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Production Volt  (Source: Autoblog)

  (Source: Autoblog)

Volt Concept
GM offers a glimpse at its production Volt

If previous reports are any indication, General Motors is likely a month away from fully revealing the production version of its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle. The Volt has generated a lot of buzz for the company and the vehicle's success is critical in showcasing GM as a major player in eco-friendly, high-technology vehicles.

GM, however, is whetting the appetite of car enthusiasts around the U.S. with a few teaser shots of the production Volt. The sole picture of the front of the vehicle shows off the halos around the headlights (similar to those seen on BMWs and the new Camaro) and LED driving lights in the lower fascia. The picture of the rear is less revealing and just shows a large Chevrolet badge under the deck lid spoiler.

Despite the lack of full body shots, the pictures are likely sure to excite the 33,411 people that have already expressed their intent to purchase the vehicle even though a price has not yet been set for the vehicle according to

Not surprisingly, buyers most willing to snap up a Volt are located in California which was followed closely by Texas, Florida, and Michigan.

Of the potential buyers surveyed, the most people were willing to pay for the car was $31,261. This figure is quite a bit less than the $40,000 that GM is projecting for the vehicle, but roughly in line with what the Volt would cost if federal tax breaks are taken into consideration.

The Chevrolet Volt features a lithium-ion battery pack which allows the vehicle to travel 40 miles on battery power alone. The vehicle can also have its battery pack replenished via a household outlet with its plug-in charger.

In addition, the Volt can also recharge its battery pack on the go with its 1.4-liter naturally-aspirated gasoline engine once the Volt travels past its 40 mile all-electric range.

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By foxtrot9 on 8/14/2008 12:31:51 PM , Rating: 5
I actually have a feeling that this vehicle might save GM from bankruptcy - regardless of whether you like it or think it's a good idea, it's a good first step and a surprisingly innovative product from GM. If this fails, I think you can say bye bye to GM.

RE: Bankruptcy
By mdogs444 on 8/14/2008 12:35:11 PM , Rating: 5
It wouldn't mean bye-bye to GM, just means that they would start selling and producing only in countries where they are profiting. They already make profits in many foreign markets with smaller cars. But the US is quite different - even though we have cut back because of high oil prices, and high prices on everything - were not buying as many trucks or SUV's, but were also not buying nearly as many cars at all. Its not like were replacing trucks with small cars. People are just cutting back and conserving, not spending the money elsewhere.

RE: Bankruptcy
By spwrozek on 8/14/2008 1:09:59 PM , Rating: 4
Very true. Plus they have the Saturn brand which has been good for a while now. The MPG is pretty great for conventional cars. The Astra is cool looking and drives well too. Also 32 MPG highway. Some quality cars they got there.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Souka on 8/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Bankruptcy
By therealnickdanger on 8/14/2008 2:51:30 PM , Rating: 3
I think you're confusing "quality" with "luxury" or perhaps even "refinement". Saturn cars generally suck when it comes to aesthetic appeal... however, they are typically very long-lasting and reliable - and cheap to fix if there is a problem. I never even considered them as a viable vehicle until the Aura and Skyy (I like the Soltice more) came out. Even the Vue isn't too bad IMO.

It's hard for me to rag on them too hard because I have several friends and family members that have owned Saturns for well over 200K miles with few to no problems... just not my cup o' tea.

RE: Bankruptcy
By DragonMaster0 on 8/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: Bankruptcy
By therealnickdanger on 8/15/2008 11:48:28 AM , Rating: 3
Some people, believe it or not, see vehicles as nothing more than necessary transportation. Thoughts about handling, performance, and appearance don't factor in. I wish I didn't care that much, I would be a weathly man.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Spuke on 8/15/2008 12:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I didn't care that much, I would be a weathly man.
Same here although my cars have always been cheap. My views on life have changed somewhat in the last 5 years or so and I now think it's important to get more enjoyment from life. So, now I'm living outside of my box a bit.

I've always been a car nut but never wanted to spend the money on it. Now I have a sports car and have started modding it somewhat. Different place for me and I'm actually enjoying it.

RE: Bankruptcy
By TimberJon on 8/19/2008 5:23:16 PM , Rating: 1
DragonMaster0 - "A Suzuki beats them by a factor of ten."

Yea your chance of dying in a Suzuki is 10x better.

Mitsubishi is on the lowest rung of the ladder, yet their budget cars like the Mirage run surprisingly well for years. It's the simplicity. SOHC and one O2 sensor kind of engineering. Very reliable. The pinch-point is then the Quality of the transmission...

I'm a Nissan fan. 3rd Gen maxima is the cheapest sports car to buy and repair IMO. My wife and I both drive the same car. Problem with one? Double-check it on the other, correlate, compare & eliminate. Parts CAN be cheap, really cheap.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Tamale on 8/15/2008 9:23:33 AM , Rating: 2
heh.. the astra isn't made by north america GM.. it's a european GM car (opel) 100%..

that's why it doesn't suck ;)

RE: Bankruptcy
By Davelo on 8/15/2008 12:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not impressed. A small hatchback that only gets 32 mpg hiway? That's supposed to be good? My old Grand Prix got almost as much and was a much more substantial and comfortable ride. I am disappointed at how little ICE technology has improved over the last 40 years. BTW, weren't we all supposed to be flying around in Jetson vehicles by now? Here we are almost 2010 and we are still burning fossils like there is no end to them. Sad.

RE: Bankruptcy
By CBone on 8/16/2008 5:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
Ain't that the truth!

The airwaves and television are being bombarded with ads touting how a dinky new car is getting "31 miles per gallon... HIGHWAY"! What is that crap? That's all they've got? No better than my sedan from 10+ years ago? It's pathetic. Like the makers think that by saying it enough times people will forget that they haven't advanced at all.

RE: Bankruptcy
By foxtrot9 on 8/14/2008 2:30:22 PM , Rating: 2
That may be true, problem is that they have a huge amount of debt that can't be covered by the operations from international sales...

RE: Bankruptcy
By mdogs444 on 8/14/2008 2:39:30 PM , Rating: 5
Sure it can - if they get rid of US manufacturing and union jobs/health care costs.

RE: Bankruptcy
By therealnickdanger on 8/14/2008 3:01:00 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, the hidden costs of vehicles prices...

I have *heard* before that health care and/or pensions for retired UAW members is responsible for approximately 50% of the price of vehicles in the U.S. Does anyone have any hard evidence of this? How do the Japanese companies handle their autoworkers?

RE: Bankruptcy
By TomZ on 8/14/2008 3:17:56 PM , Rating: 4
In the US, the domestic automakers do carry thousands of dollars of "legacy" benefits cost per vehicle. Compare this to non-union foreign transplants which pay a much lower wage and have fewer benefits. And compare this to Japanese and European manufacturers where there is national healthcare and government-funded retirement.

There is no question that domestic automakers are at a strong disadvantage because of their requirement to pay for healthcare and retirement benefits.

I'm not generally defending the domestic auto industry - many of its current and past problems are self-inflicted in my opinion.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Entropy42 on 8/14/2008 5:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
And compare this to Japanese and European manufacturers where there is national healthcare and government-funded retirement.

