Apr 14

Rumor: Cadillac Converj and Electric Buick Crossover Approved for Production

 

GM unveiled the strikingly beautiful Cadillac Converj at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The incredibly sleek car uses the same 40 mile AER Voltec propulsion system as the Volt though it is tweaked for higher performance that models indicate it could achieve.

Bob Lutz told GM-Volt.com at the time that he wanted the car to be produced and even acknowledged that the clay models had been built and that its design had the necessary aerodynamics to achieve the 40 mile range. He also noted the car would cost “about two Volts”.

According to MotorTrend, GM has approved moving the car into production. Also the report cites unidentified GM sources as saying that GM also has approved an as yet unseen 7-seat people-mover/crossover as the third Voltec car, most likely under the Buick brand.

The Converj is to be launched in 2011 as a 2012 model and will remain a 2-door coupe.

The Buick is likely to be based on the Chevy Orlando which shares the same compact Delta platform as the Volt. It is a compact yet spacious vehilce that can either haul cargo or easily seat 7, and could likely readily be adapted to the Voltec drivetrain.

In fitting with this, there have also been recent reports that GM will be unveiling a Buick version similar to the Orlando at the Shanghai auto show on April 20th. Perhaps that will be the new Voltec machine.

Spokespeople for GM have not confirmed these assertions and for now they remain rumors.

Source (MotorTrend)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 at 9:00 pm and is filed under Cadillac, Converj, Voltec. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 127


  1. 1
    Campy

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:07 pm)

    first!

    Anyway, can we just get the real volt going and then worry about the even more crazy expensive volts?

    I mean how many people out there want to pay the $20k premium to haul their kids to soccer practice?


  2. 2
    Ron Hall

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:07 pm)

    2nd


  3. 3
    truthguy

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:08 pm)

    If these cars don’t meet your definition of cool, I don’t know what will!
    First to comment!


  4. 4
    GM-fan

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:09 pm)

    I don’t know what to say…

    They are planning ahead for new car while filing for bankruptcy at the same time….

    I wish my ex-company can do that…..they do not get any Government funding and filed bankruptcy…..

    I wonder who can afford “2 Volt” price in 2 years……

    Sorry about the comment


  5. 5
    statik

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:13 pm)

    Motor Trend is a crafty one…and good at math.

    One assumes they told the government that these two cars based on the ‘Voltec’ system were ‘approved for production’ when they submitted that appication for another 2.6 billion from the DoE to build them on April 1st (under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program)

    You probably don’t recieve funding for projects that are considered ‘not approved for production’…and something tells me they become just that (not approved) if they don’t get those same ‘loans’


  6. 6
    ClarksonCote

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:23 pm)

    Interesting… Well on an optomistic note, if they are being genuine in their intent to build these vehicles, the next 5 years might actually bring a real and meaningful shift in vehicle technology from gas to electric as the primary fuel source.

    … that is, if the American dollar has any value at that point. :-p


  7. 7
    Kevin R

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:26 pm)

    I think this is fantastic news. What a beauty that Cadillac is. The crossover will have legions of fans as it positions itself for families.

    I can’t wait to buy my Volt!


  8. 8
    terryk

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:26 pm)

    8


  9. 9
    DrNeu

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    I want coneverj!!!


  10. 10
    statik

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:46 pm)

    Side note: Is it just me or is there getting to be too many darn tags at the end of stuff now?

    AIM FriendFeed Newsvine Ask Google Bookmarks Propeller Backflip Kaboodle Reddit BallHype kIRTSY Segnalo Bebo Link-a-Gogo Simpy Blogmarks LinkedIn Slashdot Delicious Live Spurl Digg Mister Wong StumbleUpon Diigo Mixx Tailrank Facebook Multiply Technorati Fark myAOL Twitter Faves MySpace Yahoo Bookmarks Favorites Netvibes Yahoo Buzz FeedMeLinks Netvouz Yardbarker

    /this internet thing is out of control
    //friggin’ Al Gore


  11. 11
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (9:59 pm)

    Just build my Volt dangit!!!

    If you’re gonna build another car, build a EREV small pickemup truck. EREV Colorado!!!!


  12. 12
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (10:02 pm)

    12.
    Guy Incognito Says:
    April 14th, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Looks like its all coming together does’nt it?
    I mean, not only do the Buick Crossover, Converj, & Volt seem promising, they’re REALISTIC.

    A lineup worthy of the 21st century.

    _-=


  13. 13
    Malamute Wolf

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (10:10 pm)

    I have never considered a crossover or suv till now! And it would be nice to have the room to take all my friends and family places using no gas. Though due to cost, I will be sticking to the volt unless the Buick does not exceed 45k, but im sure it will.


  14. 14
    Arch

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (10:13 pm)

    Well for me all we are getting out of GM is hot air. Build something would you PLEASE! I do not want talk I want product. JMHO

    Take Care
    Arch


  15. 15
    Gary

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (10:19 pm)

    I hope that the Cadillac version will remain a 2-door. A 4-door Volt for practical people, a mini-crossover from Buick for customers who haul more stuff and people, and a 2-door for those more concerned about sexy style.


  16. 16
    guido

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (10:21 pm)

    The Converj is a true work of art – this is a briliant way to leverage this moon-shot technology. I could see these cars drawing stares in Moscow, Paris, Tokyo, and Turin. Build it !!


  17. 17
    wtiger

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (10:33 pm)

    That’s the thing. The big money is already spent developing the volt and setting up the plant. Now to make a different volt tech car on the same platform all they need is to dress it up in different clothes, maybe a more powerful electric motor and some software tweaking. Probably some suspension tweaking too, but that’s easy compared to developing a whole new platform from the ground up.


  18. 18
    ChevySales

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (10:43 pm)

    The Buick Orlando makes more sense than Chevy having 2 Voltec platforms. It should get a name change I think: “Buick e-Lectra II”. Just a thought.


  19. 19
    Steve Townsend

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (10:45 pm)

    Number 19!!!! weeee


  20. 20
    avatar

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (10:50 pm)

    The Buick is definitely on our short list.

    Getting harder to wait for a chance to purchase from GM- our current car will surpass 100,000 miles in less than 2 years and we will NEED a new car. We will give GM, especially Buick at chance!

    Like #14 – BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME!


  21. 21
    Vincent

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (11:01 pm)

    21. Black Jack
    Yeah Baby…
    FRITZ DON’T CHANGE THE DAM CONCEPT MODEL!!!!!!!
    YOUR LOOKING AT HOME RUNS AND THE CLASSICS GM ONE PRODUCED!
    1 Converj 2 door Phaleeeze!

    Here is your “Come Back” GM. Don’t blow it guys.


  22. 22
    Johann

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (11:26 pm)

    Number 22! Yeah! I’m so cool, I get lots of action with my posting stats.

    *sigh*

    I definitely want a crossover style vehicle. I think the idea of
    a) entry level Chevy Volt
    b) mid level Buick x-over
    c) high level Cadillac Converj

    is a great idea.

    Next in the lineup is a GMC truck?


  23. 23
    Mark Z

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (11:48 pm)

    The Converj is spectacular. The future of the electric car is exciting and it is a joy to read the comments as each of us waits another day counting down the days before we can purchase an EV.


  24. 24
    Jim

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (11:52 pm)

    Definitely want the truck erev, but the SRX looks so much better than the buick.

    Converj looks amazing, can’t wait until I can afford one of those.


  25. 25
    gus

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:13 am)

    :-p


  26. 26
    Anthony BC

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:18 am)

    Woooo! No.26! YES!

    Build them GM, We’re all waiting, since we’re not buying til we’re ELECTRIC!

    GO EV!


  27. 27
    Inhaling in L.A.

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:38 am)

    Battery manufactures are going to be busy.


  28. 28
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (1:03 am)

    What is the best ‘Lithium’ stock?


  29. 29
    newbie

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (1:44 am)

    well i guess GM is getting confident now that the voltec system is almost flawless, they spend a lot of money for this development, now its time to dress this system up with new models…make the volt cheap for the masses,… i don’t care about the following models coz i will not buy those anyway…i just want my volt!!!!


  30. 30
    NZDavid

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (2:12 am)

    On the subject of batteries, more money flows!
    It looks like LG plans to make the cells themselves in Detroit.

    The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) Board awarded $543.5 million in tax credits to four battery companies announcing plans to invest more than $1.7 billion in Li-ion manufacturing facilities in the state. The four companies receiving the tax credits and announcing plant plans are Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions LLC; KD Advanced Battery Group LLC; A123Systems Inc.; and LG Chem-Compact Power Inc.

    The state refundable tax credits will help the companies in their quest for some of the $2 billion in federal grants for advanced-battery research and development. Facility locations will be determined pending final site selection decisions by the companies.
    ….

    LG Chem-Compact Power. Korea-based LG Chem, in partnership with its US subsidiary Compact Power (LGC-CPI) and General Motors, has proposed a plan to manufacture lithium-ion battery cells in Michigan. LGC-CPI plans to invest $200 million in the project.

