Jun 22

Video: The Latest With Bob Lutz on the Chevy Volt – Photovoltaic Roof After All?

 

GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz sat down with some bloggers recently and as readers on this blog have pointed out, the videos are on You Tube. This 10 minute segment below had some interesting details about the Volt

Some key points:

1.  Lutz alluded that there may be photovoltaic roofs on the Volt after all. A very striking new fact as that has been one item people have requested more than anything else since the concept was first unveiled. I guess GM couldn’t resist the public demand.

2.  He confirmed 10,000 Volts on calendar year 2011, a few will slowly ramp out in late 2010.  60,000 Volts in 2012, and the sky is the limits after that

3.  He said the Volt will be priced at "just under" $40,000

4.  He talked about dealers servicing abilities and said people might have to come in every 3 months to clean out the fuel tank.

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfBZ0B2dAvA&feature=user]

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 at 8:47 pm and is filed under Production, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 158


  1. 1
    Paul

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (8:48 pm)

    If only they could develop a 16kw panel that would fit on the roof…


  2. 2
    Paul

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (8:49 pm)

    And under $40k ? in 2 years? With 40 ev miles I’ll do it..

    pb


  3. 3
    Casey

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (8:55 pm)

    This is fantastic news. Thanks Bob! Looking forward to the Volt!


  4. 4
    Arch

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:04 pm)

    (YAWN) I am tired of the talk. Show us something!

    Take Care
    Arch


  5. 5
    Kevin R

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:07 pm)

    I really like the idea of charging up my car while it sits in a parking lot at work. Why not use the power of the sun and not use energy from the grid whenever we can. Makes total sense to me.

    The numbers of production vehicles concern me however, I need one of these cars in 2010….not 2012. My Bonneville won’t make four more years……it simply won’t. And I’m sorry to say that if I can’t buy a Volt by then I’ll be forced to buy a competitors electric vehicle as I will never buy another ICE only automobile. I want to support GM, I really, really do but if I’m not able to buy one to give them that support I’m forced to turn elsewhere. That will suck for them and me. I’m hopeful that those of us on GM-Volt.com who really want a Volt will be given that opportunity first. What better PR and word-of-mouth advertising than GM’s biggest supporters?


  6. 6
    frankyB

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:07 pm)

    photovoltaic panel?? really?? feels like something part of options…. and a pricy one :)

    And like #4…. enough talk, time to show it to us


  7. 7
    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:10 pm)

    Might have been a different video but Lutz also talked about SW on the Volt not allowing a charge in anything but off peak hours. This can’t be good since people work different hours and may not be able to charge at work because of this. My biggest fear about this whole charging scenario is that it’s over controlled and becomes nonsensical. This complicates a fairly simple process (charging) before this vehicle has even hit the market.


  8. 8
    Mark

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:12 pm)

    40K is still not doable for me. I Want this car, but it’s unaffordable.


  9. 9
    BestTimesNow

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:17 pm)

    “4. He talked about dealers servicing abilities and said people might have to come in every 3 months to clean out the fuel tank.”

    The Volt 20M is looking better for me. The ICE would run the last 4 miles on work days and cost thousands less that the Volt 40M.


  10. 10
    Tall Pete

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:17 pm)

    While we’re at that, why not make the A/C or heater run while the car is still plugged on the grid. We could simply turn it on using a remote. That would allow for more range as the car would be cool (or hot) before unplugging it. Just a thought. Much easier to do than any fancy software control thing.

    P.


  11. 11
    Dinosaurus

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:19 pm)

    To me, it sounded more like he actually meant charging it from panels on the roof of the owner’s house. His comment said the car but I’d guess he was meaning your house.


  12. 12
    bruce g

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:37 pm)

    Im pleased that Bob sees the sky as being the limit after 2012 but I personally think by then that the Japanese will clearly dominate the hybrid market and they will be setting the limits.
    Such is life!


  13. 13
    dagwood55

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:40 pm)

    Who was conducting this interview? Is one of the guys asking questions dim enough to think mounting a wind turbine on the car is feasible or was he just having a little trouble getting his question about home wind turbines phrased properly?

    #11, Dinosaurus, I was also thinking he actually meant house roof. It’s ambiguous but considering how much trouble solar panels would be for the car, I don’t expect solar on the roof anytime soon.

    #10, Tall Pete, that’s not a bad idea at all.


  14. 14
    Jack Daniels

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    Suggestion to GM/Bob Lutz;
    While waiting for the Volt, why can’t GM;
    1. Bring back the EV1 but with the improved Lithium battery so it gets better range.
    2. The EV1 was fully approved and tested car so there will be only minimal development costs (with lithium battery instead of the cadmium battery as in the original EV1)
    3. There’ll be less deadline pressure on the Volt development and production teams and they can resolve all the issues properly with less time-pressure on them.
    4. It’ll also improve GM credibility among the nay-sayers


  15. 15
    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:50 pm)

    bruce g #12

    Im pleased that Bob sees the sky as being the limit after 2012 but I personally think by then that the Japanese will clearly dominate the hybrid market and they will be setting the limits.
    Such is life!

    *** *** ****

    And they’ll have that market to themselves. Literally! The rest of the world will be buying EVs and there will be no turning back. IMHO Toyota invested too heavily in an intermediate technology.


  16. 16
    kent beuchert

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (9:55 pm)

    They already have the ability to run the car’s HVAC while on the grid.
    My old calculations indicated that solar panels covering every part of the car’s topside wouldn’t generate enough electricity after 10 hours to do much of anything in terms of propulsion. It would run the battery cooling system, however, which I believe they mentioned as the purpose.
    A 20M version looks to have a battery pack costing $8K less, or a car cost of $32. Assuming you can add later when batteries are cheaper, that’s a pretty good path for me.
    If you think these prices are high, go out and price a simple electric conversion kit with an AC motor, like the one being offered for Porsche conversions. WITHOUT batteries, the motor, controller, mounting brakets, battery brakets (but no batteries), and speed controller and cables costs $25,000. Plus you supply the car and all the work. The cheapest AC motor I saw was over $5K. Conversion kits like the above for less exotic Geo Metros (yuck!) run over $12,000. DC motors are less expensive but generally don’t have regen braking. Then you need the other stuff, like vacuum bottles for power brakes, AC compressor, etc. Even cheap DC motors for a conversion can run over $3000. I laugh when these conversion fanatics try to convince people that because electricity is cheap, the electric car is cheap. Anything but. Would love to convert an Austin-Healey 3000 but only if EEStor batteries are available – I’m not going to maintain two cars, which is required if you have a battery only EV
    with the batteries now available.


  17. 17
    Dealer Incompetence

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:01 pm)

    “…little control over dealerships…”, wow, that says a lot about GM’s overall problems. I think the City Think/Ox will be sold directly over internet to customer. By eliminating the middle man, they can contract out “on-site” repair, similar to the way Dell/HP etc contract out to GE and others to service your PC at your house. GM’s business model better change or they are going to be at a severe disadvantage to the numerous smaller companies that are poised to enter the EV market at the same time. I think someplace like those quick-lube shops will be able to handle gas tank cleanup more efficiently than those slow-poke dealership service bays.


  18. 18
    Arch

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:02 pm)

    #6 Franky

    All we are getting is talk. It is not even good talk. I want to see some numbers on what the mules are doing! NO more talk I want to see some numbers.

    Take Care
    Arch


  19. 19
    bruce g

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:08 pm)

    #15Grizzly,
    Well yes, the Prius concept is an an intermediate technology, but it has the punters convinced. GM will have to overcome fifteen years of the Prius myth when they sell the Volt.
    By the way, I think the classic intermediate technology is the turbine locomotive at the Retro Technology website, but others may argue it is the Discatron.

    The EV’s of course will undersell both the Prius and the Volt.

    If the sky is the limit it may look like a Thunderstorm.


  20. 20
    Morgan

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:09 pm)

    17 Dealer Inc.:

    He was flat out lying on that one. Having spent the better part of my weekends, weekdays, and evenings with either GM Dealership salespersons or dealer owners over the last four years Lutz was blowing smoke up their butts with that comment :)

    GM has tons of influence and tools to use on a dealer: withholding spiffs, poor CSI scores, inventory cuts, all the way up to (with the new contracts) shutting them down without compensation or letting them sink or swim without Motor Holding as a safety net.


  21. 21
    Arch

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:16 pm)

    “4. He talked about dealers servicing abilities and said people might have to come in every 3 months to clean out the fuel tank.”

    #9 Best

    I heard the same thing. I shut down my GMC motorhome in Oct. I fire it up again in April. I have never had a problem. I shut down my garden tractor in November. I fire it back up in March or April and never a problem. I think they are laying on the BS again. I am sick of it. Guess they think we are all dumb. Some of us are not

    Take Care
    Arch


  22. 22
    Morgan

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:21 pm)

    21 Arch:

    You thought that was serious? I laughed out loud when I heard that because a joke of that nature is MUCH easier to say and move on to the next question than deal with the very hard truth that question brought up :)


  23. 23
    CDAVIS

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:23 pm)

    ______________________________________________________
    Thin film photovoltiacs have become less expensive, rugged, & lightweight.

    A photovoltaic car roof will be a standard feature on the Aptera EV. It would be cool if the VOLT also had it as a standard feature.

    http://www.aptera.com
    ______________________________________________________


  24. 24
    Volt University

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:24 pm)

    GM needs to set up a Volt University. A university that only teaches Volt related technologies. Degrees offered will initially be B.S. in Battery Science.

