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Chevy Volt Concept

Production Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt MPV5 Concept
GM revises its all-electric range for the Chevrolet Volt

At lot has changed with the Chevrolet Volt since it was first shown in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show in early 2007. Gone is the swoopy bodywork (which was deemed elegant, yet not aerodynamic enough), support for E85 fuel (the Volt now requires premium), and the gas tank was cut in size from 12 gallons to less than 8 gallons.

One thing that remained constant through this constant state of change with the Volt program over the past three years has been the electric driving range of the vehicle. General Motors has always stuck to a 40-mile range for the vehicle on battery power alone. Now, however, GM has revised the battery range to "25 to 50 miles" according to the Associated Press.

GM spokesman Rob Peterson says that the revised range figures come as a result of extended testing including operating the Volt in extreme temperatures. Other factors that will come into play include whether the driver is traveling on flat or hilly roads, whether the HVAC is operating, or if the driver has a lead foot.

By stating this change now, GM may avoid complaints from customers in the future who don't achieve the previously stated 40-mile battery range. On the flip side, Volt owners who drive on absolutely perfect/level roads, don't run the AC, and drive miserly can at least be delighted at the potential for 50 miles of battery-only travel.

The additional driving range provided by the gasoline engine/generator remains the same at 300 miles.

GM expects to build 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011 at a cost of $41,000 each (before a $7,500 tax credit). The company hopes to boost production to 30,000 the following year.

The Volt will be joined at a later date by the Volt MPV5 which offers a crossover body style and seating for 5. GM stated that that the vehicle would have an electric driving range of 32 miles at its announcement – there's no word on what the revised figure will be once it reaches production.



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To much money....
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/24/2010 9:56:20 AM , Rating: 2
To little mileage....




RE: To much money....
By Gungel on 9/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: To much money....
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/24/2010 10:03:04 AM , Rating: 3
Range extender provides 300 miles, not 400-500.


RE: To much money....
By Gungel on 9/24/2010 10:08:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, was getting a little bit to exited.


RE: To much money....
By bhieb on 9/24/2010 10:57:31 AM , Rating: 3
So are you saying there is a fixed limit of 300? Or is that the electric range + 1 tank of gas. I'd always presumed you could fill up the gas tank and drive forever, just like a normal car. This conversation however makes me question that, otherwise why call it an extender, and squabble about a "max" range since there would be none if you could fill up the tank and keep driving.


RE: To much money....
By Keeir on 9/24/2010 11:11:23 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, its a bit of a squabble

People don't care about the Max Range (so much).. its an attempt to find out the Extended MPG figure. Take Max Range/Size of Gas Tank...

But what people don't realize, we have guesstimate figures from marketing about random internet people for those numbers...

Hopefully soon we will get these numbers... certainly when the Volt goes on sale.


RE: To much money....
By acer905 on 9/24/2010 12:31:46 PM , Rating: 3
It's a fixed limit only in the way that it will act like any car, and run out of gas. Of course, you can simply fill up the tank and go some more, but there is a max range for any car really. Its just a term for the absolute longest distance you can travel before needing to refuel


RE: To much money....
By Ammohunt on 9/24/2010 2:49:26 PM , Rating: 1
its a moot point you overlooked the Too much money part.. from the OP.


RE: To much money....
By marvdmartian on 9/24/2010 3:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
Unless Steve Jobs makes it. Then it will magically extend mileage to 10,000 miles, so long as you buy the upgrade package. Cost is $5,000 (cost to produce 50 cents).


RE: To much money....
By Hiawa23 on 9/24/2010 7:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
I will stick with gasoline like vehicles most folks.


RE: To much money....
By knutjb on 9/24/2010 7:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
Me to the tech is still way below that of current ICE for the majority.

Just a thought, could they be getting nervous about Ford's recent EV mileage announcement?