    The MEGA board approved a state tax credit valued at $25.2 million over 15 years and a battery cell state tax credit valued at $100 million over four years.

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/04/mega-20090414.html#more

    LJGTVWOTR
    NO plug, NO sale.


  31. 31
    Lektriktadpole

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (2:58 am)

    This will be the real economic stimulus package. Genuine new products that meet a genuine need, that improve our balance of trade, that produce jobs for Americans in America, and that just happen to accidentally be good for the environment as well. And it will cost hugely less than the Wall Street bailout. That is what real investment is about. Investing in the future.


  32. 32
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (5:37 am)

    Rich people need to spend money on something.
    This way they can feel good about themselves while spending their money.


  33. 33
    FME III

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (5:54 am)

    I’m glad to hear of the rumor, but is anyone really surprised? They’ve been saying they’d extend the tech to other patforms for months.

    Here’s the rumor I want to hear (and come true): The Buick Voltec SUV makes good on GM’s assertions that the Gen 3 Voltec vehicle will cost considerably less than the Volt because of the lower price of batteries et al.

    THAT will be something to cheer about.


  34. 34
    GeorgeB

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (5:55 am)

    The Converj is still a concept car. The styling will get compromised, just like the Volt, until it looks just like a re-badged Volt (maybe with tail fins). Remember the Cadillac Cimmaron…..?


  35. 35
    George K

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:18 am)

    Hi, Rashiid…

    Yes, and I believe that by 2011, people will be feeling better about buying cars, and spending money in general.

    $2 gas has lulled many people into forgetting about conservation of natural resources, and supply and demand realities. Once the recession gets to be old hat, people will go back to driving more, shopping more, etc.. That will cause an other bull market in gas prices, and people will then look to platforms like Voltec to save the day.

    The timing could be just about right.

    =D~~~~


  36. 36
    kingofl337

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:19 am)

    I don’t see why they don’t sell the Cruise with a 20 mile AER for like 25k. I mean they have already done 90% of the R&D using that model. They could use that platform as a mass market plug in hybrid. If you need more millage just move up to the volt.
    GM could have two Plug in Hybrids ready to launch for 2010.


  37. 37
    koz

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:19 am)

    Look for A123 cells in the Converj. The rebadged Orlando should be a Pontiac if it is going to look similar to that but pricing makes more sense for Buick. If it does come out as a Buick, I hope the develop a more refined look. The functionality is great, though.


  38. 38
    RB

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:28 am)

    The Converj is a beautiful concept car. I hope it becomes real.
    So far there’s no substance to it, but I suppose that can change quickly.


  39. 39
    mikeinatl.

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:39 am)

    #36 kingofl

    Excellent idea.

    If 80% of people drive 40 miles or less daily, I wonder how many drive 20 miles or less. I bet its millions.

    A 20 mile AER that costs $25k (or $18k after the rebate) sounds very appealing. Especially if it gets 50 mpg or more while on the generator.

    And, as you point out, most of what it would take to do this is already developed.

    Then add the pickup truck to that product line with Cruise,Volt, Converj, Buick crossover and you’ve got yourself a product line to rule the market.


  40. 40
    BillR

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:42 am)

    I think it is great to see a diversified offering, as not everyone is in the market for a compact like the Volt.

    With all these recent developments, I wonder what GM might do to increase the performance of the Converj?

    1) Use the new rapid charge/discharge Li-Ion technology from MIT
    2) Increased traction motor power
    3) Use lightweight materials like aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber (as used in Corvette ZR1)
    4) Use a capacitor for sudden bursts of power
    5) Add small motors to the rear wheels for AWD plus added acceleration
    6) A transmission with low gears for faster acceleration, but high gears providing good cruise economy (maybe a CVT)
    7) Use both battery and ICE power simultaneously to power the traction motor(s).

    It seems to me that GM could offer the performance of the Tesla S model (0 to 60 in 5.6 sec) at nearly the same price level ($65,000 for the premium model of the Tesla S).

    Certainly makes for interesting discussion!


  41. 41
    Jim I

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:55 am)

    Caddy is really beautiful, but way out of my price range….

    :(


  42. 42
    Schmeltz

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:58 am)

    KEEP’UM COMING!!!

    I hope the rumors are true for the Converj and the Buick. Bring it!


  43. 43
    MDDave

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (7:39 am)

    I guess that’s the Orlando in the picture… They really need to tone down the grill. And enough with the port holes–I know they are Buick’s signature, but they look dated and out of place. If they are going for the stodgy, dated look, why not put whitewalls on it while they are at it.


  44. 44
    ArkansasVolt

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (7:39 am)

    I will take 2 Buick Crossovers… one in gray and the other in blue.

    Thank you!


  45. 45
    Schmeltz

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (7:44 am)

    I was just thinking, if GM is truly serious about keeping the Buick division in its fold, it virtually has no choice but to offer a Voltec vehicle. I’m not sure who crafted up the picture above, but I think that’s an attractive looking vehicle. It is hard to say if typical Buick clientele would consider a vehicle like this though. Perhaps GM is trying to score a different clientele to bring into Buick show rooms. I guess we need to see where GM lands in the next 3-4 months after all the dust clears.


  46. 46
    Joe

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (7:46 am)

    The plasma televisions were extremely expensive when they first came out and look at them now. I believe the same thing will happen to the Voltec system. Being a retired engineer from GM, I know of no one better than GM in having the knowledge how to automate production and bring the prices down.

    Good Luck GM. After you shed your unfair disadvantages, show the world what your really made of. Look out Toyota and Honda!


  47. 47
    dc

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (7:48 am)

    Well, the Volt was pretty hot too when it was first unveiled at the auto show – less so now that it looks like a Prius. I’ll withhold judgment till I see the final version.


  48. 48
    PLJ

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (7:51 am)

    I absolutely LOVE that Converj.

    Heck, I LOVE Cadillacs.

    The Converj will look good parked in my garage next to my other gorgeous Caddy!

    GO GM

    GO VOLT

    GO CONVERJ!


  49. 49
    statik

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (7:54 am)

    #10 Statik (me)

    I was just kidding about the tags btw.

    I don’t know how effective getting the word out they all are…but the ‘Diggs’ and the ‘Tweets’ can get Lyle some nice hits on the site (up to a million I am told for a front page listing on Digg)…which gets the ‘movement’ some fresh eyeballs and maybe some new commentators (because quite frankly I am getting bored with some of you).

    So if you have a moment, and you don’t hate the thread…it can’t hurt to ‘Digg’ the article (takes about 5 seconds to do)


  50. 50
    Schmeltz

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:03 am)

    Cadillac Converj is a GIGANTIC no-brainer IMO.

    GM: Excellent job on styling the Converj. Wouldn’t change a thing, especially the interior. This car will compete directly with the Tesla S, with an expansive and ubiquitous dealer network and the abscence of Range Anxiety to your credit. And the car is a looker to boot! You got some decent momentum with those factors alone—so don’t lose it!


  51. 51
    banjoez

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:04 am)

    The Converj concept does looks fabulous……just like the Volt concept looked. Now look at the production Volt……doesn’t even resemble the original concept and is much more mainstream. I wouldn’t hold my breath……


  52. 52
    Guido

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:13 am)

    Statik, Your posts on the previous thread regarding GM timing on the Volt program are absolutely absurd – GM is done an incredible job up to this point, and appears on the threshold of delivering on their moonshoot with our beloved Volt. Why do you always insist on trying to slander this great effort ? Is it simply more US envy from another quirky Canadian, or do you own that much Toyota stock ?


  53. 53
    old man

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:17 am)

    This has to be an aw sh*t moment for Tesla and the model S dept. I do not think they can compete against the Caddy Converj. This belief is based on Tesla’s history with the price guess being way low when first stated, and then the restated price after the reality of manufacturing cost is actually known.

    I have no ill will against Tesla and do believe they will be a successful but small player for now. I can not fight their success with making BEV a real product that most wish they could afford as a second car. I know that most just can’t get past this range issue, including me.


  54. 54
    Fahrvergnugen Fanboy

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:20 am)

    “I wonder who can afford “2 Volt” price in 2 years…”

    Fear not, the poorer the middle class gets, the richer the rich will get. As the Good Book says, “the rich you will have with you always.” Or something like that…


  55. 55
    Adrian

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:22 am)

    Good cars. Good decisions. Build vehicles you can charge enough so to earn a profit. Novel idea.
    Happy Tea day to all.


  56. 56
    Mitch

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:24 am)

    #1 Campy

    “I mean how many people out there want to pay the $20k premium to haul their kids to soccer practice?”

    When the h-e- 2x hockey sticks was the last time you went to a soccer field? believe me BIG SUV’s far outnumber smart cars and mini’s (and darn near ANYTHING else COMBINED!!)…they are already paying 20k+ premiums for hauling kids to soccer practice…

    Sorry, but that is a really bad comment..


