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Volt may be ready for testing next spring

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Lutz: Volt may be ready for tests by next spring
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Sharon Terlep | The Detroit News


TRAVERSE CITY -- General Motors Corp. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told an industry gathering this morning that the auto maker will partner with A123 Systems Inc., one of the biggest battery developers, to develop a lithium-ion battery for the Volt plug-in electric hybrid.

The Chevy Volt was a hit last winter when it was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show.

The partnership is expected to expedite the development of batteries for plug-in hybrids and other alternative fuel solutions. GM expects to have the battery packs ready this fall and vehicles ready to test in the spring, said Lutz, who appeared at the auto industry's annual Management Briefing Seminars.

Lutz also said the automaker pulled back too far on incentives and needs to increase discounts this month, especially on big trucks. His comments follow a sharp drop in GM vehicles sales in July. Truck sales are slumping amid high fuel prices and the slow housing market.
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Amen. Tell everyone about it after you've done it. :scratchchin:

No, I mean we already know about A123 and that there will be prototypes by spring.

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Lutz said 2008, not 2009 (the main page shows 2009). That's "next spring". Also, he indicated the batteries will be delivered in October of this year, hence the testing in spring 2008.

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My assumption is that GM always knew the A123 batteries were advancing so well, hence the plan to design the new Delta architecture to accommodate E-Flex from the start. The LG contract would seem to be a back-up, should something unforeseen impede the A123 project. GM plans to blindside it's competitors with E-Flex plugin hybrids in mass production while everyone else is still working on the batteries, but doesn't want to make any promises while something could still go wrong.

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My assumption is that GM always knew the A123 batteries were advancing so well, hence the plan to design the new Delta architecture to accommodate E-Flex from the start. The LG contract would seem to be a back-up, should something unforeseen impede the A123 project. GM plans to blindside it's competitors with E-Flex plugin hybrids in mass production while everyone else is still working on the batteries, but doesn't want to make any promises while something could still go wrong.

That is what I am thinking too. GM will be too lame to invest this much into a car considering they are:

1. Cash strapped

2. Low in the perception of people.

A flash in the pan for advertisements will be a short term gain and the long term loss will be huge if people come to know that Volt is not going to happen. And like I have said earlier, Wagoner is a far better strategist than that.

GM knows something which other people here doing wrong math do not know. Am I 100% sure that Volt is going to work? No, but GM certainly deserves benefit of doubt just like PR inflicted Prius.

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GM knows something which other people here doing wrong math do not know. Am I 100% sure that Volt is going to work? No, but GM certainly deserves benefit of doubt just like PR inflicted Prius.

Well they are due.

They killed the EV1 and did not provide a follow-up when they were in the lead, they ignored hybrids for too long, then they put out hybrids that were nothing more than an idle shut off and a plug, their hybrid buses ended up being a bust once they put in an engine that could meet emission standards, currently they are making hybrids with fuel economy comparable to their competitor's 4cyls (but with lower performance... their marketing campaign should be "None of the benefits, but only 1/2 the cost"), and they will soon put out a two-mode which will be too expensive for most.

Based on their track record, we really shouldn't expect GM to succeed. But now wonder they want to distract people.

It is possible that GM has some sort of ace in the hole with A123. But it is also possible that the other automakers are correct in their caution and the GM big-wigs sitting around a table and eating up every bit of promise and progress that A123 offers. Considering Toyota's head start in this area as well as the fact that there are already plug-in Priuses with A123 batteries (just don't try to buy one as an individual... for some reason they won't be available until 2008), it is likely that Toyota actually turned down the A123 technology (rightly or wrongly). I can't imagine that Hymotion (owned by A123) wasn't doing everything in their power to pitch their solution to Toyota.

GM might do it, but odds are their will be a compromise (timing/price/range/availability).

Edited by GXT
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Well they are due.

currently they are making hybrids with fuel economy comparable to their competitor's 4cyls (but with lower performance... their marketing campaign should be "None of the benefits, but only 1/2 the cost"), and they will soon put out a two-mode which will be too expensive for most.

You may want to re-investigate your info....

Aura XE 219hp V-6 - 30 mpg hwy 0-60 7.0

Aura Hybrid 164hp+elec - 35 mpg hwy

Camry 155hp I-4 - 31 mpg hwy 0-60 9.5

Camry Hybrid 147hp+elec - 34 mpg hwy

Accord 175hp I-4 - 31 hwy 0-60 8.5

....also note that a loaded Aura hybrid is $4k cheaper than a loaded Camry Hybrid.

