May 10

Bob Lutz defends his stance against Volt detractors; heaps more praise on the car

 

Sounding somewhat like he’d emulated heavyweight fighter Jack Dempsey’s philosophy who said, “the best defense is a good offense,” yesterday Bob Lutz defended his recent fighting back against right-leaning Chevy Volt detractors, while in related news, he continued to rally support for the car.

The occasion for defending his approach was while speaking at the Electric Car Symposium, EVS26, in Los Angeles. There, Lutz said he thinks his strongly rebutting the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly was effective at helping restore respect for his former employer’s halo vehicle.

“It’s unfortunate the Volt became the target of the right-wing propaganda machine,” said Lutz. At the end of January he wrote a strongly worded editorial for Forbes countering the flippant regard for facts by fellow conservatives who he termed “the wrong-headed right.”

 

Lutz, an outspoken denier of the theory of global warming, said electric vehicle advocates ought to focus on the prospect of enhanced domestic energy security for maximum effect.

Unfortunately, he said, EVs cost too much, and offer too little distance traveled per charge to make believers out of most consumers.

“Range has to go up. Price has go down,” he said.

And he could be right in gauging mainstream perceptions. Yesterday also, Elon Musk of Tesla Motors said if drivers of the pending 85-kwh version of the Model S really nurse it, they may see as many as 400 miles on a single charge. He and his team are thinking of what prize to give out should a Model S owner reach this distance.

Of course, 400 miles would be great by EV standards and probably acceptable to the mainstream, but the 85-kwh vehicle’s price can approach six figures. Meanwhile also yesterday, VW got attention for a world record 1,626 miles squeezed from a single tank-full of diesel by a stock 2012 Pasatt TDI carefully driven by a hypermiling husband and wife pair from Texas to Virginia.

Those are two production car peak range benchmarks – the electric one having yet to be attained – and the disparity between internal combustion and electric capability remains significant in the public’s eye. More to the point, EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Focus Electric get somewhere around 70-100 miles range, and that more-common level is where the average consumer’s real range objection lies.

As for Lutz’s perspective, he said electric vehicles make sense in larger sizes where the potential gains are greater compared to fuel-driven counterparts.

And speaking of larger electrified vehicles, Lutz managed a plug for the plug-in VIA Motors Chevy trucks, which are range extended, built on some lessons learned by the Volt, a car for which Lutz is undeniably proud.

So proud he is of the Volt, in fact, at another event in suburban Detroit, Lutz was recorded by Automotive News expounding on the benefits the Volt has brought, and its implications for the industry.

On the sidelines Automotive News asked him whether the Volt would have been better suited as a Cadillac, given its price of $40,000-plus before incentives. Lutz agreed in part, but explained the rationale.

“The sticker shock would have been less and the acceptance of the vehicle as being value for money would have been quicker,” Lutz said, “But it would have had the disadvantage of not having the global potential that Chevrolet has. The reason we selected Chevrolet is that it is the ubiquitous General Motors’ nameplate.”

In any case, Lutz went on to tell industry leaders in a speech that the Volt has had a deeply positive effect for its maker and its symbolic value has also been great.

“The Chevy Volt single-handedly reversed GM’s declining reputation for innovation and technological excellence,” Lutz said. “I mean it was at a point where everybody was pointing to wonderful Toyota; Toyota the savior of the planet, the greenest car company on earth, the producers of the wonderful Prius … ”

That said, Lutz projected the internal combustion engine will be around for perhaps 20 or 25 more years, adding that the faster battery energy storage potential goes up, and the faster their prices go down, the sooner will come the day when the internal combustion engine is made obsolete “because it simply won’t be needed anymore.”

But in the meantime, as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandates come into stricter effect, Lutz said every maker will need a percentage of electrified hybridization in its fleet to make the cut.

Collaboration with suppliers for new vehicles from their inception is also the way to go, he said, a lesson GM has since learned compared to previous administrations.

USA Today, Automotive News

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 69


  1. 1
    HaroldC

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    May 10th, 2012 (6:14 am)

    Keep up the good work Mr. Lutz……and GM…..hurry it up a bit and put more Volts on the dealership’s lots. They will sell when buyers see more choices…
    HaroldC


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    Roy_H

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    May 10th, 2012 (6:34 am)

    As for Lutz’s perspective, he said electric vehicles make sense in larger sizes where the potential gains are greater compared to fuel-driven counterparts.

    Comeon Chevy, when are we going to see some Voltec SUVs?

    I wonder, if GM were to replace ALL automatics with the 2-Mode, would the high production be able to get the 2-Mode price close to the price of the automatic? I also think the name 2-Mode is uninspiring and it should be referred to as an infinitely variable transmission. The industry is heading in the one-upmanship of who can put the most gears into an automatic transmission, “infinite” sounds better than “2-Mode”.


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    Mark Z

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    May 10th, 2012 (6:39 am)

    The Tesla showroom interactive displays allow the customer to change parameters to see the factors that allow for a 350 to 400 mile range. One thing not mentioned in the blog is how a 90 degree day will provide greater battery range. With the A/C off during the day, it’s gonna be a warm ride to approach the higher numbers. The long distance prize better be worth the effort! Now where can I drive 30 mph on a downhill and flat road for almost 500 miles? Seems Barstow to Chico, CA may be an option.


