Jun 05

Moving the Chevy Volt to Production Status

 

As GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced, the Chevy Volt was moved from a concept car status to a production car status by approval of GMs board of directors.

This basically means GM is putting a lot more money and resources into the program. As per Mr. Wagoner, “What we’re saying with this approval is that the GM management and board believe the technical goals of the Volt are not only achievable, but achievable generally within the time frame we previously outlined,”

In my speaking with other GM representatives it is clear that this funding will go to begin re-tooling the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where the Volt will be built. Funds will go into creating the necessary machinery and infrastructure required to mass produce these cars.

The firsthand experience of this hallmark event is summed up in this GM-Volt exclusive quote from the Volts Vehicle Line Director, Tony Posawatz:

“The E-Flex & Chevy VOLT program team was very excited to share our progress with the GM Board of Directors at the recent June 2008 Board meeting. They were most enthusiastic about the leadership position that GM is taking with the Chevrolet VOLT. At the close of the meeting, the GM Board approved significant funding for the program including necessary capital resources to bring the product to reality. This was an important and necessary step in the development of the VOLT project.”

The SUV may have died, but the Volt has truly been born.

In keeping with this development, I have officialy changed the title of this website from GM-Volt: Chevy Volt Concept Site to GM-Volt: Chevy Volt Electric Car Site.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 5th, 2008 at 9:24 am and is filed under Production. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 99


  1. 1
    Dan

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:27 am)

    Great to see this!


  2. 2
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:37 am)

    This is really just the rubber stamp I guess…but the development is good to see.

    Fritz Henderson, President and Chief Operating Officer after the meeting at the Q&A:

    “What level of capacity did the board approve for the Volt”
    “Uh…um..we are not…going to announce that today”

    Do you think it is because the number is low…or because GM is a super-secret agency that will spring up like a Cobra to catch it’s prey off-guard and destroy all off it competitors?


  3. 3
    Jose

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:37 am)

    Lead the way America! Outstanding.


  4. 4
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:41 am)

    The best part of having the Volt built right there in Hamtramck is that it is only a 20 – 30 minute drive from the GM Tech Center, and a 10 – 15 minute drive from GM Headquarters. The Chevy Volt will get unlimited and instantaneous support from both management and engineering.

    Also, the sooner they start prepping for production, the sooner important questions start being addressed, removing any hurdles long before the components and sub-systems arrive at the plant. I really believe the Volt will be built in very significant numbers in 2010, as a result of this intense effort and coordination.


  5. 5
    Murray

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:48 am)

    Nice touch on changing the website title there Lyle….

    Statik, true to form… I’ll vote that GM is the cobra in your scenario just for the hell of it


  6. 6
    frankyB

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:52 am)

    Next miles stone is to show us the final look of the volt


  7. 7
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:54 am)

    I wonder what the lowest volume production car is that GM has where the production line / facility is not shared with another vehicle and a full shift is worked. That probably sets a lower floor for production after the first few months ramp up.


  8. 8
    Chris

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:57 am)

    I don’t know if anybody has noticed or if it’s been mentioned before, but Lyle is featured on the main page of http://www.gmnext.com

    the traffic at the GM Next website probably has been insane this week as I was at the Red Bull Air Races in Windsor-Detroit last weekend with 750,000 other people, and gmnext.com was painted all across the Renaissance Building (GM HQ). People visiting that this week = people exposed to Lyle and GM-volt.com


  9. 9
    Theoldguy

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:58 am)

    This is good news! Now GM Show US THE CAR !!!!!

    If you are tooling up… the final production vehicle is ready to build..

    So Show it to us already…..


  10. 10
    NZDavid

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:58 am)

    Fantastic Lyle. This is a big, huge development. Now if GM can just stay solvent . . .

    PS: Saudi Arabia earning 1 Billion per day at present!


  11. 11
    OhmExcited

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (10:00 am)

    No turning back now. GM is officially pregnant with the Volt.


  12. 12
    JimG

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (10:07 am)

    A lurker here, with a thought ..

    I work in the automotive industry, at a good-sized plant, although not for GM .. and I’ve taken part in several rollouts of new models, none involving changes as sweeping as the Volt.

    I don’t believe that appreciable numbers of the Volt will be built in 2010, unless production starts in earnest by the *spring* of 2010 to have them ready for dealerships by late fall. Besides new and untested plant and *supplier* infrastructure, there is a larger effort than most realize in pre-building enough numbers, and then distributing them across the country, to meet a specific time-to-dealership.

    I believe that GM will meet its introduction deadline of late 2010. But it’s likely .. in my opinion only .. that appreciable numbers will begin to be available in 2011 at the earliest, given enough customer interest and pre-orders by dealerships.


  13. 13
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (10:08 am)

    #12 JimG

    Welcome to posting! I like your style…we are going to get along great!


  14. 14
    NZDavid

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (10:14 am)

    Welcome JimG
    They can’t start production until the retooling is finished and that’s not until mid 2010. So the November start up seems reasonable to me.

    2011 for the ramp up year and 2012 for full production. 100K plus.


