Mar 11

Will GM offer smaller EV batteries to cut Gen 2 Voltec costs?

 

General Motors has been attempting to globally proliferate its Voltec technology, now having seen three short model years (2011-2013) in 28 months since the North American launch of Gen 1, and with an eye toward Gen 2.

The company has collected profuse amounts of data and customer feedback to give it a strong sense of what to offer next. While it has an intense fan base that loves the Gen 1 car, GM has also felt mild-to-intense market push-back against its arguably pricey Voltec siblings.

Aside from reducing the cost of existing components, it appears GM is at least mulling its options to offer a smaller battery pack, as evidenced by a statement made by GM’s Vice President of Strategy and Operations, Thomas Sedran, in Europe.

IMG_2725
 

“In the coming years I don’t think you will need 100 km (62 miles) of electric range,” said Sedran. “Around 30 to 50 km (18 to 30 miles) should be enough to get you in and out of town and after that you still have the range-extender engine to help.”

Sedran’s comment was recorded by AutoExpress.co.uk regarding the Vauxhall Ampera sibling to the Volt, and it has prompted speculation as to whether multiple battery size options may be a way to tailor MSRP to specific driver requirements, or whether it would mean simply cutting back the AER to that of a Ford Fusion or C-MAX Energi.

In denser communities as they have in Europe, this may be all a lot of people need, and the same could be said of individual owner requirements in the U.S. too.

Another comment by Steve Girsky, GM’s vice chairman and interim president of GM of Europe, was also noted showing GM is painfully aware of the need to find creative ways to slash costs while still, presumably, retaining profitability and expanding appeal.

“The Ampera has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any car, but it’s simply too expensive,” said Girsky. “If you want to make money it’s not about the cleverest technology, but who can deliver fuel economy at a lower cost.”

The UK generously lops off £5,000 ($7,467) from the sales price of an Ampera, but the car still starts at £28,995 ($43,301). Of that, an estimated £12,000 ($17,921) was quoted as the production cost of the battery for the UK model.

If accurate, and assuming markup for the battery, that’s basically akin to saying the “gas tank” – aka energy storage – costs somewhere around half of the car or so and consumers are aware of this, as is GM.

After speaking with GM, AutoExpress said the Ampera would be replaced in “three to four year’s time” which is further out than we’ve been led to suspect of the Gen 2 Volt.

Apparently a lot is still up in the air. Do you think multiple battery range options is the way to go? GM’s Dan Akerson has also recently said better battery tech is right around the corner, so where are we headed here?

And would it not be better to get more AER from a more energy dense battery that GM found a way to procure at a lower cost? Is merely slashing the battery size as though constrained by present economics a good indicator for a future Voltec?

One thing we hear often enough is the blatant statement by EV evangelists and other such positive-thinking proponents that high-voltage electrified car batteries will go the way of the semiconductor.

Silicon Valley has benefited from year-over-year improvements of virtually quantum scale since the advent of the personal computer.

IMG_2463
 

For people to project the same future into the electrified car battery is speculation on a high order. It sounds good, but we’re talking two different technologies here. Are such prophetic utterances based on fact? Or are they a statement of faith?

If fact, and HV batteries progress like the computer industry was able to, we’d expect in maybe a decade to have so much AER that the Volt will not need a range extender. Perhaps also we’ll have ultra-fast recharging too, and EVs will promise only benefits over ICE vehicles, with no tradeoffs perceived to have to accept.

What is certain is we are all on a road we have not traveled before. And, mixed statements from GM shed little actual light on the subject. The only objective truth that can be said is we shall have to wait and see what actually comes forth in the next couple years and beyond.

AutoExpress via Gas2.0

This entry was posted on Monday, March 11th, 2013 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: 58


  1. 1
    Future EV Driver

    +18

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Future EV Driver
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (6:29 am)

    The previous article where Dan A mentions a 100 mile EV plus range extender and 200 mile EV make more sense…


  2. 2
    Mark Z

    +15

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mark Z
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (7:02 am)

    The amount of E-REV range is always debatable. Fact is, most Volt owners want more EV miles, not less. What is truly sad, when the buyers of 10 mile plug in cars don’t plug in. The EV range is so tiny that the economy of installing a TOU meter falls short. To avoid $.23 kWh rates, they use gas instead. One charges his Leaf, but not the Prius plug in. My neighbor avoided it all and just purchased a plain Prius. Both these drivers would be better served with a Volt instead.


