Feb 02

As Volt Sales Outpace the LEAF, GM Works on Lowering Price

 

[ad#post_ad]January sales figures for GM were announced yesterday, and the automaker continued to see positive gains with overall sales coming in 22% greater than a year ago.

Included in the total of 178,897 cars and truck sold, GM announced that it had sold 321 Chevy Volts. This is in addition to the 326 Volts sold in December, indicating 647 have so far reached customers. Nissan for its part only sold 87 Leafs , and only 19 in December for a total of 106 units sold, less than one sixth as many as Volts.

Demand for the Volt has been red hot, and sales figures would be much higher if GM wasn’t deliberately pacing themselves. “Right now we’re selling every one we can make,” GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said, “so as shipments rise we expect sales to rise as well.”

Nissan has 20,000 people who placed $99 deposits for a Leaf, so they could have sold more as well but for the fact they are being exceptionally cautious.

GM has plans to continue building on the Volt’s  momentum. In addition to new plans to build 25,000 Volts this year and up to 120,000 next year, the Volt team is highly focused on reducing costs.  After all with demand at $41,000 it is certain more would be sold a a lower price point.  GM CEO Dan Akerson has charged his team with taking at least $7500 in cost out of the car by its next generation. With the federal tax credit still in place that would put the car well below $30,000 and in the reach of a far greater amount of people.

Auto journalist Peter Valdes-Dapena of CNN analyzed discussed several areas GM is working to cut cost from the Volt.

The battery is believed to cost $10,000 and could be made cheaper by reducing its size. Currently GM only uses 65% of the 16 kwh pack for driving duty. As they become more comfortable with the battery’s durability it is possible to move that band closer to 90%, possibly reducing lithium cost by a third. Also new advanced lithium cathode technology the company has invested in could amplify those reductions by increasing energy density. “You do extensive amounts of research and development and you get the same functionality or better with fewer cells,” said GM Ventures President Jon Lauckner, “and you take a whole lot of cost out of the vehicle.”

By increasing production volume costs will become lower due to economy of scale.  Units become less expensive the more that are built and sold.  Putting the Voltec drivetrain in other models will also help in that regard.

Electric motors are expensive because they rely on valuable rare earth elements like neodymium which are only available in limited quantities from places like China.  Engineers are designing new electric motors that do not require rare earths and will thus be less expensive.

The Volt contains specialized first generation accessories like air  conditioning, heating, power steering, and braking that are powered by electricity rather than by the gas engine as their traditional counterparts are.  For the first version of the Volt these parts are particularly expensive.  GM engineers are now simplifying and refining those components so that they will be less expensive by the next version

Finally there is the possibility some of the neat high tech features found in the current Volt, like the LCD screens and capacitive center stack, could be made optional to produce a more economical future version.

Source (CNN)


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 7:52 am and is filed under Financial, Next Generation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 149


  1. 1
    Jim I
    Jim I Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:11 am)

    All sounds great, but:

    Do not screw up the quality……………..

    And just for the record – GM Lordstown produced over 20,000 Chey Cruze cars in January!!!

    NPNS

    Have Outlet – Ready For EREV In Ohio!!


  2. 2
    Charlie H
    Charlie H Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:13 am)

    Isn’t the Leaf also sold in Japan? So what are total worldwide sales?

    “Right now we’re selling every one we can make” Tom Wilkinson, GM.

    If that’s true, they’re making a Volt about every half hour.


  3. 3
    Brian
    Brian Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:16 am)

    Larger battery not smaller what are they thinking?? I’d like to see more battery range not less!! Any chance you would see less than the 150k miles out of a battery is not a chance worth taking! Any time auto makers start thinking cheaper not better they are in dangerous water. One awe nuts could srewup a whole lot of at of boys!


  4. 4
    flyingfish
    flyingfish Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:21 am)

    I like all the words of lower cost, reduced cost panel options, higher density batteries, etc. The 200,000 car rebate is going to make a tight window to get the lower cost and the rebate together it appears from the production numbers :>(


  5. 5
    Carl Covey
    Carl Covey Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:27 am)

    Dear GM:

    Smaller, lighter battery is fine with new technology
    but less all-electric range is NOT, period!


  6. 6
    Storm
    Storm Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:29 am)

    My Volt’s been built! Just waiting shipment. Now to figure out how to sell my NiMH powered Suzuki Samurai. :-(

    I for one, would be happy with far fewer high tech features at a far lower cost.


  7. 7
    scottf200
    scottf200 Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:39 am)

    Re: Currently GM only uses 65% of the 16 kwh pack for driving duty.

    As a buyer of the first generation (VIN#01234), I am thrilled they have so much in reserve … that way as it ages they can download the tweaks to let it dig deeper so I can maintain my 25-50 range instead of it going to like 10-35 !! This is good foresight!!


  8. 8
    bookdabook
    bookdabook Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:48 am)

    Yes improve the batteries, keep the monitors/screens -can’t be that expensive (talk about economy of scale, every device has them) and make the OnStar an option. Cutting OnStar would save $1-3K.

    Silently motoring along in #135 without ever using OnStar,
    -Book


  9. 9
    Tom W
    Tom W Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:09 am)

    Cheaper batteries and other components are certain to happen, but to get the maximum economies of scale they need to also have 2-3 options in range. That will appeal to more people, get more sales and push along the economies of scale. If your daily commute is 25 miles, 40 miles or 60 miles, then the ideal match is an AER range that matches what you drive every day, then the EREV kicks in for additional driving as needed.

    Of course the flip side has always been if they make too many too soon, even if they all sell, they would use up their government credits, and the net cost of the car would go up before the technology is mature enough to stand on its own, so this is the balancing act GM must deal with.


  10. 10
    muv66
    muv66 Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:16 am)

    As battery technology improves (higher density, less expensive, etc) I can see GM offering options for battery packs with different ranges and price points. At a certain point in the (hopefully) near future, the battery range will be high enough and the charging infrastructure will in place so that ICE’s are also optional, reducing car’s weight and cost.


  11. 11
    Travis
    Travis Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:23 am)

    @bookdabook

    Cutting OnStar would only save a few hundred dollars. It is not an expensive feature which is one of the reasons why General Motors made it standard on all models. Additionally, OnStar is a massive part of the Volt. That will never be downgraded to an “option”.


  12. 12
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:26 am)

    Lots of different wish lists on priorities already! Personally mine would run with the first priority (regardless of what they change) is to maintain super-high quality level in the vehicles. Assuming that, I’d use the battery advances to reduce the size/weight of the battery just enough to maintain the same amount of AER. I really believe that the engineers *did* use more battery than necessary and even then pampered the heck out of it. I wouldn’t mess with that safety net just yet. I’d shrink the safety net after Gen II. People need to get comfy with the idea that the Volt is bulletproof, before GM starts to push the new tech envelope any further. The reduction in battery size/weight while maintaining the 40 AER would still allow *some* price reduction (and a 5th seat?), and combined with economies of scale might offset the disappearing subsidy. I’d love to see the option of fewer bells and whistles to reduce the price, but none of the changes can be allowed to impact the quality of the vehicle. JMO.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  13. 13
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:41 am)

    Storm: My Volt’s been built! Just waiting shipment.

    That’s got to be a huge thrill! CONGRATS!
    Another impending VES cured. Please forward any unused Valium Salt-licks to our foundation. (g)

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  14. 14
    James
    James Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:43 am)

    Dear GM -

    How about some vibrant colors for the Volt color palette? I own a Prius approx the exact color of the current red Volt – and it’s great in the sun, but in rainy Seattle it just won’t pop. Over half the Volt’s color options are silver-esque. No green, no blue… I’m nitpicking, the Volt is the most revolutionary car on this earth…But since I have a wait until Seattlites can buy one – I’m still fantasizing about that SEMA pearl white Volt with the body-color Ampera hatch ( makes the white just flow with the body lines wherein Volt’s bottom section of black glass is non-functional ) and those body color front and side valances…niiiice. Imagine the Volt rear bumper with the SEMA hatch treatment…ahhh yes.

    Please make some EV colors vibrant. The Transformers3 Volt proves my point. That’s my Volt color – bright blue, efficient doesn’t have to be boring. Toyota took years to put a couple medium-ish swanky colors into the Prius line. Their earth tones and blah greens really showed who they thought purchased the car. Let’s see some Volts available with a brighter than Camry green gray green….Maybe even that bright copper color you introduced on the Vette!

    I can’t post photos here anymore due to the new URL photo format on current browsers, but here’s some links to make you drool.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2009/04/06/money-losing-chevy-volt-will-stay-alive-even-if-it-cant-pay-th/ ( ignore the article )

    http://wot.motortrend.com/2010-sema-chevy-launches-zspec-line-showcases-volt-cruze-spark-9783.html

    Volt owners are sexy, interesting, forward-thinking and not necessarily boring conservative tree huggers, LOL.

    THEY’RE PUMPING OUT THE VOLTS!,
    James


  15. 15
    maharguitar
    maharguitar Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:49 am)

    GM feels that 40 miles is the sweet spot for an EREV. I doubt that they will spend too much time messing with that. Smaller lighter batteries is where most of the cost savings will come from. If you can cut 400 pounds from the design you don’t need as much battery. So a smaller battery won’t have to have the same performance as the larger one for the same electric range.