  15. 15
    Arch

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (10:23 am)

    This may well be a very BIG week in history. GM has turned around. That never happened in the 70s. Cross your fingers all.

    Take Care
    Arch


  16. 16
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (10:26 am)

    Nothing to do with the Volt persae, just random auto news. Ford is the first to break rank and cut it’s “white collar salary costs” by 15%.

    “The departures will be involuntary, and workers would get standard severance packages that are based on years of service”–no unions in management.

    Just a heads up for the many “GM executives/engineers/brass” that read this site and “have it connected to your blackberries”. 1 in 5 non union Ford guys get the chop by August 1st…under 8 weeks.

    Just as sure as Ford was the first to lead the pack on job cuts, then on the ‘real sales’ numbers…the rest of the pack will follow and do the same, with the mantra “thats the reality of the market.”

    You guys don’t have a union, so when you get canned, it’s not like you get a year and a half notice and triple your year’s pay to get lost. They escort you out of the building the same day. I’d start looking for a new job…today.


  17. 17
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (10:29 am)

    Link is getting blocked by the site now..I guess no more moderation holds…I’ll try a different one.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j5Zlv4GuzTf8AKb8u4seNySqXftwD913V2KO0


  18. 18
    noel park

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (10:53 am)

    #19 NZDavid:

    Yeah, right.

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.


  19. 19
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:04 am)

    #17 noel

    So future David….you watch your step and don’t post that!


  20. 20
    Brian

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:17 am)

    Statik, dude, you kill me. You are half the reason I check this board as often as I do. What exactly do you do that allows you to occupy every other post.


  21. 21
    noel park

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:21 am)

    #18 Statik:

    Yeah, well this stuff is putting me into a trance, especially the comments on the thread below.

    I meant #10 NZDavid


  22. 22
    BIg

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:28 am)

    Congratulations to GM Management.With this decision GM will become the forerunner in EVs. But to really be the leader have two EVs ready for 2010 production, the Volt and a strictly electric commuter (no engine for recharge) two seater with 80 mile capacity. Please include in the trunk a portable 2kw gas generator for emergency recharge.I’m currently retired and live approx. 25 miles from shopping……PLEASE I DON’T WANT TO BUY GAS,ONLY ENOUGH FOR THE EMERGENCY GENERATOR……


  23. 23
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:32 am)

    #19 Brian

    I know right, I am always online.

    I actually have a clothing business (started it in the mid 90s). My wife and I just had a first child 2 years ago, and fortunately my business enables me to just go in once a week.

    I really don’t care for the clothing business, I just happen to be good at it, so thats how it got started, (let me know Lyle if you need a full line of branded ‘Volt’ apparel—I am a approved GM supplier already, hehe).

    Now I spend a good chunk of my day doing what I really want, studying market economics and trading the market (it’s more exciting than it sounds…and the payoff, good or bad, is immediate.

    Most days I spend listening to CNBC, trading, playing with my son…and of course spamming the tar out of this website.


  24. 24
    Dave G

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:34 am)

    #12 JimG,
    As you are experienced in this area, I appreciate your post, and hope you continue to do so.

    Yes, the Volt probably wont sell appreciable numbers in 2010, but they are aiming for 100,000 units in 2011, so this is encouraging.

    Let us know if you think there are any gotchas in terms of ramping up production.


  25. 25
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:35 am)

    Good news comes in small packages. Great news will be seeing the final production Volt. I want to see exterior and interior views, plus a discussion of options and such. Give us a much information as you can, GM.

    Statik, you are the gift that keeps giving. And I mean that in the best of terms and thoughts.

    The good thing about you, Statik, is you are well balance by Noel Park and Nasaman. Anyway, I really enjoy all the post from everyone. It really makes each day enjoyable to look forward to.

    Great job, Lyle, once again.


  26. 26
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:41 am)

    Statik

    So, you are in the clothing business. Does that mean you manufacture clothing or just sell wholesale or retail? My son sells a line of briarproof hunting clothes (www.mulehuntingclothes.com). He may be looking for someone who can manufacture his clothing in a larger volume than at present in a couple of years. If interested email him at sales@mulehuntingclothes.com.

    Sorry about the commercialism, everyone, but it might be a good thing for my son and Statik.


  27. 27
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:43 am)

    Good move Lyle and perhaps this is the futue envelope of the E-Flex architecture apart the Volt :
    See:

    http://blogs.thecarconnection.com/blogs/marty_blog/2011/2011-saturn-astra-spied/#comment-9821


  28. 28
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:43 am)

    Sorry futuRe


  29. 29
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:52 am)

    #23 N Riley

    Aw, the love…I feel it. It’s a strange sensation.

    I will reciprocate it. I feel a healthy respect for yourself as well. It’s like we have a little group and everyday we going out for drinks and shoot the breeze on the topic of the day.

    Of course it’s tough to not get into arguments sometimes when my friends are always wrong. How is that possible I am always right? It’s such a burden. (I kidd, I kidd…but not really…no, no, I kidd)


  30. 30
    nasaman

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:58 am)

    * Chris….
    You’re right Chris when you say, “I don’t know if anybody has noticed or if it’s been mentioned before, but Lyle is featured on the main page of http://www.gmnext.com.”

