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  (Source: carsreleasedate.info)
Low-emission Volt models will be sent to California as part of the Low Emissions Package

General Motors Co. has announced that it restarted production of the extended range Chevrolet Volt earlier this month after shutting down in December for the holidays.

According to GM, production restarted on February 6 at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in Michigan. The plant will be producing new 2012 Chevrolet Volt models, which are capable of traveling about 35 miles on battery power before the gasoline engine kicks in for a recharge.

GM also announced that it has began sending the low-emission models to California as part of the state's Low Emissions Package. The Low Emissions Package allows California Volt drivers to receive $1,500 in state rebates via the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project in addition to the $7,500 tax credit from the federal government. Also, the Volt drivers with the Low Emissions Package can apply for one of California's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) traffic lane stickers, which allows them to drive in the HOV lane outside of congested highways.

The Detroit-Hamtramck plant has already started shipping the Volts to California this week. They will arrive at over 140 participating Chevrolet dealerships throughout the state before the end of the month.

"The Volts with low emissions package are certain to be a strong draw for California commuters looking to travel the state's notoriously congested freeways in the carpool lane," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing.

According to GM, Southern California drivers will save about 36 minutes a day of driving by using the HOV lane with the Volt's Low Emission Package.

The news of restarted production and California shipments are undoubtedly welcome, considering the fact that the Volt had a bit of a rough 2011. For instance, in May 2011, a Volt caught fire while parked in a garage three weeks after enduring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) side-impact test at a Wisconsin facility.

Later in November, NHTSA conducted three additional side-impact crash tests on three separate Volts, and two caught on fire or sparked. The investigation put the Volt in bad light for a bit, but GM was more than cooperative and even allowed scared Volt drivers to sell their cars back or take loaners until the investigation was cleared up. GM eventually recalled the Volt in January 2012, where it placed a piece of steel to the plate that protects the EV's 400-pound battery. However, the recall didn't stop January Volt sales from plunging.

Source: The Detroit News



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Just to clarify
By autoengr on 2/25/2012 10:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the comments on the Volt battery:
First, I am obligated by GM policy to tell you that I am employed by GM as a product engineer. I am not associated with communications or public relations. I work with hybrid and electric vehicles, but not the Volt. I don't normally comment on forums, but I couldn't let this misinformation or speculation go by uncorrected.

The correct information regarding the battery issues is posted on the GM media website:
http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.htm...

In particular, there is a statement by Mary Barra,GM senior vice president of Global Product Development, regardng the technical details: http://media.gm.com/content/Pages/news/us/en/2012/...

If you read the documentation, you will see that the battery issues were not related to the battery cells or chemistry at all, but were the result of coolant leakage aggravated by the specific rollover test procedure performed by NHTSA.

Per Mary Barra:
quote:
GM determined the fire was the result of a minor intrusion from a portion of the vehicle into a side section of the battery pack. This intrusion resulted in a small coolant leak inside the battery, approximately 50 ml or one-quarter cup of fluid.

quote:
As part of NHTSA’s test procedure, the vehicle was put through a “slow roll,” where it’s rotated at 90 degree increments, holding in each position for about five minutes. During the “slow roll,” an additional one liter (about four and a quarter cups) of coolant leaked. While in the 180 degree position, which is upside down, the coolant came in contact with the printed circuit board electronics at the top of the battery pack. Three weeks later this condition, in combination with a charged battery, led to electrical activity that resulted in the post-crash fire.


I hope that helps your understanding. On a side note, I would encourage you to try a Volt before you judge it. It is a fine car to drive. The performance is very good, either in all electric or range extending (engine on).




RE: Just to clarify
By StormyKnight on 2/26/2012 5:15:03 AM , Rating: 1
The Volt is an impracticle car. Far too expen$ive to be purchased by the average person or family. Regardless of it's ride, handling or fuel economy, it is far too little vehicle for the price with or without the $7500 government kickback.


RE: Just to clarify
By Gungel on 2/26/2012 8:37:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think it was meant to be a family hauler. This is the first of it's kind for GM and the Volt Tech will be used in other cars from Chevy, Cadillac and Buick soon. The Volt was designed as a commuter car. Next year we will see a larger Chevy Volt based on the Chevy Orlando. This is a 7-seater and should be more capable for families.


RE: Just to clarify
By Keeir on 2/26/2012 2:00:25 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The Volt is an impracticle car. Far too expen$ive to be purchased by the average person or family. Regardless of it's ride, handling or fuel economy, it is far too little vehicle for the price with or without the $7500 government kickback.


Did you know, the average car sold in the US in 2011 had a transaction price north of 28,000 and a MPG rating of around 24 combined?

Over 150,000 miles, thats a minimum cost of ~50,000 when gas costs 3.50 per gallon.

Do you how much a 41,000 MSRP Volt + 150,000 miles would cost? Yep, right around 50,000. That's before the 7,500 government subsidy.

Volt is CHEAPER than the Average Car sold in the US in 2011. Throw in the government rebate, and its cheaper by a long long ways. Now, the Volt has less capabilities than the Average Car sold in the US, only seatbelts for 4 and max cargo space of ~18 cubic feet, so it needs to be cheaper.

Initial purchase price is not the entire cost of owning an automobile. Toyota and Honda both command significant higher transaction prices for the same feature level due almost entirely on consumer perception of lower TCO (reliability and longevity).