Wouldn't those companies then be paying higher taxes though, to pay for the gov't sponsored healthcare?

RE: Bankruptcy
By Oregonian2 on 8/14/2008 7:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
Would depend upon how taxes are calculated. There was an AP article in our local newspaper yesterday, for instance. Something like two thirds of corporations in the USA have been avoiding paying any taxes at all. They've been using sneaky underhanded techniques like losing money to avoid paying their fair share. So it would depend upon the tax structure in those other countries as to whether companies going down the bankruptcy path would still be required to speed their trip by forking over money to the government (as our U.S. government was being softly criticized of not doing in the article).

RE: Bankruptcy
By TomZ on 8/14/2008 8:48:04 PM , Rating: 2
Companies generally pay taxes based on their profit. So you can immediately see the first way to not pay taxes - if there is no profit.

And one way to have no profit is if the money that would have been profit is paid to owners, shareholders, and maybe employees. This basically means that instead of paying a corporate tax, the owners pay taxes based on the same amount of money at their personal tax rate.

Finally, the entire purpose for many people in creating a company is to minimize their tax exposure. There are tons of CPAs out there who spend considerable time working for their clients towards tax minimization. So it is not surprising that a large number of companies are successful.

I don't think there is anything "sneaky" and "underhanded" about it. Why pay more taxes if the law allows methods to pay less? As long as you are obeying the tax laws as they are written, I don't think there is anything deceptive or immoral about it. And frankly, paying more taxes than you should - well, that's just stupid.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Oregonian2 on 8/15/2008 3:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm aware of what you say, and was trying to be a bit sarcastic by trying to portray the tone of the AP article a bit more explicitly.

A lot of people (including some journalists) get really bent out of shape that a company with millions or billions in sales should be ripping off taxpayers by not paying a good portion of their wealth to the government. That the company is losing money hand-over-fist (or had been and is using tax credits) is not relevant to them. In one's personal life, one's income is 100% "profit" (ignoring the home-business folk), and so company income is emotionally thought of in those terms when looking at corporation revenue.

RE: Bankruptcy
By TomZ on 8/15/2008 4:48:59 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Bankruptcy
By cheetah2k on 8/14/2008 7:56:32 PM , Rating: 1
VW learnt this the hard way, and ended up taking their majority of vehicle manufacture to China. While they still have plants in other developing countries, the move to China has benifited the most due to the low salaries, and minimal overheads.

RE: Bankruptcy
By andrinoaa on 8/15/2008 2:03:49 AM , Rating: 2
Yea sure, unions are a curse, yadda yadda yadda. You want to live on asian wages? not likely. Its not a race to see who can produce cars with the least wages to its workers. If GM and Ford weren't so greedy feasting on SUVs, it would be different.
Don't blame workers benefits, blame the "lazy" corporats who couldn't see the writing.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Fireshade on 8/19/2008 10:11:21 AM , Rating: 2
And compare this to Japanese and European manufacturers where there is national healthcare and government-funded retirement. There is no question that domestic automakers are at a strong disadvantage because of their requirement to pay for healthcare and retirement benefits.

I think this is put way too bluntly and may feed misconception about the situation here in Europe.
The healthcare and retirement benefits are indeed government regulated (with e.g. regulated maximum insurance fees for basic healthcare). However, this is only possible because income taxes here are much higher than in the USA.

Here in Holland the lowest income tax scale is at 35% and the highest scale stands at 60% (yes, if you earn a lot of money, more than half of it goes to the government). In Scandinavian countries income tax rates are even higher.

Build quality is important. Here in Europe imported cars from the US (Cadillac, Chevrolet, etc.) are frequently put down in tests because they have bad build quality.
If the product is good, people will buy it. Saying that US cars can't be cheap enough is more wrong than right. People will not always buy the cheapest product. They will buy "the right product for the right price". Otherwise, expensive brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes would have gone bankrupt long ago.
So I suspect that GM has long neglected this aspect of the buyer.

Also, they have just built on trend and fashion, putting their full weight on just a few car types (SUVs, trucks) with no evident development on efficiency (not fashionable then, "people just want bigger engines"), resulting in complete failure when the gas prices went up. They should have spread their chances more. It all seems a result of short term policy in company management combined with very bad market research.

RE: Bankruptcy
By silversound on 8/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Bankruptcy
By 16nm on 8/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Bankruptcy
By hellokeith on 8/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Bankruptcy
By rippleyaliens on 8/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Bankruptcy
By gregpet on 8/14/2008 2:30:49 PM , Rating: 5
No benefit for people who have jobs 19+ miles away? The Volt's ICE kicks in at 40 miles and then delivers the equivalent of 150 MPG.
GM is also working with many of the grid operators and is coming up with ways to allow the Volt to only charge when the price per Kilowatt hour is cheapest (middle of the night when there is extra capacity).
No high end radio (WTF)? How do you know what radio is going to be in it??
If you just hate American cars and automakers just say so but please get your information straight before posting...

RE: Bankruptcy
By foolsgambit11 on 8/14/2008 2:46:06 PM , Rating: 5
I was just listening to a piece on NPR (the Diane Rehm show) about electric cars and hybrid electrics like the Volt.

One of the guests had been testing a car like the Volt (I'm not sure if it was the Volt or another car built on the same principle). It had a 30 to 35 mile range on batteries alone. He charged it at night, and he said a full charge cost him about 60 cents (again, I'm not sure where he lived, your costs may differ). If you assumed you'd be getting 30 to 35 mpg on your ICE car, that's the equivalent of 60 cents per gallon for the first 30 or 35 miles. You'd be saving money if you charge it every night, even if gas dropped below a buck a gallon (ha ha, yeah right).

If you live more than 19 miles away from work, you'd still get the benefit of cheaper (and cleaner, see below) travel for the first part of your trip.

If you don't charge it every night (shame on you), you still have a fuel-efficient driving platform.

I can't speak for the first generation Volt batteries, but on the Diane Rehm show, they mentioned modern batteries for these cars can have life expectancies of 7000 discharge cycles, depending on the metrics used to measure them. That's, what, 18, 19 years of one cycle a day? They did say that modern batteries can be expected to outlast the car. If they put their money where their mouth is and put a good warranty on the batteries that would be nice.

As for green friendly, while it's true that electricity generation isn't completely clean in the United States, it is getting cleaner, and is already cleaner than an ICE propelling your car. About twice as clean. And since generating capacity from renewables is constantly increasing, your car is the most polluting it will be the day you drive it off the lot. It gets cleaner, not dirtier like regular cars. On average, 70% of Americans drive less than 30 miles a day. Combined with the ability to make long trips on gas power when the need arises, these vehicles are a sensible stepping stone to a cleaner, cheaper means of individual travel.

Now, I'm not saying this kind of car will be for everybody the day it comes out. Many who buy one will probably end up having it cost more over the life of the car. But eventually, it will probably make financial sense for the majority of Americans. Give the tech time to mature more, and gas prices time to double again....

RE: Bankruptcy
By DragonMaster0 on 8/15/2008 12:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
"If you don't charge it every night (shame on you), you still have a fuel-efficient driving platform."

Charging isn't a big deal, you need to park your car and lock it's doors every day anyways.

