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Next-generation Volt could cost as much as $10,000 less to produce

In the world of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt has been the most high-profile entry aimed at consumers. However, the biggest problem for GM when it comes to the current Volt is that the vehicle isn't profitable.

"This car, on a technology scale, is off the charts vs. what you [have] seen," said GM CEO Dan Akerson, who owns one personally. "We've sold about 26,500 of them [and] we're losing money on every one."

Akerson says that the loss GM takes on every Volt that it sales will soon come to an end. The automaker has significant improvement planned for the second-generation vehicle, including making it lighter. Less weight means that the electric driving range can be made extended without adding larger battery packs -- the battery pack on the current generation Volt battery weighs 400 pounds alone.


According to Akerson, GM believes that the cost to build the Volt can be reduced in the range of $7,000 to $10,000 on the second-generation model. That doesn't necessarily mean buyers will see a discount, but it will mean GM doesn't take a loss on each vehicle it sells.

The current Volt has proven to be a hit with owners, as many are claiming they can go as far as 900 miles between fill ups.

Source: Fortune



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RE: Bailout Mentality
By 91TTZ on 5/3/2013 5:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They'd still have to go through the expense of developing technology and parts for the first time and not achieving minimal production cost in their first attempt.


GM and Toyota usually don't develop this technology; they incorporate off-the-shelf technology into their designs.

For instance, if you wanted to build your own cell phone you wouldn't have to reinvent the transceiver, the GPS chip, the processor, the memory, the compass, etc. These things have already been invented by third party companies and you'd incorporate them into your design. Due to everyone else using these parts in their designs the cost of these parts is reduced compared to only a few years ago.

quote:
If Nissan delayed the introduction of the Leaf, they wouldn't have hit an MSRP or $29k today. They got there by taking what they learned from the original Japan plant and improving efficiency for the US one.


While I'm sure they gained some efficiency by building the car for a few years, the main cost savings is in the parts becoming more popular and as a result cheaper. I'm sure that high-power electric motors and high-capacity batteries are cheaper than they were 5 years ago.

quote:
GM's Volt transmission is unique.


I agree that the Volt's transmission is unique since that's not used in any other application.

quote:
The appropriate chemistry would be a niche without EVs, so cost reduction would be slow and inapplicable to EV volumes.


As far as I know, GM doesn't make the Volt's batteries. They use off-the-shelf cells made by LG Chem in Korea. LG Chem (and other companies) had already developed these kinds of batteries before the Volt was thought of.

http://lgcpi.com/applications.shtml


RE: Bailout Mentality
By Mint on 5/3/2013 7:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For instance, if you wanted to build your own cell phone you wouldn't have to reinvent the transceiver, the GPS chip, the processor, the memory, the compass, etc. These things have already been invented by third party companies and you'd incorporate them into your design.
That's because the industry has now been established. You didn't have third parties offering off thee shelf parts this before cellphones were commonplace.

quote:
the main cost savings is in the parts becoming more popular and as a result cheaper.
You're just proving my point. The parts wouldn't have become more popular if they held off introducing EVs until costs went down, waiting for someone else to make them popular. It's a chicken and egg problem.

quote:
They use off-the-shelf cells made by LG Chem in Korea. LG Chem (and other companies) had already developed these kinds of batteries before the Volt was thought of.
The Volt started development in 2006, battery testing was in 2008, and production was in late 2010. Batteries technology from LG advanced during that time to win the contract, and even now it continues to diverge from those used in consumer electronics (which prioritize energy density over cost per cycle).

If the automakers just waited for better batteries, we would be well behind in automotive battery tech today.


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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