Unless you live in an area where Electricity is Expensive compared to the national average of ~12 cents per kWh, the Volt is not a huge leap over the basic transportation such as the Cruze, Civic, Corolla, Jetta, etc. In fact, its cheaper than say the 2011 Civic Si or the Golf GTI. People willingly pay significantly more for these "high" performance version of basic transportation. Not sure why the Volt should be lambasted for costing slightly more than a Civic and slightly less than a Civic Si (before government subsidy).


RE: Just to clarify
By quiksilvr on 2/27/2012 12:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
What about a $20,000 Prius C with 50 MPG used over 150,000 miles when gas costs $3.50 a gallon? That's $30,500, over $20k LESS.

See compared to run of the mill averages it's the same thing (if it's the same thing, why invest over $10k more in the beginning?).

The Volt is too expensive for what it does, even with the government subsidy.


RE: Just to clarify
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2012 2:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Volt is CHEAPER than the Average Car sold in the US in 2011.


That is a completely false statement. In every way. Absurdly backed up by your juvenile attempt to factor in fuel prices into the purchase of an ICE vehicle. Everyone doesn't drive the same amount. You're making a blanket statement that's not even close to being based in fact. The Volt *might* be cheaper for some in one situation, but completely opposite for someone else.

You should be trying to advocate for the Volt based on other metrics. Economically, EVERYONE realizes the falseness of what you are saying. Especially the consumer. Economics are the absolute WORST position you could possibly take in a pro-Volt argument. A massive up front investment for a potential savings years down the road, on an unknown vehicle platform with unknown maintenance costs and reliability, is NOT sound economics.

Cars are NOT an investment. They are a value-losing proposition. You speak about the Volt as if you're "investing" for the future in exchange for paying more today. Do I really have to explain how flawed this is?

quote:
Initial purchase price is not the entire cost of owning an automobile.


Damn right. We have NO idea what the long term reliability of the Volt is. Nor do we fully know it's maintenance costs. Speaking of, if the Volt's battery pack fails out of warranty, you're looking at paying $20,000 to replace it or be stuck with a car worth less than the costs to repair it.


RE: Just to clarify
By Keeir on 2/27/2012 3:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is a completely false statement.


Any proof or data? Or just conjecture and denial?

quote:
Absurdly backed up by your juvenile attempt to factor in fuel prices into the purchase of an ICE vehicle.


Pretty sure when you think about it, the "cost" of transportation includes the initial purchase price, the fuel costs, the maintainence costs, the insurance costs, and any relative time differences. But you know... I guess planning ahead for life is just so stupid.

quote:
You should be trying to advocate for the Volt based on other metrics.


Am I advocated the Volt is a good value economically? I am confused. I am pretty sure I said the Volt is MORE expensive than Civic, Corolla, Cruze, Jetta, etc.

quote:
Cars are NOT an investment.


This is confusing to me. Either cars are an economic choice or not. At one point your telling me the Volt is too expensive (Economic) but long term costs are irrelevant when buying a car (Non-Economic).

Which is it?

Here's some good data

http://blog.truecar.com/2012/02/01/transaction-pri...

Average Transaction Price Jan. 2012? ~30,500. This is after ~2,500 in incentives, so the average MSRP? ~33,000.

http://blog.truecar.com/2012/02/13/average-fuel-ec...

Average MPG of cars sold in Jan. 2012? 22.9 MPG (Combined Cycle)

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm

Average miles per driver 13,476

http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/

Seems like 3.75 a gallon is a good running average for the part year.

So the "average" US new car buyer paid more than 30,000 a year initially and expects to pay around 2,200 in fuel every year.

The Volt buyer of a 41,000 dollar transaction price Volt expects to pay around 350 dollars a year in Electricity and 350 dollars in gasoline

At some point in time, Initial Purchase Price + Fuel, is going to favor the Volt over the "Average" car sold in 2012. I would guess around 7-8 years. This is -without- the 7,500 government "rebate".

Which is my point. The Volt, while very expensive initial price, is not some extremely unaffordable automobile.

The question for each consumer is whether the Volt's feature set and utility are worth the expected TCO. I can't make that judgement. All I can do is find what TCO the Volt has in comparison to "comparable" cars. And since the TCO will vary more widely on the Volt than most cars due to location and driving schedule, its really just a guess at an average. I'd put the Volt's TCO between the Civic and Civic Si. Between the Accord I4 and the Accord V6. Between the Jetta/Golf and the GTI. Etc. Overall, not an unreasonable place to be on paper.

Given the relatively poor sales, it puzzles me why the general electorate is so desiring the CAFE regulations, which essentially are going to do a similar thing... makes cars more expensive upfront to save fuel costs that balance out 5+ years after purchase.


RE: Just to clarify
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: Just to clarify
By Keeir on 2/27/2012 4:05:01 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
That's not data.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/data

Pretty sure I was referencing individual facts and statistics.

quote:
By averaging everything, you lose the significance of many variables.


I am confused. I am responding specifically to this statement.

quote:
Far too expen$ive to be purchased by the average person or family.


By StormyKnight on 2/26/2012 5:15:03 AM , Rating: 1

Yet the average new car buyer purchases a car with HIGHER expected TCO. Seems like the average new car buyer COULD afford to purchase a Volt. I never said SHOULD. COULD and SHOULD are different words.

quote:
I'm not sure we're all desiring of it. We don't have much choice. Unfortunately people knowingly or unknowingly put a radical in the White House, and these are the kinds of things that happen. Hopefully the next Administration will have the good sense to reverse many of these mistakes, including these CAFE requirements.


http://grist.org/politics/griscom-cafe/
George Bush and most Republicians/Conservatives have found it a political choice to support higher CAFE standards in the past.