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    Loboc

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    May 10th, 2012 (8:17 am)

    Always good to hear from Maximum Bob. Some of his philosophy is counter-intuitive, but, always entertaining and informative.

    Something new here for me. I never understood the selection of Chevrolet for a high-tech introduction. Using Chevy because of the global reach wasn’t on my radar. This is longer-term thinking than most would attribute to GM or any American company.


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    Tim Hart

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    May 10th, 2012 (8:35 am)

    Bob Lutz has done a good job of refuting the ignorance that is out there concerning the Volt but I think it is hard for the average car buyer to understand the combination of the superior driving experience the Volt offers along with the low cost of operation. For those of us who have had the car for awhile those benefits are obvious. I can’t wait for the day when we see Volts all over the place!


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    dax777

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    May 10th, 2012 (8:37 am)

    Bob Lutz is well suited in his leadership role of the Volt, when he speaks, people listen, even the Talking Heads that have no idea what they’re talking about…


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    kdawg

     

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    May 10th, 2012 (8:38 am)

    If you want to hear Mr. Lutz speak some more, he will be speaking tonight in Ypsi, at the EMU campus

    An Evening With Bob Lutz
    http://www.afsdetroit.com/wordpress/?p=11


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    usaisgreat

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    May 10th, 2012 (8:57 am)

    THe VOLT is a great car. Interesting thing about the comment on the VW Passat and the couple setting a mileage record on a tank of fuel. Their record was 87.9 mpg. Now they went to extremes to get that kind of mileage. Yet the VOLT betters that mileage without even trying, day in day out, and on your typical trip. Yup the VOLT is that good!

    So the VOLT is a car who’s time has come and the real leaders are following the VOLT’s lead.


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    May 10th, 2012 (8:58 am)

    Mark Z:
    The Tesla showroom interactive displays allow the customer to change parameters to see the factors that allow for a 350 to 400 mile range. One thing not mentioned in the blog is how a 90 degree day will provide greater battery range. With the A/C off during the day, it’s gonna be a warm ride to approach the higher numbers. The long distance prize better be worth the effort! Now where can I drive 30 mph on a downhill and flat road for almost 500 miles? Seems Barstow to Chico, CA may be an option.

    the biggest obstacle to the practical deployment of long range electric vehicles is the amount of time that it takes to recharge the battery. when i hear talk of 400 mile range/charge, the question you have to ask is how long the recharge cycle is. on a tesla, recharge cycles can exceed 30 hours at 120v. to get even reasonable recharge cycles you’re probably looking at 240v at 70a.


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    May 10th, 2012 (9:08 am)

    Tim Hart:
    Bob Lutz has done a good job of refuting the ignorance that is out there concerning the Volt but I think it is hard for the average car buyer to understand the combination of the superior driving experience the Volt offers along with the low cost of operation. For those of us who have had the car for awhile those benefits are obvious. I can’t wait for the day when we see Volts all over the place!

    the volt is a niche car which i would not expect to see “all over the place”. while the volt allows you to avoid some of the inconveniences of gasoline vehicles, like oil changes ever 3,500 miles; it creates its own set of inconveniences, like the need to keep the vehicle plugged into an outlet. of course if you have a house with a garage, keeping the car plugged in is not an inconvenience at all (and is, in fact, one of the conveniences when compared to having to handle filthy gasoline dispensers at the gas station); but if you live in an apartment with parking in a parking lot (or on the street), then it can be inconvenient to find a way to keep the vehicle plugged in on a regular basis. furthermore, one of the negative aspects of the volt is that the sight lines are rather poor. on further consideration, they probably are not that poor when compared to other sporty vehicles, but compared to the generic family sedan, the volt’s sight lines are poor. so i would think that the appeal of the volt would be to people who care for more sporty designs. that said, i don’t think that the volt’s design is over-the-top when it comes to sportiness – i typically don’t like cars promoted as “sporty” cars, but i do like the appearance of the volt.


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    Calivolt

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    May 10th, 2012 (9:10 am)

    I have loved driving my Volt since I got it in December 2010. And, yes, I want to see more people buy the Volts so they can have the same wonderful experience. But, it is bittersweet, as I see and talk to more Volt owners here in Northern California – in the early days my Volt (VIN136) was so unique. Slightly more range and acceleration are what I am looking for next – GM, I hope you are working on a SS to entice me when my lease is up in Jan 2014!


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    May 10th, 2012 (9:11 am)

    no comment: the biggest obstacle to the practical deployment of long range electric vehicles is the amount of time that it takes to recharge the battery. when i hear talk of 400 mile range/charge, the question you have to ask is how long the recharge cycle is. on a tesla, recharge cycles can exceed 30 hours at 120v. to get even reasonable recharge cycles you’re probably looking at 240v at 70a.

    I think it’s under 2 minutes at a battery swap station.


