Oct 23

Ford Delaying Full Scale Production of Focus Electric Car to 2012

 

[ad#post_ad]I test drove an early Ford Focus Electric prototype at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. At that time and for most of the time since, Ford has said it would bring the car into production in 2011, lagging slightly behind the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF. Ford also said it would begin producing a plug-in hybrid SUV in 2012, and low volumes of an electric Transit Connect utility van late this year.

Not a day goes by that one can’t find a flurry of news and media about the Nissan LEAF. Ford not so much.

In fact the automaker recently confirmed that the Focus Electric launch would be delayed for all practical purposes until 2012.

“We had always said 2011, which we’ll still do, but I think you’ll see more of the concentrated volume in 2012,” Sue Cischke, Ford VP of Environemnet told the Detroit News. “Right now, we’re getting ready to provide a little bit slower entry.”

She would not specify the exact number of cars that would hit the roads in 2011 except to say “some.”

Cischke also said Ford intended to meet the same production volume as the Volt and LEAF in 2012. GM will build 15,000 Volts in 2011 and Nissan will build 20,000 LEAFs. “I think it’s going to be somewhere between the two when we first start out,” she said.

She did note that Ford could ramp up from there if demand called for it. “Certainly, if it was very popular, we’d be able to get more batteries and do what we need to do,” she said.

The Ford Focus Electric is expected to get a nominal 100 miles of range, same as the LEAF, though she did admit ranges would be less and there will be problems in cold climates. ”The Northern states are going to be more of a challenge — just because of the cold weather,” she said.

Cischke weighed in on the recent “Voltgate” transmission details saying the Volt “is basically a plug-in hybrid.”

She did admit Ford will take the slower lane to EV’s in part to see how the first wave of Volts and LEAFs fare. “We’ll learn from what they are doing and how they are marketing it,” Cischke said.

Source (Detroit News)


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This entry was posted on Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 at 8:28 am and is filed under BEV, Competitors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 161


  1. 1
    Tagamet

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:35 am)

    That’s a shame. The more competition in this arena, the better. JMO.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    jdsv

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:36 am)

    I don’t care for the ‘some’ part of her answer, but this news could be worse. Onward and upward for electric adoption!

    This is at least much better than Chrysler’s fakey late push for EVs – we can all lend Ford a bit more credibility and assume that with this they’ll make a greater effort to ‘get it right’. Besides, I could never disparage an electric car with a paint job like that. A+!

    =D~~ NPNS!


  3. 3
    Dave K.

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:42 am)

    Ford can get in the game real quick by manufacturing an EV skateboard platform and incorporating performance styling. How about a light weight GT body EV? C’mon Ford, get in the game.

    NPNS

    ford_GT.jpg


  4. 4
    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:42 am)

    Spoken like a true professional, who realizes Ford missed the boat.


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:44 am)

    Isn’t the Ford GT the car that went from napkin back to production in 18 months or some such?


  6. 6
    bt

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:44 am)

    Certainly a ‘corporate cautious’ approach by Ford, something bean counters love to hear.

    While to EV advocates this may seem to be disappointing, the flip side is that it offers both GM and Nissan(and Tesla, and Fisker, and Think, and Coda, etc.) more time to establish the ‘model’ for making a business case out of electrics–without having to worry about one of the 800 pound gorillas out there.

    Breathing space, in other words.


  7. 7
    Evil Conservative

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:48 am)

    Ford is the only one of the “big 3″ that did not take bail out money. I am betting they are doing something right. Wait and see is a safe approach and it looks like they have the car ready to go when they feel comfortable.


  8. 8
    Johann

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:49 am)

    While I am happy that Ford and others are ready to jump in the EV game, I see little difference between many of them. The only players I see of any significance is Nissan, GM, and Tesla. Tesla with the high range EV with a high price, Nissan with a low range and low price and GM sitting nicely in the middle. Kind of like the Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

    All the new players seem to be introducing a compact car that goes 100 miles. Just sounds like a copy of the Leaf to me. How about some innovation and differences like a crossover or minivan or a compact with 150 miles of range? Perhaps a small work truck? Or a bus?

    The Volt will be a success like the Prius is a success. It’s new and innovative and the next step forward and unique.


  9. 9
    Adam

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:00 am)

    (click to show comment)


  10. 10
    ziv

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:00 am)

    Just read some interesting specs on the new Ford Focus Electric, tho it sounds like it won’t be coming quite as soon as I thought. 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 noticeably in comparison to the Volt, not sure how slick the Focus will be. Good news for the Volts hwy mileage/efficiency, which needs every bit of help it can get, even though I won’t use it frequently. The cD of the Volt is somewhere around .28 and the Leaf is .29, so just how much of a difference will this make at 70 mph? So the Volts cDa is 1115.7 and the Leaf is around 1233. So the Volt has around a 10% efficiency advantage over the Leaf? Am I calculating this right?
    I posted this late yesterday and I am curious as to what the more knowledgeable car folks here think.
    http://green.autoblog.com/2010/07/27/2011-nissan-leaf-first-drive-road-test-review/


  11. 11
    Starcast

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:01 am)

    My fear is still that the Leaf will be a very poor quality car. And that could set electric cars back.


  12. 12
    Tagamet

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:04 am)

    Johann: …All the new players seem to be introducing a compact car that goes 100 miles. Just sounds like a copy of the Leaf to me. How about some innovation and differences like a crossover or minivan or a compact with 150 miles of range? Perhaps a small work truck? Or a bus?…

    I think that they are all bumping up against the technological limits of *today’s* batteries. It looks like GM recognized this and remedied it in the Volt. Unfortunately (IMHO) this means that GM currently (no pun) has zero competition. Zero competition + restricted production numbers = high price. I know that part of the high price is the battery, but I think that limited production numbers matters too. From a company’s point of view GM is playing their hand perfectly. The only thing that they could do to improve the situation is to borrow the name “Apple” or “I-Volt”. JMO (and stirring the pot)

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


  13. 13
    Tom W

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:13 am)

    This is another example why I keep saying the way the government credit is structured has the wrong incentives. Ford will surely get in on the EV game, they’ll sell there 200,000+ vehicles and be sure to make a tidy profit. But they’ll wait until GM/Nissan get the costs down and in 2013-2015 Ford will make a Tidy profit without the high R&D costs.

    If the credit was by year and went down a little yearly the incentive would be to grab as much market share as possible as fast as possible. So thats why we’ve seen these companies dragging their feet the last couple years. Even GM is dragging their feet but at least they are spending their time trying to perfect the product, but they are in no hurry to use up their 200,000 quota that they know they can sell. After the phase out of the credit these companies have to be ready to compete with ICE cars.

    Of course competing with ICE cars will be a lot easier the next time there are major hurricanes in the gulf, wars in the middle east, whatever.

    Looks like my first EV won’t be a Focus, still seems like Volt or maybe Leaf. Maybe a dark horse Ford Transit from Azure will be available in Ohio first and I won’t be able to resist.


  14. 14
    Shawn Marshall

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:20 am)

    This sort of fits with GM’s low production numbers. Ford is taking a conservative approach. Why break your neck or the bank to make a niche vehicle?

    It is all about the future of the batteries; energy density and $/kW-hr.

    I hope the Volt does well. I’m pretty well convinced GM sees Gen2 as the real thing; hopefully less expensive and better mpg when charge is depleted.


  15. 15
    RB

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:24 am)

    Starcast: My fear is still that the Leaf will be a very poor quality car.

    .
    Why do you feel that way?


  16. 16
    JohnK

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:26 am)

    I’ve seen and ridden in a plug-in Escape. It looked quite nice. The Ford rep indicated that the battery was just very expensive and a big barrier to production. But production should start in 2012. The vehicle configuration was very nice, kind of MPV5-like, though probably not as sexy.


  17. 17
    neutron

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:27 am)

    As noted by others …..
    Ford has a product almost ready but they are waiting to see how the sale of the Leaf and Volt do the first year. If sales are strong and interest building Ford will be there. But waiting may push the market into GM, Nissan, BMW?, Volvo?, BYD?, and others direction. Sometimes playing catchup is tough. Wonder is a a range extension option for Ford is in the wings too?


  18. 18
    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:27 am)

    #11 Starcast Said:

    My fear is still that the Leaf will be a very poor quality car. And that could set electric cars back.

    Could be a boon though for pontoon boats eying unsold Leaf and Focus batteries.


  19. 19
    JohnK

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:30 am)

    Just got my Volt Owner’s manual (yes, could not wait for the “free” one). Near the front is a list of symbols and there is a picture of a leaf (tree leaf) with the text next to it Leaf (with no explanation). ;)


  20. 20
    Schmeltz

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:36 am)

    I don’t think this is a big deal personally, but she never really gives an explanantion for the delay. I mean, why can’t they have the Focus EV ready? Ford didn’t go through bankruptcy, Ford didn’t have a number of management shake-ups. If this was GM making an announcement like this, the proverbial world would be coming to an end. Just saying.

    By the way, I like Ford as a company, so no insult intended.


  21. 21
    Randy

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:43 am)

    JohnK: I’ve seen and ridden in a plug-in Escape.It looked quite nice.The Ford rep indicated that the battery was just very expensive and a big barrier to production.But production should start in 2012. The vehicle configuration was very nice, kind of MPV5-like, though probably not as sexy.    

    THats the one for me. Who is offering an electric SUV ?NO ONE. FOrd could tie up this market very quickly. SO is the volt expensive,for the size of the car particularly. I still love the volt ,but its not for me,a plug-in truck or van or even a pug-in escape would fill the bill. If no one makes a plug-in pickup in the next few years i,ll convert my own.


  22. 22
    nasaman

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:10 am)

    RB: Starcast: My fear is still that the Leaf will be a very poor quality car.

    Why do you feel that way?

    Eco_Turbo: #11 Starcast Said:

    My fear is still that the Leaf will be a very poor quality car. And that could set electric cars back.

    Could be a boon though for pontoon boats eying unsold Leaf and Focus batteries.

    I agree! Even if the Leaf’s short 5-year battery life, its excessively short range in extremely cold or hot weather or some other engineering shortcoming doesn’t kill it off, its hideously ugly exterior and interior could easily do so, IMO. At least the Focus EV is a reasonably attractive design inside and out!

    By the way, a Nissan official recently said the Leaf’s entire interior is derived from recycled “water bottles”. Could it be that even recycled clear plastic can’t be tinted to some other color than bright white? [Remember how we discussed at length here how the Volt's white center console would look better in dark charcoal or black? ....and GM seems to have responded?] I’m not enough of a “dutty mouth” :) to put my feelings in words, but this should do it….

    nissan-leaf-interior.jpgYUCK! ….HOPE THEY HAVE BARF BAGS BEHIND IN THESE SEATS!