Sorry Reclaimer, its hard to find the "average" voter who doesn't think CAFE is a good thing. Sure, some extreme politically involved conservatives and libertarians will say its bad, but most of the true "Republician" issue seems to center on how steep the change Obama's adminstration is requiring... not that CAFE is a bad idea.


RE: Just to clarify
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2012 4:28:49 PM , Rating: 1
Keeir how would we ever know what people think? Every poll ever done suggests a huge portion of this country aligns themselves with Conservative beliefs. Most show a majority. Yet where in most all mainstream media are the beliefs of the electorate ever represented on most any issue?

And the Bush Administration? Well they were anything but Conservative.

I, sadly, admit the mainstream elected representative body of the Republican party has shifted left over the years. They seem to have forgotten who they are and don't believe Conservatism is the way to win anymore.

I think if presented with all the facts, most Americans would NOT support CAFE. They probably support the intentions of CAFE, however good they sound on paper. But they wouldn't support lack of choice in what vehicles they can buy and drive. And they wouldn't support the Government mandating price increases artificially.

The problem is most Americans can't be bothered to research what CAFE really does. And, you know what, they mostly shouldn't have to. It's supposed to be the job of the media to be our watchdogs of the Government. And they have utterly failed in that role. In fact, they have abdicated it completely.


RE: Just to clarify
By Keeir on 2/27/2012 5:19:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Every poll ever done suggests a huge portion of this country aligns themselves with Conservative beliefs.


Errr...

The Democratic Party, mostly comprised of "liberals", has had an overwhelming lead in major elections since 1945. Even when the Republician Party, comprised of a mix of "liberals" and "conservatives".

I'd call these elections a form of polls.

I get that in a survey poll, people may self-identify as having "conservative" values. Self-identification is shaky to build on though... IE, most people think they are smarter than average.

quote:
I think if presented with all the facts, most Americans would NOT support CAFE.


Course, most people are not educated or intelligent to understand they the consumer choose what cars get produced in the long run. So its really tough to say how they'd react to the the facts of the situation. But its hard for me to understand why anyone would support CAFE...

quote:
It's supposed to be the job of the media to be our watchdogs of the Government. And they have utterly failed in that role. In fact, they have abdicated it completely.


No. It's our job as Citizens to be watchdog of the government, and far too many have decided to only look out for themselves.


RE: Just to clarify
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2012 7:10:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd call these elections a form of polls.


I wouldn't. Using elections to determine such a thing is highly problematic for a variety of reasons. The popularity contest factor, the cult of personality, peer pressure, voting for the "lesser of two evils", etc etc. Oh and that little thing called voter fraud.

I think claiming that votes directly mimic national ideology is a tough sell.

quote:
But its hard for me to understand why anyone would support CAFE...


Me too. But there's any number of feel good rhetoric to support such a thing. Just listen to Obama talk about it. Sounds great doesn't it? Makes you feel all warm and cuddly! Man, isn't the Government awesome? Keeping us safe from foreign oil, forcing those "fat cat" car makers to be more efficient, killing those evil SUV's bla bla bla.

Of course the media, and mostly the people, stopped asking long ago if just because we CAN do something, does that mean we SHOULD? Pretty sure you know where I stand Constitution wise, no need to repeat myself.

quote:
No. It's our job as Citizens to be watchdog of the government, and far too many have decided to only look out for themselves.


This is true, but I was speaking about journalism's role in society. They have far more power and influence than you or I.

If only they actually embraced all these principles.

http://www.journalism.org/resources/principles


RE: Just to clarify
By Keeir on 2/27/2012 7:54:08 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I think claiming that votes directly mimic national ideology is a tough sell.


Phrased that way, I couldn't help but agree. However, I do think votes are a good indicator. Otherwise the entire concept of a Republic seems fundamentally flawed.

How about this statement

While a vast majority of US citizens aspire to "Conservative" values in their personal life, voting history from 1945-2011 show a bias towards "Liberal" Government in the United States.

I mean, 25 of the last 34 Houses have been majority Democrat. And as you rightly point out, many Republicians are "Liberal" as well. If the House doesn't give a reasonable approximation of the opinions of the common voter... well I think there is an issue there. Pinning the massive differences in real world elections on your list of causes is a bit of a stretch... I don't think they are enough to turn the results upside down! (If the majority of Americans are truely "conservative" in ideology and practice, I would think the House would swing the other way... )


RE: Just to clarify
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2012 8:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While a vast majority of US citizens aspire to "Conservative" values in their personal life, voting history from 1945-2011 show a bias towards "Liberal" Government in the United States.


When I read this, though, I couldn't help but recall how Democrats will routinely mimic Conservative ideals to get elected. Then do a complete 180 when in office. And not just Democrats. George Bush did a great job of whipping up the Conservative base in not one, but two elections. However when we tally up his policies, we see he fell woefully short of being a "Conservative" President.

In 2006 when Democrats won a landslide of Congressional seats, did they do it by preaching radial Liberalism? Nope. In fact they out-Conservatived (TM) the Republican candidates.

In 2010 when Republicans won an even bigger landslide of historic proportions, they were beating the Conservative drum like never before across the country. Is it really possible that in just four years the majority of this country went from FAR left to way far right? An alignment shift that huge, that fast, doesn't seem plausible.