  57. 57
    statik

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:37 am)

    #52 Guido said:

    Statik, Your posts on the previous thread regarding GM timing on the Volt program are absolutely absurd – GM is done an incredible job up to this point, and appears on the threshold of delivering on their moonshoot with our beloved Volt. Why do you always insist on trying to slander this great effort ? Is it simply more US envy from another quirky Canadian, or do you own that much Toyota stock ?
    ================

    There is a time and a place…and that is on the last thread (at best). No sense coming to a new thread with a unsolicited opinion on my opinions…no one wants to read that.

    As for my opinions in the last thread: I did not put my opinion of the timing forward in a ‘effort to slander,’ nor did I bring it up randomely…I was responding to another poster (#82) who called me out directly by name, so I responded in a clear manner with supporting linkage directly to that same poster to support my opinion.

    Your statement of “Is it simply more US envy from another quirky Canadian, or do you own that much Toyota stock?” is childish at best…and also ironic, as you are calling me out on slander. For the record: I respect the US, I love Canada…and I don’t own a single share of anything right now.


  58. 58
    statik

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:52 am)

    Personally, I like the Buick the best of the lot of them. A 7 seat SUV/van seems like the perfect application for E-Rev.

    An SUV price tag is inherently higher and has a big range, it would seem easier to ‘slip’ the cost of the tech inside it. You can buy a SUV with very similar performances for $25,000 to $50,000. Whereas the Volt is a small car, on small car architecture…the Volt in ‘non electrified’ form retails around $17,000 (Cruze less a seat).

    Additionally, while ‘gas math’ never adds up completely, it is easier seeing the benefit of going 40 miles AER/30MPG in a 7 seater that normally gets 20 MPG, than a 4 seat Volt getting 40/50MPG as compared to a standard 5 seat 35MPG Cruze.

    Only part I don’t like is the label. The Buick tag means more premium $$$ than a Chev one. Would rather have seen the E-Rev released under the Orlando banner.

    I’m guessing it fits in between the two somewhere. We have the Volt at 37-40K (pre-rebates), the Converj at 74-80K (pricing at ’2 volts’ according to Lutz) and the Buick slides in around 50k


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:54 am)

    #57 Statik

    Yeah, right….I’d try and run and hide from your comments yesterday as well. They were absolutely absurd – I think you need to reconsider your objectives, and consider quality of posts versus quantity. This isn’t the “Statik” show.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:59 am)

    #6 ClarksonCote

    Actually, a weak dollar would be the best thing that could happen to GM. If the dollar fell 25% against the yen, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc., would have to raise their prices at least 15% (maybe not right away, but in the long term), and GM, Ford, and Chrysler (if they’re still around) would all regain market share.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (9:10 am)

    #52 Guido

    Damn it!

    Why in he!! do you want to make the ugly american type statements?

    You need to go to Canada few times before making disrespectfull statements. I have been there many times both for business and on holiday and have found most Canadians to be enjoyable and respectful people. US envy is a redicules statement. Why would they envy us when most of their values are lot like our. And their standard of living is as good as ours.

    Regarding static, I do not allways agree with him and actually look forward to disagreeing with him. My disagreements are presented as respectfully as he allways presents his views.

    Damn, we have enough people in the world not liking us without your help.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (9:23 am)

    Can’t wait for the Converj to be released. Obviously the Volt is just a utility vehicle with barely acceptable performance numbers. The Caddy looks like it might be able to actually hang with a Tesla Roadster. Schweeet.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (9:24 am)

    #61 old man said:

    Damn it!

    Why in he!! do you want to make the ugly american type statements?

    You need to go to Canada few times before making disrespectfull statements. I have been there many times both for business and on holiday and have found most Canadians to be enjoyable and respectful people. US envy is a redicules statement. Why would they envy us when most of their values are lot like our. And their standard of living is as good as ours.

    Regarding static, I do not allways agree with him and actually look forward to disagreeing with him. My disagreements are presented as respectfully as he allways presents his views.

    Damn, we have enough people in the world not liking us without your help.
    ===========================

    Its ok old man (that seems wrong to say, lol).

    Thanks for the support, but he brought this to the new thread rather than responding in the old one to get attention. I’ve said my bit to him and I am just going to leave it at that, we should probably just let it be.

    I harbor no ill will really to him at all, and hopefully everything will be ‘kosher’ going forward. I really don’t want this thread to end up a ‘statik’ or ‘guido’ thread, lol.

    Hopefully this was just a mild diversion and the thread can return to normal…or maybe Lyle has a little ‘test drive’ thread he could maybe put up today that would bury this in the past (with lots of pictures too) hrm? What do you say Lyle? Is it time? hehe


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (9:28 am)

    Following up on #5 statik, the reorganization plan listed two additional Voltec platform vehicles. If the plan is approved then you could say that production had been approved.

    In any event, Voltec is a great platform, GM is ahead, and there is no reason not to run with it.

    #11 CaptJackSparrow says “build a EREV small pickemup truck”

    I don’t think any company would want to bring out a pickup at this time. Batteries only hold so much energy, and people are want to overload their pickups. A couple of years ago I saw a small pickup with a big roll of carpet on top. The load was so heavy the axle was bowing. The guy started to make a left turn in front of me when something snapped — maybe the axle. (Not sure but it wasn’t good).

    And how many times have you seen a small pickup trying to tow an obviously too large trailer?

    My guess is that people would overload the trucks and then be extremely unhappy at the results. CUVs and even vans are better because, while overloading would still be a problem, people don’t try to do the same crazy things with them. (For example, you don’t want a van …. LOL).


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (9:36 am)

    Despite the media’s daily pounding of our senses that we are in a recession there are plenty of Americans that can afford a real EV like the Converj with all the appropriate amenities. Most large American companies are still giving out substantial bonuses this year, so we got the jack to cover our need for speed and still be environmentally friendly. Just remember to stay out of my way at the stop light with my insta-torque EV ready to lay down some serious rubber (don’t worry that rubber i will be embedding in the asphalt can be recycled) !


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (9:43 am)

    Good read over at CNN Money regarding the battery industry. Sort of a wake-up call kind of article, and probably not much new ground there for avid readers on this subject, but still a pretty good synopsis none the less. Here’s the link if anyone is interested:

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/14/technology/keegan_battery.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2009041506


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (9:48 am)

    I think GM has to show future vehicles as a way of saying they are worthy of saving. Future vehicles are great and I can see the need for both of these two, but GM really needs to put a lot of resources into bringing the Cruze, the Volt and an improved Impala to market. The Voltec system is great, but it is not going to be a money maker for GM for several years. In the meantime GM has to put effort into their existing car lines and improve them as necessary.

    At the same time, they must keep their truck lines fresh enough to not seem stale or they will lose market share. It is a tough act to balance properly with the limited resources available to GM. I would not want to be in charge of that situation without plenty of money to finance all these products.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (9:49 am)

    #64 DonC said:

    Following up on #5 statik, the reorganization plan listed two additional Voltec platform vehicles. If the plan is approved then you could say that production had been approved.

    In any event, Voltec is a great platform, GM is ahead, and there is no reason not to run with it.
    ====================

    Sure, I agree with that. Chicken or egg I suppose.

    And for the record, the Voltec is a pretty good idea/platform. I personally have low standards apparently (lol) and will take any BEV, and have no ‘range anxiety’…but that certainly cannot be said for most. In that regard E-Rev is the only option right now.

    I figure before you see widespread adoption of BEVs they need to have at least 400 miles of range…and today, that would translate into probably a 1,600 pound, $25,000 battery, not that practical to say the least.

    The E-Rev concept certainly has a place for quite awhile. And who really knows the reality of when batteries will be available in large quantities and for cheap, we always say they will be coming down quickly (economics of scale and all that)…but if the demand for EVs is as high as we believe, the cost may come down, but the demand premium may go up.

    I still figure the E-Rev is a go between technology, and has a shelf life of around 10 years before it is supplanted, but whose to say it could not also be 20 or 25? Besides that, no reason Volt v3.0 can’t be a full BEV as well as a E-Rev (if GM finds the right mix to stay viable of course).


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (10:11 am)

    #32 Rashiid Amul

    “Rich people need to spend money on something.
    This way they can feel good about themselves while spending their money.”
    —————————————-

    Are you speaking from experience, Rashiid? If so, good for you. If not, I hope you get there one day.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (10:12 am)

    Let our Bosses pay the freight for the drivetrain research so we don’t have to; sure. The crossover needs some styling work, but of course the idea is terrific.

    Don’t look for trucks until well after Gen II. The money isn’t there to develop them, for one thing. They’ll need more battery storage for another (see ‘money’), and this will also be far too heavy and large before the packs get smaller for the same or better power.