  23. 23
    bookdabook

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:18 am)

    Damn, I better buy that battery Co. stock I’ve been watching. Looks like there is going to be a great demand soon.


  24. 24
    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:23 am)

    2012 will be a good year. Another year of economic recovery will help. And by then Chevrolet showrooms will have plenty of Volt, Camaro Convertible, Camaro Z/28, Cruze, and the new Corvette C7 (possibly called ‘Stingray’). With luck we might have Volt MPV5 and Cruze SS. Waiting is hard, but good things come to those who wait.


  25. 25
    crew

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:28 am)

    I’m stuck here. Ford has an opportunity, not so much to get into the BEV limelight but to become a serious player for real world EV sales. Is the problem the battery, production quality and pruchasing, or the market?

    I don’t know a lot about it but it seems like the US is throwing quite a bit of money at manufacturers to get EV’s going from the ground up. I really don’t expect results to show up overnight, a three year turnaround for a new tech vehicle is pushing it, but what does Ford know that we don’t? Perhaps someone familiar with lithium battery high volume purchasing would have some insight. The only person I have met that is directly involved is Britta Gross at GM. Her view on the BEV market is very conservative and can be seen as a reflection of the experience that GM has drawn from in the years of the EV-1. As much as I’d like to believe that her view isn’t shared by other manufacturers, is there another explanation for Ford’s delay? Are there battery manufacturers that are making offers to Ford better than what LG Chem has made or is there trouble brewing in raw materials? Is it that Ford jumped the gun with committing to production before battery purchasing can be sorted out or are they examining the market after GM and Nissan get significant feedback?

    Ford has already made the decision not to commit funds to build an excellent replacement for the Ranger in the US right now. Are they wed to the marketing department for EV production decisions or is it a matter of getting the best expected return on investment on other vehicles in the lineup? With the demise of Mercury, is Ford wiser to get the Lincoln lineup expanded before the Focus EV gets the money?

    Personally, I think Ford is underestimating the desire to buy an American manufacturers’ EV. I most certainly would choose the Ford above the Leaf with forgiveness for inequalities. So, are there real barriers to getting BEVs into production for price, market, and manufacturing. Or is Ford holding off just to make sure they get the Focus EV right?

    I don’t mind waiting but I wish many of us didn’t have to.


  26. 26
    Rashiid Amul

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:29 am)

    Better to be safe and produce it right than to rush and make trash.
    If Ford feels more comfortable taking their time, then fine with me as long as the finished product is spot on.

    ———–

    Starcast: My fear is still that the Leaf will be a very poor quality car. And that could set electric cars back.    

    Gosh I hope not, but your point is well taken. Nissan can hurt the entire industry with junk.
    I really hope is it better than a Yugo.


  27. 27
    nasaman

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:31 am)

    CorvetteGuy: 2012 will be a good year. Another year of economic recovery will help. And by then Chevrolet showrooms will have plenty of Volt, Camaro Convertible, Camaro Z/28, Cruze, and the new Corvette C7 (possibly called ‘Stingray’). With luck we might have Volt MPV5 and Cruze SS. Waiting is hard, but good things come to those who wait.

    CG, you’ve reminded me that on more than one occasion I’ve bought a new car sometimes almost immediately after getting a new job. So when people go back to work, many will also head for new car showrooms. (Could Ford & GM be considering this?)


  28. 28
    scottf200

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:31 am)

    It appears Ford started to test the waters with the ‘work’ van. http://green.autoblog.com/2010/02/12/quick-spin-ford-transit-connect-electric-a-good-sign-of-things/

    It certainly appears the EV focus is a wait and see how the leaf and volt market. Riding the coat tails and saving a ton of money. Could work out find for those that are really brand loyal and like the idea of EVs but want to buy a Ford. There would be a lot of those folks it seems.

    I’m actually a Ford person mainly myself (or was raised with that belief ) but I don’t want a 100 mile or less vehicle I want what the VOLT is offering – Extended Range and for it to be seamless.

    I don’t understand the *strong* comments about there could be a problem in the cold weather (I’m in chicagoland) because it appears they are using the same supplier as the VOLT. ( http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1047189_ford-announces-battery-supplier-for-2012-focus-electric ) Thinking about it tho, perhaps they are quite different specs whereas the Volt has the more details/sophisticated temp control.

    Ford_All-Electric_Focus.jpg


  29. 29
    ricky

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:34 am)

    nasaman: I agree! Even if the Leaf’s short 5-year battery life, its excessively short range in extremely cold or hot weather or some other engineering shortcoming doesn’t kill it off, its hideously ugly exterior and interior could easily do so, IMO. At least the Focus EV is a reasonably attractive design inside and out!

    I thought nissan had an 8 year warranty on the battery, or has this been changed???


  30. 30
    nasaman

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:42 am)

    scottf200: …..I don’t understand the *strong* comments about there could be a problem in the cold weather (I’m in chicagoland) because it appears they are using the same supplier as the VOLT. Thinking about it tho, perhaps they are quite different specs whereas the Volt has the more details/sophisticated temp control.

    At least *my* concerns about excessive heat and/or cold relate primarily to the Leaf, NOT to the Volt or to the Focus EV, both of which use battery liquid cooling/heating. Very nice graphic of the Focus EV, btw.


  31. 31
    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:45 am)

    scottf200: ,,,I don’t understand the *strong* comments about there could be a problem in the cold weather (I’m in chicagoland) because it appears they are using the same supplier as the VOLT. Thinking about it tho, perhaps they are quite different specs whereas the Volt has the more details/sophisticated temp control…

    I thought that you were spot on with this part, until I read the captions that speak of the Focus having a liquid temperature control system. I can see where the “air managed” batteries will struggle mightily in Chicago-land, but the liquid temperature control system in the Volt should mitigate that into a non-issue. Assuming that all temp control systems are not created equal, maybe the one in the Focus either falls short, or needs additional data for Ford to feel comfy fielding it.
    GM does a very *serious* job of babying that battery! (sometimes, fear is a *good* thing).

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


  32. 32
    evnow

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:46 am)

    Starcast: My fear is still that the Leaf will be a very poor quality car. And that could set electric cars back.

    Don’t worry. After 5 years of development, a high profile car made in Oppama won’t be low quality. My 10 year old Maxima still drives like a dream.


  33. 33
    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:48 am)

    ricky:
    I thought nissan had an 8 year warranty on the battery, or has this been changed???    

    I believe that they did match the Volt’s warranty for the battery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the air cooled/heated battery will actually last that long…

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


  34. 34
    nasaman

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:50 am)

    ricky: I thought nissan had an 8 year warranty on the battery, or has this been changed???

    They do have an 8yr warranty, as a result of a management/marketing decision stemming from their concern the Volt, Focus EV and even the Tesla batteries are well thermally controlled by use of liquid cooling/heating and the Leaf’s batteries are not. Tesla’s CEO has said the Leaf’s battery design is “primitive”. And battery experts say a Leaf’s range will very likely shorten significantly in 5 yrs.


  35. 35
    evnow

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:50 am)

    Randy: THats the one for me. Who is offering an electric SUV ?NO ONE. FOrd could tie up this market very quickly. SO is the volt expensive,for the size of the car particularly. I still love the volt ,but its not for me,a plug-in truck or van or even a pug-in escape would fill the bill. If no one makes a plug-in pickup in the next few years i,ll convert my own.  

    Would you consider a RAV4EV an SUV or is it too small for you ?


  36. 36
    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:54 am)

    Evil Conservative: Wait and see is a safe approach and it looks like they have the car ready to go when they feel comfortable.

    I wonder if they’ll have a Project Driveway field test program….

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


  37. 37
    Dan Petit

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:00 am)

    I really appreciated the measured commentary from Ford Motor.
    This commentary reveals the seriousness that Ford Motor has acquired regarding BEV, and as much the respecting of the realities of range limits. (See my post number 112 in the thread before last).

    The main hold-back for the BEV is the Winter power demand scenario.

    You see, it is three times as efficient to move heat out of a space with refrigeration (a three to one watt to btu ratio) as in an air conditioning system (which usually has only a 20 or 30 degree task differential), as compared to a one to one watts/btu (practically) energy demand to heat up a vehicle for watts to btu’s.
    And, the temperature task differential for resistance heating can be something like a hundred degrees.
    In addition, the electric motoring time frame for most of America is during the morning commute, where even here in the hot Southwest, is not really that great an air conditioning differential tasking even if it was requested.

    This is because the overnight lows for the hottest days of the year are around 82 degrees by morning anyway. A really hot afternoon heat-up will merely have the CS mode activate an extra mile or two so sooner.

    For Ford Motor to bring about a BEV in 2012 would be an admirable thing.

    I wonder at what point on the calendar the 2011 model year Volt will transition to the 2012 model year Volt?

    (The very bulky business/educational equipment I have to carry preempted several decisions to replace at this time what I drive already. These needs and the timing of them were not in my control, but I am sure there will be a Volt deal in my not-too-distant future. In the meantime, I can still work to contribute here as best I can.)


  38. 38
    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:01 am)

    nasaman:

    *Supposed* to be nissan-leaf-interior.jpg here (lol)

    That looks like OCD’s Dream car! (g). Clean – ugly as sin, but really clean.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


  39. 39
    scottf200

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:06 am)

    nasaman: Very nice graphic of the Focus EV, btw.    

    Thanks. Here is the fullsize JPG http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/Ford_All-Electric_Focus.jpg

    I’ve been reading/lurking for quite a while. I appreciate your folks passion.

    I’m not sure how to describe myself in terms of an enthusiast or conservative. We have 3 paid for cars. Civic that college kid drives (wifes old car when I was more frugal), Subaru (wifes new car – we do live in chicagoland), Ford Expedition SUV (gasp – use it for my daily commute and still own it because it pulls my camper for our family time get aways and awesome for traveling cross country).

    So I have the means from a stagnant investment that I’m perfectly happy to part with in exchange for gas-free driving. I paid $75 to fill up the expedition the other day.

    We conserve in simple ways with recycling, CFL bulbs, low flow shower heads, etc. I’m happy to invest in a USA company that is working hard through tough times to put together such and incredibly thought out car. I read all about it and watch all the videos. IMPRESSIVE. My father-in-law was Chevy man and I’m sure is looking down on me smiling.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:07 am)

    Tagamet: nasaman:

    *Supposed* to be nissan-leaf-interior.jpg here (lol)

    That looks like OCD’s Dream car! (g). Clean – ugly as sin, but really clean.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet
    ==========================================================
    Didn’t the Leaf inside photo show up? It did for me, but that doesn’t mean anyone else can see it, so here ya go again…

    If it doesn’t show up this time, look up the photo next to “ugly as sin” in your latest Funk & Wagnalls(sp?) dictionary

    nissan-leaf-interior.jpg


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:08 am)

    Dan Petit: In the meantime, I can still work to contribute here as best I can.) Dan Petit

    And a fine job you do of that. I know that I benefit from explanations like the one in this post.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


  42. 42
    Texas

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:09 am)

    So, What she said is something to the effect of, “We are going to copy everything GM and Nissan do so we have to wait to see what they do. That way, we don’t have to invent anything ourselves.”