    I’d like to encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the short video of our “Master Blogger” Lyle at VoltNation to got to the gmnext.com & check it out. You can also leave a comment there if you care to.


  31. 31
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:00 pm)

    Statik

    You are some piece of work… good work…. no, bad work.. no….???

    I do appreciate your post.

    Hey, everyone, let’s get together at Statik’s house and take a test drive in his Volt in December of 2010. Everyone bring your own fork and knife. Statik will provide the steak, of course.


  32. 32
    Kevin R

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:00 pm)

    Great news and good name change Lyle.


  33. 33
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:03 pm)

    nasaman

    I did take a look at the GM site. We need to promote ole Lyle as much as possible. He does a really good job of promoting the Volt. Almost said the Volt concept, but in light of yesterday’s announcement we will have to call it like it is. It is our new production status electric Volt car.


  34. 34
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:06 pm)

    I’d be happy to have everyone over…except for Tag, something tells me he would be hard to get out of the house when the party was over.


  35. 35
    Joe

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:18 pm)

    That ago GM! Be the leader again like you were at one time.


  36. 36
    Van

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:25 pm)

    The next two mile stones ahead, and I do not know the order, are for Lyle to drive a prototype mule and report on acceleration, AER, “feel,” and to unveil the production prototype so we can see what the future likes like. Go Volt!


  37. 37
    RB

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:27 pm)

    As a response to the 1979 gas crises GM introduced the x-cars across all brands, including the Chevrolet Citation. These cars were received with tremendous enthusiasm by auto reviewers and were sold out across the country for a long time. After some months delay I was able to buy one. Mine was a really great car for a year or so. Then the troubles began, on mine and a lot of the others — strange failures down deep in the engine, or unfixable issues with the brakes, etc. Until that time GM had largely dominated car sales as well as been competitive with trucks, but the x-cars so badly damaged GM’s reputation that from then until now their car reputation has never recovered.

    So now, with a new beginning, I hope the quality is there in the Volt. I hope people like them at first and then like them a year and 2 and 3 and 5 years later. This introduction may be GM’s last chance to get it right.


  38. 38
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    #25, Statik says, “How is that possible I am always right? It’s such a burden.”

    I have an even greater respect for you now. Here you are, married, and you are still allowed to be right?! I bow before you sir. I’ve been married for 15 years and I have NEVER been right. :)


  39. 39
    nasaman

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:31 pm)

    As Lyle said, “GM-Volt: Chevy Volt Electric Car Site”, is the new name of this site. And while we’re talking about nomenclature, I want to emphasize that the VOLT IS AN ELECTRIC CAR (EV) FIRST & FOREMOST! It is NOT a hybrid (PHEV, series hybrid, etc) —it’s fundamentally an EV!!! But it’s also an IMPROVED EV because it has a backup propulsion mode enabled by an on-board generator.

    Having said that, I want to plead with everyone here to use the terminology GM insists is correct….. E-REV —Extended Range EV— because this term is self-explanatory as well as unique, just as the Volt itself is unique. It’s simply incorrect to lump the Volt’s architecture in with hybrids of ANY kind, including “PHEV’s” (which is what plug-in Prius’s, Escapes, etc will be ….when/if they materialize.

    So the Volt is an E-REV, pure & simple, OK folks????? :)


  40. 40
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:32 pm)

    #36, RB. Absolutely correct. My brand new 1986 Pontiac Sunbird was the same thing. A/C problems, head gasket failure, transaxle issues and other stuff. Turned out to be the worst car I ever owned. My 2000 Subaru Outback wagon is the second worst car I have owned.
    I have never bought GM again, but I will take another chance with the Volt.


  41. 41
    Anthony BC

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:32 pm)

    @ almost $5.48 a gallon this news can’t come FAST enough!

    Hopefully we’ll see the final VOLT look this summer!


  42. 42
    Tom Thias

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:34 pm)

    Great news finally! I’ve been selling Chevrolets for years in Michigan.

    I believe that we will sell as many volts as we can get our hands on.
    Most likely GMAC Leases at first. Like hot cakes at 299.00 per month est.

    Best bet would be to have an old days big build up and present this car to the public this way……..

    —The 2011 Chevrolet Volt !! And slowly pull off the Flexible Solar Cell Blanket off the car………


  43. 43
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:35 pm)

    JimG #12, Welcome. I hope you stay. This is a great site and your input (from the inside of an automakers point of view) will be greatly helpful, appreciated, and enjoyed. Thanks for posting.


  44. 44
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:40 pm)

    #40, Tom Thias, Welcome.

    How bad do you expect price gouging to be from the dealers?


  45. 45
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    Sorry, not price gouging……dealer markup is a better way to put it.


  46. 46
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:49 pm)

    Statik

    You always being right reminds me of what I tell my co-workers.

    “I was wrong one time when I thought I was wrong.”

    That may sum you up, also. No wonder I have a lot of respect for you.


  47. 47
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    No, no, Rashiid. You had it right the first time. It may be bad, I am afraid. JimG will probably confirm this.