    That’s right a BS in B.S. !!

    This university will be a “hands-on” university, not your typical Book Smart (BS) university. Many of the class projects will focus on two-wheel electric scooters (for cost reasons). The research gained from trials with 2 wheelers will easily transfer to cager technology. This college would become the world leader in applied battery science.

    I am waiting to enroll my kids, so get busy.


  25. 25
    Dr.Science

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:25 pm)

    A trip to the dealer’s service dept. every 3 mo. to clean the fuel tank ? Yes, I can see it now, a fuel tank designed so that special service tools are required and cleaning can only be done by an authorized certified service technician to prevent voiding your warranty. That certainly answers the questions about how dealers and their service departments will make anything on the service of these types of vehicles. There would be far too much product liability if a drain were provided and fires or explosions resulted.


  26. 26
    Statik

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:29 pm)

    The infamous pink tie makes a unprecedented third consecutive appearance in thread pictures of Bob Lutz…and 3 out of the last 5 threads.

    Forget hocking the Volt T-Shirts Lyle, I want one of those pimpin’ ties. “Ho, ho! I cans say anything me likes, as long as I has me magic tie on again!”


  27. 27
    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:31 pm)

    Bruce G #19

    The Volt IS an EV, and a special one at that. I don’t think it’s difficult for common folk to understand not needing any fuel whatsoever at ANY speed to do 40 miles. A hybrid is what it is and a RE EV is the Volt. I’m betting on the latter and I doubt the public will confuse the two as demand will ultimately prove.


  28. 28
    Gary

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:35 pm)

    I found that the video above doesn’t work any more (due to too many views?), but I think I found the same video on YouTube manually:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiYO06ley6U


  29. 29
    TBK

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:36 pm)

    The guy doing the MST3K dialog needs to shut up.

    Interesting listen despite that.


  30. 30
    jbfalaska

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:38 pm)

    How hard will it be to maintain this car in the end? 17 moving parts versus nearly 1800 in a 1910 technology fire breather. Let’s move on.

    As blogged above, $39,XXX for a 40 mile range charge, I’m in. For America if not myself.

    US Air Force, retired.


  31. 31
    Arch

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:38 pm)

    #22 Morgan

    I no longer know what to believe. When we started this quest I had REAL hope. That is no longer the case. I am being fed Public Relations not facts. What do we honestly know about this car?

    Take Care
    Arch


  32. 32
    jbfalaska

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:40 pm)

    The unveiling please.

    What a shame though having only 10,000 made in 2011. Less than 1,000 per month. I do love my Buick Regals, all 3 of them. But I hate the Middle-East turmoil oil going into each. Looking forward to the picture of this Middle-Aged man driving Middle-East free behind the wheel of a Mid-priced Volt.


  33. 33
    jbfalaska

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:42 pm)

    Heck, I’m going to put in fuel saver, or simply burn off the gas in the ICE. No need for a gasoline tank makeover unless a pure under 40 mile city dweller.


  34. 34
    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:43 pm)

    Statik #26

    “Ho, ho! I cans say anything me likes, as long as I has me magic tie on again!”

    *** **** ****

    Statique

    What kind of confidence do you think one would get from assuming/claiming he had the largest badminton racket in town?


  35. 35
    Jim I

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:43 pm)

    Arch #4: I agree with you. We need to see something real, and not more talk that may or may not really be part of the production Volt…

    Tall Pete #10: This idea has been discussed extensively over the past year. some of the better ideas were the ability to set the start up time of the heating or cooling system as part of the car’s control settings on the dashboard, or as part of a customer controlled set of settings via a wiresless or cat-5 cabled connection to your home computer.

    Jack Daniels #14: Over and over and over again, the movie was not correct in the facts…. The EV-1 was never meant to be available as a nation wide vehicle. It was only ever released in a very small quantity (1117 units total) in CA and AZ, because the systems would not work in any type of cold climate. Since these units were hand built, there is no assembly plant that is just ready to go. Even if GM wanted to try this, it would take longer to try to start that project back up than it will to get the Volt online! And lets not forget that the technology used in that car’s design is now over 10 years old. And with only an approx. 100 mile range, it was not really suited as a primary vehicle. That car is dead. It is not going to come back to life.

    CDAVIS #23: The photo voltaics on the Aptera are only to run a fan to keep the interior cool on a hot summer day….

    The Volt is the right design. It will get here. It takes time to design, test, spec out for parts suppliers, set up an assembly plant, train the workers, and train the repair techs. I am sure that GM is more aware of this that we are…..

    Now if a parallel mode hybrid suits your needs, buy it. If an all electric vehicle with limited range will work for you, buy it. If you are willing to spend from $30K to over $100K on a vehicle from a small startup company with no nationwide dealer or repair facilities, buy it. If you have the time, energy, and ability to convert and maintain an ICE based car to electric, do it!

    For me, I will wait. My current vehicle is paid for, will last until 2012, and gets middle 20′s mpg, so for me to go and buy something else now does not really make financial sense, just to get a few more miles per gallon. Would I like to be one of the buyers of the first 10,000 units? Sure! Is that likely? Probably not, unless Lyle is able to get GM to consider giving the people on his waiting list some preferential treatment. But realistically, the first units are going to be driven by politicians in DC, big money, high profile people in CA and NY, and Lyle, of course…. And I guess the high rollers on Miami beach, and maybe nasaman and TED in Ft. Meyers! :) :)

    So the wait continues…………..


  36. 36
    redndahead

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:46 pm)

    In the software it should make the ICE run if the gas get’s to a certain level of quality. It would be cheaper to burn the fuel than to get the service done.

    red


  37. 37
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:57 pm)

    Its really cool that Lutz said the Volt might have solar panels on the roof, I always thought it was a no-brainer.
    Thin film?


  38. 38
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (11:00 pm)

    Photovoltaic Volt Roof:
    I didn’t think this comment by Bob referred to anything other than a hypothetical future v2 or v3 Volt.

    I didn’t think that the comment about emptying the gas tank was very serious either. Certainly something they are looking at, but I didn’t read the 3 month period to be anything more than a possible example. Nothing a little fuel stabilizer won’t cure.

    If the fuel lasts 6 months and you keep 0.5 gallons in ‘just incase’, it becomes an issue just like topping up the washer fluid. Anyway, an option to burn off old fuel also solves that if you don’t have too much in the tank.

    More significantly their market research shows HIGH demand at just under $40K. So the biggest problem is production volume. I’m nearly ready to give them 100% deposit to get a 2011 model.

    Yesterday I just trenched a line to the driveway to accommodate 120 / 240v charging in my driveway. So I’ll be ready, I just hope GM will be ready to sell me a Volt.


  39. 39
    Brad

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (11:01 pm)

    Great info. I would love to see pv cells on the roof.


  40. 40
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (11:06 pm)

    Sheesh, who is the extremely long winded questioner? Given his inability to concisely state a question, as well as his propensity to cite his own personal experiences ad nauseum (to the point of drifting way off subject), he simply loves to hear himself talk and ciphon all the oxygen. Even Bob had to stop him cold, letting him know that they were off topic.

    I do feel comfortable that GM’s management is on top of all the things going into this vehicle and keeping the vehicle development on focus and on track. Bob clearly seems comfortable with GM’s current position, which is way ahead of the pack, who’ve all followed GM’s example. Only Toyota and Honda are ahead on hydrogen vehicles, but their’s aren’t plug-in, which the fuel cell version of the Volt will be.


  41. 41
    JeffB

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (11:07 pm)

    #15 Grizzly
    “IMHO Toyota invested too heavily in an intermediate technology.”

    This should not be considered Toyota propaganda…GM should know their competitors. I’m sure Toyota knows GM very well.

    Well…IMHO Toyota’s hybrid tech (HSD) makes business sense. With each new version for 10 years (7 years in the USA), their flag ship has had improved fuel economy, improved performance, and new tech (better batteries) without a price increase. Also unlike competitor mild hybrid systems, HSD can operate on electric drive only and can be converted to a plug in hybrid which created an aftermarket of sorts for HSD. Toyota can size hybrid components based on market demand of the vehicle and market price of the components. If the battery pack prices the Prius PHEV 10 mile out-of-the-market of the sweet spot for volume sales, the plain Priuses will still sell. The buyer can reason that the vehicle can converted to a PHEV later…if desired. What if Toyota offers the option to convert a Prius to a PHEV at later date? 22-30K now…and add PHEV later. And Toyota will make a profit on both…unlike the VOLT.

    Some folks here think that several of the folks driving $40K vehicles (or capable of purchasing) will conclude the VOLT is their vehicle.
    Does anyone know how many new $40K+ cars were sold in the US last year? The fleet trucks do not count…unless a VOLT truck bed is an option. A better question…how many drivers have the money to purchase a $40K+ vehicle?

    EVs have their place, but until they are fast charging (and other limitations solved) or gas prices put ICE vehicles out-of-the-market of volume sales or government intervention…the ICEs are still king. And hybrids give the benefits of both. Also, I’m unaware of the value, but Toyota has significantly more on the road experience of a consumer passenger vehicle with an electric drive system (1 million plus). And highly doubt Toyota has taken a loss on every one of the 1 million plus hybrids.


  42. 42
    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (11:29 pm)

    JeffB #41

    Toyota invested heavily in hybrid technology as if to corner the market. The market has shifted to EVs and there is no stopping this. Agility is the key and technological prowess will rule. In this environment only the best will survive, and they will be the most agile.
    I’m betting on GM.