  3. 3
    Eco_Turbo

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (7:07 am)

    A smaller battery should mean a more capable gas engine. I just hope it has balance shafts. Shouldn’t the gas engine be as smooth as the electric motor?


  4. 4
    James McQuaid

    +32

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    James McQuaid
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (7:09 am)

    Another comment by Steve Girsky, GM’s vice chairman and interim president of GM of Europe, was also noted showing GM is painfully aware of the need to find creative ways to slash costs while still, presumably, retaining profitability and expanding appeal.

    “The Ampera has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any car, but it’s simply too expensive,” said Girsky. “If you want to make money it’s not about the cleverest technology, but who can deliver fuel economy at a lower cost.”

    Girsky has never been a supporter of the Volt. You may recall his remark that we’ll see “whether this car will have legs or not”. Girsky is a Wall Street guy (not a car guy), who was sent to Europe to fix Opel. Opel is still not fixed. Girsky would do well to shut his mouth, and focus on doing his job.

    Let’s hope that Girsky never becomes CEO of General Motors; it would be a huge step down/backwards from the excellence of Dan Akerson. If Girsky doesn’t fix Opel this year, he should be fired.


  5. 5
    GSP

    +35

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    GSP
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (7:31 am)

    More EV range is the #1 thing I want for my next Volt. Words like “you don’t need the EV miles, use the range extender” just make me look elsewhere to spend my money.

    I am fine with offering range options and letting the public decide. Tesla does this and the “small” 40kWh battery is only 10% of sales. Most people skip the medium 60 kWh battery as well and buy the largest 85 kWh battery.

    GSP


  6. 6
    Jon Gundersen

    +24

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jon Gundersen
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (7:50 am)

    Same here. More range: yes. Battery options: yes. Lower the base price with smaller or current battery range and I’ll upgrade to the 50 mile range.


  7. 7
    kdawg-ông

    +32

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg-ông
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (7:52 am)

    I think a smaller battery is a step in the wrong direction.

    Find a different way to cut costs w/out reducing the kWh.


  8. 8
    Loboc

    +9

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (8:24 am)

    I can see having options. Much like engine and trim options. Personally, my 38mi commute falls squarely within the 2013 Volt sweet spot.


  9. 9
    xiaowei1

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    xiaowei1
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (8:26 am)

    I’d rather more battery power, but if a smaller battery option leads to a bigger market, why would they not?


  10. 10
    Tim Hart

    +9

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tim Hart
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (8:28 am)

    Well it’s unanimous! Absolutely the worst thing GM could possibly do would be to reduce the EV range of the Gen II Volt. Offering options is not the answer either as evidenced by Tesla’s sales of their options. Just go for maximizing the all EV range–that is absolutely the main thing we Volt owners care about!


  11. 11
    Nelson

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Nelson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (8:51 am)

    If GM can get a Voltec variant that can achieve 50+ mpg in charge sustaining mode with smaller battery(AER=30)/ice combo and similar performance to Volt1, at a sub $26K price, then I’d say they have a marketable product. Anything else falls short of expectations.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  12. 12
    Nelson

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Nelson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (8:58 am)

    But they should still keep making the Volt as it is with lower price.


  13. 13
    Dick The Bruiser

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dick The Bruiser
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (8:59 am)

    If Girsky was a team player, he would not be bad mouthing the practicality and price of the Opel Ampera.

    If what Girsky believes were true about merely needing to build econoboxes, Opel would not be losing money.

    As we have seen at Opel, the man is a lying weasel and a self-serving backstabber. Furthermore, Girsky is not on board with where the company is headed toward vehicle electrification.

    G.M. needs to be rid of him before he is able to undermine Akerson and Reuss.


  14. 14
    juk

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    juk
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (9:09 am)

    What they should be doing is reducing the size of the ICE and having it come on more frequently and have a more floating charge where the ICE runs predominantly at the average kW that’s determined by the average kWh/mile and average speed.


  15. 15
    SteveF

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    SteveF
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (9:25 am)

    I totally agree the range of EV should not be decreased. But what GM needs to improve is the heater effectiveness. My range has gone from 40 miles range to 25 miles range during this winter.