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    ronr64

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    May 10th, 2012 (9:31 am)

    Bob has a lot of credibility on the right. Why? Because it took guts to say that he thinks Global Warming is B.S. (Yes, I capitalized it because it has a life of its own is not to be confused with any actual temperature changes the planet may be experiencing…) So just like the Volt has done more to change the minds of the American, and even the rest of world’s car buying public’s minds about GM engineering expertise, so has Mr. Lutz done more to douse the flames of the anti-Volt right wing rhetoric. He has been very public with his op-eds and his interviews but I wonder if he has done many one on ones?

    He has a ton of charisma so he is extremely likable and I think he would do well taking some of these critics on in a more personnel setting. Say a Saturday afternoon golfing with Neil Cavuto, or Rush Limbaugh. Taking them for a spin in the car afterwards, showing them how easy it is to treat like a “normal” car. Explaining and showing them the economics of it as it applies for a typical driver. Now none of this address things such as opposition to the subsidies or govt ownership etc. But it might get them to realize that the car itself is not only not the enemy but is actually quite wonderful. One can dream anyway, right?


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    Clarksoncote

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    May 10th, 2012 (9:33 am)

    Comment on Tesla’s 400 mile range…

    Too bad half the energy in Tesla’s battery gets consumed in only a week’s time while thermally conditioning their battery when parked (taken directly from their owners manual).

    Think about it, they use enough energy to travel over 100 miles, just to keep the battery in some tight thermal window over a week’s time.

    If that was factored into their EPA numbers, I think it would show the vehicle would be a whole lot less environmentally friendly.

    Aside from the fact that this can lead to a Tesla “brick”, from an energy use standpoint I really think they need to update their firmware. Something there isn’t right, or was designed very badly.

    join thE REVolution


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    Mark Z

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    May 10th, 2012 (9:39 am)

    kdawg: I think it’s under 2 minutes at a battery swap station.

    It is built to be swappable. Until then, here are details from the Tesla site: “With a High Power Wall Connector and Twin Chargers, Model S can be recharged at the rate of 62 miles range per hour. A fifty-percent charge in thirty minutes can be achieved with a Tesla Supercharger.”


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    George S. Bower

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    May 10th, 2012 (9:46 am)

    Roy_H: Comeon Chevy, when are we going to see some Voltec ?

    I wonder, if GM were to replace ALL automatics with the 2-Mode, would the high production be able to get the 2-Mode price close to the price of the automatic? The industry is heading in the one-upmanship of who can put the most gears into an automatic transmission,

    Totally agree. I don’t understand why GM doesn’t get more aggressive w, their 2 mode in trucks and SUV’s. They need to offer a lower cost version. It would be a dynomite combination with their new, lighter, lower drag trucks that are coming out.


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    May 10th, 2012 (9:50 am)

    Mark Z:
    The Tesla showroom interactive displays allow the customer to change parameters to see the factors that allow for a 350 to 400 mile range. One thing not mentioned in the blog is how a 90 degree day will provide greater battery range. With the A/C off during the day, it’s gonna be a warm ride to approach the higher numbers. The long distance prize better be worth the effort! Now where can I drive 30 mph on a downhill and flat road for almost 500 miles? Seems Barstow to Chico, CA may be an option.

    You dog. Are you getting the 300 mile version??
    I am green with envy.


  18. 18
    George S. Bower

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    May 10th, 2012 (9:57 am)

    Tim Hart:
    Bob Lutz has done a good job of refuting the ignorance that is out there concerning the Volt but

    Bob needs to get his message out more to the general public and also state in the message that he is a conservative. Not everyone knows who Bob is.

    Making these statements at a charging conference is like preaching to the choir.

    A TV version of the Forbes article would be good.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    May 10th, 2012 (9:58 am)

    Mark Z,

    Send me a PM if you want to sell your red Volt when you get the S.


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    montgoss

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    May 10th, 2012 (10:01 am)

    no comment: [...] but if you live in an apartment with parking in a parking lot (or on the street), then it can be inconvenient to find a way to keep the vehicle plugged in on a regular basis. [...]

    I’ve lived in an apartment with my Volt for the last year. Any decent apartment complex will accommodate someone looking to plug in their vehicle. A normal 120V outlet is pretty cheap to install, after all. The more people that demand outlets, the more apartment complexes will take notice and start competing. I got an outlet installed partly because the management knew of another apartment complex in the area that had charging hookups. That, coupled with the fact that my lease was up soon, made it a pretty obvious choice for them.


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    Jim I

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    May 10th, 2012 (10:27 am)

    The Volt can’t be all things to all people. It really is that simple.

    If you need to drive long distances on a daily basis, then the real advantage of the Volt is lost.

    If you need to put five people in a vehicle, then the Volt doesn’t fit.

    But if you drive under 40 miles per day, but want to be able to take the long trip now and then, that is where the Volt shines!

    I regularly only use gasoline one day per week. Right now, I am getting about 42 miles of range on the battery pack, and then I get 42 mpg in extended range. 42 / 42 is really impressive, IMHO.