  43. 43
    Kent Lue

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:18 am)

    I’ve been a loyal domestic car owner for 30 years and currently own 4 American cars. I would love to own a Volt, but if the price is $40K, I guess I will be getting the next generation Prius instead.

    I’ve read a lot of posts from people on this website, but in the future, can you all also comment on what your price-point is (at today’s dollars)? Just in case GM is monitoring this website, maybe they will get a clue as to how many loyal customers they are pricing out of the Volt and directing over to Toyota?


  44. 44
    Paul

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:19 am)

    jbfalaska,

    You are “Cleared in Hot”.

    :-P


  45. 45
    jscott1

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:28 am)

    Considering that 99% of the people on this forum can’t understand how meaningless the square footage of solar on the roof of the car does for you, it wouldn’t surprise me that the general public would think it’s a good idea.

    But I can see the backlash now…”I paid $2,000 (or whatever) for the solar roof option and I still have to plug in my car and charge it. My solar array isn’t working GM!”

    Most people are stupid and have no real grasp of how diffuse the solar flux really is and how much energy 8 kWh is, and how long that car would have to sit in full sunlight to charge up, (weeks, not hours).

    Still it might be a nice marketing gimmick.


  46. 46
    mien green

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:28 am)

    If the Volt is to be positioned at the $40K entry market, then 2-mode hybrid technology may very well find itself introduced in the GM economy models in head-to-head competition with Toyota for the lower end market, as long as the economics are there. PHEV is still a viable technology for the global car market over the near term, at least until batteries can be reliably and cheaply supplied to provide a 200+ mpc range alone driving a decent sized motor (~30KW+) in a family sized vehicle, perhaps in conjunction with weight reduction.

    Did anyone else hear Bob in talking about the possible Volt product accessories mention a “blanket like” solar panel which could be spread out and plugged in while on a picnic or at the beach to provide supplemental charging of the battery?


  47. 47
    jscott1

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:29 am)

    Oh by the way, at $40K I would probably buy three Aveos instead.


  48. 48
    Texas

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:49 am)

    I think Bob did a great job! I’m sure he wanted to choke a few of those guys but he remained cool and collected. He sounded very knowlegable and in command. Keep up the great work Bob!


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (1:28 am)

    The latest solar technology is coming soon. It can literally be “sprayed” onto the Volt’s entire body, just like paint and using nano technology it is 3 times as efficient as the best photoelectric cells shipping today. It’s coming…be patient.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (1:33 am)

    Using electro-magnetic properties, if the utility company just ran the power line underneath the asphalt road in the middle of each lane, the Volt could stay fully charge while on the move. Is that kewl or watt ?


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (1:34 am)

    One of 10,000 early adopters, standing by.

    At the ready.

    Standing by.

    Early.

    What? Still too early. Oh yea, OK.

    Standing by…


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (1:44 am)

    Using current IBM supercomputers it should not be difficult to design a small nuclear powerplant (say the size of a watermelon) that could generate enuff go-juice for a Volt that would last about 20 years or so. Think of it as a scaled down version of those currently in the latest attack submarines the navy is cranking out. Deep inside the melon would be a buncha tiny radioactive pellets. This would work according to JPL experts and be safe. Nuke the Volt 2.0


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (1:59 am)

    Are you guys nuts! 40K is about 10-15K too much. I love the idea behind this car, but it just does not make sense money-wise. This isn’t a Lexus! How long will it take to recoup 10-15K over a Prius? I would snap one of these up in a minute if it was ~25K like Chevy stated in the beginning! I was planning on purchasing one of these. Not anymore. By almost doubling the price, Chevy has lost my business! I hope you guys buy enough of these so the price comes down to what most Americans can afford!


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (2:22 am)

    Jim #53
    Don’t give up so quickly, we don’t know the final price yet.

    Tiny Nuke #52
    One crash and there would be nuclear debris all over the road.

    Solar Geek #49
    Like coming within the next 2 years ?

    Grizzly #42 I agree, it’s the survival of the fittest and the Volt will clearly be the fittest.

    Everyone wants a high performance EV for a low performance price. The Volt needs to be high performance to gain the publics confidence. I know that many will have trouble swinging $40k, unfortunately it has to be that way. Some will trade their Volt in early and that will give the folks with less revenue a chance to pick one up a little cheaper. Unlike ICEs the Volts shouldn’t wear out prematurely.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (2:34 am)

    Solar cells on the roof. How retarded. Only a non-engineer / technical idiot would request this. The proverbial drop in the bucket scenario.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (3:34 am)

    A VOLT for 39,995 sounds good to me!

    Tried of paying $5,200/year for GAS!

    GO GM GO VOLT!


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (4:04 am)

    I hope that the photo-voltaic solar cell roof option on the Volt comes in colors other than blue. I just had my colors done and my fashion consultant said I can’t be seen next to those blue hues. NASA has some really striking copper/amber tones which are just to die for! Maybe Bobbie Lutz should talk with those rocket boys. And if you want to be completely PC, don’t you think solar cells should be green?

    Wake up folks, Lutz was just pulling their chains. He’s not an idiot. Of course he’ll SELL you a car with a PV top if you cough up enough money. That doesn’t make it a good idea. How about vinyl tops, fake NACA ducts, diamonds in the opera windows, retractable hood ornaments, and the like? Were those good ideas? Heck no. They offered them because folks were willing to pay for them, and pay too much!

    Unless PV solar cells become five time more efficient, they are never going to make ANY sense on a car, any car. And if you need to clean your unused fuel take every three months, you need to start filling up at a different station!


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (4:57 am)

    Statement…..June 23 2008………..We Will have a Wind-Solar, Personal Electric Vehicle Recharging Station available for sale before the 1st Volts, roll off the assembly line in…….. 2010……………………Dick G.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (5:10 am)

    #1 Paul says: “If only they could develop a 16kw panel that would fit on the roof…”

    Why 16KW? The Volt uses 30KW cruising at highway speeds, and up to 120KW when you accelerate or go uphill. See here for details:
    http://gm-volt.com/2007/08/29/latest-chevy-volt-battery-pack-and-generator-details-and-clarifications/

    If you wanted to charge the car via solar during the day, 2KW would work.

    However, the reality is that solar panels the size of the Volt’s roof are lucky to produce 200 watts.

    Bottom line: Solar Panels are only viable for larger areas, like the roof on your house.


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    Dave G

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (5:12 am)

    At $30,000 the Volt was a mainstream car. At $40,000 with talk of solar panels, the Volt looks to be a niche car for tree huggers and geeks.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (6:26 am)

    That video clip sucked. Next time get people that will actually let the man speak.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (6:41 am)

    #17 Dealer noted Bob Lutz’s comment about GM having “…little control over dealerships… ” I too thought his comment was remarkable, including his comment about the quality distribution — some dealers outstanding, some terrible, a lot that are sometimes good, sometimes not..

    I take my truck to a Chevy dealership (in Hillsborough NC) that has an outstanding service department, so I’m happy. Still, I know of other dealerships in central NC that are terrible, just like Mr. Lutz said. I find it hard to believe that GM can’t do anything about the bad ones. More likely GM has mixed motives, such as dealerships that give bad service but have good locations with high sales, so that GM just does not do anything.

    Or, to hear people from dealerships talk, GM often hardly knows what’s going on out in the field, a far cry from Honda, where calls from the service departments at dealerships go directly to the production line, if the call relates to a current model. For example, I’ll bet GM has no idea how many Silverado trucks have problems with the fuel guage sender unit, even though it’s a common issue. And try to talk to anyone at GM about some warranty issue — it’s not possible.

    GM (the corporation) does not seem to care much about service quality. They shrug their shoulders, just like Mr. Lutz did. The GM corporate attitude seems to be that individual customers are on their own to find a good dealer. So I did find a good one, and I am happy. Not everyone has been so fortunate. I’m sure there are outstanding service people at dealerships all over the country, just waiting for GM to recognize and encourage them. For the Volt, GM will really need them. Will GM notice?

    For the Volt, a lot of the service issues will be unknown at first. There will not be so many shade-tree mechanics. In part that is because the shade-tree group now specializes in Honda or Toyota.Just as the questionner said, in his long-winded way, this is one of those unintended issues that may become big trouble. As Mr Lutz implied in an earlier conversation, many of the biggest problems come from not paying attention to what “should be” a minor issue. GM better pay attention to this one.

    Optimistically, maybe that’s what GM is trying to do, with the limited rollout. I doubt it, but “hope outweighs memory”, so I’ll keep hoping.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (6:49 am)

    Bartosik @38 is right. You have to put this stuff about a PV roof in the context of the discussion. The question was in the realm of imagining the future, and so was the answer. I don’t see it happening in the first generation, and I wouldn’t bet any money on it being in v2, or even v3.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (6:50 am)

    #57 hermant “…retractable hood ornaments…” You are making my heart go pitter patter and my hands shake over my checkbook :)


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (6:56 am)

    First of all, I’m sure he meant that solar panels would be mounted on the roof of your house, not the car. Photovoltaic technology isn’t that efficient yet. Nothing is free.

    Next, I couldn’t help but notice about the price point. This IS niche technology (whether you want to hear that or not) simply because it hasn’t been done before in this manner by a domestic company. The battery, the charging sequences, the software integration. I could sit here and speculate about price for the next 2 years but that would waste so much oxygen (keystrokes) that I’d have to plant 30 acres of trees to make up for what I’ve consumed.

    10,000 Volts in 2011? Oh well. Many or you already know how I feel about this issue.