  48. 48
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:57 pm)

    I have already made up my mind that if my local dealer tries to gouge the price, I am going to have a talk with the general manager of the dealership and then turn around and head out the door. As I go out his door, I am going to flash a hand full of bills totaling about $35,000. I gong to ask him where is the closet Honda or Toyota dealership.

    I am not going to be gouged, again. I will buy something else or wait a few years (again). But I suspect Toyota, Honda, Ford and Nissan plus several new manufacturers are going to offering very good competitive vehicles at lower costs. If the dealership wants to gouge they will be sitting on a lot of Volts. GM will not be very happy about that.


  49. 49
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:57 pm)

    #37 Rashiid

    Sorry Rashiid, I am only always right here…unless of course my wife decides to start posting here. In which case I am still right, but I am not allowed to justify my ‘rightness,’ I must comply with the ‘husband code of ethics’ and admit I was wrong (while muttering under my breath).

    #26 N Riley

    I think maybe your post hit up moderation…I didn’t even see it there before. I do very little fabrication directly of my own anymore, most of it is jobbed out now.

    Smaller quantities (under 500 pieces) I have a Amish community do it for me (not fast turnaround, but good work and reasonable cheap). For large orders I have a interest in a factory in China (yes, I know, China…leave me alone about it people, lol).

    About the only thing I run myself is spec samples, templates, etc. And I have a few embroidery machines/surgers/impress-silk screen machines to do small jobs (under 2,000 pieces) like imprints and embroidery on items.

    I’d be happy to shoot the breeze with him someday when he wants to expand. I’m more than willing to just talk shop anytime, it can be tricky building the infrastructure and contacts to make a successful/competitive job to wide scale mass production.

    I had a look at his site, I confess I really don’t know the market on mule chaps, bibs etc. Not sure if the demand is such that he could get a timely return on a high volume…but again I know nothing of this market. I do make some work shirts/overalls for a workwear outfit hoever, seems like kind of the same vein.

    (Apologies Lyle for straying way off the site’s intented path…if this is too annoying or against conduct, please feel free to delete/tell me to keep it to myself)


  50. 50
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    And yes…I continue to suck at spelling.


  51. 51
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:05 pm)

    Statik

    Thanks for the info. We also use some Amish in Ohio to do all our work. They do a great job, but I am concerned about how much volume they can handle. May want to talk with you later on. We have a lot of customers in the eastern half of the U.S. and want to expand it, if possible. We considered China, but have so far decided to stay with U.S. manufactuers. I understand the need for looking at China, though.

    Lyle, sorry for the diversion of the purpose of the site. Will try to keep it within the bounds.


  52. 52
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    #50 N Riley

    I was hesitant myself to stop making domestically.

    Unfortunately, if you want to be in the business you have to compete. It was impossible for me to be competitive if the customer wasn’t into ‘made local,’ for most, they just want the price.

    Again, anytime you want to talk about it/shoot the breeze…figure out just how big of a mess you can get into, I’m game, lol.

    /now back to regularly scheduled ‘poo-pooing’


  53. 53
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:18 pm)

    GM just now, (at 2:16) hit a renewed 33 year low at $16.86.

    (=


  54. 54
    Amanda

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:21 pm)

    If GM needs a consumer to test the car in real life situations, I am ready and willing to save money on gas!


  55. 55
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:25 pm)

    Amanda, #53, Trust me. You are not alone with that feeling.


  56. 56
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:31 pm)

    GM could easily get about 24,000 people off this site to test one of the Volts. Hey, I would even test the new 40 mpg car they plan to introduce, what, next year?


  57. 57
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:51 pm)

    GM will get its program together, but it will be a painful journey. We all will feel the pain at the gas pump until we can free ourselves and help GM get back on top.


  58. 58
    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:53 pm)

    I personally think that GM should have someone with a very critical eye test their car for them. They don’t want someone just blowing smoke up their dress. Who might I suggest? Hrm…

    GM: “What did you think of our new design over the concept?”
    Me: “Better. Better get me a bucket before I throw up!”

    GM: “Do you like our fancy all digital gauges?”
    Me: “No, it’s stupid. Why do I have to know the exact state of charge down to 2 decimal places? Everytime the numbers change on this blasted dash I have the need to look at it, and it’s driving me crazy. Just give me the fricken’ analog Full/Empty guage. What is this a 1988 New Yorker? Don’t tell me you are bringing back the Electronic Voice Alert too!***

    GM: “Do you like the 10 way power heated seats?”
    Me: “Sure, but I can I ‘unoption’ it and get the car cheaper?”
    GM: “No.”
    Me: “It sucks.”

    ****1988 New Yorker came with all the fancy 80s gadgetry and had the infamous Electronic Voice Alert, “The door is ajar.” It also rocked the Landau vinyl roof, complete with electro luminescent opera lamps

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/59/Eplatform.jpg


  59. 59
    Mark

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:54 pm)

    Let the death of OPEC Begin!


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:56 pm)

    Statik

    You rock man, you rock!!!!!! Who else could we count on to give GM an honest opinion.