    Did I get that right?

    Shame on you, Ford.

    I am still holding out hope that Mulally has something really special up his sleeve. Unfortunately, it looks like that will have to wait until Volt 2.0 is cruising down the boulevard.


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    evnow

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:10 am)

    nasaman: I’m not enough of a “dutty mouth” to put my feelings in words, but this should do it….

    That is BTW, the show car. Not the production car. Considering all the other FUD you have repeated, I guess you actually don’t know much about Leaf.

    BTW, is it really worse than this ? I’m sure Steve Jobs would have puked at this.

    lead14chevroletvoltfd2011.jpg


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:11 am)

    scottf200:
    Thanks.Here is the fullsize JPG http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/Ford_All-Electric_Focus.jpgI’ve been reading/lurking for quite a while.I appreciate your folks passion.I’m not sure how to describe myself in terms of an enthusiast or conservative.We have 3 paid for cars.Civic that college kid drives (wifes old car when I was more frugal), Subaru (wifes new car – we do live in chicagoland), Ford Expedition SUV (gasp – use it for my daily commute and still own it because it pulls my camper for our family time get aways and awesome for traveling cross country).So I have the means from a stagnant investment that I’m perfectly happy to part with in exchange for gas-free driving. I paid $75 to fill up the expedition the other day.We conserve in simple ways with recycling, CFL bulbs, low flow shower heads, etc.I’m happy to invest in a USA company that is working hard through tough times to put together such and incredibly thought out car.I read all about it and watch all the videos.IMPRESSIVE.My father-in-law was Chevy man and I’m sure is looking down on me smiling.    

    WELCOME! We’re a very mixed bag of fruit here (g).

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Texas

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:11 am)

    Just a plug-in in production is much better than just a plug-in that might be in production two or more years from now. No?


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:11 am)

    Tagamet: I wonder if they’ll have a Project Driveway field test program….Be well and believe,TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Sign me up if they do.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:13 am)

    nasaman: If it doesn’t show up this time, look up the phot next to “Ugly as sin” in your latest Funk & Wagnalls

    nissan-leaf-interior.jpg

    It showed up in your post, but not in mine above. (SHRUG). Thanks though.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:14 am)

    Looks like GM made up for the Raleigh, NC Unplugged cancellation. They added three drives, two within 15 miles of my house, near Charlotte. But I can’t register for any of them because I registered for D.C., which is a seven hour drive. :-(


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:15 am)

    Evil Conservative: Tagamet: I wonder if they’ll have a Project Driveway field test program….Be well and believe,TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS (Quote) (Reply)

    Sign me up if they do.

    OK, I’ll put your name right after mine.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet
    / one last lawn mow. BBS.

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


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:17 am)

    Tagamet,

    Thank you for your compliment Tag.

    I had been hoping to incorporate several levels of enhanced public-domain-content Volt courses (concentrated with all the tech) into my business plan/seminar product offerings for 2011, for local audiences, but time ran out but for promises needing to be kept. There are so many thousands of groups, so very eager to learn. Especially when you can be right in front of them with all the enthusiasm we have compiled from all the outstanding GM professionals.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:17 am)

    Eco_Turbo: Looks like GM made up for the Raleigh, NC Unplugged cancellation. They added three drives, two within 15 miles of my house, near Charlotte. But I can’t register for any of them because I registered for D.C., which is a seven hour drive.     

    Someone noted that they just “showed up” and got a drive. It’s definitely worth a shot!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:19 am)

    I feel the Focus BEV is worth waiting for. Massed produced platform to cut production cost and a liquid cooled battery is a requirement for the Hot climate states. The BEV Cruze would be strait up competition to it.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:22 am)

    It depends on how you spin this if it’s a delay or not. Ford is still launching in 2011 as originally planned.

    If I were a car manufacturer introducing EV products, this is not a real good time to launch. Gas prices are stagnant. The economy is still in the dumper. New car sales in general are not that robust and sales of hybrids/alts never really took off at all.

    The TV channels that I watch currently have ads for Challenger, GMC trucks, Equinox and other people movers (vans, cuvs, suvs) and higher-end foreign cars. Not a peep about economy cars, hybrid cars or electric cars. This indicates to me that the economy-car genre is not selling (or I’m watching the wrong shows).


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:22 am)

    Starcast: And that could set electric cars back. 

    I wouldn’t worry about that. Other than the seat material it’s a nice car. Not a luxury car by any means but after rebates it’s less expensive than a Prius. Not much comparison between it and other EVs, like the NmG, priced in its range. Handling is light but quite precise and it’s performance is better than the Volt’s — 7s 0-60 vs. 8.8s 0-60.


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    ommimoeish

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:23 am)

    Fords idea to make a regular car an even is going to insure that they shouldn’t have problems adjusting to demand whether it be more or less than expected. I’m glad we have GM making the volt to see a comparison with the pure evs along with Nissan who went the Prius route and made a stand alone body for their ev so that we can compare sales because sometimes people get too caught up comparing to the ice version if there is a directly equivalent ice version like the focus.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:30 am)

    Texas,

    GM is just as thoroughly-attentive to the patent and trade laws as is Ford Motor.
    The patent and trade laws are so clearly ironclad when we are talking about
    our American Auto Manufacturer’s, that there not need be a significant concern
    about infringement. This is especially true when EREV and BEV are “front and center” in all our deliberations here.

    American OEM’s are hyper-careful about this. Nothing could risk the stopping of an entire development program faster in it’s tracks than a problem with this.

    The only hiccup here is if it just so happened from a completely innocent standpoint, that two completely independent, yet nearly identical invention breakthroughs came about at the same time in two competing applications, in a “double blind” situation, (which is not totally impossible). In that case, it comes down to who has the earlier time stamp at the Patent and Trade Office.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:31 am)

    Loboc: or I’m watching the wrong shows

    Ha ha. Could be. MUN2 has a ton of ads for the Ford Fiesta/Focus, I know I’ve seen commercials for the Honda Civic/Accord (the cartoon guy at RAVEs), and I’ve seen commercials for the Cruze with a tagline something like “Get Used To More”. This is impressive in that I don’t watch TV that much — including sports — and, when I do, I use a DVR. So I suspect I’d see fewer commercials than most.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:32 am)

    CorvetteGuy: With luck we might have Volt MPV5 and Cruze SS.

    So you’re thinking that Volt SS is not in the cards for 2012? Isn’t SS usually released in the second model year?


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:34 am)

    crew,

    i think Ford is simply playing ‘wait and see’ where the market goes, and won’t jump in until trends develop and a market direction becomes clear.

    If Ford’s strategy is smart, than Nissan appears to be on a Kamikaze mission with the LEAF. Just what kind of market research they did on EV’s is unclear; it could be simply Ghosn’s ‘damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead’ hunch that it’ll work. I think he is carelessly wrong – there are too many reasons to doubt the LEAF meeting Nissan’s expectations.

    However it could be that Nissan’s primary purpose with the LEAF was to grab the media spotlight. If so, that has been a brilliant success. Toyota’s hybrids and the Volt promised their respective companies positive media attention that was continually building and destined to help carry them into the future. Nissan’s own hybrid program was invisible, and they were in danger of being left behind. So – the LEAF was created to seize media attention. It has definitely become a ‘halo’ car of the first order for Nissan.

    Promises of massive production numbers (relative to the EV world) was key to the LEAF’s holding the media spotlight. It created a groundswell of excitement inside the green community which adopted the LEAF as their chosen one and bestowed Ghosn with god-like status.

    Nissan’s first promo tour with the LEAF accompanied by their refundable $99 reservations was a slick way of creating the image that there indeed WAS a mass market out there waiting to own a LEAF. The drumbeat for the LEAF became louder and louder.

    Well now we are almost at the point where the truths will all be told. Will Nissan honor their promised production numbers if sales plummet after the early adopter phase is over? No. They are a business, and good businesses have plan Bs, Cs, Ds, and so on.

    Ford is that way too. They just are taking a different route to the promised land than Nissan did. My guess is that in five years, the EV market is going to have a number of prominent names and it wouldn’t surprise me if Nissan was not one of them.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:36 am)

    Dan Petit: The main hold-back for the BEV is the Winter power demand scenario.

    We’re rooting for you to get that Volt!

    One interesting point is that while cold temperatures are tough on BEVs hot climates are harder on the batteries.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:37 am)

    DonC:

    Starcast: And that could set electric cars back.

    DonC: I wouldn’t worry about that. Other than the seat material it’s a nice car. Not a luxury car by any means but after rebates it’s less expensive than a Prius.

    Nissan makes very nice cars of good quality. I seriously doubt that something this high profile will be junk.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:37 am)

    Loboc: So you’re thinking that Volt SS is not in the cards for 2012? Isn’t SS usually released in the second model year? 

    Well I think there are some more. During the test drive the GM engineer slipped up — it really was a Freudian type thing — and mentioned the platforms.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:46 am)

    DonC,

    Thank you DonC for your thought.

    You know, maybe it might be of interest to the GM pros to put me into a
    “promotional lease”, where, I pay for the insurance, and in exchange for me
    providing highly-compelling “on the chair’s edge” Volt talks to various GM-assigned groups,
    GM pays for the $350 a month lease payment/(and a modest monthly stipend/per-diem), (since my other work duty mileage would be covered by my replacement vehicle, and the paid-lease mileage would be very very low.).


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    James

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:47 am)

    nasaman: I agree! Even if the Leaf’s short 5-year battery life, its excessively short range in extremely cold or hot weather or some other engineering shortcoming doesn’t kill it off, its hideously ugly exterior and interior could easily do so, IMO. I’m not enough of a “dutty mouth” to put my feelings in words, but this should do it….YUCK! ….HOPE THEY HAVE BARF BAGS BEHIND IN THESE SEATS!  (Quote)  (Reply)

    ~ There you go again.

    Perhaps if regulars to gm-volt.com weren’t so divisive, the site might get interviews with, and open responses from people like Sue Cischke, Ford VP of Environemnet. Being a cross between a GM fanboy site and a Volt fanboy site – we pretty much will get spoonfed PR and biased journalism, and that’s pretty much it.