"I can't speak for the first generation Volt batteries, but on the Diane Rehm show, they mentioned modern batteries for these cars can have life expectancies of 7000 discharge cycles, depending on the metrics used to measure them."

I always read, and see, that Li-Ion self-disintegrates slowly, and after about 5 years, you get suddenly stuck with 1/8th the original capacity. It happened to every single Li-Ion batteries older than 5 years I've seen.

Good thing if it's rated for 7000 cycles, but if it dies after 5 years anyways, well, it's not that great finally.

RE: Bankruptcy
By jconan on 8/15/2008 2:39:40 AM , Rating: 2
That's easy for people who have a garage, but for those who rent or live in the city it's a different story. Overall this isn't a 1 size fits all solution. Maybe a more energy efficient charging method would work i.e. 100% solar coated body and black heat induction?? j/k

RE: Bankruptcy
By Guttersnipe on 8/15/2008 4:29:32 AM , Rating: 2
yea its not going to be 19 years. because its not a single charge cycle, its a hybrid and so its constantly doing charges. but of course i'm sure they are probably only a portion of the batteries actual capacity to keep wear low since deep discharges are worse for batteries. its why making higher range cars is difficult.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Hare on 8/17/2008 9:00:38 AM , Rating: 2
yea its not going to be 19 years. because its not a single charge cycle, its a hybrid and so its constantly doing charges.
Li-Ion batteries actually last longer if they are charged often compared to doing full cycles every now and then.

RE: Bankruptcy
By fibreoptik on 8/14/2008 3:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
-1 For your retarded comments "no high-end radio" and "no benefit for people who have jobs 19+ miles away from their home"

"Dirty power" or not, the benefit of owning/operating this vehicle will not only keep you away from pumps that will soon charge you $7/gallon, but it will also reduce the extremely harmful emissions coming from your tailpipe so that future generations might enjoy a cleaner world...

RE: Bankruptcy
By Spuke on 8/14/2008 4:20:24 PM , Rating: 3
but it will also reduce the extremely harmful emissions coming from your tailpipe so that future generations might enjoy a cleaner world...
Actually, anything made in the last 5 years or so has extremely low emissions.

RE: Bankruptcy
By freaqie on 8/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Bankruptcy
By rudolphna on 8/14/2008 5:23:13 PM , Rating: 3
except that powerplants are far more efficient than an internal combustion engine.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Spuke on 8/14/2008 7:18:04 PM , Rating: 2
They are more efficient but that doesn't necessarily mean they pollute less. Cars have hardly any emissions nowadays.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Oregonian2 on 8/14/2008 8:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect the power plants emit less on a per-unit-energy basis just in terms of the scale of things and that their burning will be kept more optimum and cleaners more maintained than personal autos that won't be fixed until things start falling off (or DEQ testing fails as it would be in our area). IOW - an auto's emissions over the life of the car may not be quite as low as when first purchased. :-) What's more nuke plants emit nothin' to speak of into the atmosphere, and why electric cars plus more nuke plants is a good idea for air quality (one place where I think the French actually are way ahead of us, I'm embarrassed to say).

RE: Bankruptcy
By fibreoptik on 8/15/2008 9:17:48 AM , Rating: 1

Humvees, Denalis and Yukons have super-low emissions.

Here's $1, buy a clue on Ebay or something.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Spuke on 8/15/2008 12:54:04 PM , Rating: 3
Humvees, Denalis and Yukons have super-low emissions.
GM's 5.3L, 6.0L, and 6.2L V8 engines meet ULEV (ultra-low emissions vehicle) standards in California. A simple search of the ARB website would've found that out but you chose to speak with ignorance instead. You're the one that needs a clue.

RE: Bankruptcy
By DragonMaster0 on 8/15/2008 12:35:54 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, tell me boats, refineries, trains, trucks carrying oil to every gas stations is more efficient than high voltage AC on wires...

Even coal to power stations makes less mileage.

Remember that there's people running off hydroelectricity, wind power, solar power, nuclear power and other non-CO2 emitting power sources.

RE: Bankruptcy
By fibreoptik on 8/15/2008 9:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
*Raises hand*

My whole provincial grid is 100% hydro fed.

Thanks for pointing that out :)

Now let the comments about how much carbon footprint it created to orginally assemble the dam(s) begin! :P

RE: Bankruptcy
By Jim28 on 8/17/2008 2:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
Hydro is not "green" power. It simply emits no CO2 or aerosols. However there are significant issues with hydro as well.
Issues such as changing the natural state of the river course depth and silt distribution.
Hydro produces a significant amount of methane due to the constant rot on the resevior shores as they are never at a stable level.
Land loss due to needing to fill the resevior behind the dam.
Of course it take a metric shit ton of concrete and steel, and moved earth to make. (Much more than traditional power plant types.)

The point was nothing is perfect. There are always tradeoffs to make.

RE: Bankruptcy
By stryfe on 8/18/2008 11:53:52 AM , Rating: 2
Hello fellow Manitoban!

RE: Bankruptcy
By slashbinslashbash on 8/14/2008 5:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that you can make that same statement about ANY car that you own vs. ANY car that you are considering buying. Even a $30,000 car that runs on magical free energy would be uneconomical according to your analysis, because you'd be paying $600/month for the "free energy" car payments vs. the $200/month in gasoline that you pay for your current vehicle.

The cost-benefit analysis for any new vehicle purchase (when you already own a working vehicle) always looks crappy, and yet the car companies sell cars year in and year out.... it's the whole idea of new-car smell, warranty, maintenance, etc. Nobody wants to drive a shoddy old car.... there's too much marketing and self-image involved. Look at me, I just bought a brand-new Chevy Silverado Crew-Cab.... but I also bought a '99 Saturn SL, manual transmission (35+ mpg) to putter around town in. Miles for the first couple of months have been 75%/25% Saturn/Chevy. The truck satisfies my ego, and the Saturn satisfies my economical side.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Spuke on 8/14/2008 7:20:23 PM , Rating: 3
Chevy Silverado Crew-Cab
What kind of deal did you get if you don't mind me asking? I'm wondering if prices are as low as I'm thinking they might be on trucks.

RE: Bankruptcy
By slashbinslashbash on 8/15/2008 9:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
It's a 2008 2WD LT1 with the All Star Edition (5.3L V8, locking rear diff, trailering package, power driver seat, and 20" wheels), MSRP is $31950. I paid $29802 (invoice, according to the dealer... checking on various sites confirms this to be about right) minus $6000 in rebates = $23802 or a little more than $8000 off MSRP total. Oh, and I refused to pay $300 extra for their dealer-installed window tinting, so I got that for free. Add in $1500 in GM Card earnings and I was basically $10k off MSRP on a $32k truck.

My deal was complicated by the fact that I had a problematic trade-in (a paid-off TrailBlazer that was having undiagnosed, obvious engine and/or transmission problems) and I really was getting desperate to get rid of it. So I got less on my trade than I really wanted, but it wasn't totally out of line according to KBB (unbelievable depreciation on the 5-year-old TB with under 100k miles).

I had the option of the $6000 rebate or 0% financing. Looking at the numbers, it made sense to take the $6000 off up front instead of the low interest rate. Sucks because I had walked in anticipating $6000 off AND 0%, but that's not how it works unfortunately.... add my desperation to get out of my trade and you have my deal.