    I don’t think removing the LCD displays or getting rid of OnStar will save GM any costs. Think of the displays as iPads and all of the things that are displayed on those displays are Apps. The Apps are already written and tested. The money has been spent. The Volt is so computer driven that removing the display and putting in regular gauges might even cost more. The computers still have to be there to manage the whole system so you can’t get rid of them.

    As for OnStar, the cost to GM for this is pretty low. They have to have the cell phone hardware and the fancy rear view mirror but the rest of the cost is software and the development costs for that has already been spent.

    I didn’t know that they had to design all new HVAC, steering, and brakes. I thought GM had electric versions of these already on some models. There are quite a few opportunities to reduce costs there without reducing quality.


  16. 16
    Dave K.
    Dave K. Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:50 am)

    Storm: My Volt’s been built!

    Great news Storm. We see many wishing away tech features for price. You’ll love the tech included in this car.

    No Plug, No Sale & Never Enough Llamas


  17. 17
    James
    James Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:55 am)

    #14 addendum: I made today’s post’s photo my desktop wallpaper! Really stunning how the gray Volt looks nearly black in that light.

    Here in Seattle a gray Volt just disappears in the rainy gray weather. Also the black just doesn’t float here because it’ll need to be washed every other day. Dark colors are also less safe – as they say white is the safest, most visible color — except in a whiteout, LOL.

    Am I tooo far off topic? :)

    THEY’RE PUMPING OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James


  18. 18
    Texas
    Texas Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:56 am)

    Love to see all the development! Keep up the great work and squeeze out those costs and make more models to divide the engineering costs and get that economy of scale.


  19. 19
    Rashiid Amul
    Rashiid Amul Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:13 am)

    From the article:
    Electric motors are expensive because they rely on valuable rare earth elements like neodymium which are only available in limited quantities from places like China. Engineers are designing new electric motors that do not require rare earths and will thus be less expensive.

    I am a strong believer in science.
    I firmly believe there is nothing our scientists and engineers can’t accomplish give the time and resources.

    I am not a fan of getting our parts from one place, like China.


  20. 20
    Rashiid Amul
    Rashiid Amul Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:18 am)

    Although I believe our beloved Chevy Volt is the start of something big, and is right for today’s limited battery technology, I do hope the Leaf is a success too. The Leaf, like the current Tesla, is limited in range. I believe this could really hurt the Leaf. My hope is Nissan can figure out a way to go the route GM chose for the Volt. Battery technology really needs to improve a lot before I would buy a Leaf. Kuddos to the people who bought one. The price is right and no question you have more guts than me. I hate being stranded or being limited on where I can go for the day.


  21. 21
    statik
    statik Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:21 am)

    Charlie H: Isn’t the Leaf also sold in Japan? So what are total worldwide sales?“Right now we’re selling every one we can make” Tom Wilkinson, GM.If that’s true, they’re making a Volt about every half hour.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I would say a fair guess would be about 2,000 delivered atm. They are just passing 4,000 produced. Nissan just dropped 500+ this week in Japan, so it is moving pretty fast now. Not going to see any volumes like that in the US until after March 31st…which is the deadline for the ¥770k rebate in Japan.

    But it really isn’t about how many Nissan or GM can build right now, or who is building faster…it is how much demand is there after initial demand is fufilled.


  22. 22
    N Riley
    N Riley Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:21 am)

    Let’s hope that reducing the price of the Volt will not mean making it look and feel CHEAP! That is the worst thing Chevy can do is to allow the car to be cheapened just to reduce the price. Most people want a quality vehicle to be proud of. Chevrolet has not made a “quality” car in a long time. Keep the Volt’s high level of quality. Please!!!

    One thing I have picked up from reading Volt owner’s blog entries is that the door coverings inside the Volt look cheap. I got rid of my last new Chevrolet (owned it about 6 months) partially because of the cheap looking inside coverings on the door and the dealership would not get the bubbles out of the material.

    I will purchase a Volt just as soon as I can get access to one locally, but only after going over it with a very critical eye. That is my cash I will be spending that I have saved for a Volt and I will not spend it on a cheap looking vehicle. Regardless!!!!


  23. 23
    N Riley
    N Riley Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:24 am)

    James,

    Yellow is the safest color, I believe. I would seriously consider a yellow Volt, if it is the right shade of yellow. Brighter the better. With black strips to set it off. Zoom, Zoom. (As Mazda says.)


  24. 24
    CorvetteGuy
    CorvetteGuy Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:28 am)

    They can knock off $1000 in cost by changing the center stack ‘touch buttons’ to conventional switches like those in the Equinox. The only complaint I’ve heard from any customer so far is that the current button labels are really hard to read. Type is kinda small and washes out in bright sunlight. Looks great at night though.


  25. 25
    statik
    statik Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:31 am)

    statik: I would say a fair guess would be about 2,000 delivered atm. They are just passing 4,000 produced. Nissan just dropped 500+ this week in Japan, so it is moving pretty fast now. Not going to see any volumes like that in the US until after March 31st…which is the deadline for the ¥770k rebate in Japan.But it really isn’t about how many Nissan or GM can build right now, or who is building faster…it is how much demand is there after initial demand is fufilled.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    ….just testing out my icon

    /apparently remembering my id is not one of my strong suits


  26. 26
    DonC
    DonC Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:33 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Electric motors are expensive because they rely on valuable rare earth elements like neodymium …
    ….
    I am not a fan of getting our parts from one place, like China.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about this. Neodymium is classified as a “rare earth element” but unlike most of those elements it’s not actually “rare”. I think you can get it from any number of countries including Australia.

    You may not need to worry about it at all with respect to the Volt. Does the Volt use neodymium? I thought the Volt was using AC induction motors. Is this not true?

    FWIW when I read the article it wasn’t clear to me that GM was identifying motors that didn’t use rare earth elements as a potential cost savings. The GM interview came first. Then we have an interview with someone else talking about electric motors n general. My guess is that this refers to hybrids like the Prius which use permanent magnets.


  27. 27
    Rashiid Amul
    Rashiid Amul Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:33 am)

    statik: But it really isn’t about how many Nissan or GM can build right now, or who is building faster…it is how much demand is there after initial demand is fufilled.

    Right you are, Statik. And that is going to depend on price.


  28. 28
    MichaelH
    MichaelH Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:36 am)

    N Riley: Yellow is the safest color, I believe.

    Actually, studies have shown a lime green is the color your eye is the most sensitive to. The next time you see a “lime green” fire engine or truck you will know why it’s green instead of red. Personally, I think seeing things like vehicles for safety has more to do with contrast. Someone posted a comment here a year or so ago about how different Volt colors blended in (gray with pavement, silver with gray sky, etc.) I went with white diamond tricoat because my wife and I could agree on it. ;) Now we are at status 3300, so no more changing.


  29. 29
    Rashiid Amul
    Rashiid Amul Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:37 am)

    James: #14 addendum: I made today’s post’s photo my desktop wallpaper!Really stunning how the gray Volt looks nearly black in that light.Here in Seattle a gray Volt just disappears in the rainy gray weather. Also the black just doesn’t float here because it’ll need to be washed every other day. Dark colors are also less safe – as they say white is the safest, most visible color — except in a whiteout, LOL.Am I tooo far off topic?
    THEY’RE PUMPING OUT THE VOLTS! ,James    

    I would like a vibrant green one myself. But I have to wait until 2013 to get mine. By then, maybe they will have new color schemes.


  30. 30
    Tall Pete
    Tall Pete Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:38 am)

    To GM,

    Whatever you do, don’t jeopardize the quality and durability.

    Thanks.


  31. 31
    Mark Z
    Mark Z Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:41 am)

    Whatever is removed, make it an option to maintain Car of the Year quality in the Volt. Add more quality and range in the Voltec Cadillac model for the next GM Car of the Year!


  32. 32
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:42 am)

    statik: But it really isn’t about how many Nissan or GM can build right now, or who is building faster…it is how much demand is there after initial demand is fufilled.

    How does one determine when “initial demand” ends and sustained demand starts? I know that that sounds like a dumb question. My *first* question was “I wonder what statik thinks the outcome will be”, but then I wondered how *you’d* decide the point at which “initial” shifts to “sustained”. I’d assume that once the “pent up” demand is exhausted, the initial rush is over, but what if the pent up demand is sustained? (LOL).
    I’d love to see both vehicles be wildly successful. Anyway, I’m just interested in your views (as always).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  33. 33
    Nelson
    Nelson Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:42 am)

    From the post: “Included in the total of 178,897 cars and truck sold, GM announced that it had sold 321 Chevy Volts. This is in addition to the 326 Volts sold in December, indicating 647 have so far reached customers.”

    That doesn’t seem right since I took delivery of Volt vin#: …..671 on 1/22/2011.
    Guess some Volts are waiting for owners.

    My Volt got hit with its first bird dropping. :(
    My family thinks that’s good luck.
    I quickly took care of it. :)

    Vin# 671
    NPNS!


  34. 34
    Tall Pete
    Tall Pete Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:45 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    Right you are, Statik.And that is going to depend on price.    

    Value is more important than price IMO. I don’t mind paying more for a quality item. But everybody wants to have the best value for the buck.


  35. 35
    statik
    statik Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:48 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Right you are, Statik. And that is going to depend on price.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    With limited production I don’t think we will get a feel for demand on either car until sometime in 2012.

