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The 2011 Chevy Volt from GM is the first American-made mass-market electric vehicle.  (Source: GM)
Two top auto magazines agree -- the Volt is a groundbreaking achievement

"Nobody will buy a Volt." "You can't make a profitable electric vehicle."

General Motors has heard it all.  But it has defied its critics and persisted, completing the world's first mass-market plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid.  The vehicle survived an economic downturn, the largest industrial bankruptcy in U.S. history, and perpetually noisy critics, and is on course to go on sale at dealerships on November 30, 2010.

Now the car has received the distinction of being named the car of the year by two top American automotive publications 
Motor Trend and Automobile.

Motor Trends writes:

In the 61-year history of the Car of the Year award, there have been few contenders as hyped -- or as controversial -- as the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt started life an Old GM project, then arrived fully formed as a symbol of New GM, carrying all the emotional and political baggage of that profound and painful transition. As a result, a lot of the sound and fury that has surrounded the Volt's launch has tended to obscure a simple truth: This automobile is a game-changer.

Chris Theodore, a seasoned automotive engineer and one of the panel judges, enthuses about his surprise at how impressive the Volt's final results were.  He states, "I expected a science fair experiment. But this is a moonshot."

Automobile comments:

In its metamorphosis from 2007 concept car to 2011 production car, the Volt has gone through a reckoning. The turbocharged three-cylinder engine and chunky, Camaro-esque styling have been traded for a normally aspirated four-cylinder and a decidedly pedestrian shape. Claims of 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, a 120-mph top speed, and a total driving range of 640 miles turned out to be the usual concept-car lore. The true numbers are 9.0 seconds, 102 mph, and 350 miles. But the Volt is far deeper than an eco-numbers car. In fact, it's more than just a car. It's an idea. And during the past three years, that idea -- blend the environmental benefits of electric driving with the convenience of gasoline -- didn't change at all.

We've been following the Volt since its first days as a concept.  Given its evolution it's pretty easy to see why the car won these distinctions.

While there were some minor tweaks to the powertrain from the original concept, GM delivered on virtually all of its primary objectives with the vehicle being able to travel approximately 40 miles on a charge and an additional 310 miles on a fuel-efficient gasoline engine.  The price is also right near the long speculated $40K mark, coming in at $40,280 USD, before tax credits, factory incentives, or other subsidies.

The Volt is definitely a groundbreaking work by the American auto industry, which will hopefully soon be followed by Ford's Focus Electric battery EV.  The Volt will go head to head with the 2011 Nissan LEAF EV plug-in which is gasoline-free, but has a shorter 100-mile range.

The Volt could win all the awards in the world and that wouldn't convince some of its detractors.  But for those on the fence, it's important to recall that similar criticisms were leveled against the Toyota Prius.  But that mid-to-low volume mass-market hybrid established Toyota as the world leader in hybrids, a position that it has since profited on tremendously as the technology matured and became profitable.  Now GM is poised in a similar position and this time, it is ready to be the one to take the lead.



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I would heartily agree with this, except....
By marvdmartian on 11/17/2010 2:06:23 PM , Rating: 5
....for the $40K price tag! Sorry, but that shoots the whole thing in the foot, and has taken that car out of the price range for most of the people it's being marketed for, imho.

Chances are, this will end up being a limited production boondoggle for GM.....again.




By bighairycamel on 11/17/2010 2:12:47 PM , Rating: 5
Seems clear this decision was made based off of emotional responses. Not saying it's a bad car, but cost:benefit isn't great, and the features/performance themselves aren't deserving of the award.


RE: I would heartily agree with this, except....
By quiksilvr on 11/17/2010 3:01:50 PM , Rating: 3
I agree. As much as I hate the design, the Prius is the perfect combination of cost and benefit. Its under $25k, gets 50 mpg and has 4 doors. Win.


RE: I would heartily agree with this, except....
By tng on 11/17/2010 4:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As much as I hate the design.....
Really, have you seen them? No MPG rating is worth that.


By Targon on 11/18/2010 7:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you, but you can't argue that the Prius at least has very good fuel economy numbers. There are those who can look past an ugly design.


RE: I would heartily agree with this, except....
By cmdrdredd on 11/17/2010 9:04:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seems clear this decision was made based off of emotional responses. Not saying it's a bad car, but cost:benefit isn't great, and the features/performance themselves aren't deserving of the award.