I am happy enough with how it turned out, but if I had done some shopping around (lots and lots of Chevy/GMC dealers around here) I'm sure I could have knocked another $1000+ off the price. That being said, I walked in at the height of the end-of-June "we need to get rid of all these trucks sale" with great incentives. Looking at the current incentives, there are only certain Silverado trim levels with rebates, and none of them are even close to $6000 off. That sale must have done wonders, at least for the dealership where I bought my truck (in Texas, DFW area) because when I came back to pick up my license plates a couple of weeks later, they had drastically reduced the number of Silverados in inventory. So I got to have my "pick of the lot" and there were a lot to choose from, believe me... which has to be worth something. I don't think that I could get the same or better deal now, but I would imagine that GM will bump up the incentives again on the '08s by September-October.

RE: Bankruptcy
By slashbinslashbash on 8/15/2008 9:52:28 AM , Rating: 2
Correction: the $31950 figure included the $925 destination charge. MSRP without dest. charge would be $31025.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Spuke on 8/15/2008 12:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
That's a great deal!! Maybe I need to start hitting the lots. Thanks!

RE: Bankruptcy
By Nik00117 on 8/17/2008 3:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
I rountily sell trucks at 6k to 10k below MSRP. I work at a dealership where we refuse to negoitate the price, and we just have discounts and only sell to Military personel. My biggest savings from MSRP was $12,500, 32,000 F-150 came out to be about 20,000 off the lot paid in full.

Honsetly nows the time to buy a truck and when your driving look for a lot with a LOT of cars.

RE: Bankruptcy
By Spuke on 8/19/2008 11:53:16 AM , Rating: 2
Good advice, thanks.

RE: Bankruptcy
By DragonMaster0 on 8/15/2008 12:16:29 AM , Rating: 1
"No benefit for people who have jobs 19+miles away from their home."

If your job is 21 miles away, you'll pay for 2 miles of gasoline. You also have the benefit of not wasting gasoline when you'Re stuck in traffic.

"Still need repairs.. you own the car for 5 years= $7,000 a year, = $580 a month.+some gas+lots of power.."

You'll keep it a long time, electric motors are simple devices, there is no high cost repairs due to wear ever going to happen, and much less likely to have X sensor, Y part or Z leaking joints to fix. Electric braking saves on brake pads. No burning fuel means no oil changes or almost, it doesn't get dirty. I already checked the oil in an heavily used 18 years old golf cart, it was pristine. Sure, there's a gasoline motor in there, but it's going to be used much less heavily than a gasoline car, and when it's used, it's running continuously to charge the batteries and provide power to the electric motor. (No heavier wear due to stop & go, less mechanical parts overall as it's just a generator)

"Electricity isnt free. I dont know why people think that it is free. IT COSTS!!!.. Your home electric bill may be only $50 a month. But once you hit a certain KW, the rate goes up."

In my area, it's currently half the cost of oil (which is cheaper than gasoline) for heating. That's way cheaper. It's half the cost of an equally efficient gasoline car.

"A/C, Car audio"
Not too sure GM would cut the A/C, an efficient electric compressor (some 12V $2000 fridges cost <$10 of electricity/year) would work wonders, and could even save power while heating during winter as it's more efficient than an electrical heater.

Car audio... As if Bose was -really- high-end? (It's pretty much just a friendly name for not-substandard-sound.)
You could DIY if you want.

RE: Bankruptcy
By elessar1 on 8/14/2008 4:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
GM owns a lot of brands an factorys around the world, here i South America they sell a lot of cars and are very well evaluated as a maker of sheep and reliable cars...

Actually, here in chile Chevy is the number one brand in sales, and the second best selling car is a Chevy model, the Chevrolet Corsa...

We even get a versión of the Corsa made in China... :|


RE: Bankruptcy
By Spuke on 8/14/2008 4:21:20 PM , Rating: 5
well evaluated as a maker of sheep
Wow! GM's into everything!

RE: Bankruptcy
By ineedaname on 8/14/2008 6:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
I would never buy a Chevy anything but after seeing the volt it actually changed my mind.

If I need a car when this car comes out in my area then I will buy it. IMO electric cars are the only way 2 go for the future. Hydrogen is just a fantasy.

Electrolysis at the best is only 50% efficient to make hydrogen. That's like throwing electricity that could have been fed directly to an electric car. Seems like a real roundabout method to me.

Once again Chevy seems 2 have a real winner if they make the first widely available electric car.

RE: Bankruptcy
By walk2k on 8/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Bankruptcy
By Oregonian2 on 8/14/2008 8:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
Toyota's still using Ni-Cd's aren't they (with next year's models announced to be using the same)?

RE: Bankruptcy
By DragonMaster0 on 8/15/2008 12:23:02 AM , Rating: 2
Ni-MH I believe. There are Ni-MH cells that have a greater energy density than Li-Ion. They also have the benefit not to suddenly-only-have-1/10th-of-the-original-capacity- after-a-certain-number-of-years-no-matter-if-you-us e-them-or-not like Li-Ion batteries do. They handle being discharged for a while better too.

They just charge more slowly (but the parallel-serial battery configuration could be switched while charging to make it shorter)

RE: Bankruptcy
By Oregonian2 on 8/15/2008 3:43:12 PM , Rating: 2
Are those the varieties used in autos (both Lithium and NiMH)?

RE: Bankruptcy
By Jim28 on 8/17/2008 2:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
Nickel-Hydride batteries do not have greater energy density than Li-Ion. That is the main advantage of Li-Ion. Of course Li-Ion degrades over time but newer designs are fixing that issue.

A whole 40 miles!
By WayneG on 8/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Brandon Hill on 8/14/2008 12:48:39 PM , Rating: 5
My daily commute (running errands around town) is roughly about 25-30 miles or so. I could drive all around town, come back home and not even touch the internal combustion engine (ICE).

I then plug it in at night and recharge it -- do the same thing the next day and never touch the ICE. I'd only need to use the ICE for long trips over 40 miles.

Can you do that in a diesel? Didn't think so.


RE: A whole 40 miles!
By pauldovi on 8/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: A whole 40 miles!
By vapore0n on 8/14/2008 1:17:24 PM , Rating: 3
-Diesel is not cheaper than gasoline.
-Batteries only problem is the disposal hazard
-The engine will definitely not run at 10k rpm. They want the engine to battery to be seamless.
-Used cooking oil might be a plus, if you happen to know the owner of a McDs. Buying cooking oil specifically for use as gas is not cheaper.
-Everything else stated is unproven as the car is yet to be released.

What we are doing by changing over to electric engines is moving the pollution from our immediate area to the area where the electric power company is. Now if they use solar, wind, water, or heart power then its a win/win for both the consumer (cheaper than gas) and the environment (less or no pollutants). And if they use coal, then its still a win/win. Its a lot easier to come up with an air filtration system for a coal power generator than it is for 1000s of cars.

Advantage of the Volt is there for those that commute less than 40 miles a day. But the real advantage is yet to be seen. Just wait till its released.