    This is really what impresses people when they ask about my Volt. I tell them that the last time I put gas in the car was Feb 16th, and that I will probably have to put in another 8 gallons sometime in mid May……..

    GM and the GM Volt Team really did this right!

    C-5277 – The Best Car I Have Ever Owned And Proudly Purchased In Youngstown, Ohio


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    stuart22

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    May 10th, 2012 (10:28 am)

    I consider Lutz to be the most credible and pragmatic insider in the EV industry. His motivation to support EVs stands out among the wave of greenies whose predictable, soft glove treatment of everybody other than GM dominate the green media.

    Lutz’s points of view are every bit worth the attention they draw.


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    smithjim1961

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    May 10th, 2012 (10:39 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Truman

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:00 am)

    “It’s unfortunate the Volt became the target of the right-wing propaganda machine,” said Lutz. At the end of January he wrote a strongly worded editorial for Forbes countering the flippant regard for facts by fellow conservatives who he termed “the wrong-headed right.”

    The right-wing propaganda machine went after the wrong victim, this time.

    Calls went out, and many GOP Powers-That-Be have called off the attack dogs.

    Here’s US Blues and World Distort:
    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/05/08/in-defense-of-the-chevy-volt
    In Defense of the Chevy Volt – 2 days ago


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    Truman

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:04 am)

    “The problem with conservatives is getting them to accept that an electric vehicle is not necessarily a left-wing environmental plot,” Lutz said. “They see it as a product of the Obama administration and a product of the green movement, and this is the result of government mandates. It’s taken on a symbolic role in the right-wing media as everything that’s wrong with Big Government, and yet, the vehicle was conceived by private industry.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75449.html


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    Loboc

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:13 am)

    Tim Hart: I can’t wait for the day when we see Volts all over the place!

    I saw an AT&T badged (fleet) Volt yesterday. They weren’t going slow.


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    Loboc

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:17 am)

    no comment: the volt is a niche car which i would not expect to see “all over the place”.

    And yet you define ‘niche’ as anybody with a garage. That’s a pretty big niche.


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    BLIND GUY

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:23 am)

    Former President George Bush was instrumental in starting the $7500 Tax Credit. I would like more Republicans advocating the need for tax credits/instant rebates for electric vehicles. Congress is still reluctant to stop subsidies for Big Oil; despite making billions in profit, yet many in Congress want to stop temporary tax incentives for domestically fueled EVs; go figure. We could use more moderates in both parties to work together, before our differences rip this great nation apart beyond repair JMO.


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    DonC

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:30 am)

    Whether you like Bob Lutz or not the fact is that he was uniquely positioned to take on — in his words — the right wing propaganda machine. Glad he did it.

    I somewhat disagree with focusing solely on energy security. Lots of reasons to favor EVs, one of which is that electricity is simply much cheaper, and cheaper energy leads to higher economic growth and higher energy prices lead to lower growth. (Compare 1985 – 2000 with 2000 – 2012).

    I also don’t believe that EVs have to get as cheap as ICEs. The Volt provides a great quiet and smooth ride with tons of off the line acceleration. Lots of fun to drive. I just wouldn’t want to go back to an ICE at this point. Doing that would be too much of a step backwards.


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    Loboc

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:35 am)

    DonC: I also don’t believe that EVs have to get as cheap as ICEs. The Volt provides a great quiet and smooth ride with tons of off the line acceleration. Lots of fun to drive. I just wouldn’t want to go back to an ICE at this point. Doing that would be too much of a step backwards.

    The economics are difficult to sell. With an EV, you are offsetting gasoline cost up front with the purchase of a large battery. The comparison like-for-like around MSRP doesn’t work because of this.


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    volt11

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:37 am)

    WARNING: POLITICAL CONTENT

    The big problem with Bob Lutz is that despite all of the right-wing anti-Volt, anti-GM propaganda, and let’s face it they are often outright and knowing lies, and despite Romney’s infamous call to “Let Detroit go bankrupt!”, and Romney’s quote that “the Volt is an idea whose time has not come”, you know full well that Lutz is going to walk into that voting booth in November and select Romney. He’s another tiger who won’t change his stripes, no matter what the evidence. And that probably describes most of the GM boardroom. The sheer hypocrisy of that, and of so many Republican voters everywhere who should deep down know better, just staggers me.

    Republicans, why not send your party a message that unless they move away from the tea party and the extreme pseudo-Christian rhetoric, and also show a little bit of leadership on the environment and a sustainable energy policy, they’re not going to get your support? Because sending votes their way is always taken as a “mandate” that everything they said was spot on and is the will of the people. I’m not saying you need to vote for a Democrat, just no-vote the clown candidates that the right is serving up lately! That’s a statistic that would get noticed. I’d like nothing better than to see the Republican party get back to its Eisenhower-style roots, hell even Nixon was a radical socialist by today’s party standards (remember wage and price controls?) Then maybe someday my own “registered Republican” status might see some pro-Republican votes behind it.


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    May 10th, 2012 (11:41 am)

    Roy_H: I also think the name 2-Mode is uninspiring and it should be referred to as an infinitely variable transmission.

