Jan 30

Chevy Volt Generation Two

 

I had the chance to speak with Nick Zielinksi, he is GM’s vehicle line director for advanced technology vehicles. He is doing some of the coolest stuff at GM, developing the engineering for their “way in the future” cars.

Since you are responsible for the generation two and three Volts can you say anything about what ideas you’re considering?

Its far enough in the future that we can’t talk about the details. But we think (we know) from what we’ve learned on the Volt so far, from your site and people that have been exposed to the car, and the mule development. I can say things like in terms of the AER and performance we’re happy about how the vehicle is progressing.

Are you working on any high performance vehicles, like an electric Corvette?
We’re working on a lot of exciting stuff but I can’t go into the details. We’re working on a lot of neat things, a lot of it focused more on efficiency and improved fuel economy as opposed to balls out high performance.

I think people want better prices, so why not make a car with a smaller battery to reach lets say 20 grand?
You’re pretty much describing our plans for Gen 2. Looking to improve efficiency, maintain performance, take cost out of the car and how can we broaden Voltec technology to other vehicles.

Who decides what the future goals are?
The way we did it for Gen 2 is we pulled together the Volt executive leadership like Jon Lauckner (VP of global program development) and Frank Weber (Volt vehilce line executive) and sat down with them to get a vision of where we want to take this car.

What about other models?
We have a future car portfolio planning committee and we’re trying to identify market trends where there may be holes in the market or new markets we can exploit and its their responsibility to come up with cars for those purposes.

And then they’ll ask you if you can do it?
Exactly.

People want a more economical car, and that seems like they way to go.
You’re right on target. We think there’s so much promise in the technology but we’ve got to get the cost down and the volume up and its going to go together.


This entry was posted on Friday, January 30th, 2009 at 7:05 am and is filed under Engineering, GM Q and A, Voltec. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 183


  1. 1
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:06 am)

    Yes. Great questions about the cost, Lyle. I think it is so important to get the cost lower so that the masses can afford it.


  2. 2
    carcus

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:07 am)

    He said balls.

    That Zielinski dude is cool.


  3. 3
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:11 am)

    From the article:
    We’re working on a lot of neat things, a lot of it focused more on efficiency and improved fuel economy as opposed to balls out high performance.
    —————-
    I can understand why people would want high performance (myself included). However the important thing first is to get off of oil.
    High performance can come second or third. GM still needs to get the cost down, so maybe that put high performance third.

    My 2¢.


  4. 4
    Jim I

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:14 am)

    OK, so if they can get the cost of the Cadillac Converj down to about $40K, I will go for that!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (That would still be the cost of two Gen-2 Volts……….)

    :-)


  5. 5
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:14 am)

    From the article:
    We have a future car portfolio planning committee and we’re trying to identify market trends where there may be holes in the market or new markets we can exploit and its their responsibility to come up with cars for those purposes.

    ————-
    Here are three suggestions.
    1) A light pickup truck.
    2) An All Wheel Drive car.
    3) A convertible.


  6. 6
    carcus

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:35 am)

    Good questions, excellent answers.

    Going forward into the media/congressional theatre, GM would be wise to give Wagoner the old Vaudevillian hook and shove this guy up to center stage.

    Lots more applause, far fewer cabbages and tomatoes.


  7. 7
    StevePA

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:35 am)

    Rashid Amul #3

    Agreed. Would be great to see an electric ‘Vette or other hi-perf models from GM, but in the context of the times, let others fill those niches initially and let’s get the oil dependancy thing licked – which means high volumes of affordable EREVs.


  8. 8
    ziv

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:36 am)

    I wish he would go into more details about AER, both in Gen I and in Gen II. Both AC and heat, plus lights and stereo, are going to draw down the AER. 30 miles AER is fine for me, but it increases the amount of foreign oil a lot of us will be using. I think he is right that a cheaper Volt is important, but quantity is a quality all its own. Whether they are pickups or Voltec Camaro’s, any Voltec vehicle that they can affordably produce is worth it. And a 20 mile AER during the winter is going to get into Prius PHEV7 territory. And if you have an 6-8kWh battery, what will that do to the performance? Are we talking 0-60 in 12 seconds? Or worse?
    All bitchin aside, any news on Volt development is good news.


  9. 9
    NZDavid

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:38 am)

    I think people want better prices, so why not make a smaller car with a smaller battery to reach lets say 20 grand?
    You’re pretty much describing our plans for Gen 2″

    Oh yes, please let it be true. Even if you have to drop to an expected Prius like 10-15 mile AER.


  10. 10
    nasaman

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:43 am)

    Lyle, I’m encouraged by Nick Zielinksi’s comment on future E-REV plans, as you quote him above, “But we think (we know) (what’s needed) from what we’ve learned on the Volt so far, from your site…..” I sincerely hope he’ll note my remarks below, which repeat and summarize several previous references I’ve made here to the Cadillac Provoq concept introduced in Jan 2008…..

    The Provoq, although it included a fuel cell, also employed an electric drive train similar to that used in the Voltec technology. Its designers said its 9KWh battery would allow it to travel 20 miles on battery alone (no hydrogen), and scaling this up to the Voltec 16KWh battery, the Provoq should reach 16KWh/9KWh x 20mi = 35.6mi on battery power alone. The 2 huge hydrogen tanks of course would not be needed, allowing a great deal of additional space to enlarge the battery (to even larger than 16KWh). And the Voltec generator module should fit under the hood in place of the fuel cell.

    As a luxury twin to the Opel Antara/Saturn Vue, the Provoq’s CUV sizing is what the US market demands (NADA sales results for 2008 shows the 2008 Vue outsold all other new Saturn models, COMBINED)! The Provoq’s handsome styling is exemplary, and as an E-REV it should command an MSRP well above that of even the recent Converj concept!


  11. 11
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:48 am)

    my yearly income = one volt
    _________________

    Didn’t Nick Zielinksi used to play for the Red Wings?

    =D~


  12. 12
    MDDave

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:50 am)

    I have a wife and two kids (and I’m 6’4”). The Volt is already too small for me, but I’m willing to consider it because of the benefit to the environment, the reduction in demand for foreign oil, creating US jobs (you know the reasons). Frankly, I would rather have GM’s next generation E-REV be a bigger car with similar or better performance then the Volt for a similar price (maybe even a md-size SUV). In other words, it’s nice that they are trying to get the Volt Gen2 down in price, but if that means a smaller vehicle or lower AER, then forget about it.


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    nasaman

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:55 am)

    12 MDDave…….
    ===========================================================================
    I believe your feelings are representative of a very large segment of the US buying public –see my comments in #10 above.


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    Guy Incognito

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:57 am)

    I’m not up on the nomenclature, bear with me.
    When the Volt is finally available in dealer showrooms….
    Which version will it be, generation 5 perhaps?
    Can’t wait for next in sequence, Gen 3 Volt.


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    carcus

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:00 am)

    #12 MD,

    Just make sure you order your Gen2 volt with a sun roof….

    ………. __0 ___
    _____/______ ___
    / 0___________0__ ~~~~D=


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    BillR1

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:02 am)

    Seems like this is really Voltec Gen II, not just Volt Gen II.

    I would expect that GM is looking to expand this to other vehicle lines (like Malibu or LaCrosse) and also looking at least initially at small trucks.

    I notice that to get the cost down, he mentions that volume must go up. This will have to weigh in with GM’s initial price for the Volt. A high price will suppress volume, where a value-priced Volt will drive it to higher volumes. If volumes are large, GM will be able to reduce pricing and Voltec will become a mainstream technology.

    Henry Ford did something like this many years ago. He doubled the wages of the assembly line workers so that they could afford to buy cars. The rest is history.


  17. 17
    MDDave

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:08 am)

    13 nassaman:

    Yes; I agree with you. A car “for the masses” seems to be a euphemism for a subcompact car that costs $20K or less. Based on my daily travels, I can guarantee you that $20k subcompacts are not in the majority. Heck, just looking out my office window this morning in beautiful Bethesda, MD, I see 3 pickup trucks, 2 SUVs and 1 minivan in the parking lot (not even one sedan, let alone a subcompact).

    If GM wants to reach the masses, they need a range of cars with the Volt technology ASAP.


  18. 18
    carcus

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:08 am)

    Ah well, it was a good stick drawing, before the submit comment button.


  19. 19
    Gsned57

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:14 am)

    Lyle I think you nailed it with price being a major concern. Although the “Stimulus” package now contains 10K off the price of the volt. By the time Gen 2 comes out the government will be paying us to buy one.

    Zielinksi, didn’t he once say – “We make car parts for the American working man because that’s who we are and that’s who we care about”


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    Dave B

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:18 am)

    Jim at 4 writes, “OK, so if they can get the cost of the Cadillac Converj down to about $40K, I will go for that!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    ——————

    So which is it, a more expensive Voltec (Converj) or a smaller car with smaller battery for the masses? I’d bet the Converj is the next vehicle which I don’t agree with simply because people do not have the cash (credit) for more expensive vehicles. Do what the Japanese have managed to do, which is affordable fuel-efficient vehicles. How about a BEV that goes 100 miles like the Ford EV???


  21. 21
    RB

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:50 am)

    To me the most interesting Q&A of the post was “Are you working on any high performance vehicles, like an electric Corvette?
    We’re working on a lot of exciting stuff but I can’t go into the details. We’re working on a lot of neat things, a lot of it focused more on efficiency and improved fuel economy as opposed to balls out high performance.”
    ———————————————–

    I have mixed feelings when I read this. Certainly getting the price down is the most important consideration for there to be the possibility of selling a lot of cars. But, to sell a lot of cars means that people have to want them, and to want them enough to overcome the nuisance factor of plugging in every night (as most people will see it).

    For customers to want to buy electric cars, these cars have to have sizzle, and have to have a reputation for something good, that is, something that is better in terms of performance (whether this be acceleration, room, comfort , styling or whatever). Performance in terms of acceleration is the most natural, because it is what electric motors naturally provide. So I hope that in the roll to economy, the result is not only cars that people can afford, but also cars that people want to buy.

    We here on this blog are mostly people who are fascinated by the electric technology as such and will likely buy most anything that can be plugged in. That’s great, but to be a market success Volt gen 1, gen 2, or gen whatever really needs appeal on some lines to a much bigger group, and that’s not there yet.


  22. 22
    MDDave

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:53 am)

    Update to my post @ 17:

    In the parking lot at my work now (a relatively urban office building just outside Washington, DC):

    Pickup trucks: 5 (this seems a little unusual, but it is what it is).
    SUVs: 3
    Minivans: 1
    Mid-size sedans: 2 (a Honda Accord and a BMW of some sort)

    I know this isn’t a scientific poll, but in my corner of the country, a cheap subcompact is not what the masses drive.


  23. 23
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:00 am)

    Lyle,

    Excellent post – I think you’ve scooped all other major news organizations with this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if other online news organizations contacted you as a source for their stories on this.

    If you make batteries more efficient, you can use fewer of them and reduce the cost of the vehicle. You also save weight and increase performance (and hopefully seat 3 in the back), but those are far behind in priority to reducing the price.


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    Mitch

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:18 am)

    MD Dave

    THe volt should not be out of the question..it seats 4 (you, the little lady and 2 kids) and Rick Wagoner fits inthe Volt, and he too is 6’4.

    I can see Volt becoming a badge, not a model. Form the article..
    “I think people want better prices, so why not make a smaller car with a smaller battery to reach lets say 20 grand?
    You’re pretty much describing our plans for Gen 2″

    Says to me that the Gen 2 is a COPMPLETELY different car, A Volt truck, volt minivan, volt crossover…Make the EREV badge VOLT


  25. 25
    DonC

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:23 am)

    MDDave and nasaman – What the public demands depends on the price of gas. When gas was $4/gallon you saw very few SUVs at the grocery store and even fewer pickup trucks at the office. They’ve crept back since the price of gas has fallen to under $2/gallon. The point here is that larger vehicles are simply a function of gas prices, and if gas prices go up demand for those vehicles will be greatly diminished.