    EVs are good for Volt and Volt’s future. EVs are good for us. EVs are just plain good. To me, this is not the place to slam Volt’s competitors, point out for the umpteen-millionth time how Volt is superior ( a point most of us fully believe anyway, so you’re preaching to the choir ), or how strongly you dislike Leaf, Fisker, Model S, Evora 440E EREV, etc., etc., etc.

    Please look at the big picture and bash Leaf, it’s looks, it’s battery pack or whatever…..someplace else, and off the net. Frankly it’s getting really really old.

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ( in all 50 states ),

    James


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:48 am)

    Loboc,

    I’m not quite sure how they would make a Volt SS. That badge usually implies enhanced performance and features. Since the Volt already outperforms a Prius by a factor of 20, and adding a turbo to a Volt would be a waste since it rarely runs in ICE mode, what could they do?


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:51 am)

    Tagamet: That looks like OCD’s Dream car! (g). Clean – ugly as sin, but really clean.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Hey!

    I resemble that remark…


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:52 am)

    I was just in the Wayne assembly plant yesterday (where they are going to build the Focus). We have provided & providing more equipment for this line. I asked about the electric Focus. They said they are working on that now. This means the automation is in the process of being layed out, set up, then eventually purchased. (Note: a lot of our equipment was setup to work w/the elctric Focus in the first place). So if they are working on it now, then late 2011, early 2012 sounds right. Something interesting in the conversation is that they mentioned the Ford Focus Hybrid. I didn’t know this was something that Ford was planning, only maybe a Ford Fiesta Hybrid.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (11:57 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Since the Volt already outperforms a Prius by a factor of 20, and adding a turbo to a Volt would be a waste since it rarely runs in ICE mode, what could they do?

    Doesn’t it bother you a wee bit that the Leaf is almost 2s faster to 60 MPH than the Volt?

    The Volt handles very well, a fun car to drive. More power from the battery, more performance oriented (softer) tires, and mass reduction could make it more than competitive with the BMW 3 series.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:06 pm)

    Dan Petit: The very bulky business/educational equipment I have to carry preempted several decisions to replace at this time what I drive already. These needs and the timing of them were not in my control, but I am sure there will be a Volt deal in my not-too-distant future. In the meantime, I can still work to contribute here as best I can.

    So, “in the meantime” are you selling your slot at the dealer in Austin? 8-)
    - Michael in New Mexico.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:08 pm)

    nasaman: By the way, a Nissan official recently said the Leaf’s entire interior is derived from recycled “water bottles”. Could it be that even recycled clear plastic can’t be tinted to some other color than bright white?

    Actually the interior is OK. Personally I am not a fan of the seats, mostly because they don’t seem like they’re going to hold up very well and they don’t look that good to begin with. The Volt interior is a cut better but it’s also $7K more, and that should buy you something, don’t you think? Also I think you’d agree that at the end of the day pretty is as pretty does, and the Leaf does pretty well. If you get a chance you should drive one. You might surprise yourself at how much you like it. It’s a different drive than the Volt but equally nice in it’s own way.

    Yes the Leaf is not the best car for cold weather, especially since it doesn’t as of yet have a cold weather package, and yes there will no doubt be some battery failures. But new technology always has some failures and limitations. That includes the Volt. It’s called going up the learning curve. For a consumer the RX for this would be called a “lease”.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:11 pm)

    DonC,

    Not at all. If they green light an all-electric Cruze, I would expect the performance to be the same. I think the Leaf is a great car (other than the styling) and if Nissan builds an electric “Z” I would take a look at that. I’ve owned 2 different Z’s in days past. But the Leaf is fugly.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    James: EVs are good for Volt and Volt’s future. EVs are good for us. EVs are just plain good.

    What makes even less sense is that BEVs and EREVs don’t compete that directly. EREVs and hybrids do. For me the perfect solution for most households with two drivers would be one BEV and one EREV (hybrid).

    GM’s intention in making the Volt was to target the Prius and that’s more or less where we’re at, which is doubtless why all the Prius trolls show up here rather than in a Leaf forum.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:28 pm)

    James, post #64: Please look at the big picture and bash Leaf, it’s looks, it’s battery pack or whatever…..someplace else, and off the net. Frankly it’s getting really really old.

    Sorry you find it excessive and offensive, James. But as I mentioned above, I really believe the negative comments by us here at gm-volt.com helped GM decide to make charcoal center consoles (and other improvements like mountain mode) available. My most critical comments, when I feel VERY strongly, are sometimes prefaced with something like….

    ATTN GM: ———

    I KNOW manufacturers, including Nissan, read these comments. So I’m NOT “preachin’ to the choir” as much as I’m offering constructive criticism to Nissan to offer more stylish interiors, exteriors and battery designs! Why? Because I truly want them to succeed —or at least not hurt the public image of the emerging EV industry as a whole!

    /Apologies if you’re offended, but it won’t affect my posted comments here


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:33 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Loboc,
    I’m not quite sure how they would make a Volt SS. That badge usually implies enhanced performance and features. Since the Volt already outperforms a Prius by a factor of 20, and adding a turbo to a Volt would be a waste since it rarely runs in ICE mode, what could they do?    

    Lots of things:

    - Suspension and handling
    - More feedback through steering
    - Wheels and tires
    - Brembo brakes (or at least cross drill rotors and paint the calipers)
    - Larger motor with larger inverter
    - Larger gas tank.
    - Sub 7-second 0-60. 6.0 would be better. Higher top end (more like 130mph). Remove limiters.
    - Ability to de-select traction control.
    - Remap programming for performance rather than economy. Heck add a turbo and run in ICE mode more.
    - SS mode replacing Sport mode.
    - aero body kit. Special SS paint schemes.
    - killer audio (hang the Bose, get Boston)

    Basically, the same kinds of things they would do for a Cruze SS. Make Volt SS a small Camaro in other words. Remember Monza? Basically a Vega with a V-8.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    PS to my #73: I’ve never “bashed” or even criticized today’s topic, the Focus EV, OR the Tesla Roadster, Fisker, Model S, Evora 440E, Coda, or the many other announced electric concept cars from makers like BMW or Mercedes —because the I do not find the BLATANT shortcomings in design and style in any of them that are so obvious in the Leaf!


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Loboc,
    I’m not quite sure how they would make a Volt SS. That badge usually implies enhanced performance and features. Since the Volt already outperforms a Prius by a factor of 20, and adding a turbo to a Volt would be a waste since it rarely runs in ICE mode, what could they do?    

    They could bring its acceleration time down – the LEAF reportedly and unofficially does 0-60 in 7 seconds which bests the Volt by a substantial margin. Bragging rights among electrics is what it’s all about and 7 seconds isn’t too low to limbo under.

    They could also tweak the suspension and wheels/tires and make it handle like a Porsche Boxter.

    Sure – such changes might make EV only range suffer a bit, but so what. We’re talking capabilities – just because a car can go 160 mph and 0-60 in 3 seconds doesn’t mean it’s driven like that too much. If a Corvette can have high performance capabilities yet also have the capability to get mid 20′s mpg, why not a performance oriented Volt that could still be hypermiled and be as or nearly as frugal as a box-stock Volt?

    A halo car of halo cars would an SS Volt be.


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    Flaninacupboard

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:51 pm)

    CorvetteGuy “the Volt already outperforms a Prius by a factor of 20,”: Loboc,    

    Hahaha, is that it’s price? or it’s CO levels? it’s NOx? it’s top speed?

    I get it, volt does one thing (drive using electricity) better than the prius. In all other areas it either the same or worse. Personally i even think the prius looks better than the volt, while the ampera looks better than them both.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:56 pm)

    Shame Ford’s delaying it, though that’s fine, as I probably won’t have money to buy one by 2011. Maybe I can get in on 2012 :p
    I would imagine part of the delay is to also see the results of a full year or two from their European trial going on now.
    Since the main design of the car is in Michigan (and Magna is Canadian) I would hope they have the temperature accounted for.

    Re the whole scenario:

    What people seem to be missing here is that Ford has a significant advantage over Nissan and GM if EV’s take off.

    Because Magna’s done all of the R&D on the electric drivetrain and supplies all of those components, and Ford designed their focus shell to accommodate either gas or EV innards, they can conquer the market.

    Let’s say in 2011, EV’s are extremely popular, and every unit sells.
    Could GM & Nissan ramp up production of their ‘unique’ designs to meet a demand 10x what they wanted?
    Ford could, provided Magna had a large enough supply of batteries.
    Since Ford’s using a standard focus shell, it just diverts from destined to be gas models to the EV section and they can have as much as they want.

    So while GM&Nissan hit a production limit because of their extremely low forecast, Ford may be able to come ahead while they scramble to ramp up.

    And if the opposite is true and EV’s are a flop in the first few years, no loss to ford as they just use the bodies intended for EV and throw in a gas drivetrain.

    And to top it all off, they have little investment risk in the project, as Magna is the one with the EV drivetrain! If the program fails, ford still comes out on top.
    If the Volt fails, GM is out a TON of money. :


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    stuart22: A halo car of halo cars would be an SS Volt!

    On this I totally agree with you, Stuart!


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:03 pm)

    scottf200: I’m actually a Ford person mainly myself (or was raised with that belief ) but I don’t want a 100 mile or less vehicle I want what the VOLT is offering – Extended Range and for it to be seamless.

    Err.. then get a Fusion Hybrid now and have the same overall fuel efficiency?
    (or pay quite a bit less than a volt and use a tiny bit more gas, depending on your driving habits :p)


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:08 pm)

    nasaman: PS to my #73: I’ve never “bashed” or even criticized today’s topic, the Focus EV, OR the Tesla Roadster, Fisker, Model S, Evora 440E, Coda, or the many other announced electric concepts from makers like BMW or Mercedes —because the I do not find the BLATANT shortcomings in design and style in any of them that are so obvious in the Leaf!    

    I have no problem with your criticism of the styling of the leaf.
    However even though I understand your concerns with the battery I find the following comment on 5 year battery life unproven and misleading:

    nasaman: I agree! Even if the Leaf’s short 5-year battery life, its excessively short range in extremely cold or hot weather or some other engineering shortcoming doesn’t kill it off, its hideously ugly exterior and interior could easily do so, IMO. At least the Focus EV is a reasonably attractive design inside and out!


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:15 pm)

    The very first U.S. bound LEAF rolled off the Oppama, Japan production line this past week. A cause for celebration. You gots to watch Nissan’s Samurai of the Drums beating LEAF’s intro aside LEAF #1.

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nissan-newsroom#utm_campaigne=synclickback&source=http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1050710_live-first-2011-nissan-leaf-electric-car-rolls-off-production-line&medium=4143475

    Maybe GM should invite these guys to VOLT’s #1 intro….