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    Tom

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:57 pm)

    Tom Thias,

    I was thunderstruck! If the lease on a Volt will indeed be $299/month, then if gas rises to $6.47 a gallon, for the average person (drives at least 12,000 miles/year, less than 40 miles/day, with a nonaggressive EPA City Driving Profile, and presently has a fuel economy , US fleet average, of 20 mph), then the cost of his monthly fuel bill will be more than the cost of the lease plus electricity (@$0.10 kWhr) for recharge!! OPEC will have priced itself out of the average commuter’s transportation market. Give me more of the lease details.


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    Dr. Science

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (2:19 pm)

    Tom #41
    I like your possitive attitude, I realy hope you right, I have a friend & neighbor who is a GM retiree from corporate management who does not share your feelings. He claims there is a lot of under ground dissent within middle and line level management against the VOLT project, and forsees a lot of log jams against it succeeding. We VOLT fans would hate to see it stymied by internal politics.
    Note to GM: Clean house if you have to, we want our VOLTS ASAP!


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (2:25 pm)

    Dr. Science

    I agree totally. We need the Volt and GM needs to do whatever it takes to get it onto the showroom floors. If that means canning some people with a good old fashion “heads rolling”, then let them get started doing it.


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (2:26 pm)

    Rashiid-43
    Tom-60

    I’m not thinking that the Volt E-REV ( Thanks for the reminder Nasoman-38 ) will stand a heavy ‘over sticker’ dealer mark up as the cost to own must offset the cost of gas.

    Remember it is pure speculation on my part as to possable lease payment. I have to think however that this will be a 3 to 7 year demand curve surge that should keep 3 and 4 year residuals high and thus lower the lease payment.

    ….And Tom-60 the industry standard is $10.00 a day for the net use of the average car plus gas, insurance and depreciation imho.


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (2:32 pm)

    #61 Dr Science said “He claims there is a lot of under ground dissent within middle and line level management against the VOLT project…” Maybe a more benign view is in order.

    The Volt project is not risky in the eyes of people here, but in fact it is risky, partly because at first the vehicles will be more expensive.

    GM managers have seen that they can make ICE vehicles and sell a lot of them (even in this down year), and they wish the focus was on their own line, whatever that is. If, and it is a big if, customers purchase lots of Volts, all these middle managers will come around and want an EREV for their own divisions.


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (2:39 pm)

    #25 N. Riley:

    Thanks for your kind words. Even if i can’t keep the numbers
    straight. Likewise, I’m sure.

    #30 nasaman:

    Thanks for the link to gmnext.com. Maybe it will replace Fastlane, which is essentially dead as a source of new product information, IMHO. I was so inspired I sent in two comments The first was on their post on our beloved leader, Frances Bienecke of the NRDC. It shows a lot of class for GM to do that. The second was on their post on turbos, and my modest proposal for an 1800#, mid-engined, turbo 4, Corvette.

    I got back a response saying “You are posting comments too quickly, slow down.” I kid you not! Then they put me
    into “moderation” (purgatory?). They ought to check out GM-Volt.com if they are worried about people going too fast, LOL hahaha.

    #47 N Riley:

    Cheer up. If Toyota, Honda, Ford or Nissan get a hot selling new car they will do the same !@#$% thing. It’s in the car dealer genes.

    I will just keep driving my 40 mpg turbo Cobalt and wait them out.


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (2:54 pm)

    This all sounds well & good, however, by the time the Volt hits the showroom I will gues it will cost over $50,000 – $75,000+ after “Dealer Markup” and the only people to buy them will be popular television personalities. After the demand at those prices taper off (2011 or 2012) the average price will drop by half and the Volt will still cost twice as much as it should. After all, it is the every-day ride that needs to be replaced to make a dent in our imported oil consumption, not the few high-end cars on the road, and that is what the Volt will replace, only those who can afford a high-end car and don’t make up a significant number of oil consumers will be able to afford a Volt. By that time there will be five other brands with one or two models each already filling the real need for two years or more. Peugeot, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Kia will all have affordable models in enough quantity the dreaded “Dealer Markup” will be reasonable and working families will buy them. Then the UAW will be crying about all the ‘imports’ hurting the American auto industry – ‘shame on you unpatriotic Americans’ they’ll say. Maybe I’m a syndic, but all this sounds so familiar I can’t imagine history will repeat itself so soon!


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (3:22 pm)

    SniperCraig-66

    $50,000 – $75,000+

    …..Well maybe in Fiiji Dollars…lol

    SniperCraig-66
    “After the demand at those prices taper off (2011 or 2012)”

    ….Only if the petrolium speculators realise what they have done and allow the oil bubble to crash, dropping the cost per barrell back to mid 2006 values-thus crashing the emotional hyper demand for this car…

    Tom-63 ” I have to think however that this will be a 3 to 7 year demand curve surge that should keep 3 and 4 year residuals high and thus lower the lease payment.”

    Wind,Thermal Solar and Solar generation will continue to massively advance so long as the above scenario does not occur.

    Don’t sweat this one pal, The Volt E-REV is The Killer Application we have been wating to sell !!!


