Oct 22

GM Hoping Volt Will be Halo Car

 


[ad#post_ad]Will the Chevrolet Volt bet pay off for GM?

This is a very big question.

It’s hard for me to believe I have followed the development of this car so closely for so long, and that we are now actually only days from the first retail sale. GM has poured tremendous resources into developing this car both from a financial as well as human resources perspective, not to mention to propagating an exhaustively voluminous stream of news, PR, and media along with it. All through oil spikes, the nation’s financial meltdown and even the company’s own bankruptcy and restructuring.

All the while the Volt has been held up as GM’s great hope. The hope that this car and how it reflects what this company is capable of will finally persuade a disinterested if not downright bitter public to switch to GM-made vehicles.

The Volt will arrive, but will arrive in very low volumes, and very few locations, and at a price point above what the average household can afford.

Many times over the years critics have called the Volt a halo car, meaning simply a trophy to symbolically cast the company in a better more environmentally sensitive light. It is well known that GM has spent over 1 billion dollars to develop the car, and that profit margin on each unit will be razor thin at best. At this point it still isn’t a great business case, or is it? You see GM executives are confident the Volt will lead people to buy GM cars even if they cannot buy the Volt.

“When consumers see that (car), they quickly go to the notion that you are smart enough to design and engineer and manufacture a vehicle that’s this capable and this innovative, [and] you just must make better vehicles overall,” said Volt marketing director Tony DiSalle.

DiSalle thinks the Volt will lure people into dealerships only to leave with lower-priced more-profitable high-volume conventional gas cars.

“People would come in to look at it, and not necessarily be in the target for a Volt — and become extremely interested in a Cruze,” he said.

Despite GM’s confidence Volt-lust will sell Cruzes, analysts are less certain.

“They’re learning about the market, they’re learning about the consumer, they’re learning about the technology,” says Brett Smith of the Center for Automotive Research. “Give it 10 years, look back and I think it will be interesting. But right now, it’s a great experiment.”

An expensive experiment at that.

Source (NPR)



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This entry was posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 6:40 am and is filed under Financial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 247


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:41 am)

    YES, GM’s bet will pay off


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    koz

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:51 am)

    Dear Mr. DiSalle,

    I cannot speak for all consumers but for me, NPNS!


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    FME III

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:52 am)

    God forbid the Volt becomes a halo car, one-of-a-kind experiment in alternative propulsion.

    GM has invested a tremendous amount of money and intellectual capital in bringing the Volt to market. Now what?

    I, for one, will be extrememly disappointed if GM does not adapt Voltec to a wider variety of vehicles as improvements in battery technology reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour, which in turn makes it practical to use Voltec in less aero body styles such as SUVs, vans and trucks.

    I’m not encouraged that the company has had little to say about what’s in the pipeline.


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    Jim I

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:52 am)

    I disagree in the strongest terms!!!!

    People looking to buy a Volt for whatever reason are NOT going to settle for some other model, just because GM decides to limit production and availability. I know I will not.

    IMHO, if that is GM’s goal, it will backfire, and people will look to other manufacturers with the foresight to design and manufacture sufficient quantities of vehicles powered by alternative methods.

    nasaman, look at your own situation. You are going to purchase a vehicle thousands of miles from where you live, BECAUSE you want a Volt, and nothing else. If you truly think that GM is doing the correct thing by making the Volt a halo car, then why don’t you go and purchase an ECO-Cruze from your local dealership????? It will help GM, and you can feel better knowing that the quality of workmanship in the Cruze increased because of the development work done on the Volt.

    I am sorry, but IMHO, that is just about the most ridiculous argument that GM has proposed to date concerning the Volt……….

    NPNS – I truly mean that!!!!!


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    nasaman

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:54 am)

    Yes it’ll pay off …. IF GM CAN GET THE MARKETING AND MEDIA EDUCATION RIGHT, as we discussed in yesterday’s topic. And that’s a BIG IF!!! For example, I was shocked to read the following question yesterday on Facebook from a self-proclaimed “automotive journalist and professional road test reviewer and even I don’t quite understand everything about The Volt. My question is this: What is you take a very long road trip. You use up the electric engine’s power after 50 miles. Then, you drive another 300 miles on the gas engine. Next, you either need to stop for an electric charge and more gas. If you are parked somewhere there is no electric charging unit, then can you just run the car off the gas engine for the next leg of the trip or until you can get to an electric charging unit????? THANKS!!

    I answered this question as follows….

    I would restate your question, “Does the Volt Have UNLIMITED Range?”

    As an engineer & physicist who’s followed the Volt closely for almost 3 years I can answer your question…. If my question/subject above correctly re-states your question, the short answer is YES! Let me explain…..

    And your trip mileage, even if you never recharge the Volt, will be about 2:1 better than the mileage you’ll get in an ordinary car. However, lets say you don’t want to drive non-stop on your coast-to-coast fantasy trip, then you’re free to stop overnite at a hotel or motel. Then you find one, as I have done, that won’t mind letting you have (and/or pay them for) roughly $1 worth of electric power (e.g., $0.12/KWh x 8 hrs) from an outdoor socket, or even from a socket in your ground-floor room. Simply plug in the Volt’s charger cord that’s included with your car for around 8 hours. By morning both you and your Volt will be fully recharged, fresh, rested and ready to hit the road again.

    Any time you want to do this “overnite recharge” will make your next ~40 miles cost about 1/5th what it would otherwise. But even if you instead have a relief driver aboard from, say, NY to LA, so you can drive 24/7 and only stop when the Volt’s gas tank (or you and/or your friend need refreshment/relief), a coast-to-coast trip “via Volt” will still only cost roughly HALF what an ordinary car would cost for gasoline.

    It’s truly an amazing automobile!


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    Texas

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:54 am)

    Will it pay off?

    It already did.

    Why? No more EV1 backlash, No serious reputation problems, nothing. It’s as if nothing happened to GM. It’s like they have a halo over their heads or something. ;)

    Success is the best deodorant and the Volt is a super spicy, super dry speed stick.

    Right about now the other automakers are thinking to themselves, “Man! It’s so obvious now! No EV infrastructure to quick charge infrastructure. The plug-in hybrid is the right way to go and GM just produced a beautiful work of art. Damn them!”


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:55 am)

    I’m sure the Volt will be a halo car, but what GM needs is some halo action. Pull that razor thin profit in on more Volts.


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    Roy H

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:56 am)

    Well… I suppose Tony is right for some people. But this is not the same as drooling at a Corvette when you know you cannot afford it and need to carry wife and two kids. Because what you give up is looks and performance.

    People who want the Volt want to drive gas-free. If they can’t afford the Volt they will go buy a Nissan LEAF, not a Cruze. GM needs to work hard at bringing the cost of the Volt down, and the best way is high production. This should happen in 2012 and I can’t see it happening sooner as the Michigan battery plant won’t be operational until then. Will buyers wait? Maybe.


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    JeremyK

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:56 am)

    I think that that the Volt will be the template for GM’s global hybrid powertrain strategy. Battery capacity and architecture will vary and ICE output could go up or down depending on the type of vehicle the powertrain is put into. It think everything centers around that EVT transmission and the programming logic developed to control it.

    Some of the variants fathered by the Volt will ultimately be lower in price and more palatable to the average consumer.


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    JohnK

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:56 am)

    I surely hope the experiment and the bet will pay off. But if it doesn’t that is just more incentive for early adopters (did I say that out loud?). Anyway, these things have a life of their own. Prices around the birth part of the life cycle have always been high and I don’t see how they could be any other way. I think it is worth it though. And I am confident that prices will come down. But I do hope that they come down fast enough to appeal beyond early adopters. I really do trust that they will. I think the continuously increasing production levels (or rumors of that) are a sign of that. A measure of that will be when roll-out plans beyond the initial offering areas are announced.


  11. 11
    Dave G

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:00 am)

    As I’ve said many times before, the Volt won’t work as a halo.

    The Prius worked as a halo because its all about efficiency, and since most other cars in Toyota’s line were more efficient at the time, the halo worked.

    The Volt is all about using electricity instead of gasoline. If someone likes the Volt but can’t afford it, why would they buy a Cruze? They’re more apt to buy a Plug-in Prius or a Leaf.

    If GM wants the Volt to be successful financially, they’ve got to get the price down. Lose all the fancy bells and whistles on the dash for the base model. Cost optimize the drive train. And offer more model variations (e.g. MPV5, Converj) to increase unit volumes.

    And take the long-term view on profits. Learn from Toyota in this regard. Short sighted thinking has been a chronic problem for U.S. companies in general.


  12. 12
    Roy H

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:07 am)

    FME III: I, for one, will be extrememly disappointed if GM does not adapt Voltec to a wider variety of vehicles as improvements in battery technology reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour, which in turn makes it practical to use Voltec in less aero body styles such as SUVs, vans and trucks.
    I’m not encouraged that the company has had little to say about what’s in the pipeline.

    Don’t be so quick to criticize. Just because GM has been so open with the Volt development, doesn’t mean that they will continue to be so open with future products. We will hear about them when they are much closer to production. They could be working very hard on all your wishes, and I for one think they are.


  13. 13
    JeremyK

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:08 am)

    “If GM wants the Volt to be successful financially, they’ve got to get the price down. Lose all the fancy bells and whistles on the dash for the base model. Cost optimize the drive train. And offer more model variations (e.g. MPV5, Converj) to increase unit volumes.”

    I think GM is correct in coming out with a “fully loaded” Volt. The navigation system and all those fancy screens are not what’s driving the cost of the car up, it’s the battery, electric motor, controller, cooling system, and low production volumes.

    If GM stripped the car of all it’s options, it would still cost >$35K before rebate, but without all the fun bells, whistles, and high technology that makes the Volt a Volt.

    Being fully loaded will help early adopters swallow the high price of entry, but without adding significant cost to the sale price of the car.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:09 am)

    Wait a minute, a halo car for whom? It’s already been said that Volt dealers are going to have Prius’ on the lot for comparison. How well will a car you can’t buy for love nor money compare to a car you just have to drive down the street and can buy?


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    Dave K.

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:12 am)

    “…cast the company in a better more environmentally sensitive light.”

    Not only applies to GM. The Volt is significant to the entire automotive industry. An example being the low rolling resistance tires chosen for use on the Volt. Last week Goodyear was named to the Top 50 Social Responsibility List.

    “We are proud to be recognized as a leader in corporate citizenship and social responsibility,” said Donald E. Stanley, Goodyear’s vice president, Product Quality and Plant Technology.

    “Goodyear is committed to nurturing an inclusive and rewarding workplace for our associates, fostering a high standard for ethical behavior, providing support for our communities and implementing sustainable environmental practices, all while bringing innovative tires to motorists around the world.”

    http://gm-volt.com/2009/02/10/gm-announces-goodyear-to-supply-chevy-volt-low-rolling-resistance-tires-and-bose-to-supply-its-energy-efficient-stereo-system/

    The Volt is a huge showroom draw. Will be interesting to see if most collateral sales go Regal, Cruze, or Camaro.

    =D-Volt


  16. 16
    Dave G

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:13 am)

    JohnK: Prices around the birth part of the life cycle have always been high and I don’t see how they could be any other way.

    This hasn’t been true for cars. For example, when Toyota introduced the Prius, they took a small loss on every car sold. Together with the tax credits, the result was that the early Prius cost about the same as the current model.

    For consumer electronics, the market expects declining prices. For cars, the market expects prices to remain fairly constant.


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    Texas

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:22 am)

    I also think the Volt revitalized the entire ecosystem in and around GM. Not only their employees but all the vendors supplying parts to them.

    There is a sense of, “We got a super secret weapon about to launch.” to the whole Volt project.

    Just stop for a moment and think what it would be like at GM without the Volt. Times up. The Volt already paid for itself several times over, even though you can’t calculate that out.

    Of course, only a group of executive fools would let this lead go. Only some short-sighted accountant would now go back to just making regular cars.

    GM made a huge and needed gamble with the Volt and guess what, It worked. The Volt can change things around the world in a big way. Yes, the transition to EVs is going to happen eventually but we now have a five year lead!

    When the oil crisis hits, leaders around the world are going to be looking for a solution. Voltec anyone? It is done, ironed out and ready for world-wide adoption.

    This is a significant achievement that shouldn’t be marginalized by calling the Volt a widget-like halo product. How about we call it something different? How about calling it a Phoenix project. Something that can deliver a company from the ashes?


  18. 18
    dcm

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:24 am)

    Here’s the thing, the general public doesnt give a rats arse about 99.9999% of the stuff we debate or or gets debated in Motor Trend or any other blog. We represent such a pidling perecentage of the car driving public that we forget that sometimes.

    Here’s what they know – the Volt is an “electric” car! With a gas engine as a “backup”! They dont care about the nitpicky crap about when the engine comes on or at what mile per hour the engine kicks in. They simply dont care.

    But we get into these godawful down in the weeds debates and we think that the other hundred million people who are going to buy a car care about the crap that we care about. They dont.

    I’m not entirely sold on the Volt Gen 1 being a success. I think $40k for this car – right now – might not be something the public can stomach. But here’s what I *DO* know. After the Volt concept car debuted in a commercial what 5 years ago – no one had heard of the Volt. No one had heard of the Leaf. No one had heard of the MiEV. Because they didnt really exist! And look how far we’ve come!!!

    Although most will disagree, I dont think you can measure the “success” of the Volt strictly in terms of units moved. I think the eyes that it opens and the competition it drives will do far more for us as a country than it will put dollars in GMs wallet.


  19. 19
    Money Pit

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:27 am)

    Lets be clear, the Volt development cost the current government owned GM next to nothing, the “old GM” stock and bond holders paid for it development and got a nice thanks for playing the Bankruptcy card. Also GM got 200+ million from the feds for retooling and battery development … so in the end, the Volt is likely the lowest cost in R&D terms GM will ever have to carry on the books, thanks to Bankruptcy.

    Another forum I read daily for mostly technology related things had a thread pop-up on the Volt. It was quite a contrast to see what these average folks think compared to the kool-aide drinking EV folks believe.

    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r24917048-Inauspicious-Volt-Debut

    I’m Pro EV and the Volt is an interesting piece of technology … only time will tell if it was the right choice or the Halo car GM wants


  20. 20
    Luke

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:35 am)

    Dave G: The Prius worked as a halo because its all about efficiency, and since most other cars in Toyota’s line were more efficient at the time, the halo worked.

    Also, the Prius hasn’t had serious competition in the segment, so Toyota has had the privilege of having invented the “usefully sized passenger car over 50mpg” and dominating it for a decade. The Volt and the Lef are the first serious competitors in this segment, though Honda’s attempts deserve an honorable mention.

    Things are changing fast!


  21. 21
    BillR

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:37 am)

    IMO, GM hasn’t invested all this time and money just to get a halo.

    With the battery lab and all the testing that they are doing, there must be more applications in the pipeline besides the Volt.

    For instance, the plug-in Vue that never made it to production. It has the same power electronics as the Volt, a similar drivetrain, a 1/2 sized battery pack with the same LG chem cells, and probably has an average rating of 50 mpg +/-. And the SUV market is still a big market where GM is strong (like Chevy Equinox).

    I will use GM’s cliche “Stay Tuned”, as it only seems reasonable to expect that they will leverage this technology into other vehicles.


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    john1701a

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:44 am)

    Dave G: Together with the tax credits, the result was that the early Prius cost about the same as the current model.

    There was no tax credit available back then. It was only a deduction, which was significantly less. It wasn’t until 2006, after Toyota had already turned Prius profitable.

    The tax credit purpose was to push volume from mainstream minimum (60,000 per year) to a quantity high enough to displace traditional vehicles.

    In other words, it was to end any possibility that Prius was just a “halo” vehicle. By offering that incentive money, it would draw interest from middle-market buyers… those who simply use their vehicle as transportation and no interest in the technology beyond just reducing emissions & consumption.


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    JeremyK

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:49 am)

    Eco_Turbo: Wait a minute, a halo car for whom? It’s already been said that Volt dealers are going to have Prius’ on the lot for comparison. How well will a car you can’t buy for love nor money compare to a car you just have to drive down the street and can buy?    

    Even if people are deterred by the price of the Volt, it doesn’t mean that they’ll go across the street and purchase a Prius.

    If cost of ownership is the primary factor, the Cruze Eco could prove to be very competitive with the Prius. A loaded Cruze Eco (price not yet announced, but should be under $20K) will still be $1000′s less than a mid-level Prius and will get 40 mpg hwy.