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: 2012 will be a good year. Another year of economic recovery will help. And by then Chevrolet showrooms will have plenty of Volt, Camaro Convertible, Camaro Z/28, Cruze, and the new Corvette C7 (possibly called ‘Stingray’). With luck we might have Volt MPV5 and Cruze SS. Waiting is hard, but good things come to those who wait.    

    When will the Voltec Equinox come out? That will give Chevy a bigger leverage in the small SUV and the EREV market at the same time. Some of the fellow posters here mention the need for more space (one mention a need for a hatchback), and for most women drivers who do need to carry more passengers and some cargo.

    Raymond


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    I remember renting a Ford Escape and being thrilled at less than a mile of quiet EV travel at 5 mph! It’s what really got me started on wanting an EV. I’ll keep examining the competition while enjoying the Volt. The lease will be up in three years and a couple of months. Plenty of time for manufacturers to design and build another great E-REV or EV that should be perfect for 2014.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:24 pm)

    ricky: ….I have no problem with your criticism of the styling of the leaf.
    However even though I understand your concerns with the battery I find the following comment on 5 year battery life unproven and misleading: ….

    There are many references to support my concern. I’ll provide the following one and leave the task of finding others to the student…..

    “Nissan states the battery will have a ‘lifespan of 5-10 years’ under normal use”.*

    PS: I have over 15 years experience as a specialist in long-life (15-20) year battery chemistries for space applications — I’m NOT guessing

    /*From a Nissan reference #30 given in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    We know that the “transmission like no other” has the capability to give a Volt SS performance like possibly no other sedan in the World. If a Volt SS said “economy be damned” and used the grid power for enhanced performance, we could be looking at World class performance that could not be beat by an ICE only car. I’m thinking 0-30 mph all electric while the turbo charged ICE spooled up to help make 30 to 160 mph a mind boggling experience.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:35 pm)

    ricky: I thought nissan had an 8 year warranty on the battery, or has this been changed???  (Quote)  (Reply)

    They do but it is an 8 yr/100k mile warranty that max power will stay within 70% of initial (don’t know if it’s 70% max intial battery capability or max useful power rating but I’m assuming the latter). The Volt’s warranty is for 70% of energy storage capacity, which can be very different. We will have to read the fine print on these warrantees and have the blanks, if there are any, filled in in writing. Looks like it will be buyer beware.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2010/10/22/2011-nissan-leaf-review-drive-second


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    Loboc: It depends on how you spin this if it’s a delay or not. Ford is still launching in 2011 as originally planned.If I were a car manufacturer introducing EV products, this is not a real good time to launch. Gas prices are stagnant. The economy is still in the dumper. New car sales in general are not that robust and sales of hybrids/alts never really took off at all.The TV channels that I watch currently have ads for Challenger, GMC trucks, Equinox and other people movers (vans, cuvs, suvs) and higher-end foreign cars. Not a peep about economy cars, hybrid cars or electric cars. This indicates to me that the economy-car genre is not selling (or I’m watching the wrong shows).    

    You missed many of the Chevy Cruze ads on the famous NYC broadcasting channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX). The new version of “Hawaii 5-O” is sponsored by the Cruze, and one of the characters drives a red Cruze in the episodes. If you are a BSG fan you will recognize her.

    The main character (McGarrett) drives a Chevy Camaro.

    Raymond


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    Dan Petit: Texas,
    GM is just as thoroughly-attentive to the patent and trade laws as is Ford Motor.
    The patent and trade laws are so clearly ironclad when we are talking about
    our American Auto Manufacturer’s, that there not need be a significant concern
    about infringement.This is especially true when EREV and BEV are “front and center” in all our deliberations here.American OEM’s are hyper-careful about this.Nothing could risk the stopping of an entire development program faster in it’s tracks than a problem with this.
    The only hiccup here is if it just so happened from a completely innocent standpoint, that two completely independent, yet nearly identical invention breakthroughs came about at the same time in two competing applications, in a “double blind” situation, (which is not totally impossible). In that case, it comes down to who has the earlier time stamp at the Patent and Trade Office.    

    That is exactly what happened for the telephone patent. Alexander Graham Bell registered before Elisha Gray did.

    Raymond


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    I bet Ford is heavily consering wether to put some money into electric bag or not. At least they are going to wait for second wave – Volvo, VW, Audi, Opel. It should be arround 2015. Now Ford is going to put some money into R&D. In order to make competitive automobile to the Volt or Leaf it has to be different. It should be more economical. For the moment (next year) Ford not able making it.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    nasaman:
    There are many references to support my concern. I’ll provide the following one and leave the task of finding others to the student…..“Nissan states the battery will have a ‘lifespan of 5-10 years’ under normal use”.*/*From a Nissan reference #30 given in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf    

    I like 5 to 10 with 8 year warranty better then just 5. Your statement implies that the battery life will only be 5 years.

    nasaman: I agree! Even if the Leaf’s short 5-year battery life, its excessively short range in extremely cold or hot weather or some other engineering shortcoming doesn’t kill it off, its hideously ugly exterior and interior could easily do so, IMO. At least the Focus EV is a reasonably attractive design inside and out!


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:46 pm)

    #91 ricky – Could I ask the favor/courtesy that you at least do some real homework on your own before posting your disagreement? Or if you’re too busy to do so, simply go ahead and buy your Leaf on faith —good luck!


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: They added three drives, two within 15 miles of my house, near Charlotte. But I can’t register for any of them because I registered for D.C., which is a seven hour drive.

    Register a family member. They are not that strict at the check in table. The purpose of the unplugged tour is to have as many perspective buyers drive the Volt as possible.

    =D-Volt

    BTW: Still see comments mentioning that Volt sales may fail. Demo the Volt in Sport Mode in L shift position. You’ll see why GM can do 80k per year.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (1:55 pm)

    nasaman: They do have an 8yr warranty, as a result of a management/marketing decision stemming from their concern the Volt, Focus EV and even the Tesla batteries are well thermally controlled by use of liquid cooling/heating and the Leaf’s batteries are not. Tesla’s CEO has said the Leaf’s battery design is “primitive”. And battery experts say a Leaf’s range will very likely shorten significantly in 5 yrs.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Could be and they don’t warranty the range.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    koz: Could be and they don’t warranty the range.

    Good point that can maybe help our friend ricky, koz. It’s entirely possible the Leaf range could drop to say 30 mi under normal conditions after 5 years, while the battery remained completely free of any shorted, open or otherwise “failed” cells, in full accord with its warranty!


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    nasaman: #91 ricky – Could I ask the favor/courtesy that you at least do some real homework on your own before posting your disagreement? Or if you’re too busy to do so, simply go ahead and buy your Leaf on faith —good luck!    

    sigh….. but i hate homework

    But seriously leaf wont work for my 1 car household.
    I do agree with your statements 98% of the time just not that particular one.
    The only reason why I brought it up was because many people here (including myself) do value your opinion and I found it was slightly misleading.
    I was not trying to offend


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (2:08 pm)

    #96 ricky: No harm, foul or offense! But do have a look at post #95, which could very well be Nissan’s “way out”.

    /btw, lifetimes of anything, chemical, electrical or mechanical can’t be “proven”, but GM, LG Chem and other lab’s accelerated life testing on Li-Ion batteries can be instructive


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (2:18 pm)

    This is a test message. I have a Gravatar, and it looks like me, except that my mustache and beard is gray.

    Raymond


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (2:25 pm)

    Raymondjram: This is a test message. I have a Gravatar, and it looks like me, except that my mustache and beard is gray.

    Raymond

    This is a “testy” message, Raymond & your Gravatar looks great —but it has no beard or mustache ….however, you hair is definitely gray. :)


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (2:45 pm)

    #98 Raymond: I got curious, so copy/pasted your new avatar onto a page & blew it WAY up. I could then see it actually does have a tannish/brown mustache & beard & even some under the chin and lower cheeks! Looks distinguished and it works for me!


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (2:52 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: We know that the “transmission like no other” has the capability to give a Volt SS performance like possibly no other sedan in the World. If a Volt SS said “economy be damned” and used the grid power for enhanced performance, we could be looking at World class performance that could not be beat by an ICE only car. I’m thinking 0-30 mph all electric while the turbo charged ICE spooled up to help make 30 to 160 mph a mind boggling experience.    

    Yeah, going straight to parallel mode, and drawing the full 111kw from the pack and 55wk from the engine for a total 166kw(222hp) would be pretty nice. Top speed wouldn’t quite be 160 though, and a fully charged pack is empty in 4 and a half minutes(!) in this mode :/ (8.5kwhr is 510kwmin. 510/111 is 4.6)

    A turbo 4 is a good idea though, as we know there’s the mechanical link extra power can be utilised directly, if the power of the ice is increased to 100kw then a top speed of 130mph or so is possible, which is much more acceptable for the german market…


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:02 pm)

    JEC:
    Hey!I resemble that remark…    

    LOL, in the first edition, OCD was spelled JEC! I changed it because I didn’t want to insult, er, anyone.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:05 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: # 65

    Loboc,
    I’m not quite sure how they would make a Volt SS. That badge usually implies enhanced performance and features. Since the Volt already outperforms a Prius by a factor of 20, and adding a turbo to a Volt would be a waste since it rarely runs in ICE mode, what could they do?

    GM could easily increase the performance by adding a turbo and changing the software on the transmission.. the ICE could start up even if the battery is fully charged and “indirectly” drive the wheels.. control it by using the sport mode switch.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:15 pm)

    nasaman: Sorry you find it excessive and offensive, James. But as I mentioned above, I really believe the negative comments by us here at gm-volt.com helped GM decide to make charcoal center consoles (and other improvements like mountain mode) available. My most critical comments, when I feel VERY strongly, are sometimes prefaced with something like….ATTN GM: ———I KNOW manufacturers, including Nissan, read these comments. So I’m NOT “preachin’ to the choir” as much as I’m offering constructive criticism to Nissan to offer more stylish interiors, exteriors and battery designs! Why? Because I truly want them to succeed —or at least not hurt the public image of the emerging EV industry as a whole!/Apologies if you’re offended, but it won’t affect my posted comments here  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Perhaps those types of input from you should be over at Statik’s site and the other Leaf sites: http://www.nissan-leaf.net

    Here, you actually are “preaching to the choir”. I’m sure GM staff scan the web also to guage public opinion. I’m also certain they’ll glaze right over all those familiar Volt bashing posts wherein people use sophomoric or plain beligerant form. How many “Volt sucks!” posts all over the net have made you roll your eyes and pass them off as inane?