I'm more worried about this car looking like some modified Chrysler Crossfire + Chevy Cavalier.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By pauldovi on 8/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: A whole 40 miles!
By TomZ on 8/14/2008 4:08:12 PM , Rating: 3
Diesel is a lower grade oil than gasoline, which is where my comment on its "cheapness" comes from. The actual street price of diesel is inflated by additional taxes.

Untrue. The 50-60 cent/gallon cost difference is much more than the difference in taxes. See:

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By rudolphna on 8/14/2008 5:31:20 PM , Rating: 2
I think you got a little confused there. Diesel, is a higher grade fuel, just less refined. That is why it used to be cheaper, because it takes less refining to make it. But a gallon of diesel contains much more potential energy than does gasoline. This is why diesel vehicles historically get better fuel economy than a similar gasoline powered car.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By blaster5k on 8/14/2008 1:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel is not without its problems. As I understand it, even the latest clean diesel cars barely meet US emission standards. They're still more polluting than their gasoline counterparts.

Diesel is more expensive than gasoline -- not less. Cooking oil is a not a viable or efficient fuel source for wide-scale use. The engine is still nowhere near as efficient as any power plant.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By TomZ on 8/14/2008 1:28:14 PM , Rating: 2
As I understand it, even the latest clean diesel cars barely meet US emission standards.

This is not because of a problem with diesel engines, it is because the EPA is currently in the process of raising the emissions standards.

Therefore, older engines designed to meet older standards are not going to meet the newer standards until their designs are modified. This process is going on within the industry.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Spuke on 8/14/2008 3:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
The new Dodge diesel engine meets 2010 emissions standards. Don't know about the rest of them.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Suomynona on 8/14/2008 1:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel runs about 50-60 cents more per gallon than gasoline does in the US.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By 16nm on 8/14/2008 1:31:38 PM , Rating: 3
3. [diesel] Is better for the environment (the emissions from a clean air diesel is cleaner than ambient air)

OK, and the air in Beijing is safe, too. Maybe the olympians should have sucked on some diesel engines and stayed in Beijing to prepare for the competition.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Cosworth on 8/14/2008 2:54:33 PM , Rating: 3
2. Does not require energy accumulators (batteries)

Yes, you're right, vehicles with diesel engines need no place in them to store any sort of energy used to move it forward!

Oh, no, guess what? It's called a gas tank!

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By WayneG on 8/14/2008 1:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your input, I guess for some people 40 miles is alright... Living in the british countryside 40 miles would take me roughly to the closest petrol station and back and is wholly inadequate for any sensible journey anywhere. But don't you think this car is just too much of a niche?

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By jRaskell on 8/14/2008 1:54:43 PM , Rating: 4
If we go based on GMs own marketing research done specifically for the Volt design, upwards of 80% of all Americans drive on average only 40 miles a day. That's more than 200 million Americans. Even if we assume that's a gross over-estimate, I still think it's totally safe to believe there are at least tens of millions of Americans who drive less than 40 miles a day.

So, I guess to answer your question directly. No, I don't think it's too much of a niche at all.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Spuke on 8/14/2008 3:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
The average American drives 16 miles one way (32 miles total) on their commute.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Oregonian2 on 8/14/2008 8:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
Does most of the British population live twenty miles away from their nearest petrol station? My parents lived in a small English village for more than five years before my father retired, but I don't recall it being that far from a petrol station.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By TheNuts on 8/14/2008 12:50:59 PM , Rating: 2
I drive 30 miles to and from work everyday and fill up my tank once every 2 weeks @$60/tank; $120/month. That would definitely save me gas money

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Grast on 8/14/2008 2:06:25 PM , Rating: 2
Well Nuts,

Crunch the numbers....

Purchase price: 40K with tax,license,deliver charge, dealer mark-up, exteneded warranty
Good Trade in Value: 10K on your already 30 MPG vehicle.
Loan Value: 30K
Loan Intrest Rate: 3.4 for 4 years if you have good credit or credit union. Do not count on GMAC financing to give a good rate.

Monthly payment: 634 per month
Monthy cost of electricity: 1/3rd of gasoline based on current expectations = 25 dollars per month based on 30 miles per day, 5 day week, 4 weeks in a month.

So by purchasing this vehicled you have lowered your gas expenditure from 160 per month to 25 at the cost of a new 634 dollars per month car payment.

30000 \ 135 = 222 months realisation \ 12 = 18 years. This does not include the intresting being charged on the 4 year loan.

This means you will recoup the cost of the car in 18 years of driving. This makes real finacial sense to me.

I do not know if my numbers are complete correct. However, the cost of the vehicle compared to the savings of switching from gasoline to electric just do not appear to be there. This is especially true when talking about a 30 MPG vehicle. It could make sense with a 12-14 mpg vehicle but just barely.


RE: A whole 40 miles!
By OxBow on 8/14/2008 2:59:52 PM , Rating: 1
It's not reasonable to factor in the full cost of the car when comparing whether it would pay for itself over 18 years.

What you need to know is whether the fuel savings would start to recoup within the lifespan of the car as opposed to the difference with a comparable gas only vehicle.

If you were to compare the $31,000 Volt to an $18,000 Corolla (and I'm not saying this is a comparable comparison) the difference in price is all of $13,000.

On a five year note that $13,000 would cost you about $250/month. Say you're saving $150 on gas by paying through your electric bill instead, you're still down $100/month.

However, I know a lot of people right now that are paying $600-$800 month for to fill up their SUV's for their 50 mile commute every day. For them, the Volt would be a dream come true. Sure, they'll be filling up the tank once a month, but they're savings could be on the order of $400/month. That would be worth it.

I'm really interested in seeing how the real world numbers on these new cars start coming out. My wife has a 45 mile commute one way every day. If she had a volt, she could charge it at work and end up paying very little in gas. Right now she drives a corrolla, so I doubt it would be worth it, but it would be interesting to see if it could be.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By SublimeSimplicity on 8/14/2008 3:39:44 PM , Rating: 2
1) The price of electricity isn't necessarily tied to the price of oil. Oil and coal have historically been the cheapest ways to make electricity on demand, but that will eventually change. So the gap in operating costs will grow over time.

2) You don't consider trade in value. Which might be very good as the gap in #1 grows. The trade in value of a gas vehicle will likely decrease at a faster rate.

3) Buying a new car is not a good economic decision... ever. Hybrid, electric, steam, never. You don't need to be a CFO to realize that. People buy new cars because they like new things, not because it's a sound financial investment.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Oregonian2 on 8/14/2008 8:27:29 PM , Rating: 2
We buy cars new and run them until they fall apart, more or less. It'll certainly have over 100K on them at that point, trade in will be ziltch (although I think we got $50 trade-in on the last one). Comparison would be buying this or that new with no benefit per se as to what the old one does or doesn't do because it's going bye-bye anyway. IOW keeping the old one no matter what its MPG will matter nor will the trade-in value.

