GM looks at electric-only Volt

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GM looks at electric-only Volt http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/20/autos/ev_volt/index.htm
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors is building an experimental
fleet of electrically powered Chevrolet Cruze compact cars that will have a driving range of up to 100 miles without using any gasoline.
Unlike the Chevrolet Volt, which GM plans to sell in the United States beginning in November, these cars will be purely electric with no gasoline engine for long-range driving. The Cruze and the Volt are closely related vehicles.
"This Cruze EV demonstration project reinforces GM's commitment to being a leader in the development of electric vehicles and green technologies, building on our portfolio of hybrids and the Chevrolet Volt," Karl Stracke, GM's vice president for global vehicle engineering, said in a statement.
The initial demonstration cars are being built by GM Daewoo, GM's South Korean arm, in cooperation with LG Chem, the company that supplies battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt.
The first cars will be tested in South Korea beginning in late October, GM said in a statement. Similar vehicles will built and tested with other partners in other parts of the world later this year. Range-extended vs. gasoline-free
Once charged, the Chevrolet Volt, a version of the Cruze that GM calls a "range-extended electric vehicle," can drive up to 40 miles on electric power before a gasoline engine turns on to generate electricity for over 300 miles of driving driving.
Other automakers, including Nissan and Ford, will compete against the Volt with electric cars that can drive as much 100 miles before recharging but which have no gasoline engines. Those cars must be plugged in and recharged before they can drive farther. GM's experimental electric Cruzes will be functionally similar to these cars.
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GM has touted the Volt's "range-extended" system as superior because it offers enough gasoline-free electric driving range to cover most Americans' daily needs -- the vast majority drive less than 40 miles on a typical day -- while providing the long range of a gasoline-powered car when needed.
However, critics have called the Volt a less environmentally sensitive solution because it still has a gasoline engine.
"We had expected GM to launch an all-electric vehicle by 2012 or 2013," said Michael Omotoso, manager of global powertrain forecasting for the market research firm J.D. Power and Associates.'
GM could use an all-electric Volt for two reasons, said Jesse Toprak, an analyst with the automotive Web site Truecar.com.
First, as technology improves, pure electric cars will have longer driving ranges and shorter charging times, making them more viable as daily transportation. When that happens, said Toprak, GM will want to have a fully developed product ready to sell.
Second, even though the Volt can be driven using electricity alone for days or weeks at a time with a daily recharge, there's great public relations value in an electric-only car, Toprak said - even if it's less practical.
"The reality is it's more difficult to explain the extended-range concept," he said.
The Volt is often misunderstood by consumers and the media, Omotoso said, who think of it as a plug-in hybrid. With virtually every other major automaker planning an all-electric car, GM faced the possibility that it might be perceived as less "green" than other automakers.
On a standard 220-volt household outlet GM's experimental electric cars can be fully recharged in about 8 to 10 hours, GM said in an announcement. The cars can go from zero to 60 miles in about 8.2 seconds, GM said, which makes them quicker than the Chevrolet Volt.
GM engineers have, in the past, hinted at the possibility of an electric-only Volt saying that it would be a relatively easy matter to remove the gasoline engine and add more battery power.
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It takes a confused comapany to make it complex.
First you make an ordinary car. Put in an electrical engine. Call it electrical car with extended range. Then you remove the gasoline engine and call it an electrical car.
Hpw hard can it be?
A box on 4 wheels and a generator.
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Maybe they should learn to creep before they try to fly.
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On 9/21/2010 12:41 AM, Bjorn wrote:

Zenn motors can make them for about $10k.
GM no doubt will cost three times that or more.
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Perhaps GM can make them in China, where they make the Zenn, as well and the average worker earns $2,500 a year, dummy LOL

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Does GM make the Zenn in China? Your use of "they" is confusing.

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How about, where the Zenn is made? ;)

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Let me help you out Mike.
Zenn's own manufacturing plant is in St. Jerome, Quebec
Being non-competitive seems to be a Detroit and UAW/CAW problem.
On 22/09/2010 9:22 AM, Mike wrote:

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On 21/09/2010 7:13 PM, JimG wrote:

Mike is one totally confused person. Zenn Motor Company is a Canadian company. But maybe Mike thinks it is a GM model, LMAO.

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You show your ignorance well. Zenn Motors is a Canadian company that is listed on the TSX. Although I would not doubt some parts are made in China, as NA can't economically make much any more.
On 21/09/2010 3:27 PM, Mike wrote:

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Assembled of imported parts, much like they assemble the Corolla in Canada. Perhaps you should have said SELL them for 10K, the build cost is about 1/3 of the Invoice price. LOL

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Would not doubt that. Toyota is just better at what they do. GM might be a loss at $40k for the Volt. Quite shocking actually.
Cars are over priced big time. Good thing is I can wait until decent priced vehicles come onto the market longer than GM will be in business. Noticed GM is up to the same old games, up the prices by $6k then put them on salve for $3k off.....
Let India and China make autos, people can't afford Detroit crap any more.
On 9/22/2010 1:38 PM, Mike wrote:

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Really? As we have come to expect you are wrong, again. Industry statistics consistently show that Americans who buy imported vehicles pay an average of 20% to 30% MORE to drive home their import than if they had purchased a domestic vehicle of the same size and with the same equipment. ;)
When I was in retail we always earned far more profit off our import brands than domestics. Even our shop rates were much higher at our import stores than what we were able to charge at our domestic brand stores.