    Moreover, the cost of the battery packs would seem to prevent GM from manufacturing larger E-REV vehicles. The Volt battery pack will use the energy of about one quarter of a gallon of gasoline. Since a CUV would be larger and have to move more people and their gear, this vehicle would would require a larger pack than GM is using in the Volt. The larger pack would of course cost more since the cost is more or less linear, contradicting the underlying premise GM is operating under, and the one voiced repeatedly here, that the biggest issue for most people is cost.

    In sum, if the biggest obstacle to Voltec is cost, and if GM’s drive is to reduce the cost of the technology, then a CUV cannot realistically be a target platform at this time.

    Now if 9 kWh could in fact drive the Provoq concept for 36 miles then cost would not be a prohibitive factor since a 16 kWh battery pack — the size used on the Volt — made with A123 cells should be able to deliver the extra power needed having a deeper discharge. But this seems unlikely to be true. It might be true if the Provoq wasn’t loaded, but once you start adding people and gear the weight goes up quickly, and as weight goes up range goes down. Given the legal and PR nightmare GM would have on its hands if it delivered a CUV which it stated could deliver a 40 mile range but when loaded would deliver far less than that, the pack would seem to have to be much larger.


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    john1701a

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:23 am)

    It’s interesting how much has changed over the past 2 years.

    Volt was deemed as a Prius fighter. That idea has been all but totally been abandoned since. Vehicle size & price choices made that unrealistic, contributing to the low-volume production plans and discussions of what comes next.

    The need for a midsize high-efficiency vehicle priced in the 20′s still remains. What will GM sell to consumers wanting that in the meantime, while we wait for generation two of Volt technology?


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    Cautious Fan

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:26 am)

    “We think there’s so much promise in the technology but we’ve got to get the cost down and the volume up and its going to go together.”

    Music to my ears. The fact that Gen 2 & 3 are being considered is a strong statement about how promising GM views this market. After over 100 years of ICE dominance, the world is changing right before our eyes and we get front row seats. Well, Lyle does. But we get to tag along.


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    old man

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:26 am)

    This sounds very good. If they can get the price down to within about 25% of I C E only car of the same size they will not be able to build them fast enough. I think a pick up E-REV should be a reality soon. my reasoning is the room under the bed for a flat battery. There would be no need of a drive shaft since the rear wheels would be powered by an electric motor. just drop the frame a couple of inches and raise the bed an equal amount. If needed, a battery 4′ wide, 6′ long, and 6inches deep!


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    Dwayne

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:30 am)

    Does anyone know what the actual percentage of new cars sold in the United States went out the door for less than $20K? How about $25K or $30? Seem like I heard some where that the 50% point was $27K.


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:48 am)

    What can be done to improve efficiency, fuel economy, maintain perfomance, and take cost out of the car?

    -Make the car lighter
    -Make a better battery
    -Improve aero
    -Make a better ICE
    -Change the electric motor
    -Realize economy of scale

    How much of an improvement might we expect?


  31. 31
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:50 am)

    Contrary to some other posts, there may be a lot of interest in simpler and cheaper Voltec cars. GM has mentioned a possible doubling of battery capacity and a modular approach to battery packs. They are staying out of cell production right now but obviously they are keeping a number of irons in the fire through proxies.
    There is a place for EV city commuters ala Smart and a place for P/U EVs if battery technology supports it in the future. If batteries are scarce to begin with, you can sell more cars with smaller batteries; then the owner can add more batteries in the future if and when he wants to.
    I think GM is doing a lot of smart things and I hope they eventually get to an optional ICE/BATT pack. Go GM.


  32. 32
    statik

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:57 am)

    Good interivew Lyle.

    He really didn’t say a whole lot, but still a interesting read…a new take/direction for the threads. “Its far enough in the future that we can’t talk about the details.” – I think sums it up, they have some ideas scribbled up, but don’t want to tip off their direction.

    I think it is pretty hard for them to say anything/plan anything right now for the future, other that the ‘shell’ of the product, decisions such as compact, midsize, truck…and what type of ICE setup (if any) they want.

    The heart of the whole electric vehicle thing is still (and probably always will be) the battery inside…and in that respect GM is not really in control of its destiny.

    The only reason GM can say ‘over the top’ things, like agreeing with you on marketing a EV at 20K as “their plan for Gen 2″, and” taking cost out of the car” is because the car is so very far away…and as we have seen with the current Volt, you really don’t have to be accountable for anything you say at this stage of development.

    The future is a long way off, and it looks like ‘gen 2′ will be at least 2015 or later. GM’s only hope to produce a cheap EV is that the development and scale of battery production really, REALLY takes off .

    I just don’t see how GM is ever going to push out a 20K EV though, or even a 30K MSRP EV. Just looking at the Cruze program as a base, even its costing seems to be running a little out of control and is going to be priced north of $18K ….so I don’t know how GM is ever going to push out a EV at $20K. GM may not even produce any car in NA at 20K by the time Gen 2 is out.

    /ok, so I’m bit of a downer early in the morning, and afternoon, and evening…sorry, I can’t help it, I fancy myself a realist. Promise less, deliver more.


  33. 33
    John Lee

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:07 am)

    Blah… Blah… Blah…

    I will believe them WHEN I see the price tag on the car!!

    For $20K GM might try to sell you a YUGO type of car that has batteries in it and have to take it to the shop every 3 months.

    I do not like GM right now…

    I had to get rid of my Saturn because NO body can figure out what is wrong with it!!!

    My mom’s Saturn is had a bug in the programing of her computer. As a result, she HAVE to paid $200 to fix the problem. It is a programming ERROR. GM created the bug and they make their customer pay for it. WHAT A FREAKING stupid company…

    I do not think I will buy another crappy GM car again.


  34. 34
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:14 am)

    In go with Nasaman #10 for the Provoq

    and I would like to have an Ampera station wagon.

    Thanks,

    JC NPNS


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    k-dawg

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:14 am)

    “But more important is the guarantee
    that i make to the American worker.
    I want your truck to help you get the job done.
    I want your cruiser to get out there safely,
    so you can clean up the streets.
    And i want your kids to be safe
    when you take them for a ride.

    The name’s Zielinksi. I make car parts
    for the American working man,
    because that’s who i am.
    And that’s who i care about.”


  36. 36
    statik

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:17 am)

    #29 Dwayne said:

    Does anyone know what the actual percentage of new cars sold in the United States went out the door for less than $20K? How about $25K or $30? Seem like I heard some where that the 50% point was $27K.
    ===========================
    The average price in 2007 was $28,700…down about $1,000 from 2006. By the end of Q1 in 2008 (March 30th, 2008), the average price was down to $24,627.

    Comerica puts out a yearly number in early February, so we should see the 2008 number soon. I would wager this drops down to about $23,000 for 2008 when it is all averaged out, as the wholesale used car spot prices dropped in the high teens year over year, and I would think new car pricing would also fall in that range.

    It would be interesting to see the current quarters pricing pace. It is actually not a good barometer of what people are willing to pay at this point, as there just is not that many cars priced significantly lower than 20K to offset the higer end. It is also hard to factor in the 30%+ of consumers who just flat out refused to pay any price for a new car and went out and bought a used one…or kept driving ‘old faithful’–a 10 million SAAR (looks like thats is where we are headed) is not a industry sustainable rate with this many players.

    Source for Q1 2008 numbers:
    https://www.autoloandaily.com/new-car-research/51-auto-affordability-best-in-six-years-says-comerica-bank?start=20


  37. 37
    Tim

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:19 am)

    Hang in there GM. It looks like Gen II Volt will be closer to my price range although I really want a S-10 small pickup Volt.

    tick….tick….tick….tick….tick….


  38. 38
    GerryD

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:22 am)

    They need a minimum 5 passenger vehicle for Gen 2. Average US family has 2.5 kids…….


  39. 39
    statik

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:28 am)

    #38 GerryD said:

    They need a minimum 5 passenger vehicle for Gen 2. Average US family has 2.5 kids…….
    =====================================
    Actually the average US household size is 2.59
    The average US family is 3.14

    It has been a very long time since the average family has had 2.5 kids.

    Handy map by location:
    http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ThematicMapFramesetServlet?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-tm_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_M00166&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-_MapEvent=displayBy&-_dBy=040&-_lang=en&-_sse=on

    Perhaps you are thinking of the TFR (total fertility rate) which is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime. That stands at a estimated 2.07 for 2008. (It is thought that 2.1 is the minimum number to sustain a population). This number however does not translate into 4.07 people to a family, you have to strip out single parents, the ever increasing ‘optimal birthing years’ range with how long children stay at home.

    3.14 is the magic ‘average’ number.


  40. 40
    Efusco

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:36 am)

    Why oh why does GM persist in making themselves look so foolish?

    They’ve yet to put Gen 1 on the road and they’re making predictions about Gen II? Zap has been making crazy claims about their future vaporware vehicles like this for years too.

    If GM marketing is listening, hear this. Put the Gen 1 on the road at a fair price, see if it sells, see how low you can get battery costs over the first few years, make sure it’s reliable…then, maybe in 2013 or so, you can start chatting up Gen II and how cheap it’ll be.


  41. 41
    Joe

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:40 am)

    Sad, really sad – if you want a ride that is economically priced then you better buy an ’09 Prius NOW before Toyota upgrades the product and PRICE to reflect the changes in the 2010 models which are minimal. The VOLT has the potential to blow the doors off of anything that is currently on the market but at $30k – $40k the consumer market will limit itself because of the price. The Volt technology is being rushed into, testing will be very limited at best because of the push to get this vehicle to market. When any auto maker feels this kind of pressuer they have always made mistakes and the product has typically been full of issues/problems when it first comes to market. I am first to get my Volt at two of our local dealerships but the more I read my excitement is beginning to dwindle – so much so I just purchased my second Prius and I kept my first one too. They are tried and tested technology that deliver 40 mpg plus always – for far less than what the Volt will be going for. I still want my Volt but without a huge tax incentive or rebate program either from the Feds or GM I doubt it will be as much a winner as one may think. Call me when my Volt gets in and we will talk. . .


  42. 42
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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:40 am)

    #35 k-dawg

    Tommy: Let’s think about this for a sec, Ted, why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Hmmm, very interesting.
    Ted Nelson, Customer: Go on, I’m listening.
    Tommy: Here’s the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box ’cause he wants you to fell all warm and toasty inside.
    Ted Nelson, Customer: Yeah, makes a man feel good.
    Tommy: ‘Course it does. Why shouldn’t it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Ted?
    [chuckles until he sees that Ted is not laughing too]
    Ted Nelson, Customer: [impatiently] What’s your point?
    Tommy: The point is, how do you know the fairy isn’t a crazy glue sniffer? “Building model airplanes” says the little fairy; well, we’re not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that’s all it takes. The next thing you know, there’s money missing off the dresser, and your daughter’s knocked up. I seen it a hundred times.
    Ted Nelson, Customer: But why do they put a guarantee on the box?
    Tommy: Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of s***. That’s all it is, isn’t it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer’s sake, for your daughter’s sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.


  43. 43
    jeff j

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:43 am)

    Statik your vision is dead on if you are talking about this year and maybe the next two , but you must agree that this technology is just getting off the ground ( still on the launch pad) ,, if the EREV revolution take hold the real benefits are coming 15 years from now. I know the cell phone is not a car but back in college in 1985 I looked into getting a cell phone $600 for a phone the size and weight of a bowling ball and a $150 monthly fee for 120 mins air time. It took 15 years before I owned my first Cell phone . And like the cell phone in time advancement in the technology both in hardware & software will drive down the costs . I do think that EREV will take off faster but time will tell . Keep the great posts coming , I enjoy reading your glass is half empty comments.


  44. 44
    Jim

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:45 am)

    I don’t know where people get their money from? I worked hard all my life and can not afford a $40.000 car…Period!


  45. 45
    AustinGreen

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:46 am)

    why not get rid of the generator and up the battery miles to 60?


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:48 am)

    #45 AustinGreen,

    You are right on – that is where they should have started – they even could have retro-fitted an Aveo with batteries and and electric motor to test the waters/market place.


