Chevy Volt

New here but saw this info about the Volt and thought some might like to read it.

Looks like GM could save millions and just read this forum.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200807/general-motors

Good read!

One interesting point regarding this part:

Then, in late 2005, Lutz got wind that a Silicon Valley start-up, Tesla Motors, was moving toward production of a high-performance electric roadster. (It’s available this year, if you have $100,000.) At that point, Lutz “just lost it,” as he puts it. He refused to accept that a small start-up company could build and sell an electric car but mighty GM couldn’t.

It should be noted that Tesla Motors was using AC Propulsion’s motor and controllers, and AC Propulsion was founded by a former GM engineer… who developed the EV1.

So, basically, GM created its own motivation in a round-a-bout way.

I don’t like the Volt very much. I like the EV part but GM will still stick you with an ICE into the bargain. Clearly old habits die hard and GM refuses to go cold turkey on the ICE. In fact Maximum Bob still sticks to the story that he can’t resurrect the EV1 from it’s untimely grave GM shoved it into so expediently with the tired old arguments that it’s too expensive to produce BEV’s and GM will end up loosing loads of money.


However his Nissan rivals seem to disagree:

Since EV’s have a lot less (moving)parts than ICE cars I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t be mass produced cheaply. Furthermore I noticed on this forum that some DIY engineers build their own EV’s for very little money.So I’ll have to go with the Nissan guys here. Of course it would be quite easy for GM to do an all electric car. They could take the Volt, scratch the ICE, add some more batteries and call it the EV2. Unfortunately low maintenance long lasting BEV’s are still considered subversive technology by the automotive dinosaurs. But I know that GM is no longer in a position to delude itself and it’s customers that BEV’s are infeasible or it will end up like the dinosaurs. Yes GM: the bell tolls all right, and in case you were wondering, it tolls for you!

GM is trying to address the entire market. This includes the people who aren’t going to own a car with a sub 40 mile range and a car with a plus 40 mile range. The electric car simply is NOT going to be mainstream until it can run 300 miles on a charge and be able to take a new charge in 10 minutes. In other words, until it is as versatile as the gasoline car is today. Instead of slamming GM (and the other makers that also don’t offer all electric cars) for these intermediate steps to the all electric, acknowledge that they are finally making a serious effort to provide an all electric car. Until battery technology catches up, the Volt’s method of generating power when the batteries die is the best way to go about it.

Also, comparing some guy in his backyard building an EV to GM building an EV is not a very fair comparison either. A backyard mechanic goes into a project knowing he’ll have teething pains to deal with getting everything to work right, and understands that later on he may have to change the system due to some unforseen problem. But, someone buying a car new from a company expects it all to be right when they drive off, with no expectations of problems until the warranty runs out. They expect to get at least a few problem-free years from the car. If it doesn’t they lemon law the car back and the company takes a publicity beating for it.

And no, I’m no GM cheerleader either. Used to be, until they stung me on a couple of lemons and refused to make it right. Long story there that I won’t go into, but those vehicles killed off any brand loyalty I had. I won’t buy a GM newer than 1996 now as a result.

To say that GM or any other U.S. manufacturer is making a serious effort to develop an EV puts you far beyond just being a GM cheerleader, or it shows a definite lack of realism in your thought processes.
As to GM not being able to compete with the backyard mechanic, you are right, the BYM doesn’t have hundreds, if not thousands, of highly paid engineers and millions, if not billions of R&D dollars to throw at unforeseen problems. And, of course, no auto manufacturer has ever released a new model until ALL the bugs were worked out, not!
The Volt, and similiar efforts, soon to be released?, by other U.S. car companies are just another example of the very low opinion they have of U.S. car buyers. The “Big” Three just don’t get it, they should be building cars that people want, and not spending all their time and efforts trying to convince the public to buy the “dinosaurs” that they want to build.

Pretty soon auto repair techs will need electrical engineering and computer science degrees… or EV’s just might be so reliable and maintenance-free that auto techs go the way of the Maytag repairman. :slight_smile:

That’s a whole lot of tax deductions the automakers won’t get for warranty repairs if their EV’s don’t break.