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On 9/20/2010 7:11 PM, Jim_Higgins wrote:

nipped in the bud. The US does not have the infrastructure to support millions of electric cars if they suddenly appear. Do you commute into the city? Are there charging ports in your parking garage? in your parking lot? By the time this happens, our ever revenue minded tax crazy government will put up pay parking meter style charging ports. Then the advantages of owning an electric will diminish by the time the government gets its cut.
and then there is the issue of battery replacement. There are tons of 15/20 year old internal combustion engine cars safely on the road now. people who cannot afford new cars drive these old cars.
So what happens when these electric cars hit 8/10 years old, are out of warranty,and the battery packs are dead? Are you going to put 4000 to 6000 dollars potentially into an older car to drive it? i think NOT! The junk yards will be full of good body bad battery cars and have to recycle all the hazardous material in the battery packs.
And what do you do in a cold climate where it gets 10 below and you have to defrost the windows? how much electricity is that going to take?
For limited applications, electric cars will find a nich. For general replacement for current cars, there not ready for prime time.
bob
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It is true that the US does not yet have the infrastructure but that does not mean it needs one and one is going to be built.
It is only a question of time and the longer you wait the longer it will take.
Actually for people in the city on the ground floor and a short distance to the parking place it is not such a big problem because they only need to connect a cord out to the car and if the driving distance is short it is ok already.
What is needed is to get electrical cables out to where cars park and it varies how much job that is.
Petrol and service stations will be very different and there is a completely new set of skills needed.
People who know about combustion engines can not automatically switch over to servicing electrical cars and that part of everything is going to call for a massive change.
The electrical cars will demand much less maintenance and last much longer than ordinary cars so the whole infrastructure will be quite different.
This change is going to happen and has actually already started but the production capacity is not great at the moment but in unbelievably short time it will start to happen in ever faster rate.
Even GM with the Volt have discovered that their too little too late experiment with a hybrid is a failure before the start and they have to get on the electrical car production bandwagon or face a new bankruptcy or whatever it is called when a zombie goes into a deeper sleep.
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It has already become a problem inside the biggest companies that they do not have the expertize needed for making electrical cars.
Interestingly enough they need a hell of a lot of new people who have electrical skills at the same time they need to get rid of a lot of people with old skills.
It is just not possible to train the old people fast enough over to the new technology.
Or at least it will take both time and money and so what they are doing is firing old people at the same time looking for new people with the new skills.
This is happening much faster than anyone inside the companies predicted because as usual they have been just happy with continuing and troddling the old paths as long as nothing happened.
But something did happen.
The old market collapsed and they have massive over capacity making old type of cars.
They have been trying to fake it by creating hybrids and even trying to dupe people with electrical cars with extended range and all kind of such rubbish.
No the reality is people want true electrics and electrics they will get and like it or not the old companies have to oblige or die or like in some cases like GM - die again.
This change is so massive that it is hard to believe.
I knew it would happen but now that it is happening it is so massive that it is unbelievable.
That is nothing compared to the changes to all service stations and more or less the whole way of live for many of us.
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Perhaps, that maybe your opinion but in reality GM has already upped the Volts first years planned production from 30,000 to 40,000, vehicles because of the increased number of dealer orders, even though the Volt will only be offered by dealers is certain larger markets.
wrote:

It is true that the US does not yet have the infrastructure but that does not mean it needs one and one is going to be built.
It is only a question of time and the longer you wait the longer it will take.
Actually for people in the city on the ground floor and a short distance to the parking place it is not such a big problem because they only need to connect a cord out to the car and if the driving distance is short it is ok already.
What is needed is to get electrical cables out to where cars park and it varies how much job that is.
Petrol and service stations will be very different and there is a completely new set of skills needed.
People who know about combustion engines can not automatically switch over to servicing electrical cars and that part of everything is going to call for a massive change.
The electrical cars will demand much less maintenance and last much longer than ordinary cars so the whole infrastructure will be quite different.
This change is going to happen and has actually already started but the production capacity is not great at the moment but in unbelievably short time it will start to happen in ever faster rate.
Even GM with the Volt have discovered that their too little too late experiment with a hybrid is a failure before the start and they have to get on the electrical car production bandwagon or face a new bankruptcy or whatever it is called when a zombie goes into a deeper sleep.
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Probably as collectors items.
If the batteries last long enough, they migh be good as golf carts.
On 9/23/2010 8:34 AM, Mike wrote:

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You are probably correct, for a change, in twenty or thirty years. One sees very few Japanese collector cars at old car shows today. I see lots of American and European cars at car shows around the county, but rarely ever a Jap car. ;)
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On 9/23/2010 9:34 AM, Mike wrote:

Well, no one has really thought out all the ramifications of electric cars down the road. The US heavilly uses gasoline taxes to finance road construction and repair. Whats happens to that money when everyone switches to electrics? Electric cars still use the same roads. still need the same mainteneace. So the money has to come from somewhere. You can bet down the road the bean counters will figure this one out and there will be a road tax or electricilty tax on electric cars.
The volt is a curiosity now. give it a year or two and see what happens. If GM is truly subsidizing it, they are going to limit production to stop the bleeding. Or the car is going to be priced out of most peoples budget.
bob
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