    Just filling up dealer inventories in the US for GM would mean 10-15k units, same goes for Nissan in US/Japan/worldwide. Then you have the ‘EV nut’ demand as well (like Lyle, and myself, and just about everyone else here.)..which should be good for another 10-15k.


  36. 36
    MichaelH
    MichaelH Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:48 am)

    Nelson: That doesn’t seem right since I took delivery of Volt vin#: …..671 on 1/22/2011.

    Assigned VINs are now above 1300. Don’t know the highest produced to date.


  37. 37
    Rashiid Amul
    Rashiid Amul Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:51 am)

    Tall Pete:
    Value is more important than price IMO. I don’t mind paying more for a quality item. But everybody wants to have the best value for the buck.    

    Value is important too, no question. But I think a lot of people equate value and price.


  38. 38
    koz
    koz Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:05 am)

    DonC: I wouldn’t worry too much about this. Neodymium is classified as a “rare earth element” but unlike most of those elements it’s not actually “rare”. I think you can get it from any number of countries including Australia. You may not need to worry about it at all with respect to the Volt. Does the Volt use neodymium? I thought the Volt was using AC induction motors. Is this not true? FWIW when I read the article it wasn’t clear to me that GM was identifying motors that didn’t use rare earth elements as a potential cost savings. The GM interview came first. Then we have an interview with someone else talking about electric motors n general. My guess is that this refers to hybrids like the Prius which use permanent magnets.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I don’t know if a definitive answer has been given but I believe they have indicated the traction motor is AC induction but the generator motor is not.


  39. 39
    statik
    statik Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:07 am)

    Tagamet: How does one determine when “initial demand” ends and sustained demand starts? I know that that sounds like a dumb question. My *first* question was “I wonder what statik thinks the outcome will be”, but then I wondered how *you’d* decide the point at which “initial” shifts to “sustained”. I’d assume that once the “pent up” demand is exhausted, the initial rush is over, but what if the pent up demand is sustained? (LOL).I’d love to see both vehicles be wildly successful. Anyway, I’m just interested in your views (as always).Be well,Tagamet  (Quote)  (Reply)

    HowDee Tag,

    I’d say a good signal to say initial demand is over is when the cars are nationwide, and every dealership has a few on the lot. Right now people are mostly ordering just to get allocation. At some point customer orders will change to merely facilitate specific options/colors rather than procurement.

    Honestly, I think that we are ‘too close’ to electric cars here (online) and we over esimate their short term success. Or at least how we define success.

    At 41K, I’d say the Volt would be a raging success if it could hit 40-50K year over year, that would place it in the top 3 for 4 door passenger vehicles in North America. For the LEAF at 32K, an equal ‘raging success’ level would be 60-70K. I know both companies like to talk about much higher production levels for a single model, but I just don’t see it…at least not yet.

    If all EV sales combined for 100K+ in 2012/2013, I think that those would be excellent numbers, and would ensure a solid future for the tech…and thats really what this is all about (at least imo)


  40. 40
    DonC
    DonC Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:25 am)

    Tagamet: How does one determine when “initial demand” ends and sustained demand starts? I know that that sounds like a dumb question. My *first* question was “I wonder what statik thinks the outcome will be”, but then I wondered how *you’d* decide the point at which “initial” shifts to “sustained”. I’d assume that once the “pent up” demand is exhausted, the initial rush is over, but what if the pent up demand is sustained?

    The same way you separate the initial demand from the sustained demand for iPhones — you do it a year or so after it’s happened. That may sound like a smart-ass “ha ha” answer but, like when identifying a market top or bottom, the reality is that this type of analysis is best done looking in the rear view mirror.

    I’m not big on predictions but GM will have a huge hit on its hands — bigger than GM management can conceive of — if it can get the costs down by $10K. My guess would be an initial demand 2x-3x larger than what we’re currently seeing for the Prius. In this regard, GM doesn’t need to worry about price when they’re only making 20k units a year and not even when they’re making 40k units a year. It’s when they want to sell 120k-300k units a year that they’ll need to worry about price. There simply aren’t than many people who can buy a $41K car even if they want to.

    I was struck by just how universal the demand for EVs will be when talking to my nephew this weekend. He lives in the mountains, drives a pickup, and has never expressed any interest in cars at all — buy he wants a Volt. Ditto for my BMW and SUV driving neighbors. It’s like people wanting smart phones rather than regular mobile phones. EVs may not be the best solution to the problem of oil but they’ve captured the public’s imagination.


  41. 41
    James
    James Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:26 am)

    maharguitar: GM feels that 40 miles is the sweet spot for an EREV. I doubt that they will spend too much time messing with that. Smaller lighter batteries is where most of the cost savings will come from. If you can cut 400 pounds from the design you don’t need as much battery. So a smaller battery won’t have to have the same performance as the larger one for the same electric range.

    Exactly. When we think of cost cutting, the two main areas would be the battery pack and the ICE.

    There is a 3 cyl. engine currently in the parts bin – but making it have the HP needed in the Voltec application could be too expensive. So far when GM says ” a less expensive Volt” it means smaller, lighter battery pack.

    If the Prius with a plug and it’s 10 – 14 mile AER finds success in the marketplace, I think it’ll be obvious GM will be watching closely. So far there’s only speculation what Toyota will be charging for their plug-in, so we’ll wait and see.

    To me the 40 mile range EREV is a great first achievement, but I’m hoping GM will see fit to improve on it’s range rather than concentrate solely upon cost-cutting. To retain 40 miles E range while achieving a more affordable battery, yes – but lowering AER for cost – not so much. I’d like to see a 60, 70 and 100 mile EREV/Hybrid. Will those models with higher range end up Cadillacs and Buicks?

    THEY’RE PUMPING OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James


  42. 42
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:28 am)

    Nelson: My Volt got hit with its first bird dropping. :(
    My family thinks that’s good luck.
    I quickly took care of it. :)

    You heard it here first, folks! (lol). Frankly, I envy the milestone.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  43. 43
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:34 am)

    statik: At 41K, I’d say the Volt would be a raging success if it could hit 40-50K year over year, that would place it in the top 3 for 4 door passenger vehicles in North America.

    #37

    I can only agree. +1

    It always amazes me how low the production numbers can be and still be considered successful for many sort of niche vehicles. 50K Volts at $41K would equal $2 BILLION +. If you can’t make money selling $2 billion worth of anything you might as well strike the tent and go home, IMHO.


  44. 44
    VoltinME
    VoltinME Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:37 am)

    If 25,000 will be made this year, does anyone know when the transition is to begin selling the 2012 model? Since I live in a state where I will be able to purchase a Volt only in the 4th quarter, does that mean I will be purchasing a 2011 or a 2012?


  45. 45
    theflew
    theflew Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:37 am)

    bookdabook,

    You might not use OnStar but as a diagnostic tool for GM it’s important. It could be used to query a car to see if cars built on specific dates are getting an error code. Think of how much this could save on recalls. Instead of recalling all cars you can recall the ones that have the problem. Reducing the amount of recalls reduces the cost of a car over time.


  46. 46
    srschrier
    srschrier Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:37 am)

    It’s good to know ongoing R&D in underway at GM for the Voltec platform. To help reduce costs perhaps some customers would like a simplified traditional instrument cluster and have the Onstar service available as an option?

    It’s also good to know GM’s investing in other advanced battery technology, like solid state batteries. The latest solid state packs reportedly have far greater energy density (2-3x) in a more simplified package than LG-Chem’s LiO T-pack. Solid state packs are already in limited production in Europe. Last October (2010) Germany’s DBM-Lekker Energie demonstrated their modular Lithium Metal Polymer pack by performing a 360 mile all-electric drive at freeway speeds, at night with the car’s heater on, in a modified Audi A-2 without recharge from Munich to Berlin. Similar solid state battery R&D is underway in the US by Planar and Sony in Japan, along with advanced fuel cell R&D.

    Hopefully some of the R&D efforts will eventually provide a more cost effective Volt for more folks.


  47. 47
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:37 am)

    statik,

    Thanks, Statik! That sounds like a reasonable yardstick. If a year from now, dealers *still* don’t have any EV’s sitting on their lots, because they are being sold as they are made, then we’re actually still technically in the “pent up demand” stage (lol).(Ever the optimist).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  48. 48
    DonC
    DonC Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:40 am)

    koz: I don’t know if a definitive answer has been given but I believe they have indicated the traction motor is AC induction but the generator motor is not. 

    I’ve wondered about the smaller MG. It has to be AC though because the inverter converts the battery DC to AC for both motors. Could be synchronous I guess. Would be worthwhile to find out.


  49. 49
    Dave K.
    Dave K. Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:42 am)

    Tagamet: …we’re actually still technically in the “pent up demand” stage…

    Many people I speak with about the Volt believe it goes 40 miles then stops to recharge. Has demand even begun?

    =D-Volt


  50. 50
    Tim Hart
    Tim Hart Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:45 am)

    GM is doing what needs to be done. As bad as many of us want a Volt, we can’t in good conscience put our family at risk by buying a car we can’t really afford. When all is said and done the final financial commitment to purchase a Volt needs to be in the mid 20′s (thousands) for it to be a realistic option for a large segment of the car buying public. However they get there is fine with me.