    Or perhaps, an “electric transmission.” The commercials could show a car parked next to the diesel/electric locomotive GM pioneered in the ’40s.


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    Jackson

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:43 am)

    volt11:
    WARNING: POLITICAL CONTENT

    The big problem with Bob Lutz is that despite all of the right-wing anti-Volt, anti-GM propaganda, and let’s face it they are often outright and knowing lies, and despite Romney’s infamous call to “Let Detroit go bankrupt!”, and Romney’s quote that “the Volt is an idea whose time has not come”, you know full well that Lutz is going to walk into that voting booth in November and select Romney. He’s another tiger who won’t change his stripes, no matter what the evidence. And that probably describes most of the GM boardroom. The sheer hypocrisy of that, and of so many Republican voters everywhere who should deep down know better, just staggers me.

    Republicans, why not send your party a message that unless they move away from the tea party and the extreme pseudo-Christian rhetoric, and also show a little bit of leadership on the environment and a sustainable energy policy, they’re not going to get your support? Because sending votes their way is always taken as a “mandate” that everything they said was spot on and is the will of the people. I’m not saying you need to vote for a Democrat, just no-vote the clown candidates that the right is serving up lately! That’s a statistic that would get noticed. I’d like nothing better than to see the Republican party get back to its Eisenhower-style roots, hell even Nixon was a radical socialist by today’s party standards (remember wage and price controls?) Then maybe someday my own “registered Republican” status might see some pro-Republican votes behind it.

    Please don’t get us started — especially me. No one on this board will like it if I get started. [-1] (offset by your putting up a warning. [+1] Net effect: no vote).


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    Jackson

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    May 10th, 2012 (11:46 am)

    DonC: I also don’t believe that EVs have to get as cheap as ICEs. The Volt provides a great quiet and smooth ride with tons of off the line acceleration. Lots of fun to drive.

    Agreed.

    As I like to say in this kind of thread:

    People will buy the Volt because it is better.


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    May 10th, 2012 (11:54 am)

    Mark Z: It is built to be swappable. Until then, here are details from the Tesla site: “With a High Power Wall Connector and Twin Chargers, Model S can be recharged at the rate of 62 miles range per hour. A fifty-percent charge in thirty minutes can be achieved with a Tesla Supercharger.”

    No, the Tesla is not. However, whenever someone combines the terms “long range driving” and “BEV”, I have to bring up that the only feasible solution in the near term is swap stations. Yes, ranged extended vehicles do not need this, but a pure BEV does. It could be a Chevy Spark, or a BEV Semi-truck, that gets its battery swapped. Until a major breakthrough in battery technology, anyone that wants to drive from NY to LA will either spend 1/2 their time recharging at “hi-speed” chargers, or spend the same amount of time as they would filling up w/gas by using battery swap stations.


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    May 10th, 2012 (11:54 am)

    BLIND GUY: We could use more moderates in both parties to work together, before our differences rip this great nation apart beyond repair.

    While I appreciate that this is your opinion (and I respect that), I really have to disagree. When moderates in both parties guide policy, they tend to cancel each other out; and nothing substantive gets done. Meanwhile, leftover policies from previous extreme political dogmas continue to tear the nation apart. If the country gets driven into the ditch on one side of the metaphorical road (in my opinion, this is what has happened), we must have an administration and Congress which will make a drastic correction in the other direction.

    Perhaps when the situation has stabilized, we can return to that kind of status quo (to keep going in a straight line).


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:03 pm)

    Jackson: Please don’t get us started — especially me.No one on this board will like it if I get started.[-1] (offset by your putting up a warning. [+1] Net effect: no vote).

    Well, the article is really based on Lutz’s comments about “the right-wing propaganda machine”, so I felt that his politics, and what I think can be fairly termed as his hypocritical loyalty to the R-party, were fair game. But, I’M NOT ENCOURAGING YOU! :)


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:10 pm)

    usaisgreat:
    THe VOLT is a great car. Interesting thing about the comment on the VW Passat and the couple setting a mileage record on a tank of fuel. Their record was 87.9 mpg. Now they went to extremes to get that kind of mileage. Yet the VOLT betters that mileage without even trying, day in day out, and on your typical trip. Yup the VOLT is that good!

    So the VOLT is a car who’s time has come and the real leaders are following the VOLT’s lead.

    It’s the media keeping the public ignorant as they are…
    I still talk to people who think that the Volt can only go 40 miles then needs charged… the Rush Limblaw ignorance has more effect with some people than the truth.
    I even had someone who said that it costs more to run on electric than gas… this is the kind of ignorance that has to be overcome.


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:14 pm)

    DonC: Lots of reasons to favor EVs, one of which is that electricity is simply much cheaper, and cheaper energy leads to higher economic growth and higher energy prices lead to lower growth. (Compare 1985 – 2000 with 2000 – 2012).

    Unfortunately this is a tool the right-wing friends I have try to use against EV’s. They argue electricity is much more expensive than our fossil fuels, and paying more for expensive energy is holding economic growth back. I disagree with them, but just letting you know how they spin it the other way.