    Back of the napkin calculations suggest that it would take 8 years to make up the increased cost of the Prius in gas savings. Something to think about.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:01 am)

    BillR, post #21: IMO, GM hasn’t invested all this time and money just to get a halo. With the battery lab and all the testing that they are doing, there must be more applications in the pipeline besides the Volt.For instance, the plug-in Vue that never made it to production. It has the same power electronics as the Volt, a similar drivetrain, a 1/2 sized battery pack with the same LG chem cells, and probably has an average rating of 50 mpg +/-. And the SUV market is still a big market where GM is strong (like Chevy Equinox). I will use GM’s cliche “Stay Tuned”, as it only seems reasonable to expect that they will leverage this technology into other vehicles.    

    I agree, Bill. And I earnestly hope Disalle and others at GM will look closely at some of the Volt-specific marketing suggestions people like CorvetteGuy (he’s in management with a California Chevy dealer & has a degree in marketing!) have made. If GM can’t get the marketing right, including explaining the Volt to automotive journalists (see my post #5), then the Volt itself will just die a slow death. As will related applications of Voltec such as the former plug-in Saturn Vue you mention, or possible future Caddy & Buick versions of Voltec.

    I’ve often said to young scientists & engineers in the space program, “it’s vitally important to effectively communicate what you’re doing or want to do —it’s called marketing, and the other 3 “M” words we use on space programs —Mission parameters, critical Microcircuits and even the Motel you stay at during a launch campaign, are of no eventual value whatsoever unless you’ve done the right Marketing in advance!”


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    Van

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:03 am)

    Sadly I noted the story on the Drudge Report titled “Volt Fraud at Government Motors”. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure those invested in the status quo would attack Plug-in Hybrids.
    And it is more sad that some at GM gave them fuel for the fire by seeming to over promise.


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    Dave

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:07 am)

    Dave G: As I’ve said many times before, the Volt won’t work as a halo.The Prius worked as a halo because its all about efficiency, and since most other cars in Toyota’s line were more efficient at the time, the halo worked.The Volt is all about using electricity instead of gasoline.If someone likes the Volt but can’t afford it, why would they buy a Cruze?They’re more apt to buy a Plug-in Prius or a Leaf.If GM wants the Volt to be successful financially, they’ve got to get the price down.Lose all the fancy bells and whistles on the dash for the base model.Cost optimize the drive train.And offer more model variations (e.g. MPV5, Converj) to increase unit volumes.And take the long-term view on profits.Learn from Toyota in this regard.Short sighted thinking has been a chronic problem for U.S. companies in general.    

    I agree, but “cost optimization” can not come before QUALITY. Reduce costs wherever you can GM….but PLEASE…never again sacrifice quality. Most educated consumers will be happy to pay a reasonable premium knowing that the product they just purchased will not be in the shop getting fixed all of the time. This is Dr. William Edwards Deming 101. Learn it. Love it. Live it……and you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams!

    Dave 4664


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:10 am)

    #23 JerenyK,

    I’m not talking about price here. I’m talking about there not being any available at any price.


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    Tom W

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:16 am)

    NPNS

    I want a Volt but will settle for a Leaf if GM makes me wait forever here in Ohio.

    Yep, the Volt could end up being the Halo car to lead folks to the Leaf or the Focus EV.

    Hopefully GM is just holding their cards close to their vest (because of competition) and they are pushing the envelope to build the domestic supply chain needed for much higher volumes and lower prices.

    NPNS


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    Faz

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:22 am)

    I tend to disagree that when people go in to check out the Volt and see that they can’t afford it, they would settle for a Cruze or something similar. At the end of the day, GM has a lot of reputation building to do. Decades of sub performance will take some time to change consumer perceptions. If it wasn’t for the Volt, I would still not be considering an American built vehicle… actually not true, Hondas, BMWs, etc. are built in America… so I mean, one of the original Big 3. If the Volt is all what it’s supposed to be, and more, then it will slowly change customer perception, but it will still be years, and more superb models, before that takes place.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:26 am)

    I do not understand why anyone needs to defend the Volt as a long distance car. The Volt shines when used on a daily basis in a moderate range. A Volt at this stage is not and ideal car for very long distance driving even though it can handle any distance well. In my view GM did a disservice to the Volt by running the gimmicky *Freedom Ride* 1776 miles. This was contrary to the Volt’s message.


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    Tom W

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:28 am)

    Dave G: If GM wants the Volt to be successful financially, they’ve got to get the price down. Lose all the fancy bells and whistles on the dash for the base model. Cost optimize the drive train. And offer more model variations (e.g. MPV5, Converj) to increase unit volumes.
    And take the long-term view on profits. Learn from Toyota in this regard. Short sighted thinking has been a chronic problem for U.S. companies in general.

    If GM wants to survive (this economy is not picking up for years) they need to be forward thinking. They need to have ‘the next big thing’. They need to read #11 Dave G comments and take it as their GOSPEL.

    Also they need to get their Government Over Lords to pass legislation requiring parking lots of certain sizes to have charging stations. As i’ve pointed out before over 20 years the cost of adding charging stations to parking lots isn’t that significant when compared to other costs (lighting, paving, snow plowing, taxes etc.).

    Parking lot charging for many people doubles the AER and turns the volt from 10,000 miles AER and an expensive investment to a 15,000 – 18,000 AER smart investment even at current gas prices and certainly at future gas prices.


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    Dave K.

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:30 am)

    chevy-cruze-bumblebee.jpg

    Wonder how the Cruze will catch on in taxi service? It’s sure to be a winner with car rentals. The Volt and Cruze support each other.

    =D-Volt

    cruze%202011%20comfort.jpg


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    Dave G

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:34 am)

    Luke: … Toyota has had the privilege of having invented the “usefully sized passenger car over 50mpg” and dominating it for a decade. The Volt and the Leaf are the first serious competitors in this segment…

    Things are changing fast!

    Things are changing even faster than that.

    People now realize the need to replace gasoline with electricity. That’s the only way to become energy independent. Simply increasing gas mileage won’t get us there.

    So the regular Prius probably won’t compete directly with the Volt or Leaf. The Plug-in Prius will.

    The real question is this: How much will the Plug-in Prius cost? Remember that this is just an option on the 2012 Prius model. This option involves:
    1) substituting the existing NiMH battery pack with a Li/Ion pack of the same size and shape.
    2) adding a plug-in port and charger
    3) software modifications

    It’s quite possible Toyota could offer this option for around $4000. Since the tax credit is around $4000, it’s possible this option could end up costing very little or nothing at all! In this case, most people buying the Prius would want this option.

    The Plug-in Prius only has around 10 miles electric range (13 if you hyper-mile it). So unlike the Volt, that means you’ll have to plug in many times per day if you want most of your miles to be electric. If this type of charging behavior goes mainstream, the grid will be stretched to the breaking point. Also, if you drive over 62 miles per hour, or step on the accelerator, the gas engine will kick in even during the first 10 miles to provide additional power.

    But even with these issues, if a Plug-in Prius can be had for $23,000 after tax credits, I think people will flock to it in a big way…


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:35 am)

    A Cruze, with the transmission like no other, and a small battery, might kick some gas.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:40 am)

    Eco_Turbo: A Cruze, with the transmission like no other, and a small battery, might kick some gas.

    The Cruze is attractive starting at $16,300. Let’s see how it holds up as is.

    =D-Volt


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    Tom W

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:47 am)

    Dave G: If this type of charging behavior goes mainstream, the grid will be stretched to the breaking point.

    I have to keep disagreeing with the myth that charging during the day will impact the grid. EV’s will help level the load, they will make things better and lower rates in the very long run.

    Most EV charging will still be done at night. Much of it will be done in parking lots in the MORNING to top off folks batteries for the driving that is needed the rest of the day. Virtually all of this charging would be completed before PEAK AC demand in the hottest months.

    If I drive 28 miles to work in my volt and plug it in. I might program it to just charge 2 KWH to get me home, or maybe 6 kwh because i have a lot of driving after work, this charging will all be done long before PEAK AC demand. EV charging will level the load and lower power costs for everyone.

    This is what makes the Volt a better car than the leaf, especially for commuting. The Leaf doesn’t need to charge at work as it carries a big enough battery to make the round trip. The Volt carries a battery big enough to get you there, then you top it off for the return trip.

    This is hugely important in keeping battery costs down and also for mass adoptions as the raw materials needed for 90% adoption of this technology could cause problems in the future.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:51 am)

    nasaman: Yes it’ll pay off …. IF GM CAN GET THE MARKETING AND MEDIA EDUCATION RIGHT, as we discussed in yesterday’s topic.

    It doesn’t look so great for effective marketing. So far GM spent forever trying to market the Volt as an electric car (with a range extender) so as to differentiate it from parallel hybrids like the Prius. Now, as they introduce the Volt, they are using as the main tag line “More Car Than Electric”. IOW the electric car that’s not electric. Is it surprising that no one understands how the car works? As a contrast, do you think anyone is confused about how the Leaf works?

    john1701a: There was no tax credit available back then. It was only a deduction, which was significantly less. It wasn’t until 2006, after Toyota had already turned Prius profitable.

    AFAIK the Prius always qualified for tax cuts. Same setup as the Volt with the exception that the Prius tax credits were subject to AMT.

    Claiming the Prius became profitable in 2006 is something of a fairly tale. Depending on what numbers you want to include or exclude a car may be profitable or not. Depending on how you account for development costs, GM could claim that the Volt is profitable this year. It’s not but accounting can be magical.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:55 am)

    Sorry GM, the Volt is the only car I’d ever buy from you.

    Count me among the ranks of the countless many who are pissed about the bailout. I’ll forgive it for a plug in car, but other wise no.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Dave: I agree, but “cost optimization” can not come before QUALITY. Reduce costs wherever you can GM….but PLEASE…never again sacrifice quality. Most educated consumers will be happy to pay a reasonable premium knowing that the product they just purchased will not be in the shop getting fixed all of the time.

    As unit volumes increase, reliability generally increases as well.

    In other words, when a product starts becoming viable, there’s more financial motivation to have manufacturing engineers improve the process significantly, which both increases quality and decreases cost.

    By contrast, if unit volume is low, there’s usually not enough cost savings to justify hiring more manufacturing engineers to optimize the process, so production ends up being more costly and less reliable.

    This is why the government offers tax credits to get the ball rolling. As unit volumes increase, production costs decrease, so the tax credits become unnecessary, and are phased out.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:59 am)

    Yes. The price of the Volt is higher than we all hoped. But I am getting sick of the press (and others we know) skipping over the fact that consumers want this car in spite of the price. The decision to fight back against “the addiction to oil” is stronger than the press gives credit for. In doing the math, the Volt may not have a big impact at first, but it is a start. The greater impact is in public awareness.

    When mainstream news does a better job of reporting that this particular American Car will use 1/20th the amount of gas of the mighty Japanese Prius, then attitudes will change. The ‘Halo Effect’ has already started. Everyone who complains about price, in the same breath, says that they would buy immediately if it was “under $30,000″ making it just a bit more than the Cruze.

    You don’t think GM is working on that right now? The first Volt has not even been sold yet. Give it another year. And one more thing: Good luck, Toyota, on your PiP. You’d better have it in the road before a Voltec Cruze does make it market. YOUR halo isn’t that shiny any more!


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:01 am)

    At this point im waiting for the Ford Plug-in escape. Its the only thing on the radar thats big enough for my family. THe volt is way too small. supposed to be out in 2012. After that if No one makes a plug-in pickup truck ILL CONVERT MINE MYSELF. Watching razer ind. although they are pretty pricey thay are doing hummers and pickups.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:01 am)

    It will probably have some ‘halo’ effect.

    More importantly for the success of this car, and really all EV’s, is the price of the battery. If technological improvements (including improvements in the efficiency of manufacturing processes) proceed quickly and lower the cost substantially, EV’s will rapidly grow in market share.

    The second most important, related factor, is charging time.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:08 am)

    Dave G:
    The Plug-in Prius only has around 10 miles electric range (13 if you hyper-mile it). … So unlike the Volt, that means you’ll have to plug in many times per day if you want most of your miles to be electric. If this type of charging behavior goes mainstream, the grid will be stretched to the breaking point. Also, if you drive over 62 miles per hour, or step on the accelerator, the gas engine will kick in even during the first 10 miles to provide additional power.
    But even with these issues, if a Plug-in Prius can be had for $23,000 after tax credits, I think people will flock to it in a big way…

    The Prius engine starts whenever the car starts in order to heat the converter. It will restart periodically after that whenever the converter starts to get too cool. Of course it will also kick in under even modest acceleration loads, including what you’d experience going up a ramp to a parking garage. Forget about merging on to a busy road much less a freeway. IOW forget about AER if you want to drive the way 99% of drivers do — practically speaking it has no AER. The reviewer for Yahoo cars called it “underwhelming” which is a nice way of saying “worthless”. That seems about right.

    As for price, it will end up bing in the low 30s. Toyota understands the PIP is a loser and it isn’t going to pump them out. It will severely limit the number on the market in order to avoid having them sit on lots. Expect very low volume and high prices (remind you of anything). For a few thousand more you can get a Volt. For thousands less you can get a Leaf. Why anyone would buy a PIP is beyond me, but there were people who bought the Zune rather than a iPod.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:12 am)

    Dave G:
    Things are changing even faster than that.People now realize the need to replace gasoline with electricity.That’s the only way to become energy independent.Simply increasing gas mileage won’t get us there.So the regular Prius probably won’t compete directly with the Volt or Leaf.The Plug-in Prius will.The real question is this:How much will the Plug-in Prius cost?Remember that this is just an option on the 2012 Prius model.This option involves:
    1) substituting the existing NiMH battery pack with a Li/Ion pack of the same size and shape.
    2) adding a plug-in port and charger
    3) software modificationsIt’s quite possible Toyota could offer this option for around $4000.Since the tax credit is around $4000, it’s possible this option could end up costing very little or nothing at all!In this case, most people buying the Prius would want this option.The Plug-in Prius only has around 10 miles electric range (13 if you hyper-mile it).So unlike the Volt, that means you’ll have to plug in many times per day if you want most of your miles to be electric.If this type of charging behavior goes mainstream, the grid will be stretched to the breaking point.Also, if you drive over 62 miles per hour, or step on the accelerator, the gas engine will kick in even during the first 10 miles to provide additional power.But even with these issues, if a Plug-in Prius can be had for $23,000 after tax credits, I think people will flock to it in a big way…    

    No way a PiP is going to sell in the low $20′s, even after the rebate. Based on the pricing structure for the 2011 model, I’m going to suggest that the plug-in option will only be offered on the Prius V (or maybe it will be called Prius VI in 2012). That’s going to put the price closer to $30K. (see below)
    ……………………..
    http://iguida.com/2011-toyota-prius

    The 2011 Toyota Prius prices will be announced shortly before the car goes on sale but are not expected to rise significantly from 2010 levels.(Prices listed in this review include the manufacturer’s mandated destination fee; Toyota’s destination fee for Prius was $750 for 2010.)

    Five trim levels should return, labeled Prius I through Prius V. Based on 2010 prices, expect the 2011 Prius price range to be around $21,995-$28,300, with a fully optioned 2010 Prius V listing for around $32,800.

    The Toyota Prius I is essentially a stripped model aimed at stealing the limelight from the Honda Insight, a smaller, less-powerful hybrid that debuted for 2010 to much fanfare with a base price of $20,510. Expect the 2011 Toyota Prius I to be priced around $21,995.

    To get such features as the EV Mode, cruise control, and steering-wheel buttons for the multi-information display, you’ll need to move up to the 2011 Toyota Prius II at around $23,000. You’ll need about $24,000 to get into the 2011 Toyota Prius III with its standard JBL audio system and Bluetooth cell-phone connectivity. Eligibility for the optional navigation system, at around $1,800, and the Solar Roof Package, around $3,600, begins with the Prius III.

    The 2011 Toyota Prius IV should be priced around $26,800 and again come with leather upholstery, heated front seats, and automatic climate control. Priced around $28,300, the 2011 Toyota Prius V will include 17-inch alloy wheels (versus other model’s 15-inch wheels) and self-leveling headlamps with energy-saving Light Emitting Diode (LED) illumination. For 2010, the Prius V was the only model that could be ordered with the Advanced Technology Package, which cost around $4,500.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:14 am)

    The Volt as a halo car is interesting.

    It’s not a mainstream vehicle. It’s not popularly priced. It’s not a simple car. It doesn’t hit a sweet spot for the average new car buyer.

    It shows off the power of GM engineering more than anything else. GM has quite a few vehicles that can be used as a halo car. The singularly focused CTS V sedan, and the Corvette ZR-1 are two world class vehicles that with no comparison. Why not either of these? Well, because they are the best of the old school. High water marks for performance and luxury. Aspirational vehicles, no doubt. But the Camaro turns more heads and I can’t drive anywhere without seeing an Equinox! Should any of these cars have a halo over them?