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    Mitch

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:48 am)

    #38 Gerry D…

    How do you have a 1/2 of a kid? lol

    #32 STATIK
    “/ok, so I’m bit of a downer early in the morning, and afternoon, and evening…sorry, I can’t help it,”

    MAybe if all goes well and GM pulls it out..they make an EV for you..call it the STATIK (as in static electricity) only in black..no options lol

    Smile, your in Canada, we have coffee, snow and hockey..and you see the green side of the lawn (if it wasn’t under all this white crap lol) When you see the roots..then you can say you’re not going in to work…


  48. 48
    Tim

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:52 am)

    Hey Lyle,

    The Volt has a big battery and a powerful generator in very close proximity to people.

    Ask GM what they know about this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_hypersensitivity

    A little R&D and some additional shielding may help GM avoid lawsuits and save LOTS of money.


  49. 49
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:53 am)

    #40 Efusco

    Are you suggesting that GM should not do R&D on advanced technology vehicles? I don’t see a problem with an R&D guy talking about things they are pursuing. I understand the context.


  50. 50
    Jim Mbongo

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:53 am)

    Thanks Lyle,
    This is a very good move for GM. GM should bring the Chevy Volt to the market as soon as possible. GM’s financial situation is hard, but they should do whatever it may take them to also bring the Cadillac Converj et Chevy Orlando to he market as soon as possible. Opel Ampera could come to America as a Saturn or a Buick by 2011. With these 4 vehicles using the same Voltec propulsion system but with different styling, fit and finish, accessories, and appointments, GM will for sure have all the ingredients needed to appeal to different demographics and different people needs, and lead the auto industry for many year to come again.
    Thanks again Lyle for all the work.


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    k-dawg

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (10:59 am)

    #44 Jim
    I don’t know where people get their money from? I worked hard all my life and can not afford a $40.000 car…Period!
    ———–
    Its not how much you make its how you spend it. (not saying i can afford 40K, just quoting a cliche)

    #45 Austin
    why not get rid of the generator and up the battery miles to 60?
    ———-
    Look up “range anxiety”


  52. 52
    DonC

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:03 am)

    #43 jeff j says “I know the cell phone is not a car but back in college in 1985 I looked into getting a cell phone $600 for a phone the size and weight of a bowling ball and a $150 monthly fee for 120 mins air time.”

    Actually you’re underestimating how quickly things evolved. In 1985 wireless services were only offered on an experimental basis. The licensing didn’t even start in earnest until 1989 when the lotteries started. Also, if you remember, the phones were called “car phones” and were wired to the car. (That you’d make a mobile phone and then make it immobile always seemed weird to me.)

    Speaking of the lotteries, note that the government GAVE AWAY the spectrum in order to cut the price of rolling out service for this new technology. Basically another example of taxpayers paying incentives in order to help a new technology get established. In this case the subsidy went to monopolistic phone companies. The irony of course is that the technology has killed the monopoly and is delivering a death blow to the entire wireline industry.


  53. 53
    charlie h

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:07 am)

    #36, Statik,

    Very interesting but what is the MEDIAN price? Maybachs, Ferraris, etc, skew the average. Median price is more indicative of mass market consumer tolerance.


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    J. Toothman

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:11 am)

    Well if they are going to wait till the Gen 2 Vilt to get the price to 20k Then the Japs will beat them to it and steal the market again. Too bad Chevy was not thinking on a low cast version FIRST. Well I guess instead of the first gread body style they came out ofr the Volt. Which changed for the production model. We will just have to pay more for it as well….


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    Mitch

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:12 am)

    #40 Efusco..

    So you think that amnufacturers do not look to the futur?? you think Toyota is not already (and has not been) planning the next Gen Prius even though the newest is yet to hit the show rooms? Or honda the next accord, or Nissan the next maxima?

    get real…

    #44 Jim..

    Maybe change careers to something with a paycheck?

    Not being a smart ass here or insulting, but the local kid at McD’s (and my neighbors son ) just bought a new car, 22k..does your carreer include the requirement of saying things like “would like to supersize that?” if so..maybe an upgrade is in the cards…

    Like k-dawg says..its how you spend it…


  56. 56
    Gas Electric Volt

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:14 am)

    The only way we’re going to see a $20k Voltech vehicle (in the next several years) is if GM squeezes an 8 Kw battery in the Chevy Aveo.

    Even then, the entire battery pack would need to be manufactured in house by minimum wage employees…


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    Joe

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:16 am)

    I am 55 and I’m having a really tuff time remembering when any auto manufacture has produced a Generation 1 model of a vehicle and then followed it up in later years with a Generation 2 model that was actually cheaper than their original or Generation 1 model of the vehicle. Can anyone think of an example where this has actually occurred?


  58. 58
    DonC

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:18 am)

    #44 Jim says “I don’t know where people get their money from? I worked hard all my life and can not afford a $40.000 car…Period!”

    Depends really. Depending on gas prices, a car might cost you $.22 a mile to drive. Depending on your electrical rates, a Volt might cost you $.02 a mile to drive and might last twice a long. Depending on your driving habits, it’s quite possible that over its life the Volt might cost $40K less to drive than an ICE vehicle.

    Once you start factoring in running cost, maintenance, and longevity, an E-REV vehicle might cost substantially less than an ICE alternative. Maybe you can’t afford not to have one?


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    HyperMiler

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:22 am)

    To reach $20,000 starting price, Volt2′s battery pack price must be reduced down to $3,000 and the whole Volt2 production must be moved to Asia.


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    MtthwRyn

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:24 am)

    Let’s go “balls out” and get me my Volt!! ;-)


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:25 am)

    #5 Rashiid Amul:

    #37 Tim:

    Amen on the light (S-10) size pickup.


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    canehdian

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:25 am)

    Didn’t have time to read all the responses, but that $20k remark is a little skewed. He didn’t say that was their goal, he simply confirmed your notion of wanting to reduce prices.
    While I would love it at 20k, I think that is a little unrealistic if they are looking at a complete electric and gas solution (like the volt)
    A complete BEV, maybe, as you dont have half the components in there making up a chunk of the cost.


  63. 63
    DonC

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:25 am)

    #57 Joe says ” I am 55 and I’m having a really tuff time remembering when any auto manufacture has produced a Generation 1 model of a vehicle and then followed it up in later years with a Generation 2 model that was actually cheaper than their original or Generation 1 model of the vehicle.”

    Doubtless the answer is no. But Voltec is more about electronics than engines. In the electronics area, you more or less expect prices to half and performance to double with every generation. In the first couple of generations you’d expect Voltec to follow the same path. Also, with respect to the batteries, the prices have been high in part because production levels have been low. With higher volumes you’d expect prices to drop fairly dramatically.

    This is more or less what happens with all new technologies. If you go back far enough you’ll probably find a time when cars dropped in price and performance stayed the same or became better. Isn’t that what the Model-T was all about?


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    statik

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:26 am)

    #53 charlie h said:

    #36, Statik, Very interesting but what is the MEDIAN price? Maybachs, Ferraris, etc, skew the average. Median price is more indicative of mass market consumer tolerance.
    ===============================
    Yes, I was trying to make the point myself that number is kind of suspect itself due to the offerings in the market…and trying to equate in the year over year value of the 33% of buyers that just evaporated.


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    noel park

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:27 am)

    #56 Gas Electric Volt:

    Works for me! I’d buy one today.


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    Gary Ciaschini

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:28 am)

    Now that’s what I’m talking about. I will order mine as soon as I see that the price is 20K and you’re not blowing smoke up the orifice.


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    GerryD

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:30 am)

    My point was many families have more than 2 people at home. In my neighborhood, the norm is a 3 kid – 5 person family. This is the type neighborhood that could “afford” this vehicle. Having a 4 passenger capacity will shut-out a good number of potential buyers (like me). I need to have the capability to have 5 people in my car or I will not consider it……and I really want one!!


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:32 am)

    #57 Joe

    I can’t think of a car, ofcourse, i was not around when the first gasoline engine was created. I’d guess the very first cars were only for the rich. I can think of examples of other technologies where the cost comes down. And, as always, mass production reduces cost.. so increasing the Volts from 10K to 50K will help.


  69. 69
    carcus

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:35 am)

    2 years ago I might have thought differently. But a lot has changed. Today we see:

    1. Huge money being thrown at battery plants.
    2. Rapidly evolving/new battery chemistry
    3. The “quick charge” term being thrown about with increased frequency.
    4. Virtually every major car manufacturer will have an electric car in production by 2011.

    We saw it happen with personal computers.
    We saw it happen with cell phones.
    We saw it happen with flat screen televisions.

    Why not electric cars?


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:35 am)

    #63 DonC

    I hear what you are saying but the US consumer will NEVER revert back in time to the Model T philosophy (too slow, no air bags, no AC, only available in black, etc) although i personally see nothing wrong with it. Today everyone wants something different and lots of options which were not offered in the Model T hence it’s success. Ahh they were and still are such cool cars weren’t they? In addition they probably got 15-20 plus mpg – which is very similar to GM’s modern day pickupsI For some reason it doesn’t look like GM is moving forward very quickly does it?


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    statik

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    # 60 MtthwRyn said:

    “Let’s go “balls out” and get me my Volt!!”
    ============================

    “You have to know the 5 D’s of dodgeball. Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge.”

    /sorry, reminded me of that, and I had to post it
    (hey I’m allowed a ‘no substance’ post every once in awhile…leave me alone, lol)


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    john1701a

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:38 am)

    So you think that amnufacturers do not look to the futur??
    _______________________________

    That, like many of the posts, add nails to the coffin that Volt will not be the Prius fighter it was originally promoted/hyped as. To fight, it would actually have to be on the streets in significant quantity. Clearly, that won’t happen.

    What will happen is generation two competing with a wide variety of FULL hybrids.


  73. 73
    Matthew Ankney

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:40 am)

    Why the fuck would GM even consider a high performance electric vehicle like a Corvette? GM NEEDS TO MAKE MONEY BECAUSE YOU TOOK MY TAXPAYER DOLLARS! QUIT WASTING YOUR TIME ON CARS THAT WILL NOT MAKE YOU MONEY! You first need to prove that you can make one worthwhile, electric car that isn’t a piece of shit like all the other cars you’ve made for the past decades.
    FUCK SPENDING MONEY ON PUBLIC RELATIONS! MAKE SOME CARS THAT YOU CAN SELL! GM took my taxpayer dollars, now regardless of whether i ever buy a GM car, GM OWES ME! And don’t come back for money later. you guys are done with receiving handouts.


  74. 74
    Red HHR

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:42 am)

    #5, Rashiid Amul
    Why not combine all three? I thought the SSR was way cool, till I saw it would use way to much gas and be totally undriveable in the snow.
    I am looking for something like an eREV HHR pickup. Tall folks could fit. Then for more than two people, an eREV HHR….

    If an eREV HHR gen II then I am all for it. Hopefully they will look at adding electric motors to the rear wheels, nice next step?

    For a comparison out of history look at the change to front wheel drive. Just going from my memory here, I will say it started with the Miller Indy race car, they thought it would pull the car around the track, or something like that. The complexity overwhelmed the benefits. The first mass produced front wheel drive automobile was the Mini. I think in 1959. The benefits of space saving and traction outweighed the complexity involved in manufacturing the CV joints in the drive train. The Mini was a great rally car winning many rallies. Saab followed with their own front wheel drive.

    Chrysler implemented the fount wheel drive system during their first bailout/loan. It saved them then. The front wheel drive K-car platform was the basis of all their designs, including the wildly popular minivan.

    GM followed suit with the X-car platform, now odds are you drive a front wheel drive car. Did your dad or mom?

    Anyway it takes a while for a complete revolution. My apologies for any inaccuracy in my memory.

    Red HHR (great little ICE car)


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    Luke

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:52 am)

    Rashid Amul @ 5,

    1) A light pickup truck.

    I agree 100%. Furthermore, I’m amazed that nobody’s tried any new drivetrain technology in a light truck recently… I mean, why don’t we have front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive light trucks? Why are rear-wheel-drive and traditional four-wheel-drive the only options? Also, getting rid of the wheel-well bumps in the bed would make the machine more useful — I know I could buy a 3rd party work-bed for it, but why not just make them that way at the factory?.