So it seems to me that if the majority of this country isn't Conservative leaning, politicians sure spend a lot of time pretending to be one when it's convenient.

quote:
I mean, 25 of the last 34 Houses have been majority Democrat.


I wouldn't say that in 1945 for example, the Democratic party was "Liberal". In fact there is a term for Right leaning Democrats, they were called "blue bloods". And were quite common. Even as recent as the 1990's we had so-called "Reagan Democrats". Meaning a more moderate Democrat.

I think we're blurring the lines between party and ideology a bit here. Just as I concede that voting for a Republican doesn't necessarily mean he's a Conservative, I likewise must point out Democrats (until very recently) haven't always been full blown Liberals.

I still think polls are a more effective, admittedly sometimes flawed, tool. And poll after poll suggests that Conservatives are the single largest ideological group in America. Gallop obviously has done the most comprehensive work on this for the longest time. However if you think they are biased in some way, I would welcome a different polling source.


RE: Just to clarify
By Keeir on 2/28/2012 2:02:17 AM , Rating: 2
Your talking about this type?

http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/conservatives-si...

That poll itself is a great example what's hard about self-identification polls.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/152969/Americans-Divide...

So a large portion of so called Democratic "conservatives" support Universal Healthcare? A large portion of Independent "conservatives" feel the same way. Large portions of "moderates" consider the Healthcare law to be Constitutional.

That's the problem. Without some skin in the game, self-identification is a bad basis.


RE: Just to clarify
By shin0bi272 on 2/27/12, Rating: -1
Myriad of issues strung together
By alpha754293 on 2/25/2012 8:34:57 PM , Rating: 1
I think that it's a myriad of issues that's strung together.

(Course, why it appears to be happening ONLY to the Volt and not any other car with batteries, I don't know...)

But if it were me, and I was the chief engineer for the programme, the first thing that I would do is have a design review with the full vehicle crash simulations team to see if anything showed up when they ran the crash simulation.

Having said that though, even if it didn't, this new type of technology demands new specifications and thus new procedures for analysis. I'm not sure if the way that they've modelled the battery pack in the full vehicle crash is modelled in such a way that it would be able to show/predict punctures of the pack. It should because it IS LS-DYNA.

Having said that still though, if they're analyzing the vehicle like they've "always done" - well...I'm not sure if those old methods/procedures are applicable to new vehicles like this, and thus, the procedures need to be adapted.

GM is still such a huge bog/tank, that it takes forever for them to change course/update what they probably should have been updating 5 years ago when they STARTED working on the Volt.

And I think it's the combination of these factors, plus that there are still a lot of the hardcore GM guys that are still from the "good ol' days" that still carry all of that excessive baggage with them.

And even with them nearly having gone bankrupt, they're still doing what they've always done, and still very much set in their old ways in their day-to-day operations. Quite sad really...




RE: Myriad of issues strung together
By Parhel on 2/25/2012 10:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
I actually saw a Volt for the first time today, in the parking lot of the grocery store. I slowed down for a second to check it out, and I was thinking some of the exact same things you just wrote here. The part at the end, at least. So this made me laugh a little when I read it.

It's a shame, too, because they really got a lot of things right with the Volt, and spent a great deal of money on it.


By Jedi2155 on 2/25/2012 10:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
It was already standard procedure to discharge the battery pack after a crash. the NHTSA failed to follow standard procedure, as had been recommended by GM. The fixes recommended by GM seems sufficient to resolve this issue.

While I was initially afraid of the danger of this fire too, after reading all the engineering reports, I came to realize the risk and series of events from the Volt fires are so minimal and rare/unlikely, that I had no problems picking up a 2012 Volt for myself in the past month.

I've driven 800 miles on my new Volt using only $25 of electricity and no gas. I don't think the Volt is the car to get if you want to just save money, but if you want something that looks good, drives great, and is super cool/filled with nifty technologies, it is the perfect car.


RE: Myriad of issues strung together
By gregpet on 2/27/2012 1:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
(Course, why it appears to be happening ONLY to the Volt and not any other car with batteries, I don't know...)

One reason is that the Volt is the only (as far as I know) electric car that has liquid cooling/heating which extends the battery life. The Leaf is air cooled. So because GM did the hard work to properly condition/extend the battery life they pay for it with the NTSA safety probe (that ended up finding nothing!).

quote:
GM is still such a huge bog/tank, that it takes forever for them to change course/update what they probably should have been updating 5 years ago when they STARTED working on the Volt.

I'm not sure I know what this means exactly but just keep in mind that Tesla was founded in 2003 and they have exactly one model that's been available to the public (that they don't even produce any more). And I like Tesla so I'm not criticizing!
So to say that GM is a huge bog/tank or whatever doesn't seem to be fair - this is cutting edge tech and its hard!


RE: Myriad of issues strung together
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2012 2:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
Because it's another bad business move. GM's history is replete with them. Of course business isn't the entire reason for the Volt. We KNOW the bailout came with political strings attached. But I digress...

But let's look at it from a simple business perspective. What exactly, if any, is the upside in selling a vehicle for zero profit? The Volt costs as much to build as it sells for. True, you'll make SOME profit on interest if they go with GMAC financing, but still. What's the point?

quote:
this is cutting edge tech and its hard!


It's cutting edge tech that's:

1. Inferior to existing tech
2. Costs too much to produce
3. Nobody is buying anyway


By gregpet on 2/27/2012 5:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Enjoy your horse & buggy...