  51. 51
    DonC
    DonC Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:45 am)

    statik: HowDee Tag

    FWIW statik proved to be the best automotive journalist when he ran his Leaf web site. Even after he officially left that site he “broke” the story about Nissan diverting production to Japan in order to take advantage of the expiring tax credits. That’s been the only interesting info on the Leaf for the last month.


  52. 52
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:47 am)

    VoltinME: If 25,000 will be made this year, does anyone know when the transition is to begin selling the 2012 model?    

    July?

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  53. 53
    CaptJackSparrow
    CaptJackSparrow Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:55 am)

    Build a Stripper model!!!

    Get rid of all those gadgets and shtuff….
    No Power Windows
    No Power Adjust Seats
    No Power Side view mirrors
    No Power Sunroof (Actually No Sunroof at all!!)
    No Power Door Locks
    No Power Trunk lock
    No Radio (Remember that fiasco? – Get an iPod)
    No Heated Seats
    No GPS (My Phone has one and it WORKs!)
    No OnStar!!! Yuk, Phoey!
    No Wireless gadget charging crap….

    Then on top of that, open the full DOD of the batt pack for a 60 mile AER.

    /but a stripper pickup will work too…… :-)


  54. 54
    VoltinME
    VoltinME Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:59 am)

    CaptJackSparrow,

    Then don’t plan on buying a Volt. Go buy a yourself an Aveo.


  55. 55
    CaptJackSparrow
    CaptJackSparrow Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (12:06 pm)

    VoltinME: Then don’t buy a Volt. Go buy a yourself an Aveo.

    That just totally negates why one would buy a Volt. Are you saying that everyone must buy all those forced upgrades if they want to reduce their OPEC juice consumption or reduce their carbon footprint for the greenies?

    Here, take a look at this site…
    http://www.hybridcenter.org/hybrid-scorecard/

    Forced feature upgrades are typically used to hide the true cost of a product, guess who scores the highest to “Hide”.

    Will the Volt NOT sell unless all those features were in there? I think they’ll sell even more.


  56. 56
    pjkPA
    pjkPA Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (12:06 pm)

    If you include the money saved from gasoline savings and the $7500 tax credit… and if you keep the car for around 10 years like I do… the cost will be the same as just about any car.

    I would leave the Volt engineering alone… maybe make a few things optional… leave it as the premium option… then..

    Bring out a utilitarian … CUV … for commuting…. sort of like a small minivan with seats that come out to save weight and make cargo space. Don’t need fancy electronics to get to work.
    Just need reliability and durability.


  57. 57
    N Riley
    N Riley Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (12:07 pm)

    statik:
    ….just testing out my icon/apparently remembering my id is not one of my strong suits    

    Statik,

    This is a “little” off the subject, but I thought you might have some inside information. Does Chevrolet have any near future plans for rolling out the updated Chevrolet Impala? They really need that car on the lots now to compete.


  58. 58
    Streetlight
    Streetlight Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (12:09 pm)

    This should read keeping VOLT a winner while trying to reduce costs without degrading quality performance.

    R&D here is three-dimensional. We know several EV models are in the works. It could be VOLT opens further profit margins transparently. (The buyer sees no change.) While other models integrate the latest and greatest.

    China is really conscious about its reputation – this morning I saw on cable a China promo commercial – no doubt a result of China’s recent visit here. The Administration was lampooned in major cartoons – like the two Leaders dinning at a West Wing table eating a McDonald’s pickup – the caption “Look … if you need another loan – just say so”


  59. 59
    mikeinatl.
    mikeinatl. Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (12:26 pm)

    Lyle, Static, Don C, Captain Jack, Tagamet, Rashid, Noel and more….

    What a cast of characters today!

    This is like the old days when we didnt know what VOLT would look like or if it would ever even get built.

    Warms my heart to see the ole gang back together.

    GO VOLT!

    Mikeinatl


  60. 60
    Jackson
    Jackson Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (12:55 pm)

    Tagamet: The reduction in battery size/weight while maintaining the 40 AER

    The presently stated range is 25 – 50 miles (with most actual drivers under winter conditions reporting closer to the low end). Given the new specification for AER, I strongly feel that GM should do whatever necessary to raise this low number (even if it is only by 5 – 10 miles) as they are re-thinking their battery design. Limited range in cold weather can only hurt sales in more extreme climates. A higher-than-50 upper number for mild weather hyper-milers would only be a far less important (though fortuitous) side-effect; in my opinion.

    .


  61. 61
    Noah Nehm
    Noah Nehm Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (1:01 pm)

    I’d be interested to find out if GM is considering making a change to the ICE. It seems to me that the engine they have now is not optimally suited to the job from an engineering perspective (although, I think it was the right choice from a programmatic and economic perspective).

    I’ve been keeping a look out for progress in the ICE world, particularly those engines that have innovative thermodynamic cycles. I just noticed another contender: a high efficiency engine being investigated by Liquid Piston, who just just closed a Series B investment round.

    It will be exciting to see how the EREV develops in the next few years….


  62. 62
    Tom W
    Tom W Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (1:04 pm)

    maharguitar: GM feels that 40 miles is the sweet spot for an EREV. I doubt that they will spend too much time messing with that.

    Yes that is the sweet spot. But there are also lots of customers that drive 60 miles a day and can’t charge at work like Lyle. And there are those that on the vast majority of days just drive 20-25 miles. When they don’t have to worry about using up their government credits and really want to sell the most cars they can they will have to address these markets.

    Yes a 60 miles AER battery will cost and weigh more, but if you drive at least 60 miles a day, then it is worth it. And there are millions of people with garages that do this.


  63. 63
    hamchief
    hamchief Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (1:16 pm)

    Has Nissan been holding back on deliveries to wait for winter to pass?
    It looks like in the very cold (<20F) my AER is cut in half. Assuming the same happens in the Leaf (it should be worse due to no thermal management) it could be said that the Leaf's range is reduced by 50% and the Volt's by 6% (due to the ICE). OR it can be turned around to, "the Leaf gets stranded after 50 miles and the Volt gets stranded…never."

    In Gen2, if the battery improved and they kept the 40 mile AER, they might have room for that 5th seat and due to a lighter pack, the ICE mileage might increase.


  64. 64
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (1:35 pm)

    mikeinatl.: Lyle, Static, Don C, Captain Jack, Tagamet, Rashid, Noel and more….What a cast of characters today!This is like the old days when we didnt know what VOLT would look like or if it would ever even get built.Warms my heart to see the ole gang back together.GO VOLT!Mikeinatl    

    I was thinking the same thing, but didn’t want to come off like some smooshy, metrosexual. (lol). Given all the “heat” some of our discussions generated, it’s really amazing that we all came away as friends.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  65. 65
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (1:42 pm)

    Jackson: Given the new specification for AER

    I missed something. What *new* specification? Or are you referring to the 25-50 range vs the previously stated 40 AER?
    Thanks.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  66. 66
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (1:45 pm)

    Dave K.: Many people I speak with about the Volt believe it goes 40 miles then stops to recharge. Has demand even begun?

    #47

    Very true. +1

    They are totally amazed and very impressed when they are told that it has a “range extender”. I think that the educational process will take quite awhile. Maybe it will accelerate when a few more cars actually get on the road. Or when gas hits $4 again, LOL. At least this time GM will be a lot more ready with a viable product and with some consumer feedback under their belts.


  67. 67
    john1701a
    john1701a Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (1:46 pm)

    Jackson: The presently stated range is 25 – 50 miles

    That has already been abandoned. Last week’s press-release from GM provided this new statement:

    For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas-and-tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery.

    .


  68. 68
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (1:51 pm)

    pjkPA: Just need reliability and durability.

    Exactly what I looked for in a spouse. (g)

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  69. 69
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (1:53 pm)

    mikeinatl.: Warms my heart to see the ole gang back together.

    #57

    Yeah, me too. Thanks. +1

    I had some major personal problems last year and sort of dropped out for awhile. Recently my local Chevy dealer dropped the bomb that he could order Volts with a 3 month delivery lead time. He sort of challenged me to put my money where my mouth was. In a weak moment I did. It’s supposed to show up around March 1.

    “Just when I thought i was out, they pulled me back in.”

    Michael Corleone, Al Pacino, Noel Park, LOL!


  70. 70
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (2:04 pm)

    Tagamet: Exactly what I looked for in a spouse. (g)

    #66

    Hah! With me it’s always been outstanding styling and high performance. Although you do often encounter maintenance problems down the road, LOL.


  71. 71
    GXT_
    GXT_ Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (2:12 pm)

    Lyle wrote:
    “GM announced that it had sold 321 Chevy Volts. This is in addition to the 326 Volts sold in December, indicating 647 have so far reached customers.”

    This is not accurate. These are counts of deliveries to dealerships, not sales to customers.

    Even with only 647 deliveries, there are already 134 Volts for sale on auto-trader alone. Some dealers have 4 or 5 cars. Ebay auctions are not finding buyers. Dealers are trolling here for buyers.

    Even making the nation-wide rollout earlier than planned and delivering so many cars for demos could be indications that GM isn’t seeing enough demand.

    I really think GM has to get the price down to get demand up.