    A vehicle like my 1998 Ford Ranger but with the drivetrain out of a Subaru Legacy would be a wonderful vehicle. No more fishtailing in the rain, good towing capacity, same cargo capacity.

    As for the you probably wouldn’t want to tow with the front-wheel-drive version, but since my 1998 Ranger has the 2.5L I-4 engine with the lowest-torque differential available (best highway mileage!), the manual says that towing is not recommended anyway.

    .


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:53 am)

    #69 Carcus,

    I would love to believe you that electric cars would/could be different if the Tesla is an example of things to come with the Volt the Generation 2 will cost more – http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9728829-7.html
    2007 Tesla $92,000
    2008 Tesla $98,000
    2009 Tesla $109,000
    Funny the government has not needed to bail out the computer, cell phone, or TV industries that you mentioned (at least not yet) – just the auto makers, I’m thinking we are all living in a dream world if we honestly think the price of electric cars will drop over time. GM (and the other auto manufactures) need to make up for profits lost as a result of not selling full size SUVs.


  77. 77
    Big Picture

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:55 am)

    Fun to have a piece by Lyle on the longer-term.

    Yesterday on CNBC, if my memory serves me correctly, Carlos Ghosn said that in 10 yrs, perhaps 10% of vehicles will be electric (I’d guess he was saying world-wide new vehicle average). Anyone care to share their guesses for the vehicle biz 10 yrs out? A couple of mine:

    GM is a Chinese company.

    If lithium batteries take off, then lithium supply is essential. Hello military base in Bolivia.

    Global warming/sustainability concerns will dominate much of the industry’s decision-making.


  78. 78
    statik

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:56 am)

    #69 carcus siad:

    Ref.
    #32 Statik
    #43 Jeff J.
    #52 Don C.

    2 years ago I might have thought differently. But a lot has changed. Today we see:
    1. Huge money being thrown at battery plants.
    2. Rapidly evolving/new battery chemistry
    3. The “quick charge” term being thrown about with increased frequency.
    4. Virtually every major car manufacturer will have an electric car in production by 2011.

    We saw it happen with personal computers.
    We saw it happen with cell phones.
    We saw it happen with flat screen televisions.

    Why not electric cars?
    ============================================

    Your right.
    I think it can happen.
    I think it will happen.
    There will be cheap electric cars.

    I also think, like the computers, cells phones and flat screen TVs you mentioned, they will all be produced exclusively outside of the US, and certainly not by GM.

    I’ve said this before but the EV is a simple thing at its core. There is a lot less working parts, it is basically a large toy once the software/engineering of the thing is worked out, and as such will be built in the same manner and locale that toys are made now.

    Because the battery is a huge portion of the product, it displaces ‘traditional’ car buying habits (and premiums) like efficiency and performance,which is bad news for automakers..because thats where the money is made.

    Once batteries are widely adapted (and prices invariably fall), the consumer will no longer look for a fancy/costly hybrid system (or drive a econo-box) to get those high MPGS, and they won’t need/pay for a 300HP, $60K performance sedan to get a 5 second 0-60.

    A electric car can (and will be) be both super cheap to run and super fast at the same time.

    If the scale/pricing goes the way many are expecting, and we start seeing 60kW packs for $10,000 dollars down the road, your also going to see 250 mile range, 5 seaters that can also do 0-60 in 5 seconds for 20K coming out of Asia, with very little profit margins, displacing the entire existing car lineup structures…and that is a environment that not only destroys the existing ‘Big 2.451s’ cars, but does not allow them to compete going forward.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:58 am)

    We all expect the batteries to improve, get smaller and hold more energy, so please consider making the next generation upgradable.
    As the battery technology improvement accelerates with mass production it is likely that the original battery purchased with the car will become obsolete in 3-5 years while the rest of the vehicle should be ok for 10 years of so. So swapping the battery and downloading a new soft may become a common thing in the not so distant future.


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    Luke

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    MDDave,

    Yes; I agree with you. A car “for the masses” seems to be a euphemism for a subcompact car that costs $20K or less. Based on my daily travels, I can guarantee you that $20k subcompacts are not in the majority.

    I observe the same thing, but I don’t think the problem is that cheap small cars are “bad” for people. I think the problem is that the car companies don’t try to make them appealing.

    If you look at the Prius, the BMW Mini Cooper, the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen, and the Subaru Impreza — they’re $20k to $30k, but they’re all really neat little cars. (I’m only 5’4″ and we don’t have any kids, though, so I can fit into any vehicle). Anyway, I think a small car with very few features other than charm, an inspired design, and some fuel-saving gizmos a great seller — but it would require great artistry to pull it off. Maybe car companies could bring in a handbag designer or something?


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:03 pm)

    I want a stripped down…..
    No Power Windows
    No Power Seats
    No Power Side View Mirrors
    No Power Door Locks
    No Power trunk latch
    No Power Sunroof OR No Sunroof at all!
    Ghetto version so I have less weight to carry around for performance so I can go “balls out high performance.”

    lol….
    I like the guy already.


  82. 82
    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:06 pm)

    I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t figure out how GM can produce Gen II before it gets Gen I out the door.
    Interesting interview, but (you know it’s coming)
    LET’S JUST GET THE VOLT’S WHEELS ON THE ROAD!!
    Be well,
    Tag

    /statik, get some coffee (g)


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    carcus

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    #76 Joe,

    In my opinion it’s the battery prices that will drop substantially. The manufacturing doesn’t look that (relative) complicated. Certainly no where near as involved as making a plasma television or a laptop computer. And the materials aren’t that expensive. There’s lots of room for battery prices to fall . . . if the government (and the petroleum lobby) can stay out of the way.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    Dave B #20:

    Not all of us want to drive an Aveo sized city commuter BEV car with no options.

    No one has really asked how many of us here can afford a car of any particular price range. That might be something that Lyle could do a poll on….

    Bob Lutz has stated that the Caddy Converj would cost about two Volts. Assuming a Volt will be $40K, that makes it an $80K car.

    Personally, I could probably swing a loan to buy one at that price, but I absolutely refuse to spend that kind of money on a vehicle. My top end price for a car is $35 – $40K. And then I keep them for a long time, usually 9 or 10 years. It is a personal choice.

    What I am trying to say is that in dreamland, it would be nice to have the Converj options and luxury at a Volt price, as it would be nice to have a Volt at an Aveo price. But in the real world, that isn’t going to happen…..


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    To Static

    I beg to disagree. As we have seen recently it is very hard to predict the future even 6 months ahead. The things may be quite different in 10 years, where the electric cars will make a substantial share of the market. Battery will remain a big part of the vehicle costs but not for long. Drive trains will also evolve and require research, development, testing, etc. I will also extrapolate that possible all automotive batteries 20 years from now will be comparable and possibly built locally on fully automated assembly lines with very little human supervision.
    Transportation costs may become a huge barrier for the future outsourcing and globalization after the cheep oil is gone. On the other hand it is likely that the whole idea about personal transportation and a the need for daily commute may change with more people working from home, attending virtual meetings and controlling factory machinery from the convenience of their home terminals.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:20 pm)

    @Tagamet 82
    “I just can’t figure out how GM can produce Gen II before it gets Gen I out the door.”

    Sounds stupid huh? I agree with you. However, I have a strong mfgr background and here’s how it usually goes.
    The Volt is currently in a state of “Scrubbing minor details and specs”, which means it’s pretty stable at this point and they’re just doing some house cleaning and spec tweaks, really no more R&D.
    At this point, the R&D folks can’t just sit a twiddle their fingers so they go on to further tweak what they can on the next Gen Volt.


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    statik

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:21 pm)

    #82 Tag said:

    I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t figure out how GM can produce Gen II before it gets Gen I out the door.
    Interesting interview, but (you know it’s coming)
    LET’S JUST GET THE VOLT’S WHEELS ON THE ROAD!!
    Be well,
    Tag

    /statik, get some coffee (g)
    ====================================

    I’m nursing coffee number 3 already right now, lol.

    I personally Mr. Nick Zielinksi (if that is indeed his real name) is just lying low, like a snake in the grass, on all this “Gen 2″ stuff, and that he is going to release it to the public on July 3rd, 2010, surprising both the car industry and his pompous, arch rival, Frank ‘moon-shot’ Weber over at Volt Gen 1 HQ.
    —-
    #85 alex_md:
    Have you now, or at any time worked for, or consulted on the planning of the Epcot center? Just kidding…we all have our opinions, which is what makes this place great.

    /have a good one


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    Bailers

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:24 pm)

    You know what would be so cool for Volt 2.0? Inductive charging. Build a charging pad at home and start the charge the minute the engine goes off.

    Yeah, it will never happen. But it’s nice to dream


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    #83 Carcus,

    I hope you are right but the oil companies have been known to buy up competition and squash it. If they smell cheaper batteries are in the pipeline for production they will likely never see the light of day. Even at $30k – $40k the Volt could be a very competitive vehicle assuming the life of the car is 20 years (which it very well could be) and the batteries will last that long or replacements can be competitively price within 10 years. The auto industry just doesn’t have a very good/positive history with this sort of thing. I agree with most of the authors in these posts – get the Volt on the road, get it tested, get the bugs worked out, and the rest will be history. It will either suceed or flop – time will tell.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:32 pm)

    #75 Luke:

    Remember the VW Rabbit pickup? FWD. With the diesel, it got about 50 mpg. It would seem pretty feasible to build a pickup on one of the existing GM fwd platforms.

    A long time ago I said that I would take the hatch cover off my Volt and build a wooden pickup bed to stick out the back a la “The Beverly Hillbillies” (“Grapes of Wrath”?). I figured that might embarrass Mr. Lutz, et al, into giving us something a bit more professional looking.


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    Sean

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:38 pm)

    If GM screws everyone on the design and the performance on the Chevy Volt it WILL be the nail in their coffin. There will be no turning back. Chevy has one chance to get it right and its already a crap shoot because they waited to the very last minute to come out with a product which it should have been available 10 years ago.

    Chevy: It is your last and only chance to do the right thing. Make it happen, do it right, perform beyond the design

    People have two eyes for a reason, and the Volt needs to look good when you drive it as well as perform as designed.

    Thank you for your time. I believe in Chevy.

    Sean – BUY USA PRODUCT PEOPLE


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    I’m sorry, I generally appreciate your site here, but that email was misleading. There was absolutely no detail here, just a general question and some guy saying “yeah that sounds like our 2nd gen.” Very vague and completely inconclusive.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:46 pm)

    Check out this cover story about Google and the auto industry (the Detroit 3):

    “Could Google Fix Detroit?”

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_06/b4118032619547.htm

    “What if just one model from one brand were opened up to collaborative design? I don’t suggest that design should be a democracy. But shouldn’t design at least be a conversation? Designers can put their ideas on the Web. Customers can make suggestions and discuss them. Designers can take the best ideas and adapt them, giving credit where it is due.”

    It looks like Lyle is kind of a trendsetter with this gm-volt.com blog. Hopefully several people at GM read what people are saying on this website. You never know when a CUSTOMER might have a really good idea that the people inside GM haven’t thought of. There could be a LOT of benefits to GM by listening to the feedback from customers. Give the people at least SOME of what they want in their next car and you’re likely to have more loyal customers … a partner in your business in a way.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:48 pm)

    #78 Statik
    #79 Alex,

    I see potential for a win/win and common ground.

    As long as we’re dreaming . . . . ., I’d like to see the modern electric car built more like an airplane.

    It would be:
    1. Made out of aluminum and composites
    2. Expandable and upgradeable: electronic components on easily accessible racks with “quick couple” cannon plugs and easily accessible wiring harness.
    3. Long lasting , like an airplane. . not a rusty old car.

    This way, every 8 or 10 years you could take your car into the shop and upgrade the battery, gps/communications/stereo and give it a new interior and paint job.

    Much more environmentally friendly and would keep the skilled/well payed locals employed at the refurb shops. (Cessna Service Centers have long been regarded as the “cash cows” of the operation).