Motortrend is biasd toward Government Motors anyway. What you said is true. The car is not changing the face of the industry like the 2011 Mustang V6 is doing with 300+HP and about 30mph highway, or some of the new Hyundai vehicles making real luxury affordable (Genesis anyone). The overall package with the Volt is severely lacking and if it were a cheap I4 engine it wouldn't even get an honorable mention even if it did 40mpg.


By Noya on 11/18/2010 8:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
Agree with you there, Motor Trend is the Fox News / Redneck of the automotive magazine world.


By 91TTZ on 11/22/2010 2:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
How is the V6 Mustang going to change the face of the industry with 300 hp and 30 mpg highway when the V6 Camaro has 304 hp and 29 mpg highway? It seems like an incremental upgrade if anything.


RE: I would heartily agree with this, except....
By TheDoc9 on 11/17/2010 2:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'll have to admit it makes me more interested. The prius is too snotty for me, the volt looks normal. Both cars are about the same price. I'm not sold on the home electrical upgrades, but definitely more interested.


RE: I would heartily agree with this, except....
By Spivonious on 11/17/2010 2:45:20 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
both cars are the same price


Prius -> starts at $23,000
Volt -> starts at $40,000

And don't give me that tax credit nonsense. You still have to pay the $40k up-front.

If GM found a way to get the Volt down to $25k, they would bury the Prius. At $40k it will stay a novelty item.


By goku on 11/17/2010 7:18:02 PM , Rating: 2
The day they can get the volt down to $25K is the day that every car is an electric car.. or they simply removed so much battery capacity that it's not even worth it to begin with.


By theapparition on 11/17/2010 4:24:16 PM , Rating: 3
You don't need any home electrical system upgrades. Will work off standard 110V line. You can upgrade to 220V for fast charge capability, but it is not required.

And they are nowhere near being close in price.


RE: I would heartily agree with this, except....
By WW102 on 11/18/2010 9:39:58 AM , Rating: 2
Once again, voltage isnt the issue, its Amps. How many amps does the charging system pull. If your home has is has a loaded at 100 Amps, then it would really suck having a car that doesnt allow you to have your heater or AC on while it charges.


By theapparition on 11/18/2010 10:04:12 AM , Rating: 3
Then maybe you should educate yourself before going further or speculating.

While your correct on a technical level, you fail miserably at real world applications.

The volt will charge off a standard 110V outlet. 110V outlets are rated generally for 15A, with a circuit breaker matched to the circuit. If you can run a common hair dryer (which come close to maxing out most 15A circuits), then you can charge the Volt or Leaf.

The quick charging station runs off 220V and with a higher current (typ 30A), so you can basically charge the car in a quarter of the time. But it is not necessary if you don't want it.

Stop spreading FUD that you don't know anything about. Even old homes with 1950's wiring would be able to charge these cars.


By WW102 on 11/19/2010 10:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
Thats great, it won't max out "that" circuit, but what about the total load coming into the home? Have you never seen a house that's lights flicker a little when the AC kicks on or someone flips on a Vacuum?

Most homes in the 60's were built with 100 - 150 amp services. If its a home that runs off all electric appliances (stove and water heater) and your sitting around that 100 Amp service then thats where you will have the problems.

But glad you could discuss this reasonablly and didnt resort to random personal attacks.


meh
By sprockkets on 11/17/2010 2:12:28 PM , Rating: 3
Winning the MT or Automobile AOTY is nothing. One truck can be redesigned one model year and it wins the award. Big deal.

Did it make the C&D 10Best list? THAT will be something.




RE: meh
By tng on 11/17/2010 2:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

Except that C&D wont put it on the 10 best list until they spend some serious time with it. I don't think that GM was willing to do that with pre-production models were they?


RE: meh
By SoCalBoomer on 11/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: meh
By theapparition on 11/17/2010 4:26:55 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
C&D and Automobile and others won't award until the vehicle is actually available. . . which is correct.

LOL,
Automobile just gave it car of the year. You can't even read the article and we're supposed to care what you think.


RE: meh
By kchase731 on 11/18/2010 3:05:09 AM , Rating: 3
im in detroit...i see these silly things all over the place. i even passed a dealer lot with them on it. i have a deep suspicion that this is a massive marketing ploy...not a car people "want".

4 years ago, when it debuted at the NAINAS much different times (economically, governmental, and so on) this thing looked great. it was a real BEV, and it was what GM promised for the future.