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    Brian M

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (3:40 pm)

    Statik –

    To stray off topic again – I have read a few stories lately about people starting to lean more towards buying American in an effort to promote “Economic Patriotism”. I bet it will continue to escalate if the economy keeps going down the tubes. Myself, I always try to buy American if it is available (even if it costs a little more). I haven’t stepped foot in a Walmart or Target in over 5 years.

    Actually, maybe that will help the Volt against the offerings from Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, etc. There, got it back on topic…


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (3:42 pm)

    Lyle & nasaman #38

    Amen. I’ve been trying to emphasize this from the time I started posting on this thread. FWIW the Webster’s dictionary definition of a Hybrid does not fit the Volt.


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (3:59 pm)

    #23 Statik
    I wanna T Shirt and a Sweat Shirt.

    Imagine, a picture, of the production Volt slightly off center from the Front. Above the words “Plug in” Below the picture the word “And . . ”

    On the back, a picture of the Volt from the Rear. Above the Word “Drive”. Below “GM-Volt.com”

    How much?


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    Tagamet

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (5:32 pm)

    Statik @ 34

    Hmm, I don’t know whether to angry or proud…. I must admit that I enjoy a challenge and you certainly qualify (g).
    Ah, the infallible Mongoose.
    Be well,
    T


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    Tagamet

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (5:36 pm)

    Snipercraig @66

    I curious as to what facts your guess is based on. Help me out here.
    T


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (5:40 pm)

    72

    I = I’m


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (6:37 pm)

    #71 Tagamet:

    He’s just teasing. It’s a compliment. It’s a lot better to be ragged on than ignored. It means your message is getting out. Blog on!


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    Statik

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    Yupe I’m just teasing…Tag knows that, hehe.

    As for the T-shirt NZDavid (#71). I don’t do ‘onesies;. But if you want a 1,000 around $3.50 for the T-Shirt. Unfotunately I think GM will prosecute me for infringement…I’m probably not their favoUrite (note Canadian ‘u’) at the moment.

    /blog on


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (10:47 pm)

    Yeah, Statik, we’re like the yin and the yang of the threads (G)
    I didn’t know there was a U in Canadian?!?


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    JBFALASKA

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:26 pm)

    Not only will imported oil go down, for the first time we’ll see at least one car on ships going away from America – America actually may have an export car besides the Buick Enclave.


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:29 pm)

    This car is going to be a head turner, history maker, ignite American fervor, and reposition the world’s automotive approach. For us hoping to be part of that, let’s pray GM taps into their first and most loyal clientelle by using the Volt waiting list.


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (11:29 pm)

    CHEVY VOLT: American-made, American-FUELED.


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    Rolle

     

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    Jun 6th, 2008 (4:33 am)

    Why not a mini SUV with the The E-Flex system ?

    Rolle/ Sweden


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    banjoez

     

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    Jun 6th, 2008 (8:40 am)

    Certain posters on this once informative and thought provoking website have taken it over and turned it into their personal blog spot and a joke. It gets tiring having to sort through all the drivel they spout in order to get to any meaningful comments. Lyle, it’s time…….


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    Ken Grubb

     

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    Jun 6th, 2008 (8:55 am)

    I don’t think anyone seriously believes we’ll ever see $3 a gallon gas ever again. However, let’s advocate for the Almighty and presume current prices are simply a bubble that will eventually burst. The question then becomes have the American people been sufficiently beaten and harmed by the price of oil and gas such that they now no longer see oil as the future and will still embrace alternatives, hybrids, PHEVs, E-REVs and EVs as they come onto the market? It’s not the $64K question. Perhaps more like a $64 billion question.


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (12:43 pm)

    81 Rolle…..”Why not a mini SUV with the The E-Flex system ?”…..
    [This is also posted on tomorrow's thread for added exposure]
    Last fall, Bob Lutz, Jon Lauckner & apparently many other key people at GM were said to be somewhat surprised to learn that DRAG has a larger effect on EV range than MASS —based on the Volt concept’s wind tunnel testing & analysis. Since that discovery, I’ve often wondered if GM wishes they had instead (or also) decided to promote a somewhat larger vehicle —one that could command a higher MSRP than the compact 4-seat Volt.

    Although the market for large SUVs is imploding (down ~15.9% in the past year), sales of CUVs are EXploding (up 30.7% in 2007 compared to 2006). And on top of that growth, the CUV Saturn VUE’s sales were up another 83.5% between April 2007 & April 2008*. As a result, I’ve wondered if it wouldn’t be wise for GM to begin recovering more of the E-REV development cost by producing a Cadillac Provoq concept like that shown as a fuel-cell concept this January —BUT AS AN ENTIRELY-ELECTRIC CROSSOVER/ COMPACT SUV that borrows heavily from the design of either the Plug-in Volt, the Plug-in VUE, or both.

    Consequently, I have been vigorously lobbying GM at the decision-making levels since January to produce an electric CUV with an EV-only range of 35-40miles, and have hand-carried or emailed a 2-pg dissertation containing the technical & marketing arguments explaining it to several GM executives. Anyone here who’d like a copy (2 pgs in MS Word) of the exact document I’ve given several members of management at GM is welcome to it. Just email me at nasaman@earthlink.net & ask for the “Plug-in CUV Proposal to GM”.

