small guys like Miles,and Tesla(sedan)and the others are going to have is they will not be in a position to take trade-ins or offer low financing like the big boys. In the end even with a better product you are at a disadvantage.


  42. 42
    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (3:59 am)

    Well, Mitsubishi and Subaru definitely arent small players.
    You folks do realize that the cars that they intend to market are nearly final running and complete prototypes, right ?
    They are well beyond the “mule” stage. They were running “mules” a few years ago. Currently those are in small fleet testing by TEPCO
    Heres R1E demoed :
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=JxCSAdqeGtg
    Heres MiEV
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=eOqpKezqEhk


  43. 43
    Leon

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (8:18 am)

    JDowdle: I sold my last Nissan when it had 260,000 miles and it is still on the road as far as I know. It’s not that the car won’t last that long, but that I don’t think I’ll be able to stand driving it any more at that point.

    Kert, I checked out the Subaru and it looks to me like it is purely electric, with no range extender. Am I correct? If so it is worthless to me. It is the electric in combination with the range extender that has me excited about the Volt. I DO NOT want a 40 (or even 120) range car, especially when it takes HOURS to recharge. I need the on-board recharging system. Period.


  44. 44
    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (8:58 am)

    Yes, those are fully electric.

    :: especially when it takes HOURS to recharge

    Well, thats where you are wrong. It doesnt, there cars are recharged to near full capacity in anywhere from 10-15 minutees, and last i heard they had ~120 mile range. More than enough for most of my needs.
    http://www.nec.co.jp/eco/en/annual2007/02/2-1.html


  45. 45
    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:03 am)

    Oh and just so you know, TEPCO/Fuji/Mitsubishi etc. are all working on versions with range extenders as well, its just that they are working on electrics first, take a look at their roadmap here:
    http://www.electricdrive.org/index.php?tg=fileman&idx=get&inl=1&id=36&gr=Y&path=&file=Ishitani.pdf


  46. 46
    Storm Connors

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (10:08 am)

    Before you get excited about the “10-15 minute recharge, do some simple calculations. If the battery pack holds 18 KWH, then it will take 10 hours to replace it with a 15 amp 120 v outlet. With a 50 amp 240v stove outlet it would take 1 1/2 hours. If you had 200 amp service (many older homes have 60 amp service) and hooked your charger directly up to it, it would take a minimum of 22.5 minutes. To charge in 12 minutes would require 400 amps at 240 v. The cables would have to be welding cables and the charger would have to be able to handle this massive amount of current.

    The batteries might handle a 10 minute recharge, but the rest of the facilities needed don’t exist


  47. 47
    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (10:46 am)

    I have done my math, and so has TEPCO ( Tokyo Electric Power Company ) , and thats the reason they developed the charge stations for these cars, did you even read any of the links ?
    There are even pictures of the cables and stations there.

    If you dont have incoming line with enough power ( like at your home ) you can use a temporary power storage solution ( spare stationary battery pack, flywheels ) for quick charging. Yes, it costs extra should you want that fast charge luxury.

    Read the electricdrive.org whitepaper i linked to. “The rest of the facilities” info is there.


  48. 48
    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:03 am)

    kert:

    Do you really believe that those wind-up eggs should be compared to a Volt on ANY level? Even if they were in US showrooms today, I don’t think that they would pose any threat to the Volt’s waiting list. Comparing any of their development stages to those of the Volt (“But THEY have mules”) is clearly comparing apples to raisins.
    T


  49. 49
    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:09 am)

    No, they dont have MULES, they are well beyond the mule stage. Mules are production vehicles used to tests components and technologies of the new vehicles, these are beyond that stage.
    Mitsubishi used Colt’s and Eclipses as mules for these development programs quite a few years ago.

    What they have now are production prototypes, where all components have been put together into the final car configuration.


  50. 50
    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:13 am)

    As to posing a threat to Volt’s waiting list, Mitsu has said the price bracket for the MiEV is $25 000 initially. Thats different market segment than either Tesla Roadster or Volt is aiming for, so its not even aimed as direct competition. Nevertheless, viable car for quite a lot of folks.


  51. 51
    Tim

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (1:37 pm)

    Ames Lab Researchers Design New Permanent Magnet Alloy for More Efficient and Cost-Effective Electric Drive Motors
    9 January 2008

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/01/ames-lab-resear.html#more


  52. 52
    Ed

     

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    Jan 13th, 2008 (10:54 am)

    I don’t know about you but 100-120 miles all electric sounds great to me. Eliminating the ICE also saves oil needed to lubricate the ICE. Not to mention other fliuds. The Miev fits my needs. How can all the Volt fans say that 40 miles all electric is great but 100-120 miles won’t due. True you may have to rent a vehicle or have a second vehicle for long trips but the savings in fuel is extreme. The more EV’s the better. I need a car next year and whoever has a viable EV will get my money.