Bailouts, buyouts, cop-outs, and on and on later...the volt is a hybrid and an over priced one.

i have a ton of family that relies on UAW, GM, Ford...for a living, retirement and more. I want to say they are all drinking the GM (government motors) kool-aid. this is not the future. the volt is a "forced" "government" (obama) idea...one more failure.

the original concept, design, and idea...that was good. this is a built to $ lame product. the fact that the government needs to subsidize it $7500 worth is a good indication...that the bail out, the future, and the plan for GM is rooted in ideas....not public demand.

FAIL


RE: meh
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/18/2010 7:26:52 AM , Rating: 2
People are buying this plug-in hybrid, and paying a premium for it. So people must really want it. Who cares what GM makes as long as it sells?

I didn't know that about Obama and how he forced this into production a year before he was elected. See, government control is rampant.

</Jesse Ventura>


RE: meh
By phantom505 on 11/18/2010 7:37:51 AM , Rating: 2
What happens Thursday when they are sold back to the market?

Turns out that the government bailing out a failed business and selling back for a small profit has happened before. Like under Regan and the S&L scandals. That's what the FDIC does.

It's really not a big deal. Get over it.


RE: meh
By FITCamaro on 11/17/2010 3:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
I have no respect for Car & Driver. They submit awards and testing victories based on their personal preferences. Not necessarily the best performing or value car.


RE: meh
By tng on 11/17/2010 4:04:26 PM , Rating: 2
They are better than Motor Trend that has an award for every category that you can possibly conceive of. MT tends to give awards for everything so they can get their name in the media more.

As for personal preferences which is how C&D does it, I think that it makes more sense in real life (at least mine) to do it that way rather than specs and popularity with the public.


RE: meh
By Solandri on 11/17/2010 4:19:49 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, after trying out various movie/music rating systems from IMDB to Rotten Tomatoes to Netflix to Pandora, I've concluded that the C&D method is the way to go. Instead of trying to come up with one rating system which magically makes everyone happy all of the time, just let different reviewers pick their own personal preference. The reader/user can then pick which reviewer they agree with most often, and weight those reviews more heavily.


RE: meh
By theapparition on 11/17/2010 4:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
Let's face it, they all cater to specific biases.

C&D aren't any better or worse than MT, etc. Just like some people want to listen to CNN and others want FoxNews. They both report the same crap, but with differnt spins.


RE: meh
By Spuke on 11/17/2010 4:53:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have no respect for Car & Driver. They submit awards and testing victories based on their personal preferences.
I agree. They are heavily biased.


RE: meh
By cmdrdredd on 11/17/2010 9:08:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I have no respect for Car & Driver. They submit awards and testing victories based on their personal preferences. Not necessarily the best performing or value car.


Um...yeah that's what they are SUPPOSED TO DO! They drive the car, give you their impressions, tell you how it handles, how it drives, any little quirks and they get a basic score off of their actual testing of it. Wow...who would have thought that driving a car and telling you what they think is wrong.

So I bet you read the articles and say "Wow that car looks awesome on the numbers! best car ever." No dude...drive the damn thing.


RE: meh
By Targon on 11/18/2010 7:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
The problem here, is that their preference may be influenced by how much money is thrown their way. If a company wanted to give me a car for free, you can bet that I will prefer it to other cars that would cost me money.


RE: meh
By RjBass on 11/18/2010 9:05:16 AM , Rating: 3
I have to agree with that. Some friends of ours gave us a 2000 Ford Windstar Mini Van a couple years ago and that thing is AWESOME!!!


RE: meh
By MonkeyPaw on 11/17/2010 5:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Winning the MT or Automobile AOTY is nothing. One truck can be redesigned one model year and it wins the award. Big deal.

Did it make the C&D 10Best list? THAT will be something.


Yeah, I always hated that about the COY awards at MT. I wish they would make classes of vehicles (like by function and price), and then let every car company enter products if they want, whether it's a new model or not. It might make testing harder, but the winners would undoubtedly pan out most of the time. That might even make companies try to improve quality and options for the consumer in years where the product is not updated.


Can we stop this already.
By bah12 on 11/17/2010 2:50:26 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The Volt will go head to head with the 2011 Nissan LEAF EV plug-in which is gasoline-free, but has a shorter 100-mile range.
It will not they are not the same market. No matter how much you want them to be the LEAF is not in the same class. The LEAF is an EV, this is NOT it is a hybrid (aka a combination of 2 things gas and electric).