Telco says:

GM is trying to address the entire market
But that’s not really true is it? The PHEV or E-flex concept would have been a perfectly plausible intermediate solution if it would help the mass introduction of cars with at least some all electric range. But since GM wants to charge 40 k for it -which is the price of the Chevy Cobalt it’s based on +all the gas it will use during it’s lifetime- this is going to be niche product rather than a mainstream product. It will be bought by people who feel strongly about the environment or oil dependency and maybe the odd delusional who is willing to spend a buck to save a quarter on his gas bill. So if GM wants to target a small group why not offer them a BEV? People with strong convictions are probably willing to accept the range limitation of 200 or so miles of the first generation of highway capable EV’s. Furthermore BEV’s low maintenance might give early adopters a chance to break even financially. With Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, BMW(Mini) and assorted upstarts planning to come up with BEV offerings by the time Volt hits the market it’s time for GM to wake up and realise that the genie is out of the bottle and it’s too late to stuff it back in.

they are finally making a serious effort to provide an all electric car

But are they really? How come GM still wants to stick us with an ICE when other carmakers have decided to skip that phase? What was so awful about the EV1 that GM felt it had to crush the lot of them despite their owners pleas to sell them to them? Why can’t GM accept that low maintenance long lasting cars are the (sustainable) future? I appreciate that the PHEV concept already constitutes an unprecedented revolution in corporate thinking for a bunch of batch engineering beancounters like GM but with growing speculation of it’s bankruptcy it can no longer afford to deny that BEV’s are the future.

Well said.

The PHEV concept seemed exciting to me - for a while. However, after purchasing an NEV (a Zenn) and driving it for a few months, I am convinced that BEVs are the way to go. The BEV is amazing in its simplicity - no oil to change, no tuneups, no oil filters, no spark plugs, no gasoline, no radiator, no exhaust system - and the list goes on. Soon, with battery technology advancing almost by the minute, affordable highway speed, long range BEVs will become available. :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=Chris;4207]But are they really? How come GM still wants to stick us with an ICE when other carmakers have decided to skip that phase? What was so awful about the EV1 that GM felt it had to crush the lot of them despite their owners pleas to sell them to them? Why can’t GM accept that low maintenance long lasting cars are the (sustainable) future? I appreciate that the PHEV concept already constitutes an unprecedented revolution in corporate thinking for a bunch of batch engineering beancounters like GM but with growing speculation of it’s bankruptcy it can no longer afford to deny that BEV’s are the future.[/QUOTE]

I heard last week they will have an initial sticker of $46,000 and this will not include any profit for GM… that Lutz was stuborn about making the Volt to save face for the EV1 mess. Remember the inital Volt at the Autoshow in Detroit ? The ICE was a diesel… I am convinced the motive for all the domestic automakers resistance to selling their diesel cars here is similar the the EV - they last twice as long as the gas ICE… It can’t be emmisions as Europe is going to EURO 5 / 6 soon and they are more stringent than our Tier 2 BIN 5 http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l28186.htm

and you know all the domestics have figured out how to meet Euro 6 :slight_smile:

They are entering into a new way of doing business and they are not happy - just like the phone companies when we started doing voice over IP…

Voltrus says:

after purchasing an NEV (a Zenn) and driving it for a few months, I am convinced that BEVs are the way to go.
Dude, you can’t tell the world you own one of those highly subversive BEV’s like that! I sure hope the GM guys didn’t read this! Did you know that the GM [B]Department Against Technological Hazards (De.A.T.H.)[/B] deploys teams that patrol the streets at night in search for parked BEV’s and that when they find one they shove it into an unmarked black truck to ship it to a top secret location to be crushed? No? Okay, me neither. Still, better park it indoors I guess, if only to keep the batteries warmed up. But seriously, ZENN may be a small time operation but they claim to have exclusive right to EEStor ultracapacitor technology in four wheeled vehicles up to 1400 kilo’s. So if it turns out that EEStor isn’t vaporware after all they could become the hottest thing in the automotive industry. That is if De.A.T.H. doesn’t get to them first of course…

Just (belatedly) saw your humorous reply to my post. Got a kick out of it, and you are absolutely correct - if Eestor comes through with their predictions about the ultracapacitors, it will blast the EV market wide open.

In the meantime, I’ll keep a lookout for those De.A.T.H creeps. :smiley:

[QUOTE=Chris;4263]Voltrus says:Dude, you can’t tell the world you own one of those highly subversive BEV’s like that! I sure hope the GM guys didn’t read this! Did you know that the GM [B]Department Against Technological Hazards (De.A.T.H.)[/B] deploys teams that patrol the streets at night in search for parked BEV’s and that when they find one they shove it into an unmarked black truck to ship it to a top secret location to be crushed? No? Okay, me neither. Still, better park it indoors I guess, if only to keep the batteries warmed up. But seriously, ZENN may be a small time operation but they claim to have exclusive right to EEStor ultracapacitor technology in four wheeled vehicles up to 1400 kilo’s. So if it turns out that EEStor isn’t vaporware after all they could become the hottest thing in the automotive industry. That is if De.A.T.H. doesn’t get to them first of course…[/QUOTE]