Since you bring up the bailout...Ford took a 'bailout' of $5.9B (with a B) in 2009 (low interest loans) to upgrade their factories to build more efficient cars (including electric). I think Ford is a great company so this isn't criticism. My point is ALL big companies take advantage of govt handouts if there offered - they would be stupid not to do so.

http://www.mbe.doe.gov/budget/11budget/Content/FY2...

And the biggest handout of all went to Germany and Japan in the form of the Marshall plan after WWII. How much of that did we get back?


By gregpet on 2/27/2012 5:56:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1. Inferior to existing tech


Some folks would beg to differ (they all can't be wrong!):

Vehicle awards
· 2009 Green Car Vision Award by the Green Car Journal
· 2011 North American Car of the Year at the 2011 North American International Auto Show.
· Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year
· Automobile Magazine 2011 Automobile of the Year
· MotorWeek 2011 Driver’s Choice Best of the Year
· Car and Driver 10 Best for 2011
· 2011 Edison Award
· Highest-rated compact for 2011 J.D. Powers and Associates APEAL Study
· 2012 Car of the Year in Denmark
· Consumer Reports rates Volt #1 in Owner Satisfaction
· Named “2011 Collectible Car of the Future” by Friends of the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC)
Environmental awards
· 2009 Environmental Grand Prize awarded at the 2009 Festival International Automobile
· 2011 World Green Car announced at the 2011 New York Auto Show
· 2011 Green Car of the Year awarded by Green Car Journal
· MotorWeek 2011 Best Eco-Friendly
· Chicago Auto Show Best Green Vehicle
Technology awards
· Ward’s AutoWorld 10 Best Engines for 2011
· SAE 2011 Best Engineered Vehicle
· Top Michigan Innovation in 2011
· Edmunds 2011 Green Car Breakthrough Award
· Popular Mechanics 2010 Breakthrough Technology
· Popular Mechanics Top 10 Vehicles Award for Technology
· Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award for OnStar MyLink for Volt
Mobile Application awards
· Popular Science Best of What’s New 2010
· Consumer Electronics Show’s “Top Products” Award for OnStar MyLink for Volt Mobile Application
Safety acknowledgements
· Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
· National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Five-star overall vehicle score
· Euro NCAP Five stars (out of five) in all categories
Value acknowledgments
· Best Electric Car awarded for 2012 resale value by Kelley Blue Book”
· Kiplinger demonstrated in five years time the Volt can earn back 91 percent of a $19,000 cost differential between it and a Cruze internal combustion powered cousin
Economy acknowledgements
· 2011 Volt names most fuel-efficient compact car by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
· 2012 Volt again named by EPA most fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicle


RE: Myriad of issues strung together
By Keeir on 2/27/2012 5:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because it's another bad business move. GM's history is replete with them.


Yep. Like canceling the EV-1 program... even though it made "business sense" (which I agree with... when you draw a box around the EV-1 program). Prius was a bad business move for 7+ years. Would you consider it a bad business move now?

quote:
We KNOW the bailout came with political strings attached.


Really? I think the primary string attached was more Union Jobs.

quote:
What exactly, if any, is the upside in selling a vehicle for zero profit?


Glad to know you know what the Volt costs to make.

quote:
True, you'll make SOME profit on interest if they go with GMAC financing, but still. What's the point?


GMAC does not exist. Nor is "Ally" significantly owned by the "new" GM.

quote:
1. Inferior to existing tech


Hard to see how its inferior. It goes on battery power, it goes on gasoline. It's expensive, but that's point 2 right?

quote:
2. Costs too much to produce


Hey, a line that's true! It costs too much to produce today.

quote:
3. Nobody is buying anyway


Pretty sure some private consumers bought some of the more than 7,500 units "sold" last year. Perspective is important. GM made around 9,500 units for sale last year. They sold ~75-80% of the them.


RE: Myriad of issues strung together
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2012 9:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yep. Like canceling the EV-1 program...


You're joking right? GM was hemorrhaging money, and you think continuing to invest resources into a product that EVERY internal and public poll and survey pointed to being a complete PR and sales flop, would have been the way to go? The EV-1 would have went down as the biggest Detroit disaster since Charlie Sheen's live tour!

Once again you prove you're just in love with the concept of electric vehicles beyond all rational thought.

quote:
Glad to know you know what the Volt costs to make.


It's common knowledge. Steve Rattner, head of the governments auto task force, spilled the beans already.

“At least in the early years, each Volt would cost around $40,000 to manufacture (development costs not included).”

quote:
Really? I think the primary string attached was more Union Jobs.


Obtuseness to the point of ignorance. You know goddamn full and well that the Volt is this administrations Golden Child.

quote:
Perspective is important. GM made around 9,500 units for sale last year. They sold ~75-80% of the them.


Speaking of perspective, check the Government fleet sales numbers of the Volt. So the Volt is a success because the Government bought a bunch of Government endorsed and hyped vehicles?


RE: Myriad of issues strung together
By Keeir on 2/28/2012 1:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The EV-1 would have went down as the biggest Detroit disaster since Charlie Sheen's live tour!


I wonder what the PR and goodwill hit of the "Who Killed the Electric Car?" movie has cost GM?

I wonder what buzz and product leadership GM has lost by ceding first mover advantage to Tesla?

I am sorry, right now, canceling the EV-1 is looking like a -very- poor choice. Though I agree, the numbers said to kill it when they did...

quote:
It's common knowledge. Steve Rattner, head of the governments auto task force, spilled the beans already.