  16. 16
    Jeff

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jeff
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (9:31 am)

    There just isn’t that much money to be saved by reducing battery capacity by 20-40%. You won’t see equavilant cost savings.

    The main benefit that I could see from reducing battery pack size would be to add a fifth seat. Apart from that, I don’t think it’s a good trade-off.

    Overall, this is a lot of speculation taken from some rather ambiguous quotes. And the author of the original article doesn’t even mention where that £12,000 ($17,921) quote comes from.


  17. 17
    James

    +11

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    James
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (9:42 am)

    Will GM Ventures’ investment in Envia pay off? Hopefully it will – with a lighter, more energy-
    dense pack – and one whose individual modules can be replaced, reducing the cost of
    refurbishing a used pack.

    Polls of current Volt owners showed GM that increased range was their #1 priority
    for the next Volt. That said, the huge potential market that may feel
    the pricepoint of C-Max Energi is better – should have a lower cost option.

    One point worth mentioning is that the current Volt comes pretty loaded even
    in it’s cloth-seat standard form. Other manufacturers realized that when they
    sold their hybrid or PHEV models loaded, they sat on showroom floors. Take
    the first Accord Hybrid, and the current PIPrius, for example. Many have
    stated all along that GM would be wise to market different versions of
    Volt to increase sales. A smaller battery version would make sense, as
    does a loaded 55 mile version with MyLink, crash avoidance systems, radar cruise,
    Powermat console for smartphone, solar panel for pre-cooling-heating
    of cabin…etc , etc, etc.. I know many here would pop for that loaded-
    with-everything Volt and GM can reap good profits there.

    So do what Toyota did with Prius and offer an Advanced Tech Pckg. for
    us geeks, and a couple lesser equipped Volts for people with different
    priorities and budgets.

    ( Plug In ) POWER TO THE PEOPLE! ,

    James


  18. 18
    LeeG

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LeeG
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (9:54 am)

    The genius of the Volt is an overnight charge on a ubiquitous 120v 15a outlet yields an electric range sufficient for most peoples normal commute. The engine lets you go farther when needed. Only about 10.5 kWh of battery capacity is used to propel the car. The current battery was conservatively sized at 16 kWh because it’s new technology and to gain the maximum tax credit for the car.

    With new battery technology and the experience gained on the Volts in service allowing a more aggressive charge/discharge cycle, GM could easily use a smaller (both physical size and capacity), less expensive battery in the next generation Volt and still have the same range and ability to charge overnight on a standard 110v outlet.

    Although GM will likely keep the battery at 16 kWH in the USA until the tax credit expires.

    I don’t know if Europe has the same tex credits, but if not the European Volts could down-size the battery for cost reduction. Different market with different needs. Are there still plans to produce the Volt in Europe?


  19. 19
    Nelson

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Nelson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (10:24 am)

    If GM made the battery one cells height longer, couldn’t they slant the cells in the battery compartment thus reducing the height of the battery?

    [IMG]http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh173/nhern202/BatteryCell.jpg[/IMG]

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  20. 20
    Nelson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Nelson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (10:25 am)


  21. 21
    Captbently

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Captbently
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (10:37 am)

    The Volt is three to four times more efficient running on Electric than on Gas. One way to lower the cost is larger incentives/subsidies which many object to. There is great support for spending billions on the Keystone Pipeline to use Canadian Tar Sands Oil. The very small component of electricity that will be used to transport, pump, and refine this low level product will Drive the Volt much further than the fuel that is produced. without all the pollution. So forget the pipeline and use the money to allow more people to afford Volts and EV’s.

    GM should be thinking of producing a whole family of Volt products including: Volt SS, Volt AWD,
    Volt AWD SUV/Pickup/Minivan, Volt Convertible. Battery options may not be a bad idea if after purchase, they could be upgraded and kept pace with new advances as they are developed.


  22. 22
    volt11

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    volt11
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (11:04 am)

    I think there’s room for a 20-mile EV range Voltec, but that car should be a next-gen Cruze with an optional EREV powertrain, much like the Fusion has the Energi version. The Volt should stay as the top dog and have no version lower than today’s battery capacity, even if it stays in its current price range.