    More expensive to manufacture? Absolutely. But in the long run a car you could keep and upgrade for decades.

    P.S. aircraft is one of the last manufacturing sectors that the U.S. still dominates.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    #78 statik

    I can see why you think this but I’m not as optimistic as you are about the batteries. Over ten years ago GM came out with the EV-1, and today the same issues of cost, range, and carrying capacity still exist. The range is better but not great. The cost is better but still high. And the capacity is better but still not great (ergo the “we want a CUV” and “we want a small pickup.”)

    Serial hybrids help solve these problems, so, looking forward, I don’t see them disappearing anytime soon (and they’re not even here yet). BEVs will doubtless come out, but they’re going to be niche vehicles for quite a while.

    The important point here is that if we’re looking at serial hybrids or parallel hybrids then we’re looking at an ICE, and if we’re looking at an ICE then we’re looking for traditional auto manufacturers to make them. It’s one of their specialties.

    Also keep in mind that BEVs may not be as simple as they first appear. The electronics and software that control them are not simple.

    So I don’t think the traditional manufacturers are going away anytime soon. However, I’d love to see one of the Detroit three, say Chrysler, become a manufacturer for other companies, much like what fabricators do in the chip business. I can see that working well for both Chrysler and for new companies with innovative ideas but no real possibility of manufacturing their own product given the needed capital and expertise.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    #47 Mitch…
    How do you have a 1/2 of a kid? lol

    —————————————-

    For the past 3 years, my 1/2 kid has been from Germany (exchange students). Actually, I guess that since it’s a full year exchange program, that would make them an 11/12 kid! Oh well, so much for statistics…

    Anyway, since we plan on continuing to host exchange students, and along with 2 of my own, that gives me 5 too. My only hope is that by the time the oldest graduates from high school in 2013 (and I’m no longer upside-down on my current car payments) that the Gen 2 volt will be affordable for my family.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    “We have a future car portfolio planning committee”

    Their portfolio should include products for Trailer Park Maggots like me that only need the following…

    Must Have:
    AC
    Heater/Defogger
    Rear Window defogger
    Intermittent Winshield Wipers (Dang CA rainy seasons)

    Not Required:
    No Power Windows
    No Power Seats
    No Heated Seats
    No Power Side View Mirrors
    No Power Door Locks
    No Power Trunk latch
    No Power Sunroof OR No Sunroof at all!
    No Cruise Control
    No Onstar
    No GPS

    Just a car to take you “Back to basics”.

    I’ll take my Volt No Generator and No ICE, shaken not stirred….


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:11 pm)

    #97 CaptJack,

    Here’s the prototype. I think you’ll drink up the design, at least the front left wheel.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/minifig/101143975/in/photostream/


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    Bernie Kerr

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:14 pm)

    carcus #2 said:

    He said balls.

    That Zielinski dude is cool.
    ======================================\
    to folks in the transportation business, this comment has nothing to do with your anatomy, it refers to a flyball governor and when you are delivering max power, you are balls out :>)

    I could very easily buy a corvette since I have no debts period and have a reasonable retirement income, but choose to spend my money on installing 5000 watts of PV cells at my residence and drive an HHR :>)
    Balls out on the HHR will not break you in buying tires!

    Biding my time waiting on the Volt or one of its EV competitors so that I can plug into my PV system and thumb my nose at the likes of our stated enemies that we supply with cash for oil.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:17 pm)

    Living in Southern New England like Rashiid Amul, all-wheel drive is important to me. I’d prefer something in a wagon form (pre ’09 Subaru Forester format maybe?), so I can carry 3-4 adults. But if a small pickup with all-wheel drive were my only option … I could probably deal with it.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:24 pm)

    I am getting a late start looking at the topic for today. There really isn’t much for me to say. You guys have already said everything I wanted to say. Great topic Lyle. Many responses already and the day is only half gone. I will just sit back and “listen” for awhile.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:28 pm)

    #98 carcus

    I just couldn’t resist responding. That prototype looks like it would fit Capt Jack to a tee.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    @Acarcus 98

    lol….

    There’s no H(.)(.)ters chick in the passenger though?
    At least a Craigs List girl……lol


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    MW

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:33 pm)

    Hurry GM before America goes broke !!


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:39 pm)

    #102 N Riley,

    That’s what I thought, Surprising, though that he didn’t mention “cup”-holder in the must have list.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:42 pm)

    #44 Jim says “I don’t know where people get their money from? I worked hard all my life and can not afford a $40.000 car…Period!”

    ===============
    Jim, I feel for you. I watched my parents struggle when I was a kid.
    My sister and I didn’t need anything. My father always provided us with food, clothing, roof, heat, etc. But he didn’t provide us with anything that we wanted, like vacations, toys, designer clothes, etc. My sister and I grew up poor in a rich town.
    Most of the other kids had designer everything, while my sister and I were getting free lunch at school

    I consider myself to be extremely lucky to have the parents that I have. I would give the world to my parents for doing for us what they did. It taught me something that will stick with me for the rest of my life, but it really hit home during my teen years. Going through my teen years, I swore I would rise above that and not struggle financially.

    Today, at 45, I make a 6 figure income. My wife stays at home and raises the kids. My mortgage is only taking 5.5 years to pay off.

    Jim, I don’t know if it is too late for you, but try to rise above where you are. It may be difficult, especially in this economy, but perhaps you can start out with new training. Good luck and stay well.


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    Ryebread

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:42 pm)

    This is where a stimulus package could be useful.
    If they were able to put this car out for lets say:

    $22,000

    If the U.S. government indeed wants to get away from being Oil Dependant then they should offer a $5,000 rebate for buying a Volt. Similar to the Digital Converted Box plan.

    $22,000 minus $5,000 rebate:

    $17,000

    At least One in every household before you know it.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:49 pm)

    #103 CptJack,

    There’s no H(.)(.)ters chick in the passenger though?
    At least a Craigs List girl……lol

    ______________________________________________________

    I never realized until now that I was such a parentheses man.


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    Brian M

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:54 pm)

    Gsned57, #19,

    I got it if nobody else did…. Did you eat paint chips as a kid?


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    @Ryebread 107
    “This is where a stimulus package could be useful.”

    Lot’s of talk in the media about a stimulus but not a whole lot of detail. One in particular I heard last night was $500/person $1000/married couple.
    That’s less than the Bush admin gave last year. Of course it’s just speculation.
    You want a stimulation in the economy? Tell all the damn banks that got a fatas$ bailout to pay it foreward to those people who made the right choices and still have and make their mortgage payments on time. I hear nothing but rates going up even though the feds dropped rates many times.
    I tell you what,, if the banks would drop my rate at least 1.5 points, i’d be eating out more often with the familiy at the truck stops……lol

    OK maybe Denny’s.


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    JoeThePlumber

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (2:02 pm)

    At $20 grand, I’ll by one if:

    1. It will cruise on the freeway.
    2. I can get at least 40 miles out of one charge.

    I’d PREFER 80 miles out of a charge, because that it what I drive Monday through Friday.


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    Gordon Coffey

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (2:10 pm)

    I saw polite questions but not much in the way of firm answers. Do yourself a favor Lyle – don’t become a shill for GM – You’ve got some status here being an advocate for the public – don’t blow it.
    Why not ask them why they dumb down the look to the point that I’d rather drive a proven Camry hybrid? I did not expect the production model to look like the prototype but there about 20 steps in visual impact between the car I saw at Javitz and this rubber stamp production car.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (2:18 pm)

    #112 Gordon Coffey,

    A good reason why Lyle didn’t ask that question would be that we have covered that here about 1000 times already.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (2:25 pm)

    CaptJack #110:

    Where are you looking at rates?

    I just refinanced our mortgage at 5.00% – a drop from the 6.50% I had.

    Now if you want to talk about those bonus check they all took from our money, I think we can agree that it was just plain wrong….


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    Marty

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (2:27 pm)

    I wish GM would stop wasting money on pipedreams like Hydorgen when it is simply not going to happen. There is no scorce for Hydrogen, there is no refulling infastructure, the range is limited, each car is a rolling H-bomb etc etc. It is no wonder that GM and similar others are in the poor house.

    Here is what was happening 110 years ago! Sound familiar? Thats when this drivetrain was invented…

    1898
    The German Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, at age 23, built his first car, the Lohner Electric Chaise. It was the world’s first front-wheel-drive. Porsche’s second car was a hybrid, using an internal combustion engine to spin a generator that provided power to electric motors located in the wheel hubs. On battery alone, the car could travel nearly 40 miles.

    This drivetrain has always been the most sensible approach to move into the future. Politics and stupidity have held it from seeing the light of day. I believe they should fast track its production while creating a full line of vehicles using the same or similar drivetrain.

    The cost seems to be the largeset issue and the batteries are the most expensive component. Why cant they simply break the batteries into 8Kwh banks, design the car to accept 3 banks, then they could easily offer the car in 3 versions 8K, 16K, 24K. And one could buy the 8K and drive into a dealership and have another 8K installed if they so choose. This would solve the cost issue, “choose your cost and range”.

    Firt it was “The Volt 2009″ then “The volt 2010″ now 2011? I cant help but wonder if Exxon planted the executives in these comanies to slow production or maybe paid for a round of Lobotomy’s…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090130/ap_on_bi_ge/earns_exxon_mobil


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    Sherman Hanke

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (2:29 pm)

    I think he said it all when he used the word EXPLOIT.
    If the car is not affordable, it will not succeed. End of story.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (2:37 pm)

    Capt @ #110: There are other tax breaks in there, depending on your individual situation. To me, one-time tax breaks (whether from Obama or Bush) are worse than useless. They add to the deficit. They do not boost the economy as much as (semi) permanent changes to the tax code. (“Semi” because nothing lasts forever.)


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (2:37 pm)

    #98 carcus:

    LMAO. Thanks, I needed that.

    #114 Jim I:

    Re the bonuses, you are too kind. If they weren’t criminal, they ought to be. Somebody said that they should keep Gitmo open for those guys. They could fly down in their corporate jets. I read yesterday that Citibank has a 767 and 3 – 737s, in addition to their fleet of about 10 Gulfstream/Lear sized cheapies. Plus one helicopter. Shuttle from the roof in Manhattan to the airport to take the 767 to Grand Cayman, don’t you know?

    Kind of puts the GM/Chrysler bailouts in perspective somehow.


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (2:45 pm)

    From an Engineer’s perspective, you have to realize that EREV technology will not extend over all the LDV fleet, even a battery technology improves.

    Nevetheless it covers a very large portion but case cost comes down, it extends to smaller vehicles. I think that there are various low end and large end technolgies that are appropriate to each size of the LDV fleets. The following entries for Size segment, Comments, Low, Medium and High end Technology, that might be applied to this segment from the perspective of weight, expected usage, and practicality of drive technology.

    SiZE Comments Technology
    sub “A” segment (NEV disappearing) BEV EREV
    “A” segment (disappearing) BEV HEV EREV
    “B” segment (ultimately smallest) BEV HEV EREV
    “C” segment HEV EREV
    “C-D” segment EREV dual-mode PHEV
    “D+” segment Dual-mode PHEV
    CUVs Dual-mode PHEV
    Trucks Dual-mode PHEV
    HD Trucks Diesel Dual-mode PHEV

    I believe that tiny cars were a compromise proved fuel efficency. I don’ think anyone really wants them and with current technology, they will just fade away. I beleive the EREV technology maxes out at the low end of the C/D segment at its larger end; e.g cars like the Impala or Buick Regal/LaCrosse. I don’t think it applies to larger cars like the DTS or Lucerne. For vehicles heavier or with a towing hauling functionality, then the Dual-mode PHEV is the ultimate and appropriate technology, unless Battery technology advances by more than a magnitude of improvment.

    Comments anyone?
    ,


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (3:05 pm)

    #119 Stas,

    Considering that a hybrid may very well win Le mans this year, I’d say anything is possible.

    Toyota working on a hybrid race car to win 24 hours of Le Mans
    http://www.egmcartech.com/2008/03/31/toyota-working-on-a-hybrid-race-car-to-win-24-hours-of-le-mans/

    (A few years ago, who’d have thought that diesels would dominate? What would Steve McQueen drive? What would Jesus drive?