    I’m thinking that electrified trucks, when they appear, may be only partly Voltec; with the engine used by default at higher speeds. They’ll also likely require 220V for full overnight charging, which won’t faze a “serious” truck user, but might give pause to the ‘suburban cowboy.’


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (10:12 am)

    I would love , if they take styling clues for the Buick 7 seater from flextreme concept. Flextreme looked better :-)

    Off the news :

    BYDs CEO drunk battery fluid :
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/14/wang-chuan-fu-byds-ceo-drinks-battery-fluid-to-prove-a-point/


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (10:15 am)

    Given the recent test drives, work beginning on gen 2 and 3 batteries, and Volt variants approved, it sounds as if everything is going well.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (10:44 am)

    OPEC is complaining that the global demand for oil is shrinking for the first time in 54 years:

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.8283223ec5de57b966fde49a15024b53.4d1&show_article=1

    Imagine the year 2020 when we don’t need to import foreign oil at all… I hope they enjoy drinking the stuff.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (10:51 am)

    I keep thinking/hoping Lyle will have his test drive up every time I “refresh” this page. Any idea about how long the embargo will go???

    I know, I know…”A watched pot never boils”…but c’mon already.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (10:56 am)

    #68 statik says “that would translate into probably a 1,600 pound, $25,000 battery, not that practical to say the least.”

    If this were true then I’d agree with you on the future success of BEVs. But your swag seems off the mark by a good bit. The numbers are fairly unforgiving. If we are aggressive and assume that you need only 250 watts per mile, then you’d need 100 kWh to go 400 miles. With current technology and prices that means you’d need a battery that weighs 2400 pounds and costs $100,000. Additionally, you’d need a much larger motor and far heavier duty electronics, which would add a lot of bucks to the cost of the vehicle.

    As to timing, batteries have been doubling in energy and halving in price every eight years. Even if we assume that the eight year period will drop to five years, which isn’t that realistic, in ten years you still have a battery that costs $25,000 and weighs 600 pounds. But realistically we probably won’t be able to get to even this point for another fifteen years.

    Note that by this point an E-REV will have a battery that costs a couple of thousand bucks and weighs a hundred pounds.

    For these economic reasons my guess is that E-REVs (or other PHEVs) will rule either in conjunction with gas or some type of bio-fuel for the foreseeable future. Given that BEVs have such low running costs, depending on the costs of alternative fuels, E-REVs may, in some form or another, hang around for the next one hundred years. [Note: Just thought of this, but this is the forecast of the DOE. Over the next twenty years it forecasts a high number of 10 and 20 mile range PHEVs but virtually no BEVs. Not sure of the exact reasoning but probably similar to the above.]


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    #49 Statik

    “(because quite frankly I am getting bored with some of you)”
    ————-

    OK. I know you are talking about me so why not just say it. Don’t leave everyone else wondering if it was them. Hey, guys! It is not you Statik is bored with, it is me. Right, Statik?

    One thing for sure, my friend, is that YOU are never boring on this site. Your wife might disagree with me, but on this site, you the man!


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (11:06 am)

    I have been thinking about a Volt BEV. Don’t think it will happen UNLESS. How about a drop in ICE generator that could be rented from the dealer. With correct quick connect electrics and a software alteration this would be doable. The BEV Volt would have to come with a gas tank and a quick disconnect. If the drop in could be done in about 2 hours and could be rented for about $30.00 a day even I would consider such an animal. I would need this about 3 times a year.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (11:08 am)

    I have a question. So if this erj car is to be produced, are they going to bump up the performance? If not, then why even spend the extra $$$ on cosmetics?
    That’s like putting good makeup on trailer trash.

    lol…..ahahahahahaha!!!!

    But seriously though….


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (11:09 am)

    #58 Statik

    “Only part I don’t like is the label. The Buick tag means more premium $$$ than a Chev one. Would rather have seen the E-Rev released under the Orlando banner.”
    ———————–

    I agree. But, to be fair to GM, they are caught with coming up with something for the Buick line to make it “green” also. A Orlando style vehicle with Voltec power train technology with a Buick name plate will sell for at least $10,000 over the same vehicle with a Chevrolet name plate. I can understand the “need” GM feels for keeping the Buick line, but, personally, I think they would be better off dropping it and the GMC line. But, we have gone to that water trough many times over the last several months. GM seems intent on keeping the Buick and GMC lines and they must come up with vehicles to support them. Plus, keeping those two lines keeps the Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealerships open. With Pontiac slated for niche status, those dealers need the Buick and GMC lines to have a reason to be open. GM was kind of caught in a “damned if they do and damned if they don’t” situation. They just took the easy way out and the one that might cost a lot less than trying to shut down all those Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealerships.

    Edited: Plus, of course, Buick still sells pretty good. They have a lot of loyal customers that would have to look else where for new cars and might feel like they were buying down when looking at a “cheap” Chevrolet. And Cadillac is just a little too expensive. Buick always appealed to those people who really wanted to buy a Cadillac, but could not afford one. And there are a lot of them.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (11:14 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Lyle Said:
    […Bob Lutz told GM-Volt.com at the time ….the car would cost “about two Volts”….]
    ——

    At ~$40K/Volt (as floated by GM) the Volt is ~40% price premium (compared to a Chevy Malibu Hybrid). Also ~40% premium for the Converj if at 2x$Volt.

    Will the common guy pay a ~40% premium for a Voltec car? Answer: No

    Will the un-common guy (early adopter) pay a ~40 premium for a Voltec car? Answer: Yes last year ago but very few today.

    What has changed since last year?

    Half of all American private equity has vanished. Yesterday’s “rich guys” are today struggling to pay their bills. The field is starting to get crowded with regards to 2010/2011 EV/EREV offerings. Gas is ~$2/gl. Translation: Play cash is gone, the Volt won’t be the only girl at the dance, and most consumers beleive $2/gas is reasonable.

    So how will this impact the Voltec Program?

    Today’s economic landscape places a higher emphasis on pocked-book “value proposition”. The pundits and car review venues are in the process of evaluating and establishing what “value proposition” label should be attached to the Voltec offerings.

    Fewer idealists (early Voltec adopters) will be willing to pay for their idealism with their pocket books. Most of the guys on Lyle’s Volt Wait List strongly believe that the Volt will make this a better world to live in but they will end up waiting until the Volt is in near parity “value proposition” wise to a standard commodity car before they actually go out and purchase a Volt.

    So will GM be able to underwrite the generation 1&2 pricing of the Voltec offering to make it attractive in today’s economic landscape?

    Sell A Bunch*:
    Volt: ~$30,000
    Converj: ~$55,000

    Sell Very Few*:
    Volt: ~$40,000
    Converj: ~$75,000

    *Price points exclude tax goodies (because it’s an overly abstract benefit for most American’s).
    ______________________________________________________


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (11:20 am)

    #61 old man

    Ditto for me too. Canada is a great country and the few Canadians I have met have been good sensible people. I don’t think any Canadians have a “U.S. envy” problem. If anything we in the States should envy Canadians in many ways. I look forward to a time when I can travel to Canada and see some of the beautiful country I have seen on TV and in the movies. Canada is one of our closest allies and should always remain our best trading partner. Thank you, Canada, for all that you have been to us here in the United States. I don’t always agree with Canadian policies, but I always want them to be our best friend.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (11:28 am)

    #81 N Riley

    If you get to Canada you need to see beautiful Quebec City. One of the best towns to have a historical sense. Just love all those stone buildings!


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (11:40 am)

    *UPDATE: GM spokesman David Darovitz told AutoBlogGreen “The status of the Cadillac Converj concept has not changed – it’s still a concept vehicle undergoing a review that has not yet concluded. ”

    Linkage – http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/15/cadillac-converj-reportedly-approved-for-production/


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (11:43 am)

    I just want to be the first to say this:

    “GM – Let Lyle Have A Test Drive In The Converj!!!”

    OK – now I feel better…..


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    #66 Schmeltz

    Thanks for the link. Interesting reading even if I don’t completely agree with the story’s conclusions.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:16 pm)

    #30 NZDavid

    Thanks for the link to the battery-manufacturing announcements. That is really great news. I remember a particular comment by a Frenchman – Bernard-Levy. He was making a tour of America with the idea of ‘redoing’ deToqueville’s famous commentary on America. One thing that amazed him was that we would simply allow some of our cities to crumble into ruin (Buffalo, Detroit, etc.). Hopefully Detroit will get a boost.

    #78 DonC

    It is pure speculation on my part, but I think you are too pessimistic on battery development. They may have improved at a certain pace in the past, but the interest is much higher now. Although they are just ‘laboratory experiments’ at present, developments like Professor Cui at Stanford (higher energy density) and the recent work at MIT (higher charging/discharging rates — forgot the names) make me feel that there are real breakthroughs possible and that we are not facing fundamental limitations of physics. Meanwhile, the incremental developments are impressive as well.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    I have no interest in a Cadillac or a Buick. If they help GM to make money and survive, so much the better, but they are not for me. I really hope for a light commercial vehicle to replace my S-10. And I’m not about to use a Buick “crossover” for a business vehicle.

