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
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
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
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
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.
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 ?
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.
View More Photos
* 2011 Chevrolet Volt
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
The interior is snazzy and futuristic, but thankfully its
functionality doesn't suffer for it.
(photo by: Scott Jacobs)
* 2011 Chevrolet Volt - Rear
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)
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
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.
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.
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
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
Will see. Geo, Vega, Fienza... let someone else experiment with their money.
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.
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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