RE: Can we stop this already.
By FITCamaro on 11/17/2010 3:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
It is also hideous and smaller.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By Solandri on 11/17/2010 4:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It will not they are not the same market. No matter how much you want them to be the LEAF is not in the same class.

They are not in the same market only to eco-purists who so want nothing to do with petroleum, they object to the mere presence of an ICE. To them, simply refusing to put gas in their Volt isn't good enough. For everyone else driving fewer than 40 miles a day, they are the exact same class of vehicle. Just with different ranges, and different abilities when your battery runs flat.

quote:
The LEAF is an EV, this is NOT it is a hybrid (aka a combination of 2 things gas and electric).

Erm, that's kinda like saying a turbo engine isn't a ICE because it's a combination of a ICE and a turbo. Both can operate without the turbo, so both are ICEs. Just like both the LEAF and Volt can run in electric-only, ergo both are EVs (electric vehicles).

If eco-purists wish to discriminate between electric-only vehicles and hybrids, I suggest they come up with new terminology for it instead of trying to hijack and redefine common-sense terms. Otherwise we get into the ridiculous situation where we have to refer to a hybrid electric vehicle running off electricity as an electric vehicle which isn't an Electric Vehicle. The most obvious new term which comes to mind is EOV, for Electric-Only Vehicle.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By walk2k on 11/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: Can we stop this already.
By Reclaimer77 on 11/17/2010 6:01:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Erm, that's kinda like saying a turbo engine isn't a ICE because it's a combination of a ICE and a turbo. Both can operate without the turbo, so both are ICEs.


Well no because only an idiot would claim a turbo engine isn't an ICE. Did you really think this analogy through first? Both burn gas.

A turbo cannot even work without exhaust gasses from the internal combustion process. Your logic is just...baffling.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By Solandri on 11/17/2010 8:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well no because only an idiot would claim a turbo engine isn't an ICE. Did you really think this analogy through first? Both burn gas.

That's my point. Only an idiot would claim a hybrid which charges its battery by plugging in isn't an electric vehicle. Both can run off only electricity. Just because it can also run off gas doesn't mean it's no longer an electric vehicle.

quote:
Your logic is just...baffling.

Wasn't my logic. I was demonstrating why OP's logic was baffling.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By bah12 on 11/18/2010 11:55:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just because it can also run off gas...

There, I'll stop you right there. "Can also" means hybrid, 2 methods of propulsion. EV = ELECTRIC vehicle as in can NOT also run on anything. They are too different things, thus comparing them is the proverbial apples to oranges.

Most importantly they are not in the same market, because one is marketed to people who will NEVER EVER drive more than 100 miles without stopping for several hours, and the other has an effective unlimited range.

My point is quit comparing them as "head to head" when they are not even close.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By walk2k on 11/18/2010 4:22:07 PM , Rating: 1
Not only "can" it run off gas but above 70mph it "does"
runs off gas, "ALWAYS".

We don't need new terms, the ones we have work just fine.

Volt is a HYBRID.

Leaf is EV.

A turbo is... lol not even going to correct you there, go look it up in the wikiopedia or something.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By Solandri on 11/18/2010 4:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There, I'll stop you right there. "Can also" means hybrid, 2 methods of propulsion. EV = ELECTRIC vehicle as in can NOT also run on anything. They are too different things, thus comparing them is the proverbial apples to oranges.

That is the most asinine definition scheme I have heard of. You're going to reserve "electric vehicle" to refer only to vehicles which run only on electricity? What are we supposed to call things which can run off electricity or something else? What if it runs off electricity provided by a gas generator on board?

I'm an engineer. I hate diluting or misusing definitions for marketing purposes. If the vehicle is powered by electricity, it is an electric vehicle. If a vehicle is powered by gasoline, it is a gasoline vehicle. If it can can be powered by either, then it is an electric + gas vehicle. You may choose to call it a hybrid if you wish, but calling electric + gas = hybrid doesn't make it stop being electric.

quote:
Most importantly they are not in the same market, because one is marketed to people who will NEVER EVER drive more than 100 miles without stopping for several hours, and the other has an effective unlimited range.