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    Jan 30th, 2009 (3:11 pm)

    #44 Jim
    “I don’t know where people get their money from? I worked hard all my life and can not afford a $40.000 car…Period!”

    It’s not just you, probably 99% of the people on this board can’t afford that either.

    Remember the first 2 rules of car buying

    1. Never buy a new car unless you have at least $1 million in the bank.

    2. Never under any circumstances finance a car.

    Most people can’t afford to buy a new Volt.


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    RB

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (3:19 pm)

    Statik, back up there somewhere, forecast that gen 2 would not appear before 2015, I think it was.

    My forecast that gen 2 will appear in a shorter time, about 2 years after gen 1. The reason for the shorter forecast is that GM seems here and there to be discussing things that will lessen the manufacturing cost, make the car run more smoothly, and generally be a win-win. Some aspects are in hand already, just too late to put in gen 1. There is no advantage to GM to hold them back more than 2 years. They could just put improvements in during the gen 1 model run, but why not take advantage of pointing them out at a gen 2 introduction?

    If most of the “easy” improvements are made by gen 2, then when will there be gen 3? That is where I think there will be a longer interval, maybe 5-6 years for changes that are more than cosmetic. The longer interval is enough for the cumulative change in battery technology to make a substantial difference, loosely everything 50% better.

    /I know it is just guesswork, but it is interesting to think about.


  123. 123
    Anthony BC

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (3:19 pm)

    Good post Lyle,

    This is great news to those that can’t afford a Gen1 VOLT. I plan on buying a Gen2 VOLT once the price is within range (20~25K), but will be going with the Insight for the next 5 years until then.

    GO EV EVERYWHERE!


  124. 124
    carcus

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (3:23 pm)

    Or, you could just go to China tomorrow and buy a F3DM for about $21,000.

    I wish someone would hurry up and do that so they could write back (in English) weather BYD really meets the advertised numbers or not.


  125. 125
    Dave B

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (3:45 pm)

    Carcus at 124; I agree completely. The Chinese version of the Volt is already in existence. Is it a winner or a coffin?


  126. 126
    k-dawg

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (3:48 pm)

    In reference to the future .. “In the year 2000″ (imagine blue light on Conan O’brian’s face”

    There is research being done on mag-lev for personal transport. I dont know who here is familiar with Magnemotion out of MA. We have worked with them. They have some really interesting things going on. http://www.magnemotion.com


  127. 127
    carcus

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (3:51 pm)

    #125 Dave B.

    I consider myself a pretty good googler but I’ve been able to find almost zero test drive data on the F3DM, even though it’s been on sale for almost 2 months now. What little I’ve found has been in Chinese and hasn’t translated very well (google’s translate this page).
    Kind of strange, but admittedly, I haven’t researched any other foreign only cars, so it may be harder than I thought to obtain info.

    I think I read that Berkeshire Hathaway is getting 40 or so of them in the states this spring. Hope we don’t have to wait till then for a report.


  128. 128
    k-dawg

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (4:00 pm)

    #124 carcus Says:

    Or, you could just go to China tomorrow and buy a F3DM for about $21,000.

    I wish someone would hurry up and do that so they could write back (in English) weather BYD really meets the advertised numbers or not.
    ———–

    If you tried, the Chinese government would intercept the email and block it.


  129. 129
    Pragmatist

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (4:24 pm)

    Who are these electric vehicle people anyway? Just two years ago a battery electric vehicle was “ten years away.” Why? Because “battery technology was not ready.” But today, as has been pointed out, virtually every auto maker has an EV planned for 2010-11.

    One reason is that GM legend Bob Lutz saw the entrepreneur start-up Tesla Motors building the first high end Lithium powered sports car. Essentially from a bunch of computer batteries. Computer geeks lead the way to the electrification of transport. And Lutz says (to someone) if these guys can do it – GM can too.

    GM announces the E-REV Volt and auto enthusiasts go crazy. A mass produced EV?? It’s heaven sent. And Lyle in his wisdom builds a bandwagon to make sure it gets made.

    What’s the lesson? An old one. Let innovators do what they do best – invent and create stuff that others say can’t be done. The lone inventor, engineer, creator of original ideas is what has churned the wheels of industry and still does. That creates the jobs and income and standard of living that makes life pleasant. Do we need government to run our industries for this? Don’t think so. Electrification of transport began two short years ago because a handful of guys in silicon valley believed they could build an electric car people want. They did. And now look what they started.

    Long live the entrepreneur.


  130. 130
    Sean

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (4:24 pm)

    “You’re pretty much describing our plans for Gen 2. Looking to improve efficiency, maintain performance, take cost out of the car and how can we broaden Voltec technology to other vehicles.”

    They will fail with this approach. A disruptive technology means coming in with lower performance initially at a much lower price point and then as the tech improves it eventually grows into the mainstream. Somebody will come in way under them with performance and features, GM will say “that won’t meet the needs of our customers” (and they will be correct initially), but the simpler, cheaper option will will eventually kill the mainstream car makers.


  131. 131
    Jason

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (4:24 pm)

    Wouldn’t the $$ saved from not buying gas allow for a higher car payment…if they can’t find a way to get the price under 20k? If you spend $25 a week for gas (easy math) that would allow you $100 a month towards the price of the car. I still would like to see it under 15k. Yeah right………..


  132. 132
    solo2500nt

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (4:55 pm)

    #2

    He said ‘Balls out performance’ Not just balls.

    ‘Balls Out’ is a reference to old steam powered machinery. The little balls you see spinning is part of a governor that controls the throttle on a steam engine. With the ‘balls out’ the machine is rotating as fast as possible.

    But…. saying ‘balls out’ still COOL…..


  133. 133
    Len

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (4:57 pm)

    Gotta be good lookin—the production car is NOT!!! Gotta be around 20-25K——the production car is NOT! FIsx these two problems GM will last into the future.


  134. 134
    Cataclysmo

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (5:11 pm)

    Affordable performance is needed if it’s going to sell to the masses. All the hope about getting off oil is forgotten by the average guy if it costs more or is a dog. GM has got to get both or it won’t be successful.

    There are only a few ecodrivers out there who will shell out $30k for a Prius, a car that cuts your gas bill in half but at the price of not so hot performance. (and its ugly too – say it, you want to…)

    $30k – all electric – 200hp equivalent performance – cool car. Don’t let GM off the hook until it happens…they just got a couple B$ to help…make it so #1.


  135. 135
    Phil

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (5:23 pm)

    GM Why can’t you get this right. First the Volt is to expensive $40K not for the average American. Smaller Volt G2 for $20K no one will buy it. Hey GM I am no engineer but build a medium size platform with different drive systems one standard & one heavy duty and slap on different carbon fiber bodies. A sharp looking compact 2dr & 4dr. A medium size 4dr car ( look at Hondas & Camrys style because that is what all the baby boomers are buying not a Buick LaCross ). A family people mover like a crossover a crossover 4wd like a SUV. A small pickup ect you get the picture & which everone becomes popular all you have to do is bump production of the body panels.


  136. 136
    noel park

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (5:31 pm)

    #119 stas peterson:

    Judging by my wife, who just rolls her eyes when she sees a Smart, or even a Yaris, you are right about sub-A and A sized cars. I hope it is not true, however.

    My understanding is that a lot of the reasoning behind the Smart, for example, is that it is easier to drive and park in spectacularly crowded places like Paris. Supposedly, you can park one backed into the curb, and thus get 2 in a standard parking place. I believe that size is more than just a fuel economy issue in Japan as well.

    When I travel on the almost gridlocked freeways of LA, I fantasize that all of the single occupant cars could be turned into Smarts, and the terrible day of final gridlock put off for a few more years.

    If I could buy a GM EREV vehicle the size of a Smart, which would get what, 100 miles AER and maybe 60-70 mpg on the range extended, I would do it instantly for my daily commute. If “She Who Must Be Obeyed” wouldn’t ride in it, oh well.

    Given Americans’ ingrained love of large cars, and their belief that such are “safer”, I don’t see this being much of a segment any time soon. I hope that The Captain is able to make a go of the Smart. But I do think that there is something of a market for the right product, and I hope that the segment doesn’t disappear completely.

    I could get pretty interested in a Beat/Spark, for example.


  137. 137
    Bill

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (5:43 pm)

    Stupid article. No mention of the price in $’s. No detail of future plans (except one to cut the balls off the electric only mileage, which is a big step backward).
    Their only plan should be to get production to a level where the volume price can flatten every other car on the market. The current plan seems to be to squander their technological lead making a large profit out of a few sales sold locally in the US.
    Meanwhile the other car companies are working out how to market their cars so that no-body will be able to tell the difference between their crappy offerings and the volt without spending ten hours reading the fine print.
    Argh!


  138. 138
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (5:47 pm)

    @noel park 136

    I agree. It’s our culture that makes it difficult to move to smaller vehicles for higher efficiency. Most people I know that have a large SUV seem to always say it feels safer than being in a little car. There needs to be some way of getting that mentality to go away.
    My thought is, for Insurance companies to make things more interesting in the sense of cost of premium per how much one of the large vehicles damage does to the smaller.


  139. 139
    MarkyMark

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (5:57 pm)

    To #127 Warren B invested 250million in BYD so he is getting his cars for free.The reason (jmho) Warren B. didn’t do the same for GM is because of LG.They are the same people that manipilated prices for flat panel TV parts that the FTC fined them 500mil.


  140. 140
    Dave Pincek

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (5:59 pm)

    I want a luxury sedan. Please make a CTS version. With 4 doors. I’ll pay a premium.


  141. 141
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (6:05 pm)

    I want a pickup. Please make a Colorado EREV. I can’t pay a premium.


  142. 142
    Han Joverseon

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (6:07 pm)

    Where in the world do you people work if you can afford a $40k vehicle?? and are there any openings?


  143. 143
    john1701a

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (6:08 pm)

    There are only a few ecodrivers out there who will shell out $30k for a Prius
    ____________________________

    Fortunately, Prius isn’t actually that expensive. And 158,884 purchased the current model in 2008. How many do you think will buy the new model in 2009?

    In other words, GM needs to get rolling. Delay is not an option.


  144. 144
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (6:09 pm)

    @Han Joverseon

    OTFLMAO


  145. 145
    Rob S.

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (6:13 pm)

    I hope G2 looks more like the original design they prototyped for the Volt. I have no intention to drive a car that looks like their current volt.


  146. 146
    Pat Schofield

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (6:37 pm)

    Just try to get the first ones out before the offshore
    market comes online because the people in Detriot
    have dragged thier feet for too long, its time North
    America won back the market. Realisticly they have
    had since EV1 to study this tech so get on with it.


  147. 147
    David Haggard

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (6:58 pm)

    First, just GET IT ON THE ROAD! Do all the toys and gadgets and fancy styling later.

    Second, reading a lot of these comments shows me that most of you responders are city people who are most interested in their commute.

    For those of us who choose to live 30+ miles out, all-electric won’t cut it. My main concern is to get off of oil. And do it with real range, like 400+ miles.

    30-mile range or more on battery may be nice, but to meet what I want, it needs to be truly “flex fuel.” A serial hybrid as designed, but the generator should be able to switch freely between ethanol, propane, hydrogen, soy diesel– so wherever you drive, you can use whatever that region’s renewable (or at least local) fuel source may be.

    As for second and third generations– Us country folk not only need range, but workhorses, too. Think something like a 4X4 “Volt” Tahoe. Something that can haul equipment, pull stumps, carry big game out of the woods, pull a boat. All without needing a drop of petroleum.


  148. 148
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:20 pm)

    147. David Haggard

    I bet GM is thinking about putting an “Omnivorous Engine” into future Volts as the range extender IC engine. It can run on regular gasoline, ethanol, butanol, and probably other “biogasolines” made out of algae, etc.

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/07/argonnes-omnivo.html

    As long as the fuel will explode and move the pistons reliably, they’ll probably consider designing an engine that will work with it. The big problem is the price and availability of these other alternative fuels. Same problem with the “chicken and egg” scenario with hydrogen. Gotta have the infrastructure for these fuels.