    #11 CaptJackSparrow:

    Once again, I agree.

    #64 DonC:

    I use an S-10 every day for commuting and light parts running. 40 mile AER would be perfect for me. I never overload it, and never tow a trailer with it. We have other trucks to haul heavy loads and tow trailers. I have driven the S-10 222K miles in 9 years. I submit that most S-10/Colorado sized trucks are used more in this way. Businesses run a lot of miles, and could save a lot of gas with this technology.

    #73 CorvetteGuy:

    I believe that it was the legendary Saudi Oil Minister Zaki Yamani, when advising OPEC not to get too greedy on pricing, who famously said:

    “The Stone Age did not end because they ran out of stones.”

    We look to the day!


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:39 pm)

    #30 NZDavid:

    Yeah, thanks for the cool link. Sorry to be a little slow.

    #81 N Riley:

    Any country which can produce Doug and Bob McKenzie and Tommy Chong can’t be all bad. Almost as funny as statik, LOL.

    Not to mention Ian & Sylvia, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, kd lang Buffy Ste. Marie, and the list goes on forever.

    And how about the great Gilles Villenueve, who many believe to have been the most exciting racing car driver ever. Or his son Jacques, Indy 500 and F1 World Championsip winner. Or Paul Tracy, a little more my type – checkers or wreckers, baby!

    A pretty high rate of talent per capita, IMHO.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:39 pm)

    #75 DonC said:

    #68 statik says “that would translate into probably a 1,600 pound, $25,000 battery, not that practical to say the least.”

    If this were true then I’d agree with you on the future success of BEVs. But your swag seems off the mark by a good bit. The numbers are fairly unforgiving. If we are aggressive and assume that you need only 250 watts per mile, then you’d need 100 kWh to go 400 miles. With current technology and prices that means you’d need a battery that weighs 2400 pounds and costs $100,000. Additionally, you’d need a much larger motor and far heavier duty electronics, which would add a lot of bucks to the cost of the vehicle.

    As to timing, batteries have been doubling in energy and halving in price every eight years. Even if we assume that the eight year period will drop to five years, which isn’t that realistic, in ten years you still have a battery that costs $25,000 and weighs 600 pounds. But realistically we probably won’t be able to get to even this point for another fifteen years.

    Note that by this point an E-REV will have a battery that costs a couple of thousand bucks and weighs a hundred pounds.

    For these economic reasons my guess is that E-REVs (or other PHEVs) will rule either in conjunction with gas or some type of bio-fuel for the foreseeable future. Given that BEVs have such low running costs, depending on the costs of alternative fuels, E-REVs may, in some form or another, hang around for the next one hundred years. [Note: Just thought of this, but this is the forecast of the DOE. Over the next twenty years it forecasts a high number of 10 and 20 mile range PHEVs but virtually no BEVs. Not sure of the exact reasoning but probably similar to the above.]

    =====================
    100 kWh to go 400 miles – 2400 pounds and costs $100,000 is not a reasonable assumption…under all circumstances, but it is on some others.

    For myself, I’m going to go with some real world or at least working prototype BEVs that are ‘range concious’ to get a decent metric.

    The iMiev goes 100 miles on 16kWh…if you have a unbelievably light right foot (or 81 miles real world on usage of an allowable 12.8 kWh, with the remaining 3 always in reserve)
    http://wot.motortrend.com/6513327/auto-shows/all-electric-mitsubishi-imiev-coming-to-us-executive-confirms/index.html

    The Dodge Circuit gets 150-200 miles range (depending on how you drive it 150 in normal, 200 eco) on a 26kWh pack…and is wicked fast.
    http://stadium.weblogsinc.com/autoblog/pdfs/Chrysler_EV_Spec_Sheet.pdf

    The gearing of performance, is the largest factor in determining range (along with cd and weight).

    Using the iMiev as a base to work from it could get 400 miles under a pack of about 65kW, (depending on if the reserve stays a stagnant 3.2 kW or is scaled up to a larger percentage) Using the Circuit as a base, it could go 400 miles on 52 kWh.

    As for the weight:
    The weight of the Volts 16kWh pack and casing is 170 kg (or 375), so a pack of 65kWh would be a total 1,525 pounds or add 1,140 pounds to the iMiev set, and 1,218 total or 843 pounds more in a Circuit. Both of these vehicle even with the added weight, would be lighter than the Volt. (The iMiev being the heavier of the two at 2,350 pounds…GM estimates the Volt weighs a estimated 3,500).

    Volt battery weight announcement:
    http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet?target=http://image.emerald.gm.com/gmnews/viewpressreldetail.do?domain=39&docid=44828

    In the end I think the determining factor is just what type of car are you producing:

    If you want a aggresively fast car, that also looks the part, you wire it as such, let people mash the acceleration and get a response and have a higher cd….thats a 100kWh pack for sure.

    If you want a ‘decent’ car, (I’m thinking Prius type acceleration…not great, but acceptable) you govern the performance accordingly, limit throttle response and keep the cd low…..thats more like a 60kWh pack.

    /just my opinion


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:56 pm)

    I don’t think looking at the current financial condition of GM that they will really be putting these cars to production any time soon.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    Large electric pickups.. first of all, the diesel engine in a Dodge Ram PU weights over 1000lbs, so that will give you an idea. I dont think that includes the transmission, driveshaft and differentials.

    Assuming a large truck with high drag uses .4kwh per mile of range, 300 mile range would require a 120kwh pack.. assume we only use 90% of the charge (for A123 cells) that increases the pack to 130kwh. The pack would weigh about 2800lbs, cost from A123 would be… a lot. Assuming we use BYD cells then its about $43k.

    The weight is not an issue, most PU would probably benefit from the extra weight, but the cost is .

    So I think a Volt style serial hybrid would be a better idea.. size the genset for the desired towing performance. Since it will seldom be used dont worry too much about the size of the genset required.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    #79 N Riley said:

    I agree. But, to be fair to GM, they are caught with coming up with something for the Buick line to make it “green” also. A Orlando style vehicle with Voltec power train technology with a Buick name plate will sell for at least $10,000 over the same vehicle with a Chevrolet name plate. I can understand the “need” GM feels for keeping the Buick line, but, personally, I think they would be better off dropping it and the GMC line. But, we have gone to that water trough many times over the last several months. GM seems intent on keeping the Buick and GMC lines and they must come up with vehicles to support them. Plus, keeping those two lines keeps the Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealerships open. With Pontiac slated for niche status, those dealers need the Buick and GMC lines to have a reason to be open. GM was kind of caught in a “damned if they do and damned if they don’t” situation. They just took the easy way out and the one that might cost a lot less than trying to shut down all those Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealerships.

    Edited: Plus, of course, Buick still sells pretty good. They have a lot of loyal customers that would have to look else where for new cars and might feel like they were buying down when looking at a “cheap” Chevrolet. And Cadillac is just a little too expensive. Buick always appealed to those people who really wanted to buy a Cadillac, but could not afford one. And there are a lot of them.
    ===============================
    I agree with you here. The Buick has a better margin built into the name…for selfish reasons, I want a plain old Orlando with ‘Voltec’ as a option.

    There is a certain damage in polluting the image of the E-Rev if the cheapest version starts at 40K for a small car, then goes 60K for a SUV and 80K for a Cadillac.

    While people say things now like “I can’t really afford a Cadillac, I’ll buy a Buick…or I can buy a Buick, I’ll buy a Chev” that wouldn’t apply for E-Rev. The base Volt is already well into the starting price for even a Cadillac SUV, let alone a CTS (SRX is $41,000 MSRP, on sale practically 24/7 (and now) for $38,000 and as low as $35,000 when red tag/employee pricing, etc is in effect every other week). All potential buyers of a Volt, are already in the ‘Cadillac sweet spot’…any new brands at a higher price are even further into the ‘Cadillac range’…the Converj and maybe even the Buick SUV are higher than the Cadillac range. Volume has to be a issue here at some point (the ‘craze’ for ultra high end EVs with not last nearly as long as the ‘craze’ for reasonably priced EVs, because they are outnumbered probably 500 to 1)

    I’d really like to see something to complete out the line and at least make EVs/E-Revs ‘appear’ more accessible. Something like a 10 mile AER Cruze, with no Voltec technology (no ICE running the generator, ICE running the wheels…old school) for cost reasons. Just something basic…a 4 kWh pack tied to a electric motor. 10 mile AER/35 MPG. Retail it for $20K


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (1:38 pm)

    #89 statik

    You are so critical sometimes and not at all critical at other times. If you stop reading all these press releases and look behind the curtain at the numbers, it is clear that the i-Miev is not going to go 100 miles with a 16 kWh battery pack in North America. In some places in the world perhaps but not in NA. Why do you think Mitsubishi isn’t bringing the i-Miev to NA?