    Dealer service. Y’know, that almost seems to be an oxymoron. I have enjoyed ownership of the GM products that I’ve owned in the past, especially my Silverado (work truck for welders). However, I got such crappy service at the dealerships that I bought the repair manual and started working on my own truck. I’ve also sourced out parts and service from l;ocal small family-owned shops for alternators, mufflers, injector cleaning, etc. Since then, my truck had run better for less money. It shouldn’t be more expensive to be treated like you’re not important enough. Problem with the Volt is that “who in the heck will know how to service it?” Hell, how many people in certain areas will eben know what it is?

    I can only hope that there is a Volt University. And hopefully, they won’t charge you your first born to service it. Sticker shock is more than enough. (Puns intended)


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (6:56 am)

    #59 Dave G — Maybe by 2012 you’ll be able to go over to Lowe’s and get a photovoltaic garage kit, complete with home use battery and nighttime charging connector for your Volt. Sure it’s a stretch, but it is not an impossibility :)


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:10 am)

    redndahead

    In the software it should make the ICE run if the gas get’s to a certain level of quality. It would be cheaper to burn the fuel than to get the service done.

    red

    I fully agree with the above statement. Servicing the car gas tank should be a no no. Just think, an electric car could require very little servicing and that could be another great selling point. But, requiring to service the gas tank every 3 months is self defeating.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:15 am)

    A radio/ipod
    An Airconditioner (Texas)
    A Heater
    Bucket Seats (Manuel is fine)

    This is all I need in a Volt if it brings it to market quicker…


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:18 am)

    PV cells on the roof is ‘the item most people have requested’? Amazing! Would it generate sufficient power to keep my cell phone charged?

    Have you ever seen one of those automatic swimming pool cleaners? Drop a small one in the gas tank and run it off the PV panel and you wont have to have your gas tank cleaned every three months!

    Actually, if GM is going to add requested options, I would much rather have an alligator catcher on the front. If you don’t live in FL, you just don’t know how annoying it is to have to keep dodging those road gators.

    So come on folks, show a little support for your buddies down here in FL and lets make gator catchers ‘the item most people have requested’.

    Anyway, sounds like if I wait 5 years, I will be able to buy a Volt for $39,999.99.


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    Eric C.

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:19 am)

    I still don’t understand the whole fuel tank cleaning issue. I have a motorcycle I put away 6 months a year for the winter. All I do is put a little fuel stabilizer in the tank, and all is well the following summer.


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    Spin

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:20 am)

    The more Lutz talks, the more worried I get…..


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:20 am)

    JeffB #41

    Toyota invested heavily in hybrid technology as if to corner the market. The market has shifted to EVs and there is no stopping this. Agility is the key and technological prowess will rule. In this environment only the best will survive, and they will be the most agile.
    I’m betting on GM.

    Hmmm…Toyota has had the hybrid market cornered quite well for a few years now. They have sold more hybrids than all other competitors combined. Based my info, I agree a market shift is occuring, but EVs are still a small portion. If auto company offers a $20K EV in mass volumes with performance comparable to an ICE, the market would probably shift to EVs. The first question that I usually hear from a car salesperson…”What do you want your payment to be?”. Price is main factor for the general public on car purchases.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:25 am)

    CDAVIS

    ______________________________________________________
    Thin film photovoltiacs have become less expensive, rugged, & lightweight.

    A photovoltaic car roof will be a standard feature on the Aptera EV. It would be cool if the VOLT also had it as a standard feature.

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with you statement. Photovoltiacs have come down a great deal in price but are still too expensive. In order to make any significant amount of charging, a large area is needed and the roof of a car is just not enough. It would take the roof size of average home and that would be very costly.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:26 am)

    Show us the production version!


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:27 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    A photovoltaic VOLT roof as a standard feature to keep car cool inside during summer months (same as http://www.Aptera.com) would be a very good thing; more comfort for the passenger, less energy used from the battery store to cool the car down on the front end of the drive, VOLT cool factor kicked up another notch.

    Anybody like me that lives in Florida knows how much benefit there would be in not having to step into a 120F+ car during the summer months. Walking into a grocery store just for 15 minutes can turn your car into an oven.
    ______________________________________________________


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    NorthernPiker

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:31 am)

    #59 Dave G.

    It would make more sense if parking lots, whether at work or at the mall, provided solar canopies rather than apply solar cells to an EV because:
    o A canopy would collect more energy since its area (8’ x 20’) is greater than that of the aggregate of an EV’s roof, trunk and hood
    o Canopies can be extended to cover parking access lanes
    o A canopy would always be oriented in an optimal direction
    o A canopy’s angle can be changed seasonally to gather more solar energy
    o Solar cells on a vehicle may affect its aerodynamics, i.e., increase drag
    o Integrating solar cells into an EV would require a redesign for each model
    o Solar cells last 25 to 30, years; an EV, 15 years or so
    o Canopies are never parked in the garage
    o Canopies would provide shade in summer and some protection against precipitation year round
    o The power from a canopy can be used for other purposes when there is no EV beneath it or all EVs in the lot are fully charged
    o The EVs are available for V2G applications
    o A windmill can be tied into the canopy charging system to provide power on cloudy days.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:34 am)

    Out of context. The photovoltaic cells on “IT’S ROOF” means the ROOF of the energy providing SOLAR HOUSE he was talking about leading up to it. “It’s” is NOT the car. You have to listen to the full first 1:30 minutes.

    The Volt will NOT have solar cells on the car based on this statement.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:35 am)

    Regarding comparison with Toyota’s HSD in Prius;
    Short term HSD has a significant advantage for 100+ miles/day drivers because of costs involved (battery too expensive). However, long term HSD is a dead end.
    There are limits to efficiency improvements. I am not sure if HSD transmission can disconnect ICE altogether, or it simply pushes cylinders without supplying any fuel (open valves of course). Today at least even in pure EV mode there is some drag from ICE.
    Moreover as you drive more in EV mode (presumably to improve efficiency and use less fuel) then entire HSD transmission and ICE become a dead weight, much bigger than a small generator in Volt. Since Prius HSD is designed to operate mostly on gasoline it will always consume far more gasoline than electricity. Of course, it could evolve over time by increasing battery size and reducing ICE size, but that would end up being something very different.

    Solar panel on the car roof could make sense using new cheaper solar tek. While the actual energy captured would be tiny in comparison to car requirements, given a low enough costs (much less than $1K) it would easily pay for itself over time. At the same time every little bit of additional captured energy helps, so why not. It might even help keep vehicle interior cooler.

    Certainly the car manual and dealers should emphasize fuel stabilizers to keep fuel in the tank stable. Then fuel can last longer than 3 months. He probably tried to indicate that without additives ordinary fuel is unstable and can cause problems after 3 months. That is true as far as I know. Clearly at least once per year fuel must be consumed.

    However, in order to prevent rusting of fuel tank it is best to keep it full. According to motorcycle owners’ wisdom, full tank of fuel ensures less water in a tank, hence less rusting. We actually fillup our tanks before storage during winter.

    So the proper procedure would be to fillup (like any other car) then add Stabil or something like that. If no fuel is ever used, then simply DON’T plugin to let the ICE burn old stale fuel once or twice per year.

    Thus GM would have to educate Volt owners, but certainly would not need servicing unless an owner if forgetful and doesn’t do maintenance.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:38 am)

    A couple of comments on the solar panels.

    Aptera solar panel is just for running the ventilation system (as has been said already).

    Home mounted solar panels are needed to generate enough electricity.

    Check out this site.
    http://www.evnut.com/
    scroll down to “roof-mounted photovoltaic system” and click the link.
    He is getting close to running his home (after a lot of conservation) and RAV4 EV from his home mounted 2.5KW solar array. The point is you need a lot of solar panels to power you car.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:38 am)

    NortherPiker,

    While it makes sense it will never happen due to practical and economical problems:
    - high upfront cost (most malls don’t care to invest so much)
    - metering (again expensive controllers and money collection)
    - security (would be stolen often)


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:40 am)

    Keith,

    The 1st few model years will certainly not have any sort of solar panel as they have plenty of work to do and the cost is already too high.
    Looking ahead 5-10 years later given cheaper panels of hew hundred dollars it becomes feasible.


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    Girl VOLT Fan

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:44 am)

    A photovoltaic VOLT roof to keep the car cool during summer would at some point probably save an infants life that is strapped in the back seat whose Dad was supposed to drop off the kid at daycare but forgot. At some point, at least one child would probably have its life saved by this feature.

    I often need to leave the car running for at least 10 minutes to cool it down enough to put my child in the car seat.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:44 am)

    #76 Northern — You describe the WalMart parking lot of 2015. I am not joking. Walmart has the space, commitment and management that can make it work. Having customers come to charge while they shop makes business sense too.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:52 am)

    #43, Kent Lue. My absolute maximum is $30K.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:58 am)

    cyclop,

    Mid-day recharging would do wonders for the life of one’s battery pack/ “gas” mileage. Parking garages will be motivated by Walmart’s actions to consider recharging using renewables as a business adjunct. As for paying, how about a charge card (sorry, I couldn’t resist).