    Go to a Chevy showroom and there are Camaro’s all over the place. What about the Tahoe? Because of the sheer size, you just can’t miss it. How does the Volt fit there? Just what does Volt really represent for GM?

    The Volt is an anomaly.

    There is nothing like it on the road anywhere, nevermind GM. It has captured our imagination of what transportation should be. But who are we? The average Joe? The Volt, as a production car, represents a spirit that just hasn’t been taken seriously before in GM. It is a rebirth of the EV-1 in a country of cheap oil, SUV’s and 10 mpg diesels. It flies in the face of the old GM and the reliable buyer of American cars. There are a lot of people that just might be afraid of the car. Why so much money for such a small car? Who gets it?

    I do, and so do the readers of this forum. Educated, driveway owners that want to take the next step in anything.
    It is a poster boy of the secret society of electric car engineers. A 4 wheeled version of the green gadget guy’s super top secret project. It connects us to solar panels, windmills and dams with a backup of the reality of oil. A lot of normal people just won’t get it. Since it is now in production, hopefully, a lot of people will. We can only hope.

    It might not be a true halo car for what we actually see from the rest of GM, but it sure is ours.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:18 am)

    CorvetteGuy: The ‘Halo Effect’ has already started. Everyone who complains about price, in the same breath, says that they would buy immediately if it was “under $30,000″ making it just a bit more than the Cruze.

    I think this is right. I may be an example of this since GM has zero of my mindshare before the Volt. Now it has some. Would I buy a GM car other than a Volt? Probably not but the needle has definitely moved in that I’d at least think of looking at them. The simple fact is that if people aren’t even thinking about your cars as an alternative they’re not going to be buying them. You have to start with mindshare.

    My guess is that this would also hold true for 90% of the people lined up for the Volt test drives. You’re probably right that as Volts get out the message will change and we’ll see more and more information about the very high MPG people are actually getting.

    Here’s a review from the LA Times:

    With its Volt, General Motors Co. zaps popular preconceptions that it’s incapable of making a progressive, outside-the-box vehicle. The exterior is understated and attractive, and the interior is sleekly high-tech without being overkill.


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    MetrologyFirst

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:18 am)

    Without reading all the input here, this is my opinion.

    Alot of people I have talked to about the Volt would like one to hedge future gas price spikes, and REDUCE (not eliminate) gas and oil use. Most people realize eliminating personal gas and oil use requires a lifestyle change thay are not willing to make. Maybe that will change someday. But not right now. I know that is an unpopular position to the EV activists, but its reality in my neck of the woods.

    People budget for things. Car payments, and gas as well. If they buy a new car, they budget for it, insurance, and the gas. If gas prices are fluctuating 100% in a year, and not under our control at all, this becomes a problem. When gas went up last year, I never saw so many people with fear in their eyes since 9-11. Even if their actual gas costs are not all that significant.

    Bottom line is that there are lots of reasons for people to buy a Volt. I think many will be suprised to find that those who entertain a Volt, willing to go and look at one in the dealership, might be willing to buy something else from the dealer if their budget doesn’t end up working for a Volt.

    But, I also think that if people take all things into consideration, gas savings, cool tech and looks, reducing oil use attraction, being on the cutting edge, NO REQUIRED lifestyle change, freedom from gas prices, the tax credits, etc….. the Volt isn’t such a bad deal. Not considering what people are willing to spend on other cars.

    And I think that buying this type of technology from an American car company has an appeal as well. For some, the fact that the Volt is from an American company tilts the scales even more. The fact that this is proof that the U.S. has not deferred all high tech manufacturing to other countries, that we can still kick butt if we are willing to put in the effort. That it is NOT a done deal that U.S. manufacturing is in a death spiral. Count me in on that one.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:20 am)

    nasaman: YES, GM’s bet will pay off    

    If you mean the “Lure and switch”, I differ (strongly). If you mean spinning off the Voltec technology into other vehicles, I agree.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:24 am)

    Dave G: This is why the government offers tax credits to get the ball rolling. As unit volumes increase, production costs decrease, so the tax credits become unnecessary, and are phased out

    Of course Government usually messes up with unintended consequences. Yes their tax credit will help get the ball rolling, but because of how they structured it, GM has incentive to go slowly because if they produce like heck now, they’ll run through their credits faster then they can reduce their costs with technology improvements.

    Competition from the Leaf and Ford is the only reason GM is going as fast as they are now.

    The credit should not be by number of cars per year but by decreasing amount per year, to give manufacturers the proper incentive. I keep hoping Lyle will pick up on this and use his pulpit to make the point.

    Credit should be by year and declining to get these companies moving. I.E.
    2011 $10,000
    2012 $9000
    2013 $8000
    2014 $7000
    2015 $6000
    2016 $5000
    2017 $4000
    2018 $3000
    2019 $2000

    Tax credit pays for itself anywys as each tax credit displaces more than that amount in imported oil and keeps the money in our economy.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:25 am)

    DonC: CorvetteGuy: The ‘Halo Effect’ has already started. Everyone who complains about price, in the same breath, says that they would buy immediately if it was “under $30,000″ making it just a bit more than the Cruze.

    I think this is right. I may be an example of this since GM has zero of my mindshare before the Volt. Now it has some….

    Who are you and what have you done with the real regulars who use these handles. I can understand why CG can see a benefit with more feet on the lot, but DonC? He’s never reasonable, but he’s usually rational (g).
    OK, JMO.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:34 am)

    DonC: As for price, [the Plug-in Prius] will end up being in the low 30s.

    What’s your source for this? I’m assuming this is before the $4K tax credit – yes?

    CorvetteGuy: Yes. The price of the Volt is higher than we all hoped. But I am getting sick of the press (and others we know) skipping over the fact that consumers want this car in spite of the price.

    For the average car buyer, $34K after tax credits is just too high. Yes, early adopters will flock to it initially, but at that price, it will end up being a niche car, not a mainstream car.

    Dave K.: The Cruze is attractive starting at $16,300.

    The Volt and Cruze are built on the same platform. The $16K price for the Cruze includes all GM overhead and presumably some profit. GM claims they make a small profit on the Volt as well.

    So it follows that the electrification of the Volt costs GM an additional $25K to build. Note that this is production and wholesale costs to GM, not retail prices that we would pay for these parts.

    The division of LG that originally produced the Volt’s battery pack said it costs $8K to build. GM has claimed it cost them $11K to build. So depending on who you believe, that leaves an additional $14K-$17K for the rest of the electric components besides the battery.

    I’m really having a hard time believing GM isn’t price gouging here. The price just seems too high.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:34 am)

    “Will the Chevrolet Volt bet pay off for GM?
    This is a very big question.”

    It’s still a crap shoot at this point. It depends on if they get grass-roots backing, or, if it ends up being a high-end experimental car.

    It’s possible that Volt and it’s variants could grab the attention of the car-buying public like never before. It’s equally possible that nobody will care despite what we think on this board.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:36 am)

    dcm,

    Well said. You just confirmed why GM’s ‘tag line’ for the Volt (posted yesterday) does not correctly describe it. Listen up Marketing Guys, the Volt is the “Electric Car with Extended Range”. That’s all you have to say to win.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:39 am)

    Van: Sadly I noted the story on the Drudge Report titled “Volt Fraud at Government Motors”.It does not take a rocket scientist to figure those invested in the status quo would attack Plug-in Hybrids.
    And it is more sad that some at GM gave them fuel for the fire by seeming to over promise.    (Reply)

    But the Drudge report is a conservative hack-rag. It’s like saying “Maddow doesn’t like the new Suburban”. Who cares?


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    Feel The Truth

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:40 am)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:41 am)

    I for one will not buy another car unless it is electric. So if I was to go into a showroom to buy a Volt and couldn’t I’d be pissed off and leave. I’d end up buying a Ford or Toyota plug in or whom ever else has one on the market. I’d probably never go back to GM because of that experience.

    That being said, I ordered my Black Volt.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:42 am)

    Tom W: Tax credit pays for itself anywys as each tax credit displaces more than that amount in imported oil and keeps the money in our economy.

    Or, we could just save all the money spent on the tax credits AND still displace exactly same amount of imported oil.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:46 am)

    Tom W: This is what makes the Volt a better car than the leaf, especially for commuting. The Leaf doesn’t need to charge at work as it carries a big enough battery to make the round trip. The Volt carries a battery big enough to get you there, then you top it off for the return trip.
    This is hugely important in keeping battery costs down and also for mass adoptions as the raw materials needed for 90% adoption of this technology could cause problems in the future.

    I suggest you look at the MSRP for the vehicles before talking about costs. Yes, the companies aren’t using the same markup/markdown — but, the Leaf is much less expensive to the consumer. (Also, more importantly, the Leaf is below the “OMFG that car costs $40k!” barrier.)


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:47 am)

    crew: Go to a Chevy showroom and there are Camaro’s all over the place.

    It should be the same for the Volt in a few years time. Unless GM surprises the world with the Voltec crossover. Need to add the lease returns on the 2011 Volt as well.

    NPNS


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:49 am)

    About lifestyle changes to eliminate oil.

    It’s not that people aren’t willing. They aren’t able. They need the flexible transportation. They can’t guarantee that their next job is in walking distance or can be reached in a reasonable amount of time by mass transit.

    You go to work with the infrastructure you have, not the infrastructure you wish you had.

    I still think GM should have built the Converj first. That would have been a halo car! They might even have made a profit on each one.

    If GM doesn’t make a profit on each and every Volt, they won’t improve it. If the major component of the price is the battery, then the chances for real cost reduction are minimal. Battery prices seem to be dropping about 8%/year.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:52 am)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:02 am)

    Tom W,

    The volt doesn’t need charging stations in parking lots. That’s the point of having the engine on board it functions without build new infrastructure to support it.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:06 am)

    Charlie H:
    The CTS-V as a luxury car?Clearly, you’ve never ridden in a real luxury car.And, no, the Cadillac is not (yet) aspirational.

    I don’t mean to cut your quote short, but, yes, I have well driven luxury cars. These two vehicles are exceptional for their performance prowess and price. Unrivaled in their combination. You can’t do better without spending more money. GM is GM, not Bugatti nor Aston Martin. Please don’t insult me nor the ‘vette with VVT or DI. The advantages of pushrods over OHVs easily warrant their use, old tech or not. The results speak for themselves.

    The topic is the Volt. The gist of my post is not to examine old school vehicles but to find a place for the Volt within GM. It is an anomaly for what we actually see today.

    ps. I forgot who I was responding to, forgive me for giving CH credibility by answering that post.


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    xhinamadein

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:14 am)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:19 am)

    Steve: The volt doesn’t need charging stations in parking lots. That’s the point of having the engine on board it functions without build new infrastructure to support it.

    thats your opinion, not mine.
    I’m leaning towards a volt but only because I expect I can average 60-70 miles AER. Without that I wouldn’t consider the volt because I drive too much. I’d get a pure EV and use my other car for out of town trips.

    The point is to drive without oil but have it as a backup.

    To me its rather stupid to spend all that money to do 40% of my driving AER.

    You may not agree with me, but I’m pretty confident the Volt will fail if parking lot charging stations do not become ubiquitous.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:20 am)

    Tom W: I want a Volt but will settle for a Leaf if GM makes me wait forever here in Ohio.

    About the Leaf : I just received a Leaf news email from Nissan (I subscribed) where they state that the expected life of the battery is 5 years. At least, that’s what they say in Canada. Yet, they will cover the battery 8 years in the US. Anyone has heard something about this lately ?

    P.S. One more reason to buy a Volt : they were very conservative to preserve the battery. I like to keep my cars a loooong time.


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    Theodore Hamilton VII

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:22 am)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:24 am)

    If a lease gave enough miles to let the Volt be more than driveway dressing, I’d do one in a NY minute.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:24 am)

    Tall Pete: About the Leaf : I just received a Leaf news email from Nissan (I subscribed) where they state that the expected life of the battery is 5 years. At least, that’s what they say in Canada. Yet, they will cover the battery 8 years in the US. Anyone has heard something about this lately ?
    P.S. One more reason to buy a Volt : they were very conservative to preserve the battery. I like to keep my cars a loooong time.

    I expect to get a Volt but I’ll get the Leaf if thats what it takes to do all my driving without oil. But in either case I’m leasing to begin with for the first 3 years, that way I’m covered no matter what happens with battery and I can still buy the car after 3 years.


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    Van

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:26 am)

    Did everyone see this from Dave G:

    “People now realize the need to replace gasoline with electricity. That’s the only way to become energy independent. Simply increasing gas mileage won’t get us there.”

    Truer words were never posted.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:28 am)

    I wouldn’t buy a car I’d driven for three years anyway. 8-)


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    neutron

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:29 am)

    “The Volt will arrive, but will arrive in very low volumes, and very few locations, and at a price point above what the average household can afford.”

    IMHO – The VOLT will stand on its own. I do not see it as a HALO car. My interest in this car is GM did a great job designing a game changer. They did a lot of things right and quite a few things wrong as noted in the quote.

    JIM I #4 said it best —”… if that is GM’s goal, it will backfire, and people will look to other manufacturers with the foresight to design and manufacture sufficient quantities of vehicles powered by alternative methods.”

    I agree with #45 CREW “The Volt is an anomaly.
    There is nothing like it on the road anywhere, nevermind GM. It has captured our imagination of what transportation should be… ”

    I like the VOLT and want one… but the issues of price, premium gas, lower than expected CS mileage against what was indicated in the original design promises, low production volumes, limited market … are challenges that are difficult for me to overcome. :+}


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:33 am)

    Dave G,
    Again, I agree….but GM has been in this position before. They built 1,966,157 Vega’s back in the 70′s….I had one of the last ones built…..but in spite of having built almost two million units before they built mine, the quality of my Vega was not so hot. Quality has to be job 1 in the Volt….or it will not succeed. Having said that….I do believe GM is on the right track….my 09 Malibu’s quality is very good. I have not had a single problem with it in almost 40,000 miles. My Vega started falling apart before I got it home from the dealership. GM must strive for perfection with the Volt. Yes, I know actual perfection is impossible….but that must be the target.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:33 am)

    Dave G: I’m really having a hard time believing GM isn’t price gouging here. The price just seems too high.

    There is still an unknown with the Volt. How much will the warranty cost to GM. If it is reasonable, I’m sure the price will fall accordingly.

    Only time will tell. The first customer Volt isn’t on the road yet. Give GM a year or two to confirm the reliability of all this new tech.

    In the meantime, early adopters are paying for the uncertainty and the privilege to be the only one on the block to have the new ‘it’ thing.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:38 am)

    Loboc: It’s still a crap shoot at this point. It depends on if they get grass-roots backing, or, if it ends up being a high-end experimental car.

    The Volt is only one middle-east crisis away from being the most genius product in car automotive history.

    Who wants to start a pool on when this crisis will occur ?


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:41 am)

    BobW: I still think GM should have built the Converj first.

    They dropped the Converj when they needed the money to save Opel in Europe. It was a strategic decision that can easily be documented. In this case, I think it was the right decision to make.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:43 am)

    Steve: Tom W,
    The volt doesn’t need charging stations in parking lots.That’s the point of having the engine on board it functions without build new infrastructure to support it.    

    I have to side with Tom W. on that one. He proved the other day that a charging infrastructure was more beneficial to the Volt than the Leaf.

    He convinced me.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:48 am)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:48 am)

    Theodore Hamilton VII: WTF, the Volt is just a Prius on Steroids. It’s not even a real EV because the Gas Motor turns the wheels.
    NO HALO CAR.Sorry, but you people are living in a fantasy world, time to return to earth.    

    Did you hear the news ? Just yesterday Toyota recalled over a million vehicules worldwide. Again.

    I, for one, hope that the Volt is nothing like the Prius. Or any Toyota car for the time being.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:49 am)

    Tall Pete: The Volt is only one middle-east crisis away from being the most genius product in car automotive history.
    Who wants to start a pool on when this crisis will occur ?

    Thats a tough one, could happen any day, but unlikely we can go another 2 years without some sort of crisis that would at least temporarily drive gas prices over $5.

    Hurricanes can do that as well as security problems in the Middle East. Then there is the possibility of Israel just going all out to ‘neutralize’ Iran’s nuclear threat, and then the conflagration that follows could see gas prices not as relevent as what everyone’s rationing amont would be.