    I was thinking while reading this article, would it make sense for GM to make the Gen-2 battery design where extra capacity could be a dealer installed option? Let’s say they make the next Volt with a usable 12 KW/h standard (up slightly from today’s), could they maybe leave room for up to 3 battery pack modular add-ons in 4 KW/h increments, for let’s say about 3 grand a piece installed? These upgrades could also enable some extra performance, since max current flow would be increased. It would also allow people to get into the Volt experience at the cheaper level, and then as they get hooked on the EV experience they could add on capacity tailored to their desired range.

    I realize that this design could also be opening a can of worms, but it might be one way to have a Tesla-like lineup of capacity choices, and the advantage is that you don’t have to decide up front the right range for you. Just something to think about.


  23. 23
    Steve

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Steve
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (11:45 am)

    I cannot believe they are looking to reduce electric range?? Why bother with an electric at all then??? Bad choice – increasing the range and reducing the price by getting more out there is the way to go — Too bad they are not pursuing a high capacity capcitor that can take on a very quick charge then discharge at a controlled rate – this would be the holly grail- Imagine pulling into a charge station and within a few minutes the capacitor takes on a full charge. I read (somewhere) that there are people experimenting with these capacitors right now, We REALLY do need to get off oil- only problem – too much money being made by big oil with the Government in bed with them.


  24. 24
    CaptJackSparrow

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (11:59 am)

    “Dan Akerson has also recently said better battery tech is right around the corner”

    GO EESTOR!!!!!!!

    :-P


  25. 25
    CaptJackSparrow

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:01 pm)

    Steve: too much money being made by big oil with the Government in bed with them.

    It’s worse that that. The gubbbment is thier B|TCHES!


  26. 26
    Neromanceres

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Neromanceres
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:04 pm)

    The range my Volt has is almost perfect for me. I think GM should continue to target an EPA 40 mile range for the Gen II Volt. Mind you I don’t see an issue of GM offering other Voltec vehicles with a lower EV range (possibly as low as 20 miles EPA). Like a lower cost Cruze plug-in if it gets more butts into Voltec.


  27. 27
    Jackson

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:12 pm)

    The original assumptions leading to the Volt as it stands today came from Dept of Transportation statistics indicating that the majority of drivers commute 40 miles or less most days. This guided the AER selection, together with available technology of the time. I think it should be GM’s imperative to live up to that 40 mile selection; making it a target in the wintertime with the heater on, not downhill in the Spring or Fall with a tailwind. This won’t be done using a smaller battery unless it is small in volume only with double the energy density. If this boosts warm-weather AER to 60+, too bad. :-)

    It’s my impression that Europeans can get by with lower AER numbers where routine distances tend to be shorter. So fine, hobble the Ampera. But not the Volt.


  28. 28
    DonC

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:19 pm)

    Cutting the electric range of a Voltec vehicle is a bad idea. It reduces the value far more than it reduces the price, thereby making the value equation much less appealing.

    We know that the cost of the battery pack is roughly $11K, of which $8K is for the cells and $3K for the power electronics. If costs are dropping at 8% a year, which seems reasonably conservative, the price per kWh for Gen II goes down by half, making the cells worth $4K and the pack $7K. This means that you can cut the cells by half and save $2K.

    The question then becomes: Would you want a Volt with a range of 40 miles that costs $34K or a Volt with a range of 20 miles that cost $32K? I’m not sure who would opt for the 20 mile Volt but it sure wouldn’t be me.

    Reducing the number of cells also raises many technical issues related to the fact that a smaller pack would not be able to perform like a larger pack. It likewise raises warranty concerns since fewer cells means that the cells would be subjected to higher C rates and more cycles for the same number of miles (which is the reason for not using 80% of the pack in the first place).

    Girsky, who FWIW I wouldn’t characterize as being anti-Volt, has stated the problem as being that the Volt has a high acquisition price and a low running price whereas a conventional vehicle has a low acquisition price and a high running price, and that consumers aren’t programmed to think through the relative value of the two alternatives. He’s right. The challenge for GM (and Nissan) is to figure out a marketing message that works.

    So far the attempts as crafting a mass marketing message have been pathetic. Nissan went with the “Zero Emissions” and “Polar Bear Hug” approach and found there aren’t that many people who will put money on the hood just to be green. GM hasn’t, AFAIK, come up with anything other than “Save Money On Gas”, which isn’t going to fly on its own given the $40K sticker.