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:06 am)

    Re mall re-charging, this was just posted on AutoBlog Green

    Aeon to Offer Accelerated EV Charging at Malls
    Posted Jun 23rd 2008 8:04AM by Domenick Yoney

    The biggest name in shopping malls in Japan is set to install electric vehicle charging spots in its parking lots after entering negotiations with car-makers Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy Industries, builders of the iMiEV and R1e, respectively. Starting with the Lakeland mall currently under construction in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, Aeon will add to its list of environmental programs by giving EV drivers the opportunity to juice up while they are doing their shopping. According to reports, the charging equipment to be used will have the ability to fill batteries much quicker than the plug at Japanese homes, taking only an hour to do the job rather than the more typical 7-14 hours.This equipment sounds to us like something Nissan might be interested in looking into as it explores EV charging infrastructure in Japan.

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/06/23/aeon-to-offer-accelerated-ev-charging-at-malls


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:09 am)

    Dave G #60. Yup. It’s a niche and only a niche. At least until the price drops.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:12 am)

    #86 Northern says “The biggest name in shopping malls in Japan is set to install electric vehicle….” Whatever Japanese malls can do, Walmart can do better, cheaper, greener. Yes, photovoltaic. Yes, and 50% off when charge is charged to your Walmart card :)


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:26 am)

    GM VOLT Team – Monday Meeting Notes (just my speculating):

    Mr. Lutz : “OK guys, those crazy GM-VOLT bloggers have a point on the photovoltaic VOLT roof thing being a good standard feature. I did not mean that we were going to put it on the VOLT roof in that interview but let’s make it happen…keep it below $200 our cost. Do you think Lyele put that blog thread in there just to screw with me? Assign an engineer for this item. Give me our how-to details next week. Don’t bother me with any production or cost objections. Next item on the list? Wait…I just had an idea, some of those bloggers seem to have taken a likening to my pink power tie…how about we make my tie available with a Volt logo on it? Lyele can sell them along with his VOLT t-shits.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:29 am)

    I wonder about one of his comments. He said that the Volt may be smart enough to charge during off-peak hours to reduce costs. While this may help level the demand on the grid, I don’t see how it would help me directly. My power meter doesn’t know when I use the power that I use. The meter reader comes every month and just enters the total that I used that month.

    Are we talking about getting new meters for our house that record the charges instead of the usage? Do I have to negotiate with the power company for a special off-peak rate? Do they have to go to the PUC to get authorization for special rates for consumers?


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:35 am)

    Well Japanese are known for pushing some technology farther and more than the other countries (such as trains, etc.)
    Reading articles about stealing of copper wires, drilling fuel tanks for gasoline, diesel fuel from water pumps and even discarded frying oil, I just don’t see how is a mall going to protect valuable solar panels without spending yet more money on security. It likely will happen long term, but for now it is too expensive. In fact, it would be much cheaper to just do additional wiring and provide electricity from grid. I assume most malls in NA would go with a simpler/cheaper option of charging from grid.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:43 am)

    Mr. Lutz is NOT talking about placing PV on the car! He’s talking about roof top solar PV and wind coupled with time of use smart meters and ultimately V2G. Placing them on the car for anything more than cabin exhaust fans would be stupid.

    He’s GUESSING that the Volt will be under $40K because our dying economy is killing the sales of GM’s most profitable products leaving GM with less capital to subsidize early Volt sales.

    He also understands that the cost of the most expensive single component of the Volt will drop sharply as production scale increases and technology improves. He’s doesn’t know how much or how fast the cost will drop, but he does know that this will leave room for them to offer sales incentives if required or (God forbid) … make a profit! DAMN CAPITALIST PIGS (just joking)

    We’re STILL 2 years away and so he’s guessing. If I were him and I decided to “guess” in front of a bunch of bloggers, I would guess HIGH, wouldn’t you?

    Mr. Lutz is a VERY shrewd, intelligent person who REALLY wants the Volt to be successful probably more so than ANY person on this blog. He’s trying VERY hard to be open if only to keep E-Flex in the public eye for marketing & P.R. purposes.

    Look at how much has changed in the last year! We have 2 more to go and the pace of change is rapidly accelerating.

    WHO KNOWS ABOUT TOMORROW?


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    Biodieseljeep

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:43 am)

    Haiku for Lutz Videos

    Market test rumors
    Rapt audience at the thone
    Kingdom of maybes


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    Gary

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:45 am)

    Just under 40 means 45-50 with tax, delivery,etc and “short supply” dealer markup. Once the market is flooded where you can actually get a discount (or at least not have to pay an extra markup) you’ll be well into 2012 if not 2013.

    That is probably too far out for my current vehicle to make it. It also is more than I can afford. 30ish like originally floated would have been doable.

    Solar panel on the roof should be an option, not standard. I can see that easily adding a few thousand to the price and putting the Volt even further out of the reach of many buyers.

    End result I really want one but realities dictate that I probably get something else first and then when that needs replacing I would hopefully be in a position to consider the Volt. 2014? 2015?

    However I will reserve judgement, and a decision, until my current hybrid dictates otherwise.


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    Tim

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:47 am)

    Placing solar PV on the roof for cabin exhaust fans ONLY would be VERY smart!


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:53 am)

    Haiku for 90 maharguitar

    Off-peak price coming
    Electric co’s save some money
    You pay for meter


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    Statik

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:57 am)

    #79 John C. Briggs

    “He is getting close to running his home (after a lot of conservation) and RAV4 EV from his home mounted 2.5KW solar array.”

    You’ll notice I’m staying miles away from all the solar discussion…as I am still just kind of burned out on talking about from ‘the old days’ (as are a few of the other noteable posters). But this is a great site he has set up. The site is on the ‘downlow’ as far as HTML gizmoes and such, but it is very concise and expresses what a ‘fanatical’ activist lives like.

    Just felt I should wade in here, lest anyone thinks they can put up a 2.5kWh array and power their house and a car.

    The guy is producing on average 377kWh/month…thats 12 a day. That is low, low.

    I read the site and this guy is a ‘serious’ energy miser. He rides his bike everywhere. Family showers are done back to back. He has a attic fan, ‘rarely’ uses the AC. The cook outside on a BBQ when they can. TV, computer peripherals, freezer, chargers for the electric lawnmower and trimmer, etc are all disconnected from power during peak times. He “walks around the house at night without ever turning on a main light because I have about 3W worth of LED night lighting”

    He has a Rav4 EV, but uses it unbelievably sparingly, evident by a full charge in a Rav4 is about 22kwH (capacity 27.4), he makes 12 total.

    After all that he is still coming up needing 580kwH/month, while producing 351….40 percent short. I’m not sure why he doesn’t just go buy more panelling, the guy is spending big time to get a RAV4 EV and a EV1.

    A 6kW system is what most people would need to juice their house 100 percent and not interfer with their lives (I get by at around 25 produced and 22-23 consumed on this system), 5kW if you are willing to be ‘conciously conservative’.

    If you added the Volt to the mix and expected to drive it regularly, You’d have to bump your system to 7-8kW.

    Guesstimate on system costs: (+/- 15% depending on your thriftiness)
    6kW- 30K
    8kW- 40K


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (8:59 am)

    #66 RB says: “Maybe by 2012 you’ll be able to go over to Lowe’s and get a photovoltaic garage kit, complete with home use battery and nighttime charging connector for your Volt. Sure it’s a stretch, but it is not an impossibility”

    I sure hope so. Right now home solar kits are very expensive.

    By the way, there’s really no reason for a battery in a home solar kit, unless you live off the grid. The electric power company actually acts like a big “battery”. During the day, when your home solar system is putting out at maximum, electricity flows from your house into the grid. Your electric meter spins backwards. At night, when you charge your Volt, the electric meter spins forwards. Since night time rates are often cheaper, this is a nice advantage for you. Also, since the electric power company’s peak load occurs during daylight hours, it’s a nice advantage for them as well. A classic win-win. This is called a “Grid-Tie” solar system, and is by far the most common type. More info here:
    http://www.affordable-solar.com/residential.solar.home.htm


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    Eco

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (9:05 am)

    Ok GM, here’s the deal.

    You have a lot of cars, some of them big fat SUV’s, that no one is buying. Most people on this list want to hold out for a Volt or in my case a Flextreme. No small number of people want to believe GM, but they are skeptical that the Volt will ever see the light of day, or be as good as advertised.

    Suppose I owned a Pontiac with too many miles, and a fortune in repairs in it. And before my flextreme comes out, I HAVE to buy another car. I’ll be buying a Nissan.

    But, if GM called me up and said if you buy or lease a GM within six months, GM will buy back your GM at a price-per-mile rate we agree to now, and grant you a contract option for a Volt or Flextreme, NOW.

    So I drive a GM until my Flextreme is ready, and I have the option to keep my GM, or sell it back to you to buy a Flextreme, or keep the GM and buy a Flextreme.

    How’s that for beating Toyota to the market?


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    CBK

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (9:05 am)

    Brian #61

    I agree… What a bunch of clowns. The video would have been worth
    listening to had the others shut up and let Bob speak.


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    Statik

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (9:12 am)

    #29 TBK

    “The guy doing the MST3K dialog needs to shut up. ”
    I just have to acknowledge the MST3K reference and throw out a quote, to the 3 of us who might have seen the movie (or have a season or two on DVD).

    Exeter: Now place your hands above the rail [hands suddenly attach to the rail] …they’re magnetized.
    Crow: And if your hands were metal, that would mean something.

    If you don’t get it, go out and hunt down the movie “Mystery Science Theatre 3000,” don’t be scared by the cheesy box art, or the first 10 minutes of it, be patient for them to start spoofing “This Island Earth” (actually a quite good sci-fi for the 50s, but painfully date….it has the Professor in it–from Gilligan’s Island, lol).