I completely agree with you there. But that's not what you originally said. You claimed they were different markets because one was electric and one was not. That's blatantly false.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By bah12 on 11/19/2010 11:16:14 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously quit splitting hairs. If it runs off of gas and assisted by an electric system (aka prius) then it is a hybrid, if it runs off of electricity assisted by gas (aka volt). Still a hybrid.

I never said it was not an electrically powered vehicle, rather that it is not in the same class as the LEAF and should not be compared as a head-to-head competitor. Way to miss the point of the original post and latch on to the most mundane technical aspect just to drag out the thread. Quit trolling and move on. Engineering nerds /rollseyes


RE: Can we stop this already.
By 91TTZ on 11/22/2010 2:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
You're dead wrong. The word hybrid denotes that it's a combination of at least two things. A pure electric vehicle cannot possibly be a hybrid.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By Brockway on 11/18/2010 10:49:17 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, this took some work to make out, but Solandri isn't claiming the Leaf is hybrid. He was arguing that the Volt is an EV.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By bah12 on 11/18/2010 12:02:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For everyone else driving fewer than 40 miles a day, they are the exact same class of vehicle.

It is not about what you average, rather will you EVER EVER need to drive more than 100 miles without stopping for a few hours. I suppose you can rent a car if that senario only happens once or twice a year, but for most of us that is not the case.

I live 3 miles from work, so on an "average" day I drive 6-12 miles. However I often drive farther than 100 miles to see friends and relatives, or take a trip. Sure I "average" less than 40, but it is the potential usage that separates these as a class.


RE: Can we stop this already.
By twhittet on 11/17/2010 4:56:33 PM , Rating: 2
When the engine was going to work strictly as a generator - it was an EV. It was very disappointing when they announced it was just a pimp out hybrid.


Game Changer
By gregpet on 11/17/2010 5:45:43 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
This automobile is a game-changer.


Just because you people don't get it doesn't make it not true.

This car is not about getting 50mpg its about not using a drop of gasoline if you so choose. It's all electric without range anxiety. You don't have to be green and still appreciate this car - this technology is our best hope of lessening our dependence on foreign oil.

It's expensive but all limited production cars are (priced a Ford GT or Dodge Viper lately?). The price will come down with greater production.




RE: Game Changer
By therealgras on 11/17/2010 6:12:07 PM , Rating: 1
Volt uses gasoline. And how may parts used in manufacturing vehicles are made from petroleum products, there's more than just gas.


RE: Game Changer
By rolodomo on 11/17/2010 6:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, I hate stopping at a gas station during my commute. I'm willing to pay premium for a car that allows me to forget about the gas station experience. I live in the city and the gas stations along my route are frequently problematic -- there either jammed packed with cars parked the wrong way (blocking) or the station is empty, but the weather sucks. Yep, I'll endure plugging the car into my garage electrical outlet instead everynight.

I didn't know they were leasing them, I'm seriously considering it.


RE: Game Changer
By Reclaimer77 on 11/17/2010 6:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
its about not using a drop of gasoline if you so choose.


So? What's that do for me exactly?

So I'm paying twice as much, and reaming my fellow taxpayers with a massive subsidy, all so I can NOT use gas. I'm not an green activist, so please, show me how the Volt helps my bottom line and offers me something over a standard car.

quote:
You don't have to be green and still appreciate this car


Yes you do. If you buy a car because you want to "get us off foreign oil", then not only are you ignorant but you're an environmental nutjob.

And, for the 1 millionth time, electricity doesn't come from thin air. You are just switching the demand from one natural resource to another.


RE: Game Changer
By Dorkyman on 11/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: Game Changer
By foolsgambit11 on 11/17/2010 8:42:41 PM , Rating: 3
And the coal plants powering this thing are way cleaner than an old-fashioned steam locomotive. Powering our grid with coal may not be ideal (if all you're looking at is environmental concerns), but thanks to scrubbers and other modern technologies, this vehicle should still be much cleaner than an ICE (or a steam engine) on a miles/pollution basis.

Even given that, I'm not really interested in this car, because environmental concerns aren't the only factor in my purchasing decisions.


RE: Game Changer
By cmdrdredd on 11/17/2010 9:11:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
this technology is our best hope of lessening our dependence on foreign oil.


Actually no, drilling our own oil that we have available would do that.


RE: Game Changer
By gregpet on 11/18/2010 10:23:38 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Drill every last drop out of Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, East & West Coasts...

Just keep in mind that the US uses approx 7.5 Billion barrels of oil per year with 300 Million population. Just wait till the 1.2 Billion Chinese & 1.6 Billion Indian population all wants a car...