    Thats why one of points I keep making is the requirement needs to be the ability to do close to 100% of driving without oil. So the Volt’s long term success is certainly dependant on parking lot charging stations. Otherwise second generation BEVs that can do all your daily driving will put the Volt out of business.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:53 am)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:07 am)

    Tom W: The credit should not be by number of cars per year but by decreasing amount per year, to give manufacturers the proper incentive. I keep hoping Lyle will pick up on this and use his pulpit to make the point.
    Credit should be by year and declining to get these companies moving. I.E.
    2011 $10,000
    2012 $9000
    2013 $8000
    2014 $7000
    2015 $6000
    2016 $5000
    2017 $4000
    2018 $3000
    2019 $2000

    The concern has been “too little, too slowly“, clearly expressed by the auto task-force.

    The tax credit is encouragement to get automakers to produce as many as possible as quickly as possible. Once the quantity threshold is reached, the tax credit does not end. It shrinks, I believe using the same process as in the past… by 25% every 6 months until the deadline.

    Allowing that flow of money to continue beyond the regular generation upgrade cycle would be counter-productive. What would the incentive be to reduce cost if a subsidy continues for that long? What would stimulate competition? Why invest in production capacity?

    The point is to make the new technology the norm as quickly as possible.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:11 am)

    Charlie H: Not like a Toyota, in that the Camry and Corolla are best-selling cars in their categories?

    Good numbers. They come and they go. For Toyota, they came. Now they will go. Nobody stays on top of the hill forever.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:11 am)

    Tall Pete: They dropped the Converj when they needed the money to save Opel in Europe.

    I humbly beg to differ. I recall them saying that the Voltec drive train couldn’t deliver the performance expected of a Caddy.

    Someone correct me if i’m wrong but that’s the last I heard on why the Converj was not allowed to proceed.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:14 am)

    Tall Pete: Good numbers. They come and they go. For Toyota, they came. Now they will go. Nobody stays on top of the hill forever.

    +1
    Everybody has *those* days.


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    hamchief

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:16 am)

    Here are my thoughts and predictions:

    Why would someone who is interested in the Volt NOT buy it?
    1. Too expensive
    2. Too small
    3. Not available

    #3 is solvable my making more Volts.
    Now for 1 & 2 (and my predictions):
    Volt Gen2 will be almost the same car as Gen 1 but with some refinements – price (after any rebates) will be about the same.
    Later on, Chevy will make a larger vehicle with the Voltech drivetrain and charge more for it.
    They will make an “economy” car with Voltech and far fewer features (possibly smaller/cheaper battery and/or ICE) and bring it in the $20Ks.

    …or, they may discontinue the Volt in lieu of these other two models…then resurrect it ala the Insight.

    Time will tell


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    Streetlight

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:17 am)

    Hardly is GM’s EV engineering an experiment. While its just not possible to assess which major is further EV engineering developed, its a certainty GM is an engineering EV leader.

    In fact, GM has single-handedly, brought back to the U.S. some of the electronics leadership that at one time we ruled the roost and lost in the 80′s & 90′s.

    Gots to run. However, I am convinced GM will see payback well before 2015. (This should have been a 1500 word article.)


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:20 am)

    Tall Pete: I have to side with Tom W. on that one. He proved the other day that a charging infrastructure was more beneficial to the Volt than the Leaf.

    Certainly charging stations are more beneificial to the volt in terms of being an electric car that can drive a lot of miles electrically.

    The genious of the Volt is you don’t have to worry about inconvenience and you don’t need to carry around a 32 KWH battery, a 16 KWH battery will do fine, and have a long lifespan, but you need to be able to charge the thing when its sitting.

    The Leaf will get you a ton of AER but there will be unplanned times to stop and charge.
    So the Volt gives you convenience but requires parking lot charging to achieve the AER thats needed to take a dent out of our oil dependency.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:23 am)

    Tagamet: If you mean spinning off the Voltec technology into other vehicles, I agree.

    Into a TRUCK!!!
    A Truck I SAY!!!

    A Voltec Colorado……a “Voltarado”! (lol….got that name from muddyroverrob)


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:30 am)

    There are obviously two distinctly different groups that are attracted to the Volt : greenies and those who despise dependency on foreign nations, many of whom are mostly using oil revenues to blow the USA sky high. While I strongly favor solar cells for electrical production, along with geothermal heat pumps, electric cars, etc., the reasons have nothing to do with the prevailing hysteria over carbon emissions. The case for global warming as a result of human actions is flimsy at best and those pushing this theory the hardest (like Al Gore and Hollywood play actors) are either in it for the hundreds of millions (Gore) or to enhance their image as “concerned and conscientious” folk (like George (the Teeth) Gooney). My favorite example of the lowly state of knowledge that exists among those making energy policy is when Sen Max Baucus of Montana claimed during the christening of a new windmill that “this will show those oil producers something.” Since we don’t make electricity using oil anymore, mostly it would
    tell those oil producing nations that the USA has some really clueless folks in Washington. And
    they’re making energy policy.
    As to the Volt. Since it currently holds a monopoly on practical electric propulsion, it’s
    hard to see how it will fail in the near term, especially with those low production numbers.
    It obviously won’t make a dent in carbon emissions or oil dependencies, but will make those
    worried about such things at least feel better about themselves. I have little doubt that we will have a practical battery within the next 5 years. The Volt was not built for that eventuality, which will enable far sleeker designs and a far lower cost electric vehicle. Battery-only electric cars, given a powertrain whose cost equals current ICE powertrains, is considerably cheaper to build. They also don’t require enormous engine/transmission manufacturing capabilities – the best electric car motors these days are NOT built by the automakers, nor will the batteries be
    controlled by automakers. This offers an enormous opportunity for start-ups, heretofore excluded from the automaker business by capital and existing tooling advantages held by the
    major automakers. Tesla and Fisker are good examples of the beginning of this. Nor does this
    new automaking world depend upon continued worries about carbon. An electric car is, and always has been, a far more elegant and practical means of moving a vehicle down the road.
    Simply observe the gigantic number of parts, many machined to tight tolerances, that are required for an ICE based vehicle. Plus the fuel system, the cooling system, the exhaust system,the convoluted electronic to manage all that. An alien observing our planet would
    conclude that humans sure engage in a lot of clumsy and inefficient engineering. lectric cars
    would raise the standard of living quite a lot – we spend an awful lot of money on personal conveyance. Here’s to the brave new automotive world. May it come sooner than hoped.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:30 am)

    It would be real business progress for a motel chain to offer an outside plug for plug-in cars for a fee per eight-hour charge. The cost to make it available would be minimal and the marketing great for the motel and the car industry. It is just who will grab the marketing advantage first.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:33 am)

    john1701a: The tax credit is encouragement to get automakers to produce as many as possible as quickly as possible. Once the quantity threshold is reached, the tax credit does not end. It shrinks, I believe using the same process as in the past… by 25% every 6 months until the deadline.

    I did not realize that after the 200,000 threshhold, that the credit remained. I wonder if someone has a link to that? 25% every 6 months is $5625 after 6 months, $4218 after 12 months, $3164 after 18 months.

    That seems reasonable to me if it is true.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:34 am)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:36 am)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:40 am)

    David: It would be real business progress for a motel chain to offer an outside plug for plug-in cars for a fee per eight-hour charge. The cost to make it available would be minimal and the marketing great for the motel and the car industry. It is just who will grab the marketing advantage first.

    There will be industry standard charging stations all over the place in a few years. There will be 2 and 4 car stations but initially 2 car stations will be easier to install on the edge of parking lots positioned every other space. In newer parking lots they can put 4 car stations to charge 4 cars at a time.

    This isn’t that complicated, but it is sort of a chicken and the egg things. You need lots of cars to create the demand, but without the charging stations you won’t see as many cars sold. So again we need government regulation to make it happen even though it isn’t that expensive compared to other parking lot costs (lighting, paving, plowing, taxes etc.). Plus parking lots can make some money off of them eventually.

    It is sort of like Pop Machines, DVD movie dispensers, except eventually there will be much greater demand for parking lot charging stations.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:41 am)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:43 am)

    Dave K.: Wonder how the Cruze will catch on in taxi service? It’s sure to be a winner with car rentals. The Volt and Cruze support each other.   (Quote)  (Reply)

    That yellow Cruze would had made a better “Bumblebee”, since the original Bumblebee was a small car (a VW Beetle), and that Autobot was the smallest at human heigth. I guess GM had to sell the new Camaro somehow. I saw a Bumblebee version yesterday , and it looks good, but I then saw a black Camaro and it was much better.

    Raymond


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:47 am)

    Many people here do not get the big picture. It will take 10-20 years for the technology to improve and price to come down. In the mean time there will be more than enough early adopters to keep the technology moving forward. In the mean time GM needs the majority of the population to buy the other products for cash flow.

    As much as everyone on this Blog might want to believe, the cost model does not make sense at this time. A large majority of people/families may “care or want” to do something proactive, but economics does not allow. The cost of gas at $2.50 – $3.00 gal does not justify. So if these people can fund GM via Cruze, etc. that is really a good thing for the future.

    Some will argue that the government should put a tax or carbon fee on gas, driving the cost up to $6.00/gal like Europe. In reality there will be no tax increase. Democrats would be seen as hurting the poor and Republicans just flat out hate taxes. So theorize all you want about that idea, but it is DOA.

    In 1985 I bought a crappy Tandy computer for $2,600. In 1998, I paid $2,000 for a Dell “Race Horse” that was really good and served me well for a number of years. In 2006, I bought a Dell laptop that allows me to Skype with friends from Europe and Asia. Oh, I paid $900 for it.

    What I am saying is it took 13 years (1985 – 1998) for computers to hit the masses. It took about 5 years after that and now every kid has his own computer and many families have 3 or more of them around the house.

    Patience is a virtue!


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:50 am)

    A HALO car? I don’t think so. The Voltec engine is revolutionary and it’s only a matter of time before it’s scaled to go into Trucks, SUVs, and Caddies. GM had to start the process with a new car on a new platform with its own unique identity. Just our interest shows its potential! We’ve seen what happens to the power consumption when the Volt is driven over 70 mph. What happens to a Leaf or a Tesla? What kind of range will they get?
    My daily driving is suited perfectly for the Volt. I figure I’m within that original 75% of drivers GM was targeting 3 years ago. I expect to drive AER 99% of the time. If parking lots get chargers, I’ll take advantage of them.
    GM experimented on us with the EV-1. They killed it much to our dismay, but they learned some powerful lessons and now we’re seeing the results. I for one, hope that the Volt’s a giant success. It’s certainly not for everybody, but what car is?


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:50 am)

    kent beuchert: Simply observe the gigantic number of parts, many machined to tight tolerances, that are required for an ICE based vehicle.

    Though I agree batteries will be much better in 5 years, there is still many benefits from only needing to carry around 40 miles worth of battery for many more years than that. But as i’ve already posted repeatedly the key to the Volt sticking around is the model that includes charging stations in parking lots so Volt drivers can achieve 95%+ AER insteadof 40-75% AER.

    The Volt requires the ability to charge at work the Leaf only requires scattered quick charge stations for infrequent long trips (assuming 30% improvement in 5 years).

    Without ubiquitous charging stations BEV’s will dominate the market with a mere 30% improvement in existing battery performance/wgt and cost.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:54 am)

    Randy: At this point im waiting for the Ford Plug-in escape. Its the only thing on the radar thats big enough for my family. THe volt is way too small. supposed to be out in 2012. After that if No one makes a plug-in pickup truck ILL CONVERT MINE MYSELF. Watching razer ind. although they are pretty pricey thay are doing hummers and pickups.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Don’t wait for the Ford Escape plug-in hybrid. Wait for the Voltec-powered Chevy Equinox plug-in. Or get an EV-converted Equinox now if you can’t wait.

    In 2009 I wanted to get a Ford Escape Hybrid for my wife, but every Ford dealer wanted to sell me a similar-priced Ford Explorer instead (more profit?). Then we saw the Equinox and we bought it. I have driven both for some time (I rented the ICE Escape for a month to try it out), and I am totally convinced that the Equinox is a much better buy than an Escape. Before taking on that decison, rent both and compare. This is why I bought the ICE-powered Equinox instead of waiting for the Hybrid Escape.

    You will thank me (and GM) for the better deal later.

    Raymond


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:55 am)

    Jimza Skeptic: In the mean time GM needs the majority of the population to buy the other products for cash flow.

    No offense Jimza, but no thanks. Aint gonna buy another ICE car. My foots down and an ICE is a 100% NO.

    /yeah yeah, I know the Volt has an ICE but the 40AER will cover 90% of my and wife’s driving.

    //LEAF will probably be my choice depending on Broke AZZ CA.
    ///ARRRRRGHHHH……this edit thingy is killing me!


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:56 am)

    Tall Pete:
    The Volt is only one middle-east crisis away from being the most genius product in car automotive history.
    Who wants to start a pool on when this crisis will occur ?    

    I don’t think there will be another oil crisis. As crazy as the world is, these dictators know where the money comes from. The last time they went nuts and the prices went up, people took notice and started developing the VOLT and Leaf. Others became more aware of conservation. And finally the world economy slowed down. Bottom line is that these cats realized the sweet spot for oil price. Over time they will slowly raise it up, but nothing eye-popping that requires drastic action. Sometimes these characters in Iran & Venezuela want to rattle cages, but they have trusted advisors explaining the money trail. They now know where the lines in the sand are… So to speak! ;-)


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:58 am)

    I’ve always been of the mind, that the “seemingly openess” that GM has displayed, throughtout the entire process of the Volt, has been a feint.
    What we really don’t know, or see, is what GM really has brewing in the background, using the Voltec concept.


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    Jimza Skeptic

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:01 pm)

    Jimza Skeptic,

    CaptJackSparrow:
    No offense Jimza, but no thanks. Aint gonna buy another ICE car. My foots down and an ICE is a 100% NO.
    /yeah yeah, I know the Volt has an ICE but the 40AER will cover 90% of myand wife’s driving.    

    The GM needs you and others as an early adopter!!!! I did my early adopting in the computer area. I will wait for VOLT 4.0


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:02 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: If a lease gave enough miles to let the Volt be more than driveway dressing, I’d do one in a NY minute.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I’ a New Yorker (from Mantattan’s Lower East Side), so what is a “New York minute?

    Raymond


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    Raymondjram

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:06 pm)

    Dave4664: Dave G,Again, I agree….but GM has been in this position before. They built 1,966,157 Vega’s back in the 70’s….I had one of the last ones built…..but in spite of having built almost two million units before they built mine, the quality of my Vega was not so hot. Quality has to be job 1 in the Volt….or it will not succeed. Having said that….I do believe GM is on the right track….my 09 Malibu’s quality is very good. I have not had a single problem with it in almost 40,000 miles. My Vega started falling apart before I got it home from the dealership. GM must strive for perfection with the Volt. Yes, I know actual perfection is impossible….but that must be the target.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I had a 1975 Vega Kammback wagon, and it was well built. I sold it in 1985 to a car racer who needed it to transplant the V8 engine and transmission from his wrecked Camaro. I was told later that the Vega wagon won a few races.

    Maybe my Vega wasn’t buildt on a Monday or Friday?

    Raymond


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:06 pm)

    Jimza Skeptic: The GM needs you and others as an early adopter!!!! I did my early adopting in the computer area. I will wait for VOLT 4.0

    lol…
    I recommend Volt 4.0 SP1 or SP3 :-P

    /most may not know this but the *Odd* (excluding 1) SP’s always fixes what the first/even SP’s broke. :-P


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:07 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: It’s already been said that Volt dealers are going to have Prius’ on the lot for comparison.

    The Prius on the lot was during dealer training. I drove both. The Volt is a car people will ‘enjoy’ driving. There will not be a Prius on this lot, except for the 2 used ones we have. Can’t even give those away. If you want a used Prius, please call and make an offer.


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    Mark Z

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:10 pm)

    My brother happened to chat with my Chevrolet dealer yesterday and reported back to me. “You are lucky your order is in process, because after the dealer had his TEST drive, he would have used the allocation for himself!!!”

    Now that is what will sell thousands of VOLT vehicles, dealers who are shocked at the performance and want the VOLT for themselves!


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    Raymondjram

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:11 pm)

    Charlie H: Nothing like a Toyota in what way? Not like a Toyota, in that the Camry and Corolla are best-selling cars in their categories? I’d say that’s a given.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    The best selling ice cream flavor is vanilla. It doesn’t mean that it is the best flavor.
    The best selling color is white. Does it mean that everything painted white is better?
    Selling more never really means that it is better. Just more common and cheaper!

    If I win a Toyota as a prize, I use it as a trade-in to get a better auto (non- import).

    Raymond


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:17 pm)

    99 bary252 said:

    The Voltec engine is revolutionary and it’s only a matter of time …

    Damn, I hate waitin’.