RE: To much money....
By Jedi2155 on 9/24/2010 12:10:36 PM , Rating: 5
The article failed to mention that Peterson has also been quoted to say that 25 miles was near a worse case scenario.

quote:
Peterson also says the 25 mile range is “pretty darn close” to the worst case scenario. This would be extreme cold temperatures, with the cabin heating system at full blast driven by a very aggressive driver going mostly uphill.


Most vehicles EPA rated MPG numbers would also probably drop by a good 30-40% when faced with such conditions.


RE: To much money....
By Dorkyman on 9/24/2010 1:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
To me there is nothing at all magical about the "battery-only" range. So what if the engine kicks in a little sooner.

I don't know how they arrived at the electric range, but I would have issued a simple report stating the 10% and 90% points on a bell-shaped curve of prototype test driving results. People are smart enough to understand that.

But they made a marketing mistake by insisting on premium fuel. That shatters the "green" image they sought to create. Also, it's from ObamaMotors, with all the baggage that brings along. Too bad. When a similar vehicle comes from Toyota or Nissan and as scale of production drops the price significantly, I'm in.


RE: To much money....
By Hoser McMoose on 9/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: To much money....
By Nutzo on 9/27/2010 1:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
It's much more likely that Toyota doesn't see a large enough market for a small, $41,000 EV.

Wait for the reviews, and see if the Volt has the same freeway passing power of a Prius or other Hybrid.


RE: To much money....
By tng on 9/27/2010 1:48:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not sure I get this one, how does requiring premium fuel mean 'less environmentally friendly' than regular fuel? More expensive, yes, but less environmentally friendly?
Actually if I use mid-grade gas I get a roughly 10% increase in mileage, so I feel that using a higher grade fuel is more "eco" in my case. It is also cheaper for me to use a higher grade fuel than a lower grade in my commute car.

quote:
2. They *KNOW* that they are a good 5 years behind GM in terms of developing an electric vehicle.

I don't find this to be an convincing argument. If the EV market was that good, they would be in it I think.


RE: To much money....
By theapparition on 9/27/2010 7:37:55 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Also, it's from ObamaMotors, with all the baggage that brings along. Too bad. When a similar vehicle comes from Toyota or Nissan and as scale of production drops the price significantly, I'm in.

Yeah, nothing like hating your own country and instead buying foreign. While your at it, I have a scalpel if you'd like to cut your nose off to spite your face.

But even more likely, your just another government hater who's on unemployment, take subsidized public transportation, eat subsidized food, shoping for the cheapest subsidized electricity, and complaining every minute of it.

While I dislike the Obama administration as much as most reasonable people, I'm not naive enough to think that tea party fanatics and talk of revolution will do anything.


RE: To much money....
By mikefarinha on 10/11/2010 3:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
So tell me how is supporting an underperforming bloated buracratic car company patriotic?

I didn't know rewarding failure was an American value?

And I promisse you that any company that has recieved a goverment bailout to survive is an unquestionable failure.

PS you have no idea what the Tea Party is about.


RE: To much money....
By Mitch101 on 9/24/2010 1:16:42 PM , Rating: 3
50 Max best case scenario
300 on 8 gallons gas
350 Range on Electric and Tank of Gas.
8 divided by 350 This is roughly a 43.75Mpg car when traveling long distances and on a full charge. After the charge is gone the car gets 37.5 MPG on gas.

These arent bad numbers but overall this is a car for the person who daily drives roughly less than 20 miles each way or less.

I drive 23 miles each way in the best case scenario in gas this car would save me $1350.00 a year in gas providing I was able to get the full 50 off electric and not need a drop of gas. My car cost $23,000 and gets 27mpg The Volt is roughly $10,000 more (after gov rebates). Best case scenario in 7.5 years it would start to save me money on gas.

This is all assuming Gas prices dont increase and I used $3.00 a gallon when gas is currently $2.84. That should offset a +/- 15% where the volt needs to use a little gas to get me home.

Now if I bought a Prius it would probably take 10+ years before I saw a return on choosing the volt.

