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Will the Chevy Volt Succeed?



  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    The battery technology is still to be is not yet no matter what GM says

    All GM's press releases have stated that their 2010 time frame is predicated on the battery technology being ready by then. Most reasonably intelligent people would see that as an admission by GM that the battery technology is not ready "right now". In case you haven't looked at a calendar in a while it is 2007, not 2010. So what's your point?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    First to clear the air. I'd buy one. I'm all for the new technology and using our own national resources rather than enriching others. I'd drop off my Prius and plugin to the first valid, reliable vehicle I could.

    My whole issue with these right now is that putting a lot of hope into the PHEVs taking the market by storm is a dream. The point about the technology is that this is not something that happens overnight; i.e. 12-31-09 it's unproven and on 1-1-2010 it suddenly proven technology. There is still a lot of validation to be done beginning right now. Are 2 years time enough to make the decision on the supplier, ramp up production and do the necessary validations to put this in widespread usage? I was a direct vehicle maker supplier. We normally had 5-7 years leadtime notice.

    But even more important to me are the Marketing issues. I think the technology will be well proven by at least 2015 so that's not a long term issue. But all the other considerations may take far longer than that to resolve/overcome. There are some still ( amazingy :P ) that don't believe at all in anything related to 'hybrid technology'.

    I think Lutz is correct to keep the whip cracking every month in order to push his people to hit the 2010 deadline. GM needs this vehicle far more than any of the others do, but widespread success on 1-1-2010 is not guaranteed by any means.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    There are some still ( amazingy ) that don't believe at all in anything related to 'hybrid technology'.

    Yes there are, many are much more influential in the auto world than I am. My skepticism is based on the over complexity of the current hybrids and the poor economics they offer. You want an ICE get a diesel. For in town make em all electric. Hopefully the battery technology evolves faster than the rise in the price of oil.

    On one side are Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp. Both have played down all-electric cars in favor of developing gasoline-electric hybrids, though they disagree on the best technology and how quickly it can be implemented.

    On the other side are two allied car makers, France's Renault SA and Japan's Nissan Motor Co., as well as Honda Motor Co. The three have expressed skepticism about the economic wisdom of hybrids and are talking up all-electric cars.

    Renault-Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn and Honda President and CEO Takeo Fukui, in separate interviews yesterday, argued that all-electric vehicles make more sense -- environmentally, politically and economically -- than do hybrids, provided there are advances in lithium-ion-battery technology.

    In an interview in Tokyo, Mr. Ghosn said the allied French and Japanese companies he leads are working to field significant numbers of all-electric vehicles as early as 2012, in the belief that gasoline-electric hybrids won't satisfy regulators in key markets.

    "We think in cities -- Paris and London -- we think cars will be forbidden unless they are zero-emission" vehicles, Mr. Ghosn said. He said Renault-Nissan's plans reflect a judgment that lithium-ion-battery technology will soon be mature enough to power purpose-built electric cars in cities.
  • Both types of vehicles will have a place in our commuting future. The sooner they are both available, the happier we will all be for the option and availability of whichever best suits our particular needs/wants. :)
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    GM's CEO is cautioning that the Volt might not be ready by the 2010 target date. He's not saying it won't be just stating it's no sure thing. I think that even if the Volt isn't ready for mass production by 2010 GM should still try to get some prototypes on the road by that time. Similar to what they will be doing with their fuel cell Equinox.

    volt update
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    GM is running TV commercials featuring the Volt. The guy from the Washington Mutual Bank commercials stars. He tells a bunch of kids standing in front of the Volt that it goes 40 miles on pure electricity.

    So I guess they HAVE to make the thing now. But hyping the car two years (or more) before it's even built is a bit much.

    Good luck, GM!

  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    GM is also running magazine ads for the Volt. What purpose could possibly be served by such ads? I don't get it.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I'd say these ads will serve no purpose if Chevy doesn't deliver. I'd like to think it reflects GM's confidence. If that's the case it isn't a bad idea to educate the consumer as to what this vehicle is all about. I suspect there are still a lot of people that have no idea what a PHEV is.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    Obviously, GM has too much money! So much that they have to waste it on ads promoting a car that doesn't exist yet.
  • They are probably just hedging their bets that they will be able to get enough people exited about the possibility of the vehicle that they'll be saving their money and be ready to purchase if it actually happens. Although I'm sure they've lost a lot of people due to past actions, they might be able to draw back quite a few if they come through on this promise.
  • you ask a good question

    the answer imo, is that GM spends more on promoting how green they are than they do on the technology.