  72. 72
    Unni
    Unni Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    Electric motors are expensive because they rely on valuable rare earth elements like neodymium which are only available in limited quantities from places like China. Engineers are designing new electric motors that do not require rare earths and will thus be less expensive

    In my Opinion, GM should work with Toyota for this. There were reports saying Toyota is in advanced stage for production of electric motors that do not require rare earth elements.

    Apart from that , Other than Volt side , GM seems to be slow ( still dont see any traces of the 2 mode plugin power train from Vue finding space in Enclave,Traverse,Acadia,Impala (all one power train can address ) or Equinox/Terrain/SRX/malibu (one power train can address 4 ).

    They just still pushing eassist with Buick and gas prices already started going up and up ( i an not seeing price below 1.20/ltr in Vancouver converts to $4.5/gallon for regular ) and summer is long way, Before summer, i believe there should be introductions, else again will loose like 2008. Buick, Volt only on niche , but still the volume sellers like impala/Malibu/Equinox etc needs addressing.

    So the best i can imagine is plugin 2 mode power fwd power-train for vue goes to Enclave,Traverse,Acadia,Impala ( say coupled with 3.6 or 2.4 ltr engine ) and Equinox/Terrain/SRX/malibu get it with the 2 ltr turbo.


  73. 73
    Dave K.
    Dave K. Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (2:19 pm)

    john1701a: For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas-and-tailpipe-emissions-free

    35 miles per charge is a solid number. This is “normal” driving with minor climate control drain.

    Watching the efficiency gauge and practicing modest acceleration results in about 40 miles per charge in 60-80 degree weather. My best is 43 miles range at 57 degrees air temperature. Very mellow driving which I normally don’t practice.

    I will drive a friend to a golf course this weekend. It’s about 30 miles one way. 85% of it on the freeway. I will set the cruise at 65mph and run the cabin fan on low. This should result in 40 miles electric plus 20 miles range extender. It’s been 2 weeks since my range extender kicked on. So 20 minutes of operation is a good thing.

    =D-Volt


  74. 74
    Jim I
    Jim I Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (2:25 pm)

    OT:

    If you want to see a sneak peek of one of GM’s Super Bowl Ads, here is a link.

    http://www.businessjournaldailybuzz.com/

    You have to get through the first 7 minutes or so…..

    It is not the Volt ad, but you will like it!

    :-)


  75. 75
    Jim I
    Jim I Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (2:30 pm)

    Tagamet:
    I was thinking the same thing, but didn’t want to come off like some smooshy, metrosexual. (lol). Given all the “heat” some of our discussions generated, it’s really amazing that we all came away as friends.Be well,
    Tagamet    

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

    I just think it means that even though we see things differently on many different topics, when it comes to the Volt, we are all pretty much in agreement!!!

    And I even think that at some point, GM will produce a stripper “Sparrow” model EREV for the Captain….

    :-)


  76. 76
    Charlie H
    Charlie H Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (3:16 pm)

    GXT_: Lyle wrote:“GM announced that it had sold 321 Chevy Volts. This is in addition to the 326 Volts sold in December, indicating 647 have so far reached customers.”This is not accurate. These are counts of deliveries to dealerships, not sales to customers. Even with only 647 deliveries, there are already 134 Volts for sale on auto-trader alone. Some dealers have 4 or 5 cars. Ebay auctions are not finding buyers. Dealers are trolling here for buyers. Even making the nation-wide rollout earlier than planned and delivering so many cars for demos could be indications that GM isn’t seeing enough demand.I really think GM has to get the price down to get demand up.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Very interesting. I looked at AutoTrader; many dealers within 100 miles of Manhattan are advertising the Volt. I’m not sure that means they actually have one, though, to sell. I think dealers advertise for a variety of reasons and they advertised Camaros before they were really available.

    However, of those listed, AutoTrader lists about 6 or 7 dealers with 2 or 3 vehicles “in stock,” which suggests that they have cars. There’s also about 4 or 5 more dealers with Volts listed that have a mileage value, which also suggests a real car. Putting that all together, I’d think there’s maybe 20-25 not spoken for and available for sale to the first comer within 100 miles of Manhattan.

    I think it’s more interesting (read “alarming” for Volt fans) that Volt sales didn’t increase in January and they only needed to build 16 per day to meet sales figures. A car every half hour? That seems kind of crazy. I expected GM to sell at least 800 this month to get on pace for delivering 10K in the first 12 months.


  77. 77
    rtmey2000
    rtmey2000 Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (3:28 pm)

    You guys are crazy. I have been driving my volt for 2 weeks now. The quality of this car is on par with my wife’s 2010 BMW 3 series. That car is priced today at 38,000. There is no way with the quality of the car they can drive the price below the mid to high thirties. Unless you want a car that has poor quality.

    For those of you complaining that you want an electric or plug in hybrid car for 20k…Just wait a few years. I am certain that Kia and BYD will have a car for you.

    The story of the Volt in my view is that of quality and technology. Keep the technology in the car. That is your competitive edge with this car – don’t let down on it now. This is also a platform for GM to build better cars across the spectrum. Build better Buick’s and Chevy’s – Improve and sustain the quality.

    For version two – increase the range. battery tech is clearly important, yet lightweight materials are also needed. That was one of the major things lost from the concept to the production.

    In terms of LCD screens – they work beautifully. I thought I would hate them or have a hard time getting used them, but it has not been a problem. I still like Ford’s classic version of speedometer with two flanking LCD displays – but that is just me.

    The Prius is a great car. It will be interesting when they sell the plug in version. The ride quality and the feel of the Volt are fantastic. Its grip of the road can not be matched. And shall be speak of the smoothness of the drivetrain from 0-20….awesome.


  78. 78
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (3:42 pm)

    Jim I: I just think it means that even though we see things differently on many different topics, when it comes to the Volt, we are all pretty much in agreement!!!

    Well, NOW we do (lol), but some of the most heated discussions centered on whether the Volt would ever actually make it to production. Given GM’s history with the EV1 *and* the fact that the company was losing money hand-over-fist, the odds against actually getting a Volt’s wheels on the road seemed pretty staggering (to some)(g).
    You’re right though about that single thread that tied us together.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  79. 79
    Streetlight
    Streetlight Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    Hi #70 Unni: A car uses about 50 lbs of rare earths (RE). (A wind turbine uses about a ton.)

    China delivers (or did) nearly 100% of all RE production. Then last year China restricted these exports by 75%. The price of RE’s spiked up 700%!!!!

    The good news is that RE are not rare. And we have right here in the U.S. adequate resources to replace China. It’ll take some time. But by 2014 we should be OK. Actually China took the RE business away from the U.S. to start with – with its cheap labor.

    Japan however, was the hardest hit. Now Japan has found workarounds – motors without RE’s.

    You know GM has to be holding its breath as to what China will do or won’t do – as 50% of its sales are in China. GM knows that must be reduced by increasing sales elsewhere.

    Rare Earths: Periodic Table Nos. 21, 39, 57-71


  80. 80
    jeffhre
    jeffhre Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (4:16 pm)

    GXT_: Lyle wrote:
    “GM announced that it had sold 321 Chevy Volts. This is in addition to the 326 Volts sold in December, indicating 647 have so far reached customers.”This is not accurate.These are counts of deliveries to dealerships, not sales to customers.Even with only 647 deliveries, there are already 134 Volts for sale on auto-trader alone. Some dealers have 4 or 5 cars. Ebay auctions are not finding buyers. Dealers are trolling here for buyers.Even making the nation-wide rollout earlier than planned and delivering so many cars for demos could be indications that GM isn’t seeing enough demand.I really think GM has to get the price down to get demand up.    

    Critical thinking skills are called critical for a very good reason.


  81. 81
    Mark Z
    Mark Z Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (4:29 pm)

    Everything that GM removes from the Volt to make it more economical should be an option for those who want the feature. This will help maintain Car of the Year quality in the Volt.

    The Cadillac Voltec models should have more electric and fuel range for those buyers who desire to pay more for that added flexibility.

    This afternoon my brother who really knows cars drove my Volt and was extremely impressed with the fit, finish and power. Closing the doors and hatch was an added plus, as he said they sound like Rolls Royce quality!


  82. 82
    Jackson
    Jackson Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (4:37 pm)

    Tagamet: re you referring to the 25-50 range vs the previously stated 40 AER?

    Yes.

    Actually, 40 was always an expectation, not a true specification; but that number has (and continues to) figure strongly in our discussions, here.

    What I’m saying is that 40 miles ought eventually to be by God 40 miles. If this number was the “sweet spot,” the Volt is short of it around half the time; depending on where you live. BTW, I fully expect that hot weather range down South will come up short also (100 degrees with 100 percent humidity = A/C use is not optional).

    I say eventually in order to cut GM some slack: They’ve got the expiring tax credit vs enormous demand to consider right now, but this is an issue which they must address fairly soon if they truly mean to consistently hit that already-determined “sweet spot.”

    .


  83. 83
    Rush
    Rush Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (4:43 pm)

    For those nitpicking about not enough being sold or there being 25 cars on lots, don’t forget, it’s only been released in a few states! Once this baby goes nationwide sales will increase tremendously. I’d bet that some, even in the roll out states are being patient and seeing how it goes for 6 months or so, and even fewer people are willing to drive over 2 states if there is a service issue. I think the Volt is a clear success.


