GM Says if Volt Needs Battery Changes it Will Make Them
December 5, 2011 12:22 PM
comment(s) - last by
It's too early in the investigation to know if changes are needed
The Chevrolet Volt is the first and only extended range EV on the U.S. market today. The Volt has been in the spotlight recently after the NHTSA found that
two of three vehicles
caught fire after side impact testing. One of the vehicles that caught fire didn’t burst into flames until three weeks after the crash test. The other started sparking and smoking immediately after the test.
Understandably, GM is eager to get to the root of the problem with the Volt fires. GM's Mary Barra, VP of global product development for GM said, "I have engineers working shoulder-to-shoulder with the NHTSA engineers right now," said Mary Barra, vice president of global product development for GM. "We are looking to say, 'Are there some design changes that we can make — something more robust in this location or that location or this component?'"
However, the automaker does note that any changes would need to be rigorously tested both at GM and with outside sources.
GM also says that if the investigation determines that changes need to be made to the design of the battery packs, it will make those changes as quickly as possible. She also points out that there still isn't any indication of just how long the investigation into the fires will last.
GM's Mary Barra with a Chevrolet Cruze [Source: GM]
GM is taking the concerns of the roughly 6,000 Volt owners in the U.S. seriously and has offered to
loan Volt owners
a different vehicle until the investigating is completed. GM has also noted that if a Volt owner wanted to
sell their Volt back
to GM, it would buy the car back. Originally, it sounded like all the Volt owner had to do was ask and GM would buy their car back. Some statements that Barra made make it sound as though a buyback isn't a given in each case. Barra said, "First, we're going to have a conversation and understand their specific concern."
She added, "But if, as we go through that process, we get to a point where we think it's the right thing to do for that customer to protect the customer's satisfaction and show that General Motors puts the customers first, then that's what we'll do."
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RE: This car was complete fail...
12/6/2011 4:51:56 AM
While I agree the marketing on this vehicle was poor especially compared to the viral success of Nissan's marketing, I still consider it to be a great vehicle.
$32,500 is almost comparable to a fully loaded Prius ($28,500), and in the same price range as the upcoming Plug-In Prius at $32,000 which is far less technologically advance and capable than the Volt. Not to mention the Volt has more performance, handles better, and has more standard features.
This car was designed a commuter car first with the option of road trips. Not the other way around. As a commuter vehicle it is perfect for around 70% of the US population who drives less than 40 miles a day. It is still cheaper to drive than the Prius as long as you drive less than 70 miles in day. For those who regularly drive 40 miles a day with the occasional 60-100 mile trips, this vehicle is perfect. If you need a long distance vehicle, the Prius is better but for the most people drive reasonable distances, the volt is a far better choice (barring the price).
I am able to get the equivalent of $1.70/gallon gas per fill up with electricity and 37 MPG on gas is nothing to sneeze at either, although I wish it was more, but I'm sure they'll get much better efficiency in the next generation as this was an off the shelf engine.
The 93 MPGe value shows the efficiency of an electric drive train relative to the actual energy usage of gasoline. Regarding coal power, Southern California and many North Western states does not use coal power at all so it is still super clean. East coast is a different story.
3) Ease of Use
Spending a few seconds to plug in your vehicle at home everyday beats spending having to go out of your way to pump every week.
I don't own a Volt, but I plan to. I try to be as reasonable as possible in my decisions, and so far I find the vehicle to be completely reasonable, while most naysayers either are not familiar enough with the technology or do not understand its market well enough.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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