    My personal view is that, rather than getting the price down, GM will sell a lot more Volts by getting the marketing message up. The Volt offers a fantastic smooth and quiet ride and plenty of zip in urban/suburban driving. As such it’s a premium car. This weekend I ran into a Volt owner, at a vegetable stand no less, who told me that he usually drove MBs and BMWs but he had found the Volt to be a much more “satisfying” drive than any of those cars. That’s the direction GM needs to go with its marketing. If the Volt is compared to a BMW 3 series rather than a Cruze even a dense consumer will be able to see the value proposition of higher initial cost and lower running costs (probably a different consumer as well). Who knows, maybe we’ll see something half way decent in this direction when the ELR is released but I’m not holding my breath.


  29. 29
    VoltReviewer

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    VoltReviewer
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:24 pm)

    I am for offering multiple electric-only range options on the Volt. 25 and 50 mile versions could be workable.

    Considering the longer term, I think that as battery costs come down, electric-only range should go up. Ultimately, cars can be 100% powered by 100 or 200+ mile batteries with fast charging times, instead of potentially having to rely on a gasoline generator as has been done in the current Volt.


  30. 30
    BLINDGUY

    +9

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BLINDGUY
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:24 pm)

    It would be a huge mistake to lower the AER IMO. People can recover the battery cost for the most part with the Tax Credit. Cost can be lowered more in other areas. Improve the RE, put the battery under the floor to improve interior space and visibility. I would be thrilled with est. 50 mile AER EPA range. By the time GM exceeds the tax credit allotment they should have better batteries to make up the difference.


  31. 31
    MrEnergyCzar

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MrEnergyCzar
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:29 pm)

    They will not be shorting the EV range unless it’s a second smaller option. My next plug-in will have more range not less, whomever offers it. I suspect it will be Volt 2.0.

    MrEnergyCzar


  32. 32
    Noel Park

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:31 pm)

    Jon Gundersen:
    Same here. More range: yes. Battery options: yes. Lower the base price with smaller or current battery range and I’ll upgrade to the 50 mile range.

    #6

    Me too. +1


  33. 33
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:32 pm)

    James: So do what Toyota did with Prius and offer an Advanced Tech Pckg. for
    us geeks, and a couple lesser equipped Volts for people with different
    priorities and budgets.

    #17

    Makes sense to me. +1


  34. 34
    Noel Park

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:37 pm)

    DonC: The question then becomes: Would you want a Volt with a range of 40 miles that costs $34K or a Volt with a range of 20 miles that cost $32K? I’m not sure who would opt for the 20 mile Volt but it sure wouldn’t be me.

    #28

    Me neither. +1


  35. 35
    bro1999

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    bro1999
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:55 pm)

    Like some others have commented already, I think that reducing the EV range of the Gen 2 Volt (even if that reduced range is offered as a lower cost option along side a ‘standard’ range Gen 2 Volt) would be a mistake. I can see the various big-oil supported news outlets publishing articles such as “GM braintrust follows up dismal-selling Volt with gen 2 model…that has LESS EV RANGE!! (WTF)”

    I think offering a budget plugin option in the form of a Cruze EV with ~20 mile EV range would be the way to go. That way GM could lure buyers that want a plugin EV, but deem the Volt’s pricing too prohibitive.


  36. 36
    Bobc

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Bobc
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (12:56 pm)

    kdawg-ông,

    A smaller battery does not mean necessarily mean less kwh. I read somewhere a quote from Akerman saying that a 10% reduction in weight improves fuel economy by 6.9% for just mass transport. If battery size can be reduced by 1/3 then that would reduce overall car wright by132 lbs and that is before we count the added reduction in the mass of the TMS components. You could even conceivably reduce the usable power window of the battery and get the same range because you will have a lighter overall car. Performance characteristics could be tailored to provide minor improvements with only slight penalties. Use a lighter Atkinson cycle engine or perhaps use a liquid piston engine would be even better with its higher thermal efficiency. Add graphene based ultra capacitors and you could probably boost regen capacity to 90%, that could probably give you an AER around 45-50 miles 0-60 about 7.5 seconds with a CS range of 450-500 miles easy with an 8 gallon tank.


  37. 37
    Happy Go Lucky

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Happy Go Lucky
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (2:07 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow,

    Trying to decide if you get a +1 or -1 for mentioning EEStor!