  84. 84
    Jim I
    Jim I Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (4:49 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Well, NOW we do (lol), but some of the most heated discussions centered on whether the Volt would ever actually make it to production. Given GM’s history with the EV1 *and* the fact that the company was losing money hand-over-fist, the odds against actually getting a Volt’s wheels on the road seemed pretty staggering (to some)(g).
    You’re right though about that single thread that tied us together.Be well,
    Tagamet    

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

    Maybe I am having revisionist history, but as I recall, except for statik and the usual batch of trolls, we were pretty together in our belief that GM would finish up the Volt and get it out the door. The only time I was really concerned was bankruptcy day. And my concern was that the Volt might be a casualty of a GM breakup, not that they did not want to complete it….. And even statik’s position was based on financial status, not that GM could not make it work. And he didn’t think they would make the target date.

    Is that how you remember it?


  85. 85
    Jackson
    Jackson Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    Dave K.: 35 miles per charge is a solid number. This is “normal” driving with minor climate control drain.

    Pleased to hear that 35 is a solid number where you live. I would expect that in Atlanta, where I live, I would have nominal (40 or more miles) range for close to half the year (parts of Spring, Autumn, and frequently mild Winter weather), with a reduced range for the other 6 months.

    I would be interested in hearing where you live. I’ve heard that many in truly cold areas of the country are not doing as well (28 miles rings a bell, for some reason). We don’t yet know about owners in truly hot areas.

    For where you live, only 5 miles need be added to the pack to consistently achieve the “sweet spot;” perhaps achievable merely by widening the usable power band to 90%.

    .


  86. 86
    statik
    statik Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (4:59 pm)

    N Riley: Statik, This is a “little” off the subject, but I thought you might have some inside information. Does Chevrolet have any near future plans for rolling out the updated Chevrolet Impala? They really need that car on the lots now to compete.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    … I love the OT topics

    The next gen Impala is a slight casualty of the GM bankruptcy rinse. The new model is coming but in 2013…and I don’t mean sept of 2012 as a MY 2013. Because it is based off the new LWB Epsilon II, it comes after its twin Cadillac XTS which goes into production in a year’s time (Jan 2012)

    Officially the SOP for GMX352 (Impala) is Feb 4, 2013…first out of Oshawa, then actually coming to Hamtramck, which is (as we all know) is now producing the Volt (HuZZah-this topic is now topical to the site). The Impala will come out later in Q2 of 2013 as a 2014

    The PROBLEM is of course that the new model is not specific or special. Its a rebadge.

    I think the current popularity is actually because of its ancient (and I mean ancient) W platform, which used to be the GM10 and has been kicking around it some variation since the 80s. It got upgraded around 1990 (W2), and that is what you find on the current Impala (alright it got a little upgrade 8-9 years ago as well).

    GM has thought about/tried to axe this for years, but people keep buying it, as it has been discontinued everywhere else in GM’s line, and long dead at all other automakers. It was assumed the ‘all-new’ Malibu would be the curtain for the old W-Impala, but it just lives on…like the Astro van did.

    I don’t think the new Impala will have the follow, or the success of the current generation. Because it is unique now, it gets all the fanciness…in other words you aren’t going to see any small block V8s in the future anytime soon. In other words, enjoy your naturally aspirated 3.0 V6 or 3.6 etc. (also Cruze’s cruddly 1.6L and not much better, non DI 1.4)

    The problem is that GM has a way of ‘massaging’ their lineup, or under-engineering their cars based on what else they offer…for the new Impala, the pecking order will be:

    Cadillac XTS (EpII – LWB)
    Buick Lacrosse (EpII – LWB)
    Chevy Impala (EpII- LWB)

    It will still likely sell ok to good, but the reason will be because it will be the entry to the platform on ‘the cheap,’ as opposed to the Impala of today, which was bought moreso becuase of its uniqueness…and the lack of any similar car on the market to due the extinction of this type of platform.


  87. 87
    George
    George Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:04 pm)

    Don’t forget as well, that with greater efficiencies in the Gen II Volt’s design (e.g., more efficient motor, lighter battery/engine/materials, more aerodynamic etc.) that you’ll be able to get more range out of essentially the same size battery, even without taking into account the improved energy density and efficiency of the batteries themselves and (hopefully) 90% utilization of the battery’s range. And of course, the charge sustaining engine will be (hopefully) more efficient as well…

    Good news all around here…go Volt!!

    George, Sudbury, Canada


  88. 88
    Jim I
    Jim I Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:04 pm)

    Rush: For those nitpicking about not enough being sold or there being 25 cars on lots, don’t forget, it’s only been released in a few states!Once this baby goes nationwide sales will increase tremendously. I’d bet that some, even in the roll out states are being patient and seeing how it goes for 6 months or so, and even fewer people are willing to drive over 2 states if there is a service issue.I think the Volt is a clear success.    

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

    Agreed!

    I will not buy a Volt until it is available from my LOCAL dealer! And I think that there are many more people just like me that live in the other 47 states………. Plus, I wonder if those dealers with inventory are the ones that have added a “Premium” to the MSRP. I realize that the one dealer that posted here the other day said no, but was that the policy from day one, or modified when they saw the resistance to it?

    JMHO


  89. 89
    Jackson
    Jackson Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:15 pm)

    Jim I: I wonder if those dealers with inventory are the ones that have added a “Premium” to the MSRP. I realize that the one dealer that posted here the other day said no, but was that the policy from day one, or modified when they saw the resistance to it?

    The dealership I reported on a couple of months back does not add a premium over MSRP for any model it sells (they are hoping and planning to be THE Volt dealer in the Atlanta area).

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?6099-Out-of-initial-release-area-Dealers-and-the-Volt

    There are poor dealerships in every market, and people come to know who they are. A dealer prepared to deal fairly pre Volt is most likely to deal fairly whenever the make is available in a particular area. Anyone who is new to the area they live in should chat up acquaintances for their experiences; this is the best guide. Short of this, I don’t know if I’d trust the posted offerings I’ve seen here; even if they were in my area.

    .


  90. 90
    DonC
    DonC Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:21 pm)

    Tagamet: I was thinking the same thing, but didn’t want to come off like some smooshy, metrosexual.

    Not to worry. We know you Tag and you’re no metrosexual! LOL (Although a “butterfly’s kiss” might cause us to reconsider …)


  91. 91
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:23 pm)

    Jim I,

    I guess I’m remembering much more of the “GM’s not really serious about this” and “look what they did the last time” discussions. In the VERY early days, I thought that statik was pretty sure that it wouldn’t be produced. That stance evolved into “I’ll buy one from the first mfg that has a given range (100 miles?), that’s available in Canada”. I *know* that he and I were each others yin and yang (I was the sunny side of the mountain – Yang). Overall, statik got far more “right” than I did.
    In any case that’s, as you said, “history”.
    We’ve come a long way! (lol).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  92. 92
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:25 pm)

    DonC:
    Not to worry. We know you Tag and you’re no metrosexual! LOL (Although a “butterfly’s kiss” might cause us to reconsider …)    

    I knew I should have said a butterfly’s belch…. (lol).
    Thanks, DonC.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  93. 93
    John W (Tampa)
    John W (Tampa) Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:29 pm)

    GM needs to put WiFi in the Volt so I can use the Iphone App even after the free Onstar expires, I know I’d frequently use the app to precondition my vehicle in the hot Florida summers, but I dont see myself paying for Onstar after the initial free service contract expires. Hear me GM! WiFi enable the app! please :)


  94. 94
    Rashiid Amul
    Rashiid Amul Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:34 pm)

    mikeinatl.: Lyle, Static, Don C, Captain Jack, Tagamet, Rashid, Noel and more….What a cast of characters today!This is like the old days when we didnt know what VOLT would look like or if it would ever even get built.Warms my heart to see the ole gang back together.GO VOLT!Mikeinatl    

    mikeinatl.: Lyle, Static, Don C, Captain Jack, Tagamet, Rashid, Noel and more….What a cast of characters today!This is like the old days when we didnt know what VOLT would look like or if it would ever even get built.Warms my heart to see the ole gang back together.GO VOLT!Mikeinatl    

    It is great to be here.
    I read this blog very often, but don’t post as often as I used to.
    I am in school and in the middle of changing careers. It takes a lot of time.
    But you guys are all great and I too enjoy seeing the name of friends I have come to respect.


  95. 95
    CaptJackSparrow
    CaptJackSparrow Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:39 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: I too enjoy seeing the name of friends I have come to respect

    ……..tear.
    :-)

    /I love you guys maaaaannnn…………..but you can’t have my beer!


  96. 96
    kdawg
    kdawg Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:50 pm)

    Charlie H: If that’s true, they’re making a Volt about every half hour

    That’s quite a bit slower than the typical car which has a 60second cycle time. I can’t wait till they are at those production #’s.


  97. 97
    Raymondjram
    Raymondjram Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:50 pm)

    maharguitar: I didn’t know that they had to design all new HVAC, steering, and brakes.I thought GM had electric versions of these already on some models.There are quite a few opportunities to reduce costs there without reducing quality.    

    GM developed the electric power steering for the Pontiac Fiero in the late 1980s. Then they added it as rear wheel steering in some trucks. Most of the present production vehicles use electric power assist which is based on that system, and which is what I have on my 2009 Equinox. There is one less fluid to check under the hood!