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:17 pm)

    OT:

    Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA, Trade ) shares climbed 14.4%. On Wednesday, the company posted a drop in first-quarter revenue and profit, but said it expects to begin delivering its all-electric Model S in June, a month ahead of schedule. The firm also upped the low end of its 2012 revenue estimate.


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:22 pm)

    Roy_H: I wonder, if GM were to replace ALL automatics with the 2-Mode, would the high production be able to get the 2-Mode price close to the price of the automatic?

    #2

    Good idea! +1


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:26 pm)

    kdawg: I think it’s under 2 minutes at a battery swap station.

    #12

    Don’t hold your breath, LOL.


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:28 pm)

    Mark Z: “With a High Power Wall Connector and Twin Chargers, Model S can be recharged at the rate of 62 miles range per hour. A fifty-percent charge in thirty minutes can be achieved with a Tesla Supercharger.”

    #15

    And who’s house has enough electrical service to power them? Maybe Elon Musk’s, LOL.


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:34 pm)

    Jackson: Please don’t get us started

    #33

    Amen! +1


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:37 pm)

    kdawg: I have to bring up that the only feasible solution in the near term is swap stations.

    #35

    And Shai Aggasi will lead us into the light, LMAO. I agree with you that it is the only feasible solution for long range BEV travel, but the colossal cost of the infrastructure will keep it from happening in my lifetime IMHO.


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:43 pm)

    Truman: The right-wing propaganda machine went after the wrong victim, this time.
    Calls went out, and many GOP Powers-That-Be have called off the attack dogs.
    Here’s US Blues and World Distort:
    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/05/08/in-defense-of-the-chevy-volt
    In Defenseof the Chevy Volt – 2 days ago

    From the article you linked:
    “The plug-in Volt, which debuted in late 2010, has become a political target for Republicans, who associate it with the 2009 General Motors bailout”

    The funny part now, is Romney is trying to take credit for the bailout and is saying it was his idea all along. What a joke.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/romney-takes-credit-for-auto-industry-turnaround-reignites-bailout-debate/


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    May 10th, 2012 (12:45 pm)

    HaroldC:
    Keep up the good work Mr. Lutz……and GM…..hurry it up a bit and put more Volts on the dealership’s lots. They will sell when buyers see more choices…
    HaroldC

    #1

    I have never been a big fan of Bob Lutz, and I have made many critical comments about him here. It’s hard for me to say it, but recently he has been forcing me to eat some of my words.

    Nice work Mr. Lutz. +1 HaroldC


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    May 10th, 2012 (1:09 pm)

    kdawg: Unfortunately this is a tool the right-wing friends I have try to use against EV’s. They argue electricity is much more expensive than our fossil fuels, and paying more for expensive energy is holding economic growth back. I disagree with them, but just letting you know how they spin it the other way.

    #39

    “Stupid is as stupid does” Politicians come and politicians go, but the spin goes on forever. +1 FWIW.

    A political science professor interviewed on NPR yesterday pointed out that in the Bush II v. Kerry election cycle the Republicans were criticizing the Democratic candidate as being an out of touch elitist rich person from Massachusetts, and the Democrats were criticizing Bush for politicizing foreign affairs in the form of 9/11. Now the Democrats are criticizing the Republican candidate for being an out of touch elitist rich person from Massachusetts, and the Republicans are criticizing Obama for politicizing foreign affairs in the form of the killing of OBL.


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    May 10th, 2012 (1:11 pm)

    kdawg: The funny part now, is Romney is trying to take credit for the bailout and is saying it was his idea all along. What a joke.

    #46

    Yeah, as my Dad used to say “I don’t know whether to laugh of cry”. +1

    See also #48, LOL.


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    May 10th, 2012 (1:54 pm)

    I’m a fan but the only way electric cars like the Volt will ever have mass appeal is when fast charging a battery becomes a reality. The general public uses the family car to go on vacation not just 40 to 100 miles around town. Even though you can use the generator for longer trips, the economics are not there yet nor is the storage room for luggage. We’ll get there but we’re not there yet.

    Want to became an instant billionaire? Design a better energy storage system. Our batteries just don’t cut it.


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    May 10th, 2012 (2:09 pm)

    Truman: The right-wing propaganda machine went after the wrong victim, this time.

    Calls went out, and many GOP Powers-That-Be have called off the attack dogs.

    Here’s US Blues and World Distort:
    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/05/08/in-defense-of-the-chevy-volt
    In Defense of the Chevy Volt – 2 days ago

    Good article. Thanks for the link.
    Hopefully it will reach a more republican audience. That is where the Volt needs to build support.


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    May 10th, 2012 (2:30 pm)

    John: Want to became an instant billionaire? Design a better energy storage system. Our batteries just don’t cut it

    I was thinking, design a better range extender. Batteries work fine for 90% of driving. It’s those long trips where you have a problem. Either the batteries need to be swapped, or we need a better range extender than using an entire, 4 cylinder, internal combustion engine. Maybe a very small ICE, or the shockwave one at MSU, maybe a fuel cell, or maybe something than runs of LPG? Basically something that creates electricity easily & efficiently.