And since the '08 Malibu is to have a 4 cyl option look for a mininum of 32 hwy out of it.

Looks to me that the Aura has better perf, and on par mpg for lesser cost.

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They might have a chance to pull this one off I think. The cash situation has been resolved to a certain extent I think. Especially with their sale of stock in GMAC and just recently the Allison Transmission (which I hate to see), GM is putting themselves in position to have the cash flow to make these types of vehicles really come true!

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My assumption is that GM always knew the A123 batteries were advancing so well, hence the plan to design the new Delta architecture to accommodate E-Flex from the start. The LG contract would seem to be a back-up, should something unforeseen impede the A123 project. GM plans to blindside it's competitors with E-Flex plugin hybrids in mass production while everyone else is still working on the batteries, but doesn't want to make any promises while something could still go wrong.

I really hope they can blindside the competition this time around.

A crazy question: do you think this could be a better fuel economy booster to full size vehicles like the big trucks (Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade/Hummers) than the hybrid models that are coming to market, or would packaging issues (I believe regarding essentially batteries) be hard to solve? My (probably crappy) reasoning is as follows: electric motors deliver high and constant torque, which would be great in large trucks. With an internal combustion engine acting as a charger at low rpm, fuel economy for those vehicles be substantially better.

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I really hope they can blindside the competition this time around.

A crazy question: do you think this could be a better fuel economy booster to full size vehicles like the big trucks (Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade/Hummers) than the hybrid models that are coming to market, or would packaging issues (I believe regarding essentially batteries) be hard to solve? My (probably crappy) reasoning is as follows: electric motors deliver high and constant torque, which would be great in large trucks. With an internal combustion engine acting as a charger at low rpm, fuel economy for those vehicles be substantially better.

I definitely think GM is onto something here, which the competition totally ignored. GM will not waste money coming the cash crunch they are in and the low dignity people have about it for being the Gas Guzzler.

I think technically speaking it is a better booster for full sized vehicles compared to the dinky ones. I wonder if the ladder frame can be modified to accommodate the battery packs "inside the longitudinal beams of the chassis. The bitch will be however to replace or repair the battery. It is possible for the SUVs by just making an opening in the floor, but will be a PITA for the trucks. May be the trucks can have hybrid BOF chassis with Unibody bottom, I am just brain storming here.

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GM is in trouble. Using A123 Systems is the biggest mistake they have made and COULD be the final straw that brings GM down. The video in the link provided proves that GM's choice in battery companies was a bad one. This company is going to kill people if they build the battery and electric components for the Volt. I just hope it's not to late for them to change companies. Anyways look at the video and it will explain everything.

A123 Systems at Wired NextFest

:hijacked:

:dizzy::scared:

:smilewide:

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GM is in trouble. Using A123 Systems is the biggest mistake they have made and COULD be the final straw that brings GM down. The video in the link provided proves that GM's choice in battery companies was a bad one. This company is going to kill people if they build the battery and electric components for the Volt. I just hope it's not to late for them to change companies. Anyways look at the video and it will explain everything.

A123 Systems at Wired NextFest

:hijacked:

:dizzy::scared:

:smilewide:

Can't tell if the smilies mean you were being sarcastic, or what. Saw no battery-related problems in the video, just someone who admitted that he doesn't normally drive the bike, just builds it, and did a demonstration in an environment not suited to do so.
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Can't tell if the smilies mean you were being sarcastic, or what. Saw no battery-related problems in the video, just someone who admitted that he doesn't normally drive the bike, just builds it, and did a demonstration in an environment not suited to do so.

Really? Was I not sarcastic enough? Was the video not funny enough? Was it past your bedtime when you posted? To many smilies? Help me out here.

Did you guys pick up where he says 0-60 in less than a second? That's crazy!!!!!!!!

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Really? Was I not sarcastic enough? Was the video not funny enough? Was it past your bedtime when you posted? To many smilies? Help me out here.

Did you guys pick up where he says 0-60 in less than a second? That's crazy!!!!!!!!

I didn't really find a guy laying on his back funny, but the bike was awesome. :D

and no, the sarcasm didn't quite come across clearly enough to me, sorry. :P

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