    The article is exaggerating a bit, because GM used some systems from present models to build the “mules” and tested them all together before producing the Volt.

    Raymond


  98. 98
    Dan Petit
    Dan Petit Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:52 pm)

    I’ve never seen such intense, relentless, dedicated, and practical responsiveness to customer desires in all my life. GM has really provided corporate America (and corporate Global) an unsurpassed set of examples that the customer comes first. This is really a set of lessons for the customer as well, that patience pays [really well].

    I see lots of exceptional quality in the designs of current popular vehicle brands.

    To do all that while at the same time bringing forth all manner of incredible new technology is still a breathtaking journey for so many. There just isn’t anything else this exciting.

    Just mentioning that we needed the costs to come down a few days ago, and then this terrific thread appears. This is just a magnificent experience to witness. You just do not have this exceptional level of responsiveness for including the public to witness technological development! And, it certainly continually captures the public’s participation.


  99. 99
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (5:54 pm)

    rtmey2000: You guys are crazy. I have been driving my volt for 2 weeks now. The quality of this car is on par with my wife’s 2010 BMW 3 series. That car is priced today at 38,000. There is no way with the quality of the car they can drive the price below the mid to high thirties. Unless you want a car that has poor quality.

    #75

    Well said! Good man! +1


  100. 100
    kdawg
    kdawg Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:00 pm)

    Unni: In my Opinion, GM should work with Toyota for this. There were reports saying Toyota is in advanced stage for production of electric motors that do not require rare earth elements.

    Car companies are not the only ones working on this. I was reading an article yesterday about GE working on electric motors for the auto industry. The wave has begun and everyone is starting to surf.


  101. 101
    kdawg
    kdawg Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:04 pm)

    Jackson: The presently stated range is 25 – 50 miles

    john1701a: That has already been abandoned. Last week’s press-release from GM provided this new statement:
    “For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas-and-tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery.”

    Last time I checked, 35 is betwen 25 and 50.


  102. 102
    Dan Petit
    Dan Petit Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:06 pm)

    /..ran out of edit time. The next to last sentence needed to read “You do not usually…”.
    (/..time for a day off maybe..lol)


  103. 103
    Dan Petit
    Dan Petit Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:10 pm)

    I’d like GM to consider working with Honda on EREV if mutually feasible.
    I wonder if Honda might be interested in some participation in these technologies?
    Maybe one or the other CEO’s could send this post to the other (hint)?


  104. 104
    kdawg
    kdawg Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:12 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: No Power Sunroof (Actually No Sunroof at all!!)

    It doesnt have a sunroof.


  105. 105
    kdawg
    kdawg Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:20 pm)

    bookdabook: Silently motoring along in #135 without ever using OnStar,

    You don’t pre-condition your Volt?


  106. 106
    CaptJackSparrow
    CaptJackSparrow Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:20 pm)

    kdawg: It doesnt have a sunroof.

    Inclusion by cut & paste…..

    /what can I say,…….. i’m lazy.


  107. 107
    DonC
    DonC Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:23 pm)

    kdawg: Last time I checked, 35 is betwen 25 and 50. 

    It’s also the official EPA number. It’s hard to argue with the adage: When in doubt go official!

    I actually have far less issue with the 25 – 50 mile range which GM cites for the Volt than with Nissan saying the Leaf will go “about 100 miles” when the EPA number is 73 miles. I just think thee are setting up expectations which may not be fulfilled.


  108. 108
    Jackson
    Jackson Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:24 pm)

    bookdabook: Silently motoring along in #135 without ever using OnStar

    kdawg: You don’t pre-condition your Volt?

    ?? Surely there is a way to pre-condition the Volt without using OnStar?!

    .


  109. 109
    CaptJackSparrow
    CaptJackSparrow Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:24 pm)

    bookdabook: Silently motoring along in #135 without ever using OnStar

    Kind of sucks that although you haven’t used it or may never use it, you still paid for it.

    /but thats just me.


  110. 110
    kdawg
    kdawg Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:27 pm)

    Nelson: My Volt got hit with its first bird dropping.

    Wait till the first ding. I swear new cars are magnets for idiots opening their doors.


  111. 111
    Herm
    Herm Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:48 pm)

    Tom W: 60

    maharguitar: GM feels that 40 miles is the sweet spot for an EREV. I doubt that they will spend too much time messing with that.

    Yes that is the sweet spot. But there are also lots of customers that drive 60 miles a day and can’t charge at work like Lyle.

    Statik mentioned that men average about 60 miles per day, women less.. the overall number for both is 40 miles.. so there is probably a market for a 60miles AER.


  112. 112
    volt11
    volt11 Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (6:52 pm)

    James: Dear GM -How about some vibrant colors for the Volt color palette?I own a Prius approx the exact color of the current red Volt – and it’s great in the sun, but in rainy Seattle it just won’t pop.

    I have a red Volt and someone at work has the red Prius. There’s no comparison, really. Volt red is much more vibrant.


  113. 113
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (7:16 pm)

    jeffhre: Critical thinking skills are called critical for a very good reason.

    #78

    True that, LOL. +1


  114. 114
    CorvetteGuy
    CorvetteGuy Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (7:20 pm)

    Did I get on the “bad boy list”? My posts go to ‘awaiting moderation’ for the past 2 days.

    Anyways, I don’t post as much here now that sales have started moving up. The past 2 months have been much better. Call it the “VOLT halo” if you want, but people are coming into the showroom again in greater numbers. The past 4 weekends have been very strong.

    If GM can get the price of a base VOLT down to $35,000.00 then I think our order list will TRIPLE. Not to mention the Fleet Sales I could line up for the 2012 models.

    Someone find a Ninja and start slashing those prices!


  115. 115
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (7:21 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: But you guys are all great and I too enjoy seeing the name of friends I have come to respect.

    #92

    Right back at you brother. +1


  116. 116
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (7:22 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: /I love you guys maaaaannnn…………..but you can’t have my beer!

    #93

    You too, LOL. +1


  117. 117
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (7:25 pm)

    kdawg: It doesnt have a sunroof.

    #102

    Thank you God. +1


  118. 118
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (7:27 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Did I get on the “bad boy list”? My posts go to ‘awaiting moderation’ for the past 2 days.

    Anyways, I don’t post as much here now that sales have started moving up. The past 2 months have been much better. Call it the “VOLT halo” if you want, but people are coming into the showroom again in greater numbers. The past 4 weekends have been very strong.

    #112

    Great news! +1


  119. 119
    MichaelH
    MichaelH Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (7:44 pm)

    BTW, what is the update on llama sales/deliveries?

    What is the difference between a lama, a llama, and a 3-L lllama?

    The first is a monk, the second an animal, and the third a huge fire. :)


  120. 120
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (7:56 pm)

    Noel Park:
    #102Thank you God.+1    

    You’re welcome…. wait, did I say that out loud?

    Oh well,
    Tagamet


  121. 121
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:03 pm)

    MichaelH: BTW, what is the update on llama sales/deliveries?What is the difference between a lama, a llama, and a 3-L lllama? The first is a monk, the second an animal, and the third a huge fire.     

    GROAN.

    “The phrase originated as a pun in a short poem by Ogden Nash. In a footnote, Nash explains:

    The author’s attention has been called to a type of conflagration known as a three-alarmer. Pooh.”

    It’s getting late….

    Be well anyway,
    Tagamet


  122. 122
    theflew
    theflew Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:17 pm)

    John W (Tampa),

    You can worry about that problem 5 years from now when your OnStar membership expires.


  123. 123
    haroldc
    haroldc Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (8:57 pm)

    if this is true , lt’s very interesting

    1. Lee Raymond, Big Oil Fat Cat.

    And the fattest cat of them all is … Lee Raymond of ExxonMobile! Lee Raymond, the retiring CEO and Chairman of the world’s largest oil company got a retirement package worth $400 million, one of the most generous retirement packages ever.

    Exxon is giving Lee Raymond one of the most generous retirement packages in history, nearly $400 million, including pension, stock options and other perks, such as a $1 million consulting deal, two years of home security, personal security, a car and driver, and use of a corporate jet for professional purposes. (via ABC News)

    That just so happened to work out to be $141,000 a day, nearly $6,000 an hour or $100 a minute.

    In 2005, amidst rising gas prices at pumps across the world, Exxon made $36 billion, the biggest profit of any company in history. Meanwhile, Raymond, told Congress that gas prices were high because of global supply and demand, claiming that “We’re all in this together, everywhere in the world”.

    Lee Raymond’s gargantuan retirement package truly qualifies Raymond as Neatorama’s Fattest Fat Cat Ever!

    wonder if he ordered a volt?………….


  124. 124
    haroldc
    haroldc Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:02 pm)

    probably waiting for the price to drop……..

    enduring CVES till ths fall…..sigh


  125. 125
    Rashiid Amul
    Rashiid Amul Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:07 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    ……..tear.
    /I love you guys maaaaannnn…………..but you can’t have my beer!    

    OK. but can I have your Kahula?


  126. 126
    kdawg
    kdawg Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:27 pm)

    Jackson: ?? Surely there is a way to pre-condition the Volt without using OnStar?!