Hmmm... A communications expert running a very new government function is of course all knowing! Too bad he's already recanted

"Rattner admitted in an interview with the New York Times that he “didn’t know the precise number,” but agreed that despite the costs, on developing the Volt GM was “right to do it,” to silence critics “who’ve said for many years that the company was behind the curve.”"

Having worked in product planning and design, I can tell you that "build" price is a very fluid number. It changes every time a product is completed, which is damn frustrating at times. Is 40,000 the 10,000 a year figure? The 60,000 a year figure? what figure is it? What accounting method was used to apply this label?

quote:
Obtuseness to the point of ignorance. You know goddamn full and well that the Volt is this administrations Golden Child.


And you know full well the Number 1 benefactor of the Automobile bailout was the UAW. Follow the money.

The Volt, while the administrations "Golden Child" is little more than a gauzy excuse. What's Chrysler's Golden Child? How about Ford's? Comon don't be dense. Obama's administration actions were and are completely independent of the Volt. They were used to prop up the UAW and the established structure of the auto-industry in the US.

quote:
Speaking of perspective, check the Government fleet sales numbers of the Volt. So the Volt is a success because the Government bought a bunch of Government endorsed and hyped vehicles?


http://nlpc.org/stories/2012/01/04/chevy-volt-flee...

I doubt we could call this site anything but anti volt.

In December, ~65% were to private customers. An unknown number was sold to local governments, and some were sold to GE.

http://articles.marketwatch.com/2010-11-11/industr...

I am just mystified. Please Please provide a source that shows how many Volt's are actual government fleet sales. This is something that I can only trace to a Fox Opinion Piece... and Fox doesn't even understand yet the Volt runs on gas and electric... so I can't really trust them.


RE: Myriad of issues strung together
By Reclaimer77 on 2/28/2012 3:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wonder what the PR and goodwill hit of the "Who Killed the Electric Car?" movie has cost GM?


Only hippie environmentalists even watched or cared about that movie and the EV-1. Seriously. Wishing something could be practical and affordable doesn't make it so. Spending hundreds of millions to buy "PR" over a vehicle that the massive majority of Americans didn't want seems insane.

The Volt is better than the EV-1 in every way. And it's STILL not cutting it for GM.

quote:
Though I agree, the numbers said to kill it when they did...


So you're arguing with me just because? Thanks...

quote:
Hmmm... A communications expert running a very new government function is of course all knowing! Too bad he's already recanted


Man you REALLY need to read between the lines and get better sources. The cost of making the Volt has been something GM is very tight lipped about. Rattner was privy to insider information about the cost of making the Volt, and in that statement I quoted, accidentally or unethically revealed private information to the public. GM was extremely angry over the incident as well as several Government officials. OF COURSE he "recanted" afterwards. That's what EVERY officials has to do after he's stuck his foot in his mouth! Good god man, get with it.

Keeir honestly, you weren't born yesterday, can you please stop pretending that you were?

quote:
And you know full well the Number 1 benefactor of the Automobile bailout was the UAW. Follow the money.


Yes but that's not the point here.

Are you seriously trying to deny that the President has not only endorsed the Volt, but he's used the Government of the United States to assist GM in a massive hype campaign for the vehicle?

Aren't you even concerned about the massive potential, and very real, conflict of interest here?

quote:
Obama's administration actions were and are completely independent of the Volt.


This is a lie. Except you aren't lying to me, you're just lying to yourself if you believe this.

quote:
In December, ~65% were to private customers. An unknown number was sold to local governments, and some were sold to GE.


This disproves my point? An unknown number sold to state Government's, combined with Federal sales, is NOT insignificant or contrary to my argument. A huge number of Volt sales has been with taxpayer money. NOT private sales.

And GE? Do you even know what Cronyism is? GE has been in bed with Obama from the start. They stand to make a fortune from charging station sales if the Volt and other EV's take off. GE "bought" 1,200 Volt's, and here's the kicker, with TAXPAYER money. PPL Corp bought a bunch of Volt's, a company who took $30 million in Obama stimulus funding. Man that's just great! The city of New York bought over 100 Volt's using, you guessed it, Federal Grant money! Another good buy for the American public!

GM, and especially the Volt, is being propped up by massive government subsidies and taxpayer vehicle acquisitions. To claim otherwise is monstrously dishonest. I'm sick of your willful ignorance and unethical behavior on this forum when it comes to the Volt.


RE: Myriad of issues strung together
By Keeir on 2/28/2012 6:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So you're arguing with me just because? Thanks...


No. 12 years ago, killing the EV-1 and abandoning further developments in electrics was on paper the right "choice". The key word is on paper.

Hindsight is 20/20. At this point in time (2012), it seems a very foolish choice. Instead of having mass-market ready technology to take advantage of the gasoline price spike in 2007-2008 and the favorable government policies in 2009-2012, GM is playing "catch-up". This is the type of major stradegy mistakes people bite into GM for...

quote:
Rattner was privy to insider information about the cost of making the Volt, and in that statement I quoted, accidentally or unethically revealed private information to the public. GM was extremely angry over the incident as well as several Government officials. OF COURSE he "recanted" afterwards. That's what EVERY officials has to do after he's stuck his foot in his mouth! Good god man, get with it.


Maybe read his book and examine his version of the story, Rec. Not what is trumped up and taken out of context. Just a suggestion.

quote:
Yes but that's not the point here.


Wait. Your the one claiming the -existence- of a concept from 2007 was a major factor in the Automobile bailout, and the Government FORCED GM to continue to produce this product for a 2010 release from 2009 on.