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:28 pm)

    Raymondjram:
    I’ a New Yorker (from Mantattan’s Lower East Side), so what is a “New York minute?Raymond    

    It ain’t much, that’s for sure… Here ya go:
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/New_York_minute


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:33 pm)

    EricLG: Just curious, do you know where the defective part was made ?

    lol….
    Yeah, that’s why I try to never flame on a big mfgr. I worked at HP for many years and when Hard drives failed, everyone blamed HP. HP didn’t make hard drives. They were Seagate drives that went bad. The WD drives worked fine, but HP got slammed for it. Everyone screamed “poor HP quality”.
    I’m not saying they’re not responsible for it, HP did replace all of them but the blame always falls on the last man (or woman….Carly) selling the product.

    /I’m just saying sh|t happens to everyone, move on.


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    nasaman

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:36 pm)

    Mark Z: My brother happened to chat with my Chevrolet dealer yesterday and reported back to me. “You are lucky your order is in process, because after the dealer had his TEST drive, he would have used the allocation for himself!!!”

    Now that is what will sell thousands of VOLT vehicles, dealers who are shocked at the performance and want the VOLT for themselves!

    Interesting but not at all surprising to anyone who’s driven a Volt like you & me, right?

    Mark, one of our regular posters here who is buying a Volt asked on my FB page what the Volt’s engine oil spec is —I told him I thought GM was using 5W-30 synthetic in all engines now. Could you please look it up in your new manual? I’ll also let him know on Facebook.

    /PS: It would also be interesting to know any of the Volt’s key service intervals


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    benion2

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: The WD drives worked fine

    You bet they did, Digital (DEC) started WD drives. If DEC built it, it was built like a tank.


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    James

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:53 pm)

    Don’t panic.

    I got numerous -1s months back when I argued the Volt would be nothing more than a halo to bring people into the showroom and hawk Cruzes. Since then, I’ve had many conversations with people on both sides of this, and I have revised my mindset.

    I coined the term: VOLT EFFECT and have written about it. What I believe is that the effect of Volt will be similar to what Prius did in the industry. It woke a lot of people up. I just read about Infinity’s M Hybrid and the article actually said “Infinity is very late to the party”. What this means is six years after the 2nd gen Prius rocked the car world, even the least likely marques to go efficient have seen that buyers in the $40k to $100k are just as eager to go green or be percieved as forward-thinking as anyone else. Mercedes and Lexus are H model forward, Porsche folded to the Tesla wave by designing a hybrid supercar which has a good likelihood of production in some form, Ferrari has a hybrid supercar under development and Lotus, the Evora EREV hybrid. Let’s not forget Fisker and the vapor-maybe-reality Model S. In Europe, carmakers will be forced to go electric-assist by no pollution zones and government mandates on emissions.

    A rolling stone gathers no moss. We all know this lesson of momentum. The EV and hybrid stone is rolling at a good clip. Volt’s mere existence will instigate engineering and competition to catch up and surpass it. Battery tech is moving forward faster than the improvement of the ICE did in it’s early days. Volt cannot disappear as some science experiment ala: EV-1 because of competition. If Volt goes away GM will still have to offer hybrids superior to 2nd gen 2-modes to survive. I’ve always predicted an EV Cruze and today it’s testing in S. Korea. Volt may well be offered at a lowered pricepoint as an EV. The public at large is not going to forget all the advantages put before them-of a near all-electric hybrid.

    Don’t get all weird now and start agreeing with me ( my opinion 10 months ago ). :) Today I’m the optimist and believe that Volt is the tip of the iceberg. Prius became an icon or a pest, a 21st century VW Bug or an ugly green snob’s ride – depending on where you stand. At any rate they’re as common on our roads as political ads in media a month before an election.

    Don’t panic.

    If GM doesn’t build a 300 mile EV or innovative, affordable hybrids spun off Volt.

    Somebody will.

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ( in all 50 states )

    James


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    Tom W

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (12:53 pm)

    Jimza Skeptic: I don’t think there will be another oil crisis. As crazy as the world is, these dictators know where the money comes from. The last time they went nuts and the prices went up, people took notice and started developing the VOLT and Leaf. Others became more aware of conservation. And finally the world economy slowed down. Bottom line is that these cats realized the sweet spot for oil price. Over time they will slowly raise it up, but nothing eye-popping that requires drastic action. Sometimes these characters in Iran & Venezuela want to rattle cages, but they have trusted advisors explaining the money trail. They now know where the lines in the sand are… So to speak

    You don’t know what you are talking about. Oil has remained in a tight range not because the ARABs realize that if they raise oil prices we’ll just build EV’s its because Demand and Supply have been pretty constant this past year.

    Governments know the supply will not keep up with demand and there isn’t much cheap oil left worth getting at $80 a barrell. The only way gas will cost $3 gallon in 5 years is if the world falls into deep depression.


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    Loboc

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:02 pm)

    kent beuchert: There are obviously two distinctly different groups that are attracted to the Volt : greenies and those who despise dependency on foreign nations

    Which totally ignores the main purpose of Volt which is: An electric car that nobody is afraid to drive like a regular/normal ICE car.

    I personally am not a ‘greenie’ and I really don’t care that much about oil consumption (I drive a Dodge w/Hemi V-8). BUT, I do care about and want a Volt because of the tech and the electric drive.

    273ft-lbs of torque @ ZERO rpms. No other production car can match that. (Before ya go there, hand-building 1k or so Teslas in three/four years is not ‘production’.)

    So how do your narrow generalizations reconcile with that reality?


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    Estero

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:11 pm)

    CorvetteGuy,

    Sorry CorvetteGuy, I meant to give you a +1 but accidentally clicked on “-”.


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    Estero

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:13 pm)

    nasaman,

    Not sure how anyone could give you a “-” on this one. It is a “+” for me!


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    nasaman

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:15 pm)

    Tagamet, post #48: nasaman: YES, GM’s bet will pay off

    If you mean the “Lure and switch”, I differ (strongly). If you mean spinning off the Voltec technology into other vehicles, I agree.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Sorry Tag, I must have missed this the first time. No, what I meant is that I’m sure GM will win their bet without regard to how much it depends on the “halo effect”. In this politically-charged next 10 days or so, I’m also staying away from taking a purely “blue” or “red” position when so often its obviously wrong —or at least it’s not the best answer. And nope, I’m not “purple” either, but I do intensely study all the candidates & issues (and ignor all the ads) before voting.*

    More specifically, I think GM’s huge bet on Volt will pay off because it’s fundamentally sound. Or as another Volt reviewer put it today, “Sure, it’s a tall order to be the ‘best ever’ at something, but the Volt takes every preconception and stereotype about eco cars, itself and its parent company and tosses them on their heads.” He adds, “Proclaiming a vehicle as the best General Motors has ever built is a lofty statement, but well deserved in the case of the Volt. We cannot think of another GM product that showcases the design and engineering might of the General.”

    I completely agree with this. And I think it means the Volt will inevitably have a halo effect, a game-changing impact on automotive design and numerous other effects such as proliferating public charging and eventually V2H (& perhaps V2G) that we can only prognosticate about now. But the Volt’s success won’t depend on any one of these myriad “side effects.” Right now, it will depend more on how effectively GM gets the word out than almost anything else, as I argue in post #5. And if the Volt can be effectively explained (then experienced like you and I have done), everything else will follow. And as I said in post #5, that’s a BIG IF!

    *PS: An excellent non-biased, non-partisan source for accurate candidate & issue information, from local to national elections all over the US, is: http://www.votesmart.org/


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    Loboc

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    lol…
    I recommend Volt 4.0 SP1 or SP3
    /most may not know this but the *Odd* (excluding 1) SP’s always fixes what the first/even SP’s broke.     

    Versions are the other way. Version 3 and Version 5 of DOS were the best. I really like Windows V7 as well. V3.11 not so much, but WAY better than V1 and V2.

    V3 and v5 of AIX also. Pretty much V4 was DOA.


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    Tall Pete

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    EricLG:
    Just curious, do you know where the defective part was made ?    

    No I don’t. I saw it in the news on TV and read the headline in the paper. As I recall, there were a bunch of models involved in the recall : a SUV, an hybrid Lexus model and so on.

    I didn’t pay much attention because I don’t own a Toyota. Neither my wife or any relative of my close family. If I did, I would be concerned but at the same time, I must admit that they try to do the right thing. On the other hand, they can’t afford another PR disaster so they better be proactive and solve the problems. Hopefully they will : nobody wants more casualties.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Shannon Arvizu

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:30 pm)

    I believe that the Chevy Volt will win, but only because of mass consumer support driven by a powerful story that resonates with the “hearts and minds” of Americans.

    Check “The Car that Saves America: The Real Chevy Volt Story.”

    http://www.misselectric.com/?p=1460


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    hmmm

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:30 pm)

    I wonder if they’ll surprise the market with a cheaper, pure BEV version with longer EV range sooner than anticipated… like in 2011! That would increase sales and production of many shared components between the current Volt and the BEV version, reducing costs for both, and eat into sales of the only competition which let’s face it is butt-ugly in comparison…


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    Tall Pete

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    EricLG,

    Problem with these numbers is that they don’t account for the first 40 miles of the Volt where pollutants are 0. You are smart enough to know that.

    I will give you that the ICE generator of the Volt has still to be improved, pollutant wise. Understandable since they took an existing engine that was not specifically designed for the purpose to allow the car to be ready in 3 years instead of the normal 5 usually required.

    It’s an achievement even if it doesn’t beat the competition on all accounts. Yet.


  129. 129
    Mark Z

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    nasaman: One of our regular posters here who is buying a Volt asked on my FB page what the Volt’s engine oil spec is —I told him I thought GM was using 5W-30 synthetic in all engines now. Could you please look it up in your new manual?

    Page 10-10: Use and ask for engine oils with the dexos certification mark.

    Page 10-11: SAE 5W-30 is the best viscosity grade for the vehicle. Do not use other viscosity oils such as SAE 10W-30, 10W-40, or 20W-50. Cold Temperature Operation: In a area of extreme cold, where the temperature falls below -29 degrees Celsius (-20 degrees Fahrenheit), an SAE 0W-30 oil should be used. An oil of this viscosity grade will provide easier cold starting for the engine at extremely low temperatures.

    The manual mentions to change oil within 600 miles when the computer system displays CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON. However this paragraph on page 10-13 should answer your question: If the system is ever reset accidentally, the oil must be changed at 3000 mi since the last oil change.

    (Of course you want to use the built in computer, as many will use the engine occasionally.)

    Other items of interest.

    Air Filter: 50,000 mi – replace

    Engine: Always use DEX-COOL coolant. 5 year or 150,000 mile lifespan. Warranty repairs not covered if you use another product. Use 50/50 mixture of clean drinkable water and DEX-COOL coolant.

    Cooling System (High Voltage Battery) requires 50/50 mixture of DEX-COOL engine coolant and deionized water. There is a reservoir window to check, but should only be serviced by a qualified technician.

    Electric power steering system, no fluid or general maintenance is required.

    Washer fluid, brake fluid, and 12 volt battery details are similar to other GM products. (12 volt battery is for unlocking and starting the car – see 10-71 to 10-76 for jump starting instructions.)

    The most interesting item from the jump starting section on page 10-73 is this: “Push the POWER button to start. This will wake up the electronics on the Volt. After the instrument cluster initializes, the Volt will use power from the high voltage battery to charge the 12-volt battery. The jumper cables can then be disconnected.”

    (So it appears the high voltage battery will not allow you to start the car if your 12 volt battery is dead. But, that 12 volt battery will be charged in your first 40 miles of EV use without the engine and of course with the E-REV generator too.)

    There are a number of user checks that can be done and many other topics. With 89 pages of vehicle care instructions, it’s best to order the manual and check out all the details.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:42 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    EricLG

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    nasaman

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    Shannon Arvizu, post #126: I believe that the Chevy Volt will win, but only because of mass consumer support driven by a powerful story that resonates with the “hearts and minds” of Americans.

    Check “The Car that Saves America: The Real Chevy Volt Story.”

    http://www.misselectric.com/?p=1460

    A superb article, Shannon! And your last sentence says it all, “I believe that the Chevy Volt will win, but only because of mass consumer support driven by a powerful story that resonates with the “hearts and minds” of Americans.” I couldn’t agree more and I recommend your excellent, insightful article to everyone: http://www.misselectric.com/?p=1460


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    DonC

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (1:55 pm)

    Tom W: I did not realize that after the 200,000 threshhold, that the credit remained. I wonder if someone has a link to that? 25% every 6 months is $5625 after 6 months, $4218 after 12 months, $3164 after 18 months.

    It’s a 12 month phase out. 50% for two quarters and then 25% for two quarters and then 0%. See page 54:
    http://www.house.gov/billtext/hr1_legtext_crb.pdf


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    Murrcar

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    JeremyK,
    I have been driving a development Cruze Eco Manual for the last few weeks. My typical drive is 16 miles with 6 stop signs and 7 stop lights, with speed limits of 25 to 50 MPH. I have been getting 34.5 MPG. I do not hipermile. I typically drive at to 5MPH above the speed limit.


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    nasaman

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:06 pm)

    Mark Z, post #129: (From the 2011 Volt Owner’s Manual)….There are a number of user checks that can be done and many other topics. With 89 pages of vehicle care instructions, it’s best to order the manual and check out all the details.

    Thanks a million, Mark!

    I’m sure many others here will appreciate your trouble to post these excerpts from the new Volt manual!


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:09 pm)

    Shannon Arvizu: I believe that the Chevy Volt will win, but only because of mass consumer support driven by a powerful story that resonates with the “hearts and minds” of Americans.Check “The Car that Saves America: The Real Chevy Volt Story.” http://www.misselectric.com/?p=1460  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Outstanding! A “Plus 10″ for you and a big “all-American” hug!


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    DonC

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:14 pm)

    Shannon Arvizu: Check “The Car that Saves America: The Real Chevy Volt Story.”

    Not to be critical, but all you’re saying is that GM is completely fumbling an opportunity, and that should not be a news flash.

    Let’s face it, the tag line is so horrible and so lame that there has to be some back story. It’s very very very hard to believe that any competent agency would come up with such loser material. So why is the Volt saddled with this dog poo of an advertising campaign based on such mind numbingly stupid tag lines as “It’s More Car Than Electric”? What’s the back story? Did Ed Whitacre’s wife talk to “the girls” at “The Club” and they didn’t like the good stuff the agency presented so Big Ed came up with this POS? Was Reuss “thinking in the shower?” I guarantee it was something like that.

    And before anyone thinks these scenarios are outlandish, do not forget that “Verizon” owned the “Air-Touch” name, that the name Verizon tested terribly with consumers, that the Air-Touch name tested very well with consumers, and that Verizon spent a lot of money torturing the data, and then wasted $1B on a not very successful branding campaign, after Ivan Seidenberg’s wife talked to “the girls” at “The Club.”

    I’d love to hear the story on this one. There is one and no doubt it’s a fascinating study on why GM marketing leaves a lot to be desired. Just don’t blame the agency cause there is no way they came up with this.


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    DonC

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:28 pm)

    Dave G: I’m really having a hard time believing GM isn’t price gouging here. The price just seems too high.

    At some point price is a function of cost and cost in the auto-biz is a function of volume. If you go back to this spring and look at my posts when GM was releasing its production numbers you’ll find that I was very upset because the low volumes necessitated high prices. I’ve just been surprised that anyone was surprised when GM announced the price. You can’t build 10k cars a year and have competitive prices. Can’t be done.


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    john1701a

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:43 pm)

    DonC:
    The Prius engine starts whenever the car starts in order to heat the converter…

    Not only has that repeatedly been pointed to be false, there are now several YouTube videos confirming it.

    The blatant greenwashing shows how desperate the situation has become.

    Too bad focus on market need has been lost to image… a halo.


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    redeye

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:47 pm)

    Eco_Turbo,

    Very True !
    I am still interested in The Volt but less excited. Hard to stay excited when they will be unavailable in most areas for years.
    I would like to see one but that probably won’t happen either for a couple years. I don’t need a vehicle now but if I did I’d have to buy something that’s available now.


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    Jim I

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:48 pm)

    Shannon Arvizu: I believe that the Chevy Volt will win, but only because of mass consumer support driven by a powerful story that resonates with the “hearts and minds” of Americans.Check “The Car that Saves America: The Real Chevy Volt Story.”
    http://www.misselectric.com/?p=1460    

    ===================================

    Note to GM:

    You should hire this person!!!!!!!

    She understands the true significance of how the Volt is the beginning of a true change in how we will use personal transportation!!!!

    “More car than electric” – That is just sad……………..