    *Data is from http://www.NADAguides.com


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    Brendan

     

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    Jun 6th, 2008 (4:03 pm)

    Im not sure about this but wasnt the EV 1 also built at this same plant. If it was that would be both very ironic and funny.


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    FolsomEV

     

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    Jun 6th, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    #85 Brendan: The EV1 was built at the Craft Center in Lansing, Michigan.

    Article in today’s Sacramento Bee, with no further source… “[GM] is lobbying the US and Canadian governments for a tax break for its Volt electric car. If approved, the tax break would chop as much as $7,000 from the price in the United States. The production numbers in the first year — 2010, possibly — would range from 10,000 to 30,000 units and then grow. The Volt’s price tag is planned to start at $35,000.”


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (10:06 pm)

    Reply to Tagamet

    My comments are nothing more than speculation based upon 3/4 lifetime watching the same events come around a couple of times.

    For example, when Chrysler introduced the PT Cruiser my wife & I waited months before the dealer had one that wasn’t sold before it arrived which we may test drive. Besides being gutless (4 cyl. no turbo) the dealer markup was exactly $20,000! Two years later the peppier model was selling for $20,000 LESS!

    When the Mini was announced I got on the waiting list… the waiting list to ORDER a car. After a year went by the dealer called to let me know I may order my car if I place a substantial deposit, however, they still did not have a demo for me to drive! After another year the first lease return became the dealer demo and I was able to take a test drive after a two year wait! And the model I wanted priced out near $40,000 but a couple of years later it was selling for about 60% of that.

    Those are just two example in my recent memory. I am tired of waiting for the automobile gods to provide options. Four years ago I bought a diesel truck and as soon as the warranty expired I converted it to waste oil and haven’t looked back. My wife wants a hybrid car so I did some simple research and talked to some owners only to find a diesel VW is actually cheaper per mile to own!

    Maybe I’ll build my own hybrid…


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (10:11 pm)

    P.S.

    When the SMART Car was announced I got on the waiting list. When they called to take my order I learned the diesel will not be available in the U.S.A. due to “Unrealistic” emission requirements! What the Hell? So, I don’t have a SMART car, either.

    There is a reason I am cynical and personal experience plays a big roll.


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    Jun 10th, 2008 (12:14 pm)

    Why not the Orion plant?


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    Jun 10th, 2008 (5:23 pm)

    I’m having a little trouble finding the enthusiasm for what is estimated to ultimately be a $40,000 Prius in effect. The belief by some that the price will drop after initial entry into the line up isn’t supported by evidence within the automotive industry at large going back a long way. Such price drops typically migrate down from the high end vehicles to the mass market vehicles over time. The Volt is not a high end vehicle that will migrate it’s technology down to the low end. Neither is it affordable by the masses. The Battery technology is neither new nor cheap even today where it is commonly used in tens of millions of laptops. The ability to fast charge it without making it explode is another matter.

    I did the math on this car compared to a 1996 Honda Civic VX and Prius. Assuming $4.00 a gallon, a 15,000 mile annual mileage, 150,000 mile or 10 year life time (no battery swap out) and half the mileage around town, back and forth to work and the rest on trips of some sort I get real world cost that aren’t going to be simply ignored to save a few bucks on gas. I didn’t include things like property taxes and insurances on the vehicles. The more expensive the vehicle the more these cost per year. It all adds up along with the real cost of battery replacement in a 10 year or older vehicle. For the Volt I assumed it would spend 5000 miles of the 15,000 totally on battery which would mimic my annual use but at 12,000 miles a year instead of 15,000.

    My Friends Honda VX delivers a reliable 50 mpg on the highway under most conditions and mid 40s around town. The Prius ranges between 47-55 mpg for a co-worker. There is less than a 10% fuel cost difference between the two but at least an $8000.00 cost difference if the VX was produced again today. The Volt cost what the Honda VX would cost over and above the Prius or $24,000.00 more than the Honda VX or similar high mileage gas only car. At $4.00 a gallon, be it gas or E85, 80 cents per 40 mile charge on the Volt batteries the following are the annualized cost of ownership broken between fuel + annualized Investment premium over the conventional 50 mpg car.

    Honda VX annual cost for fuel (15,000 miles / 50) * 4.00 = $1200.00 total annual cost.
    Toyota Prius annual cost for fuel (15,000 miles / 55) * 4.00 = $1100.00 fuel + annual premium (8,000 / 10) = $1900.00 total annual cost.
    Chevy Volt annual cost for fuel (10,000 / 50) * 4.00 = $800.00 + ((5000 / 40) * .80) = $100.00 = $900.00 for fuel + annual premium (24,000 / 10) = $3300.00 total annual cost.

    Assuming the battery swap cost at 150,000 miles for the Prius will cost just $2000.00 that adds another $200.00 per year to the annualized cost if you intend to keep the car beyond 150,000 miles. For the Volt, I suspect the Lit_ion battery pack will cost at least twice as much or $4000.00 and add another $400.00 per year. If owners don’t replace the batteries by that 150,000 mark the resale value of the vehicle will be discounted just like high mileage is due to the high cost of the battery change out.