    We all here can identify constructive critique from pure “troll-like” hate. Sure, if you dislike Leaf’s looks, you can say that ( you have, 150 times, I think ). This doesn’t mean posting pictures of sea bass and going on and on….and on about your feelings in the style you’ve chosen is appropriate. I agree with other posters who may be more educated or interested in the Leaf. They have watched CNET.com’s test drives and others and/or actually seen the Leaf’s production interior. It’s actually a grey color, not white, and while most have said it’s appearance and quality of materials is reminiscent of a compact car of low-mid-range cost, none have said it was “gross”, “sickening” or of low quality as you repeatedly have posted as your opinion.

    We’re Volt fans. We’re also friends. But the reason my post has gotten so many +s today is that we should all practice what we preach/post. What is different between the “trolls” we abhor and ourselves if we post such bile against one of Volt’s direct or indirect competitors?!

    Not bashing a guy I respect ( nasaman ) but only reminding him that looking in the mirror occasionally is not a bad idea for any of us.

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ( in all 50 states ),

    James


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:16 pm)

    Raymondjram:
    That is exactly what happened for the telephone patent. Alexander Graham Bell registered before Elisha Gray did.Raymond    

    I guess that’s why Denise Gray left GM early…

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:17 pm)

    Dave K.:
    Register a family member. They are not that strict at the check in table. The purpose of the unplugged tour is to have as many perspective buyers drive the Volt as possible.
    =D-VoltBTW: Still see comments mentioning that Volt sales may fail. Demo the Volt in Sport Mode in L shift position. You’ll see why GM can do 80k per year.    

    Amen!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:20 pm)

    Raymondjram: I have a Gravatar, and it looks like me, except that my mustache and beard is gray.

    Holy cow! I’m so sorry for you (g).

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:22 pm)

    nasaman: #91 ricky – Could I ask the favor/courtesy that you at least do some real homework on your own before posting your disagreement? Or if you’re too busy to do so, simply go ahead and buy your Leaf on faith —good luck!

    You are being too partisan and fan-boyish.. worse than the Prius people, prior to GM announcing their warranty Goshn stated the battery will last 8-10 years before range drops 30%.. and they warrant it to 8 years. Nissan has been working on lithium batteries for 17 years, far longer than GM has.

    So far, when it comes to electric cars Nissan has a better track record regarding misinformation.. and once production cranks up in TN the LEAF will probably have a higher US made content than the Volt.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (3:25 pm)

    James: But the reason my post has gotten so many +s today is that we should all practice what we preach/post.

    Have you thought about the alternate possibility? Maybe people who normally hand out -1′s have chosen to stop reading that person’s comments… Same effect.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (4:00 pm)

    I didn’t realize that Ford promoted mentally deficient folks into their executive ranks.
    Must have something to do with hiring the handicapped. Unfortunately she must have escaped
    from the broom closet office they originally assigned her. Calling the Volt “basically a hybrid” has to be characterized as a “basically brainless” statement. I wonder if she actually knows what a Volt is? She might respond by calling it a unit of electrical current.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (4:00 pm)

    canehdian:
    Err.. then get a Fusion Hybrid now and have the same overall fuel efficiency?
    (or pay quite a bit less than a volt and use a tiny bit more gas, depending on your driving habits :p)    

    I’ve looked at hybrids for a while but realized they are quite a bit more expensive then the gas-only equivalent and appeared to only get 5ish MPG better. That’s not good enough.

    My typical daily drive fits GM’s under-40 mile focus group number. Using electric only for 90% of my driving is very appealing. THIS I think is my one of my most powerful reason for wanting a Volt. I’m cool with it using the ICE as necessary. Certainly I have days I drive over 40 and if I want it to take a trip to a nearby city for a sports activity/tournament then I’m expecting to get 40 MPG. Currently I only drive 65 on any of my highway travel.

    The equivalent equiped Ford Focus Hybrid appears to be 28K+4K. So not that inexpensive. Avg realworld MPG I saw seemed to be in the 38ish MPG range.

    http://www.hybridcars.com/vehicle/ford-fusion-hybrid.html

    The one consistent criticism regarding the Fusion Hybrid’s drive is that Ford exaggerated when it claimed that the sedan can go 47 miles per hour, and as much as two miles, in all-electric mode. That requires just the right conditions for acceleration, load, battery charge level, weather—and proper alignment of stars. Unless you exert extreme care to stretch the electric drive, you shouldn’t count on more than a few blocks at relatively low speeds.

    Bottom line is my needs, habits, demographics, fit right in the sweet spot of GMs target.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (4:04 pm)

    ON AN UP NOTE…..I just thoroughly enjoyed my Volt test drive this morning in San Antonio. The Volt Unplugged tour was an EXTREMELY well put together event–fully catered even. Who could ask for more? Food, drink, & a PHENOMENAL test drive of one of, if not, the most technologically advanced automobiles on the planet today….;^) Some of you might recall also that I have worked for FoMoCo for 17 years, BTW.
    For those that have driven the Volt, you know EXACTLY what I mean when I say that the instantanious torque is quite a unique feeling/sensation in this life. It is difficult to describe to the average Joe/Jane–I even had a hard time conveying it to my wife, especially because she doesn’t “get the no-shifting part”!!!
    The engineers were just what you would expect, only nicer. Since following this blog for over 3 years, I actually found myself being inundated with questions and asked opinions of rather quickly. There were 4 Volts available, so the line moved very fast. They allowed us to completely open the hood, liftgate, and all panels in the entire vehicle at will, so a lot of us that were eager to get our hands on a Volt were COMPLETELY satisfied, and then some. It was a truly AWESOME drive, but of course I yearned for something more–closer to the 200 miler that Lyle was privy to. Next, they are headed to Houston, so I obviously HAD to volunteer to drive the 225 mile trek, but to no avail….:^( My test drive was DEFINITELY off the charts, even still.
    Kudos to Lyle for always telling us EXACTLY how it is, almost daily, concerning every facet of the Volt. I was not disappointed even one iota–except for not being able to pick one up at my local chevy dealer on the way home!!!


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (4:07 pm)

    nasaman: By the way, a Nissan official recently said the Leaf’s entire interior is derived from recycled “water bottles”. Could it be that even recycled clear plastic can’t be tinted to some other color than bright white? [Remember how we discussed at length here how the Volt's white center console would look better in dark charcoal or black? ....and GM seems to have responded?] I’m not enough of a “dutty mouth” to put my feelings in words, but this should do it….
    YUCK! ….HOPE THEY HAVE BARF BAGS BEHIND IN THESE SEATS! 

    Fear not Nasaman! You won’t need barf bags for the interior color!

    Those pictures of the Leaf’s white interior were of what essentially were Nissan’s 2 somewhat functional concept Leaf’s (very close to what the production model would be design wise, but not interior color). The actual production interior will be in normal interior tones (beige, black etc.).

    Although for someone in a truly hot climate that concept white interior might keep the temps down some…too bad its not an option.

    Here’s a picture of what the preproduction models are looking like inside from a journalists first drive (normal interior colors):

    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2011-nissan-leaf-first-drive/med/#3207863

    With regards to the Ford delay, its not too surprising this happened, since Ford didn’t develop this car originally – Magna did and as a turn key EV package they could sell to manufacturers, they then sold it to Ford – and there were bound to be some delays. The original model didn’t have back seats if I remember. So I’m guessing Ford will have to tweak alot of things (like back seats hopefully) getting to production. Their competition is the Leaf and the Volt so the bar for getting things right with the vehicle is pretty high now. A little delay seems reasonable.


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    Dave K.

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (4:22 pm)

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    Tagamet

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (4:33 pm)

    FLASH:… For those that have driven the Volt, you know EXACTLY what I mean when I say that the instantanious torque is quite a unique feeling/sensation in this life. It is difficult to describe to the average Joe/Jane–I even had a hard time conveying it to my wife, especially because she doesn’t “get the no-shifting part”!!!…

    I SO understand what you mean about trying in vain to convey the experience, but your glee sure rings true, loud and clear. *Excellent* idea about volunteering to drive the Volt to the next stop!
    Really happy that you had such a good experience. Now the hard part is trying to explain it to your wife and others (especially your wife)(g). GM just needs to get the butts in the seats for test drives, and then crank up the production!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (4:40 pm)

    Dave K.:     

    I have yet to get a single one of these to open. Sorry, it’s just frustrating.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (4:56 pm)

    Tagamet: I have yet to get a single one of these to open.

    You can always right click and save as. Odd though, all files play at home and at work for me. Here with my son today. He says he wants a red one.

    =D-Volt


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    FLASH

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (5:02 pm)

    Tagamet: GM just needs to get the butts in the seats for test drives, and then crank up the production!

    I could not agree more, Tag. I guess it’s like we’ve all said here before–you have to start somewhere. It’s just SO frustrating to wait…:^( I’m sure this time NEXT year, is going to be the BIG start to ‘prime time’–VERY exciting times we are living in!!!


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    DonC

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (5:07 pm)

    nasaman: It’s entirely possible the Leaf range could drop to say 30 mi under normal conditions after 5 years

    The warranty is for 8 years / 100,000 miles. And the warranty says that the lower limit is 70% of capacity when new. So 30 miles is not realistic.

    I suspect Nissan will have to replace some modules and/or packs in hot climates. But that’s just a numbers calculation. GM has decided to spend $$$ on an active thermal management. Nissan has apparently concluded that they will spend less money replacing the packs that go south than they would if they spent the $$$ GM is spending on the BMS for every Leaf they made. The different approaches may simply result from the fact that Nissan is manufacturing a whole lot more Leafs than GM is manufacturing Volts.

    Nissan is a whole lot more serious about this EV thing than GM is. It’s making a big bet, driving volumes up and prices down. Nissan is clearly going to dominate the BEV space. I just wish GM would get serious about dominating the serial hybrid space.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    FLASH: The engineers were just what you would expect, only nicer.

    For my test drive I put it in Sport mode and “L” and pushed the car. Not crazy but I did push it — a couple of squeals. At one point I asked the engineer if this was a problem and he said no, he’d experienced a lot worse. However, my friend drove the car after I did, and he wondered why the engine was hammering (I could clearly hear the engine BTW) and the engineer told him that the guy who had driven the car right before him had “beaten the s&^t out of the car” so the engine was revving to restore the battery. Ha ha. Never know what someone is going to say.

    I was carrying a load though. I had a couple of Raytheon employees in the back for the ride and, while I’m a large guy, they made me look almost normal sized.


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    Loboc

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (5:17 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: We know that the “transmission like no other” has the capability to give a Volt SS performance like possibly no other sedan in the World. If a Volt SS said “economy be damned” and used the grid power for enhanced performance, we could be looking at World class performance that could not be beat by an ICE only car. I’m thinking 0-30 mph all electric while the turbo charged ICE spooled up to help make 30 to 160 mph a mind boggling experience.    