I believe that it is good that we are starting to take small steps away from oil consumption. If gas goes to $4 gallon again its nice to know a car will be available that MOST OF THE TIME won't use a drop of fuel...


RE: Game Changer
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/2010 3:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If gas goes to $4 gallon again its nice to know a car will be available that MOST OF THE TIME won't use a drop of fuel...


I'm sorry to spoil your Liberal fantasy, but most people will be forced to simply endure the $4 gallon fuel than buy a 40 thousand dollar car because they have to.

And most of the time? The Volt went from a reasonable 40 mile electric range to now about half that, or less, depending on certain factors. I don't know anyone that drives less than 20 miles a day.

You'll still be paying that $4 gas most of the time, and be saddled with a much larger car note. Sorry but the Volt just doesn't make sense at that price point.


RE: Game Changer
By gregpet on 11/19/2010 1:35:51 PM , Rating: 2
What part of
quote:
Drill every last drop out of Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, East & West Coasts...

makes you think I'm in a liberal fantasy?

The Volt range is actually 25-50 miles of EV. If you would do a little research instead of just hating the Volt b/c it was built by govt motors you may actually understand why ALL the recent press has been favorable towards the Volt (not to mention the awards). There are consumers that already have Volts (in test fleets) and they are easily exceeding 40 miles of EV range with their usage.

Also keep in mind that the Nissan Leaf's typical range is 47 to 138.


Did I miss-understand this?
By tng on 11/17/2010 2:03:54 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The vehicle survived an economic downturn


Doesn't the car have to be on the market for it to survive the downturn? So far it has just survived due to marketing projections and government funds.

If it had been on the market when the downturn hit, would it really have continued in production? After all since there are only sales projections on this, who knows if it will last more than a couple of years.




RE: Did I miss-understand this?
By shucklak on 11/17/2010 3:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think the article is saying that the project survived the economic downturn, as in the R&D of the Volt. GM could have very easily cancelled the project to save money during the economic crisis. I don't think the car has to be on the market to "survive" a downturn.


RE: Did I miss-understand this?
By tng on 11/17/2010 4:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
OK, my bad, but it should be said that the project survived the downturn, not really the car itself.

I still think that if it lives 3 years in production, that will say more than it making it to production.


9.0 seconds
By Shadowmaster625 on 11/17/2010 3:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
wtf is that? What a piece of junk. What a waste of money. The "critics" are right, it IS a boondoggle. Only the government could produce such a crappy car for so much money. For the amount of money they charge you could buy any one of at least 10 cars on the market right now that get better gas mileage, AND buy a second one for a friend to replace their gas guzzler! Yes, 2 cars for less than one Volt! How is that for efficiency!




RE: 9.0 seconds
By cmdrdredd on 11/17/2010 9:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
I know you got rated down because unlike many flower power greenpeace envirowackjobs on here, you like a vehicle that has some balls and is actually fun to drive.

I don't view my time in a vehicle as a waste and I definitely am not afraid of a little power when I step on the gas.


RE: 9.0 seconds
By Targon on 11/18/2010 7:28:14 AM , Rating: 2
The 2012 Focus is the car that I have been watching and waiting for. You are right, a $41,000 car should at least have a lot of good luxury features or FEEL like you are driving a solid car. For $23,000, the 2012 Focus 5-door Titanium makes this joke of a car look even less desirable.


oh snap!
By kattanna on 11/17/2010 4:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
DT Agenda?

By gregpet on 11/17/10, Rating: 2 By gregpet on 11/17/2010 11:32:48 AM , Rating: 2

Why has there not been an article on the Volt winning Motor Trends Car of the year AND Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the year...Both were announced yesterday so either DT is lazy or their agenda is only to post negative/non flattering articles...


so much for DT's agenda eh?




RE: oh snap!
By gregpet on 11/17/2010 5:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
Fail.

That was written at 11:45am - this article comes out at 5:45 PM...This news came out yesterday!

I appreciate that they wrote it but DT definitely isn't breaking any news!


RE: oh snap!
By gregpet on 11/17/2010 5:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
I just re-read my original post....I'm going with lazy...


For a slightly different perspective...
By torpor on 11/17/2010 2:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
...check out the New York Times editorial by Edward Niedermeyer, the main writer at the popular site "The Truth About Cars".

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/opinion/30neider...