    The numbers are irrefutable. The average driver in the US uses about 300 watts per mile. A driver with a more aggressive style like US06 will use 400 watts per mile. The RAV-EV, when driven conservatively by an experienced driver trying to maximum range, uses almost 200 watts per mile. The EV1, which has a Cd of .19, had trouble using less than 300 watts per mile in ordinary SoCal driving. The Tesla, which is very light, only manages to get 150 watts per mile when going between 10 mph and 30 mph. Slower or faster and it uses more. At 75 mph it burns almost 350 watts per mile. Since I can’t imagine anyone wanting to go 400 miles at 25 mph, my suggestion of 250 watts per mile for a 400 mile range was designed to give a BEV every possible break.

    The only BEV which makes any sense in the US is the Aptera. It seats only two, weighs 1700 pounds with a battery pack, and has a mind-blowing Cd of .15. So it has a shot at being able to have a range of 100 miles. But even that vehicle apparently wouldn’t get a 100 mile range with a 16 kWh pack, which is why Aptera, after testing, has now increased the size of the pack to 23 kWh.

    All these wild claims about range are best left for press kits. The Tesla Roadster was supposed to go 250 miles using a 53 kWh pack. It goes half that far in the real world. And the battery only lasts four or five years or less. The BYD was supposed to go 100 miles. Now it turns out that it will go that far if you drive it a 30 mph. And if and when it actually appears, the Dodge Circuit will only go 200 miles on a 26 kWh pack if it starts at the top of a very high hill and goes to the bottom. And wicked fast? At 90 mph it will be lucky to go 45 miles (and that’s not considering Peukert’s law).

    /not opinion just fact


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (1:42 pm)

    #88 Noel Park

    Yeah! That’s what I mean. Canada has given the world a lot of good things along with some pretty good people. Keep it coming Canada. Especially your friendship with our country.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (1:55 pm)

    #92 Statik

    “I’d really like to see something to complete out the line and at least make EVs/E-Revs ‘appear’ more accessible. Something like a 10 mile AER Cruze, with no Voltec technology (no ICE running the generator, ICE running the wheels…old school) for cost reasons. Just something basic…a 4 kWh pack tied to a electric motor. 10 mile AER/35 MPG. Retail it for $20K”
    ——–

    I am with you on the idea of a “basic” AER Cruze. I have thought this would be a good idea for a while. GM would be better served getting more affordable transportation to the masses. Let’s hope they can do some of it all and get back on their feet solidly with out crashing and burning. Pretty hard to dance the polka on one foot, though. I wouldn’t even want to try that myself.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    #93 DonC

    “/not opinion just fact”
    ————————–

    Strange how often we get tripped up like that. Running into “facts”, that is.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (2:03 pm)

    #86 SteveK – The issue isn’t that batteries will get better. The silicon nano wires on the anode may increase energy density. It’s the manufacturing cost of actually producing the batteries using new technology that presents the problem. We know that nano wire batteries will not be cheap to produce. The A123 batteries are better technologically than LG Chem’s, but GM went with the more cost effective solution. Altair nano has very fast recharging batteries but they cost too much to be used. At the end of the day it’s all about cost per kWh.

    #87 noel park – I agree that a small pickup might work for some, in fact many, but the issue would be that the manufacturer can’t count on that use. It has to prepare for the worst case scenario. This is why I suggested the van. It’s far less likely someone would use a van inappropriately. (You live in SoCal so I KNOW you understand what I mean when I’m talking about the pickups :-) ).


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    You are describing Prius mechanics in Cruze body, with a bigger battery.. I dont think even Toyota can do it at that price. Mileage will be similar to the Prius, depending on the weight and hwy drag.

    But maybe they can, I think they make a killing on the Prius.

    …………………….
    #92 Static says:

    I’d really like to see something to complete out the line and at least make EVs/E-Revs ‘appear’ more accessible. Something like a 10 mile AER Cruze, with no Voltec technology (no ICE running the generator, ICE running the wheels…old school) for cost reasons. Just something basic…a 4 kWh pack tied to a electric motor. 10 mile AER/35 MPG. Retail it for $20K


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (2:10 pm)

    To carry the thought of a “basic” AER vehicle a little farther, I don’t really care if the car is the most beautiful or the best aerodynamic designed car in the parking lot. If it will give me a range of 10 – 20 miles per charge before the range extender turns on, I would not care if it looked like a bread basket with 4 wheels. Just give us good, dependable, basic transportation. If we want bells and whistles, they can be added as an after market item. A car like the Th!nk City would be OK with me if it could carry 4 or 5 people or more cargo.

    I am OK with a completely BEV also. Give me a range of 50 to 150 miles and I would be satisfied. I just want something cheap to drive back and forth to work or to the park or grocery store. If I need to drive across country, I can rent what I need, if I don’t own an ICE vehicle, already (which I do). The market is ready, but are any auto companies ready to give us what we want? Not yet, apparently.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    And, yes. I BEV pickup truck or one with an extended range ICE would be great.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    The Cruze is a $17k car, GM is deleting the transmission, adding a generator/motor/controller/battery pack.. so assuming that deleting the transmission pays for a 50kw generator (which is a much less precise device), and assuming the battery is $8k then that leaves $25k for the basic car plus the motor and controller. I dont know but I would be surprised if the motor + controller is over $1200 in mass production. So we end up with a $26,200 car that supposedly GM is selling for $39.99K.. That leaves $13.8K to pay for research and development I’m sure, and perhaps for packaging the batteries.

    Supposedly they used the EV1 tech so that should be paid for..


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (2:23 pm)

    We have become “accustomed” to having cars and trucks with all the creature comfort that we expect sitting in our plush living rooms or dens. But, do we really need that for a commuter car? Yes, we need a heater and air conditioning (at least some of us need AC). A radio is kinda necessary, but it could be a portable battery powered one that you take out of the vehicle with you. What else do we “really” need? Think about the thousands of dollars of cost and hundreds of pounds of weight we could shave off our vehicles if we only purchased vehicles with the “bare” necessities. That could become a new “American Revolution” for GM.

    I find I don’t need as much “stuff” as I used to. It just is not necessary. A BEV with only the bare necessities should be able to go further.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (2:52 pm)

    #92 Statik said:
    “I’d really like to see something to complete out the line and at least make EVs/E-Revs ‘appear’ more accessible. Something like a 10 mile AER Cruze, with no Voltec technology (no ICE running the generator, ICE running the wheels…old school) for cost reasons. Just something basic…a 4 kWh pack tied to a electric motor. 10 mile AER/35 MPG. Retail it for $20K”

    ——————————————————————————–

    The more I think of this, the more I like this idea for the Cruze. It would be a formidable hybrid competitor, and also get peoples’ feet wet for furture gen. E-REV’s. The $20k price tag is highly doubtful since I believe the plain Cruze is supposed to retail for that. But hey, say it would retail maybe $22-23k…you’re in Prius and Insight territory for virtually the same money. Not to split hairs btw, just saying.


  104. [...] GM Volt source. [...]


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (3:25 pm)

    @N Riley 102
    “I find I don’t need as much “stuff” as I used to. It just is not necessary. A BEV with only the bare necessities should be able to go further.”

    Man, i’ve been saying that all along. Thanks for the re-enforcement…..lol =oD


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (3:29 pm)

    #92 Static says:

    I’d really like to see something to complete out the line and at least make EVs/E-Revs ‘appear’ more accessible. Something like a 10 mile AER Cruze, with no Voltec technology (no ICE running the generator, ICE running the wheels…old school) for cost reasons. Just something basic…a 4 kWh pack tied to a electric motor. 10 mile AER/35 MPG. Retail it for $20K
    —————
    #98 Herm said:

    You are describing Prius mechanics in Cruze body, with a bigger battery.. I dont think even Toyota can do it at that price. Mileage will be similar to the Prius, depending on the weight and hwy drag.

    But maybe they can, I think they make a killing on the Prius.
    =================

    No, sorry I wasn’t clear. You are right about the costing of the setup you describe. I should have explained it further.

    I don’t want the complication of the Prius. I don’t want the inline parallel assist from the battery…and I don’t want regenerative braking. Those things are intricate, complicated and costly.

    Thats what I mean when I said 10 miles AER/35 MPG. The 35 MPG is what the standard Cruze is rated unassisted in any manner (35 MPG according to uk rating).

    So basically, it is set up like this:
    You plug in the the battery, it gets 10 miles range (say on 4 kWh pack) then it is done…kaput. It is not interconnected in any way, does not assist or recharge in any capacity after it is diminished. The Prius takes a car that probably would get 35MPG, and uses its ‘hybrid hotness’ to get that up over 50MPG.

    This way you are not adding any expensive, traditional ‘hybrid’ components, but just pack cost ($2,000ish), a small electric engine and the drive integration components (maybe another $1,500-$2,000).

