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Volt design to be finished by mid-September?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So says Reuters, anyway (just a note...it is interesting that the title of the piece is "GM to finish electric car design by mid-September" considering that the Volt is not all-electric).

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan (Reuters) - General Motors Corp said on Thursday it would finalize the design of the all-electric Chevy Volt by mid-September and aims to have 50 prototypes with production-ready parts by the end of 2008.


GM has been racing to finish development of the Volt in time for its planned launch in 2010. The Volt is the centerpiece of GM's effort to move away from large SUVs, as truck sales tumble and gasoline prices remain high.


"We have one gate in our process we call a styling freeze, which is happening in the middle of September," Frank Weber, GM's vehicle line executive in charge of the Volt, told reporters on the sidelines of an automotive conference.

 

Head over to Reuters for the full post.

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

Also in Volt news, GM released production photos:

 

 


Edited by stins - Fri, 15 Aug 2008 21:35:16 GMT
post #3 of 7

The headline isn't a big deal because even Chevy has the words 'electric car' (or something like that) in the URL for the Chevy Volt.  What is bad is this part...

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan (Reuters) - General Motors Corp said on Thursday it would finalize the design of the all-electric Chevy Volt by mid-September

 

That's just bad reporting!

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981:

The headline isn't a big deal because even Chevy has the words 'electric car' (or something like that) in the URL for the Chevy Volt. 


 

Well, right.  I just mean that it seems like calling it electric implies to most folks it is "all-electric" as opposed to range-extended electric with a combustion engine.  All I meant by calling out the headline is that it perpetuates the notion that the Volt is all-electric, which is then clearly restated in the body of the article.

 

But now we're just getting nit-picky.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by stins:

Well, right.  I just mean that it seems like calling it electric implies to most folks it is "all-electric" as opposed to range-extended electric with a combustion engine.  All I meant by calling out the headline is that it perpetuates the notion that the Volt is all-electric, which is then clearly restated in the body of the article.

 

But now we're just getting nit-picky.


 

Oh sure.  My point was just that Chevy encourages the error by making the connection between the Volt and electric cars themselves.  If the article hadn't specifically said the Volt was all-electric, I would have just chalked that up to Chevy being purposefully vague.  Seriously though, calling the Volt all-electric is really crappy journalism.

post #6 of 7

As I've posted in other blogs,

I want a pure battery electric car, but I don’t think we will see one built by the car companies we grew up with.

Who does not want EV’s in our driveways:

-Legacy Automakers, because they, and their dealer networks do not earn enough revenue by selling cars. A look at how large their service departments are (and our out-of-wallet experience with them) shows what’s at stake revenue-wise because EV’s never need service beyond tire changes. EV’s don’t even need brake jobs due to electronic regenerative braking that does most of the work. Their ordinary friction brake pads and rotors thus last the life of the car (as shown on the Toyota electric Rav4).
The large established car companies depend on their service department, like printer companies depend on sales of ink cartridges. So why did Toyota sell the Rav4 instead of leasing and crushing as GM did with the EV1? It’s a mystery, but I came across a blog that mentioned that a Toyota exec at a public speech mistakenly said that the cars would be sold, and so to save face, Toyota reluctantly sold the Rav4. Buyers, however, now post on blogs that they actually had difficulty in getting the Toyota dealer to sell them an electric Rav4 and that they were highly pressured to instead buy a Gas Toyota or a Prius.

-Oil companies, for obvious reasons. Note they are also major stockholders in auto companies and thus probably have influence over their board of directors.

Business firms exist to make profits, but profits are going to be reduced if EV’s replace the ICE car. Much of our economy is based on the automobile, and its upkeep. Almost every business is related in some way to the car. What will happen to employment if the need to service a car is practically eliminated?

What happens to Midas, Pepboys, Kragen’s, smog check, AMCO, gas stations, Jiffylube, general service repair centers, the manufacturing plants that fabricate repair parts, the UPS people that deliver the parts, the corner deli or Taco Bells frequented by those firm’s workers at lunchtime? What about government agencies that depend on collecting all manner of tax revenue from the above interlinked economy?

If people understand this scenario, then they will understand why they can’t yet buy an EV from the legacy business infrastructure. Only recently can one sniff the scent of a potential EV from start-up EV manufacturers like Tesla (too costly for mass production partly because they hand-solder a battery pack of 6000 Lithium AA sized cells together in series-parallel groups), Aptera, and even the tiny BugE, etc., because a startup company does not need to address the risk that a service-free vehicle will parasitically affect revenue from other parts of its company.

Curiously, Nissan’s CEO has advocated a pure EV but I have a hard time believing he really will build one and that the announcement is mostly PR “greenwashing” in nature. After all, Nissan has service centers, too.

post #7 of 7

 

One interesting emerging EV contender is the Chinese and their unstoppable manufacturing base. Google the “Miles EV” and “Thunder Sky”  Lithium battery (which can replace the suppressed NiMH battery. Google “95 AH Large Format NiMH battery” to see that a 30 million dollar lawsuit dismantled the Panasonic plant that built these batteries that gave the Toyota Rav4 EV more than 100 miles of highway speed range- 10 years ago). The Chinese don’t have any obligations to any western business or oil cartel. Although they are importing oil at increasing rates, I think they are taking steps to limit dependency on oil by mass producing EVs. A $4000 Lithium powered highway speed scooter motorcycle just appeared from China: the “XM-3500Li” You can buy it now online.

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