    The only other option is for external power, which would require major infrastructure changes.


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    May 10th, 2012 (2:30 pm)

    kdawg:

    The funny part now, is Romney is trying to take credit for the bailout and is saying it was his idea all along.What a joke.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/romney-takes-credit-for-auto-industry-turnaround-reignites-bailout-debate/

    Incredibly good political move IMO. I guess in order to prove Romney wrong you would have to find where he said that they should be allowed to go bankrupt but NOT allowed any federal loans.

    I think if Romney gets in he may NOT back ending the EV tax credits. …and he MAY NOT rescind the affordable health care act……(although I read somewhere he can’t really do it anyway….he can only cripple it by making PARTS of it go away).

    Romney did the Massachusetts Health Care when he was governor. He is more moderate than most believe.


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    May 10th, 2012 (2:47 pm)

    I received a lot of down votes for my previous comment. Let me clarify my position. Climate change denier = oil industry apologist. To me, it seems contradictory that Lutz is promoting a vehicle that uses very little gasoline while being a outspoken apologist for the oil industry.


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    May 10th, 2012 (2:47 pm)

    kdawg: I was thinking, design a better range extender.Batteries work fine for 90% of driving.It’s those long trips where you have a problem.Either the batteries need to be swapped, or we need a better range extender than using an entire, 4 cylinder, internal combustion engine.Maybe a very small ICE, or the shockwave one at MSU, maybe a fuel cell, or maybe something than runs of LPG?Basically something that creates electricity easily & efficiently.

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

    I apologize in advance, but I have to say it………….

    How could you leave out EESTOR as a solution for the long range electric mode?????????????????

    :)

    C-5277


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    May 10th, 2012 (2:59 pm)

    Loboc sez:
    The economics are difficult to sell. With an EV, you are offsetting gasoline cost up front with the purchase of a large battery. The comparison like-for-like around MSRP doesn’t work because of this.

    I wonder what ” like-for-like ” comparison you propose. It seems to me that there are a lot of vehicles in the $40k group. None of them are expected to pay for themselves in fuel savings. If you want the benefits of electric drive with the capability of gasoline backup, the Volt MSRP stands up well against the competition.

    There are many reasons that people choose a particular vehicle over another. If price were the overriding consideration, then no one would buy a new car. Certainly no one would buy a “luxury” car. Please stop comparing the Volt to a Yugo. Mercedes and BMW have more apt comparisons.


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    May 10th, 2012 (3:16 pm)

    smithjim1961:
    I received a lot of down votes for my previous comment. Let me clarify my position. Climate change denier = oil industry apologist. To me, it seems contradictory that Lutz is promoting a vehicle that uses very little gasoline while being a outspoken apologist for the oil industry.

    I erased a negative. +1


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    May 10th, 2012 (3:24 pm)

    Storm: Loboc sez:The economics are difficult to sell. With an EV, you are offsetting gasoline cost up front with the purchase of a large battery. The comparison like-for-like around MSRP doesn’t work because of this.I wonder what ” like-for-like ” comparison you propose. It seems to me that there are a lot of vehicles in the $40k group. None of them are expected to pay for themselves in fuel savings. If you want the benefits of electric drive with the capability of gasoline backup, the Volt MSRP stands up well against the competition. There are many reasons that people choose a particular vehicle over another. If price were the overriding consideration, then no one would buy a new car. Certainly no one would buy a “luxury” car. Please stop comparing the Volt to a Yugo. Mercedes and BMW have more apt comparisons.

    You miss the point. If the Volt wants to remain in the niche market of luxury cars then fine, so be it.

    If cars like the Volt are ever going to sale in the millions or be part of the mainstream car market, the price will have to come down out of the “luxury” car market. Mom and Pop middle America pay between $15k to $30k for their cars. That is the sweet spot.

    I believe we can get there.


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    May 10th, 2012 (3:24 pm)

    Storm: It seems to me that there are a lot of vehicles in the $40k group. None of them are expected to pay for themselves in fuel savings.

    #56

    Exactly. +1


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    May 10th, 2012 (3:41 pm)

    kdawg: I was thinking, design a better range extender.Batteries work fine for 90% of driving.It’s those long trips where you have a problem.Either the batteries need to be swapped, or we need a better range extender than using an entire, 4 cylinder, internal combustion engine.Maybe a very small ICE, or the shockwave one at MSU, maybe a fuel cell, or maybe something than runs of LPG?Basically something that creates electricity easily & efficiently.

    I know that a small fuel cell is the next option, since it is solid-state (no moving parts), less heat generated (no fuel is burned) and quiet. Maybe someone can get a NASA design and modify it to use a solid oxide electrolytic, thus becoming safer and cheaper to operate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid_oxide_fuel_cell

    Delphi (once known as Delco) has its own fuel cell design:
    http://delphi.com/manufacturers/auto/fuelcells/

    The 2008 Fuel Cell Equinox was a great idea, but it still needs hydrogen. Using a smaller fuel cell that runs on LPG or CNG will be better.