    The thing about the Volt setup is that the electric motor could vary it’s rpms to keep the ICE in it’s max HP sweet spot. Since the electric motor has full torque over quite an rpm range, this would work well.

    Once you think about the design for performance, power and speed vs economy and eco, you have an unbeatable combination. PLUS, it’s mostly software! Switch from ECO to SS mode and go from granny-grocery-gitter to Danika speed instantly. Combine that with an active suspension system and OMG. A Caddy CTS-V will look wimpy.

    One thing I was thinking is: Make both M/G A and M/G B the same size, giving a combined 546lb-ft of torque @ ZERO RPM! Probably need some fat P-zeroes to make that stick to the road.

    This is why Voltec trucks would be great. All that torque for towing. That’s more torque than most V-8 light truck diesels! Heck, do a 4×4 with 1092lb-ft!

    /Let’s see what happens when us Ozark crazies get hold of two used Volts.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (5:48 pm)

    The FORD electric small van looks interesting.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:10 pm)

    herm,

    Yeah. They could drop an LS7 under the hood too, but then it’s not a Volt anymore. The “Electric Car with Extended Range”. Because Grandma’s house is over the river AND through the woods. :)


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    JEC

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:14 pm)

    Tagamet: LOL, in the first edition, OCD was spelled JEC! I changed it because I didn’t want to insult, er, anyone.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    I thought maybe I was the target. Like my wife always says, I am an easy target. But in reality I really do not obsess over cleanliness/neatness, but only symmetry. I cannot stand the imbalance, but not sure what that really means psychologically.

    How about a free “reading”?

    Hehehe… :)


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    JEC

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:20 pm)

    DonC:
    The warranty is for 8 years / 100,000 miles. And the warranty says that the lower limit is 70% of capacity when new. So 30 miles is not realistic.
    I suspect Nissan will have to replace some modules and/or packs in hot climates. But that’s just a numbers calculation. GM has decided to spend $$$ on an active thermal management. Nissan has apparently concluded that they will spend less money replacing the packs that go south than they would if they spent the $$$ GM is spending on the BMS for every Leaf they made. The different approaches may simply result from the fact that Nissan is manufacturing a whole lot more Leafs than GM is manufacturing Volts.
    Nissan is a whole lot more serious about this EV thing than GM is. It’s making a big bet, driving volumes up and prices down. Nissan is clearly going to dominate the BEV space. I just wish GM would get serious about dominating the serial hybrid space.    

    So do the batteries only degrade in life due to heat, but degrade performance due to cold? Or are both temperature extremes degrading to the overall life of the battery.

    I would suspect that the cold climates will get less range (which is obvious), but I also suspect that the battery is not actually degraded in life.

    Or am I all wet on this?


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    JEC

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:26 pm)

    kent beuchert: I didn’t realize that Ford promoted mentally deficient folks into their executive ranks.
    Must have something to do with hiring the handicapped. Unfortunately she must have escaped
    from the broom closet office they originally assigned her. Calling the Volt “basically a hybrid” has to be characterized as a “basically brainless” statement. I wonder if she actually knows what a Volt is? She might respond by calling it a unit of electrical current.

    Really?

    The volt is a hybrid. It runs from two different sources of power. And, when running in CS mode, it is very similiar to other hybrids, such as Prius and Fusion. The car uses gasoline as the main source of propulsion, and can recapture a certain % of energy through regen.

    While the Volt is, in my opinion more than a hybrid, what would you call a vehicle that can run from multiple power sources?


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:28 pm)

    Back to a Volt SS…. From what I’ve read here, a lot of the ‘performance’ capability of the Volt has been tuned out in the ‘programming’ to make it drive more like a conventional car. That same programming limits the amount of charge/discharge in favor of long battery life.

    If the demand is there for greater performance at the expense of AER, then I’m sure someone will come up with a ‘chip’ that will make you a Volt SS. When they do, would you like to add the high wing spoiler and 20″ wheels too? :)


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    I doubt commenting at position #125 will have any impact but I’ll say this anyways.
    It seems that Ford hasn’t got the message yet that America’s looking for new types of better cars, not the same old shtick. Unlike some of you, I doubt the Ford entry will be much competition for the Volt. Same goes for Nissan. I’m not saying that there won’t be a market for second rate vehicles, Lada did sell some cars in North America, but I think the real competition will eventually come from Toyota. Ford may eventually produce a car to compete with Nissan but not with the Volt. My guess is that they’re light years behind in R&D. The only thing that may derail an ever improving Volt will be Union greed by pricing the Volt out of the reach of buyers. Long live the Volt. Americas true electric car and thank you Bob Lutz a real American hero.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:43 pm)

    JEC: Or am I all wet on this?

    I think you’re right on. Cold hurts performance but heat kills.

    JEC: While the Volt is, in my opinion more than a hybrid, what would you call a vehicle that can run from multiple power sources?

    The Volt was, is, and always will be a serial hybrid. More or less. The problem for GM has been that if you say “serial hybrid” all most people will hear is “hybrid” and think “just like the Prius”. Hence the whole line “it’s not a hybrid it’s an EREV”.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (6:47 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: If the demand is there for greater performance at the expense of AER, then I’m sure someone will come up with a ‘chip’ that will make you a Volt SS.

    If you assume battery capacity increases of 8-10% a year –which is what is expected — then in three years you could get a larger and more powerful battery pack with the same range (at the expense of cost reductions). But honestly the big problem for the Volt on the performance side is weight. The formula is pretty straightforward — lose X% of the mass and accelerate X% faster. F=ma and all that. The Volt is hefty. Cutting mass won’t increase AER than much but it sure would help on the performance side.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (7:29 pm)

    nasaman: Even if the Leaf’s short 5-year battery life, its excessively short range in extremely cold or hot weather or some other engineering shortcoming doesn’t kill it off, its hideously ugly exterior and interior could easily do so, IMO.

    .
    You’ve gone a bit over the top in this comment IMO.
    As to appearance–
    Some people like a traditional appearance, some like new and different.
    We all are different in our tastes and choices.
    As to battery —
    The Leaf warranty is for 8 years, so if it fails one gets a replacement. That’s ok. Same is true for the Volt.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (7:55 pm)

    # 121 Loboc Said:

    One thing I was thinking is: Make both M/G A and M/G B the same size, giving a combined 546lb-ft of torque @ ZERO RPM! Probably need some fat P-zeroes to make that stick to the road.

    This is why Voltec trucks would be great. All that torque for towing. That’s more torque than most V-8 light truck diesels! Heck, do a 4×4 with 1092lb-ft!

    Now that’s an idea! Kinda like the sixties when people put truck engines in cars to make muscle cars, only it’d be starting with the cars first. ;-) And I’ll bet it would still get 40 or 50 miles electric, if you needed to.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    DonC:
    If you assume battery capacity increases of 8-10% a year –which is what is expected — then in three years you could get a larger and more powerful battery pack with the same range (at the expense of cost reductions). But honestly the big problem for the Volt on the performance side is weight. The formula is pretty straightforward — lose X% of the mass and accelerate X% faster. F=ma and all that. The Volt is hefty. Cutting mass won’t increase AER than much but it sure would help on the performance side.    

    Very true, and explains the 2 sec advantage of the Leaf. I’m sure Chevy would not release an all-electric Cruze unless it beat the pants off the Leaf.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (8:18 pm)

    Schmeltz: I mean, why can’t they have the Focus EV ready? Ford didn’t go through bankruptcy, Ford didn’t have a number of management shake-ups. If this was GM making an announcement like this, the proverbial world would be coming to an end.

    Pointing out the extreme prejudice under which GM launches Volt. Ford has no excuse to delay their full fledged entry into the EV arena except that they lack vision, commitment and… the stones.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:18 pm)

    Dave K.:
    You can always right click and save as. Odd though, all files play at home and at work for me. Here with my son today. He says he wants a red one.=D-Volt    

    Tell your son that he has great taste!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:20 pm)

    FLASH:
    I could not agree more, Tag.I guess it’s like we’ve all said here before–you have to start somewhere.It’s just SO frustrating to wait…:^(I’m sure this time NEXT year, is going to be the BIG start to ‘prime time’–VERY exciting times we are living in!!!    

    Agreed, but it doesn’t take *too* many years for “Next Year” to get old!

    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /I know, I know PATIENCE…


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    Darpa

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:20 pm)

    greenWin,

    Ford did not get a massive start over card from the US government (ie bankruptcy) therefore, Ford must pay down their debt by producing profitable mainstream cars that buyers want. Time will tell which company has the better senior management and long-term strategic planning.

    EVs will become a larger share of the market eventually. Just because one gets there 1st does not mean one will be the market leader.

    I recall a manufacturer who produced an electric two seater several decades ago. If my memory serves me correctly they filed for bankruptcy and their CEO was fired (sacasm).


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:23 pm)

    Loboc:
    The thing about the Volt setup is that the electric motor could vary it’s rpms to keep the ICE in it’s max HP sweet spot. Since the electric motor has full torque over quite an rpm range, this would work well.Once you think about the design for performance, power and speed vs economy and eco, you have an unbeatable combination. PLUS, it’s mostly software! Switch from ECO to SS mode and go from granny-grocery-gitter to Danika speed instantly. Combine that with an active suspension system and OMG. A Caddy CTS-V will look wimpy.One thing I was thinking is: Make both M/G A and M/G B the same size, giving a combined 546lb-ft of torque @ ZERO RPM! Probably need some fat P-zeroes to make that stick to the road.This is why Voltec trucks would be great. All that torque for towing. That’s more torque than most V-8 light truck diesels! Heck, do a 4×4 with 1092lb-ft!
    /Let’s see what happens when us Ozark crazies get hold of two used Volts.    

    LOL, make sure you video the results….

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:25 pm)

    JEC:
    I thought maybe I was the target.Like my wife always says, I am an easy target.But in reality I really do not obsess over cleanliness/neatness, but only symmetry.I cannot stand the imbalance, but not sure what that really means psychologically.How about a free “reading”?
    Hehehe…     

    May I ask if your mom is still alive?

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:28 pm)

    Despite having my name on the Leaf reservation list the only way I would ever consider a BEV is if it

    1) had 300 mile range,
    2) Level III fast charging infrastructure was in place everywhere gasoline stations are today
    3) price was comparable to ICE car

    I don’t foresee all three of these happening in my lifetime if ever, so I’m pretty sure I will never buy a BEV.