    It is not Voltec by any stretch, but it is a EV and would fit into the electric/green image quite nicely, and fill out the program for those who just want a EV of any sort, who also only have the budget for a regular car. (Basically a Cruze with a $3,500 option for limited EV drive).


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (3:33 pm)

    Toyota claims 40,000 pre-orders for new Prius

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/15/report-toyota-claims-40-000-pre-orders-for-new-prius/

    Quote:
    “Earlier this month, Toyota set the starting price for the new 2010 model at 2.05 million yen ($20,750), which is just about the same as the mid-level Insight.”

    Now with the Volt not expected to be out to the General Public till 2011, wouldn’t one expect the Prius will also improve in performance by then? If so, the price wars of now will make the Volt look like a niche product and not for the masses. Just look at that price tag. Of course there will be a small tax rebate thingy for the Prius but sh|t, can the Volt really compete if price is over $35,000.00? $15K over the Prius and Insight?
    Considering the Price of both cars, upon introduction to US sales, they will be taking all the potential Greenie buyers, hypermilers, middle income and lower end income folks like me and that will leave what buyers? Niche buyers?

    OK, so I sound gloomy about this but I just got hit with furlougs so the Volt has fallen off my feasbility purchase plan .
    :o (


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    @N Riley 102

    “A radio is kinda necessary, ”

    They should sell the car with an iPod and have a docing port for it. Then you wouldn’t have to pay $600 for the grotesquely integrated Bose proprietary stereo system in it.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (3:46 pm)

    #93 DonC said:

    #89 statik

    You are so critical sometimes and not at all critical at other times. If you stop reading all these press releases and look behind the curtain at the numbers, it is clear that the i-Miev is not going to go 100 miles with a 16 kWh battery pack in North America. In some places in the world perhaps but not in NA. Why do you think Mitsubishi isn’t bringing the i-Miev to NA?

    The numbers are irrefutable. The average driver in the US uses about 300 watts per mile. A driver with a more aggressive style like US06 will use 400 watts per mile. The RAV-EV, when driven conservatively by an experienced driver trying to maximum range, uses almost 200 watts per mile. The EV1, which has a Cd of .19, had trouble using less than 300 watts per mile in ordinary SoCal driving. The Tesla, which is very light, only manages to get 150 watts per mile when going between 10 mph and 30 mph. Slower or faster and it uses more. At 75 mph it burns almost 350 watts per mile. Since I can’t imagine anyone wanting to go 400 miles at 25 mph, my suggestion of 250 watts per mile for a 400 mile range was designed to give a BEV every possible break.

    The only BEV which makes any sense in the US is the Aptera. It seats only two, weighs 1700 pounds with a battery pack, and has a mind-blowing Cd of .15. So it has a shot at being able to have a range of 100 miles. But even that vehicle apparently wouldn’t get a 100 mile range with a 16 kWh pack, which is why Aptera, after testing, has now increased the size of the pack to 23 kWh.

    All these wild claims about range are best left for press kits. The Tesla Roadster was supposed to go 250 miles using a 53 kWh pack. It goes half that far in the real world. And the battery only lasts four or five years or less. The BYD was supposed to go 100 miles. Now it turns out that it will go that far if you drive it a 30 mph. And if and when it actually appears, the Dodge Circuit will only go 200 miles on a 26 kWh pack if it starts at the top of a very high hill and goes to the bottom. And wicked fast? At 90 mph it will be lucky to go 45 miles (and that’s not considering Peukert’s law).

    /not opinion just fact

    ===================
    You wrote a lot of stuff there. I appreciate that and the effort, so I should respond, while not entering us into a black hole, lol.

    About the iMiev, I did clearly state the facts, “The iMiev goes 100 miles on 16kWh…if you have a unbelievably light right foot (or 81 miles real world on usage of an allowable 12.8 kWh, with the remaining 3 always in reserve)” Not sure what you meant about the quote, “Why do you think Mitsubishi isn’t bringing the i-Miev to NA?” As they have confirmed it will be to the NA market in 2011.

    Using the metric for the iMiev is completely fair ball, despite your opinion that 300 was the best the average American driver would get. You can use a old tech EV-1 as a example, and you certainly can’t use a Tesla Roadster as the standard for average power consumption, people driving them are expecting much, much more performance…and drive them accordingly…a different amount of power is required when you mash a Tesla over a iMiev.

    Also you claim the Tesla Roadster is very light…well it is 2,700 pounds…a iMiev is much lighter at 2,350. That is a hard fact.

    Regardless of my points…or yours. Neither of us can hop in a new pure BEV, designed for the ‘average joe’ yet and get any real world results. So it is pretty hard to tell how much juice a hypothetical futre 400 mile EV would require. I enjoyed the discussion though.

    Lets agree to disagree and we can revisit this when I (or you) get our hands on a iMiev, or a Ford BEV in 2-3 years.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (4:29 pm)

    Why dont you want the motor to assist the ICE?, its really a free feature once you have them in the car.

    Brake regen is free so lets keep that. It will tend to recharge the battery a bit..

    You want to keep the low torque atkinson ice, its also a free feature.

    You have to blend the motor and ice somehow, there are 3 prominent ways to do it:

    1. Volt serial method: motor, controller, generator, battery
    2. Insight electric assist: motor, controller, battery, traditional transmission.
    3. Prius parallel: 2 motors, 2 controllers, battery and small geared device.

    Which one is cheaper?.. The Prius uses 2 motors and 2 controller plus a simple geared device…

    The Volt has a motor and a generator, I would guess those two cost a bit more than the 2 motors in the Prius.. the motors used in the Prius are smaller, so perhaps cheaper.

    The 2 controllers used in the Prius are probably more expensive than the single one used in the Volt, and way more expensive than the one used in the Insight.

    The Insight motor and controller are the cheapest since they are the weakest of the 3 cars.. but the Insight uses a transmission and neither the Volt nor Prius use one..

    How much does a transmission cost?

    Motors and electronics are very amenable to mass production, a transmission is a more delicate and expensive device.

    Another way to do it is thru-the-road parallel, you take a standard Cruze and put an electric motor on the rear wheels.. The computer shuts off the gas engine, puts the transmission in neutral and you drive along on the rear wheel motor.. that motor would have to be substantial if you want hwy speeds on electric only. Brake regen would still be free but not as effective since you are braking with the rear wheels.

    I think the only way to economize on the Volt is to leave it as is and reduce the battery size to 10 miles or so.. maybe using the new Toshiba cells as an example:

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/04/scib-20090413.html

    ………………….

    #106 statik Says:
    April 15th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    You plug in the the battery, it gets 10 miles range (say on 4 kWh pack) then it is done…kaput. It is not interconnected in any way, does not assist or recharge in any capacity after it is diminished. The Prius takes a car that probably would get 35MPG, and uses its ‘hybrid hotness’ to get that up over 50MPG.
    This way you are not adding any expensive, traditional ‘hybrid’ components, but just pack cost ($2,000ish), a small electric engine and the drive integration components (maybe another $1,500-$2,000).


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (5:03 pm)

    N Riley #102 & Capt Jack #105:

    I disagree completely with your comments.

    If GM puts out a bare bones model and prices it the same as the Prius, it will get KILLED by the press! If you price it the same, it will be compared as the same, which it is not. The “masses” you keep talking about have no idea what the differences are between the E-REV design and a parallel hybrid.

    I understand that it would be wonderful to have this new technology and still be priced on the K-Mart blue light special aisle, but that is just not how it works. Name me a single occurrance of where that has happened in high tech equipment.

    How about ver 1 of the:

    Ipod? No
    Iphone? No
    386/485/pentium PC’s? No
    LCD TV’s? No
    DVD players – regular or Blu-Ray? No
    Etc, Etc, Etc.

    IMHO, the Gen-1 Volt has to be top of the line and the best car GM has ever put in the showrooms. If the only complaint that anyone can say about the Volt is “it costs too much”, then GM can come back with “Our 2011 model will be $X thousand less, because now that we have it on the road and have shown you that it works as promised, we can put our best people on getting the price down.

    And if they muddy up the water with too many models right out of the gate, it will just introduce more FUD to the public.

    Get the Volt out. They will sell all they can produce the first two years. That gives them some breathing room to get work on other models and pricing ranges.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (5:50 pm)

    @Jim I 111
    “If the only complaint that anyone can say about the Volt is “it costs too much”, then GM can come back with “Our 2011 model will be $X thousand less, because now that we have it on the road and have shown you that it works as promised, we can put our best people on getting the price down.”