    /snarky sarcasm for the win


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (9:13 am)

    #98 Dave G — Good point about house to grid and back. Yes, that’s how it should work. I’ll suggest the kit to Lowe’s. No doubt they will follow my wise advice :) The good thing about getting Lowe’s involved (and Home Depot too) for home construction is that they can leverage larger numbers of units into lower prices, so that $10Ks become $1Ks, which is right in their price range. Also, with the home construction slowdown, maybe they would like to do something interesting, so the timing is right.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (9:16 am)

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (9:26 am)

    #35 Jim I

    Once again you are the voice of reason on this website! Patience is needed here by all. If people consider the Volt too expensive, then don’t buy it. But we do have 2 – 3 years to save up for it. I’m starting now. If the Volt doesn’t materialize I’ll move on to something else but I’m not going to agonize over it until 2010 or 2011.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (9:47 am)

    GM needs to provide a car cover that in made of solar cells to put over the Volt while it is park during the day at work. This would provide a large surface area for additional mileage on the battery system and extend or double the range of the vehicle. Yes it would take up trunk space when rolled up, but it may provide that extended range to help justify the cost of the vehicle at 40K plus! It would also allow for those extended weekend trips where plug-ins are not available.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (10:05 am)

    Range-Extenders may be moot soon after the Volt hits the market:

    “Electric fuel station” company gets millions of $$$

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/06/23/electric-fuel-station-company-gets-millions-of/

    “The company claims their technology can charge lithium ion batteries in as little as five to fifteen minutes instead of the hours it typically takes now. How do they do it? By using “state-of-the-art power conversion techniques and intelligent control systems” combined with high-power lithium ion and supercapacitor storage. The needs of each cell within the battery are evaluated and met through communication between the charger and battery management system (BMS). Also, by incorporating an energy reservoir into its system, Epyon avoids the predicament of overloading the grid with extreme demand spikes.”


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (10:07 am)

    I’m with Arch …

    Show us the production car…

    Let’s not keep posting non Volt Issues…

    Stick to the true nature of this site ( the VOLT ! )

    Come on GM… show me something positive….

    Ray


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (10:15 am)

    Thought the roof would be a photocell…..


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    Michael S

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (10:18 am)

    I did some Present Value analysis based on gas being $1.30 a litre, with 8% real inflation over 10 years, and the price of off-peak power in my area, which delivered with all taxes and charges is 7c per KWH with an electricity charge of 2.7c, vs a car getting 8.5l per 100km, usage of 300 days per year, over 10 years. Per charge it saves $5.38 vs the cost of gas in a fuel efficient car.

    PV at $1.30 gas = $11,332.00.

    It also means that leasing the battery, which can be recycled, might be a valid option. If the battery is worth $8000 in 2020 dollars that raises the present value of the savings to $15,000.

    Hence, with full use at current prices the Volt is viable at $40K. All tax credits are mere bonuses that should be taken advantage of. It is cheaper to pay the financing of the extra $15K than it is to pay for the gas.


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    Joe OBrien

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (10:24 am)

    I really hope there is an option for a sunroof. Seriously, a sunroof is one of the biggest must have’s for me in a car. And for a $40k vehicle, I really want a freaking sunroof, even if it means a slight loss of efficiency while driving, it will be worth it.

    Please make a sunroof optional for those of us who want to let some light in on nice days.


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    OhmExcited

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (10:27 am)

    It looks like any vehicle credit will be on the order of $5,000. So, the Volt will probably cost in the mid $30 thousands.

    By the way, there could be a big (huge) prize for advancing battery technology.

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080623/D91FQ6L81.html


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (11:10 am)

    I herby lay claim to that $300 million dollar prize. Without going into too much detail, I will be using a combination of Intel Atom Processors + Lithium-Titanate + high capacity capacitors + nano tubes + secret crystal growth methods used on the space station. Through the precise mixture of these current technologies I should be able to achieve said requirements of the McCain Challenge. Be advised, all proceeds should be deposited in my PayPal account. Thanks for your cooperation and I look forward to my impending reward.


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    MikeD

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (11:10 am)

    Just under $40,000. Nope, too much. As much as I would like to save the planet by buying/using less gas, the economics doing work for my budget. Sure, with an unlimited budget price wouldn’t matter, but, in the real world it does. I can buy an efficient car (gas or diesel) for a lot less which will result in a payback of over 10 years for a volt. Doesn’t make sense. At $30,000 it was very attractive. But at $40,000, not so much. Sorry guys, keep working on that price point.


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    Michael S

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (11:14 am)

    Seriously, if inflation hits it’s cheaper to pay for the battery hit up front.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (11:31 am)

    At close to $40K I will be taking a step back from purchasing a Volt. It appears that GM has suddenly succumbed to the bean counters and will get its profit up-front rather that follow the Toyota approach where they essentially took a hit on each Prius for the first year or so until demand finally boosted their profits.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (11:47 am)

    #5 Kevin R & #12 Bruce G:

    Alas, I can only agree.

    #21 Arch:

    Too True.

    #99 Eco:

    Great idea.


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    RB

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (11:48 am)

    #99 Eco Yes, GM urgently needs some dramatic marketing efforts, and your idea (trade now and again later for a Volt) is a great one. It would attract a lot of attention and sell some cars, and do so now, when GM urgently needs those sales.

    Unfortunately, GM marketing does not seem to be willing (or more likely is not authorized by higher management) to do anything drastic. For them, the internet has not been invented. Bob Lutz said it had been quite a while since he had been actively a part of marketing. I’ll bet there are some smart people in GM marketing who know about the Volt and wish he’d come back and shake the place up.

    I’m sure they really could do your plan. Maybe a miracle will occur, and they will. The idea of the Volt is hot, and they need to convert the sizzle into to some present-day sales.


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (11:57 am)

    Enough talk. Just get it done, GM.


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    Eric in KC

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (11:59 am)

    I’m starting to think more and more that the gasoline generator is a mistake. How much does it add to the final cost?

    If one of the japanese automakers is able to make a significantly cheaper electric-only car, that’s who I’m going with.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    Girl VOLT Fan, good point on a solar fan saving infant lives (animals, too). Ideally, the solar panel would moderate the climate of the interior of the car, and secondarily keep the battery topped off from any charge bleed. Solar attic fans are available for houses, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:18 pm)

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:40 pm)

    99:
    That would solve my problems. I have a roadster whose warranty expires next year. I also have an 11 year old GMC Jimmy that still runs like a top. If GM proposed that deal I would snatch up a 2 Mode Saturn Vue Hybrid in a heartbeat. As it is, I am struggling whether I want to get that Hybrid or just hold on to both cars and pray for 2-3 more years.


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    Jeff M

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    I think it’s a moot point given that several folks have already pointed out that Lutz didn’t actually say the Volt itself would have a solar panel roof… but has already been mentioned, even if the Volt had a PV roof, it would be a tiny amount of power that may be able to run some fans to ventilate the inside of the car. However I’d rather park in the shade to keep the car cool (as well as extend the life of the paint job) than to pay extra and deliberately park in the hot sun.

    Reply to “Anthony BC” regarding paying $5,200/year in gas… sounds like your current vehicle gets about 12 miles/gallon (using assumptions of $4/gallon gas and 15,000 miles/year which is what the Volt should get if you plugged in every night and drove it it’s 40 miles EV only range every day). Ie. it sounds like you are driving a big SUV or truck… you do realize the Volt will seem tiny to you in comparision? If you are willing to down size to the Volt’s size you can buy lots of cars now that get 35+ mpg (w/conventional ICE).

    Myself, at $40k, I’m not going to be running out to buy one, not that I could as I don’t live in one of the early States able to sell/service them), and not that I would anyway as I’m not traditionally an early adopter (got my 1st cell phone [pay as you go] last year, a flat panel TV this year, as well as finally getting digital cable, and I still don’t own a laptop). I also don’t like to pay list price for anything so if demand does exceed supply, like for the Prius right now, I’d wait.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    121# Josh. It would be cool if it passed. The X-Prize has spurred
    competition and innovation and I think that was only $10 million. Maybe this will work also.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:56 pm)

    I’ve been following the Volt since day 1. I tell people over and over how much I am looking forward to it. The Volt is the type of car that America needs. Period. That said…

    For “under” $40k, sorry GM, I just can’t do that. I was really looking forward to this car, and as a matter of fact, this has been the only car that I’ve ever “looked forward to.” If one of the Japanese guys comes out with the same type of car with a better price, I’ll be getting that instead.

    The only way I’ll be able to afford it, is if the cost (including Government rebates) brings it down to under $30k. If they rush the 20 mile version to market, that looks like the better candidate for me price wise. I wonder if the battery is upgradeable…

    Note that with the 40 miles of electric only, and 50mpg (I think that’s right), I’ll be reducing my gas consumption by around 75%, so I have a small amount of leeway in price / month.

    The solar array is a neat idea, but that low trickle of variable power, there’s not much that it can be used for. I guess get free radio/CD/mp3/etc. player power eh?


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (12:57 pm)

    A photovoltaic roof might not be so far fetched as you think. Companies like Nanosolar are about to make photovoltaic solar a LOT cheaper it sounds like:

    http://earth2tech.com/2008/06/18/nanosolar-prints-thin-film-solar-at-100-feet-per-minute/

    It might not charge up your Volt very much, but if the price of the PV roof is inexpensive enough, it might be a good idea. You might could remotely control your Volt to run the A/C or heater off the PV roof for 5-10 minutes just before you are ready to leave to go somewhere. It might be able to run other electronics if it has enough juice stored up. Every little bit would help you know … to keep those “all electric range” miles up. People in California and the southwest might highly consider getting a Volt with a PV roof as an option.