Suffice to say he'd take issue with a fair part of this writeup.




By walk2k on 11/17/2010 5:53:15 PM , Rating: 1
password required fail


It's not a hybrid
By ralniv on 11/17/2010 7:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
The comparisons with a Toyota Prius are deceptive. The Prius is a gasoline-electric hybrid with limited battery capacity. This means that it consumes gas for nearly all real-world driving situations. The Volt is a plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid with substantial battery capacity (hence the bigger price tag). It gives you the choice of operating it as a plug-in EV (with limited range) or a hybrid with extended range. For extended range driving the Prius gives better fuel efficiency. For typical daily driving (for the average person) the Volt gives far better fuel efficiency.

My commute is 28 miles each direction and I have access to high voltage EV charging at work. For me this means that the vast majority of my driving can be in EV mode. Even if I didn't have access to electrical power at work, the Volt would still provide better fuel economy because roughly 2/3 of my commute would be in EV mode and 1/3 in hybrid.

Keep things in perspective. This is the first mass production plug-in hybrid gas-electric car. This platform, and others like it, will make progress in the future. I applaud GM for developing a mass production plug-in EV that offers extended range capability in hybrid mode. It's very pricey compared to a Prius, but it has a lot more battery capacity.




RE: It's not a hybrid
By walk2k on 11/18/2010 4:52:44 PM , Rating: 1
First in the US maybe, you can already buy plug-in Hybrids in Japan and Europe for MANY years now. There is even a plug-in conversion kit for the Prius in US.

There is NOTHING new in the Volt except maybe the idea of using a much larger battery (at the cost of extra expense and weight of course) so you can go faster/longer in electric-only mode.

IF GM had gone with the ORIGINAL design of electric motors driving the wheels and a gasoline generator to recharge the battery on longer trips it would be, but they changed the design at the last minute (aka they LIED).


By SophiaEva on 11/18/2010 12:02:34 AM , Rating: 3
Did you all forget the fact that GM lied to everyone?

http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/volt/2011/gm-l...

Just the Facts:

* Despite promises that the Chevy Volt will operate as an electric car at all times, it will in fact at times be directly driven in part by its internal combustion engine.
* The mechanical link between Ecotec internal combustion engine and drive wheels will be at high speed.




What about reliability
By GatoRat on 11/17/2010 2:13:56 PM , Rating: 2
The car isn't on the market yet and what about reliability? I've owned a few GM cars in my life and only a Fiat my brother and I shared in college was more unreliable. Frankly, I'm a lot more impressed with the Ford Fiesta and its double clutch automatic transmission.




Can we stop this already.
By bah12 on 11/17/2010 2:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Volt will go head to head with the 2011 Nissan LEAF EV plug-in which is gasoline-free, but has a shorter 100-mile range.
It will not they are not the same market. No matter how much you want them to be the LEAF is not in the same class. The LEAF is an EV, this is NOT it is a hybrid (aka a combination of 2 things gas and electric).




RE: Can we stop this already.
By walk2k on 11/17/10, Rating: 0
Huh?
By adiposity on 11/17/2010 3:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now GM is poised in a similar position and this time, it is ready to be the one to take the lead.


It's not really in a similar position. It's very expensive. The first Priuses were $20k MSRP. That's back in 2000, when the economy was good. In this economy, $40k is not going to sell well.

Add to that, today the Prius is far more fuel efficient and far cheaper than the Volt, and you've got a nasty competitor in Toyota.

The one thing going for Chevy is the 40 miles of no gas. That's big, but is it $15k big? I don't think so.

As a side note, the 2012 Prius is rumored to have a ~20 mile range on battery alone, which Toyota is "polling" potential customers about, to see whether they should increase it. Should the new Prius have close to a 40 mile range, in addition to the superior MPG, it basically defeats any advantage the Volt might currently have. Of course the 2012 model is a ways away and timing is everything...




Here's the important bit
By Connoisseur on 11/17/2010 5:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When you begin to consider the Volt's other attributes, it's important to remind yourself that the majority of your 41,000 George Washingtons is funding the research, development, and production behind the powertrain and the battery, because the Volt neither rides nor handles like a $40,000 car. Indeed, the suspension is largely lifted from the $16,995 Chevrolet Cruze compact, with a MacPherson strut-type suspension up front and a torsion-beam setup in the rear. The fact that the 435-pound battery pack sits in the central tunnel and under the rear seats is a boon to the center of gravity, but then, adding weight isn't really a recognized technique for improving handling. The chassis dynamics are neither exceptional nor offensive. They simply are.