I will point out that if there is a finance rate because I dont have 41,000 - $7,500 in my pocket right now then I would be paying interest on that additional $10,000 more than my car probably bringing me to around 9 years to start recouping something on investment. As well as the burden of carrying a larger auto loan and with risk of unemployment Id rather be financing less.

Not dissing GM's volt its close had I worked closer it might not be a bad deal financially. Im leaving out environmental obviously. Purely financial to recoup cost of ownership.

My 2 cents.


RE: To much money....
By Spuke on 9/24/2010 1:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Volt is roughly $10,000 more (after gov rebates)
It's not a rebate, it's a tax credit. You'll have to pony up the whole $40k. Maybe, depending on your income, you'll get some or all of that back then you could apply that to your loan. Unfortunately, you'll still be making ~$750/$800 car payments though (assuming no money down, great credit, etc.).


RE: To much money....
By ralith on 9/24/2010 4:44:05 PM , Rating: 3
Did you include the electricity cost in the fuel equation? With 27mpg on your current car it might end up being more of a wash then you'd think depending on your electricity rates.


RE: To much money....
By Mitch101 on 9/25/2010 12:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
I thought of that but tried sticking to best case scenario without writing a book on every situation.

I park outside and im sure on rainy days I would probably run in the house before I plugged in the car forgetting the following day I would be using gas instead of that initial charge. Maybe 15 days a year?

It would be great if someone purchased the Volt and detailed its true cost over a year. Right now its best guess.


RE: To much money....
By Hoser McMoose on 9/25/2010 8:27:06 PM , Rating: 4
Working on 52 weeks, 5 days per week (which I believe is what the original calculations were for) we can get a rough estimate of electricity cost. The Volt uses 8.8kWh for a full charge, though we can maybe estimate 9.0kWh for a bit of charging overhead (Li-Ion batteries can be charged at better than 95% efficiency, but there is a slight loss).

So, we're talking about 2,340kWh/year here. Electricity costs in the U.S. range from about 6 cents/kWh in places like Idaho up to about 20 cents/kWh in California. A few places have increasing rates when you exceed a certain amount per month, but for the sake of discussion, let's use a fairly reasonable 12 cents/kWh as an estimate. That works out to $280.80 per year.

So actual savings per year are $280 of electricity replacing $1,330 of gasoline (that's a 27mpg car travelling 46 miles per day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks of the year with gasoline at $3.00/gallon), for a total savings of $1,050 per year. At an extra $10,000 in up-front costs, if we ignore the an interest on car loans or the time value of money, works out to roughly 9 and a half years to break even, or just in time for the battery to die (electric vehicles batteries are generally being designed with a 10-year typical lifetime in mind).

If we change the gas cost estimate to $2.80/gallon the savings work out to $960/year for a pay-back time of just shy of 10 and a half years.

I like the basic idea of the Volt, I honestly believe that GM is on the right track with this vehicle and that, 20 or 30 years from now, it will prove to have been a pivotal vehicle in the automotive industry. However until they can get the cost of batteries down (and ideally the energy density up) this sort of vehicle is going to remain a real niche product. Fortunately for GM (and us unwilling shareholders of said company) there is money to be made in this niche product, especially when you get corporate welfare of $7,500/vehicle or more (it's $10,000 worth of corporate welfare here in Ontario, Canada... where, per capita, us taxpayers paid the highest quantity of corporate welfare in the GM bailout).


RE: To much money....
By Mitch101 on 9/25/2010 8:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
Awesome post thanks for doing that.


RE: To much money....
By theapparition on 9/27/2010 7:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
True the Volt isn't for everyone. Some people it will save money, others will never break even.

quote:
or just in time for the battery to die (electric vehicles batteries are generally being designed with a 10-year typical lifetime in mind).

FYI, GM is including the first battery replacement in the initial cost of the vehicle. In other words, that first battery replacement is at no cost to the consumer. Personally, I think they made a mistake, and should have lower entry price rather than trying to include future maintenance costs.

quote:
However until they can get the cost of batteries down (and ideally the energy density up) this sort of vehicle is going to remain a real niche product.