That is sheer nonsense.

quote:
An unknown number sold to state Government's, combined with Federal sales, is NOT insignificant or contrary to my argument. A huge number of Volt sales has been with taxpayer money. NOT private sales.


What is the Number! 1? 10? 100? 1000? What is "significant"?

As for your ability to read and source. Yet again I am having problems.

GE commited to buy 12,000 Volts. I don't know the schedule.
New York City?
http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/new-york-ci...
Seems like 70, not "more than 100". And Fleet use inside a City is the best application for Volts and EVs!
PPL Corp?
http://blogs.mcall.com/roadwarrior/2011/10/ppl-get...
Seems like they are part of a research study using 3! Volts.

At this point were are looking at less than 150 sources Government "Fleet" Volts of which around 50% are being used in research.

Keep it comming.

quote:
I'm sick of your willful ignorance and unethical behavior on this forum when it comes to the Volt.


And I'm sick of your inability too look past political concerns.

Volt (Gen 1): 100 miles: ~6 Dollars: ~80 kWh (82% Domestic)
30 kWh Coal + 13 kWh NG + 7.5 kWh "Renewables"(30 kWh Electric) + 25 kWh Oil + 3.7 kWh NG

Prius (Gen 4): 100 miles: ~8 Dollars: ~89 kWh (50% Domestic)
75 kWh Oil + 10 kWh NG + 2.2 kWh Coal + .8 kWh NG + .5 kWh "Renewables" (2.2 kWh Electric)

Cruze Eco: 100 miles: ~13 Dollars: ~142 kWh (50% Domestic)
120 kWh Oil + 17 kWh NG + 3.5 kWh Coal + 1.2 kWh NG + .7 kWh "Renewables"

(US Power Grid data from EIA site. Oil Importation averages per EIA site. Gasoline at 4 dollars a gallon, Electricity at 15 cents per kWh)

I am sorry that Obama likes the car. I am sorry the Government feels like the general population supports the idea of giving out 7,500 dollar subsidies for the car.

But the simple truth is, from any of the "major" objectives out there, be it Energy Independence, Low Cost Solutions, Sustainability, Enivormental, Global Warming, etc. The Volt smashes any and all technologies on the road today... without a significant sacrifice in lifestyle of the end user! Its not even crazy expensive. In fact, it's cheaper than the car most Americans choose to buy new! Sure, its probably 25% too expensive for its capabilities, but a reduction of 25% is not only possible, but -probable- in the near term time frame. Its not a joke that every other car company is showing Serial Hybrid and PHEV concepts and product plans! Ford is planning on bringing -2- out in the next year alone.


By Reclaimer77 on 2/28/2012 9:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hindsight is 20/20. At this point in time (2012), it seems a very foolish choice.


If that's true, how come nobody ELSE was working on EV's either? You act as if GM missed out on the latest automotive trend. Hello? So far GM and Nissan are the only major automotive companies with EV's. The argument that abandoning the EV-1 somehow hurt GM seems based on nothing factual at all.

quote:
GM is playing "catch-up".


Catch up with who!? The Volt is already the best EV on the market, not that you would know from it's sales, but I digress. How are they playing catch up again?

quote:
Wait. Your the one claiming the -existence- of a concept from 2007 was a major factor in the Automobile bailout, and the Government FORCED GM to continue to produce this product for a 2010 release from 2009 on.


That's absurd. I am not! I never said the Government "forced" GM!

quote:
At this point were are looking at less than 150 sources Government "Fleet" Volts of which around 50% are being used in research.


First, your numbers are wrong. Second why are you acting like the examples I cited are the ONLY ones? Those are just a few.

The exactly number is unknown, but that's irrelevant. The point is supporters of the Volt, people like you, cite trumped up sales number inflated by taxpayer purchases. In my opinion, only privately bought sales of the Volt are legitimate. Given the glaring conflict of interest and crony capitalism involved, you cannot expect me to accept that politician gamesmanship isn't being played here. When people who took stimulus money or donated to Obama's campaign line up to buy Volts, that just stinks and you know it.

quote:
But the simple truth is, from any of the "major" objectives out there, be it Energy Independence, Low Cost Solutions, Sustainability, Enivormental, Global Warming, etc. The Volt smashes any and all technologies on the road today... without a significant sacrifice in lifestyle of the end user! Its not even crazy expensive. In fact, it's cheaper than the car most Americans choose to buy new! Sure, its probably 25% too expensive for its capabilities, but a reduction of 25% is not only possible, but -probable- in the near term time frame. Its not a joke that every other car company is showing Serial Hybrid and PHEV concepts and product plans! Ford is planning on bringing -2- out in the next year alone.


Nice speech. Obama write that for you? What a GM shill you are. You even said global warming lol. Are you serious with this?

You seem to think the role of the Government is to advance these concerns though a taxpayer subsidized vehicle. I reject that now, and forever until the day I die. You are WRONG.

quote:
I am sorry the Government feels like the general population supports the idea of giving out 7,500 dollar subsidies for the car.


That's really cute. I'm sure they really believe we support this. Cause, you know, it was put to a vote and all so we could give our opinion on it.

The terrible sales numbers are all you need to know about how much the citizens of this nation feel like taking that subsidy in good faith and a clear conscious.

Oh that's right, in your mind somehow the Volt isn't a sales flop lol.


Forgetting your history.
By drycrust3 on 2/25/2012 1:13:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Later in November, NHTSA conducted three additional side-impact crash tests on three separate Volts, and two caught on fire or sparked. ... GM eventually recalled the Volt in January 2012, where it placed a piece of steel to the plate that protects the EV's 400-pound battery.