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    Jim I

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:50 pm)

    Mark Z:
    Page 10-10: Use and ask for engine oils with the dexos certification mark.
    Page 10-11: SAE 5W-30 is the best viscosity grade for the vehicle. Do not use other viscosity oils such as SAE 10W-30, 10W-40, or 20W-50. Cold Temperature Operation: In a area of extreme cold, where the temperature falls below -29 degrees Celsius (-20 degrees Fahrenheit), an SAE 0W-30 oil should be used. An oil of this viscosity grade will provide easier cold starting for the engine at extremely low temperatures.The manual mentions to change oil within 600 miles when the computer system displays CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON. However this paragraph on page 10-13 should answer your question: If the system is ever reset accidentally, the oil must be changed at 3000 mi since the last oil change.(Of course you want to use the built in computer, as many will use the engine occasionally.)Other items of interest.Air Filter: 50,000 mi – replaceEngine: Always use DEX-COOL coolant. 5 year or 150,000 mile lifespan. Warranty repairs not covered if you use another product. Use 50/50 mixture of clean drinkable water and DEX-COOL coolant.Cooling System (High Voltage Battery) requires 50/50 mixture of DEX-COOL engine coolant and deionized water. There is a reservoir window to check, but should only be serviced by a qualified technician.Electric power steering system, no fluid or general maintenance is required.Washer fluid, brake fluid, and 12 volt battery details are similar to other GM products. (12 volt battery is for unlocking and starting the car – see 10-71 to 10-76 for jump starting instructions.)The most interesting item from the jump starting section on page 10-73 is this: “Push the POWER button to start. This will wake up the electronics on the Volt. After the instrument cluster initializes, the Volt will use power from the high voltage battery to charge the 12-volt battery. The jumper cables can then be disconnected.”(So it appears the high voltage battery will not allow you to start the car if your 12 volt battery is dead. But, that 12 volt battery will be charged in your first 40 miles of EV use without the engine and of course with the E-REV generator too.)There are a number of user checks that can be done and many other topics. With 89 pages of vehicle care instructions, it’s best to order the manual and check out all the details.    

    ======================

    How did you get your manual so quickly???

    Mine has been shipped, but it is not here yet……………. :-(


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    Dave G,

    Dave G,

    I think the Volt price trajectory might follow consumer electronics more than autos in the past have as there is so much unprecedented, to-date low volume stuff in it.


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (3:18 pm)

    Hi #106 Ramondjram,

    Johnny Carson once described a New York Minute as being the time it takes “From the (traffic) lights to turn green, till the guy behind you starts honking his horn”


  145. 145
    DonC

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    john1701a: Not only has that repeatedly been pointed to be false, there are now several YouTube videos confirming it.

    It hasn’t been proven false because it’s true. You can look at a Youtube video all day. I’ll stick with CalCars.

    Just to be clear, here’s what Ron Gremban, the lead engineer for CalCars says:

    The Prius meets AT-PZEV emissions specs, far cleaner than the average new car. I doubt Toyota would want the negative publicity of the PIP not also being AT-PZEV, which means it will be very clean. To this end, the U.S. version will probably always start the engine upon initial vehicle start, as with the existing Prius, in order to do a low pollution, controlled cold start. It will then no doubt monitor the temperature of the catalytic converter and restart the engine for a bit each time it gets close to cooling too far. Therefore, no gasoline-free trips! Such is the cost of blended-mode, which is less expensive but requires the engine to be ready at an instant’s notice to supply emergency acceleration.

    You think he’s wrong? How else could it work? You can’t cold start an engine and prevent it from spewing pollution everywhere, and with the Prius there is no telling when the engine has to kick on. Basically the way you’re saying it works can’t work.

    Put another way John, who should we believe: Random Prius fanboys or engineers who know how the Prius works inside and out? Here’s a suggestion. Why not contact Ron? He’s at CalCars. Maybe he can explain it to you in a way you’ll understand.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (3:35 pm)

    barry252: My daily driving is suited perfectly for the Volt. I figure I’m within that original 75% of drivers GM was targeting 3 years ago. I expect to drive AER 99% of the time. If parking lots get chargers, I’ll take advantage of them.

    Not to be disagreeable, but if 40 mile range is sufficient 99% of time, the Leaf might save you some money (unless you are a one car family and don’t have a gas car for that 1%).

    I think the Volt makes the most sense for people that drive a lot of miles and can charge during the day to extend the AER to the 60-80 range. Thats why I think its perfect car for me. The volt is a better car than the Leaf, but can’t see how folks that only drive 10-12,000 miles AER can justify the current cost of the car.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (3:35 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    Into a TRUCK!!!
    A Truck I SAY!!!A Voltec Colorado……a “Voltarado”! (lol….got that name from muddyroverrob)    

    We’ll put you down for “Pro truck”. Check. (g)

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mark Z

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (3:36 pm)

    Jim I: How did you get your manual so quickly???

    Shipped the 19th via UPS 2nd day air. Went through MI, KY, TX and OK.

    When I saw the pricing for ground delivery and state sales tax to California, I decided for a reasonable extra cost for two day delivery and no tax for Oklahoma. Had to act fast to get it in OK before returning to CA.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (3:52 pm)

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (3:55 pm)

    DonC: It’s a 12 month phase out. 50% for two quarters and then 25% for two quarters and then 0%. See page 54:
    http://www.house.gov/billtext/hr1_legtext_crb.pdf

    Don C
    thanks for the link

    I noticed it says:
    “(4) BATTERY CAPACITY.-The term ‘capacity’
    means, with respect to any battery, the quantity of
    electricity which the battery is capable of storing, ex-
    pressed in kilowatt hours, as measured from a 100
    percent state of charge to a 0 percent state of
    charge.”

    So the Volt battery would count as 8.8 KWH, but doesn’t that mean the PHV PRIUS would be less than 4 KWH?

    So the $7500 credit, phases out in the second quarter after the quarter 200,000 is reached.

    So if GM can control sales so that 200,000 is reach early in a quarter, say Oct 2, 2013, then the phase out would mean 2nd quarter 2014 at 50%($3750) at 3rd quarter 2015 25%($1875)


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:01 pm)

    Loboc: …So how do your narrow generalizations reconcile with that reality?

    The exception that proves the rule????

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:05 pm)

    Tom W: I noticed it says:
    “(4) BATTERY CAPACITY.-The term ‘capacity’
    means, with respect to any battery, the quantity of
    electricity which the battery is capable of storing, ex-
    pressed in kilowatt hours, as measured from a 100
    percent state of charge to a 0 percent state of
    charge.”

    So the Volt battery would count as 8.8 KWH, but doesn’t that mean the PHV PRIUS would be less than 4 KWH?

    No, the Volt gets credit for it’s 16 KWh battery. 100% of the battery, not just the *usable* KWh’s.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    john1701a

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:08 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  154. 154
    MetrologyFirst

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    Tom W: I think the Volt makes the most sense for people that drive a lot of miles and can charge during the day to extend the AER to the 60-80 range.

    Tom,

    My thoughts exactly. I am agreeing with you 100%.

    Lets take it a step farther. I have said before also that wide adoption of charging stations makes the Volt even a better design by not having to haul around expensive, heavy batteries just in case you might need them. This does not seem very efficient.

    What about this one: The wide spread use of charging stations actually eliminates the need for these 250-350 mile per charge batteries that some say electric cars must have. Is it possible that the widespread use of charging stations would prove an EREV design (whether using gasoline, biofuels, whatever..) is simply the best way to go? Why go to all the trouble making a pure electric have 300 miles of range, if all you need is a smaller, lighter 40-80 mile per charge battery, an onboard generator, and plenty of charging locations? No long charging waits required, ever.

    The game changer would be very fast charging technology. That might change the balance. But that would require big infrastructure changes; well beyond whats necessary for the typical 110V/240V charger.


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    Steve Martin

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:25 pm)

    I’d buy a Cruze if a hatchback was an option in the USA.


  156. 156
    Tagamet

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:26 pm)

    MetrologyFirst: …The game changer would be very fast charging technology. That might change the balance. But that would require big infrastructure changes; well beyond whats necessary for the typical 110V/240V charger.

    Amen!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  157. 157
    Charlie H

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:37 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  158. 158
    Matthew_B

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:40 pm)

    In EV-news unrelated to this topic:

    Oregon gets $2 million for car charging sites

    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=201010210331

    “The money will fund 42 charging sites along the length of the I-5 corridor, with gaps of no more than 50 miles between sites, according to the Transportation Department.”

    The charging stations will be free, fast-charge units, which can repower a car in 15-20 minutes.


  159. 159
    Charlie H

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:50 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  160. 160
    koz

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:50 pm)

    Charlie H: Why wouldn’t there be parallel development on an engine? And it’s 4 years, not 3.There’s no good reason GM doesn’t have an engine better tailored to this situation after 4 years.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    nearly 4 since concept unveiled, roughly 3 since approval for production


  161. 161
    caldoodlevolt

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:51 pm)

    Yep, I can’t work up much of a thrill for that “more car than electric” moto GM is thinking about to advertise the VOLT. It could just as well be “yesterday’s car today” (which it actually is to an extent, as I have pointed out in previous posts).

    But speaking of historical chronology, how about “tomorrow’s car today”? And most of the followers (no trolls) of this blog I think would agree.

    Of course if the marketers at GM can’t come up with a clever slogan they could always give us repetitive performances of the Volt Song and Dance, you know that great stuff that will certainly merit an Academy Award or whatever recognition goes to the year’s most sterling advertising appeal.

    BIG BTRY


  162. 162
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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:52 pm)

    john1701a: DonC:
    The Prius engine starts whenever the car starts in order to heat the converter… Not only has that repeatedly been pointed to be false, there are now several YouTube videos confirming it.

    Does the Prius need to run the gas engine in order to heat or cool the passenger cabin?

    In other words, will the Plug-in Prius have electrically driven air conditioning and heating systems like the Volt?


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (4:59 pm)

    Tom W: So the Volt battery would count as 8.8 KWH, but doesn’t that mean the PHV PRIUS would be less than 4 KWH?
    So the $7500 credit, phases out in the second quarter after the quarter 200,000 is reached.
    So if GM can control sales so that 200,000 is reach early in a quarter, say Oct 2, 2013, then the phase out would mean 2nd quarter 2014 at 50%($3750) at 3rd quarter 2015 25%($1875)

    As Tag mentioned it’s total capacity not usable capacity. So the Volt has a 16 kWh pack.

    Your understanding of the phase out is how I interpret it. Also note that the it’s the number manufactured not the number sold, so GM could manufacture the 200,000th Volt on October 1st and extend the credit another three months. This isn’t really nefarious since a sales number would be too slippery.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:01 pm)

    caldoodlevolt: But speaking of historical chronology, how about “tomorrow’s car today”? And most of the followers (no trolls) of this blog I think would agree.

    Sounds good to me, +1.

    I just wish today’s price was a bit more reasonable.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:05 pm)

    Dave G: In other words, will the Plug-in Prius have electrically driven air conditioning and heating systems like the Volt?

    That’s an interesting question. The short answer is that I don’t know. My guess is that it won’t because of costs. I’m saying that because you’d have to use completely different systems, and, if you couldn’t share all the parts with the standard Prius, then the parts would get real expensive in a big hurry. The PIP would be $10k more not $3k more.

    So you’d have to think it wouldn’t be cost effective. But again I don’t know.


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    nasaman

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:06 pm)

    OT: Just got an email (two, actually) from GM saying the Orlando “Volt Unplugged” test drives will be at the Walt Disney World SPEEDWAY from 12:30 – 5PM, Sat Oct 30. I’m scheduled for 12:45 by the 1st email and for 1:45 by the 2nd. So if anyone in central Florida wants to meet me to “take my place” at the 1:45 time, click on “nasaman” in this post for my email address & we’ll try to work it out to meet there.


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    solo

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:10 pm)

    What GM (and Chrysler) need is a “Hotcake” car. A car that everybody can afford and everybody wants, regardless of income or social status. A car that sells like hotcakes. (By the way, what the heck is a hotcake?)

    Examples of hotcake cars would be:
    1964 Ford Mustang.
    1980 Chrysler”K” car.
    1984(5?) Ford Taurus.
    198X Chrysler Minivans

    These were cars that defined the company and kept them very profitable. I haven’t seen a hotcake car since I graduated from College in 1985. I don’t know why. Maybe because the market is so diluted with Japanese, Korean, European and American companies that it is hard for anybody to come up with a ‘must have’ design anymore. With so many players, nobody can produce a car that anybody will buy because there is a significant portion of the population that will only buy brand ‘X’ of from country ‘Y’ regardless of the vehicle’s merits.

    I’m still looking for the next hotcake car. Nothing I see on the market now or coming in the next year qualifies.

    Just a rambling thought from a car guy………………


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    Tagamet

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:18 pm)

    solo: (By the way, what the heck is a hotcake?)

    I’ve always thought that a hotcake is the same thing as a pancake. I’m sure people will chime in if that’s not the case. (This is not to confuse a pancake with a BLINY, which is a potato pancake)

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  169. 169
    Sonoma Richard

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:20 pm)

    Got my confirmation for my Volt and two phone calls from Volt. I’m all set. The car will be built in late November or early December!!!!!!!


  170. 170
    Tagamet

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:23 pm)

    Sonoma Richard: Got my confirmation for my Volt and two phone calls from Volt. I’m all set. The car will be built in late November or early December!!!!!!!    

    WOW, that’s got to feel fantastic! (and yes, I hate you)(g).
    Congrats, and keep us posted!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  171. 171
    DonC

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:28 pm)

    nasaman: Just got an email (two, actually) from GM saying the Orlando “Volt Unplugged” test drives will be at the Walt Disney World SPEEDWAY from 12:30 – 5PM, Sat Oct 30.

    You’re going on a Saturday so you may have more time, but if your schedule is tight and you need to limit your time there here are some tips based on how worked when I went (seems to be how it worked for James as well so I think this is the practice).

    When you sign in you get a bracelet with your time written on it. Then you go to the line for the registered rides and find your spot based on the times that other people have. It works pretty well but it means that if you get there very early you might end up waiting since it’s not first come first serve. For example, if you time slot is 12:45 and you get there at 11:45, you’ll end up getting behind anyone already in lline with a time slot before yours ((11:45; 12:00; 12:15; 12:45), and people with earlier drive times will slot in ahead of you even if they come after you do. So it makes the most sense to get there at about the right time.

    The other tip is that they seem to be giving tickets out for lunch at a lunch truck which will be parked at the site of the rides, so you may not need to eat before your drive.

    Have a good drive!


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    Dave G

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:35 pm)

    john1701a: Remember, some of us simply wanted a better Volt. Spinning it to make that seem otherwise is no one’s loss but your own.

    Yes, well said.

    The original pitch was:
    • 40 miles all-electric range
    • 50 miles per gallon after that
    • under $30,000

    It looks like they’ll get 40 miles AER EPA, or close to it. For the other two, the Volt looks way off.

    50 MPG isn’t as important, since the majority of miles will be all-electric for most drivers. But the price is a show stopper for an average car buyer.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:37 pm)

    Tagamet,

    Thanks; I’m really excited. I’m working on the charging station today.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:43 pm)

    Dave G: In other words, will the Plug-in Prius have electrically driven air conditioning and heating systems like the Volt?    

    Cold is already all-electric. Heat will be a hybrid like Volt, primarily relying on electricity but tapping into the engine coolant when excess warmth from it is available.

    It was design features like that which I had always hoped for a friendly rivalry from. Each automaker would squeeze to see how long they can milk engine-off opportunities. But sadly, conflicting priorities (like price) aren’t allowing for competiveness of that nature.

    Oh well. The pressure from oil will likely end up determining what ultimately becomes of middle-market demand anyway.


  175. 175
    DonC

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:43 pm)

    Charlie H: Errr… no. When consumers see that car, they’re going to wonder which parts got cheaped out and will be trouble-prone like a long list of “all new” GM cars that came (and went) before it.

    How many cars did Toyota announce it was recalling TODAY? I think it was 1.23M. Seems like every week it’s another million or two. Given Toyota’s performance lately I’d keep the rocks in my sack.


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (5:55 pm)

    john1701a: Heat will be a hybrid like Volt, primarily relying on electricity but tapping into the engine coolant when excess warmth from it is available.

    Heat is 100% electric. No “tapping into” the engine because you can’t count on the engine being on and it doesn’t kick in and out. This is why the engineering in the Volt is so much more impressive than what you find in the Prius. It’s a whole lot tougher when all the systems have to be BEV ready.

    Dave G: The original pitch was:
    • 40 miles all-electric range
    • 50 miles per gallon after that
    • under $30,000
    It looks like they’ll get 40 miles AER EPA, or close to it. For the other two, the Volt looks way off.