    One thing about the Volt though … you might only need to buy fuel for your Volt ONCE a month or so. You might could buy whatever fuel you want at your local Home Depot or Wal Mart someday. In 2 gallon containers or a special pump … at selected stores in the beginning. A “Fuels R Us” retailer maybe? :)


  149. 149
    Unni

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:24 pm)

    K, make it $22k for future, but make sure the 2k went for ensuring the quality of the vehicle and not somebody’s commission or top mgmt pay.

    Man – its time to compete and set new benchmarks in quality not just innovation :-) .


  150. 150
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:25 pm)

    Above are comments about “nuisance factor of plugging in” and that there may not be sufficient “mass appeal” for the Volt.
    Americans dying oversees for oil fields is one thing that any so- called “nuisance factor” would go extremely far to prevent. Shame on that statement!
    As well, every single person I talk to regarding the Volt and Converj about the breathtaking rate of technological change being relentlessly driven by General Motors Corp on the Worlds’ behalf for the green evolution, and for future populations which will have to live in an increasingly hostile planetary environment (due to OUR tolerance for fossil marketeers over the last 8 years where we certainly might have had electric propulsion that much sooner), there is universal excitement for the Volt, Converj, and profound and deep respect for General Motors Corporation.
    Excuse me for saying this, but if anyone has to hide their full name behind some foggy initials to have a flaky say like that has to be someone who lives in a very self-satisfied and overly self-sufficient world.
    Just ask around in an objective manner everyone you know, and you will be surprised that the vast majority of America is open minded and sharp in this regard.
    I invite everyone else who wishes to post to use their full name and city of residence like I do. That way, if you are right, you get credit from you friends. If you are wrong, the friends who are really your friends will casually correct you (which we all need from time to time).
    In being continuously attentive to this valuable site, there was a post some time back that it may be a good idea to suspend the charge cord from the ceiling (or a swing-arm in a parking lot), so that in 5 seconds, you could plug in or unplug your Volt/Converj.
    Thanks for putting up with this “steam” I’ve just let off.
    Dan Petit Austin TX


  151. 151
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    hi CaptJackSparrow #141,

    “I want a pickup. Please make a Colorado EREV. I can’t pay a premium.”

    ________________________

    Which ever Voltec model GM produces will have the same basic cost. This being battery, electric motor, ICE, support electronics, and frame.

    battery ~ $10,000
    motor ~ $5000
    ICE ~ $3000
    electronics ~ $2000
    frame ~ $3000

    All models will sticker at $23,000 minimum. The standard Colorado starts at $18,500.

    Second generation cost:

    battery ~ $8000
    motor ~ $4000
    ICE ~ $2500
    electronics ~ $1500
    frame ~ $2500

    $18,500 for a base model.

    An E-REV Cruze small SUV will sell 200,000 units yearly at $23,000. If this price can be lowered to $17,000 via tax credit then raise the sales number to about 800,000 units yearly.

    http://garfwod.250free.com/Photos/erev%20cruze%20suv.jpg

    =D~


  152. 152
    Frank B

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (7:52 pm)

    MDDave #22

    I agree completely, subcompacts is NOT the norm. So if GM is expecting people to go down the subcompact road, there’re looking at the wrong road signs. Mid-size, a little more luxury is where the norm is. So I really hope that’s the direction they move, The Cadillac Converj really looks nice!


  153. 153
    Alex

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:06 pm)

    I live in Southern California and see the Tesla Roadster everywhere. Seems like GM is mired in mediocrity. They should have let people around here keep their Saturn EV1′s. They loved them!


  154. 154
    MDDave

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (8:47 pm)

    DonC @ 25 Says:

    What the public demands depends on the price of gas. When gas was $4/gallon you saw very few SUVs at the grocery store and even fewer pickup trucks at the office. They’ve crept back since the price of gas has fallen to under $2/gallon. The point here is that larger vehicles are simply a function of gas prices, and if gas prices go up demand for those vehicles will be greatly diminished.

    ————————

    OK… the demand for larger vehicles may go up and down with the cost of gas, but the desire to own one doesn’t change. E-REV technology takes the cost of gas out of the demand equation and replaces it with the cost of a battery. If GM is able to bring down the cost of the E-REV technology in subsequent generations, a $35K E-REV pick-up, SUV or large sedan with the same capabilities as a Volt should be as possible as a $20K E-REV subcompact sedan. I don’t personally want a subcompact sedan at any price, and based on my totally unscientific observations, I don’t think the masses really want one either. What they want are SUVs, trucks and mid-to-large sized sedans.


  155. 155
    statik

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:16 pm)

    #122 RB said:

    Statik, back up there somewhere, forecast that gen 2 would not appear before 2015, I think it was.

    My forecast that gen 2 will appear in a shorter time, about 2 years after gen 1.
    =============================

    What are you talking about…sounds like we both have the same timeframe to me. 2015 is about 2 years after gen 1 hits the road, hehe.

    /you think your going to be driving a Volt before 2013? …and people think I’m crazy!

    (Just kidding ya, RB. I’m sure us faithful early adopters will get one before then. I don’t know if you going to see any Volt’s lazing around car lots much before ’13 though)


  156. 156
    statik

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:37 pm)

    Side note: Why is everyone getting so worked up about him saying nothing, and not committing to a price target for Gen 2 anyway? We still have zero clue on what this gen is going to cost.

    I figured we might get at least a price range at the NAIAS, but we got nothing at all. Leads me to believe that even GM doesn’t know what they can or will price it at.

    However, to be fair, who could at this point? What the heck will the car business be like in 2 years? Even moreso, what about the American economy? Will we be nicely coming out of a 2 year recession? Will we be in the throws of hyperinflation? Will we have returned to a deep depression? Will American Idol season 10 be providing us with the same hilarious hijinks between Paula and Simon…and will my wife continue to make we watch the cursid program 3 nights of the week? I’m a grown man for Pete’s sake…why can’t I watch the Discovery Channel? Am I doomed to watch Mythbusters only in reruns? Can I only see Flight of the Conchords on HBO if I TiVO it, then watch before my friends spoil it for me the next day? I want to watch the WSOP on ESPN, not So You Think you Can Dance like a Celebrity!!! Please future world with electric cars…let their be no more reality TV. C’mon!

    /…sorry, did I get sidetracked there?


  157. 157
    Gunther

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:46 pm)

    If the price of a Volt is determined on volume and they need to increase volume to get the price down, then this is not attainable, GM needs to get the price down on ALL vehicles they sell if they want to continue to sell them. The only way to do this is reduce costs. From their multi-million dollar salary / bonus hungry executives right down to the high price union workers. We live in a world economy folks – corporate greed has long since taken us on the slippery slope of moving high priced jobs to lower cost labor pools. If the US worker wants to compete for jobs, we are all going to need to humble ourselves and take some economic reductions – from the TOP down. Corporate Executive compensation is way out of line and something needs to change or the US will quickly become poverty stricken.


  158. 158
    carcus

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (9:53 pm)

    #156 Statik,

    Let’s just hope your volt will offer the latest in satellite communications:

    “Honey, I’m going to Home Depot to pick up that pallet of pansies you wanted. I could be gone for a while . . . . ”

    AT&T CruiseCast in-car satellite TV service launching this Spring
    http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/11/atandt-cruisecast-in-car-satellite-tv-service-launching-this-sprin/

    (my favorite discoveries are “Extreme Engineering” and “Dirty Jobs”)


  159. 159
    Ole EV Guy

     

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    Jan 30th, 2009 (11:55 pm)

    I’ll still wait for the wheel motors, free piston engine-gen set and ultra caps.


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    RB

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (8:08 am)

    #155 statik —> On 2013, 2015, and years between gen 1 and gen 2
    ——————————————————–

    Actually… you are right. It will be 2013 before there are any real numbers of Volts around, and I hope even by then, so 2015 is about right for gen 2.

    I was just temporarily dazzeled by “carmageddon”.. :)


  161. 161
    JEC

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (8:11 am)

    #154 MDDave

    My big mAsses want a sub-compact E-REV

    FWIW


  162. 162
    JEC

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (8:27 am)

    147 David Haggard

    “As for second and third generations– Us country folk not only need range, but workhorses, too. Think something like a 4X4 “Volt” Tahoe. Something that can haul equipment, pull stumps, carry big game out of the woods, pull a boat. All without needing a drop of petroleum.”
    —————————————————————————————–

    I keep hearing how people want an E-REV truck, and while it is possible, I highly doubt you will see one soon. The Volt is designed to minimize drag for a reason. The amount of energy to propel the vehicle has to me minimized to get the “promised” 40 mile range.

    Now, you want a truck that can haul heavy objects. Well, since basic physics tells you the amount of energy to move this load is directly proportional to the mass of the load, your mileage will suffer greatly. The one good thing would be regen braking, but this will only recover a small percentage of power.

    So, the bottom line is, yes you could buy an E-REV truck with poor aerodynamics and a large payload capacity, but the size of the battery would likely double (or more, but this is a guesstimate) to reach the same 40 mile AER of a Volt.

    Sorry to bring such bad news, but I believe the primary application of the E-REV will be in moving people, not large payloads. The good ole ICE using energy rich petroleum products, will not likely go away anytime soon.


  163. 163
    CDAVIS

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (8:27 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Lyle must be an excellent neurosurgeon if he is as good of a neurosurgeon as he is an investigative reporter.

    I like that Zielinksi guy Lyle interviwed….”balls out”. My comments to Mr. Zielinksi:

    1. Feul Economy + High Performance should not be mutually exclusive under the VOLTEC platform in future devleopment. Other manafauctures will be taking advantage to the inherit high performance benefits of an electric drive train (instant and lineir torque) to deliver “balls out” high performance cars that are also fuel efficent.

    2. The GM development VOLTEC Team has done an excellent job shortening the traditional development cycle. Many automotive analyist are amazed that GM has been able to get as far along the VOLT as they have in such a short period of time…they are amazed that GM will be manafacutirng this car in 2010. Zielinksi and his guys need to half that already impressive devleopment life cycle in order to compete against the smaller more agile Silicon Car startups (ie. Tesla). This will end up being a make or break isue for the VOLTEC devleopment guys.

    3. Continue to allow some transpercy on what the VOLTEC developmnet guys are up to in order to keep the attention/bond of VOLTEC enthusists. Yes there is an agrument that showing your cards benefits the compeition but in today’s instant information/blog world, customer/enthusist connection returns huge markeing benefits at a reletively low cost of reach.

    4. Thanks for dedicating our talents towards the VOLTEC development. This type of technology is essential towards America’s future security viability.
    _____________________________________________________
    Electric Cars + Nuclear Power = American Energy Independence!
    _____________________________________________________


  164. 164
    Paul

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (8:34 am)

    Wow GM is almost caught up to where it was in 1999 with the EV1!! Yoo hooo!!!!!!! I doubt if we will ever even see the Volt in mass production, let alone a generation 2 volt. And GM wants more tax money?????? Get a grip, the management of GM are pillars of the auto industry. They are immovable and always holding things up.


  165. 165
    RB

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (9:34 am)

    #150 Dan Petit says Above are comments about “nuisance factor of plugging in” and that there may not be sufficient “mass appeal” for the Volt.
    Americans dying oversees for oil fields is one thing that any so- called “nuisance factor” would go extremely far to prevent. Shame on that statement!
    As well, every single person I talk to regarding the Volt and Converj about the breathtaking rate of technological change being relentlessly driven by General Motors Corp on the Worlds’ behalf for the green evolution, and for future populations which will have to live in an increasingly hostile planetary environment (due to OUR tolerance for fossil marketeers over the last 8 years where we certainly might have had electric propulsion that much sooner), there is universal excitement for the Volt, Converj, and profound and deep respect for General Motors Corporation.

    —————————————————–
    Perhaps this remark is in reference to my comment #21.
    If indeed “every single person” has “universal excitement” about GM and the Volt, then the introduction will no doubt be wildly successful. I hope that is the case.

