GM tries to generate Calif. buzz for Volt

GM in particular, and Detroit in general, lost the sales battle on the West coast (California) long, long ago. The Volt is a lost cause, especially in California. When consumers can buy proven technology from
Toyota or Honda they are NOT going to roll the dice on GM first year production. They're done.
GM tries to generate Calif. buzz for Volt http://tinyurl.com/yfy6vcq
LOS ANGELES -- In the buildup to the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the media Wednesday, the new, post-bankruptcy General Motors Co. is hustling to build buzz around its new Chevrolet Volt electric car.
On Monday, GM engineers met with local middle schoolchildren to talk about electricity and told them that California would be one of the markets where early Volt cars would be sold once production begins late next year.
The company is expected to announce the initial retail markets for the Volt on Wednesday during the auto show's first media day.
GM has not disclosed how many Volts it plans to build, but initial production is expected to be limited.
Also at the LA auto show this week, GM is showing the U.S. production version of the Chevrolet Cruze compact car. Photos of the car were released Sunday.
GM clearly wants the Volt to make an impression on California, where the automaker's market share has plummeted.
A giant Volt banner hangs from the convention center where the auto show will be held, overlooking the freeway.
The company has also been driving the vehicle around LA, including a trip to Dodger Stadium to allow journalists to test-drive the new car.
Los Angeles Times auto critic Dan Neil wrote on Monday that the Volt "won't embarrass itself on the 110 Freeway" and noted that it "could provide a bridgehead for GM in California."
On Monday night, GM was slated to hold a forum to discuss plug-in vehicles with local community leaders. On Tuesday, GM was to announce the winner of a contest to name the Volt's greenish-silver paint color.
"California is one of GM's biggest problem markets, and this vehicle and technology addresses some of the key concerns that California consumers have," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at IHS Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Mass.
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Jim_Higgins wrote:

They can try. But remember the electricity prices in 2000-2002? You think gasoline was bad... whew... Say, at 50 cents a kilowatt how far does a kilowatt at your walls outlet get you in a Volt?
Perhaps these should be rated as miles per kilowatt with 3 year old batteries. And forget A/C (or heat).
And forget in investing in GM, they say Good-bye Money! You want PG&E stock because they will be able to charge waht they want. Arnie can cap the price and rotating shortages, or maybe even discontinue supply.
And from what I understand, the Volt will not be able to rip down the road at 65mph for long before the generator will be needed and your speed drops to 40mph.
I so wish GM was still listed, would be a good 2 year short.

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On Tue, 01 Dec 2009 18:06:12 -0700, Canuck57 fired up the etcha-a-sketch and scratched out:

Um, the generator just supplies juice to the engine. There should be no discernable difference in drive quality - unlike in a Prius.
If only they'd make these with diesel engines and in truck size. :)
Here's an Edmunds article on the Volt: : http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/volt/2011/testdrive.html ? tidνmunds.h..topfeatures.volttd.0.*
Test Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Volt
A First Look at Chevy's Revolutionary Electric-Gasoline Hybrid
By: James Riswick , Automotive Editor Vehicle Tested:     2011 Chevrolet Volt Pros:     Low fuel consumption, driving experience feels normal, well- equipped and attractive cabin. Cons:     Expensive, no rear center armrest, back seat gets hot.
Video 2011 Chevrolet Volt First Drive Video
No car in history has been developed so openly in the public eye as the forthcoming 2011 Chevrolet Volt. All other cars are designed and engineered behind tightly locked doors, with styling and mechanical details kept under wraps like those alien flying saucers held up in Area 51. Occasionally camouflaged test vehicles will be snapped by spy photographers in Death Valley, but otherwise, an all-new or completely redesigned car will remain concealed until shortly before going on sale. Not the Chevy Volt.
From the original concept car's unveil in January 2007 to today, the Volt's progress has been diligently reported by a GM desperate for positive news, and followed by not only automotive enthusiasts, but the world at large. Rarely has a car that isn't even sold yet enjoyed such instant name recognition. Now, after years of engineering testing and development, the 2011 Chevy Volt is just around the corner in its production form and we've finally gotten a chance to drive it.
General Motors invited Edmunds.com to briefly experience the Volt, and we walked away with a clear initial impression: The Volt feels very normal and that's a very good thing. Consumers are likely to discover a car that doesn't seem that dissimilar to their current car, even though the mechanicals underneath the skin are radically different. In fact, the Volt certainly seems like a more traditional car β€” in look, driving feel and design β€” than the wildly successful, previous-generation Toyota Prius.
Though there are still real-world tests to be conducted and further questions to be answered β€” cost, range and gas mileage being the 300- pound gorillas in the room β€” our view of the Volt is starting to come into focus. Below you'll find our initial impressions as well as the basics about what the Volt is and what makes it so different. You've certainly heard about the Volt. Now it's time to find out the story behind the hoopla.
Photos
View More Photos
* 2011 Chevrolet Volt
Enlarge Photo
It may not be as sleek as the original concept, but the 2011 Chevy Volt is still a handsome car. (photo by: Scott Jacobs) * 2011 Chevrolet Volt - Interior
Enlarge Photo
The interior is snazzy and futuristic, but thankfully its functionality doesn't suffer for it. (photo by: Scott Jacobs) * 2011 Chevrolet Volt - Rear
Enlarge Photo
The rear view is a bit less attractive than the front and the Volt certainly has that general Prius/hybrid shape. (photo by: Scott Jacobs)
Performance
The 2010 Chevy Volt is not an electric car in the traditional sense. It is not a hybrid in the traditional sense, either. Instead, the Volt is an entirely new type of automotive creature β€” technically known as a "series plug-in hybrid." It behaves like an electric vehicle with 150 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque until its lithium-ion battery pack is depleted, at which point a small 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine acts as a generator. That engine never directly drives the wheels, as in a conventional hybrid like the Toyota Prius, and it can only recharge the battery in very limited quantities.
The transition between the Volt's electric-only and gasoline generator modes is surprisingly unnoticeable. Though the pavement during our test- drive was admittedly quite poor and caused louder-than-usual road noise, it was difficult to tell when the gasoline engine was on. Not only is it rather quiet under normal driving, but there's no telltale shudder like in a Honda Insight, for instance. Only under aggressive acceleration in Sport mode (which adds about 30 hp to the electric motor) or when coming to a stop is the Volt's gasoline engine perceptibly noisy. And even then, turn on the radio and air-conditioning and you'll be hard-pressed to tell something out of the ordinary is happening.
However, should your commute home and back stay within the Volt's estimated low-speed cruising range of 40 mpg, the gasoline engine would only ever come on once every few months β€” to maintain itself and the fuel system. In that scenario, though, you'd have to plug the Volt into a household 120-volt (estimated 8-hour recharge from drained) or 240-volt circuit (3 hours) every night.
What will its fuel economy be? GM was quick to advertise an estimated mileage number of 230 mpg, but that figure is highly suspect. Because of the Volt's dual nature and ability to run solely on electricity, you could theoretically achieve infinite miles per gallon by driving 230 miles over the course of a week, but recharging in your garage every night. However, if you travel 230 miles in one go on a road trip, you would achieve an estimated 38.3 mpg because the gasoline engine would be running almost constantly for 191 miles. Furthermore, the electric-only range depends on driving conditions such as traffic, grades and your driving style. "Your mileage may vary" has never been more true.
So how did GM get its number? Well, it is what's called an mpg equivalency. Should you drive the Volt in a very prescribed manner, it would achieve the equivalent of 230 mpg based on the actual gasoline burned as well as the energy produced by the power grid and consumed by the car. It's more of a mathematical equation than a real testing number. The important thing is that the Volt will use substantially less petroleum than a similarly sized vehicle under typical driving conditions. Its highway range is estimated to be 340 miles, though its gas tank size has yet to be finalized.
Beyond the powertrain, the Volt again seems pretty darn normal. The ride is a bit firmer than in a Prius, and its electric power steering is linear and well-weighted. This is in contrast to that of other Chevy vehicles (the Equinox, for instance), which tend to be numb in feel and overly light in effort. While we wouldn't call the Volt fun to drive, it seems like one of the more involving among alternative-fuel and hybrid cars.
Comfort
The Chevy Volt is roughly the same size as a Toyota Prius, but its cabin seems smaller. There are also only four seats, as the spot normally reserved for a rear middle passenger is taken up by cupholders and a bin placed atop part of the T-shaped battery pack. There is unfortunately no center armrest. This obviously makes it less versatile than a traditional sedan or the Prius. Head- and legroom up front are generous, while the rear seat is acceptable. There's about the same amount of headroom as in a Prius, though occupants' heads will be positioned under the hatch's glass. When the sun is behind the car, they will get hot, and there are no rear-seat air vents to cool them down.
Function
The Chevy Volt has a decidedly futuristic-looking cabin, but thankfully, its usability doesn't suffer for it. Its center stack controls for the stereo, climate control and other systems are touch-sensitive, but their layout is similar to that of the pleasantly functional new Equinox. Similar to that in the Cadillac CTS, an actual touchscreen houses radio presets and more in-depth functions, while displaying all pertinent information and the back-up camera.
The gauges take a bit more getting used to, as they aren't gauges, so to speak. An LCD screen shows all the usual information (speed, gear selection, turn signals, warning lights), plus a graphic that encourages energy-efficient driving. A battery life meter is displayed while in electric mode, but once the battery is depleted, that meter is replaced by a gas gauge. In general, this setup could be construed as a little busy and distracting, but on our initial test-drive, at least, the LCD didn't seem to be adversely affected by sunlight.
As for cargo space, the Volt features 10.6 cubic feet under its hatchback. This is much less than the Prius offers and even a bit less than the similarly sized Honda Civic sedan. But since it's a hatchback, carrying around bulky items should be relatively easy.
Design/Fit and Finish
Forget that sleek, coupelike vehicle that was originally introduced to the world as the Chevy Volt. Reality has dictated that it needs to be a more traditional, practical shape for aerodynamic reasons and to accommodate people and their stuff. The resulting sedan is still handsome and arguably has more flair than the similarly shaped Prius and Insight.
The interior is noteworthy for its unique trim options. Our test car featured an iPod-like white center stack and steering wheel trim, while the front doors were adorned with 3D graphics. There will be different trim and graphics available. As this was a pre-production vehicle, it was impossible to determine what sort of materials quality and construction will be in the final version.
Who Should Consider This Vehicle
The 2011 Chevy Volt is an intriguing vehicle that could radically change cars and the way we drive, but there is still a lot to learn about its range, gas mileage, final interior quality and price tag before we give it our full endorsement.
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PerfectReign wrote:

If you consume more amps than the generator cranks, it comes from the battery or you slow down to burn less amps. There is energy loss in moter, generator and coversion to battery or motion. That is 1kw at the generator isn't 1kw out of the battery.
And if they got such great gas millage, ok -- even if it wasn't all downhill with the wind pushing, what is the TCO, included wall watts per mile. It doesn't run on nothing. Did they use a long power cord?
200 miles on a quart of gas is good, excluding the utility bill of say the kw to charge and battery consumption. Yes, even rechargable batteries are consumables, only so many charges and it's just becomes heavy metal.
Give us the whole unabridged real life picture.

You would have to prove it to business before it would sell. Even a half baked business manager would want terms writen into the contract that GM BSers would never sign. Stuff link minimum battery life, TCO clauses, buy back guarantees, Wall watts per mile included with actual gas consumption.

Will see. Geo, Vega, Fienza... let someone else experiment with their money.
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Once again our friend Canuck57 is telling us the sky is falling LOL

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On Wed, 02 Dec 2009 18:23:31 -0700, Canuck57 fired up the etcha-a-sketch and scratched out:

So you suppose they built a generator (which doesn't drive the engine) to supply less amps than is being consumed?
You're funny.
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PerfectReign wrote:

It isn't funny if you buy one. The MG generates 53kw (71hp) max. Electric motor is 120 kW (160 hp) max. If crusing along it takes 90hp to keep going, sooner or later the battery is going to run dry and the speed has to decrease. Unless you stop lots to let it charge.
So you drive home, 20 miles say, she is brand new so the litium holds a charge. You are 1/2 depleted and have a small hill to get up, 90hp might not be enough and part way up she slows down as the cranking capacity is gone.
Might work for the city if used prudently, but sure isn't going to make it 1000 miles on a vacation.
Let me get started on Lithium battery reliability. On laptops, $200 gets one that lasts maybe 2 years at a 40 to 75 watt draw. Mild use compared to a car. As they spend 90% of their time charging. After 2 years they would be lucky to last 10 minutes. Now say 75 waths, compared to needing 53kw worth of them and electricity to power it. They sure will not be cheap.
Volt is a fad, TCO is right out to lunch.
Their batteries will be like GM, keep on sucking...not just tax dollars but your electricity.
If the Volt does take off, I will buy electric companies as they will get 50kwh just to supply during the demand. But my guess is it will fizzle out. Put them in the shed with the Edsel.
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no wonder gm is going broke, they spent millions in engineering the new volt with input from many battery manuf. when all they had to do was ask Canuck57 the origional SFB.
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On 03/12/2009 6:17 PM, Tom wrote:

They could have, but arrogance and ignorance prevented them from opening their eyes. GM has been on this collision course with self destruction for 10 years. GM is betting the farm on a flawed path. I by no means am alone in this thought because at $40,000 as GMs manufacturing cost, Volt will flop like a whale stuck in the balls. They have to get that cost down to $15k or less for that eco freek Volt with crappy A/C and fresh air heat.
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