    Personally I thought they had made it very clear that the Volt was going to be about $40 for several years. As for the range and MPG, they missed them both by the same amount. The car is simply not as efficient as expected. The only reason they managed to get the range to 40 miles is that they used more of the battery than originally planned. If the car would go 40 miles using 8 kWh then it would get 50 MPG.

    Why it’s not as efficient would be an interesting question to pose to the engineers.


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    RDOCA

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:03 pm)

    Dave G: Yes, well said.The original pitch was:• 40 miles all-electric range• 50 miles per gallon after that• under $30,000It looks like they’ll get 40 miles AER EPA, or close to it. For the other two, the Volt looks way off. 50 MPG isn’t as important, since the majority of miles will be all-electric for most drivers. But the price is a show stopper for an average car buyer.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Actually not far off if you take $33500 after credit and most cars are not quoted with shipping so subtract $720 –now $32780–than subtract $1500 for 5 years of onstar as other cars do not come with more than about 3 months –so now we are at $31280. The Volt is very well equipped and many of its standard features would be options on many cars so it is very close to the 30k number talked about early.


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    Jeff N

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:07 pm)

    EricLG: Emissions data from CARB:[code]
    VoltPlug-in PriusPollutant
    0.070.016NMOG
    0.020.001Nox
    1.30.06CO[/code]
    all numbers in gram/mile. Testing with ICE on.Sorry about the formatting. If a working tag exists let me know.    

    Of course, the Plugin Prius is much more likely to cold start it’s engine due to the relatively weak electrical side (brisk acceleration, over 62 MPH, 13 mile range) and cold starts spew out pollution for 1-2 minutes before the catalytic converter can heat up enough to be effective.

    In a typical local trip more than 50% of the total Carbon Monoxide pollution will occur as a result of a cold start. It will also release a lot more hydrocarbon emissions. The Prius’s vacuum canister that holds hot radiator fluid will help mitigate this if the car has been driven in the last 6-12 hours but many drivers will end up doing a cold start every morning and perhaps on the way home after work.

    Meanwhile, the Volt has a better chance of driving around town and on local freeways in all-electric mode with no emissions.

    I’m looking for a newer set of data, but here is an EPA report on cold start pollution from 2001:

    http://www.epa.gov/oms/models/mobile6/r01025.pdf


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    Raymondjram

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:09 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic:
    It ain’t much, that’s for sure…Here ya go:
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/New_York_minute    

    Thanks! Here in Puerto Rico the horn blast is instantaneous with the traffic light change, not even a New York second! I have driven in New York City but I was never exposed to that time interval.

    Raymond


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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:16 pm)

    nasaman:
    Thanks a million, Mark!
    I’m sure many others here will appreciate your trouble to post these excerpts from the new Volt manual!    

    I have ordered my copy. For those who are still interested, here is the link again:

    http://www.helminc.com/helm/product2.asp?Make=CHV&Model=VOLT&Year=2011&Category=&class_2=CHV&mk=Chevrolet+%26+Geo&yr=2011&md=Volt&dt=&module=&from=result&Style=helm&Sku=20819514A&itemtype=N

    Raymond


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    Barry252

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:19 pm)

    nasaman,

    The Orlando test drives are located at the Disney World Speedway. Think you’ll get to 100mph to verify top speed?


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    pjkPA

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:23 pm)

    DonC,

    YES the VOLT is already in the records books.
    When was the last time you saw so much interest in a car?

    The volt is the best technology to date and all others are will be out LATER than the VOLT…
    If the VOLT was not being developed do you really thing there would be this much emphasis on plug in technology or even electric technology? I don’t think so.

    — The VOLT pre production cars have been getting a easy 40 miles on a charge.
    — $41,000 -7500-3500 gm card credit= $30,000 .. less than the Prius when it came out 12 years ago.
    — 50 mpg in extended range has been achieved

    The vast majority of drivers will drive less than 100 miles a day… that will still mean double the mpg of any hybrid.

    IN the area where I live most people drive less than 40 miles a day.
    That means the 230mpg is not unreasonable for most commuters in my area.

    The efficiency of a electric with the range of a ICE.

    The VOLT is amazing technology… and will be copied often.


  183. 183
    ziv

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:30 pm)

    Just read some interesting specs on the new Ford Focus Electric. It is going to be 175″ long, 103″ wheelbase, 68″ wide and 58.6″ tall. So its frontal area will be almost identical to the Volt, 3984.8 sq inches vs. the Volts’ 3984.6 sq inches. (Volt is 70.4″ wide and just 56.6″ tall) The Leaf falls between the two with a width of 69.7″ but the Leaf has a fairly tall stance at 61″, for a total frontal area of 4251.7 square inches, which is about 6.7% more than the Volt or the Focus Electric. So if the Leaf has a cD slightly worse than the Volt, its cDa is going to suffer slightly in comparison to the Volt, not sure how slick the Focus will be. Good news for the Volts hwy mileage, which needs every bit of help it can get, even though I won’t use it frequently.
    And I just got an email to drive the Volt a week from today in DC. This will be cool!


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    Jackson

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:30 pm)

    Those of us who have followed the Volt’s progress for any length of time know that there are bona-fide reasons for keeping initial volumes low. Most notably, the supply of LG Chem batteries makes this inevitable.

    Given that it will be a rare car for a year or two anyway, it makes no sense not to wring out whatever “halo” the Volt can provide. To do less would be irresponsible on the part of someone at GM.

    That said, if the Volt is still mainly a “halo” in 3 years, I’ll be very disappointed.

    BTW, I predict that there will be very interesting developments in the area of Voltec costs in no less than five years.


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    Jackson

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    MetrologyFirst,

    What is that thing pictured in your avatar? Does it have some tie-in to “Metrology?”


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    Hi #141 Jim I,

    Note to GM:

    You should hire this person!!!!!!! (Shannon Arvizu)

    If GM did that they would have to build more of them.


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    Jackson

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:39 pm)

    Jackson: BTW, I predict that there will be very interesting developments in the area of Voltec costs in no less than five years.

    No more than five years. Yes, I’m having trouble with edit as well.


  188. 188
    john1701a

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:43 pm)

    DonC: Heat is 100% electric. No “tapping into” the engine because you can’t count on the engine being on and it doesn’t kick in and out.

    Not paying attention?

    It wouldn’t make sense to miss an efficiency opportunity like that.

    Volt will indeed take advantage of coolant heat, if it is available. We clearly heard that mentioned on one of the GM videos. Using a heater-core when above a particular temperature isn’t rocket-science, it’s just a simple thermostat.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:45 pm)

    Jackson: BTW, I predict that there will be very interesting developments in the area of Voltec costs in no less than five years.

    So you are predicting that there will be interesting cost developments after five years? You’re really traveling on the edge! (lol)

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Jackson

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:51 pm)

    Tagamet: So you are predicting that there will be interesting cost developments after five years? You’re really traveling on the edge! (lol)

    Jackson: No more than five years. Yes, I’m having trouble with edit as well.

    It was my intention to extend the time; I really think we’ll start hearing about improvement in three years (which is why I noted that if the Volt is still merely a halo after that much time, I’ll be disappointed).


  191. 191
    nasaman

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (6:58 pm)

    DonC, post #171: [Numerous detailed tips] ….Have a good drive!

    Barry, post #181: nasaman,

    The Orlando test drives are located at the Disney World Speedway. Think you’ll get to 100mph to verify top speed?

    Great tips, DonC! Thanks! Re: the WDW speedway, it’s very unlikely we’ll get to use the track
    —probably more likely the WDW parking lot or city streets —but who knows, Barry? I can dream! :)


  192. 192
    Roy H

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (7:05 pm)

    Dave G: The Volt and Cruze are built on the same platform. The $16K price for the Cruze includes all GM overhead and presumably some profit. GM claims they make a small profit on the Volt as well.
    So it follows that the electrification of the Volt costs GM an additional $25K to build. Note that this is production and wholesale costs to GM, not retail prices that we would pay for these parts.
    The division of LG that originally produced the Volt’s battery pack said it costs $8K to build. GM has claimed it cost them $11K to build. So depending on who you believe, that leaves an additional $14K-$17K for the rest of the electric components besides the battery.
    I’m really having a hard time believing GM isn’t price gouging here. The price just seems too high.

    This is where GM is shooting themselves in the foot. I read so often it is the same platform, but I don’t understand. The Volt frame is specially designed for the T shaped battery, the heavier load and GM has spend years engineering this car “from the ground up” to be electric. The Cruze and Volt are built in different factories, not just a variation on one assembly line. So how is it the same? Secondly the Volt if compared to the Cruze at all should be compared to the most luxurious fully-loaded version, not the base model. I would think GM would avoid comparisons with the Cruze and instead compare to a BMW or other $40k+ cars.

    However the point is valid. If GM can make a profit off a fully loaded Cruze at $22k and charges $20k more for the Volt, then the electrification does almost double the cost, and it is hard to imagine how this is true unless you factor in paying off development costs, then it becomes reasonable.


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    Dave G

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:13 pm)

    john1701a: Cold is already all-electric. Heat will be a hybrid like Volt, primarily relying on electricity but tapping into the engine coolant when excess warmth from it is available.

    Just to be sure I understand this correctly, does the current regular Prius already have these features, or will these be new for the Plug-in Prius?


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    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    ziv: I just got an email to drive the Volt a week from today in DC. This will be cool!

    Good for you Ziv!

    NPNS


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    Dave G

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:29 pm)

    john1701a: Volt will indeed take advantage of coolant heat, if it is available. We clearly heard that mentioned on one of the GM videos. Using a heater-core when above a particular temperature isn’t rocket-science, it’s just a simple thermostat.

    Yes, this is my understanding as well. The Volt uses a dual-heater system. If the ICE coolant is hot, it will use that, if not, it will use the electric heating element. I suppose if the ICE coolant is warm it will use a mixture of both heat sources.

    Note that the Volt has two liquid cooling systems, one for the ICE, and one for the battery pack. Each has it’s own electrically powered water pump, which allows coolant to be circulated when the ICE is off. I believe the cabin heater only uses the ICE coolant as a heat source, and not the battery coolant.

    As a side note, it seems like the Volt’s ICE has no belts to worry about. Air conditioning, steering, and water pumps are all electric, and the generator connects directly to the drive shaft.

    How does all this compare to the Plug-in Prius? Ever since GM announced the Volt’s price, my interest in the Plug-in Pruis has been growing.


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    EVO

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (8:55 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: I recall them saying that the Voltec drive train couldn’t deliver the performance expected of a Caddy [brand].

    Of course, the opposite is true. ;)

    disclaimer: owned a 1969 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.


  197. 197
    Red HHR

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:01 pm)

    pjkPA: — The VOLT pre production cars have been getting a easy 40 miles on a charge.
    — $41,000 -7500-3500 gm card credit= $30,000 .. less than the Prius when it came out 12 years ago.
    — 50 mpg in extended range has been achieved

    Ugh, Huh, What?
    $3500 on the GM card? I wish… Hot new Volt will be real lucky to get $500 off with GM card. I have a pile of money on the GM card. And Do Want a Volt so very badly. However wife is mad at GM for not giving her GM card discount, or a car she wants to buy. I would buy a Volt sight unseen, she would not. Like most people, if she can not see it it does not exist. However if we could use GM card discount… She may be swayed. Nothing like a deal.

    I do not think the Prius was 30k ten years ago, I wanted one then. 10 years later we bought one. Seems that I am more than a day late.


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    Ted in Fort Myers

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    Tall Pete,

    You are talking about Peak Oil in Saudi Arabia? TED


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    Red HHR

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:05 pm)

    Dave G: Yes, this is my understanding as well. The Volt uses a dual-heater system. If the ICE coolant is hot, it will use that, if not, it will use the electric heating element. I suppose if the ICE coolant is warm it will use a mixture of both heat sources

    I thought the Volt used some sort of heat pump for heat when in electric mode.

    /to lazy to look up source


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:47 pm)

    /G’night all. See you in the A.M. Interesting discussion.
    Cool, #200.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Carl S

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (9:54 pm)

    Halo or not, I have to agree with Tagamet…

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS’ Wheels On The Road!

    Two slightly off topic things:

    1. It just so happened that my parents were down in LA last Sunday, so my Dad got to drive the Volt, and my Mom sat in back behind my Dad. They both had enough room, and my Dad really liked the torque from the electric motor and how quiet the car was. They even got me a black Volt T-shirt!

    2. I received word from the DMV that my “VOLT FAN” license plates are here! Only problem is, they won’t GIVE them to me without a CAR to put them on! Where’s my Volt when I need it? :D


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    EricLG

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:26 pm)

    Jeff N: I’m looking for a newer set of data, but here is an EPA report on cold start pollution from 2001:

    Thanks for the link. Your reference says that the fed ftp includes cold start in its roadtest, and I presume (?) these numbers do too. If that is the case then as a rule of thumb the Volt exceeds PiP tailpipe emissions if CS mode is entered more than once in 7 or 22 PiP CS travels, depending on pollutant.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:29 pm)

    Red HHR: I do not think the Prius was 30k ten years ago, I wanted one then. 10 years later we bought one.

    Right you are. Prius debuted in the US in 2001 (I think) at just under $20k.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:32 pm)

    john1701a: Why not contact Ron? He’s at CalCars. Maybe he can explain it to you in a way you’ll understand.

    RG was speculating before the PiP was built, John1701 is telling how it IS based on driving the car for a week.

    Get it ?


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    EricLG

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:38 pm)

    Dave G: As a side note, it seems like the Volt’s ICE has no belts to worry about. Air conditioning, steering, and water pumps are all electric, and the generator connects directly to the drive shaft.
    How does all this compare to the Plug-in Prius?

    No belts in the PiP, ICE connects directly to the PSD, so far as I know without a clutch.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (10:54 pm)

    Dave G, the Volt is a PiP with a bigger battery and multiple clutches. The PiP is a Gen 3 Prius with a 3 kwh usable plug-in battery. Rumor last week that Toyota will also market a 30 AER PiP later in 2012, but prices for both plug-ins are purely speculative.


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    caldoodlevolt

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    Oct 22nd, 2010 (11:48 pm)

    For Carl S having DMV problems with his VOLT FAN California personalized plates, there is hope! I had the same problem of having more plates than cars although I have several cars, all with personalized plates. You can play musical chairs with the plates. It’s possible but complicated. You have the new plates assigned to an old car and then eventually have the VOLT plates transferred to your new car. If you belong to the Auto Club (AAA) they can probably give you better service than DMV which is really tied up due to overload and a reduced budget.

    The rules allow more plates than cars, even as just a sovenir, but you have to know how to do it and you will have to pay the yearly extra charge ($39 I believe). People have been known to buy the special plates as gifts for others or to just hang on the garage wall (at $39 a year cost).

    Let us know how you come out with your plates (I just love these jimcracks and have had them since the first issue years ago).

    BIG BTRY


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    Matthew B

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:09 am)

    Dave G: Does the Prius need to run the gas engine in order to heat or cool the passenger cabin?

    In other words, will the Plug-in Prius have electrically driven air conditioning and heating systems like the Volt?

    Gen III Prius’s have electric air conditioning. You can sit with the air conditioner running and the engine will stop for 5 minutes run for about 2 and then sit for another 5. The whole time it blows ice cold air. Some Prius’s have a resistance heating element.

    Ideally an EV has a heat pump for heating. If Toyota already has an electric drive AC, the technology jump to a heat pump is small.


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    Matthew B

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:17 am)

    DonC: Heat is 100% electric. No “tapping into” the engine because you can’t count on the engine being on and it doesn’t kick in and out. This is why the engineering in the Volt is so much more impressive than what you find in the Prius.

    No, that’s backwards.

    If the engine is running then heat is “free” because it is waste heat. To run a heat pump when there is already hot water to use is the less efficient method.

    _IF_ the Volt never uses engine heat then in this one case the Prius is superior in this regard.

    Now please stop digging the whole because I nearly always come down on the side of the Volt but I will reply when falsehoods are being levied against the Prius.


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    DonC

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:24 am)

    EricLG: Dave G, the Volt is a PiP with a bigger battery and multiple clutches.

    This is completely clueless. The Volt is nothing like a PIP. The PIP uses the HSD which Toyota and Ford copied from Berman/TRW. The Volt uses an extension of the Allison-GM two mode. Shouldn’t be that hard to comprehend.

    But here’s something that should make the differences more clear. If you take the battery out of a PIP it will run just fine. If you take the engine out it won’t move. If you take the battery out of a Volt it won’t run. If you take the engine out it will run just fine. Two completely different cars. One is a parallel hybrid. One is an EV with a range extender. Just not sure what is so difficult.