True, but one of the only ways to get costs down is to make them. The first commercial 40" flatscreens cost $15k. Now, they run for under $500. Once production gets going, and manufacturing process improve, you'll see prices drop and adoption increase.


RE: To much money....
By AaronS on 9/25/2010 2:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
My new 2010 Civic cost my 16k USD. I'm getting 31mpg around town, and 40+ on the highway, and it doesn't have a hybrid battery that's guaranteed to fail in 100k miles/10 years time.

Why on Earth would *anyone* want to buy this GM POS???


RE: To much money....
By MrFord on 9/27/2010 10:44:51 AM , Rating: 2
Because it runs on battery power for most commutes unlike you Civic?


Who Cares?
By Ristogod on 9/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Who Cares?
By Gungel on 9/24/2010 10:07:48 AM , Rating: 3
It's a first generation car with a lot of compromises. Future generations will be better. If everyone would think like you we would still be pulling horse buggies around.


RE: Who Cares?
By cknobman on 9/24/2010 10:17:45 AM , Rating: 1
I am. It is bad enough that it provides low electric mileage and is about $15k overpriced but the fact that it is made by GM is the icing on the cake.


RE: Who Cares?
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2010 10:41:58 AM , Rating: 1
Whats not practical or usable about it?

It gets you to work and back on battery power (unless you drive pretty far). And it can go on long trips. How is this not practical or usable but the Prius is?


RE: Who Cares?
By Spuke on 9/24/2010 12:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
There's, unfortunately, a lot people out there that STILL don't know there's a gas engine in the car despite the thousands of articles on this.


RE: Who Cares?
By Dr of crap on 9/24/2010 12:40:47 PM , Rating: 3
Now you take all these comments, and remember that this isn't a Toyota or Honda, but a GM and you see what a failure it will be at THAT PRICE!

There is nothing special about this car. The Pruis has been out for years, and costs thousands less.

Hell the Honda car( I can't remeber the name right now), the Prius clone, doesn't sell very well. How is GM even thinking it will sell this car!

Make it get over 40 mpg no battery power and NOW you've got somthing


RE: Who Cares?
By Spuke on 9/24/2010 1:11:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is nothing special about this car. The Pruis has been out for years, and costs thousands less.
This car is not the same as the Prius. You know it, I know it. Don't pretend it's otherwise. Thank you and have a nice day.


RE: Who Cares?
By Digimonkey on 9/24/2010 1:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
Are you sure he knows it? It seems like he doesn't understand the difference to me.


RE: Who Cares?
By Spuke on 9/24/2010 4:47:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Are you sure he knows it? It seems like he doesn't understand the difference to me.
He's been in these threads before. He's just being a porcupine.


RE: Who Cares?
By farquaid on 9/25/2010 2:41:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Make it get over 40 mpg no battery power and NOW you've got somthing


I dont know the weight of the car but it looks like a medium sized. 40 mpg no battery , running e85 probably isnt even possible.

The 37.5 mpg with battery sounds decent but not impressive, if running on e85.


RE: Who Cares?
By Hoser McMoose on 9/25/2010 8:41:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now you take all these comments, and remember that this isn't a Toyota or Honda, but a GM and you see what a failure it will be at THAT PRICE!

This is GM's halo-car, so it will be extremely reliable. GM knows that it *MUST* be reliable so, like Toyota did with the Prius, they GM will make it reliable.

Making a car reliable these days isn't rocket-science. The problem is that reliable = expensive and the trick is to make a car that is sufficiently reliable for the right price. Even when the Detroit 3 were producing junk and Toyota held a HUGE advantage in reliability, Toyota could only demand a two or three thousand premium for their reliability.

But here GM isn't too worried about the price of the Volt, that should be obvious from the price-tag. Just going from the extra cost of the batteries and electric drive train this car should cost around $30,000 to $35,000. It is, after all, based around the Chevy Cruze that sells for $16,000, however making a car like this reliable right from the get-go takes time and adds cost, hence the long development cycle and the high cost.