To me, there is a big difference between a spark and a fire. But the fact that there was a fire shows there is still no main fuse on the output of the battery! Sure, you're not going to use a 10 amp fuse, you're going to use a fuse that is related to what you expect the full load current to be. It may surprise some people, but there are fuses that go well above 10 amps, e.g. 500 amps.
While sparks were seen, they should have only occurred once because fuses should have activated to isolate the short circuit from the battery. The fact there were fires suggest this car doesn't have a hierarchy of fuses, which may affect the car electrical certification in some countries.
A quick use of a search engine reveals the Volt uses a 300 volt battery (source: www.popsci.com/cars/article/2008-10/inside-chevy-vo lts-battery - sorry, the URL is too long to work as a link) and the motor is rated at 111kW (source = Wikipedia), thus one would expect a maximum discharge current of around 370 Amps (111000 / 300 =370). Since the battery consists of 3 "sub-batteries" in parallel, each "sub-battery" would expect to have a maximum discharge of around 124 Amps.
Thus, one would expect each of the 3 "sub-batteries" to have some sort of internal fuse e.g. a 150 amp fuse, and that there be a main battery fuse as well e.g. a 400 amp fuse.
I also noticed that each cell contains a ceramic separator between the anode and cathode. While that would be acceptable in a stationary battery, I do feel uneasy about this sort of separator being used where you could subject the battery to high g-forces, as happens in a crash. A better solution might be a separator with a reputation for flexibility and impact resilience e.g. some sort of plastic or nylon.




RE: Forgetting your history.
By Ghost42 on 2/25/2012 5:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if it's a "spark" causing the fire or if it's the nature of Lithium batteries. Lithium batteries do not like air and can spontaneously ignite when exposed to it, say for instance if the battery pack is ruptured during a collision. If this is the reason behind the fires then no amount of fuses will solve the issue.


RE: Forgetting your history.
By drycrust3 on 2/25/2012 8:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If this is the reason behind the fires then no amount of fuses will solve the issue.


While the fires could have been caused by the air getting inside the cells of the battery, when you look at pictures of crash tests the front of the car sustains a lot of damage, so it sounds much more likely that the cause of the fires started in that area, e.g. the motor sustained internal damage which created a short circuit, or the electrical cables were short circuited during the crumpling of the car in the crash. In both cases fusing would have immediately isolated the battery from short circuit.


RE: Forgetting your history.
By Jedi2155 on 2/25/2012 10:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
Fusing would probably still not help this specific scenario. What I've heard so far is that the primary issue was the coolant that was leaked after the crash caused the rupture. It was this coolant that while not immediately dangerous the cells, over a period of weeks, eventually dried up and formed deposits to create a conductive path for batteries to short circuit. So fusing individual battery packs would not have helped in this case. GM's solution for strengthening the weakest points and adding a coolant level sensor (to allow them to monitor for leaks) is the best solution other than to remove liquid cooling altogether.

Still, the explanation goes to show, that that chance of fire in the Volt is extremely unlikely due to likelihood of all these factors coming into play while you are still trapped in vehicle.

If you want to read the entire NHTSA engineering report, it is right here:
http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/Final_Rep...


why do I need a F*ing subject?
By shin0bi272 on 2/27/2012 12:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
So the government can "persuade" you to buy more of these insanely retarded high priced cars they are debating on raising the tax credit to 10,000 bucks. Apparently they think pushing an environMENTAList message is more important than spending less money than they take in. Debt crisis? what's that?!




is it that bad?
By edma72 on 3/1/2012 10:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
Hi all,
I was reading all comments and decided to put few words. i tested this car a few weeks ago. i can tell you that it is built very well and i liked it a lot. Now the price of it is bit scary. i do not want to go to politics and high level issues between government and GM. This car is not made for 80% of people of US. It is for a few with some cash in the pocket. even if it had range of 200 miles i probably could not buy it, but let me ask you this: Could you buy a first plasma TV? remember those times, first flat screen TV and of course that unpleasant $19,000 tag for 50 inch? Funny part is that some one was buying them. My point is that every new technology is always expensive. those batteries cost about $20K. Volt will find it's way to market and it is going to be very hard. In my opinion it is very good start i admire thinking out of the box and making something different. This car has looks and performance. it is way better looking car then any Toyota or Nissan.




Anti Volt comments
By Mike4703 on 3/10/2012 11:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
I admire all the work that most here have put into rebutting the ignorant fear mongering of the Anti Volt crowd. However as soon as you see them bring up derogatory references to the "current administration" in connection to what seems like a factual discussion about new technology, you are wasting your breath. As pointed out here the battery fire issue was a non issue; the price is not so high for a new car with new technology and if you want you can lease for $399/mo; and there are no recall or technical bulletins on this complex new car. When dealing with the new conservative menality post 2008, you are not dealing with what has traditionally been thought of as conservative. You are dealing with a neofascist who's only interest is putting down anything that might be successful, and connected with Democratic, liberal, progressive, scientific, etc. If you are not 100% with him then you are his enemy. That is why all the hate and anger keeps showing up, and any logic and facts will be dissmissed or rationalized, minimized. Defeat them all in 2012. Keep up support for the Volt and other new American techologies. Good News - Volt sales are up 70% in February. If gas prices stay at $4.00/gal or higher it won't take long for the sales to get back on track. The message is getting out despite the nay-sayers.




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