I still have my doubts about the VOLT, but think it looks like a great step especially if the US starts making Nukes (or some other clean monetarily efficient (not burning wheat to drive steam generators for instance) method) to generate the electricity . First model one won't be the most cost effective, but it should get only better from that point if the sales volumes come to help it along. Higher petrol prices will help it in the equations as well.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By andrinoaa on 8/15/2008 2:23:36 AM , Rating: 2
Well Grast, you party pooper, you!
When was the last time you bought a car and drove it into the weeds? If the last dime is what the average american thought about when buying, you can kiss your economy good by! ( how many compatriots bought a V8 SUV and worried about economy? )
I thought masher2 proved a long time ago that the yanks had a higher disposable income than anybody. I am sure GM will find at least 30,000 sales at $40k EASILY!
Its designed for the AVERAGE american" daily commute. If it doesn't suit you, bad luck. You will just have to put up with what you can afford.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Spuke on 8/15/2008 4:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure GM will find at least 30,000 sales at $40k EASILY!
I'm almost positive that people will be lined up around the block for these things for at least three years. Especially at only 10k units a year.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Diesel Donkey on 8/14/2008 12:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
40 miles on a battery with any engine is downright pathetic, why is this car any more environmentally friendly than a 65+mpg vw bluemotion or equivalent?

I think the rationale is that the average American's commute to work is less than that.

Wii is a perfect example of gimmicks selling

Huh, that's odd...somehow I was under the impression that people were buying Wiis because they're fun to play.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By fibreoptik on 8/14/2008 3:39:55 PM , Rating: 2

Huh, that's odd...somehow I was under the impression that people were buying Wiis because they're fun to play.

I was just about to say the same thing. Funny thing is: *everyone* from toddler to senior age that I have ever heard of trying out the Wii has LOVED it. So I guess Nintendo really pulled the wool over their eyes, haven't they? :p

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By StillPimpin on 8/14/2008 1:45:20 PM , Rating: 1
The Chevrolet Volt features a lithium-ion battery pack which allows the vehicle to travel 40 miles on battery power alone.

In addition, the Volt can also recharge its battery pack on the go with its 1.4-liter naturally-aspirated gasoline engine once the Volt travels past its 40 mile all-electric range.

You should really learn how to read. That's 40 miles on a single charge then the engine kicks in and recharges the battery allowing you to go further.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Topweasel on 8/14/2008 2:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah the real range is like that of any sedan ~300-400 miles. To save on weight they have almost always designed tanks and fuel efficiency to get that distance.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Blight AC on 8/14/2008 2:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is that your completely trolling and you can't actually be that oblivious.

First of all, 40 miles is on battery power alone . Once your batteries get too low, the "weak" 1.4l engine is only there to act as a generator to supply enough juice, with a full tank to get around 360 miles before needing a recharge or fillup (a total of around 400 miles.)

From what I understand, when using the ICE to supply the all electric drivetrain with juice, you will get less peak performance from the engine (from an earlier article posted on Dailytech), but that's peak performance that most people won't even notice is gone under normal driving. Performance should be similar to a 6 cylinder sedan.

Either way, before you go spouting off about something that seems to broken to be true, do some research.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By mindless1 on 8/14/2008 2:51:58 PM , Rating: 3
The ICE will kick in before the battery is drained entirely, meaning the reserve power from the battery does give close enough to peak performance at all times, just not constant, pedal-to-the-floor redlining it the whole time, the average power consumption has to remain under the peak the ICE can generate once the battery pack has drained past a certain point.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By KingofL337 on 8/14/2008 3:14:51 PM , Rating: 3
Also, when the ICE is running excess energy will be stored in the battery so on a long trip with light load. The system could theoretically re-charge the battery and allow you to run ICE free again for a longer period of time. The Volt is also being rated a 40miles minimum meaning in the north when temps are very cold and under stop and go. If you spend your time on the highway it is likely you will see more then 40miles on a charge.

Everyone who is rooting for the Volt is hoping A123 gets the contract because their batteries are very robust and can take extremely high levels of current during a charge.
I have a set of A123s on my battle bot and can charge the batteries at 30amps. Which lets me charge a 4600mha pack in close to 5min. Most lithium poly packs charge at 2amps.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By fibreoptik on 8/14/2008 3:43:29 PM , Rating: 2

Can you share a link to some video or pics of your battle bot please? :) I <3 those things!

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By mindless1 on 8/14/2008 5:03:10 PM , Rating: 2
Any battery they settle on will end up charging closer to 30 than to 2 amps, but for practical purposes the charge limit will probably be the typical home wall outlet, that they probably wouldn't want to be tripping circuit breakers and of course the cost of the charging circuit. It's not going to recharge in 30 minutes or less, let alone 5, if that's what you were hoping for. For that you'd want a fuel cell powered hybrid.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Solandri on 8/14/2008 6:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
The ICE will kick in before the battery is drained entirely

Doesn't that also mean you're actually going to get a bit less than 40 miles on pure plug-in power? They need to put in some sort of cutoff switch so people who know their destination is just barely within electric range can prevent the ICE from coming on at all.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By AFMatt on 8/14/2008 8:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone knows for sure. I feel it is safe to assume, at this point at least, the time the ICE kicks in and the time the batteries are at that low, but not fully drained level is the 40 mile point.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By mindless1 on 8/15/2008 4:06:46 AM , Rating: 2
You don't necessarily want to try and get every last mile out of the battery pack, Deep discharge is worse than not. Besides, many won't be making a round-trip, their destination is not a place where they can wait a few hours for the battery to charge from a wall outlet. Further, what if you have a power outtage? Will your boss buy the excuse that the whole company has to shut down because a few key employees couldn't charge up enough to get to work?

We need to either rely on the tech or avoid it instead of second-guessing it.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Blight AC on 8/15/2008 8:35:08 AM , Rating: 2
You still have the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to run when the batteries don't have enough charge. I'm not quite sure how you completely missed that. If you need more then 40 miles without the chance to recharge, the ICE acts as a generator extending your range around 360 miles. As long as Joe Poweroutage has gasoline in his vehicle, he won't have a problem getting to work because he couldn't charge up overnight.

You can go cross country with this vehicle.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By mindless1 on 8/15/2008 3:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't miss it at all, like I wrote the idea is you don't want the car to have a cutoff switch that could drain the pack too much INSTEAD of allowing the ICE to come on at a preset level.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By rudolphna on 8/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: A whole 40 miles!
By WayneG on 8/14/2008 5:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
Lol at some of the replies I have received, glad I stumbled across something that could be discussed! I don't think some people noticed the heavy degree of sarcasm in most of my original post... :D

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By twhittet on 8/14/2008 6:24:43 PM , Rating: 2
Lol...nope, I - like most people on here, seem to have thought your original post was completely ignorant and almost as stupid as possibly can be, and your second one was the same. Does anyone know a good sarcasm tutor?

The one question if it is better than a 65+mpg VW is possibly a valid one, but whether you are on all electric or using the 1.4L generator, I believe the Volt should be more efficient, creating less pollution. How hard and harmful it is to create and then later recycle the lithium ion batteries I admittedly do not know.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By twhittet on 8/14/2008 6:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
Oh - and it looks like the Bluemotion gets a whopping 79, less mpg, half the HP, sounds like a winner. A ton of people would love to pay a little extra to have something that has decent horsepower AND is better for tne environment. Unless I'm wrong - is moderate speed and power a niche market?

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By Spuke on 8/15/2008 4:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
Unless I'm wrong - is moderate speed and power a niche market?
Don't know about anywhere else but the US buyer does want a car that doesn't feel like a dog. The freeway onramp acceleration test is the most common. If a person can get up to freeway speed before merging, they're generally happy.