That doesn't make it an economically sound choice, but I personally would not be concerned about the reliability of this car.


Boo
By Spivonious on 9/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Boo
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2010 10:43:21 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed on the design. Was way cooler when the concept was how it was going to be built. I still wouldn't be buying one though. If I was going to spend over $41,000 on a car, it'd be a barely used Corvette.


RE: Boo
By Keeir on 9/24/2010 11:04:14 AM , Rating: 3
Ouch. Logic fail.

GM has been very open. The goal of the project has been to get ~40 AER on the EPA City and Highway Cycles. For most people this would translate into ~35-40 mile range. But guess what, just like a Leaf's range is 47 to 138 miles... the Volt's all electric range can vary around its average.

The REAL news here is that the Volt will kick the generator on at 32% in normal mode (~40% in mountain mode) regardless of the number of miles traveled. There had been some concern that the Volt would automatically start the generator after so many miles as an additional way to protect the battery. This allows people like me that regularly exceed EPA cycles even when driving normally to get more than the original 40 miles AER.


RE: Boo
By flatrock on 9/24/2010 11:51:14 AM , Rating: 2
Far too high of a price premium and added hasle of plugging the car in for too limited of a benefit. I wonder what the range would be for a southern California commute in the middle of summer where the AC will be running full blast and that battery efficiency will drop because of the heat as well.

It sounds to me like the first generation volt will be a toy for people who have excess money to spend on feeling good about reducing their "carbon footprint" a relatively small amount.

Even with the high price tag I doubt the will sell enough to come close to covering development costs. For GM the value of the Volt is in showing that they are a leader rather than just following in the footsteps of other (mostly Japanese) companies. Hopefully they will be well positioned with an improved 2nd generation Volt when the economy improves.


10,000 Volts
By Spookster on 9/24/2010 1:20:51 PM , Rating: 5
"GM expects to build 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011"

Wow, that's shocking.




Nissan Leaf also changed from the 100 miles
By Gungel on 9/24/2010 9:57:17 AM , Rating: 3
Nissan pegs Leaf range between 47 and 138 miles.




By Hoser McMoose on 9/25/2010 9:05:54 PM , Rating: 1
What's worse, you can't use the full range of the Leaf every day unless you have a 220V/30amp circuit in your garage to charge the thing.

Using a standard 110V/20amp circuit used in North America, the Leaf takes approximately 20 hours to fully charge it's batteries. As such most people won't be able to get a full charge out of the thing.

Worse still, the Leaf seems to be using almost 100% of it's battery range. Li-Ion batteries last very well so long as you only charge them up to 80% of capacity and only discharge down to 25% capacity, which is what GM does with the Volt (16kWh battery pack but only 8.8kWh are used). However when you start 'deep cycling' the batteries, ie charging them to full and draining them to empty, they degrade VERY rapidly.

Nissan seems to be using 22.5kWh of their 24kWh battery pack, which probably corresponds to 100% capacity down to 10% capacity (below 10% the voltage from a Li-Ion battery drops off a cliff, so you'd probably have to cut off there anyway). Using the full range of the Leaf is going to dramatically decrease the lifespan of the battery.

Honestly GM is *AT LEAST* 5 years ahead of every other car company on the planet when it comes to designing practical (albeit not very economical) electric vehicles. GM learned their lessons the hard way with the commercial-disaster that was the EV-1. Nissan and Mitsubishi (and probably a few others) are going to learn their hard lessons with their current crop of electric vehicles.


fail
By invidious on 9/24/2010 10:10:22 AM , Rating: 1
This car was marketed at 40+ on electric, not up to 40 on electric. Obviously if you drag race or live on the top of a mountain you would get a less than 40. They just cut 37.5% off of this car's primary selling point. They might as well have just cancelled the project.




RE: fail
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2010 10:45:09 AM , Rating: 1
Their avoiding the issue of people suing them for false claims. Nothing more. To a common sense person, what you say is true. To the trial lawyers out there looking for the next perceived victim, its should get 40 miles a charge come rain, hail, or high water.