  38. 38
    Larry

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Larry
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (2:10 pm)

    Maybe they should reduce cost by making the gas engine smaller! :)


  39. 39
    merlin

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    merlin
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (2:22 pm)

    $17,921 for the UK battery pack?!?! That’s quite a big markup from the $8000 to $12000 numbers that were kicked around for the price of the battery here.

    More range is okay. Less range is not attractive at all for me.


  40. 40
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (2:40 pm)

    bro1999: I think offering a budget plugin option in the form of a Cruze EV with ~20 mile EV range would be the way to go. That way GM could lure buyers that want a plugin EV, but deem the Volt’s pricing too prohibitive.

    #35

    Yeah, or a Sonic or a Spark. +1

    Or all of the above plus a Colorado. There you go CaptJack! It’s not like they don’t have plenty of options.


  41. 41
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (2:42 pm)

    Happy Go Lucky:
    CaptJackSparrow,

    Trying to decide if you get a +1 or -1 for mentioning EEStor!

    #37

    Awww, go ahead and give him a +1. He beat me to it by about 1 minute, LOL. and +1 to you too for bringing it up.


  42. 42
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (2:45 pm)

    Larry:
    Maybe they should reduce cost by making the gas engine smaller!

    #38

    THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about. +1

    Or even if it costs the same reduce the weight and improve the packaging opportunities. I’ve been saying it since the day one, along with many others. There’s an existing European GM 1.0L 3cyl turbo. Bring it on!


  43. 43
    Storm

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Storm
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (2:51 pm)

    SteveF,

    Steve- Have you tried using blower only and turning on the window defroster? It seems to heat the car faster and appears to use less energy than the cabin heater.

    I hate that at 27 degrees the engine comes on.


  44. 44
    stuart22

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    stuart22
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (3:07 pm)

    GM should first be working to push the numbers upward, while maintaining some flexibility to respond to where the market is heading. Of all automakers, they are in the driver’s seat with Voltec. Nobody has come close to matching its EV capability and overall performance; GM has yet to take charge in how they market it.

    I’m waiting for the day when they will trump the competition with a 50/50 car …. 50 mile EV range/50 mile CS.


  45. 45
    Noel Park

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (3:31 pm)

    stuart22: I’m waiting for the day when they will trump the competition with a 50/50 car …. 50 mile EV range/50 mile CS.

    #44

    That makes 2 of us. +1


  46. 46
    Streetlight

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Streetlight
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (3:38 pm)

    A smaller battery doesn’t necessarily improve reliability and durability. Right now VOLT scores 5 stars in reliability. A quick look at eBay’s VOLTs brings typically $25k-$30k (under 25,000 miles) for the years 2011-2012. Not bad. I just don’t think whatever cost reduction a smaller battery entails makes market sense. Which prospect from these posts, neither are owners wild about less range.

    The reason VOLT’s without direct competition is GM made its top design priorities, given industrial design criteria, reliability and durability. Without which resale value’s down the tube.

    Another point not to overlook, particular to VOLT is its ICE should last forever. Now that’s a used car sales dream. … The sales person says “This car was driven by a little old lady less than 40 miles a day — so the engine’s just like brand new”


  47. 47
    Steverino

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Steverino
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (4:31 pm)

    I like the idea of a 5 seat Cruze with a smaller range battery for the econo EVER line, the Spark for all electric, and the Volt for the upscale, higher EV range.


  48. 48
    gieso

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    gieso
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (5:03 pm)

    For determining the AER range, target the average daily distance driven by 80% of the driving public. This worked well for the initial Volt and still holds true for Voltec 2.0.

    Since GM has been gathering data via OnStar for each completed charge on every Volt for the past three years, they have a lot of data from three years of Volts in all driving conditions and temperatures. It should be pretty easy to use that data to validate/invalidate the original 40 mile AER target. Looking at Voltstats.net, it appears the total miles per vehicle day driven is in the low 40s, so it appears to validate the original assumption.

    If Europe is different than the US, maybe a smaller battery pack is appropriate for Europe, but in the US (especially in the western US where things are spread out more than the east coast), cutting AER range is the wrong thing to do for Gen 2.


  49. 49
    Dave - Phoenix

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave - Phoenix
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (6:32 pm)

    It is a tough call.

    I think the GM found the sweet spot with 40 miles EV range. It remains to be seen if there is sufficient demand for a lower cost Volt which also has a lower range.