    When all is said and done, the Volt will never pay for itself within a normal life time of use even solely on batteries for the entire 150,000 miles. The chances it could actually run exclusive on batteries are remote for a mass produced vehicle in general use. The repair cost (battery swap) on a ten year old vehicle is not going to be well received no matter how much mpg the vehicle gets. The embedded gas engines in both the Prius and Volt are also going to have normal maintenance cost over their life that the battery/electric motor portion is going to compound as the vehicle ages. Money does not grow on trees and the Volt would require a fountain of money to own. Household economics will win out over wishful thinking in a free market.
    My friends 1996 Honda Civil VX has nearly 400,000 miles on it’s original engine, cost $12,000 in 1996 and averages close to 50 mpg over the 30,000 annual miles and 90 miles a day he puts on it. Try that math with the Prius or Volt’s when all the cost factors are included, fuel, annualized ownership cost ((purchase price / life span) + (annual proper tax + insurance cost / life span) + ((life span miles / 150,000 * battery swap cost) / life span)).

    Be it the EV-1 or the Volt, it won’t add up when all the cost factors are added up. The battery technology is simply not capable of replacing a gasoline engine at this point in time for general purpose use. If the Volt is the best GM can do at the suggested price of $40,000.00 it will suffer the same fate as the EV-1. By GM’s own statement this is not suppose to be a niche vehicle but they are pricing it as just that. There are going to be a lot of high mileage vehicles in the market place that make the economics of the Volt a sure loser for GM. Don’t be surprised that the silver bullet here doesn’t live up to its billing.


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    Jun 11th, 2008 (7:29 am)

    #90 Thom

    I read your post three times. I can’t figure out where you’re coming up with your figures. It’s so convoluted and wordy as to be confusing. What’s this thousands of dollars tacked on the the Volt as a “premium”?

    I’ve done my figuring on my own and I don’t approach your costs whatsoever. I save a fortune in gas, tuneups and the like! Your figures seem very, very biased.


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    Phil

     

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    Jun 14th, 2008 (1:55 am)

    I’ve got $500 that it will NEVER EVER EVER be sold.

    They’ll merely lease it like the EV1. Did you know people that leased the EV1 offered $100,000 to KEEP the vehicle after lease? GM said NO and took it back and crushed them.

    No thanks….I’ll buy me a Chinese electric vehicle currently being assembled in Oklahoma….and be able to keep it.


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    Jun 14th, 2008 (2:05 am)

    Yes,
    GM screwed up by ditching consumers with the EV1…as Ford did with it’s electric vehicles…they took them all back and crushed them.

    I googled Chinese vehicles and Oklahoma and came up with http://www.TigerTruck.com……wow……Oklahoma assembled Chinese electric vehicles.

    Buh Bye GM. We’re sick of yer stupid decisions AGAINST consumers. Why was the aluminum drum brake assembly ditched after the Buick Gran National? Made the brakes last too long by ditching heat…….yer about selling parts and making money….not saving or helping America.

    Look at what the Federal Govt. buys for vehicles now……it ain’t GM….they’ve gone to contractors and leasing because you can’t design an efficient or long lasting vehicle. Innovation into Govt. is coming via contractors to save money.

    Why isn’t GM sold at http://www.encs.com anymore? Why no public release?

    GM will never rise from the ashes. Corporate greed killed GM.


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    Kent Szabo

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2008 (8:28 am)

    The sooner GM gets this into the showroom the sooner they will be posting positive quarterly earnings instead of multi-billion dollar losses. The bottom line is they better put this on the fast track if they want to restore corporate profitability.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2008 (5:05 pm)

    Thomb and Phil,
    You’re both right. Let’s just quit.
    (NOT). You can’t see that using no gas is better than using some gas.
    Be well,
    Tag


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    edstirling

     

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    Oct 8th, 2008 (1:34 pm)

    the technology is not new and something like the volt should have been available 30 years ago. Don’t be surprised if GM pushes the schedule back a few years. the more things change, the more things stay the same.


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    Herm

     

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    Oct 8th, 2008 (2:08 pm)

    >>I did the math on this car compared to a 1996 Honda Civic VX and Prius. <<

    Thom, do your math again but this time compare it to a BMW 3 series sedan.

    Why would anyone buy a BMW when they could have a 96 Honda?.. because they can afford it and it will impress the chicks :)
    Battery tech will improve quickly, price will not come down but you will get a lot more capacity at the same weight and cost.. the Volt and the myriad of other EV coming will make that happen.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2008 (3:26 pm)

    I want a Chevy Volt with No Radio (I have an iPod and Cell phone that plays mp3z), No Power Windows (Remember the hand crank?), No Power Locks(Cmon…Lazy?) and No power MoonRoof (MoonRoof=Engineered hole in car & Eventual Leak).
    That will sell more than the base model or higher if GM offered it.


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    Bob

     

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    Mar 5th, 2009 (9:23 pm)

    Please, can you PM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of your blog…