RE: A whole 40 miles!
By rudolphna on 8/15/2008 10:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
lol, I own a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier RS with the 2.2L I-4 (120HP) and I can get up to speed plenty fine. Sure, its not as sprightly as even our 2003 Ford Expedition, but it gets the job done, and at 30mpg too. It has a nice engine sound when floored too. :)

Electricity vs. Gas
By sirokket16 on 8/14/2008 12:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
How much in electricity would it cost to charge it full to drive 40 miles? I'm just trying to compare this to how much it would cost in gas to travel the same distance.

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By masher2 on 8/14/2008 12:42:17 PM , Rating: 3
It depends on its electric performance and what you per per Kw-h, but a rough calculation is about 1/3 the price of gas per mile driven.

Of course, that assumes that wildly successful electric car sales don't cause a large spike in utility rates.

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By MadMaster on 8/14/2008 2:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
Multiply the price per kWh times 10 and that's about the price per gallon equivalent.

$0.10/kWh ~ $1.00/gallon gasoline.

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By Solandri on 8/14/2008 4:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'll confirm that the above conversion is pretty accurate as an estimate.

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By freaqie on 8/14/2008 4:59:35 PM , Rating: 1
1 kwh = one gallon?????
i do not think so even with low efficient car-engines
you get more out of it then that....

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By MadMaster on 8/14/2008 6:15:44 PM , Rating: 3
10 multiplier, read closer next time.

10 kWh ~ one gallon.

Electrics have a wall socket (120V) to wheel efficiency close to 80%. Gasoline ICE's have a efficiency close to 25%.

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By Spuke on 8/15/2008 3:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
Electrics have a wall socket (120V) to wheel efficiency close to 80%. Gasoline ICE's have a efficiency close to 25%.
What types of efficiencies are you talking about here?

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By Spuke on 8/19/2008 12:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! No one ever answers this question (well one person did a while ago in another thread). I guess I'll put you on the list of people that don't know what they're talking about. You specifically mentioned wall socket to wheel efficiency when talking about electrics but failed to mention what type of efficiency you used when talking about gas engines.

Which is it?

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By gregpet on 8/14/2008 2:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
My understanding is that there is excess capicity on the grid for charging plug-ins/electrics at night. I have also read that it could actually bring rates down since the utilities will be able to run more efficiently. They will be able to sell significant amounts of electricity 24 hours day...

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By GaryJohnson on 8/14/2008 3:12:25 PM , Rating: 1
Demand goes up price goes down. Yeah, that's totally the way it would work.

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By fibreoptik on 8/14/2008 3:29:13 PM , Rating: 3
It's working out nicely for oil isn't it? ;)

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By Spuke on 8/14/2008 3:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
Once a good amount of electric plug-in cars hit the streets, off-peak won't be off-peak anymore because lots of people will be plugging in at night. Which causes the rates to increase and I wouldn't surprised if eventually we spend as much money in extra electricity usage as we do on gas. We'll have to recalculate our costs per mile at that time.

I'll be reluctant to switch to hybrid or electric and will more than likely use some newer gas tech like HCCI or diesel until I can't buy either anymore, then I'll switch to electric after all the guinea pigging is done.

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By Doormat on 8/14/2008 4:29:05 PM , Rating: 4
Consider today's outlook from the California Integrated System Operator's website..

The valley bottom is 25GW and the peak is 41GW.

If you consider that the crossover is about 35GW around 9:30-10A, you'd need 10GW of demand overnight to bring it up to that amount - from 10P-10A.

Each volt recharging 8kWh over 6 hours is 1.25kW of power demand. 10GW would translate roughly into 8M Volts, all recharging at the same time. We wont see 8M PHEVs on the road until the end of the 2010-decade.

I'm not saying you wont need more power, or that it wont get marginally more expensive, but the probability of flipping the peak is very small before 2020. And by then who knows what.

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By MadMaster on 8/14/2008 6:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to say this but got lazy. Doormat's assessment is very accurate.

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By walk2k on 8/14/2008 7:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
Even simpler - 8kwh x 8 cents/kwh = 64 cents per charge.

40 miles for 64 cents.

To do that with gas you'd have to get....

281.25 MPG

at $4.50/gallon and don't think that won't go up, though electricity will go up too, probably not at the rate gas has been..

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By Spuke on 8/15/2008 3:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
As long as people charge at off peak we should be fine (at least in SoCal) for 10 years or so. After that, anyone's guess. Thanks very much for that info!

RE: Electricity vs. Gas
By Doormat on 8/14/2008 4:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, there is a fair amount of extra capacity in both power generation and transmission lines.

The capacity varies by region. Texas has a lot of excess generation capacity, California and the NW, not so much. Though California has stated that they expect to have 10GW worth of renewables coming online in the next 7-10 years (7.5GW wind, 2.5GW of solar). Wind usually has a output factor of 25%, and solar is about 25% in the Mojave (output/rated DC capacity over 24 hours). Just in wind, that's 1.88GW, which would provide enough electricity to charge 1M Chevy Volts at a time. It'll take GM a long time to get to 1M Volts, let alone in California.

The Volt wont even end up on the showroom floor until early 2011 anyways.

As to whether or not energy prices could actually go down, well, the idea behind that is that the cost of the natural gas power plant amortizes the cost of the facilities over the expected amount of power sold over the course of the lifetime of the plant (30 years?). By selling more power, they can amortized the cost quicker, or they can decrease the amount of the amortization per MWh sold. However, I'm inclined to think that increased natural gas prices and increased maintenance would cancel that out. Or they'll just put it in their pocket and go buy a new boat or something.

Make that 33,412
By HsiKai on 8/14/2008 12:42:17 PM , Rating: 2
I am very interested in the release of this car. It's great that as of yet they haven't made significant changes in the way it looks; though I think the windows seem a bit small, that may not be a real issue.

I would be interested in what kind of torque the Volt has as the Prius' electric drive gives it 295 ft·lb.

RE: Make that 33,412
By masher2 on 8/14/2008 12:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
If you look at those bumper shots closely, I think you'll see the sharp-creased look of the original appears to be almost entirely gone.

RE: Make that 33,412
By pauldovi on 8/14/2008 12:50:20 PM , Rating: 2
I use the same software GM is using to design the Volt (CATIA). You wouldn't imagine how easy it is to adjust the look of the body, especially once you have a general shape.

RE: Make that 33,412
By HsiKai on 8/14/2008 1:13:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I noticed that some of the creases appear gone, but it hasn't been a total-redesign or anything more than "smoothing" the car out to look more like the current fleet. That was to be expected.

RE: Make that 33,412
By freaqie on 8/14/2008 5:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
it is a big plus though :P

no seriously it does look a lot better...

Reconsidering my decision to buy one already
By masher2 on 8/14/2008 12:32:11 PM , Rating: 3
From what I see of those teaser shots, it's already starting to look significantly more rounded and conventional.

By Spuke on 8/14/2008 3:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
Wait till you see one in person before you decide. Even full pics don't tell the whole story.