    Companies like IBM, Intel, and Applied Materials are getting into the solar business these days. When the 800 pound gorillas get involved, you know things are going to start growing pretty fast. They have the manufacturing ability to scale up solar technologies in a hurry.

    Big Coal better look out. Solar and wind are probably getting closer to reaching the same price as coal … even without subsidies. Especially wind power. Solar and wind still need those subsidies though. If Congress gives out MONSTER subsidies to the high profit oil industry, then solar and wind should get some subsidies and tax breaks to make SURE their technology gets more and more efficient and inexpensive and rolled out everywhere possible.

    With a carbon tax or cap and trade like they have in Europe, I bet wind and solar are already very close in price to coal. Now we just need to convince the CHINESE about this so they’ll stop building all those NEW coal plants every month over there!

    The coal industry is about to go into decline right along with the oil industry in the next 20 years. Nobody will care about their polluting industries “going away”. That’s America …. when something clearly better comes along, it’s “out with the old, in with the new”. Americans have always been future oriented people instead of dragging our heels to hold onto old, familiar technologies. The American PEOPLE are anyway. Not so sure about Congress. They tend to do whatever the high priced lobbyists tell them to do … whoever is helping them stay in their job the most … or whoever is helping their party maintain their power, etc.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    #90 maharguitar

    Most utilities offer the option for TimeOfUse metering at little or no cost. Here is an example I found for my local utility:

    http://www.intermountain-rea.com/TimeUse.html

    $5/month administrative cost


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (1:20 pm)

    >> Toyota approach where they essentially took a hit on each Prius
    >> first year or so until demand finally boosted their profits.

    It’s always interesting to read guesses about history. What actually happened was quite different.

    Toyota sold the first generation of Prius in Japan only for 3 years. In 2000, the second generation was introduced (which is what we first saw here in the US). That brought improvements, another step closer to being profitable. But that’s not what put it over that hump. Echo helped out, by reusing that same small engine (though it ran differently). Between that and the battery production, it was realistic to increase supply.

    Demand had little, if anything, to do with it. Toyota set hard quotas and stuck to them… very much like GM is planning. Consumers had to find a way to deal with the limited quantity available. Adjustments on the fly were simply not possible without incurring major expense… regardless of what the market wanted.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (1:29 pm)

    oh yeah, about the fuel tank. Due to weight issues and rusting, I believe they’ll take the composite tank route. Many companies use composite tanks. It won’t rust from unused fuel…neither will it explode from an errant spark. I’m sure GM is smarter than that…


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (1:56 pm)

    The video is no more available. I was late today.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (2:29 pm)

    #127 wsallender
    Alas, Public Service of New Hampshire doesn’t seem to have a program like that. It’s not described on their web site. The have lots of information about different options but time of use metering doesn’t seem to be one of them.


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    George K

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (3:00 pm)

    #126 GM Volt Fan
    “Companies like IBM, Intel, and Applied Materials are getting into the solar business these days. When the 800 pound gorillas get involved, you know things are going to start growing pretty fast.”

    I, too, would like to have a photo voltaic roof. As you suggested, they’re pretty expensive today. I was searching for one for the Prius, and it was way too expensive (over a thou), especially for the small benefit you would get with only a small battery. That’s probably why I have never seen one on a Prius. Has anyone else?

    But, as you said, big companies are getting into it. Still, the price has to come done by several orders of magnitude to be viable from the dealer. Maybe by 2010. Go capitalism, go!


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (3:31 pm)

    The photo voltaic roof would be great to keep the Volt cool in the parking lot by running a small cooling fan or to heat the car in the winter so it would not be so cold. It would have to be pretty efficient to go beyond these requirements. Could a roof size area create enough power to do this plus charge the battery? I don’t know, but I bet someone here could tell us. I have not had time to read all the responses to this posting, so it may already be answered.


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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (3:41 pm)

    I’m sorry but a redesigned Prius is supposed to be out in 2010 with a lithium battery and better electric motors. Using the same hybrid “synergy” technology it is supposed to be quicker from the start and get an estimated 93 mpg. If it looks good, I’m not going to wait for 2012 Volt on unproven technology. I’ll trade in my loaded ’07 Prius. I love it.


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    Nixon

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (6:25 pm)

    I’d rather have the photo-voltaic on the roof of my house creating power all day long, and leave my car safely in the garage at work all day.


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    LB

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (7:12 pm)

    PhotoVOLTaic Roof. Hope they do it!


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    hc1124

     

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    Jun 23rd, 2008 (9:22 pm)

    As a provider for PG&E with residential solar technology for the past 4 years, the solar technology on the roof of a car would have to be improved substantially such like the battery technology. A HUGH improvement in these two technologies will make it necessary for the local technicians’ to significantly modify experience and practices to maintain a whole NEW system of vehicle propulsion.


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    Ter Meenal

     

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    Jun 24th, 2008 (2:49 am)

    I think I’ll be waiting for the Th!nk…..It’s coming, is already in production, has been sold in Norway since 2001, has had several upgrades in the interval, is just now being set up for marketing in Britain, has signed up with several major North American partners (ready for launching in 2009), has a proven track record, has two different types of battery packs (one of which works extremely well in cold climates…). Compared to the Volt….well I think we’ll add a photovoltaic roof, we are looking into a lower energy use radio, we at inventing low power consumption windshield wiper motors, it is going to be priced near Forty Thousand Dollars!!.

    What is worrying here is this constantly shifting target for a vehicle which is supposed to be coming out in 2010. They keep on coming up with the ‘latest-we-must-have-this-item” or “look-at-this-cool-new-idea-that-we-are-going-to-build”. GM is either setting this up to never be finished (due to “feature creep”) or to fail by over-pricing and limiting the roll out.

    Sorry GM, but every time I read about an ‘update’ to the progress on the VOLT I get an even stronger impression that something doesn’t sound right…….


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    sifta

     

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    Jun 24th, 2008 (5:03 am)

    1) The PV roof (which was clearly meant to be for the car, not the owner’s house) would be a great standard feature.

    From an engineering perspective, it wouldn’t be enough to charge the propulsion system for the car. [Also, Lutz's comment that the volt would be programmed to sell power back to the grid while it is parked in the garage needs some work since I'm guessing that the PV panel wouldn't generate much when garaged].

    However, it would be a great way to power up for accessories such as Signal/Hazard lights, GPS, radio, On-Star, maybe even heated seats. This could be a foolproof backup power option in case of an engine fault.

    2) Regarding the price, recognize that there are Tesla Roadsters selling for $110k. I’m sure that the first two years of Volts will sell out. After that, as Lutz said, there may be a proliferation of EV models to tailor to different segments (cheap vs. luxury).

    Since they are rushing the Volt to market and focusing on the technical hurdles in doing so, I would expect that the marketing plan would evolve over the first couple years as they get some customer feedback and are able to refocus from the technical challenges to the business model.

    Speaking of business model, it seems that the EV/Hybrids have a different value proposition from ICE cars in that the EVs cost more out of the box but have lower ownership costs vs ICEs. This is not just fuel, but largely in the servicing. I’m not sure that they will have reliable estimates of the total ownership cost for the Volt before year 2-3 of production.

    On this basis, it might make more sense for them to sell the Volt in a fundamentally different way than they sell ICE cars. Once they get a good idea of what the ownership costs of the Volt are, I would actually have the Volt exclusively on a 4-year lease plan with service included (via warranty)
    and an option to buy after that point. That way they could spread out the ownership costs of the Volt over the plan and make the price point much more competitive with the equivalent ICE option if you factor in the servicing, etc.

    3) If this truly represents the future of GM, then at some point down the trail, the dealer model needs to be revamped as well. They may well wind up going to a Saturn dealership-model for the EVs.


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    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Jun 24th, 2008 (6:29 am)

    A PV roof is ridiculous. It is too expensive and has little practical use;this is a mistake the market will correct. Trying to appeal to eco-dogues.

    !0,000 vehicles in 2011? I think this is sandbagging. Toyoda will eat GM for lunch if so.

    Service every 3 mos to clean out fuel tank? Absurd. Trying to lock in maintenance fees.

    Just under $40k? Look for a 20 mile Prius at $30k.

    Lutz is no dummy so I hope this trial balloon is really just a smoke screen. If not, GM disappears.


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    Rick

     

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    Jun 24th, 2008 (7:10 am)

    Some comments on your comments.

    1. GM will get the Volt to the showroom as soon as humanly possible. Even if gas fell in half there is enough demand and risk (that the price will swing back up) that there will still be substantial demand for the Volt.

    2. The Volt will not have tons of bells and whistles its first year. There will be no need to do this. It will sell on its own merits.

    3. Forget about leasing a Volt. Tax credits do not apply to leases and GM is looking for those to subsidize the buyer price (so that they can charge more in its first years to offset the development costs). The Prius didn’t start leasing until 2007. 9 years after it came out. I leased it because I am subject to the AMT and tax credits are worthless.

    4. Expect problems with the first models. It always happens. Even with ICEs. So, with a whole new technology out, expect hangups and if you should be so lucky to get one – be patient. It won’t be perfect.

    I suspect that Toyota and other competitors will be ready with their own technology. There are strong rumors and some redesigned (Priuses at various international auto shows) that support some pretty impressive designs and performance stats. Maybe exceeding the Volt’s. This is on technology that has been around for 10 years.