    There's a great deal of pressure from the investment community to see if GM is looking out to the future because 5 years after the Prius hit the showroom floor, GM still has nothing worth buying in the land of hybrids.

    The Volt is a great looking car show piece. I'm guessing by 2110 Toyota will have something 5 years more advanced than GM in the hybrid world. You just cant catch up overnight by putting mock ups at the car show.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    GM keeps talking about the hybrid car it plans to build ..... while honda and toyota just build them.

    Japanese car makers sell cars. U.S. car makers sell promises.

  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Japanese car makers sell cars. U.S. car makers sell promises

    What does that mean? It seems to me that the domestic auto manufacturers actually do sell cars. How would you go about selling a promise?

    A couple years ago Toyota was saying that the next generation of Prius would be out in 2008 with significantly better mileage and using Li-ion battery packs. That's not going to happen. Toyota is also publicly stating that they'll have a plug-in Prius available in 2010.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    Are you following me? Every post I make you're right there to disagree with it.

    Unfortunately, engaging in semantic hyperbole, and offering the popular tu quoque challenge to Toyota simply doesn't refute any assertion I made.

    Anyway, a car maker that promises it will build a hybrid SOME DAY, and a car maker that simply delays an update to a hybrid that it ALREADY makes, are two different things.

    To paraphrase you -- it seems to me that Japanese auto manufacturers actually do sell hybrids. How would you go about driving a Chevy Volt?

  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    2010 keeps getting closer...

    Vote Of Confidence


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    GM does make hybrids. Whether or not you want to consider them hybrids is up to you. GM refers to them as "mild hybrids". The name kind of says it all. I suspect that GM could have simply done what Nissan did with their Altima hybrid, which was to pay Toyota to use their technology. GM chose not to do this.

    On the other hand GM's two-mode hybrid system does provide significant fuel savings. They're choosing to incorporate this into full sized vehicles first because that is their customer base and that is where the greatest fuel savings will be achieved.

    The way you'd go about driving a Volt is to wait until 2010. If you still can't drive one then it will be due to a delay in the battery pack. You've already stated that this type of delay isn't the same thing as not fullfilling a promise. All GM's press releases have stated that this production date is contingent on the battery pack being ready. In 2006 when Toyota was announcing what the third generation Prius would be capable of I don't remember reading these types of disclaimers.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I'm not sure why anyone would make a parallel between the Chevy Volt and a turbocharged Geo Metro. Unless they're stating that they're both ridiculous. Maybe so but Toyota, Ford, Chysler and some lesser knowns have also apparently jumped on the ridiculous bandwagon. At the same time Nissan and Mitsubishi are aggresively pursuing an EV with no range extending capability.

    When you're testing these battery packs for endurance that will take time. GM's next milestone to reach is April of this year when they have stated they will have a fully functioning prototype.
  • i think he makes a good point.

    there are thousands of happy Prius owners driving the roads.

    GM's hybrid is just talk and no walk

    we're talking about a 4-5 year lead in the hybrid world by Toyota - that's pretty significant imo

    May GM will deliver us a hybrid hummer? :confuse:
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    GM's hybrid is just talk and no walk

    Which of GM's hybrids are you talking about? Saying that GM's "mild hybrid" doesn't match up to Toyota's "full hybrid" doesn't make much sense. It's comparable to stating a Ford Ranger can't tow as much as a Ford F-150. It wasn't designed to. Whether or not the minimal mileage benefit from this mild hybrid technology makes any sense is a subjective opinion. Even if it's only 2 more mpg that's better than nothing. So if the price to achieve this is cheap enough then the customers will choose this option.

    Now GM's two-mode hybrid system is another matter. It provides significant fuel savings.

    GM is the first to admit that they made tactical errors in discontinuing their EV program and letting Toyota take a big lead in hybrid technology. So anyone criticizing GM in this regard is simply echoing GM's own position. I believe they are aggressively trying to make up ground. It doesn't happen overnight.
  • "Which of GM's hybrids are you talking about?"

    I guess the Volt would be a good start if you want to call it a hybrid.
    Then there is the Chevy Maibu Hybrid.
    And there was a truck hybrid they introduced last year which didn't provide much.

    Just because GM admitted to their own blunder by pulling the plug on their Electric Car, doesn't make their black eye go away. Not until they bring something of substance to the market.

    The two hybrid system sounds great? When can the public buy it?

    I think GM is out promoting themselves as green when they really don't have anything hybrid worthy to offer yet. Are they hoping people will put off leaving for another manufacturer who have better options here and now?
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