    The answer may be provided by Plug in Prius and C-MAX Energi sales….. So far, PIP and Energi sales have not yet proven to exceed Volt sales even though those vehicles have a lower price. Some of that may be supply issues for these new vehicles, so time will tell. GM should have their answer before the GEN 2 is released….


  50. 50
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (7:28 pm)

    Dave – Phoenix: It remains to be seen if there is sufficient demand for a lower cost Volt which also has a lower range.

    If GM follows automakers standard MO, it will be smaller range Volt – same cost as now, same range as now Volt will cost more. Automakers always do that.


  51. 51
    Dave Phoenix

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave Phoenix
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (7:46 pm)

    Eco_Turbo,

    There is no standard MO in the EV market. Nissan has already proven that by offering a lower cost LEAF with the same range. There were not $6000 worth of luxury features removed. Some of that was simple price reduction from mass production.

    I expect we’ll see the same with the Volt. Remove about $2000 in luxury features and another $2000-$4000 from reduced production costs.


  52. 52
    Colon Farlow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Colon Farlow
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (8:26 pm)

    1. Do not decrease range, I also like the idea of a 50/50 car 50 mile range with 50+MPG in CS mode.
    2. Increase length of car 1 foot to accommodate more leg room for rear seat passengers and a 5th passenger.
    3. Add a 5th HEAT Driving Mode (it’s almost there now with engine assisted heating) which will turn on ICE at any temperature to run engine at minimum and most efficient RPM to provide interior heat as long as battery is above minimum threshold. Any surplus energy helps electrically propel the car. When battery is depleted the car is in normal CS mode.


  53. 53
    George S. Bower

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    George S. Bower
     Says

     

    Mar 11th, 2013 (11:13 pm)

    Jackson: The original assumptions leading to the Volt as it stands today came from Dept of Transportation statistics indicating that the majority of drivers commute 40 miles or less most days.This guided the AER selection, together with available technology of the time.I think it should be GM’s imperative to live up to that 40 mile selection; making it a target in the wintertime with the heater on, not downhill in the Spring or Fall with a tailwind.This won’t be done using a smaller battery unless it is small in volume only with double the energy density.If this boosts warm-weather AER to 60+, too bad.

    What Jackson said!


  54. 54
    john1701a

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    john1701a
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2013 (12:12 am)

    Dave – Phoenix: The answer may be provided by Plug in Prius and C-MAX Energi sales….. So far, PIP and Energi sales have not yet proven to exceed Volt sales even though those vehicles have a lower price.

    So far, PIP is only available in 15 states…

    California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Hawaii


  55. 55
    john1701a

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    john1701a
     Says

     

    Mar 12th, 2013 (12:18 am)

    gieso: For determining the AER range, target the average daily distance driven by 80% of the driving public. This worked well for the initial Volt and still holds true for Voltec 2.0.

    Lack of diversity is not a wise business risk.

    The one-size-fits-all approach can only be short-term.

    To reach the masses, some other choice must be offered.


  56. 56
    Darius

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Darius
     Says

     

    Mar 13th, 2013 (12:57 pm)

    The most under used Volt’s component is engine but not battery. The resource of engine could be dramaticaly reduced but not the battery. IMO the cost and size of the battery could be reduced but with no impact on AER 40 miles and reliability. New technology could be liquid and cost could be reduced by eliminating battery cooling and making shape alowing 5th seat. Nobody knows what is realy going on battery front.

    Another argument not reducing AER is that on average only 63% covered using electricity against projected 75% or higher. Therefore the Volt’s AER is more or less on south side for US market and just OK for Europe.


  57. 57
    DiverPhotographsFishUs

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DiverPhotographsFishUs
     Says

     

    Mar 15th, 2013 (11:55 pm)

    I am gonna watch out for brussels. Diver Photographs Fish Using Tools To Eat VIDEO http://atlblogs.com/rptut/archives/2003/11/ttt-rotk-what-does-pete-j-have-to-say.html#comments


  58. 58
    Shawana Deroche

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Shawana Deroche
     Says

     

    Apr 9th, 2013 (11:42 pm)

    Thanks for revealing valuable information!!! I found this informative article and I absolutrly like it. Please publish much more articles defintely getting excited about seeing your post in the furture.