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Chevrolet Volt
General Motors' all-electric Volt to reach consumers in late 2010

General Motors is quite confident these days. The company recently priced its highly-anticipated full-size hybrid SUVs and showed off a concept version of its full-size hybrid Chevrolet Silverado. GM CEO Rick Wagoner also noted that his company will release one hybrid per quarter for the next four years -- lofty goals indeed.

Likewise, the company's brand new Chevrolet Malibu mid-sized sedan has been generating an overabundance of praise and its new $32,000 second-generation Cadillac CTS just walked away with Motor Trend's Car of the Year award.

GM is hoping to use this momentum and high level of interest in its vehicles to push the electric motor-powered Chevrolet Volt to customers by the end of 2010.

GM vice chairman Bob Lutz has heard all of the critics who question GM's aggressive ramp for the Volt, but is still committed to moving forward.

"There is a lot of skepticism within the company about the timeline," said Lutz. "People are biting their nails, but those of us in a leadership position have said it has to be done."

GM is hoping to use the Volt as a halo car to further strengthen its brand and its commitment to fuel economy. Dodge used the Viper to enhance its image for performance and styling in the 1990s. Toyota used its Prius at the turn of the century to shroud the entire company with a green image despite the fact that gas guzzlers like the Tundra and Sequoia share the same showroom space.

"When they think of GM, the iconic brand is, unfortunately, the Hummer," continued Lutz. "That perception needs to change.

The GM Volt features a 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine which is solely used to recharge the onboard lithium-ion battery pack. The battery pack, which will be manufactured by Compact Power and Continental Automotive Systems, powers the Volt's electric motors for forward propulsion.

GM says that the Volt can travel for up to 40 miles on battery power alone. After the 40 mile threshold has been reached, the gasoline engine kicks back in again to recharge the battery pack.

The entire industry has its eyes on GM and its Volt. Toyota took a big risk with its Prius and it has paid off dearly for the company.

"We have since realized that letting Toyota gain that mantle of green respectability and technology leadership has really cost us dearly in the marketplace," Lutz added. "We have to reestablish GM's leadership and the Volt is, frankly, an effort to leapfrog anything that is done by any other competitor."



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Slow movers
By andrinoaa on 11/21/2007 7:42:58 PM , Rating: 2
Even God can't beleive how far behind this car is!
We are ready to move on, this is bulltish dressed as ham.
Only 40 miles!?!?!? on Lithium too!?!?!?
I would have expected 80-100miles AND recharchable at home over night. This anouncement is spin.
Its like saying we have developed low power Pentium 3 cpus!! LOL LOL




RE: Slow movers
By Hoser McMoose on 11/21/2007 8:13:03 PM , Rating: 3
... and yet in 2010 it will probably be the most advanced mass-produced car on the planet. If it's so easy to create what you want, why are you posting on the board and not working for Honda/Toyota/Chrysler/whoever to BUILD such a car? This vehicle is a good 5+ years ahead of anything any other company is producing.

If GM wanted to double the range on battery power they could probably do so, but it would add a good $5000+ to the cost of the car and reduce it's fuel economy when running off the gas generator (due to added weight). That might work if you're making a $100,000 niche product (eg. Tesla Roadster), but not for a mass produced vehicle. They could also make it smaller, lighter and with a much less powerful engine (just cutting power from 160hp down to 80hp would get them partway there). There are always trade-offs that have to be made for cost, performance, safety and reliability.


RE: Slow movers
By mcnabney on 11/21/2007 8:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
You make a really good point. I was expecting 4 miles per kwh and a range of about 150. This may be yet another case of GM deliberately delivering less than it can because it thinks it can make a few more bucks that way. When you are at risk of going extinct it is not the time to cozy up to the oil industry by creating a product that deliberately uses more gas.


RE: Slow movers
By Hoser McMoose on 11/21/2007 9:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You make a really good point. I was expecting 4 miles per kwh

This vehicle gets 5 miles/kWh based on the EPA city cycle. It goes 40 miles using 8kWh of it's 16kWh battery pack. You can't very well run the battery pack down to zero and charging right to 100% full presents some challenges too, so it only uses from 30-80% capacity.

To get 150 miles they would need a MUCH larger battery pack, probably at least 38kWh worth (30kWh for the distance and a few kWh to spare on either end), or about $20,000-$25,000 worth of batteries. Kinda tough to do when you want to sell the entire car for less than $30,000.


RE: Slow movers
By Hafgrim on 11/21/2007 8:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
hmmm... The Volt is rechargeable at home overnight! And Not everyone needs over 40 miles everyday. So this Car is an AWESOME and huge step in the right direction for most everyone. And when you need more then 40 miles the little petrol fueled generator will turn on for unlimited trip distances. Are you saying you just want it sooner? -_^

And Lithium Ion batterys are no Danger at all especially with the STEEL of the car between you and it, so thats a mute point aswell even if something were to go wrong. Which I have no fear of anymore then I fear stopping at many of todays poorly maintained gasoline pumps and pooring Gasolines liquid fire and smelling its rotten cancerous fumes all the time. Ugg! All of which I wont ever have to do again EVER except on rare long trips.

'=)


RE: Slow movers
By clovell on 11/23/2007 11:54:40 AM , Rating: 3
It does recharge overnight, and it's operational range is 600 miles between refueling. There's a balance to be struck between all-electric range and efficiency because batteries have mass. So, maybe next time you can try thinking before you post trash.


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