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    Carl S

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:40 am)

    caldoodlevolt,

    Thanks for the info. I actually thought I’d have to pay the yearly retention fee just so they wouldn’t send them back. As it turns out, after I told them the car was on order, they put my phone number right on the plate wrapper, so they’re supposed to call me before they send them back. If that happens and I still don’t have my Volt, I’ll see if they’ll let me pay the retention fee, or if they won’t let me do that, then I’ll have them assigned to my current car, then switch them to the Volt once I take delivery. Which would mean I’d have to get another set of sequential plates for my current car, I guess. Sounds like a lot of work to me. Hopefully they’ll just let me pay the retention fee if they threaten to send them back.


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    DonC

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:54 am)

    Matthew B: Now please stop digging the whole because I nearly always come down on the side of the Volt but I will reply when falsehoods are being levied against the Prius.

    You’re mistaken. Much like the rest of the car, the Volt and the Prius are mirror images of each other. The Volt is an EV and its heater reflects that. The Prius is a gasser and its heater reflects that.

    Both the Prius and the Volt have a PTC heater like you’d find on a diesel. But the Prius’ PTC heater is auxiliary — it isn’t the primary source of heat and in fact it is turned off when the car is in Eco mode. The Volt always relies on the PTC heater because in CD Mode it doesn’t have an engine to tap into. Thus, if you run the Prius in cold weather the engine will cycle on and off. The Volt will not kick on the engine to heat the cabin.

    Both have the option of heated seats so maybe you can claim they’re the same. But again not really. The Volt is first and electric car while the Prius is first and foremost a gasser, and their heating systems reflect this difference.


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    koz

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (2:01 am)

    : Just curious, do you know where the defective part was made ?  (Quote)  (Reply)

    outsourcing != absolution


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    ed

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:17 am)

    Dave4664: They built 1,966,157 Vega’s back in the 70’s

    You have to realize that GM didn’t think they needed to build good small cars back in the sixties and seventies and ceded the small car market to the Japanese and Volkswagon. Same goes for Chrysler and Ford. Autoworkers demands have always been very high and the big 3 couldn’t make a profit making small cars.
    The situation is changed now and GM must make a good car or they’ll be out of business within the next few years.
    I had the same experience as you had with 84 Celebrity.


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    ed

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:28 am)

    So far I’ve only seen pictures of the Volt and they look good. While some have driven the Volt and liked the experience you haven’t said anything about the styling.


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    Buddy Mann

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (5:04 am)

    Halo car ?

    I THINK NOT.

    I want some of the stuff you guys are smoking!

    LOL :-)


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    pjkPA

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:11 am)

    Talking about cars in the 70′s… they cost one tenth the price of cars today.. A good wage back then was $10 per hour for the average worker. Are you making $100 per hour now?

    I owned 3 American cars in the sixties that lasted a easy 10 years with little maintenance.

    Many people have spend $30K+ on a Prius which have been driven to the junk yard after 8 years. Many people bought Toyota trucks that were junked after just 6 years because the frames completely rusted out.

    GM is not allowed to advertise that they build vehicles with stainless steel exhausts and galvanized bodies. WHY.. because Toyota sued them back in the 90′s and won. Toyota claimed that GM has a UNFAIR ADVANTAGE.


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    Jimza Skeptic

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:40 am)

    Tom W:
    You don’t know what you are talking about.Oil has remained in a tight range not because the ARABs realize that if they raise oil prices we’ll just build EV’s its because Demand and Supply have been pretty constant this past year.Governments know the supply will not keep up with demand and there isn’t much cheap oil left worth getting at $80 a barrell.The only way gas will cost $3 gallon in 5 years is if the world falls into deep depression.    (Reply)

    Remember my comment says gas price will rise, just not fast. It will be slow and predictable. Let’s mark our calendars for October 2015. My guess oil will fluctuate between $95-$105/barrel. If it were lower, I would not be surprised.

    Just under 3 years ago, some cats were predicting it would be $150-175/barrel in 2010. This spurred innovation and conservation.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:44 am)

    Dave K.,

    Don’t forget GM card credit. I’ve bought my last 4 GM cars using the GM card credit. saving at least $3500 AFTER making my best deal with the dealer and promotions. That is … the dealer cut $3,000 off the sticker price .. then there was a promotion of $1500 then you take the $3500 GM credit. Yes… that’s $8000 off sticker price.
    These last 4 BUICKS have been the best vehicles I’ve owned in 37 years of buying cars.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:49 am)

    DonC: This is completely clueless.

    Wrong — again.

    Both cars are P/S hybrids.
    As for the battery remark, a couple of Prius owners have foolishly ran out of gas, then ran down the battery. They then refuel — and go nowhere, because the traction battery is inoperative as a safety measure until reinitialized.

    You seem to be confusing the parallel architecture of say a Honda Hybrid with the Prius.

    Wake up, it has been 15 years.


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    Ford Toyota will Win

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:50 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    EricLG

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:52 am)

    pjkPA: Many people have spend $30K+ on a Prius which have been driven to the junk yard after 8 years.

    BS.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:57 am)

    EricLG:
    RG was speculating before the PiP was built, John1701 is telling how it IS based on driving the car for a week.Get it ?    

    Sorry John, the auto attribution was a bit screwy. My comment was to DonC.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (7:03 am)

    Is this a typo or is there a nice surprise in store for EV fans”:

    “GM alone expects to produce 80,000 Chevy Volts by 2011 and 200,000 by 2014. Nissan is planning to produce 25,000 Leafs by 2011.”

    It is in this article:

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/09/man-behind-plan-make-electric-cars-mainstream.php#ch03


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    EricLG

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (7:14 am)

    ^^ This is about as likely as GM withholding CS mpg as a nice surprise for its fans.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (7:16 am)

    Btw, has GM come clean with total usable traction battery capacity yet ? Or is this another case of “owners will find out?”


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    Dave G

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (7:26 am)

    DonC: … If you take the battery out of a PIP it will run just fine. If you take the engine out it won’t move. If you take the battery out of a Volt it won’t run. If you take the engine out it will run just fine.

    If you take the battery out of a PiP, acceleration will be unacceptable. Atkinson cycle engines have very low torque.

    If you take the engine out of a PiP, it will go up to 62 MPH and have poor acceleration.

    In other words, both the battery and engine are required to achieve reasonable performance.

    As plug-ins evolve, I think the average car buyer will mainly care about three things:
    1) How much does it cost?
    2) How often do you have to plug in?
    3) How often do you have to go to the gas station?

    So improving these three, that’s really the bottom line.

    The engineering details are less important.


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    Dave G

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (7:35 am)

    Ford Toyota will Win: The Volt battery cost $15,300 and it is highly unlikely to drop significantly.

    B.S.

    The division of L.G. that originally made the Volt’s battery pack (CPI) said it cost $8000 to build, and that should drop to somewhere between $2000-$4000 within the next 5-10 years.


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    Dave K.

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (7:43 am)

    Dave G: …the average car buyer will mainly care about three things:
    1) How much does it cost?
    2) How often do you have to plug in?
    3) How often do you have to go to the gas station?

    The Volt is not only fuel efficient, but comfortable and powerful as well. Take a demo drive. The acceleration rush really is fun. Can’t wait to blast back and fourth from work on a home garage charge of 50 cents each way. In addition, should be able to charge the Volt at work as well. Thousands of Volts will be on the streets by Spring of 2011. Which means 100′s of thousands of people will either drive or ride in a Volt by Summer. Goodbye to twice per week stops at the Arco.

    NPNS


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    Dave G

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (7:49 am)

    Matthew B: Gen III Prius’s have electric air conditioning. You can sit with the air conditioner running and the engine will stop for 5 minutes run for about 2 and then sit for another 5. The whole time it blows ice cold air.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Matthew B: Some Prius’s have a resistance heating element.

    Can you elaborate? Is this a pricey option? Part of a package? Does the PiP require this option?

    Some have said the PiP will be expensive because you’ll need a pricey package to add the plug-in option. If the plug-in option could be applied to the $23K Prius base model, that could change the equation significantly, especially with the $4K federal tax credit.

    I believe there’s a large number of people who want to drive electric but don’t want a lot of bells and whistles.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle
    KISS


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:03 am)

    Dave G: I believe there’s a large number of people who want to drive electric but don’t want a lot of bells and whistles.

    This goes without saying. This car will come from Korea. As Korea holds both advanced battery technology and lower labor costs.
    Having the choice to own a modest EV is a huge lift in the switch to alternative energy use. EV manufacturers will work toward producing lighter vehicles. Lighter materials often cost more than stamped out metal panels. An interesting road ahead.

    =D-Volt


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    EricLG

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:04 am)

    Dave G: Some have said the PiP will be expensive because you’ll need a pricey package to add the plug-in option. If the plug-in option could be applied to the $23K Prius base model, that could change the equation significantly, especially with the $4K federal tax credit.

    The base model is selling on the street for closer to $20k in some markets. And yes, I think a larger traction battery can be tacked on with nominal modification, based on how close the PiP is to the Gen 3 Prius. Pricing will be IMO driven by demand, not supply cost.

    A blended 75 mpg PiP for ~ $25k could be a dominant car at fuel prices of $4 – $5/gallon.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:08 am)

    DonC: Both the Prius and the Volt have a PTC heater like you’d find on a diesel. But the Prius’ PTC heater is auxiliary — it isn’t the primary source of heat and in fact it is turned off when the car is in Eco mode.

    So this says the Prius electric heating element is standard, but the software associated with eco-mode turns it off. Is this right?

    We know the PiP will have new software, so this doesn’t sound like a cost adder for the PiP.

    DonC: The Volt always relies on the PTC heater because in CD Mode it doesn’t have an engine to tap into.

    GM has told us the Volt will use heat from the ICE in CS mode. It’s a 2 mode heating system.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:17 am)

    Dave G: GM has told us the Volt will use heat from the ICE in CS mode. It’s a 2 mode heating system.

    Smart phone connectivity to electrically preheat the front seats of the Volt is a great feature. Being able to use the 120V wall outlet to do it is brilliant. I believe the Volt connectivity phone ap is due out at any time. Checked on getting an owners manual for the Volt through the mail. Cost with shipping is about $40. Will contact the local Chevy dealer today to see if they can do better though the parts department.

    =D-Volt


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:23 am)

    Dave K.:
    Smart phone connectivity to electrically preheat the front seats of the Volt is a great feature. Being able to use the 120V wall outlet to do it is brilliant. I believe the Volt connectivity phone ap is due out at any time. Checked on getting an owners manual for the Volt through the mail. Cost with shipping is about $40. Will contact the local Chevy dealer today to see if they can do better though the parts department.=D-Volt    

    CG had posted that the manual was very expensive through the parts dept. That’s why people had been going through the 3rd party link.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:38 am)

    Dave K.: This car will come from Korea. As Korea holds both advanced battery technology and lower labor costs.

    I’m not sure this is true.

    South Korea is a thriving democracy. Their economy is now on par with Japan and the U.S. I doubt their current labor rates are a lot less than ours.

    And most of the latest battery technology has been coming from the U.S., particularly MIT.

    I think GM chose LG for 3 reasons:
    1) LG had a good cell, large prismatic with a safe chemistry.
    2) LG had the capacity. They already manufacture Li/Ion batteries for cell phones.
    3) Big companies like to do business with other big companies.

    So I think this was more of a case where GM wanted to buy the cells from an established player in order to insure a good supply. In the future, if a U.S. based cell manufacturer gets established and has the capacity, then I’m sure car makers will start buying from them.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:47 am)

    GM could have scored a lot of brownie points by picking an on-shore battery tech, like A123. Capacity was IMO not the issue, since GM is only making a thousand cars a month or so.

    I say either the bean counters decided, or Korea had the best tech that GM could buy.


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    jbfalaska

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:48 am)

    Elon Musk of TESLA, we’re indebted to you here. May the stars align and may God help you succeed with Tesla. Every car helping free us from an addiction to the likes no nation has ever known, is a saving grace for this great country.

    CHEVY VOLT: American-made, American-FUELED.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:28 am)

    CorvetteGuy,

    I really agree with everything you said, CorvetteGuy.

    Plus, I sincerely am coming to see through diagnostic scans that Toyota is not going
    to remain nearly as popular as all their vehicles approach 140,000 miles while the resale values for them (at mileages above 110,000 or so) do not usually hold a comparative value-accuracy to remaining efficiency-of-servicing.

    This is something that the resale book publishers really aren’t able to likely correct.


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    MichaelH (Michael)

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:36 am)

    Dave K.: Will contact the local Chevy dealer today to see if they can do better though the parts department.

    Tagamet: CG had posted that the manual was very expensive through the parts dept. That’s why people had been going through the 3rd party link.

    That’s why I ordered mine a week ago Friday. It shipped on Tuesday, Oct. 19. 8-)


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:36 pm)

    BillR: For instance, the plug-in Vue that never made it to production. It has the same power electronics as the Volt, a similar drivetrain, a 1/2 sized battery pack with the same LG chem cells, and probably has an average rating of 50 mpg +/-. And the SUV market is still a big market where GM is strong (like Chevy Equinox).

    Yes. GM hastily expunged this viable HEV. The VUE with a smaller battery could ride the coattails of a successful Voltec drivetrain. An plug in SUV that returns a 50+ MPG rating could be a huge winner with families.


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    Charlie H

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:56 pm)

    Dan Petit: CorvetteGuy, I really agree with everything you said, CorvetteGuy.Plus, I sincerely am coming to see through diagnostic scans that Toyota is not goingto remain nearly as popular as all their vehicles approach 140,000 miles while the resale values for them (at mileages above 110,000 or so) do not usually hold a comparative value-accuracy to remaining efficiency-of-servicing.This is something that the resale book publishers really aren’t able to likely correct.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    That must be some fine Mexican weed you’re smoking.


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    Charlie H

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:00 pm)

    greenWin: Yes. GM hastily expunged this viable HEV. The VUE with a smaller battery could ride the coattails of a successful Voltec drivetrain. An plug in SUV that returns a 50+ MPG rating could be a huge winner with families.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    The Vue was on the order of 500 lbs heavier than a comparable Rav4, with less interior room and cargo space. BEFORE adding the battery pack and other gear. The PHEV Vue, if developed, was going to have some interesting GVW problems. And it was going to be very expensive and selling into a market which has been shown not to give a fig about fuel economy (if a Vue owner did care about fuel economy – they’d buy a smaller car… shades of the GMT900 hybrid fiasco).


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:54 pm)

    DonC:
    It hasn’t been proven false because it’s true. You can look at a Youtube video all day. I’ll stick with CalCars.
    Just to be clear, here’s what Ron Gremban, the lead engineer for CalCars says:

    The Prius meets AT-PZEV emissions specs, far cleaner than the average new car. I doubt Toyota would want the negative publicity of the PIP not also being AT-PZEV, which means it will be very clean. To this end, the U.S. version will probably always start the engine upon initial vehicle start, as with the existing Prius, in order to do a low pollution, controlled cold start.

    Here is a link to my video so you don’t have to watch YouTube all day. Just look at the first 10 seconds. Do you see the gas engine come on? Note: PHV Prius pulled out of the garage on an incline with 3 adults inside.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9xGyMhaw0k

    CalCars don’t make 2010 PHV Prius. Toyota does. CalCars do not have control over how the OEM 2010 PHV Prius function. I have first hand experience with 2010 PHV Prius, like John1701a. You are getting information from someone else who said probably and may not first hand experience with the 2010 PHV Prius.


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    Oct 24th, 2010 (4:32 am)

    Dave G: South Korea is a thriving democracy. Their economy is now on par with Japan and the U.S. I doubt their current labor rates are a lot less than ours.

    We know China is coming with an EV in a year. I believe Korea will be ahead of them.

    =D-Volt


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    zim wolfe

     

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    Oct 25th, 2010 (9:13 am)

    Most of the manufactures use the old school books on marketing and my guess is they will restrict supply to keep the price up for as long as possible.

    They would be wise to compete with other GM brands and not loose the sale, nobody wants to go to a dealership and hear a 1970′s line that “we don’t have that in stock but this one will meet your needs”….

    That’s why GM needs multiple models, as an example there is no reason that the Vette does not have a sister car with similar specs but different body style. If the Vette styling
    Was the best in the industry then we would not have a 370z or Porsche.

    Same goes for the Volt, the sister car is overseas??

    Most Commentators are right they will go somewhere else. Purchasers going to the dealership who want the Volt are not going to be lured into another 40 MPG car, that’s already been done.


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    Carmelina Reinen

     

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    Nov 17th, 2010 (11:19 pm)

    Ok. How could not I see this?