GM's hopes for its Chevrolet 'Volt'



I think the near future for a reliable power source for auto’s lies in an ‘electric’ battery powered motor charged by an small efficient diesel engine. Fuel cell technology is too complex as is ‘hybrid’ technology. GM’s ‘Volt’ makes sense and all the talk of ‘ethanol’ gets you nowhere cost wise as a viable alternative to oil based gasoline. What say you?


IMHO, the volt concept makes much more sense than the hybrid gimmick. We will have to see how well it’s executed.


It makes sense IF you drive UNDER 40 miles to and from work…AND you don’t live in a place like NH where electric rates are 16 cents/kwatt.


I drive 6.7 miles one way to work each day, so I could go all week without charging it up. Come home when it’s 40 mile charge is up, plug it in and leave it sit all night. The only problem I’d have with this car is the fact that I’d need to move my Chevelle out of the garage to do so


Tho I do like the idea of being able to run it on biodiesel as well as gasoline mixes. I’d imagine the diesel would also get the better mileage of the 3(provided I forgot to charge it after awhile.


I hope they are successful. The 40 mile range seems low, but they are have weighed the disadvantages of more batteries in their decision. If it could go about 80 miles, I’d be interested in it as a commuter. But I’m sure that they can sell 1000 of them to people with short commutes.


I know nothing about the Volt, but do know there’s a huge gap between a concept vehicle and a production one.

A concept car with the marketing department working overtime does not mean much at this point.


late edit:
I just recalculated and I’d need to recharge every 3 days instead of once a week. Brain farted on me.


While it is a concept car, GM does plan on selling 1000 Volts in 2009.


GM also planned on selling a number of those electric cars in CA about 10-15 years ago also and could not even give them away at special lease prices.
Maybe this one will work out better.


Maybe the people in Canada are smart enough to know not to lease?


GM went to a special lease program after the sales program faltered. No one would buy the things, and as it turned out, no one would lease them either.


Another thing to look at.

If the Volt (or some vehicle of similar technology) does take off…it would have the potential of adding a great deal of demand to the electric grid. Not so sure that’s a good idea.


That’s a valid point, but the U.S. electric grid is seriously in need of upgrades now. Widespread use of plug-in electric cars would increase demand somewhat and provably drive electric rates up a bit, which might provide a little more incentive for infrastructure (and generation) upgrades. More likely, the local utilities would provide some incentive to charge electric cars during off-peak hours (i.e., overnight), similar to the deals they currently make with large commercial users.

In the long run, it’s probably cheaper to upgrade the electric grid than to install new infrastructure for “alternate fuels” such as hydrogen. I don’t see electric cars being a significant energy consumer in the near future. Still no free lunch.


Tesla is already taking orders for their electric sports cars developed on the Elise chassis in partnership with Lotus. The first year’s production is allegedly already sold out. The Tesla roadster does 0-60 in just over 4 seconds and has a range of over 200 miles. Lotus has also teamed up with Zap to bring a small electric SUV to market.

GM is going to be behind the market on this one.


[/quote]GM is going to be behind the market on this one.[quote]

I’m shocked.


While that has been GM’s official “line”, that is complete bunk. Perfectly workable and effective EVs are more than possible, were made by GM, and were in high demand. Check out:


I only see electric cars working well in places where the weather is nice year round. Has anyone actually tested electric car batteries when it is 20 below zero or colder, plus snow to push through, plus thickening of bearing grease? Oh and how do you provide for heat, thats going to drain the battery faster too.

Any in any weather, what do you do if you need to take an unexpected detour? You take the chance of running out of range.

This is why Hybrids have taken off and nobody ever wanted plain electrics. You dont run out of range with a hybrid any faster than with a gas powered car.

If the Volt is a diesel engine creating electricity to run an electic motor, isnt that a hybrid?


Chevy’s website seems to be implying that the same car will run gas, E85, or Biodiesel (but not regular diesel). How’s that supposed to work?


“This is why Hybrids have taken off and nobody ever wanted plain electrics.”

The notion that “nobody ever wanted plain electrics” is the stuff of urban legend. The assumption is often based on rumor and on the completely simplistic notion that the market provides whatever it is that consumers demand. (Oh, well, if we really wanted electrics, somebody would make them). In oligopolistic markets, such as autos, it more or less works in reverse. There is much to be lost throughout the auto and its many connected industries by a successful electric car. This is one reason that GM - despite building a very successful EV back in the 90’s - aggressively killed the whole thing - it was looking like it might be TOO successful.