By DragonMaster0 on 8/15/2008 12:30:51 AM , Rating: 2

Oh no! It's becoming like every other American cars... -AS DULL AS IT CAN BE-

Seriously, I wonder why GM doesn't only make one car model per platform. Their cars all have the same conventional dull & boring look that it wouldn't make any difference.

By Spuke on 8/15/2008 3:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
Their cars all have the same conventional dull & boring look that it wouldn't make any difference.
You've only seen a picture of a headlight and now the WHOLE car is dull? Wait till they actually release pics of the car. Now I understand why the housing market went to crap.

Why go for the look of a "normal car"?
By slashbinslashbash on 8/14/2008 1:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just wondering why Chevy decided to style the thing in any sort of conventional fashion. The tiny powerplant could go anywhere -- front, rear, under. There's no transmission... and yet the thing (concept at least) is styled like a front-engine, rear-drive street machine. I mean, I think it looks cool, but there's no reason for that long hood, or any of the other typical accoutrements of sedans as we know them. Obviously they are being conservative with the styling, but they could probably make some gains in aerodynamics and general weight- and cost-savings if they went with something more radical and better suited to the electric car idea.

By Solandri on 8/14/2008 4:32:01 PM , Rating: 3
Rear engine cars tend to do significantly worse in crash tests. Most accidents involve at least one of the cars hitting something in front of them, go figure. So it makes sense to put as much weight as you can up there so it cushions the blow for the passenger compartment, instead of in back where the passenger compartment would cushion the blow for the equipment.

By mindless1 on 8/14/2008 5:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
First, no the power plant can't just go anywhere on a car, maybe if they wanted it to look like an SUV but not actually have the same ground clearance but not otherwise.

This leaves front or rear mount. They'd want a chassis they can reuse a lot of for a hatchback so that leaves front mount, and as another person mentioned having the longer front end allows for a better crumple zone or weight distribution so it's safer.

The styling is logical, in that they took the wheels out to the corners, but not so much when it still looks like minimal window area.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/17/2008 2:37:32 PM , Rating: 2
Have you seen what happens when GM decides to think outside the box ??

You get the Pontiac Aztec. GROSS !

Nobody wants an " electric car " because when you think electric car the first thing that comes to mind is a tiny, cramped, silly looking death trap on toy wheels.

Plus most of GM's domestic car sales can be attributed to one of three categories.

1. Businesses
2. Overly patriotic shills who rather buy an inferior product to make a statement.
3. Senior citizens who have never known any better or just don't care.

So I mean, its no wonder why GM would stick to " conservative " styling with the Volt.

By pauldovi on 8/14/2008 12:26:34 PM , Rating: 1
I can't help but notice that those windows are a deal breaker for me. I like to see out of my car!

RE: Windows
By jlanders646 on 8/14/2008 12:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the concept image, not the production one.

RE: Windows
By Cosworth on 8/14/2008 2:42:41 PM , Rating: 3
I'm pretty sure that a company would make sure you could see out of their car...

Also, having been in a Volt concept, I can say that I had no problem seeing out of it.

By mdogs444 on 8/14/2008 12:32:04 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why, but i'm starting to get the feeling that the volt is going to more less resemble the 5 door Malibu hatch, rather than a sleek 4 door sports sedan.

RE: Looks
By oab on 8/15/2008 1:14:59 AM , Rating: 2
Because the front is very similar?

I think it's GM's new style.

Rather cramped windows ...
By psychobriggsy on 8/14/2008 12:35:44 PM , Rating: 1
I think they dropped the car on its roof by accident just before taking pictures!

Also I love the idea of these cars running dead silent at the beginning of the day, a barely discernable hum as they pull off the driveway into the residential street, a full charge meaning that they might not even run out of juice by the end of the journey. Some children going to school nearby ...

SQUISH! Hah, didn't hear me coming did ya? Where's your Stop, Look, Listen now?

RE: Rather cramped windows ...
By Siki on 8/14/2008 2:59:32 PM , Rating: 3
Don't worry, I'm sure the kids you speak of will use more logic when walking along the road than you did in creating your response.

By AFMatt on 8/14/2008 8:59:29 PM , Rating: 4
Too many people bring initial costs into their "savings" argument.

I don't believe GM or any other hybrid car maker is expecting everyone to just drop their current car and move right over. This is just another car on the market. When that inevitable desire to swap out for a new car hits you, or when looking for your first car, it's there as a choice. Using the initial cost to argue against it is like comparing a BMW class car that gets 40mpg (hypothetical of course) to a Honda Accord that gets 30mpg but costs $15k less and saying "Oh, but if you compare the costs to buy the car it would take you x years to make up the difference in gas...etc etc." You know what, the people who like BMWs will still keep buying BMWs. Just like the people who like the Volt will buy the Volt.
In reality, what it boils down to is "I want a new car. I can afford $x. Hmmm, this electric car will get me to work and home every day without ever having to get gas. It looks cool. Runs good. Comfortable. Works for me!" If it weren't that way, we would ALL be driving the absolute least expensive cars on the market.

Besides, didn't GM say the expected $40k price was just for the initial roll out (~10k vehicles). If this vehicle sticks around and goes mass market like they hope, it will surely drop well below the $40k mark.

As far as pollution is concerned, it isn't "moving" the pollution to any other location. It is isolating it. Power plants spitting out waste are doing it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless if your vehicle is gas or electric and they arent going anywhere any time soon. The only difference is we are contributing to the pollution with our gas engines. If you switch to electric, you are in fact reducing pollution at the same time as isolating it to fewer sources. Next up, they can keep progressing with cleaner energy sources.

BTW, no I am not some sort of green, clean, "tree hugger" as most my AF buds say. I am actually buying a truck this weekend lol.

Volt doesn't drop dead at 40mi
By MrX8503 on 8/14/2008 1:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
To people complaining about the 40mi per battery charge complaint, IT USES GAS AS A BACK UP! Once you drive over 40mi it uses gas to charge the battery as you drive and is actually more efficient than using the gas engine directly. I highly doubt most people drive over 100mi regularly everyday for doing errands/shopping, etc. And if you do drive that much in a day, you just saved 40mi in gas. Essentially if you drive less than 40mi in a day, you would never need to use gas.

Good Luck GM
By fuser197 on 8/14/2008 1:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
I really hope Volt is everything they're hyping it to be, like a few of you I feel that if the Volt doesn't work out it'd be the end of GM.

Our family's first car when we arrived in the US was an Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser, we got another Olds soon after, and eventually a Buick after that, which I got my license with, so for sentimental reasons GM is kinda special to our family, and would hate to see them go.

By phxfreddy on 8/14/2008 5:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
.....if not I have to say this waiting list is not worth the paper its written on.

Volt Chat
By eden at gmnext on 8/14/2008 7:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
If you're interested in hearing more about the Volt, GMnext is hosting a chat with Bob Boniface, Director of Design for Chevrolet Volt, on Tuesday August 19 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT and all are welcome! Just go to and register on the site with your e-mail address.

By Machinegear on 8/14/2008 4:30:35 PM , Rating: 1
I thought this b*tch was to come with spinners?

Sharp Looking Car!
By iFX on 8/15/2008 12:53:56 AM , Rating: 1
I hope it buries the Priass.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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