    Raymond


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    May 10th, 2012 (4:15 pm)

    Storm: I wonder what ” like-for-like ” comparison you propose.

    I’m talking about drive train differences. If you take the exact same car, as Ford does, and charge 40k for the EV and 20k for the ICE… It’s a very tough thing to sell unless you’re talking to a fleet guy. Most people don’t look at the TCO, just the monthly payment.


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    May 10th, 2012 (5:01 pm)

    George S. Bower: Incredibly good political move IMO. I guess in order to prove Romney wrong you would have to find where he said that they should be allowed to go bankrupt but NOT allowed any federal loans.
    I think if Romney gets in he may NOT back ending the EV tax credits. …and he MAY NOT rescind the affordable health care act……(although I read somewhere he can’t really do it anyway….he can only cripple it by making PARTS of it go away).
    Romney did the Massachusetts Health Care when he was governor. He is more moderate than most believe.

    It’s a good political move, if you’re trying to get votes from people with goldfish-memory. I don’t know where to start w/Romney’s positions since they move all over the map, but I agree he’s more moderate then he was putting on when trying to cater to the right wing. He will relax that a bit now that he’s going up against a Obama and doesn’t have to worry about looking more conservative than Perry/Gingrich/Huntsman/Caine/Santorum/Etc. Will we ever meet the true Mitt, who knows. (insert etch-a-sketch joke here)

    Regarding the bailout, Romney’s suggestions were to have private funding pay for the bankruptcy and he was against any government assistance. However, no private investors would touch the auto industry w/a 10ft pole, including Romney’s own Bain Capital. The only source of money WAS the government. It was either use taxpayer funding to save a domestic industry, or let it go bankrupt (CH7) which i’m guessing Romney would have preferred (at that time). Now that the bailout is regarded as a success, he is saying the sponsored bankruptcy was HIS idea. Not quite, because he left out the big part where the decision had to be made to do with taxpayer money. And that’s where the kudos go, to making that tough decision.


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    May 10th, 2012 (5:42 pm)

    OT:

    The Volt dash has an arrow for the gas cap location, but none for the electrical port location. I wonder if this will change as plugin cars become more prevalent, especially as rentals.

    chevyvolt33.jpg


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    May 10th, 2012 (5:59 pm)

    volt11: WARNING: POLITICAL CONTENT

    The big problem with Bob Lutz is that despite all of the right-wing anti-Volt, anti-GM propaganda, and let’s face it they are often outright and knowing lies, and despite Romney’s infamous call to “Let Detroit go bankrupt!”

    Bankruptcy is exactly what President Obama did:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_Chapter_11_reorganization

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_Chapter_11_reorganization

    Romney and Obama mostly agree on this issue.


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    May 10th, 2012 (8:48 pm)

    Open-Mind: Bankruptcy is exactly what President Obama did:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_Chapter_11_reorganization

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_Chapter_11_reorganization

    Romney and Obama mostly agree on this issue.

    Yeh Yeh

    Romney claims the financing should have been privately funded (you know like Chrysler’s bailout from Lee Iaccoca ).
    Since no private funders (including his company Bain) were willing to come up w/ the money then GM would have been history.

    Of course this is all gum flapping to appeal to the right wing.

    If Romney had been in charge he would have done the same thing as Bush/ Obama

    ie given GM the loans


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    May 10th, 2012 (9:06 pm)

    Tell them the average price when charging your car up that should get there attention for sure!


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    May 10th, 2012 (9:22 pm)

    I suspect no private investment group would touch the US auto industry is the unions and their legacy costs and burdens most private investors feel hinder their return on investment, hence the govt backed loans. But who really knows what really happened, we can speculate w/o the govt loans the auto industry would go belly up, it’s my opinion someone would have stepped in like China and take 51% of the stock. So the auto industry could have been saved but it would have looked and operated vastly different than it has for 90+ years.

    No one really knows how it have played out. It is what it is – get over it.


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    May 10th, 2012 (11:21 pm)

    Noel Park: #35
    And Shai Aggasi will lead us into the light, LMAO. I agree with you that it is the only feasible solution for long range BEV travel, but the colossal cost of the infrastructure will keep it from happening in my lifetime IMHO.

    I don’t see it happening anytime soon either, but I don’t attribute that to the cost of the stations. One problem I see is you have a chicken & the egg situation. You need a lot more BEV’s on the road to make these things profitable. But people may not buy BEV’s unless they have these stations. Another problem is getting all these car companies to standardize on a battery design, otherwise each company will have to have its own swap station.

    I almost think the best/easiest way to do it would be like the Zip cars. Just have a bunch of cars sitting there charged up. You drive up in your empty car, move your suitcases over to a new car, and drive away. Obviously this would be a rental option and not your own car.


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    May 11th, 2012 (6:52 am)

    kdawg,

    Look on the Betterplace site : there is a video of one of the first demo of battery swap, it takes a little more than one minute :
    http://www.betterplace.com/the-company-multimedia-videos-detail/index/guid/battery-switch-technology-demo-yokohama-japan

    Best regards,

    JC NPNS