    I also suspect that the Japanese companies have already tried the Volt platform with electric only propulsion. I wonder why they didn’t go with it. Maybe there are more issues than we think….

    I’d love to get my hands on a Volt when it comes out but on the other hand I don’t want to wait around paying $8 gal for gas in 2010 while GM tweaks its new car. There will be plenty of alternatives by then.


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    Sandy

     

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    Jun 24th, 2008 (9:55 am)

    40K, rules me out too! Sorry GM. Looks like the T gets my next new car.


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    Pete

     

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    Jun 24th, 2008 (4:45 pm)

    Have any of you electric genius’es thought about where electricity comes from? You’re all salivating over 40 miles range from plugging in. Have any idea that the electricity for that will come from coal, oil, or natural gas generating plants. So much for emission free driving!

    Have any of you given any thought to what will happen when millions of people start plugging in their electric cars for a charge. Like many brown outs! When demand for electricity exceeds supply it will go up in price too. More nuclear power plants will help this but they will be as slow in coming as drilling for more oil here. This is an interesting technical innovation and will hopefully get better. The greatest benefit is if the gas mileage will be greatly increased over current hybrids. Also, what makes some of you think your employer is going to pay the electric bill for their employees to charge their cars at work. Thats really absurd.


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    Brad G

     

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    Jun 24th, 2008 (6:16 pm)

    #143 Pete / you must be new here:

    1)The 40 mile range is the average American commute so you would not have to plug in at the office.

    2) When people get home from work they would be charging at night which is off peak electrical hours.

    3) Electrical plants are cleaner burning and have less emissions that all the internal combustion engines running out there.

    4) I agree with you we need to go nuclear and get off coal and natural gas to produce electricity


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    Brian L

     

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    Jun 24th, 2008 (7:59 pm)

    Additionally, electric cars could simply charge themselves only at night, when the electricity grid is generating a bunch of power that is simply not used (wasted) because power plants can’t simply be turned up during the day and down at night.

    My 2010-2012, I’m hoping to have the house to a point we can install solar if the prices have come down another 30%. Then we’ll be emission free for the house and transportation. :)

    Brian


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    jwcrim

     

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    Jun 25th, 2008 (9:22 am)

    There is a projection that assuming by 2030 that 25% of all cars are plug-in, and that all charging is grid coordinated and off-hours, that only eight new power plants will be needed by 2030 to handle the impact.

    Off-hour charging make a huge difference in grid requirements (more than an order of magnitude).


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    hermant

     

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    Jun 25th, 2008 (1:55 pm)

    Even if the electricity produced by the PV roof could add a couple of miles to the all-electric range, the weight of the PV roof would probably reduce the all-electric range by a couple of miles. So what’s the point?

    Further, we’re not talking about a $200 option. We’re not even talking about a $2000 option. It’s more like $4000 by today’s PV technology prices!

    Also, any RVer knows you don’t pack heavy stuff in your motorhomes upper cabinets. That makes you even more top heavy since it raises the center of gravity. Why would it make any more sense to place heavy PV cells up on the roof of your lightweight car?


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    Rick

     

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    Jun 25th, 2008 (2:28 pm)

    There is another big point that we are missing on the use of many electric plants vs. 500 million fuel burning cars. It is much easier to sequester the polution (CO2 incl.) from a power plant with emerging technology than retrofit all the individual cars. Therefore as carbon sequestration and CO2 conversion technologies become practical we will be able to get it to market much quicker.

    Also, you cannot burn coal in a car (yet – who knows with synfuel, shale oil, etc.). It makes sense to use an alternative fuel (electric) that isn’t an expensive liquid (gasoline/diesel).


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    jwcrim

     

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    Jun 25th, 2008 (2:57 pm)

    ” It is much easier to sequester the polution (CO2 incl.) from a power plant with emerging technology than retrofit all the individual cars.”

    Agree.

    With electricity as the energy transport medium, it is also easier and quicker to phase out and switch to new energy sources or to add a mix of energy sources in the future. Changing power plants isn’t easy but it’s is a lot easier than changing car technologies.

    You get to use what’s available as it becomes available. For example existing nuclear technology can be used initially then replaced or augmented by a mix of solar, clean coal, etc. as the new technologies come on line. The grid and the cars needn’t change.


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    omegaman66

     

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    Jun 26th, 2008 (12:36 am)

    Solar panel roof right now would be stupid. Good thing GM isn’t planning on doing that yet. Maybe in the future when prices come way way down. I guess a lot of people here think a pv roof would extend the range of the volt enough to make a hill of beans difference or they wouldn’t be pushing for it so hard. Gaining one mile of range on the drive home from work (not to work) at the added cost of thousands makes about as much sense as a fur sink.


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 26th, 2008 (1:00 am)

    Omeaga 66

    “Solar panel roof right now would be stupid.”

    *** *** ***

    Yes it would since it would do very little but cost quite a bit. GM has bigger hurdles in bringing this vehicle to market and again I must stress that it is no small task. Much engineering work to be done to make the 2011 deadline.


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    CWR64

     

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    Jun 26th, 2008 (10:03 am)

    I recently retired at 61 and bought a Saturn Aura for roughly $20K including rebates. I waited for months for Saturn to field their Aura hybrid in Dallas – never happened & I gave up waiting. I know from talking to others going into retirement and who are looking to buy or have bought their “retirement cars” that $40K is way beyond what they will spend. I think that retirees are a fairly good sized car market, but we won’t be able to afford a Volt.


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    kevin R

     

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    Jun 26th, 2008 (10:18 am)

    Retirees are going to be the biggest segment of the car market soon. The largest demographic in history, the baby boomers are now entering retirement age. This entire group will be downsizing homes and cars (SUV’s) and the Volt fits this segment of the population perfectly as most will be living in urban settings. You’re absolutely right in saying that at $40,000 it will be out of the reach of a huge market, whose incomes will be flattening or declining. The twenty something crowd has huge student loan debts and won’t be able to afford this car either.

    Price it around $25-30 and its a game changer and will propel GM in front of the competition. Price it higher and the competition will forever leave GM behind and relegated to the history books of once powerful corporations.


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    Peasant

     

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    Jun 27th, 2008 (8:37 pm)

    This is but a simple man’s offering, but the Venturi Eclectic vehicle on the website http://www.gizmag.com/go/6240/ currently (?) being produced in small numbers is a solar-wind hybrid tauted as completely autonomous. It is pricey of course. And it is limited in speed and range, but it shows what is possible. In response to the person above concerning wind turbines, they would be placed on the vehicle roof (or on the ground) while it is parked, not while driving. In response to the folks who know about solar technology, the solar recharging is 7 kw per day of exposure. Several people have calculated numbers like 2.5 kw or 200 W. This vehilce could be a hoax, or they could be lying, but I kind of doubt it.


  155. 155
    Randy

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:40 am)

    I don’t care about a photo-voltaic roofs, electric chipmunks, or fancy options. Let’s not lose sight of what the end goal is! Just get the car to market, and get that 40 mile round-trip! And for 25-30K like GM said in the beginning. If it’s 30-40K then I’ll probably be in a Prius.

    Look GM, 40K is just stupid. Unless you are a movie star or flat-out rich that ain’t gonna fly. I want to help the planet and save money at the pump, but it isn’t financially feasible for most people. If 40K is the only way GM can get this car to market, then GM has FAILED! What happened to American ingenuity?

    If the Volt is released at 40K, ten years later GM will be wondering why nobody wanted an electric automobile. Ummmmm– few people can afford 40K?

    I was really jazzed when I saw the prototype and initial specs and cost. But I’m becoming rather disappointed when I see where things appear to be headed. My experience leads me to believe that if GM is saying under 40K now, it will be 45-50K at release.


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    jwcrim

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (6:16 am)

    Once the wherewithal becomes available to make electric cars do what you would really need them to do, and cost what you can justify, then the decision to buy one becomes a no brainer. Until then building, selling and buying these things is not going to be a practical exercise for very many and the early activity will be driven by a desire for contributing to the effort or at least being seen as doing so.

    But before any battery cost/performance/weight breakthrough comes along, there are some events that could change the picture. Those who recall the seventies remember the very high gas prices but also remember something that has not happened to us today (yet): The unavailability of gasoline. Mile-long gas lines, riots.

    Should the availability of gasoline again become insufficient and remain insufficient, all the consumers’ economic arguments for rational price thresholds go out the window. $40k would look like a steal for a useable plug-in.

    Until then, part of the indirect value of a plug-in is insurance. You are buying a means for short, emergency trips in case gasoline becomes difficult or impossible to obtain. As this threat becomes more real, the market will reflect it and seeing the new market, manufacturers will be able to respond with much more capable but very high priced plug-in cars – without losing their shirts. Today of course, those prices would not fly.

    If this happens then, long term the large new high priced market would drive technology. If it’s in the cards, advances would be made and prices would gradually come down.

    There’s no gas like no gas.


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    Randy

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (5:04 pm)

    Ummmm – no. 40K will not be acceptable. We are not in the 70′s, things are much different now. Yes, new technology comes at a price, and new adopters will always pave the way by incurring higher costs, but 40K would assume that there are no other cars or technology available. Put a plug on a Prius and you get even more MPG with no really new technology. It’s not that people will have to buy a 40K car, it’s that they can’t afford to buy a 40K car! Just saying that they have to buy a 40K car does not make it happened. Don’t lose sight that Chevy is not the only manufacturer out there vying for business.


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    jwcrim

     

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    Jul 8th, 2008 (7:22 am)

    Stay tuned.