    You could run out to your car ahead of time and start it? I think the MyVolt Ap uses cell phone towers (OnStar) to communicate w/the Volt. I also recall people not being able to program a time for their Volt to pre-condition. So I think OnStar is necessary. I hope to be wrong, because I dont know if I would keep OnStar after the 5 years are gone, but I would still want the communication features. I just dont want the navigation/vehicle assistance stuff that comes w/OnStar.

    EDIT: I think you actually can’t run out & start it. Doesn’t the VOlt prevent itself from being started if its still plugged in? Maybe you could tell it to condition itself, but not start.. i dunno.


  127. 127
    pjkPA
    pjkPA Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:50 pm)

    The only way I would cut costs is to make more options… never jeopardize quality.

    Maybe making options and have a stripped down version.. call it a base model. I personally do not need many of the electronic gizmos.. not even the screens. I bought a car without a radio once. I’m only going to work or the store. I do not need leather seats or a 30 gig hard drive.

    I’ll buy the electric technology… I could care less about toys… a stripped down utility cuv like the Amp or even a more utilitarian truck like vehicle. Just give us a tough reliable electric without frills. The only option I would get is Onstar…. May not even need air conditioning… make it a option.

    The Volt is really the best technology …. don’t mess with the quality… you should make that clear that you are not messing with the quality.

    Having the largest most comprehensive proving grounds in Milford.. you should be using Milford as a sales tool…. while most mfrs only have a few miles of proving grounds.. GM has over 126 miles of proving grounds at MILFORD.. not many people know that. The only 5 mile oval in the world. GM does more pre production testing than any other mfr.


  128. 128
    GreenWin
    GreenWin Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (9:50 pm)

    bookdabook: Yes improve the batteries, keep the monitors/screens -can’t be that expensive (talk about economy of scale, every device has them) and make the OnStar an option. Cutting OnStar would save $1-3K.

    Yes, except that OnStar is essentially a dispatch service available to drivers via a standard cell phone transceiver. Even with multi-system functionality – OnStar is already paid for by GM. And the hardware (a cellphone) is very inexpensive and often given away by carriers.

    A lighter, smaller ICE for the genset would cut some cost – provided they scale it into other product lines like the 1.4L they use now.


  129. 129
    Eco_Turbo
    Eco_Turbo Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:02 pm)

  130. 130
    kdawg
    kdawg Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:04 pm)

    haroldc,

    OT related to Oil, but don’t forget this recent “fat-cat” announcement:
    ———————————
    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had announced a $12.6 million stock bonus for CEO Lloyd Blankfein in 2010, and raised his base salary to $2 million this year, from $600,000

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/goldmans-blankfein-gets-126-mn-2010-stock-bonus/articleshow/7394392.cms
    ———————————

    I’m sure this guy doesn’t know what a Chevy Volt is.


  131. 131
    kdawg
    kdawg Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:10 pm)

    Eco_Turbo,

    Also OT
    This was on NOVA tonight. Pretty good discussion of a lot of things we talk about on this site (energy/batteries/CO2). Watch it on TV if you get a chance.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/making-stuff-cleaner.html


  132. 132
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (10:17 pm)

    Eco_Turbo,

    I’ll bet that those magnets pose an interesting challenge to ship.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  133. 133
    evnow
    evnow Says

     

    Feb 2nd, 2011 (11:48 pm)

    DonC: It’s also the official EPA number. It’s hard to argue with the adage: When in doubt go official! I actually have far less issue with the 25 – 50 mile range which GM cites for the Volt than with Nissan saying the Leaf will go “about 100 miles” when the EPA number is 73 miles. I just think thee are setting up expectations which may not be fulfilled.  

    Actually, Nissan has always said 100 miles in LA4 (urban) cycle. They have even given range under various conditions – from 60 to 140. These are on the website quite prominently.


  134. 134
    john1701a
    john1701a Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (12:12 am)

    Tagamet: …some of the most heated discussions centered on whether the Volt would ever actually make it to production.

    The devil is in the details. That history is extremely well documented too. Let’s not forget how often the topic of goals was brought up for this very reason.

    What was called “Volt” back then is not what is being produced now. The issue was really a matter of when not if. The next generation of Volt will be considerably closer to what was originally promoted.

    In the meantime, there’s a vehicle enthusiasts really like that doesn’t match the purchase-priorities of mainstream consumers. In other words, the heated discussions may be over but there is some waiting still.

    .


  135. 135
    DonC
    DonC Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (1:16 am)

    evnow: Actually, Nissan has always said 100 miles in LA4 (urban) cycle. They have even given range under various conditions – from 60 to 140. These are on the website quite prominently.

    They just always say something like “around 100 miles, some will get more”. An example of this is the interview the Nissan marketing guy did with Autoline Detroit. For some places — like where the first cars are going — that may be more likely to be true, but generally speaking the average should be close to the EPA rating. Looking at the EPA numbers, if the 25-50 mile estimate is right for the Volt then a range of 55-110 miles would be right for the Leaf. The 140 miles is really stretching it. No doubt someone might be able to do it, people got 58 miles in the Volt, but it’s not normal.

    I just think over hyping the range is not a good approach. It could backfire big time. For many people 73 miles is more than enough. I think they should stick with that official number, especially since, as proved by the Volt, over a range of driving conditions and drivers this should be accurate. (Except for John who would take the lowest AER ever recorded and use that as the benchmark).


  136. 136
    Sean
    Sean Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (4:30 am)

    Finally! GM may lower the price of the Volt and even better an alternative battery that may not use rare earth metals now that’s what I want to here! If this keeps on going in the right direction you never know we could see electric cars with a range like 250 to 300 miles of electric range or more at an affordable price who knows only time will tell? Agree?


  137. 137
    Sean
    Sean Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (4:38 am)

    I meant hear not here sorry about my misspelling.


  138. 138
    Tagamet
    Tagamet Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (6:24 am)

    OT: Our President is coming to visit us in central Pa today (State College) to promote green energy tech. Scheduled for yesterday but we had a bit of snow and ice. Wish I didn’t have to work, but glad to *have* the work.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  139. 139
    Dave G
    Dave G Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (8:33 am)

    pjkPA: The only way I would cut costs is to make more options… never jeopardize quality.

    The main thing that makes the Volt expensive is it’s relativly low sales volume. When they hit 200,000 units a year, the costs will start to decrease, and the quality will actually improve.

    As an example, when flatscreen TVs first came out, they were very expensive. Now that flatscreen TVs are mainstream, the price is much lower, and the quality is much better than it was when they were expensive. And this is all using the same basic technology (LCD and plasma).

    As another example, when the first iPhone came out, it cost $600. Then after a 6 months, they lowered the price to $400 for the same phone, and since they had worked the bugs out, the quality was actully better.

    Bottom line: Lower costs don’t always mean lower quality. In fact, cost and quailty are often unrelated when it comes to new markets.


  140. 140
    john1701a
    john1701a Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (9:12 am)

    Dave G: When they hit 200,000 units a year, the costs will start to decrease

    Not until 200,000! How long will that take? Better take a look at the monthly sales numbers for a reality check…

    http://media.gm.com/content/Pages/news/us/en/2011/Feb/0104_gmsales/_jcr_content/rightpar/sectioncontainer/par/download/file.res/Deliveries%20January%202011.pdf

    .


  141. 141
    Noel Park
    Noel Park Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (11:38 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    OK. but can I have your Kahula?    

    #123

    LMAO!!! +1


  142. 142
    igotzzoom
    igotzzoom Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (1:00 pm)

    I think a slightly de-contented version would be a good idea. Rather than the two full LCD displays, they could have the center display, and a display similar to the MyFord Touch display with an analog speedometer in the middle flanked by configurable smaller displays on each side. Either that, or a lower-res LCD display, similar to the Honda Civic. But if they could bring the cost down while keeping quality and features up, all the better.


  143. 143
    mikeinatl.
    mikeinatl. Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (8:53 pm)

    Wow,

    Corvette Guy and much of the rest of the gang showed up too.

    All we are missing here now is The Llama.


  144. 144
    JP
    JP Says

     

    Feb 3rd, 2011 (11:34 pm)

    I read this on CNN yesterday. Great news!!!


  145. 145
    Steve
    Steve Says

     

    Feb 8th, 2011 (6:16 pm)

    So does next gen mean the 2012 model or the next major respin a few years down the line and will the $7500 credit still be around then?


  146. 146
    wayne jones
    wayne jones Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2011 (12:05 am)

    are the batts made in china?


  147. 147
    katgod
    katgod Says

     

    Feb 18th, 2011 (2:15 pm)

    The cells are made in Korea presently and the battery is assembled in the USA to the best of my knowledge. The cells will be made in the USA at some point in the future


  148. 148
    katgod
    katgod Says

     

    Feb 18th, 2011 (2:29 pm)

    For those worried about rare earth metals, as far as I know the Volt uses a AC induction motor like the original EV1 for the main motor and does not require magnets. The part that is not as clear is what is used in the generator on the Volt. Does anyone know? I am not concerned about the rare earth metals just curious if a good generator can be made without magnets.


  149. 149
    Shawn
    Shawn Says

     

    Feb 21st, 2011 (2:06 pm)

    This is the Motor Trend Car of the Year….garbage. The Volt is over-priced, under-engineered and totally missed the target market. Better get on V2 or sales are going to tank and GM’s recovery will be a would have, should have, could have scenario. Set your eyes on the Prius, but much better……