RE: fail
By Keeir on 9/24/2010 11:07:02 AM , Rating: 2
Comprehension fail.

The car has always been marketed at "up to 40 miles of range" or 40 miles on EPA test cycles.


By KingConker on 9/24/2010 11:23:27 AM , Rating: 2
25 miles - are you joking? Yes, you can top-up with the combustion unit - but, the whole point is the electric drive train.

http://www.sincuser.f9.co.uk/036/sincc5.htm

1985 - this could do 20 miles - have things seriously moved on so little in 25 years!




By Hoser McMoose on 9/25/2010 8:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1985 - this could do 20 miles - have things seriously moved on so little in 25 years!

I'd call the ability to hold 4 passengers and a cargo an advancement.

Ohh, and the Volt actually has a roof, so you know, you don't get snowed on in the winter? And let's not forget that the Volt is road-legal, which that tricycle wasn't.

Seriously if you're going to make a comparison at least TRY to make it remotely valid! Comparing an electric tricycle to an electric 4-door sedan is beyond pointless!


laughable
By invidious on 9/24/2010 10:00:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
By stating this change now, GM may avoid complaints from customers in the future...
because no one will want to buy it anymore.




By chunkymonster on 9/24/2010 10:29:01 AM , Rating: 2
Obama GM bail-out + Chevy Volt = HUGE LOAD OF FAIL!




Fluff in advertizing.
By Uncle on 9/24/2010 11:08:34 AM , Rating: 2
Here we go again the I don't want to get sued cliche, "the up to" line.They need to outlaw that jargon from corporate advertising.




Oh Obama!
By btc909 on 9/24/2010 1:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
So good luck getting 40 miles on battery only. I expected this. 41K minus a $7500 federal tax credit. I'm figuring dealerships will mark this car up at least $5000 so that will eat into your "tax credit". Be aware this is a "tax credit" you won't be getting $7500 off the 41K. In reality this is cents on the dollar being knocked off of your taxes based on your tax bracket. If one of the other posters is correct that a Volt will get around 40-45MPG average for 41K plus markups, I don't see why I wouldn't buy a Prius 23K to start or a Fusion 28K to start.




Build one cheaper and great range
By saganhill on 9/24/2010 2:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
You could home build a full electric out of an old S-10 and get greater mileage out of 25 year old technology than bying this over priced ham.




400 miles ? thats it ?
By chick0n on 9/25/2010 7:09:34 PM , Rating: 1
wtf ? my Honda FIT can go 350-370 miles on a tank if its all highway with AC on. the car cost me 18K out the door. and unlike GM's piece of shit, Im sure my Honda will outlast any GM make car.

if I want to go fast I have other sports car in my garage that can do the job.

my point is, GM is doing it wrong again, they never learn their lesson. I mean f-ing if I cared about mpg. I would drive the smallest engine car possible. if I want speed, I just hop into my 500 hp baby and be done with it.

god. Government motors never learn do they ?




RE: 400 miles ? thats it ?
By chick0n on 9/25/2010 7:14:22 PM , Rating: 1
just to be clear, the 400-ish miles is their estimate of battery + range extender which is just a fuxking typical Engine.

and we all know how much bs manufacture talk about their mpg.

mine is ACTUAL.

41K for this piece of shit? I'll pass.


By donjuancarlos on 9/24/2010 10:06:59 AM , Rating: 1
... not.




what they really mean
By Ryanz on 9/24/2010 11:28:24 AM , Rating: 1
and by 25-50 mpg they really mean 25 mpg.




ok, so what is it...
By solarrocker on 9/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: ok, so what is it...
By solarrocker on 9/24/10, Rating: 0
Media sensationalizing?
By vapore0n on 9/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Media sensationalizing?
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2010 10:45:57 AM , Rating: 1
Uber fail here. You're not even in the right article.


RE: Media sensationalizing?
By vapore0n on 9/24/2010 10:49:38 AM , Rating: 2
damnit
Wrong article


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