    If cost was the complaint then they wont buy. You need to sell it first before you can even think of going back to improve. If it doesn’t sell because of pricing what are you going to do? Go back and grovel for more loans to help reduce the high priced car they built that has no intention of making money for the first 4 to 5 years of it’s life?
    If they can’t sell the car now at this price where’s the money going to come from to engineer the reduction in cost?
    Everyone knows the grass roots of GM was the basic car back in the 70′s. It’s only been in the past 7-8 years that these crazy creature comforts came standard with no option to remove them. He||, our dept wanted to buy some hybrids, we only neede bare bones but nope, you can’t find that. The field guys needed some trucks. Al we needed was a friggin engine on wheels with a bed to drop cargo but nope, the damn thing had to come with a stereoe am/fm CD w/mp3 port and power windows and some other crap that wasn’t needed like that damn OnStar hardware.
    Why the he|| do consumers need to be forced to buy extra crap when they don’t need it? Start from the bottom up and build to your preference. Then the dealer can make some $$$ doing the installations.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (5:59 pm)

    @Jim I 111

    “IMHO, the Gen-1 Volt has to be top of the line ”

    Technilogically yes, Not creature features. Why shove crap down consumers throat on sh|t they don’t want. Let me ask you one thing. If you knew how much it cost for that proprietary Bose audio system they put in, would you still buy that audio system? That thing is at least $600….ok maybe $500
    Minus other crap you reduce the price closer to the larger majority but with the ability to add features you cover more.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:16 pm)

    #77 old man Says, ” … How about a drop in ICE generator … The BEV Volt would have to come with a gas tank and a quick disconnect. If the drop in could be done in about 2 hours … ”

    Great idea! It probably wouldn’t increase range (i.e., Regenerative braking re-captures the extra kinetic energy.), but it would improve acceleration, maintainability, and storage space. Maybe we could sneak an optional auxiliary battery (or fuel cell) in there!

    Also, I wouldn’t call 2 hours “quick.” I could drop the engine out of my VW bug in 20 minutes (It was such a piece of junk that I got lots of practice!).

    On the down side, designing the range-extender to be modular and easily removable would undoubtedly increase cost, weight, size, and schedule. Maybe it could be considered for generation 2.


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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:21 pm)

    Cool — the Buick Orlando, or whatever it’s called, might work for me. Crossover vehicles are often a little bit too tall for me (I’m short and I’ve discovered that I’m into home improvements and woodworking so I’d need to use the roofrack) — but I’ll deal, if it means I don’t have to buy gasoline for everyday travel. If it could tow a 4′x8′ utility trailer without voiding the warranty, I could use that instead of the roofrack.

    I’m not a fan of the name “Orlando”, though. From what I gathered during my trip to the UK a couple of years ago, Orlando means “family fun” in Europe… I guess that for a reasonable price, they can hop an airliner from Manchester or London and fly nearly-nonstop to the world’s most famous kid-friendly destination. But it doesn’t work that way for me.

    As an American with an older brother who lives about 25 miles south of Orlando, and whose father lived in West Palm Beach for a couple of years, the associations aren’t so pure. Orlando is not a place that I like to drive… I usually get there after about 12 grueling hours on the Interstate; the traffic is crazy and it’s regularly disrupted by construction. Floridians seem to generally disregard speed limits which is fine, except that there seems to be a double standard for those of us who have out-of-state plates…

    The last time I was in Florida, I was issued a speeding ticket while traveling in the right line while decelerating for a traffic light — it clearly had very little to do with my driving. The rules were set up to discourage me very strongly from showing up in court to defend myself ($500 in court costs if I lost) and to maximize the amount of money removed from my pocket (for an extra fee, they would neglect to notify my home state or my insurance company about the ticket).

    Between that ticket and the number of abrupt panic-stops I’ve had to make while traveling the Interstates in Florida, you can say that I don’t exactly associate Orlando or Florida with pleasant driving…

    I mean, you might as well call the vehicle the “Buick Washington DC Beltway”…

    Anyway, I suspect that I would buy a plug-in car that meets my needs, even if it were called the “turdblossom” with a paint job to match… But I do hope they choose a different name, so I don’t wince and reach for the brake pedal the first couple of hundred times I say the name.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:22 pm)

    @old man 77
    ” … How about a drop in ICE generator ”

    I’m going open a can of worms here….
    So, just for pretends here, if you can buy the car without the Genset and buy it just as a BEV, you are not required to SMOG it, correct? So later you buy the Genset to “Drop in” you still don’t need to SMOG it right? And if you have to go to the SMOG station (trust me DMV is stupid), since it’s a “Drop in” you should be able to “Pull out” the Genset before going to the SMOG station and say “my car is an EV, why does it need SMOG? If it does, then here go ahead and try….”

    LOL…..


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    Herm

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:55 pm)

    some startling facts about the cost of software in cars:

    http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/feb09/7649
    ………………………………………………………….

    The cost of electronics as a percent of vehicle costs climbed from around 5 percent in the late 1970s to 15 percent by 2005 (excluding final assembly costs). For hybrids, where the amount of software needed for engine control alone is nearly twice as great as that for a standard car, the cost of electronics as a percent of vehicle costs is closer to 45 percent. Within 10 years, some experts predict that the percentages relating to the cost of electronics as a percent of vehicle cost are expected to rise to 50 percent for conventional vehicles and 80 percent for hybrids.


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    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (6:58 pm)

    Too many long posts – try to keep it down. Don’t you think I have other things to do? What about Lyle? No wonder he can’t publish his ride review.


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    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (7:04 pm)

    I still want an ICE ‘trailer’ with additional battery capacity so I can go from BEV to EVER when I want. Have to lock the trailer tight to the vehicle to make it essentialy a 6 wheeler or the namby- pambies won’t be able to drive it. Somebody might do it. You don’t know. Trailers could be rented or used at home for emergency power. Then we could have a sporty little KickArse BEV that has long range utility.


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    ccombs

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (7:31 pm)

    I can’t wait for a bunch of rich people to buy Converjes–how do you make that plural?- and Buick Electras–hope that’s the name…

    The Volt will have trouble attracting rich people since it is not stylish enough, and the middle class will have trouble affording it. But, with a bunch of rich people subsidizing Voltec by buying beautiful Caddys and Buicks, I’ll bet Volts will be much cheaper by gen II. Yay!


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:12 pm)

    This is another indication that this is a green electric motoring evolution.
    From GM.
    For everyone.
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


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    Texas

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (8:18 pm)

    If true and GM is going “all in” with EVs and EREVs then good for them. Oh, that smaller, aerodynamic 7 people moving EREV is brilliant! I bet most trips for Mom or with the kids are under 40 miles one way. Also, while they are at the event they can recharge using 220V and be ready for the trip home.

    If junior gets mad or hurt and wants to go home “right now” then the ICE is there, just in case.

    Man, this is good stuff! I think more of the remaining GM executives are seeing it. It’s becoming more clear every day that nobody needs more ICE-only vehicles. Nobody. All in and all hands on deck!


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    Jim I

     

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    Apr 15th, 2009 (11:16 pm)

    Capt Jack #112 & #113:

    What you are talking about is much different than what static and some of the others were discussing. They were talking about completely different AER ranges and drivetrains. I still think that is a mistake to try and implement all by Nov, 2010.

    What you are talking about is option packages. If you want a bare bones Volt, I have no problem with that, and think it should be offered. But don’t forget that those options are where the manufacturers and dealers make high profit. And I think you are really in the minority here. Most of the people buying even the lowest cost cars want electric windows, door locks, etc. Personally, I like all the toys, even the fancy Bose stereo. It is a personal choice.

    And as far as being able to sell the Volt in the first place, I still say that even at $40K, GM will sell every Volt they make (estimated at 70K units) in the first two years, as long as it delivers on the performance being promised. I think there are way more than that many early adopters in the world.

    JMHO


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    Herm

     

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    Apr 16th, 2009 (4:30 am)

    I would like that too, but not with extra batteries but with a genset in it.. and not a big one, just a 10-15kw one.. enough to extend the range on the hwy indefinetely if the car is driven at moderate speeds on level ground.

    That would allow the Volt to be sold as a pure BEV, a bit cheaper and lighter.

    Heck you can even mount it in the engine compartment where the old genset used to reside.
    ………………………

    #119 Shawn Marshall Says:
    April 15th, 2009 at 7:04 pm
    I still want an ICE ‘trailer’ with additional battery capacity so I can go from BEV to EVER when I want.


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    sudhaman

     

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    Apr 16th, 2009 (8:39 am)

    buick is not so good as it shares orlando platform.
    people better buy the volt when it comes or GM may purposely speculate to take oil prices high.


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    Cadillac Converj - Tesla Motors Club Forum

     

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    Apr 17th, 2009 (1:26 pm)

    [...] Lutz says it will cost "about two Volts." I think they’ll have to upgrade the battery pack. People who buy a car that looks like that will [...]


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    Lev

     

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    Apr 20th, 2009 (9:01 pm)

    These cars are great, but the Volt is already overpriced. If the Converj cost “2 Volts”, thats 80k! Thats as much as an XLR. 40K should be the price of a Cadillac, 20-30 for a Volt. And thats not counting govt credits. Yes, the tech is expensive, but the Converj program should offset the Volt costs, and is the only way to get these cars put into real mass use.