Tired
By bigbrent88 on 11/17/2010 6:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
Getting tired of people asking for a cost-benefit analysis for this car. Like all people who drive hybrids are looking for a couple bucks saved down the road. In comparison it's $10k more than a Fusion hybrid(which is fairly comparable in size) before tax rebate and offers a stronger electric component. Yes its pretty much the same price as a 328i with similar options, but not everyone wants a BMW. I think it will have a market just like the Leaf will have a market. Will it sell to everyone, of course not. But then again, not everyone buys other niche vehicles like sports cars or wagons. Deal with it!




Dolt
By topperj1 on 11/17/2010 7:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
If the Dolt is our best chance to deal with our dependence on foreign oil, then we are all doomed, as is the Dolt.




I'm so tired -
By Dr of crap on 11/18/2010 8:58:43 AM , Rating: 2
I'm so tired of hearing about the volt. If GM saved the cost of marketing this car and acctually built it sooner, we wouldn't have to WAIT and see if indeed it is a BIG seller.

After all if there really is a market for this THING, and not just media hype, that would be something. As for now WE DO NOT know if it will sell to the GENERAL public! There are a lot of these that will go to corporations fleets.

AND before you go off on me, yes I DO KNOW that the orders are all filled. But that is to the ones that want to own the NEW thing. I'm saying will it sell to my neighbors. Will it sell to the ones that commute to their jobs everyday.

My answer to that is NO. But let's wait and see what kind of sales it has. And I can bet you that GM will inflate the sales number by including the FLEET SALES to make it look better!

At $40,000 plus, I rather buy 4 used cars that burn gas to the tune of 35mpg.




Mixed feelings
By Hulk on 11/18/2010 11:17:00 AM , Rating: 2
I have mixed feelings about the Volt. On one hand I commend GM (primarily it's engineers) for bringing the first EREV to market. There is a lot of new technology in this vehicle. The drive system is really something pretty innovative. And they seem to have brought an electric vehicle to the masses, one that can be driven on a daily basis.

But on the other hand the car is still quite expensive even with the government rebate. And that is another concern. If this car is so good why do we have to subsidize it? Let it compete on its own merits. Yes I know there is something to be said for "helping" new technology along. Still it rubs me the wrong way for some reason. If these cars take hold and the incentives can be scaled back to zero in the next 5 years I'd say they worked I guess. Still it's a slippery slope when you tamper with the free market like that as the market usually reacts in unexpected ways...

Finally I don't really see EV or EREV vehicles really making sense until we see some real improvement in Li Ion battery energy density. These batteries are capable of 250w-hr/kg. Based on that number the Volt battery could weigh less than 150lbs! Now I know there are temperature and safety regulations to be dealt with but I'd like to see a 250lb Volt battery instead of 400lb.

And secondly assuming we do see increased battery density and improved range we still need to charge these batteries. Now I know there is quite a bit of unused grid capacity at night but it's still mainly fossil fuel powered. I would like to see more clean nuclear plants built in the US to coincide with widespread adoption of electric vehicles. I know this is a dream but if there are 25% or so of the country that wants to use EV's then good for them. Our oil usage would drop dramatically making fuel prices drop for those people who would rather drive IC's.

In summary I like innovation but would rather have the market decide which technology fails and succeeds, not the government with it's subsidies.




"All-New' COTY
By SimpleLance on 11/18/2010 12:32:29 PM , Rating: 2
MT is really misleading. They should clearly say that the award is for the "All-New" car of the year. If Pinto was the only new car this year, it would win this award.

So, yeah. Pretty lame and useless award.




Nissan Leaf
By knowom on 11/18/2010 1:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'd much rather have the Nissan Leaf.




What????
By monkeyman1140 on 11/24/2010 11:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
People STILL read Motor Trend?




By monkeyman1140 on 11/24/2010 11:21:41 AM , Rating: 2
The GM Volt is never meant to be groundbreaking nor Chevrolet's future.

Its just a technology demonstrator in order to get it back to the business its comfortable with....selling gas guzzling cars. Now that the economy is recovering, people will go back to their old habits and GM expects to be there ready to hand out the next 500hp family cars.




Question
By Ammohunt on 11/17/10, Rating: 0
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson














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