    I am however cautious. Where I live, which is in Orange County NC, the largest town is Chapel Hill, a community similar in some respects to Austin. Chapel Hill is filled with people who have similar concerns about world issues and are quick to climb on soap boxes. There is an old joke that NC does not need a zoo, just a fence around Chapel Hill. Watching from where I live outside the fence, however, it seems to me that there are only a few who buy cars based on ideological zeal. Most are very pragmatic, thinking about their needs and their budget.

    Whatever their world outlook, their auto purchases tend to be Toyotas and Hondas. The Prius is successful in CH because its early adopters said it was a good car, so one could be politically correct and also get a car that was distinctive, reliable, and got high gas mileage. It had the advantage of coming from a Toyota dealer, rather than a Chevy dealer.

    The other side is that the Volt will have to climb uphill here. The Volt may do well in CH, or may not. Whatever my own views, I think most people in Orange County are going to think that plugging in every night is a nuisance. I hope that is offset by the fun of driving by filling stations without stopping. If the Volt can also have some performance advantages, that also will greatly help its long-term success. People are going to need something to justify to themselves why they bought an expensive Chevy, which here is not what people normally do.


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    David Haggard

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (10:22 am)

    162 – JEC–
    I keep hearing how people want an E-REV truck, and while it is possible, I highly doubt you will see one soon. The Volt is designed to minimize drag for a reason. The amount of energy to propel the vehicle has to me minimized to get the “promised” 40 mile range.

    148 – GM Volt fan–
    As long as the fuel will explode and move the pistons reliably, they’ll probably consider designing an engine that will work with it. The big problem is the price and availability of these other alternative fuels. Same problem with the “chicken and egg” scenario with hydrogen. Gotta have the infrastructure for these fuels.
    ——————————————————
    JEC didn’t really read what I said. To non-city dwellers, it’s not about “all-electric range.” It’s “total range” and “get off of oil.” It’s not even about economy. Unless electric range pushes 200 miles, it’s of no use to me out here.

    When gas was 4 bucks a gallon, I still HAD to use my Tahoe. It’s nice, but it’s no city truck. For economy, I’ve got an 28-mpg Impala. Or (Isn’t this ironic?) My 430-horse, 530 ft-lb 1988 Firbird, which gets 31 when driven according to EPA testing guidelines, and 26 mpg real-world. But the two cars can’t haul firewood or pull a stump.

    I don’t care if it has a battery at all (other than to start the generator’s motor). I want a vehicle that can do the work and travel we NEED, without using petroleum-based energy.

    Ford is showing a 4X4 F-150 concept right now, using 4 wheel motors and a flex fuel generator. It makes more torque than the present gasoline models. That’s what I’m talking about.

    TRUE flex-fuel systems would mean that infrastructure doesn’t matter. Burn ethanol here in the midwest. As you travel west, burn coal-based methanol. California – hydrogen. Head east – propane. TRUE flex-fuel could burn whatever the local area has available.

    Also, there are true flex-fuel generators available right now. Just Google “Micro Turbine” and see.

    Infrastructure for fuels has always been a convenient excuse not to innovate. Right now, “all-electric range” is serving as the same excuse. There’s something wrong when we have to have something “perfect” and “pretty” before we can put it on the market.

    GM proved with their “mule” that they could have put a serial hybrid on the road years ago. Just put a small motor driving a generator and an electric drive in an existing model, like Impala or Malibu, and GET IT ON THE ROAD! I would have been one of the first in line. Popular Mechanics did it in the 70′s with a 5-horse Briggs & Stratton generator, a 24-volt jet engine starter motor, and a junk minicar (Renault?). It cruised 75 mph and got 150 mpg.

    For travel and errands, I would go for their mule now, as it is now. Who cares if it would only go 10 miles before kicking on the generator?

    Get it on the road NOW, and then add the solar panels, the regenerative braking, the navigation system, the heated cup holders, the refrigerated drink console, the self-cleaning automatic coffee dispenser, and the automatic diaper-changing child seat — LATER!


  167. 167
    TS

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (10:36 am)

    You know with the economy and such why can’t they (GM, Ford, Chrysler) just build a car that gets you from point A to B without all that techno crap that is under $10.000.00 ??? Who wants to have a mortgage that takes you forever to payoff, depreciates 5-10,000 dollars by just signing your name to the title? And when the car is finally paid off it is only worth 2,000.00 or less…All I need is something to get me from Point A to B, keep the rain off, keep me cool when its hot and warm when cold and not cost me a fortune to keep. Going electric should make the car cheaper because electric motors have less complicated parts and are easier to maintain. It is horrible to spend 40k plus on an equivalent electric golf cart. I think all cars are way overpriced.. stop doing so much research and development keep same model for longer and consolidate spare parts between vehicles to cut the cost of production and make parts that last… we have become such a “throw away society” that nothing seems to last past 5 years… As for me I can put an awful lot of gas in my “paid off” truck for the price of a Volt (or other car for that matter)… I’ll keep my paid off truck and probably convert to CNG or Biodiesel somewhere down the line… I doubt I will be signing up for another mortgage on a new vehicle any time in the future… Repaint, Reuse, is the new green…. ts


  168. 168
    John Meschede

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (2:07 pm)

    As I said previously, Nice looking Cobalt. GM is not going to get any more bailout money unless some high ranking GM execs get the ax.All this hype will be a moot point in 60 days or less unless drastic measures are taken. (it doesn’t look GM has the balls to do this). What about the plant that makes the ice for the Volt closing now? The battery GM is using can be much better, GM is just afraid that if they come out with a 200 mile range battery for the Volt they won’t be able to sell their high end vehicles with gas engines.Yeah their suppliers are going to take the brunt of this but, this is about survival. Wake up or die, It’s your choice GM.


  169. 169
    Bob Murray

     

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    Jan 31st, 2009 (3:26 pm)

    How about putting a car out there like the electric Cadillac (look is acceptable) with 4 doors for 40K canadian tops! I will tell you right now, the Volt is worth 20K tops. It’s a Malibu….hello…I don’t car if gas goes up to 7 dollars a gallon, I will keep buying used vehicles and if I have to down grade to a Malibu in 2010,11,12 i will do it (currently own Cadillac STS) no one in the middle class can afford V6 or V8 vehicle at $7 dollars/gallon and commute any distance…(currently drive about 50 thousand kilometers or 30 thousand miles/year). When gas was $5.3/gal I was paying around $1200/month in gas for both my wife and I… GM went under at $4.00/gal in the US…what do you think will happen when gas is $5,$6,$7/gal… Maybe I would consider a used Volt if I HAVE to but you never know, by that time I might not need a car anymore…


  170. 170
    Jake

     

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    Feb 1st, 2009 (3:11 am)

    Awww, but “balls out” high performance sounds so fun! :)


  171. 171
    ken

     

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    Feb 1st, 2009 (8:38 am)

    With GM stock trading at $3, multiple car companies now exploring the electric car concept and the GM execs getting ready to head back for more union welfare money, I really can’t believe this Volt tread can retain any credibility… especially when they’re talking about a Volt 2 when we haven’t even seen a Volt 1 available for sale.

    Does GM mean to imply the Volt 1 will be overpriced crap like the other GM products I’ve mistakenly purchased over the years and that I should wait for the new and improved Volt 2 version available when the bugs have been sorted out on the first guinea pigs suckers who buy Volt 1?

    Sorry GM, your chances are used up.


  172. 172
    Mike

     

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    Feb 1st, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    This is interesting and I am impressed that it will be 20K. Marketing should include the cost savings over five years using electric versus gas fuel. With the current technology, it is valid for GM to concentrate on a very safe, smaller concept for a market that has a short commute. I wonder what the battery life will be and if service of them would be included in the base price. I wonder if the battery design will evolve into a modular concept that can be replaced easily near end of service.


  173. 173
    Beni

     

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    Feb 1st, 2009 (6:24 pm)

    Why does it take so long for GM to start selling the volt? Check out this site (http://www.evxteam.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=26) where a high school transformed a Saturn to plugin hybrid doing 130 miles on a charge and 180mpg.

    How come high school students can do better and faster than a full fledged car company?


  174. 174
    Randy

     

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    Feb 2nd, 2009 (8:20 am)

    Has GM or anyone else thought about making the sunroof a solor panel? I drive 11 miles to work and then the car sits in the parking lot for 9hrs. On a good sunny day the panel could add a little extra, Right?


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    OKCVerne

     

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    Feb 2nd, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    My fully loaded smart convertible cost $18,500 and I’ve been getting 45mpg city/highway combined. I’ll buy a Volt if and when the purchase price and operating costs are equal or less than the smart. So what do I have to wait for, a used 3rd generation Volt???


  176. 176
    hate 2 pay

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    Feb 2nd, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    im not excited about the generation 2 volt because it will not exsist. the gen 1 volt is too expensive at 40k, and gm is betting the farm on a the car. I will pay maybe 50% more for the volt vs a comparable model but when i can buy 4 Nissan’s instead,well i won’t be buying one till there under 25k, ill just keep straining veggie oil for my 26 year old Benz and ride. I really hate doing ,but not as much as buying gas from the Arabs, it id rather spend my time having fun in my new car instead of dumpster diving for oil but come on GM! Make the car affordable, sell it at COST if you have to at first. breaking even is better than loosing money right? get a customer base going and as you start building more the costs come down and you will see a profit. DOSE ANYONE FROM GM READ THIS STUFF COME ON MAN!!!!!!!! Wake up or die!!


  177. 177
    Jonathan Cassidy

     

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    Feb 2nd, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    This is the Volt I want. Maybe it can be the Joule, this being: “amount of energy required to perform”.

    I would rather wait for a small PHEV suitable to my needs than rush to purchase what is too big for me.


  178. 178
    Laurens Laudowicz

     

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    Feb 2nd, 2009 (7:55 pm)

    this is funny:

    - “Who decides what the future goals are?

    The way we did it for Gen 2 is we pulled together the Volt executive leadership like Jon Lauckner (VP of global program development) and Frank Weber (Volt vehilce line executive) and sat down with them to get a vision of where we want to take this car.

    seems awfully awkward AND backward to me. what the heck do we have web 2.0 for if we do not use it for car 2.0? did he ever hear about social / client collaboration? why dont they just ask the people they are apparently building the car for “what they want?” vs. building something an then seeing if it was what “they” wanted….

    well…i guess some things are slow to change…

    aloha

    laurens


  179. 179
    Nick Yarnes

     

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    Feb 3rd, 2009 (2:17 am)

    This car has taken one step forward, and two steps back. People keep saying performance is key, price is key, and its overall look is key. Chevy, you’ve missed all three.


  180. 180
    Nick Yarnes

     

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    Feb 3rd, 2009 (2:25 am)

    This is the Volt I want. Maybe it can be the Joule, this being: “amount of energy required to perform”.

    ………Or, perhaps call it the Calorie.


  181. 181
    Drew

     

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    Feb 4th, 2009 (10:10 am)

    You know the bad news….

    GM will build the car, the demand will be so high that the price eventually will go up, then the price will be much higher than what was said. Then the cost/benifit will be too much for too little. And has anyone seen their sales numbers from last year? Down almost 50%! Let’s hope GM at least stays in business long enough to build this car!

    It seems like GM is going to miss the mark again by not listening to customers. I know SO many people who have owned GM cars who have had nothing but bad experiences. What they should have done was rebuild the EV-1 as a starting point, then begin the process of rolling that technology into a newer and better car.


  182. 182
    Robert

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:18 am)

    Please make a Volt or a Volt class car that I can fit inside! I am 6′ 5″ and you automakers are punishing consumers like me with the sardine can cabin choices you give me. I do not want an SUV….I do not want a monster car, just a regular sized sedan or coupe with decent head and leg room. I looked at the Volt interior stats and am disappointed. Make a coupe that fits only two people perhaps…but gives them both plenty of room. I can count on my hand the number of times in the last 10 years I needed my back seat just to get to work or run chores, and there are many like me in this respect.


  183. 183
    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 9th, 2009 (1:27 pm)

    Smells like supercapacitors. GM always does a head fake.