    Having said all that I like the concept of electric drive which is why I like the Volt. It essentially meets my objectives 1 and 2, but even with the tax credit fall short on #3.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:29 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Back to a Volt SS…. From what I’ve read here, a lot of the ‘performance’ capability of the Volt has been tuned out in the ‘programming’ to make it drive more like a conventional car. That same programming limits the amount of charge/discharge in favor of long battery life.
    If the demand is there for greater performance at the expense of AER, then I’m sure someone will come up with a ‘chip’ that will make you a Volt SS. When they do, would you like to add the high wing spoiler and 20″ wheels too?     

    Just painting it red makes it faster! Imagine what you could do with the software (lol). I’m a bit surprised that you just realized that they have done a lot to tame this beast. Even now, the 0-30 speed is good (I’m guessing).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:33 pm)

    greenWin: Schmeltz: I mean, why can’t they have the Focus EV ready? Ford didn’t go through bankruptcy, Ford didn’t have a number of management shake-ups. If this was GM making an announcement like this, the proverbial world would be coming to an end.

    Pointing out the extreme prejudice under which GM launches Volt. Ford has no excuse to delay their full fledged entry into the EV arena except that they lack vision, commitment and… the stones. greenWin

    I think that you are *both* right.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:34 pm)

    Honda tried making their Accord a performance hybrid and the concept failed miserably. A high performance hybrid is a solution in search of a problem.

    If you want high performance there are easier ways than to install a 16kW-h battery and hybrid electric drive.

    The Volt is about driving without gas and maximizing that potential. A Volt SS is kind of a ridiculous notion in my opinion.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:39 pm)

    jscott1: Honda tried making their Accord a performance hybrid and the concept failed miserably.A high performance hybrid is a solution in search of a problem.If you want high performance there are easier ways than to install a 16kW-h battery and hybrid electric drive.The Volt is about driving without gas and maximizing that potential.A Volt SS is kind of a ridiculous notion in my opinion.    

    Some would say that buying a $41K compact car to save a few gallons of gas doesn’t make sense either – but as we’ve often said, “It’s not all about the money!” An SS Volt would just perform better – and STILL save gas. JMO.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:51 pm)

    DonC: The warranty is for 8 years / 100,000 miles. And the warranty says that the lower limit is 70% of capacity when new. So 30 miles is not realistic. I suspect Nissan will have to replace some modules and/or packs in hot climates. But that’s just a numbers calculation. GM has decided to spend $$$ on an active thermal management. Nissan has apparently concluded that they will spend less money replacing the packs that go south than they would if they spent the $$$ GM is spending on the BMS for every Leaf they made. The different approaches may simply result from the fact that Nissan is manufacturing a whole lot more Leafs than GM is manufacturing Volts. Nissan is a whole lot more serious about this EV thing than GM is. It’s making a big bet, driving volumes up and prices down. Nissan is clearly going to dominate the BEV space. I just wish GM would get serious about dominating the serial hybrid space.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    It’s 70% of POWER capacity for the Leaf warranty, not energy like the Volt’s. Big difference.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2010/10/22/2011-nissan-leaf-review-drive-second


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (9:56 pm)

    jscott1: Honda tried making their Accord a performance hybrid and the concept failed miserably. A high performance hybrid is a solution in search of a problem. If you want high performance there are easier ways than to install a 16kW-h battery and hybrid electric drive. The Volt is about driving without gas and maximizing that potential. A Volt SS is kind of a ridiculous notion in my opinion.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    A high performance Accord? Sounds like a defective marketing decision.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:04 pm)

    A Voltec SS would still beat the efficiency pants off a Prius and anything else currently on the road. If it performed well too, then all of the BMW and like drivers that traded in for the Prius will be happy to go back to a performance car that uses little gas. The problem with the “performance hybrids” thus far offered is that they have been compromised on both ends, neither performing that well nor having outstanding efficiency.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:10 pm)

    Darpa: greenWin, Ford did not get a massive start over card from the US government (ie bankruptcy) therefore, Ford must pay down their debt by producing profitable mainstream cars that buyers want. Time will tell which company has the better senior management and long-term strategic planning. EVs will become a larger share of the market eventually. Just because one gets there 1st does not mean one will be the market leader. I recall a manufacturer who produced an electric two seater several decades ago. If my memory serves me correctly they filed for bankruptcy and their CEO was fired (sacasm).  (Quote)  (Reply)

    FORD
    •Amount: $5.9 billion
    •Work Funded: Retooling of manufacturing facilities in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio through 2011, including conversion of two truck plants to assemble automobiles.
    •Vehicles: 13 separate models with electric, hybrid, or improved conventional powertrains, including its EcoBoost turbocharged gasoline direct-injection engines

    GM has not been awarded a loan from this program yet.


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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:16 pm)

    RB: .You’ve gone a bit over the top in this comment IMO.As to appearance–Some people like a traditional appearance, some like new and different.We all are different in our tastes and choices.As to battery —The Leaf warranty is for 8 years, so if it fails one gets a replacement. That’s ok. Same is true for the Volt.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    No you don’t get a replacement, they will fix it to 30% power degradation but they warranty against power degradation not range degradation.


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    BLIND GUY

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2010 (10:22 pm)

    My guess would be that Ford would prefer focusing more on the highly anticipated ICE version of the Focus initially. I recall reading that all versions would be made on the same line and the bread and butter profit of the ICE version should have priority with this new design JMO. I am curious if the Focus will include Direct Injection on the new design?


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    Oct 24th, 2010 (12:01 am)

    Yeah, it worked!


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    Oct 24th, 2010 (1:55 am)

    Looking forward to updates from the Consumer Advisory Board. Just a few weeks until the 2011 Volts roll off the production line.

    NPNS


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    Oct 24th, 2010 (6:41 am)

    People were demo driving a white Volt down in San Antonio.

    =D-Volt

    volt%20texas%20white.bmp


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    Oct 24th, 2010 (7:57 am)

    koz:
    No you don’t get a replacement, they will fix it to 30% power degradation but they warranty against power degradation not range degradation.    

    Interesting, I wonder how that differs in practice.


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    Loboc

     

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    Oct 24th, 2010 (8:02 am)

    CorvetteGuy: If the demand is there for greater performance at the expense of AER, then I’m sure someone will come up with a ‘chip’ that will make you a Volt SS. When they do, would you like to add the high wing spoiler and 20″ wheels too?

    I’m more subtle than to put a high-wing spoiler on a Volt. However, an aero/body kit, larger wheels, fatter tires, and more power are possibilities.

    I’ve been predicting all along that a chip solution will arrive on the market about the same time that Volts start shipping. Camaro re-programmers were out pretty quickly after launch.

    The OEMs are moving away from firmware or ‘chips’ per se. The Dodges I have worked on recently have the ability to reprogram the TCM using a Diablo. Instant additional 20hp or more is possible with just a few tweaks.

    In other words, OEMs are going with more universal computers that they can reuse in more vehicles. They just reprogram the parameters (not the entire code base) for the car personality that is needed for that market sector.


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    Oct 24th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    : Interesting, I wonder how that differs in practice.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    You have to know the fine print. If “full power” is defined as max power of vehicle (e.g. 100kw) but less than max battery power rating (e.g. 150kw), then the actual battery power capacity can fade 33% before the max vehicle power begins to fade. All the while, the range will be deteriorating. I like the Leaf and am for EV production anywhere it makes sense, but I don’t like sleight of hand.

    If Nissan wanted to warrant the range, I’m thinking they would have based the warranty on total energy storage capacity. Easy to state and easy to test.


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    Tall Pete

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    Oct 24th, 2010 (7:51 pm)

    nasaman: “Nissan states the battery will have a ‘lifespan of 5-10 years’ under normal use”.*

    In Canada, they state the battery will last 5 years. Here is a message I received from Nissan :

    Q : À la fin de la durée de vie de la batterie (5 ans), est-ce que l’autonomie décroîtra?

    R : Nous évaluons que la batterie aura une durée de vie d’environ 5 ans. Comme pour toute batterie, le temps et l’usure entraînent une diminution de l’autonomie.

    R is for Answer. It says that Nissan evaluate the lifespan of the battery to be around 5 years. In Canada, they are not even mentioning a range of 5 to 10 years.

    Nasaman is right to have some concerns about this.


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    Oct 24th, 2010 (8:03 pm)

    JEC: I would suspect that the cold climates will get less range (which is obvious), but I also suspect that the battery is not actually degraded in life.

    Nissan seems to say otherwise. See my post # 157


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    kForceZero

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    Oct 25th, 2010 (2:58 pm)

    JEC:
    Really?The volt is a hybrid.It runs from two different sources of power.And, when running in CS mode, it is very similiar to other hybrids, such as Prius and Fusion.The car uses gasoline as the main source of propulsion, and can recapture a certain % of energy through regen.While the Volt is, in my opinion more than a hybrid, what would you call a vehicle that can run from multiple power sources?    

    I think the point was that the fact that it runs on two power sources doesn’t make Volt = plug-in hybrid. In fact the Volt is both a BEV and regular hybrid in one – the driver gets to choose which. There’s a huge difference between a Volt and a PHEV. Saying that the Volt is “basically a plug-in hybrid” ignores the fact (and spreads misinformation) that with a PHEV you don’t have the option of not using gas at least sometimes whereas in a Volt you do have that option. So while a Volt is using power from two different sources, using power from two different sources isn’t necessarily a Volt.


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    Oct 26th, 2010 (4:00 am)

    James: ~ There you go again.Perhaps if regulars to gm-volt.com weren’t so divisive, the site might get interviews with, and open responses from people like Sue Cischke, Ford VP of Environemnet. Being a cross between a GM fanboy site and a Volt fanboy site – we pretty much will get spoonfed PR and biased journalism, and that’s pretty much it.EVs are good for Volt and Volt’s future. EVs are good for us. EVs are just plain good. To me, this is not the place to slam Volt’s competitors, point out for the umpteen-millionth time how Volt is superior ( a point most of us fully believe anyway, so you’re preaching to the choir ), or how strongly you dislike Leaf, Fisker, Model S, Evora 440E EREV, etc., etc., etc.Please look at the big picture and bash Leaf, it’s looks, it’s battery pack or whatever…..someplace else, and off the net. Frankly it’s getting really really old.PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ( in all 50 states ),James  (Quote)  (Reply)

    James … go to Japan and see what is said about the VOLT if you want to see government sponsored VOLT bashing on a country wide scale. Try to buy a VOLT in Japan. When you come back.. tell us all how easy it was to buy a VOLT in the friendly country of Japan.


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    Nov 1st, 2010 (12:02 am)

    I don’t think any of us should feel compelled to defend GM at a time when they misled all of us like they have.

    I have high hopes for this Ford.